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Thread: Bullpen been stellar recently

  1. #46
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    Re: Bullpen been stellar recently

    Quote Originally Posted by GAC View Post
    IMO, the closer role is over-rated. And the Reds certainly can't afford to pay a guy $17-20M/year for one inning of work. Ridiculous IMO.

    What is it about the 9th inning that plays into everyone's head so much? ... "OK. We've made it through eight innings, we got a slim lead, but OMG here comes the 9th!"

    We approach the last inning like one lining up for a three-foot putt. IMO, it's no different then any of the other innings, other then it's at the end of the order. But we need that special individual to come in and "close out" the game, to put the hammer down. And we weren't asking that of any other pitcher we sent out there in any of the previous innings? What's the title of this thread again? Yet none of those arms are "qualified" to pitch the dreaded last inning of the game, to get three outs. They're qualified to get Holds, but not a Save.

    I've just never bought into it, and I never will. But it's not my money.

    Guys like Glausmann (ex-starters), if resigned cheaply, can be valuable BP assets IMO.
    Man, I agree 100 percent with you. Whoever came up with the idea of specializing the closer role was stupid. And what really gets me is managers use the definition of a save as strategy. 3 run lead or less in the 9th, bring in your closer. Geez, is the closer the only person on the team that can protect a 3 run lead in the 9th? 4 run lead in the 9th and your set up man gives up a hit, bring in your closer because there's a save available and he's the only person allowed to earn one. I mean seriously, if you have one guy that you have to ration your use of, why in the world would you do it with a 3 run lead in the 9th?

    When the Reds had Carroll, Borbon, Eastwick and McEnaney everyone of them were used to close out close games. Same with the nasty boys. Why did it become advantageous for anyone to designate one player for that role? Financially it sure doesn't make sense as now any player that gets a few saves is closer material and can demand big money. Look at me, I had 27 saves last year, no way are you going to pay me like a lowly set up man. There should be no difference but there is for some reason and that's because they've specialized it and other players don't get the experience of closing out games so when they're forced to, they crap the bed.

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  3. #47
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    Re: Bullpen been stellar recently

    Defining roles for relievers has advantages. Over 162 games providing a distinct role for relievers gives them a comfort zone. It helps them establish a routine. People often perform better with that certainty.

    It also helps a manager organize his pen and allocate work. Using relievers by “feel” simply leads to problems later one. It’s great to use Lorenzen and Iggy to get out of a fifth inning jam. But then they aren’t available for the eighth inning jam.

    Closers are part of bullpen organization.

    It shouldn’t be inflexible. My favorite Reds pen had two closers, Danny Graves and Scott Williamson. You can’t be too rigid. But teams usually decide it’s best to have pen with reasonably defined roles subject to changes when necessary - including a usual closer.

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  5. #48
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    Re: Bullpen been stellar recently

    Quote Originally Posted by foster15 View Post
    Man, I agree 100 percent with you. Whoever came up with the idea of specializing the closer role was stupid. And what really gets me is managers use the definition of a save as strategy. 3 run lead or less in the 9th, bring in your closer. Geez, is the closer the only person on the team that can protect a 3 run lead in the 9th? 4 run lead in the 9th and your set up man gives up a hit, bring in your closer because there's a save available and he's the only person allowed to earn one. I mean seriously, if you have one guy that you have to ration your use of, why in the world would you do it with a 3 run lead in the 9th?

    When the Reds had Carroll, Borbon, Eastwick and McEnaney everyone of them were used to close out close games. Same with the nasty boys. Why did it become advantageous for anyone to designate one player for that role? Financially it sure doesn't make sense as now any player that gets a few saves is closer material and can demand big money. Look at me, I had 27 saves last year, no way are you going to pay me like a lowly set up man. There should be no difference but there is for some reason and that's because they've specialized it and other players don't get the experience of closing out games so when they're forced to, they crap the bed.
    The Big Red Machine had two closers, Eastick and McEnany, a righty and a lefty.

  6. #49
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    Re: Bullpen been stellar recently

    The 9th inning of a close game is like no other inning in the game.

    For most innings, teams and individual players approach is to score the most number of runs. Everything they do, every decision they make, their approach on every pitch is to increase the chance of scoring the most number of runs. This actually decreases their chances of just scoring one run, but increases the odds of winning overall because there is more baseball to be played.

