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Thread: I think we've found our new closer

  1. #46
    Member redsfandan's Avatar
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    Re: I think we've found our new closer

    Quote Originally Posted by Unassisted View Post
    As Brantley pointed out during the game, several of Chapman's previous bad outings have happened in cold weather. Should we be surprised that a pitcher who grew up on a tropical island might not pitch well in winter weather? It is a worrisome pattern for the playoffs.
    If he has that big of a problem pitching in cold then he'd be useless as either a closer or a starter on cold days/evenings.
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  3. #47
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: I think we've found our new closer

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
    Among players that hold on to their jobs, it's not quite that much of a difference. But compared to the bottom quartile of closers that are typically rotated out of their jobs (whom I would consider 'replacement level'), it's roughly 95% compared to 80% (ish).

    We can't assume that all of those games would be lost, though. After all, giving up a pair of runs with a 2-run lead is a blown save, but that's not to say your team doesn't win the game in the bottom of the 9th or in extras. If you assume three losses and three wins, then one could look at it as a closer being three wins above replacement.

    Last year, there were 30 pitchers that had more than 3 WAR as starters with Verlander being 7 WAR.

    I'm not suggesting 6-7 saves isn't a big deal. But I'm suggesting it's not as big a difference between the best starters and their replacements.
    OK. So lets say its 3 Wins. If last year their was only 30 starters with more than 3 WAR, then the difference between a good closer and an average closer is the same difference between one of the top 30 starters (a number 1 by some definitions since there are 30 teams) and a replacement level starter. Still seems like a much bigger deal than people want to make it out to be.

    Now, I know WAR won't bear this out, but if 6 or 7 blown saves would translate to 3 wins becoming losses, then it ends up the same in the team's actual record and that's really all that matters.
    Last edited by mth123; 05-06-2013 at 07:16 AM.
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  5. #48
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    Re: I think we've found our new closer

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    OK. So lets say its 3 Wins. If last year their was only 30 starters with more than 3 WAR, then the difference between a good closer and an average closer is the same difference between one of the top 30 starters (a number 1 by some definitions since there are 30 teams) and a replacement level starter. Still seems like a much bigger deal than people want to make it out to be.

    Now, I know WAR won't bear rhis out, but if 6 or 7 blown saves would translate to 3 wins becoming losses, then it ends up the same in the team's actual record and that's really all that matters.
    This is an excellent point that many ignore.

    We use WAR to estimate how valuable a player is to his team, how much he helps them win games. WAR works best for position players, because it's impossible to go game by game and add up the precise amount that they helped their team win or lose. But with closers, we can go game by game and rather precisely figure out how much that pitcher helped his team either win or lose.

    It's silly and counter productive to use WAR for closers, since we can go game by game and figure out their precise role in the outcome of the game. Basically, if they did their job, they helped the team win, and if they didn't, they most likely helped the team lose. We can use history to calculate percentages for this. We can then compare all closers to determine a baseline, and evaluate closers by how they compare to that baseline.

    Using WAR to determine a closer's effectiveness, is like measuring a person's shadow, then calculating the time of day, has position to the sun, etc, to figure out a person's height, when you can just use a tape measure and measure him.
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

  6. #49
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    Re: I think we've found our new closer

    I'm trying to figure out where all this money is coming from:

    Chapman: 2015 - Player option for $5M or he can go to arbitration
    Latos: 2015 - arbitration eligible; 2016 - free agent
    Cueto : 2015 - team option for $10M or $.8M buyout, free agent; 2016 - free agent
    Bailey: 2014 - arbitration; 2015 - free agent
    Leake: 2014 - arbitration; 2015 - arbitration; 2016 - free agent
    Broxton: 2014 - $7M; 2015 - $9M; 2016 - team option at $9M or $1M buyout
    Marshall: 2014 - $5.5M; 2015 - $6.5M; 2016 - free agent
    Bruce: 2014 - $10M, 2015 - $12M, 2016 - $12.5M, 2017 - $13M
    Phillips: 2014 - $11M, 2015 - $12M, 2016 - $13M, 2017 - $14M
    Votto: 2014 - $12M, 2015 - $14M, 2016 - $20M, 2017 - $22M, 2018 - 2024 signed
    Ludwick: 2014 - $8.5M, 2015 - $4.5M, 2016 - FA


    At some point, some of these guys will have to be traded to keep down payroll costs. Guys like Hoover will have to become the Closer, as Chapman will need to be traded as he becomes too expensive.
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    Re: I think we've found our new closer

