In 2012, the Angels tried that whole "most talented rotation in baseball" thing. It was a real nice idea in theory, alas it was a borderline disaster in practice. In reaction to that, Jerry Dipoto decided to go in the complete other reaction and build from the back of the pitching staff forward. He replenished the overall depth and talent level of the bullpen merely plugged holes in the rotation. It isn't sexy, but it is a strategy and maybe even a good one.
In fact, one could argue that this is the very blueprint for constructing a pitching staff that Mike Scioscia had his most success with earlier in his tenure. Scioscia masked the weakness of his starting pitchers by shortening games with his stellar relievers. If the Angels had the lead after the sixth inning, the opponent was pretty much toast. Or at least that is what our memories of the great Percival-K-Rod-Shields-Donnelly bullpens were able to accomplish.
What we need to figure out is whether or not the stats back up that narrative, which I really hope it does because that seems to be what the Halo front office is banking on. To determine the answer to that quandry, I've broken out the starting pitcher usage and the performance of the rotation and bullpen throughout the Scioscia era. To show whether or not that usage actually paid dividends, I've also included the team's record and Pythagorean record as a finger in the air assessment of how much the Angels under- or over-achieved that season.
|YEAR||Starter ERA||IP/GS||PITCHES/GS||Bullpen ERA||TEAM RECORD||PYTHAG RECORD|