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OPENER

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 The Tampa Bay Rays experimented with a opener (reliever) in games with some success. Madison Bumgarner tweeted Bochy that if he used a opener in his games that he would leave the stadium.

What’s your opinion and do the Angels have a reliever who is suited as a opener?

@ettin @Dochalo @Stradling @WeatherWonk @Jeff Fletcher @Dtwncbad @Blarg @Angelsjunky @floplag @Chuckster70

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We tried an opener every 5th day last year and it sucked balls, but I think that is more due to the fact that our two best options for that were probably Noe and Alvarez.  That being said it did work for the Rays.  But if you notice they didn’t use it when Snell pitched so yea, I have no problem with Mad Bum’s opinion of it.  Bulldog type starters shouldn’t have to deal with what so far is a gimmick.  

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I am open to anything that works.  Do the Angels have a guy properly suited to it?  I don't think anyone has that answer today.

The concept makes some sense to me.  The hitters faced in the first inning are more dangerous than the bottom three in anyone's lineup.

So IF IF IF you have a starter that you know really isn't going to give you 7 innings, AND you have a reliever that can thrive in the assignment, I really don't see any "problem" doing it.

Separately, Bumgarner is a clown for making that statement.  How about just be the starter that your team would never consider using an opener for?

The point is, if the Giants would consider using an opener for Bumgarner then that is on him, and he can deal with it.  Go ahead and leave the ballpark if that's who you are buddy.

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Statistically relievers perform better overall than starters due to their shorter stints pitching, so in theory and practice it makes sense. The key is picking the right relievers of course.

If we were to attempt this, it would probably be Noe Ramirez or Felix Pena. I don't think the Angels will do it unless we have injuries. Think they will prefer to have starters go two times through the lineup then hit the bullpen for the final three innings.

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4 minutes ago, Dtwncbad said:

I am open to anything that works.  Do the Angels have a guy properly suited to it?  I don't think anyone has that answer today.

The concept makes some sense to me.  The hitters faced in the first inning are more dangerous than the bottom three in anyone's lineup.

So IF IF IF you have a starter that you know really isn't going to give you 7 innings, AND you have a reliever that can thrive in the assignment, I really don't see any "problem" doing it.

Separately, Bumgarner is a clown for making that statement.  How about just be the starter that your team would never consider using an opener for?

The point is, if the Giants would consider using an opener for Bumgarner then that is on him, and he can deal with it.  Go ahead and leave the ballpark if that's who you are buddy.

Bum sent the text to his manager, they are the ones that made it public, right?  Don’t you want your starter to have that type of attitude?  Do you think Lackey or Weaver would be ok with an opener?  What about Finley?  

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I think it's about exposure.   

Who do you want to protect?  

The opener offers an element of control.  You are guaranteeing a specific matchup.  Whereas later in the game, you don't really know when the starter is going to be done.  

It add another layer of predictability which is an important key for using analytics.  

But you have to weigh the matchup and talent of either pitcher above all else.  Is the opener more likely to get those outs than the starter.  Which is why it wasn't used for better starters.  Blake Snell is better than anyone on the team that was opening.  

Would I want to limit Felix's Pena's exposure to the top of the lineup so he'd only have to face them once in 3-4 innings or twice in 5-6 innings?  Sure.  Would I do that with Noe Ramirez?  Probably not.  But if you do it with Hansel Robles, then that's one less guy you have available to matchup later as needed.  

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Im certain you will hear a ton of cliches in the responses...  it doesnt matter whether its the 1st or the 9th, you can win or lose a game in any inning, etc...   and frankly, all of them are true or have merit.  Today's game, with its absurdly high focus on analytics and metrics, has reduced everything down to small easily manageable silos of data.  

Statistically speaking, i get it, but as a fan of the game, i legit hate it.  I think it marginalizes the game and brings the whole live action strat-o-matic thing to reality, but thats just my opinion. 

I think its part of the reason the game has become stagnant.  All the excitement is gone, its become robotic.  There is very little real managing to be had anymore really, you could literally just let a program tell you what change to make and when to make it.  This to me is just another example of whats killing the game.

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9 minutes ago, Stradling said:

Bum sent the text to his manager, they are the ones that made it public, right?  Don’t you want your starter to have that type of attitude?  Do you think Lackey or Weaver would be ok with an opener?  What about Finley?  

No argument.  And when Weaver was dominant, there is no way the Angels would ever use an opener with him.  When he sucked toward the end, they probably would.  His bulldog mentality didn't change.

