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Bullpen management


I've been on the fence about Yost for 2 years. I've neither liked nor disliked him. His bullpen management, however, is starting to wear on me. Today's debauchery aside, he seems to do 3 things that I feel could be a detriment to this team down the stretch:

 

1. He leaves a guy in WAY too long. I know you can't pull a guy every time a ball gets hit hard and there are times you have to let a guy "work through it" but anyone who watches/listens regularly should know exactly what I mean.

 

2. He warms guys up unnecessarily. In a way, it's the exact opposite of #1. I'm concerned about the effect this may have over the course of a season. When questioned about this, he usually gives an explanation that shows he is overthinking each move WAY TOO MUCH.

 

3. He just plain uses the wrong guy. Again, I know you can't have the same people pitch every day. But don't burn a guy like Villy or Gallardo when you're down 5. And don't EVER bring Spurling into a close game.

 

I'm not sure how Yost stacks up compared to other MLB managers in this regard. I may be way off here. I'm not looking to start a "Yost sucks" thread or discuss any other aspect of his management. OK--I'm gonna sit back and wait to get blasted but here goes.

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I tend to agree with your points, but I'm sure we'll hear some valid counterpoints. http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/smile.gif What sticks out in my mind was a Yost press conference when he said he could tell Bush was in trouble starting right away with the first batter of the game? even though Dave struck that batter out.

 

As was mentioned in the vent thread, you'd think Ned would have had plenty of bullpen options today, including a starter or two.

 

You're right that this shouldn't need turn into a Yost sucks thread; we have Yost's Last Stand in the designated thread list in the Major League Forum FAQ. There's also a recent Spurling thread if anyone wants to pick apart his skills.

That’s the only thing Chicago’s good for: to tell people where Wisconsin is.

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One thing that bothers me is when there is a left-right-left combination coming up with runners on he'll use Shouse to face all 3 guys. With the bases empty I'm fine with Shouse facing a single righty since he doesn't give up many HR's, but when runners are on I just don't like it at all.

 

So far this season its mostly worked out but the overall sample on Shouse is big enough to be pretty sure he'll regress vs righties.

 

For comment #1 other than today I wouldn't say he leaves them in WAY too long. At times he does let them face 1 batter too many but most posters have way too fast a hook in the game threads. IP's by starters are a precious commodity, once you take the starter out you can't ever get those innings back and they are all spent on your bullpen. Overextend the bullpen and you have a late season collapse.

 

None of that is an excuse for today though when he left Cappy in for at 3 or 4 too many batters.

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first off, today's Journal Sentinal mentions that Shouse has the same average against for righties and lefties

 

also, Yost's desire to get an extra inning out of starters is nice, as for once we have a manager that doesn't seem to want to overwork his bullpen. I shutter at the days of Garner, Lopes, etc.

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I agree with you on point three. There are too many times when he wastes good innings from Villanueva in blowouts, and too many times when he puts Spurling in the perfect position to blow the game.

 

Points one and two are examples of how Yost can do no right in the eyes of some.

 

When Yost lets a pitcher work through some trouble and they get rocked he's leaving them in too long. On the other hand, when Yost gets someone up in the pen at the first sign of trouble and the pitcher gets himself out of the jam he's warmed up someone unnecessarily.

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I will limit my post to today's game since for the most part I think Ned does OK.

 

I think today was poor management by Yost but I think I understand what may have happened. The Crew finally manages to scrape up a couple of runs and takes the lead. Capuano goes out to pitch and walks the leadoff hitter (batting .050). Yost goes to the mound and tells Cappy to quit nibbling and Chris proceeds to throw a meatball which gets blasted. At that point, Ned is furious and decides to let Chris work his way out of the inning since the lead is already gone. Of course Chris cannot do so and by the time Ned gets someone warmed up the damage is done.

 

Now many here will (and did on the chat) claim that with the break Yost had the entire bullpen to use. My guess is that Ned was trying to drive a message home that he needs his starters to go more than 5 innings. How many times in the last few weeks have our starters gotten past the sixth inning? Cappy was cruising and all of a sudden he melts down... Yost has to be crushed by that development and despite the circumstances of this particular game, he wasn't about to pull Cappy after 5 just because it is hot. Once the lead was lost he figures well we might as well get through this inning without burning the pen.

 

I didn't get to hear the post game interviews, but I'm curious at how mad Yost was with the development of that 6th inning. Did anyone talk with Cappy? I wonder if he was upset with Ned... Hopefully they both can put this game behind them and Cappy can start to give us some quality starts after the AS break.

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Quote:
Points one and two are examples of how Yost can do no right in the eyes of some

Agreed. But my point is either bring the guy in or leave the guy out there. I don't care which one. I want to emphasize that I'm not nit picking each move in the course of the year. He has a tendency to be indecisive at critical times.

