FAQ: How Sparky Uses His Bullpen (2012 Update) Topic

Excellent job of putting all of this info together.  Any owner who didn't have this knowledge, reads this, and applies it, will improve his team. 
3/3/2012 10:40 AM
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I don't have any boxscore links to demonstrate, but I can say with certainty that I've had starters without the [use in relief] box checked come in to games as relievers when there were no other options (such as all of my RPs being below their minimum fatigue or it being before any rested RPs inning availablility, or late in a long extra inning game when all of the RPs (sometimes excepting the closer) have been used).
3/3/2012 1:26 PM
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I don't know how to find boxscores of leagues from my past, so I cannot produce one. But in a league where I was seriously short on IP in SP and RP, I would put pitchers on rest to make sure they would be in the green the following day. I also did not have my SP relief box checked. If the pitcher on rest is 89% and all the starters are even more tired, would Sparky insert the guy on rest? I hope so. In that league, if he had put in one of my starters i would have been upset. I couldn't afford any innings from them.
3/5/2012 4:58 PM
With regard to Setup A vs B ...

I typically set all of my relievers to Setup A, forgoing a closer and LH/RH specialists. I also use a mop-up. I chart every game and keep track of how many pitches are thrown by every pitcher so I don't go over the allotted maximum until near the very end of the season, if at all. So even if one of the pitchers is still at 100% rest, I try not to throw them more than 2 games in a row, especially if they can be used as a spot starter at the end of the season/playoffs.

So occasionally, I have games where I may only actually have 2 or 3 available relievers. In that situation, I will sometimes set one of the guys I would prefer to not pitch as Setup B, in the hopes that the game will be over before I use the starter and 3 relievers. Most of the time, this works like a charm, and my guy gets a second straight day off. But I have seen on some occasions that the Setup B comes in before the Setup A.

This usually occurs when my team is losing, or in the 8th or 9th inning when my starter has reached his MPC and I am winning by greater than 5 runs. I wish I had boxscores to confirm this, but I don't.

So for the most part, Setup A will come in before Setup B, but I think that Sparky looks at Setup A as a more elite pitcher, and chooses Setup B when the game is not as close and an easier victory is at hand.
3/6/2012 3:23 PM
Great article.  Thanks contrarian23
3/7/2012 2:55 AM
I wish there was a setting for low inning studs to only use them with 1-2 run leads.
I would also like to see my Long A guy come in with a 4-5 run lead and give him a shot instead of blowing my good setup guys when the next game could be closer.
This is how I manage live games, I wish sparky would do the same.
3/7/2012 11:56 PM
What would be awesome is an option to have a completely controlled situation board:

In inning _____, prefer to use the _____(Long A/Long B/Setup A/Setup B/Closer A/Closer B/Mop-Up/Available SP) if _____(trailing/losing/tied) by _____ or more runs.

Endless statements of these would allow for near-total bullpen control. It would probably be a pain to do secondary options (programming-wise), so sim would likely only use this if the exact role had an available pitcher, but it would still give a lot of control.
3/8/2012 12:03 AM
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contrarian23, anecdotal evidence (also known as very small sample size) suggests that Part 6, number 2 above regarding the mopup is correct. I have had 3 or 4 games recently where I was ahead by more than 7 runs where Sparky brought in the mopup despite "when losing only" being checked.

I never check the "use closer in save situations only" ever since I lost a crucial game where Rivera sat and I lost an 8 run lead in the 9th.

A 7-run lead seems to be the cut off for activating the mopup when other pitchers don't meet the criteria, though as you point out this is park-related.

Others may know this better, but I have the sense that this may be related to the managerial settings: I usually set the "rest starters" settings to 7 runs in the 8th, as a 6-run lead in the 7th is thin when you are a Yankees fan and have watched too many Fenway games. Also I tend to have my teams in hitters parks. 

I may be way off about this, but the 7 run lead keeps popping up when the mopup does come in. I would prefer a two touchdown and a field goal lead honestly. 

