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Hader (as a starter, or not)

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Offline  Hader (as a starter, or not)
#1

Posted: October 20, 2018, 10:30 PM Post
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Hader might just have had the most dominant relief season since Mariano Rivera. I'm pretty sure one of the knocks on him coming up was his control. That doesn't seem to be a problem. He still would need another pitch and obviously make a few adjustments. Should Josh Hader be given a chance to start or has he simply become too valuable to consider that?

I'd contest that he should be given every opportunity to start. I know there's a thread out there about the future of pitching. I'm going to argue that it might change a bit with bullpen roles but the ace starter still has tremendous value. Even after a horrid loss, I'm excited to consider a Hader, Woodruff, Burnes, Nelson, Chacin type of rotation for next season.


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Offline  Re: Hader (as a starter, or not)
#2

Posted: October 21, 2018, 12:20 AM Post
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He only has two pitches and he tends to lose velocity and control the later he goes. Just look at tonight, first 9 fastballs (his first inning) were between 95.5 and 97.5 with an average of 96.5. After that he threw 18 fastballs at an average speed of 94.7 and in his third inning he threw 5 out of 6 pitches for balls to start the inning and got to face a pitcher and a catcher who hits like a pitcher for two of the outs.

He's a reliever for me. One of the best in the game but a reliever.

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Offline  Re: Hader (as a starter, or not)
#3

Posted: October 21, 2018, 2:08 AM Post
Posts: 7495
I agree that he should remain in the pen, but at this point he deserves the option to try starting if he wants. Last year at this time I argued his 2018 season should be in the bullpen due to a lack of command. His innings were rather inefficient and he really had his spots. This year his command has been outstanding for most of the year. Two pitch pitchers do exist as starters. Randy Johnson and ben sheets come to mind. Heck, Chacin and Miley rely heavily on one pitch.

I’ve always liked the model of letting young pitchers learn to attack hitters and learn pitchabioity in the pen as a reliever before becoming a starter. Burnes and Woodruff May be ready as starters in part because of relieving.


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Offline  Re: Hader (as a starter, or not)
#4

Posted: October 21, 2018, 6:25 AM Post
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Hader has proven to be an elite shutdown reliever, keep him there.

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Offline  Re: Hader (as a starter, or not)
#5

Posted: October 21, 2018, 7:13 AM Post
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I agree with the sentiment from torts. He provides so much value out of the bullpen, I would keep him there.

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Offline  Re: Hader (as a starter, or not)
#6

Posted: October 21, 2018, 7:46 AM Post
Posts: 8
Personally, I'd at least talk to him early in the offseason and see what Hader is thinking longterm.

If he absolutely wants to stay in the bullpen, just leave him there. If he would like a shot at the rotation, why not try it in Spring Training?


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Offline  Re: Hader (as a starter, or not)
#7

Posted: October 21, 2018, 7:57 AM Post
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Yah I honestly can’t take Hader as a starter seriously. Last night he threw like 33 pitches and 3 of them were not fastballs. I get it he doesn’t have to throw anything else right now and that is legitimate to an extent. He overpowers batters in short stints we often forget his control isn’t that great. He often times doesn’t throw anything, but fastballs to RHB. Most of his sliders go to LHB whet he can afford a mistake and/or can get swings on bad pitches with it. Often times his location with his fastball is pretty bad, but in short stints he can get away with it.

The velocity is another problem. His velocity is so high because he knows he goes out there for a short amount of time. That is a BIG deal for a guy throwing almost exclusively fastballs. As a starter what does he hang around? 95 maybe?

I can’t fathom it being good long term for him or us for him to start. I doubt he pitches so good as a starter to offset his value coming into the highest of leverage spots that exist and mow down guys almost every time.


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Online  Re: Hader (as a starter, or not)
#8

Posted: October 21, 2018, 8:10 AM Post
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The starter is dead, so no he will not be a starter.


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Offline  Re: Hader (as a starter, or not)
#9

Posted: October 21, 2018, 8:15 AM Post
Posts: 15514
Hader's role almost certainly isn't changing, and he has said himself he prefers his current role over starting.


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Offline  Re: Hader (as a starter, or not)
#10

Posted: October 21, 2018, 8:24 AM Post
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Yes, he is one of the most feared relievers in the game right now so you leave him there. I'd look for a starter elsewhere starting with Woodruff and Burnes.


