04-17-2012, 02:04 PM #1
Building a better bullpen
Sports Illustrated's Tom Veriducci has a terrific piece asking whether the usage of the modern closer has led to more injuries:
04-17-2012, 03:04 PM #2
well... look at this:
Fifty percent of all starting pitchers will go on the DL every year, as well as 34 percent of all relievers-----
Blogging Twins since 2007 at The Tenth Inning Stretch
04-17-2012, 03:26 PM #3
Lifting weights too much? I would like to see a study comparing pitchers at varying degrees of weight training amounts and see how the injury rates compare. That has to be the biggest change between now and 20+ years ago (in all sports, although the ACL tear growth in basketball might be related to the way athletic shoes are not at all natural or good for human bodies to walk/run with).
04-17-2012, 03:53 PM #4
04-17-2012, 04:20 PM #5
What should supplement this piece in Sports Illustrated is this interview with former Twins pitcher Mike Marshall in Deadspin. Marshall, who received a doctorate in exercise physiology, has done some interesting studies in pitching mechanics.
04-17-2012, 05:00 PM #6
04-17-2012, 11:48 PM #7
Thinking about how relievers often alternate good and bad years, I've wondered if there is a better way to use relievers. Phrasing it differently, I've wondered if bullpen construction/usage is a future market inefficiency. I liked this quote from the story: "Imagine if every team in the NFL used the same 3-4 defense. That's essentially what is happening in baseball. Everybody runs their bullpen and their pitch count policies the same way."
I found the stats in the article interesting, but they didn't suggest what should be changed. Getting away from the defined role of 8th inning/setup man and closer-only-in-save-situations is only part of the issue, in my opinion. I'd like to see a team make fewer pitching changes, and allow more relievers to work 2 or 3 innings at a time - because I believe warming up for only 1 or 2 batters, and making 70+ appearances a year causes too much physical wear and tear.
What if a team had 2 of relievers who threw 2-3 innings at a time, twice a week. Averaging 5 innings a week would equal 130 for the season. With 2 relievers on this schedule a team could...
...get through a game using 1 reliever more often, giving the rest of the 'pen an entire night off.
...develop future starters in the majors, since they'd probably use 3 or 4 different pitches rather than 2 like many relievers.
...carry fewer pitchers on the active roster (11?), which benefits the offense/defense with a deeper bench.
Going back a few years, I think this type of usage might be ideal for a guy like Rich Harden, who could dominate but was not durable. Scott Baker may have been another possibility.
04-18-2012, 01:12 AM #8