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Opener Newsbeat

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Nick Vincent to be used by Giants as opener vs. Blue Jays on Tuesday

SAN FRANCISCO—Farhan Zaidi made waves at the Winter Meetings in December when he told a group of beat writers that the Giants could use an opener during the upcoming season. Just 41 games into the Zaidi era, the Giants will actually try it.

Nick Vincent will start Tuesday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays, the team announced Monday. Vincent has served as the bullpen’s de facto long reliever this season, but he has not recorded more than nine outs in an appearance. Vincent has made 366 appearances in his career but started just once, going two innings last season as the Seattle Mariners tried the opener.

The Giants originally had slated Tyler Beede to start Tuesday’s game, but they now are listing Vincent and leaving Wednesday open. Beede could in theory pitch the bulk of Tuesday’s game, although openers traditionally have been used to exploit platoons, so lefty Derek Holland, recently moved to the bullpen, could be a better fit to carry a heavy load Tuesday.

And the bullpen parade begins….

QLE Posted: May 14, 2019 at 04:01 AM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, nick vincent, opener

Friday, April 26, 2019

Kikuchi to ‘open’ for Mariners against Rangers

One of the reasons left-hander Yusei Kikuchi signed with the Seattle Mariners in the offseason was the unique wellness plan they pitched to him.

Trying to avoid the injuries that have befallen Japanese stars like Yu Darvish, Shohei Ohtani and Daisuke Matsuzaka once they started pitching every five days in the majors as compared to the six-man rotations they use overseas, the Mariners will use Kikuchi as an “opener” about once a month, pitching just the first inning or so before handing the ball to one of Seattle’s pitching prospects.

That plan will be put to use for the first time Friday night against the visiting Texas Rangers.

Question, for those who know Japanese baseball better than I do- is it just the rotations that are at issue, or could there be other causes?

 

QLE Posted: April 26, 2019 at 05:17 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: mariners, opener, yusei kikuchi

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The openers experiment isn’t really an experiment anymore for Tampa Bay

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — They weren’t trying to change the whole game, just their own. They were secure enough to try, humble enough to allow that the whole thing could be very, very flammable. They let everyone laugh or grouse or turn away, whatever. In the end, as it happened, most were also taking notes.

So the Tampa Bay Rays won 90 games and had sparked, if not a movement exactly, certainly an inclination to reconsider the best way — or still another way — to 27 outs. That it didn’t look quite right, they’d leave others to judge, many of whom won fewer than 90 games. So.

What might’ve appeared to be some newfangled funk was, actually, the oldest of old school, which is trying to win a baseball game. That means standing where you think they’re going to hit it. That means using the pitcher best qualified in the moment. Sometimes risking something for the greater good. Winning, and not being afraid to look a little goofy doing it, if that’s what comes.

So, how long before Manfred becomes involved?

 

QLE Posted: March 19, 2019 at 03:13 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: opener, rays

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Giants’ turmoil ahead with Madison Bumgarner, Jeff Samardzija? - SFChronicle.com

Jeff Samardzija needs to worry about getting outs first otherwise the only action he’ll be getting is mop up duty.

When Giants starter Jeff Samardzija recently called the concept of openers “a load of crap,” and Madison Bumgarner seemed of a like mind, it looked like the team could be heading for friction and turmoil this season.

But it’s spring training, for goodness’ sake, a time to be positive.

So, the Giants are perfectly positioned to help major-league baseball ease into the new creative use of pitchers era.

Samardzija told The Chronicle’s John Shea that pitchers who accept the “opener” concept — a normal relief pitcher pitching the first inning — are like sheep. Wimpy sheep.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2019 at 01:43 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, jeff samardzija, madison bumgarner, opener

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Madison Bumgarner: ‘I’m walking right out of the ballpark’ if Giants use opener with ace

Madison Bumgarner’s thoughts on the opener movement that hit MLB during the 2018 season are about what you would expect: he is extremely not a fan.

During an appearance at the San Francisco Giants FanFest on Saturday, manager Bruce Bochy mentioned that he received a text from the team’s ace after new president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said the team might make use of an opener. The contents of the text were basically a threat.

The good news for Bumgarner and whoever would have to tell Bumgarner the team is using an opener is that the Giants are probably not going to be using an opener in front of Bumgarner.

Mind you, given his luck with injuries the last couple of seasons, his leverage on this subject is fairly minimal….

 

QLE Posted: February 10, 2019 at 04:07 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, madison bumgarner, opener

 

 

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