First Pitch

First Pitch: The Common, Yet Wrong Way to Manage a Bullpen

First Pitch: The Common, Yet Wrong Way to Manage a Bullpen

There is no reason why Mark Melancon should be handcuffed to the eighth inning. Photo by: David Hague

After today's game, Clint Hurdle announced that he would only be using Jason Grilli and Mark Melancon when the team is ahead. Hurdle didn't use either reliever in the ninth inning, instead turning to Tony Watson for a second inning in a game that was tied 4-4. Watson gave up the eventual winning run, and the Pirates lost 5-4 with their two best relievers on the bench.

I can understand not wanting to over-use your top relievers. Grilli and Melancon have both been worked hard this season. I don't have as much of a problem with not using either guy in the ninth inning. My problem comes in the sixth inning.

Now I know I'm crazy for suggesting this, but the time to use Grilli or Melanc...

This content is for Pirates Prospects subscribers only. Subscribers get access to all of our daily articles on the Pirates and their minor league system, with live coverage throughout the system on a daily basis. Our lowest rates are $2.22 per month under our Top Prospect Plan, which also gets you a 40% discount on the 2017 Prospect Guide. Subscribe today to access all of our daily coverage of the Pirates' system.

If you're already a member, you can log in below. If you think you're receiving this message in error, please e-mail tim@piratesprospects.com.

First Pitch

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

More in First Pitch

First Pitch: What the Lower Level Talent Gap Says About the Pirates’ System

Tim WilliamsApril 6, 2017

First Pitch: The Best Way to Evaluate Defensive Shifts

Tim WilliamsApril 5, 2017

First Pitch: Breaking Down the Pirates’ 2017 Payroll

Tim WilliamsApril 4, 2017

First Pitch: Two Players Who Could Impact the Pirates the Most in 2017

Tim WilliamsApril 3, 2017

First Pitch: Taylor Hearn’s Development Includes Video of the Best Lefties in MLB

Tim WilliamsMarch 8, 2017

First Pitch: From Walt Weiss to Clint Barmes to Jordy Mercer to Kevin Newman

Tim WilliamsMarch 3, 2017

Pirates Prospects is an independent media outlet, and is in no way affiliated with the Pittsburgh Pirates, their minor league affiliates, Major League Baseball, or Minor League Baseball.

Copyright © 2016 Pirates Prospects