|Summary: What are the various pitching roles, and when are they used?|
The starting pitcher is the initial pitcher you have slotted to start in the game. Ideally, the SP will pitch all nine innings flawlessly and you will win.
When you set your pitching rotation (see below), you will assign five starting pitchers to your line-up in slots SP1 through SP5. Only one starter is used per game. As the regular season progresses, each starter slot (SP1-SP5) is used a total of 32 times. Pitchers assigned to the starter role are not used in a game unless they are the assigned starter for that game.
The order in which the starting pitchers are used is also known as a rotation.
The default line-up used by CSFBL is the common 5-man rotation.
Some owners prefer to use a 4-man rotation. This can easily be achieved by clicking on the ‘Manager’ link on your team page and changing the setting in the ‘5-Man or 4-Man Pitching Rotation?’ drop down list. (Note: remember to click the ‘Save Changes’ button before leaving the page, or no change will be made) In a 4-man rotation,
each starter pitches every fourth game, with three days of rest between starts.
During the playoffs, many teams shift to a 3-man rotation. This strategy ensures that only three starting pitchers (usually your best 3) are used. To accomplish this, the manager must shift his pitchers between games to make them available to start again on a few days of rest.
In a consistently run 4-man or 3-man rotation, some pitchers will never be used. Before they get the opportunity to start a game they will be shifted by the owner to another starting slot and skipped in the rotation.
Your better pitchers are generally used as starters. They will pitch the majority of innings for your team. Endurance (EN) is more valuable for starters than relievers since they will (hopefully) pitch a lot of innings. High Endurance will allow a pitcher to throw more pitches before suffering from fatigue. Starting pitchers also need to be quality pitchers if they are going to get batters out, therefore the other ratings (PO, FI, CO, SY) are also very important. These ratings are described in the Player section along with examples of what they affect.
The Bullpen is the general name covering all the non-starters. They fulfill a variety of roles and have specific uses. Whereas a starter is only expected to pitch every fourth or fifth game, a relief pitcher can be called on at any time; i.e. multiple games in a row.
Relief pitchers in general can have lower Endurance than starters. However, good EN for a reliever is often valuable for recovering between games. The pitching ratings of relief pitchers might be less than starters, but quality relief pitchers are valuable, especially in certain roles.
All reliever roles will get some playing time. In the current game engine, none of them can be completely ignored. A good Closer (CL) is probably the most valuable, but quality relievers in the other slots can be useful for maintaining leads, or keeping a game close while waiting for the offense to contribute and score some runs.
The Closer position is best for a good pitcher who might not have great EN. The CL is used in the late innings of close games, usually when your team in clinging to a narrow lead. You want him to come in, get outs, and finish (close) the game. A CL will not pitch a lot of innings, but they will be valuable innings. How often your CL is used is directly related to the user-defined ‘Manager’s Tendencies’, Always use closer in save situation?. If this option is turned on, your CL will be brought in to finish up nearly every game in which you are leading by about three or less runs.
A bullpen has two set-up men. They are usually used in the 7th and 8th inning in close games. They "set-up" the win, bridging the gap between your starter and your closer. Set-up men get used various situations even more than middle relievers, and often pitch fewer innings. This is a good place to consider keeping a right-handed and left-handed pitcher.
Middle Relief (MR)
A bullpen has two middle relievers. They are typically used in the middle to late innings when your team is ahead or behind by more than few runs. They are also in situations when a starter has faltered and there is a need for a situational pitcher change; i.e. changing from a right-handed to a left-handed pitcher to face a left-handed batter. Situational use is one reason to consider having one left-handed and one right-handed middle reliever.
Long Relief (LR)
The long reliever comes in when a starting pitcher falters early. This role might not draw your best reliever, but if this pitcher is effective in preventing further scoring by the opposition, maybe your offense can get you back into the game. This pitcher also tends to pop up at odd points; extra-inning games and situations where you have already used your other pitchers. Long relief is a good role for young, unproven talent
In the two-pitcher roles the batter/pitcher match-up is compared before deciding which pitcher to bring in to the game. As a result, it is often very effective to have both righty and lefty pitchers in these roles, as the more effective pitcher will often be brought in to pitch. Other factors come into play but having a righty/lefty combination in the bullpen is an effective way to manage your team.