An eighth inning solution: Alfredo Aceves

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As the Yankees put together a hot May, the team’s fans have watched Alfredo Aceves blossom into a very effective and useful piece in the bullpen. While he has made just nine appearances, he has shown poise and ability that could provide the shaky Yanks’ pen with a solid piece.

On the season, Aceves has hurled 19.2 innings over those nine appearances. He has allowed 16 hits and has walked just three while striking out 18. He is 3-1 with a 2.75 ERA, and opponents are hitting .219/.256/.342 off him. While his BABIP allowed is .259, lower than the average and thus suggesting that opponents may hit him better in the future, he has limited the damage by throwing 65 percent of his pitches for strikes. It’s amazing what confidence and good stuff can do for a reliever

Over the last few weeks, we’ve explored the various roles of Alfredo Aceves. Rebecca wrote a guest post suggesting that he could be the next Ramiro Mendoza, an unheralded but valuable member of the Yankee championship teams, and the Yankees have deployed Aceves as such. Six of his nine appearances have been of the multiple inning variety. The other three were either in extra innings or in the 9th inning of what was then an 11-0 blowup.

Meanwhile, the infamous Eighth Inning debate rages on in the Yankee Universe. More important than any of the other eight innings, the eighth inning has been a thorn in the Yankees’ side since the end of Steve Karsay’s career. (Ed. Note: Hyperbole.) As the Yanks remain committed, as they should be, to keeping Joba in the rotation and as Brian Bruney and Damaso Marte work their ways back from injuries, the Yanks have struggled to build a proper bridge to Mariano. Jose Veras is a nightmare; Phil Coke hasn’t been able to get the job done. You know the story.

Today, in a very well-researched piece that relies upon some advanced bullpen metrics not often seen among the Yankee beat writers, Marc Carig proposes Alfredo Aceves for the eighth inning. Aceves, notes Carig, is second among team relievers in WXRL or expected wins added over a replacement level pitcher, and he has excelled so far in high-leverage situations. Noting that the analysis is subject to a small sample size warning, Carig concludes:

But Aceves has many of qualities typically associated with good set-up men, specifically impeccable command. And though he’s not overpowering with his fastball, Aceves can throw any pitch at any time, making him equally effective against lefties and righties.

To me, it only makes sense to reward Aceves by having him work in these high-leverage situations as much as possible. And the only way for the Yankees to do that is to scrap the idea of using him as a jack-of-all-trades reliever.

Using Aceves for multiple innings essentially wastes him in non-essential situations that can be worked by lesser relievers. What’s worse, multiple inning stints would mean at times that Aceves would have to rest as much as two days between appearances.

He’s much too valuable for that.

I certainly see Carig’s point, and he makes a very compelling case for the move. Yet, as I believe that Mariano Rivera should not be saved for a save situation that may never come and should be used in the highest leverage situations late in games, I don’t think the Yankees need to limit their use of Aceves to just the eighth inning.

What they have in Aceves is a versatile reliever who could pitch the eighth in close games and can prevent other games from getting out of hand. He can throw multiple innings on back-to-back days and can provide flexibility in a bullpen short on that very trait. There is no need to mess with that, and Joe Girardi seems to agree.

“You could think about it but I do like the flexibility he gives us,” Girardi said. “And with a couple of young starters that we have, sometimes you need a little bit of length out of your guys.”

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Improved defense helps Yanks get to the top
  • Dorian

    Alfredo Aceves should not be used only in the eight inning. There is no reason to pigeon-hole Aceves into the eighth inning. The eighth inning is not the most important inning in every game and neither is the ninth. Every game takes on a different shape and form. One day the 5th may be more important or another day the 3rd might be game breaking.

    I think of using Aceves kind of how Billy Martin used Sparky Lyle when they signed Goose.

  • JP

    Mehhhh…..he’s begging the question of the whole concept of defined relief roles.

