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The need for a 2nd lefty in bullpen


JohnBriggs12

The series vs. the Reds and the Mets exposed the weaknesses in the Brewer bullpen. Both of those teams have a lot of lefthanded thunder in their lineups. There are other teams out there that do too. On any given day, lineups like that can do what the Reds did to Bush and the Mets did to Suppan this week. But the Brewers have just one lefty in the bullpen and no true long man. They also have 2 guys filling slots that are not trusted right now in tight situations.

Now the long man issue should be solved with the return of Gallardo, and the replacement of McClung as "long man" presumably by Bush. But on days when the pen needs to log 4 or more innings, it would make Yost's job a lot easier if he had a second lefty to counter a lefty laden lineup. I believe Stetter is ready to handle that role though Choate at some point could figure in as well. The problem is opening up the spot in the pen now held by Turnbow.

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It would be nice to have another lefty in the pen but he can't just be a guy who is brought in for one guy, IMO. It's shame that Bush has been so bad so far, as parra could be the perfect guy for that role right now. Also, I don't think you start adjusting your bullpen to accommodate the few times you have to ask them to to pitch 4 innings.
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I don't know that I'd call it a need, but there are definitely times where it would be nice to have a second capable lefty. I'm guessing it's decent odds that Stetter or Choate would be the next reliever out of Nashville (although isn't Choate injured, or am I imagining that?) in the event of an injury.
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I think I remember hearing that Stetter will be used more like a setup man and less like a LOOGY in Nashville. Looking at his stats so far, he's gone at least an inning per appearance, and has mostly faced righties, and done very well. After his decent September, his fantastic Fall League (especially against lefties), and his small sample 2008, it seems like he could be an adequate complement to Shouse, sooner rather than later.

 

Other than Stetter and Choate, we also have Chris Narveson and Zach Jackson in the AAA rotation. Not sure how either would do over multiple innings out of the pen, but there definitely are some options if our expensive but inconsistent relievers like Turnbow, Mota, and McClung falter.

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I do not want to give Ned another loogy. Last year, only Carlos Villanueva, and Chris Spurling averaged over 1 inning per appearance. The league average for teams, with right handed relievers who did not go over 1 inning was 1.7 per team, the brewers carried 4-5 at a time. This is largley because Ned loves to play the matchups, Shouse averaged .65 innings, and we were 7 games under .500 in games which he appeared.

 

It would be nice to get a lefty who can get righties out as well, so that we dont have to use up so many guys. Adding another loogy, will only hurt this team more in my opinion.

 

EDIT: originally had right handed relievers averaged 1.7 per game

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piccione88 wrote:

This is largley because Ned loves to play the matchups,

Why do you make that assumption? Who did we have last year in the pen who could reasonably be pitching more than an inning at a time in tough situations?

Fan is short for fanatic.

I blame Wang.

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I put the wrong information in the my original post. It was the average team carried 1.7 right handers who did not go over 1 inning. The brewers carried twice the league average, still largley, but you are right not entirley due to playing the matchups. If you bring a guy like Shouse in to go less than 2/3 of an inning, that is obviously going to make you use more guys in a game.
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piccione88[/b]]I put the wrong information in the my original post. It was the average team carried 1.7 right handers who did not go over 1 inning. The brewers carried twice the league average, still largley, but you are right not entirley due to playing the matchups. If you bring a guy like Shouse in to go less than 2/3 of an inning, that is obviously going to make you use more guys in a game.
Yeah playing match ups would drive up the number of relievers used. I personally prefer to just have good guys who can pitch to both, or a guy like Wise who was a quasi LOOGY. He had good splits against lefties.

Fan is short for fanatic.

I blame Wang.

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Heck, you don't even need a lefty in the bullpen, as long as you have quality pitchers. In a 5 or 7 game series, you can easily make the argument for lefties, but over 162, I'd much rather have a group of good pitchers.

 

Quality of the type you are referring too is hard to find for guys who cover the 6th and 7th innings. The Brewers have experienced quality arms in the pen, but they aren't lights out guys. The 8th inning situation where Mota was facing Delgado screamed for a lefty. Mota got out of it (barely), but I'd rather face a guy like Delgado (career .995 OPS vs. RHP; .787 vs. LHP) with a lefty. It goes without saying you want your lefty to be capable, but I think Stetter (who's now 27) has paid his dues and shown he's capable.
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I'd like to see another lefty as well. I thought the Crew was higher on Stetter? Do we still consider Shouse a LOOGY? I thought he had improved against righties that he could face them over the course of an inning?
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I don't think Shouse should ever face RHP -- Over the last three years he has given up .839 OPS RHers and .606 to LHers. I think he is decent enough to pitch to a RHer if an inning went L-R-L -- and of course sometimes he will have to face a RHer if a PHer is thrown at him -- but overall I think Shouse facing RHers is playing with fire.
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It is guesome--RHers hit .300 against Shouse consistently-LHers .200 Thats why luck played a decent part in the victory against Cicny. Shouse vs RHer with bases loaded is an opposing team's dream matchup

 

As to Al's point, no having a left hander is a good thing. Yes you rather have a good RH pitcher instead of a bad LHer, but platoon splits exist.

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