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For this session, I will be paying particular attention to Jason Frasor and Brandon League. Your comments on how they look, and any other bullpen topic, would be welcome here.
The Bullpen Project- Apr. 15-28 | 36 comments | Create New Account
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Mike Green - Friday, April 15 2005 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#111880) #

April 15

After Doc's gem, everyone is available. Walker, Frasor and League especially could use the work.

robertdudek - Friday, April 15 2005 @ 09:40 PM EDT (#111908) #
It looks like Lilly is done after 5 and Walker is coming in. It's a good spot, as the right-leaning lineup will have to adjust to something completely different. I wonder how long Lilly-Walker will work in "tandem" and if this is by design.
robertdudek - Friday, April 15 2005 @ 09:45 PM EDT (#111914) #
Well, it's League in, not Walker. Does this mean that Walker has leapfrogged League on the depth chart?
Stellers Jay - Friday, April 15 2005 @ 09:54 PM EDT (#111928) #
League warmed up for much of the 5th inning and entered the game in the 6th. With the best control he has shown on the year to date, gave up a two out double but nothing else. He recorded two strikeouts in the inning. He also seemed to use his slider more than in previous games this year.
Craig B - Friday, April 15 2005 @ 10:32 PM EDT (#111962) #
League pitched three full innings and gave up a home run in the 8th to Mark Teixeira on a 1-2 pitch that Teix pulled a long way.

League was mostly around the strike zone, but he seemed to be more hittable as he went past his first inning - there was less movement and in his last inning both Matthews and Hidalgo jumped all over his first pitch (both made outs).
Stellers Jay - Friday, April 15 2005 @ 10:35 PM EDT (#111965) #
League ended up pitching 3 innings tonight only throwing 34 pitches. He gave up one run on two hits, while striking out three. The lone damage came on a Teixeira homerun in League's 3rd inning of work. I thought the pitch was in good location it was just a great job of hitting by a good hitter. Teixeira really dipped down to pull a sinker on the outside corner into the RF seats. If League is going to throw primarily the sinking fastball, I think he's going to have to waste one up and inside while ahead in the count to keep good hitters honest.

It was an interesting decision by Gibbons to run League back out there for the third inning considering how rested the bullpen is after a complete game by Doc yesterday.
Anders - Saturday, April 16 2005 @ 12:11 AM EDT (#111979) #
Maybe its just me, but Id like to see League get some work in Syracuse as a starter. He's 22 and in the bigs, hes got nowhere to go but up (hopefully.) His value as a starter is far greater, and maybe its just me, but id rather see him going out there every 5 days and pitching six innings than pitching 1 inning every 4 days. Especially if he's the last guy in the pen. Is he the close of the future? Maybe. He's got stuff.

Other than that though, I thought he could be effective in situations like the one today. His stuff was getting more erratic as he went on, but he was absolutely electric for that first little bit.
Mike Green - Saturday, April 16 2005 @ 05:41 PM EDT (#112020) #

April 16

Whither Pete Walker? He needs some work to stay sharp. I imagine that he's first out of the pen today in the middle innings, if required.

jay782 - Saturday, April 16 2005 @ 05:49 PM EDT (#112021) #
Personally, I think Leaugue looks a bit overmatched right now. His main problem is lack of control with anything but his fastball. Guys are teeing off on him, just sitting on the heater... His performance to date is probably indicative of what you can expect from him until he develops control.

He should go to the the minors and work on an offspeed pitch (not the slider, but really offspeed i.e. changeup), then he'll be nasty.
Mike Green - Sunday, April 17 2005 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#112206) #

More fine starting pitching last night. It was interesting, but not really surprising, that Gibbons sent out Batista rather than Walker in the blowout in the ninth. Walker needed the work more; Batista has the more important role.

April 17

Gibbons has the whole bullpen at his disposal, and some really need the work. Heck, even Schoeneweis hasn't pitched the last 3 days; that is good news.

Craig B - Sunday, April 17 2005 @ 07:42 PM EDT (#112347) #
Great work from the pen. Notable was the quick, pounding work from Chulk, Schoeneweis, and Speier over the last three innings as the Jays crept closer. There's a reason why this game lasted just 2:25 despite 11 runs, 25 baserunners and seven pitching changes. (The Jays in total threw just 106 pitches, 67 for strikes).

This was an example of how leverage doesn't tell the whole story of a reliever's innings; because the Jays didn't manage to claw back until Pete Walker had left the game, his three innings go down in the record books as low-leverage since they were trailing by five or six runs the whole time. In fact, because of Walker's success, they wound up as very high-leverage innings; only some good/lucky defensive positioning on Texas's part kept John McDonald from tying the game in the bottom of the 8th.
Mike Green - Sunday, April 17 2005 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#112352) #
Yes. As an added bonus, Gibbons gave the right relievers the right amount of work. As an aside, today's game was one where an extra bat instead of a 7th reliever would have been useful.
Mike Green - Monday, April 18 2005 @ 09:21 AM EDT (#112361) #

April 18

Game is on at 11 a.m. today. Jason Frasor could use some work, but everybody other than Pete Walker should be ready.

