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Assessing the bullpen for the stretch run


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El Penguino and RFerry were going back and forth in the "modest proposal" thread regarding the bullpen, so I just decided it deserved its own thread.

 

My feeling is that yes absolutely the FO should look to bolster the pen, but that as it stands it's not that bad. Especially adding Alfie. Sure I'd like a good lefty specialist, sure I'd like a Billy Wagner closer, sure I'd like a long reliever, sure I'd like another setup arm, etc, etc, etc. But so does every other team still in the hunt.

 

The way I feel about bullpens in general, is that other than finding a good closer, the pen is fine if the starting rotation is fine. Middle relievers are a dime a dozen, and most of them are middle relievers because A) they're not closer material, and B) they're not starter material. Most of them run hot and cold, so you just hope your team has them for one of their good streaks. But if starting pitching is poor, the bullpen gets exposed.

 

So for the Marlins, if the starters can pitch seven innings & not wear down the pen or force a lot of Riedling/ DeLosSantos/ Messenger appearances, then our bullpen will be fine. The removal of Al Leiter already makes the bullpen stronger by default.

 

If most nights our bullpen consists of Todd Jones for an inning, and either Mota or Mecir for an inning, and then you add Alfonseca to the mix, I'm pretty comfortable with that.

 

(Ultimately I wish they'd taken a longer look at Vargas or Olsen starting because Valdez would be valuable in long relief, though I suppose Vargas might also...)

 

Anyhow I certainly don't think an added reliever is worth dealing a starter right now. But if we can get an extra arm without giving up one of our top prospects, do it.

 

Your thoughts? Where does the pen stand?

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I posted in the thread "Interesting Article" in Rumor Central regarding Eddie Guardado (terrific article on the guy included) and to me he's the kind of guy who would fit in perfectly with the Fish.

 

I too am hoping AA comes back and ready to dominate out of the pen again. His arm has has been sadly missed, let's hope he's got his A stuff when he returns. The next six games mean everything to the Fish and a couple of good performances out of Alfonseca could change the course of the season (e.g., give Beinfest more to think about regarding trading AJ and/or Lowell).

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I look forward to getting Alfonseca back, but I'm not too optimistic after all this time.

 

The neatest thing about AA is when he gets his confidence he gets VERY LARGE.

His attitude and composure gets bigger than life.

 

When he first earned the Marlins Closer role, he stood ten feet tall, smiled, and waved to the fans. He was at his best. He was proud. And he performed.

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I can understand giving Valdez the start Wensday. It is at home where he has pitched well(5th in NL in ERA at home last season at 2.55) and it is against the Pirates, not an offenseive juggernaut. If he does badly, he flip flops with Vargas is how I see this boiling down. Or he gets traded to a team that is in need of a 5th starter for relief help.

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I'm fine with Todd Jones, Mecir, Alfonseca and Mota... also OK on de Los Santos... but as for the rest of them... sometimes I cover my eyes and ask my brother to tell me if the inning is over. Just adding one arm like Marte would be a load of difference... I mean in 2003 we added what? 2? Urbina and Fox? And they worked out swimmingly, i'd argue that our pen is in better shape then in 2003 before they aquired those 2, but man Marte would make the difference.

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I'm not opposed to adding a reliever, but it has to be the right type. A LOOGY is not going to help. A one-inning guy is not going to help. A sloppy closer is definetly not going to help. The long man Reidling was signed to be is what might be needed.

 

I'm just saying it's not absolutly needed. Just seems some want to make a deal, but are too afraid to write off Lowell or Valdez or anyone with a key role on the squad so naturally they pick to replace the mop-up guy.

 

 

We've made the playoffs with much less talent in the bullpen. So have many teams, recent Yankees and Red Sox teams come to mind. Maybe the manager isn't utilizing that talent greatly, but we'd have those same problems with new pitchers.

