Posted 26 October 2012 - 08:28 AM
[quote name='Brock Beauchamp'][quote name='USAFChief'][quote name='Brock Beauchamp']Agreed. If you have even a mediocre rotation, the bullpen isn't nearly as exposed. Those guys you listed are quality guys at the back of the pen. If your rotation isn't awful, you don't have to worry so much about the "soft underbelly" of the pen.
I'm not against shoring up the bullpen but I am surprised that it's the #2 concern. I'd think the middle infield wins that title easily.[/QUOTE]
How so? Wouldn't the better your rotation is, mean the more important the bullpen is? What's more important...holding onto a lead or tie, or coming into a game the starter has already lost? Nobody really cares all that much when Jeff Gray comes into a game the starter has already lost. If the Twins don't improve their starting pitching, then the bullpen isn't going to matter much. It'll lose games, but you can't finish lower than last.
In any case, no matter if your team is good or bad, or your starters are good or bad, your bullpen is going to be the deciding factor in a lot of games. Most major league baseball games end up close, it's the nature of the beast. Continually getting outpitched in the last 3 innings of a game matters too, just as does getting outpitched in the first 6.
You might argue that better starting pitching will throw more innings, and that's true, but the difference isn't as much as you'd think. Twins starters averaged 5.4 IP in 2012, worst in the AL. But the best only averaged 6.2, and half the teams were somewhere in the 5's, so most nights the Twins were asking their bullpen to get 1 or 2 more outs than their opponants. A good starting staff might eliminate those 1 or 2 outs, but every team in the league is asking their bullpen to pitch mulitiple innings almost evey night. You can't do that effectively with a 2 or 3 man bullpen.
I do agree that I don't know if the infield or the bullpen is a higher priority, but I'd argue both need to be addressed, although neither will likely matter much if they don't get better starting pitching.[/QUOTE]
The Twins have a decent pen already. Duensing, Burton, Duensing, and *maybe* Fien make up for a pretty solid 7-9 innings. Sure, the Twins could probably use another seventh inning guy but if you have four (maybe three) pitchers who can pitch, you're going to hold on to a lot of leads.
The main problem was the rotation. If you didn't have guys like Blackburn folding after four innings, followed by Deduno pitching five good innings, followed by De Vries throwing another 4.2 innings, your good relievers wouldn't be so taxed and we wouldn't be forced to watch Jeff Gray pitch the seventh or eighth inning over and over and over again. Sure, a half inning doesn't seem like much but over the course of a season, that's an extra 80 innings your bullpen has to throw and most of those innings aren't going to the Duensings, Burtons, and Perkins of the team. They're going to the scrubs, the replacement guys. And as we saw with many Deduno/Liriano starts, going five innings or less doesn't automatically mean the game is a blowout. Many of those games were close but Gardy had to come up with four innings from the pen. Not an easy task in a close game, doubly so if the opposing starter goes seven innings and you only have to face the best of their bullpen because of it.
Also, a better rotation means that Duensing actually get to pitch from the bullpen instead of being thrown into a starting role where he flounders. As I said, the Twins could use another guy in the pen but considering that their MI options are Escobar, Florimon, Carroll, and Dozier, I'm surprised that's not the #2 priority for the team. It seems to me that the most gains could be found by finding a shortstop or second baseman who isn't really bad at baseball.[/QUOTE]
Brock I apologize for this but... Everything you typed here is just a bunch of words.
A good rotation needs a bullpen... A bad rotation needs a bullpen. Your post seems to be a little A + B = C.
Bullpen is fine therefore with better SP we don't need to improve the bullpen? Yeah... That's an easy concept to understand but terribly wrong.
Runs can be scored in any inning. A bullpen pitching with a lead will be a different kind of important as opposed to last years staff that had to log serious innings down on the scoreboard.
If the pitching isn't going to improve in 2013... I agree with you... Our bullpen is just fine. If the pitching improves and we have some leads to play with... You better keep an eye on who is available for bullpen help otherwise you risk giving up your gains.
Goblin is right... We could use some flamethrowers.