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Friday, August 10, 2012

Neyer: Giants Turn To Closer-By-Committee, Rationalists Rejoice

Bruce Bochy using that big head!

[The Giants] opened the season with a set closer, Brian Wilson. He got hurt. They turned to Santiago Casilla. He converted 19 of his first 20 save opportunities, but in his last 17 outings he’s given up 13 runs in 12⅔ innings. So Casilla’s been demoted to pseudo-setup duties. And while some managers would simply have turned to Sergio Romo—one of baseball’s best relief pitchers since joining the Giants in 2008—Giants manager Bruce Bochy is trying something unorthodox…

[Bochy said] “When we get down to the last six outs, it’ll be [Sergio] Romo and [Jeremy] Affeldt and [Javier] Lopez, and if they need a break, it’ll be the other guys.”

There are some big X-factors here. One, you really want (and maybe) need buy-in from the pitchers. Affeldt has expressed disdain for such an arrangement in the past, but is saying all the right things now. And two, you really want a manager who knows the right moves to make… the Giants might have both elements: happy pitchers and adept manager. But still the inertia is strongly the other way. All it takes is two or three straight rough outings by one of the co-closers, and the manager, whoever he is, will probably simply go with the guy who’s been pitching well lately.

Even as clubs have gotten smarter about the numbers, they’ve gotten dumber about relief pitchers, reading more and more and more into smaller and smaller and smaller sample sizes, which is why clubs are now using literally dozens of different relievers over the course of a season. Here’s a news flash: THEY’RE NOT REALLY AS BAD AS YOU THINK.

More on this subject some other time, though. For now, let’s just hope Bochy stays with this for a while. Life’s more interesting when managers are actually using their minds.

The District Attorney Posted: August 10, 2012 at 11:48 PM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: brian wilson, bruce bochy, giants, javier lopez, jeremy affeldt, santiago casilla, sergio romo, strategy

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: August 11, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4206080)
THEY’RE NOT REALLY AS BAD AS YOU THINK.

They're not as good as we think either....see Ryan Cook, All-Star, or that Casilla who saved 19 of 20.
   2. Justin T is going to crush some tacos Thursday Posted: August 11, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4206143)
NEYER: I Have Had No New Thoughts Since 2002
   3. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: August 11, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4206145)
that's not fair to Neyer, his thoughts about those who offer aid and succor to enablers of child molestation has surely changed!
   4. Copronymus Posted: August 11, 2012 at 06:07 PM (#4206451)
I kind of hope someone like, say, Rosenthal defends Neyer so then every thread about something Rosenthal writes can turn into a fight about whether Rosenthal was right to defend Neyer's defense of Bill James's defense of Joe Paterno's conduct toward Sandusky. Perhaps the chain can get longer and eventually the whole site can turn into recursive discussions of various people's reactions to other people's reactions to the Penn State scandal.
   5. Mayor Blomberg Posted: August 11, 2012 at 08:03 PM (#4206498)
I can't believe that Copronymus thinks people should be defending Sandusky.

How's that for a start?
   6. Bhaakon Posted: August 11, 2012 at 11:49 PM (#4206625)
I can't believe that Copronymus thinks people should be defending Sandusky.


It's right there in the sixth amendment.
   7. Tripon Posted: August 12, 2012 at 12:17 AM (#4206635)
Even as clubs have gotten smarter about the numbers, they’ve gotten dumber about relief pitchers, reading more and more and more into smaller and smaller and smaller sample sizes, which is why clubs are now using literally dozens of different relievers over the course of a season. Here’s a news flash: THEY’RE NOT REALLY AS BAD AS YOU THINK.


If relievers are fungible, then don't you want to cycle through a lot of relievers to find the best ones?

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