The argument about the merits of Swarzak got me thinking about Long Relief guys.
I'm not sure where to go to find the stats, but I'm curious to see what the numbers look like if you were able to compare how our pitchers have done in Long Relief situations vs. Standard Relief (inning or less) vs. Situational (specific matchup based) vs. Starting.
Duensing has been used in all four roles over the last several years...it seems he's been most successful as a situational guy, but do the stats support that?
Strictly based on what I remember from watching games and reading box scores, it seems like Swarzak has been terrible as a starter but decent as Long Relief, and that Gray has been serviceable in a Standard Relief spot, but terrible when trying to be a long reliever.
Besides the stereotypical "6th best starter" idea, how else does a team (or SHOULD a team) decide who to put into the Long Relief position? Have there been any pitchers who have made a career out of being the long man, or is it pretty exclusively a way station for guys on their way into or out of a rotation?
It's a pretty decent question. I'm always up for trading "it seems like" for "here's what actually happened." My guess is that people who have been put in multiple roles like that will have some serious sample size issues to deal with in analyzing some of those roles. By definition, it's kinda hard for one guy to do all of those things a lot.