Originally Posted by BCubb2003
We could take the names out and just say, use your shutdown guy when there's something to shut down. Use your middle relievers in the middle. And use your No. 2 reliever, previously known as the setup man or closer in waiting, to give you a clean ninth. It's not as exotic as it seems.
I'm not even sure that sounds good in theory, let alone the practical implications. It also would not fit a thin bullpen very well. Then you have the warming up issue. You also have starters going fewer innings, so you're bringing in your best reliever in the 5-7 inning according to "when there's something to shut down." You'd be run out of town on a charger burning your best reliever in the middle innings night after night with this method. It just isn't a fit for the current era staff management. It also ignores the quality of the starting staff, which varies from team to team. I don't care how much you try to play around with the pecking order or how good a bullpen is, if your starters stink, the bullpen will eventually be toast as well.
There are a lot of factors going into modern bullpen usage, which is really more a result of current wisdom and trying to apply it to managing a pitching staff than the ideas being thrown around in the article and by posters in this thread are appreciating. Much of what goes on daily in MLB is a domino effect moreso than managers being stubborn or "going by the book." Just like the lazy assertion that managers bring in their closer for "save situations," rather than acknowledging that often a 3 run lead in the 9th in the current era can evaporate pretty quickly, so they bring in their best reliever.