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?