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Offline  Re: Hader (as a starter, or not)
#11

Posted: October 21, 2018, 8:49 AM Post
Posts: 1157
Location: Madison, WI
Brewers should go to a 60-60-60 (formerly called 3-3-3), where 60 refers to the approximate pitch limit per outing. Only real reason not to that I see is doubleheaders. But half of the Brewer games are not subject to rainouts because of Miller Park's retractable roof, and now teams can add that 26th man on doubleheader days (a real "starter" from the minors). The sabermetric folks have been talking about this for 10+ years now and after watching the Brewers these last six weeks it almost seems crazy not to at least try it when beginning next season.

Day One:
-Chacin
-Free agent lefty - (*)
-Jeffress

Day Two:
-Davies
-Hader
-Woodruff

Day Three:
-Anderson
-Jennings
-Burnes

Bullpen:
-free agent lefty
-Peralta
-Williams

Closer:
-Knebel

(*) - could be Wade Miley

When someone gets hurt in spring training, Guerra can step in and fill either a "9-man" or bullpen role. At best, Nelson probably starts the year in a minor league rehab assignment but obviously he still fits in this mix. They could just cut Albers loose and I wouldn't lose any sleep over that.

But if Counsell sticks with a traditional five man rotation, then Hader should be going into the rotation. Now it almost appears like the Brewers and taking the next Randy Johnson and limiting him to 100 innings per year.


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Offline  Re: Hader (as a starter, or not)
#12

Posted: October 21, 2018, 8:49 AM Post
Posts: 572
I imagine he'd make a pretty good starter, but i'd also avoid messing with a good thing. It's also a matter of comparing our young pitching talent, and for each one weigh the different roles and what they're suited for and build the roster accordingly. Guys like Burnes and Woodruff have the repertoire that lends itself well to going for longer stretches, with enough different pitches to keep hitters off-balance. Hader for his first inning or two is one of the most dominant pitchers in the league, but due to relying so much on his fastball will suffer multiple times through the order. Any loss of velocity will also hit him harder than these other guys who use their offspeed stuff more. Haders fastball at 93-94 is still a very good pitch, it just isn't the unhittable pitch that he can throw almost straight down the middle and induce swings and misses on, that is 98 fastball is. Even if he stays in the 'pen, and even if he gets by just fine with the 80/20 mix of FB/Slider, I think that a pitch with movement opposite the slider like a changeup/sinker could make him even better against righties. But yeah, he doesn't need to make major changes.

Anyway, what I want to see the Brewers do with Hader is to embrace this hybrid nature even more and pretty much never have him go less than 2 innings. If you have a lead when the starter exits after 5 or 6 innings, Hader goes for as long as he can. Even 4 innings occasionally, if the pitch count is in good enough shape. Yes, this means he'll always been down for 2-3 days between outings, but I'm fine with that. It's how you get him the most innings with the least wear and tear. It also means you won't need to use any (Or just 1) of your other top relievers on those days. So you have Hader, you have 4-5 more traditional relievers who pitch in the other tied/narrow lead games, and 2-3 multi-inning guys; not "garbage time long relievers" (Though maybe 1 of them make sense), but the guys who didn't fit into the starting rotation, who pick up the workload on the days where Hader and Jeffress/Knebel/whoever isn't pitching.


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Offline  Re: Hader (as a starter, or not)
#13

Posted: October 21, 2018, 8:57 AM Post
Posts: 15514
JosephC said:
Brewers should go to a 60-60-60 (formerly called 3-3-3), where 60 refers to the approximate pitch limit per outing. Only real reason not to that I see is doubleheaders. But half of the Brewer games are not subject to rainouts because of Miller Park's retractable roof, and now teams can add that 26th man on doubleheader days (a real "starter" from the minors). The sabermetric folks have been talking about this for 10+ years now and after watching the Brewers these last six weeks it almost seems crazy not to at least try it when beginning next season.

Day One:
-Chacin
-Free agent lefty - (*)
-Jeffress

Day Two:
-Davies
-Hader
-Woodruff

Day Three:
-Anderson
-Jennings
-Burnes

Bullpen:
-free agent lefty
-Peralta
-Williams

Closer:
-Knebel

(*) - could be Wade Miley

When someone gets hurt in spring training, Guerra can step in and fill either a "9-man" or bullpen role. At best, Nelson probably starts the year in a minor league rehab assignment but obviously he still fits in this mix. They could just cut Albers loose and I wouldn't lose any sleep over that.