So if the bulldog mentality/physically sucks late career version of Weaver walked out of the stadium when the Angels used an opener for his start, my personal opinion would he don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

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8 minutes ago, Stradling said:

Bum sent the text to his manager, they are the ones that made it public, right?  Don’t you want your starter to have that type of attitude?  Do you think Lackey or Weaver would be ok with an opener?  What about Finley?  

I don't blame a starter for not liking it.  It implies that some other guy has a better chance of getting those outs than they do.  But reality is that sometimes that's true.  

The thing you don't want to do is have it negatively impact the starter by messing with their head.  So there are other things that can't be measured which need consideration.  

Yes, I want every starter to want to face the toughest hitters on the other team.  As a coach/manager/FO exec, it's their job to determine what is in the best interest of the team and not the individual player.  

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2 minutes ago, Dtwncbad said:

No argument.  And when Weaver was dominant, there is no way the Angels would ever use an opener with him.  When he sucked toward the end, they probably would.  His bulldog mentality didn't change.

So if the bulldog mentality/physically sucks late career version of Weaver walked out of the stadium when the Angels used an opener for his start, my personal opinion would he don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Ok, so Mad Bum isn’t shitty yet, so he, in my mind, is allowed to have his opinion, he has earned it.  

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19 minutes ago, ettin said:

Statistically relievers perform better overall than starters due to their shorter stints pitching, so in theory and practice it makes sense. The key is picking the right relievers of course.

If we were to attempt this, it would probably be Noe Ramirez or Felix Pena. I don't think the Angels will do it unless we have injuries. Think they will prefer to have starters go two times through the lineup then hit the bullpen for the final three innings.

Pena >>>>>>>>>>>>> Gopher Ball Ramirez

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4 minutes ago, Stradling said:

Ok, so Mad Bum isn’t shitty yet, so he, in my mind, is allowed to have his opinion, he has earned it.  

Yes agreed.  And yet is it the right decision for him to act like that?

Mike Trout has earned the right to threaten to walk out of the ballpark if he isn't batting 2nd or 3rd.  Would you LIKE him to express that right now in a little hissy?

Let's just say I am a little cynical about this Bumgarner quote.  The day you have to sell your badass mentality might be the day your skills are showing some signs of erosion?

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3 minutes ago, Angel Oracle said:

Pena >>>>>>>>>>>>> Gopher Ball Ramirez

after some discussions on Noe, I'm kind of inclined to cut him a little slack on last year.  He pitched the most innings of his career last year since he was a starter in A ball in 2012.  the dude was gassed.  He pitched 32 innings in the first two months and then the home run barrage started shortly after.  They need to limit his innings to about 60 or give him extra days of rest if he pitches more than 1 inning.  

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For the record, when Weaver's "badass" attitude was more prominent than his actual physical abilities, I was very much done with him.  I perceived it as delusion, a nuisance and an obstacle to what was best for the team.

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I think it works in certain situations (injuries, double  header, heavy bullpen workload) and may even work for 2-3 starts if you have a bevy of young guys that you can call up to help fill the roles. As a standard practice, i think it's dumb and unsustainable without having a BUNCH more roster spots.

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I just want to win ballgames. It's up to the manager to figure out how to do that without creating a toxic environment.

At this point I think all of our SP could probably benefit from an opener, if such a thing exists.

 

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3 hours ago, ettin said:

Statistically relievers perform better overall than starters due to their shorter stints pitching, so in theory and practice it makes sense. The key is picking the right relievers of course.

If we were to attempt this, it would probably be Noe Ramirez or Felix Pena. I don't think the Angels will do it unless we have injuries. Think they will prefer to have starters go two times through the lineup then hit the bullpen for the final three innings.

@ettin I hope to God that we do NOT see Noe for even 1/3 of an inning this season. I'm not a fan at all. 

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1 minute ago, Chuckster70 said:

@ettin I hope to God that we do NOT see Noe for even 1/3 of an inning this season. I'm not a fan at all. 

He just needs to find a way to control the long ball but I get why you are nervous. If he sticks to righty-righty matchups he'd do better too.

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2 hours ago, ettin said:

He just needs to find a way to control the long ball but I get why you are nervous. If he sticks to righty-righty matchups he'd do better too.

Why should we have a pitcher on the team who needs to control the long ball and stick to righty-righty matchups?

 

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14 minutes ago, Jay said:

Why should we have a pitcher on the team who needs to control the long ball and stick to righty-righty matchups?

 

Well the Angels haven't DFA'd him yet so they probably know a lot more than we do.

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