    So let’s say he’s right, and Aceves is made the “8th inning guy,” and he stays at his current level of effectiveness. Over the last 100 games of the season, how many will he save (in the generic sense, not the stat), relative to the mish-mash of replacements now (DRob, Coke, Veras, etc.)? I don’t know, but just being an 8th inning pitcher, it isn’t going to be a ton of games he’s responsible for saving.

    But whatever the number is, the advantage he gives us over the 8th inning “committee,” has to be reduced by what you lose in having him pitch 2-3 innings when the starter comes out after 4 or 5.

    I’m not sure it makes a big difference. That is, if you adhere to the formulaic “8th inning” thing. Now, if you decide he’s your non-closing Ace, and you use him anytime you have a high leverage situation, whether it’s the 6th, 7th, or 8th inning, then yes, I think it’d be better to have him do that then to be a swing man/jack of all trades.

    Of course, the cynic in me says that as soon as you start trotting this guy out there regularly in the 8th and the good hitters get to see him routinely, they’ll start hitting him. He’s probably their best relief pitcher, but I think his numbers advantage over, say, Coke is a little exaggerated, because Coke is being used in tougher situations right now.

    • kunaldo

      I agree with most of your statement…but assuming that the good hitters will see him routinely in the 8th is, well, not a good assumption

  • Will (the other one)

    More important than any of the other eight innings, the eighth inning has been a thorn in the Yankees’ side since the end of Steve Karsay’s career.

    Don’t you dare try to tell me Steve Karsay’s career is over.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Well, he did say it was hyperbole.

  • Rob in CT

    Girardi said. “And with a couple of young starters that we have, sometimes you need a little bit of length out of your guys.”

    That’s what Wang’s for, Joe. That’s what Wang’s for.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      You cheeky bastard.

    • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

      i hate to say this, but Joe can’t use Wang hard enough, long enough, or often enough…joe has to use his wang for 2 hours every five days and thats it.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Out of curiosity, since I’m the one you first used the phrase “King of Fruitless Hypotheticals” in reference to myself a few days ago, what was your name before you bit off my stream of consciousness moniker?

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Sorry, “…since I’m the one you who first used the phrase “King of Fruitless Hypotheticals” in reference to myself a few days ago…

  • Mike HC

    While this is definitely an idea to think about, and maybe something we could do in a perceived big game against Boston, Aceves is our only guy that can truly go multiple innings outside of Wang right now. The Yanks have other viable options for the 8th like Bruney, Marte and Melancen that might be able to fill that role in the near future. I don’t see anybody else that can really fill the role of long man right now except Aceves. If the Yanks had a couple of other guys that could viably fill the long man role, then maybe moving Aceves as the set up guy could work. I can see doing this for the short term as long as Wang is in the pen, or for a limited outing here and there, but I don’t think it is a good idea to change his role permanently.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      I don’t see anybody else that can really fill the role of long man right now except Aceves.


      • JP

        TSJC Wrote: “I don’t see anybody else that can really fill the role of long man right now except Aceves.


        Now who’s being cheeky, he of the ‘send-Hughes-down-to-get-his-work-and-stick-in-Wang’ mantra?

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          I’ll requote. Emphasis is mine.

          “I don’t see anybody else that can really fill the role of long man right now except Aceves.”

          For RIGHT NOW, I think the team would be wise to give Al some 8th inning appearances and let CMW be the designated longman. While we continue to round him into starting shape.

        • Joseph Pawlikowski

          Heh. you said stick in Wang.

          • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi
            • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Wait till you see my OH!

              • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

                i want to know why:

                “Chien-Ming Penis” was an attempt at reinvention. It’s not funny on it’s face,

                CMP on face is always funny…

                OK, baseball:

                if Aceves is the best non-starter not named The Best Closer In Baseball Ever (Sorry Trevor), then he should be used in the leverage situation available when the starter is done (and his use may in fact predicate the starter being done). if its for a two outs, tie score in the fifth, so be it. if he can’t come out in the sixth, so be it. we refuse to use mo unless we’re in a safe situation, and are even reluctant to use him in the 8th (dont start that debate please!), we need somebody to come be the stopper, to keep us in the game until we get to mo.

