Felix Pena, Ryan Yarbrough show pitching in bulk can be a winner

first_imgYarbrough is glad to be part of the organization that was first out of the gate.”Like we saw last year, everyone was like, ‘This is ridiculous, outrageous,’ and then obviously you see a lot of teams starting to use it this year because they see how successful it has been, so, just kind of being in the forefront of all that is really great,” he told SN. “They’re just trying to put us in great position to win ballgames, and that’s really all you can ask for from a front office.”This article has been updated with quotes from Ryan Yarbrough, who spoke with SN’s Joe Rivera at Yankee Stadium. Felix Pena typically leaves the game in the middle innings when he pitches, but Friday was not a typical night.First, the memory of Pena’s late Angels teammate Tyler Skaggs was pushing him to succeed; second, he was pitching hitless ball, and the pitcher who preceded him, Taylor Cole, had done the same.  After Pena’s fourth inning of work — the top of the sixth — a no-hitter watch was on. Would LA manager Brad Ausmus decide that Pena had done enough and then turn the game over to his late-inning relief crew? MORE: Watch ‘ChangeUp,’ a new MLB live whiparound show on DAZNAusums decided to go old-school — as old-school as a combined no-no can be, anyway. He kept sending Pena to the mound, and Pena kept working hitless frames. Ausmus gave Pena the ninth.On his 81st pitch of the game, Pena retired the Mariners’ Mallex Smith on a grounder to second. The combined no-hitter was complete. So was the greatest opener game in the year-plus history of the strategy. Cole and Pena’s reign almost ended two days later.Sunday in Baltimore, Rays left-hander Ryan Yarbrough was three outs away from finishing the first combined perfect game in baseball history. His regular tag-team partner, Ryne Stanek, set the stage by retiring the first six Orioles batters. Like Pena, Yarbrough was in his seventh inning of work. Unlike Pena, he could not finish. He allowed hits to the first two hitters in the ninth and left one batter later. Tampa Bay couldn’t preserve the shutout, either, as the O’s pushed across a run.The Rays will take the eventual 4-1 victory just the same, and though they failed to make history, they did draw more attention to the strategy they introduced last year and that other teams are adopting — slowly — this year.♦♦♦The opener attracts heat from players, pundits and fans who believe that giving the ball to a horse who can work into the late innings is still a better plan. Those critics probably dismiss the idea that the pitcher who follows the opener can also get the game to the setup man and closer, or, in Pena’s case last weekend, finish the job.Pena had several factors working in his favor Friday night: He was given a big lead early and he was throwing too well, in Ausmus’ estimation, to be lifted. His seven innings pitched tied a season high. Still, Pena has worked into the seventh or later five times in 13 bulk outings.Yarbrough definitely knows how to pitch in bulk. He threw 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball in the first opener game, May 19, 2018, in Anaheim, and he has combined with Rays openers to go seven or more innings in eight of his 25 career bulk appearances. He had not worked into the ninth until Sunday, but with a perfecto on the line and with his pitch count modest (76 through six), Rays skipper Kevin Cash stuck with him.Those performances are on the extreme high end for opener games, though. On average, opener-bulk tandems max out around the sixth inning, just as today’s regular starters do. SN has indentified 99 opener-bulk games, or 3.5 percent of all MLB game starts, this season through July 15. The chart below shows just how closely the tandems’ stats track with the average results of the other 96.5 percent of game starts.STATOP+BULKAVG SPIP/game5.555.42BF/game23.6123.10ERA4.414.47WHIP1.3111.308K/97.938.50League average begins to look really good when a team — the Angels, say — doesn’t have enough quality starting pitching. LA used an opener-bulk tandem 18 times through July 14, about the same number of turns as a mid-rotation starter. The comparison to the team’s non-opener starters is striking: STATOP+BULKLAA SPIP/game5.834.97BF/game24.2221.51ERA4.715.46WHIP1.1811.356K/99.008.56The Rays, on the other hand, have been excellent in both settings this year. Their tandems put together a 2.42 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in an MLB-most 29 games (5.51 innings per game) through July 15, while the traditional starters had a 3.09 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP in 67 games (5.79 innings per game).♦♦♦The Angels moved Pena into a bulk role in April after he made four starts to begin the season. Even though Friday was unusual for many reasons, it was also a typical night, for these reasons:— He began with a clean inning after replacing Cole. Pena has not entered a game mid-inning as a bulk reliever.