Dayton Moore keeps the Kansas City Royals Stuck in the 80’s

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Jul 7, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Kansas City Royals relief pitcher

Wade Davis

(17) throws a pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


In the past, bullpens used to be filled by “crafty” pitchers that lacked velocity. Usually, those guys that came on late in the game threw in the high 80’s (which is why they weren’t starters).

Today, many teams deploy bullpens full of flame-throwers that throw no more than a single inning but ring up the gun in the mid-90’s and above. Get that, EVERYONE is Rich “Goose” Gossage these days.

Jun 22, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA; Former New York Yankee Rich Goose Gossage (54) receives a commemorative ring during the Monument Park Ceremony on Old Timers Day at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

EVERYONE is Goose Gossage these days.

Not only do these guys throw hard, bullpens typically sport 7 instead of 5 players. That number advantage allows managers to deploy more specialty arms whose job is to get only one or two key hitters.

This reality makes it difficult for teams to string together a lot of hits, which is what a team built around contact hitters needs to do to stage a late rally.

Flamethrowers make it hard to bunt, which also punishes the “small-ball” teams that need to move baserunners. The way to beat these power guys is to walk and hit the ball out of the park. They’re throwing 95, so they’re already providing the heat.

You’re not going to string together multiple hits very often against a guy that knows he’s not going to throw more than one inning. When it comes to relievers, the modern game has learned that less is more. Don’t overexpose a guy with 2 pitches who can’t survive as a starter.