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Entries in bullpen (2)

Monday
May202013

Don Mattingly is nearing the end, and that's no bull

Warming up in the bullpen is the next manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Whether, or when, the reliever manager gets the call, remains to be seen, but it is in the bullpen that Don Mattingly has been having a miserable time this season.

The great Ken Rosenthal on Foxsports.com wrote yesterday, "Now I’m convinced that Mattingly is going to get fired. And the sooner it happens, the better."

The last-place Dodgers were swept over their weekend in Atlanta, getting outscored, 16-8. Their bullpen allowed 12 of the runs.

No group of relievers have lost as many games as the Dodgers in all of baseball.

  W L W-L% ERA SV IP WHIP
LAD 5 13 .278 4.61 11 127.0 1.449
HOU 3 10 .231 4.82 7 170.0 1.488
CHW 5 10 .333 3.99 14 119.2 1.412
TOR 8 9 .471 3.92 11 151.2 1.345
CIN 10 9 .526 3.76 11 124.1 1.198
MIL 6 8 .429 3.46 9 132.2 1.229
TBR 6 8 .429 4.49 9 116.1 1.324
MIA 4 8 .333 3.88 6 144.0 1.340
PHI 7 8 .467 4.47 8 114.2 1.465
DET 3 8 .273 3.91 8 131.1 1.294
NYM 7 7 .500 4.77 7 139.2 1.360
LAA 7 7 .500 4.47 9 149.0 1.369
SDP 5 7 .417 2.96 10 146.0 1.164
SFG 10 6 .625 2.91 14 133.0 1.323
ARI 10 6 .625 3.10 14 127.2 1.230
PIT 10 6 .625 2.81 18 157.0 1.127
BAL 9 6 .600 3.31 16 141.1 1.245
BOS 7 6 .538 3.98 10 129.0 1.364
COL 5 6 .455 3.04 10 154.0 1.195
CHC 6 6 .500 4.11 10 114.0 1.333
STL 3 6 .333 4.55 15 110.2 1.383
SEA 4 6 .400 3.85 11 128.2 1.205
KCR 6 6 .500 3.07 11 99.2 1.174
MIN 5 5 .500 3.24 9 144.2 1.251
ATL 8 3 .727 2.65 14 118.2 1.121
NYY 8 3 .727 3.41 18 129.1 1.206
WSN 5 3 .625 3.87 13 116.1 1.307
OAK 8 1 .889 2.88 9 146.2 1.173
TEX 9 1 .900 3.24 14 125.0 1.176
CLE 7 0 1.000 3.03 8 127.2 1.238
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/20/2013.

 

  • As you can see, only the Mets and Astros bullpens have a worse ERA than the Dodgers
  • As you can see, only the Phils and Astros bullpens have a worse WHIP than the Dodgers

 

Here are the individuals relievers who have provided little relief for LA

Rk Player GR W L W-L% SV IP
1 Kenley Jansen 23 1 3 .250 2 22.1
2 Paco Rodriguez 22 0 2 .000 0 15.2
3 Ronald Belisario 21 2 4 .333 0 20.2
4 J.P. Howell 19 1 0 1.000 0 18.2
5 Matt Guerrier 18 1 1 .500 0 15.2
6 Brandon League 16 0 2 .000 9 16.1
7 Josh Wall 6 0 1 .000 0 7.0
8 Javy Guerra 5 0 0   0 7.0
9 Chris Capuano 2 1 2 .333 0 22.1
10 Skip Schumaker 1 0 0   0 1.0
11 Shawn Tolleson 1 0 0   0 0.0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/20/2013.

Here are the stats that have caused the pain

  IP GR GF SVOpp SV BSv SV% Hold IR IS IS%
Ronald Belisario 20.2 21 3 1 0 1 0% 5 12 8 67%
Chris Capuano* 22.1 2 0 1 0 1 0% 0 1 1 100%
Javy Guerra 7.0 5 3 0 0 0   1 0 0  
Matt Guerrier 15.2 18 2 1 0 1 0% 3 10 3 30%
J.P. Howell* 18.2 19 4 0 0 0   3 13 4 31%
Kenley Jansen 22.1 23 6 3 2 1 67% 9 6 1 17%
Brandon League 16.1 16 15 11 9 2 82% 0 2 2 100%
Paco Rodriguez* 15.2 22 2 2 0 2 0% 6 19 6 32%
Skip Schumaker 1.0 1 1 0 0 0   0 0 0  
Shawn Tolleson 0.0 1 0 0 0 0   0 3 2 67%
Josh Wall 7.0 6 4 0 0 0   0 1 1 100%
League Average             66%       31%
Team Total   134 40 19 11 8 58% 27 67 28 42%
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/20/2013.

 

If Don Mattingly loses his job, those calls to the bullpen will have been a number of the nails in his coffin.

As Rosenthal wrote, "a bad bullpen can create a bad manager." Mattingly defended his relievers afterward, saying “Take it all as a group, not just the bullpen.”

It certainly feels as if both the Dodgers bullpen and Don Mattingly are worried about hearing that phone ring. The call at the other end seems to only mean trouble.

Thursday
Mar142013

Hochevar Runs out of Chances as Starter -- For Now

The Royals are shifting Luke Hochevar to the bullpen, but they gave the former #1 overall pick plenty of chances before making the move. When it comes to pitchers getting second, third and even fourth chances, pedigree matters. Case in point: Kansas City's Luke Hochevar. The first overall pick in the 2006 draft was supposed to anchor the Royals' rotation, providing the club with a homegrown ace to complement its embarrassment of hitting talent. Instead, he has been a perennial disappointment. Hochevar's best season in the majors was probably 2011, when he posted an 87 ERA+ (still 13 percent worse than the league average) in nearly 200 frames. Yet, Hochevar continued to get the ball. Some of that was general desperation -- this is a team that has given Bruce Chen 30-plus starts in recent seasons, after all -- but it was also because Hochevar had dominant, if ephemeral stretches of pitching. He struck out 13 Texas Rangers in 2009. He had a great second half in 2011. There was always a reason for K.C. to believe in Hochevar -- his prototypical power pitcher's frame, his low-to-mid-90s heat, his crisp breaking stuff.

Well, it looks like Hochevar has finally run out of chances to prove he's a capable starting pitcher. Manager Ned Yost announced that Hochevar will pitch out of the bullpen in 2013, with Kansas City hoping for marked improvement from a rotation that includes offseason pickups James Shields, Ervin Santana and Wade Davis, as well as 2012 holdover Jeremy Guthrie.

No one can claim that the Royals lacked patience with Hochevar as he generally got drubbed every fifth day. In fact, he received an almost historically unprecedented number of opportunities for a pitcher whose results were so poor. Through age 28, Hochevar has made the second-most starts ever for a pitcher with a career ERA+ under 80. Number one? Kyle Davies, another former Royal now trying to crack the Twins' Triple-A rotation:

Most Games Started by Pitchers through Age 28 with Career ERA+ Under 80

Source: Baseball-Reference.com

Hochevar's in the bullpen for now, but you can almost guarantee that he'll get another chance to start at some point, be it in Kansas City or elsewhere. He has long struggled from the stretch, with his strikeout rate plummeting from 17.3% with the bases empty to 14.1% with men on and his walk rate jumping from 7.1% to 8.5%. Some pitching coach will probably look at the tape and see a fixable mechanical flaw. Then, he'll start to dream -- the power pitcher's frame, the low-to-mid-90s heat, the crisp breaking stuff...