Brewers Will Try Inverse Starts at Class A-Brevard County

Remember when Doug Melvin hinted at his idea of switching pitcher alignment around in an article a few months ago? He suggested using relievers for the first three innings and then bringing in the scheduled 'starting pitcher' to come in and complete the game.

Well, it looks like Doug is going to be bold enough to give the theory a try at High-A Brevard County, according to a story on

The theory is a little different than we might have projected. The benefit would appear to be that better pitchers would be pitching in higher-leverage situations later in games. Apparently, there's another benefit as well- teaching young pitchers a "complete game mentality".

Beginning this week at Class A Brevard County, relievers will start games before turning it over to the "starters" in the third or the fourth.

By starting the starter later in games, the Brewers hope their young players develop a "nine-inning mindset" by the time they reach the Majors.

Apparently, a reliever is going to start for the rest of the week from here on out. Jeremy Jeffress and Zach Braddock, two promising pitchers at Brevard, threw in a doubleheader today. Other potential starters at Brevard are Chris Cody, Alex Periard, and Gabe Gross tradee Joshua Butler.

So it's an interesting idea any way you look at it. I like the reasoning behind it. Obviously, we're a long way from anyone attempting it at the major league level but I think this is a step in the right direction for forward, innovative thinking.

Edit: I found the link of the article I was referring to. It's from the Wall Street Journal. Here's what he said then:

But if Mr. 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.

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