Originally Posted by bianchiveloce
With the reduction in not only Complete Games, but Starters not going as deep in the game due to more use of pitch counts and less numbers of quality Starters around, I believe you will see Middle relievers continue to become more important in today's baseball. I think we are seeing Middle Relief become the next fertile ground for GM's to go digging for an edge in competition.
The Age of Specialization (Set up Men, Closers, Lefty Specialists, 7th Inning Specialists, Long Men) continues to progress.
I think you're right. It won't matter how good a team's closer is if you can't get the lead to them. Likewise, last year we saw the sort of situation the Reds were in (and other teams) where you'd leave your starter out longer because you couldn't rely on the pen to hold the lead.
I agree with those who say the pen as it is currently constituted is better than the one we had going into last season. A lot must go right for us to have a chance, but I'll take the chance with this group over last year's.