Having a left-handed starting pitcher can be a real advantage. Through the years, the Cincinnati Reds have had some of the best southpaw starters in the game.
When it comes to starting pitchers, a left-hander almost always has an advantage. Over the years, the Cincinnati Reds have had some of the most skilled lefties in the game. While left-handers out of the bullpen help provide the manager with an edge against a lefty at the plate, having a southpaw on the mound to start the game can give a team the upper hand for six-plus innings.
For years, the game of baseball has favored left-handers. Most ballparks have a shorter porch toward right field, making it easier for lefties to hit home runs. Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn are proof of that. A left-handed hitter also has more time to pick up the ball coming out of a right-handed throwing pitcher, that extra split-second can mean the difference between a hit and a strike.
There’s also the mere fact of being closer to the first base bag after making contact. When a lefty is able to make contact with the ball, his momentum is already carrying him towards first base. For these reasons and others, having a left-handed pitcher to oppose the ever dangerous left-handed hitter can help to neutralize the matchup.
While we often think of some of the best starting pitchers in the history of the Cincinnati Reds as right-handers, the club has employed it’s fair share of dominant left-handed starters. Mario Soto, Johnny Cueto, Tom Seaver, and Jim Maloney may have all been right-handed pitchers, but some of the best to ever toe the rubber for the Reds threw it from the opposite side. Let’s take a look at the five best left-handed starting pitchers in Reds history.