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Article: MIN 6, DET 1: Stewart Impresses, Rosario Exits Due to Injury

kohl stewart eddie rosario jake cave
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#41 Vanimal46

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 11:53 AM

On paper, the opener strategy would be perfect for Jake Odorizzi. It's hard to adjust to that at the Major League level, which is likely why they haven't tried it with him. If I can look at his numbers and see that strategy would be beneficial for him, so can they. They know it's a good idea, but that it likely would be a disruption to start that at random in the middle of a season.

Eventually, there may be an era in baseball where there are no more traditional starting pitchers. Changes like that don't happen overnight. Personally, I think the response by opponents needs to be to stack the best hitters at the bottom, negating the advantage to facing the bottom of the lineup the third time instead of the top.

It's possible this is the direction baseball is going. Until more than 2 teams implement this idea I still think it's a gimmick.

If more teams implement this idea there's no doubt in my mind analytics teams will propose other strategies to counteract the opener concept.

Take the wildcat formation in football as an example. The Miami Dolphins came up with this innovative idea and they were the only team doing it one season. As a result, they won 11 games. The next season, nearly every team in the NFL implemented a version of the wildcat in their offense. Teams started to realize all they had to do was stack people near the line of scrimmage to stop it. As a result, the wildcat fizzled out of the league.

The answer to combat the opener may not be obvious now. If more teams implement it, the answer will look obvious in the future.

Edited by Vanimal46, 18 September 2018 - 11:54 AM.

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#42 DocBauer

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 12:02 PM

Lead of hitter hits first so he gets more at bats, not because teams care if he hits first in an inning. Really, it's the inverse of the opener theory.

The idea is to make it less likely your primary guy faces the best players three times, not to guarantee it.


And I know that makes sense in theory. But if your "starter" comes in at the beginning of the 2nd inning and allows a couple walks, and say 6-7 hits in 6-7 I, which I would think constitute fairly reasonable numbers, seems to me you still end facing the top of the lineup the same number of times.

Of course, I was an English major, not a math one. Lol
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#43 Doomtints

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 01:24 PM

 

How do you evaluate a primary pitcher like Stewart? There's a reason why they use an opener for him right? Is the hope he can be an actual starting pitcher next season?

Someone tell me how I'm supposed to feel.

 

They were using openers in the minors. They want to try it in the majors and he's used to it.


#44 ashburyjohn

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 02:49 PM

And I know that makes sense in theory. But if your "starter" comes in at the beginning of the 2nd inning and allows a couple walks, and say 6-7 hits in 6-7 I, which I would think constitute fairly reasonable numbers, seems to me you still end facing the top of the lineup the same number of times.

It may not work all that much more often, I mean on top of what the standard strategy would produce. It's not going to be a 10-WAR boost. All you can do is put your players in a position to succeed. They still have to succeed. If your "starter" achieves average looking results against a lineup stacked toward the bottom half, maybe that not average, and is not success, and is on him.

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#45 Tomj14

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 03:04 PM

 

It may not work all that much more often, I mean on top of what the standard strategy would produce. It's not going to be a 10-WAR boost. All you can do is put your players in a position to succeed. They still have to succeed. If your "starter" achieves average looking results against a lineup stacked toward the bottom half, maybe that not average, and is not success, and is on him.

I hear and agree what you are saying, but this seems like a short sighted solution.

Wouldn't a better solution be having your best pitches getting to 150 -180 innings a year in 50 - 60 games instead of 30?


#46 Craig Arko

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 03:22 PM

It’ll be interesting to see what falls out as more data are collected on this. My initial reaction is that it won’t make much of a difference over the long term. But only significant data collection can say. Might as well collect it.
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#47 USAFChief

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 04:10 PM

 

I hear and agree what you are saying, but this seems like a short sighted solution.

Wouldn't a better solution be having your best pitches getting to 150 -180 innings a year in 50 - 60 games instead of 30?

Possibly, but their is little evidence to review on what the injury/fatigue impact would be of spreading 180 IP over 60 games instead of 30. I'm guessing teams would be reluctant to try it out simply for fear of the "unknown."

 

In the case of the "opener/secondary" pitchers aren't really changing usage patterns. 

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#48 DocBauer

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 06:21 PM

It may not work all that much more often, I mean on top of what the standard strategy would produce. It's not going to be a 10-WAR boost. All you can do is put your players in a position to succeed. They still have to succeed. If your "starter" achieves average looking results against a lineup stacked toward the bottom half, maybe that not average, and is not success, and is on him.


The thing I wonder, which you may be alluding to, if I were an opposing manager and knew this was being employed on a given day, might I not stack my lineup differently to counter? Perhaps I reverse the bottom and top of my lineup. Perhaps I re-arrange my lineup to rest a couple guys, early in the game at least, and make sure i start a guy or two to really push the opener with big splits or high contact/BB/OB ability to try to really push said opener, (think a Grossman), hoping for a run, or at least push my lineup with a baserunner or two so that the "starter" ends up having to face the heart of my lineup 3 times, potentially, anyway.
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#49 jtkoupal

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 06:38 PM

 

It's possible this is the direction baseball is going. Until more than 2 teams implement this idea I still think it's a gimmick.

