Author Topic: Bullpen 2024 - Maybe this time it really will be a strength?  (Read 3493 times)

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Offline Slateman

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He trusted Law yesterday and didn’t work.  At some point you have to use the other dudes.
I dont think he had a choice. Harvey and Finnegan had been used heavily, so he wanted Weems and Floro for the 8th and 9th.

Rainey is throwing BP fastballs and Barnes is trying to use shadows and mirrors. He was damned if he does and damed if he doesnt.

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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Barnes on shadows and mirrors is fine with a  5 run lead. Law on fumes isn't. Dude has never been an impact reliever. No need to place him on an altar (exception if it is for a sacrifice).

Online Natsinpwc

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I dont think he had a choice. Harvey and Finnegan had been used heavily, so he wanted Weems and Floro for the 8th and 9th.

Rainey is throwing BP fastballs and Barnes is trying to use shadows and mirrors. He was damned if he does and damed if he doesnt.
They need to get fewer leads then. 

Offline varoadking

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They need to get fewer leads then.

dave says "Hold my beer."

Offline Slateman

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Rainey hit 95. So thats something

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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Rainey hit 95. So thats something
and two effective outings from Floro and Barnes back to back on Sunday and Monday. They are arms #6 & #7 in the pen, so that's fine. Having usable guys in slots ##6-8 is a plus.

Online imref

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Law's pitching wasn't terrible yesterday.

Fielding is another matter.

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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Back end worked as it is set up to do to finish out the LA shutout - Garcia to Harvey to Finnegan. Holds and saves spread around. Day off so plenty of rest before the Astros series.

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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Baumann is up  with a profile on Harvey:
https://blogs.fangraphs.com/huntering-the-most-dangerous-game/

After discussing his rough first appearance where he was bailed out with a win, Baumann continues:

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And perhaps as a token of gratitude, Harvey has been basically untouchable since. In his past nine outings, totaling 10 innings, Harvey has struck out 17 batters, walked none, and allowed just a solitary run. He’s recorded holds in seven of those appearances and a positive WPA in all nine. His FIP in that span is below zero.

Far out.

Or not far out, actually. In his second appearance of 2024, Jeimer Candelario hit a ball to the gap that was within about a foot either way of being a home run or an out; it split the difference and bounced off Lane Thomas’ glove for a double. That’s the longest batted ball Harvey has allowed all year — nothing else has had an estimated distance of more than 303 feet.

That 303' kind of blows me away, as does 17 Ks no BBs. One more paragraph but go read the whole thing. So how is Harvey putting together that 17 Ks and 0 BBs?

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To summarize: Harvey is working in the zone more than 98% of pitchers in the league. That goes a long way toward explaining how this guy hasn’t walked anyone in more than three weeks. Again, that usually comes with the tradeoff of getting hit harder, but Harvey is getting away with it because he’s missing more bats in the strike zone than 98% of the pitchers in the league.

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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One thing Baumann observes is Harvey has increased the use of his splitter and decreased the use of his breaking balls so far, even though his slider was his 2nd best pitch last year.

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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I am not sure of Rainey's option status, but as the 8th guy in the bullpen with obvious velocity and control issues, plus the need for a lefty, he's the obvious candidate to be sent down to AAA

Offline nobleisthyname

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Rainey is out of options. Hard to imagine he gets claimed though.

Online imref

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OK Finnegan, the ball is in your court to top this:

https://x.com/Razzball/status/1786797399203336328

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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It looks like they have 3 guys right now who can hold a lead in the 6th and 7th to get to Harvey/Finnegan. Law, JBarnes, and Floro look like decent options to mix and match.

I imagine Robert (Hunter/Jerry) Garcia gets into that mix and maybe the 8th, too, later this week, and MBarnes is gone, or Rainey is DFA'd and outrighted. Weems I think could refuse assignment, and he's at least been hot and cold.

Offline welch

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Looks like Floro, Harvey, and Finnegan right now. Add Robert Garcia, soon. A bit short-handed, unless I forgot someone.

Offline Slateman

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Rainey hasn't pitched since May 4th. We just finished a double header with the bullpen throwing 7 innings. Down three runs in the 8th inning of the second game, Davey chose to go with Rutledge, who threw 90+ pitches three days prior.


