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Angels bullpen is the ultimate Eppler gamble


Second Base

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Every GM is different, but I'm not sure I've ever seen such a contrast in General Manager philosophy as Billy Eppler to our previous leadership.  We're all confident in the dividends the farm system will eventually pay, and Eppler isn't alone in that.  Many GM's throughout the game put a focus on minor leaguers.  But the bullpen.....I'm not sure I've ever see a GM make such an ultimate gamble. 

Billy Eppler likes velocity and this unit will have it in spades.  The current bullpen depth appears to be Almonte, Anderson, Bedrosian, Buttrey, Cole, Curtiss, Garcia, Jerez, Jewell, Middleton, Pena, Noe Ramirez, JC Ramirez, and Robles

Of those 14 pitchers, all but one appear to be perfectly capable of throwing consistent 95 mph fastballs.  And of those 14 pitchers listed, ZERO have an extended history if success on the mound.  Some have it in spurts, some haven't had the opportunity, and some simply haven't experienced success on a major league mound at all.  

So we're seeing the ultimate combination of buy-low candidates.  I know we've said before that Billy Eppler doesn't believe in paying for relief pitching, and while I think we all believed that to be true for the most part, this to me is essentially Eppler making a statement.  He's so convinced that he's right, that he could build a good bullpen with nothing but upside risks, that's he's essentially doubled down and wagered the outcome of the 2019 season on it. 

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4 minutes ago, Second Base said:

And of those 14 pitchers listed, ZERO have an extended history if success on the mound.

Very few relievers have an extended history of success on the mound. There are probably 15 relievers in the majors who you know will be good. Then there are probably another 50 who are good 2 of every 3 years. Then there are 100 who are coin flips. 

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9 minutes ago, Jeff Fletcher said:

Very few relievers have an extended history of success on the mound. There are probably 15 relievers in the majors who you know will be good. Then there are probably another 50 who are good 2 of every 3 years. Then there are 100 who are coin flips. 

I suppose I should have specified the parameters of "extended history".  I was looking specifically if any of them had recorded three consecutive seasons of exemplary major league production. 

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If Eppler went with a lot of poster's recommended relievers/closers last offseason, our BP would have been more expensive and, likely, worse than what we got.

Wade Davis - $16 mil average (3 year deal) - 4.13 ERA 1.056 WHIP 114 ERA+ 

Greg Holland - $14 mil 1 year deal - 4.66 ERA 1.619 WHIP 88 ERA+

Addison Reed - $8.5 mil average (2 year deal) - 4.50 ERA 1.429 WHIP 97 ERA+

Brandon Morrow - $11.5 mil average (2 year deal) - 1.47 ERA 1.076 WHIP 122 ERA+ but only pitched in 35 games and last game was July 15th

Juan Nicasio - $8.5 mil average ( 2 year deal) - 6.00 ERA 1.381 WHIP 68 ERA+

Bryan Shaw - $9 mil average (3 year deal) - 5.93 ERA 1.793 WHIP 79 ERA+

Jake McGee - $9 mil average (3 year deal) - 6.49 ERA 1.461 WHIP 73 ERA+

Anthony Swarzak - $7 mil average ( 2 year deal) - 6.15 ERA 1.595 WHIP 61 ERA+

Those were just listed MLBTradeRumors top 40 from last season.

It's a crapshoot, why bet a lot of money when there is an solid chance you can find equivalent to better talent at league minimum with minor league options. 

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39 minutes ago, Jeff Fletcher said:

Very few relievers have an extended history of success on the mound. There are probably 15 relievers in the majors who you know will be good. Then there are probably another 50 who are good 2 of every 3 years. Then there are 100 who are coin flips. 

I wonder how many of those were free agents this offseason that we missed on....

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14 minutes ago, AngelsFaninGA said:

The bullpen will be anywhere between a complete disaster to mediocre. Your upside is limited when you're truly scraping the bottom of the barrel with each acquisition. 

Angels Bullpen in 2018:

ERA: 7th/15 in AL, 13th/30 in MLB

WHIP: 8th/15 in AL, 15th/30 in MLB

They signed no one last season and were middle of the pack.

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2 hours ago, Jeff Fletcher said:

Very few relievers have an extended history of success on the mound. There are probably 15 relievers in the majors who you know will be good. Then there are probably another 50 who are good 2 of every 3 years. Then there are 100 who are coin flips. 

2 hours ago, Second Base said:

I suppose I should have specified the parameters of "extended history".  I was looking specifically if any of them had recorded three consecutive seasons of exemplary major league production. 

That's what I meant. I stand by my statement.

In fact, let's look it up.

Let's just call 50 games and an ERA of 3.50 or better "exemplary." That's a pretty low bar for exemplary.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/tiny/3RN1N

There have been 13 pitchers who have done that each of the last three years. Only 40 pitchers have done it two of the last three years.

