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Mike Maddux - Genius no more?


adambr2

Just a little curious as to why Maddux seems to escape blame for the significant pitching problems. When the hitters struggled last year, we wanted to tan Wynegar's hide.

 

Look at our #2 - #5 pitchers. None of them has performed better than a #5. Truthfully, it's a miracle that we're in first place still on July 21st. We were supposed to have the dominant rotation in the Central coming into the season. That just hasn't been the case.

 

Also, yes, I know it sounds silly, so I'm obviously not going to blame him for it, but why does it seem like every Maddux visit to the pitchers mound brings on bad things? What does he tell them? Groove one down the middle?

 

The bullpen has been adequate this year, the rotation, anything but. Where are the adjustments? Bush seems to be turning around a bit, but he still hasn't been as expected.

 

All I'm saying, is that in 2005 and earlier, we thought Mike Maddux was beyond reproach. Now he has the most talented rotation he's ever had. So, where are the results?

 

Just wanted to see what thoughts were on this. I don't claim to know enough about the job of a pitching coach to know how much blame he should shoulder. I know he doesn't go out there and take the mound. And I certainly don't think that he just "forgot" how to coach in the last 2 years.

 

But what I do know, is that the results haven't been up to expectations.

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i don't think Wynegar and Maddux compare at all. the hitters never seemed to progress under Wynegar and we were consistently near the bottom in a lot of categories. Maddux has proven himself that he can turn people around like a DD and Turnbow. overall, i think in Maddux's tenure, most of our pitchers have really overachieved because of his teaching.
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Coaches get way too much credit when things go well and way too much blame when things go wrong. I think Maddux is an above average pitching coach, but he's not a miracle worker. He can tell the pitchers anything he can to try to get them to improve, but in the end, it's up to the pitcher to do well. It's not Maddux's fault that Capuano nibbled way too much coming off the DL (excluding his most recent start), or that Claudio Vargas has to get baserunners on before he gets anyone out, or that Suppan's not fooling many people this year. Mechanics haven't really been an issue this year -- execution has, and I don't think Maddux has much control over that.

"[baseball]'s a stupid game sometimes." -- Ryan Braun

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Maddux has a wonderful reputataion throughout MLB. He has helped people like Kolb, Capuano, Turnbow and Wise. Bush has shown consistent improvement. There were all sorts of great stories surrounding him. Now the Brewers give up a bunch of runs in 2 games and all of a suddden he's called into question? That's precious. Yes you are right, 2 days ago he instantly changed into a dolt. He's no longer any good.
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I would hardly have called our rotation a "dominating" one before the season. We did project to have a better rotation than most, simply because of our depth, but Sheets is the only top flight pitcher. Adding Gallardo to that mix potentially gives us another top pitcher to go with Sheets, so the rotation has nowhere to go but up next year.

 

There's no reason to think that Maddux has regressed any as a pitching coach or is any less effective now. In the end, pitchers know themselves better than their coach ever can and are ultimately responsible for their performance.

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Well I must say I have no idea what Maddux is to this team.

 

I must say though, I went to a game on Sunday last weekend, and then Tuesday this week and both games he was working with guys that you'd expect him to work with. On Sunday it was Capuano. He would get in the crouch and pretend he was the catcher and then Cappy would go through a delivery and pitch it at like 50%. You could tell they were working on mechanics, and I think it might have shown in the game he pitched Wednesday. On Tuesday it Bush who I saw him doing the same thing with.

 

It could be just coincidence, but I know he is at least trying to do his job. I think the bullpen guys are more of Castro's to work with.

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Maddux has a wonderful reputataion throughout MLB. He has helped people like Kolb, Capuano, Turnbow and Wise. Bush has shown consistent improvement. There were all sorts of great stories surrounding him. Now the Brewers give up a bunch of runs in 2 games and all of a suddden he's called into question? That's precious. Yes you are right, 2 days ago he instantly changed into a dolt. He's no longer any good.

 

First of all, I don't think it was ever implied that this thread was based on 2 games. It was based on the performance of the rotation this season. I think that was made pretty clear.

 

I also don't think you accurately read my original post if you are insinuating that I think Maddux is a dolt or is no longer any good. I think I was pretty clear that that is not what I was saying, but that I was solely looking to stimulate discussion on the troubles with the pitching staff in relation to Maddux' role. That is what these boards are for.

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Suppan is basically pitching like normal, Bush has just had bad luck, Capuano had an injury which probably hurt his stats significantly. Sheets is having a great season. Vargas has been pretty horrible but somehow always gets the W anyway. The bullpen has been way better than expected.

 

I guess I fail to see how the pitching is underperforming overall.

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Well, I do feel like the rotation has been underperforming, and again, I'm not saying this is Maddux' fault.

 

I think at this point in the season, I was expecting Capuano, Suppan, and Bush to all have ERA's about a full point lower than what they are. I would say Sheets has been about as expected, as has Vargas. He's been a very servicable #5.

 

Suppan has an ERA around 5.00 and a WHIP over 1.50. If this is like normal for him, then it was a terrible signing.

 

Cappy has really struggled too, but he was struggling before the injury.

 

Bush has looked a lot better the last month or two. Still also up around 5.00 ERA, in a year that I think many of us expected to see him break out.

 

I don't think there's any question that the #2 - #4 in our rotation have underperformed this season.

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Bush is down to a 4.83 ERA now and his stats pretty much mirror last years other than an inflated BABIP.

 

Suppan has a career 1.42 WHIP so I don't think his WHIP is really off the charts compared to normal, his FIP this year is actually better than it has been in the past 3 years, he's just giving up more runs.

