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The season has started, and we need your input on the Jay bullpen during the game. Who looks fresh and who looks tired, who warmed up 3 innings in a row before coming in, and who was left in a batter too long.

To get us started, here's a question: will Schoeneweis be a true LOOGY, or will he go at least an inning most of the time?
Bullpen project- Apr 4-14 | 49 comments | Create New Account
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Mike Green - Monday, April 04 2005 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#108951) #

April 4

It's a clean slate today, and with the off-day coming on Thursday, John Gibbons has the opportunity to set up his bullpen pretty much as he pleases. Beginning on Friday, there are no days off for over 2 weeks, so managing workloads of the pen will be a challenge, as the starters are not yet stretched out. We'll also be watching Pete Walker's use in the next few days for clues on Ted Lilly's recovery.
Rob - Monday, April 04 2005 @ 06:55 PM EDT (#109114) #
Since it's my day to do the Game Report, I kept notes on the relievers. Schoeneweis warmed up in the 7th and came in to pitch the 8th, Batista started throwing at the beginning of the 8th and came in with two outs in the 7th.

SS looked good, getting a groundout and strikeout against two lefties. So does that make him a L2OGY?

Batista scared me on his last pitch to Phelps (full count, two outs, runner on first), as it was out of the zone up high. Phelps then smacked it to centre but Wells was there to catch it. Miggy was better in the ninth, settling down and getting Hall and Gonzo after the Singleton double.

And, to save you even more work, Mike:
Schoeneweis: 7.0/2/.000
Batista: 7.2/5/.140
Mike Green - Monday, April 04 2005 @ 09:05 PM EDT (#109154) #
Thanks, Rob.

SS was used in the "LOOGY" role, as he was pulled with 2 outs and a runner on first and Phelps at the plate. It was interesting that Batista, rather than Frasor or Speier, came on to face Phelps in the eighth. The score was 3-2, and this was a high-leverage situation. In the end result, Batista gets a well-earned save, and Gibbons uses only two relievers. Now, there's a change from Aprils past.

SS warmed to get ready for Crawford in the 7th, but it wasn't necessary
Jordan - Monday, April 04 2005 @ 10:42 PM EDT (#109175) #
Normally I'd be in favour of letting SS face a righty -- I don't think he should be used exclusively against lefties -- but in this case, it was justified: Phelps just kills southpaws. Moreover, the definition of a closer is the reliever you bring in when the game's on the line, and that was the situation with two out in the 8th. I would not have wanted Schoeneweis to give up the go-ahead home run with the closer still in the pen.
Rob - Monday, April 04 2005 @ 11:27 PM EDT (#109184) #
I really liked Gibbons' moves tonight. Looking at the players due up before the inning started, I noticed the two lefties, followed by Phelps, who must be just aching to get a hit off a LHP.

I would have sent Schoeneweis out there to start the 8th, though. I don't like removing a pitcher from the game mid-inning for some reason. However, the Cantu hit was the perfect time to pull Doc and bring in the hired lefty gun.

I wanted Batista to face Phelps, and he did. Perfect. Jordan had it completely right -- go-ahead run at the plate in the 8th, a true closer situation.
uglyone - Tuesday, April 05 2005 @ 12:55 AM EDT (#109197) #
I really don't want to see Schoey up against any righties all year, aside from in a l-r-l combo.

But what I loved most about Gibbons' moves was that even though he knew he was taking out Roy, he didn't bring in a different reliever to start the inning, and then bring Schoeneweis afterwords....which is something that Tosca surely would have done. Or bring in another righty other than Miggy after Schoeneweis got the two lefties.

Whichever way it worked, with Tosca in charge we would have definitely used more than 3 pitchers today.

I can't say enough about how I think Tosca ruined our relief core last year, when it should have been a decent 'pen.
Pistol - Tuesday, April 05 2005 @ 08:23 AM EDT (#109208) #
I think Tosca would have left Halladay in there. I always felt that Tosca more often pulled Halladay too late rather than the correct time or too early.
Chuck - Tuesday, April 05 2005 @ 08:46 AM EDT (#109210) #
I can't see Schoeneweis succeeding in a non-LOOGY role, but others in these parts appear to believe him capable of replicating his 2003.

If he gets an audition at a non-LOOGY role, it'll be when the game is not on the line, as it was yesterday. If you're going to carry 6 RH relievers, there's certainly no need for Phelps to see a LH reliever.

