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Sunday, July 24, 2005


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» The Repressively Coping Chase Utley from Balls, Sticks,
Last evening, I mingled in the lower concourse of Citizen's Bank Park with three new friends, attempting to catch some air that might be even the slightest amount cooler than the air in our seats. Our discussion centered on baseball (occasionally it dr... [Read More]

» What's Up with Ryan Madson? from Balls, Sticks,
Was 2004 an aberration or are other factors at work in 2005? ... Plus, the Amazing Jason Weitzel. [Read More]


Jason: Just how much is Endy paying you? Just kidding. You are only getting one public semi-apology from me as per our discussion Friday night and Endy is not the subject.

Jason, what is the 'profile' of a reliever vs a starter? I'm asking it not sarcastically, but because I would like to know.

What's the first question I would ask? How intelligent is he? I think you have to be more intelligent to be a successful starter (doesn't mean relievers are stupid, of course). Think about it.
-You need to pace yourself, paying attention to weather and pitch count.
-You need to have a game plan, and execute against it for 6-8 innings, not 1.
-You need to be able to adjust your approach in mid-game, if some of your stuff isn't working, or the game situation changes.
-You need to understand that over the course of the game, you're probably going to lose a few matchups and give up some hits and maybe some runs. You can't let it bother you.
-You need to stay focused for 2 hours+

Relievers have other requirements, some physical and certainly some mental, and no less challenging than for starters. I'd be curious to know what the Phillies org. thinks these are when they are profiling their pitchers.


Goerge poses his usual good question. In the case of Ryan Madson, he hasn't been very effective for most of his recent outings and I don't think it has anything to do with his restlessness. Watching yesterday's game and listening to LA's commentary it is apparent Madson is having serious difficulties getting his curve over. Therefore, batters are laying off of it and sitting on his fastball, which accounts for the number of hits and runs he has given up of late.

In the case of starters generally, George's points about a game plan and adjustments have been raised in one form or another by me and nearly every blogger this season, especially but not exclusively regarding to Brett Myers.


As always, great points.

To your list, I would add "stuff" as the wild card asset, but pitchers that rely on just "stuff" tend to be inconsistent.

Stuff is what Padilla or someone like Daniel Cabrera gets by on, in spite of himself in the ways you mentioned. The best of the best - the Rockets and Schillings of the world - have everything you said, plus stuff. In general, I'd agree with your list, and also add stuff somewhere near the bottom.

I hesitate to say this, but it certainly seems true. Brito is Dominican, and the Phils tend to bring those guys along in a relief role, or eventually convert them to a reliever. Tejeda is an exception, but I don't believe the Phillies pictured him as anything more than a long reliever at this level, at least not this season.

The biggest example is Silva, who was a great starter with exceptional control in Reading, but the Phils thought of him as the potential future of closer. He only got to start one game in Philadelphia. Now look at him.

I look at a guy like Brito, who has flip-flopped between starter and reliever over his minor league career with success in both areas, and I'm not sure what I see, except lately, he's been lights out as a starter, horrible in relief.

The Phillies may be right that he projects better as reliever. I don't know. From what Jennings wrote, it certainly sounds like he's getting by on "stuff." Does he have everything else? That's what the Phils must determine.

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