Midday Mailbag: How should relievers be used? - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Midday Mailbag

Midday Mailbag: How should relievers be used?

Photo Credit: Reggie Hildred-USA TODAY Sports


Every weekday, I’ll be answering at least one Orioles question. If you’d like to submit a question, send it to: [email protected]. Questions may be edited for clarity, length and style.

Question: Which strategy works best over the long run — riding a relief pitcher who is effective, or sticking with defined roles? Is Bruce Bochy’s approach only best for unusual series like the playoffs? It’s hard to deny his success there. From: Vic Laws

Answer: Vic, I think overall defined roles for relief pitchers are the way to go for the regular season, but managers in the postseason often use the bullpen more often and use individual relievers for longer stints. Since a team never plays more than three games in a row, bullpen usage is much different. You’re right, you can’t deny the success of Bruce Bochy in the postseason. He seems to have a knack for picking the right pitchers in the right spots.

Question:  I have a question about starting times for games.  On Sundays, games in the Eastern time zone in the major leagues start just after 1:30, while minor league games in the same time zone start just after 1 p.m. I seem to remember Sunday games in Philadelphia and Baltimore starting just after 1 p.m. on Sunday but don’t remember when or why teams switched to the later start time. From: Alan Robinson

Answer: Alan, Sunday game times changed to 1:35 p.m. in the Eastern time zone in 2022 when Major League Baseball signed a deal with Peacock for games that began at noon or earlier. The idea was to give 90 minutes of exclusivity to those Sunday telecasts. The deal with Peacock has expired and MLB is looking for a partner for early Sunday games, and that’s why Sunday game times remain at 1:35 p.m.

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