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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 10/29/19

Huntington’s departure from Pittsburgh; the advantage of using fewer relievers; what Max Scherzer’s absence means

MLB: World Series-Houston Astros at Washington Nationals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

FanGraphs | Craig Edwards: Neal Huntington was finally let go from the Pirates amid that very suspicion heading into the offseason, and you can’t say it was 100% his fault. He made some key, incorrect moves over the years, but owner Bob Nutting has failed to increase payroll like other small market teams have done when in their contention cycle, like the Brewers or Indians. I can’t say I’d feel optimistic about the next GM under those circumstances; or, after their next rebuild.

Baseball Prospectus | Jeff Wiser ($): It’s just correlation, but teams that use more relievers, on average, do worse as a team. There are reasons for that, like with the Mariners, where the corps is weak so it’s natural to assume that more would be used. But with others, this could lead to overuse, and it’s why the league’s reliever ERA was higher than starters’. This could mean that aces are the answer, or it could just be reflecting the reality of how the bullpen is writ large.

The Ringer | Michael Baumann: The Nationals’ season is on the line, and one reason is that Max Scherzer was scratched from Game 5 with a back spasm so strong that he “locked up,” in his own words. He got a cortisone shot on Sunday and could pitch in a theoretical Game 7, but it doesn’t matter: Stephen Strasburg needs to perform tonight,