Feb. 25.10: Fitting in Green.

Sometimes, I just don’t get Jerry Manuel. For instance, when talking about Sean Green, when the topic was his submarine delivery, he said he hopes it doesn’t reduce him to being a specialist.


Isn’t that the whole essence of putting together a bullpen, finding a defined role for each guy? Obviously, there’s room for adjustment depending on the game situation, but don’t the terms long-man, closer, eighth-inning set-up man and “left-hander out of the bullpen,’’ all denote specialists?

When Manuel brings in Pedro Feliciano to face Adrian Gonzalez instead of a right-hander isn’t he using a specialist? Hell, each bullpen decision is about match-ups and subsequently about specialization.

As far as being a specialist, Manuel will determine that by how he uses Green. As a submariner, Green should be effective against both right-handed and left-handed, that is, if his ball in down, moving and on the corners.  If Manuel doesn’t want to pigeon-hole Green’s job – which on the surface would seem to be to come in and get the ground ball, especially against right-handed hitters – then he doesn’t have to.

It is Manuel’s job in constructing the bullpen to slot pitchers to different game situations. To say he doesn’t want Green to be a specialist is contrary to what should be going on.

Personally, I don’t have a problem with specialists as long as they do their job. In the basic sense every reliever should be a specialist in that their role should simply be to get hitters out, which has been a widespread problem of the bullpen the last three years.

10 thoughts on “Feb. 25.10: Fitting in Green.

  1. I have come to really dislike the way the last 4 innings of baseball are played out now. You now use at least 4 or 5 pitchers a game, most of them very limited in talent, and they decide the close games because you can’t use your starter for more than 100 pitches, you can’t use your closer before the 9th inning because its bad for his incentives and future contracts, and you don’t have a bench because you have so many relievers. Of course, this vent has nothing to do with your post, but since Green really sucks I don’t think it matters how he throws the ball. His specialty is finding unique ways to lose close games, and pitch well in blowouts, and overhand, sidearm, underhand, lefty or righty won’t change his makeup.

  2. Green held lefty hitters to a .223 average in 2009, which would suggest he’s a guy who can get both lefties and righties out. And that would suggest that he’s _not_ a specialist.

    What Jerry is referring to is the idea that most sidearmers _are_ specialists who can only retire one type of hitter. For example, lefties have hit .317 against Chad Bradford throughout his career, and .320 against Joe Smith throughout his. Jerry’s apparent concern is that Green is turning himself into a one-trick pony, a ROOGY, when he had shown flashes of being able to retire hitters from both sides of the plate.

  3. 2. Well Jerry should know all about one trick ponies since his one trick is bashing his own players.

  4. There are a couple of problems with specialists.
    First, if all you have is specialists, you run into the problem of overuse, and having to make multiple changes to match guys up. You need a mix of guys who can get everyone out, and specialists (LOOGY’s).
    The other problem is that Jerry looks at anyone who throws lefty as a LOOGY, which is wrong. Feliciano can actually get out righties too. The Takhashi that they had last year could not get out lefties, despite being a lefty. Jerry needs to learn to look at splits.
    The lesson is lefty does not mean LOOGY.

    Green actually doesn’t suck so much as he was used incorrectly, like many of the guys in the pen have been.

  5. Umm. I thought all relievers were specialists. Maybe that is just me.

    Green was effective at times. Overall, he sucked. He has no control and will throw wild pitchers or just miss.

    I hope he gets better because our pen hasnt.

  6. (5) So, then, Chad Bradford is a specialist in the same vein that Aaron Heilman is a specialist?

  7. Yes.

    Do either of them actually pitch a game? Or are relievers the pitching equivalent of a pinch hitter?

    Bring a guy in to face one hitter or even an inning. What is the difference from carrying a position player to come in late in the game to move a player over, to face a lefty pithcer, to play the field in the 8th or ninth inning.

    The only reason we value relief pitchers so much, especially on this team, is because the starting pitchers are really relievers masquerading as pitchers.

    This board celebrates pitchers who are effective for 5 innings. In the same vein we should celebrate position players who are effective until the 5th inning and then need to be taken out because they are bored or tired.

  8. (7) And I would argue there’s a wide gap between a pitcher like Heilman, who tends to get both lefties and righties out, and Bradford, who can only get righties.

    I guess it would be the difference between someone like Matt Stairs, who can only pinch hit but not play the field, and someone like Fernando Tatis, who can pinch hit and then play six different positions.

    If you’re fixated on the limitations of certain players, then you should see a difference between a guy who can’t get lefty hitters out and a guy who can get hitters from both sides of the plate.

  9. 1. I agree with Harry’s point wholeheartedly. It seems to backfire often too, when a pitcher with good stuff is removed in favor of a “better matchup” who then gives up a hit or run. There should be stats reflecting manager judgment. GJ for good judgment and…forget it.

  10. 8

    I am fixated on the limitations of the whole mets pitching rotation because they struggle to pitch more than 5 innings.

    to me that means our whole pitching staff outside of johan is a large collection of relievers.

    that is why we cannot win.