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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Yankees’ Luis Severino headed for Tommy John surgery

It looks like the worst-case scenario for Luis Severino and the Yankees.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman said on Tuesday that team doctors have recommended Tommy John surgery for the 26-year-old right-hander.

Severino was shut down last week after feeling soreness in his forearm when throwing changeups, with the issue dating back to his final postseason start last year against the Astros. He was sent back to New York for a battery of tests, which revealed the extent of the troubling issue.

Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: February 26, 2020 at 08:13 AM | 41 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: injuries, yankees

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   1. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: February 25, 2020 at 04:03 PM (#5926404)
Cole, Tanaka and Happ, then there's a gap...
   2. bfan Posted: February 25, 2020 at 04:56 PM (#5926414)
There would be a substantial hole, if they had not signed Cole.
   3. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 25, 2020 at 05:05 PM (#5926416)
Cole, Tanaka and Happ, then there's a gap...
Jordan Montgomery, who came back from his 2018 Tommy John surgery at the tail end of last season, looks likely to man a rotation spot, or get every chance to lose it.
   4. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 25, 2020 at 05:26 PM (#5926419)
Jordan Montgomery, who came back from his 2018 Tommy John surgery at the tail end of last season, looks likely to man a rotation spot, or get every chance to lose it.
That doesn't rhyme at all.

Maybe you mean that Jordan Montgomery looks up-and-comery?
   5. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 25, 2020 at 05:48 PM (#5926423)
Maybe you mean that Jordan Montgomery looks up-and-comery?


Jordan Montgomery? Get thee to a nunnery!
   6. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 25, 2020 at 06:18 PM (#5926426)
Cole, Tanaka, Happ, Montgomery are all the Yankees have, in summary.
   7. Howie Menckel Posted: February 25, 2020 at 06:54 PM (#5926433)
Severino signed his contract 12 months ago, just before (?) he got hurt.

think he knew something?


2019: $4M + $2M bonus for 12 IP
2020: $10M - 0 IP
2021: $10.25M - under 100 IP?
2022: $11M - pray for 150 IP?
2023 (club option): $15M with $2.75M buyout - seems doubtful at the moment
   8. Do Not Touch Fancy Pants Socially Distanced Handle Posted: February 25, 2020 at 08:13 PM (#5926439)
Severino signed his contract 12 months ago, just before (?) he got hurt.

think he knew something?

It's possible, he did have a rough second half in 2018. So maybe something was up. But I think it is pretty irresponsible to speculate, without knowing more for certain. Pitchers get hurt all of the time. Pre-arb players sign team-friendly extensions all the time. Severino hadn't really been paid any real money to that point. Most likely he just wanted to lock in $40m, while still giving himself a chance for a big payday by reaching FA before 30.
   9. PreservedFish Posted: February 25, 2020 at 09:18 PM (#5926444)
Cole and Tanaka, and, um, maybe the game will be postponed due to piracy in the Straits of Malacca.
   10. Mayor Blomberg Posted: February 25, 2020 at 10:17 PM (#5926452)
Well, he fit perfectly into Michael Pineda's slot.
   11. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 25, 2020 at 10:22 PM (#5926453)
Did the Yankees build their Spring Training complex on an Indian burial ground or something?

The last 18 months of health makes the LOL Mets look like the Mayo clinic.
   12. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: February 25, 2020 at 10:32 PM (#5926456)
For a minute there I thought that we were watching a young hall of famer in Severino. I no longer think that.
   13. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 25, 2020 at 10:39 PM (#5926457)
For a minute there I thought that we were watching a young hall of famer in Severino. I no longer think that.

I'm fairly certain I prefer the old days of "let them throw 275 innings and see who breaks". They all break anyway.
   14. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 25, 2020 at 10:56 PM (#5926458)
think he knew something?
More than the team’s medical staff? Not likely, although he should have weighed the possibility that like any pitcher, he could have been 1 pitch away from injury.
   15. Do Not Touch Fancy Pants Socially Distanced Handle Posted: February 25, 2020 at 11:20 PM (#5926463)
I'm fairly certain I prefer the old days of "let them throw 275 innings and see who breaks". They all break anyway.

