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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Braves will stick with six-man rotation indefinitely

Gonzalez announced that right-hander Ervin Santana, left-hander Alex Wood and right-hander Aaron Harang would pitch the club’s upcoming three-game series Friday through Sunday in St. Louis. The team used right-hander Gavin Floyd and left-hander Mike Minor in the first two games in San Francisco on Monday and Tuesday, with right-hander Julio Teheran scheduled for Wednesday’s series finale.

Fredi gets a lot of guff from Braves fans for his in-game management, and occasionally rightfully so. But he’s consistently shown the willingness to think outside of “the book” for long term strategy. This move allows the Braves to keep a wary eye on both Alex Wood and Julio Teheran’s workloads.

Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 14, 2014 at 01:28 PM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves, sabermetrics, six man rotations

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   1. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: May 14, 2014 at 03:29 PM (#4706805)
   2. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 14, 2014 at 03:47 PM (#4706820)
The book always wins.
   3. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: May 14, 2014 at 03:51 PM (#4706823)
Braves will stick with six-man rotation indefinitely

Well, that didn't last long. Five-man rotation, Wood to pen.

"Indefinitely" = "Until this interview is over."
   4. bigglou115 Posted: May 14, 2014 at 03:59 PM (#4706827)
Even if he'd stuck to his guns I'd have been irritated by this move. Aaron Harang has clearly made a pact with some evil being, it can't last.

As it is, I understand the need to preserve Alex Wood's innings, at least this way they can pull Harang early and let Wood serve as his backup starter.
   5. DA Baracus Posted: May 14, 2014 at 04:23 PM (#4706845)
No big deal. They want to keep his workload down and someone will get hurt and he'll be needed. Or they could have not signed Santana and gone with some AAA pitcher and then keep Wood in the rotation!

Fredi gets a lot of guff from Braves fans for his in-game management, and occasionally rightfully so.


No manager is perfect. He's not Bobby Cox, so Braves fans will moan. As a whole, Fredi's done a very nice job.
   6. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: May 14, 2014 at 04:26 PM (#4706850)
I assume at some point Wood will go on the DL with some phantom "soreness" to clear a couple weeks worth of innings from his workload. Maybe more than once.
   7. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: May 14, 2014 at 04:29 PM (#4706858)
“I wasn’t too keen on (using a six-man rotation),” Gonzalez said

"But I couldn't figure out who to demote. Finally Roger told me that all the pitchers hate this idea and I need to have some stones and do something. So obviously the play was to bust the youngest guy to the bullpen. It's called leadership. Oh, and thinking outside the book for long term strategy. That too."
   8. DA Baracus Posted: May 14, 2014 at 04:32 PM (#4706860)
"But I couldn't figure out who to demote. Finally Roger told me that all the pitchers hate this idea and I need to have some stones and do something. So obviously the play was to bust the youngest guy to the bullpen. It's called leadership. Oh, and thinking outside the book for long term strategy. That too."


So who would you have sent to the pen?
   9. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 14, 2014 at 04:40 PM (#4706870)
So who would you have sent to the pen?


Robert's irrational hatred of Fredi knows no bounds. Alex Wood is 23 and has never pitched more than 170 innings in a year.
   10. spike Posted: May 14, 2014 at 04:40 PM (#4706872)
He's not Bobby Cox, so Braves fans will moan.

Braves fans pretty consistently moaned about Bobby's in-game management, as I recall.
   11. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: May 14, 2014 at 04:46 PM (#4706879)
Sam, be fair to Robert. He also hates Frank Wren and Greg Maddux.
   12. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: May 14, 2014 at 04:46 PM (#4706880)
So who would you have sent to the pen?

I have no idea, I don't even know who's on the team. It probably doesn't even matter, someone will break by the end of the month. Sam's intro was just too eye rolling not to have some fun with.
   13. DA Baracus Posted: May 14, 2014 at 04:47 PM (#4706884)
Braves fans pretty consistently moaned about Bobby's in-game management, as I recall.


I don't have that impression, but that's just me. Certainly Fredi doesn't have the hero worshiping that Bobby does.

Robert's irrational hatred of Fredi knows no bounds. Alex Wood is 23 and has never pitched more than 170 innings in a year.


He's also a lefty who isn't struggling nor has incentive clauses that if missed because he was sent to the bullpen for reasons other than performance would not sit well with team.
   14. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: May 14, 2014 at 05:02 PM (#4706897)
Robert's irrational hatred of Fredi knows no bounds. Alex Wood is 23 and has never pitched more than 170 innings in a year.

Come on, it's barely possible for a minor-leaguer to pitch more than 170 innings in a year, since the maximum number of starts is 28.

(also, as far as I can tell Alex Wood has never pitched more than 140 innings in a year, unless I'm looking at the wrong guy.)
   15. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: May 14, 2014 at 05:05 PM (#4706900)
I don't have that impression, but that's just me. Certainly Fredi doesn't have the hero worshiping that Bobby does.


