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lollipopcurve
05-30-2008, 09:35 AM
Now that Fogg has been moved into the rotation and Mercker promoted, the Reds have no long man (not that Fogg was ever used as one, except perhaps once). I don't think anyone now in the pen has gone over 2 innings all year. Mercker is a 1-inning guy for sure, and that's generally the way Affeldt has been handled, too.

So, when short outings happen to bunch up -- and with Fogg, Cueto and Volquez all lined up this is bound to happen -- this bullpen will quickly get strung out.

Not at all pleased with the way this staff has been managed/put together/botched, starting with the 18-inning fiasco in SD. Heading into a tough stretch in the schedule, watch out...

Kc61
05-30-2008, 09:50 AM
Disagree. Long men are a waste of a roster spot unless they are versatile and can pitch middle relief effectively.

Long men sit around and hardly ever pitch. And even when the starter goes out early, team will seldom use a long man because they want to keep the game competitive.

What the team needs is several guys who can go multiple innings just in case. Burton can, Affeldt can, Bray can. Maybe Lincoln can build up to it as well, so far he seems better in shorter stints. That would help.

I'm pretty happy with the way the staff has been put together and used. Key is to keep improving personnel. A new fifth starter will be needed and the bullpen can still be upgraded. But Jocketty is on the right track.

lollipopcurve
05-30-2008, 10:16 AM
Disagree. Long men are a waste of a roster spot unless they are versatile and can pitch middle relief effectively.

Long men sit around and hardly ever pitch. And even when the starter goes out early, team will seldom use a long man because they want to keep the game competitive.


Disagree. There are going to be a handful of games when the team is down 5+ runs early and the starter looks bad. Even if the long guy is something of a liability -- and this is sure to be true -- so what? The likelihood of coming back and winning that game is not much improved whether you're 5 runs down or 8 runs down. Better to go ahead and let the guy go 4-5 innings and save a couple more bullpen arms in the process, so you've got a better chance in the next game (and the next, perhaps). If you get a run of bad starts in a week, and you don't have that guy who will give half a game out of the pen, you're going to fry your relief staff (probably forcing Baker to start looking for that extra inning -- just 3 more outs -- from his starters in the ensuing week, upping their pitch counts, and the ripple effect starts to stress the whole staff).

The long guy gives you a margin for error in manging the workload of the staff -- with just a handful of 2-inning guys, you're locked into more back-to-back-to-back days for guys as well as almost never being in a position to pull a starter quickly because needing 6-7 innings out of your pen is going to mean needing 3-4 guys at least. And that says nothing for what you'll do in a long extra inning game.

*BaseClogger*
05-30-2008, 10:23 AM
Ideally, a long man is a good strategy. However, it seems that most modern managers are reluctant to use them (although Dusty has a good excuse because who would want multiple innings of Fogg?) so I would have to agree with Kc61 that it is not a necesity on this team...

blumj
05-30-2008, 10:23 AM
If you get a run of bad starts in a week, and you don't have that guy who will give half a game out of the pen, you're going to fry your relief staff (probably forcing Baker to start looking for that extra inning -- just 3 more outs -- from his starters in the ensuing week, upping their pitch counts, and the ripple effect starts to stress the whole staff).

The long guy gives you a margin for error in manging the workload of the staff -- with just a handful of 2-inning guys, you're locked into more back-to-back-to-back days for guys as well as almost never being in a position to pull a starter quickly because needing 6-7 innings out of your pen is going to mean needing 3-4 guys at least. And that says nothing for what you'll do in a long extra inning game.
But, for example, say the starter can't get through the 3rd inning today, or they play another extra inning marathon, they could make a roster move to add another pitcher before tomorrow's game.

lollipopcurve
05-30-2008, 10:46 AM
But, for example, say the starter can't get through the 3rd inning today, or they play another extra inning marathon, they could make a roster move to add another pitcher before tomorrow's game.

This is true. Having some roster flexibility between AAA and the majors helps.

