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: Toast and Fatigue You can adjust how aggressive or conservative your manager is with Toast and Fatigue by adjusting your manager's tendencies on the Manager's 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.

  • Toast ratings range from 0 ("leave them in") to 10 ("pull them early"), with 5 being average.

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 will be pulled.

  • Fatigue thresholds range from -50% ("heavy fatigue") to 50% ("slight fatigue"), with 0% being average.

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!

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 these 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. 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 current pitcher is the Closer, the game is in a save situation and the Closer has pitched less than two innings, he will not be pulled due to toast.
  • It is the 9th inning or later and it is a save situation. The current pitcher is not the Closer and you have the "Always use closer in a save situation?" manager's setting set to “Yes”, the pitcher is automatically pulled.

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 (EN) 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 will be pulled. Starting pitchers do not get fatigue checks until after three innings.

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.
  • The pitching team is winning by a nominal margin, (with consideration of runners on base).

Deciding When to Use Setup Men and Closers

In close games, starting from the 7th inning, there are several 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 both toast and fatigue have been made, so a pitcher may not be toast and may not be fatigued, but still may be pulled to bring in your end-game relievers.

The decision to bring in a setup man or closer is based on the game situation:

  • How many runs the pitching team is leading by.
  • The number of runners on base.
  • The effectiveness of the current pitcher.
  • The inning.

The manager setting to "Always use closer in save situation?" will bring in the closer in all circumstances when it is the 9th inning or later and it is a save situation. The only exception is when the closer's fatigue is below the Relief Pitchers Fatigue Threshold manager's setting.

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 a 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

For the dual-slot roles (MR1/MR2 and SU1/SU2), the decision on which pitcher to bring in is based on the following criteria:

  • Consideration of the batter's R/L matchup.
  • The overall skill of the pitcher.
  • The pitcher's R/L rating.

As a result, the dual-slot roles are good places to combine a left-handed and right-handed pitcher.