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RIP: Opener Pitcher

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#1 Thrylos

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 11:06 AM

Glad to see that this unfortunate experiment went out with Molitor and his pitching coaches and the Twins are focusing on their starters pitching longer in games and actually wining... 

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#2 Vanimal46

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 11:10 AM

Are there any teams in the league that still use an opener? I'd love for this gimmick to go away forever.
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#3 Mike Sixel

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 11:10 AM

 

Glad to see that this unfortunate experiment went out with Molitor and his pitching coaches and the Twins are focusing on their starters pitching longer in games and actually wining... 

 

The difference is they have 5 starters this year......

 

Openers and piggybacking makes a ton of sense for teams w/o 5 starters. 

 

BTW, Tampa was very good last year and they used the opener......and are light years ahead of most teams in terms of what they achieve on their budget. So I'm not sure the point.

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#4 Sconnie

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 06:59 PM

The difference is they have 5 starters this year......

Openers and piggybacking makes a ton of sense for teams w/o 5 starters.

BTW, Tampa was very good last year and they used the opener......and are light years ahead of most teams in terms of what they achieve on their budget. So I'm not sure the point.

odds seem good that when we next see Kohl Stewart take the mound for the Twins, it’ll involve either an opener or stacker.
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#5 BK432

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 06:59 PM

Tampa for sure has still used the opener this year. Yonny Chirinos in particular has started some games, and some games has come in after an opener. He's been great either way.

 

I personally don't get why this quirk gets so many people worked up. It's just a pitcher change earlier in the game than we're accustomed to.

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#6 PDX Twin

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 08:36 PM

 

Twins are focusing on their starters pitching longer in games and actually wining... 

 

Wining is always good! Enjoying a lovely syrah blend tonight ... wonderful!

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#7 flags

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 08:50 PM

i don't recall seeing too many openers this early in the season last year either. i know it kind of caught on as the season went along, but i'm guessing by august it'll be pretty common again

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#8 birdwatcher

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 09:03 PM

 

Glad to see that this unfortunate experiment went out with Molitor and his pitching coaches and the Twins are focusing on their starters pitching longer in games and actually wining... 

 

 

Aside from the (questionable) thesis that this Opener Pitcher tactic's days are permanently over, on what basis did you conclude that Molitor and his pitching coaches were champions of this thing?

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#9 Riverbrian

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 09:49 PM

 

 

 

I personally don't get why this quirk gets so many people worked up. It's just a pitcher change earlier in the game than we're accustomed to.

 

For the life of me... I don't understand the opposition to it either. It's just a change in sequencing.

 

Fixating on the opener is like fixating on the yellow spokes on a unicycle and missing the bear that is juggling pineapples while riding the the same unicycle.  

 

Folks need to do themselves a favor and check out the innings allocation of the Rays last year. The bullpen games and subsequent winning of 90 games with only Blake Snell in a rotation... That's the bear on a unicycle they are missing, while fixating on the opener. 

 

Does everything have to remain the same, even if it doesn't work so they can remain comfortable. 

 

And to take the bait and address the comment that the opener concept is dead with Molitor gone. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense... Molitor was the guy who studied the Rays instead of looking over his own team information and said "Damn It... I'm the Manager... I'm going to implement this thing. Then he is replaced with a new manager FROM THE RAYS, the team who came up with the concept and he is the one who killed it. Doesn't sound even 1% plausible. 

 

The Twins this year just happen to have 5 starters who are doing alright so they don't need to throw bullpen games or utilize an opener. They don't YET. I'll willing to bet anyone that if that should change... you'll see some the Rays game plan come to life before your eyes.  

 

There are 1400 Plus innings to throw in a given season. How many do you want to waste with a guy with a 5 plus ERA? Just to keep that 5 man rotation thing going? Are people afraid that baseball will stop trying to develop pitchers who can gobble up innings like Scherzer does because Sergio Romo pitched the first inning? They still need quality pitchers to handle as many innings as they can... they got 1400 plus innings to manage. 

 

Even the Rays with their unquestioned success with 1 starter in a rotation...still went out and acquired Charlie Morton to be a traditional starter and are using Tyler Glasnow as a traditional starter along with Blake Snell and they still try to acquire high end starting prospects in almost every trade they make. If Madison Bumgarner and Trevor Bauer joined Snell, Morton and Glasnow... they wouldn't even consider the opener. They'd just rotate the 5 of them and eat as many of the 1400 innings. The Rays just can't afford to pay Chris Sale, Chris Sale money and then survive when he tosses a 6 plus ERA so they found a solution to that problem and it's the same problem that nearly every single baseball team has. 

 

Anyway... I just typed some extra paragraphs to say that I agree with you. I don't understand either why people act like the opener concept (which has been barely used to date--albeit successfully) is like Asian Carp invading the Illinois River.  

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#10 Otwins

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 10:12 PM

Pineda does not seem to go very deep in his starts. Might use an opener there but not sure there is a reliable two inning reliever to open with.Maybe Harper

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#11 flags

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 11:18 PM

 

Pineda does not seem to go very deep in his starts. Might use an opener there but not sure there is a reliable two inning reliever to open with.Maybe Harper

 

i don't internet enough to look up the numbers, but teams are teeing off on Pineda the third time through the order. seems like a perfect opportunity for an opener. when mejia comes back he could be a good candidate. he's used to starting games and can occasionally string together two good innings

 

pretty sure openers are here to stay, at least for a while. with all the april off days and rain outs, there just hasn't been a need yet.

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#12 Brandon

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 12:25 AM

 

Glad to see that this unfortunate experiment went out with Molitor and his pitching coaches and the Twins are focusing on their starters pitching longer in games and actually wining... 

