Joel Peralta, RHP
gotta love the batting practice meme here


I don't see this term on Urban Dictionary, so:

innings eater

A starting pitcher, formerly with a 95 MPH fastball, now throwing 89 MPH.  Uses his "knowledge of how to get hitters out" to run an ERA slightly worse than league average.  A lesser evil at #5 SP if your choice is a pitcher from Australia.

If CC Sabathia can stay healthy, he may be able to eat another 200 innings for the Yankees.

by jeffclarke238 Feb. 10, 2016



What's odd is to see such a pitcher in middle relief.  The Mariners' spring battle now shapes up as:

FINISH = Cishek, Benoit

LEFT = Furbush, one other guy (Hultzen, Nino, Paxton or Montgomery)

THREE MIDDLE RIGHTIES = 3 draws from the deck of:

  • Justin De Fratus
  • Ryan Cook
  • Tony Zych
  • Evan Scribner
  • Joel Peralta
  • Jonathan Aro

Several of those guys stand to make $1M or more if they make the cut.  An unusual collection of "names" that sputter into town with 1/4 on the gas tank.  

... and it's only 2 of those 6 guys who make the squad, if DiPoto makes good on his threat to consider Nate Karns in the bullpen.  This always bemused Dr. D.  He rolled out for his junior high basketball team, looked around at all the cool dudes, and thought "How do I push past ALL these guys?!" ... well, imagine being Ryan Cook or Joel Peralta for a moment.  Don't forget to "imagine" everything you've done at the highest levels.  Now you're one of 7 guys just trying to make the last slot on the squad?

Must be weird.



Peralta has a cringe-inducing fastball but a wipeout splitfinger.  I mean, the fastball is minus, the spitter, er splitter, is plus-plus.

Start with the splitfinger in this video.  Peralta can still do this at will, and he throws that pitch a good 40-50% of the time.

Here's another split, the #3 pitch in this video.  It's even worse.

The problem comes when he throws anything else.  Look at the first two pitches -- fastballs -- in the above vid.  Or, this video - Ender Inciarte (of all people) has zero problem getting on top of Peralta's best fastball, even though it is thrown shoulder-high.

So, Peralta spends his time trying to make pitches like this work.  Because of the lethal splitfinger, they sometimes do work.

And he throws a mushy change curve.  Here, he saves a game with one.  That pitch, that situation ... we trust you're getting the gist when we talk Innings Eater.  If not, here's an article on his use of foreign substances to stay above the grass and out of the MLB cemetery.  Here's another one on his use of Guile to prop up the lackluster fastball for another year or two.



Peralta ain't my idea of aesthetics in sports :- ) but it's true that he's only one year off those 74:15 and 84:17 strikeout ratios.  He wasn't throwing real hard when he got those results, either.  So he had most of 2015 off, and we figure the M's are looking for a bit of sharpness in his command.  There isn't any Non-Negotiable reason that Peralta couldn't throw the way he did for the Rays -- which was, like a poor man's Joaquin Benoit.

's what March is for, I guess.  You get two surprises out of this situation ... let's say, Ryan Cook and Danny Hultzen ... and slap me silly you've got a 2014 Mariners bullpen.  DiPoto believes in bullpen spaghetti-against-the-wall and he's certainly throwing a LOT of it.  :- )


Dr D



Nathan H's picture

I'm more squeamish at the idea of bouncing a starter in and out of long relief than what seems to be the prevailing opinion 'round these parts. The Brandon Morrow debacle kinda cemented the queasiness at such a situation for me. 

However, I believe the thought process is, and please correct me if I'm wrong youse guys, is that the role of long relief ain't that much different from starting. You still need to be stretched out more than an average RP because the expectation is that you throw multiple innings each time you break the plane of the bullpen door. In case of injury, it wouldn't take much to stretch a long reliever into a starter. That, plus, as a bullpen arm in the majors you're throwing against MLB'rs rather than AAA'rs and the more experience one has against Major League talent, the more likely one is to figure out how to get Major League talent out.

Outs are important and if your #6 starter is better at getting outs than your #7 relief pitcher, if you want a better shot to win games you put the better pitcher out there.

I might argue that the impact of a #7 relief pitcher vs. a #6 starter is negligible enough to warrant keeping #6 starter's rhythm and habits consistent but, if'n you have a roster crunch and #6 starter is out of can see the arguments, right?


- My opinion is that I'd rather have a 6-man rotation but that's just silly 'ol me. -


Earl's Fourth Law:  the place for a rookie starter is in long relief.

1.  He learns the league.

1a.  The lack of pressure allows him to think and actually learn.

2.  He doesn't hurt the team while he's learning.

3.  The lack of stress on his arm is good for his career.  (Earl kept SP's healthy for 250 IP at a crack.)

As against Earl's opinion, you have the opinions of 90% of the baseball world -- who believe precisely this, that starters need to be 'stretched out'.  Lou Piniella was particularly in this camp.

For me, the factor that trumps others is --- > a period of light usage during that critical under-age-25 phase.

OBF's picture

If Zych, and Scribner, and cook and Chisik and De Fratus and and and are all throwing like gang busters, then that gives you the luxery to stash Paxton and or Kerns in Tacoma.  If they all fall flat you will need those guys in the Pen


While I would really rather that they both start somewhere... I think Paxton would be the choice for the pen for a couple reasons.

1. Paxton probably has the lower innings cap for this year (my guess of 180 innings tops) versus Karns of probably 200 innings

2. Paxton may benefit from throwing less innings early to build up the strength in the finger / fingernail as well as other body parts... even with the loss of weight.

3. While Dipoto only wants 2 lefties in the pen, I still wonder IF Furbush will be at full strength to start the year... and how many innings Charlie will be allowed to throw based on last year's injury.

4. I really really want to start to hear all the hype start early on what a STUD Paxton is from the national media as soon as possible... and that won't happen in Tacoma. 

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