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Thread: Arroyo as closer?

  1. #1
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    Arroyo as closer?

    General assumptions:
    1. Almost any closer is good enough to close games at a 70-80% rate.
    2. It is better to have an effective middling starter than an effective middling closer.
    3. Relievers almost always "find" an extra few mph on their fastballs because they need not save their stuff for later in the game.
    4. It is a fools' errand to spend real money on a closer unless said closer saves games at a 88% rate or better.
    5. In the history of baseball, failed, faded, stuff-starved, or older starters often find remarkable success as closers, as evidenced by Dennis Eckersley, Rick Aguilera, Mudcat Grant, Jason Isringhausen, and, of course, Mariano Rivera.

    Specific reasoning:
    1. Arroyo is a sunk cost and cannot be traded.
    2. The Reds will have at least five starting candidates likely to perform better than Arroyo, in Cueto, Bailey, Wood, Leake, Volquez, Willis, perhaps Chapman, and others that may be acquired.
    The move of Arroyo to closer would open the door for Chapman to be groomed as a starter.
    3. Arroyo's control would assure that few runners get on base via the walk.
    4. Arroyo's unorthodox pitching sequence, arm slot, and offerings would be difficult to hit, especially after facing "stuff" pitchers all game. (Of which the Reds have many)
    5. Arroyo has an arm that is made for logging innings. This likely means he could handle the stress of pitching multiple days in a row.
    6. Arroyo has the experience and mindset to be unflappable in tight situations, which should mean he'd be good at forgetting poor nights.

    Thoughts?
    "You can learn little from victory. You can learn everything from defeat."
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  3. #2
    Member 757690's Avatar
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    Re: Arroyo as closer?

    It worked for Eckersely. Very similar pitcher.
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

  4. #3
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Arroyo as closer?

    I don't hate it, but Arroyo would have to turn his back on his primary strength which is gobbling up innings. Can he pitch back to back days? Would it be too demoralizing if he came in and gave up game tieing or winning homers, cause it would probably happen a lot?
    Last edited by mth123; 07-30-2011 at 04:21 PM.
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  5. #4
    Member hebroncougar's Avatar
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    Re: Arroyo as closer?

    All those HR's sure would not look good in the bottom of the ninth.

  6. #5
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Arroyo as closer?

    Is he going to not throw meatball fastballs for strikes? That seems to be a problem with him being in the game period, regardless of where he appears.
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    Re: Arroyo as closer?

    Arroyo's career HR rate is very similar to Eckersley's HR rate as a starter.

    The long ball, while a problem for Arroyo as a starter, should theoretically be minimized by being able to air the ball out for a short period of time rather than an entire game. (See argument in opening post.)

    Too, his rubber arm should prove just as valuable (as also discussed in the opening post) as a closer than as a starter.
    "You can learn little from victory. You can learn everything from defeat."
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    "Show me a good loser and I'll show you an idiot."
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  8. #7
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    Re: Arroyo as closer?

    He'd see it as a demotion, but I wonder if he could be a Scott Sullivan type. You could count on for two or three good innings every time to get you to the setup and closer.

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    Maple SERP savafan's Avatar
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    Re: Arroyo as closer?

    Quote Originally Posted by BCubb2003 View Post
    He'd see it as a demotion, but I wonder if he could be a Scott Sullivan type. You could count on for two or three good innings every time to get you to the setup and closer.
    He'd be an expensive middle reliever.
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  10. #9
    Haunted by walks
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    Re: Arroyo as closer?

    Quote Originally Posted by savafan View Post
    He'd be an expensive middle reliever.
    Understood, but he'd be an expensive #6 starter. In terms of sunk costs, put him where he'd do the most good.

  11. #10
    High five! nate's Avatar
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    Re: Arroyo as closer?

    Quote Originally Posted by BCubb2003 View Post
    Understood, but he'd be an expensive #6 starter. In terms of sunk costs, put him where he'd do the most good.
    In the Cardinals starting staff?

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  12. #11
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Arroyo as closer?

    If Arroyo goes to the bullpen, I see no reason why he should close. There are better options. It's not like he's suddenly going to be able to bring the heat.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    Re: Arroyo as closer?

    If asked only to throw in one inning stints, he'd probably be able to bring it at 91-93 mph.

    Not exactly blazing, but, mixed with that frisbee slider, the Uncle Charlie curve, and the weird arm angles, he'd be more like his old self (and Eck).

    Too, I'd prefer those better options (Ondrusek, Masset, et al). to be used in high leverage situations in the latter innings, while Arroyo plays with a blank slate 9th inning.
    "You can learn little from victory. You can learn everything from defeat."
    -- Christy Matthewson
    "Show me a good loser and I'll show you an idiot."
    -- Leo Durocher

  14. #13
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    Re: Arroyo as closer?

    He's got the haircut for it.
    I have a love-hate relationship with Albert Pujols. Mostly hate.

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    Re: Arroyo as closer?

    I think I'd have to make it a demotion at this point nd just use him in the long roles. Don't see it haoppening though at that salary. I think he starts as long as he's a Red.

    As for closer? I'm torn on Chapman. On one hand, i would like to see him given a shot at starting. He could become a dominant one and that is where the club would get the mist vakye fir him,

    On the other hand, I tend to wonder if starting wouldn't cost him MPH and also cause him more problems with walks. I believe as a closer, he could become dominant for a decade or more and retainhis velocity better. I believe going back to the rotation might be a longer process than some think (a full year (2012) in AAA and 2013 before he starts to produce in that role for the Reds). Closing, I believe, would be easier for him and come pretty naturally. And while I don't disagreethat closing is somewhat over-rated, he'd be damn good at it.

  16. #15
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    Re: Arroyo as closer?

    My first reaction was that you are insane.

    My second reaction is that maybe, just maybe, so am I.


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