    Quote Originally Posted by Vottomatic View Post
    I'm trying to figure out where all this money is coming from:

    Chapman: 2015 - Player option for $5M or he can go to arbitration
    Latos: 2015 - arbitration eligible; 2016 - free agent
    Cueto : 2015 - team option for $10M or $.8M buyout, free agent; 2016 - free agent
    Bailey: 2014 - arbitration; 2015 - free agent
    Leake: 2014 - arbitration; 2015 - arbitration; 2016 - free agent
    Broxton: 2014 - $7M; 2015 - $9M; 2016 - team option at $9M or $1M buyout
    Marshall: 2014 - $5.5M; 2015 - $6.5M; 2016 - free agent
    Bruce: 2014 - $10M, 2015 - $12M, 2016 - $12.5M, 2017 - $13M
    Phillips: 2014 - $11M, 2015 - $12M, 2016 - $13M, 2017 - $14M
    Votto: 2014 - $12M, 2015 - $14M, 2016 - $20M, 2017 - $22M, 2018 - 2024 signed
    Ludwick: 2014 - $8.5M, 2015 - $4.5M, 2016 - FA


    At some point, some of these guys will have to be traded to keep down payroll costs. Guys like Hoover will have to become the Closer, as Chapman will need to be traded as he becomes too expensive.
    It would appear that 2013 & 2014 are our window of opportunity.

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    Re: I think we've found our new closer

    After 2015,, the Reds can negotiate a new TV contract. That money should jump from $30M a year to close to $75M a year. The Reds know this and have already planned accordingly.
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

  9. #52
    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: I think we've found our new closer

    Quote Originally Posted by Vottomatic View Post
    I'm trying to figure out where all this money is coming from:

    Chapman: 2015 - Player option for $5M or he can go to arbitration
    Latos: 2015 - arbitration eligible; 2016 - free agent
    Cueto : 2015 - team option for $10M or $.8M buyout, free agent; 2016 - free agent
    Bailey: 2014 - arbitration; 2015 - free agent
    Leake: 2014 - arbitration; 2015 - arbitration; 2016 - free agent
    Broxton: 2014 - $7M; 2015 - $9M; 2016 - team option at $9M or $1M buyout
    Marshall: 2014 - $5.5M; 2015 - $6.5M; 2016 - free agent
    Bruce: 2014 - $10M, 2015 - $12M, 2016 - $12.5M, 2017 - $13M
    Phillips: 2014 - $11M, 2015 - $12M, 2016 - $13M, 2017 - $14M
    Votto: 2014 - $12M, 2015 - $14M, 2016 - $20M, 2017 - $22M, 2018 - 2024 signed
    Ludwick: 2014 - $8.5M, 2015 - $4.5M, 2016 - FA


    At some point, some of these guys will have to be traded to keep down payroll costs. Guys like Hoover will have to become the Closer, as Chapman will need to be traded as he becomes too expensive.
    If you believe Chapman will need to be traded before he hits free agency I think you are a bit out of touch.

  10. #53
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    Re: I think we've found our new closer

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    This is an excellent point that many ignore.

    We use WAR to estimate how valuable a player is to his team, how much he helps them win games. WAR works best for position players, because it's impossible to go game by game and add up the precise amount that they helped their team win or lose. But with closers, we can go game by game and rather precisely figure out how much that pitcher helped his team either win or lose.

    It's silly and counter productive to use WAR for closers, since we can go game by game and figure out their precise role in the outcome of the game. Basically, if they did their job, they helped the team win, and if they didn't, they most likely helped the team lose. We can use history to calculate percentages for this. We can then compare all closers to determine a baseline, and evaluate closers by how they compare to that baseline.

    Using WAR to determine a closer's effectiveness, is like measuring a person's shadow, then calculating the time of day, has position to the sun, etc, to figure out a person's height, when you can just use a tape measure and measure him.
    Except that's not really what WAR is. It's not how many wins you'd expect a player to add, it's how many wins over a replacement player that would be expected to be added.

    Back when Mariano Rivera got hurt, (I forget who subbed in as closer) blew the first save opportunity, and someone tweeted "I heard some nerds tell me that losing Rivera would only cost the Yankees 2 wins. Well, there's 1."

    But that's not really how it works Mariano Rivera isn't guaranteed to close every game down. Over the course of the season, it is statistically predicted that he would provide about 2 wins over a replacement player.