Mike Green - Tuesday, April 05 2005 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#109291) #

April 5

With Chacin starting today, it's probable that we will get to a first glimpse at the righty middle relief corps usage. We will also find out if Piniella splits up his lefty hitters in the lineup to prevent a recurrence of yesterday's Schoeneweis appearance.

Mike Green - Tuesday, April 05 2005 @ 09:39 PM EDT (#109464) #
Piniella did split his lefties. League was brought in, naturally enough, in a non-threatening 6-1 game. We'll see about Schoeneweis' usage.
Rob - Tuesday, April 05 2005 @ 09:54 PM EDT (#109482) #
A quick note on League here -- he didn't inspire me at all tonight. I guess that's why he came in when the Jays were down by 5. Let's hope he's better the next time out there.

Incidentally, Schoeneweis' GPA from yesterday's game above is wrong. I divided by 5 (batters faced) instead of dividing by the required 4. So make that .175 instead of .140.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 05 2005 @ 10:04 PM EDT (#109491) #
Rob, now you're really confusing me. I think you're speaking of Batista's GPA, which I calculate as .200 X 1.8 + .200 =.560, divided by 4 or .140. It looks to me like you had it right the first time.
Rob - Tuesday, April 05 2005 @ 10:14 PM EDT (#109506) #
Honestly? I don't know what I'm doing. Just be happy that I didn't give you the GPA in m/s or Newtons. Physics will be the death of me soon. So, yes. Two mistakes there. Wrong pitcher and wrong...nothing, since the number was right. I thought I divided it by five, since he faced five batters. (Or maybe he faced six, which would prove how I've indeed lost my mind.)

Batista had .140 yesterday, the sky is blue, the Mets suck and Oswald did not act alone. I think I've got it in order now.
Craig B - Tuesday, April 05 2005 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#109512) #
I'll have more in the Game Report, but I was extremely impressed with League's sixth inning. He wasn't at all wild - he didn't get some close calls from the plate umpire - and he was throwing aspirins. Very poised for a rookie.

That sort of fell apart in the seventh, and he couldn't get the ball over the plate.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 05 2005 @ 10:35 PM EDT (#109516) #
No worries, Rob. That was non-LOOGY usage of Schoeneweis, facing L-R-L. I wonder if Gibbons would have done the same if Phelps had been in the middle (as the tying run in the game). Somehow, I suspect not, although Lugo does have some pop, he has much less against a lefty than Phelps. Gibbons is just trying to mess up the SS Loogy nickname.

I missed the ninth entirely. How did Miggy look, coming back after yesterday's appearance?
Rob - Tuesday, April 05 2005 @ 10:37 PM EDT (#109518) #
He wasn't at all wild - he didn't get some close calls from the plate umpire

This is the second day in a row I thought the Jays were getting squeezed and the Rays were getting the calls on that left corner (inside to LHB, outside to RHB). Especially, as you say, League in the sixth. No worries about the strikezone, though, it should be better tomorrow. Phil Cuzzi will be calling the shots.

That sort of fell apart in the seventh, and he couldn't get the ball over the plate.

Sure he did. It was just seven feet over home plate. I had to laugh on League's (first?) wild pitch; he just reared back and threw it right through Zaun's glove.

King Ryan - Tuesday, April 05 2005 @ 11:43 PM EDT (#109530) #
Technically, SS hasn't been used as a LOOGY yet. Not in either game.
Jonny German - Wednesday, April 06 2005 @ 08:52 AM EDT (#109557) #
Chacin was pulled after just 5 innings, 73 pitches, 44 strikes, 3 hits, 1 walk, 3 Ks, but as usual I was in full agreement with Gibbons bringing in League to start the 6th. Gus was starting to get hit around in the 5th, and the top of the 6th took forever as the Jays sent 10 men to the plate.
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 06 2005 @ 09:53 AM EDT (#109564) #
Gibbons will not be able to use Schoeneweis this way consistently all season. He came on yesterday in the 7th inning, in a 6-2 game with the tying run in the on-deck circle, and L-R-L coming up, after pitching on Monday. It's too low leverage for your one left-handed reliever; if you use him regularly in this kind of situation, he's going to be worn out late in the season.

But, it's only game two of the season (after a couple of days off), there's a day off tomorrow, and the Jays have put a premium on getting off to a good start. In this context, the usage made sense.

