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So is Scioscia good again?


Erstad Grit

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He freaking owned Melvin tonight with all the match-ups. 

 

As a loyal (to a fault at times) fan and supporter of Scioscia it has been really hard on this site observing the hate on him.

 

Time for some haters to give him major props IMO.

 

Apparently when he has a bullpen and he can manage with the best of them. 

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"They are winning in spite of him"

I'm detecting a bit of sarcasm here. Scioscia's management style has cost us a lot of runs-scored. Several Oakland A's fans have expressed their gratitude over Trout batting 2nd instead of 3rd (resulting in fewer RBIs) and Pujols batting immediately behind Trout (resulting in fewer stolen bases* and more GIDPs)

 

Raul Ibanez batting cleanup for a third the year was totoally ridiculous definitely cost us some wins. So did the use of Freiri in high leverage situations long after it was clear he was not dependable. Both those guys should have been relegate to bench duty and mop up use, respectively, at least a month earlier than they actually were. Dipoto had to intervene to solve those two problems. If it weren't for the things I mentioned we'd have an 8+ game lead right now.

 

This season we've been able to get by with sub-optimal offensive production (with our roster we should have been #1 by far in all offensive categories) because the pitching has been very good, especially in the second half. However I am quite worried the bullpen guys will get worn out from throwing so many innings, and our offense may need to be putting up football-like scores to maintain the lead in the AL West.  

 

On the whole Scioscia is reportedly extremely good as far as maintaining good morale in the clubouse and keeping players motivated to work to their potential even if some of his in-game tactical decisions are a bit head-scratching.He's sort of like the polar opposite of, say, Bobby Valentine. 

 

 

 

*I'm aware Trout isn't explcitly being given red light to steal but Pujols' approach of makign lots of contact and fouling off a lot of pitches spoils stolen base attempts big time 

Edited by ScottLux
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Still hate him. He still over manages. Never should have pulled Rasmus after 3, should have at least stretched him to 4 and evaluate from there.

When it comes down to it we won so I am happy. But I still hate him.

 

To be honest, I think that may have been a Butcher/Pitching coach call.  Rasmus hasn't ever been asked to rack up pitch counts.  A guy who is used to starting can add to his pitch count from start to start, but it's pretty common for a RP being converted to SP to have his pitch counts elevated, then leveled off, then taken up again.   It wouldn't surprise me to see them go  65 pitches the next two times and then a little deeper....   That's if indeed they are considering stretching him out to start.   

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Like I said in my other thread, I think Scioscia was a bad manager in 2010-2013 and also in playoff games in 2008/2009, and he likely would have been fired in New York or Boston during that 10-13 stretch.  But to me one of Scioscia's biggest flaws in recent years has been his bullpen management.  He refused to understand that we didn't have as deep of a pen as we did in the 2000's and would still go to his closer no matter what, even if somebody like Downs would have been a better match up.  But now with a better bullpen, Scioscia's micro managing/OCD with sticking with closer works because there's a lot of great pieces to play with.  It's not the same as pulling Scott Downs after 4 pitches to bring in Hisanori Takahashi.

 

I was impressed though that he pulled Roth with the bases loaded.  Typically in recent years Scioscia would have left him in, but it was great to see him pull him before he actually could allow a run.

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Like I said in my other thread, I think Scioscia was a bad manager in 2010-2013 and also in playoff games in 2008/2009, and he likely would have been fired in New York or Boston during that 10-13 stretch.  But to me one of Scioscia's biggest flaws in recent years has been his bullpen management.  He refused to understand that we didn't have as deep of a pen as we did in the 2000's and would still go to his closer no matter what, even if somebody like Downs would have been a better match up.  But now with a better bullpen, Scioscia's micro managing/OCD with sticking with closer works because there's a lot of great pieces to play with.  It's not the same as pulling Scott Downs after 4 pitches to bring in Hisanori Takahashi.

 

I was impressed though that he pulled Roth with the bases loaded.  Typically in recent years Scioscia would have left him in, but it was great to see him pull him before he actually could allow a run.

