Darren Everson of the Wall Street Journal recaps some of the unconvential strategies that managers are using this year, none of which are all that old. These strategies include batting the pitcher eighth or having a reliever move to the outfield temporarily. But at least one idea isn't getting used.
But if [Brewers GM Doug] Melvin had his way, the Brewers organization might be even more progressive. He has another counterintuitive idea: using relievers to start the game, and delaying the "starting" pitcher's entrance until the third inning or so. The thinking is that starters are typically among a team's best pitchers, yet nowadays they often pitch only through the fifth or sixth inning, well before many games are decided. By having them pitch later, they'd be around for the higher-leverage innings.
The idea would need to be tested first in the minor leagues, Mr. Melvin says. The only problem, it appears, is that it's too unconventional. "I can't get anybody to do it," he says.