The main reason pitchers no longer pitch in the mid-to-high 200s anymore has almost nothing to do with them breaking, or trying to prevent it. It's mostly that random middle relivers are better, than tired SPs, going third and fourth time through the order. And on top of that, you would have to make starters pace themselves somewhat, so you make them less effective on their first two times as well. The math just doesn't add up.
   16. Dr. Vaux Posted: February 25, 2020 at 11:42 PM (#5926467)
Indeed, we could go back to complete games, but they'd be 6-7 run complete games, on days when the starter pitched well. Against '60s lineups hitting with '60s strategy, today's starters could coast to 300-inning seasons at least as well as '60s starters did; probably better.(Not necessarily better, because I think one of the things that broke the game was that hitting ability and strategy advanced much further much faster than pitching ability and strategy.)
   17. Howie Menckel Posted: February 25, 2020 at 11:44 PM (#5926468)
telling headline here from August

For Decades, Relievers Pitched Better Than Starters. Not Anymore.

"For more than 40 years, relievers had outperformed starters on a per-inning basis. But this season, through Wednesday [late August], starters’ ERA is 0.02 points lower than that of relievers. Starters have not posted an ERA superior to that of relievers since 1973, but that gap has shrunk rapidly, and this year it could be potentially erased. As recently as 2012, the overall ERA of relievers was half a run better than that of starting pitchers."

"The times, they are a-changing...."
   18. bbmck Posted: February 26, 2020 at 12:20 AM (#5926472)
Among active players, most pitWAR at Age 23-24:

13.2 - Clayton Kershaw 461 IP, 156 ERA+, 63 OPS+
13.1 - Felix Hernandez 488.1 IP, 172 ERA+, 64 OPS+
12.2 - Chris Sale 406.1 IP, 138 ERA+, 75 OPS+
10.2 - Luis Severino 384.2 IP, 137 ERA+, 69 OPS+
9.1 - Carlos Martinez 375 IP, 132 ERA+, 85 OPS+

The other active pitchers with 400+ IP at Age 23-24:

8.3 - Cole Hamels 410.2 IP, 138 ERA+, 75 OPS+
7.9 - Madison Bumgarner 418.2 IP, 120 ERA+, 80 OPS+
5.8 - Julio Teheran 421.2 IP, 107 ERA+, 96 OPS+
5.0 - Trevor Cahill 407.2 IP, 102 ERA+, 99 OPS+

400+ IP at Age 23-24 by year of debut:

19th century: 89
1901-10: 35
1911-20: 28
1921-30: 17
1931-40: 9 - Hal Hewhouser 625.2, Hal Schumacher 558.2, Van Mungo 529.2, Hugh Mulcahy 483, Early Wynn 464.1, Orval Grove 451, Russ Bauers 430.2, Al Javery 421.2, Elden Auker 400

1941-50: 10 - Robin Roberts 619.1, Dave Ferriss 538.2, Don Newcombe 511.2, Ned Garver 483.2, Ewell Blackwell 467.1, Billy Pierce 459.2, Bob Rush 455.2, Curt Simmons 439.1, Johnny Antonelli 434, Herm Wehmeier 414.2
1951-60: 23
1961-70: 37
1971-80: 23
1981-90: 22 including 1984 Roger Clemens 535.2 and Bret Saberhagen 517.2 the most recent debuts with 500+ IP
1991-00: 14 - Brad Radke 471.2, Mark Buehrle 469.1, Barry Zito 443.2, Javier Vazquez 441.1, Ryan Dempster 437.2, Mark Mulder 436.2, Livan Hernandez 434, Jeff Weaver 429.1, Pedro Martinez 411.1, Mike Mussina 408.2, Jon Garland 408.2, Eric Milton 406.1, Joel Pineiro 406, Kevin Millwood 402.1

Debut since 2001 and Dontrelle Willis 459.2, Ben Sheets 437.1, Matt Cain 435.1, Carlos Zambrano 433 and Mat Latos 403.2 are inactive along with 6 of the above for 11 during 2001-10 and Teheran in 2011.
   19. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: February 26, 2020 at 12:46 AM (#5926474)
Indeed, we could go back to complete games, but they'd be 6-7 run complete games, on days when the starter pitched well. Against '60s lineups hitting with '60s strategy, today's starters could coast to 300-inning seasons at least as well as '60s starters did; probably better.(Not necessarily better, because I think one of the things that broke the game was that hitting ability and strategy advanced much further much faster than pitching ability and strategy.)

