Brad Mills’ bullpen usage


The Astros are 1-1 and coming off an impressive Saturday night victory so I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining for complaining sake but I already have an issue with Brad Mills’ decision making. I knew before the season that eventually something Brad did would bug me to no end, it’s just part of the process. I did, however, expect that one of my whines would evolve over the summer not two games in. Seeing Mills make a pitching change in a 7-3 ballgame with 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth and no runners base, bugged me to no end. What added to my frustration was that he played matchups during a blowout but the night before he let Fernando Abad face one of the best righthanded hitters in baseball during a one run game. Bullpen usage is a big hot button for me and I predicted that would be the first topic I’d cry about, once the season got going, so I’m certainly not surprised I nearly lost my mind last night.

The reality is we haven’t seen any of the more prominent Astros relievers so far, minus Fernando Rodriguez on Friday, but most of these guys have been with the Astros before and Mills should know how to use them. I won’t buy the excuse he is learning his staff. If there is one thing we know about Mills it’s that he loves his matchups which isn’t bad thing but I get a sense we are going to see quite a few more head scratching moves over the next 160 games. I came into the season ready to give Brad the whole campaign for me to create any time of judgement and I’m perfectly happy doing so. Last season was difficult to stomach at times though, watching Brad Mills make double switches that made zero sense and pitching moves similar to the first two nights of this season but the question if it was him or a higher power gives him a blank canvas in my book.

It’s to long a season to lose all my marbles after two games but I can see a trend developing with Brad and I don’t like it. I’ve seen it develop for two years now but I’ll let this play out and simply complain as the moments happen. This is by no means a FIRE Brad Mills article, don’t get me wrong, I want to see him manage a bunch of kids this season and see how he treats them. Plus all managers have their beliefs that make zero sense, except to them. Today is a new day and maybe he is really just trying to find the ideal bullpen combination and we won’t see many more instances like last night and Friday night. That said, I noticed a few less hairs on my already balding head this morning and it certainly wasn’t because I paid six dollars for a coke at the ballpark last night.