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If not K-Rod, then who?

Tigers' Closer  

33 members have voted

  1. 1. If not K-Rod, then who?

    • Justin Wilson
      19
    • Alex Wilson
      7
    • Anibal Sanchez
      1
    • Joe Jimenez
      0
    • Bruce Rondon
      0
    • Other on roster?
      4
    • Other NOT on roster?
      2


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6 hours ago, John_Brian_K said:

Introduce the forfeit.

We call that 'putting Anibal Sanchez in the game'

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11 hours ago, tiger337 said:

 The reasoning is that there are not a lot of teams that are strong from one through five and that would be enough guys that could do well the first time through the order. We do not know though because there is no data.  There are no pitchers in baseball that regularly pitch three innings which is actually kind of strange.   Why is there a group of pitchers than can go 6+ innings, another group that goes just one inning, but virtually no pitchers that are slotted somewhere in between.  I would think that there are a lot of pitchers that would be suited to pitch somewhere between those two extremes.  

So, could this be the next moneyball idea?  I some organization going to get away from the 6 or 1 IP philosophy and take some of its pitchers and condition and train them to go 3?

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54 minutes ago, Casimir said:

So, could this be the next moneyball idea?  I some organization going to get away from the 6 or 1 IP philosophy and take some of its pitchers and condition and train them to go 3?

Yes

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12 hours ago, Shelton said:

Just seems like if you had a good pitching staff you wouldn't need to go this route. If you have a bad staff, you can't find enough good pitchers to make this work. Maybe I'm way off on this, but I'm not sure there is a surplus of guys out there that can pitch well for three innings.

No doubt that the talent needs to match the need....the 2-3 inning model still lives or dies on talent....it just trades second-time-thru-the-order issues with the 4th and 5th starters for more guys who go one time around.

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All I know is that in whatifsports sim leagues it's a really reasonable strategy to have 4A/4B and 5A/5B swing starters. And if it works in a video game simulation, it works in real life.

On a related note, 1989 Howard Johnson is the single greatest season in the history of major league baseball

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1 hour ago, sabretooth said:

No doubt that the talent needs to match the need....the 2-3 inning model still lives or dies on talent....it just trades second-time-thru-the-order issues with the 4th and 5th starters for more guys who go one time around.

Here is an interesting article from BP about the various approaches that are possible in theory. The conclusion appears to be that this type of thing would be too difficult to put into practice. 

Basically, the best you could probably hope to do would be to skip the fifth starter more often, or be more aggressive in pulling the fifth starter early. 

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=22571

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Well, the immediate thought would be Wilson. But he's been lights out in the 8th. What about giving Leon a shot straight into the 9th. Might catch lightening in a bottle, send down Bell and bring him up. Not likely a long term solution, but may work for a bit.

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1 hour ago, Shelton said:

Here is an interesting article from BP about the various approaches that are possible in theory. The conclusion appears to be that this type of thing would be too difficult to put into practice. 

Basically, the best you could probably hope to do would be to skip the fifth starter more often, or be more aggressive in pulling the fifth starter early. 

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=22571

I think the biggest problem you run into with any major change is that any thing that takes innings away from the star pitchers is a loser for their teams that probably won't be made up anywhere else. A single Cy Young level pitcher may account for 50% or more of a playoff team's margin over 500. In the end you don't want to do anything to take the ball out of the hands of a Verlander, Scherzer, Sale, Kershaw (hopefully Fulmer). You need those guys to give you every inning they can. The consensus today is that that is >200 but <250 IP. Everything else has to start from there.

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Leon seems to be doing something that for the 1st time in his career has his walk rate down to a level where he might be able to succeed, but I haven't seen any reporting on what he has done or whether they think it can translate at MLB level.

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On 5/8/2017 at 8:17 AM, Mr.TaterSalad said:

Doug Brocail? Greg Keagle? Maybe Willie Blair? At this point, K-Rod is the new Joaquin Benoit and anyone else will do.

I might take Doug Brocail even though he's, like, 50. He was one of the best relievers in Tigers history which, I know, says more about the Tigers than about Brocail. But I would take Brocail's Tiger tenure all over again.

