Does anyone know why left-handed pitchers are stereotypically considered more of a “finesse pitcher” than right-handers? Does it have something to do with the fact that the majority of batters are right-handed, and a ball breaking from the left side might make an easier target since it breaks towards the hitter?
Is there such a stereotype? Sandy Koufax was hardly a finesse pitcher, and Hoyt Wilhelm was hardly known for his power.
Just a WAG: the relative scarcity of lefties means that “finesse” pitchers who otherwise wouldn’t be in the bigs are able to make the majors. Put otherwise, there are more “power” pitchers to choose from among the pool of Righties and therefore they occupy more of the spots. I realize that this is probably entirely illogical but this is my WAG. I suppose I am basing it on the (accepted, I believe) fact that even mediocre lefties make it for a long time in the bigs, much longer than their mediocre righty counterparts . . . . .
A hard throwing lefty pitcher is quite valuable and quite rare. That’s why Randy Johnson earns so much.
Obviously, there are more righthanders than lefthanders. There are also more finesse pitchers than power pitchers as the ability to throw 92+ mph consistently is relatively uncommon.
However, teams like to keep the same proportion of righthanders to lefthanders, so mathematics dictates that there will be a higher percentage of lefthanders who are considered finesse pitchers than righthanders.
Also, modern day relief pitching has brought out about the rise of the lefty specialist, a lefthanded reliever whose job it is to come in and face one lefthanded batter. Such a job usually requires the pitcher to be the possessor of a good curve ball.