If more teams implement this idea there's no doubt in my mind analytics teams will propose other strategies to counteract the opener concept.

Take the wildcat formation in football as an example. The Miami Dolphins came up with this innovative idea and they were the only team doing it one season. As a result, they won 11 games. The next season, nearly every team in the NFL implemented a version of the wildcat in their offense. Teams started to realize all they had to do was stack people near the line of scrimmage to stop it. As a result, the wildcat fizzled out of the league.

The answer to combat the opener may not be obvious now. If more teams implement it, the answer will look obvious in the future.

Good example. Ordinarily, stacking the lineup bottom-heavy is considered a bad idea. However, studies have shown lineup construction has minimal effect over the course of a season, so minimal it costs a team like a run, maybe. Teams will probably do this eventually. Until they do, however, it makes sense to keep using the opener.

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#50 ashburyjohn

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 07:44 PM

The thing I wonder, which you may be alluding to, if I were an opposing manager and knew this was being employed on a given day, might I not stack my lineup differently to counter? Perhaps I reverse the bottom and top of my lineup. Perhaps I re-arrange my lineup to rest a couple guys, early in the game at least, and make sure i start a guy or two to really push the opener with big splits or high contact/BB/OB ability to try to really push said opener, (think a Grossman), hoping for a run, or at least push my lineup with a baserunner or two so that the "starter" ends up having to face the heart of my lineup 3 times, potentially, anyway.

If, absent a fancy starting pitcher strategy I come up with, the opposing manager would have constructed an "optimal" batting lineup, then any deviation he comes up with counts as being in my favor. I'd love it if Mike Trout batted 5th in some futile attempt to outsmart my manager - it means fewer plate appearances for him in the long run.

 

So I don't care if counter-measures erode an advantage my strategy otherwise creates. I feel as though I'm still coming out ahead, of not doing it.

 

This is somewhat separate from the question of whether the Opener concept is even sound and does in fact confer an advantage.

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#51 Vanimal46

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 08:13 PM

If, absent a fancy starting pitcher strategy I come up with, the opposing manager would have constructed an "optimal" batting lineup, then any deviation he comes up with counts as being in my favor. I'd love it if Mike Trout batted 5th in some futile attempt to outsmart my manager - it means fewer plate appearances for him in the long run.

So I don't care if counter-measures erode an advantage my strategy otherwise creates. I feel as though I'm still coming out ahead, of not doing it.

This is somewhat separate from the question of whether the Opener concept is even sound and does in fact confer an advantage.

Jtkoupal just responded saying the effects of batting order over the long run is minimal... If the opener occurred every day, sure, Mike Trout batting 5th will result in less PAs over the season. Openers don't happen every day, so the long term strategy you're describing doesn't really apply.

They can stack the batting order 4,5,6 on games there's an opener. On games when Berrios starts, Trout is back to hitting 3 or wherever he normally bats.

Edited by Vanimal46, 18 September 2018 - 08:15 PM.


#52 USAFChief

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 08:24 PM

Jtkoupal just responded saying the effects of batting order over the long run is minimal... If the opener occurred every day, sure, Mike Trout batting 5th will result in less PAs over the season. Openers don't happen every day, so the long term strategy you're describing doesn't really apply.
They can stack the batting order 4,5,6 on games there's an opener. On games when Berrios starts, Trout is back to hitting 3 or wherever he normally bats.


If the manager bats Mike Trout fifth, I’ve won. He might not come up to hit in a close game in the ninth. Can you imagine the firestorm from the press and fans if the last out is made in a one run game with Mike Trout in the dugout because he’s hitting fifth?

I’d be willing to bet no manager is ever going to move any of his top hitters down out of the first inning.

I guess I don’t understand the vitriol this idea is encountering. We asked for more forward thinking front office and manager. I certainly have issues with the front office, but i see no downside to trying this out, and it could potentially be a way to squeeze a few extra drops out of whatever pitching staff you have, good or bad.
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#53 Vanimal46

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 08:40 PM

If the manager bats Mike Trout fifth, I’ve won. He might not come up to hit in a close game in the ninth. Can you imagine the firestorm from the press and fans if the last out is made in a one run game with Mike Trout in the dugout because he’s hitting fifth?

I’d be willing to bet no manager is ever going to move any of his top hitters down out of the first inning.

I guess I don’t understand the vitriol this idea is encountering. We asked for more forward thinking front office and manager. I certainly have issues with the front office, but i see no downside to trying this out, and it could potentially be a way to squeeze a few extra drops out of whatever pitching staff you have, good or bad.

That's just what happens over the course of a game, Chief. I'm sure over this long season the last out was made by Bobby Wilson batting 9th in the order. Doesn't mean they should have had Eddie Rosario batting 9th.

