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How pitching works now (some of you are probably not enthused by this)

msgkings322

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Pitching in the real old days used to be 4 starters going 7-9 innings per game, 40 times a year. Bullpen pitchers were pitchers too shitty to start.

Over time they went to 5 man rotations, and also over time bullpen pitchers started being guys who could be good for an inning or two. Pitchers going 9 became rarer.

Eventually pens evolved into having specialists, LOOGYs and ROOGYs and long relief and closers and all the rest.

But lately a new trend has emerged. The data shows that starters lose a ton of effectiveness after the second time through the order. If you want to win more you need to only expect your starter to go 4-6 innings max. Sometimes teams just dispense with a 'starter' altogether and throw a bullpen game. This is happening more and more as this Dodgers series illustrates.

I suspect this trend to continue. The new 3 batter rule has made the specialist far less useful (the one guy only LOOGY for example). But it has made the 'reliever' who can give you 2 solid innings much more important (on the Giants, guys like Garcia, on other teams guys like Hendricks for example). Eventually I think teams will go to all 'bullpen' games, or rather mostly those. The 7 inning starter will continue to fade and teams will instead have 12-13 guys all of whom can go 1-3 innings, 3-5 times a week. This gives teams far more flexibility with matchups and means pitchers never have to face guys more than twice, or even once.

How we give out awards and judge pitchers will have to evolve with this new trend...
 

LHG

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I cannot remember which baseball executive talked about this but I vaguely remember a couple of years ago someone (maybe it was a writer, or a manager, I don't remember) talked about having pitchers lined up for a game, much like in spring training, and many regular season games would eventually be done that way.

With the fading of not only the starting pitcher but also the closer, not only will awards have to be judged differently, but so will determining who gets into the Hall of Fame. I'm not even sure how many pitchers would last more than 10 years with this kind of measurement for effectiveness. How do you determine the value of keeping a pitcher when everyone is essentially doing the same thing? Sure, a few will dominate and be valuable but if a lot of guys are performing around the same, pitchers will become even more interchangeable.

And, on a side note, if more teams start managing their lineups like Kapler does, hitters will need new statistics to determine eligibility as well. Or we may find that the Hall of Fame starts to have a dearth of new inductees in about 10 to 15 years.
 

tzill

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I just read that the Giants bullpen has the lowest ERA in the majors at 3.04.

Hat tip to the FO for putting it together and weeding out the crap.
 

BigFin

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If teams can avoid shelling out big money for star pitchers and get similar production by committee, then that’s just a smart moneyball strategy.
 

msgkings322

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If teams can avoid shelling out big money for star pitchers and get similar production by committee, then that’s just a smart moneyball strategy.
Yep. That's why I think this trend continues to grow with bullpen games becoming the norm perhaps.
 

jeep99tj

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Yep. That's why I think this trend continues to grow with bullpen games becoming the norm perhaps.

I think once you see the universal DH it will happen more. Teams can go with 3 starters and a couple bullpens and not have to waste PH for the pitcher every time.
 

calsnowskier

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I think once you see the universal DH it will happen more. Teams can go with 3 starters and a couple bullpens and not have to waste PH for the pitcher every time.
Fuck you.

Fuck you.

Take it back, you ass munch.


And one more thing…

Fuck you.
 

msgkings322

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Tonight shows exactly what I'm talking about. A pen full of guys who can get anyone out if it's the only time they face them. Didn't use Watson/Rogers/McGee.

I really think what we are seeing 3 starters 2 bullpen games is EXACTLY what FZ will draw up for next year. We have only Webb signed. I could see him signing Gausman and Disco and calling it a day with starters, and have 10-11 relievers who can give you 1-2 innings anywhere in the game, 3-5 times a week. FZ finding these guys (look at how he's done it), Kapler making the right calls how to use them...

Welcome to the future, this ain't Bochyball no more...
 

calsnowskier

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Tonight shows exactly what I'm talking about. A pen full of guys who can get anyone out if it's the only time they face them. Didn't use Watson/Rogers/McGee.

I really think what we are seeing 3 starters 2 bullpen games is EXACTLY what FZ will draw up for next year. We have only Webb signed. I could see him signing Gausman and Disco and calling it a day with starters, and have 10-11 relievers who can give you 1-2 innings anywhere in the game, 3-5 times a week. FZ finding these guys (look at how he's done it), Kapler making the right calls how to use them...

Welcome to the future, this ain't Bochyball no more...
It is kinda funny how this team has transitioned on a dime.

Bochyball was old school baseball. Play the game based on your feels.

FZball is video game baseball. Everything is new. Everything is analytics. Every convention is tossed out the window.
 

msgkings322

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It is kinda funny how this team has transitioned on a dime.

Bochyball was old school baseball. Play the game based on your feels.

FZball is video game baseball. Everything is new. Everything is analytics. Every convention is tossed out the window.
It's fascinating watching the game evolve in real time. The last few years the Rays have been really good without anyone recognizing their players...this year's Giants remind me of that...no one can figure out how they're doing it. It's the future.

