Buck Showalter Newsbeat
Sunday, October 26, 2014
Another great column by David Laurila .
There are a lot of ways to look at how you might augment your offense, but it can’t just be nine guys working a pitching staff over,” said Maddon. “If your goal is to get a starter out of a game, that might be the last thing you want to do. You see a lot of 95-plus out of the pen now, and some of those guys have quality secondary pitches. I think it’s become easier to build bullpens, and it’s rare a team has a bad one.”
The Kansas City Royals are a fit for Maddon’s musings. Not only is their pen dominant, their speed-focused offense posted the lowest walk rate in the game.
“We might possibly need to see a trend away from seeing pitches,” suggested Maddon. “I can see speed – including using it creatively – becoming a more important part of the game. I think the trend might be going back to the way the game had been before the unrealistic home run numbers arrived and walks became prominent. I really don’t know.”
Friday, October 10, 2014
Major League Baseball’s division series action proved that big payrolls and star power can be overrated, while leaving plenty of managerial roadkill in its wake. Judging from the always measured and thoughtful public sentiment on Twitter, Brad Ausmus has no clue how to run a bullpen, Don Mattingly’s ability to make bad decisions knows no bounds, and Matt Williams isn’t equipped to run a convenience store, never mind a team with World Series aspirations.
Friday, October 03, 2014
It’ll be hilarious if Yost or McClendon wins the award.
Perhaps the worst trend of modern relief pitching is the intractability of bullpen roles. Their very existence is manicured. At some point, when baseball recognized that, yeah, it probably is a good idea to exploit platoon splits, managers started slotting relievers in specific situations. Seventh inning for one guy, eighth for another, ninth and only ninth for the closer. And even if the heart of the order was up in the eighth and Scrub Jones, Slappy Jackson and Pipsqueak Fontana in the ninth, roles are roles, and roles must be adhered to.
Then there is Buck Showalter, the manager of the Baltimore Orioles. On Thursday, he took a tire iron to roles. He threw arguably his best reliever in the sixth inning – and let him pitch another for good measure. He went to his closer for an out in the eighth inning, fully intending to use him for a four-out save. He managed like he always does: with a keen sense of the moment, a singular ability to suss out the right thing for the right time…
“I was ready, and I’ll be ready throughout the postseason if he needs to use me in the eighth, seventh, wherever it is,” [closer Zach] Britton said. “I don’t think people feel like they’re entitled to throw a certain inning. That’s a lot of it. Some guys maybe feel like if you’re the closer you only throw the ninth. It’s not our mindset here. We’re team guys. If he needs to throw us in the fifth, we’re going to throw the fifth.
“He’s going to throw the best guy for the situation. If that’s you, you’re going into the game.”...
“I wouldn’t have signed on for six more years if I didn’t like him,” said Orioles star Adam Jones, he of the six-year, $85.5 million deal.
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