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Bullpen Logic

The basics: Toast, Fatigue, and thresholds

The first thing to understand about CSFBL's bullpen logic is that there are two key components of it: Toast and Fatigue. Both are adjustable based on thresholds you set in your team's Manager page.

Toast reflects a pitcher's performance (or lack thereof). A pitcher who is performing well has no reason to be concerned about toast. A pitcher who's getting hit hard may be toast

Fatigue reflects a pitcher's wear-and-tear. As a pitcher's pitch count grows, he will start to fatigue. If a pitcher's fatigue gets below a certain threshold, he'll be pulled

You can adjust how aggressive or conservative your manager is in relation to toast and fatigue by adjusting your manager's tendencies. You set the toast and fatigue thresholds for starting pitchers and relief pitchers separately. Toast ratings range from 0 ("leave them in") to 10 ("pull them early"), with 5 being average. Fatigue thresholds range from -50% ("heavy fatigue") to 50% ("slight fatigue"), with 0% being average.

  • Note: that it's a good idea to start in the middle and work your way up or down. Setting either of these tendencies to the highest or lowest values can yield results much greater than you may expect them to!

Deciding when a pitcher is toast

CSFBL decides a pitcher is toast when his toast value is above a certain threshold. The toast value is based on:

The number of runs given up The number of players reaching base, with extra-base hits having a greater impact The number of runners in scoring position

Each of those factors combine to create the toast value; the higher the value, the greater chance the pitcher will be toast.

A pitcher's toast value is compared to his toast threshold, which is based on a fixed value plus the manager's toast setting. (Relief pitchers also consider the current inning.) If the toast value is greater than the toast threshold, the manager makes a call to the bullpen.

Beyond the toast value system are some other parameters which can cause a pitcher to be considered toast, or could override the manager's decision and keep the pitcher in the game. Among these are:

If the starting pitcher is pitching a shutout and the game is not close, or he is pitching a shutout and the game is close but there is no threat from runners on base, he will not be pulled due to toast. (This is rare.) If the current pitcher is the closer, and the game is in a save situation, and the closer has pitched less than two innings, he will not be pulled due to toast. If the current pitcher is not the closer, there is a save situation, it is the 9th inning or later, and the team has the "Always use closer in save situations" manager's setting set, the pitcher is automatically toast.

As a result, the control you have over a pitcher being pulled due to toast is directly related to your manager's tendencies.

Deciding when a pitcher is fatigued

Pulling a pitcher due to fatigue is a simpler process. Fatigue values are largely based on a pitcher's Endurance rating. Each pitch reduces some of a pitcher's Endurance (at the rate of about 2 Endurance points lost per three pitches thrown). As a pitcher's Endurance goes down, his Fatigue goes up. When the Fatigue value falls below the manager's threshold, the pitcher is considered fatigued, and he will be pulled.

There are some restrictions on when fatigue checks are made:

There are some hard caps on fatigue thresholds in the early innings to avoid a starting pitcher from being pulled earlier than necessary. (This rarely impacts the game, because pitchers who go so far in early innings usually get pulled due to toast first.) Fatigue checks for starting pitchers are only made at the start of the inning, except in the following circumstances: When it is the 7th inning or later and the game is tied, or the pitching team is winning by a nominal margin (with consideration of runners on base). Starting pitchers do not get fatigue checks until after three innings.

Deciding when to use setup men and closers

In close games, starting from the 7th inning, there are a number of situations which can cause the manager to put in a call to the bullpen to bring in a setup man or the closer. These checks are made after checks for toast and fatigue, so a pitcher may not be toast and may not be fatigued, but he still may be pulled to bring in your end-game relievers.

Generally, the decision to bring in a setup man or closer is based on game situation: how many runs the pitching team is leading by, the number of runners on base, the effectiveness of the current pitcher, and the inning.

The manager setting to "Always use closer in save situation" will bring in the closer in all circumstances where it is the 9th inning or later and it is a save situation, except when the closer's fatigue is below the "Relief Pitcher Fatigue Threshold" manager's setting. (The game will not bring in a setup man in lieu of the closer when this setting is checked and the closer is not available; however, a setup man still will be brought in to get the save if the current pitcher is toast and the closer is not available, even if this manager's setting is not turned on.)

Who gets the call from the bullpen?

Now that we decided to make a call to the bullpen, what pitcher do we call? This decision is based largely on the inning and game situation.

Each game situation has a preferred order of pitchers to bring in, based on their role (long relief, middle relief, setup, and closer). In each situation, the first available pitcher gets the call. (Available pitchers are those whose fatigue is above the "Relief Pitcher Fatigue Threshold" manager's setting.)

The preferred order taken is based on the first successful match to the criteria below:

9th inning or later and save situation: CL-SU-MR-LR 7th inning or later, game is close (+/- about 3 runs, considering runners on base): SU-CL-MR-LR 5th inning or later: MR-LR-SU-CL All other situations: LR-MR-SU-CL

Expect closers and setup men to come in during close games, with middle and long relievers getting the early-inning and mop-up work.

For the dual-slot roles (MR and SU), the decision on which pitcher to bring in is based on two criteria: the batter/pitcher matchup and random chance. Consideration of the batter/pitcher righty/lefty matchup, the overall skill of the pitcher, and the pitcher's R/L rating are used to determine the optimal pitcher to bring in. As a result, the dual-slot roles are good places to combine a lefty and righty pitcher. Tags: bullpen, fatigue, toast