The Bullpen Depth Beneath the Bullpen Depth That Good Teams Need and Other Bullets

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The Bullpen Depth Beneath the Bullpen Depth That Good Teams Need and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Dang, that Monday Night Football game was nuts. Patrick Mahomes and Jared Goff … yeah, they’re actually quite good. I missed big chunks of the game, though, of course, because the sump pump issues we’ve been dealing with still aren’t resolved and I don’t want to swim in my basement just yet. So I had to mess with that. Hooray.

  • Jed Hoyer gave me a Keanu whoa moment with this quote to Patrick Mooney about the nature of bullpen construction: “When you’re a good team – and we’re a good team – you play a lot of close games. You win a lot of games. And the games you don’t win are usually close and that wears down your bullpen. It’s easier to protect your relievers if you’re getting blown out every fourth or fifth day.”
  • On reflection, it’s the kind of thing that is obviously true (it’s not like we haven’t talked about the importance of up-and-down bullpen depth), but you don’t think about as much as you should. Having a deep pool of quality relievers is important for any good team because you want good results, but that reality is compounded by the very nature of the types of games you’ll disproportionately be playing in. So, then, what you really want to see is not only a good group at the big league level, but you really need that rotating group of AAA arms that you can bring up and down throughout the season – like the Cubs did last year – and still have success. More than that, you probably ideally have about two spots in your bullpen constantly filled by guys like that, who just keep rotating in and out. To do that, though, and still get really good results, you need about six of those types of guys with options, who are still very good. So, for the Cubs, you’d kinda need steps forward from guys like Dillon Maples, James Norwood, Alec Mills, Allen Webster, Randy Rosario, and Justin Hancock (just to name six already on the 40-man roster). Or you need youngsters to percolate up into AAA and show that they’re simply too good not to include in this group.
  • Oh, but also: yes, the Cubs need to make a notable addition or two at the big league level in free agency or trade.
  • Nico Hoerner gets some post-AFL love for his performance:

  • The next entry in the Cubs’ Between Starts series:

  • We talked yesterday about today’s roster deadline from the Cubs’ perspective, and Baseball America looked at the prospects who may need protection for the 30 MLB clubs. Their section on the Cardinals is what stood out to me, on what might be a tricky day for them: “The Cardinals have two open spots and three obvious players to protect in LHP Genesis Cabrera, OF Lane Thomas and RHP Ryan Helsley. 2B Max Schrock had a rough season at Triple-A, but his track record of hitting while playing the middle infield gives him a strong case to be protected as well. RHPs Roel Ramirez and Junior Fernandez can both reach the upper 90s out of the bullpen, while C Dennis Ortega is one of the best defensive catchers in the system. The Cardinals already waived INF Greg Garcia to open up one 40-man spot. Short of unloading disappointing LHP Brett Cecil and the $22.5 million he’s owed through 2020, it’s a challenge to find more spots with few obvious candidates to be let go.”
  • Speaking of the Cardinals, I hate that I don’t hate this:

  • Social media gets a bad rap, man:

  • Similarly:

  • Black Friday Deals Week continues at Amazon, so check it out to see if the deals they have are the deals you have so longingly sought.
  • We anxiously await DOOM that hopefully does not come:

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.