                We are the only team in baseball that has to play innings. stop worrying about making it 7, and get the win to us in 8.

  • Charlie

    Last night, Joe argued that Swisher’s sample size was too small to be sat. Now, in an equally small sample size, Aceves is getting solid praise. Isn’t this a bit hypocritical?

    • kunaldo

      perhaps…but his approach has been excellent…and he did well last year…besides, in the bullpen, you ride the hot hand, correct? (well, not to the extent of sturtze, gordon, etc.)

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        You ride the hot hand. You don’t whip the hot hand mercilessly and beat the hot hand into a pulp.

        (There’s gotta be a Chien-Ming Wang joke brewing in here somewhere.)

        • dkidd

          i’ll give it a try:

          imagine what joe torre would have done with a hot wang in his bullpen? he would’ve beaten his wang day after day, never giving his wang a rest, until…

          oh, forget it

        • JP

          If we keep this up, we’re going to go blind.

          • kunaldo

            with hairy palms

    • Joseph Pawlikowski

      Al Aceves has performed this year.

      Nick Swisher’s sample came from 2006.

      Also, Swisher’s sample was 19 plate appearances. Aceves is four times that. It’s still small, but not nearly as small as Swisher’s.

      • Charlie

        Ok thanks. I was honestly only curious as to the difference between the two

  • OmgZombies!

    Damn Bruney get back already and end his 8th inning foolishness

    • Todd

      I thought I was the only one. This just seems like an issue that only applies to the Yankees. I live outside of LA, and I have absolutely no clue who pitches the eight for both teams. But for the Yanks, it is like an endless discussion. And now that Putz sucks, can we officially fire up the Pelfrey to the bullpen discussions?

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Pelfrey’s not dominant enough. Johan to the 8th is the only logical move. Sure, Santana’s a great starter, but it’s a “roster management” issue.


  • Joe LA

    This seems to remind me of the Joba debate: beat writers trying to not use the best available pitcher as much as possible.

    I realize that comparing Aceves to Joba is stupid for the most part, it’s pretty obvious who the better pitcher is, but in all seriousness, why use an effective Aceves for 60 innings per year, when you can use him much more than that?

    Carig seems to think that if Aceves has the 8th inning tag slapped on him, then when Girardi needs him on Tuesday to go 3 innings when AJ hits 100 pitches in the third inning, the Ghost of Joe Torre will come down and say “Naughty, Naughty Mr. Girardi, you might need him to pitch 1 inning on Wednesday.”

    It just makes more sense to me to have a little faith in Girardi that he can figure out all by himself when to best use a reliever.

  • Simon B.

    I don’t like this scenario that seems to play out every year.

    Some guy comes up, gives them 15 good innings, and suddenly they’re anointed as the most promising guy in the pen who is worth every bit of trust. It happened with Joba, it happened with Ohlendorf, it happened with Coke, and now it’s happening with Aceves.

    I’m not saying Aceves is some scrub, but it’s amazing the kind of praise and trust bestowed on a guy because of a few innings. Aceves will have his rough stretch soon too.

    • JP

      Simon says…correct! +1

    • Drew

      Pessimism isn’t the greatest route here. He’s been the most trustful arm out of our pen aside from Mo. That’s why we “praise” him. When most of your options haven’t got the job done, it’s easy to root for the one that does.

    • Rob in CT

      Ohlendorf had 15 good innings with the Yanks? When?

  • Frank

    I like Aceves in the swing role he currently has. Maybe, on occasion, he can pitch the 8th, but they shouldn’t limit him to that role. But the fact remains the Yanks need at least 1 or 2 more reliable relievers who can bridge the gap to the 9th. Bruney is a lock (assuming nothing is seriously wrong with his elbow). We’ve seen Coke- in my view, the jury is still out on him. Forget Veras. I’m intrigued by D-Rob, but he needs to be used more often. Tomko is just a mop up/long man (and I prefer him over Veras). Who knows when Marte will return. And when he does, can anybody really say they have confidence in him as the set up man? I don’t. To me, the X factor is still Melancon- is he the real deal and will the Yanks give him a chance.