Top starters pitched 240-270 innings through the height of Sillyball, so I find it hard to believe they couldn't handle that kind of load today without giving up six runs on their best days.
   20. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: February 26, 2020 at 01:11 AM (#5926477)
For Decades, Relievers Pitched Better Than Starters. Not Anymore.

Does that mean we've finally reached the point where 8 relievers aren't adding value overall, or is it an evolution of strategy where bullpens have their 4 good relievers who only pitch to hold a lead and 4 lesser relievers who only exist so the manager doesn't have to "waste" innings from the first pool in losing games?

I would guess the explosion of position players pitching in blowouts where the manager doesn't even want to "waste" innings from his low-leverage pool of arms still doesn't encompass enough innings to make a difference at the league level.
   21. bobm Posted: February 26, 2020 at 01:39 AM (#5926478)
[17]

Relievers' ERA ended up under starters' for the full 2019

For single team seasons, From 1904 to 2019, All Teams in Major Leagues, as Reliever (within Pitching Role), sorted by greatest difference between for this split and the overall total

                                    
Split         Year  ERA ERAtot  Diff
as Reliever   2019 4.46   4.51 -0.05
as Reliever   2018 4.08   4.15 -0.07
as Reliever   2017 4.15   4.36 -0.21
as Reliever   2016 3.93   4.19 -0.26
as Reliever   2015 3.71   3.96 -0.25
as Reliever   2014 3.58   3.74 -0.16
as Reliever   2013 3.59   3.87 -0.28
as Reliever   2012 3.67   4.01 -0.34
as Reliever   2011 3.69   3.94 -0.25
as Reliever   2010 3.93   4.08 -0.15
as Reliever   2009 4.08   4.32 -0.24
as Reliever   2008 4.10   4.32 -0.22
as Reliever   2007 4.19   4.47 -0.28
as Reliever   2006 4.22   4.53 -0.31
as Reliever   2005 4.14   4.29 -0.15
as Reliever   2004 4.17   4.46 -0.29
as Reliever   2003 4.16   4.40 -0.24
as Reliever   2002 4.03   4.28 -0.25
as Reliever   2001 4.12   4.42 -0.30
as Reliever   2000 4.58   4.77 -0.19
as Reliever   1999 4.48   4.71 -0.23
as Reliever   1998 4.19   4.43 -0.24
as Reliever   1997 4.26   4.39 -0.13
as Reliever   1996 4.37   4.61 -0.24
as Reliever   1995 4.30   4.45 -0.15
as Reliever   1994 4.43   4.51 -0.08
as Reliever   1993 4.04   4.19 -0.15
as Reliever   1992 3.52   3.75 -0.23
as Reliever   1991 3.69   3.91 -0.22
as Reliever   1990 3.62   3.86 -0.24
as Reliever   1989 3.41   3.71 -0.30
as Reliever   1988 3.54   3.73 -0.19
as Reliever   1987 4.06   4.29 -0.23
as Reliever   1986 3.77   3.97 -0.20
as Reliever   1985 3.75   3.89 -0.14
as Reliever   1984 3.47   3.81 -0.34
as Reliever   1983 3.59   3.87 -0.28
as Reliever   1982 3.43   3.86 -0.43
as Reliever   1981 3.37   3.58 -0.21
as Reliever   1980 3.54   3.84 -0.30