But if Counsell sticks with a traditional five man rotation, then Hader should be going into the rotation. Now it almost appears like the Brewers and taking the next Randy Johnson and limiting him to 100 innings per year.


I like the concept, but I would prefer a 4 man rotation of an 80 pitch limit or so with Hader and Jeffress in the pen. Don't like limiting them to a rigid role.

I do think it's entirely possible that we enter 2019 without a traditional 5 man rotation.


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Offline  Re: Hader (as a starter, or not)
#14

Posted: October 21, 2018, 9:12 AM Post
Posts: 8
adambr2 said:
Hader's role almost certainly isn't changing, and he has said himself he prefers his current role over starting.


I hadn't heard that, but if that's the case, then yeah, I would just leave him in the bullpen.

No need to change anything if he is already comfortable, has a preference, and has performed like he has.


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Offline  Re: Hader (as a starter, or not)
#15

Posted: October 21, 2018, 9:55 AM Post
Posts: 3812
Hader's lack of a third pitch means he is an elite reliever. I think he and Peralta can team up as a pair of relief aces for 2019, to go with Knebel and Jeffress in the pen. The Crew's likely to add Quintin Torres-Costa to the bullpen mix (no need for a free-agent reliever).

Then there is a host of other options for the future - Suter, Olczak, Clayton Andrews, etc. A constant pipeline, flowing to the majors.


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Offline  Re: Hader (as a starter, or not)
#16

Posted: October 21, 2018, 9:58 AM Post
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I think you can add Zack Brown into the mix for a 2018 Burnes type reliever...

Regardless of what the new generation of stats, etc say, we need an ace that can eat up some innings every 5th day if only to give the bullpen a breather.

I really don't want to see Burnes and Woodruff groomed to start but only pitch 4 to 5 innings each turn, especially if they are on a roll and showing no signs of faltering.


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Offline  Re: Hader (as a starter, or not)
#17

Posted: October 21, 2018, 10:10 AM Post
Posts: 979
Part of the deal here is that, with the options we have, the Brewers don't NEED Hader to be a starter. They have a ton of talent and depth, lots of which is very well-controlled. That, plus the just immense value of a shiut down guy you can extend for multiple innings, means there's just very little marginal gain to be made. Maybe that changes if some of these guys don't pan out. Way it looks, though, I am not thinking about anything other than what Josh has done so far.


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Offline  Re: Hader (as a starter, or not)
#18

Posted: October 21, 2018, 10:32 AM Post
Posts: 113
I have been a proponent of making Hader a starter but the emergence of Woodruff, Burnes, and Peralta has changed my mind. I had thought Hader was our only chance of developing our own ace but these guys have more upside than I gave them credit for at mid season. 2 months ago I thought we were in a 2-3 year window and needed to trade for a deGrom this offseason to maximize our chances. Not anymore, the future is very bright for this pitching staff, just need to fix that offense which is a little easier.


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Offline  Re: Hader (as a starter, or not)
#19

Posted: October 21, 2018, 10:35 AM Post
Posts: 3812
turborickey said:
I think you can add Zack Brown into the mix for a 2018 Burnes type reliever...

Regardless of what the new generation of stats, etc say, we need an ace that can eat up some innings every 5th day if only to give the bullpen a breather.

I really don't want to see Burnes and Woodruff groomed to start but only pitch 4 to 5 innings each turn, especially if they are on a roll and showing no signs of faltering.


The Brewers were bullpenning a lot in 2018 because they had to.

Take a look at starters from the start of this season: Chacin was the only one who didn't miss time.

Suter - 20 appearances, Tommy John surgery
Davies - Missed three months with back injury
Anderson - Missed five starts with injuries
Miley - Out half the season with injury
Nelson - Never appeared due to 2017 shoulder injury
Guerra - Rebounded from 2017, but spent time in minors moved to pen in Sept.
Peralta - For all intents and purposes was shut down after Sept. 1.

Burnes and Woodruff were turned into relievers as well.


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Offline  Re: Hader (as a starter, or not)
#20

Posted: October 21, 2018, 11:42 AM Post
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Posts: 1365
Honestly I'm fine either way. I wanted to try him as a starter this year because our options weren't that great. Now, we seem to have good options coming out of our ears.

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