Accused. Tried. Convicted. of LAZINESS.
OH NOOOOOoooooooooo …..


Q.  Is Dr. Detecto routinely genteel and friendly towards the Mariners' front office?

A.  Routinely.


Q.  Explain to us, again, why Bill James has been on that crusade that --- > LH relievers are overused?

A.  Thusly:

  • The platoon advantage is .040 worth of batting average.  It ain't a big fat hairy deal.
  • Managers put mediocre lefties in to replace good righties - the gap in pitcher quality often (far) exceeds the generic platoon advantage.
  • Managers also put BAD lefties in to replace good righties.
  • Managers also bring lefties in to replace good RHP's who are throwing great that night.

Look, kiddies.  Are you going to pinch-hit Willie Bloomquist for Brad Miller, because you're so flippin' obsessed with having a curve ball break in towards the hitter?  The direction of the break renders the individual player obsolete?


Q.  Surely managers are aware of these numbers.

A.  Yeah, but they don't want to fight the battle.  "Hey, I brought in my lefty to face Prince Fielder.  Sure, he went upper tank and we lost.  But it ain't on me."


Q.  Maybe Joe Beimel is a good pitcher?

A.  He is not a good pitcher, no.  I'm not talking opinion.  I'm talking fact.

He throws an 87 MPH fastball, most the time.  He mixes a 78 MPH curve, the rest of the time.


Q.  What LOOGYs have done well with this repertoire?

A.  None.  Absolutely none.

Well, put it this way.  From 2011 to present, exactly five (5) out of about 200 qualified relief pitchers have thrown as slow as Joe Beimel does.  

  • Darren O'Day is a sidearming right hand pitcher.
  • Javier Lopez is the prototype submarine left hand pitcher.  (Sidearmers throw slow, kiddies.)
  • Brad Zeigler has the fantastical ability to keep his grounder rate over 70%.
  • J.P. Howell gets 8+ strikeouts per game, based on an epic curve ball and epic command.
  • Shawn Camp had -0.8 WAR last year.

That's it, every exception in the last three years, 30 MLB teams, every roster, every month, all year.  Those five guys survived with Beimel velocity.  Every other reliever threw at least +1 MPH harder than Joe Beimel.  You can't find a LOOGY who throws 87 MPH, because there aren't any.  

Well, Lucas Luetge, maybe.  :- /

*Darren Oliver is a platypus of baseball that we'll discuss another time.  I knew Darren Oliver.  Darren Oliver was a friend of mine.  Joe Beimel is not Darren Oliver, any more than Anthony Vasquez is Jamie Moyer.


Q.  Maybe Beimel has extreme platoon splits?

A.  Maybe not, no.  Joe Beimel's lifetime platoon splits:

vs RH .290 .369 .436
vs LH .261 .320 .404

Beimel is a generic left hand arm.  There is nothing to see here.  He is a Mariner because --- > when Prince Fielder takes him deep for the game-winner, it's not on the manager.

Joe Beimel has a lifetime ERA+ of 105, and it was 73 last year.  In case you just joined us, ALL of the 2013 A's top six relief pitchers had ERA's well over 100.  And let's examine Texas' five most-used relievers, shall we?

Texas RP ERA+
Nathan 297
Scheppers 220
Ross 136
Cotts 375
Frasor 161

A 105 lifetime ERA doesn't cut it for a reliever.  Beimel's is 105, despite being spotted LH-on-LH.  It's because he's not good.


Q.  What were the choices?

A.  Dominic Leone was the best reliever in camp, bar none.  We're talking about the scout's eye, but ... also he threw 10 IP, had 10 K, only 3 BB, no homers, yielded only a .176 average.

You stick Joe Beimel in there for Dominic Leone?  You're pinch-hitting Humberto Quintero for Brad Miller.


Q.  Why was Leone sent down?

A.  Zduriencik said that Smith and Leone are ready to go "but they're 40-man roster issues.  They'll be up as the summer goes along."