as Reliever   1979 3.85   4.00 -0.15
as Reliever   1978 3.61   3.69 -0.08
as Reliever   1977 3.73   4.00 -0.27
as Reliever   1976 3.42   3.51 -0.09
as Reliever   1975 3.47   3.71 -0.24
as Reliever   1974 3.52   3.63 -0.11
as Reliever   1973 3.71   3.75 -0.04
as Reliever   1972 3.23   3.27 -0.04
as Reliever   1971 3.39   3.47 -0.08
as Reliever   1970 3.79   3.89 -0.10
as Reliever   1969 3.65   3.61  0.04
as Reliever   1968 3.00   2.98  0.02
as Reliever   1967 3.21   3.31 -0.10
as Reliever   1966 3.42   3.52 -0.10
as Reliever   1965 3.31   3.50 -0.19
as Reliever   1964 3.40   3.58 -0.18
as Reliever   1963 3.44   3.46 -0.02
as Reliever   1962 3.78   3.96 -0.18
as Reliever   1961 3.88   4.03 -0.15
as Reliever   1960 3.65   3.81 -0.16
as Reliever   1959 3.91   3.90  0.01
as Reliever   1958 3.75   3.86 -0.11
as Reliever   1957 3.80   3.83 -0.03
as Reliever   1956 3.84   3.97 -0.13
as Reliever   1955 3.96   4.00 -0.04
as Reliever   1954 4.06   3.90  0.16
as Reliever   1953 4.28   4.15  0.13
as Reliever   1952 3.62   3.70 -0.08
as Reliever   1951 4.02   4.06 -0.04
as Reliever   1950 4.55   4.36  0.19
as Reliever   1949 4.30   4.13  0.17
as Reliever   1948 4.25   4.13  0.12
as Reliever   1947 4.05   3.91  0.14
as Reliever   1946 3.67   3.47  0.20
as Reliever   1945 3.81   3.59  0.22
as Reliever   1944 3.56   3.53  0.03
as Reliever   1943 3.58   3.34  0.24
as Reliever   1942 3.33   3.49 -0.16
as Reliever   1941 3.72   3.89 -0.17
as Reliever   1940 4.34   4.12  0.22
as Reliever   1939 4.29   4.26  0.03
as Reliever   1938 4.22   4.29 -0.07
as Reliever   1937 4.49   4.27  0.22
as Reliever   1936 4.65   4.53  0.12
as Reliever   1935 4.55   4.24  0.31
as Reliever   1934 4.41   4.28  0.13
as Reliever   1933 4.16   3.80  0.36
as Reliever   1932 4.29   4.19  0.10
as Reliever   1931 4.51   4.12  0.39
as Reliever   1930 5.25   4.83  0.42
as Reliever   1929 4.90   4.49  0.41
as Reliever   1928 4.21   4.04  0.17
as Reliever   1927 4.06   4.00  0.06
as Reliever   1926 3.89   3.92 -0.03
as Reliever   1925 4.63   4.32  0.31
as Reliever   1924 4.12   4.05  0.07
as Reliever   1923 4.38   3.99  0.39
as Reliever   1922 4.38   4.08  0.30
as Reliever   1921 4.22   4.07  0.15
as Reliever   1920 3.95   3.50  0.45
as Reliever   1919 3.26   3.08  0.18
as Reliever   1918 2.91   2.78  0.13
as Reliever   1917 2.83   2.69  0.14
as Reliever   1916 2.89   2.72  0.17
as Reliever   1915 3.09   2.91  0.18
as Reliever   1914 3.10   2.91  0.19
as Reliever   1913 3.43   3.07  0.36
as Reliever   1912 2.24   1.89  0.35
as Reliever   1911 0.53   0.56 -0.03
as Reliever   1910    0      0     0
as Reliever   1909    0      0     0
as Reliever   1908    0      0     0
as Reliever   1907    0      0     0
as Reliever   1906    0      0     0
as Reliever   1905    0      0     0
as Reliever   1904 1.84   1.31  0.53