— His first batter was the Mariners’ No. 7 hitter, Tom Murphy, rather than the leadoff man, Smith. Pena has faced the No. 5 hitter or lower first in 10 of his 13 bulk outings; the other three appearances began with the No. 4 hitter. — He faced 22 batters in all, just two over his season average as a bulk reliever. The only batting order spots he faced a third time were seventh, eighth, ninth and first.Those last two points go to the heart of what teams try to do with bulk relievers: keep them away from the top of the order in the first inning, when the most runs historically are scored, and the third time through, when slash-line averages spike.MORE: White Sox will limit Dylan Cease, who plans to become a workhorseIt seems clear from the numbers that the Angels are most interested in giving Pena an easier “start” by having him follow an opener. He has a career 6.00 first-inning ERA and .815 first-inning opponents’ OPS; only his ninth innings (7.41 ERA, .936 OPS) have been worse. His third-time-through numbers as a starter are excellent (.580 OPS in 81 plate appearances).The Rays, as originators of the opener strategy, are more nuanced in using Yarbrough and their other primary bulk relievers, Jalen Beeks and Yonny Chirinos.— They set up Yarbrough, a left-hander who doesn’t throw hard, to follow the flamethrowing right-hander Stanek.— Yarbrough can enter the game anywhere from the first to the third, depending on matchups, and Cash will hook him quickly if necessary. As evidence, Yarbrough’s bulk innings this year range from two to 6 1/3.— Yarbrough has faced batters a third time in just two outings, and for only eight batters total. He faced 21 hitters Sunday, well above his 14.6 season average for bulk games. In contrast, he’s averaging seven innings and 27.75 hitters in his four starts.Yarbrough’s focus, naturally, is just on getting outs. “It’s basically the exact the same,” he told SN on Tuesday of bulk relieving and starting. “The only difference is I’m coming in in the second or third inning; that’s the only difference. I’m throwing bullpens in between, just like a starter would. I’m coming to the field later, like a starter would. It’s just a matter of coming in later in the game, not starting the game.”♦♦♦There is one other similarity between Pena and Yarbrough, and they share it with the bulk of this year’s bulk relievers: They don’t have a lot of major league service time. Pena was at one year, 79 days coming into the season, while Yarbrough accrued a full season as a rookie last year.Of the 36 bulk relievers who pitched in games through July 15, 30 had less than three years’ service time prior to 2019. The exceptions: Edwin Jackson, Wade LeBlanc, Tommy Milone, Drew Smyly and Angels hurlers Trevor Cahill and Nick Tropeano.Using less-experienced (and mostly less-hyped) pitchers increases the likelihood of buy-in into this innovative plan. Stanek (one year, 38 days prior to 2019) told reporters last year that he’d rather be opening in the majors than pitching in Triple-A. There’s also a monetary benefit to teams that go that route. Pitchers working in these roles don’t get to accumulate large counting numbers other than wins (Yarbrough had 16 last year as a swingman), and wins are supposedly passe among the fancy-stats folks who are running clubs. Those pitchers won’t, in theory, be able to make strong cases when they reach salary arbitration.♦♦♦Sixteen MLB teams, more than half the 30 clubs, used an opener through July 15, per SN’s research. They’ve treated opener games mostly as tandem starts rather than as advancements in bullpenning. Four teams — the Rays, Angels, Mariners and Yankees — accounted for more than two-thirds of all opener games (67 total).That’s why it was said at the beginning of this article that the strategy is catching on slowly, but maybe teams should speed things up. Those four clubs are a combined 42-25 (.627 winning percentage) when an opener goes — and when a bulk reliever follows.last_img read more

Sunday feature: Wellington junior high building’s paranormal activity to get national attention

first_imgThe ghost storyBoth Vargas and Tooman can’t pinpoint how many ghosts may be lurking at the junior high. They have confirmed three, and don’t doubt that there may be more. Vargas said one prominent ghost is of an old Wellington High School secretary who worked in the school system in 1928, but was killed going to school by a train passing by on 10th Street, during the days when trains would pass through there. She was beloved by the students, Vargas said. And her ghost still resides at the Wellington Junior High.The most prominent ghost, and the subject of the television special, is a janitor who worked at the junior high building and died in the early 2000s.Tooman said there are two type of ghosts, the ones who are not as smart as the others, and go about their business not realizing there are living humans around them. The second group of ghosts are the smart ones – those who know not only of human activity but can make contact with the living. One of those ghosts is the janitor.Both Vargas and Tooman grew up in Wellington and spent their junior high years knowing the janitor. He did not die at the junior high, Vargas said. But his ghost has come back to guard the junior high building.The “My Ghost Story” camera man used people to illustrate the ghosts during production.Vargas knows this by a series of interviews the paranormal group have had with the ghost using flashlights. Vargas said the flashlights were set up in a way to as to make it impossible for them to flicker on or off by natural causes. The group got together to ask the ghost specific questions about his life. The ghost would answer by flickering the light of the flashlight.Vargas said she did do some research on the janitor in question and asked specific questions about events and people in his life. The ghost consistently answered the questions correctly with the flicker of the light.The ghostly activities tend to occur in specific locations at the junior high. Vargas said Wellington Community Theater people have noticed paranormal activity in the balcony of the theater for years while practicing for productions. The ghosts tend to also congregate in the gymnasium and the bomb shelter in the basement.Tooman, who joined Paranormal Investigations three years ago, said there were so many incidents happening in the junior high building that the group specifically targeted it for investigation.