Vidya, on 19 April 2012 - 08:24 PM, said:
... The only criticism I have of the analysis is that it's a bit early, so let's not jump to conclusions too quickly. I do hope Wedge takes your advice, but maybe he's already planning to make serious changes in May.
Fair point. But, my view is this. You do not "wait" to establish a rotation of players and bench-utilization. The basic job description of manager is to get the most "aggregate" production out of all of the parts that he has at his disposal. And yes, the two games in Japan may skew things slightly.
But, my opinion is this. Seattle played 7 straight days - Apr 9-15. This is what is on the schedule from day one. If the manager *PLANS* to give Ichiro the 12th off, then that one day off for Ichiro specifically sets the tone for everything that follows. It says to everyone, (including Ichiro), that this is a team effort where NOBODY is above anyone else in terms of playing time. It gives Ichiro a day off smack in the middle of a 7 day span. It also happens to be against a LHP, (Holland), which gives Wells a platoon edge. (Wells actually started in place of Saunders that game, just fyi). NEXT lefty you can sit Saunders and start Wells, if you want.
Wells doesn't have to start "exclusively" against LHP only. But, if you simply get Wells into the lineup replacing Ichiro once, Figgins once and Saunders once ... then your foundation of PT you establish is that these substitutions are not punitive. They are a part of normal operations, where you are attempting to keep your bench guys sharp with semi-regular work ... and you also benefit your subs by giving them ALL days off.
In addition to all of the above, you always have the option of utilizing the benched starters in late game situations. If Olivo is catching, and Jaso is DH, then in the 7+ you've got Ichiro as a pinch-hitter for Olivo and Montero ready to come in and catch.
The key here is that while I believe the rest variable is extremely important for Ichiro specifically ... the "mental" and "team based" and "no veteran entitlement" issues are much more important toward the long term success of the team as a whole.
It's not just a math thing - though Olivo appearing in 13 games while running an OPS of .353 ... while the *TWO* best hitters on the team, Ryan and Seager have appeared in only 12 certainly says the math of the current roster usage is dreadful. The bigger issue is demonstrating ***BEFORE*** it becomes an issue that the team needs come before the individual player needs.
The thing is ... if you give some bench players some EARLY time and they fail ... then you at least have an excuse to ride your veterans that can maintain buy-in from the entire roster. If you just ride your starters until AFTER they slump ... then every roster change becomes a punishment ... and you've just increased pressure on every prospect to produce immediately .... or else. That is NOT a good environment for teaching.
As a manager, you can also leverage "planned" days off as motivation to keep your bench guys mentally tough. On Monday you say, "Casper, I'm planning to start you on Thursday against Texas to give Ichiro a day off. But, you be ready just in case I need you to pinch hit between now and then." Suddenly Casper has extra incentive to stay focused. He's got something to look forward to and is probably much less likely to descend into the funk of "gee ... maybe somebody will get hurt so I can get into a friggin' game".
Ichiro is not attempting to catch Cal Ripken. There is no external excuse to warrant his preferential treatment. And that's the problem. Ichiro starting every day is preferential. Same goes with Figgins. THAT is the problem.
The purpose of government is to set the minimum standard of behavior for a society, backed up with the power and authority to police and punish those who fail to meet those minimum standards. The purpose of Religion is to encourage people to exceed those standards voluntarily.
Adopt-a-player(s): Brandon Maurer - made the Majors!
Age 24 - LHP (as of 5/8/2013)
Brian Moran - 2013 1-1; 3.24-ERA; 12-G; 16.2-IP; 19-H; 0-HR; 2-BB; 24-K; 1.26-WHIP; 13.0-K/9; 12.00-K/BB (AAA)
Brian Moran - mnrs - 17-13; 163-G; 2.98-ERA; 242.0-IP; 212-H; 16-HR; 60-BB; 278-K; 1.12-WHIP; 10.3-K/9; 4.63-K/BB
Age 24 - RH - (2B/UT) - (as of 5/8/2013)
Stefen Romero - 2013 - 85-PA; 5-2B; 2-HR; 11-RBI; 1-SB; 0-CS; 5-BB; 15-K; .273/.329/.442 -- .771 (A+/AAA)
Stefen Romero - mnrs - 1079-PA; 61-2B; 41-HR; 177-RBI; 29-SB; 14-CS; 64-BB; 156-K; .314/.365/.527 -- .891
Age 22 - LH - (LF) - (as of 5/8/2013)
Dario Pizzano - 2013 - 104-PA; 3-2B; 3-HR; 16-RBI; 1-SB; 1-CS; 10-BB; 20-K; .287/.356/.415 -- .771 (A)
Dario Pizzano - mnrs - 354-PA; 21-2B; 7-HR; 45-RBI; 4-SB; 1-CS; 40-BB; 57-K; .333/.416/.479 -- .895
Age 22 - RH - (CF) - (as of 5/8/2013)
Jabari Henry - 2013 - 103-PA; 7-2B; 4-HR; 18-RBI; 4-SB; 2-CS; 18-BB; 10-K; .366/.476/.598 -- 1.073 (A)
Jabari Henry - mnrs - 353-PA; 22-2B; 12-HR; 60-RBI; 9-SB; 4-CS; 47-BB; 57-K; .298/.395/.515 -- .910
Age 23 - RH - (OF) - (as of 5/15/2013)
Jabari Blash - 2013 - 91-PA; 3-2B; 3-3B; 8-HR; 25-RBI; 6-SB; 1-CS; 8-BB; 26-K; .309/.374/.716 -- 1.090 (A+)
Jabari Blash - mnrs - 1080-PA; 502B; 13-3B; 42-HR; 151-RBI; 35-SB; 14-CS; 147-BB; 312-K; .260/.372/.482 -- .854