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Yoda

Joaquin Benoit

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I think there was a little bad luck on fly balls during that mid-summer stretch, but he's obviously been struggling with location too.

I really wish someone would show me evidence of this. He had half as many BB's in the 2nd half (when he started giving up all the HR's) as he did the first half of the season. Maybe he needs to throw out of the zone more.

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I think it's more likely he's tipping his pitches. The ONLY thing different this year is the HR's.

today it was hanging change, a bad pitch whether tipped or not, but I have to agree I think there have been a couple times at least this year where other teams were either stealing signs, Tiger pitchers were tipping, or the batters were having one hell of a lucky streak guessing.

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today it was hanging change, a bad pitch whether tipped or not, but I have to agree I think there have been a couple times at least this year where other teams were either stealing signs, Tiger pitchers were tipping, or the batters were having one hell of a lucky streak guessing.

There just isn't evidence of anything else being wrong. It's so weird. It would make sense if he were giving up a bunch more regular hits also, or walking more, but he simply isn't. He's been great other than the HR's. Very weird.

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I think it has to be some kind of tipping. Hitters should not be able to sit on his changeup like this. Of course they are not all well located but the hitters are very keyed in.

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Well Yoda this was certainly a prescient thread of yours. Now go and wash that paint out of your hair. I don't know what's wrong with him but I just continue to be irritated with defined bullpen roles like "setup" and "closer". Every team seems to define these roles and adhere slavishly to them even if they don't have the personnel to fill them, or even if the designated incumbents hit a stretch where they are not performing. Based on recent performance I'd say that Alburquerque, Dotel, Benoit, Valverde, and maybe even Villareal are interchangeable. Stick one of them in there in the 8th with 2 other guys warming up, and see if that guy can go 2 innings. It won't happen though, it's too retro.

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I really wish someone would show me evidence of this. He had half as many BB's in the 2nd half (when he started giving up all the HR's) as he did the first half of the season. Maybe he needs to throw out of the zone more.

I thought he was leaving pitches up during his homer-prone stretch in the summer (as well as being unable to locate the changeup), but I'll have to take a closer look.

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I think it has to be some kind of tipping. Hitters should not be able to sit on his changeup like this. Of course they are not all well located but the hitters are very keyed in.

I'm definitely in line with this. I mean..... the guy pitched the night before and was fine. He pitched late in the season and was fine. I'm talking mechanically and health-wise. Tipping his pitches sounds like the most plausible explanation for this nasty streak of dingers.

Oh, and after he gave up the single to Cespedes, I noticed he did NOT look at the baserunner ONCE before going to the stretch. NOT ONCE! I mean.....ya... he's got to concentrate on the batter, but why he doesn't look once to first or 2nd just to let Yoenis know "I see you over there, man. I haven't forgotten you." I mean, come on.

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I'm no expert but it seemed to me his problem was losing his ability to throw his changeup for strikes consistently coupled with the fact that he was just leaving them up in the zone at an alarming rate. Hitters seemed to sit on the fastball and just crank it when it came and adjust to the hanging changeup. He just became a straight fastball pitcher since that was the only thing he could locate near the zone, and Matt Anderson/Joel Zumaya/Ryan Perry have shown us what happens to guys who can only locate heat.

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Not a good comparison at all, IMO. Different kinds of pitchers. The also gave up a lot of hits and/or walks.

Fernando Rodney leaves changeups up in the zone all the time and hitters aren't able to just sit on them.

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Far be it from me to suggest it, but is Porcello any kind of option here? I totally don't trust Benoit now. Drew Sharp has a good piece on Benoit's troubles in the Freep today. I agree with him when he says the Tigers can't reach the top with the bullpen issues going on right now.

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I agree that he might be tipping his pitches, because hitters seem to be sitting on that changeup. And he hasn't lost his ability in other areas since he put up the 2nd highest K/9 of his career and his walk rate is just marginally higher than last year.

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Far be it from me to suggest it, but is Porcello any kind of option here? I totally don't trust Benoit now. Drew Sharp has a good piece on Benoit's troubles in the Freep today. I agree with him when he says the Tigers can't reach the top with the bullpen issues going on right now.

You don't trust Benoit so... you would rather see Porcello in the eighth? I'm not sure how Porcello would be any better.

What about Octavio Dotel?

Edited by catswithbats

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You don't trust Benoit so... you would rather see Porcello in the eighth? I'm not sure how Porcello would be any better.

Agreed. If the decision were made to remove Benoit from the setup role Porcello should not be an option to replace him.

It will be interesting to see how the bullpen shakes out next year.

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You don't trust Benoit so... you would rather see Porcello in the eighth? I'm not sure how Porcello would be any better.

I posed it as a question. Having said that, I don't see how Porcello can be any worse than what I saw out of Benoit yesterday.

