Saturday, May 26, 2018

The Tampa pitching experiment wouldn't work against the Yankees

By now, you've probably heard of Tampa's devilish new reverse-starter strategy: A "closer" like Sergio Romo starts the game, pitches the first inning, goes through the first three batters, then leaves for the "starter," who a) avoids facing the top hitters and b) confuses any platoon-crazy opposing manager who firms up his larder with righties or lefties. Interestingly, it was Tampa that first pushed defensive over-shifts and became pioneers in the "tanking" movement, finishing last to draft first (David Price, Evan Longoria, et al.) Now, the Rays may be altering the fundamental DNA of the staff. If this becomes the norm - that is, if it works - we may never see complete games, single pitcher shut-outs and no-hitter masterpieces.

But if Tampa tries this with the Yankees, well, good luck with that, Tampons.

Instead of avoiding the Big Three Yankee hitters, the Rays starter will enter the fray against the middle and bottom of the lineup, which right now is doing the damage. Thus far, the first inning brings...

1) Brett Gardner, hitting .233, about 50 points below his career average.
2) Aaron Judge, formidable, but fans too often and can be pitched around.

3) Giancarlo Stanton, who - frankly - has yet to show up. 
4) Didi Gregorius, who is cold as ice... willing to sacrifice our love... you never take advice, someday he'll pay the price, I know... yes, I know...

But down at the bottom, ka-boom. Miguel Andujar is hitting .291 and seeming to improve with every game. And finally, at least for now anyway, the Yankees' best hitter by far: Gleyber Torres.

Let me take a deep breath and chose my words carefully. 

We could be looking at two Yankee cornerstones for the next decade. 

Yeah, that's a lot to bullshit to load on two rawboned rookies, and baseball is generally cruel to such statements, but like the butterfly in China, which flaps its wings and creates a hurricane in Florida, it's the bottom of the order where the Yankee big innings start. Gleyber Torres has become the Yankee you most want to see come to bat. And if Gardy ever gets going - (and somewhere, a clock is ticking on this) - no revolutionary new Tampa pitching strategy is going to matter to the Yankees. 

One final thought on that strategy: Could it be the thing that settles down... and saves... Dellin Betances? Hmmm.

46 comments:

TheWinWarblist said...

AAAaAaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHaaaa-ah-ah-ah-aaaaaaaaAaAaHaHaHaaaAAAAAAhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh !!!!!!!!!

Rufus T. Firefly said...

You can say that again!

TheWinWarblist said...

Rufus, i believe I shall!

Vampifella said...

I always pondered...many teams uses 4 or 5 pitchers for the entire game anyway, so why not develop 2 or 3 innings eaters and use them for the entire game instead of using proper starters. It's not that different from what Tampa is trying to do here.

Also try making them learn basic fielding so they could stay in the game for appropriate match ups. Much like how the Met's Travis d'Arnaud switched 22 times in a game last year. Switch them around to positions where the ball is highly unlikely to be hit at and have them come in to pitch when it's statistically good.

I mean with overshifts and other crap like that, then anything obviously goes now...

I'm being totally sarcastic here. I sure miss the days when starters could go at least 7 and a closer would do a full 2 or 3.

John M said...

Vampifella, you may be sarcastic but it's not impossible. Stats prove stats work. Matter of time.

Anonymous said...

LOVE THE FOREIGNER REFERENCE MR. DUQUE....

.....AND DON'T FORGET.....

CAWCAW!...CAWCAW!!...

GREG BIRD RETURNS TODAY.

PLEASE LET IT BE A LONG, PRODUCTIVE RUN....PLEASE.

KD said...

Vampifella, that sounds like an excellent way to use a guy like Ohtani.

Local Bargain Jerk said...


Unrelated question: Does anyone know why the game time is 7:15pm, even though it's in the Bronx on a Saturday? Don't we normally play day games on weekends?

Carl Weitz said...