    • AlexNYC

      Aceves was warming up when Joba pitched in the 7th I believe.

  • dkidd

    “defined roles” versus “using your best in the highest leverage situation, whichever inning that might be” is an interesting debate

    the red sox tried a “modern” approach to the closer role and it was a disaster. it makes statistical sense to use mo in the 8th inning against a team’s 3-4-5 hitters, but i’m guessing phil coke was speaking for a lot of relievers. baseball is an every day sport, so having a “routine” might be an advantage that is impossible to quantify

    fun to think about

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      the red sox tried a “modern” approach to the closer role and it was a disaster.

      Primarily because the pitchers they were using in that “modern approach” were pretty shitty pitchers.

      • dkidd

        true. i wonder if we’ll ever see it used with a capable staff

      • Chris

        Because relievers are so volatile, I’m not sure that you could have a team where the relievers are good enough and trusted enough to have a true committee approach. I could see a team using their 2-3 best relievers interchangeably between stoppers earlier in games and closers in the 9th (may be best implemented if you have a lefty and righty), but I can’t see more relievers getting into a rotation like that.

        • Matt ACTY/BBD

          Agreed, and I think that’s what everyone’s arguing for. It’d be damn near impossible to have a 6-7 man bullpen that could come in whenever/wherever and do it right all the time. However, if you’ve got 2-3 guys who can do that, I think you’re golden. I blame all this shit on the save rule.

        • JP

          Maybe not today, with so much pitching dilution. But the question still remains as to how to BEST use your ace. Closer? Sorry, but that doesn’t make sense. “Committee” as I’m using it doesn’t mean you expect a “Nasty Boys” group of multiple dominant pitchers. It means you select your relievers based on the the degree to which the situation impacts the final score, not based on the inning number.

    • JP

      The Red Sox tried it and it failed. That’s one failure. And like TSJC says, maybe it had more to do with the content (pitchers) than the method (committee).

      Joe Maddon used a committee concept last year. There were not defined roles. There were tendencies, maybe, but no defined roles, and he did lots of mixing, matching, and swapping.

      So that’s one in the “high leverage usage” column, in my book.

      For me, this debate is a false one. We have the means to test it. Using baseball sim engines (Diamond Mind, I think), Bill James ran something like 1000 seasons using different usage patterns, including the modern closer, to his “leverage” theory, and even including old patterns like in the 40s, when a relief pitcher basically came in in any inning and finished the game.

      The results weren’t even close. The best use of the relief ace is in the high leverage situations, not as a defined closer.

      Lemming managers won’t do it today, they’d be afraid of being laughed at. But as soon as one manager wins a world series using his bullpen this way, every team in the league will be doing it within 5 years.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Lemming managers won’t do it today, they’d be afraid of being laughed at. But as soon as one manager wins a world series using his bullpen this way, every team in the league will be doing it within 5 years.

        Otter: Bluto’s right! Psychotic, but absolutely right. We gotta take these bastards. Now we could do it with conventional weapons that could take years and cost millions of lives… No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part.
        Bluto: And we’re just the guys to do it.
        D-Day: Let’s do it.
        Bluto: LET’S DO IT!!!!

        • JP

          No comprendo the Animal House reference. I assume you are humorously and cheekily agreeing with me?

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            I am.

  • mmx

    Aceves as a setup man maybe is not a bad idea at this time. However, who will be the closer after MO retires? Do Yankees have any plan at all?

    • Stormrider6
      • kunaldo

        Oh and hopefully HE’S the relief ace…since he’s had a track record of being highly economical w/ his pitches, has a very even keeled personality, and has good stuff of course

        • Stormrider6

          I agree. I like that the Yankees have relievers going multiple innings in the minors – hopefully they retain that ability when they’re promoted.

