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A plea for Mets reliever Eric O'Flaherty to never, ever face a right-handed hitter

The recently added relief pitcher at best belongs in a strict left-handed specialist role.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Looking up a pitcher's lefty-righty splits is incredibly easy, but Mets manager Terry Collins apparently needs some assistance. That's fine. In a world with enough advanced data for an old talking-head radio host to believe FLUMP exists as a reputable stat, sifting through a data minefield is a daunting task.

So let's do this together. Google "Eric O'Flaherty" and pick a site of your choosing. FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference look too scary? or will do. Once you're on his player page, find the tab, usually located on a top bar, that reads "Splits." From there, you can view home-versus-away production, month-by-month activity, or even see how he fares in each stadium and on every pitch count.

That's not necessary. Let's simply observe O'Flaherty's results against batters by handedness. FanGraphs conveniently locates these splits on top, and boy are they ugly for the recently acquired reliever.

This season, O'Flaherty has faced 69 righties, roughly 69 too many. They're hitting .426/.500/.683 with nine doubles and two homers, drawing seven walks with only two strikeouts. Even if you don't quite know how wOBA works, understand that a .500 wOBA is beyond atrocious.

To be fair, this is a small sample size, but it's an extreme microcosm of his career norm. Against 912 righties since debuting in 2006, he has yielded a .356 on-base percentage while keeping fellow lefties to a .203/.268/.268 line.

Since joining the Mets earlier this month, the 30-year-old has allowed 11 hits and seven runs through five innings. Besides two games in Tampa Bay, he has been assigned a full inning of work—facing both lefties and righties—rather than being restricted to facing one or more loyal customers of Ned Flanders's The Leftorium. Over the weekend, he matched up against Jose Reyes at Coors Field. It would have been surprising if the former Mets shortstop didn't go yard.

The former Oakland Athletics reliever has endured some pretty crummy luck with a a .376 BABIP, but his 7.18 ERA normalizing to his 4.34 FIP still doesn't make him a guy to trust. Yet there's no need to dump him, as long as he never, ever faces a righty again.

Before jettisoning O'Flaherty altogether, the Mets should use him the way he's meant to be used. Think Jerry Blevins, who only faced one righty in five innings before fracturing his forearm. So please, Mets, stop trying to make O'Flaherty anything more than the LOOGY he clearly is.