Like Craig, I am very pleased that relievers are being given the opportunity to go longer than an inning.
Craig B - Wednesday, April 06 2005 @ 10:04 AM EDT (#109566) #
Rob, I thought both Chacin and League got squeezed on that outside corner, but that Schoeneweis, Speier and Batista got those strikes. But the Rays' first two pitchers, Kazmir and McClung, also got squeezed over there - Kazmir negotiated it best, because he just kept putting it on the spot, which basically gives the umpire no choice.
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 06 2005 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#109611) #

April 6

Gibbons has made a concerted effort to give the bench some work this series. It would not be surprising if Chulk and Frasor pitch this afternoon. I wonder if Pete Walker will see action.

Joseph Krengel - Wednesday, April 06 2005 @ 03:49 PM EDT (#109613) #
As much as league struggled (or didn't struggle) last night, the most promising thing I saw, or rather heard, was the crowd. After his first fastball in the 6th the crowd went noticeably quiet. When a crowd (even a sparse, obnoxious one) can pick up how good a fastball is like that; you know he's got something.
Jordan - Wednesday, April 06 2005 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#109617) #
I don't expect great things from Towers today -- of course, I never do -- so Walker might make more than just a cursory appearance. I'd like to see Frasor get some work in too.
Rob - Wednesday, April 06 2005 @ 06:36 PM EDT (#109733) #
I didn't like Gibbons' decision to send SS out there again tonight. If he didn't want Schoeneweis sitting for two days -- today and the off-day -- then he should have given him the night off yesterday and pitched him tonight.

And would you look at that! Three lefty batters, three base hits, two runs, and a walk for good measure. Okay, so Gathright's hit was a cheap one. Still, at the risk of making a premature judgement, I don't think Schoeneweis is effective on his third straight day of work.
Stellers Jay - Wednesday, April 06 2005 @ 06:39 PM EDT (#109735) #
Schoeneweis was asked to pitch for the third game in a row and things did not go well as he gave up 3 hits and a walk without recording an out. I think if this is the way the bullpen is going to be used, the Jays will need to add a second lefty to the pen in a hurry. Somebody that can be used in a lower leverage situation in the late 6th or early 7th inning would be perfect. I can't argue with the usage of Schoeneweis on Monday or Today, but using him with a 4 run lead on Tuesday and then asking him to go again Wednesday likely led to this situation and could cost the team a game.
Craig S. - Wednesday, April 06 2005 @ 07:07 PM EDT (#109756) #
That was a horrible decision by Gibbons to trot SS out there again today. You could see immediately that he had nothing, and he should have been pulled much more quickly.

I don't like to tag managers with the loss often, but it seems to me that this one is on Gibbons. They had a sweep well in hand, and he cost them that momentum. Not to get too hung up on one game in a 162-game season, but that was a tough one.
Pistol - Wednesday, April 06 2005 @ 09:17 PM EDT (#109760) #
I was out this afternoon so I didn't see any of the end of the game, but I didn't think that SS looked that effective yesterday working back to back.

When I looked at the box score when I got home I was surprised to see that SS was used at all, especially with Chulk, Frasor, and Walker not pitching at all in the first two games. I don't know SS's history of working a lot or how he felt, etc.. but it seemed like a move to first guess.

This of course brings up whether the Jays need a 2nd lefty for situations like today. If the team can find one that is effective, great, but I don't think it's necessary. If you have good relivers they should be able to get anyone out. The Angels haven't had ANY lefties for a couple years now and they don't seem to have any problems in that situation.
Stellers Jay - Wednesday, April 06 2005 @ 10:57 PM EDT (#109770) #
I was thinking yesterday about the effect of having to throw an innings worth of work over the course of two innings and how much more taxing that is. (Like SS did on Tuesday.) My original thought was that it is considerably more taxing on the arm of a short reliever considering he is going to throw an additional 10 to 12 pitches to warm up again for the second inning and only facing one more batter. Essentially he threw an extra 15 pitches to record one more out. Any thoughts on this?
Rob - Wednesday, April 06 2005 @ 11:37 PM EDT (#109773) #
My original thought was that it is considerably more taxing on the arm of a short reliever considering he is going to throw an additional 10 to 12 pitches to warm up again for the second inning

That's a good point. For example, a starter who has thrown 100 pitches through 5 innings only had to warm up five times at about eight pitches per inning, making 140 total. But 100 pitches through seven innings gives you 156. If this is a problem with Schoeneweis, maybe his usage should be that of a modified one-inning closer -- he starts the 7th (or 8th) and finishes the 7th (or 8th), nothing else.

