The Morning Edition (June 23, 2013)

Clip art illustration of a Cartoon Tiger with a Missing Tooth

 

From Last Night:

  • The Rangers knock Miller around, win 4-2
  • Kluber unimpressive, Walters very-not-impressive, as Indians win 8-7
  • Greinke goes 8, gives up 1 ER, keeps Quentin off the bases in first meeting with SD since brawl
  • Corbin and Leake were brilliant, but Bell and Chapman blow saves as the Dbacks win
  • Papelbon blows the game, gets a W as his Frandsen bails him out
  • Turner and Zito are both sharp, Giants win in 11
  • Myers hits a GS off Sabathia, but the Rays pen gives it away

What I’m Watching Today:

  • Matt Harvey day in Philly (1p Eastern)
  • James Shields’ hilarious W/L record on display (2p Eastern)
  • Cain tries to stay hot (4p Eastern)
  • Parker and Bonderman (4p Eastern)
  • Wainwright on Sunday night (8p Eastern)

The Big Question:

  • How long until we stop idolizing closers?

I wrote earlier in the week that “proven closers” are a myth and that you can very easily invent a 9th inning save-getter with almost no effort. That should be easily on display as many “proven” guys melted down on Saturday. Let’s rethink bullpen usage. This is how I’d allocate the spots:

  1. Relief ace (pitches in highest leverage situations)
  2. High leverage righty (can get out both lefties and righties)
  3. High leverage lefty (can get out both lefties and righties)
  4. Right Handed Specialist
  5. Left Handed Specialist
  6. Long Reliever
  7. Long Reliever

I want bullpens to be used so that the situation and matchup dictates who comes into the game, not the inning on the scoreboard or whether or not something is a “Save.” If you carry two long men, you can also let them eat up two and three innings at a time so that on nights where there are big leads or deficits, you just don’t go to anyone else after your starter. Most teams barely have one good long man, when they should probably have two. If readers are interested, I’d be happy to expand on how this would work. Last year starters averaged 6 innings per start. Managers should be thinking about how to get 6-12 outs a night from 7 relievers, rather than getting to the 9th inning and their closer.

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