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Thread: 2019 Season

  1. #136
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    To me the pitching problems start with the starting rotation. Bullpens are volatile by nature. If you have a good one for a year, riding it like the brewers did last year makes sense. But trying to make that your business model is just bad baseball to me.

    I completely get trying to get 2-3 lights out relievers. But when you're consistently in the bottom 3rd of the league in innings pitched from starters, you're asking every member of the bullpen to be pretty good. And with the volatility of bullpens, that's nearly impossible. If yo have better starters, your bullpen is more well rested and you can play hot hands more. When you're asking them to throw more innings every night, you cant play the hot hand since it's all hands on deck almost every day.

    Teams don't consistently win without good starters. The ones who do either have insane offenses or are the outlier. KC won a ring with a great bullpen and a contact offense. But they are sort of the anamoly. I don't think modeling your team after the one team in quite a long time that successfully pulled it off is a good idea.

  2. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by crewfan13 View Post
    To me the pitching problems start with the starting rotation. Bullpens are volatile by nature. If you have a good one for a year, riding it like the brewers did last year makes sense. But trying to make that your business model is just bad baseball to me.

    I completely get trying to get 2-3 lights out relievers. But when you're consistently in the bottom 3rd of the league in innings pitched from starters, you're asking every member of the bullpen to be pretty good. And with the volatility of bullpens, that's nearly impossible. If yo have better starters, your bullpen is more well rested and you can play hot hands more. When you're asking them to throw more innings every night, you cant play the hot hand since it's all hands on deck almost every day.

    Teams don't consistently win without good starters. The ones who do either have insane offenses or are the outlier. KC won a ring with a great bullpen and a contact offense. But they are sort of the anamoly. I don't think modeling your team after the one team in quite a long time that successfully pulled it off is a good idea.
    Idk if the Brewers built the team that way though. Chacin, Anderson, Woody, Gio, Nelson, Burnes (anticipated before year), etc. aren't designed to be 5 innings guys. Chase maybe but I think CC is more that philosophy where he hates pitchers seeing a lineup a third time. The injuries have forced things also. I think they have drafted to hopefully get more guys to bigs soon (God we can only hope) who can eat more innings. This season is showing them you can't have the pen log so many innings. I agree though if they were going off the Royals that seems more anamoly not a way to build a team.

  3. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by crewfan13 View Post
    To me the pitching problems start with the starting rotation. Bullpens are volatile by nature. If you have a good one for a year, riding it like the brewers did last year makes sense. But trying to make that your business model is just bad baseball to me.

    I completely get trying to get 2-3 lights out relievers. But when you're consistently in the bottom 3rd of the league in innings pitched from starters, you're asking every member of the bullpen to be pretty good. And with the volatility of bullpens, that's nearly impossible. If yo have better starters, your bullpen is more well rested and you can play hot hands more. When you're asking them to throw more innings every night, you cant play the hot hand since it's all hands on deck almost every day.

    Teams don't consistently win without good starters. The ones who do either have insane offenses or are the outlier. KC won a ring with a great bullpen and a contact offense. But they are sort of the anamoly. I don't think modeling your team after the one team in quite a long time that successfully pulled it off is a good idea.
    I guess I would disagree. I think the numbers typically point out that a reliever coming in for 1 inning out of the pen should have drastically more success than a starter going his third time through the order. If we had just one more reliable back end arms (knebel) things would be dramatically different. The bullpen doesn't need to be unhittable all the time, they just need to be really good at holding leads.

    The problem is, we constructed a team with almost zero money spent on pitching and a lot of money spent on batting. My thought is that doing so you're intending to have mediocre pitching (which they do) and elite offensive production. We need to be a top 3 offense. Right now we're averaging about a half run less per game than we need to be. Also factor in that we are an extremely sporadic offense, meaning we either score a lot of very little. This means the numbers are misleading. We do not consistently put 5 runs on the board.

    We have scored 5 or more in less than half our games. We are 40-16 in those such games. Meanwhile have have 40 games where we've scored 3 or less. We are 7-33 in those such games. You can see the issue is clearly with the offense, not the pitching.

  4. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by gopackgo87 View Post
    Idk if the Brewers built the team that way though. Chacin, Anderson, Woody, Gio, Nelson, Burnes (anticipated before year), etc. aren't designed to be 5 innings guys. Chase maybe but I think CC is more that philosophy where he hates pitchers seeing a lineup a third time. The injuries have forced things also. I think they have drafted to hopefully get more guys to bigs soon (God we can only hope) who can eat more innings. This season is showing them you can't have the pen log so many innings. I agree though if they were going off the Royals that seems more anamoly not a way to build a team.
    But they are. None of them are typical aces. Gio has thrown 200 innings 3 times in his career, but 2 of those were in his first 3 years.

