A twice-a-week catcher who murders left-handers? It should sound familiar to Marlins fans, who probably haven't forgotten Mike Redmond and the number he did on southpaws -- and, in particular, Tom Glavine.
Now comes lefty mauler Ronny Paulino, who should be in the lineup this afternoon for the Marlins when they take on the Mets and ace southpaw Johan Santana. Paulino doesn't have much of a track record against Santana, and what little history the two have (Paulino is 1 for 4 against Santana) doesn't reveal very much.
But there's no question that Paulino feasts on lefties as evidenced by his .359 career average against them (compared to .251 vs. right-handers). His OPS differential is even more lopsided: .931 agaisnt LH compared to .643 versus RH. I spoke to Paulino about it earlier in the week and he just thinks he sees them better. In other words, there's nothing scientific about it. He mentioned the success he's had against the Cubs' Ted Lilly (6 for 10). Other lefties Paulino has hit include Andy Pettitte (6 for 9), Wandy Rodriguez (5 for 8), Jamie Moyer (3 for 5) and Scott Olsen (5 for 14). Paulino doubled and tripled off Olsen on Tuesday.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez won't use a strict left/right platoon system with Paulino and John Baker, but does intend to provide Paulino ample opportunity to bat to his strength.