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Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Dale Murphy: An advice column for GMs heading into the offseason – The Athletic

His four points:

  1. Your signs are getting stolen
  2. Launch angle is irrelevant
  3. “Bullpenning” is unsustainable
  4. Leadership matters

And get off his lawn!!!

Jim Furtado Posted: November 07, 2018 at 10:04 AM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dale murphy, pay site

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   1. Man o' Schwar Posted: November 07, 2018 at 10:47 AM (#5783593)
Yes, but what does Bob Horner think?
   2. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 07, 2018 at 10:53 AM (#5783600)
Yes, but what does Bob Horner think?
"I want donuts."
   3. Tom Nawrocki Posted: November 07, 2018 at 10:54 AM (#5783601)
Bullpenning IS unsustainable in the regular season. You can do it in the postseason, where you have more days off and each game is more critical to win. But you can't expect to use six or seven pitchers every game for 162 games. That ain't going to work.

Josh Hader pitched 10 innings in 10 postseason games for the Brewers. There's no way he going to be able to throw 162 innings in the regular season and still be Josh Hader.
   4. Nasty Nate Posted: November 07, 2018 at 10:59 AM (#5783607)
Bullpenning IS unsustainable in the regular season.
Isn't it sustainable if only used for 1 spot out of 5 in the rotation?
   5. PreservedFish Posted: November 07, 2018 at 11:03 AM (#5783612)
The Rays certainly sustained their success.
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 07, 2018 at 11:54 AM (#5783662)
The Rays certainly sustained their success.

But they didn't use 6-7 pitchers per game. Yarborough and Chirinos had usage like standard 4th-5th starters (i.e. 5-ish IP per outing) they just didn't always start the game.
   7. PreservedFish Posted: November 07, 2018 at 12:04 PM (#5783663)
Not quite standard usage. Yarborough had as many 2-3 IP stints as he did 5 IP stints.
   8. The Duke Posted: November 07, 2018 at 01:04 PM (#5783720)
Bullpenning is made possible by the 10 day DL. I’m not a big fan and think they should go back. Running a conveyor belt back and forth isn’t in the spirit of what they were trying to do. Why don’t they just give teams X number of 10 day DL stints so it gets used for its intended purpose ?
   9. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: November 07, 2018 at 01:30 PM (#5783741)
The league and the teams have shown they want to increase the creative usage of roster leave.

The 10 day DL, bereavement leave, paternity leave, etc. I don't see those being rolled back any time soon.

How can he possibly think launch angle is irrelevant? Then he should have pounded out more grounders.

   10. Tom Nawrocki Posted: November 07, 2018 at 01:32 PM (#5783743)
Isn't it sustainable if only used for 1 spot out of 5 in the rotation?


That's a good question. If you want to have a bullpen day with Hader throwing 2 innings and Jeffress throwing 2 innings and Knebel throwing 2 innings, that's going to be very tricky to pull off. If you just want the dregs of the bullpen to cover the game for you, that's a lot easier, but is not nearly as valuable.
   11. GregD Posted: November 07, 2018 at 01:52 PM (#5783757)
Bullpenning is made possible by the 10 day DL. I’m not a big fan and think they should go back. Running a conveyor belt back and forth isn’t in the spirit of what they were trying to do. Why don’t they just give teams X number of 10 day DL stints so it gets used for its intended purpose ?
Doesn't the current use of the 10-day DL increase the number of Major Leaguers getting service time? I can't imagine the Union would agree to reduce its membership without serious givebacks
   12. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 07, 2018 at 01:56 PM (#5783760)
How can he possibly think launch angle is irrelevant?
Joseph Smith didn't say sh*t about launch angle.
   13. Rusty Priske Posted: November 07, 2018 at 02:50 PM (#5783796)
Other than #2, I don't see anything to disagree with.
   14. Walt Davis Posted: November 07, 2018 at 04:54 PM (#5783931)
He may not have said much about launch angles but Joseph Smith's HR and GB rates make it pretty clear he understood them.
   15. Walt Davis Posted: November 07, 2018 at 06:05 PM (#5783976)
For the 2nd half of the season, the Rays did have a pretty regular full bullpen game along with the Yarborough, etc. opener games. Whether they could have sustained that over the full year much less from year-to-year is the question but they got farther with it than I thought a team could.