    Chacin has never thrown 200 innings. The last two years were the first time Chacin has ever exceeded even 140 innings in back to back years.

    Anderson has always been a number 3 type. Nelson was coming off an injury. Woodruff, burnes and Peralta all had less than half a year in the bigs.

    I mean it was pretty obvious coming into the year the starting pitching was a risk. I mean, if you go back in this thread I basically spelled it out. There was a chance we had a good rotation, but there was also a really good chance it wasnt good. It really wasn't great last year as FIP indicated. It also got ace level production out of the combination of Miley, Peralta and Gio. That wasnt sustainable. Anderson vastly outperformed his FIP. Chacin had a career year.

    That always was a risk. And it's backfiring. Couple that with bullpen struggles and the pitching has been bad.

  5. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by twellner9 View Post
    I guess I would disagree. I think the numbers typically point out that a reliever coming in for 1 inning out of the pen should have drastically more success than a starter going his third time through the order. If we had just one more reliable back end arms (knebel) things would be dramatically different. The bullpen doesn't need to be unhittable all the time, they just need to be really good at holding leads.

    The problem is, we constructed a team with almost zero money spent on pitching and a lot of money spent on batting. My thought is that doing so you're intending to have mediocre pitching (which they do) and elite offensive production. We need to be a top 3 offense. Right now we're averaging about a half run less per game than we need to be. Also factor in that we are an extremely sporadic offense, meaning we either score a lot of very little. This means the numbers are misleading. We do not consistently put 5 runs on the board.

    We have scored 5 or more in less than half our games. We are 40-16 in those such games. Meanwhile have have 40 games where we've scored 3 or less. We are 7-33 in those such games. You can see the issue is clearly with the offense, not the pitching.
    But I don't think it would be thst different even with knebel. By asking everyone to bump up, it does hurt. But just given the sheer innings you're asking out of them, you're asking for disaster.

    4 teams rank higher than the brewers in bullpen innings. 1 is above .500 and that's the rays who use an opener, which skews the stats. They also have a legit ace.

    If we expand to the other 9 highest bullpen teams, you have 3 above .500 teams, 1 right at the .500 mark and 5 below. The other 2 good teams are the yanks and Red Sox, who are top 5 offenses.

    Putting this much stress on a bullpen is a bad idea.

  6. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by crewfan13 View Post
    But I don't think it would be thst different even with knebel. By asking everyone to bump up, it does hurt. But just given the sheer innings you're asking out of them, you're asking for disaster.

    4 teams rank higher than the brewers in bullpen innings. 1 is above .500 and that's the rays who use an opener, which skews the stats. They also have a legit ace.

    If we expand to the other 9 highest bullpen teams, you have 3 above .500 teams, 1 right at the .500 mark and 5 below. The other 2 good teams are the yanks and Red Sox, who are top 5 offenses.

    Putting this much stress on a bullpen is a bad idea.
    You're looking at this from far too much of a traditional standpoint. The brewers knew they couldn't put together a rotation to compete with the Dodgers/Cubs etc so they looked to win a different way.

    The reason the other teams with high bullpen innings don't win is because their starters are getting blown up, they're not doing it intentionally like the Brewers are. Its not an even comparison.

    The issue, IMO isn't innings. We use the bullpen for a ton of innings, but honestly not that much of our usage is from our high leverage guys. We don't use out top relievers ever when we're trailing which helps minimize the load. And honestly who really cares if our middle relief gets worn out when you can swap them year after year easily.

    The issue is that not a single reliever is having a good year, not even Hader. We only have 1 reliever with an ERA under 4, simply not good enough. Bullpen stress or not, you expect guys to be able to have a clean inning every once in a while. Not to mention, a large majority of these pitchers weren't even used heavily last season.

    You're acting like we had Jeffress throw 120 innings last year. He pitched 76. Most of his career but certainly not unheard of for a relief pitcher. Hader this season is only at 53 inning. Albers is only at 47. This aren't crazy numbers. They're just all drastically under-performing. They needed 1-2 of their relievers to be halfway decent (ERA ~ 3.00 or lower) and they'd be fine. Just didn't happen this year.

    And yes I believe if we had Knebel in the bullpen we'd easily be in first place, with how our bullpen has struggled to hold leads I'd estimate Knebel would have made a 5-10 game difference so far.

  7. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by crewfan13 View Post
    But they are. None of them are typical aces. Gio has thrown 200 innings 3 times in his career, but 2 of those were in his first 3 years.

    Chacin has never thrown 200 innings. The last two years were the first time Chacin has ever exceeded even 140 innings in back to back years.

    Anderson has always been a number 3 type. Nelson was coming off an injury. Woodruff, burnes and Peralta all had less than half a year in the bigs.

