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The affiliates went just 3-4 on Tuesday night. Buffalo won a slugfest, Bluefield split a doubleheader and the boys in the Dominican won a game in overtime. Vancouver and Dunedin had the night off. Well, some of Vancouver had the night off as eight members of the Canadians played in the Northwest League All-Star game down I-5 in Everett.

Buffalo 12 Pawtucket 8

Buffalo, NY — Ricky Romero was staked to a 7-0 lead after three innings. However, it all went to hell in a hurry as the beleaguered lefty gave it all back on eight hits and two walks, finishing just one out shy of the fourth. Four of the seven runs were the result of two homers, including one from Will Middlebrooks. Southpaw Buddy Carlyle (4-1) stranded a runner for Romero and delivered 2 2/3 shutout frames with just a hit and a walk while striking out six of the nine hitters he faced. Jeremy Jeffress stranded a runner for Carlyle and supplied 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief with a walk and a strikeout. Mickey Storey was victimized by a Jeremy Hazelbaker solo homer, his second of the game. That was among the two hits he surrendered in the ninth.

Clint Robinson
started the offensive onslaught with a two-run double in the first, followed by a Luis Jimenez RBI double as part of a four-run inning. Anthony Gose slammed a two-run homer in the second inning. Back-to-back doubles by Ryan Goins and Mike Nickeas produced a run in the third. Back-to-back doubles by Kevin Pillar and Robinson and a Ryan Goins single plated three more runs in the fourth to put the Herd ahead for good. Goins singled home another run and Munenori Kawasaki got in on the act with an RBI single of his own in the sixth. Robinson doubled twice as part of a three-hit night. Goins also had three hits and walked. Gose singled and stole his 16th base to add to his third homer of the year. Mike McCoy singled twice and walked.

Bowie 2 New Hampshire 1

Manchester, NH — Marcus Stroman (6-3) faced the minimum six batters in his first two innings but the Orioles affiliate got to him for two runs in the third on two singles and a double. He settled down to retire nine of the next 10 hitters and lasted seven frames. Stroman surrendered eight hits, struck out seven, walked nobody and induced nine ground ball outs. Of his 102 pitches, 71 of them were strikes. Randy Boone struck out one in a perfect eighth and Alan Farina struck out two in a perfect ninth.

The Fisher Cats got on the board first when A.J. Jimenez doubled home a Kevin Nolan single in the second inning. Jimenez, Nolan and Andy Burns all had two-hit performances with Burns chipping in a double. Kenny Wilson and Brad Glenn had the other singles.

Fort Wayne 3 Lansing 1

Fort Wayne, IN — Kendall Graveman (0-1) put up zeros over the first four innings against the Padres affiliate, retiring 11 of 13 hitters at one point. The TinCaps got to him for two runs in the fifth, one of them unearned after catcher Dan Klein botched a bunted ball. However, Carlos Ramirez nailed a runner at home from right field to keep Fort Wayne's rally to two runs. In total, Graveman gave up four hits and two walks and struck out five over five frames. He had seven ground ball outs. Lefty Griffin Murphy struck out half of the six hitters he faced over two perfect innings. Ian Kadish allowed a run on two hits but struck out a batter in the eighth.

Lansing's solitary run came in the seventh when Emilio Guerrero doubled home a leadoff walk by Jordan Leyland. Christian Lopes had a two-hit effort and Dalton Pompey was aboard three times with a double and two walks. Santiago Nessy singled but had a hat trick. Dwight Smith Jr. drew a walk but was picked off by Padres 2012 first round pick Max Fried.

Princeton 3 Bluefield 2 - Game 1 (7 Innings)

Princeton, WV — Chase DeJong (2-1) went the distance, posting a quality start in six innings. He scattered six hits and a walk but one of the hits was the game-losing homer in the sixth. He started a stretch of retiring nine of 10 hitters by fielding a bunt and throwing to first in time to prevent a runner from third from scoring for the final out of the second inning. However, that triple for the Rays scored their first two runs.

The Jays took advantage of a throwing error from the Rays third baseman, resulting in D.J. Davis and Mitch Nay scoring two runs in the first. Davis led off the game with a bunt single and Nay got aboard with a base on balls. Davis added a double for a two-hit night. Dawel Lugo and Jonathan Davis had the other base hits.

