PDA

View Full Version : Putting out fires with Coffey



Spitball
05-13-2006, 07:10 PM
Closers are usually the best reliever on the team. He typically comes into a game to pitch the ninth inning with his team ahead by three or fewer runs. Many closers regularly pitch one inning and actually have very few opportunities to stop inherited runners.

Is this really the best way to use your most dominating relief pitcher? Is this really the metaphorical fireman coming into put out the metaphorical fire? Would it not be better to use your most dominating pitcher as a more flexible pawn that is available to face batters when runners are threatening at any time?

I believe the importance on the save statstic may have placed unnecessary limitations on the best reliever on the team. I think inherited runner statistics are a more important measure of a reliever's worth yet I have a very hard time even finding them.

For this reason, I like having the Reds' best reliever, Coffey, available any time from the sixth inning and beyond. Let him be the guy that the Reds can bring into the game in the sixth inning with runners on first and second and Albert Pujols at the plate. How strategically foolish would it be to have that situation and have Coffey waiting for the ninth inning where he might be facing Miles, Bigbie, and Rodriguez?

ochre
05-13-2006, 07:35 PM
I agree. For two-three years there, I felt Sullivan was the best reliever the Reds had, largely for this reason.

redsfan30
05-13-2006, 10:54 PM
Keep using him exactly how you've been using him. He has been playing with fire recently and I'm not sure putting him in the 9th inning right now would be the best thing to do.

Rojo
05-13-2006, 11:50 PM
Bill James did something with this very thought. He came to the conclusion that two Jeff Nelson's beat one Mariano Rivera.

redsrule2500
05-14-2006, 12:13 AM
I agree. For two-three years there, I felt Sullivan was the best reliever the Reds had, largely for this reason.

I agree completely, Scott was a dependable reliver you could bring in to get out of the inning

toledodan
05-14-2006, 01:23 AM
I agree completely, Scott was a dependable reliver you could bring in to get out of the inning


plus he owned jeff bagwell!!!!!!!!!:D

Marc D
05-14-2006, 12:49 PM
Personally I wonder if Kriv isn't using Weathers as the closer for other reasons. Namely to shine him up as best we can with that "Save" stat so many GM's are likely to overpay for. All the while knowing our "real" closer is in house, young, cheap and under our control for the forseeable future. I think Kriv is capable of that kind of subtle touch and vision but then I look and see McCraken and White on the team and my faith wanes considerably.

4256 Hits
05-14-2006, 01:56 PM
Personally I wonder if Kriv isn't using Weathers as the closer for other reasons. Namely to shine him up as best we can with that "Save" stat so many GM's are likely to overpay for. All the while knowing our "real" closer is in house, young, cheap and under our control for the forseeable future. I think Kriv is capable of that kind of subtle touch and vision but then I look and see McCraken and White on the team and my faith wanes considerably.

I agree, Plus the less saves Coffey gets now may lower the amount he gets in arbitation in a couple years.

KronoRed
05-14-2006, 03:44 PM
I don't think Weathers would fetch much, even with a big save total he won't get.

Dan
05-15-2006, 08:22 PM
Wasn't that Jack McKeon's approach to using a bullpen? Use the best available guy if the situation warranted it regardless of whether it was the 6th or 9th inning?

Spitball
05-17-2006, 02:29 PM
Wasn't that Jack McKeon's approach to using a bullpen? Use the best available guy if the situation warranted it regardless of whether it was the 6th or 9th inning?

Really good point. McKeon really used that bullpen well in the right situations.

He had Sullivan to eat innings.

Gabe White or Dennys Reyes to get out lefties.

Scott Williamson when he needed a strikeout.

Danny Graves when he needed a groundball.

In 1999, McKeon employed that bullpen to its maximum because he used their strengths in situations that maximized their strengths.

TeamSelig
05-17-2006, 03:07 PM
Also, I never really understood why you would use your best pitcher for just one inning? Why not stretch out your best pitcher, and use him for 2-3 innings every other day, instead of using him whenever there is a lead in the last inning?