    I mean it was pretty obvious coming into the year the starting pitching was a risk. I mean, if you go back in this thread I basically spelled it out. There was a chance we had a good rotation, but there was also a really good chance it wasnt good. It really wasn't great last year as FIP indicated. It also got ace level production out of the combination of Miley, Peralta and Gio. That wasnt sustainable. Anderson vastly outperformed his FIP. Chacin had a career year.

    That always was a risk. And it's backfiring. Couple that with bullpen struggles and the pitching has been bad.
    I agree the rotation was a risk and a mistake trusting guys with a year of experience. I just don't think they planned on them throwing 4-5 innings. They wanted them to pitch 6 inning plus like Woody. I don't think they were building it to be 3-inning piggy back types.

  8. #143
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    Knebel would have helped no doubt, but 5-10 games is absurd. He's a career 3.15 era guy. It's not like he's a perennial sub 2 guy.

    And the point about no one having a good year is the exact reason why building through the bullpen is risky. Repeatable bullpen performance is tough to find. It's typically only the best of the who are somewhat consistently good. Hader stats this year are very likely who he is. He's not as good as he was last year but he was phenomenal last year. This is very likely an average or maybe even still above average year for Hader.

    And the rest of the pen isn't really good enough talent wise to expect them to consistently be in the 3s for era. Jeffress is maybe close to that, but even he's been shaky plenty in the past.

    And that's part of the point with so many bullpen innings. You're right. I don't care how many innings your long guy throws when you lose 8-1. But the problem with relying on the pen so much is that you need them every win for multiple innings. If you have starters that can give you 8 and leave with a lead, you dont use all the high leverage releivers that night. And that's important, especially when you start going on winning streaks. Now you win 3 in a row by 3 runs or less and you're asking the bullpen to throw 3-4 innings each game. So Jay Jackson is going to start getting big time innings. Or you have to throw Hader 3 days in a row.

    To me, in order to execute the strategy that we hoped to employ, you need an elite bullpen. You need at least 3 top shelf releivers. And even then, you need another guy or two who are pretty good. We have probably 2 top shelf relievers, and didn't find a 3rd. Expecting a repeat or unexpected breakout from somewhere else shouldnt have been the plan.

    I know you shouldn't not do something because there's not a lot of history to suggest its effective. But that's kind of where I'm at with this. It happens every once in a while, but it's uncommon for teams to rely on mediocre starters and lights out bullpen to consistently win, year after year, KC did. But KC had 3 elite, sub 3 guys. Hader is the only one we have, even with a healthy knebel. Holland, Davis and Herrera where better than knebel. And even those guys had about a 3 year stretch before they've all experienced pretty significant fall off.

    And again, that's the crux of this whole arguement for me. If we are going to rely on the pen for this many innings, you need quite a few good releivers. RP are historically very volatile and tough to predict. And we just don't have that top shelf talent to try to repeat something that's only worked like once or twice in 20 years.

  9. #144
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    I understand all of your arguments and I get it. But my point would be, that while you'd expect some guys to regress or have sub-par season you should conversely expect others have have good seasons and exceed expectations. Currently I can't think of a single reliever that has exceeded expectations, and that's the issue.

    I expected Jeffress to fall back, but figured guys like Albers, Taylor Williams, hell maybe even Jacob Barnes would be decent enough that as a whole we'd be fine.

    While I understand the idea of having a starter go 8 innings the numbers would suggest that even elite pitchers tend to fall off (below the level of halfway decent relievers) by the 3rd or 4th time through the order. This is why Stearns decided on the roster structure he did. Because they believe that you should be able to and can win without paying top dollar for starting pitchers.

    IMO this will be a more common trend throughout baseball. It will be similar to how runningbacks are viewed in the NFL. In the past it seemed like an elite runningback was necessary but after a while teams found you could use 3 cheap runningbacks and achieve the same production without the financial commitment. I see the same thing happening here.

  10. #145
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    I agree with crewfan that you need at least one starter like a MadMax or Cole or someone you can depend on for 7 innings regularly. Then solid starters. But to expect 5 mediocre to below average starters to go 5 innings as considered a good start or normal isn't going to cut it. You need a horse and another Woodruff type who regularly can give you 6. This team needs to improve its rotation by getting a stud or hopefully one can develop maybe Woody takes another jump next year and can sign a good SP.

    JJ has been horrible this year and Guerra isn't a late-inning 8th inning type as CC was using him but the Knebel injury and Burnes being uneffective has led to a bunch of meh relievers leading up to Hader with no one who has been a setup guy. Last year the game was on lock if Brewers led after 6 most nights.