I can think of 1 man out of the 40, whose spot Leone can have right now.  Grrrrrrrr-rrrrr


You could argue, hey, Beimel only allows a .400 SLG to the league's pool of left hand hitters; that's not suicide.  But!  The biggest problem comes when Danny Farquhar, or Yoervis Medina, are throwing well, and then you remove them from the game.  

You remove a good pitcher, and bring in a bad one, because he gives you the illusion of security.  The feeling of comfort takes precedence over doing what's best for the ballclub.

Get some good pitchers, whether right or left handed.  If they're blowing people away, let them pitch a little bit.  Just because your closer goes 1.0 IP, it doesn't mean everybody else has to.


Q.  Supposing you had burned Charlie Furbush, 2 IP on Friday, and you really had to have somebody you were comfortable with, to get through Choo and Fielder.

A.  Danny Farquhar throws an unpossible, 91 MPH immolation cut fastball that sails inside by half a foot and makes lefties wish they'd never been born.  Scrabble's platoon splits from 2013:

vs RH .265 .327 .367
vs LH .171 .256 .229 (!!)


Q.  Can the M's pen afford the luxury of mediocre-crummy LH-vs-LH indulgences?

A.  They're looking out at Wilhelmsen through the slits of their fingers.  Furbush is talented but volatile.  Fernando Rodney is out of Tampa because the Rays were squeamish about him.  The M's bullpen is scary.

But at least we can get the platoon advantage.


Q.  I don't quite get the "Lazy" thing. 

A.  Chessmasters call a move "lazy" when it is played thoughtlessly, when it superficially looks good, when it conforms to sloppy, generic principles --- > but fails to take into account the specific needs of the position.  Laziness turns a great player into an okay player.

The lazy move is the one that nobody would question.  It is the move that uses "general principles" as a human shield. It's the move that leads to defeat, but which avoids criticism.  It's the second-rate move that fails to squeeze the maximum out of the position.  

The lazy move refuses to impose one's will onto chaos.  The lazy move refuses to accept responsibility for one's own fate.  The lazy move sets one up to say, later, "At least we tried."

When you see a decent move, don't play it.  Look around for a better one.  It's the way that great men think.


Q.  Hey, there are other teams that want 2 lefties.

A.  There used to be a lot of teams that bunted after a leadoff double.  Didn't make it right.

McClendon wants three lefties.  He sounds like he's matching Left Arm, Right Arm, Left Arm in the late innings, as if he were picking socks to start his day.  Look, dude.  ACCEPT the RESPONSIBILITY to find the move that wins your team a game.  I mean it in a good way.


Dr. D isn't accusing anybody of stupidity.  But comfort zones make cowards of us all.  Here is one area where many MLB(TM) orgs are definitely still behind the curve.


Q.  There's got to be a bright side here.

A.  At least they've got Corey Hart in there Opening Day.  :: punchline ::

... There's a bright side, yes.  That occurs when Smith and Leone are called up from Tacoma.

Bah humbug,

Dr D








I almost shouted about the Beimel/Leone deal, but I thought you would have something to say about much better fashion. I was right!
Beimel is nothing special against lefties (I even looked it up today), so it has to be something else. It wasn't the 40-Man deal (Jack is being a bit opaque)! Man, just release Beimel. I think this was a deal about having a 36-yr old guy as the 12th pitcher rather than a younger guy.
I don't like it either. Bring the Varsity, man.
I was rather surprised that Hart stayed with the club. He was supposed to get a bunch of MiLB PA's today. Anybody know how that went? We will see him against the Rockies tomorrow. If he looks like a rusty gate, I will let out a long sigh.
It was a worthy gamble, even if he's mostly broken. But I'm worried about the mostly broken thing.
Great post, Doc.

benihana's picture

And is it 1? Because both Carson Smith and Dominic Leone should be in this bullpen. Over Biemel and Wilhelmsen. But, alas, they need more "seasoning".
There is value in an organization moving pieces along in an orderly fashion, promoting by level based on performance, step by step. It lines up the rewards with the hard work and effort. I get it. But think it's a bunch of BS when it comes to relievers. Too volatile, too injury prone, too random. Throw the best arms into the pen, let them sort themselves out.
- Ben.

