Originally Posted by dfs
.....Williamson was always an injury problem. Graves went through the closer/starter/closer flip flop that got him out of whack. I'm not sure why Sullivan ever quit. He was effective till the end.
These guys essentially all had 10 year long careers. That's plenty of pension time.
Even in 1999 McKeon's usage patterns were seen as from another time. The idea behind greater relief pitcher specialization is that it keeps your good guys healthy longer. It's been a long process. The cost of course is that your "Bruce Sutter" pitcher isn't always in there during the most important at bat. It's not just Dusty, that does it.
Scott Sullivan was a rubber arm for 6 years with the Reds. 5 of those topping 90 innings pitched out of the pen and 4 topping 100. He was out of the game by the time he was 33 which is kinda shocking. But if you look at the innings load over the course of those 6 years that may be why.
Graves was a guy who I thought was "linked" to PED's. His arm was messed with by flipping him from starter to closer to starter to closer etc. He had a much longer career than I originally thought. Williamson was a guy who you could look at and say arm injury. When healthy that guy was good, really good.
The idea to set a pen up how your theoretically going to use it sounds good. But what happens when a pitcher needs a day off, or is sore, or is going through an ineffective stretch? Bullpens are difficult to manage and volatile from year to year. Any idea of setting a bullpen rotation is going to get blown out of the water shortly after opening day.