SI.com reports that Willie Randolph says that he won’t have Pedro Martinez on a pitch count again this season. I don’t buy it! Randolph has managed the pitching staff in the classic late 20th-early 21st century fashion. He employs pitch counts and rarely lets starters finish games. He uses the formula late inning relievers regardless of the situational aspects of the games and point in the season.
Certainly Willie isn’t the only manager employing these tactics, as a matter of fact he’s in the company of almost every manager in baseball. It’s the style of the game today to closely manage starting pitchers to limit innings. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, it may keep pitchers from burning their arms, shoulders, and elbows out.
I don’t buy that Willie will change his style this year. Specifically, changing his style with Martinez doesn’t make sense. He’s 36 years old this season and coming off a 2007 in which he only made five starts at the end of the year due to injury. Martinez hasn’t pitched a complete game since 2005 (he had 4 in 31 starts).
I could see Willie running Oliver Perez and John Maine deeper into games. I’d like to see that. They’re younger players without a recent history of injury.
Time will tell but I’m not buying Willie’s big talk during spring training. It doesn’t jive with his historical record and common sense.
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