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Saturday, February 07, 2015

Late-inning relievers are becoming more valuable. | SportsonEarth.com

Ultimately, though, every manager—every single one—falls into the same basic patterns with the late innings. They’ll go with committees only to the point that one member of that committee catches fire, and then they’ll ride that guy in the ninth for as long as his arm and effectiveness will allow.

I asked Showalter why that is.

“There are four parts of a season,” Showalter said. “Spring Training, when you manage pitchers completely different; the regular season, when you manage starters and relievers differently; this God-awful thing called September baseball, with all the callups; and then this thing called the postseason that’s a whole different animal.”

[...]

Showalter’s point is that having your best reliever at the ready whenever a high-leverage situation begins to present itself is going to wear that reliever out in a hurry—especially in an environment in which offense is down and close games are the norm, which is what is taking place today.

Teams, remember, aren’t just protecting leads.

“We’re protecting investments,” Showalter said. “Nowadays, we have a lot more information about what creates injuries and problems with pitchers. The thing that kills guys [is getting] up and down and up and down [in the bullpen].”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 07, 2015 at 10:52 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: bullpen usuage, bullpens

 

 

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