    For the ninth inning of a game in which the team at bat is losing, it all changes. Now, the approach is to score one or two runs. Teams decrease their chance of scoring multiple runs, and increase their chance of scoring just one run. So a different pitching and defense approach is also necessary. Pitchers who succeed in the earlier innings will not necessarily succeed in the ninth or a close game. You need a pitcher with special skills and approach for that ninth inning of a close game (or extra innings.)

    You can’t just put in a guy who does well in middle relief in the closer role and expect them to succeed.
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  7. #50
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    Re: Bullpen been stellar recently

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    The Big Red Machine had two closers, Eastick and McEnany, a righty and a lefty.
    They also had a former closer (Carroll) and a shutdown guy who could go multiple innings and finish a game, if needed (Borbon).
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    Re: Bullpen been stellar recently

    I was out yesterday and didn't see the game, so I went back and reviewed the 6th inning on to see what happened.

    Alaniz - Did his job.
    Kuhnel - Box score is way worse than what happened. A walk, followed by three grounders that found holes, followed by a ball that in reality was an error by VanMeter but scored a hit.
    Gausman - 2 quick out, then single, hit batter, then cheapy opposite field homer.
    Sims - Grounder up the middle (that he could catch if he ended up in a good position) that goes for infield single followed by slam.
    Wood - Having pretty decent game then walks 2 and hits a guy, and all are let in by Sims.

    One of those games (after the 5th) where everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.

    I felt a little bit better after having watch the video. To me the big question, which got no clarity tonight, revolves around Wood, Sims, and Gausman. Which of those guys is in the mix for being a starter next year?
    The lowest acceptable payroll amount for ownership to show they are not greedy pigs is 15 million more than they are currently paying. No matter what that currently is.

  10. #52
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    Re: Bullpen been stellar recently

    Quote Originally Posted by JaxRed View Post
    To me the big question, which got no clarity tonight, revolves around Wood, Sims, and Gausman. Which of those guys is in the mix for being a starter next year?
    If the answer isn't "none of the above" it's the wrong answer. You can make a case for Wood since he's still in the ST phase of his season, but players don't usually take massive pay cuts from their existing teams.
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    Re: Bullpen been stellar recently

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Klu View Post
    They also had a former closer (Carroll) and a shutdown guy who could go multiple innings and finish a game, if needed (Borbon).
    But the BRM had two relievers who functioned as closers most of the time. Eastwick and McEnaney. That team isn’t an example of a eschewing the closer concept.

    The current Reds are similar. Their primary closer is Iglesias. They have others (e.g., Lorenzen with 6 saves) who have acted as closer. Difference in quality and depth perhaps, but not much in pen organization.

    This business of a loosely structured pen often breaks down for reasons already discussed, work allocation and staff organization, and pitcher comfort level.
    Last edited by Kc61; 08-25-2019 at 01:58 PM.

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    Re: Bullpen been stellar recently

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    But the BRM had two relievers who functioned as closers most of the time. Eastwick and McEnaney. That team isn’t an example of a eschewing the closer concept.

    The current Reds are similar. Their primary closer is Iglesias. They have others (e.g., Lorenzen with 6 saves) who have acted as closer. Difference in quality and depth perhaps, but not much in pen organization.

    This business of a loosely structured pen often breaks down for reasons already discussed, work allocation, pitcher comfort level, staff organization.
    Yes, those two got the majority of saves in 1975, but Carroll and Borbon had 12 saves between them. Add in Darcy's 1 save and you have 3 players combined that had only two less saves than McEnany. Sparky had no problem using those two for those reasons and letting McEnany come in as the only left hander to get a left handed batter out earlier in the game. Clay Carroll had the mindset because he was a closer at one time and a darn good one. He had the mental makeup and Borbon didn't freeze up and crap the bed in that role either. It's psychological now because it's in everybody's head that they have a role and any deviation from that role makes them uncomfortable or something. Managers actually think of days they can't use their one closer as kind of a throw away game sometimes. Sparky never had to worry if he lost Eastwick for any amount of time because even though the pen was weakened as a whole, the closer position wasn't.

