Pirates Discussion: The Mindset of the Opener

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.




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

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Why is it we constantly bring in PHs who are hitting 50 BA points worse than those they hit for?


Disagree with KY. Reynolds played it right. He could have got back to first if CF caught it because he had laid out on the ground in CF diving for that ball. Thought it was good chance to go to third but Varsho made an incredible throw to 3rd.


Why is Hayes not at 3B?


A scheduled day off.




Day off, I assume


Madris getting OJT four plays in a row. He’s making good decisions, can’t defend a perfect bunt by Rojas.


Okay I’ll admit it, I could be wrong about Madris. Maybe he’s not better than VanMeter defensively.


Gallen is dealing tonite. Beede was very good, he has a big arm, lot of experience, validated why I wanted to see him starting in the second half. Very good waiver claim by BC.


As much shit as BC gets for his dumpster diving, i really think its worth it in a lost year like this year to find talent on the margins. This is probably his last chance other than maybe 1-2 roster spots next year


I think that it could be said that Beede has as good if not better pitches than Keller. He needs to command it better, which is not an easy thing to do.


Trivia question. What Major League Baseball team clean up hitter tries to bunt with two outs and no one on base? Hint? One that has no business batting fourth.


So far so good for Mr. Beede 👍👏👍


Another game without JVM starting. Good sign 🙂


I agree and think VanMeter should have been gone a long time ago but is anyone even noticing that so far at least Madris, while better on defense, has been no better and has actually been worse offensively in many ways. Same basic batting average (around .200) in little more than half the ABs as VanMeter with 1 home run in 80 ABs. Is that really acceptable first base or corner outfield production?

I know he’s young give him a chance, but he’s never hit for power with 1 HR on average every 45 ABs throughout the minors and there’s no reason to expect that to change. VanMeter needs to go but Madris is not the answer I’m afraid.


I am not super hopeful about Madris being much different than Ben Gamel eventually. I liked the pick when we drafted him, but he has failed to hit for power. I see him as a 4th, 5th outfielder, or occasional 1st baseman.


I don’t think Madrid is a long term 1B answer on this team. With Martin showing he probably isn’t ready to take over the 1B reigns anytime soon, I’m really hoping the BC uses some of the prospect capital he has built up to find a long term option at 1B this winter. A team like KC has two top five 1B prospects ready for prime time next year { Pratto & Pasquantino) and could surely use some middle infield/ outfield additions?


Not opposed to a highly ranked prospect, but would prefer an MLB tested/proven first baseman. Assuming we are going to try and win in 2023.


This is probably my 3rd time writing this, but Arizona has hinted at trading Christian Walker, I really like him.


Hadn’t read other threads, so that’s interesting. He is a super 2, only has 2 years of arbitration in 23 and 24, might discourage BC efforts.

Wilbur Miller

MLB tested/proven first baseman

Of course, BC’s idea of this is VanMeter.


This would be very interesting, would you give up peggy and more for them? Honestly I would be intrigued


Pasquantino has raked every year of the minors, pratto has big power but lower hit tool and is a 70 defender, I could be happy with either based on having cruz at SS (defense becomes more important imo). Looks like peggy and a lower level flyer could be about right based on baseball trade values


Looking ahead to what relievers are still on this team going into the offseason. I have to think the Pirates would like to see Beasly-Oviedo-Bolton and Contreras up before the end of the season, all but Bolton are on the 40 man but it will take some maneuvering to get them all on the active roster even with 2 September call ups.
I have to think Ramirez and Stout could be on the option bubble. I could also see Peters going in the 60 day DL at some point.
Most likely to make it through the offseason IMO

De la Santos

On the Bubble



Longenhagen gave his ranking of the prospects traded at the deadline and Holderman was 19th with an FV of 40+ and this comment:

“Power sinker/slider reliever. Third bullpen banana on a competitive team”

It’s nice to think that we might have the kind of bullpen a competitive team has.


I saw that too! Thinking he is probably our 3rd to 4th option right now gives me some positive feelings for next year


I think Bañuelos is doing a good job and is easily the best lefty option.


I would hope they target someone real in FA for that spot, but realistically needing more than one LHRP would make manny a good option in my mind


Chafin is in my way to early FA shopping list.


I like Beede, and I really like the idea of an opener. But this isn’t an “opener” role, it’s an all out bullpen game with no starter coming on following the first relief pitcher. Service time manipulation for Roansy is obnoxious, but even putting that aside… Why not promote Cody Bolton? Miguel Yajure has struggled this year, but he’s looked solid his last two times out. Why not try some of the starting pitching prospects in AAA, as opposed to draining the bullpen on a regular basis with these 6 pitcher games??

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Problem there is those Triple-A pitchers themselves wouldn’t necessarily offer much of a break. Yajure only just pitched 5 innings five days ago for the first time in a month. And that’s not considering he’s also had a very up-and-down season as you mention. Bolton on the other hand has been moved more into a multi-inning relief role to limit his innings. He hasn’t thrown more than 3 innings since June 10th, and hasn’t even eclipsed 2 innings since June 28th.


So let’s see the Pirates trade away their top SP so that they can now go to an opener… How about that…


Our top pitcher would be gone after this year anyway so…..


I don’t know if it was the game plan or the execution, but he looked unsure in his last outing, lost confidence on his fastball right away and couldn’t locate his breaking pitch…. He has a five pitch arsenal, needs to slim it down to 3. Will like to see 4 seam, change today with the curve.


Any explanation from the front office as to why Contreras is continuing to remain in triple A while Beede is getting to start?


Just to answer your question, assuming it was genuine, I think their reason, and there is a lot of suspicion to it, is that to get him to pitch through to the end of the season they felt it was best to lighten his load in the middle of the season. I don’t know if that is at all legit, I can see that you may want a young guy to go a whole season, while at the same time you don’t want to put a lot of innings on his arm. I can also see that in AAA a pitcher can do some experimenting with things that they hope to carry back to the majors later. My point is that this does seem like service time manipulation, and given the past history it is fine to not buy managements other reasons, but I also don’t think it is entirely unreasonable.


We all know the REAL answer. I could care less what management says is the reason.

I can only hope they will pencil in Contreras to start in SF on Saturday since he can safely come up this weekend and play out the season without being a Super 2 player in a couple years.


Nobody knows the REAL answer bc nobody is considering second, third, and fourth order consequences of these decisions.


Because minor league innings don’t wear on a guys arm


He is only pitching 4 innings in AAA from what I have been seeing.

Wilbur Miller

Beede didn’t even last two before, so that’s a pretty shaky rationale. Roansy would put less strain on the bullpen.


Not when he takes a bullpen roster spot. He’s a starter with an asterisk; pitch counts, innings counts, stress pitches, etc. There is nothing guaranteeing four innings every five days. If he has one 30 pitch inning, they’re pulling him and now you’re bullpen is fucked for what could be multiple days. There is almost no upside to putting him or the team in this situation.


I could see If they used Roansy in the pen to have him up again.


That’s prob the last thing I would do.


Last time out, Beede was on 2 days rest after pitching 3 scoreless. Hopefully this time out will be like his previous 6 outings in July when he had rest in between appearances.


I am not optimistic about Beede.


I haven’t been optimistic about any Bucco since the 8th grade picnic!

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