Bluefield 2 Princeton 0 — Game 2 (7 Innings)

Princeton, WV
— In a game that was to be played back on July 3, Bluefield made this 2-0 lead hold up. Dawel Lugo doubled home a Mitch Nay single and Jesus Gonzalez brought in Lugo with a sacrifice fly in the second inning. Lugo had a two-hit game. Alexis Maldonado and Johnathan Davis also put one in the hit column. D.J. Davis struck out twice and went 0-for-3.

Lefty Zak Wasilewski fired four shutout innings, yielding five baserunners (three hits and two walks) and striking out five. Five of his six outs in play were on the ground. Yeyfrey Del Rosario (3-1) pitched two frames of one-hit ball, striking out a pair. His ground ball to fly ball ratio was 4-1. Brett Barber struck out a batter in a perfect frame for his sixth save.

GCL Yankees2 8 GCL Blue Jays 1

Dunedin, FL — Believe it or not, the Jays led this one until the top of the ninth. That's when the Gulf Bombers went off for eight unanswered runs. Chad Jenkins started this one and struck out two of the three batters he face. Chad Beck followed with a one-hit inning that included a K. Clinton Hollom pitched three shutout frames and struck out a pair. Lefthander Jacob Brentz walked one but added another scoreless inning. Jimmy Cordero went two innings and overcame a hit and a walk with two K's. Kamakani Usui (1-2) was beat up for five runs on three hits and a walk while only getting one out. Southpaw Jose Fernandez saw two inherited runners cross the plate and three of his own score on five hits over two-thirds of an inning.

The Jays only run came in the fourth when a ground ball double play from Thomas Collins III scored Franklin Barreto, who led off the frame with a double. That double was the only hit for the Jays. The only other Jay to get on base was Nathan DeSouza, who walked twice. Rowdy Tellez was 0-for-3.

DSL Blue Jays 3 DSL Tigers 2 (10 Innings)

San Pedro de Macoris, DR — Juan Kelly knocked home two of the three Jays runs, including an RBI triple in the tenth inning. Kelly singled home a run in the third and Ronniel Demorizi doubled home the other run as part of a two-run third. Deiferson Barreto and Eddy Alcantara joined Kelly in the two-hit club. Alcantara also walked twice while Kelly and Barreto walked once. Juan Fuente had two bases on balls. Richard Urena doubled but struck out twice.

Daniel Rodriguez had an outstanding start as he delivered five shutout innings of one-hit ball. He walked two, struck out five and got eight ground ball outs. Lefty Angel Perdomo was dominant in his three perfect frames, striking out five of the nine hitters he face. Jairo Rosario was charged with two runs, one unearned, on two hits and a walk while not getting anyone out. Pedro Diaz (3-0) was unable to keep one of his two inherited runners from crossing the plate and got a blown save. He walked just one batter over two shutout innings.


Northwest League All-Star Game

South 8 North 7

Everett, WA
— The Canadians All-Star representatives made their mark on offense for the losing North Side. L.B. Dantzler went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer, a double and three runs batted in. His homer scored  Ian Parmley, who had a 0-for-5 night. Justin Atkinson also belted a two-run homer. Michael Reeves was 0-for-3 but scored a run. Brenden Kalfus was 0-for-4. Dickie Thon Jr. did not play. Jordan Leyland was called up to Lansing.

Pitching-wise, Jeremy Gabryszwski gave up a solo homer among two hits and a walk in the fourth inning. Lefty Kyle Anderson got a hold after striking out a batter in a perfect sixth. Eric Brown, the 10th C's representative, was called up to Lansing.


*** 3 Stars!!! ***

3. Buddy Carlyle, Buffalo — A 23-3 K-BB total over his last 14 2/3 innings and a 71-17 mark over 52 2/3 innings on the season.

2. Marcus Stroman, New Hampshire — His next strikeout will be his 100th and has walked just 21 hitters in 83 innings. Has a streak of seven quality starts in a row.

1. Anthony Gose, Buffalo — Batting .286 in his last 10 games, with five of his 12 hits going for extra bases.

Wednesday's Probable Starters...

