Going Deeper in Games
The Miami Marlins need starters to go deeper into games if they want to contend this summer.
The Miami Marlins knew coming into the season that the starting pitching wasn’t going to be a strength.
With the tragic loss of Jose Fernandez, and a weak free agency pool, the Marlins had to devise a new strategy to win games. The plan was to make the bullpen as good as possible. While adding an extra arm by having one less bench player on the roster.
The theory, with the extra arm is that starters wouldn’t have to go as deep into games. However, after three weeks of starters not going all that deep, this plan isn’t going as well as we thought.
Too many guys are slated to throw more than 80 innings out of the pen. Along with the pen blowing leads the inning after the starter comes out ironically.
One problem contributing to this is the amount walks the starters have given up so far. Tom Koehler and Edinson Volquez lead the way with 10 walks each.
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Dan Straily is next with 9 walks. Followed be Adam Conley at 7 and Wei-Yin Chen with only 3. These are the cause of raising pitch counts and are shortening the appearance starters.
It’s not always the pitchers fault though. On more than one occasion, Don Mattingly has pulled the starter rather early.
At times, guys pitch count will be in the late 80’s or early 90’s, in the 5th or 6th inning. Mattingly will then pull these guys instead of letting them fight for another inning.
This was the case on opening day when Volquez only threw 82 pitches but was taken out after only 5 shutout innings. Even though it was opening day, Volquez being a veteran could have easily pitched through 6 innings.
If a guy is cruising, he should be allowed to go until his pitch count gets to 100 unless he’s not fully healthy. In Conley’s start against the Mets at home, Mattingly pulled him after only 81 pitches in 6 innings.
For the most part Conley was on cruise control and look destined for seven innings of work. It has to be a group effort to try and squeeze an extra inning out of these guys in the future.
Next: Bullpen in Flux After Extra Inning Loss
The bullpen is good, but if ever exposed, it can lead to trouble. If the Marlins are going to contend this year, they will need starters to pitch long.