Spitball
05-17-2006, 03:58 PM
Also, I never really understood why you would use your best pitcher for just one inning? Why not stretch out your best pitcher, and use him for 2-3 innings every other day, instead of using him whenever there is a lead in the last inning?

Your right, and why not use your best reliever to "put out fires"? With runners on, what sense does it make to bring in a Rick White and save Todd Coffey to come into the game in the ninth with the bases empty?

To me, stopping inherited runners should be the most important numbers for relievers, and I can't even find the statistics for it. Does anyone have a link?

KronoRed
05-17-2006, 04:18 PM
Also, I never really understood why you would use your best pitcher for just one inning? Why not stretch out your best pitcher, and use him for 2-3 innings every other day, instead of using him whenever there is a lead in the last inning?
All the more reason the "save" stat should be abolished.

TeamSelig
05-18-2006, 12:18 AM
Well, I believe that you need a good reliever to end the game when you are only up by a run. But your best reliever? I'd put my 2nd or 3rd best pitcher (in the pen) as a closer. My best pitcher would be very flexible and capable of handling 3 innings if needed. I want my best pitcher in the bullpen to pitch 100 IP or close to. Second best pitcher to put out fires, stop inherited runs, etc.

Too bad we don't even have 3 quality arms to put them in those situations.

traderumor
05-18-2006, 09:04 AM
All the more reason the "save" stat should be abolished.Yes, it is about as telling as the extinct "Game Winning RBI." Sadly, so many managers use their bullpen in accordance with a "save situation." Like last night, Weathers hasn't pitched much lately, why not bring him in to keep the score at 4-2, Narron? He brings in Rick White and the game becomes a blowout. All because it was not a "save situation."

traderumor
05-18-2006, 09:07 AM
I will throw Narron a bone though with his use of Coffey. He does bring him in when the game's on the line, as he should with his best reliever. Hopefully, he doesn't change and hand him the "closer" mantle and start holding him back while other lesser relievers cough up a lead before they get to him.

Spitball
05-18-2006, 09:47 AM
I will throw Narron a bone though with his use of Coffey. He does bring him in when the game's on the line, as he should with his best reliever. Hopefully, he doesn't change and hand him the "closer" mantle and start holding him back while other lesser relievers cough up a lead before they get to him.

That was the point of this thread. Many seem to want Coffey as the closer, but surely, especially with a weak pen, the best pitcher needs to be more flexible. He needs to be a real fireman/reliever that comes in to snuff out rallies and not one that sits in the pen until the ninth to pile up saves.

Cyclone792
05-18-2006, 04:06 PM
Some BP relief pitching stats for Coffey. This is truly impressive:

Win Expectancy (WX): The probability of winning the current game, given some information about how many runs each team has scored to a certain point in the game, how many outs there are, whether there are runners on base, and the strength of each team. Keith Woolner outlined a method for computing Win Expectancy given all of these parameters in BP 2005.

Todd Coffey ranks 1st in all of baseball in win expectancy at 2.023.
----------
Expected Wins over Average Pitcher (WXL): Expected wins added over an average pitcher, adjusted for level of opposing hitters faced. WXL factors in the MLVr of the actual batters faced by the relievers. Then, like WX, WXL uses win expectancy calculations to assess how relievers have changed the outcome of games.

Todd Coffey ranks 1st in all of baseball in expected wins over average relief pitcher with 2.042.
----------
Expected Wins Added over replacement level (WXR): Expected wins added over a replacement level pitcher. WXR uses win expectancy calculations to assess how relievers have changed the outcome of games, similar to WX. However, instead of comparing the pitcher's performance to an average pitcher, he is compared to a replacement level pitcher to determine WXR.

Todd Coffey ranks 2nd in all of baseball at expected wins added over replacement pitcher with 2.317, behind only Boston's Jonathon Papelbon.
----------
Wins Expected Added over replacement level and lineup adjusted (WXRL): Win Expectation above Replacement, Lineup-adjusted.