DSL Blue Jays — TBA @ DSL Cardinals, 10:30 am ET.
GCL Blue Jays — TBA vs. GCL Astros, 12:00 pm ET.
New Hampshire — Sean Nolin (7-3, 2.94) vs. Bowie, 12:05 pm ET.
Dunedin — Aaron Sanchez (2-4, 3.66) @ Lakeland, 6:30 pm ET.
Lansing — Taylor Cole (6-10, 4.08) vs. West Michigan, 7:05 pm ET.
Bluefield — Alberto Tirado (2-0, 1.72) @ Princeton, 7:05 pm ET.
Buddy Saves Ricky | 44 comments | Create New Account
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Richard S.S. - Wednesday, August 07 2013 @ 07:25 AM EDT (#277700) #
Somewhen, Sean Nolin, Marcus Strman get the call to come up. More likely, Kyle Drabek, Drew Hutchison are September call ups. Of course, that could change soon.

Who's still in a playoff race, and who's sucking wind?
Beyonder - Wednesday, August 07 2013 @ 07:37 AM EDT (#277701) #
I surely hope Stroman doesn't get called up. While he is pitching very well, I wouldn't say he is dominating, and I think he would benefit from the usual minor league progression. I wish we had followed the same progression with Nolan instead of wasting an option on him.
Gerry - Wednesday, August 07 2013 @ 08:24 AM EDT (#277703) #
Stroman could possibly be an AFL candidate because of the 50 games he missed at the start of the season. I am not sure how his year over year innings have changed, that could be the deciding factor.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 07 2013 @ 08:55 AM EDT (#277705) #
Stroman threw 68 innings in 2011 and 107.1 in 2012.  I imagine that the club would be content with him throwing 135-140 in 2013 given his age. 
John Northey - Wednesday, August 07 2013 @ 09:01 AM EDT (#277706) #
Buffalo: 59-57, 4 1/2 out of first, 2 games out of the wild card spot
New Hampshire: 54-59, 17 games out of first, 4 games out 2nd place (also a playoff slot)
Dunedin: 16-26 (2nd half) 9 games out of first (last place), won the first half so already in playoffs
Lansing: 17-28 (2nd half) 11 games out of first (last place), no shot at playoffs
Vancouver: 7-6 (2nd half) 1 game out of first (same distance they missed first in 1st half), 4 game lead for playoff slot (assuming either Vancouver or the first half winner gets the division as is likely)
Bluefield: 31-14 1 game ahead of pack, 10 game lead on 3rd place (top 2 get in playoffs) - lock for playoffs
GCL: 16-23 3 1/2 out of first (500 leads it), shouldn't have a shot but does
DSL: 30-22 5 1/2 out of first, 3 out of wild card

So the Jays have 1 team already in (Dunedin), another two in playoff position (Vancouver & Bluefield) and 4 with a shot (Buffalo, New Hampshire, GCL, DSL all within 5 games).  Only Lansing is 100% out of it, with New Hampshire and the GCL on edge thanks to weak divisions.
ramone - Wednesday, August 07 2013 @ 01:11 PM EDT (#277716) #
10 K's through 4 IP so far today for Nolin.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 07 2013 @ 02:20 PM EDT (#277717) #
Nolin ended up with 13 strikeouts and two pop-ups through 6 innings.  Somehow he ended up giving up 7 hits- 2 ground balls in five go for hits and five fly balls/line drives all fall in.  Great outing anyways. 
greenfrog - Wednesday, August 07 2013 @ 02:42 PM EDT (#277718) #
Next year's presumptive rotation depth chart (health permitting)?

Mylegacy - Wednesday, August 07 2013 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#277719) #
Rickey's Rockey Start - got me thinkin' 'bout our 2014 starters - and - to my surprise - I think it looks way better than most of 2013 and maybe - just maybe - good enough for us to pretend we have a chance in 2014...

Dickey and Buehrle are both locks - IF - we are lucky enough that they are our number 4 and 5 starters (in whatever order) then we're going to be lookin' good.

Then we've a Healthy Happ who should win a role...

Followed by (hopefully led by) two or three of: (in the order I think most likely to make the team): Hutchison, Stroman, Nolan and Drabek.

That gives us seven, semi-reasonable starters - not mentioning Rogers, Romero, or Morrow (who may, or may not, recover from his whatever).

I'm sober at the moment and even now - I'm moderately impressed with that group... any comments (rude or otherwise)?

Mike Green - Wednesday, August 07 2013 @ 03:07 PM EDT (#277720) #
I still think that it is possible that Johnson pitches well the rest of the year and ends up with a qualifying offer from the home nine and takes it. 