That's what no one has discussed with me yet. If the goal of this idea is to squeeze a few extra outs from the "starting" pitching staff it should be beneficial for everyone including Berrios and Gibson. They could squeeze a few extra outs themselves and be better. Why not 162 opener games then?

Edited by Vanimal46, 18 September 2018 - 08:40 PM.

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#54 USAFChief

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 08:56 PM

That's just what happens over the course of a game, Chief. I'm sure over this long season the last out was made by Bobby Wilson batting 9th in the order. Doesn't mean they should have had Eddie Rosario batting 9th.
That's what no one has discussed with me yet. If the goal of this idea is to squeeze a few extra outs from the "starting" pitching staff it should be beneficial for everyone including Berrios and Gibson. They could squeeze a few extra outs themselves and be better. Why not 162 opener games then?

1. You’re completely missing the point in paragraph one. Of course Bobby Wilson might be the last out batting ninth, but there’s nothing you can do about that. He’s batting ninth because he has to bat somewhere, and the lineup is nine batters long. We’re talking about Bobby Wilson making the last out batting third, with your best hittergetting one less AB than him.

2. OK. Do Berrios and Gibson struggle as much, third time through the order? Is it perilous to try to get more than 15-18 outs from them? If so, maybe you do it then too.
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#55 DocBauer

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 09:32 PM

If the manager bats Mike Trout fifth, I’ve won. He might not come up to hit in a close game in the ninth. Can you imagine the firestorm from the press and fans if the last out is made in a one run game with Mike Trout in the dugout because he’s hitting fifth?
I’d be willing to bet no manager is ever going to move any of his top hitters down out of the first inning.
I guess I don’t understand the vitriol this idea is encountering. We asked for more forward thinking front office and manager. I certainly have issues with the front office, but i see no downside to trying this out, and it could potentially be a way to squeeze a few extra drops out of whatever pitching staff you have, good or bad.


Once again, I get the principal of the idea. Seems to make sense. But there is also no guarantee, this idea or a conventional lineup, how the game plays out. Great opener, great secondary pitcher, bad day for either, BB, errors, etc, i still feel you are bringing in a RP early, hoping for the best case scenario.

There is no vitriol, it's just questioning how this works out long term. You mentioned Trout being stuck in the dugout, or on deck, in a key situation, with an adjusted lineup. But even in a normal lineup, who can guarantee Trout would come to bat in any late game situation? No matter how you stack your line-up, or pitchers, there is still so many random outcomes involved that I just don't see a relevance that makes sense.

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#56 ashburyjohn

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 03:52 AM

Normal lineup: if Bobby Wilson makes the final out of the game, say in his fourth PA, then Eddie Rosario had four PA too. If it was Bobby's fifth, Eddie got five too. Nothing the manager can help.

Rosario batting anywhere below Wilson to confound the Opener Strategy: if Bobby Wilson makes the final out, Eddie Rosario had one fewer chance. That's the manager outsmarting himself.
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#57 Tomj14

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 06:19 AM

 

Once again, I get the principal of the idea. Seems to make sense. But there is also no guarantee, this idea or a conventional lineup, how the game plays out. Great opener, great secondary pitcher, bad day for either, BB, errors, etc, i still feel you are bringing in a RP early, hoping for the best case scenario.

There is no vitriol, it's just questioning how this works out long term. You mentioned Trout being stuck in the dugout, or on deck, in a key situation, with an adjusted lineup. But even in a normal lineup, who can guarantee Trout would come to bat in any late game situation? No matter how you stack your line-up, or pitchers, there is still so many random outcomes involved that I just don't see a relevance that makes sense.

So everybody will be up in arms if Trout gets stuck on the bench, but nobody will be up in arms that one of your best relief pitchers isn't available in a close game. Doesn't it go both ways?

 


#58 Tomj14

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 06:25 AM

 

 

Normal lineup: if Bobby Wilson makes the final out of the game, say in his fourth PA, then Eddie Rosario had four PA too. If it was Bobby's fifth, Eddie got five too. Nothing the manager can help.

Rosario batting anywhere below Wilson to confound the Opener Strategy: if Bobby Wilson makes the final out, Eddie Rosario had one fewer chance. That's the manager outsmarting himself.

So we are talking about Bobby Wilson moving up in the lineup, a 35 year catcher with a .242 OBP this year.

That isn't the type of hitter to move around the lineup.

Plus if you are the away team you could start a high OBP guy at any position give him an early at bat and then move the starter in to take the field?


#59 USAFChief

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 08:13 AM

So everybody will be up in arms if Trout gets stuck on the bench, but nobody will be up in arms that one of your best relief pitchers isn't available in a close game. Doesn't it go both ways?


He WAS available. He already pitched.
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#60 USAFChief

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 08:15 AM

Plus if you are the away team you could start a high OBP guy at any position give him an early at bat and then move the starter in to take the field?


You could do the same no matter the opposing pitcher, no?

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