Author Topic: Verducci: Bullpen management is broken and leads to injuries  (Read 288 times)

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Offline Kevrock

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Not sure if it's been posted elsewhere, but Verducci wrote a very thorough article on bullpen management and how it is broken if it leads to so many injuries and wasted investments.

I normally post quotes, but I feel reading the entire article is necessary on this one. Read the article here:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/tom_verducci/04/17/closers/index.html?xid=sbnation

Offline JMUalumni

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Excellent article.  Agree with a lot of the statements in the article, specifically these two:

Quote
Yet baseball keeps doing things the same way. It is addicted to the "theater" of having a specialized closer and the "theory" that an arm has only so many pitches in it -- and that everybody's arm will be treated exactly the same way.

Quote
Managers are motivated by the save statistic, throwing three-out save chances to their closer like bones to a dog. The game universally has embraced this idea that a closer can't come in to a tie game on the road -- better to lose the game with a lesser pitcher than run your closer out there without a save in hand.

Pitchf/x data is certainly going to provide more information, but I still believe that a full understanding of the problem is a generation away at least.

Also, I didn't realize that the recovery rate for a second TJ surgery was so low :shock:

Offline Tyler Durden

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Davey showed his old-school rigidity last night when he pulled Gio due to pitch count, brought in his 'eight inning guy' and best pitcher to pitch the eighth, and then the 'proven closer' in Lidge to pitch the ninth, even though we have several relievers better than him.

On the plus side, Davey does seem to recognize that Riggs overused (abused?) Clippard and Storen last year and that the same simply cannot happen this year.

I agree - good article.  And I agree that this is something that won't be fully understood for a while yet.  Verducci should be commended for constantly pushing ideas like this and his 'Verducci effect.'  Even if they're not really correct or fully fleshed out, at least he's talking about this kind of stuff.

Online HalfSmokes

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Excellent article.  Agree with a lot of the statements in the article, specifically these two:

Pitchf/x data is certainly going to provide more information, but I still believe that a full understanding of the problem is a generation away at least.

Also, I didn't realize that the recovery rate for a second TJ surgery was so low :shock:

I would question whether it is a problem- relievers seem to be very replaceable and teams (other than the ones who sign closers to huge multi year contracts) seem pretty able to manage the churn

Offline JMUalumni

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I would question whether it is a problem- relievers seem to be very replaceable and teams (other than the ones who sign closers to huge multi year contracts) seem pretty able to manage the churn

Sure, from the team's perspective it might not be a big problem, but for the sport in general it definitely is.  But, yeah, just another reason why long term or high dollar amount contracts for bullpen pieces is not advisable.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Verducci concentrates mostly on the injury impact, but Dave Cameron, who I'm glad I can continue to quote too much, expanded more on just how modern bullpen use is not any more effective and may be less effective at run prevention than the less specialized bullpens of the 70s and 80s.  Saber geeks have talked about the relief ace concept.  Maddon uses it a bit, and it will be interesting to watch Robin Ventura with the ChiSox stay away from using his best reliever (Thornton :az: )as closer.  here is the Cameron piece:
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/are-relievers-benefiting-from-pitching-less/

Offline Kevrock

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I think it's interesting that relievers used to pitch more but have fewer save opportunities. However, is the average velocity for relievers higher now than it was in the 80s? It seems like teams are more in love with velo than they ever have been.

It will be interesting if some teams start to take new approaches to pitching. Verducci mentions the Rangers -- they were very loud about how they were going to run their pitching program but I haven't read anything about it recently.

Offline Kevrock

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Verducci concentrates mostly on the injury impact, but Dave Cameron, who I'm glad I can continue to quote too much, expanded more on just how modern bullpen use is not any more effective and may be less effective at run prevention than the less specialized bullpens of the 70s and 80s.  Saber geeks have talked about the relief ace concept.  Maddon uses it a bit, and it will be interesting to watch Robin Ventura with the ChiSox stay away from using his best reliever (Thornton :az: )as closer.  here is the Cameron piece:
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/are-relievers-benefiting-from-pitching-less/


This is a really interesting piece as well.

Offline JMW IV

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What is a Verducci Effect?

Online blue911

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What is a Verducci Effect?


Quote
Named for Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated, this is a negative forward indicator for pitcher workload. Verducci, who called this the 'Year After Effect,' found that pitchers under the age of 25 who have 30-inning increases year over year tend to underperform. Will Carroll independently found that pitchers who break the "Rule of 30" tend to get injured. Carroll renamed this 'rule' the Verducci Effect in honor of the man who initially found the evidence.




http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=verducci+effect


There are a lot of pro/con articles about the validity of the VE.

Offline Tyler Durden

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Has there been anything in the media on Carpenter having issues after throwing so many innings last year?

Also - Cliff Lee threw 10 innings and is now injured.  Who knows if that's related. 

There is so much still not fully understood about pitching and its effects on the body.  Kind of wish more baseball writers would talk about this.

Online zimm_da_kid

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whoever decided that tracking pitch count was a good idea should be burned at the stake