Pitching is not, in my view, the weakness of the organization.  I am not counting on Morrow, McGowan, Drabek, Stroman, Happ, Rogers and Nolin, but I think that Dickey, Buehrle and Hutchison will make a good top three and there is a decent chance that the club can get 400 acceptable starting innings out of the others in some combination at some point in 2014.  If Johnson comes back, the club will probably end up going slower with Stroman and Nolin. 

whiterasta80 - Wednesday, August 07 2013 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#277721) #
My comment is that the rotation still ideally needs an ace. I think that Happ coming back will really solidify the 2-4 slots in the rotation. His loss is (I think) the one that really crippled us this season. I am also confident that one of Nolin, Stroman, Hutchinson or Drabek can step up but we need that arm who can go up against the best another team has to offer. Dickey has shown flashes, but not enough unfortunately. As my definition of an ace includes health Morrow is out of the discussion.

A team can certainly win without an ace (Baltimore is doing a pretty decent job at the moment) but the margin for error is alot thinner.
CeeBee - Wednesday, August 07 2013 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#277722) #
If the rotation is real strong 1-5 or 6 I think it's certainly possible to win without an ace. It's when 4 and or 5 are weak that an ace is not only required but quite possibly not enough to win, at least with a full blown 5 man rotation.
whiterasta80 - Wednesday, August 07 2013 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#277724) #
I would agree with that CeeBee. I would add that stability becomes important as well. If we had 5 Mark Buerhle's this season (i.e. taking every turn in the rotation and more often than not eeking out the QS) that we could have been successful. But if that 4.50 ERA/6 IP comes from different people every week then I don't think the same can be said.
Shaker - Wednesday, August 07 2013 @ 05:41 PM EDT (#277729) #

If there's any interest in contending next year - and I believe there is - then Hutch, Drabek, Stroman and Nolin should ALL begin 2014 in the minors.

I'm not suggesting one or 2 of them won't be ready for the bigs, but if they have options (and I believe they all do) then they should be considered as top flight depth in case our rotation goes through another "annus horribilis".

Dickey, Morrow, Buehrle and Happ are all clearly major league starters.  If we add an ace to the front end then we are going for it, it we add a mediocre innings-eater to the back end then we are satisfied with not (likely) contending. 

Adding the proverbial ace is easier said than done.  Pretty much every team can dream of contending if they drop an ace into the front of their rotation.

The list of FAs is not strong:  Lincecum, Doc, JJ, Garza, Burnett, Maholm.  You can dream about Garza but the odds are very slim he comes here.  The others have their issues.  JJ appears the most likely of that short list to pitch for us next year.  Who knows how he'll pitch!?

The trade market may be even thinner.  Will James Shields be available?  I doubt it.  Is Kyle Lohse good enough for you??  Will Billy Beane flip another arm?

Thomas - Wednesday, August 07 2013 @ 05:50 PM EDT (#277730) #
I agree regarding Johnson (which may be a little strange considering I said in another thread yesterday that I wouldn't pick him up if I was a contender, but I don't think that the positions are inconsistent). I think there's a reasonble chance that the Jays look at his history and his upside and say that he's worth the gamble. The Jays have pushed the chips in for the next couple of years and if you asked me who is likely to be better next year between Johnson and most of the other possibilities suggested for the rotation, I'd take Johnson. If the Jays are truly not constrained by payroll in a serious way, this option becomes even more appealing.
uglyone - Wednesday, August 07 2013 @ 05:57 PM EDT (#277731) #
"If there's any interest in contending next year - and I believe there is - then Hutch, Drabek, Stroman and Nolin should ALL begin 2014 in the minors.

I'm not suggesting one or 2 of them won't be ready for the bigs, but if they have options (and I believe they all do) then they should be considered as top flight depth in case our rotation goes through another "annus horribilis"."

don't really get that argument - if our rotation goes through another "annus horribilis", then the team won't be contending.

If 1 or 2 of Hutch, Stroman, Nolin, and Drabek can be effective MLB starters next year, then keeping them in the minors is a luxury we can't afford, especially if the purpose is to spend big money on vets who aren't any better to start ahead of them.
Shaker - Wednesday, August 07 2013 @ 06:24 PM EDT (#277732) #

It's simply a depth argument. 