Todd Coffey ranks 2nd in all of baseball at expected wins added over replacement pitcher that's lineup adjusted with 2.331, again behind only Boston's Jonathan Papelbon.
----------
Here's the full BP report (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/sortable/index.php?cid=18). Todd's been absolutely amazing, and hopefully he can keep it up because he's quite simply the man out of our bullpen, no question at all.

traderumor
05-18-2006, 04:12 PM
That was the point of this thread. Many seem to want Coffey as the closer, but surely, especially with a weak pen, the best pitcher needs to be more flexible. He needs to be a real fireman/reliever that comes in to snuff out rallies and not one that sits in the pen until the ninth to pile up saves.You get no argument from me there, and I've said for some time that more managers need to rethink the "closer" role, and instead put their best relievers in the game at the most critical juncture of the game instead of putting so much emphasis on what inning the game is in.

Cyclone792
05-18-2006, 04:20 PM
Spitball and tr are touching on something I've also noticed. Early in the season, I think Narron did an overall good job with his use of Coffey. There were some closing instances where I wanted to have Coffey instead of Weathers, but there's also some closing situations (read: 3 run lead in the 9th) where I'd elect to give Coffey the night off, if possible.

I'd probably break it down something like this:

9th inning: Tie game, one run lead or two run lead ... I want Coffey immediately at the beginning of the inning.
9th inning: Three run lead ... let Weathers save it.
8th inning: Tie game or one run lead ... I want Coffey immediately at the beginning of the inning.
8th inning: Two run lead ... let Weathers setup Coffey for the 9th.
7th inning: Tie game or one run lead and opposing runners already on base ... I probably want Coffey in mid inning to try to put the fire out.
7th inning: Any close game ... let Weathers start the inning, but bring in Coffey if a jam situation presents itself.

Now, all that depends on the first criteria of whether or not the coaching staff deems Coffey/Weathers available on any given night. There will be a few games when one of them will just have to be given a rest, no matter the situation, because I'd rather not blow out Coffey's arm with overuse this season.

But if they're deemed available to pitch on any given night, the above wouldn't be a bad strategy, IMO.

TeamBoone
05-19-2006, 12:30 PM
Marty was ranting after Coffey put two runners on base.... there you go folks; that's what you've been screaming for. Worked out well, didn't it?

TeamBoone
05-19-2006, 01:34 PM
05-19-2006


CLOSER FOR A DAY - The math was simple, as far as Narron was concerned.

The Reds had grabbed a 9-7 lead with a four-run top of the seventh, and he needed to navigate three more innings. Todd Coffey and David Weathers would be getting the ball; it was just a question of configuration.

Coffey normally would have gotten the call for the seventh and eighth, but he had thrown 31 pitches in a long seventh inning Wednesday night. Weathers, meanwhile, hadn't pitched since Sunday. The decision made itself, Narron said.

"We couldn't send (Coffey) out there for two innings today, so it just worked out where Stormy pitched two and Coffey had the end of the game," Narron said.

Weathers allowed one run in the eighth and Coffey began the ninth by leaving a pitch up to Sanchez, who doubled to left to put the tying run in scoring position. But the big right-hander coaxed three consecutive groundouts to end the game and earn his first save of the season.

This does not, Narron emphasized, signify a change in closers.

"Read into it that if one of them is rested and one of them has been used, we'll try to do the same thing again," said Narron.

Coffey reiterated his usual stance that he'll pitch anywhere, anytime, but it was clear that his juices were flowing after things got tight in the ninth.

"That was definitely interesting," he said. "Got a heartbeat going there. I left a pitch up, and he hammered it. From there, it was just a battle. Good defense in the infield right there wins that game."

http://news.cincypost.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060519/SPT05/605190325/1027

Spitball
05-19-2006, 06:24 PM
Nice input, Cyclone.

TB, I didn't see that article. Thanks for posting it. I like Narron's flexible thinking with bullpen roles.

As soon as he is healthy, I think Mercker could add another dimension to the late inning pitching.