The Pitching Staff, as a whole

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The Pitching Staff, as a whole

Postby davell » Mon Oct 08, 2018 4:46 pm

Looking thru our pitching staff, things are almost definitely going to be unconventional next year. Because no matter how things shake out, I can't fathom us having more than 13 pitchers on our 25 Man Roster, at any point.

Granted, we've got guys who'll be injured, guys who'll be ineffective too..... But, we've got a LOT of arms, and it's interesting to try and define what we still need and how guys will be used going forward......

The Starters

Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana, Yu Darvish, Tyler Chatwood, Drew Smyly, Mike Montgomery, Adbert Alzolay, Jen Ho Tseng, Duane Underwood, Oscar de la Cruz, Alec Mills

Option held- Cole Hamels

Free Agents- None

AAA guys who may factor in- Trevor Clifton, Duncan Robinson

The Bullpen

Closer- Brandon Morrow
Set Up- Pedro Strop, Carl Edwards Jr, Steve Cishek
Middle Relief- Brian Duensing, Randy Rosario, Justin Hancock, Dillon Maples, James Norwood, Allen Webster

Option Held- Brandon Kintzler

Free Agents- Jesse Chavez, Justin Wilson, Jaime Garcia, Jorge de la Rosa

AAA guys who may factor in- Dakota Mekkes, Kyle Ryan

What to do with the starters......

We know Lester, Quintana, Hendricks, and Darvish are in the rotation, if they're healthy. We also have a very good idea that Hamels is coming back. So, that's your 5, right?

But, what happens to Smyly and Montgomery? Chatwood too, for that matter, if he somehow is better next year? Alzolay provides solid depth, the rest are basic fodder, outside of Mills, who has no options left, and seems destined for the pen, if he makes the team.....

Chatwood could easily be outrighted, if he sucks again. The roster spot is better used elsewhere, than on his current version. But, do Smyly or Monty turn this into a 6 Man Rotation? Would we consider that for the entire year? We know they're willing to, on occasion......

Plus, you've got to figure we'll add another Mills or Butler type. And there's a non zero chance that if we deal a Happ or Schwarber, that an upper level starter is part of that return too......

In the end, my guess is they use a normal 5 man, but with stretches of using a 6 man, that maybe adds up to 2 months......

Which conceivably pushes Smyly and Monty to the pen. Where Mills will have a chance to be included too. Same with Alzolay.

This is damn near impossible to project lol.

Morrow is somewhere, if he's healthy. Same with Strop, Cishek, and Carl. But, Carl having a forearm issue and a big loss of velo(92ish) are cause for concern.

Kintzler and Duensing will be back. Unless we DFA, trade, or release them. I seriously doubt they get a spot, unless they shine in the spring though. A guaranteed contract doesn't save either.

The live arm section is DEEP. It includes Hancock, Rosario, Maples, Norwood, Ryan, Webster, and Mekkes. Who really seems like a contributor by mid year, at the latest.

But seriously, you've got 4 spots filled. They're Morrow, Cishek, Edwards, and Strop. Smyly and Monty are 2 more that are guaranteed roster spots, if they're not in the rotation......

We've not mentioned Chavez or Wilson either. Seems like Wilson is a goner. But Chavez? Surely we find a way to bring him back, right?

If you DO trade Happ or Schwarber, I'm guessing you're looking towards a Jimenez, in Detroit? Rogers in Minnesota? Castillo, Yates, or Erlin in SD? Dominguez in Philly? Or a trade with Atlanta, for some of their depth?

Anyway, looking thru things, I fully expect Hamels back. Rotation is set.

And I'm expecting Chavez back, plus an addition by trade of one of Schwarber or Happ. If Chavez isn't back, then a FA addition too.

We're built to withstand some injuries for sure. So, I'm thinking it's a quality over quantity approach at this stage.....

Rotation- Lester, Hendricks, Darvish, Hamels, and Quintana

Pen- Morrow, Cishek, Edwards, Strop, Smyly, Monty, FA acquisition, trade acquisition......

And then EVERYONE else after that lol. I'm actually extremely pleased with the depth. And think that having THIS much, the 6 Man gets emp!oyed recently in stretches. And the pen may even rotate a guy or two in constantly. Phantom DL'ing or whatever, to truly help keep guys fresher. With our depth, I think it's almost a definite strategy to be used going forward.

