The Pirates are sending Tyler Beede to the mound as an opener tonight, making this the second time since the deadline they have used Beede in such a role.
We’ve seen the Pirates get more creative with individual pitcher roles this year, whole moving away from traditional assignments. Those traditional assignments have the starters pitching the first five innings, at least, and relievers pitching the late innings — with certain relievers reserved for the final outs of the game.
Part of the mythos of those roles is the idea that certain pitchers can only pitch in certain roles. I’ve never liked that concept, and its flaw can be seen with leverage relievers. Almost every leverage reliever enters the majors and has success outside of the late innings. They get moved to the late innings as a result of this success. Then, their success gets attributed to pitching in the late innings, as if they can no longer succeed in a lesser role.
I’m sure there are pitchers who fit this profile. I don’t think it’s entirely ego, trying to remain in the higher leverage position.
Take Beede, as an example. He’s been outstanding over the last month, pitching as a long reliever. In those outings, he doesn’t know when he’s coming in to the game. He has limited time to prepare.
When he had time to prepare for a start last week, it didn’t go well. We will see tonight how his preparation goes.
The pitcher sets the tone of the game. Nothing happens until the pitcher delivers a pitch, and no one except the catcher knows the full details of that pitch. It requires a strong mindset and confidence to dictate the pace of the game.
When a pitcher starts, he has all day to think and plan for that first inning, and every inning after. The goal isn’t just getting those three outs, but getting the first three outs in a way that allows for 12-15 more outs on the day.
When a pitcher comes out of the bullpen, he has limited time to prepare. He just comes in and attacks. He doesn’t plan on X amount of innings. He just gets outs, because there was no time to plan.
We will see how Beede does this time around, and if he can replicate his success that resulted from limited planning.
Pirates @ Diamondbacks
Time: 9:40 PM EST
Pirates Starter: Tyler Beede (1-1, 3.89)
Diamondbacks Starter: Zac Gallen (6-2, 3.31)
Beede Notes: Last time out, against Milwaukee, Beede went 1.1 innings, allowing four earned runs on five hits and two walks. He has done well pitching in long relief, putting up a 1.64 ERA in 11 innings over six appearances in the month of July.
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) August 8, 2022
1. Josh Rojas (L) 3B
2. Alek Thomas (L) CF
3. Ketel Marte (S) 2B
4. Christian Walker (R) 1B
5. Daulton Varsho (L) RF
6. Jake McCarthy (L) LF
7. Seth Beer (L) DH
8. Carson Kelly (R) C
9. Geraldo Perdomo (S) SS