    • kunaldo

      hopefully the revolution will begin and we will shift into the Relief Ace Philosophy

      • Matt ACTY/BBD

        I hope so. I could see both Coke and Aceves filling that role rather nicely, with Robertson and Melancon being used when the fireman is not needed.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Do Yankees have any plan at all?

      Yes. The plan is to continue drafting from HS and College, signing from the IFA market, and acquiring via trade a large stockpile of high-quality arms who can strike guys out and continue to throw that spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks.

      Between Bruney, Melancon, Robertson, Coke, Garcia, WLDR, Kroenke, Kontos, Claggett, the Sanchez twins, Whelan, Dunn, Olbrychowski, Nova, Pope, Horne, Mitchell, Noesi, Banuelos, Heredia, Vizcaino, Croussett, etc. etc. etc. plus whomever we add to the system next week, at least a few of those guys are probably going to end up being quality, quality relievers who could handle the closer role.

      Just don’t expect Mo-like dominance. That’s a once-in-a-generation level talent. Maybe once every three or four generations.

      • UWS

        Confidence level = 10.

      • Mattingly’s Love Child

        I like how you dropped the Croussett in there.

        Like we all don’t know that Melvin is Mo’s heir. Unless Melvin would prefer to let one of the mortals try to end ballgames, and then he will pitch the 7th and 8th EVERY night.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          The Good Mo does not reveal his plans too quickly. If humanity realized that free will was a myth and the universe is predetermined, the psychological effects would be soul-crushing.

          Hence, the Good Mo works in mysterious ways. Mosanna, Mosanna, Mosanna in the highest.

    • whozat

      Is there any other team in baseball for whom not having a plan to replace a closer that will retire in a year and a half is somehow a glaring hole that must be addressed NOWNOWNOW!!!!!

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        A closer that MAY retire in a year and a half.


        Mariano is clearly a freak of nature. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he hung them up after next year and went back to his ranch in Valhalla somewhere to polish his six rings (yeah, I said it.) It also wouldn’t surprise me if he decided that his combined 2009-2010 totals of 197 strikeouts against 3 walks meant that he could keep closing for another few years.

        Anything is possible.

  • MP

    I like Ace as an 8th inning guy. He’s underrated, he hasn’t done a thing wrong in his time in the bigs, and yet he’ll (in all likelihood) never crack our rotation and wouldn’t bring back anything to write home about in a trade. I mean, is he going to be a career long relief man during his time with the Yanks? No, use him as the setup guy until bruney is back, and then use him as a middle reliever. A lot of solid relievers began as starters (see: Mo).

  • http://Nationals Mac

    I love the comparison to Ramiro Mendoza. That’s exactly the pitcher I thought of when trying to figure out where Aceves fits into the bullpen.

  • Drew

    I hate to use the term “waste,” but sometimes that’s how I feel when he pitches long bouts of relief. I’m aware it’s not a waste at all since he keeps us in the game and gives a shot at a win. That said, I’d rather him be used in the high leverage situations rather than the earlier innings of relief. Until we have someone else out there that steps up, or until he proves he can’t do it, I really want Alf to be our set-up man.

    • Mattingly’s Love Child

      I’d agree with one caveat. It’s also a waste to only use Ace for one inning. How about utilizing him as a 2-inning set up man. Yes he may not be able to work back to back days if he works 2 innings, but aren’t there 4-5 other relief pitchers who could patch together 1-2 innings on Ace’s off days?

      • Drew

        Right, no problem with 2 innings. I was talking more about the long bouts of relief, 2+ really. Depending on his workload, I’d say he could even pitch 2 days in a row if one of them is a 2 inning outing.

        • Mattingly’s Love Child

          Seems to be a smart way to use him.