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I posed it as a question. Having said that, I don't see how Porcello can be any worse than what I saw out of Benoit yesterday.

In four years, Porcello has started 120 MLB regular season games, and not one appearance in relief. I personally don't think a good time to get a starter acclimated into regular bullpen work is during the playoffs, I mean they play 162 games before the playoffs and even have a thing called spring training before the regular season to try those kind of things out.

Porcello and Smyly's job in the playoffs is long relief and 10th inning plus help. If a starter gets shelled early (say 1st through the 5th innings) and the opponent is using a predominately LH hitting lineup, Smyly will get the call, if it's RH hitters mostly, then Porcello gets the ball instead.

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When you have Dotel and Al Al it seems questionable using Benoit, Valverde, and Coke ahead of them

That is my question as well. Why isn't it Dotel more.......he proved it for us this year anc certainly did for the Cards last year.....and Al Al.....who sure looks like his has the goods in big game situations from his performance yesterday. We already know Al Al has the stuff.......the only questions has been can he do it in the playoffs.

AL AL might even be our closed down the road. He has the physical stuff for the role.....the question for a closer is always the mental toughness.

For now I can see Dotel and Al Al playing a role in the playoffs. I think JL will use them when needed.

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I posed it as a question. Having said that, I don't see how Porcello can be any worse than what I saw out of Benoit yesterday.

Why not Dotel?

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I know we had this discussion elsewhere but if you remove that April start against Texas, the 8 ER in 1 IP, I figured that Rick's ERA in innings 1 and 2 is a thrifty 2.70 and .257 BA against.

Not saying he's the answer but I don't think it's far fetched to give him time late in the game. We've said his problem is stamina. Maybe that could be his role next year if Valverde walks, a 7th or 8th inning guy.

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In four years, Porcello has started 120 MLB regular season games, and not one appearance in relief. I personally don't think a good time to get a starter acclimated into regular bullpen work is during the playoffs, I mean they play 162 games before the playoffs and even have a thing called spring training before the regular season to try those kind of things out.

Porcello and Smyly's job in the playoffs is long relief and 10th inning plus help. If a starter gets shelled early (say 1st through the 5th innings) and the opponent is using a predominately LH hitting lineup, Smyly will get the call, if it's RH hitters mostly, then Porcello gets the ball instead.

With all due respect, I'm not suggesting Porcello be subjected to "regular bullpen work." All I'm suggesting is keep the guy in mind as we get into the playoffs. Think outside the box for a change. I don't have much confidence right now in Dotel, Benoit, or Valverde. I have more confidence in Dotel than Benoit, FWIW.

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I know we had this discussion elsewhere but if you remove that April start against Texas, the 8 ER in 1 IP, I figured that Rick's ERA in innings 1 and 2 is a thrifty 2.70 and .257 BA against.

Not saying he's the answer but I don't think it's far fetched to give him time late in the game. We've said his problem is stamina. Maybe that could be his role next year if Valverde walks, a 7th or 8th inning guy.

If Sanchez comes back, I believe this would be an interesting possibility.

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I don't think he's coming back.

My wife asked me a few days ago "How do they decide who is a starter and a reliever?"

I had a hard time answering.

I'm no guru and will not pretend to be but we know Porcello doesn't have the stamina to be a good startign pitcher, right? Hasn't that been documented? So why not a reliever?

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I'm no guru and will not pretend to be but we know Porcello doesn't have the stamina to be a good startign pitcher, right? Hasn't that been documented? So why not a reliever?

He has Brian Moehler disease: pitches well for 5 innings and then the wheels fall off.

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I don't think he's coming back.

My wife asked me a few days ago "How do they decide who is a starter and a reliever?"

I had a hard time answering.

I'm no guru and will not pretend to be but we know Porcello doesn't have the stamina to be a good startign pitcher, right? Hasn't that been documented? So why not a reliever?

good question. probably because his K rate is too low, but given what we've seen of RP in this season, you wonder if he came out knowing that he was only throwing 30-40 pitches, if he couldn't throw a more consistent 95 and K more guys? Maybe - maybe not, but you won't know if you never try it. He probably still has trade value as a starter just because enough guys still haven't had the light turn on at 24 (Doug Fister anyone?) that you are bound to find someone more than willing to take him on and give him another year or two. But if the Tigers are going to be strong contenders for the next couple of years that kind of patience is not a great fit for us.

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Lee posted in the other thread that the pitch f/x data shows a pretty consistent drop in Porcello's fastball velocity at the 75 pitch mark and that given how young he is there's a good chance that can improve going forward. Seems like RP is just a case of a young pitcher still needing to build up the stamina to keep going strong up to 100 pitches. You can't just give up on him yet at 24 when his biggest issue is stamina and he's still young enough to improve greatly in that area.

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