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Scott Rice is on pace for the second-most appearances ever

May 30, 2013, 1:00 PM EDT

Scott Rice AP

Apparently the Mets really like to use their left-handed specialists a lot.

Pedro Feliciano led the league in appearances in 2008, 2009, and 2010 while pitching for the Mets, setting the all-time record for appearances by a left-hander in 2010 with 92. And now the Mets’ current southpaw specialist, Scott Rice, is on pace to break that record.

Rice, who’s a 31-year-old rookie getting his first taste of the majors after 14 seasons in the minors, has appeared in 30 of the Mets’ first 50 games. That puts him on pace for 97 appearances, which would be the most ever by a lefty and the second-most of all time behind only Mike Marshall’s ridiculous, Cy Young-winning 1974 season in which he threw 208 innings in 106 appearances.

Here’s the all-time leaderboard:

Mike Marshall     1974     106
Salomon Torres    2006      96
Kent Tekulve      1979      94
Pedro Feliciano   2010      92
Mike Marshall     1973      92

Not bad for a guy who had a 4.40 ERA at Triple-A last season and was pitching in an independent league in 2011.

  1. adenzeno - May 30, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Amazing that a team in NYC, cannot find the resources to have 2 decent LHP in the bullpen…..The Mets starters inability to go into the 7th/8th innings puts lots of pressure on the bullpen.

  2. dondada10 - May 30, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    I don’t know if it’s fair to call Rice a left specialist. He’s had a couple of outings of more than an inning, and usually faces multiple batters.

    • The Dangerous Mabry - May 30, 2013 at 3:03 PM

      Indeed. He’s faced 62 lefties and 39 righties. While that certainly represents a pretty severe slant towards pitching to lefties, he’s hardly a LOOGY.

      That said, lefties have a .366 OPS vs Rice so far, and Righties are at .880, so perhaps it’s best that he face mostly lefties from here out.

    • Detroit Michael - May 30, 2013 at 3:11 PM

      Throwing some data at it …

      Using baseball-reference.com’s Play Index feature, of LHP pitchers in 2013 who have only pitched in relief with at least 10 games, Scott Rice ranks 25th out of 60 in lowest IP per game. Randy Choate (StL) pitches the fewest IP/G and T.J. McFarland (Bal) pitches the most IP/G.

      Rice averages about 0.85 IP/G. I’d call anyone who pitches < 1 IP/G and isn't a closer a lefty specialist or LOOGY, which would be 35 out of the 60 LHP relievers. Your mileage may vary.

  3. icanspeel - May 30, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    He is just making up for lost time for when he wasn’t in the majors.

  4. yahmule - May 30, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    Mike Marshall was quite a unique ballplayer. He threw that screwball for 14 years and nine different teams. Marshall was very intelligent, armed with a doctorate in kinesiology and an opinionated nature, he rubbed a lot of people in baseball the wrong way. He only lasted 2 1/2 seasons in Los Angeles. He was shipped off shortly after Tommy Lasorda took over as manager. I can hardly imagine two people with less in common.

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