 

I think his biggest strength is also his biggest weakness. He gives bad performing players a loooooooong rope. With a guy like Jepsen this year it really made a fantastic impact. Other times it has been frustrating watching him continue to trot out someone who looks beyond lost. 

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I'm detecting a bit of sarcasm here. To play Devil's Advocate, Scioscia's management style including for exampel lineup ordering has certainly cost us in the runs scored department. For example Trout batting 2nd instead of 3rd resulting in fewer RBIs, Pujols batting immediately behind Trout resulting in fewer stolen bases* and more GIDPs, Aybar batting higher than 7th in the order for much of the year etc.

Raul Ibanez batting cleanup for a third the year definitely cost us some wins. So did the use of Freiri in high leverage situations long after it was clear he was not dependable. Both those guys shuld have been relegate to bench duty and mop up use, respectively, at least a month earlier than they actually were. Make all those changes and we'd have and 8+ game lead right now.

 

This season we've been able to get by with sub-optimal offensive production (with our roster we should have been #1 by far in all offensive categories) because the pitching has been very good, especially in the second half. However I am quite worried the bullpen guys will get worn out from throwing so many innings, and our offense may need to be putting up football-like scores to maintain the lead in the AL West.  

 

On the whole Scioscia is reportedly extremely good as far as maintaining good morale in the clubouse and keeping players motivated to work to their potential even if some of his in-game tactical decisions are a bit head-scratching.He's sort of like the polar opposite of, say, Bobby Valentine. 

 

 

 

*I'm aware Trout isn't explcitly being given red light to steal but Pujols' approach of makign lots of contact and fouling off a lot of pitches spoils stolen base attempts big time 

 

Not sarcasm so much as predicting what some of his detractors will typically argue.  

 

For the record, I'm of the opinion MS needed a wake up call in recent years and it's possible last season was it.  I fully believe he was a bit too complacent, too sure of his methods and I don't care how good a guy is complacency is a bad thing.  As far as your examples go....   There is a counter argument to everything you've said, none of it important enough for me to want to argue.  That's not at all meant as a slight to you, my point is a case could be made for or against in either direction..   There is truth in both viewpoints.

 

On the bright side, Gary Disarcina mistakingly sending so many more runners than he should have has resulted in a lot less contact play disasters.   That's one thing about MS that has ALWAYS driven me apeshit.

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I think his biggest strength is also his biggest weakness. He gives bad performing players a loooooooong rope. With a guy like Jepsen this year it really made a fantastic impact. Other times it has been frustrating watching him continue to trot out someone who looks beyond lost. 

Jepsen's been up and down his whole career, you can just look at the numbers.  His biggest flaw though was he continually went to the Fuentes/Rodney/Frieri types when they clearly didn't have it, and yes I get our bullpens weren't that deep, but he just continually went to those guys while not using/barely using other guys (like Downs) in certain games and it just killed us, especially in 2012 when we actually had a shot at making the playoffs.  Scioscia though is great at managing a good bullpen (like he was in 2002-2007 or 2008), because his micro managing/match ups work because he has tons of awesome guys to work with.  The problem was when he'd bring in Hisanori Takashi for a lefty/lefty matchup, he just couldn't adjust to not having as many pieces and still tried to use the same formula.  Now he's got a total stud pen, and stuff like tonight just totally works.

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Too early to say.  There's still a lot of baseball to be played. 

 

Somehow though, I have a feeling the bullpen has been overachieving and will collapse under the pressure.  How Scioscia handles that if/when it happens will answer your question. 

It's not a matter of collapsing under the pressure as much as they will get taxed from having to pitch so many innings. Jerry Dipoto seriously dropped the ball by not obtaining at least one more starting pitcher in the offseason. One option off the top of my head would have been keeping Vargas. We could have given him a qualifying offer and had more leverage to negotiate a contract for lower AAV than what the Royals offered. Worst case he would have accepted and we woukd have overpaid him for one year only. Better than being put in a situation where trading for Bartolo Colon in a waiver wire deal sounds like a good idea. 