          How necessary would a long man really be if the team had a reliever that pitched high leverage situations up to 2 innings long? I would hope (but I could be wrong) that the bullpen could slog together a few innings in the occasional blowout (I hope all the real ugly ones happened in April and early May).

          I’d be on that bangwagon!

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            How necessary would a long man really be when we seem to have five starting pitchers that all pitch into the 7th and 8th inning every night?

            • Mattingly’s Love Child

              Well sure if you want to actually look at the roster and the abilities of the players on that roster!

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    Al Aceves’ 2009 BB/9 of 1.37 is second on the team to only Mariano Rivera’s 0.42.

    It’s currently the sixth lowest walk rate of any reliever in all of baseball, better than Chad Qualls, Joe Nathan, Frank Fransisco, Heath Bell, and a host of others. The same statement is true about Aceves’ K/BB ratio of 6.00 strikeouts for every walk.

    His WHIP of 0.97 is currently 18th best in all of baseball (relievers only). Five of the seventeen relievers with WHIP’s lower than Ace’s have BABIP’s in the unsustainably low sub .200 range, including one Mr. Jesús Ramón Ramírez Ceceña who pitches for the Boston Blue Sox.

    • Mattingly’s Love Child

      At first I thought Mo’s BB/9 was a typo. But it’s not.

      Good Mo, it’s good to have Mo on our side!

      • Matt ACTY/BBD

        I think my favorite Mo stat this year is the 26/1 K/BB.

        • Joe R

          How do you walk Felix Pie?!

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Maybe he was hungry. Eh?

            No? Not feeling that one?


  • JP

    What’s Ace’s BABIP?

    Boston Blue Sox *chuckles*

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside


      Low, but not shockingly low.

      Ramon Ramirez’s BABIP is .175. If a low BABIP = good dumb luck, the only pitcher with a WHIP lower than Aceves who’s benefiting from more good dumb luck than Ramirez is Cincinnati’s Nick Masset, who has a 0.78 WHIP with a ridonkulous .144 BABIP.

      Anyway you slice it, Ramon Ramirez is due for a massive course correction.

      • JP

        When BABIP was originally described (Voros McCracken?), the revelation was that it was remarkably similar for all pitchers.

        But am I wrong that the thinking had changed on that? I thought after further investigation, it was thought that BABIP was at least a partial reflection of pitching ability?

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          I’m sure BABIP does reflect pitching ability… to a degree.

          You’d expect, say, a good sinkerballer like Halladay, Lowe, or Wang (pre-suckitude) to have a BABIP lower than the average pitcher, since they screw the ball down into the ground and turn liners into weak grounders.

          I think a BABIP as low as .175 can possibly be all be pitching talent, though. Most of that’s gotta be luck. If Halladay can’t sustain a BABIP a good 150 points lower than the average, I doubt Ramon Ramirez can.

  • touchtoneterriost

    This poster probaly said Veras should be in the 8th inning back in April until he sucked.Same thing with Phil Coke until he hit the wall.

    Alfredo like Tomko,Edwar,Bruney,Phil Coke and Veras are journey men they only good for a month and sgouldn’t be allowed in the 8th inning.Why is this site get crazy over a reliever who played good only for a month and think they can be a set-up man.

    The Phillies were the exception to the rule where a team with a crapping rotation but a domiante bullpen can win as long as the line-up is great.But the 8th inning is easy thats why we lost 5 games to the Red Sox without any bullpen.

    • Matt ACTY/BBD

      How in the fuck is either Alfredo Aceves, Edwar Ramirez, Brian Bruney, or Phil Coke a journeyman?

      As for the hitting the wall thing, that’s what most teams do with the bullpen. They ride the hot hand until that hand can no longer be relied upon.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      This poster probaly said Veras should be in the 8th inning back in April until he sucked.Same thing with Phil Coke until he hit the wall.

      A) Technically, I said Bruney and Marte should be in the 8th, not Veras and Coke. Were we healthy, all this would be moot.