The shuttle notion seems somewhat overstated. Yes, we've seen an increase in the total number of pitchers used in a season. But most of that is in response to the 13th pitcher slot and (it seems to me) an increase in position players as pitchers. Most of the pitchers being shuttled up and down, on/off waiver wires, on/off the DL ... stink. Teams still have basically 5 guys they rely on and they aren't being shuttled onto the DL unless they are genuinely hurt or genuinely exhausted.

The Rays were extreme but adding to their craziness is that over the course of the season, they traded away 5 ML pitchers and acquired via trade 4 ML pitchers (often in the same trade). That seems an unusually high level of activity for a successful team but maybe not-- still, it's not exactly churn when you're trading actual players. Anyway, that's 9 of their 31 pitchers used right there. They also used 4 position players. They seem to have had 6 pitchers up for the full sesaon (or close enough) -- Snell, Yarbrough, Romo, Stanek, Alvarado and Roe. Those 19 pitchers (including the pos players) threw 956 IP (if I added right).

The "churning 12" then covered about 490 innings or just over half a "regular" bullpen slot each. This includes "starters" like Faria (sucked, genuinely injured, minors) and Chirinos (doing fine, genuinely hurt, minors ... not sure why) who combined for 154 IP. So now it's 10 guys for about 335 innings. Three of thoee guys combined for just 33 innings so now it's 7 for about 300, back to that >half a slot each. If I added right, thoee guys combined for a 4.34 ERA. The best of these guys is probably 24-year-old Hunter Wood but the best performance, by far, was 30-year-old Vidal Nuno with 6 ER in 33 IP (256 ERA+, career 97).

That's about a 96 ERA+, better than what most teams get from their bullpen dregs. To the extent those innings were taken away from #4 and #5 starters in leveraged situations, that's a nice improvement; to the extent it was low-leverage innings filling, it didn't matter a lot; to the extent it was emergency high-leverage usage (extra innings or cuz the usual guys were tired/hurt), that's still better than what most teams would have available in such an emergency situation but obviously a big step down from their top bullpen guys.

But the shape of the usage looks pretty similar. Most teams have about 5 key relievers who, if healthy the full season, cover about 300 innings. That leaves about 250-260 innings to be covered by the last 3 slots -- but since no individual reliever these days throws 85 innings, that has to be spread around on the shuttle. When I last looked (last year? two years ago?), those 3 slots produced at replacement level. The Rays clearly got above replacement level.

But not much. If I added correctly, those 7 guys, 303 innings combined for 1.3 WAR. That's 1.2 WAR from Diego Castillo, 1.0 WAR from Nuno ... and -1.2 WAR from Ketteridge.

That's what we expect fungible, replacement-level relief pitching to look like -- the Rays just got "lucky" in having 2 guys wildly succeed while only one guy massively sucked. But we don't expect these guys to hold down full-time jobs and "WAR theory" notes the fungible nature, that it doesn't really matter which of these "true" replacement-level guys you use. To the extent these are low-leverage innings, it doesn't matter a lot if you got good performance or not; to the extent they are medium-leverage innings -- "starts", early "bullpen day" appearances -- it starts to bite.

Castillo looks like a keeper (24 yo, 10.3/2.9 K/BB) so I'll put him ahead of Wood and he's probably genuinely above replacement level. He was also brought up in early June after an excellent 2017 and dominating AAA in 2018 ... and not churned once he was called up and threw 60 innings in 4 months, 85 innings total for the season -- let's see if he can survive that or they put him in a standard 60 innings per year leveraged relief role. So that too is typical -- hey, we've got a hot prospect who's ready for the majors, let's call him up, damn he's getting guys out, let's keep using him. If he'd flopped, sure, he gets sent back down and is part of the "churn."
   16. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 07, 2018 at 06:26 PM (#5783981)
they aren't being shuttled onto the DL unless they are genuinely hurt or genuinely exhausted.
Tiredness, no matter how genuine, is not an injury.
   17. Rally Posted: November 08, 2018 at 07:54 AM (#5784101)
The league and the teams have shown they want to increase the creative usage of roster leave.

The 10 day DL, bereavement leave, paternity leave, etc. I don't see those being rolled back any time soon.


Paternity leave is a big one, since you don't have a minimum 10 days out. The new market inefficiency is to sign pitchers whose wives are 3 months pregnant in the offseason.
   18. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: November 08, 2018 at 11:28 AM (#5784254)
The new market inefficiency is to sign pitchers whose wives are 3 months pregnant in the offseason.

Who said anything about wives? The new wave will be for teams to encourage any and all procreation, Steve Garvey style, as soon as the playoffs start.

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