Petriello: It’s time to be smarter about bullpen usage

From Mike Petriello at FanGraphs on November 24, 2014:

When I saw that the White Sox had signed Zach Duke for three years and $15 million, my first thought had nothing to do with Duke or Chicago. It was, “wow, Andrew Miller and David Robertson are going to get paid.” Though Duke was obviously a much different pitcher in 2014 than he was in previous years, he’s still a guy who has one good year on his resume after nearly a decade of mediocrity. If he gets three years, it seems clear that the more accomplished Miller and Robertson are going to get at least four (though Robertson’s qualifying offer will hurt, somewhat).

This isn’t necessarily about whether they will or should get multiple-year deals; they clearly will, even though Dave [Cameron] has written here numerous times over the years about how poorly long-term deals for relievers tend to work out. Part of the reason they’re going to get paid is because the Royals just made it to the World Series based in no small part on having a shutdown bullpen of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, and Greg Holland, and success will always breed copycats. Part of it is because of the perception that with starters going shorter and shorter into games, it’s more important to have a talented bullpen.

But is that second part actually true?

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Originally published: November 24, 2014. Last Updated: November 24, 2014.