Bullpen management difficult with expanded rosters
CHICAGO -- Indians manager Terry Francona said that managing a bullpen in September can be difficult because matchups with opposing hitters can become almost irrelevant.
"You have so many players in September, and part of what it can do is with your matchup guys, you can almost eliminate them," said Francona, who called on seven relievers in Friday's 3-1 victory over the White Sox.
"One year I had Chad Bradford and Mike Myers, and the whole month of September I could hardly use either one of them because you bring them in and [the other team] can bring in three-for-one because some teams had 10 guys on the bench."
Francona added that while having 15 relievers in the bullpen isn't the best scenario, the Tribe's plethora of relief help can be very helpful if a starter isn't able to go deep into a game.
"It's not the most ideal scenario for us, but with the situation that we're in, if we ever got into a game or two where we had early exits, if it saves us a game, that might be enough, he said."
That proved true for Friday's game, when starter Danny Salazar -- who is on an 80-pitch limit per start -- neared that limit in the fourth inning. The Tribe's bullpen yielded one run over the next 5 1/3 frames to close out the victory.