Point is, relievers are a huge crapshoot. Your chances of getting quality out of an $8M reliever are not much better than a $2M reliever.

 

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2 hours ago, Jeff Fletcher said:

Very few relievers have an extended history of success on the mound. There are probably 15 relievers in the majors who you know will be good. Then there are probably another 50 who are good 2 of every 3 years. Then there are 100 who are coin flips. 

The problem is ours are all coin flips

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22 minutes ago, stormngt said:

The problem is ours are all coin flips


Exactly.  It would be different if the Angels had two or three proven guys and then took the "coin flip approach" for the rest of the bullpen.  The fact is, this teams entire bullpen is a coin flip and chances are, this will be a big mistake by Eppler.

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1 hour ago, Jeff Fletcher said:

That's what I meant. I stand by my statement.

In fact, let's look it up.

Let's just call 50 games and an ERA of 3.50 or better "exemplary." That's a pretty low bar for exemplary.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/tiny/3RN1N

There have been 13 pitchers who have done that each of the last three years. Only 40 pitchers have done it two of the last three years.

Point is, relievers are a huge crapshoot. Your chances of getting quality out of an $8M reliever are not much better than a $2M reliever.

 

Not a single argument here. I happen to agree with Eppler.

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So, I looked at the payroll earlier today, and was surprised to see that the entire pitching staff, not just the Pen, was constructed for between $30 and $40 for 2017, 2018, and 2019.

The pen in 2019 is going to cost less than $10M ($12M if JC Ramirez is a RP not a SP). It's been between $24 in 2017 and 2018 $13.6.

It was $71 in 2016, with $52 of that being the rotation and $19 being pen.

In 2015, $60 was spent on the rotation and $18 of that was pen.

 

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3 hours ago, mulwin444 said:

If Eppler went with a lot of poster's recommended relievers/closers last offseason, our BP would have been more expensive and, likely, worse than what we got.

Wade Davis - $16 mil average (3 year deal) - 4.13 ERA 1.056 WHIP 114 ERA+ 

Greg Holland - $14 mil 1 year deal - 4.66 ERA 1.619 WHIP 88 ERA+

Addison Reed - $8.5 mil average (2 year deal) - 4.50 ERA 1.429 WHIP 97 ERA+

Brandon Morrow - $11.5 mil average (2 year deal) - 1.47 ERA 1.076 WHIP 122 ERA+ but only pitched in 35 games and last game was July 15th

Juan Nicasio - $8.5 mil average ( 2 year deal) - 6.00 ERA 1.381 WHIP 68 ERA+

Bryan Shaw - $9 mil average (3 year deal) - 5.93 ERA 1.793 WHIP 79 ERA+

Jake McGee - $9 mil average (3 year deal) - 6.49 ERA 1.461 WHIP 73 ERA+

Anthony Swarzak - $7 mil average ( 2 year deal) - 6.15 ERA 1.595 WHIP 61 ERA+

Those were just listed MLBTradeRumors top 40 from last season.

It's a crapshoot, why bet a lot of money when there is an solid chance you can find equivalent to better talent at league minimum with minor league options. 

Agree mostly, don't they though need one rock solid veteran to lead the way?   If you are in the post-season, or battling in September, who is going to break through in this pen to lead the way? 

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55 minutes ago, VariousCrap said:


Exactly.  It would be different if the Angels had two or three proven guys and then took the "coin flip approach" for the rest of the bullpen.  The fact is, this teams entire bullpen is a coin flip and chances are, this will be a big mistake by Eppler.

By my point is the “proven” guys barely exist. 

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16 minutes ago, Jeff Fletcher said:

By my point is the “proven” guys barely exist. 

People blindly ignore the numbers. Most of the expensive relievers end up no better than guys you can pick up for free. The closest guys to a sure thing? They cost a ton, and unless you’re one of the top 5 or so teams, you don’t really need one urgently. If the Angels get to that point mid season, they may well make a trade for one. 

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9 minutes ago, Sean-Regan said:

People blindly ignore the numbers. Most of the expensive relievers end up no better than guys you can pick up for free. The closest guys to a sure thing? They cost a ton, and unless you’re one of the top 5 or so teams, you don’t really need one urgently. If the Angels get to that point mid season, they may well make a trade for one. 

I keep saying this.  It is much better to trade for someone that is actually performing this year.  

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3 hours ago, mulwin444 said:

Angels Bullpen in 2018:

ERA: 7th/15 in AL, 13th/30 in MLB

WHIP: 8th/15 in AL, 15th/30 in MLB

They signed no one last season and were middle of the pack.

What would the statistics look like with some consistent starting pitching? I think Eppler is on to something. 

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