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/26/2020.
   22. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 26, 2020 at 01:43 AM (#5926479)
I'm fairly certain I prefer the old days
Ya think?
   23. bobm Posted: February 26, 2020 at 01:49 AM (#5926481)
I would guess the explosion of position players pitching in blowouts where the manager doesn't even want to "waste" innings from his low-leverage pool of arms still doesn't encompass enough innings to make a difference at the league level.

This was something like 450 PA in 2019. Not a big deal.
   24. PreservedFish Posted: February 26, 2020 at 08:12 AM (#5926486)
Did the Yankees build their Spring Training complex on an Indian burial ground or something?


Having seen and read Pet Sematary, I can state with some conviction that Indian burial grounds can be double-edged swords. This is as good an explanation as any for the inhuman, enhanced zombie-like performances of Cameron Maybin, Gio Urshela, DJ LeMahieu, etc.
   25. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 26, 2020 at 09:22 AM (#5926490)

I wonder how the use of openers affects those SP vs. RP numbers.

Does that mean we've finally reached the point where 8 relievers aren't adding value overall, or is it an evolution of strategy where bullpens have their 4 good relievers who only pitch to hold a lead and 4 lesser relievers who only exist so the manager doesn't have to "waste" innings from the first pool in losing games?

The below numbers still indicate to me that RP are better than SP in the situations where you're actually making the tradeoff:

Split AVG/OBP/SLG/OPS
1st PA in G, as SP .245/.311/.419/.730 (4858 PA)
2nd PA in G, as SP .261/.324/.452/.776 (4598 PA)
3rd PA in G, as SP .269 .330/.474/.803 (4074 PA)
4th+ PA in G, as SP .249/.297/.412/.709 (754 PA)
1st PA in G, as RP .245/.326/.418/.744 (4813 PA)
2nd PA in G, as RP .276/.337/.493/.830 (902 PA)
3rd+ PA in G, as RP .302/.353/.517/.870 (128 PA)

So on the whole, it still seems like reliever usage is still beneficial. But we may very well be at the point where the incremental reliever being added to your staff is worse than simply spreading those innings over your existing pitchers, or the incremental inning being shifted from starters to relievers is worse than simply letting the starter pitch it.
   26. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: February 26, 2020 at 09:37 AM (#5926491)
Top starters pitched 240-270 innings through the height of Sillyball, so I find it hard to believe they couldn't handle that kind of load today without giving up six runs on their best days.

But those guys came up with the expectation of higher workloads and were trained for them, unlike today's starters.
   27. Rally Posted: February 26, 2020 at 09:53 AM (#5926496)
"For more than 40 years, relievers had outperformed starters on a per-inning basis. But this season, through Wednesday [late August], starters’ ERA is 0.02 points lower than that of relievers. Starters have not posted an ERA superior to that of relievers since 1973, but that gap has shrunk rapidly, and this year it could be potentially erased. As recently as 2012, the overall ERA of relievers was half a run better than that of starting pitchers."


I think we've pushed that trend as far as we can. Take away innings from starters and give more to relievers, but we aren't giving more to Chapman, Yates, Jansen, and Doolittle. Those guys are still getting about 60 innings a year. Maybe it works to transfer innings from a tired starter to your 7th or 8th best reliever, but when you get down to the 10th or 11th guy (thanks to creative roster management), at some point maybe a tired starter is better.
   28. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 26, 2020 at 12:04 PM (#5926534)
Creative roster management for relievers will go down a bit with the rules changes. If it will have a perceivable impact I do not know.
   29. DCA Posted: February 26, 2020 at 01:01 PM (#5926554)
I wonder how the use of openers affects those SP vs. RP numbers.

This. Stanek and others were getting RP usage, just at the beginning of games. The bulk guys backing up the openers didn't quite have starter workloads, but definitely were going longer than even traditional long relief. And then there's a 3 IP hybrid type starter than might become a thing (see Daniel Norris workload in the second half).
   30. PreservedFish Posted: February 26, 2020 at 01:29 PM (#5926558)
I think we've pushed that trend as far as we can.


Doubt it.
   31. Karl from NY Posted: February 26, 2020 at 02:57 PM (#5926588)
For Decades, Relievers Pitched Better Than Starters. Not Anymore.

This means teams are doing it correctly, right? If relievers perform better than starters, then teams should continue to replace starter-innings with decreasingly good reliever-innings until they are equal.
   32. Nasty Nate Posted: February 26, 2020 at 03:52 PM (#5926600)
 11. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 25, 2020 at 10:22 PM (#5926453)
Did the Yankees build their Spring Training complex on an Indian burial ground or something?
Stanton injury just announced.
   33. Walt Davis Posted: February 26, 2020 at 03:54 PM (#5926602)
#31 pretty much has it. Number of relief innings have gone up, innings by individual relievers has stayed about the same. So they kept adding innings by inferior pitchers until achieving a balance. That does suggest no obvious reason to further increase reliever innings although there are other things they could try -- start pushing good relievers to more innings; a 4-man, 18-batter per start rotation.

I don't think openers are used often enough yet to matter when it comes to ERA -- they aren't pitching many innings so no affecting that ERA much; the "2nd act" is maybe pulling the reliever ERA down a bit (err pushing it up). The opener strategy might be messing up IP/start. Anyway, somebody should be keeping count and whoevver decides on split categories has some thinking to do.
   34. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 26, 2020 at 03:58 PM (#5926604)

This means teams are doing it correctly, right? If relievers perform better than starters, then teams should continue to replace starter-innings with decreasingly good reliever-innings until they are equal.

