Paint The Black

Baseball and Beyond

Is There Relief In Sight?

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Billy “Pour Me A Double, Leave the Bottle” Madden despite a few misses here and there, like anointing Ramiro Pena the next Jeter back in 09, or recently stating on MLBTV this was the  year Scott Boras would  finally land  Max Scherzer one of his thoroughbred Blue Chip  clients in the poor house, actually made some sense on Saturday with his Scott Boras  deserves to be in the Hall of Fame

Of course the lovable Gin soaked media icon was tongue and cheeking his latest headline, after all Boras once again stymied the one time George Steinbrenner media shill when he got a $210M deal  for Scherzer, this after Madden had assured his MLBTV listening audience that Boras’ streak for landing stud players a huge payday was gonna end with Scherzer

Can’t blame Madden, there wasn’t a peep coming out of the usual Boras propaganda puppets, Heyman, Rosenthal, or Morosi, who, what, or where Max was headed was as much a mystery as why 11 of the 12  Patriot footballs had 2 lbs less psi then the Colts footballs, and what  a surprise,  nobody in New England “knows nothing”

Anyway Madden was on the right path saying Scherzer would be lucky to top  the $144M he turned down from  the Tigers in the Spring of 2014, after all, the debris littering the long term multi million dollar free agent trail, especially pitchers, is starting to  look like an I-93 Highway pile up

Verlander, Tanaka, Sabathia, Santana, Zito, Lee, Halladay, Pavano, and Kevin Brown  all  come to mind.

Madden’s wrinkle Re: Scherzer is his inability to  go  deep into  games, with the Elias Sports Bureau doing Madden’s  heavy lifting, the numbers show Max barely gets 6.1 innings out of every outing.

So  what  good is a $30M AAV pitcher if he can’t give the pen a rest  every 5 days?

There are a few reasons why having that  horse at  the top of your rotation is a good investment, 1. he’s usually a stopper, 2. more often then not he’s the leader of your 5 man starting rotation 3. Ace’s are paid to  eat Quality innings, and go  deep into  games.  Scherzer will probably fulfill  2 of those 3 criterions, but Madden  cherry picked the one fault Scherzer has, handing the ball off to inferior talent in an  effort to get the last 8 outs of a game as his Achilles Heel..

When you break it down  to games pitched, the money looks like overkill no doubt. Despite Max hurling over 200 innings in the last 2 seasons, Madden’s claim that he only impacts 33 regular season games, but the team is charged with  a $30M AAV for his services, doesn’t appear to be  equal value.

Madden has jumped with  both  feet onto  the bull pen’s are more important than starting pitching bandwagon. Nothing like a fresh October playoff run by the KC Royals to kick a trend up  a few notches. Shortening the game to 6 innings is what  the Royals achieved in 2014, they had no  Ace, Shields is a solid #2, but once KC had a lead after 6 innings, the 3 headed monster of Herrera, Davis and Holland closed the door more  often  then not.

This is fine on paper, but how many days in a row can you tax your bull pen, you need pitchers to go  deep into  games to  save arms, Scherzer’s 6.1 inning average does nothing to preserve the pen, so he caught Bill’s wrath

I’ll  split the difference with the pundit, you need both, if the Giants didn’t have Bumgarner up  top, they’re not celebrating their third Ring in five years. The poster child for needing a killer pen is Scherzer’s old team  the Detroit Tigers who had 3 Ace’s and two legit #2’s in their 2014 rotation, but their leaky bull pen cost them  dearly

More evidence the pen could be mightier then the starter rabbit, the  O’s, Royal’s and Cards had only 1 legit Ace between them ( Wainwright) but were carried by deep pens into October. The Dodgers and A’s had Kershaw and Lester, but neither pitcher could hold substantial leads once they got out of the 6th inning

The Nats  now on paper have the best  starting 5 in baseball, but for some reason they  flipped their All Star  set up  man Tyler Clippard to  the A’s once they inked Scherzer, for a win now team  that makes no  sense

For years now we’ve been screaming for teams to  make sure that at least 5 of the  7 men in the pen are killers.. I’d even add a  lights out situational RH or LH arm  to  that mix, the 7th guy can fall off some,  you need the proverbial mop, but your long man can  also be a huge asset by  stopping the bleeding in a blowout, a guy that  can  eat 3 to  4 innings incase your starter implodes early in a game, shutting the offense down gives your team  a chance to mount a comeback.

The 7th man should have options, so  you can  shuttle him back and forth to Triple A, so it’s important to have not only rotation depth, but young live arms that  can fill your swingman position

I think  the days of bull pen pitchers being nothing but guys that  aren’t good enough to crack a rotation are gone. Weapons out of the pen are closing the value gap that old school GM’s applied to starters, they  pitch  more innings, so  they’re more valuable. Yes I agree but only if those innings are quality.

While grinding AB’s helps driving up  pitch counts, if your 7 man bull pen is stocked with  pitchers that have as good or better stuff, what’s the point getting the starter out of the game?

