The Secret Formula 2009

Bullpen Specialist Usage

Postby STEVEPONEDAL » Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:27 pm

Thanks to all for the collaborative effort on TSF 2009.

Q: What limits do people put on when their specialists can come in?

Papelbon is my closer so I limit LHP Shouse to not coming in before 8th inning.

Rodney is my RH specialist and I have no limit on when he comes in.

What are other successful managers doing??


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Postby AeroDave10 » Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:16 pm

I usually don't have any restrictions on the specialists. However, I set my bullpen assignments such that all of my best pitchers are assigned to all of their roles before the mediocre ones. So all of the set-up, closer, tied&late, etc. will go to my best guys and they will be ranked ahead of the mop up, middle man, and specialist roles.
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Postby mbertolli » Sat Nov 21, 2009 11:07 am

Thank you for the great insights!

Just a few points and questions. I first played this online version of Strat using the 02 then 03 (the board game since 1984) sets with mixed results. I won 1 championship and had 3 losing teams.

I started back at it with the '08 set a few months ago, here are my results so far (team 6 playing, team 7 about to start)-

Team 1 81-81 2nd place 13gb Exp w/l 87-75
Team 2 77-85 4th place 12gb Exp w/l 79-83
Team 3 89-73 1st place -gb Exp w/l 95-67 lost finals
Team 4 85-77 3rd place 4gb Exp w/l 90-72
Team 5 81-81 3rd place 5gb Exp w/l 81-81

In all but one of these cases my teams actual w/l record lower than its expected w/l record. In some cases dramatically lower.

It seems that I'm putting together teams capable of winning but just not getting the job done. The thing I'm most concened about with these teams are the number of blown saves (13, 14, 14, 29, 12). Cutting these numbers down, even by 25%, would have really changed my teams fortunes. These closers I have used are varied (Nathan, Ryan, Percival, Jenks, Gregg). Who blows 29 saves in one year? Anyone have any further thoughts on the makeup/settings of the pen?

My second concern is the autodraft. I clearly have not figured it out at all. In all but one case I've had the first or second overall waiver pick. Team 5, I did not get a single starting position player and only 1 starting pitcher that I listed. Talk about behind the 8 ball to start a season!

I would love to see an in depth autodraft strategy breakdown. Has there been one?

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Postby STEVEPONEDAL » Sat Nov 21, 2009 6:58 pm

[quote:65e45ad4e5="Aray0113"]Before the new bullpen settings, I would set my specialists to avoid weak side, avoid pitching in blowouts, quick hook, do not come in before 7th; those settings seemed to work well for me.

With the new settings, I simply mark them as LH/RH specialists, and maybe do not come in before 6th inning. Then I rank them near the bottom in my assignments (before mopup pitchers); HAL seems to do a good job with limiting their innings. Of course, these pitchers are usually sub 1M, and sometimes ... okay, most times, .50 relievers like Schoeneweis, Feliciano, Joe Smith, Heilman and the like ... NY Met short relievers seem to work well for me in these roles ... :wink:

On an upcoming team, I am trying the sub-2M specialists, League (5R) and Blevins (5L), so I think I'll move them up the priority list so that they don't wind up with a low IP count.[/quote:65e45ad4e5]

Thanks between you and AeroDave, I think I have found the problem


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Postby J-Pav » Sat Nov 21, 2009 9:48 pm


For the autodraft, have you seen the [i:2d0880ab89]Theory in Action[/i:2d0880ab89] post??

Regarding blown saves, and bullpen in general, I would stress that the ideal situation is to get the best pitchers the most innings (and the most important innings).

[b:2d0880ab89]marcus[/b:2d0880ab89]' post in the strategy section should give you a better idea:


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Youre #1 Guy to draft...

Postby pcbaseballsims » Sun Nov 22, 2009 2:55 pm

you said [u:825e163db0][b:825e163db0]FURCAL[/b:825e163db0][/u:825e163db0] & so I followed your lead.

This was a[u:825e163db0][b:825e163db0] LIVE [/b:825e163db0][/u:825e163db0]draft whee the 1st four to go were:

1. Pujols
2. Chipper
3. Lincecum
4. ARod

I took [u:825e163db0][b:825e163db0]Raphael Furcal [/b:825e163db0][/u:825e163db0]per your suggestion & in later rds obtained a SS1, [u:825e163db0][b:825e163db0]Jack Wilson[/b:825e163db0][/u:825e163db0], like Furcal a high injury risk but worth his $2.87M. '

In waiver$ I added a 3rd SS who can also play 2b, [u:825e163db0][b:825e163db0]Alberto Gonzalez[/b:825e163db0][/u:825e163db0], 2e8 SS.
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Postby J-Pav » Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:34 am

I'm sending this back to top one more time to try and get some discussion going...
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Postby drew6013 » Wed Dec 09, 2009 1:03 pm

J-Pav... You say in your post "the low dollar closer is mostly a thing of the past"

If there is a common theme with my teams its that I'm always probably a little skimpy on the bullpen. In 2008 is does seem appear that my cheap bullpens have played a role in my teams underperforming in relation to their pythag. In the past years I've found success with the low dollar closer. Why is the low dollar closer a thing of the past in your opinion?
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Postby J-Pav » Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:54 pm

I'm basing that on the Championship rosters I'm looking at.

Basically, if 20 plus rosters don't lie, there are two ways to go w/ a closer:

1. High dollar
2. Three dollar

The high dollar guy set to super relieve (closer, set-up, slow hook, not before 6th inning) is just too effective in today's game. Rivera, Soria, Balfour. Your big gun gets not only lots of innings, but lots of important innings. Mix in a sub $2 guy like Grabow, Corcoran or Shields to have some closer outs available when your go-to guy has been overused.

If you don't get a high dollar guy, you can go Gregg, Wheeler, Qualls, and maybe Jenks and a quality set-up guy like Kuo, Wade or Johnson.

About half the rosters go high dollar, while the other half go three dollar. The sub $1 guys are most effective when they get the least innings possible. And you certainly don't want them pitching very often with the game on the line. The best combination seems to be something like Balfour pitching two shutout innings to end the game. If he's getting lots of use, Corcoran can give you one quality inning to cover the save. If they both get tired, then you still have Rodney and Shouse to play match-up in the 9th.

If you go low dollar closer, at least make sure you go with a Balfour-type set-up guy (R2/C3) who can pick up some saves when the specialists get overused. But if the Championship rosters are any indication, this is just not the most effective way to go. If it were, you would see it happening more often.
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