Frustating to you and me that David Phelps sproinged a sproingy thing. Imagine, very carefully, if the Mariners made you their General Manager. Picture the work that goes into merely deciding on a Drew Smyly, the lost sleep, the "make sure I get this gig right" pressure. Never mind the elbow grease and midnight oil to make a deal come together! Now imagine the feeling when you get it all done ... and then get your morning java with the news that your precious Big Pitching Add just suffered a catastrophic injury.
Same with David Phelps. The lad was flinging it. Think YOU could GM if you went through 30, 40 pitchers in each of your first two years?
So if WE are aggravated, stinks for us. But poor Jerry Dipoto.
All that said, David Phelps' injury is annoying, not impactful. Don't get worried. It's not the same thing as Russell Branyan getting hurt when you are scoring 513 runs and he's your one good hitter. The Mariners still have a bullpen or two in 1990's terms. And playoff games tend to come down to your 7 best pitchers, not your 13 best pitchers. I've seen a lootttttt of teams do it with a great closer and a bunch of retread tires behind him ...
1 Edwin Diaz = 14 strikeouts, 1 walk, 0 homers per game, the last 30 days. Terrific young closer. (Here by the way is a nice calm-down, keep-a-steady-hand-at-the-tiller read on him)
2 Nick Vincent, 1.93 ERA the last month, and 1.3 WAR already - two WAR out of the pen is acceptable
3 Tony Zych back to 98.44%
4 Scrabble a years-long MLB(TM) LOOGY
5 James Pazos, who a few guys have fretted about though all pitchers are up and down, at 10.6 strikeouts on the year and 4k 0bb 0hr his last four times out
6 Emilio Pagan you guys assure me has been "lights out"
Phelps was a sweet add, but the M's had (July bullpen WAR) elite results going before he got here. When he's right, Edwin Diaz is a sweet bullpen :- ) It could be that I'm too fossilized to see straight, but I continue to insist that the modern 8-man bullpen is mostly a shibboleth, a matter of comfort zones for the manager, mostly a way to avoid second-guessing and ugly debates with sportswriters in the postgame after a heartbreaking loss. When a team botches a lead, late in the game, it is SO painful and this is exactly where beat writers are at their worst in the postgame, not hesitating to jab managers with sharp needles for any pitching change at all that wasn't called for by "The Book."
Here's a reminder from James earlier this week:
In 1996, the Angels set an all-time record by using 29 pitchers in a season. In 2014, the Rangers set the current record of 40. Is this change just because it's easier now to promote a minor leaguer for a few days, or what are the other reasons?
Asked by: PeteRidges
I don't think that it is EASIER to promote a pitcher for a few days, with the exception of the new double-header rule. The rules are basically the same as they were. It's just more accepted.
Teams adopt new strategies once other teams have made them aware that you CAN do this and it works. The main thing is simply that teams are more aware now that you can do this.
Another thing is that modern managers are (in my view) inexplicably terrified of getting a pitcher outside his role. Relievers work one inning. Managers are very reluctant to let them throw a second inning. If each reliever is only going to work one inning and you have a starter knocked out early one day and play 11 innings the next, you HAVE to make a roster move to get a couple of fresh arms in the bullpen.
The Seattle Mariners can simply run Diaz or Vincent or Scrabble a little longer to make up any difference. You're behind in a game one or two days later and your re-set your bullpen. Need Tuesday's game and you're up one? Let Vincent pitch the 7th and 8th, Sugar the 9th. You'll figure it out Wednesday, or a 4-run game will figure it out for you.