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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

FG (Sullivan): The Tigers and the Angels Needn’t Scramble for Help

September roster expansion is weird, if you think about it.

recently, of course, the Angels lost Garrett Richards for the year. Meanwhile, Anibal Sanchez experienced a setback in his injury rehab, and now it’s unclear whether he’ll be able to return in the regular season…

This year, replacement-level starting pitchers have averaged an ERA close to 5, and an FIP close to 5. Meanwhile, replacement-level relief pitchers have averaged an ERA a little under 4, and an FIP a little under 4. This is very basic stuff. This is why, for one-game playoffs, you’ll often see it suggested that teams try bullpen games. Or at least, that teams be more aggressive with their bullpens. This isn’t something you can do feasibly during much of the regular season, because you’d wear your relievers down, and you’d have to be constantly shuttling guys back and forth between the majors and Triple-A. But in September, teams are free to roster much bigger pitching staffs, which allows for greater flexibility. Precisely the sort of flexibility that could work to Anaheim and Detroit’s benefit…

Maybe, in a sense, it’s unfair that the Angels could patch up a rotation hole in this way. But maybe, in another sense, it’s unfair that the Angels weren’t left with many options to patch up the hole when it opened. As long as the September rules are what they are, teams might as well try to take advantage of them. A few teams in contention are positioned to do just that.

The District Attorney Posted: August 27, 2014 at 07:09 PM | 3 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, strategy, tigers

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   1. Davo Dozier Posted: August 27, 2014 at 07:25 PM (#4780361)
....or they could take on, like, Kyle Kendrick's or Bartolo Colon's salary and NOT #### with the way these relief pitchers have been used for their entire professional careers.
   2. Cooper Nielson Posted: August 28, 2014 at 02:26 AM (#4780636)
I'm thinking the Tigers could work out trades for Doug Fister and Drew Smyly.
   3. Bhaakon Posted: August 28, 2014 at 03:44 AM (#4780640)

....or they could take on, like, Kyle Kendrick's or Bartolo Colon's salary and NOT #### with the way these relief pitchers have been used for their entire professional careers.


If we're talking about replacement level relievers here, long men and guys bouncing between the minors and majors, I'm not sure that it's terribly different than what they're already used to. Established veteran relievers might be comfortable in their cushy roles, but fringe guys always taking whatever major league innings they can get, however they can get them. No one is arguing for starting the game with your setup guy and having your closer throw the final three frames.

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