Now Commenting On:

Porter stresses need for long reliever in 'pen


KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- When it comes to constructing his bullpen, manager Bo Porter says having someone capable of pitching in long relief is crucial. In fact, Porter prefers to have a pair of long relievers to avoid wear and tear on the bullpen.

"It's something I've always stressed and I've always believed in," he said. "It saves your staff when you do have that unfortunate start as a starter and he gets in trouble early. You're not blowing through guys in the bullpen. You're able to bring in a guy who's stretched out and has starter experience, and he's able to go two or three innings, which saves a bullpen and gives you a chance to win."

Last year, former Astros manager Brad Mills wasn't a believer in having a long-relief pitcher. The Astros will be in the American League this year and, with the exception of Interleague games on the road, won't have pitchers batting, so long relievers will be able to eat up innings without being burned for a pinch hitter.

"The real game starts when the starting pitcher comes out of the game," Porter said. "The best decision a manager is going to make is when to take a starting pitcher out of the game, because it's not just that game today [you have to be concerned about]. A lot of times as a manager, it's a decision you make in the fourth inning who you will bring into that game that's going to affect the next two to three games."

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español