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 Post subject: Robins Roundup 2032/3
PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:00 pm 
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Moneyball 3.0

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Moneyball. It's roots go all the way back to baseball author Bill James. In it's purest form, moneyball is an ideology of using undervalued traits to achieve a team that is greater then the sum of it's parts. While many get hung up on OBP and other core ingredients of the initial moneyball format, the fact is, moneyball is ever evolving. By the time you notice a value that others don't, everyone soon follows and you need to move on to the next.

The 2032 Brooklyn Robins are about to unveil a new system that could revolutionize the Brewster Baseball Association. Though there is an equal chance it could blow up in their face. Ladies and gentleman let me introduce you to..... the platoon pitching rotation.

The concept is pretty simple. Instead of spending tens of millions of dollars putting together the best 5 starters they can find, the Robins have gathered 13 different niche starters to fill out the final three spots in the rotation. All of these pitchers have distinct and sometimes ridiculous strengths and flaws. Most teams will look at these guys and say... "good pitcher, but X will hold him back. Nothing more then AAA filler." That's where the value lies. There will be no competition in spring training. All 13 of these pitchers are expected to play a role on the team at various points of the season.

At the top of the rotation is Jose Morales (8/7/8 Ratings) and Gerardo Castillo (7/7/7 Ratings). They are two serviceable starters who can eat a lot of innings. This is necessary in the grand scheme of things. It would be complete chaos trying to coordinate a full out 5 man platoon rotation. The two veterans will be staggered in the rotations(#1 and #3 or 4). This will assure that at least one "all around" pitcher will play in each series. Their stamina is also key as many of the various "platoon starters" have less then stellar stamina and/or are better served not facing a lineup the third time through. Having Castillo and Morales eat innings every few days will rest the bullpen.

Like mentioned earlier, the other 3 spots in the rotation will be rotated. Five of the thirteen must remain on the active roster. They will do so by occupying other "primary roles". For example, Miguel Dezgado (8/7/7 Ratings) figures to be the teams 8th inning guy. But he is also capable of starting and is included in the 13 platoon starters. So Dezgado will remain in the pen and occasionally make a spot start when a favorable matchup is on the horizon. The other 8 all have options. So they will constantly be taxied from AAA to the BBA each sim depending on the opponent.

So how will manager Bruce Frank decide who to start and when? It will be determined by the strengths and weakness of their opponents on a week by week basis. Thanks to BBA roster rules(7 day sims), Brooklyn will be able to set the roster for a 7 day stretch at a time. Most of the time they will only play 2 different teams in that time. Say one of the teams is stocked with left handed bats(think Huntsville in the Kyle era). Brooklyn will thumb through the rolodex of left handed pitchers and choose the best ones for the job. Say the next series is in Vancouver. Brooklyn will favor stuff over movement because the Northwoods Outpost is freak'in huge and nobody can hit a homerun there anyway. The matchup possibilities are endless. Most are more subtle then the example I just mentioned. Brooklyn does have a hard task in choosing which pitchers to pitch when. If the Robins played a well balanced team then there isn't much they can do except try to set up the next series. The one absolute bonus to this strategy is that the opponent will never know who the Robins are going to start. So for other micro managers of the league, try to gameplan when you don't know which one of 13 pitchers will be on the mound today. Let's meet the Lucky 13.....and of course in no particular order....

Armando Cruz (7/6/6 Ratings)- Ok, I lied. This is in order...alphabetical. Cruz is probably not the best guy to start the list with as he figures to be used more in the pen then the rotation. He is the classic case of a pitcher who hasn't developed his third pitch. If his curveball ever develops then he could be a viable back of the rotation starter. He is prone to the homerun so he probably won't start in too many hitters park. He is also weak against lefties. He should do ok against a righty heavy lineup at home though. Also as a righty specialist in a bigger park he should actually fare well.

Miguel Dezgado (8/7/7 Ratings)- Dezgado must remain on the active roster and the plan is for him to be the 8th inning guy. The Robins want to keep him in the pen as much as possible, but if they are in a must win game against a well balanced team, he is the most well balanced of the 13 platoon starters.

Jose Garcia (7/7/6 Ratings)- Fitt-Dog, as his teammates call him is a 24 year old knucleballer. His knuckleball isn't that good, but it's still a knuckleball and hitters don't know how to react. He is tougher on righties then lefties and usually keeps the ball in the park. Look for him to start against teams with a lot of homerun hitters.

Ferguson Gibson (9/7/5 Ratings)-Fergie should get a lot of starts for the Robins this year. Most of these pitchers, it's about putting them in a position to succeed. For Gibson, it's about removing him from situations where he'd fail. Red Robin Park, while not tailored to him, is extremely beneficial to him. He's got an electric fastball and a pretty good sinker. He'll get in trouble when right handed hitters take him deep. So when the Robins play Montreal, chances are Fergie might make a trip to AAA for the week.

Conan Harris (9/7/3 Ratings)- Like in Dr. Suess, the Robins have a trio of things. Meet Wild Thing #1. Conan has amazing stuff, throws 100+mph, solid movement, and an assortment of pitchers that many all star pitchers would be envious of. So why is he not a star? Control. The guy needs a roadmap to find home plate. Maybe not so ironically Harris previously pitched in Omaha. The Robins front office is said to have some similar views on control as the Barnstormers. If Confucius says that a walk is just as good as a hit. Then wouldn't a walk and a groundball be just as good as two strikeouts? The Robins are said to be in love with groundball pitchers with electric stuff and poor control. Like all these pitchers, the synergy needs to be right. The opponent needs to be slow lumbering power hitters and the Robins must put their slickest gloves in the infield(Clohessy and Gustafsen). Harris must stay on the active roster and is penciled in as a lefty specialist.