“I remember one time I was sitting in the theater talking to someone, not even paying attention,” Tooman said. “I had laid a flashlight on the floor. And it lit up for no apparent reason. My friend told me the flashlight just came on. I decided then that I better start paying attention.”There have been several strange occurrences. One time a ladder appeared to be falling during a theater production, but it was placed back up on its legs as if someone was there to catch it. Yet no one was there – at least by the naked eye.There was an incident of a shadow figure in the girls locker room in which a shadow was caught on video and then disappeared.“There was no reason for there to be a shadow figure in that location,” Tooman said. “I saw it with my own eyes. Then I went home and saw the video which confirmed my suspicions. Another young boy, who I hadn’t talked to, confirmed the same thing to his mother that night.”There were many other activities like the pounding of the walls, and hearing multiple voices. Paranormal businessParanormal Investigations of Wichita are not the only ones looking at the junior high building, nor has the building been the first to be investigated in Wellington for ghostly activities.Just this month the group Moonlight Ghosts Hunts Inc. in Wichita asked the school board if it could take a group of 20 on a tour on Sept. 27 in search of ghosts.Vargas said her husband Darren won’t walk alone at night in the junior high building because of the strange sounds and sights.Tooman said even back when the junior high was holding classes, several people had strange feelings about the building.“I remember I would get in and out of the bathrooms as quickly as possible when I was growing up, because there was just this eerie feeling about it,” Tooman said.Even so, Tooman described herself a skeptic of paranormal activity at first. Her husband, who has had a lifetime of paranormal experiences, would always tell her about the events in his life and she would not believe him.“But then I really got hooked when the ‘Ghost Hunters’ show was on TV,” Tooman said. “Then I hung out at the Stanley Hotel in Colorado when they were filming about ghosts there and I became a believer.”Tooman said since then she has observed too many things that makes it impossible for her not to believe.Wellington has a rich history of paranormal experiences.Most notably, the Chisholm Trail Museum in downtown Wellington – the old Hatcher hospital – has had several reports of ghostly adventures which have been documented. Other buildings such as Memorial Auditorium, the Regent Theater, the Bales building, the Buckman building, and the Smith building have all recently been investigated for paranormal activity.And paranormal searches aren’t just about videos and flashlights. There are a wide gamut of instruments from electromagnetic field meters and thermometers that can identify cold spots within a room. These instruments have been used at the Wellington Junior High to verify the ghosts’ existence. Nationwide, ghost-hunting has experienced a boom due to shows like My Ghost Story, Most Haunted, Ghost Hunters, etc. Ghost hunting tours have exploded as national phenomenons. According to a gallop poll in 2005, 32 percent believe in ghosts. by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — The Wellington Junior High building and its paranormal ghostly activity within will be the subject of a national cable show this Monday at 8 p.m. The television show “My Ghost Story” will be on the Biography Channel — channel 200 on the Sumner Cable system, Channel 119 on Dish Network and 266 on Direct TV. It will be tell the tale of the old vacant school and the janitor lurking within.Carrie Tooman with Lisa Vargas.Wellington residents Lisa Vargas and Carrie Tooman of the group Paranormal Investigations of Wichita have been investigating the ghostly activities at the old junior high building for years. Outside the ghosts, the building is basically vacant except for a few athletic and Wellington Community Theater activities.Tooman called the producers of the Biography Channel in 2012, with ample evidence that the ghostly tales of the junior high was worth telling an inquiring nation.The producers agreed. In December, Vargas and Tooman were flown to Los Angeles for two days of interviews. Then a week later a camera man flew in from California to film on location for over nine hours.The story will be presented Monday night as part of “My Ghost Story” season premiere. The girls don’t know what to expect. They like the rest of us have not seen the episode. But they expect it to be about 15 to 20 minutes in length and run in conjunction with two other haunting stories on the 60-minute program. Vargas and Tooman are hosting a small watch party to commemorate the event.  