Saturday, June 20, 2009

Spring Training Strategies: Season 8

I am going to open this one up for complete interaction and discussion.

What are your Spring Training strategies?

To get started, I try to run with 30-35 pitchers and 30-35 hitters. I also like to ensure I have at least 3-4 players for each key position (SS, 2B, 3B, CF and C). As far as pitching goes, I generally run a staff of "Tandem" Starters 1-4 giving 8 SP plenty of IP over the course of the spring. The "locks" for the rotation usually make up the "a" portion of the tandem, while the prospects generally make up for the "B" part of the tandem. Every other pitcher on my roster gets designated a Setup A. As they accumulate innings, they get benched untill all members of the staff have a roughly equal amount of IP. For example, after 2-3 games I will go through and rest any RP that has pitched at least 1-2 innings, ensuring that those who haven't pitched yet will get their chance. With 30-35 pitchers on hand (22-27 of which are RP), each usually gets between 3-6 IP over the course of 3-8 outings or so. As far as hitters go I let my starters start the first game or two, then I try not to play any of my ML starters again until the last few games of the Spring. I like to run lineups out there consisting of my best prospects and some fringy-types to see how they play out. I used to think it would help one of my lesser players catch a DiTR, but I have since learned that playing time during Spring Training has nothing to do with DiTR's. This is just a rough overview on how I approach the dreaded Spring Training games. What's your approach?

1 comment:

Zalman B said...

In selecting those who make it to Spring Training, I ignore the position of position players entirely (with the exception of making sure I have enough real catchers). I don't care whether I win a single ST game, and I don't make any roster decisions based on ST production (or lack thereof) so I focus solely on getting appearances/IP for pitchers and PA for position players. If that means playing a DH at CF during ST, so be it. I generally try for close to a 50/50 split, with a slight preference towards pitchers - but it ultimately depends on the type of prospects I have.

As far as how much PT to give players, I generally shoot for about 20-25 PA for ML position players and either 3 appearances or 8-10 IP for ML pitchers. I try to get them to those targets as early in ST as possible, and then I shut them down completely. I figure if a ML contributor is unlucky enough to get hurt, having it happen at the start of ST gives him a chance to recover without missing many regular season games if it is a minor (15-day) injury.

Once the ML players hit their targets, it's all prospects, all the time. As prospects hit 20-25 PA, I may set them to "Rest" depending on who has yet to play. I may give top prospects extra PA at the expense of the marginal prospect, but I do that on more of a case-by-case basis.

Really, my main goal (maybe my only goal) is to make it through ST without suffering any major injuries. If some prospect adds a point vs RH in developemnt, it's just a small bonus.