Cameron: Is the postseason becoming too different from the regular season?

From Dave Cameron at FanGraphs on November 4, 2016:

So that was a pretty enjoyable postseason. A terrific World Series, with one of the best Game Sevens of all-time, wrapped up a month of high-quality baseball, with only a few duds mixed in here and there. As usual, it was a low-scoring month, with cold weather and elite pitchers serving to make offense scarce, but that just makes for more tense, high-leverage innings.

Of course, there was one notable change this year, particularly emphasized because of Cleveland’s run to the championship. More than ever before, managers were willing to use their bullpens without regard for role or inning, with Andrew Miller serving as the platonic ideal of a relief ace. It wasn’t just Miller, though; Cody Allen entered in the middle innings a few times, while Kenley Jansen and Aroldis Chapman both entered in the seventh inning in several outings.

Some of this change was the inevitable rationalization of Major League organizations, as the concept of strict relief usage has never really been the optimal way to run a bullpen in the postseason. That was an idea in need of challenging, and it was only a matter of time before the incentives to win overcame the notion that relievers could only be used in the way they were deployed in the regular season.

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Originally published: November 4, 2016. Last Updated: November 4, 2016.