I’d also like to add that if you are the pitching coach, I’d like to add my perspectives on planning for the use and tweaking of a pitching staff. Before I do, I’d like to qualify the comments that follow.
-Those pitchers that I had were provided for me without much input put from me, more often than not. I was under a “deal with it” season, season after season. So my techniques were more of do with what I had more than what I wanted.-
First off I’d watch every pitcher closely and form an opion of what I had to work with, without qualifying said pitcher with stats, history, and so forth. It was that opinion and assumptions that I would impress actual experiences with. I would use a kind of adversarial agruments to forceably change my opions and assumptions.
Second, I would use tracking specifics for each pitcher based on that pitcher’s usefullness and temperment as the season progressed. For example, I’d track the actual game experiences for each pitcher with the following just for an example:
-games at home Vs away
-cold Vs hot weather
-high humidity Vs dry
-pitching out of shadows to a batter Vs pitching into shadows to a batter
-small ball pitchers/power/command
-left-handed Vs right-handed
-top of the batting order command guys Vs middle and bottom of the order -
-days rest charting per pitcher based on his pitch inventory/home Vs away
personal respsonsiblity of dependibility, health record, mood tendencies.
Now at this pont you’re probably wondering why I’m not plugging in ERA’s and such. Well, I do- but, those stats are the results of mostly those tendencies that I mentioned above. And as I stated earlier, stats and analysis can get to be a point-counterpoint debate that usually end up asking why, that the topics above can be a barometer for many way BEFORE the stats become stats.
So, the foundation that I used was to familiarize myself with each tool in my tool box, then match that tool at the beginning of the season with what was know about the competition that we were about to face, then use or not use each tool in my toolbox to fit the expectations projected. The key to all this is that some pitchers have a usefulness that deserves certain analysis, while other pitchers deserves other kinds of analysis. Notice I used the word “deserves”. If a pitcher is going to be used properly, he “deserves” credit when credit is do. On the other hand, when a pitcher “deserves” advice to help him and his club, constructive observations other stats have a purpose.
The best example that I can give for that last sentence is a closer who deals in nothing but gas, who comes in during the last inning with bases loaded and the pitcher who he relieved has been hammered during the last three innings. That pitcher who he relieved threw nothing but gas also. Now our relieved is facing the top of the order, ready and primed for dealing with gas. There is a high precentage here that our guy is gonna get hammer too. If he is used repeatedly like this, and only a stat approach is used to evaluate our closer, his usefulness as a tool on the pitching staff is not very advantageous.