But it's not just a bullpen thing, it's a starters thing, too. Keep in mind the situation the Reds are in -- two young pitchers making their first turn through the majors, and perhaps a 3rd if they go young in the 5th spot. Seems to me you're going to want to protect those young arms, and one way you do that is by minimizing the damage when they have poor outings. To do that, you're probably going to need to hook those guys in the 3rd/4th innings every now and then. Having an arm in the pen who can just about finish that game out (like a Buddy Carlisle or a Jeff Bennett, both currently in the Atlanta pen) makes it a lot easier for the manager to make that decision.

Kc61
05-30-2008, 10:56 AM
This is true. Having some roster flexibility between AAA and the majors helps.

But it's not just a bullpen thing, it's a starters thing, too. Keep in mind the situation the Reds are in -- two young pitchers making their first turn through the majors, and perhaps a 3rd if they go young in the 5th spot. Seems to me you're going to want to protect those young arms, and one way you do that is by minimizing the damage when they have poor outings. To do that, you're probably going to need to hook those guys in the 3rd/4th innings every now and then. Having an arm in the pen who can just about finish that game out (like a Buddy Carlisle or a Jeff Bennett, both currently in the Atlanta pen) makes it a lot easier for the manager to make that decision.


How may times have Cueto or Volquez been lifted in the third inning?

And when they have been lifted relatively early in games, how often has the score been so lopsided that the Reds would want a long man instead of a more effective reliever?

And if a long man takes over down 5-0, team will usually pinch hit for him at some point. So he likely won't pitch that many innings. So particularly in the NL, a long man is of little value.

Long man is great in theory, not in practice.

lollipopcurve
05-30-2008, 11:10 AM
How may times have Cueto or Volquez been lifted in the third inning?

And when they have been lifted relatively early in games, how often has the score been so lopsided that the Reds would want a long man instead of a more effective reliever?

This long man thing, to me, is more theoretical than practical.

It will be rare, for sure, that they need to be pulled very early. But it will happen. And, as I said, there is still the 5th starter spot.

A long guy could also be useful when Cueto/Volquez is at 112 pitches after 5 innings and the score in 7-3 Reds, for example.

Add in the extra inning games and it seems to me you're going to run into something at least every 2-3 weeks when it would be nice to have a guy around who could go 3+ -- and I don't think the Reds have that arm in the pen right now.

Why not be prepared for those situations by having you're 12th guy be someone who's stretched out enough to go several innings? I reject the notion that that guy has to be necessarily so much worse than the 10th/11th guys that he significantly damages your chances of a comeback when way behind, or significantly damages your chances of winning when you're well ahead but the starter is spent early.

RedsManRick
05-30-2008, 11:15 AM
I think one of the biggest mistakes made in roster construction is building in every protection for the sake of a single unlikely event. If you have a starter go early and kill your bullpen, you can always make a move after the game. It's similar to carrying three catchers. God forbid you use both of your catchers and need to bring in a 3rd one. It's just one game. Is one potential loss really worth carrying multiple "emergency" players who don't otherwise deserve any paying time at the expense of guys who might contribute positively on a regular basis? I think not.

As for a long reliever, Affeldt can go 50-60 pitches if need be, as could Lincoln I imagine.

lollipopcurve
05-30-2008, 11:35 AM
As for a long reliever, Affeldt can go 50-60 pitches if need be, as could Lincoln I imagine.

Doubt it.


Is one potential loss really worth carrying multiple "emergency" players who don't otherwise deserve any paying time at the expense of guys who might contribute positively on a regular basis?

Middle relievers are middle relievers. We should not be under the illusion that there is a significant difference between the 12th guy on the staff and the most reliable or most promising starter in AAA. Lehr, Shearn, Pettyjohn, Belisle, Fogg -- if you're looking for a vet -- Bailey, Thompson, Maloney -- if you're looking for a young guy to break in under conditions that keep his innings down -- you can't tell me that any of these guys could not give the team what it's been getting out of its 12th guy, and at the same time provide a safety net/respite for other relievers. Just because Baker has not used a long relief option does not mean it could not have been used in helpful ways in a handful of games already this year.

RedsManRick
05-30-2008, 12:03 PM
Doubt it.