7:15 PM start likely due to holiday weekend where fans have too many recreational activities like boating, camping, beach, cook outs,etc.

KD said...

They sent Toe down. :-(

TheWinWarblist said...

Yes. Holiday weekend. 1 o'clock starts Sunday and Monday.

Anonymous said...

KD

That's a very interesting move. I'm not sure how it will play in terms of the fun factor in the clubhouse but that's not a bad choice at all. Even though he's one of my favorite guys.

It shows the team that good play (Austin) get rewarded. (I know Toe is great at his job but Austin is the greater threat)

Gleybar coves Didi at short with Walker covering Gleybar at second and AnDUjar at third. Austin covers Bird.

Interesting.

Doug K.

Anonymous said...

Now they just have to find a way to get Red Thunder up and the "gangs all here". Except Tyler Wade who I don't thing is going to be coming to the party.

Doug K.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Sgt. Hulka will be missed.

Anonymous said...

Sending down Toe is bad Karma.

We can only hope that Walker takes a dive for the next month and will be gone by the All-Star break.

This team has thrived for the past two years because of the dynamism of its young players, not because of Cashman's favorite mediocre retreads.

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...


Not that it's ever gonna matter, but I read where ABoone had (earlier) said Toe was the 3rd-string catcher.

Who fills that slot now?

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Austin was drafted as a catcher way back when out of Georgia. Wouldn't surprise being emergency 2 was condition of him not being sent down.

Joe F said...

I think Walker will be given the same treatment that perennial K threat Karter was and given to the End of June to turn things around. Howbeit unfortunate in the short-term, if he is still batting -.225 I think he's gonzo. Which will be a time of celebration for Yanks fans everywhere!.

Walker we shall dub thee "DFA"

Joe F said...

And if the Rays follow the trend of other Yanks opponents these days, The Reverse Starter/Closer will develop some mysterious illness that will render him "unable to make his scheduled appearance" in the Bronx"

KD said...

Bad JuJu I fear. We may bitterly regret this day.

Joe FOB, my guess is Superman Walker can handle the tools of ignorance.

Leinstery said...

We need a JuJu intervention for Didi. It's getting ridiculous.

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...


A footnote on 3rd-string catchers: I lived near Bawlmore for a long while. I was at a game in 1983 in which Joe Altobelli (manager) outmaneuvered himself -- and ended up with Lenn Sakata as his catcher in extra innings.

Sakata could catch the ball, but maybe not throw anyone stealing out.

That final inning was perhaps the most amazing thing I have ever seen. Tippi Martinez was the relief pitcher. He put three guys on, one at a time -- and then PICKED EACH ONE OFF first base.

Three batters faced. Three guys reached. Three outs on the basepaths.

Yeah, you'd think the 3rd guy would have had the brains to just stand on the damn base until the ball left the pitcher's hand. But - well, no! It was like some kind of cartoon -- with each of the baserunners licking his chops, drooling .....and making an idiot of himself.

Repeatedly! All 3 outs were made via pick-offs. I know it is NOT possible; yet it did happen, and I saw it.

Found the story here:
https://sabr.org/gamesproj/game/august-24-1983-tippy-martinez-picks-three-blue-jays-one-inning

One of the most amazing half-innings I had ever seen. Needless to say, (a) the Orioles fans were going nuts; and (b) they won.

That is what made me ask who the emergency catcher is now. I appreciate the answer from KD.

Anonymous said...

Very bad move, sending Little Toe down; I fear we will pay for that - - in karma, if not on the field...not to mention, he has been one of our best contact-hitters.

I have a feeling that start-time for today's game had something to do with it being on Fox (noise): they are advertising a double-header - - first one at 4 PM, on FS1, and then this game. I have a feeling they are hoping for crossover viewership and requested 7:15, as the theoretical ideal time for maximum crossovers.