So, after all this, I expect Hamels, a traded for guy, and either Chavez or another FA acquisition.....

But, the depth is extremely solid, and I'm thinking we'll use a 6 Man and basically rotate 10 guys thru the pen constantly, if they're actually healthy.

Thoughts on where you expect the FO to take the staff, as a whole, this offseason?
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Re: The Pitching Staff, as a whole

Postby PackLandVA » Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:40 pm

I’m not following.
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Re: The Pitching Staff, as a whole

Postby davell » Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:45 pm

PackLandVA wrote:I’m not following.


Ton of options..... 5 or 6 Man rotation? Rotating 10 guys thru 8 pen spots? Any other additions to.the rotation? How many to the pen?
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Re: The Pitching Staff, as a whole

Postby TomtheBombadil » Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:56 pm

I would not go to a straight 6 man rotation, but ideally would love 30/30/30/30/30/12. That’s how I roll in OOTP so it probably works in real life. It’ll end up something close to that, with more starts going to 6 as injuries and nonsense pile up
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Re: The Pitching Staff, as a whole

Postby davell » Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:04 pm

It makes sense, as a breakdown. With injuries, I guess it's not likely. But, it really makes me wonder if we keep both Monty and Smyly. Because if you do only need 12-15 starts out of guys not in your 5, do we NEED/WANT both guys taking pen spots?

Granted, injuries could change the equation easily. But, we've still got plenty of depth of one of those 2 is moved.
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Re: The Pitching Staff, as a whole

Postby PackLandVA » Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:22 pm

davell wrote:
PackLandVA wrote:I’m not following.


Ton of options..... 5 or 6 Man rotation? Rotating 10 guys thru 8 pen spots? Any other additions to.the rotation? How many to the pen?


Just messin' with ya'. :D I damn near finished my lunch while reading that post. Very detailed. :good:
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Re: The Pitching Staff, as a whole

Postby Bertz » Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:23 pm

I think, no matter what, the team needs to come away this winter with a starter with minor league options that they feel comfortable throwing into the rotation right away in the event of injuries. Ideally he's a fun prospect, but even if he's just some high floor guy that's alright. That way, between this new guy and Alzolay, you should have at least one guy down at Iowa you feel good about at any given time.

If Hamels stays, I think Montgomery should not come to camp as a starter. Either have him be a setup guy directly replacing Wilson, or ship him off somewhere. If we need options beyond the main five, Smyly, and the two guys down at Iowa, then we're already so horsefeathered Montgomery would not make a difference.
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Re: The Pitching Staff, as a whole

Postby PackLandVA » Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:24 pm

What about the opposite of a 6-man rotation. What if a team had 2-3 really good starters, and then bullpenned the other days with a really superior bullpen? Could it work?
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Re: The Pitching Staff, as a whole

Postby WrigleyField 22 » Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:24 pm

PackLandVA wrote:What about the opposite of a 6-man rotation. What if a team had 2-3 really good starters, and then bullpenned the other days with a really superior bullpen? Could it work?

Something like this? (Slash indicates a piggyback start)
S1_______S1______S6/S1____S6______S5/6
S2/S7___S7_______S7_______S1______S1
S3______S2/S3___S2________S2/S7__S2
S4______S4_______S3/S4____S3______S3/7
S5/S6___S5______S5________S4______S4

Probably a more organized way to lay it out, but basically introduce a way to get guys at least 1 extended rest every 5 starts, as well as some "scheduled off" days for your bullpen (presumably a 5 man pen) with the piggyback-ed starts. If your eighth starter was an optionable arm, you could fluctuate between a 5 and 6 man pen and an extra optionable position player (like Bote), depending on need. Plus use some 10 day DL shenanigans to get some extra bullpen rest when needed (especially since Morrow will be very limited).
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Re: The Pitching Staff, as a whole

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:30 pm

Davell, Mills has one more option year. He’s a rare 4 option guy.

I assume Tseng will get taken off the 40-man and might not be back in the organization in 2019.
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Re: The Pitching Staff, as a whole

Postby WrigleyField 22 » Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:20 am

WrigleyField 22 wrote:
PackLandVA wrote:What about the opposite of a 6-man rotation. What if a team had 2-3 really good starters, and then bullpenned the other days with a really superior bullpen? Could it work?