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Even just listening to the game on the radio, it seemed pretty obvious that Cappy was gassed. Given the upcoming break, I think Ned should have gotten someone up in the bullpen as soon as he walked Jimenez. As it happened, though, it wasn't until a batter or two after the HR (as I understand it) that someone started getting loose, and by then it was too late. I think Powell was calling that inning (if memory serves), and he seemed baffled by the lack of activity.

 

With four off days coming up, there was no excuse for not having a short leash and bullpen-ing the Nats into submission.

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I support Yost 99.9% of the time. Today I didn't like his decision to leave Capuano in for so long. The only reason I can think of for leaving Capuano in is he sttarted the inning with only 75 pitches. Hopefully this is one of those "it will payoff down the stretch" moves. Makes the starter a little more confident he isn't going to get pulled at the first sign of trouble.

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I blame Wang.

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I'm not sure why having a 4 day break is reason to use bullpen guys just to use them. The bullpens get overworked by a cumulative workload not simply based off how long since they worked last. I'm not in favor of using bullpen arms without need regardless of how long they have to recover. Whether this was a need situation is dabatable. Cappy is as good a pitcher as any bullpen guy we could trot out there and he shouldn't have been tired after only 75 pitches.

while I underastand the rationelle for pulling him and wouldn't have had a problem if he did pull Cappy earlier I see why Ned left him in. Cappy lost his control for what ever reason. It happens to all pitchers from time to time. Sometimes they get it back without too much damage and roll along fine after that. There is no more reason to believe he couldn't get it back than there was to believe Wise could stop the bleeding. It's not like Wise came in and shut them down. Ultimately this is one of those times where there is no right or wrong. I would have been fine with either choice. That loss, like most wins and losses, had more to do with the failure of the players involved than it did the manager chosing which player should have been involved.

There needs to be a King Thames version of the bible.
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first off, today's Journal Sentinal mentions that Shouse has the same average against for righties and lefties

 

All that tells us is what has happened this year so far, not what's expected to happen (not to mention that BA is a poor choice of a metric) . Here's Shouse's splits from 04'-06':

 [b] AVG OBP SLG OPS[/b] vs. Left .210 .274 .340 .615 vs. Right .311 .399 .493 .893

We can either assume that Shouse,at age 38, has all of a sudden finally learned how to pitch to righties or we can conclude that the results of 38 AB don't accurately reflect Shouse's true ability against right handers.

 

RHers have a .307 BA against Shouse over his career. I hope Yost realizes that.

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I'm with many who have posted who have been neither for nor against Yost. I think what should have happened, with it being so hot and humid yesterday was he should have posted at the beginning of the game:

Cappy 1st 4 innings

Gallardo 5th and 6th

Villy 7th and 8th

Coco 9th

 

Everyone else, BE READY!

 

But, he didn't. And the decisions he made (or didn't make) cost the game.

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with it being so hot and humid yesterday was he should have posted at the beginning of the game:

Cappy 1st 4 innings

Gallardo 5th and 6th

Villy 7th and 8th

Coco 9th

 

 

So a 90 degree day means the starter is only capable of going 4 innings? I'm sure everyone would have been just fine if Cappy was pulled after 4 innings with only giving up one run. Ned wouldn't have been crucified at all if he pulled Cappy after 4 and the bullpen melted down. I'm equally sure Cappy would have been just fine with being pulled after 4 innings of very good pitching wiyhtout the chance of getting a win.

 

But, he didn't. And the decisions he made (or didn't make) cost the game.

 

Cappy not being able to throw stikes to a horrible hitter after only 75 pitches might have had something to do with the Brewers loss. So did Wise giving up a double to the first guy he faced. The pitching staff gives up 7 runs and the hitters not scoring more than a couple runs off that pitching staff and it was Ned's strategy that lost the game? I get it. He should have known the players were not capable of throwing strikes or hitting the ball. After all it's not like he has capable major league players or anything. They are so boarderline talent wise that the moment they run into a rough spot they need to be pulled. No possible way an established veteran pitcher could possibly be expected to get through six innings in July after 75 pitches. Ned should have known that.

There needs to be a King Thames version of the bible.
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4, 5, 6 innings, whatever. If I'm the manager, and I know that I have everyone available, I'm using them. The goal (as Herm Edwards so eloquently stated) is, you play to win the game. That, to me, didn't seem like it was to win the game.
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If I'm the manager, and I know that I have everyone available, I'm using them. The goal (as Herm Edwards so eloquently stated) is, you play to win the game. That, to me, didn't seem like it was to win the game.

 

Fine points. I also would have been fine if Ned had pulled Cappy sooner. I just don't agree that pulling Cappy was such an obvious choice for reasons I've already stated.

There needs to be a King Thames version of the bible.
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So a 90 degree day means the starter is only capable of going 4 innings?