Mike Green - Tuesday, April 19 2005 @ 09:16 AM EDT (#112596) #
Having a 7 man bullpen helped yesterday. After 2 straight poor starting performances, Gibbons has used his pen, but not worn it out. No one on either side pitched effectively in yesterday's game.

Tonight, Schoeneweis and Batista are fresh. Hopefully, it'll get done in 9 innings.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 19 2005 @ 09:17 AM EDT (#112597) #
Does anyone have comments on the way League and Frasor looked yesterday?
Stellers Jay - Tuesday, April 19 2005 @ 07:03 PM EDT (#112649) #
I only listened to the game yesterday, so I can't really comment on how well the relievers pitched. The thing that impressed me about League was that he threw behind Ramirez (I'm assuming he was trying to hit him) as retribution for Hillenbrand getting hit by Schilling earlier. It sets a tone and shows his teammates that he isn't going to back down from anybody. There aren't too many rookie pitchers who would have the balls to throw at Ramirez in Fenway Park. With as hard as he throws I firmly believe that a little "selective wildness" will only help his chances of success. I noted in the Texas series about how far Teixeira was leaning in on the homerun he hit. If League can waste a few pitches on the inside part of the plate, I think it will stop people from leaning in and trying to tee off on his sinker. I also like the fact that Gibbons has been using him in longer situations. He's thrown 5 2/3 innings over the last three days. The more he pitches, the quicker he will improve his command and gain confidence in his secondary pitches.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 19 2005 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#112782) #

April 19

Doc gives everyone but Batista a rest by throwing 8 fine innings. Batista's line today looks worse than it was- the 2 hits were a broken bat infield job and a flare.

Stellers Jay - Wednesday, April 20 2005 @ 12:07 AM EDT (#112814) #
League was sent to AAA after the game tonight, with Matt Whiteside coming back up.
Craig B - Wednesday, April 20 2005 @ 12:28 AM EDT (#112817) #
League's tired, so this move makes sense as a way to get a rested arm into the pen. League will get some time in low-prssure situations in Syracuse, and he'll be back pretty shortly, I'd bet.
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 20 2005 @ 09:48 AM EDT (#112825) #
Whiteside is an interesting choice to replace League in the pen. Nannini, Arnold or Burnside would have been defensible. Assuming that the team is going with a 7 man pen, I would have probably chosen Arnold or Burnside.

There does seem to be a veteran preference on these Gibbons/JP Jays.
Rob - Wednesday, April 20 2005 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#112958) #
I didn't seen Whiteside pitch tonight (nor Frasor, though his line looks good), but Pete Walker didn't have much tonight. Watching him, I felt like he either spun one in the dirt or the Yankees lined a double to left field.

It says he was charged with only one run...well...I would have sworn he let in more than that. Especially after the back-to-back walks to Jeter and Williams.
Mike Green - Thursday, April 21 2005 @ 10:56 AM EDT (#113006) #

April 21

Despite 3 poor starts in the last 4 games, the bullpen is still in reasonable shape. Chulk, Schoeneweis and Batista are fresh, and have had enough work to keep them sharp. 6-7 innings from Gus should be enough.

In light of League's return to Syracuse, my focus for the upcoming bullpen round-up will now be on Speier and Frasor. Any comments on the way they look, and in particular how their stuff is working against left-handed hitters, would be of special interest.

Rob - Thursday, April 21 2005 @ 10:38 PM EDT (#113194) #
I am so very glad that Gibby doesn't use his bullpen like Torre did tonight. Calling for an intentional walk from your fresh reliever is beyond stupid. Do the Yankees really need two LOOGYs?

Chulk was good in the seventh tonight, but Schoeneweis made me cringe a few times. Why can't Batista pitch like this with a lead? 5 pitches, four strikes, only one baserunner.
Mike Green - Thursday, April 21 2005 @ 10:38 PM EDT (#113196) #
Well, it worked out pretty much as expected. Unfortunately, Chacin gave up his hits in bunches, and the Jays couldn't do the same. Still, it was 6 pretty good innings from Chacin, followed by good work from Chulk especially, and then Schoeneweis and Batista. Fine management of the staff by Gibbons. The bullpen is back in shape after being taxed early in the week by a series of poor starts.
Mike Green - Friday, April 22 2005 @ 05:25 PM EDT (#113280) #

April 22

So, who gets the eighth inning today in a "hold" situation? My guess is Speier, but it could equally well be Frasor. Let's hope that Gibby has to make that decision.

Rob - Friday, April 22 2005 @ 10:10 PM EDT (#113316) #
A quick rundown:

Frasor - good. He only threw, what, 5 or 6 strikes in 17-20 pitches (my best guess) but at least he was around the plate.
Speier - not locating his pitches.
SS - bad, but a fair number of bloopers.
Chulk - borderline, from what I saw. I stopped watching after the bottom of the 8th, and now I see he gave up a homer.

