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Thoughts on the (Lack of) Bullpen Management

April 4, 2011

Before Thursday, I would have told you two things: 1) There’s enough depth in the bullpen to not worry about Brian Wilson being out for a few games, and 2) If there’s one thing I trust Bruce Bochy to do, its manage a bullpen.

Scratch both of those.

Bochy’s bullpen decisions without Wilson around have had me slamming my head into my desk so many times I think I’ve dented the wood. Small sample size or not, it more frustrating and worrisome than Tejada swinging at pitches in the dirt, Aubrey Huff running circles in right field, and Buster Posey throwing balls away.

It started Thursday with Santiago Casilla coming in 1-0 game in the 8th, and it continued into Sunday when he left Dan Runzler in as the kid gave up 109 singles. That’s not even all of it. Guillermo Mota coming in after Runzler and Sergio Romo yesterday? Using Javier Lopez, Ramon Ramirez, and Jeremy Affeldt on Friday when the Giants were leading by 8? That’s two grand slams before the game is tied! Call up Alex Hinshaw for crying out loud. Mota coming in again Friday to try and salvage the game after Jonathan Sanchez‘s error?

Argh.

I can appreciate the desire to save Romo for the 9th, but it feels like Bochy is giving away every close or tie-game because he’s trying to keep every remotely effective relief pitcher as an option to close. Unless of course the Tejada-led line-up is up by eight runs, then its important to nail down the shutout. Being prepared is great, but it only works if you have something to be prepared for. Today is an off day! We could have run through the entire bullpen last night.

We’re only four games into the season, and with any luck at all, Wilson will be back Wednesday and this will all be a moot point. Bochy can save Mr. Sea Captain for the 9th and actually use Romo, Lopez, and co. appropriately. My desk cannot wait.

Coming soon on Snow Woulda Had It!: A rant over Runzler being sent down to make room for Wilson while Mota stays in the pen and Marc Kroon/Ryan Vogelsong stay in Fresno. Or maybe…just maybe…a pleasantly surprised post about this NOT happening.

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