Lawrence Hernandez (8/7/6 Ratings)- Hernandez has all the tools to be a good starter. He just has poor stamina. A system like this may benefit him. Say the Robins put him in the rotation between Morales and Castillo. Or even better, what if they have 2 days off in one week? Lawrence can be a guy who gets sprinkled in on days when the bullpen actually needs work. Then his 4-5 solid innings re a plus and not a minus. He's also great at holding runners on. So speedy teams, scout this guy, you may see him more then others.

Corey Jackson (8/7/5 Ratings)- Corey is another flawed pitcher who couldn't develop a third pitch. After being claimed on waivers from Halifax in April last year he actually finished second on the team in wins going 8-3. He is much better against right hand hitters and actually figures to be a good relief pitcher. Being out of options, Corey will be a mainstay in the bullpen either as a righty specialist or a long man. But he is also expected to start 5-10 games.

Pierluigi Luiso (7/8/4 Ratings)- The Italian import(via Brussels) raised a lot of eyebrows within the organization last year going 12-4 with a 2.90 ERA while pitching in Double A. Another pitcher in the mold of poor control/groundball tendency. He gets grouped into the 13 because he was rule 5 eligible and the Robins wanted to ensure he stuck around. Peirluigi will most likely continue his development in AAA for most of the season. But things could change in a hurry as he might be the most niche pitcher on this list. Luiso has a .4 HR/9 inning mark during his amateur and pro career. He is the most homerun evasive weapon the Robins have. To spot start him in small parks and against slugging teams(Hi Montreal), might be a great idea.

Jose Olvera (6/7/7 Ratings)- Olvera is the Godfather of the pitching platoon idea. He has been one of the go too guys every time Huntsville comes to town for the past 4 seasons. Out of options, Brooklyn was going to cut ties with the veteran. But when they committed to this idea, it only felt right to bring Olvera back. When not starting, he'll be a lefty specialist/long man. When facing lefty heavy teams, Olvera will be one of the first names called.

Leon Ramirez (10/8/3 Ratings)- Wild Thing #2. To save time(I've been writing this for almost 2 hours and I doubt anyone is even still reading), Ramirez is a better version of Connan Harris. Ramirez is expected to get a lot of starts this season. We just need to protect him against high OBP teams and make sure he has a solid infield behind him.

Francisco Ruiz (9/7/3 Ratings)- Wild Thing #3. Ruiz is a right handed version of Connan Harris. His sole purpose is to face right handed free swinging teams. The wild things are all kinda grouped together and will most likely face the same teams. Again, it's all about using a niche to exploit a weakness. I don't know how many free swinging teams are in the BBA, but however many there are.. we'll have their number this year.

Edgardo Vega (7/7/6 Ratings)-Another waiver claim, Gonzo was picked up from Charm City in September. His scouting report suggest he should be an OK back end starter. Some of his work in Charm City and also in Amsterdam(EBA) support that a little. At times though, he's been more miss then hit. Brooklyn feels confident enough that in a bigger park, with a good infield defense, he can be more good then bad. There may not be a conclusion in sight. He may be a "see-saw" pitcher who constantly struggles with consistency. It's not even known where Gonzo fits in this pyramid scheme. He does a lot of things ok, but nothing really well. He will get some chances though. Brooklyn likes retreads and to turn a division rivals castoff into a useful piece would be a great moral victory.

So I just counted the pitchers and there are only 12. At first I thought I miscounted and didn't want to go back and replace all the times I said 13 with 12. I was going to claim that #13 was a secret weapon that everyone should be afraid of to save face. But alas. Last but not(or maybe) least....

Dave Poole (10/6/4 Ratings- Poole is a classic big ballpark pitcher. He'll throw it as hard as he can, right down the middle. He'll strike out a lot of guys, but also gives up a lot of long fly balls. With Brooklyns new park dimensions and an outfield of Clohessy/Camacho/Chacon, he could stumble upon some success. For fullest optimization, Poole needs to face a right handed lineup that doesn't have a lot of power.

Well, that's it for real this time. Well, until Brooklyn signs, claims, trades for another undervalued niche pitcher capable of exploiting a BBA team or two. That's the beauty of this strategy. These kinds of pitchers are always available and cheap. Many of them can be interchangeable with readily available pitchers of the day. After all, that is the spirit of moneyball once you get passed lesson one... "Hoo-ray for OBP".

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:15 pm 
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I'm probably going to do a mini version of this with our fifth slot. Love the idea expanded, and love the use of the whole organization.

And, yes I was still reading at wild thing#2 and beyond.

I agree with your assessment of Gibson, too. Keep him out of places where he can explode and he can be pretty good.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:31 pm 
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This will be fun to follow.

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Brett Schroeder
Career W/L Record: 1957 - 1931
Vancouver Mounties GM '10 - present
W/L Record: 1084 - 1184
JL Pacific Champs '10, '12, '21, '22

California Crusaders GM '96 - '05
W/L Record: 873 - 747
JL Pacific Champs '02
Landis Champs '02


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