    With closers, their role is often overstated, and tied too closely to whether or not the team wins or loses. Is it Chapman's fault if he blows a 1 run lead in the 1 inning he gets to pitch if Leake had given up 7 runs in 5 innings? Just because it's the last inning, doesn't mean that player should be directly credited or blamed for the outcome of the game. They're only pitching one inning, and often, their one inning is of lesser leverage than someone pitching the 7th or 8th inning.

  11. #54
    Moderator Plus Plus's Avatar
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    Re: I think we've found our new closer

    Quote Originally Posted by Homer Bailey View Post
    (I'm hoping) the point of the debated comment here was that Hoover's save percentage would probably be pretty close to Chapman's save percentage.

    Without having the numbers in front of me, I remember hearing that Coco's save percentage as a Red is very comparable to Chapman's.

    The point is, an absolute nails closer like Chapman isn't that much more valuable than an above average, or even a serviceable closer.
    So, just as a thinking exercise (I'm not building any strawmen here, don't worry):

    Let's say the Reds come out with a press release tomorrow and say "We have seen information that poor closers like 2011 Cordero and 200x Weathers close games at the same rate as Chapman in 2012, and have restructured our bullpen. Our new closer is Manny Parra, our Closer-In-Waiting is Logan Ondrusek,. Chapman, Broxton, Hoover, and Marshall will be used as firemen as we see fit with no defined inning role. Simon and LeCure remain as long-men."

    Would that be a more effective bullpen approach than the current structure? Why or why not? What would the true effect be?
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    Re: I think we've found our new closer

    Quote Originally Posted by Plus Plus View Post
    So, just as a thinking exercise (I'm not building any strawmen here, don't worry):

    Let's say the Reds come out with a press release tomorrow and say "We have seen information that poor closers like 2011 Cordero and 200x Weathers close games at the same rate as Chapman in 2012, and have restructured our bullpen. Our new closer is Manny Parra, our Closer-In-Waiting is Logan Ondrusek,. Chapman, Broxton, Hoover, and Marshall will be used as firemen as we see fit with no defined inning role. Simon and LeCure remain as long-men."

    Would that be a more effective bullpen approach than the current structure? Why or why not? What would the true effect be?
    I don't know. Players seem to like defined roles - especially pitchers.
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    Re: I think we've found our new closer

    Quote Originally Posted by kaldaniels View Post
    If you believe Chapman will need to be traded before he hits free agency I think you are a bit out of touch.
    Well, I left out the "for example" in my post, but it was a "for example".
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    Re: I think we've found our new closer

    Quote Originally Posted by Homer Bailey View Post
    Except that's not really what WAR is. It's not how many wins you'd expect a player to add, it's how many wins over a replacement player that would be expected to be added.

    Back when Mariano Rivera got hurt, (I forget who subbed in as closer) blew the first save opportunity, and someone tweeted "I heard some nerds tell me that losing Rivera would only cost the Yankees 2 wins. Well, there's 1."

    But that's not really how it works Mariano Rivera isn't guaranteed to close every game down. Over the course of the season, it is statistically predicted that he would provide about 2 wins over a replacement player.

    With closers, their role is often overstated, and tied too closely to whether or not the team wins or loses. Is it Chapman's fault if he blows a 1 run lead in the 1 inning he gets to pitch if Leake had given up 7 runs in 5 innings? Just because it's the last inning, doesn't mean that player should be directly credited or blamed for the outcome of the game. They're only pitching one inning, and often, their one inning is of lesser leverage than someone pitching the 7th or 8th inning.
    I actually agree with you on these points.

    I just think that we can determine with strong accuracy what influence a closer has on the outcome of each game, and that we should use that information to evaluate how effective they are.

    Here's how I see it working:

    First, determine the effect that blowing a lead by a closer has on the outcome of the game. It's not 100%, but we should be able to find an accurate number, because so little, if anything, happens after a closer does his job. Go back at historical data, and figure out what are the odds that a closer 's team loses when he does not do his job, maintain a lead (or tie). Let's just guess and say it's 75% of the time.

    Second, create a baseline, a replacement level if you will, for closers. What percentage of games would an average reliever, put into the closing role, maintain the lead? This can be done using historical data as well. Again, let's just guess and say it's 70%.

    Now we have the fundamentals needed to evaluate a closer on a game by game basis.

