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August 7, 2015 / Nat Anacostia

Memo for Matt Williams – Overuse of setup man

August 7, 2015

Memorandum for: Matt Williams

Subject: Overuse of setup man

Tonight the Nats gave up a 4 to 1 lead in the 8th inning when Drew Storen allowed a one-out walk, then a pair of two-out singles followed by a grand slam hit by Carlos Gonzalez.

Storen was having obvious command problems all inning. The reason for the command problems also seems fairly obvious—he’s had to pitch on 3 of the last 4 days (the 6th, 4th, and 3rd).

Before the 8th inning, both Storen and Tanner Roark were warming up. Bob & FP informed us that Storen would pitch if the lead stayed at 3 runs, whereas Roark would pitch if the Nats scored an additional run. Roark had pitched on 2 of the last 4 days (the 5th and and the 3rd) and had not pitched yesterday. Although a 3-run lead is a save situation and would make Storen eligible to earn a hold, it is not a high leverage situation. It doesn’t make sense to overuse one of your two best relievers just so he can earn a hold.

I recommend that you start worrying more about the potential overuse of your pitchers and less about whether an arbitrary statistical threshold designates this as an inning for the setup man.


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