After a brutal opening game, things went much better for Luis Rojas in the second game of the season. Brandon Nimmo was back at the top of the order where he belongs and he got on base three times. Dominic Smith was back in the lineup and he delivered a home run. There was no question about when to take out the starter. But we still have bullpen questions.
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After two games it’s clear that Rojas has faith in just three of his relievers. And it’s fair to wonder how much faith he should have in Miguel Castro. When you’re carrying Jeurys Familia and Dellin Betances because of their contract, that eliminates two guys right there. But the bullpen has eight guys in it, so what about the other three?

Aaron Loup was brought in to be the main lefty. But Bryce Harper was up in a big spot yesterday and Loup was left in the pen.
Robert Gsellman was tendered a contract and then gifted a roster spot. Maybe he’s being held for long relief appearances.
Jacob Barnes seems likely to be the opener when Joey Lucchesi pitches but does that mean he can’t be used otherwise?

Castro and Trevor May are likely both unavailable today, which means we’ll see some different relievers, especially since it’s tough to imagine that David Peterson will be allowed to go deeper in the game than either Jacob deGrom or Marcus Stroman. Peterson is actually the one guy on the staff that makes sense to treat with kid gloves. My preference would have been to hold back May to use today. The eighth inning yesterday – with a four-run lead – would have been a good time to get Barnes or Gsellman in there. That way both May and Diaz would have been available Wednesday for a start likely to end at five innings, if not sooner.

It will be curious to see how the pen is handled today.

7 comments on “Wednesday catch-all thread (4/7/21)

  • MattyMets

    100% agree. I’m not confident in Rojas’ decision making but to be fair, half his bullpen stinks. I dont understand why we didnt bring in another reliever before the season started. Unless at least one of Betances, Familia or Gsellman can step up and surprise us we’re gonna have a prorblem that needs to be addressed soon.

  • Wobbit

    I hate to see the bullpen roles be so rigidly defined. We know all about Familia, and he absolutely cannot enter close games. I thought Barnes should have pitched the seventh. If he gets a zero, Gsellman can pitch the eighth. Why use pitchers two days in a row when you have a decent lead?

    And the answer is Rojas managing so scared, so afraid of making mistakes. Egads, man… use your grown-men bullpen and stop treating rostered players like children who can’t be trusted.

    I can see Trevor May burned out by mid-season. Same with Castro. Use the whole pen! Using relievers more than once during a series puts them at a disadvantage.
    And I’m sure you all noticed that Gerritt Cole threw 97 pitches yesterday…

    • BoomBoom

      It was Cole’s second start of the season, and I would bet Jacob gets to a hundred pictures or more his next time out. Still, it was maddening bringing in Castro and may last night when they weren’t needed. I think they were trying to get him quickly over the disappointment of the opening-night blown save. Makes some sense, but not enough to lose him for what will likely be a closer game today. Barnes, Betances, gazelle men Etc should have been the play last night. I did think Familia looked okay aside from some wildness. Good velocity. He looks really trimmed down.

  • Metsense

    It is a poor strategy to have an eight pitcher bullpen when you only use four. The bullpen will burn out if it continues. I understand that in a close game that Castro (or Loup), May and Diaz should pitch 7th- 9th innings but when get a sizeable lead then Barnes, Familia, Betances and Gsellman should pitch. The leverage of the situation should dictate what pitcher to use. It is basic Bullpen 101.

  • TexasGusCC

    Poor Rojas. First he has a dopey GM that calls the dugout because he has to control the temperature of the water the players drink, then he gets a first time GM that is trying to get a foothold on a job and wasn’t the original hire, anyway. Can Rojas win a nest these circumstances?

  • Wobbit

    Poor Rojas indeed. He’s a ML manager in a big media city. He’s in his 30’s. He defaulted into the job he may have needed another decade to prepare for. This ain’t Tidewater, anymore.

    I’m not at all saying he won’t be a decent manager someday, but he does seem overmatched with his current conditions. He can really use some veteran coaches around him, and he needs to win a few games where his in-game decisions make the difference. But until he stops managing from fear and starts using his prodigious baseball DNA, I’m expecting that he will continue to err on the side of “fearing to lose”. Please tell me another team that won anything that way.

  • ChrisF

    from your mouth to god’s ears on that wobbit.

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