Something like this? (Slash indicates a piggyback start)
S1_______S1______S6/S1____S6______S5/6
S2/S7___S7_______S7_______S1______S1
S3______S2/S3___S2________S2/S7__S2
S4______S4_______S3/S4____S3______S3/7
S5/S6___S5______S5________S4______S4

Probably a more organized way to lay it out, but basically introduce a way to get guys at least 1 extended rest every 5 starts, as well as some "scheduled off" days for your bullpen (presumably a 5 man pen) with the piggyback-ed starts. If your eighth starter was an optionable arm, you could fluctuate between a 5 and 6 man pen and an extra optionable position player (like Bote), depending on need. Plus use some 10 day DL shenanigans to get some extra bullpen rest when needed (especially since Morrow will be very limited).

So I am sitting here in the hospital waiting for drugs/contractions for my wife to kick in and ran with my idea here a little.

7 man starter staff (Lester, Hendricks, Quintana, Hamels, Darvish, Montgomery, Smyly)
5 man bullpen (Morrow, Strop, Cisheck, Edwards, *Free Agent*)
8th starter/BP AAA swing guys - Mills
AAA swing bullpens guys (various, + random DFA castoffs throughout season)

I set up a 30 game cycle that ends up looking like this (varied a little from my example above)

Code: Select all

Solo Starts                        Piggyback Starts                 Piggyback Reliefs   
Lester   5                      Lester   1                       Lester   0
Hendricks   4                      Hendricks   2                       Hendricks   0
Quintana   3                      Quintana   2                       Quintana   1
Hamels   3                      Hamels   1                       Hamels   2
Darvish   3                      Darvish   2                       Darvish   0
Smyly   1                      Smyly   0                       Smyly   4
Montgomery 1                   Montgomery   2               Montgomery   2
Mills         0                       Mills           0                    Mills   1
          20                             10                                  10


Lester, Darvish, Hendricks get treated something like normal starters except Darvish pitches once less in a 30 game cycle (5) while the other two pitch a full 6 game slate, but with a few designated pickyback starts. Hamels/Quintana have to pick up some piggyback relief appearances (consider it playoff prep), but still are scheduled 6 times in a 30 game slate, while Montgomery and Smyly pick up spot starts and schedule relief appearances, appearing 5 scheduled times in a 30 game slate. Every guy gets a least 1 extended rest on this cycle. Mills, or others, get thrown in for the occasional scheduled piggyback relief appearance (while also shuttling between AAA and MLB for Bote as Bullpen support is needed). Any other relievers and random DFA pickups throughout the season pick up real DL time or phantom 10 day DL time. Your "regular use" bullpen guys would almost never go three straight games without a scheduled piggyback day, which in theory limits their usage a ton (and you could try to schedule those 3 game stretches around off days). They'll still occasionally end up with appearances in piggyback days, but their rest schedule should be much easier to plan still, even though you'll only have 5 "regulars" in the bp... so not as many 1 out appearances allowed (sorry Joe).

If a "regular" start was 6 innings, a piggyback start 5 innings, and a piggyback relief 4 innings, those 8 guys innings might look like this over a full year;

Code: Select all

Pitcher            Est. Innings Season
Lester             189.0
Hendricks        183.6
Quintana         172.8
Hamels            167.4
Darvish            151.2
Smyly              118.8
Montgomery    129.6
Mills                21.6


Do I think they'd consider something like this? No. But it is an interesting exercise to go through to think about how they could approach the starter/bullpen use.
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Re: The Pitching Staff, as a whole

Postby TomtheBombadil » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:25 am

BTW I want to trade Montgomery.* Go demand your starting job elsewhere!*

*Once they resign Chavez or land a guy capable of the same late inning and spot starter role
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Re: The Pitching Staff, as a whole

Postby Splendid Splinter » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:32 am

They should go with a 6 man rotation and alternate Montgomery/Smyly starting as the 6th. I wonder if something like that would work.
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Re: The Pitching Staff, as a whole

