Red Sox acquire left-handed reliever Fernando Abad

May 24, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Fernando Abad (58) pitches to the Kansas City Royals at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
May 24, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Fernando Abad (58) pitches to the Kansas City Royals at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports /

In a maneuver that appears to be largely irrelevant, Fernando Abad has become the newest member of the Red Sox Bullpen.

For the preservation of time and effort, allow me to delineate the only two individualities possessed by Fernando Abad that are worthy of mention; he is left-handed, and if one were to list every single player who has ever played in the Major Leagues, alphabetically from A to Z, Fernando Abad would be the sixth name encountered.

Nevertheless, seriously, permit to educate the reader on who exactly is Fernando Abad.

In the estimation of this author, the acquisition of Fernando Abad will have little to no effect on the Red Sox’s post-season aspirations. I expended many hours beholding his career numbers, hopelessly probing for just one infinitesimal need that his acquisition addresses; sadly, I was unsuccessful in my temporally intensive pursuit.

More from BoSox Injection

It is my desire to enlighten the readers regarding Abad’s history in the Major Leagues and the numbers to which he lays claim.

Fernando Abad has pitched for five teams since entering the Major Leagues in 2010, the Astros, Nationals, Athletics, Twins, and now the Boston Red Sox.

Abad is a fly-ball pitcher, possessing a career 0.68 GB/FB ratio. Although 2016 saw his GB/FB ratio increase to 0.83, it still remains below the Major League average of 0.84.

In his entire career, Abad has induced 17 double plays in 219 double play opportunities, an 8% conversion rate. The Major League average is 11%. It should be mentioned that in 2016, Abad has induced six double plays in 24 double play opportunities, a 25% conversion rate; however, such a small sample size should be considered as nothing more than an extreme aberration.

More from Red Sox News

Abad’s HR/PA ratio for his career is right at the league average of 3.0%; however, this year it is only about 1.5%, once again, such a small sample size cannot be viewed as anything other than another short-term fluctuation from the mean.

The Major League average for allowing inherited runners to score is 32%. Over the duration of Abad’s career, he has allowed 49 out of 167 inherited runners to cross home plate, a 29% clip. In 2016, he has been slightly less proficient at stranding runners as 11 out of 29, or 38%, of inherited runners have scored.

The last tidbit of information that one should know about Abad is that in 2016 he has made 39 appearances, while pitching 34.0 Innings in those appearances. He averages less than an inning per appearance, and is more of a situational pitcher with whom to attack left-handed hitters. (His success at the aforementioned task is very much up for debate).

The following chart provides a solid summary of Abad’s career performance as a reliever:

Abad    2010-2016 Career As A Reliever

The second chart is representative of Abad’s 2016 aggregate performance, and then said performance is further subdivided into his success, or lack thereof, against right-handed and left-handed batters individually.

Abad     20162016 Values2016 Vs. Lefties2016 Vs. Righties

As unmistakably illustrated in this chart, Abad’s strikeout rate is about the Major League average; however, he issues an inordinate amount of bases on balls, somewhat troubling for a fly ball pitcher at Fenway. In addition, while his strikeout rate is above average versus right-handed batters, he issues free passes to right-handed batters at an atrocious 14.0%, nearly double the league average.

An additional point deserving of mention, is that while Abad is clearly more successful against left-handed batters, it would be fallaciously inaccurate to label said numbers as representative of a lefty-specialist. I suspect that a more appropriate assessment of his statistics is that he produces average results against left-handed batters, and abysmal results against right-handed batters. In fact, one could argue that allowing Abad to face a right-handed batter is the equivalent of a baseball felony.

Finally, the third chart illustrates Abad’s dreadful performances against the five teams of the AL East in 2016 and for his career; for the sake of increasing the sample size his performances against Boston are included.

Abad (Values include games Vs. Red Sox)Vs. AL East (2016)Vs. AL East (Career)

Perusing the above chart provides this author and likely the reader with unmitigated insecurity regarding Abad’s ability to succeed against the teams that the Red Sox will need to defeat in order to reach the post-season.

I hope that I am proven erroneous regarding my initial assessment of this acquisition. However, it appears to me that acquiring a pitcher who issues an excessive amount of free passes, has a propensity to yield fly balls, and will be facing the powerful AL East line-ups in their small, cozy ballparks is a recipe fraught with disaster.

Next: Red Sox: David Ortiz Partners With Boston Public Schools to Fight Chronic Absenteeism

In conclusion, I challenge any reader to peruse the statistics presented and provide this author with even a glimmer of hope that the acquisition of Fernando Abad increases our probability of crowning the American League East.