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Old 04-25-2018, 11:21 AM   #1
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How do you set up RP your roles?

It seems like the more specific roles I assign to my RPs, the worse they perform. How simple or complex do you set your RP duties, and do you assign secondary roles? Looking deeper, what attributes do you look for in a pitcher for each role?

My bullpen has consistently been my worst performing unit through three seasons even with big overhauls each season so I must not have the right approach. Help would be much appreciated.

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Old 04-25-2018, 02:09 PM   #2
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primary concern: high stuff - 2 pitches highly rated.

movement - above average - hr/9 concerns, right?

control somewhere near ~1/2 scale
-- exceptions: if they maintain a respectable BB/9ip over time, the proof is in the pudding and even if below 1/2 scale still good enough control. (depends on league baselines.. mlb- maybe 3-3.5bb/9 is a good line i the sand to draw?)

so the most likely dominant guys will have Max or >max stuff.. .60-70+movement and ~50 control give or take... higher is of course better. this is who i want as my Cl/SU and if possible top MR.. 80/100-to-max stuff for a top MR is good too. movement and control conerns remain teh same for MR, but cost of a max stuff RP likely precludes them except for cases of club-controlled younger players.

WHIP, HR/9, K/9 and BB/9 with a large sample will tell me whether results match their high ratings... with RP, you typically don't have a good sample for 5+ years, unfortunately. even then a bit skecy... and by the time they do, you have to be worreid about aging, lol.

so, some speculation is required. @ 60-80ip in any given year, you can expect an extreme amount of volatility.

this is a lesson about the law of independent results... playing musical chairs will only hurt you if they are are not similar in ratings. ie i will knee-jerk react to a rp's down season if i have other rp of similar quality, but i won't bump up a severely lower-rated guy just because my 76/80 rp i shaving a bad 30-40ip start to season.

i will look at their game logs before reacting to current small sample stats of that year... is it 1 bad game out of 10? in that case i don't care if it's a 5.00era, lol... 9/10 outings are good.

always ride the best odds... ignore small-sample results

as far as roles and depth chart:

my rotation will heavily dictate what i do. how many innings do i need out of my pen? this will tell me whether i need 1 SU or 2SU and maybe a secondary role for SU to cover heavy dependency on a pen.

strong rotation, i may have 1 primary SU and a secondary role to cover his tired days.

i want my best RP to get ~70-80+ IP. i want to minimize use of lesser-RP. i wil do whatever is needed with the depth chart to meet that end relative to current context -- even if it is unorthodox. knowing pecking order of how the ai works is important...

e.g. i don't have a primary long reliever if i want the MR with secondary LR to get those innings... i'll move that lesser guy as a MR-use less often with a Long relief secondary role to make sure he's choosen 2nd for those long-relief opportunities. if the ai is stil choosing that lesser-guy as teh LR, i will remove that secondary role too.

i don't like 'avoid high leverage' becuae tehy will get used more often in many cases. i prefer 'use less often' and bury at bottom of MR if i don't wnat them used as much. in cases of a weak rotation and heavy dependency on a bullpen, you probably want to use 'avoid high leverage' because it will help keep your pen fresher for more important situations.. but if you have a strong rotation, those situations are already spread out enough. (basically if you see only ~50ip from your CL/SU or MR-high useage, you should not use 'avoid high leverage' because they can easily work more without a negative effect and the pen is often fresh at all times anyway, since they only get ~50ip/year)

it's not unusual for me to use my best MR as a long relief guy too when i have 5 sp that go 200 or more innings and an ace eating up 250ip each year. (likely gets 80-100ip in any context)... or a future SP as a long relief / high leverage guy that can get ~100ip or more.

on better teams, you want some good options for long relief, because your ofense will get you back into those games often. i'd rather a top MR-type guy get long relief work in that context than a lesser RP.. then the few times my SU guys are tired, maybe it uses a slightly less optimal guy, but it's a net positive due to all the games i got back into otherwise.

i wouldn't do that with a weak rotation and a weak offense, though.

Context is everything.. there's no one-sized-fits-all answer to this.

Last edited by NoOne; 04-25-2018 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 04-25-2018, 02:43 PM   #3
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My best guy is my closer. The next two best guys are the set up men. The rest are middle relievers. If I have a good lefty I assign him the lefty specialist role as his secondary. If I have a guy who is there because I have no one else I have him avoid high leverage.

It's not complicated for me.
"Hitting is timing. Pitching is upsetting timing"-Warren Spahn.
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Old 04-26-2018, 12:58 PM   #4
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Last season I had a lot of RP with big L/R splits. Those guys did well, but if I added any secondary roles they ran into problems. I had one MR rack up over 100 IP when I kept trying to get him to pitch less. I'm think I end up favoring MOV and CON highly because every pitchers I'd had with less than 55/80 in those areas has been absolute garbage. And since I give weight to those abilities I settle for lesser STU pitchers. That bites me when it comes to setup men.