I think the criticism of Bobby's in-game management tended to have more of a, "That's our Bobby!" vibe than the criticism of Fredi, which is far more along the lines of, "Fredi's an imbecile." To be sure, it was awfully hard to support a "Bobby's an imbecile" narrative by 2003 or so.
   16. bjhanke Posted: May 14, 2014 at 05:36 PM (#4706927)
I, personally, am a fan of the 6-man rotation. It's been a long time since MLB converted to the 5-man. If you track the timing of expanding rotation numbers, the move from 5 to 6 is way overdue. Yes, you're giving starts to your #6 guy at the expense of the other five (although the #6 guy will get all the off days). But your first five will have more rest, once they adjust to the longer wait between starts. Therefore, they will go longer into games, putting less pressure on the bullpen and, incidentally, resulting in the first five starters getting just as many IP as they do now - they will simply be concentrated into fewer games, and fans now constantly complain about starters who can't go deep into games. The 6th starter's innings will come from the bullpen's reduced workload, which means you are trading your #6 starter IP for middle reliever IP. That's makes up for trading the first five's IP for the #6 starter, and that trade probably won't even happen. If a starter gets hurt, you have an automatic, trained answer - just go back to the 5-man until the injury is cleared. I speculate (lack of data prevents me from doing any mathematical analysis) that you will be able to cut the number of pitchers needed for your whole staff from 12-13 to 11 or so. Six starters, 5 relievers. Subtract setup man and closer, three middle relievers, one of which may be a LOOGY. Sounds dangerous, but everyone will be able to pitch more inning per game played, because they will have more rest. The only real downside is pitch count. PC fanatics are going to go ballistic, but remember, our new high-PC guys get more rest between starts for their arms to recover.

BTW, Tony LaRussa, who was absolutely just as bright as he was abrasive (and I tried to interview him once, when I was writing for the local alternative weekly, so I know what "abrasive" means here), tried to go the other way for a while in Oakland. Each game had three pitchers, each of whom only went three innings in the game, but the rotation was only 3 men, so you were pitching 3 innings, but every three days. Do you know why he gave it up? I have it from the man's mouth from the interview. He couldn't find anyone willing to start. Everyone wanted to be the second pitcher to get into the game. The rules of baseball, as they stand now, require 5 innings to get a win if you're a starter, but not if you're a "reliever." So no starter could EVER win a ballgame, but the second guy in could inherit a big early lead and, essentially, steal the win from the starter. And ERA or no ERA, TLR could not find a pitcher who was willing to go in to contract negotiations with a w/L record of 0-12. Can't say as I blame the pitchers. - Brock Hanke
   17. zachtoma Posted: May 14, 2014 at 05:52 PM (#4706937)
So who would you have sent to the pen?


The crappiest guy with the least upside as a starter, imo Harang or possibly even Gavin Floyd
   18. Brian White Posted: May 14, 2014 at 08:35 PM (#4707020)
Braves fans pretty consistently moaned about Bobby's in-game management, as I recall.


Bobby Cox's in-game management was usually bad.

Bobby Cox's skill in developing and handling players, especially young ones, was fantastic, and many orders of magnitude more important to the Braves' organization than his in-game management. Complaining about Bobby Cox's in-game management was a bit like complaining that Miguel Cabrera is a mediocre baserunner. True, strictly speaking, but not that important in the grand scheme of things.

Fredi Gonzalez has a bit of Bobby Cox in him. His in-game decisions are even more bizarre, particularly the thing about letting a pitcher hit for himself in important situations when he's only got one more inning left in him at best. And Fredi's development of young talent isn't quite as spotless - he's done great with all the pitching, but I suspect Jason Heyward would be better off if Cox were still around. Fredi's in-game management, the most obvious part of what he does, is bad, but overall he's a net positive for the Braves.

Also, I wish they kept up the six man rotation, but whatever. If Fredi thinks this is the best way to break in Alex Wood, I'll trust his judgement.
   19. bjhanke Posted: May 15, 2014 at 11:15 PM (#4707912)
Bobby Cox, as a manager, was, essentially, Earl Weaver. Big focus on the best starting rotation possible. Check. Not too much worry over the closer. Check. Offense down the lines. Check. Defense up the middle. Check. Willing to platoon, especially at corner outfield. Check. Key linchpin position is third base. Check. I think that Earl only had Brooks and Doug de Cinces at third for more than a transition year. That's a lot of quality 3B. Bobby's idea of a 3B was to convert his weak-glove SS, Chipper Jones. It's the linchpin because it's a middle infielder on defense, but a down-the-line hitter on offense. 3B is VERY important to recognizing this style of manager. Even in Toronto, Bobby obsessed over the position, trying to platoon guys like Mullinicks to get star hitting and star fielding by platooning. - Brock Hanke

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