Wainwright and Hancock
If I knew how to do trackbacks, I’d do this a different way. Obviously I’m still something of a blogging newbie.
But Ryan VB at Cardinals Diaspora raised an interesting point about last night’s game, something I thought about myself. Why was it Josh Hancock, rather than Adam Wainwright, pitching the long relief?
The Earl Weaver Method — which, in my estimation, is about the best justification for ANY strategy — of developing young pitchers is that you use them in long relief. You use them in games just like last night, when you get stretch them out and get them 3-4 innings without giving them the pressure of a start. (By the way, if you’re a baseball fan and you’ve never read Weaver On Strategy, go find a copy and read it. Seriously.)
But as Danup suggested in the comments, the reasoning is that Wainwright’s stock has gone up quite a bit. He’s not a guy they want pitching mop-up. They want him as an integral part of the bullpen, a guy who can get big outs in games where the outcome is in doubt.
I asked skipper La Russa this morning about using Hancock rather than Wainwright, and here was his response:
"He (Wainwright) is going to have plenty of innings. He’s going to have
plenty of appearances. The thing we want to do is preserve him where you’re not
– right now he’s one of our better weapons out there. You don’t want to waste
him in a game like that."
I followed up, suggesting that sometimes you want to get a young guy innings. His response:
"That’s if he
was in a different category. Right now he’s pitching effectively and we need
him to do his thing."
Encouraging both for Wainwright and the team, I think.
Now playing on the PNC Park PA system: Elvis Costello, "Peace, Love and Understanding." Great tune. They’ve played some fantastic stuff this week.