      B) When Bruney and Marte went down, I absolutely said that Veras and Coke should be in the 8th, because they were the best pitchers we had at that time. They didn’t work out. Shit happens. Some of this stuff is trial and error. There’s no other way around it, other than to spend 60M per year on your bullpen to sign K-Rod and Fransisco Cordero and Eric Gagne to be your three-headed established Bridge to Mo. And those expensive pitchers have only a slightly smaller likelihood of not shitting the bed, Veras style, all things considered, which is why we AND EVERY OTHER TEAM IN BASEBALL apply that trial and error method.

      C) WHAT THE FUCK IS A TERRIOST?!?!?!??!?!?!

      • Mattingly’s Love Child

        Maybe he meant Maoist?

      • Matt ACTY/BBD

        I could be wrong, but I believe a terriost is an old old wooden ship, used during the Civil War era.

        • Mattingly’s Love Child

          misspelled ryan Theriot ?

      • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

        “C) WHAT THE FUCK IS A TERRIOST?!?!?!??!?!?!”

        It really kills you to not know this, right? For how long have you now been asking this question without getting an answer? Two months?

    • Thomas
      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside


        OOOOOH, a “Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones” sighting! Ah, those halcyon days of old…

    • UWS

      I have figured the perfect counter-argument to the B-Jobber crowd:

      If Joba goes to the pen, the terriosts have won, and we can’t have that, can we?

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside


      • jsbrendog

        if you want joba in the pen your are a terriost. terriosts are unamerican. therefore if you want joba in the pen you hate apple pie, puppies, and hamburgers and are just here too TIK OR JORBS!

    • Joseph Pawlikowski

      The crux of this post:

      8th inning >>>>>>>>>>>>>> innings 1 through 7

      I don’t know if the touchtone realizes it or not, but this is exactly what he’s saying.

  • Am I the only Kevin?

    The bullpen by committee approach has worked successfully in the recent past.

    The 1990 World Champ Reds had the nasty boys (headlined by Randy Myers, Rob Dibble, and Norm Charlton), and that worked out just peachy.

    Myers, the ringleader, had 66 games, but only 31 saves of the team’s 50 saves. Charlton was used as a injury fill-in in the rotation as well as a closer and a high leverage fireman guy. Dibble was a short reliever all season, but came in whenever Lou wanted to shut down the middle of the other team’s order.

    This was an anomaly, I guess, because they had 3 really good relievers, plus two or three other capable guys. Any given night, Lou would’ve had at least one trusted high leverage guy to close things out. Still, it doesn’t take away from the fact that the Reds nonetheless won it all with a bullpen lacking explicit roles.

    • Mattingly’s Love Child

      They had clear roles. Get the other team out if called upon to pitch!

      Good example. It’s surprising no other teams have had enough good relievers since then to replicate that.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        It’s surprising no other teams have had enough good relievers since then to replicate that.

        It’s rare to have three good relievers all making peanuts come up at the same time.

        Dibble: age 26, $200k salary
        Myers: age 27, $875k salary
        Charlton: age 27, $175k salary

        • Mattingly’s Love Child

          Yeah, but it has been 19 years. I wouldn’t think it was that rare.

          But I guess you’d have to have the talent plus a manager that thinks outside the box and has the balls to stand up for the idea that they are using their best pitchers in the most important times.

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Who knows, maybe we’re at the dawn of the new Nasty Boys era: Bruney, Aceves, and… Wilkins De La Rosa!!!

  • Rob in CT

    Aceves is a borderline MLB starting pitcher (maybe more than borderline in the NL). Relief pitching is easier than starting. Thus, he’s an above-average reliever.

    I don’t really care about him having a “defined role” so long as when a high-leverage situation arises Joe goes to him over everyone not named Mo (setting aside the old, true, and unfortunately futile argument that Mo should be used whenever there is a fire to be put out, rather than being saved for a save opp that may never come).

  • Mike

    mo has been used in the same role for 12 yrs why would they change?