I think it's worth pointing out that Gibbons has never worked with a pitcher like Schoeneweis, Trever Miller, Jason Kershner, etc. He's only had the services of one LH reliever while managing in The Show -- Dave Maurer, the John Wasdin of 2004. Does this mean Gibby's unfamiliar with the clssic LOOGY? Probably not -- he is a big league manager, after all. This is simply his first time with a hired southpaw gun at his disposal.

CaramonLS - Thursday, April 07 2005 @ 02:21 AM EDT (#109774) #
I remember Dave Maurer, he'd get out the first batter he faced (Last year with the Jays), usually look great, get a strikeout.

Then you'd have no idea who just consumed his soul, and it turned into a bat around inning, hit after hit after hit. It was really amazing (and somewhat shocking to watch).
Mike Green - Thursday, April 07 2005 @ 11:07 PM EDT (#109938) #
I just plugged in yesterday's reliever GPAs into the chart. Man, that was ugly.
Rob - Friday, April 08 2005 @ 10:53 PM EDT (#110105) #
Are we still using this thread for bullpen comments? I'll take the liberty of starting off tonight:

April 8

League: still struggling. Chulk: off to a great start.

Gibbons' usage: 50-50. I liked keeping Chulk in all game -- at this point last year, Tosca would have had two or three of Speier/Frasor/Ligtenberg/Adams in there in the 8th and 9th -- and now you have your main guys "super-rested" for tomorrow. Batista, Speier, Frasor, SS, all had two days off.

Walker was warming up while League was pitching the sixth (or maybe during the 5th), but Chulk got the call in the seventh. I don't know why Pistol Pete was up and throwing.

Mike Green - Saturday, April 09 2005 @ 10:36 AM EDT (#110164) #
Thanks, Rob.

April 9

The rotation should run Halladay, Lilly and Chacin the next three days. It'll be interesting to see how many left-handed hitters are in the Sox opening lineup. Depending on the situation this might be a good day for a longer stint from SS, with one of the next two days off for him.

Thomas - Sunday, April 10 2005 @ 01:57 AM EDT (#110303) #
I thought Gibbons mismanaged the pen in this game (April 9th). Specifically, if there's one batter that you want Schoeneweis to face on this Red Sox club, it's Ortiz. In my books, you should either bring in Schoeneweis for a Nixon-Manny-Ortiz trifecta, or for Ortiz alone, and potentially give him more batters depending on how he looks or the situation. Therefore, I have no idea why he was bought in to turn around Mueller and then to face Vazquez, when it was obvious that Renteria would subsequently pinch-hit. It was a waste of Schoeneweis and had predictably negative results. Either Halladay should have been left out there or Speier/Frasor should have been summonded to get through 8-9-1 and probably 2 and 3, as well.
Magpie - Sunday, April 10 2005 @ 08:11 AM EDT (#110307) #
April 9 - Batista started warming up in the 8th, when the score was 6-5, and after the Jays scored 6 he sat down and Speier came into the game.

Because it was no longer a save situation. Don't get me started on that.

CeeBee - Sunday, April 10 2005 @ 08:45 AM EDT (#110308) #
A second lefty would be nice, providing he can get left handed batters out with regularity and right handed batters reasonably well. Otherwise Gibbons might as well use the righthander who best matches up in the given situation. As for SS, hopefully he either turns it around or doesn't face too many hitters in key situations.
NDG - Sunday, April 10 2005 @ 09:13 AM EDT (#110312) #
Quite a few folks are hoping for a second lefty due to Gibbons early overuse of Schoneweis, but I'm one person that's hoping that we don't. That second lefty would likely become the worst reliever in the pen, but still be used a lot since he's left handed. IMO Schoneweis is only the fifth best reliever in the Jay pen (Speier, Batista, League, Chulk all have much better stuff).

Everyone talks about how the Angels always manage to have a good pen without lefties. I think one of the reason their pen is always good is because they don't have lefties. The manager never has to take out a pitcher for an inferior one because of 'matchups' (as written in the four page book that every manager follows).
Mike Green - Sunday, April 10 2005 @ 11:02 AM EDT (#110326) #

Excellent comments on yesterday's game.

April 10

Two lefties in a row will be starting for the Jays. Chulk and Batista could use work today.

robertdudek - Sunday, April 10 2005 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#110416) #
Reposted from Game Thread:

Batista needs an effective straight change - I can't imagine why this hasn't happened. With that change he'd become one of the best relievers in baseball; without it, everything comes in at the same speed.