Whether the ghosts at the junior high building will see the episode has yet to be determined.center_img Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (19) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. -14 Vote up Vote down Guest · 364 weeks ago Slow news day Cueball? More “positive attention” for Wellington. What is it they say..any attention is better than none at all? And what is a “latter”? A good read/laugh on an otherwise slow Sunday morning. Report Reply 3 replies · active 364 weeks ago +4 Vote up Vote down Old friend · 364 weeks ago Congrats Carrie. You worked really hard for this and you deserve it! Report Reply 0 replies · active 364 weeks ago -1 Vote up Vote down Guest · 364 weeks ago I was abducted by aliens once… 🙂 Report Reply 0 replies · active 364 weeks ago +11 Vote up Vote down Nobody · 364 weeks ago Believe or don’t believe, it’s pretty cool to see your hometown on tv. Carrie has worked incredibly hard to make this happen. I am so happy for her. Cool stuff Report Reply 0 replies · active 364 weeks ago +18 Vote up Vote down Proud outsider · 364 weeks ago How is this negative attention? It is not a story about the hapless school board, a guy killing his newborn, a meth lab blowing up, a weird cat law, a minor caught drunk driving, or yet another business closing. It is about a couple of people that were able to get a national television show to do a story about a building in town. It doesn’t reflect badly on the town. I congratulate the two ladies and their effort. Slow news day? When is not a slow news in Wellington, KS? Unless you count school sporting events, the weekend garage sales, the occasional semi plowing through the roundabout, and the daily police blotter, there usually is no news here. I don’t mean that as an insult to Tracy and crew. I think he does a great job. As far as “latter” goes, you ever make a mistake there, guest? Report Reply 0 replies · active 364 weeks ago +6 Vote up Vote down anon · 364 weeks ago Can’t wait to watch! Great story! Report Reply 0 replies · active 364 weeks ago +9 Vote up Vote down casper · 364 weeks ago Guest just because its not what you find news worthy is not the issue. Readers read the cow to be o formed as well as entertained. Great job to all involved. Sometimes a light hearted i ntrest story is better than hearing about the local school board, city council or the heat. Report Reply 0 replies · active 364 weeks ago +1 Vote up Vote down Guest · 364 weeks ago Not everyone believes in ghosts. But I will be watching the show. Geez – chill out. All in good fun. Anyone been abducted by a UFO? I’m all for infotainment. Report Reply 0 replies · active 364 weeks ago +11 Vote up Vote down CueballSumnernewscow 94p · 364 weeks ago You are right Guest not everyone believes in ghosts. But I don’t know too many people who don’t like a good ghost story. And this one seems pretty good. I can’t wait to watch the show tonight. Report Reply 0 replies · active 364 weeks ago +6 Vote up Vote down Wes Smith · 364 weeks ago Good story Cueball, nice change from the usual rederick. Should have a viewing party at the old Junior High for it. Report Reply 1 reply · active 364 weeks ago 12Next » Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new commentslast_img read more

“Conservation Of Sharks And Ray Is Cardinal”

first_img“The conservation of sharks and ray is cardinal to Liberia and the world at large,” says.-Stressed NaFAA DDGTS The Deputy Director General for Technical Services at the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) has stressed the importance of the conservation of sharks and ray in Liberia.Speaking on Friday, November 22, 2019 during the 2nd National Plan of Action for the conservation of sharks and ray in Liberia, Mr. William Boeh said the continuous conservation of sharks and ray across Liberia indicates that Liberia is in full compliance with international fisheries protocols.“The conservation of sharks and ray is cardinal to Liberia and the world at large, therefore it incumbent upon all of us Liberians with support from our International partners to protect those fisheries,” stated NaFAA Deputy Director for Technical Services William Boeh.Mr. Boeh challenged stakeholders to ensure the full implementation of the National Plan of Action for the conservation of sharks and ray across Liberia.Making presentation during the stakeholders meeting, Augustine Fayiah, Project Officer at the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) Liberia, pointed out that restoring the populations of sharks is important and can yet deliver ecological surprise.Fayiah said sharks play an important role in the ecosystem by maintaining the species below them in the food chain and serving as an indicator for ocean health.Fayiah mentioned that the blue shark is the most heavily fished shark in the world with annual global catch estimates of around 20 million individuals each year.Stakeholders in attendance at the one-day NaFAA and EJF National Plan of Action for the Conservation of sharks and Ray at the Mesurado Pier included the Forestry Development Authority, University of Liberia, Stella Maris, Co-Management Association (CMA), Liberia Artisanal Fishermen Association, Liberia National Coast Guard, as well as the Liberia Maritime Authority, among others.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more