Schad wrote:Let's use a real-by-god example here, and one that makes sense given that the Rays really pioneered the opener thing. Ryne Stanek started 50% of his appearances last year. Did well. His mix is a maxed-out FB/SL/SF combo, which is lethal in smaller doses, but if he has to back off the fastball for a longer stint, the FB/SF differential shrinks, and the movement on the slider diminishes. He's much better in shorter appearances, but not a world-beater at the back of a 'pen; he's a 7th/occasional 8th guy. Using an opener has made him a really valuable asset that gets through the toughest hitters an opponent has with enough regularity that he's probably going to 'start' more games than anyone has for several decades, with good numbers. That's a good use of his talents.
But I almost feel like it’s a self fulfilling prophecy. It’s like openers can’t through a changeup when they’re openers but they’re openers because they can’t throw changeups and they can only throw for two innings, three max because they’re openers but because they’re openers they can’t throw for more than two or three innings.