You can't sign a great SP and dump him in AAA.  You can, however, start the year with a young stud in AAA and then bring him up if a SP gets hurt or is ineffective.

Every year someone either gets hurt or is ineffective, so having a tremendous talent in AAA to bring up to shore up the rotation is a luxury a contender needs to have.

This means that the GM needs to state clearly that the young bucks will be in the minors and will only come up if a starter falters.  If you chose the cheap route and don't bring in a SP in the off-season and then your young SP (let's say Hutch) falters or gets hurt you have fewer quality choices to replace him and you suffer deja vu all over again.

Richard S.S. - Wednesday, August 07 2013 @ 10:22 PM EDT (#277739) #
A.A. will acquire a Starter and a 2nd Baseman this offseason. How good the Starter will be is anyone's guess. R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle makes three. Josh Johnson might return and maybe Brandon Morrow avoids surgery. However, two Starters will fill out the Rotation, two should be in the Bullpen as long Relief/Spot Starters, and two as our top two Starters in Buffalo. That would give us our best nine deep Rotation ever. But we need to wait until the big trades are done.
Eric B - Wednesday, August 07 2013 @ 10:37 PM EDT (#277740) #
As Jack Morris said today in a radio interview...Josh Johnson, in his mlb career, has only four complete game wins and only one complete game shutout. Think about that! Needless to say, JJ is not as good as advertised and certainly not worth a qualifying offer.
JB21 - Wednesday, August 07 2013 @ 10:50 PM EDT (#277741) #
Evaluating a pitcher solely on completing games is probably not the smartest idea.
Eric B - Thursday, August 08 2013 @ 02:16 AM EDT (#277743) #
Not solely but it definitely tells a significant story.
Beyonder - Thursday, August 08 2013 @ 07:51 AM EDT (#277745) #
Miguel Castro in the DSL is worth keeping an eye on. Another 5 innings, no runs, 8 strikeouts. Era stands at 1.38. 18 yrs old, standing 6'5, 190.

Should make some prospects lists next year.
Chuck - Thursday, August 08 2013 @ 10:52 AM EDT (#277755) #
Not solely but it definitely tells a significant story. 

What significant story does it tell?
John Northey - Thursday, August 08 2013 @ 11:28 AM EDT (#277761) #
I guess that Johnson doesn't complete games.  A skill that is nice to have but hardly required nowadays.  Just means he isn't a Roy Halladay ace level, but more a solid #1/2 guy at peak.  Not an inning eater.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 08 2013 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#277762) #
There is a bit of a story there, but I wouldn't say it is significant.  From 2008 to 2010, Johnson had 4 complete games of a total of 12 that the Marlins had over that time.  There is nothing unusual about that.  He did not complete any of his 9 starts leading up to his arm injury in 2011, and has not completed any since.  However, he did have a game last year where he went 8.2 innings.  He led 5-1 going into the ninth and had two outs with a runner on second. An infield hit and an error brought the tying run into the on-deck circle.  With Johnson at 115 pitches, the manager brought on Cishek for the cheap save.

Johnson does throw a fair number of pitches, and since his injury, managers will try to keep his pitch count a little lower than before.  He sometimes threw around 120 pitches in a start earlier in his career.

uglyone - Thursday, August 08 2013 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#277764) #
I always have thought that IP totals are highly underrated, especially by current WAR stats.

I buy into Morris' criticism there.

IP is also something that could have warned us off Morrow, too.

the ability to consistently go deep into games is what makes an ace to me, IMO. I'll take an SP that averages 7.0ip/gs with a 4era over an SP that averages 6.0ip/gs with a 3.5era any day.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 08 2013 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#277765) #
The more pertinent point is that through his 20s, Johnson has made 30 starts in a season only twice.  His list of comparable pitchers according to BBRef through the end of last year included Orel Hershiser, David Cone and Rich Harden.  He's been more durable than Harden, but less than Hershiser and Cone. 

Over his career, he has maintained effectiveness over 75 pitches and even over 100 pitches.  He has traditionally pitched better at the beginning of the season than at the end.  I would guess that the ideal thing for him would be to plan on giving a start off every 4-6 weeks and perhaps give him a relief outing to keep him sharp; if you paired him with someone like Esmil Rogers or Dustin McGowan you might get 32 very good starts in a year.

