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August 10, 2015 / Nat Anacostia

Memo for Matt Williams: Following up on overuse of setup man

August 9, 2015

Memorandum for: Matt Williams

Subject: Following up on overuse of setup man

My last memo pointed out that your use of Drew Storen four times in a five-day interval may have contributed to the lack of command that resulted in a game-losing grand slam home run given up to Carlos Gonzalez.

Two days later, Storen was again called on to pitch in the 8th inning, this time in a tie game, and gave up the game-losing runs. If four appearances in five days was excessive, then five appearances in seven days also seems excessive, especially when he had been called on to face 7 batters and throw 23 pitches in his last appearance. Today, again, he exhibited poor command, hitting a batter. I note that there were at least a couple of well rested pitchers available who haven’t been used for several days.

During and after the Mets series, you were severely criticized for failing to use Storen and Jonathan Papelbon when the game was tied. While this criticism was correct, it should also be emphasized that attempting to use these two pitchers in the late innings of every game that is tied or has up to a 3-run lead in the late innings will lead to overuse. It is therefore essential that the first priority should be not overusing or underusing any of your pitchers; the goal of using your best pitchers in high leverage situations has to be subsidiary to this priority.

I’ll also note that if you had refrained from using Storen in Friday’s game, which was not a high leverage situation, he would have been well rested for today’s game, which was indeed a very high leverage situation.

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