 

Losing two starting pitchers to injury is far from unheard of, if anything it should have been expected. This oversight alone will probably cost us more games than all the stuff I brought up about Scioscia combined. 

Edited by ScottLux
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It's not a matter of collapsing under the pressure as much as they will get taxed from having to pitch so many innings. Jerry Dipoto seriously dropped the ball by not obtaining at least one more starting pitcher in the offseason. One option off the top of my head would have been keeping Vargas. We could have given him a qualifying offer and had more leverage to negotiate a contract for lower AAV than what the Royals offered. Worst case he would have accepted and we woukd have overpaid him for one year only. Better than being put in a situation where trading for Bartolo Colon in a waiver wire deal sounds like a good idea. 

 

Losing two starting pitchers to injury is far from unheard of, if anything it should have been expected. This oversight alone will probably cost us more games than all the stuff I brought up about Scioscia combined. 

 

Those are all good points. 

 

I don't think Jepsen is the type who can be relied upon in the playoffs.  That's what I meant by potential collapse.  If it were me, with starting pitching being a big question mark, I would start getting some of the relievers used to working 2+ innings.  None of this one inning and ten pitches, you're done, kind of stuff. 

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Jepsen's been up and down his whole career, you can just look at the numbers.  His biggest flaw though was he continually went to the Fuentes/Rodney/Frieri types when they clearly didn't have it, and yes I get our bullpens weren't that deep, but he just continually went to those guys while not using/barely using other guys (like Downs) in certain games and it just killed us, especially in 2012 when we actually had a shot at making the playoffs.  Scioscia though is great at managing a good bullpen (like he was in 2002-2007 or 2008), because his micro managing/match ups work because he has tons of awesome guys to work with.  The problem was when he'd bring in Hisanori Takashi for a lefty/lefty matchup, he just couldn't adjust to not having as many pieces and still tried to use the same formula.  Now he's got a total stud pen, and stuff like tonight just totally works.

 

An argument could be made that the problem wasn't Scioscia, it was the talent pool.  

 

The whole bullpen mismanagement thing is something fans bring up all the time but MS has always been extremely well regarded by the saber community for his BP management -- even as the Angels tanked.  It's the one area where the praise for him was pretty much universal.   That's not to say he's incapable of making mistakes or that the saber world is right and the fans are wrong but rather the point I'm making is that the mindset behind the decisions were based in more than just whims.   The problem with bullpen meltdowns is that they stick out like sore thumbs and get magnified.  They hurt more and are harder to come back from than a blown hit and run call in the second inning.  

Mike Scioscia is basically a Tony LaRussa Jr. when it comes to the bullpen.  Give either of those guys a strong bullpen and they have a fighting chance.

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It's not a matter of collapsing under the pressure as much as they will get taxed from having to pitch so many innings. Jerry Dipoto seriously dropped the ball by not obtaining at least one more starting pitcher in the offseason. One option off the top of my head would have been keeping Vargas. We could have given him a qualifying offer and had more leverage to negotiate a contract for lower AAV than what the Royals offered. Worst case he would have accepted and we woukd have overpaid him for one year only. Better than being put in a situation where trading for Bartolo Colon in a waiver wire deal sounds like a good idea. 

 

Losing two starting pitchers to injury is far from unheard of, if anything it should have been expected. This oversight alone will probably cost us more games than all the stuff I brought up about Scioscia combined. 

 

Yeah -- they lead all of MLB in BP innings since the ASB.

 

The trick for MS will be in how he uses all the spares they bring up to give guys more recovery time the next four weeks.  He's going to have to play the matchup game to try to get innings out of guys who may be less than optimal just to keep guys who do matter fresh.  It's not going to be easy, I think the Angels have all of two days off the rest of the year.

 

I really do hope they call up Rucinski or someone like that and employ a tandem starter system with Rasmus in the 5th spot.

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