Marc Topkin has a good blog post explaining, in part, Joe Maddon’s complicated bullpen slotting system that is likely caused the confusion last night.
Rob Neyer also has a good observation over at The Sweet Spot based on Topkin’s report.
Three quick thoughts now that I have had time to cool my heels.
- Is all this complexity necessary when making bullpen moves? Maybe it is. The Rays bullpen has performed exceptionally well this year despite not having a lot of amazing talent.
- I have to believe that Maddon is slotting his guys based on more complex analysis than the batter-pitcher matchups referenced in Topkin’s post (I read that as Topkin’s analysis, not Topkin reporting on Maddon’s analysis) but, Neyer at least raises the possibility that even Maddon still has some old-school in him.
- How can all this complex, inter-dugout maneuvering with the bullpen go on and there be no mention of Bobby Ramos? Shouldn’t the bullpen coach at least be privvy to the slotting and potential matchups for the bullpen pitchers? Actually, come to think of it, what exactly does a bullpen coach do besides dance between innings?
*Bonus thought: Of all the scandals that the suffix “gate” has been attached to over the years, doesn’t bullpen-gate seem particularly ironic? I mean, there actually IS a gate to the bullpen. This is awesome on many levels.