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45 minutes ago, Gehringer_2 said:

I think the biggest problem you run into with any major change is that any thing that takes innings away from the star pitchers is a loser for their teams that probably won't be made up anywhere else. A single Cy Young level pitcher may account for 50% or more of a playoff team's margin over 500. In the end you don't want to do anything to take the ball out of the hands of a Verlander, Scherzer, Sale, Kershaw (hopefully Fulmer). You need those guys to give you every inning they can. The consensus today is that that is >200 but <250 IP. Everything else has to start from there.

Absolutely. I don't think there is anyone advocating for reducing the number of innings you get from a legitimate top of the rotation guy. 

I think the first thing we will see happen in the rotation revolution is a situation where a team has a fifth starter that isn't much better than the 6th or 7th starter. In that case, you would consider carrying two guys in your pen that have the chops to be a starting pitcher. These would not be anibal type mop up guys, but guys that you are confident can pitch reasonably well over multiple innings. Your fifth starter becomes a guy that you plan on only pitching 4 innings or so, with the idea that the 6/7th starter is going to start the fifth inning. 

This allows you to still carry five traditional relievers. 

One of the extra starters can be used to mop up if necessary, or pitch an inning here and there depending on the rest status of the other. But you have a plan in advance that you will need one of them every fifth day. 

This would very easy to do. The Tigers are already basically carrying this type of roster. Many teams likely do as well. You could call Norris the fifth starter and Sanchez and bell the extra starters. For the sake of discussion, assume Norris struggles in that third trip through the lineup, and that Sanchez and bell are decent pitchers. To gain an advantage, you need to be confident that bell and Sanchez on a full trip through the order are better than Norris in his third trip through order. In reality, that may not be the case for the Tigers, but it could be the case for a lot of teams. 

The benefit of this is that you can prioritize which guy is going to be getting the ball in relief of the fifth starter, and his innings can be maximized. Down the line, he could be a guy that might graduate to the fifth starter role, and then maybe to the fourth starter role. It gives you a chance to allow guys to get their feet wet in the majors without exposing them to a full second time through the order early on. 

The other benefit is that if you have a guy in the pen that is pitching three inning stints regularly, if a 1-4 starter goes down, your fifth starter can step into a traditional starter spot, and your 6th starter can seemlessly transition to the fifth starter spot. 

 

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On 5/8/2017 at 9:17 AM, Mr.TaterSalad said:

Doug Brocail? Greg Keagle? Maybe Willie Blair? At this point, K-Rod is the new Joaquin Benoit and anyone else will do.

He was awfully effective as a Tiger.  1.075 WHIP, 3.61 K/BB, 3.39 FIP, 5.0 WAR over 3 seasons.  I don't see the parallel between he and poor former Tiger pitchers.

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23 hours ago, Shelton said:

Sure. If the game is in the late innings and it is tied or a one run lead for either team, that's probably a good game to be using your best relievers prior to the ninth. You could anticipate that the game will remain close enough that you could get your best guy warmed up and ready to go even if it is the 7th or 8th inning. 

It would seem to make a lot of sense to try using a lesser reliever if you get to the ninth and you have a three run lead, therefore saving the good pitcher for tomorrow if you haven't used them yet. 

I think that's a big problem with the way managers acknowledge the existence of the save stat. If it's a four run lead they almost always use a scrub, but they don't for a three run lead, although the odds of winning in either situation are close to the same. 

That would be a small thing to change and could have benefits. Basically, don't be shy about using your best guy to start the 7th or 8th when the game is close. Get those 9 or 6 outs however you can. 

They do this to placate their closers, whose income is highly dependent on getting into save situations and converting them. There's nothing a proven closer would rather do than go into the ninth with a three-run lead. It's a total layup, and it pads the one stat that gets them paid.

At least that's the way it's been, and unquestioned until fairly recently, but it is still true, I would bet, for most teams and most relievers. 

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5 hours ago, Casimir said:

So, could this be the next moneyball idea?  I some organization going to get away from the 6 or 1 IP philosophy and take some of its pitchers and condition and train them to go 3?

