The Delmon Theory | The Process Report

The Delmon Theory

Expanded rosters leave managers with more options to consider when making lineups in September. Facing Yankees’ right-hander Ivan Nova on Thursday, Rays’ skipper Joe Maddon had the opportunity to start eight left-handed batters. Instead he started five lefties and four right-handed batters.

Two of the righties are everyday players – Evan Longoria and Wil Myers – however, two of them were not. Delmon Young started at designated hitter over Luke Scott and, when Yunel Escobar was a scratch, Maddon opted for Sean Rodriguez, not Kelly Johnson, to take his place in the lineup.

This is not the first time Maddon has called upon The Danks Theory when facing Nova. In July of 2012, the Rays started five righties against him including Rodriguez and Jeff Keppinger – a player known for his knack of hitting southpaws. That day, the right-handers went 6-14 with four runs batted in. Rodriguez belted a double and a home run off the Yankees’ starter.

Though some of the sames were different, the result remained largely the same on Thursday. Right-handed batters went 4-10 against Nova. Instead of Rodriguez pacing the offense, it was Delmon Young providing a single and a huge 427-foot home run while Nova on the mound. Young has appeared in 12 games versus right-handers this month, notching eight hits – including three doubles and two home runs – in 27 plate appearances. Most of the damage has come come on breaking balls away.

With the unconventional R.A. Dickey on the mound Friday, it would not be a shock to see The Delmon Theory in action once again.

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