 

And while I may be in the minority on this, but relief pitching depends on the most support. You can have a great bullpen and it won't matter if your offense can't get them a lead and your rotation can't give innings, such as this one of recent, and them a break every once an awhile your bullpen is pretty much useless.

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Guest FishFanInPA

I'm not opposed to adding a reliever, but it has to be the right type. A LOOGY is not going to help. A one-inning guy is not going to help. A sloppy closer is definetly not going to help. The long man Reidling was signed to be is what might be needed.

 

 

We've made the playoffs with much less talent in the bullpen. So have many teams, recent Yankees and Red Sox teams come to mind. Maybe the manager isn't utilizing that talent greatly, but we'd have those same problems with new pitchers.

 

And while I may be in the minority on this, but relief pitching depends on the most support. You can have a great bullpen and it won't matter if your offense can't get them a lead and your rotation can't give innings, such as this one of recent, and them a break every once an awhile your bullpen is pretty much useless.

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See that's where your wrong....a good bullpen gives a struggling offense a chance to catch fire. You don't always have to have the lead for your bullpen to be effective. If you've got guys who are going to hold down the other team, then it doesnt matter if your winning, losing or tied.

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But when your starters are giving 5.25 (or whatever it is) innings per start, your bullpen is not going to be rested enough to give you those shutdown middle innings consisently. Especially when so many of them can't throw a second inning worth crap to begin with.

 

You do need the offense to come through though, and that was partly my point. This pen has given many good outings through the year, but they were forgotten by us fans as the offense took 90 games to wake up.

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I look forward to getting Alfonseca back, but I'm not too optimistic after all this time.

 

The neatest thing about AA is when he gets his confidence he gets VERY LARGE.

His attitude and composure gets bigger than life.

 

When he first earned the Marlins Closer role, he stood ten feet tall, smiled, and waved to the fans. He was at his best. He was proud. And he performed.

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Great post! It's so true about AA. Let's hope we get to see it happen again.

 

And to the fan who pointed out a strong relief component helps keep a weak hitting (or slumping offensively) team in more games, you betcha!

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I'll just post my response to the "Modest Proposal" thread.

 

I'm in, but I don't think we are going to get bullpen arms without trading a player like Enc. At any rate, I think we have enough bullpen arms within the organization. Alfonseca is coming back, and Valdez has pushed Vargas into the bullpen.

 

I'm relatively comfortable with Vargas or Alfonseca in middle relief and Mecir, Mota, and Jones in the 7/8/9th innings respectively. If the offense remains consistent, relief pitching won't seem as such a major problem.

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Guest FishFanInPA

But when your starters are giving 5.25 (or whatever it is) innings per start, your bullpen is not going to be rested enough to give you those shutdown middle innings consisently. Especially when so many of them can't throw a second inning worth crap to begin with.

 

You do need the offense to come through though, and that was partly my point. This pen has given many good outings through the year, but they were forgotten by us fans as the offense took 90 games to wake up.

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Umm.....your contradicting yourself......If your starters arent giving you many innings, then YOUR GOING TO NEED MORE QUALITY ARMS IN THE PEN!!! Think about it, right now we have Mecir, Mota and Jones who inspire confidence. AA hasnt earned it yet since he's comin off the DL. If we add a Marte, a Guardado, a someone of that nature then your pen is going to be better off. Right now there are too many innings for Messenger, Resop, Vargas who are unproven and really shouldn't be out there when there is a Marte or Guardado to be had.

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Guest Jack1

The fact that there is an endless cycle of who is being recalled or demoted gives me the impression that not even the front office thinks it's enough.

 

It has been said this is a new pen, but are Messenger, de los Santos, and Vargas really an improvement? I do have faith in Vargas, but he has a lot to prove. What happens when Nate "Mr. Valium" Bump returns from the DL?

 

At this point the front office shouldn't be experimenting. I could see if the Marlins were 10 games up, then maybe.

 

Also, there's no telling how Alfonseca will pitch when he comes back.