And it's not just the pitchers. The mixing and matching, platooning almost every position, the lefty righty flexibility....it's fun!
 

pachyderm

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It's fascinating watching the game evolve in real time. The last few years the Rays have been really good without anyone recognizing their players...this year's Giants remind me of that...no one can figure out how they're doing it. It's the future.

And it's not just the pitchers. The mixing and matching, platooning almost every position, the lefty righty flexibility....it's fun!
Bill James changed the game... it took a while.

 

tzill

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Tonight shows exactly what I'm talking about. A pen full of guys who can get anyone out if it's the only time they face them. Didn't use Watson/Rogers/McGee.

I really think what we are seeing 3 starters 2 bullpen games is EXACTLY what FZ will draw up for next year. We have only Webb signed. I could see him signing Gausman and Disco and calling it a day with starters, and have 10-11 relievers who can give you 1-2 innings anywhere in the game, 3-5 times a week. FZ finding these guys (look at how he's done it), Kapler making the right calls how to use them...

Welcome to the future, this ain't Bochyball no more...
I think that's a bit of hyperbole. At least at this point. Might get there in a few years as bullpens get reorganized but pitching 4, 5 times a week seems a bit much. Maybe 3, but even then that's a lot if you're talking multiple inning appearances.
 

msgkings322

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I think that's a bit of hyperbole. At least at this point. Might get there in a few years as bullpens get reorganized but pitching 4, 5 times a week seems a bit much. Maybe 3, but even then that's a lot if you're talking multiple inning appearances.
But check tape, this year these guys go 4-5 times a week routinely, usually 1 inning but sometimes more. If a guy goes 2 innings he might only throw 3 more times that week, but that's still every other day. It works.
 

SF11704

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I think we are at the beginning of the evolution. Today there aren't many SP that seem to go 7 innings or more. There are a few but not many.
To me it seems that many starters are going 5 or six innings before turning it over to a very competent pen.

This is how I see the evolution .... SP will go 5 innings then it will be turned over to the pen. If they define a SP role as 5 innings .... that will make a lot of current SP much more attractive. They don't have to go deep. Just 1-2 passes through the line up. Don't need a Scherzer .. just need someone that can give you 5 solid innings.

Almost makes a SP look like a long reliever.
The only real interesting pitcher ... I M H O .. is the closer. Maybe we will see an era of two closers, 3 starters (5 inning types) and a host of middle inning guys . . Maybe even the return of a loopy and other specialities
 

LHG

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I think we are at the beginning of the evolution. Today there aren't many SP that seem to go 7 innings or more. There are a few but not many.
To me it seems that many starters are going 5 or six innings before turning it over to a very competent pen.

This is how I see the evolution .... SP will go 5 innings then it will be turned over to the pen. If they define a SP role as 5 innings .... that will make a lot of current SP much more attractive. They don't have to go deep. Just 1-2 passes through the line up. Don't need a Scherzer .. just need someone that can give you 5 solid innings.

Almost makes a SP look like a long reliever.
The only real interesting pitcher ... I M H O .. is the closer. Maybe we will see an era of two closers, 3 starters (5 inning types) and a host of middle inning guys . . Maybe even the return of a loopy and other specialities
I think the era of a defined closer is also on the way out. I'm already seeing more teams go with a committee mentality to finishing the game. Even Kapler played with the idea for a bit this season before settling back into McGee in that role. About 15 years ago, the talk was that you cannot compete with a closer by committee bullpen. You needed a guy who held that role. Now, more teams don't care. Eventually, relief pitchers may fit into a role, but, from my perspective, bullpens will just become a jumbled mass of arms that are called upon at any point in the game to get outs. Maybe the Opener becomes a specialty. Maybe there is the High Leverage Guy who comes in at what is considered the most critical part of the game to get the stressful outs. But first, I think, everyone's role and title will get stripped. It will make things very awkward for future Hall of Fame consideration, but that is a whole other conversation.
 

calsnowskier

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Do you know, do “openers” stats count as BP stats?
My guess would be that the opener does not qualify as bullpen. Though, the bulk pitcher likely does count as BP.

Some stat changes that I think are required in today’s game…

1) Get rid of the 5 inning requirement for a starter to get a win. In fact, make the Win stat entirely subjective, like an error/hit is subjective. There should be some guidelines, but the official scorer should have complete discretion in awarding the W.

2) A player does not qualify for a “Start” unless he goes at least 2 or 3 full innings. Anything less than that would be considered an Open instead. Start = throws first pitch of the game and gets AT LEAST 6 (or 9) outs; Open = throws first pitch and gets less than 6 (or 9) outs. Maybe a Start could be a subset of Opens, or vice versa, but I think there needs to be a separation between the two.

3) A new stat, called “Bulk”, would indicate any game in which a pitcher records 12 or more outs (4.0 innings).

4) A new stat, called “Shut Down” would be the same rules as a save, but not at the end of a game. This should replace the Hold (or just redefine the Hold stat). The pitcher must record the 3rd out of the inning to receive credit for a SD.
 
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