Thursday, September 10, 2009

Word of Blog: Bullpens & Captains

The Florida Marlins went 6 for their last 7 last night by defeating the New York Mets at Citi Field once again - Final Score: 6-3. The Fish aren't giving up the fight for the Wild Card just yet, although the N.L. East seems out of reach by now. It's going to take plenty of good baseball to keep the hopes alive and stay within contention for the Marlins.

One area that will need to be consistent is the bullpen. Michael Jong of Marlin Maniac examined Fredi Gonzalez's usage of the bullpen to see how effective he has utilized it. His use of in-depth baseball analytics is commendable as it allows him to use a wealth of statistics to make his points. Here were some of his conclusions:
Leo Nunez, the team’s closer and reliever facing the highest leverages entering the game, is the worst reliever on the team in terms of FIP. Of course, FIP doesn’t take into account the fact that Nunez isn’t likely to give up as many home runs as he has, but even if you move him up to where Dan Meyer and Matt Lindstrom are, you’re still dealing with a reliever who is not performing the best on your team...

If you looked at the track record of the team’s relievers in terms of defense-independent pitching, you would likely conclude that Kiko Calero was the team’s best bet in terms of a good reliever. Sure enough, Calero has been very good at missing bats and keeping the Marlins’ fairly poor defense out of the situation....

...For some reason, Fredi has cast Calero as a 7th inning guy while deciding that Nunez and Pinto are worthy of high leverage situations. And you wonder why Marlins fans want to pull their hair off with regards to the bullpen this season.
Fairly valid statement the Marlin Maniac makes there. The Marlins, particularly Fredi Gonzalez and the coaching staff, must use the relievers effectively down the stretch in order to win close games and close out the necessary victories. If you're a fan of sabermetrics and other baseball performance statistics, follow the Marlin Maniac - he won't disappoint you with numbers.

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On the Miami Dolphins front we have the team captains being officially named. Three defensive players were voted by the team to be "head hanchos," if you will: Jason Taylor, Joey Porter and Jason Ferguson. As for on offensive, it is to no one's surprise that Chad Pennington was dubbed captain.

Patrik Nohe of Phin Phanatic had something to say about Jason Taylor's captain status. Here it is:
[CBS' Jeff] Shain says the choices came down by virtue of seniority, but I still think it’s a good sign that Taylor has curried enough favor with the coaching staff in his return to Miami to regain his role as a captain. Taylor had little to prove to the fanbase. Even during his exodus most of Miami still held JT in high regard and the conditions of his return seems to have more than made up for the sting of his one year Redskin sabbatical...

...Winning over a coaching staff hired and groomed by Parcells would certainly be the larger challenge for Taylor...

...Seniority or not I feel like Taylor has earned it.
To side with the Phinatic, Jason Taylor has made it an effort to come back into a team he neglected last season and fit into their system, as opposed to the team adapting to Taylor. Earning the title of captain only actualizes that goal of working hard day in and day out to be a leader on the Dolphins.

Great work by Patrik at Phin Phinatic, who always puts together interesting pieces about South Florida's favorite pro football team. As for JT, DolFans are glad he's back in the teal and orange and cannot wait to see him record his first sack this season. It may very well come against Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons in week one. Watch your back sophomore QB.

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