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Wednesday, April 02, 2014


Horsesh!t. They gave away a game they were capable of winning(and there won't be many of them) simply to see if Hollands could swim in the deep end of the pool.

It was akin to having a freshly scrubbed med school graduate perform brain surgery as his/her first operation.

Hollands gave up a bunt and threw out pitches to the Prince. Plus experience. Go Go Mario.

From ESPN:

Phillies SS Jimmy Rollins leaves team to be with wife, who is expected to give birth this week.

kuvasz - you speak as though Sandberg had far superior options. He did not.

JW to the rescue -- removing troll posts & then writing the thread header.

Given the reverse splits, I really don't understand using Mayberry over Howard.

Nice that Asche and Brown are back in the lineup, though.

Hollands would have had plenty of chances to debut in a slop/low leverage situation. Papelbon should have pitched the ninth AND it's troubling to think that the reason he didn't is that Sandberg buys into braindead thinking about how to use relievers.

BL rebirth???

Perhaps there's some reason for optimism this year after all!

Now, if only JW could do something about TBag's continued employment...

"Hollands gave up a bunt and threw out pitches to the Prince."

You can certainly make a case that using the only LH reliever left in your pen was the right call, with Choo & Fielder coming up. But please don't try to argue that Hollands did his job. He faced 3 batters, walked 2 of them, & retired the other one because the manager chose to bunt.

fumphis - What's the alternative? Use Pap in the 9th, and Hollands for the save?

Not a single manager in MLB uses his closer tied on the road in the 9th

And to the point of the header:

- I like that Ryne is "different" and trying some new things, and I'm willing to give him some rope. That said, I'm left scratching my head so far. Though he's clearly not as predictable as Cholly, I do get the same "manage based on guy" feel and that "Bastardo/8th inning guy" comment had me searching for my Pat Burrell shirsey.

- I can even get my head around a philosophy that says you should tinker early in the season to see what you have. However, it's not like these guys are fresh off the wagon. They have documented ceilings and it seems that Ryne is ignoring that to some extent. And he hasn't even used someone like DeFratus yet. Is it because that, in spite of limited MLB experience, he's a known commodity? Why not use that commodity when it can be leveraged?

- Hopefully the experience and learning the hard way benefits the likes of Hollands down that line, but are we willing to squander the season to do so, and if so, what exactly have we gained? We know that he might have some value in time for him to add that value to a very mediocre team. Are we trying to raise his trade value?

(still scratching my head)

Oh, and congrats to JRoll. Might I advise he avoid Twitter today and tomorrow's off day? And before the haters cast their stones, at least this is 4 or 5 AB's not going towards his vesting option, so there's that!

*"manage based on gut" (not "guy")

Just don't understand why the Phillies insist on making Mayberry at first a thing.

Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN)
Phils will use 24 man roster tonight. Could replace Rollins on Friday

I thought maybe Sandberg was making some creative changes when I saw the lineup last night, which I liked even if, individually, I didn't agree with a couple of them (well, mostly just Nix for Asche).

But now tonight, also against a lefty, he's gone back to Howard in the 4 spot and has Ruiz gitting second.

I don't mind Chooch in the 2-hole at all (frankly he should've been hitting near the top of the lineup for the last three years), but I sort of feel like these aren't "creative" changes so much as they are just blindly throwing crap at the wall.

Like, what possible justification is there for splitting the lefties last night but not tonight?

" What's the alternative? Use Pap in the 9th, and Hollands for the save?"

Oh boy, here we go again. YES! That was one better alternative. If he had used Papelbon there, maybe the Phillies score 4 runs in the top of the 10th & you don't even have a save situation later on. And even if you do have a future save situation, that means, by definition, that you have at least a 1-run lead, which provides a greater margin for error than a 0-run lead in the bottom of the 9th. You use your best reliever when the margin for error is at its lowest. It's pretty simple.

Jack: As far as I'm concerned, there's never a justification for not splitting the lefties. You're not splitting them because of the starting pitcher. You're splitting them because of the LOOGY who is going to come in later on.

That said, see my post at the end of the last thread about Robbie Ross's extreme (and I do mean extreme) reverse lefty-righty splits. So, if Sandberg does believe in splitting the lefties because of the starting pitcher, then it actually makes sense not to split them against this guy. Maybe Sandberg actually knows what a reverse split is. Cholly sure didn't.