Not necessarily. You want to keep replacing starter innings with relief innings until the marginal relief inning is equal to the marginal starter inning that it's replacing. If you're at the point where *total* relief ERA = *total* starter ERA, then you've probably gone quite a bit too far.
   35. Karl from NY Posted: February 26, 2020 at 04:10 PM (#5926608)
Right, I was speaking about quality of the innings context-neutrally in the abstract, not as measured by ERA. ERA isn't the right metric because it's context-dependent on mid-inning changes: a runner allowed by the starter with 0 outs is more likely to score than a runner allowed by the reliever with 2 outs.
   36. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 26, 2020 at 04:30 PM (#5926621)
Stanton injury just announced.

Opening Day in jeopardy for Stanton (calf strain)
The Yankees were hit with another big injury on Wednesday, as manager Aaron Boone told reporters that slugger Giancarlo Stanton sustained a Grade 1 strain of his right calf.

Stanton will be “up against it” in terms of returning by Opening Day, Boone said. The Yankees star began feeling the injury at the end of his workout on Tuesday, and an MRI exam revealed the strain on Wednesday morning. ...
   37. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 26, 2020 at 04:33 PM (#5926622)

#35, that's not what I was talking point, but inherited runners are a point worth considering.
   38. Karl from NY Posted: February 26, 2020 at 04:40 PM (#5926626)
Oh, I see what you mean now. The shape of the distribution of reliever innings may be different than that of starter innings. What you care about isn't the total performance across each distribution, it's that of the marginal inning of each type.
   39. PreservedFish Posted: February 26, 2020 at 04:41 PM (#5926627)
I think that as teams become more tolerant of blowout losses, and more likely to cut their losses early in any one game, and as they continue to increasingly leverage the performance bonus you get from shorter outings, we might see a new heyday of the mop-up man. In recent years, this role has been filled by the fungible loser that gets demoted with a phantom injury immediately after throwing his 4 innings, to be replaced by another fungible loser. But with the death of the 10-day IL, it will more often fall to one man to mop up multiple games in succession. Perhaps a new breed of totally mediocre but rubber-armed pitcher will find his calling?
   40. Karl from NY Posted: February 26, 2020 at 04:53 PM (#5926637)
Perhaps a new breed of totally mediocre but rubber-armed pitcher will find his calling?

Tim Wakefield can probably still do this.
   41. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 26, 2020 at 06:19 PM (#5926666)
Oh, I see what you mean now. The shape of the distribution of reliever innings may be different than that of starter innings. What you care about isn't the total performance across each distribution, it's that of the marginal inning of each type.

No, my point is regardless of the shape of the distribution.

In 2017, starters threw 26,787 IP with a 4.49 ERA, while relievers threw 16,470 IP with a 4.15 ERA (a 0.34 differential)

In 2019, starters threw 25,158 IP with a 4.54 ERA, while relievers threw 18,266 IP with a 4.46 ERA (a 0.08 differential)

If you look at the differences, you'll see that from 2017-2019, we basically gave up 1,630 starter innings with a 3.71 ERA, and added 1,796 relief innings with a 7.33 ERA. That's a terrible tradeoff! (I think those numbers exaggerate the tradeoff -- I'm sure that the starter IP that we are giving up are worse than that, for example. But still, those numbers give you some indication that we're moving in the wrong direction.)

In #31, you wrote:

This means teams are doing it correctly, right? If relievers perform better than starters, then teams should continue to replace starter-innings with decreasingly good reliever-innings until they are equal.


Relievers perform better than starters in aggregate, but at this point the marginal relief innings we are adding are likely worse than the starting pitcher innings that they are replacing. Maybe much worse. You want to stop shifting work to bullpens when the marginal relief inning that you're adding is equal to the starter inning that it's replacing.

I mean, if you take away another 1,600 starter innings with a 4.00 ERA and replace those with relief innings at a 6.00 ERA, the result would be that SP ERA would be equal to RP ERA at 4.58. But you'd have replaced good innings with bad ones, and you'd have increased the overall league ERA from 4.51 to 4.58. Again, that's a bad tradeoff.

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