  13. #55
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    Re: Bullpen been stellar recently

    Quote Originally Posted by foster15 View Post
    Yes, those two got the majority of saves in 1975, but Carroll and Borbon had 12 saves between them. Add in Darcy's 1 save and you have 3 players combined that had only two less saves than McEnany. Sparky had no problem using those two for those reasons and letting McEnany come in as the only left hander to get a left handed batter out earlier in the game. Clay Carroll had the mindset because he was a closer at one time and a darn good one. He had the mental makeup and Borbon didn't freeze up and crap the bed in that role either. It's psychological now because it's in everybody's head that they have a role and any deviation from that role makes them uncomfortable or something. Managers actually think of days they can't use their one closer as kind of a throw away game sometimes. Sparky never had to worry if he lost Eastwick for any amount of time because even though the pen was weakened as a whole, the closer position wasn't.
    Were all those saves going around because of how the roles were defined or was it simply because the team was so good and won so many games, they had to give the regular guys a night off once in a while? This team's issue is it doesn't have somebody who is a secondary closer to turn to when Iglesias has gone a couple of days in a row. Even if they did, they are burning those guys in the 6th inning. The team doesn't need a new primary closer, but it needs enough good relievers that they always have a couple of rested guys who are trustworthy enough to pitch in a close game. IMO, that trust is something that takes time to be granted. None of these other guys will have done enough to earn such a role in a couple of months even if they don't have the stinkers like we saw yesterday. The non-Iglesias, Garrett and Lorenzen members of this pen are competing for one of the last couple of spots on the staff, not to be guys this team will heavily rely on. Those trustworthy guys are going to need to be brought in from outside the organization. If they are going to actually win enough to contend, trustworthy guys is only about half of what they need. Even the BRM with their 4 hammers would have come up short if the game was 5 innings and yank the starter back then. That 75 team had 22 complete games. That's 22 games where the bullpen was able to rest. This team doesn't win any games without using up at least 3 pitchers. They need more and these guys trying to prove themselves might be the answer someday, but they can't be come opening day IMO.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

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    Re: Bullpen been stellar recently

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    Were all those saves going around because of how the roles were defined or was it simply because the team was so good and won so many games, they had to give the regular guys a night off once in a while? This team's issue is it doesn't have somebody who is a secondary closer to turn to when Iglesias has gone a couple of days in a row. Even if they did, they are burning those guys in the 6th inning. The team doesn't need a new primary closer, but it needs enough good relievers that they always have a couple of rested guys who are trustworthy enough to pitch in a close game. IMO, that trust is something that takes time to be granted. None of these other guys will have done enough to earn such a role in a couple of months even if they don't have the stinkers like we saw yesterday. The non-Iglesias, Garrett and Lorenzen members of this pen are competing for one of the last couple of spots on the staff, not to be guys this team will heavily rely on. Those trustworthy guys are going to need to be brought in from outside the organization. If they are going to actually win enough to contend, trustworthy guys is only about half of what they need. Even the BRM with their 4 hammers would have come up short if the game was 5 innings and yank the starter back then. That 75 team had 22 complete games. That's 22 games where the bullpen was able to rest. This team doesn't win any games without using up at least 3 pitchers. They need more and these guys trying to prove themselves might be the answer someday, but they can't be come opening day IMO.
    Okay, let me throw something out there. The reason Borbon and Carroll were not primary closers was because they were capable of giving you 3 and sometimes 4 innings. But when called upon to close for one inning, they were just as effective as Rawly and Will. So basically Eastwick and McEnany were closers by default because they weren't strong for multiple innings. Also, back in those days they only carried 10 pitchers so I would say the 22 complete games minus 3 pitchers is the same(if not more taxing) as zero complete games with 3 extra pitchers. Especially considering today they run pitchers back and forth from the minors to make up for overuse over a certain amount of time. With 13 pitchers that's easier to do. They also had a lot more double headers back then, some scheduled before the season started and others for rainouts.
    Last edited by foster15; 08-25-2019 at 03:13 PM.

  15. #57
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    Re: Bullpen been stellar recently

    Quote Originally Posted by foster15 View Post
    Okay, let me throw something out there. The reason Borbon and Carroll were not primary closers was because they were capable of giving you 3 and sometimes 4 innings. But when called upon to close for one inning, they were just as effective as Rawly and Will. So basically Eastwick and McEnany were closers by default because they weren't strong for multiple innings. Also, back in those days they only carried 10 pitchers so I would say the 22 complete games minus 3 pitchers is the same(if not more taxing) as zero complete games with 3 extra pitchers. Especially considering today they run pitchers back and forth from the minors to make up for overuse over a certain amount of time. With 13 pitchers that's easier to do. They also had a lot more double headers back then, some scheduled before the season started and others for rainouts.
    I don't disagree, but that is how roles are assigned. The Reds have their one inning with a lead guy. They don't need another one of those. They need those multi-inning guys you are talking about who can fill in as the one inning with a lead guy when the regular guy is all used up for a while. They can't put a streak together simply because the same three guys can't pitch every day and the way the staff is structured with the short starts, all three of those guys are pretty much needed every time they win. That means after a couple of days, they almost have to lose just so those guys can get rest. They have no one on board that can fill those roles IMO. They went all in with the Bauer trade. I sure don't think somebody like Sims or Stephenson should be counted on as a major cog under those conditions. They need 3 more guys like Carroll and Borbon. Eastwick and McEnany they have with Iglesias and Garrett. For me it's not really about getting more of those guys.

