This article is part of our Mound Musings series.
I feel like pitching has become the favorite experiment of baseball, and bullpens are the chemistry sets of my youth. Mix a little of this with a lot of that and a pinch of something else, pop on the goggles and see if it explodes. The Rays have Sergio Romo in their "rotation," while a collection of arms try to pitch the innings between the start and some point in the end game generally reserved for a closer. That may or may not work for them, but on those days, there won't be a quality start, and predicting wins is still difficult, negating much pitching fantasy value other than a possible save. Then there's the ongoing rise of the "super reliever" as teams turn to a top-shelf relief pitcher to bridge between short leash starters and the more traditional set-up guys and closers. Pitchers like Andrew Miller, Chris Devenski and Archie Bradley generally have some fantasy value, but their contributions can be erratic and hard to predict.
Playing musical chairs out in the bullpen
Already this season, we have seen closer scenarios changing or at least potentially changing. Relief pitching has become an ever-increasing part of success in major league baseball. Very few teams have five reliable starters. In fact, there are teams that would be hard-pressed to pencil in more than a couple of regular starting pitchers who can be expected to generate positive innings on a consistent basis. True quality relievers are becoming more important, but it's