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Construction of a Pitching Staff


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A huge flaw with the construction of this roster is how we constructed this pitching staff.  We have talented arms, no one is going to say Richards, Skaggs, Heaney, Trop, Ohtani don’t all have really good stuff.  Then you throw in Shoe, Bridwell and Barria and you have some depth there.  That being said, none of them can be counted on to go deep in a game with the exception of Skaggs.  The rest are either currently injured or coming off of major injuries.  With all of them coming off of major injuries they are all put under a microscope and seem to be put on a strict pitch count, minus Skaggs who is a couple of years removed from TJ surgery.  

It would be easy to just say, stretch them out, make them get up to 100 plus pitches and I think at some point you will see Richards and Heaney back up above 100 pitches.  I see this more as a trend to keep them as healthy as possible.  

Then you get to the bullpen.  It is littered with guys like Cam, who is fine in the right situation, or Alvarez who is a pleasant surprise.  But it also has guys like Noe who is out of options, and while he has a role, if he starts to get the ball up instead of getting down low in the zone, he becomes ineffective and our only recourse is to have him pitch through it or release him.  You also got Blake Parker, who was great last year, and pretty damn bad this year.  He is out of options.  A big part of our pen this year is Johnson, who was a means to an end signing, a guy we traded for because he was awful last year, had a decent salary but he came with international money.  Middleton didn’t show enough last year to be depended on going into this year.  He has been good, but he was awful in spring.  What if he would have remained awful?  Man does this team need Petit back.  

Hell this offseason he didn’t even do what he did last offseason and bring in a bunch of good stuff arms, because reasons.  

Bottom line is Eppler rolled the dice with an entire pitching staff after creating an amazing defense and what should even out to be a good offense.  

This team needs a healthy guy that can pitch deep into games.  Hell at this point I would take a guy with a 4+ ERA that can give us 7.  And the team needs a couple of veteran arms, guys like Petit or even a guy like what Benoit was a few years ago.  Hopefully with a few months to go until the deadline and a few teams being simply awful, we can make a move or two to bolster the entire staff.  I just see it as a huge roll of the dice to depend on health of this staff, while pitching them less innings and then handing it over to a bullpen that is the single worst part of a playoff hopeful team.  

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Not all pitching staffs are created equal, and i dont mean in terms of talent.  

Some teams have aces, workhorses, we have neither.  

We have a collection of good, not great guys who arent durable and dont go deep into games.  Thats the bad news.  The good news is that they also all have moments of greatness and can be fantastic, but can also have blowup games.  

Now to me, the good news there is consistency, in that they are all about the same kind of guys.   Which makes them all more or less predictable in that even when they are on, they arent throwing complete game shutouts. 

The problem, is that for that type of staff to work, you MUST have  a quality pen, not a collection of cast offs and clean peanuts.   It is the one area that eppler has shows some brilliant creativity and intelligence, but at the same time, let us vulnerable in recent seasons.   

WE have a ton of good SP, what we lack is quality in the pen. 

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4 hours ago, Angelsjunky said:

The starting pitching is improving week by week, so there's reason to be optimistic. 

The bullpen is far more worrisome. Even in a best-case scenario, it lacks any truly intimidating pitchers. I'm not sure what the answer is, but I suspect that this will be the area Eppler focuses on come the trade deadline.

Yeah, the starting rotation actually looks pretty solid overall.  Ohtani has looked very good overall, Richards hopefully turned the corner after his last start, Skaggs has been significantly better than expected ... granted, most of them aren't going too deep into games, but if you think of where we were just a year ago, trotting out Nolasco, Chavez, etc.. it's really night and ay.

The bullpen does make me cringe for the most part.  We really do need Middleton to return healthy.  I feel satisfied with Middleton and Anderson pitching in the 8th/9th, and Alvarez/Johnson/Ramirez covering the 6th/7th depending on matchups.  Beyond those guys though... it gets dicey.

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The problem is Dipoto was such a moron that we have no pitching depth in the high minors. 

I think in a year or two as Eppler continues to build the depth in the minor leagues, this will be less of an issue. We will have cheap relievers coming up through the system helping us. Right now we are being forced to go with Bedrosian and other scrubs because we don't have that depth

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10 minutes ago, GrittyVeterans said:

The problem is Dipoto was such a moron that we have no pitching depth in the high minors. 

I think in a year or two as Eppler continues to build the depth in the minor leagues, this will be less of an issue. We will have cheap relievers coming up through the system helping us. Right now we are being forced to go with Bedrosian and other scrubs because we don't have that depth

Unfortunately, relievers are extremely volatile, too.  Bedrosian was a stud for us as recently as 2016, and he also looked pretty good for half of 2017.  Now, his velocity is down and he does not look the same.