I think I might just poney up the cash for some good relievers with long histories this offseason. I tried that previously with Holland and Hand and it went poorly, but I've got plenty of cash to experiment.
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Old 04-27-2018, 12:53 AM   #5
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a late 1st, a 2nd or even a 3rd round draft pick invested wisely every few years can make your pen cheap and have high-end guys. maybe 1 expensive contract at atime can save a tone of money for players that are used way more often (SP/Fielders). i have big problems when i neglect to have a pipeline of RP prospects coming up.

what i said looks complicated above but it isn't. minor adjustements relative to context. it's like clockwork, really no effort or mental gymnastics invovled once the basic logic is worked out one time. fater that it is plug-n-play.

if you play the games out, it simply won't matter... just make sure to not paint yourself into a corner with fatigue. knowing how the ai will choose things will help make choices, otherwise.

100ip isn't neccessarily bad... it's only bad if he's unavailable for the more important situations that arise in a season relative to his role. if those 100ip are mostly high leverage situations in close games, it's all good. my MR/LR guys can do 100ip on occassion - quite a few 2ip outings, but still enter 60-70 games.

check game logs to see, if worried about how they are being used. can adjust based on what you see to alter the use.
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Old 04-27-2018, 10:53 AM   #6
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I mostly just use the AI setup for this as it usually gets things right based on stats.

One tip I can add to the other advice: watch for heavy platoon splits on some guys.

I had one reliever I inherited when I started this team that the "bench coach" kept setting up as a "LOOGY." I wasn't sure why as he seemed pretty good overall, but then after a few weeks I looked at his ratings and found this:

Vs. RH: 60 stuff, 60 movement, 25 control
Vs. LH: 85 stuff, 85 movement, 30 control (!)

I had mostly been using him against lefty "patches" in lineups already but now I really will be careful against the righties with him.

Turns out he's a sidearmer. Watch for this especially; sidearmers tend to have heavy platoon factors.

I just checked out Carson Smith, a guy I've always liked as a player IRL. He is 45/55/45 versus lefties and 60/70/55 against righties.

Darren O'Day's splits are insane. 50/35/45 and 75/55/55. That's practically a "ROOGY."

BTW you will often get a hint about this in the scouting report ("may have trouble getting lefties/righties out").

Last edited by Qeltar; 04-27-2018 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 04-27-2018, 11:35 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Curve Ball Dave View Post
My best guy is my closer. The next two best guys are the set up men. The rest are middle relievers. If I have a good lefty I assign him the lefty specialist role as his secondary. If I have a guy who is there because I have no one else I have him avoid high leverage.

It's not complicated for me.

Dave nailed it.

Your closer should be your best strikeout guy with good control, all other things being equal. It's nice to have at least one reliever with 40 stamina in case you need a long man.

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Old 04-27-2018, 12:52 PM   #8
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I use a spreadsheet that breaks down the pitchers into different ratings:

Ability against lefty
Ability against right
Difference in the ability L vs R
Overall ability in an average situation (0.6 runners on base)
Abilty with no runners on base
Ability with runners on.
The difference in ability with runners on vs no runners.

Using these ratings, I try to both maximize the use of the best players in the most important situations, while also trying to maximize the advantage each player will have when pitching.

Knowing that each pitcher will generally give up different ratios of hits, HRs, and walks (and get Ks), I weight each result for the situation. For example, with men on base, giving up a hit is much more costly than giving up a walk. Or getting a K with no men on is as good as a flyout or groundout, but the FO/GO can still be costly with runners on.

I also know that any player set to "high leverage" will be put in the game more when there are runners on base, and so my system favors Stuff over Control more than usual for this purpose because Stuff does the most to prevent hits and it gets more Ks instead of GO/FOs.

For guys who will come on in a fresh inning more often, including closers and setup men, my system favors control and movement slightly more.

So my best guy is a closer who is also set to high leverage as secondary. I have another guy set to stopper (7th inning) and high leverage too. These are my 2 best guys, and they have very high stuff.

Then I have a 3rd reliever that is 3 best overall, but his stuff is lower, high movement and control, so he's not ideal for stranding runners in scoring position, but is very good having a whole inning to work himself, so he is set to setup (7th inning) and closer secondary.

Middle relievers follow similarly, with lower stuff ones being set to setup secondary to cover there if needed, and anyone particularly weak in stuff (or just weak enough overall) could be set to avoid high leverage.

Weaker players that aren't good enough to be given a role where they will be used often, but who are really good just against one side can be specialist (almost always lefty, but a righty specialist is possible).
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Old 10-02-2019, 08:08 PM   #9
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I guess I am bumping an old thread but I haven't played in awhile and was looking at what others did to knock off the rust. Anyway, I didn't see anyone mention an emergency SP. I usually keep one so I don't have to promote someone from AAA if a starter gets injured on short term. Usually a guy who projects as a back of the rotation guy, or bullpen/emergency SP. I am thinking of dropping this for DH teams since I usually could use an extra backup fielder. It also depends on if I have a 4A starter, I would have a prospect start in the minors until needed.

Any thoughts?
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