This year, Johnson was very good in spring training and was tolerable in 3 of his 4 starts in April before he went on the DL.  In the other start, he was battered around by the Tigers on a cold day in April when he was throwing 88 and was gone in the second inning. 

Mike Green - Thursday, August 08 2013 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#277766) #
I do agree that IP totals are significant.  Johnson's appeal is that he can be very, very effective, but most likely over less than 200 IP in a season.  He's got a career ERA+ of 124.  That's a far cry from what Morrow has delivered in his career as a starter (an ERA of 4.33 and an ERA+ of under 100).

Richard S.S. - Thursday, August 08 2013 @ 12:43 PM EDT (#277767) #
Everything done in the Florida/Miami Marlins organization is about saving money and maximizing assets.
1) When Defense is not up to par, pitch counts rise and managers have an excuse to pull the Starter early. It makes a Manager look pro-active.
2) When you can replace a Pitcher 's bat with a better one, it 's an easy decision for Managers. "He's trying to win the game".
3) When going to Arbitration/signing contracts not finishing games is an issue which saves an Owner money.
4) if you endeavor to give your Closer as many cheap saves as possible to pad his stats, you can establish a top asset for trades.

Josh Johnson is better than his stats show, better than you think he is, but not as good as his Agent says. And the Marlins are worse than you think.
uglyone - Thursday, August 08 2013 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#277770) #
"The more pertinent point is that through his 20s, Johnson has made 30 starts in a season only twice."

no doubt health is a huge concern with him too, but even if we decide to ignore his injury issues, his IP/gs still tells me this guy was never really ace material, despite his gaudy eras.

(little bit of a tangent here but I was interested to compare some numbers...)


Martinez: 6.7ip/gs, 2.95era
Hernandez: 6.8ip/gs, 3.14era
Halladay: 6.9ip/gs, 3.34era
Johnson: 6.8ip/gs, 3.30era
Schilling: 7.1ip/gs, 3.45era

Sabathia: 6.7ip/gs, 3.57era
Price: 6.5ip/gs, 3.20era
Shields: 6.7ip/gs, 3.84era
Buehrle: 6.7ip/gs, 3.85era

Johnson: 6.1ip/gs, 3.39era
Burnett: 6.4ip/gs, 3.96era
Lester: 6.2ip/gs, 3.85era
Lackey: 6.4ip/gs, 4.04era
Dickey: 6.3ip/gs, 4.02era

Happ: 5.7ip/gs, 4.30era
Morrow: 5.7ip/gs, 4.33era

Buehrle is actually a 2nd-tier ace over his career, despite his lack of Ks. Johnson's gaudy era (even if we ignore that it's mostly NL-based) doesn't make up for his lower ip/gs totals, IMO. Same reason that IMO lester was never really an ace.

It actually probably shouldn't have been a shocker that Buehrle would be our best pitcher this year, in retrospect.

In many ways IMO you can just look at a pitcher's IP/GS in his career and ignore everything else, because no pitcher averages near 7ip/gs unless he dominates on a regular basis. And if an SP has great ERAs but only averages 6ip/gs, then there's other issues with him that probably shouldn't be ignored.

As an aside, at this points in their careers, Morrow and Happ's painfully low ip/gs should put into serious question whether they should ever be considered starters at all, IMO.

uglyone - Thursday, August 08 2013 @ 02:03 PM EDT (#277771) #
ach, should have used initials.

that first Johnson there is Randy, not Josh.

The first five are Pedro Martinez, Felix Hernandez, Roy Halladay, Curt Schilling, and Randy Johnson.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 08 2013 @ 02:32 PM EDT (#277772) #
If your view is that Jon Lester is not an ace because he throws 6.2 IP/GS, and Mark Buehrle is somehow better because he throws more innings per start, I think that you are working with preconceptions rather than actually dealing with the reality of pitching staffs.  Buehrle's durability is definitely an asset, but the notion that somewhat higher durability offsets significantly diminished effectiveness in the age of 7 man bullpens is hard to justify. 

For what it's worth, having a Buehrle and a Johnson (in good mode) on the same staff is a nice situation, especially if they pitch back-to-back.  Johnson being the hard-throwing right-hander who might be a little more taxing on the bullpen followed by the soft-tossing lefty who is a little less taxing on the pen.  Johnson gives up roughly 2 runs in 6 innings in a typical start and Buehrle gives up roughly 3 runs in 7 innings.  Both work for you. 

