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Sunday, September 24, 2017

Francona ... points to Tomlin in rotation for ALDS

Francona: Clevinger going to bullpen “to be a weapon.” Indians leaning toward 4-man rotation for ALDS.

Francona didn’t name the 4th starter, but sure points to Tomlin in rotation for ALDS, if Game 4 needed. Team still weighing Salazar’s role.

I can’t imagine a possible downside to using the pitcher with the second highest active home run per nine rate in Yankee Stadium against a team that is just a couple home runs off the league lead.

cmd600 Posted: September 24, 2017 at 05:51 PM | 20 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: genius, homers, indians, postseason

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: September 25, 2017 at 10:39 PM (#5538856)
That looks highly questionable to me ... but it's possible that Terry Francona knows even more about managing and his own players than I do!

If they didn't have the killer pen with the multi-inning threat of Miller (and McAllister in less important situations), I could see putting Clevinger into a Miller-type role. But they don't need him in the pen I don't think and we're talking about a guy with a 146 OPS+ vs one with a 92. Granted, the FIPs are much closer but it's still a .24 run edge for Clevinger. I'm not sure there's a good reason to prefer Bauer over Clevinger. I suppose the plan might be 3-4 innings out of Tomlin and 4-5 out of Bauer with Clevinger/Salazar innings bridging the gap to Miller et al. By peripherals/FIP, the four are reasonably interchangeable.
   2. cmd600 Posted: September 25, 2017 at 11:28 PM (#5538878)
I suppose the plan might be 3-4 innings out of Tomlin and 4-5 out of Bauer with Clevinger/Salazar innings bridging the gap


I'm hoping that Tomlin being named the starter is just a tip of the cap to a veteran that Francona plays cards with everyday, and none of these guys gets more than two turns through the lineup, preferably more like one and change. Allen, Miller, Smith, Shaw, Olson, and Goody (McAllister may not even make the postseason roster) should all be much better on a per inning basis than the Indians depth of the rotation.
   3. Dr. Vaux Posted: September 26, 2017 at 12:56 AM (#5538897)
makes . . . no . . . sense

Unless it's a clever way of not having to feel obligated to leave starters besides the top two in games past the first time through the order. But the problem there is that Clevinger has actually been good all year. Isn't there a point where putting your obviously third-best starter in the bullpen causes grumbling even among veterans? Tomlin isn't exactly a former superstar.
   4. PreservedFish Posted: September 26, 2017 at 08:52 AM (#5538929)
Per Fangraphs Clevinger has been their 4th best starter (behind Bauer) and there's not much that separates him from Tomlin or Salazar. ZiPS rest of season projection doesn't see much of a difference either, except that it greatly prefers Salazar to the other two guys.
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 26, 2017 at 09:15 AM (#5538944)
I'm hoping that Tomlin being named the starter is just a tip of the cap to a veteran that Francona plays cards with everyday, and none of these guys gets more than two turns through the lineup, preferably more like one and change.

This seems like a disasterous strategy. If you're only getting 3-5 IP out of every non-Kluber SP, your bullpen will be running on fumes before the ALCS is half-over.

You've got to plan on your SPs going 6, and maybe 7 if you have a decent lead. You want the bullpen depth to pull someone early to keep a game close, while only using good RPs. But if you're asking them for 5 IP every night, your best 4 RPs are going to be exhausted very quickly.
   6. Greg Pope Posted: September 26, 2017 at 09:29 AM (#5538952)
Right. Miller was gassed by the time the World Series rolled around. It seems like the bullpen usage in the playoffs has gotten out of hand. Every game is treated like the 7th game of the World Series, with starters being pulled in the 4th inning and closers going multiple innings. Those have gone from desperation moves to standard procedure.
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 26, 2017 at 09:34 AM (#5538957)
Right. Miller was gassed by the time the World Series rolled around. It seems like the bullpen usage in the playoffs has gotten out of hand. Every game is treated like the 7th game of the World Series, with starters being pulled in the 4th inning and closers going multiple innings. Those have gone from desperation moves to standard procedure.

There's a place for it. Say you score 5 runs early, and then in the 3rd inning your SP gives up 2, and puts a couple more one. Yeah, go to the pen. Preserve the lead.

But, if you've got a fairly unremarkable 2-1, or 3-2 game either way going into the 5th or 6th, let your starter pitch, unless something's wrong with him.
   8. PreservedFish Posted: September 26, 2017 at 09:34 AM (#5538958)
The Indians do have 6 relievers that have been totally money this year.

Miller was gassed by the time the World Series rolled around.

He really helped them get there though.
   9. PreservedFish Posted: September 26, 2017 at 09:44 AM (#5538970)
I wouldn't be surprised if Tito expects Clevinger and Tomlin to pitch the same number of innings. You're looking at Tomlin going 5 innings in one start, whereas Clevinger will be the ace swingman.
   10. SoSH U at work Posted: September 26, 2017 at 09:54 AM (#5538986)

Right. Miller was gassed by the time the World Series rolled around. It seems like the bullpen usage in the playoffs has gotten out of hand. Every game is treated like the 7th game of the World Series, with starters being pulled in the 4th inning and closers going multiple innings. Those have gone from desperation moves to standard procedure.


He really helped them get there though.

Tito totally completely mismanaged his staff in the 2016 postseason, and likely cost them the World Series as a result.
   11. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 26, 2017 at 09:58 AM (#5538992)
Tito totally completely mismanaged his staff in the 2016 postseason, and likely cost them the World Series as a result.

