Author Topic: 2010 in review + Bullpen discussion  (Read 575 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline welch

  • Posts: 9195
  • Myer and Travis and Rice, and Bucky to manage...
2010 in review + Bullpen discussion
« Topic Start: September 29, 2010, 09:38:36 PM »
A tired mess.

My grades for the year:

- hitting: D+

- fielding: B or B-

- starting pitching: C-

- relief pitchers: B+

This team needs help. Lots of it.

Offline Sharp

  • Posts: 3583
2010 in review + Bullpen discussion
« Reply #1: September 29, 2010, 11:30:27 PM »
A tired mess.

My grades for the year:

- hitting: D+

- fielding: B or B-

- starting pitching: C-

- relief pitchers: B+

This team needs help. Lots of it.

Hitting: C-
Fielding: C+
Starting Pitching: D
Bullpen: A-

Overall: C.

Offline PANatsFan

  • Posts: 37208
  • dogs in uncensored, nudes in gameday
2010 in review + Bullpen discussion
« Reply #2: September 29, 2010, 11:31:41 PM »
Hitting: C-
Fielding: C+
Starting Pitching: D
Bullpen: A-

Overall: C.

The bullpen is the best in DC or Montreal in 20 years. That's really something.

Offline Sharp

  • Posts: 3583
2010 in review + Bullpen discussion
« Reply #3: September 29, 2010, 11:36:01 PM »
The bullpen is the best in DC or Montreal in 20 years. That's really something.
I almost gave it an A... it could have gone either way really.  The bullpen this year has been an unqualified success, hands down.  They worked a ton of consistently excellent innings.  Unfortunately they very rarely took the ball with a lead; also unfortunately, of the four components listed above the bullpen is by far the most inconsistent from year to year.

Offline PANatsFan

  • Posts: 37208
  • dogs in uncensored, nudes in gameday
2010 in review + Bullpen discussion
« Reply #4: September 29, 2010, 11:39:50 PM »
I almost gave it an A... it could have gone either way really.  The bullpen this year has been an unqualified success, hands down.  They worked a ton of consistently excellent innings.  Unfortunately they very rarely took the ball with a lead; also unfortunately, of the four components listed above the bullpen is by far the most inconsistent from year to year.

Batista won't pitch in DC again, every other player will be back (ok, not Bisenius). They love Burnett, and he'll be the most expensive one.  Bally can jump right into that role. I wonder if they non-tender Walker and then give him an invite, he was solid too.

Offline bglide

  • banned
  • Posts: 452
2010 in review + Bullpen discussion
« Reply #5: September 29, 2010, 11:50:18 PM »
I wouldn't mind Batista being back.  He was solid.  Move Stammen back in the rotation.  Keep Bally, Batista, Burnett, Storen, Peralta, and add Wilkie from AAA.  See what Walker has left and give him a minor league contract. 

Offline GMUNat

  • Posts: 5230
2010 in review + Bullpen discussion
« Reply #6: September 30, 2010, 08:54:49 AM »
The hitting was not a C. It was at best a D

Offline Sharp

  • Posts: 3583
2010 in review + Bullpen discussion
« Reply #7: September 30, 2010, 09:29:55 AM »
Batista won't pitch in DC again, every other player will be back (ok, not Bisenius). They love Burnett, and he'll be the most expensive one.  Bally can jump right into that role. I wonder if they non-tender Walker and then give him an invite, he was solid too.
It's not that the same players won't be back.  It's that relievers tend to vary wildly from year to year in effectiveness.

As for the hitting... C- (two notches below average) is about right IMO.  I can see where you might think it was a D, but really with good pitching we would be much less inclined to hate on our offense.

Offline PANatsFan

  • Posts: 37208
  • dogs in uncensored, nudes in gameday
2010 in review + Bullpen discussion
« Reply #8: September 30, 2010, 10:32:08 AM »
It's not that the same players won't be back.  It's that relievers tend to vary wildly from year to year in effectiveness.

As for the hitting... C- (two notches below average) is about right IMO.  I can see where you might think it was a D, but really with good pitching we would be much less inclined to hate on our offense.

The "lightning in a bottle" reliever types do vary wildly, they can't hold on to success. But elite bullpen guys are solid, and Bally, Burnett, Storen, Slaten, likely Clippard, they are solid performers. I'm just not worried.