John Northey - Thursday, August 08 2013 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#277773) #
I think the idea of 'job sharing' a rotation slot makes a lot of sense but would take a very, very brave manager to try it. Pitchers would want to be the starting star and the media would be all over it.  I remember someone trying a shortened rotation where they started every 3rd or 4th day with a 80 pitch limit but they just didn't have the talent to make it work so it was abandoned quickly.  But sharing one rotation slot and telling them 5 innings/80pitch max each game, alternating who starts and who comes in for the 6-9th innings would probably save both players if they are fragile. Ideally it would be two pitchers with different styles (pure heat and a control artists, LH/RH, etc.).  Johnson & Morrow are both fragile but not the best fit from a different style approach I think. Maybe Drabek mixed with Morrow would work well - L/R mix that way.  If the starter is knocked out early you use the pen to finish the inning then bring in the other guy to start the next inning fresh.
uglyone - Thursday, August 08 2013 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#277777) #
"If your view is that Jon Lester is not an ace because he throws 6.2 IP/GS, and Mark Buehrle is somehow better because he throws more innings per start, I think that you are working with preconceptions rather than actually dealing with the reality of pitching staffs."

well, we disagree then.

I don't think it has much to do with preconceptions (in fact, it's something I've been forced to accept against my preconceptions I think), and doesn't really have anything to do with bullpen usage either - averaging half an inning more per start over an entire career is a huge difference, and absolutely speaks to each pitcher's ability and worth....and it's something that is IMO entirely underrated.

It's really not a question of durability, either, IMO - pitchers don't consistently go deeper into games because they are more durable, they consistently go deeper into games because they pitch better.

If we're talking about numbers of games pitched, then yeah, that's a durability and health question, not a performance issue.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, August 08 2013 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#277779) #
Can we agree on the following:
1) Pitching is not a natural/normal act.
2) Pitchers get hurt.
3) All Pitchers are different.

Can we agree on the following:
1) The makeup of a Pitcher is important.
2) Command is important.
3) Number of pitches commanded matter.

The very best Pitchers have at least two very good pitches and an average third pitch with plus/plus command and plus makeup. Anything less and you are not one of the very best, just one of the very good.

How long a pitcher pitches in a game is controlled by the Manager, who doesn't slways make the best decision. Your Defense controls how long you pitch. And luck controls how healthy you stay. Durability has no bearing on how good a pitcher you are, command and control does.
Shaker - Thursday, August 08 2013 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#277781) #

In 2013, a Quad-A Starter is a mlb reliever with a 3.50 ERA.  I use L Hochevar, Esmil R and Todd Redmond as evidence.
As a result, in the (sad) era of 8 men bullpens, a replacement RP (with a 3.50 ERA) for one inning plus a SP with 6 IP of 3.50 ERA is more effective than a SP of 7 IP and a 4.00 ERA.

I'd love to see Stroman & Hutch twinned for a couple of September starts with Drabek & Nolin twinned for a couple as well.
(Then I'd love to see them start 2014 in Buffalo and brought up as needed after May.)

Mike Green - Thursday, August 08 2013 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#277782) #
It's really not a question of durability, either, IMO - pitchers don't consistently go deeper into games because they are more durable, they consistently go deeper into games because they pitch better.

Curt Schilling didn't pitch longer into games than Pedro Martinez or Randy Johnson or Greg Maddux  because he was better than all of them. 

Yes, IP/GS matters but it is a lot more complex than "better pitchers always go deeper into games than lesser pitchers". 
greenfrog - Thursday, August 08 2013 @ 08:24 PM EDT (#277787) #
I think the Jays have a problem, which is that their presumptive #1, Dickey, pitches poorly at the RC (842 OPS against / sample size: 326 PA). He's still very effective on the road (666 OPS against) and could have more value for a team like SF, where he has dominated. Realistically, though, he isn't going anywhere. If he continues to struggle at home, it will make an uphill battle in 2014 that much steeper.
Eric B - Friday, August 09 2013 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#277803) #
"Not solely but it definitely tells a significant story.

What significant story does it tell?"

Oh I dunno maybe it tells me the pitcher in question will save bullpen arms, gives his team chances to win, is durable, effective, consistent, etc. Also, having multiple starters with high number of complete games allows teams to carry a larger bench and a smaller bullpen. Its pretty obvious, no?