RockiesJeff's picture

Biemel was painful to watch in Colorado. Now a few years later? Experience is great but....I don't get it but it is only because he is a southpaw vet. Rebuild too often gets into retread. Thanks for the work Jeff!


I dislike cronyism.  A lot.  I do understand having people who have worked with you before to show other people Your Way of doing things, so you don't have to do everything yourself. Beimel knows what McClendon wants from their time in Pittsburgh together, but he's nearly incapable of being effective.
I get that vets apparently have vast sums of knowledge to share with the youth, founts of wisdom at their disposal to disperse to the wide-eyed newbs coming up from the minors.  But Beimel is NOT GOOD.  Why would I want to take advice from someone who is not now nor has ever been a good pitcher? 
"What should I do to have a long career, Mr, Beimel?"
"Be left-handed and rely on managers wanting certain comfort zones maintained at all costs."
"Even at the cost of winning?"
"Especially that cost."
Not a fan.  I get the reasoning, but it's lazy reasoning as you said Doc.  100% agreed. Hopefully his wisdom and procedural acumen can be passed on quickly, and he isn't needed in too many close games.
And the kids can force their way back into the pen shortly.
PS - Noesi better show me his ten-cent head has been upgraded to at least a quarter. We've gone through the trouble of keeping him as a long man, now don't freak out with dudes on base and use that great arm to some kind of useful effect.  This pen is gonna scare me a bit, not gonna lie.  We didn't pack it with as much young talent as I would have preferred, nor got as many effective vets as I would have accepted for a plan B.
Got those fingers crossed. At least the rotation has stayed really interesting and power-packed. 

part-time's picture

I've asked before, but this one still confuses me. Carson Smith last year goes on a tear, 1.8 overall ERA and follows up with not giving up a run in training this year. He struck out 11, walked 2, and is 24, so he does have a little more age to him. Leone is 22, but he really is just coming into his full growth (his family has a history of not attaining their adult size until later than most - you can see that in pictures of him and it explains a lot about his uptick in velocity last year). I get the concept of wanting your best guys there, but having Leone get a little more time to develop in Tacoma does't seem to be a bad thing, but Smith seems like a dumb move. I also get the real possibility that Leone could very well be sent back to Jackson, especially with Walker and Iwakuma needing rehab time and roster room needing to be made. In any case, Tacoma isn't that far away if issues arise, and if you can stash a few guys who are good enough to be in the show, and who are under contract for little to nothing for at least a few more years anyway, why not look at your pool and give them that last shot. Let them know there are a pair of stalking tigers on their trail and it is time to put up or shut up... it is either going to make or break them (personally, I think keeping both Noesi and Biemel is a crime, and that Rodney is going to be a complete bust). In the meantime, keep both Smith and Leone in your hip pocket. Keep them busy, but make sure they know to keep their bags packed and to be ready to travel quickly.


Lloyd also said that he is going to have a short fuse for guys who don't produce. So he wants to enter the 2014 season with someone he knows in there. It's human nature. That doesn't mean it was the best play...but it's ONE GUY. OK...two if you count Bloomquist. Doc, you're original post was complaining about Lloyd's idea for THREE lefties....they carried only two.
It's not the end of the world, and if Beimel is won't last that long.

RockiesJeff's picture

Matt, hope that fuse is short and not (well put Gordon) led by cronyism. Watching the M's against Rockies, Joe B throws a good batting practice. Yikes!


Beimel came into the game today and Cindy, sitting on the couch, said "Who's this guy?"
His second pitch, she fell off the couch laughing.  WHAAAAA?  I COULD HIT THIS GUY!
They casually swatted a few, one hop off the fence, another line shot the CF caught on one hop ... "If I were running the M's this guy would be pitching for the AquaSox.  Does he throw anything but those fat-balls?"
Beimel gets outs nibbling, throwing an 86 puffball that's 6 inches outside and they can't resist.  You like guys nibbling away with high school stuff, you'll like Joe Beimel.
Ya.  After he costs us 3-4 games, McClendon will admit he was wrong.