Let's hope that Walker keeps showing his true colors, Didi snaps out of his psych-funk, and we continue to win in spite of those impediments. LB (No J) (back after nearly ten days of traveling, and missing watching the games)

Joe F said...

Whoever the3rd string catcher is will need to be placed behind Sanchez on the field for "passed ball" management.

I nominate Scranton that SEEMS less risky than him in left

KD said...

Leinstery, I am ready to throw my juju behind DiDi. I await duque’s call.

Local Bargain Jerk said...


JFOB:

That's a great baseball story. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

Leinstery said...

9 pitches and a single to start the game. gonna be one of those days for Sonny Boy

Leinstery said...

Oh and a 1 pitch double. Sonny Gray stinks.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Back to back.

Belly to belly.

Leinstery said...

And poor Didi can't even get it out of the infield. We need to stage an JuJu intervention for him NOW.

Leinstery said...

Sonny is so fucking bad.

KD said...

What a wonderful baseball story, Joe FOB! Very, very good stuff

Rufus T. Firefly said...

" Sonny Gray stinks."

Understatement of the week.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

I fear Austin is being kept on the big squad because he is trade bait.

I wouldn't like that, but easier to swallow than the other youngsters, other than that other Tyler -- he can go as long as "Blurry" Drury is around.

Leinstery said...

Tommy Kahnle is quickly showing us how last year was an aberration. Kahnle stinks, Green stinks, Robertson stinks. Break out the Binders!

TheWinWarblist said...

Another Sonny day.

TheWinWarblist said...

I want to slam my nuts in a car door ...

Rufus T. Firefly said...

TWW,

Don't do that. I am pretty sure it will hurt.

Better to do that to someone else's nuts.

Local Bargain Jerk said...


The worst part of this game -- with the exception of Sonny Gray and Tommy Kahnle -- is ... oh, sorry, wait. They are the worst part of the game.

No. Sorry. I'm back. I remembered what I was going to say.

The worst part of this game was watching the national Fox feed and listening to Joe Buck do this incredibly cheesy pseudo-western cowpoke voice when introducing Kole Calhoun. ("Yes, that thar's a character from the ol' west, Kole Calhoun comin' to bat...").

Dear Lord. Time to go drink more and vomit.

Joe F said...

That fox broadcast was most awful and nauseating...Is rather be beat with a nightstick than thrown in a room with Suzyn waldman screaming. "That's right Jawn" than listen to those guys whine and complain how unfair it is for any team not named Yankees.

The level of ineptitude with this bullpen is incredible. What a lousy pineapple of a game

Anonymous said...

DIDN'T SOMEONE ON THIS BLOG CALL SONNY, "SONNY FOUR AND A THIRD" ?

MAN, HE IS KILLING US.

......AND DID WE HAVE TO BRING KAHNLE BACK NOW?... I WAS FOLLOWING WHAT HE WAS DOING IN THE MINORS, AND HE WAS GETTING BELTED!

WHAT A SHIT BAG OF A GAME TONIGHT WAS.

IT ALL WENT TO SHIT WHEN SONNY DIDN'T WALK TROUT WITH 1ST BASE OPEN.

IT WAS A 2-0 COUNT...JUST LET IT GO AND WALK HIM....HE'S THE BEST PLAYER ON EARTH, WHAT'S THE PROBLEM?

I COULD SMELL THE DISASTER.

BANG.

DISASTER.

Anonymous said...

People rage against Joe Buck but endure, unperturbed, giant helpings of the nightly coarseness and ineptitude of Michael Kay? Yankee fans would be lucky to swap those two. Aside from David Cone and Ken Singleton, the Yankee broadcast booths--radio and TV--are a form of sadism directed at the fan base.

KD said...

And so it begins.

The Curse of Little Toe....

KD said...

Can we finally put to rest this “personal catcher”nonsense?

ranger_lp said...

JuJu Gods are upset that Toe has been demoted...let's see how long the losing streak goes...

TheWinWarblist said...

Gloom darkness cloak of despair ...