pen vs. rotation is a chicken vs. egg problem imho, and I am sure that there are a lot of “gut feelings” about what needs to be fixed out there…
Appearances indicate that the pen is more of an issue now (team ERA 1st half 3.85, 2nd half 4.71) vs the rotation (1st half 4.59 2nd half 4.00); however, if one looks at opponents BABIP during those spits, the rotation opponents BABIP dropped from .313 in the first half to .284 in the second half, whereas the bullpen opp BABIP was raised from .301 in the first half to .322 in the second half.
So does lady luck have anything to do with it and the team is due for a correction (and the last couple of starts were a sing of correction for the rotation -towards the wrong way- and we should expect a correction -towards the right way- for the pen?) Possibly. The pen opp BABIP in August has been an insane .367, where that of the rotation jumped from a low .274 in July to an average .291 in August.
Are personnel changes necessary?
The rotation got a boost by the Liriano for Livan change. Even though it has been an up and down situation, I am not sure that there are better options out there for the remainder of the season.
As far as the pen goes, I think that Guerrier will rebound, since he has been very unlucky this month (opponent BABIP July .300, August .522; and any way you cut it, those numbers indicate that there is more than ‘overuse’, ‘tired arm’ etc.) It is still amazing to see Bass with the team. Bringing Korecky up for middle relief (* what is that Gardy garbage that ‘Korecky has to develop a change up before he makes it to the majors’ while Bass has no plus pitches, btw?) and keeping Boof for mop up work exclusively when the game is out of reach with the hope that he might turn it around next season, might help a lot for the remainder of this month.
Overall is a bit frustrating to see large leads lost, but I think that no major changes are needed (and even if there were needed, they could not happen) at this point…