Online Natsinpwc

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Rainey hasn't pitched since May 4th. We just finished a double header with the bullpen throwing 7 innings. Down three runs in the 8th inning of the second game, Davey chose to go with Rutledge, who threw 90+ pitches three days prior.
Makes no sense.  So makes perfect sense in Davey and Rizzo world. 

Online imref

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Davey doesn't trust Rainey in anything other than a mop-up situation.

Offline Slateman

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Makes no sense.  So makes perfect sense in Davey and Rizzo world. 
Davey is, effectively, managing with a shorthanded pen.

They need to make a decision on him. Place on waivers. If he clears, send him down to rehab.

Online imref

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Davey is, effectively, managing with a shorthanded pen.

They need to make a decision on him. Place on waivers. If he clears, send him down to rehab.

that makes perfect sense. He's going to clear waivers and his only real option is AAA.

Online Natsinpwc

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Davey is, effectively, managing with a shorthanded pen.

They need to make a decision on him. Place on waivers. If he clears, send him down to rehab.
Game was basically lost so no harm in pitching Rainey. In fact seemed like the perfect situation.

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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https://blogs.fangraphs.com/kyle-finnegans-most-important-pitch-derives-from-roy-faces-forkball/

Excerpts to follow. Would have loved Mitlen's thoughts.

first, his performance to date:
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Kyle Finnegan might be the most underrated closer in baseball. Flying below all but D.C. radar, the 32-year-old right-hander logged 28 saves for the Washington Nationals a year ago, and this season he has 13 saves — no one in the majors has more — to go with a 1.56 ERA. Relying primarily on a 97.3-mph fastball and an 89.8-mph splitter, he’s holding opposing hitters to a .138 average and a .259 slugging percentage in the current campaign. Finnegan’s peripherals (4.41 xERA, 4.06 FIP, 3.45 xFIP, .154 BABIP) suggest that he likely won’t remain this dominant all season, but so far, he has been on of the league’s top relievers.

Face connection:
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Finnegan’s split — arguably his most important pitch — dates back to his summer in the Cape Cod League, which followed his sophomore season at Texas State in 2012. During a bullpen session, longtime Cotuit Kettleers coach Mike Roberts showed Finnegan a forkball grip and told the young pitcher about a reliever who utilized it “back in who knows when.” The pitcher was Elroy Face, who famously went 18-1 with 10 saves out of the Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen in 1959. Relying heavily on his signature offering, Face recorded 104 wins and 191 saves and made three All-Star teams over his 16-year career, from 1953-1969.

Manipulating against hitters to get more horizontal break, especially v lefties:
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“When it’s good, it’s like 10 [inches] horizontal and two-to-zero vert. So, it’s pretty down with a little bit of run, but depending on where you place the thumb, you can manipulate the horizontal a little bit. Typically, thumb under you get more down. If you bring the thumb up, you kind of push it horizontal a little bit more.”

Grrrr . . . he feels a little lucky this year. BB rate is up, weirdly low BABIP, swapping flies for line drives to reduce his homers when his HR/FB is still highe . . . Not sure how he's doing it.

Past couple of years, SIERA has been a better ERA predictor than FIP for him. SIERA has him at 3.59 this year. Maybe there's some regression, but not into the 4s or mid-4s. https://www.fangraphs.com/players/kyle-finnegan/15009/stats?position=P

Offline blue911

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Hunter Harvey’s dad threw a pretty mean forkball.

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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Hunter Harvey’s dad threw a pretty mean forkball.
it is a great pitch.

Offline nobleisthyname

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Grrrr . . . he feels a little lucky this year. BB rate is up, weirdly low BABIP, swapping flies for line drives to reduce his homers when his HR/FB is still highe . . . Not sure how he's doing it.

Past couple of years, SIERA has been a better ERA predictor than FIP for him. SIERA has him at 3.59 this year. Maybe there's some regression, but not into the 4s or mid-4s. https://www.fangraphs.com/players/kyle-finnegan/15009/stats?position=P

Kinda have to have some luck to have a sub 2 ERA unless you're a Mason Miller type. I don't like xERA very much and tend to ignore it, though I've never checked its correlation with future ERA so that might just be a thing I need to get over. But xFIP and SIERA are better ERA predictors than FIP and they both have him ~3.5 ERA which is solid.