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The secret of Zach Britton's unique dominance


xian4

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We really need a solid LH starter, but, I really like him as an elite shutdown closer.

I like him there too, but we have a lot of depth there, and if he really is a once in a generation talent (and I think he is) I'd rather get 160 innings out of him than 65.

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Fangraphs had an article today analyzing Britton's four blown saves last year and how they were mostly the result of infield hits.

Can you tell it's a slow news time for baseball?

Still interesting enough though especially if you have a passion for watching GIFS of dinky grounders narrowly escaping the grasp of Orioles infielders.

Did they suggest the infield play in to start the inning?

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  • 4 months later...
I think his command was much better in 2015 than it has ever been. The Royals were able to wait him out a bit in the 2014 playoffs, but he adjusted and got more aggressive (68.9% strikes last year, 63.5% on first pitch, compared to 63.9%/55.1% in 2014).

Yeah, the proof that he adjusted is in the numbers - unless people assume that KC is the only team that scouts players. It's not like he throws just one pitch like Rivera. He threw several breaking pitches last night.

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Yeah, the proof that he adjusted is in the numbers - unless people assume that KC is the only team that scouts players. It's not like he throws just one pitch like Rivera. He threw several breaking pitches last night.

That might have been the Royals scouting the Ump.

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As much as Britton is a beast the team is currently constructed in the wrong way. One of the best bullpens in MLB but one of the worst rotations in baseball. I expect the rotation will be better. But the better the rotation the less of a factor the pen has to be. With the trades that were being made for "closers" this offseason we may have missed out.

It's nice to have Britton and all. But we're probably looking at 40-45 starts from Worley, Bundy, Wright and Wilson right now. It's hard to win 90 games with that.

I disagree - the game has changed, and it's more economical to build a pitching staff that has a great bullpen than it is to pay 5 quality starters. It's not like when we were growing up expecting 7, 8, or 9 innings from the starter. If you have quality 7th, 8th and 9th inning relievers, you can win big with 6 inning starters.

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I disagree - the game has changed, and it's more economical to build a pitching staff that has a great bullpen than it is to pay 5 quality starters. It's not like when we were growing up expecting 7, 8, or 9 innings from the starter. If you have quality 7th, 8th and 9th inning relievers, you can win big with 6 inning starters.

The Royals are World Champions after a 2015 season where none of their starters were more valuable (by fWAR) than Wei-Yin Chen or Ubaldo Jimenez.

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Just curious; what kind of career would Britton need to have to be a hall of famer? I imagine he'd need to pitch successfully until his late 30s and even early 40s, but what thresholds or counting stats would he realistically need?

The standards for a reliever have been in constant flux forever. I'm not sure we're anywhere near an endpoint or a period of stability. It's hard to know. Sutter and Gossage and Fingers are in with careers that really don't look overwhelmingly impressive. It's hard to make an objective case that Fingers was better than Trevor Hoffman, or Sutter was better than Billy Wagner, or Eckersley was better than Doug Jones.

Counting stats? Who knows? Guys with 300 saves are in, 450 or 550 or 600 are out. By fWAR there are eight guys between 20 and 30, with #s 1, 3, and 8 on that list in, the rest out.

Reliever is the most muddled group of a messy HOF process. You can argue that almost no relievers should go in since part of the job description is to not do A, B, and C otherwise you'd be a starter.

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