Ya, in a vacuum, there is an argument for giving the kids a little more seasoning.
Of course, you get 22 and 24 years olds who are lights out, it's not exactly unprecedented to bring them in at the end of the bullpen ... Angels aren't exactly scared to do so...


At 6'7", 255 lb, he might be the largest man in the majors ... bigger than Adam Dunn and Corey Hart ... and yet, in 2012 he was 18-for-21 in SB's and scored runs at a Kenny Lofton rate.
The Mariners are always overstocked with 5-tool football players who can't hit big league pitching, but Taylor's an interesting suggestion.  Who do you think he'll wind up with?

RockiesJeff's picture

Cindy for Pen Coach! She is dead on....tell her to be ready to swing at the first pitch! I hope you are right as usual Matt....I hope Bemeal (sorry, that is what I called him here in CO as he was good at serving up a meal or two) is limited to some mop up work.....those pitches had solid contact written all over them. I really do wish him success and hope I eat every word if I am the GM, he gets cut. I haven't watched much but each time I see Furbush there is also a lot of contact.

RockiesJeff's picture

Jeff, nibbling? Even at the HS level you know that will result in walks and line drives. I prefer guys learn early to attack the zone inside and out. If that was nibbling today....oh boy! I look forward to your analysis again this season!!! Thanks for the hard work! And please thank Cindy for putting up with it!!!


Tough to find the MLB spot right now, truthfully. Hart? We're all in, there. Romero? Heck our looks to be better. Morrison? Our guy has the better bat, but not the better OF glove. Saunders or Almonte? Maybe, if you want to get a RH bat with a touch of CF ability. But to tell you the truth, Blash and Romero could probably pay there some. We have Gillespie, too. I've been following the Taylor thing. He's lots of promise but (at 28) not special production. it's hard to find the right place for him, minus giving up on Hart....which we're not prepared to do.


Leone & Smith should be on the big league club if they earned it, and it most certainly looks like they have. I think the larger fear is a return to Carter Capps ineffectiveness due to such a pronounced lack of experience working their pitches in the minor league game. So, if the SSS jumps up and bites them, the wrong lessons are learned, because failure or success is over magnified.
If a batter needs a certain number of at bats at the minor league level to prepare for major league competition, it seems to me relief pitchers do as well. I say, stretch them out in Tacoma, pitch lots of innings in long relief. Or follow the Mariano Rivera blueprint: the best relievers are failed starters.
But again, promoting experienced mediocrity over excellence sends the wrong message to the players in the organization. Youth must be served.


Doc, to tell you the truth, I wouldn't mind a flier on Taylor, if we're completely prepared to abandon somebody else. Is he a better bet than Morrison, Romero, Almonte, Saunders? I can't believe we're to the point of making that call.Heck, all those guys are younger than he is, and they all produced in the minors as well as he did.
Taylor may be a great enigma; one of those guys who never produces, for unknown reasons. Or he may actually become a contributor at age 28. But for a team that fancies itself as in the hunt, it's hard to find what he offers above and beyond what we've got.
Edit: After more thought, I'm all for finding a way to get him and stash him in Tacoma, even if it means a MLB contract. Almonte's ST has me worried, in conjunction with his pretty high BABIP last year. Jones isn't ready, yet. Blash has 10 games in CF the last 3 years (none in '13). Gillespie is only a year older and has basically hit as well as Taylor in the PCL over the last 4 years, and has a bit of CF experience. Having Gillespie and Taylor audition in Tacoma for "next-in-line" status, in case Almonte struggles or Hart is broken, isn't a bad idea. I suppose a trade could change that equation, however. But this team may well be"in the hunt" after game 40, at a time when our rotation gets well again. If Almonte is struggling (and he doesn't seem to have a GG CF glove), how long do we sit patiently, if that occurs?

Add comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd><p><br>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.


  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.