    So if a closer pitches in 50 games, and he maintains the lead in 80% of them, that means that he does his job 5 more times than an average reliever. (Average reliever would maintain the lead 35 times, while this closer would maintain the lead 40 times.) And since his team loses on average 75% of the time when he doesn't do his job, those 5 times translate into 3.75 wins. Thus, that closer is worth 3.5 wins over replacement, if you go on a game by game basis.

    Now, the numbers I used were completely made up, and aren't meant to represent anything. I just used them to help explain the process.

    We can't do this with position players, because there isn't a direct correlation between them doing their job, and the team winning. But there definitely is a direct correlation, even if it's not 1:1 between a closer doing his job and the team winning.
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

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    Re: I think we've found our new closer

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    Second, create a baseline, a replacement level if you will, for closers. What percentage of games would an average reliever, put into the closing role, maintain the lead? This can be done using historical data as well. Again, let's just guess and say it's 70%.
    The average closer is better than 70% I would say. Looking at team's average save % isn't very helpful, as it includes many blown saves in hold situations.

  17. #59
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    Re: I think we've found our new closer

    Quote Originally Posted by Plus Plus View Post
    So, just as a thinking exercise (I'm not building any strawmen here, don't worry):

    Let's say the Reds come out with a press release tomorrow and say "We have seen information that poor closers like 2011 Cordero and 200x Weathers close games at the same rate as Chapman in 2012, and have restructured our bullpen. Our new closer is Manny Parra, our Closer-In-Waiting is Logan Ondrusek,. Chapman, Broxton, Hoover, and Marshall will be used as firemen as we see fit with no defined inning role. Simon and LeCure remain as long-men."

    Would that be a more effective bullpen approach than the current structure? Why or why not? What would the true effect be?
    Interesting question. For purposes of the exercise, I'm going to say if Dusty is able to maximize the opportunities for Chapman (and subsequently Marshall, Hoover, Broxton, etc.) to come into the game as being the most high leverage opportunities, leaving Parra with opportunities to close the game against the bottom parts of a lineup with no one on base, then yes.

    Just swapping Chapman and Parra's roles probably makes the Reds worse. But if my choice is (situation is 8th inning, 3-4-5 due up, no one on, Reds up by 1), I want Chapman in the game. I realize no manager would likely do that, but that's what I would want. That leaves someone else to finish the game against 6-7-8.

    Obviously there are a million different scenarios that we could imagine, but the point is the last inning is usually far from the most high leverage situation of the game.

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    Re: I think we've found our new closer

    Quote Originally Posted by 757690 View Post
    I actually agree with you on these points.

    I just think that we can determine with strong accuracy what influence a closer has on the outcome of each game, and that we should use that information to evaluate how effective they are.

    Here's how I see it working:

    First, determine the effect that blowing a lead by a closer has on the outcome of the game. It's not 100%, but we should be able to find an accurate number, because so little, if anything, happens after a closer does his job. Go back at historical data, and figure out what are the odds that a closer 's team loses when he does not do his job, maintain a lead (or tie). Let's just guess and say it's 75% of the time.

    Second, create a baseline, a replacement level if you will, for closers. What percentage of games would an average reliever, put into the closing role, maintain the lead? This can be done using historical data as well. Again, let's just guess and say it's 70%.

    Now we have the fundamentals needed to evaluate a closer on a game by game basis.

    So if a closer pitches in 50 games, and he maintains the lead in 80% of them, that means that he does his job 5 more times than an average reliever. (Average reliever would maintain the lead 35 times, while this closer would maintain the lead 40 times.) And since his team loses on average 75% of the time when he doesn't do his job, those 5 times translate into 3.75 wins. Thus, that closer is worth 3.5 wins over replacement, if you go on a game by game basis.

    Now, the numbers I used were completely made up, and aren't meant to represent anything. I just used them to help explain the process.

    We can't do this with position players, because there isn't a direct correlation between them doing their job, and the team winning. But there definitely is a direct correlation, even if it's not 1:1 between a closer doing his job and the team winning.
    I see what you're saying, and I used to think along the same lines. However, that is just not the way I see it today. Again, you're tying the outcome of the game entirely on the closer, when the closer actually has a very small impact on an overall game. I a 9 inning game, a closer has an impact on 1/18th of it. Just because it's the last inning doesn't mean that you can blame (or credit) the pitcher for the outcome of the game. What about the reliever that gave up a lead in the 6th inning? Or the reliever that caused the lead to shrink from 3 runs down to 1 run before the closer got in, and then the closer subsequently blows it?

    The effect can seem very black in white just because it is the last inning, but in my opinion, it is greatly exaggerated.


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