 

I still feel Mota hasn't gotten it together either. Look at the week outings he had against both Arizona and San Francisco. He was lucky he was able to avoid further damage.

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I think we now know why Bump started to struggle after a great spring and a great start to the season. He was hurt. I haven't heard exactly what's wrong with him and of course there has been no news about him since he went on the DL. Anybody else heard anything? I blame Jack for all that warming up and never using him. Of course, as you all know, I am NOT a Jack McKeon fan.

Bump doesn't deserve to called names.

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Those arms won't be well rested though. Especially when none of them can pitch 2 innings. So even with 5 quality guys, you're testing your depth every single night and eventually it's going to catch up to you. And whose to say Jack won't misuse them too?

 

Also to draw on what Marlin Nation is saying, consider the price you'd be paying for a top bullpen arm who adds less than a reliable backend starter would! The Nats asked for Guardado and John Patterson was the Mariners' reply. Marte and McCarthy is the current offer for A.J. Care to roll another dice on a multiple prospects for reliever deal? who? clearly to no team that desires a hitting prospect.

 

IF you're going to make a deal, pick up a long reliever type, maybe one that can spot-start, but mostly just to give solid unspectacular innings. That's what we're missing. Not a closer. Not a fireman. Not an one-inning or one or two-batter specialist guy.

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Guest FishFanInPA

who the hell makes a deal for a long reliever?? Who says "We don't want your best reliever, we just want someone who can pitch when we're losing 10-1?!!?? That's what Bump's for!!!!

 

Marte and McCarthy for AJ...where do i sign up?? I really don't want to deal AJ but this is too good of a deal to pass up.

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I wonder what Olsen could bring us in a trade for relief help? The same goes for Moehler. For different reasons, on different types of teams, both would garner (in my opinion) significant quality arms.

 

I remember how much crap we took for trading away "the future" in 2003 and how smart it looked when they passed out those World Series rings.

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Marlins2003, I appreciate that you've actually put some thought to this. So often when one of these threads it comes out, people ignore all common sense and think they can make any trade and turn any struggling reliever into a hero.

 

But when it comes to Olsen, I think his future value to us is so immense that he can't be traded.

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Alfonseca and Spooney are being counted on to provide the boost to the stretch run, much like a trade, but whether or not that's fair, or if they can be counted on, is a huge question.

 

If we're absolutely, positively 100% in it this year, I'd give up any prospect not named Olsen or Hermida to get a legit closer, but I think the price would be awfully high given how many teams are "in it" this year.

 

Personally, while I think our pitching is incomplete, I think we're full. I don't expect any massive comings or goings in this week. At this point, a huge morale boost can be accomplished by simply saying "we're keeping AJ and Lowell, they're our guys, and we intend to win with them."

 

However, my ideal pick for our 'pen (given expected asking price and use) is Baez, but that's unlikely.

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Marlins2003, I appreciate that you've actually put some thought to this. So often when one of these threads it comes out, people ignore all common sense and think they can make any trade and turn any struggling reliever into a hero.

 

But when it comes to Olsen, I think his future value to us is so immense that he can't be traded.

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Didn't they say the same thing when we traded Denny Bautista and Adrian Gonzalez?

 

The "future" is now.

 

The question, my dear friend Rferry is, "would you trade a future all-star if it meant a World Series victory in 2005?"

 

Looking at the pitching talent working it's way through the Marlins organization, the answer for me is, absolutely yes. I don't care if Olsen turns out to be the second coming of Sandy Koufax.

 

And I think, if you put your stat book down for a minute (and I promise that's not a shot in any way) and think about what 2003 felt like (I know, I know, all that "touchy, feelly" stuff you can't quantify) you'd agree.

 

Moehler on the otherhand is the Anti-Olsen. Not at all flashy, nothing great, but on the right team, he's a guy who goes out and gives you a chance to win every five days. A team in the running might be willing to part with talent that complements the Marlins' needs in exchange for a consistent 4th or fifth starter.

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