 

5 hours ago, sabretooth said:

Yes

I think this would only if the team is out of contention, or expected not to contend, as the cost of being wrong would be much lower. A contending team would alienate the media and its fan base for trying this, failing and then missing the playoffs.

I could see the A's or Rays trying this.

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I could definitely see Ausmus giving K-Rod at least one more shot, if not next time then the time after, as long as the Tigers are still on the road (2 @ ARI, 4 @ LAA). If he can get him into a position to succeed one more time, then K-Rod could get back on track and deliver another year like last year.

That's how I expect the thinking to go, anyway.

The danger with this is that he saves in couple of games out west in the next week, then s***s the bed on his first opportunity at home. But hey, them's the chances you take. And it is the conservative approach that they will calculate has the lowest chance of making them look bad.

EDIT: I think if the next save opportunity is tonight or tomorrow, it will not be K-Rod, because the issue is still too hot. But if the next save opportunity doesn't happen until Anaheim, I could see Brad running K-Rod out there for it.

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12 minutes ago, chasfh said:

They do this to placate their closers, whose income is highly dependent on getting into save situations and converting them. There's nothing a proven closer would rather do than go into the ninth with a three-run lead. It's a total layup, and it pads the one stat that gets them paid.

At least that's the way it's been, and unquestioned until fairly recently, but it is still true, I would bet, for most teams and most relievers. 

Of course. Players are inherently concerned with padding their stats and managers know that. It's not a huge issue, because the closer still needs to pitch so you might as well use him and get him his stat.  Although I don't necessarily agree that it matters if a guy saved 30 games or 40 games when it comes to finances. 

Mostly, I think it would make sense if your closer has pitched the two days before and you've got a 3 run lead that it could make sense to keep him in the pen. 

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9 minutes ago, chasfh said:

I could definitely see Ausmus giving K-Rod at least one more shot, if not next time then the time after, as long as the Tigers are still on the road (2 @ ARI, 4 @ LAA). If he can get him into a position to succeed one more time, then K-Rod could get back on track and deliver another year like last year.

That's how I expect the thinking to go, anyway.

The danger with this is that he saves in couple of games out west in the next week, then s***s the bed on his first opportunity at home. But hey, them's the chances you take. And it is the conservative approach that they will calculate has the lowest chance of making them look bad.

EDIT: I think if the next save opportunity is tonight or tomorrow, it will not be K-Rod, because the issue is still too hot. But if the next save opportunity doesn't happen until Anaheim, I could see Brad running K-Rod out there for it.

I think it is everyone's best interest to just come out and announce a change. Be ready to use him in a low leverage spot tonight. 

Otherwise, if they just "play it by ear" or something, then the post game becomes all about whatever roles became apparent in the game. 

I expect a pre game announcement to try to diffuse the drama. 

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1 minute ago, Shelton said:

I think it is everyone's best interest to just come out and announce a change. Be ready to use him in a low leverage spot tonight. 

Otherwise, if they just "play it by ear" or something, then the post game becomes all about whatever roles became apparent in the game. 

I expect a pre game announcement to try to diffuse the drama. 

I expect a pre-game announcement about moving K-Rod to lower leverage innings so he can work out his problems, but I think he's done closing (unless everything else fails).  

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1 minute ago, tiger337 said:

I expect a pre-game announcement about moving K-Rod to lower leverage innings so he can work out his problems, but I think he's done closing (unless everything else fails).  

Agreed. I doubt krod closes another game and I wouldn't be surprised if he is released prior to the end of the season. I think he will continue to struggle in his new role. 

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1 hour ago, chasfh said:

 

I think this would only if the team is out of contention, or expected not to contend, as the cost of being wrong would be much lower. A contending team would alienate the media and its fan base for trying this, failing and then missing the playoffs.

I could see the A's or Rays trying this.

I don't know.  I could see it tried out in the minors with failed SPs that are eventually going to become RPs.

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Just now, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

Instead of K-Rod, I think they should kick the tires on A-Rod.

J-Lo is doing that right now.

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