  11. #146
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    Outside of a handful of players, those "stud" type pitchers don't exist anymore. Teams have gone away from that. The Cubs have stud pitchers all throughout their rotation and their no better than we are. In fact most of their starters have worse ERA numbers than ours do.

  12. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by twellner9 View Post
    I understand all of your arguments and I get it. But my point would be, that while you'd expect some guys to regress or have sub-par season you should conversely expect others have have good seasons and exceed expectations. Currently I can't think of a single reliever that has exceeded expectations, and that's the issue.

    I expected Jeffress to fall back, but figured guys like Albers, Taylor Williams, hell maybe even Jacob Barnes would be decent enough that as a whole we'd be fine.

    While I understand the idea of having a starter go 8 innings the numbers would suggest that even elite pitchers tend to fall off (below the level of halfway decent relievers) by the 3rd or 4th time through the order. This is why Stearns decided on the roster structure he did. Because they believe that you should be able to and can win without paying top dollar for starting pitchers.

    IMO this will be a more common trend throughout baseball. It will be similar to how runningbacks are viewed in the NFL. In the past it seemed like an elite runningback was necessary but after a while teams found you could use 3 cheap runningbacks and achieve the same production without the financial commitment. I see the same thing happening here.
    I guess I disagree with the RB comparison for a few reasons. One, I think the nfl figured out that a great OL can make a mediocre RB more productive as opposed to a great RB making up for a mediocre OL. So if that was the case, RP would be the OL in this scenario which would drive the cost of RP up quite substantially.

    The other reason I disagree is because I'm not sure the nfl has for sure said you don't need a really good RB. I think what the league has said is more that RB is arguably the most ready position out of college and RBs have a short shelf life. So a good bet is to replace them after their rookie deal. So that speaks to consistency to me. And in this case, RP consistency year over year isn't there. Outside the relief ace types, guys numbers swing pretty wildly. I'd say SP has more long term consistency than RP.

    If anything, I can see teams try to employ more of a rays style approach, with or without the opener. Even though he's hurt, they have a legit ace in snell. Then they have a guy like Morton who's a really good starter, even if he ends up missing a few starts per year. Then they muddle together a rotation by leaning in the bullpen more with this other starters. I think that's an okay strategy, especially for a small to mid market team. But you need 2 high end pitchers. And then, you can hope one or more of the other 3 over performs, but having one or two high level guys in paramount in my mind.

  13. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by twellner9 View Post
    Outside of a handful of players, those "stud" type pitchers don't exist anymore. Teams have gone away from that. The Cubs have stud pitchers all throughout their rotation and their no better than we are. In fact most of their starters have worse ERA numbers than ours do.
    Cubs have a 3.92 ERA for their starters per fangraphs. Brewers have 4.73. So there's a fairly substantial difference there.

  14. #149
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    I would agree with the point that a club needs 1 stud pitcher or a couple #2 type pitchers. I was and for the most part still am ok with what Stearns did in the offseason. If you look at the starters in our price range Lance Lynn and Wade Miley are the only free agents that we would have been able to land who have pitched well. Obviously letting Miley go was a huge mistake especially since we could have still got Moose and Yas.

    I rather like the idea of the lineup with Grisham in left batting lead-off and Yelich in the 3 hole.
    1)Grisham 2)Yas 3)Yeli 4)Keston 5)Moose 6)Braun/Thames (if Braun starts playing some 1st soon) 7)Cain 8)Arcia

  15. #150
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    I never got to write about our trade deadline deals. I was super disappointed that we really didn't add anyone who at least on paper will make us better. Obviously we got more depth and some fresher arms in the bullpen but non of those guys will likely be difference makers this year.

    Agi for Faria- C - I was disappointed that Faria was the best we could have done for Agi. With Agi not performing and not having options that this was likely inevitable. I just thought we could have gotten a player with a little higher ceiling. I don't see Faria as much more than a 4/5 starter or average middle reliever.

    Dubon for Pomeranz and Black - D - I was probably most disappointed in this move, I don't get why we didn't give Dubon a week or 2 of consistent starts last month when Arcia was in the middle of his slump and Saladino played instead. As for a prospect of Dubons quality we could have done much better than Pomeranz. Ray Black is the only reason I don't give this an F, but come on he is 29 and only has thrown 20 some big league innings.

    Jordan Lyles for Cody Ponce (and essentially Marcos Diplan)- C - I probably would have given this a B+ or A- but we had to let Diplan go for basically nothing to make room on the 40 man. Lyles has been good and is making this look better than I would have guess when it went down.

    Collateral damage- Diplan, Barnes, Hart, Wilson (maybe)
    While non of these guys were going to be huge pieces we did basically have to let them go to make room for the new arrivals.
    Last edited by jay87shot; 08-08-2019 at 12:58 PM.

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