Middle relievers are middle relievers. We should not be under the illusion that there is a significant difference between the 12th guy on the staff and the most reliable or most promising starter in AAA. Lehr, Shearn, Pettyjohn, Belisle, Fogg -- if you're looking for a vet -- Bailey, Thompson, Maloney -- if you're looking for a young guy to break in under conditions that keep his innings down -- you can't tell me that any of these guys could not give the team what it's been getting out of its 12th guy, and at the same time provide a safety net/respite for other relievers. Just because Baker has not used a long relief option does not mean it could not have been used in helpful ways in a handful of games already this year.

In a way, that's my point. The 12th man on the staff is usually no better than a readily available AAA option. If the only purpose of having him on the active roster is to eat innings in a game already lost, then what purpose does he truly serve?

If your argument is that a 12th pitcher is needed to make the innings burden light enough, I'd have to disagree. Sure, there will be the occasional day when your starter can't get through 5. But a reasonably well built 6 man pen can handle that.

I maintain that Affeldt can go 2+, and we know Weathers can as well (if not terribly effectively). I'd rather use my last few roster spots on players who are useful in contributing to a win, be that as a true defensive specialist, platoon bat, or a dominant LOOGY, than ones who merely take some sting out of a loss.

If by chance you wear out that bullpen because of a long day, you can always promote that Shearn-type to give them a rest. But leaving him on the roster the 95% of the time he's not really needed just wastes a valuable roster spot. The other option here is to use Matt Belisle or Josh Fogg in a true swing-man role, starting only when a string of games without a day off demands a 5th starter and working out of the bullpen the rest of the time. That gives you your long reliever without eating a roster spot solely for that purpose.

Kc61
05-30-2008, 12:17 PM
I disagree with Rick to the extent he is saying you only need 11 pitchers. I think you need 12.

But in a seven man bullpen, several of the guys need to be able to work multiple innings. Two or even three innings if necessary.

That was one reason I hoped Coffey would make it. He could do that. Bray can. Affeldt can. Burton can.

Weathers isn't effective in multi-innings. Lincoln seems to be similar, which is a big negative for him. Cordero shouldn't pitch multi-innings. Mercker at this stage probably is not a good candidate.

The Weathers/Mercker/Lincoln group is not that likely to be around beyond this year. In replacing them the Reds might consider -- a top eighth inning guy; a loogy; and another multi-innings guy. That would round out the pen and give them many options for longer stints.

Maybe --

Cordero; Burton; Affeldt; Bray; Roenicke; Herrera; new multi-innings righty (if Lincoln can't handle that role).

lollipopcurve
05-30-2008, 12:36 PM
If the only purpose of having him on the active roster is to eat innings in a game already lost, then what purpose does he truly serve?

Nope, not the only purpose. Also -- hold a big lead when the starter needs to exit early (high pitch count -- see Cueto, Volquez, whoever the 5th starter will be). Also -- extra inning games, allowing the manager to play matchups while still having a safety net if the game drags on.


If your argument is that a 12th pitcher is needed to make the innings burden light enough, I'd have to disagree.

Not talking about carrying 12 vs 11. I'm talking about carrying a long guy as the 12th man vs carrying a short guy (currently Mercker) as the 12th.


But leaving him on the roster the 95% of the time he's not really needed just wastes a valuable roster spot.

95%? Where'd that number come from? My argument is that the guy can be more useful than others in blowouts of any kind and in extra inning situations, as already explained -- and just as useful as others in the occasional short middle relief stint. That's far more work than 1 out of 20 games.


The other option here is to use Matt Belisle or Josh Fogg in a true swing-man role, starting only when a string of games without a day off demands a 5th starter and working out of the bullpen the rest of the time.

Look at where the Reds are in their schedule. Swingman ain't happening. As my original post stated:

"Not at all pleased with the way this staff has been managed/put together/botched, starting with the 18-inning fiasco in SD. Heading into a tough stretch in the schedule, watch out..."

I'm talking about here and now. If you're comfortable with the staff as currently constructed, OK. I think they need more ballast (i.e., innings capacity) in the pen to get through the seas ahead, especially given the condition the starting staff's been in since Sunday.

redsmetz
05-30-2008, 01:38 PM
Not at all pleased with the way this staff has been managed/put together/botched, starting with the 18-inning fiasco in SD. Heading into a tough stretch in the schedule, watch out...

