Found July 10, 2013 on
Taking Bad Schotz:
The NL West looks like it will be highly contested all season. The Diamondbacks currently hold first place by 2.5 games, but they have been hot of late, winning four of their last six, and the baseball season has a way of evening out those hot streaks. I would venture to guess that Kevin Towers doesn’t see his team’s lead as anything close to safe, especially considering how shaky the bullpen has been late in games all season long.
Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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As a whole, the D-backs bullpen has been around average, currently ranking tied for fifth in the NL in reliever WAR (3rd in the NL West) with 1.6. Josh Collmenter and Matt Reynolds have combined for 1.5 WAR between the two of them. However, the back end of the bullpen, or more specifically, the portion of the bullpen used in high leverage situations, has been terrible. Heath Bell, J.J. Putz, and David Hernandez have been worth -0.6 WAR combined so far this season. Kirk Gibson seems pretty adamant that Heath Bell is to remain his closer despite his ugly 4.59 ERA and 4.93 FIP. Putz isn’t doing much better with a 4.78 FIP, although he’s tossed only 16.1 innings. David Hernandez’s ERA currently sits at 4.58, while his FIP is 4.46.
They’ve all been disappointing, and they all have let up a lot of home runs. Bell has let up over two big flies per nine, and a whopping 22.9% of fly balls hit against him have left the yard. Putz’s home run per fly ball percentage is even higher, at 23.1%, and Hernandez’s is also higher than the league average rate. This is an area where people often look for luck, and potential regression. There is a statistic that accounts for regression in this realm called xFIP, and you will often see it cited as a better ERA predictor than FIP. Since xFIP regresses the HR/FB stat to the league average, and Bell and Putz both have abnormally high HR/FB rates, xFIP views them in a much more favorable light than does FIP. Bell’s xFIP for 2013 is 3.29, and Putz’s is 3.52. Considering Bell has thrown only 33.1 innings, and Putz has thrown less than half that, it is pretty reasonable to expect that they will let up fewer home runs as the season progresses. I’m usually not too quick to accept xFIP as gospel, because I do believe that the amount of luck in hitting a home run can be slightly overstated by the stat. At the end of the day, if hitters are consistently going yard against you it usually means that you’re consistently throwing hittable pitches. But regardless, I expect neither Bell nor Putz to continue with a HR/FB in the .20’s.
Either way, sending Bell out there every time there’s a save situation while he’s struggling is not the best option. In a bullpen like Arizona’s it makes a lot more sense to blur the lines between traditional relief pitcher roles, and use guys when they are most likely to succeed. For example, Josh Collmenter has allowed just a .265 wOBA against righties in his career, and gets most of his outs via strikeout or fly ball. Brad Zeigler on the other hand has been getting batters to ground out over 75% of the time over the last two seasons. Will Harris has held lefties to a .278 wOBA so far in his brief major league career and his minor league track record is equally impressive.
Using these guys in high leverage situations will allow Putz, Bell and Hernandez to work out their kinks in the middle innings, and if Collmenter, Zeigler, Harris, and the rest of the bullpen are used intelligently, there is no reason why they can’t be effective. They should certainly do better than simply sending Bell out there every time the rulebook arbitrarily deems the game in need of “saving”.
BEST OF MAXIM
This past weekend, Anna Benson, the ex-wife of Major League pitchers Kris Benson, was arrested after showing up at Kris’ home, armed with a handgun and demanding money. It is one of those too hard to believe stories. Check out Hall of Very Good’s post about the details from the police report. Now hear the the 911 call that Kris made after he told her that he would get her the...
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Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Miguel Montero wagged his finger at Los Angeles Dodgers phenom Yasiel Puig after tagging him out at home plate during Tuesday night's game in Phoenix.
Puig tried to score from first on a fly ball to center field that was dropped by D-backs outfielder Adam Eaton. Two runs scored on the play, but Puig ignored...
ATLANTA According to the Cobb County, Ga. district attorneys office, Anna Benson, the estranged wife of former major league pitcher Kris Benson, did not have an attorney-of-record as of Wednesday afternoon, almost 72 hours after her high-profile arrest.
