imagine that, someone thinking outside the box....I know its been a debate for years but a few of us here on RZ have been yelling this from the rooftops since Jeff Shaw was closing games for us......I am all for having 2 solid guys that I use as my specialty pitchers who will share the save title and duty.....when one needs a break the other takes over, of course one of those will be my number 1 guy but at least they will both know that at any time from the 7th inning on you may be called upon......If I have 2 save pitchers and a lefty specialist then I would consider myself to have the best pen in the game because I would use them just as this article explains.....
Anybody notice...the article starts off talking about Rivera...goes on for quite a while in abstracts, then mentions Kimbrel and Chapman. Do they talk about the Braves manager's use of Kimbrel...nope. Beeline right to Baker. Don't think the author had an agenda...look at the picture for the article. Tons of managers...hell, nearly EVERY manager handles their pen this way. This is what I meant the other day about Baker being the flagbearer for the media in many, MANY ways. Disgraceful.
And the premise of the article, I agree with it. But come on, a little unbiased writing every now and then is kinda refreshing.
I think this all goes back to the point a manager needs to be fluid in who he pitches in relief. He needs to look at matchups,situations and who is pitching the best at the time to decide who comes in at what piont. Too manny managers,Dusty isn't the only one either, that pigeon holes pitchers to a certain inning and never flucuates from that until he has no other choice to change. IMO you go with who is pitching the best at the time. Such as, at the moment, LeCure should be the 8th inning guy with Broxton moved back in the bullpen rotation. Maybe even Simon moved ahead of him. Nothing wrong with that and if the guys in the bullpen can't understand that then they have just a stubborn mindset as the manager does.
The Players have a hand in this as well. It sounds like they need a bib when it comes to being hand held through their roles? Baker is only catering to what most players want. He is putting them in their most comfortable positions and defining their roles...just like it seems that they want. Maybe he should just tell them before ST begins that you may have a role here but it does not mean you should not be ready to do other things.... and maybe he does?
I do know that Dusty was being complained about when it seemed like all he was doing was using 3 relievers in 2010? almost all he time. Well these 3 were the only ones who were consistent in getting people out. One of them was Masset actually. So he overuses and gets blamed for that. It worked so well for Sparky in 1972 when Carroll and Borbon and then Hall were the 3 main guys but it does not work any longer.
I recall Sparky even putting in Pedro in a game against the Phillies...it was something like 9-1 or 10-2... and he used for 3 freaking innings? What?
Sprague could not close this game out?
This was after using Borbon for a 1-2 run game in the previous day.
Is that not just as insane or dumb as people think Baker is with his designed roles in the bullpen?
The game has changed. Multi inning relievers are edged out by 12 man staffs. Sure when you have nine guys on the staff you'll see more high leveraged arms going two, or more. You'll even see teams with double digit complete games. The more expensive relief gets, the less innings starters complete produces more incidents where someone beside the closer or starter takes the ball.
The game is played by more players per game than anytime in history. This fact seems to be missed consistently by fans every day too
I agree and understand that.
Sparky had a 10 man staff though? and 1972-74...it was Borbon and Clay and the rest can hibernate. Hall's usage went down every year after 1972....for good reason usually as Sparky quit trusting him... but he really had no one else he trusted to use. Gullett even had 15 relief appearances in 1973 when he went 18-8.
I understand why he did it and how the game was then.... However using your 2 best in games that even Dick Baney could have closed out was not prudent even if those 2 had rubber arms. Finally in 1975...he had Eastwick and Will to choose from. That was as important as the Rose move to 3B to allow Foster to play LF, IMO.
Novel concept? More like Strat-O-Matic managing, where arms don't fall off from warming them up excessively.
There's some questions begged when you start talking new world order for bullpen usage. For example, let's talk about leverage. So you bring in your best one inning reliever to face the meat of the order in the 7th or 8th in a 1-2 run game. He shuts them down. You now have 1-2 high leveraged innings to cover with "lesser" relievers. Lets say said best reliever comes in inning 7, starts at 3-4-5, strands a couple of guys, 5 guys come to the plate in the inning. Now you have 8-9-1 hitting in the 8th, and the meat of the order back in the 9th. You ready for Simon or Ondrusek being called on to bring it on home there on a regular basis?
Then there is the "bring him in the 8th" issue. It sounds so easy on the surface, but part of the beast that has led to the closer strategy is grooming the guy who comes into this situation to throw hard for 10-15 pitches, blow away the opposition, and go hit the post game spread. Back him up to 4-5 outs too frequently, he is now consistently in the 20-30 pitch range, and it takes its toll. Plus, this method requires the guy to warm up earlier, and perhaps warm up and sit back down. Many times of doing that, and the guy will be gassed by the All Star Break.
Those are a few issues off the top of my head.
Wasn't this how pitchers like Goose Gossage and Rollie Fingers were used back in 70's? A lot of times they'd be brought into the game in the 7th inning to finish out a game.
I think you have to be flexible...how many times have we had a few blowout wins sprinkled in with "trail all the way" losses and Chapman never gets to pitch...when he hasnt been used in a few days and youre pretty sure you wanna use him, if hte opposition has 3-4-5 in the 8th, send him in...who knows, if he has an 8-9 pitch inning (happens every now and then), let him do the 9th too.