Offline Sharp

  • Posts: 3583
2010 in review + Bullpen discussion
« Reply #9: September 30, 2010, 10:49:08 AM »
The "lightning in a bottle" reliever types do vary wildly, they can't hold on to success. But elite bullpen guys are solid, and Bally, Burnett, Storen, Slaten, likely Clippard, they are solid performers. I'm just not worried.
Well, let's run down our bullpen:
Clippard - real deal, he has been great in the bullpen for a long time now and flashed brilliance even as a starter.
Burnett - having an absurdly better season than he ever has before.  Classic "lightning in a bottle" type.
Batista - has never been good, hopefully we finally get rid of him this offseason.
Slaten - also having a way better season than he ever has before.  Again, it's possible that they're breaking out, but it's just as likely to be a career year for him.
Peralta - he pitched superbly for us, but he's old and--again--probably had a career year in 2010.
Storen - an interesting case.  His high draft pick and minor league splits suggest he should be a really good reliever, but he hasn't had the elite control he did in the minors so far.  If he can pull himself together he can be great, but it's way too early to say he'll be our closer for years to come.
Stammen - I'm still not sure moving him to the bullpen wasn't a mistake, but at least he'll be much better in long relief than Batista.
Balester - in a small sample size he has been lights-out.  But it is a very, very small sample size.
A bunch of others - gone and have no impact on the Nats' future.

Basically, as good as our bullpen has been, it was really a combination of insane luck (three guys having career years simultaneously, two at 30+) and some nice talent (Capps, Clippard, maybe Balester and Storen).  In short, it is exactly the sort of unit you expect to regress significantly next season.  As much as I'd love for Peralta, Slaten and Burnett to all post the same numbers next year they did this year, there's realistically no way that's happening.

Offline PANatsFan

  • Posts: 37208
  • dogs in uncensored, nudes in gameday
2010 in review + Bullpen discussion
« Reply #10: September 30, 2010, 10:52:50 AM »
Burnett is a #1 pick that had a very very good season last year. He's Rizzo's #1 guy and was even when he faltered and no one else believed. Silly Hat is solid. Balester is a #1 pick too, and no one ever questioned the talent.

As for Stammen, he was a college closer. I'm still not worried about him either. We'll have to see how it plays out.

Offline Sharp

  • Posts: 3583
2010 in review + Bullpen discussion
« Reply #11: September 30, 2010, 11:22:05 AM »
Burnett is a #1 pick that had a very very good season last year. He's Rizzo's #1 guy and was even when he faltered and no one else believed. Silly Hat is solid. Balester is a #1 pick too, and no one ever questioned the talent.

As for Stammen, he was a college closer. I'm still not worried about him either. We'll have to see how it plays out.
I invite you to examine Burnett's FIP last year: 4.57.  Now examine it this year: 2.70.  That's an extraordinarily dramatic difference for a guy who didn't apparently learn any new pitches and lost velocity on the fastball (and gained it on the changeup, which is never good).  Burnett is getting more swinging strikes this year, but it's not at all clear why, and his 9.20 K/9 is well above his career rate of 6.45.  His GB%, BB/9, etc. all look very reasonable, and I wouldn't expect those to regress, but as it stands I suspect that this season is basically him performing as usual except that (in the relatively few innings that relievers are wont to pitch) he has struck out tremendously more people than usual.  Like I said: either this is his breakout season or he's in for some serious regression.

The #1 pick thing?  That means nothing to me.  It means someone, somewhere, at some point, thought he had a really high ceiling.  Other than Storen, almost no number one picks are drafted as relievers, so these are pitchers who have already failed to live up to their prior expectations.  Stammen may have been a college closer, but so was Strasburg at one point: that, too, means very little in the grander scheme of things.

Offline PANatsFan

  • Posts: 37208
  • dogs in uncensored, nudes in gameday
2010 in review + Bullpen discussion
« Reply #12: September 30, 2010, 11:39:33 AM »
Burnett is throwing a low inside changeup ( I believe that's what it is) to righties. That's what he said, and he was taught by the irascible Pudge, no less. Is FIP as meaningless for a LOOGY as ERA is? I have to assume yes. The difference is he can pitch to lefties and righties now, and therein lies his increase in value.

Peralta learned how to throw his offspeed stuff in effective counts in a winter league. You have a good understanding of the statistics, but you must understand the underlying processes to get the full picture. These two guys had revelations in their technique, and I feel they have improved mightily.

Offline Sharp

  • Posts: 3583
2010 in review + Bullpen discussion
« Reply #13: September 30, 2010, 11:52:24 AM »
Every pitcher who finds success will say things like this.  Literally every single one.  In some cases it may be true.  In others it is just the human instinct to look for order in a chaotic world.  The fact remains that, in the long run, the sorts of changes you describe above tend to have incremental effects on strikeout rate, BABIP, etc.--probably no more than a 1 K/9 difference.  That isn't at all what's happening either with Peralta or Burnett.  I would be especially suspicious of Peralta's numbers.  At his age, there are only two ways most pitchers get suddenly, dramatically better: (1) learning a knuckleball, and (2) steroids.  Since I don't believe Peralta has done either of those things, I can't imagine him putting up the same numbers this season.

Oh, and FIP really is better than ERA for LOOGYs.  I do expect Burnett to outperform his FIP somewhat because he has such a high groundball rate, but the issue at hand is that his FIP itself is incredibly low compared to his career stats.

