Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley banter about the Blue Jays’ hot streak and playoff outlook and the meaning of clutchness, then meet major leaguers Andy Ibáñez of the Rangers and Janson Junk of the Angels. After that (37:07), they’re joined by Rob Mains of Baseball Prospectus to discuss the state of starting pitching, the future of pitcher usage, and the ebb and flow of competitive balance in MLB.
- Toronto's playoff odds going from 5% to 50% over the last 2 weeks (0:55)
- Defining, understanding, and believing in 'Clutchness' (11:10)
- The rate of players making their majors debut in 2021 (19:40)
- Meet a Major Leaguer: Andy Ibáñez (22:14)
- Meet a Major Leaguer: Janson Junk (27:58)
- The current state of starting pitching and how their innings load is lower than ever (37:07)
- How do you define a starting pitcher in 2021? (40:00)
- The factors that led to the current state of things (41:20)
- How injury concerns are affecting all pitchers, not just starters (44:05)
- The changing value distribution between starters and relievers, as well as between pitchers and position players (46:42)
- The aesthetic concerns surrounding how pitchers are used and if things could swing back without rule changes (51:54)
- Will we see new roles emerge among relievers going forward? (57:35)
- Does Rob lament the state of things? (59:30)
- Potential rule changes to adjust pitcher usage and prevent injuries (1:02:33)
- Competitive balance observations (1:05:06)
- Meg discusses her preferences for how the AL standings end up, preferring Toronto to go onto a deep run over the Mariners, despite her former life as a Mariners fan.
- Meg makes a very pronounced sigh when Ben uses a strained Star Wars analogy to talk about following the career of prospect Michael Baumann.
- Meg, on choosing debut players because of their name: "I'm going to corner the market on funnily named Angels starters. I've moved on from intestinal distress, (snaps fingers) this is my new beat!"
- It's noted that while Janson Junk doesn't throw junk, fellow rookie Kutter Crawford does throw a cutter.
- Both hosts note how great 2021 has been for player names.
- Effectively Wild Episode 1745: The State of the Starting Pitcher
- Link to Michael Baumann on the Jays
- Link to Mike Baumanns podcast
- Link to AL East playoff odds graph
- Link to Levi Weaver on Ibáñez’s debut
- Link to Ibáñez on his call-up
- Link to Junk’s FG Audio episode
- Link to last part of Rob’s starter series
- Link to last part of Rob’s TTOP series
- Link to Rob on limiting pitcher usage
- Link to FiveThirtyEight on pitcher usage
- Link to Twins’ seven-man rotation
- Link to Ben on bullpenning
- Link to Russell Carleton on bullpenning
- Link to Ben on pitching prospects
- Link to Gerald Schifman on options use
- Link to Russell on four-man rotations
- Link to Russell on six-man rotations
- Link to Russell on swingmen
- Link to Russell on one-inning relievers
- Link to Rob on mobility vs. inequality
- Link to Rob on competitive balance
- Link to Ben on “hope and faith”