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.