BAP: The "save your closer for the save situation" argument seems to rest on a premise that it's somehow worse to lose a game in which you had a lead than a game in which you were tied.

I happen to think both losses count as a loss in the standings. But I'd be happy to be proven otherwise.

bap - It's a good argument, & yet no manager uses his closer in a tie on the road.


Robbie Ross Career vs. RHB: .575 OPS
2013: .523
Robbie Ross Career vs. LHB: .773 OPS
2013: .950

Career MiLB vs. RHB: .621 OPS
Career MiLB vs. LHB: .453 OPS

However, he has more PAs vs. LHB in the last 2 years' bullpen (210) than in 2011-2013 in the minors (154).

No manager uses his rookie beautillion in a tie on the road either.

Jake: I get that. And all 30 of them deserve to be criticized when they do it. It's groupthink and it's stupid. They do it because they are afraid of the criticism that will follow if they dare to do things differently, and it ends up failing. But I'm convinced that one of these days, some bold manager is going to come along & re-revolutionize how bullpens are used, by using his best reliever as a true fireman. That's how it was done until the late 80s/early 90s.

The argument against using your closer in a tie on the road is that no matter what, you have to get through another inning.

In the best case scenario, you're likely using up the best pitcher in your BP at a time when odds are close to 50:50 that getting through that inning gets you the win. In the event that you do take the lead in extras, something already less likely than you'd prefer, you then have to depend on a lesser arm to hold the advantage your offense likely struggled hard to create.

I think it matters more what part of the lineup you're facing, personally. If you're looking at 6-7-8-9 in the bottom of the 9th, two of whom are LHB with serious splits, it doesn't make sense to run Papelbon out there just because he's your best arm generally. Especially if 1-2-3 are are predominantly RHBs. Better to save him for the following inning, play the matchups with your best LHP in the 9th, and hope both he and your offense can make the 10th inning occur (and be important).

BAP: To be fair to current managers, how many times have baseball teams/players/trends "gone back to the way things used to be" without some sort of external stimulus (lowering the mound, changing the size of the ball, PED policies, etc.)?

I really can't think of any off the top of my head, and I have to think there's more reason for that than "change scares baseballers."

Jake: That's actually not true.

I quickly checked Koji Uehara's game logs, because Boston strikes me as a smart team. He pitched twice in a tie game on the road just in August and September of last year.

Mayberry at first should not be a thing. [Insert Darin Ruf comment here].

I'm in favor of throwing pitchers in and seeing what you've got. Just not sure I can understand avoiding doing that with Lincoln, there. As far as I'm concerned, he has the most to prove of their non-Papelbon righties and should be given first shot at that inning, especially given the lineup.

Philibuster: But if your lesser pitcher gives up a run in a tie game in the 9th, the game is over.

If your lesser pitcher gives up a run in the situation where your offense got you a 1-run lead, the game is not over. You're right back to having a slightly less than 50-50 chance to win the game (since you're on the road).

The point is, either way, you're hoping the lesser pitcher doesn't give up a run, but you have less margin for error in the tie game.

It's not like saving your closer guarantees the worse pitcher won't pitch with the game on the line--in fact, it guarantees that he will.

Good find, Jack.

Jack - just curious, did the Sox wind up winning those games?

New thread?

Yes of course, a game thread. I forgot Beerleaguer is functional again.

"To be fair to current managers, how many times have baseball teams/players/trends "gone back to the way things used to be" without some sort of external stimulus."

Well, generally speaking, I would certainly agree that tactics change over time because more information comes available and it becomes apparent that the new way of doing things is better than the old way. And if that's the case, then there wouldn't be any reason to go back to the old way. But modern bullpen usage is an exception to this general rule. In this case, tactics have changed over time, but it's not because the new way is better. It's because some guy made up a dumb, arbitrary, and badly flawed counting statistic for hotshot relief pitchers and, somehow or another, that dumb, arbitrary, and badly flawed statistic became the driving force behind a whole new set of managerial tactics.

BAP: Until/unless we see evidence that indicates otherwise in the "modern" game (which means some manager would have to re-reinvent the wheel), we have no evidence that you're correct about that.

papelBUM,need i say more!

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