 

most of the times no. but this isn't like most other times. Cappy just came off the DL. He only pitched 3 innings in his last start. He had no stamina built up. He got a basehit and was out on the bases for awhile in the heat. He walked that horrible batter because he was dead tired. No mlb pitcher is going to go to his manager and say take me out. That would show a manager you have no guts, and to a guy like ned who wants you to battle, that would be a bad message. So cappy walks the guy, ned comes out to yell at him, but still doesn't get anyone up. Next guy hits one out, still nobody up. By then Cappy can't throw a strike to save his life and Ned is just letting him hang out there. Just horrible. Wise should have been in much sooner than having to face belliard with the bases juiced. The whole situation could have and should have been different. Belliard knows that wise has to throw a strike, sits on the change and crushes it, game over. Ned blew it...Even MLB players get tired and when they get tired they lose command of their pitches. and clearly cappys control was nowhere to be found...

 

just for the record, I wanted Cappy to be PH for. I don't care what the pitch count said, and how that last inning went for him. We were down going into that inning, cappy started losing control the inning before and with that all star break coming up, we could have used the pen..

 

either way, there were about 20 people in the chat room that were ticked off and there was no excuse for letting cappy rot out there.

 

but hey, thats baseball.

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Quote:
The goal (as Herm Edwards so eloquently stated) is, you play to win the game.

 

Herm Edwards is a football coach. Managing a team in football is completely different than managing a team in baseball. You don't always necessarily make decisions based on what's best to win the game at hand in baseball, like you would in a 16 game NFL season.

 

Don't take that to mean that I think Ned should've left Cappy in as long as he did with the ASB coming. I'm just saying there's a night and day difference in the managing philosophies involved between the two sports.

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Maybe not the best analogy, but the goal is still the same. When the season is over, football or baseball, the teams that have the most wins move on. Yesterday was a winnable game. When you have everyone available, knowing that you've got 4 days off, you use them and not let Capuano continue to let runs score.
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There are too many times when he wastes good innings from Villanueva in blowouts, and too many times when he puts Spurling in the perfect position to blow the game.

 

I agree with this, but I think the reason Ned does this is to give Spurling some opportunities to shine and improve his confidence level. "See, Chris, we may need you late in the season to be 'the man', so let's see you do it here in June." That kind of a thing (although I doubt Ned actually says that to him.)

 

As for using Villanueva in blowouts, I would venture a guess that it's just to get some work in, since he was likely warming up in the pen when the game was still relatively close and Ned would rather not burn up another arm for the day and instead just use the guy that's already warm.

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jason21nl a short stint on the DL shouldn't make a guy incapable of running a couple bases and pitching. Most guys on the DL also work on maintaining their conditioning so I just don't buy that as an excuse. Especially since this isn't his first start coming off the DL. The weather was hot but that isn't an excuse for being gassed after 75 pitches. It's not like baseball requires extreme conditioning to begin with. Guys like CC Sabathia, David Wells, Carlos Lee, John Kruk all seemed to have enough energy to run a few bases and still produce afterward. Granted it appears he was gasses but I don't know if it was obvious he was after a couple guys got on base. It could just as easily been that he lost his focus and simply didn't locate his pitches were he wanted them.
There needs to be a King Thames version of the bible.
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short stint on the DL shouldn't make a guy incapable of running a couple bases and pitching.

 

for any pitcher to run the bases in any kind of weather let alone hot weather is bad. No manager wants his pitcher running the bases. They are different than regular players. also he just got done sprinting for a foul ball, then ran the bases. even if I would buy into letting him pitch the next inning (which i'm not) ned still let him rot out there and screw up the rest of the inning. Walking the worst hitter in the league should have thrown up a red flag right away. If by some reason it didn't, giving up a bomb to the next batter should of. He still didn't warm someone up right after that. Its just horrible managing. He continued to let cappy pitch and get him and the team into more trouble.

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I guess we just disagree on how tireing running bases is Jason. If indeed he was gassed then it is on Cappy to tell Yost that. I don't buy into the arguement that he couldn't because Yost wants gritty battlers. Sheets told Yost he was gassed once this year. That hasn't seemed to change Yost's view of Sheets. Yost has always wanted pitchers to tell the truth. If Cappy was asked and he said he was fine when he wasn't then it's on Cappy. He has to be honest. If it's so obvious that running the bases combined with the heat really takes such a monstrous toll on pitchers then Yost would have understood and been happy Cappy was being honest. I'm not sure it's all that easy to tell if someone is tired vs just pitching poorly as some make it out to be. As I've said all along I'd have been fine if Ned did pull him earlier. I just don't think those are situations that have a clear cut right or wrong answer. At least not until it unfolds one way or the other. Thus it's hard for me to sit and critisize such moves.
There needs to be a King Thames version of the bible.
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