 

I think the main issue is you are trying to judge pitchers by ERA which isn't a very good way to judge them. ERA is a fine stat when you are talking about 500 IP but when you are looking at 120 IP chunks of data its just all over the place. All of our pitchers are posting about the K/9, BB/9 etc that you'd expect of them.

 

Here is a nice little article about the Brewers and if they are getting lucky etc.

 

 

www.hardballtimes.com/mai...e-brewers/

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Suppan has an ERA around 5.00 and a WHIP over 1.50. If this is like normal for him, then it was a terrible signing.

 

For his career he is 4.62ERA / 1.42 WHIP, so he probably won't get much better.

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He has helped people like Kolb, Capuano, Turnbow and Wise. Bush has shown consistent improvement.

 

He helped Kolb and Turnbow, but then both regressed. He helped Davis, but then he regressed. So far he has helped Wise. But he also failed to help Dana Eveland, Ben Hendrickson, JDLR, Jose Capellan, Zach Jackson & Dennis Sarfate (so far). He has helped several pitchers, however I see an alarming trend of young pitchers that have not developed. CV has been good so far, and it's too early to tell with Yo and Manny, but other than that I have a hard time thinking of a pitcher who has come up through they system who has done reasonably well at the major league level. Some of them certainly had some impressive minor league numbers and some talent... the question is why has Maddux not been able to help them?

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For his career he is 4.62ERA / 1.42 WHIP, so he probably won't get much better.

 

He should. Those numbers are a lot due to the fact that his career never really took off until he was 27 or so.

 

He hasn't posted an ERA over 4.19 since 2002.

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Thats largely because he pitched in a pitchers park with the best defense in the NL though. His K/9, BB/9 GB%, HR/FB etc has all stayed pretty much steady throughout his career. The only thing that has really jumped around are his BABIP, LOB% and ERA which are at least partially out of his control.

 

I cannot stress enough that ERA is a faulty stat for judging pitchers, its a team stat. A 4.00 ERA pitcher for the White Sox is much better than a 4.00 ERA pitcher for STL, hitters park, AL vs NL, harder competition, defense isn't as good. You really need to dig deeper than just ERA when looking at a pitcher who has moved from one team to another.

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with the best defense in the NL though.

 

Exactly. I'd say Suppan has pitched to expectations. People who expected him to have a 3.50 ERA or something apparently had never paid attention to the guy, and that the Brewers have a bad defense while the Cardinals defense was phenomenal.

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Look at what Melvin has given Maddux to work with in the bullpen the past few years. Cordero is about the only quality arm he's given him. There's only so much a coach can do but if you go down the list it seems most scrap heap relievers he has been given have gone on to over-achieve while in Milwaukee.
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Exactly. I'd say Suppan has pitched to expectations. People who expected him to have a 3.50 ERA or something apparently had never paid attention to the guy, and that the Brewers have a bad defense while the Cardinals defense was phenomenal.

 

I don't expect a 3.50 ERA out of Suppan, but I do expect something around 4.15 out of him by the end of the season, especially considering he's a second half pitcher.

 

I knew the risks we were taking, too. Groundball pitcher that relies on a solid defense. I don't think our defense has been bad. Weeks has actually been pretty great for the most part. Hardy has been pretty solid. Same with Counsell and Graffy. Prince has had good and bad moments, and Braun, though he's had some struggles, has been better than advertised.

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You are going to be disappointed then, i'd expect Suppan to sit around a 4.25-4.75 ERA at the end of the season. He isn't a second half pitcher either btw, he has a 4.68 career 1st half ERA and 4.56 career 2nd half ERA. He just happened to have a really good 2nd half last year.
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You are going to be disappointed then, i'd expect Suppan to sit around a 4.25-4.75 ERA at the end of the season. He isn't a second half pitcher either btw, he has a 4.68 career 1st half ERA and 4.56 career 2nd half ERA. He just happened to have a really good 2nd half last year.

 

No, it wasn't just last year, in 2005 he had a 2.78 ERA in the 2nd half. He then followed this up with a 2.39 ERA in the 2nd half of last year. So the last two years, he has absolutely been a 2nd half pitcher.

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PECOTA had Suppan pegged for an ERA of exactly 5 for this year and it's aging curve is not terribly friendly going forward. I don't have a lot to complain about with this year for Suppan since he is what he is, but I'm terribly anxious that he could cross that line to bad fairly quickly and if he does it next year he'd probably be immovable for two years at major money.
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I've been wondering how much the starter struggles may have to due to Estrada. He's not known for his defense and there were the clubhouse problems last year. I wonder if some of the starters just aren't clicking with him.

 

I also found it interesting in the paper a few days ago, where Yost said he may have Miller catch Suppan because he has been doing better in the last few games with Miller catching.

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Studies have been done that showed that the first year a catcher is with a team the starters ERA tend to jump up some and the second year they go back down. I'd imagine it has at least a little bit of an affect.
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Alright, well regardless of whether Suppan is or isn't underperforming, I can't see how the rotation has been remotely close to as expected.

 

Our #2 - #4 pitchers are near 5.00 in ERA. Someone pointed out that ERA isn't a completely accurate gauge, which is true.

 

Still, we were projected by many to have the best rotation in the central this year. If 4 out of our 5 starters at 4.47 or worse is what we were looking for, I'd have to say our rotation was extremely overrated.

 

I still think Suppan will recover for a good second half like he did in '05 and '06. No, I don't expect 2.39 out of him in the 2nd half, but I think he'll be okay.

 

Capuano has been known to fade down the stretch, so I am a bit more concerned about him, though he looked very solid in his last start, and will need to be every bit as good against Harang.

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