5/26/2012 5:26 AM
Posted by contrarian23 on 3/3/2012 11:43:00 AM (view original):
Posted by firesalt on 3/2/2012 5:13:00 PM (view original):
pfattkatt, i think you are right. I have had pitchers set to rest come in but I have never had a starter whose box was not checked pitch in relief. I also agree with jfranco that Sparky should get slapped silly for putting in a mop up in a tie game when the closer could be used. If both guys are unavailable due to the boxes we checked, then Sparky should use the closer first in a tie game. Isn't that what ANY real life manager would do? But for some reason, Sparky is set to bring in the mop first. I just want to slap him.
Hmm.  I don't think I've ever seen this.  Can someone verify with a boxscore?

I'll go entire seasons without ever seeing a pitcher I have set to "rest" brought into a game.  It's very common to see SPs used in relief when Sparky runs out of options.  But, I almost always check the relief box for my starters, so my teams would not likely bring about the situation firesalt and pfattkatt are describing.
Wow!!!  I wish that was how it was for me, because I usually go with a SUA, a SUB, a Closer A and a Closer B, but Sparky has brought in my relievers whom I had on 'rest" lots of times.
5/28/2012 8:54 PM
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contrarian23, this box score might be instructive of one of your points here for others reading it. It is a game last night in a theme league. I have a 3-man rotation. One of the ways that I deal with the early season damping effect is that I put in either a 4th starter, or, when I don't have someone with that many innings to spare, a tandem of some starters serving as relievers, as a 4th starter. I let that run two or three cycles around the rotation and then the 3-man is set to run on its own for a while. 

In this case, the tandem is Cy Morgan 1907 and Toad Ramsey 1885. So I look and with a 3 run lead in the 4th inning, Sparky took Morgan out having given up one run and two runners on, and puts in - Art Nehf. Now this is a waste, since I have Ramsey, a comparable pitcher, scheduled to follow Morgan in the tandem, and don't want Nehf in there this early. 

I checked, no problem with pitch counts. I had Ramsey to come in in the 5th and Nehf in the 4th. I have no idea what I was thinking setting Nehf to be available that early. I usually don't set ANY reliever to be available before the 5th, sometimes even the 6th. Come hell or high water I want starters to give me 4 innings. The only ones set earlier are mopups or AAA ers I set to Long B but which is really essentially a mopup setting with a little more flexibility. 

So I reset both - Ramsey to be available for the 4th, then realized that this too was not ideal since now Sparky will probably take Morgan out after 3, which is sooner than I want, and Nehf for the 6th. So I kept Nehf at 6th and moved Ramsey to 5th, which should make him the only one available and force Morgan to just pitch 4 win or lose.

Sparky takes inning available settings VERY literally.  

Here is the box score for the game, mine is the visiting team: 


5/30/2012 3:07 AM
I am still working on this theory, and haven't had any confirmation from admin on it yet - 

but in a couple of progressive leagues it *appears* that when determining between multiple SUA/LA -SUB/LB - CA/CB sparky will pick the pitcher who's first name is higher in the alphabet!  


I have 1989 Jesse Orosco and 1989 Rob Dibble - both are great relievers.   I have them both set to SUA - - through 144 games Dibble (who I consider to be the better (if not just slightly)pitcher) has appeared in 45 games - Jesse Orosco has appeared in 68 - (and for the record Tommy Greene has appeared in 37) -

In a 1966 progressive I had Al Worthington, Hal Reniff, Ed Roebuck, and Bob Humphreys all set to SUA - after 20 games - worthington had appeared in 12 games, humphreys 11, roebuck 8, and reniff 7.....

unfortunately I don't have the stats deeper into this season as due to performance reason, humphreys and worthington were taken out of the sua role - however Roebuck has a 27 to 23 lead on hal reniff.   

I HOPE that there is actually a different way of determining what pitcher goes into a game besides the letter of their first name - I am collecting more data to see if this plays true - does anyone else see this trend out there??? 
7/16/2012 12:51 AM (edited)
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FAQ: How Sparky Uses His Bullpen (2012 Update) Topic

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