Offline PANatsFan

  • Posts: 37208
  • dogs in uncensored, nudes in gameday
2010 in review + Bullpen discussion
« Reply #14: September 30, 2010, 12:13:30 PM »


Oh, and FIP really is better than ERA for LOOGYs.  I do expect Burnett to outperform his FIP somewhat because he has such a high groundball rate, but the issue at hand is that his FIP itself is incredibly low compared to his career stats.


You have to watch his forkball. His forkball is unhittable. It is like a knuckleball in that there is no force behind it, from what I understand. It's absolutely a silly pitch.

Offline Sharp

  • Posts: 3583
2010 in review + Bullpen discussion
« Reply #15: September 30, 2010, 12:21:04 PM »
The knuckleball is a really weird pitch with no other comparables in the MLB, since it has no spin and is hence nearly impossible to predict, which means nearly all contact made with it is weak and it's impossible to "sit" on (hence few fly balls or line drives).  If it were just about pitching with "no force" MLBers wouldn't stand a chance against Little Leaguers.  Forkballs are awesome though, I won't deny that.

Offline Lintyfresh85

  • Posts: 34240
  • Next year, maybe?
2010 in review + Bullpen discussion
« Reply #16: September 30, 2010, 12:37:30 PM »
Slaten should already have a spot locked up as a LOOGY next year.

He's money.

Career 3.02 FIP against LHP, 5.59 versus RHP

Offline PANatsFan

  • Posts: 37208
  • dogs in uncensored, nudes in gameday
2010 in review + Bullpen discussion
« Reply #17: September 30, 2010, 12:54:55 PM »
The knuckleball is a really weird pitch with no other comparables in the MLB, since it has no spin and is hence nearly impossible to predict, which means nearly all contact made with it is weak and it's impossible to "sit" on (hence few fly balls or line drives).  If it were just about pitching with "no force" MLBers wouldn't stand a chance against Little Leaguers.  Forkballs are awesome though, I won't deny that.


Sorry, I meant that it could revive a career in that he ain't stressing his arm by throwing it.

Offline Lintyfresh85

  • Posts: 34240
  • Next year, maybe?
2010 in review + Bullpen discussion
« Reply #18: September 30, 2010, 12:56:29 PM »
Anyone else ever taught to throw a forkball by holding a softball between your fingers to stretch them out?

Offline Minty Fresh

  • Posts: 17377
  • Let's Do This
2010 in review + Bullpen discussion
« Reply #19: September 30, 2010, 01:15:25 PM »
Anyone else ever taught to throw a forkball blow out their elbow by holding a softball between your fingers to stretch them out?

Fixed.

Offline Lintyfresh85

  • Posts: 34240
  • Next year, maybe?
2010 in review + Bullpen discussion
« Reply #20: September 30, 2010, 01:20:05 PM »
You weren't supposed to throw the ball... just have your fingers spread out by the wider grip.

So, forkballs are bad for your arm?

Offline PANatsFan

  • Posts: 37208
  • dogs in uncensored, nudes in gameday
2010 in review + Bullpen discussion
« Reply #21: September 30, 2010, 01:21:55 PM »
You weren't supposed to throw the ball... just have your fingers spread out by the wider grip.

So, forkballs are bad for your arm?

If I remember my SI Guide to pitching, they were listed as low-impact along with changeups. But I could be mistaken.

Offline Lintyfresh85

  • Posts: 34240
  • Next year, maybe?
2010 in review + Bullpen discussion
« Reply #22: September 30, 2010, 01:32:21 PM »
Well, just throwing the ball overhand is high impact... but I get where you're going with the low impact angle.

Offline Minty Fresh

  • Posts: 17377
  • Let's Do This
2010 in review + Bullpen discussion
« Reply #23: September 30, 2010, 01:55:31 PM »
You weren't supposed to throw the ball... just have your fingers spread out by the wider grip.

So, forkballs are bad for your arm?

Take a softball and cram it between your middle and ring fingers and tell me where you feel the pressure.

Forkballs aren't as hard on your shoulder as other pitches (screwballs, sliders, curveballs, etc.) but it can murder on elbows.  Changeups can also impact the elbow with how you grip it - especially if you use more pinkie finger. 


Offline PANatsFan

  • Posts: 37208
  • dogs in uncensored, nudes in gameday
2010 in review + Bullpen discussion
« Reply #24: September 30, 2010, 02:05:46 PM »
Take a softball and cram it between your middle and ring fingers and tell me where you feel the pressure.

Forkballs aren't as hard on your shoulder as other pitches (screwballs, sliders, curveballs, etc.) but it can murder on elbows.  Changeups can also impact the elbow with how you grip it - especially if you use more pinkie finger. 



I have stubby fingers. I can't pitch and I can't play the bass.