This is a good point from reader David Short, what do you guys think?
Starter goes 7 1/3 inning.
Reliever A comes in and gives up a walk to the only batter he faces.
Reliever B comes in. Gets an out and gives up a three run bomb. Gets
the next batter.
Reliever C finishes the game without a pinch hitter for B.
7 1/3 inning from the starter and 3 relievers to finish the last five
outs. By my count 2 other guys warmed up. It may have been more.
Reliever A has been used in 4 of the last 5 days.
Reliever B has been used the last 4 days in a row.
Not ONE of those switches was caused by a reliever getting tired or
being ineffective or by a pinch hitter coming in. (That's not saying
the relievers were effective, but that the switches were not caused by that.)
Check out the games appeared vs innings pitched for the reds
pen. This is before last nights game. Almost every single guy in the
pen is being used as a loogy, lefty one out guy. Nobody is averaging
an inning or more per appearance.
David Weathers 13 games 12 2/3 innings
Todd Coffey 18 games 15 2/3 innings
Kirk Saarloos 17 games 15 2/3 innings
Victor Santos 14 games 13 1/3 innings
Coutlangus 13 9 1/3
Cormier 6 3
Salmon 2 2 2/3
Burton 1 1/3
The only guy averaging an inning per appearance is Brad Salmon who
only has two appearances. These guys are pitching ALL the time. Even
when they don't appear in the game, they warm up. It's no wonder they
started the season strong and then started getting pounded. It's a
Compare and contrast with Tony LaRussa over in St. Louis. La Russa is
famous for micromanaging matchups and swapping relievers in and out.
Five guys in the St. Louis pen are averaging more than an inning an
outing, Thompson, Franklin, Hancock Jimninez and Dove. It's more
sustainable for the guys doing the throwing. They know when they'll
be in the game and their arms have time to heal when they aren't
being called on to throw every night.
93 innings from the Cardinal bullpen. 82 from the reds. 96 innings
out of the brewers relievers...3 of them with more innings than
appearances. mets have the best pen in the game right now..94
innings....four of their pitchers including the closer are regularly
going an inning or more every time out.
3 of the top 10 pitching appearance leaders are on the reds. With the
starting pitchers throwing as well as they have, it's inconcievable
that the reds have that many guys on the leaderboard for appearances.
It's not uncommon for the reds to get 7 innings from the starter, use
3 pitcher and have 6 guys warm up. You can't win like that. Guy's
arms will fall off.
It's maddening that the cincy press hasn't picked up on this. They
are following the party line that there is no talent in the bullpen
because there is no recognized stud closer. It wouldn't matter. you
could have Charlton, Dibble and Myers down there and WITH THIS USAGE
PATTERN, the bullpen would suck. All three of those guys averaged
well more than an inning per appearance in 90. Same with Williamson,
Graves and Sullivan in 99.
Till the usage pattern gets fixed, the reds will not be able to
establish any kind of bullpen success. Without a good bullpen, the
team can't succeed deep into the post season. Frankly, it's the
biggest organizational problem they have right now. You can swap the
names all you want. It won't matter.
It would be nice to have the guys carve out roles for themselves, but
look what happens when they do pitch well. Chris Hammond last year
was the one that made me sit up and take notice.
Look at his game log for 06.
He had a couple of bad outings early and pretty much got buried in
the pen. Then he started pitching better till he got to be Jerry's
"hot hand" through May and all of a sudden he was being called on
every night in June and...guess what, he fell apart unable to handle
the workload. By the 80th game of the season, he had appeared or
warmed up in more than half of them and he was ineffective and
released and "sucked."
If you carve out a role in this system you get overexposed, your arm
gets destroyed and suddenly...you're a no-talent ineffective bum.
Todd Coffey is the second verse same as the first. The guy CAN
pitch. He just can't pitch every night and be expected to be
effective. Longer outings less often. They won't get better till it happens.