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Why The Tigers Should Try A Radical Approach With Their Pitching Staff In 2020

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https://www.motownsports.com/tigers-radical-pitching-staff-2020/

Interesting blog post from Dan Holmes posted today...  What do you guys think of his suggestion of a new approach for the pitching staff to be used in this shortened 60 game season?  Might this allow opportunities to get the younger guys some needed development time?  At this point, anything positive we can get from this shortened season is good for me.  Future is looking much better with all these young arms coming up!

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I would be open to something like this, even if it was a 162 game season I wish more teams would get creative with their pitching instead of just the standard 5 man rotation, especially now that teams are carrying so many damn pitchers.

I see somebody like Norris and I think he is the perfect candidate to go 3-4 innings before replacing him with another "starter" that can do the same.   Then hopefully you can get into your setup and closers like you would with a standard starter.  

You could go 1. Boyd 2. Fulmer/Mize 3. Norris/Turnbull 4.Manning/Skubal. 5.Zimm/Nova

I'd put Zimm/Nova together cause that way you would basically be punting that game and not worrying about them hurting you twice each trip through the rotation.  

You then would have 4-5 full time relievers plus some of the "starters" available depending on the day.

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I would think most teams will be looking for ways to limit starter's innings because of the short prep so I wouldn't be surprised to see the Tigers do something unconventional, and I don't think they will be the only team to do so. But..

The question I would ask is aside from limiting the starter's innings, what is the key problem are you trying to solve? For the Tigers that is just having too many starters they want to see go against ML hitters..Whether you do that by making them the bullpen and then using the bullpen by schedule as in your plan above, or you designate starters to use in pairs (with a much smaller bullpen) either would address the Tigers' main issue of getting the four pitchers they want to see into games.

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I think that kind plan may be the future of pitching.  It has been trending that way for decades with starting pitchers pitching fewer and fewer innings.  I think it makes sense for the Tigers this season as they have a lot of young pitchers who need innings, but nobody who is an ace or even close to an ace who absolutely needs to be pitching 6+ innings every time out.   

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Putting aside the ability for roster churn in the bullpen, the tandem starter thing could make sense with the right set of pitchers. But with a 13-man pitching staff, how likely is it that you would have, say, 10 guys all worthy of 3-4IP stints? You could mess around with the schedule and have one or two starters stretched out for every fifth day work, but you still then need another 6 pitchers to cover the other three days. Maybe down the line it becomes common place to use 8 tandem guys on an every fourth-day situation. 
 

I think it could be done today on a limited basis, with maybe two rotation slots devoted to it, and certainly one spot as we saw last season.

I think from a roster building standpoint and limited roster space that it is still quite valuable for a starting pitcher that can give you 6+ innings. But that’s only valuable if the pitcher is good. There is no reason to want to get six innings from Jordan zimmermann.

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27 minutes ago, tiger337 said:

I think that kind plan may be the future of pitching.  It has been trending that way for decades with starting pitchers pitching fewer and fewer innings.  I think it makes sense for the Tigers this season as they have a lot of young pitchers who need innings, but nobody who is an ace or even close to an ace who absolutely needs to be pitching 6+ innings every time out.   

For this season it may make sense - although I'd still like Boyd and Turnball to get "normal" starter innings.

Longer term though, I think it goes against what is looking like it will be the Tigers strength.  The great benefit of our system and the hope of the rebuild is the potential for multiple dominant starters and several above average to very good starters.  If you are limiting their innings you are greatly limiting the value in building the organization based on starting pitching.  IMO, take advantage of your organizational advantage which becomes even bigger if the rest of the league is trending the opposite way.

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This discussion may be for naught, though. Aren’t nova and Norris still yet to show up at Summer Camp 2020 presented by Camping World for “undisclosed” reasons?

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Assuming Mize, Manning and Skubal pan out I certainly wouldn't use them as tandem starters down the road but with them likely being on innings limits I think you could this year.

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Just now, RandyMarsh said:

Assuming Mize, Manning and Skubal pan out I certainly wouldn't use them as tandem starters down the road but with them likely being on innings limits I think you could this year.

You could, but the other view is that they aren't going to come close to their innings limit anyhow so are you better letting them get more innings in intrasquad games in Toledo with potentially the occasional time in MLB games.

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Ideally, a team would have 2 or 3 good starters who regularly pitched the traditional 6+ innings.  I like the 3-3-3 rotation idea originally dubbed by I think Tom Tango where you have 

1. Regular starting pitcher goes 6+

2. Regular starting pitcher goes 6+

3. Regular starting pitcher goes 6+

4. Three pitchers pitch three innings apiece.

5. Three pitchers pitch three innings apiece.

The last two slots wouldn't have to be exactly three IP per pitcher, but that would be the guideline.  These six pitchers would be able to have one other relief appearance each time through the rotation and you would have three relievers who are strictly late inning guys.    

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1 hour ago, MotownWebGuy said:

https://www.motownsports.com/tigers-radical-pitching-staff-2020/

Interesting blog post from Dan Holmes posted today...  What do you guys think of his suggestion of a new approach for the pitching staff to be used in this shortened 60 game season?  Might this allow opportunities to get the younger guys some needed development time?  At this point, anything positive we can get from this shortened season is good for me.  Future is looking much better with all these young arms coming up!

I believe it's proven that the optimal interval for muscle rest and recovery, once used to muscle failure, is five days. I would be leery of anything that disrupts that natural cycle. I believe that's why starting pitchers have evolved to that cycle, and why relief pitching is so erratic.

