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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Let the starter close.

This is a variation on my theme of getting an optimal number of pitches from the best pitchers available for each game. This latest may be the easiest for conventional managers to implement. The pitchers we currently describe as starters would continue to pitch in a regular rotation as they do now. The difference would be that they enter the game in the fourth inning and finish it. They would be long men and closers all wrapped into one. That means that they only need to pitch six innings. Most can do that most of the time. If not, bring in the worst relief pitchers to finish and take your chances. So who pitches the first three innings? The same guys who now pitch the last three innings, except in reverse order. The closer starts because he is the team's best short pitcher. The advantages as mentioned in previous posts:

1. He pitches to the top of the batting order.
2. He may pitch more than one inning, depending on pitch count.
3. The game is close.

Next into the game is the second best relief pitcher and so on until the three innings are complete. Then the long man enters to finish the game. An additional advantage is that the opposing manager has a dilemma: does he set his lineup for the expected long man or for the short starter?

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