The signing of LHP Taylor Tankersley on the surface appears to be a mediocre move, but an in-depth look reveals a method to the madness.
Tankersley has been with the Marlins for his entire major league career so he knows the division. It is not a huge factor but is a slight benefit knowing the premiere bats in the NL East in advance. Not only does Tankersley know the division, but he has been a reliable arm versus the NL East. Tankersley has a career 3.24 ERA vs. the Phillies and a 1.93 ERA at Turner Field.
The 27-year old southpaw could serve as the lefty specialist in 2011. Lefties have posted .223 batting average and a .313 on-base percentage against Tankersley in his career.
Most of the time, these tough lefties, like a Brian McCann, Chase Utley or Ryan Howard, bat in the 3rd and 4th spots in the lineup. Tankersley has held the 3rd and 4th spot in lineups to a microscopic .185 batting average in his career. Although he has struggled mightily the past few seasons, Tankersley, if used in the proper role, could become an excellent addition to a reshaped and now somewhat formidable bullpen.
For a signing that isn’t exactly a blockbuster deal, there is a lot of hidden potential for Tankersley.