Postby Cubswin11 » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:34 am

TomtheBombadil wrote:BTW I want to trade Montgomery.* Go demand your starting job elsewhere!*

*Once they resign Chavez or land a guy capable of the same late inning and spot starter role

I want to keep him mostly but like if him and a not great prospect (or Vic) as a sweetener was what it took to have some team take all (or like 95%) of Chatwood’s deal I’d be down. I doubt Monty nets us something all that great and probably is more valuable to us than whatever his return is.
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Re: The Pitching Staff, as a whole

Postby TomtheBombadil » Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:08 am

Cubswin11 wrote:
TomtheBombadil wrote:BTW I want to trade Montgomery.* Go demand your starting job elsewhere!*

*Once they resign Chavez or land a guy capable of the same late inning and spot starter role

I want to keep him mostly but like if him and a not great prospect (or Vic) as a sweetener was what it took to have some team take all (or like 95%) of Chatwood’s deal I’d be down. I doubt Monty nets us something all that great and probably is more valuable to us than whatever his return is.


I like him to a rebuilding team for a cost controlled reliever and more optimistically think he can be a strong secondary piece in a big trade.
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Re: The Pitching Staff, as a whole

Postby Sammy Sofa » Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:17 am

This dude is high as horsefeathers or something thinking he's living in Cubshavepitchingdepthland.
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Re: The Pitching Staff, as a whole

Postby TomtheBombadil » Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:49 am

Sammy Sofa wrote:This dude is high as horsefeathers or something thinking he's living in Cubshavepitchingdepthland.


maybe it slipped that Drew Smyly, Alec Mills, and Alzolay are next up
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Re: The Pitching Staff, as a whole

Postby Ding Dong Johnson » Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:07 am

TomtheBombadil wrote:
Sammy Sofa wrote:This dude is high as horsefeathers or something thinking he's living in Cubshavepitchingdepthland.


maybe it slipped that Drew Smyly, Alec Mills, and Alzolay are next up

yep, high as a mamma jamma
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Re: The Pitching Staff, as a whole

Postby Sammy Sofa » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:17 pm

TomtheBombadil wrote:
Sammy Sofa wrote:This dude is high as horsefeathers or something thinking he's living in Cubshavepitchingdepthland.


maybe it slipped that Drew Smyly, Alec Mills, and Alzolay are next up


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Re: The Pitching Staff, as a whole

Postby Old Style » Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:45 pm

Petition to remove the W from the thread title.
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Re: The Pitching Staff, as a whole

Postby TBS Playoffs Insider » Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:51 pm

TomtheBombadil wrote:
Sammy Sofa wrote:This dude is high as horsefeathers or something thinking he's living in Cubshavepitchingdepthland.


maybe it slipped that Drew Smyly, Alec Mills, and Alzolay are next up


im not opposed to moving on from monty ahead of his inevitable turn into a pumpkin but hoisting up these three turds in his place is not exactly enticing
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Re: The Pitching Staff, as a whole

Postby davell » Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:09 pm

TBS Playoffs Insider wrote:
TomtheBombadil wrote:
Sammy Sofa wrote:This dude is high as horsefeathers or something thinking he's living in Cubshavepitchingdepthland.


maybe it slipped that Drew Smyly, Alec Mills, and Alzolay are next up


im not opposed to moving on from monty ahead of his inevitable turn into a pumpkin but hoisting up these three turds in his place is not exactly enticing


So, I'm guessing you're figuring we just don't have the luck for a pitcher to come back from TJS? Or do actually think Smyly healthy, is far worse than Monty?
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Re: The Pitching Staff, as a whole

Postby Sammy Sofa » Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:15 pm

Probably based on how, like, every pitching gamble besides Jake the FO has taken has turned into a prison turd bomb in their faces.

(Don't @ me with all of the examples otherwise).
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Re: The Pitching Staff, as a whole

Postby davell » Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:19 pm

Sammy Sofa wrote:Probably based on how, like, every pitching gamble besides Jake the FO has taken has turned into a prison turd bomb in their faces.

(Don't @ me with all of the examples otherwise).


Guess we're just horsefeathers completely then and rebuild or quit watching baseball.
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Re: The Pitching Staff, as a whole

Postby Sammy Sofa » Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:29 pm

That doesn't seem very realistic.
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