Using Miller for 2 innings with a 6 run lead, with a 2-1 series lead, was inexcusable.
   12. PreservedFish Posted: September 26, 2017 at 10:06 AM (#5539001)
Yeah that was hella dumb, but that's dumb always, doesn't really speak to this decision, which may well be predicated on getting more reliable arms into the bullpen.
   13. Greg Pope Posted: September 26, 2017 at 10:12 AM (#5539003)

Using Miller for 2 innings with a 6 run lead, with a 2-1 series lead, was inexcusable


As was Maddon's use of Chapman. That's my point, they play every game as if it was game 7.
   14. SoSH U at work Posted: September 26, 2017 at 10:13 AM (#5539007)
Using Miller for 2 innings with a 6 run lead, with a 2-1 series lead, was inexcusable.


Tito managed the postseason with trust in only six pitchers, only three of whom truly merited that kind of confidence. He kept pushing his starters to throw on short rest, despite leading in every series. Yes, I know his starting staff was thinned due to late-season injuries, but he managed the last two series out of panic.

I understand, and don't fully object to, trying to stretch a great pitcher like Kluber in a 7-game set when your No. 4 is a question mark (but sending him back out for the fifth after already yielding three runs in game 7 was madness). But someday managers have to realize that throwing pitches on shorter rest than they do all season when those players are their most worn down is going to deliver lousy results.

Starting pitchers on full or extended rest in the 2016 postseason threw 287.1 innings at a 3.73 ERA. Starters on short rest threw 40 innings at 6.08 ERA, a number which included the effective relief outings of Kershaw, Lester and Bauer. As starters, the ERA of short-rest pitchers was 6.56 (and, keep in mind, most short-rest starts are going to be the best pitchers).

The difference was even more dramatic for the Tribe. Indian starting pitchers on full or greater rest in the playoffs threw 52.66 innings of 1.54 ERA; their short-rest guys delivered 22.33 innings of 6.76 ERA.

Finally, it wasn't just starters. The six pitchers Tito trusted gave him 49.66 IP, at a 3.81 ERA. The guys he could only use in low-leverage situations provided 13.3 IP at a 3.38 ERA. That included his ALCS Game 5 emergency starter, Ryan Merritt, who threw four shutout innings in the clincher then didn't pitch again.

What's odd was this was not how Tito managed in the 2007 postseason. Trailing the Tribe 2-1, he could have sent out his ace Beckett to start Game 4, but he opted not to. And the Sox rallied from a 3-1 deficit to win the series.
   15. PreservedFish Posted: September 26, 2017 at 10:25 AM (#5539024)
Savage takedown.
   16. Jesse Barfield's Right Arm Posted: September 26, 2017 at 11:17 AM (#5539106)
This seems like a disasterous strategy. If you're only getting 3-5 IP out of every non-Kluber SP


Carlos Carrasco has to mentioned here; he's not going 3-5 with a quick hook. Non-Kluber means a very different thing in 2017 than 2016.
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 26, 2017 at 11:29 AM (#5539121)
Carlos Carrasco has to mentioned here; he's not going 3-5 with a quick hook. Non-Kluber means a very different thing in 2017 than 2016.

True. But Bauer, Clevinger, and Salazar are quality arms too. On any given day they probably have a 40% chance of pitching better than Kluber and Carrasco.

Manage to how the pitcher is pitching that day, not to his season stats or reputation.
   18. cmd600 Posted: September 26, 2017 at 03:33 PM (#5539416)
You've got to plan on your SPs going 6, and maybe 7 if you have a decent lead. You want the bullpen depth to pull someone early to keep a game close, while only using good RPs. But if you're asking them for 5 IP every night, your best 4 RPs are going to be exhausted very quickly.


The Indians have six relievers with a sub 3.00 ERA, are moving the 3.13 ERA Clevinger to the bullpen, and the last two guys are Bryan Shaw and Joe Smith, both considered reliable relievers. After Kluber and Carrasco, their bullpen depth, even those guys outside the top four, are better on a per inning basis than their rotation depth. Planning on six innings from guys like Bauer and Tomlin (or Salazar or Clevinger for that matter) at the expense of that deep bullpen is foolish. Third time through the order penalty is very real.
   19. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 26, 2017 at 03:40 PM (#5539423)
The Indians have six relievers with a sub 3.00 ERA, are moving the 3.13 ERA Clevinger to the bullpen, and the last two guys are Bryan Shaw and Joe Smith, both considered reliable relievers. After Kluber and Carrasco, their bullpen depth, even those guys outside the top four, are better on a per inning basis than their rotation depth. Planning on six innings from guys like Bauer and Tomlin (or Salazar or Clevinger for that matter) at the expense of that deep bullpen is foolish. Third time through the order penalty is very real.

Third time through the order penalty is real, but Dan Otero, Nick Goody, and Zach McAllister are not actually good pitchers. They all way outperformed their FIP, and have no history of consistency. Anyone can do anything in 50 IP.
   20. cmd600 Posted: September 26, 2017 at 04:31 PM (#5539462)
but Dan Otero, Nick Goody, and Zach McAllister are not actually good pitchers.


Projected ERAs over at Fangraphs - 3.75, 3.75, 3.90. The four depth starters for Cleveland: Salazar - 3.75, Bauer - 4.22, Clevinger 4.46, Tomlin 4.53. Relievers five through seven for the Indians are better than starts three through six, especially when you get around to that order the third time.

The Yankees have similar numbers, with guys like Green, Holder, and Shreve all having projected ERA better than the non-Severino rotation options. Both teams should liberally be using their bullpens.

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