Besides, Jack Morris would know a lot more about pitching in the big leagues than internet posters.
Mike Green - Friday, August 09 2013 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#277804) #
Jack Morris has acknowledged the difference between the Stieb/Morris era in the American League and the current one.  He describes the current time as "the pitch count era".  Managers usually pull starters when they reach a certain pitch count.  It's hard in these circumstances for a strikeout pitcher to complete a game.  Verlander does complete a few games most years, but Leyland will often let him throw 120-130 pitches.  Those extra 10 pitches are what separates him from Johnson.  Max Scherzer has a more typical workload, usually being lifted when he reaches 120 pitches at the very most.  He doesn't have a complete game in his career...
uglyone - Friday, August 09 2013 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#277810) #
I have a hard time with that - pitch counts have become extremely standardized across baseball. I doubt ip/gs for these pitchers is significantly effected by pitch counts anymore.

Verlander's IP/gs has plummetted this year from its usual 7+ to only 6.3/gs. That's not a result of Leyland changing pitch count strategies, that's a result of Verlander not pitching as well.


2008: 6.1ip/gs, 1.40whip
2009: 6.9ip/gs, 1.18whip
2010: 6.8ip/gs, 1.16whip
2011: 7.4ip/gs, 0.92whip
2012: 7.2ip/gs, 1.05whip
2013: 6.3ip/gs, 1.37whip

the better he pitches, the more innings he pitches.
Mike Green - Friday, August 09 2013 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#277811) #
Johnson has pitched very well between pitches 100-120 according to BBRef's career splits.  Nonetheless, he has often been pulled at or near 120 pitches despite pitching very well, in situations where Verlander would have been allowed to pitch longer (prior to this year). 

Don't you think that it is kind of telling that Scherzer doesn't have a complete game this year?  The guy's 17-1 and not once has the manager let him finish a game.  Personally, it seems to me pretty clear that the pitch count era is fully here and that there are two factors, how a pitcher is throwing and what his pitch count is.  The no. in the pitch count is to a large degree reflective of organizational philosophy and how the organization wishes to "leverage the pitcher's durability" from a game, season and career perspective. 

Take David Price. He leads the league in complete games this year with 3 (among his 16 starts), despite missing time due to injury.  He's never had more than 2 in a full season before and has pitched much better in a couple of other seasons.  How has he done it?  By reducing his pitch count- more balls in play as opposed to strikeouts and walks.  In those 3 complete games, he has no walks and 12 strikeouts.  It's not a recipe overall for more success, but it will get you pitching longer into games.

John Northey - Friday, August 09 2013 @ 06:56 PM EDT (#277819) #
The biggest complete game pitcher recently has probably been Roy Halladay. He led 7 times, and after 5 straight years leading in it he has had just 1 in the past 2 years.  One wonders though if it was that or the Phillies getting a bit too aggressive - in 2011 (his last great year) he had 5 120+ pitch games plus a 130.  In 2010 he had 2 of those, in 2009 (Jays) he had 1.  Counting down years he had (120+ pitch games) 2, 5, 0, 1, 1 (injured), 2, 1, none pre-2002.  Basically he did it with low pitch counts, and probably it would've been smarter for the Phillies to watch it closer in 2011 but not sure if it would've made a big difference.
Magpie - Friday, August 09 2013 @ 07:22 PM EDT (#277820) #
Curt Schilling didn't pitch longer into games than Pedro Martinez or Randy Johnson or Greg Maddux because he was better than all of them.

Minor quibble. While that's true for the careers as a whole, these guys had quite different career shapes. Johnson spent his first five years as a starter walking almost 6 batters per 9 IP; Maddux spent six years at the end of his career as just another pitcher. From crunching the numbers for their actual peaks, it appears that Maddux averaged slightly more IP/GS than Johnson, who in turn was slightly more than Schilling, who was slightly more than Martinez.

And some fun facts!

- Maddux led his league in IP five times (Schilling and Johnson did so twice).
- Johnson is the only one to throw 270+ IP.
- Maddux threw 260+ IP three times, Johnson twice, Schilling once.
- Maddux and Schilling each cleared 250 IP four times, Johnson three times.
- Maddux and Johnson were above 240 IP seven times, Schilling four times, Martinez once.
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