If I ever get a chance to ask Arnsberg, JP or Gibbons about this, I will.
Wildrose - Monday, April 11 2005 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#110513) #
I thought Batista was a victim of his own emotions yesterday, he was very excited and pumped. Unfortunately his mechanics suffered as he was almost jumping out of his throwing motion causing him to fly open. He needs to focus and relax out there.

Also I'd have to agree with Robert's astute observation, he may have nine pitches, but none of his off-speed pitches seem very good.

Walker was a revelation, his slider looked very crisp, he looked tough especially on right-handed hitters.
Mike Green - Monday, April 11 2005 @ 12:33 PM EDT (#110532) #

Walker and Chulk have posted identical opposition GPAs in their single appearances, and both looked very good.

April 11

Schoeneweis has pitched each of the last 2 days, so let's hope he gets the night off tonight.

Mike Green - Tuesday, April 12 2005 @ 11:03 AM EDT (#110826) #

Well, that was easy. Vinnie and Speier get their work in low leverage situations.

April 12

League and Batista (after the blown save on Sunday) will hopefully see action today. Incidentally, the thing I liked least about Batista's performance on Sunday was not his performance on the field. He wasn't great, but not terrible either. He will have worse days. What I didn't like was his reaction after the game, not meeting the media presumably because he was too upset even though the team won.

Pistol - Tuesday, April 12 2005 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#110832) #
I thought last night's game would have been a good time to get League an inning. I don't think that he's pitched poorly, but he hasn't had a lot of success. An 8 run lead would be a good time to put some confidence in him. Plus you'd have Speier fully rested for today, although the flip side would be that he wouldn't have pitched for several days.

I suspect we'll see Frasor and League today unless Towers happens to go 7 full.
R Billie - Tuesday, April 12 2005 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#110881) #
I thought it might have been useful to get Batista an inning late in the 12-5 win over Boston since he hadn't worked in three days. I think he's a guy who is always spotty with his mechanics so a tune-up inning might have done him good.

I think yesterday was the perfect time to get Speier in. His velocity is still a little low and he's not showing very good command at the moment. Better to let him try to work things out when the game isn't in question.
Six4Three - Tuesday, April 12 2005 @ 05:59 PM EDT (#110892) #
I thought Walker looked good enough to be the first option should we need another starter (injury). He likely was anyways but he really has earned it now. Also thought Fraser looked great and Spier looked unbalanced.
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 09:22 AM EDT (#111129) #

April 12

That was a very interesting game from the bullpen perspective. Josh Towers was pulled in the 7th after getting the first 2 outs, at precisely 100 pitches. Many managers would have left him in to try to get the third out, but it worked out fine. Brandon League got in his work, and was hit hard but benefitted from fine defence.

After League, Gibbons' decisions were made easier by the A's lineup construction, with Chavez, Durazo and Hatteberg in order. Durazo, a switch-hitter, hits much better left-handed (140 points of OPS over the last 3 years). So, in came SS to face the 3, and he did a nice job.

Batista came in for the ninth, in a low-leverage save situation. In light of his reaction on Sunday, that was pretty much ideal. He performed the routine well.

Mike Green - Wednesday, April 13 2005 @ 09:17 PM EDT (#111318) #

April 13

Jason Frasor is due for an appearance tonight. We might very well see Schoeneweis for a batter or two. Pete Walker will likely get the call if Bush falters early.

Mike Green - Thursday, April 14 2005 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#111510) #
Well, we saw Frasor, who gave up 2 singles, a sacrifice and an intentional walk among the 4 batters he faced. And we saw Schoeneweis. The only puzzling thing about his appearance was his being left in to face Ginter. He had faced the three batters that you'd expect, Chavez, Durazo and Hatteberg, and retired 2. Ginter is a right-handed hitter who hits lefties well. Schoeneweis has had a lot of work these first 2 weeks, and it'd be interesting to hear Gibby's explanation.

I remain confident that Schoeneweis can be an effective left-handed specialist, but his usage does need to be tailored a bit more.
Mike Green - Thursday, April 14 2005 @ 05:26 PM EDT (#111535) #

April 14

This is the last day of this thread. I will open a new one for comments on Friday's game.

Pete Walker could use some work tonight, but might not get it if Halladay is on.

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