Jump to content
Brewer Fanatic

Our bullpen has been overworked: Fact or myth?


It seems to be the common theme here that our bullpen has been overworked because of a rotation that can't go deep into games at all, and is therefore burning out our pen. While it certainly SEEMS that way, and I'd be the first to admit that I think our rotation has stunk up the joint, I looked a little bit into the stats. Perhaps we are going a little far, to some degree, thinking that our bullpen has been completely cashed. With some players, anyway:


Villanueva: On pace for 104 innings, very high for a reliever. Almost certainly overworked, and almost certainly the change this year of having to be ready to pitch every day is having a toll on him. I still believe he's a good pitcher.


Turnbow: On pace for 71 innings. Though it would be a career high, I don't think anyone really felt like he was overworked in his career year in '05 when he closed most of the year and rung up 67 innings.


Wise: On pace to go about 64 innings, matching his solid 2005 campaign.


Shouse: On pace for less than 50 innings. Certainly not overworked.


Cordero: Surprisingly, not even remotely overworked. 65 innings would be his lowest output since 2002.


Parra: Sparingly sees game action, but on a strict inning limit after starting most of the season.


Linebrink: On pace for 71 innings, which would be his lowest since 2002.


Our pen has thrown 382 innings this season, which puts us 7th in the NL in that category, so about right in the middle. Do we really have a pen that should be any more burnt than any other bullpen in the league? Not sure I see it. Villanueva, I can understand. I don't see how anyone else should have a cashed arm at this point.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Recommended Posts

I wonder how those number look if you just took July and August.

Our starters were great in April and May. We had some rough outings by the bullpen in June, but the starters did OK (especially Sheets). But since Sheets went down, and Capuano/Suppan/Vargas have been relegated to 5-inning starters (due to high ptich count, or a big inning) we have had to rely on our pen more and more.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think if a pitcher's arm is gassed, it is gassed -- you can't look at IP and tell that pitcher that he isn't tired.


On July 2d -- Villy pitched 4IP gave up 0 ER -- In the next 17 appearances he has given up runs in 13 of those games. Villy looks gassed to me, and I don't know why Yost seems to think that Villy will be able to pitch through it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cordero has been overused in stretches, CV is pretty obviously gassed. Wise's struggles are mental not physical. Turnbow just has issues in general.


I don't think bullpen was abused other than CV, I just think they have stunk for the past two months just like the rotation has.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The BP just has to be overworked. Let's look at IP by our starters in the team's last 30 games.


7/18 - 7 (Capuano)

7/19 - 6 (Gallardo)

7/20 - 5 (Suppan)

7/21 - 6 (Bush)

7/22 - 6 (Vargas)

7/23 - 8 (Capuano) - (game went 12 innings)

7/24 - 6.2 (Gallardo)

7/25 - 5 (Suppan)

7/26 - 5.1 (Bush)

7/27 - 8 (Vargas)

7/28 (game 1) - 6 (Parra)

7/28 (game 2) - 6.1 (Capuano)

7/29 - 5 (Gallardo)

7/31 - 6.1 (Suppan)

8/1 - 2.2 (Vargas)

8/2 - 6 (Capuano)

8/3 - 6.2 (Gallardo)

8/4 - 5 (Bush)

8/5 - 5.2 (Suppan)

8/6 - 7 (Vargas)

8/7 - 5 (Capuano)

8/8 - 2.2 (Gallardo)

8/10 - 6 (Bush)

8/11 - 5.2 (Suppan)

8/12 - 6 (Vargas)

8/14 - 4.1 (Capuano)

8/15 - 5.2 (Gallardo)

8/16 - 7 (Bush)

8/17 - 5.2 (Suppan)

8/18 - 5.2 (Vargas)

8/19 - 6.1 (Capuano)


If my math is correct, that's an average of just under 6 innings a game. That's 3 daily innings of Villy / Wise / Spurling / Shouse / Leine...etc.


Not having somebody who can go 7 innings consistently is hurting everyone. Just look at Villy's past dozen outings. Spurling / Wise / Shouse are each forced to work an extra batter or two a night, and DBow and CoCo are having trouble finding consistency.


Unless the whole rotation starts to pick up the slack and be able to go 7-8 consistently, our BP will be so far gone by mid-September that you can forget about October.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And I don't think you can look at IP alone. There are many a night that several of these guys are up and throwing in the 5th, then the 6th as our starters start to stink the joint up. I think that has a huge toll on an arm over the course of a season as in many of these IPs, you may only throw 10 pitches.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Brewer Fanatic Contributor

Unless the whole rotation starts to pick up the slack and be able to go 7-8 consistently, our BP will be so far gone by mid-September that you can forget about October.



I posted in the "Make them go 7" thread started by AJAY, but I'll post her, for context. The Brewers average 5.85 IP per start from their starters, which ranks them 5th in the national league in that category. Truth being, that they're better than league average. Most team's bullpen, on average, go 3+ innings a night. Yost mismanages his bullpen more than it's been abused by starters lacking the ability to go deep in games.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good entry, Al, especially about the pitches per plate appearance. While we're good at counting pitches over the course of a game, it seems that we often revert to counting innings instead over the long term--forgetting how pitches can add up over the course of the season.

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

[align=right]-- Sigmund Snopek[/align]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the other aspect of this discussion that is being overlooked, is that certain elements can be overworked.


For example, when your car dies it's not as if the tranny, brakes, tires, etc. all go out at the same time. You could ruin the transmission, with most the other components still ready to go.


I think looking at overall team bullpen numbers is pretty misleading and futile -- I think it is more instructive to look at the individual players -- If all your long guys are burnt up, it probably doesn't matter than your closer is fresh, or vice-versa.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

The Twins Daily Caretaker Fund
The Brewer Fanatic Caretaker Fund

You all care about this site. The next step is caring for it. We’re asking you to caretake this site so it can remain the premier Brewers community on the internet. Included with caretaking is ad-free browsing of Brewer Fanatic.

  • Create New...