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Another benefit from Mize/Manning/Skubal being in Toledo is that Greene and Tork get experience hitting off of some of the best in the minors 🤪

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3 minutes ago, Longgone said:

I believe it's proven that the optimal interval for muscle rest and recovery, once used to muscle failure, is five days. I would be leery of anything that disrupts that natural cycle. I believe that's why starting pitchers have evolved to that cycle, and why relief pitching is so erratic.

The problem is there aren't enough pitchers who are can pitch well for 6+ innings on a regular basis.  I think it's more likely a team will have 2 or 3 really good starters and then a few guys who are good one time through the line-up.  

I don't think relievers are necessarily more erratic than starters.  It's just that they only pitch usually one inning and if they give up a run, it's a bad appearance.  A starter can give up a run in the first inning and still have a good start.  

 

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51 minutes ago, tiger337 said:

I think that kind plan may be the future of pitching.  It has been trending that way for decades with starting pitchers pitching fewer and fewer innings.  I think it makes sense for the Tigers this season as they have a lot of young pitchers who need innings, but nobody who is an ace or even close to an ace who absolutely needs to be pitching 6+ innings every time out.   

right. In the end, whenever you have guys like a Verlander or Scherzer emerge you have to maximize their IP so it makes all these other schemes harder to work in. I think part of the weird thing about baseball is the level of herd mentality. Teams just don't want to do things differently even if their personal presents totally different issues from some other teams they feel the need to emulate. Maybe the analytics push will give teams more confidence to chart their own strategies based on their own exact situation. 

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1 minute ago, tiger337 said:

The problem is there aren't enough pitchers who are can pitch well for 6+ innings on a regular basis.  I think it's more likely a team will have 2 or 3 really good starters and then a few guys who are good one time through the line-up.  

 

League wide I can see the point, but the way we have built our organization, it looks like we may be an outlier.  Assuming Manning/Mize/Skubal become 3 of those, I think it's realistic to think that we can find 1-2 of Turnball/Boyd/Faedo/Wentz/Perez🤪/ or someone else to be worth going 5-7 innings each time through.

I'm just of the belief that if you have an organizational strength, use it as much as possible, especially if it is an anomaly compared to the league as a whole.   

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26 minutes ago, Longgone said:

I believe it's proven that the optimal interval for muscle rest and recovery, once used to muscle failure, is five days. I would be leery of anything that disrupts that natural cycle. I believe that's why starting pitchers have evolved to that cycle, and why relief pitching is so erratic.

IDK, I find it hard to believe that there is *anything* about physiology that holds for all people. There is just too much genetic variation. Certainly there are things that hold true for most on average and sure you need to be aware of those, but OTOH just as a general reservation you don't want to be completely blind to the possibility of outliers. 

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22 minutes ago, Gehringer_2 said:

IDK, I find it hard to believe that there is *anything* about physiology that holds for all people. There is just too much genetic variation. Certainly there are things that hold true for most on average and sure you need to be aware of those, but OTOH just as a general reservation you don't want to be completely blind to the possibility of outliers. 

You're going to set up a completely new structure on the possibility of outliers? A five man rotation was not a random outcome.

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26 minutes ago, 4hzglory said:

League wide I can see the point, but the way we have built our organization, it looks like we may be an outlier.  Assuming Manning/Mize/Skubal become 3 of those, I think it's realistic to think that we can find 1-2 of Turnball/Boyd/Faedo/Wentz/Perez🤪/ or someone else to be worth going 5-7 innings each time through.

I'm just of the belief that if you have an organizational strength, use it as much as possible, especially if it is an anomaly compared to the league as a whole.   

I am talking league wide.  As for the Tigers, I am excited about their young pitchers, but it's way too early to say they are going to be an outlier.  I would say it's more likely they come up with three really good starters from this bunch and that the arrangement discussed above might be suitable.  

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1 minute ago, Longgone said:

You're going to set up a completely new structure on the possibility of outliers? A five man rotation was not a random outcome.

Pitching has been evolving for decades with relievers playing a bigger role each decade.  Why would it stop evolving now?  

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10 minutes ago, Longgone said:

You're going to set up a completely new structure on the possibility of outliers? A five man rotation was not a random outcome.

actually, I'm the one that argued that when top pitchers emerge you have to maximize then to the greatest extent you can and the rest has to go to the wayside to allow that to happen. I'm just saying that when you don't have that you might as well be open to everything until you do.

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9 minutes ago, tiger337 said:

Pitching has been evolving for decades with relievers playing a bigger role each decade.  Why would it stop evolving now?  

I'm sure it won't, but human anatomy will evolve much more slowly.

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There's becoming less and less easy outs(Tigers players not withstanding) so pitchers have to throw max effort almost every pitch so it's only a matter of time before only a select few are capable of being effective after 4 or 5 innings and teams are gonna have to start getting creative.  Might as well try to get ahead of the curve.

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2 minutes ago, Longgone said:

I'm sure it won't, but human anatomy will evolve much more slowly.

Sure, but what if they discover that it's easier to find three guys that can reliability pitch 2-3 innings than a 4th or 5th starter who can go 6+?  It might be unrealistic with a 10 or 11 man staff, but could would work with the 12 or 13 man staffs of today. 

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60 games gives you about 540 innings in 2020, assuming they can actually play (Ha!).

I don't have a lot of faith that the Tigers will distribute those innings optimally, focusing on 2021+ and player development.

Giving JZ 10 starts and 50 innings seems really, really dumb.

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3 minutes ago, RatkoVarda said:

 

Giving JZ 10 starts and 50 innings seems really, really dumb.

Unless the plan is FUBAR for Kumar or Lose for Leiter.

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