I think I agree with whoever it was who noted that the 18 inning game was more circumstance than it was a "fiasco," as you put it. The truth is, as that poster noted (sorry, I'm forgetting who), we had three blown saves in that game. It never should have gone that long and the moves were made expecting to win the thing with a save. Instead, the pen blew it the three times and that left the dilemma that occurred.

lollipopcurve
05-30-2008, 01:53 PM
It never should have gone that long and the moves were made expecting to win the thing with a save. Instead, the pen blew it the three times and that left the dilemma that occurred.

Not going to rehash this argument, except to say that, as others have correctly noted, when it came to the choice of Bray and Fogg, Baker made the choice that exposed the team to possibly having to use starters later in the game. He gambled and lost, and the team was still paying for it 4 days later.

paulrichjr
05-30-2008, 02:17 PM
Why is it that no one can pitch more than 1 inning? Can a relief pitcher really be tired after 1 inning? I just don't understand this. Most bullpen guys should be able to go at least 2-3 innings. Do you actually think that some of the best athletes in the world can only throw 15 pitches a day.

lollipopcurve
05-30-2008, 02:24 PM
Why is it that no one can pitch more than 1 inning? Can a relief pitcher really be tired after 1 inning? I just don't understand this. Most bullpen guys should be able to go at least 2-3 innings. Do you actually think that some of the best athletes in the world can only throw 15 pitches a day.

My issue is with having only guys whose ceiling is 1-2 innings, not 1 inning.

Why are the vast majority of relief innings 2 innings or less? Perhaps...

1. It keeps them relatively fresh over the course of a season.

2. They're better that way.

Still, you need at least 1 guy who has been trained to go longer, in my opinion.

REDREAD
06-03-2008, 03:51 PM
I don't know how long Fogg has been hurt. It could've been since the beginning of the season for all we know.

I was glad to have him (or Belisle) in the bullpen as a long man, but it never really worked out that way.

The bullpen has really been taxed of late. We could've really used a long man this year. Ideally, it would've been someone better than Belisle or Fogg, but with all these relatively short outings by the starters, the pen has been taxed.

I hope this is something that Walt eventually addresses. For example, Burton had to go two innings recently because everyone else was so tired, which put him out of commision for the next game. I believe Bray has pitched in something like 5 of the last 6 games.

Hopefully Maj and Herra can help pick up some of the load. I must give Maj some credit for last night. When he was brought in with the bases loaded, I thought disaster was going to ensue. He did a great job, and I hope he can build on that success.

In general, I like the way Dusty handles the pen.

camisadelgolf
06-03-2008, 03:57 PM
Based on your signature, you were glad that Krivsky was fired, and yet you were glad to have Fogg on the team? :confused:

You know, after seeing Narron's work with the bullpen, I'd probably be pleased with the way Jeffrey Dahmer would handle the bullpen.

OldRightHander
06-03-2008, 04:07 PM
You know, after seeing Narron's work with the bullpen, I'd probably be pleased with the way Jeffrey Dahmer would handle the bullpen.

I think you have that wrong. We need someone who can eat innings.

camisadelgolf
06-03-2008, 04:25 PM
I think you have that wrong. We need someone who can eat innings.

No, you read it right. I rather would have had someone who would have eaten Narron.

REDREAD
06-03-2008, 04:50 PM
Based on your signature, you were glad that Krivsky was fired, and yet you were glad to have Fogg on the team? :confused:

You know, after seeing Narron's work with the bullpen, I'd probably be pleased with the way Jeffrey Dahmer would handle the bullpen.

I thought Fogg was worth a shot. I didn't jump up and down with excitement at Fogg's signing, but I don't mind giving guys like Fogg a small 1 year contract. The Reds needed pitching depth and apparently didn't have much cash left. It was wise to plan for a contingency so that the Reds weren't forced to give Ceuto and Volquez jobs if they showed they weren't ready in the spring.

Both Fogg and Belilse apparently bought some time to keep Homer in AAA. That's worth something. Also, they give the club the luxury of sending Homer back down to AAA if they chose.

Sure, in hindsight, it was a disaster, but this wasn't Wayne's worst move by a longshot.

See, I don't blindly hate everything that Wayne did.. :)