Representation will certainly be forthcoming as Benson, a former model and star of the short-lived reality show Baseball Wives...
The Diamondbacks shuffled their pitching staff Thursday, optioning starter Tyler Skaggs to Single-A Visalia and calling up lefty reliever Eury De La Rosa from Triple-A Reno.
Skaggs had a somewhat disappointing outing against the Dodgers on Wednesday night, allowing three runs and 11 base runners in 4 13 innings before leaving with the bases loaded. That came after a dominant start...
PHOENIX -- Kirk Gibson has seen enough.
After the Diamondbacks' bullpen blew its major league-leading 19th save opportunity in a 7-5, 14-inning loss to the Dodgers on Wednesday, Gibson made it clear that things must change in the late innings.
Role reversals. A trade or two. Promotions.
It sounds as if anything and everything could be on the table -- anything that will keep...
PHOENIX -- After the Diamondbacks bullpen blew its league-leading 19th save against the Dodgers on Wednesday in a game in an eventual 14-inning loss, manager Kirk Gibson remained at the park until 1:30 a.m. General manager Kevin Towers stayed until 3 a.m.
Both were trying to figure out the D-backs' next move.
After getting swept by the Dodgers and watching their NL West lead...
Yesterday it was reported that Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Trevor Cahill recently suffered a setback in his recovery from a right hip contusion. It wasn't his hip giving him issues, but instead Cahill was suffering from tightness in his shoulder while throwing a few days ago. The right-hander was able to play catch yesterday, and he told Steve Gilbert of MLB.com that his...
The Arizona Diamondbacks scratched Eric Chavez from last
night’s lineup due to stiffness in his right hip, according to Steve Gilbert of
#Dbacks 3B Eric Chavez scratched from lineup with right hip stiffness. #Dodgers
— Steve Gilbert (@SteveGilbertMLB) July 10, 2013
Chavez was scheduled to play third base and bat cleanup for
the Diamondbacks. He was replaced...
The Arizona Diamondbacks placed right-hander Trevor Cahill on the 15-day disabled list on July 1 with a hip contusion. He had since resumed playing catch, but when he did another issue was discovered. Manager Kirk Gibson described the shoulder setback Cahill is now facing to Tyler Emerick of MLB.com.
"His shoulder didn't feel too good the last time he
There’s aggressiveness on the basepaths, then there’s forcing a play. During the Dodgers’ 6-1 win over the Diamondbacks in Arizona, Yasiel Puig demonstrated the latter.
In the top of the fifth inning, Adrian Gonzalez came to the plate with the bases loaded, driving a long fly ball to straightaway center field. The runners had to freeze as Arizona center fielder Adam Eaton tracked...
It has been well documented that the Diamondbacks have been looking for a top of the line starter or a No. 3 type starter. They have been linked to Matt Garza, Jeff Samadzija, Yovani Gallardo and others, but now it appears that the Diamondbacks are heavily targeting relievers.
Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers told Steve Gilbert of MLB.com that while they may trade for...
PHOENIX (AP) -- Martin Prado lined a two-run single in the eighth inning, Wade Miley pitched eight effective innings and the Diamondbacks ended a three-game losing streak with a 5-3 win over the Brewers on Thursday night.
Miley (6-7) gave up a pair of homers in the first three innings before settling down.
Adam Eaton helped Arizona close to 3-2 with a two-run triple in the fifth...
Well, you can say this about the Heath Bell Experience. At least there’s never a dull moment when he’s on the mound. Staked with a one-run lead in the ninth, Bell found a new way to blow a save.
By JEFF MEZYDLO
STATS Senior Writer
A game from getting back to .500 for the first time since April, the surging Los Angeles Dodgers continue to close the gap on the NL West-leading Arizona Diamondbacks.
With talented rookie Hyun-Jin Ryu on the mound, the visiting Dodgers go for their first series sweep of the Diamondbacks in three years Wednesday night.
Los Angeles (44-45) has...
Lately lots of fans have been making great grabs. This guys protects the Ray Bans and makes a great grab. The best part is the catch was so impressive he temporarily turns the lady next to him into a Zombie.
The post Great Catch Turns Fan Into Zombie! appeared first on Baseball Hot Corner.