The non-Frasor relievers were terrible today.
Mike Green - Sunday, April 24 2005 @ 10:38 AM EDT (#113402) #

April 24

So, here's what you do. Nothing except send Whiteside down. Batista hasn't pitched well, but not badly really. Frasor and Speier have had bad spells, but really nothing they have done shows that they are diminished from the average pitchers that they seemed to be before the season. Chulk has pitched pretty well. Walker's ERA looks good, but he's just been lucky. Schoeneweis was used too much early in the season, and seems to be paying for it now, but Gibby has been patient with him recently.

I still say that this is an average pen without an ace. I would counsel patience. Keep pitchers in their roles and it is more likely that they will pitch as they can in the long run.

Coming off 8 fine innings from Dave Bush yesterday, and with Doc on the mound today, the bullpen is getting a nice break.

Mike Green - Wednesday, April 27 2005 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#113864) #

April 26

The bullpen pitched so well yesterday, that it seems churlish to criticize but here goes. The usage of Schoeneweis still needs to be fine-tuned. If he's going to be used to face lefties in the Tampa order, it should be at the top of the order. Further, if your starter goes six innings, it's not a good thing when you go through 4 relievers in 3 innings when 3 are pitching well. Either Chulk or Frasor could have pitched both the 7th and 8th effectively.

Magpie - Wednesday, April 27 2005 @ 02:29 PM EDT (#113889) #
I noticed a very interesting photo of Brandon League in mid-delivery over at Dr Prison Fence's Mailbag.

Look closely at League's hand - it sure looks like he's about to throw Doyle Alexander's old circle change (the one he taught to Jimmy Key.) That's a circle change grip. Obviously, it would be a great pitch for League to master, along with his hard stuff.

Mike Green - Wednesday, April 27 2005 @ 04:00 PM EDT (#113898) #

Thanks, Magpie. I hadn't seen that picture.

April 27

If a set-up man is required today, it is likely to be Justin Speier. Pete Walker is your likely long-man du jour.

Wildrose - Wednesday, April 27 2005 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#113903) #
I note in Hardball Times, Treder has a nice article about loogy's , that may be germain to discussions about SS.

He notes being a Loogy is very difficult since you generally face the top hitters in the game, and that the role has become more specific, as the typical Loogy has evolved to face fewer batters.

Personally I think SS should be used in a more traditional role, facing 3-4( predominantly lefty) batters per appearance. I know Mike Green has made some strong points regarding what seems to be his being used too much .

Wildrose - Wednesday, April 27 2005 @ 05:48 PM EDT (#113915) #
Further to my prior post, Gibby has to decide if he wants to use SS in frequent short bursts like a Mike Myers, or utilize him like Rick Honeycutt circa 88-89. I think he's trying to trot him out there in both situations, and he really hasn't been effective in either, given his $2.5 million salary.

Stellers Jay - Wednesday, April 27 2005 @ 06:50 PM EDT (#113921) #
I remember reading earlier in the week that Speier has received a bit of a "demotion" in the bullpen structure. I can't remember which site I read it on, but it quoted Gibbons saying that he was working on his mechanics and that he would be used in the 5th or 6th innings of games for the next while. It also mentioned that Chulk was receiving a promotion to higher leverage situations (like last night).
Stellers Jay - Wednesday, April 27 2005 @ 07:44 PM EDT (#113934) #
An article on ESPN by Sean McAdam about Batista's conversion to clsoer.
Mike Green - Wednesday, April 27 2005 @ 11:12 PM EDT (#114009) #
Thanks, Stellers Jay. I had not read that about the Chulk/Speier switch. Chulk and Frasor in the set-up role makes sense to me.

Schoeneweis pitching the low leverage ninth was an interesting move, and perhaps an indicator that he is being moved out of a LOOGY role.
Stellers Jay - Thursday, April 28 2005 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#114187) #
Vinny Chulk looked very good today in his inning and a third of relief. Speier must still be working on his mechanics because he was struggling again and Gibbons had to hook him for Batista. The most interesting and encouraging thing about Chulk's performance was that he was given the opportunity to face Huff and Lee in a close game and came through in spades.

On a completely unrelated note, it's time to pick up on my why's Matt Whiteside on this team crusade that has been on hiatus for a week. He's been here for 9 games and has pitched once and got bombed. I just plain don't understand the use of the "25th man" roster spot on this team right now. Surely, there is a bat (possibly Crozier) who could be of more use to Gibbons than Whiteside is. He's not going to see use in a close game nor should he. And to expect him to come in and eat innings in a blowout (it's the only reason I can think that makes any sense as to why he is on the team) is not optimal usage of him as he has been used primarily as a short reliever throughout his career. If anybody's got the answer, I'd love to hear it. Please don't say he's roster filler because there are much better choices in Syracuse to keep a seat warm in the Toronto Bullpen than Whiteside. Spike Lundberg has yet to surrender a run in 13+ innings of work and is at least cabable of working extended inning outings. Maybe I should change the name of my crusade to free Spike Lundberg!
The Bullpen Project- Apr. 15-28 | 36 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.