    They just need to have 4 innings available every day from guys they trust and they don't have that on the roster.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

  16. #58
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    Re: Bullpen been stellar recently

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    Defining roles for relievers has advantages. Over 162 games providing a distinct role for relievers gives them a comfort zone. It helps them establish a routine. People often perform better with that certainty.

    It also helps a manager organize his pen and allocate work. Using relievers by “feel” simply leads to problems later one. It’s great to use Lorenzen and Iggy to get out of a fifth inning jam. But then they aren’t available for the eighth inning jam.

    Closers are part of bullpen organization.

    It shouldn’t be inflexible. My favorite Reds pen had two closers, Danny Graves and Scott Williamson. You can’t be too rigid. But teams usually decide it’s best to have pen with reasonably defined roles subject to changes when necessary - including a usual closer.
    I understand all the reasoning (above). But that distinct role (comfort zone) wasn't created by the players, but was an evolutionary process implemented by the game itself. And it was the habit then that you'd put your best reliever at the end to close. My issue is what the closer role has "morphed" into over the years. A "save" has been morphed from a pitcher who might come in the game in the seventh or eighth inning and finish up, to a pitcher who rarely throws a pitch before the ninth inning. Tony LaRussa is the one who started, set that trend with his usage of Eckersley .... https://bleacherreport.com/articles/...eague-baseball

    That happened when Tony La Russa came up with an idea for how to use starter-turned-reliever Dennis Eckersley in 1988.

    La Russa made Eckersley his closer, and he developed a system designed to leave him with comparatively little work to do when it was his turn to enter the game. As Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated recalled in 2011:

    'In order to give closer Dennis Eckersley as much of a clean window to close games -- to start the ninth inning with nobody on base -- as he could, La Russa used a parade of lefthanded and righthanded specialists, not to mention sinkerballers and power pitchers, to create matchups in his favor. He would avoid intentional walks or overusing his closer by using as many arms as possible to create matchup advantages.'

    La Russa's system worked. Per FanGraphs, his A's had the fifth-best bullpen ERA in the league in 1988, and Eckersley needed only 72.2 innings to save 45 games. Of his 60 appearances, only 23 lasted longer than one inning.

    By then, there were others like him, and many more would come.

    Once the Dennis Eckersley model caught on, the concept of a multi-inning closer died a quick death.
    I understand the game is constantly changing, as well the reliever role(s); but I have a lot more respect for those "old time" relievers/closers of the 70s/80s - many who were ex-starters with experience who transitioned into the role of reliever - because they weren't simply a 9th inning "specialist".

    Here's my issue with the Closer role ... how the Save stat, over the years, has elevated these one-inning specialist to heights where they now demand $15-20M season for one inning of work (60-70 IP). MLB created this Frankenstein. Not saying it's not become a vital role; but only that a vast majority of teams cannot afford it (looking at what it's become). When players (FAs) have become too costly, what has MLB teams done in the past to "overcome" that and compete? I simply think that teams need to "re-think", find ways to adapt, and possibly break that mold. It can't be done?
    "In my day you had musicians who experimented with drugs. Now it's druggies experimenting with music" - Alfred G Clark (circa 1972)

  17. #59
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    Re: Bullpen been stellar recently

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Klu View Post
    They also had a former closer (Carroll) and a shutdown guy who could go multiple innings and finish a game, if needed (Borbon).
    If teams are going stick to 100 or so pitch limits for starting pitchers then IMO you need to develop relievers who can go two or three innings. Not this one inning or just a couple of batters. It seems the more relievers you bring into a game the better the chance one of them will blow the game. I don't know it just makes sense that you need relievers like a Carroll or Borbon who can go multiple innings.
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    Re: Bullpen been stellar recently

    Teams like the Reds fill the ranks of middle relief with lesser relievers, but with the new bullpen usage, they need to think of middle relief as second tier starters. Talented enough to be solid one time through the order. It’ll cost more.

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