Hinch said the relievers have “general” roles — when the Astros lead, he mostly goes Harris-Neshek-Gregerson in the final three innings, mixing and matching with Qualls and his lefties, Sipp and Perez. But because none of the relievers is an established late-inning monster — this, for example, is Gregerson’s first year closing — Hinch said the roles are “in pencil.” In other words, he can manage however he wants, and the relievers are comfortable with it.
If relievers are truly getting better, maybe a team won’t need so many of them. How about a couple less relievers and a few more quality pinch-hitting options?
Now that we know that teams have better bullpens at their disposal than they used to, what’s the counter-move? One that’s been suggested is that hitters should stop being so patient and just attack what the starter gives them. In fact, there’s evidence that one reason for the recent rise in strikeouts is that hitters are being too ...
Being in the dugout during the game is awkward. It kind of feels like the baseball equivalent of watching American Pie with your parents. You don’t want to be there. They really don’t want you there.
A dugout doesn’t feel like home to a reliever. And having to sit in one raises so many questions: Are there certain places I can’t sit? When can I use the bathroom? Should I high-five someone after he scores? There’s a reason the bullpen was invented in the first place!
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