When teams decided to use relievers for the first inning of a baseball game, it helped the team in a few ways. For starters, relievers are able to get more batters out in a shorter amount of time than starting pitchers (pitchers). This allows the bullpen to get out of the game sooner than they normally would, but also gives the starter a chance to get out of the inning and take a breather. Also, by using this strategy, the bullpen is able to be used in multiple innings if needed.
Baseball Opener: Started by the Tampa Bay Rays
With a.99 runs differential in 2018, the Rays had a strong bullpen. Wade Davis was back, though he only threw two innings in 2018. It was really the relief corps that saved the bullpen. The relievers worked a 1.15 ERA, an increase of.12 runs compared to 2017. With the strong bullpen, the Rays averaged 9.5 runs scored in 2018.
What is the Point of a Baseball Opener?
In football, the point of the opening drive is to set up the offensive scheme and get the game going. Sometimes, teams have their best defenses in the first quarter, but they don’t use them because the game is out of reach due to the poor start by the offense. So they counter with their best players.
The New York Yankees in 2019 Began Using an Opener
More Teams Will Adapt this Strategy in 2020
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