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Why "Benchwarmer" Baseball?

Benchwarmer Baseball - it has a meaning.  And the "benchwarmer" is someone you want to avoid if you want to win.


Everyday Lineups and You Need a Bench...

You play a 25-week season in Benchwarmer Baseball - 150 games.  It's a long haul from April to September.  When you put a team together, you're trying to field a complete lineup - 9 hitters, a 5-man starting rotation, and a 5-man bullpen.  In our scoring formula, each game is a separate occurrence.  So, what players do in Major League game number 5 or game number 76 will have a direct correspondence to what happens to your team in Benchwarmer game number 5, 76, 17, get the picture.


So, each day, you need to have a complete lineup.  What happens if your starting catcher pulls a hamstring?  What if your DH is a platoon player in real life?  In Benchwarmer Baseball, you have a 5-man bench.  IF you have a backup catcher and IF he played in the game your starter misses, he'll fill in that spot in the lineup.  BUT, if you don't have a guy to fill in for that game, you get the dreaded "Benchwarmer Batter."  The Benchwarmer is not a guy you want to see.  He'll go 0-for-5 and, even worse, will commit two errors in that game.


Your pitching rotation is similar.  Your 5-man rotation needs to pitch regularly in order for them to appear in your games.  (Now, since pitching is different, we don't make them play in the exact same game number - and there are allowances in the system if they skip a start or two).  Your 5-man bullpen needs to be complete.  You'll only need your closer if your starting pitcher lasts 8 innings...but if you get only 4 innings (or less) out of the starting pitcher, you're going to need that 5th reliever.  Hopefully he's not sitting in the minor leagues in real life.


If you don't have a starting pitcher ready to go (and they can only pitch once every 5 games), you get the dreaded "Pinesitter Pitcher" who may be even more of a buzz kill than the "Benchwarmer."  The "Pinesitter" has a pitching line of 3 IP, 5 H, 5 BB, 0 K, and 5 ER.  In the same way, if you're short a reliever, you're going to get hit by the Pinesitter there too.


What's the effect of this?  You need to pay attention to your entire team.  And - just like Major League teams need a guy on the bench who can play multiple positions, you'll find the value of the utility player and the long reliever.  Benchwarmer Baseball is a game where Chad Pinder and Daniel Hudson can actually be valuable.


In some cases, you may have to make tough decisions.  If you've got one or more players sitting on the disabled list for a long time, maybe you've got a guy in the minors you can bring up to replace him.  Maybe you can go out and sign a free agent.  But if you don't have the room on the roster, or enough cash to sign a new player, you may need to cut someone...


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