So they are going back to the basics that Terry Ryan promoted....Nice...

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#13 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 03:33 PM

i don't internet enough to look up the numbers, but teams are teeing off on Pineda the third time through the order. seems like a perfect opportunity for an opener. when mejia comes back he could be a good candidate. he's used to starting games and can occasionally string together two good innings

pretty sure openers are here to stay, at least for a while. with all the april off days and rain outs, there just hasn't been a need yet.

Pineda, time through the order, 2019, by OPS:

1st: .515
2nd: .956
3rd: 1.716

Edited by Mr. Brooks, 03 May 2019 - 03:34 PM.

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#14 Doomtints

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 04:02 PM

The Denver Broncos had a cruddy QB with the name of Tim Tebow. The Broncos changed to an odd scheme to run an offense in the NFL, the spread offense, in order to work to his strengths.

 

It worked very well and the spread offense became the trendy thing. Many teams ran a couple of spread plays a game for a while, including the Vikings. (For the Vikings, I don't think the plays ever worked.)

 

In spite of introducing the spread offense to the NFL, Denver was one of the first teams to drop the idea. Once they got rid of Tebow, they had no use for the offense. They were doing what smart teams do -- innovating. In the meantime, other teams (like the Vikings) kept trying it for a year or two. Why? Who knows.

 

We are seeing the same thing in baseball with the "opener" concept. One team didn't have enough starters so they thought they would burn through relievers instead. It was unconventional but it gave them a chance. This worked for them. Now that they have enough starters, they are no longer doing it.

Edited by Doomtints, 03 May 2019 - 04:06 PM.

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#15 Riverbrian

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 04:56 PM

 

The Denver Broncos had a cruddy QB with the name of Tim Tebow. The Broncos changed to an odd scheme to run an offense in the NFL, the spread offense, in order to work to his strengths.

 

It worked very well and the spread offense became the trendy thing. Many teams ran a couple of spread plays a game for a while, including the Vikings. (For the Vikings, I don't think the plays ever worked.)

 

In spite of introducing the spread offense to the NFL, Denver was one of the first teams to drop the idea. Once they got rid of Tebow, they had no use for the offense. They were doing what smart teams do -- innovating. In the meantime, other teams (like the Vikings) kept trying it for a year or two. Why? Who knows.

 

We are seeing the same thing in baseball with the "opener" concept. One team didn't have enough starters so they thought they would burn through relievers instead. It was unconventional but it gave them a chance. This worked for them. Now that they have enough starters, they are no longer doing it.

 

Exactly!!!

 

Why do teams keep rotating 5 starters when they don't have 5 quality starters and the overwhelming number of team don't have 5 quality starters. That is forcing yourself into a failed system. Why not change the system to what you actually have?  

 

 

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#16 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 09:08 PM

 

The Denver Broncos had a cruddy QB with the name of Tim Tebow. The Broncos changed to an odd scheme to run an offense in the NFL, the spread offense, in order to work to his strengths.

 

It worked very well and the spread offense became the trendy thing. Many teams ran a couple of spread plays a game for a while, including the Vikings. (For the Vikings, I don't think the plays ever worked.)

 

In spite of introducing the spread offense to the NFL, Denver was one of the first teams to drop the idea. Once they got rid of Tebow, they had no use for the offense. They were doing what smart teams do -- innovating. In the meantime, other teams (like the Vikings) kept trying it for a year or two. Why? Who knows.

 

We are seeing the same thing in baseball with the "opener" concept. One team didn't have enough starters so they thought they would burn through relievers instead. It was unconventional but it gave them a chance. This worked for them. Now that they have enough starters, they are no longer doing it.

Yep, it's a band-aid for a flawed roster.

 

But it also doesn't have to be binary. There's no need to use an opener consistently or refuse the idea entirely. 

 

If you have four reliable starters, using one opener is a decent option. Personally, I don't really care for the opener idea because it alters the game flow quite a bit but if it brings wins, go ahead and do it.

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#17 Channing1964

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Posted 04 May 2019 - 04:48 AM

I think the opener has been around forever. Back in the day the talent pool was such that No team had 5 quality starters. Every pitcher knew that when the 3-4-5 starters were up it was All Hands on Deck. This is not new. For the Rays(or anyone else) taking credit for a new innovative way of managing their pitching staff is just Nonsense. They dreamed it up from reading history books. The best teams still go 5 starters deep and what you do that 4-5th day either makes or breaks you.

Edited by Channing1964, 04 May 2019 - 04:49 AM.


#18 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 04 May 2019 - 09:16 AM

I think the opener has been around forever. Back in the day the talent pool was such that No team had 5 quality starters. Every pitcher knew that when the 3-4-5 starters were up it was All Hands on Deck. This is not new. For the Rays(or anyone else) taking credit for a new innovative way of managing their pitching staff is just Nonsense. They dreamed it up from reading history books. The best teams still go 5 starters deep and what you do that 4-5th day either makes or breaks you.


Having guys who might not be good enough to pitch deep in the game is not the same as how the Rays use an opener.
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#19 cardsfan

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Posted 04 May 2019 - 10:03 AM

Long relievers in the old days used to start. I remember BP in the past which you hope you could win 40% of the time. Perhaps if everything wasn't based on how fast yoi pitch, but, location and changing speeds we woild hsve emough pitchers.

#20 howeda7

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Posted 04 May 2019 - 02:57 PM

Moya was our designated opener and is on the IL. I wouldn't be shocked to see it if Stewart/Gonsalves end up in the rotation.

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