On the other hand you really do  want to get into some pens like Boston or Detroit’s as quickly as possible. Boston actually put very little value on starting pitching, and they really are rolling the dice with Uehara as their  40 yr old closer. Last we saw he was getting shelled every outing.

Obviously the best  way  to eliminate the Albatross contract is to  develop young players in this era, Free Agency has become one enormous crap  shoot. Teams will pass on a lot of the  fringe free agents that have a pick attached to  their availability, because despite prospects being nothing but suspects, the more you gather the more chance you have developing the next Cano, Trout, Harper, Kershaw, or Kluber

What  got the Yanks in so much trouble was not having a farm  system ready to  fill much needed holes, hopefully the next crop  of hyped prospects fare better then  the 08 crop that  failed miserably sans Robertson, Cano  and Betances

Madden on the Radio Sunday


Written by Sal

January 26, 2015 at 8:16 am

Posted in Uncategorized

9 Responses

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  1. Madden is funny, he’s out to get A-Rod after saying he was shot, and he’s out to get Scherzer and all high priced FA pitchers.. Get ready billy, next yr we have a shit load of them entering the market…Let’s hope the Yanks don’t have to go after a few of them

    We need Tanaka Pineda, Eovaldi and Nova to pan out, we need Severino, Clarkin and Mitchell to be the real deals, or we could be in trouble…


    January 26, 2015 at 8:30 am

  2. The game is constantly evolving. Back in the halcyon days of the last Dynasty, the Yanks almost had the perfect team. Strong starting pitching & a lights out bullpen. First with Mo & Wetteland, then with Mo closing & Stanton, Nelson, & the Witch Doctor (Mendoza) as the end game. The Yanks had a lineup that preached working the count & getting the starter out of the game to get into the soft underbelly of every team……middle inning relief. But the game has changed even in this short period of time. Due to creeping Larussaisms?? Quite a few teams don’t have that soft underbelly of middle inning relief. Seems like many teams have these hard throwers in the middle who were groomed to do so in the minors. So, yeah, what’s the point of getting the starter out only to face a fresh arm who might even throw harder than the starter? No question that the bullpen has become more important than ever before. Especially with starters not going much past the 6th inning nowadays. That’s why I screamed for months for the Yanks to sign Houdini and create that 3-headed monster, especially with the starters we have. But at the same time, you have to walk the tightrope, cause you can’t keep going to the pen on a daily basis………they’ll be shot by the break.


    January 26, 2015 at 10:13 am

  3. Bondsie good stuff… looks like they might keep Warren in the pen unless somebody goes down quick… So that’s 3 established dudes, after B-M-W not sure what Wilson, Carpenter or Shreve is yet, and we know Rogers isn’t a live arm but a cheap mop

    Lindgren probably won’t make the varsity off the bat


    January 26, 2015 at 2:35 pm

  4. Sal, you’re probably right on Lindgren. Still, I’m looking forward to seeing him, Severino, and the others this Spring. We should know a lot more by the end of Spring Training. Just hope it’s mostly on a positive note.


    January 26, 2015 at 3:45 pm


    pretty good article by a guest blogger at LoHud

    Hal not holding up his end of the bargain

    unfortunately as NYY fans we never had to deal with bottom lines, but with Hal acting the accountant, we’re in a different ballgame with the Yanks

    and now that Hal is on the executive council, he’s bound to act much more like a suit owner then what he promised us the NYY fans.. Wilpon’s appointment is also a joke


    January 27, 2015 at 11:34 am

  6. mikey 221 so if you don’t want any part of the promotion I’ll pay you what players got before all this Super Bowl media attention, he said it 221 times in a row

    either he has an impediment or he likes hearing himself talk


    January 27, 2015 at 2:37 pm

  7. potential good stuff here boys I haven’t checked it out

    McDaniel did tweet the Yanks have the deepest Farm system… not sure if he means the most players 68 or deep like good….He spent a lot of time on the bombers, must like those 9 Latin kids that came in

    We might only be 2 or 3 yr’s away , but even sooner for a fun competitive team, but not enough to win it all


    January 27, 2015 at 3:02 pm

  8. The LoHud article wasn’t bad. But did exonerate Hal & Co a bit too much. Should’ve taken him to task on a number of issues. Just read Maddon’s piece. Just the facts ma’am. Wilpon’s appointment is a sham! He should be tarred& feathered and run out on a rail!


    January 27, 2015 at 3:08 pm

  9. Between all the emails, I just read all the stuff at Fangraphs on the top 40 prospects in Yankeeland. Maybe things won’t be so bad in a relatively short time. I was impressed with the intel, and some of these guys could make a difference, in time. Severino, Judge, Bird, Lindgren, Mateo, Ref, Murphy, Sanchez?, all seem viable. Ultimately, we’ll have to watch the movie to see how it all plays out.


    January 27, 2015 at 5:43 pm

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