A key thing is exactly as you said it - having young, cheap relievers with options.  A problem that we have right now in that virtually none of our relievers have options.  If they stink, we can't option them - we're basically stuck with them, and since we have no real pipeline talent, we can't DFA them either.

This is why Justin Anderson was such a huge discovery for us - the dude came out of nowhere, but at least we now have two young, cheap, hard-throwing relievers (Middleton being the other).  Hopefully Billy continues to scour the waiver wire and look for hard throwing options that we can further develop.

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I remain convinced that Eppler will add a good arm in season so long as the team looks reasonably good to be a post season team.  Jim Johnson, Parker, Bedrosian may force his hand with the bullpen also.  We’ve been sort of lucky to have Alvarez be this effective (he’s always been fine) and to discover Anderson who appears to be a solid arm.  Even if he’s not a closer. 

Hopefully Middletons deal isn’t long term. 

Edited by UndertheHalo
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14 hours ago, UndertheHalo said:

I remain convinced that Eppler will add a good arm in season so long as the team looks reasonably good to be a post season team.

Jon MorosiVerified account @jonmorosi 58m58 minutes ago
Michael Fulmer starts tonight against the #Rangers, and I expect scouts to follow him closely, if they aren’t already. Source told me #Tigers are prepared to engage in trade discussions on Fulmer at the deadline but aren’t motivated to move him. @MLB @MLBNetwork

With Eppler's history of dealing with Avila, he's someone I think the Angels will be watching. He's young and controllable through '22. 
By midseason, after another draft, I think we'll have enough farm depth to absorb dealing one, maybe even two OF prospects, one of the Jones/Thaiss/Ward prospects, and a low-level arm or one of the Jewell/Castillo guys and land us a pretty good starter without it totally killing our farm depth.

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17 minutes ago, Angel Oracle said:

Fulmer is intriguing.   Good stuff and has had a solid ERA since 2016 along with keeping the ball in the park, but the K's are a bit of a concern (only around 6-7 per 9 innings). 

I wanna say most pitchers Eppler has acquired have either seen a K9 boost since arriving, or if they didn't, some other metric wound up reversing positively (i.e BB9, HR9, H9)...obviously not *every* arm, but enough of them have shown enough increase or decrease to suggest Nagy and staff do a good job of coaching or identifying over/underuse of certain pitches. 

Fulmer probably had some growth ahead in the K9 department too.

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On 5/6/2018 at 9:07 AM, SuperTroopers said:

A huge flaw with the construction of this roster is how we constructed this pitching staff.  We have talented arms, no one is going to say Richards, Skaggs, Heaney, Trop, Ohtani don’t all have really good stuff.  Then you throw in Shoe, Bridwell and Barria and you have some depth there.  That being said, none of them can be counted on to go deep in a game with the exception of Skaggs.  The rest are either currently injured or coming off of major injuries.  With all of them coming off of major injuries they are all put under a microscope and seem to be put on a strict pitch count, minus Skaggs who is a couple of years removed from TJ surgery.  

It would be easy to just say, stretch them out, make them get up to 100 plus pitches and I think at some point you will see Richards and Heaney back up above 100 pitches.  I see this more as a trend to keep them as healthy as possible.  

Then you get to the bullpen.  It is littered with guys like Cam, who is fine in the right situation, or Alvarez who is a pleasant surprise.  But it also has guys like Noe who is out of options, and while he has a role, if he starts to get the ball up instead of getting down low in the zone, he becomes ineffective and our only recourse is to have him pitch through it or release him.  You also got Blake Parker, who was great last year, and pretty damn bad this year.  He is out of options.  A big part of our pen this year is Johnson, who was a means to an end signing, a guy we traded for because he was awful last year, had a decent salary but he came with international money.  Middleton didn’t show enough last year to be depended on going into this year.  He has been good, but he was awful in spring.  What if he would have remained awful?  Man does this team need Petit back.  

Hell this offseason he didn’t even do what he did last offseason and bring in a bunch of good stuff arms, because reasons.  

Bottom line is Eppler rolled the dice with an entire pitching staff after creating an amazing defense and what should even out to be a good offense.  

This team needs a healthy guy that can pitch deep into games.  Hell at this point I would take a guy with a 4+ ERA that can give us 7.  And the team needs a couple of veteran arms, guys like Petit or even a guy like what Benoit was a few years ago.  Hopefully with a few months to go until the deadline and a few teams being simply awful, we can make a move or two to bolster the entire staff.  I just see it as a huge roll of the dice to depend on health of this staff, while pitching them less innings and then handing it over to a bullpen that is the single worst part of a playoff hopeful team.  

An inning eater....I heard that term in reference to Blanton, Nolasco, and Chavez

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4 hours ago, SuperTroopers said:

So, who goes down or is released when Blake Wood comes back?  He started a rehab assignment.  The only relief pitcher on the roster with options is Justin Anderson.  

One of the non-options guys needs a 10 day DL stint.

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