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Thread: Closer for 2012

  1. #31
    Flash the leather! _Sir_Charles_'s Avatar
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    Re: Closer for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by nate View Post
    Another way of looking at it: don't overpay for someone who gets a lot of "saves."
    I agree. And as I said, I think Cordero will sign for considerably less than people think.

    In the end, given a similar number of opportunities, most relief pitchers will get the job done.
    We've seen time and time again, that this just isn't really true. Not in THAT particular role. Why? I have no idea, because you'd think that the numbers would translate to the closer situation...but for some reason, they don't.

    I'll take the stuff every time. It will eventually become experienced. The experienced won't regain the stuff.
    Again, I agree. But for some reason, Dusty won't give anybody else the opportunity to attempt to close out games. Personally, I thought Masset could've handled it if given a chance. But he was pretty disappointing this year...in a closers role, it would've been even MORE disappointing I'd think.

    Yes we do.
    Who? Who is it that you think is the in-house candidate to replace Cordero as the closer?
    2014 predictions:
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    Bruce/Votto neck and neck MVP race (neither takes it)
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  3. #32
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Closer for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by _Sir_Charles_ View Post
    We've seen time and time again, that this just isn't really true. Not in THAT particular role. Why? I have no idea, because you'd think that the numbers would translate to the closer situation...but for some reason, they don't.
    Just curious, but do we have data on this? I know that's the common refrain, but most of examples I'm aware of are one where a guy struggles and then is immediately removed from the role, thus denying him the larger sample that would bear out the decision. Essentially, it's a bias in opportunity backed by a narrative.

    I look at a guy like Kyle Farnsworth who would previously have been placed in the "isn't cut out for it" box but who has been among the best closers in baseball this year. I wonder, how many other guys got that label but never had the chance to show that it was just a bad stretch like every pitcher goes through from time to time.
    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.

  4. #33
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Closer for 2012

    I hope the Reds just use Chapman at this point. As a starter, he'll be just be another question mark when more certainties are needed. I'd just as soon save the financial and trade resources for the rotation. Not only would I let Cordero go, but I'd deal Masset or possibly non-tender him since I think he'll get over $3 Million in arb.

    Three rightiies (Arredondo, Ondrusek and Lecure), three lefties (Bray, Horst and Wood) and Chapman closing. They'll have plenty of pen candidates to rotate through with minor league free agents and kids taking a step forward (Boxberger for example). Guys like Fisher, Smith, Maloney and Burton may be back as alternatives and possibly Volquez has a spot as a 6th starter if he's back. The more I think about it, the more I think the Reds should just go with what they have and focus on the rotation.
    Last edited by mth123; 09-05-2011 at 08:19 PM.
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  5. #34
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    Re: Closer for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    Who do you like, nate, as closer?
    Well, I don't like the idea of closers or, for lack of a better term, "Accumulators of Save Statistics." (there's an acronym!) I would have a bullpen by committee. I like Rick's idea of Volquez to the bullpen. I also think Bray and LeCure have been pretty good this year. I think if there are needs in the bullpen, they can be addressed better than by resigning Cordero.
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  6. #35
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    Re: Closer for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by _Sir_Charles_ View Post
    I agree. And as I said, I think Cordero will sign for considerably less than people think.
    How much is that?

    We've seen time and time again, that this just isn't really true. Not in THAT particular role. Why? I have no idea, because you'd think that the numbers would translate to the closer situation...but for some reason, they don't.
    No, we've actually never seen it. No one is ever given enough of a chance to actually "see" that, yes, Jeff Reliefpitcher cannot pitch in situations where he might triumphantly leave the field with his teammates but somehow, can pitch in situations where he knows he'll have a bird's eye view of the action in the dugout after throwing 20 or pitches.

    Again, I agree. But for some reason, Dusty won't give anybody else the opportunity to attempt to close out games. Personally, I thought Masset could've handled it if given a chance. But he was pretty disappointing this year...in a closers role, it would've been even MORE disappointing I'd think.
    I think Masset has pitched better than Cordero this season. If Masset had Cordero's luck, we wouldn't be having this exchange.

    Who? Who is it that you think is the in-house candidate to replace Cordero as the closer?
    I wouldn't have a closer.
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

  7. #36
    Flash the leather! _Sir_Charles_'s Avatar
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    Re: Closer for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Just curious, but do we have data on this? I know that's the common refrain, but most of examples I'm aware of are one where a guy struggles and then is immediately removed from the role, thus denying him the larger sample that would bear out the decision. Essentially, it's a bias in opportunity backed by a narrative.

    I look at a guy like Kyle Farnsworth who would previously have been placed in the "isn't cut out for it" box but who has been among the best closers in baseball this year. I wonder, how many other guys got that label but never had the chance to show that it was just a bad stretch like every pitcher goes through from time to time.
    I certainly don't have data on it. I guess there may be some out there, but I was only going on memory here. So take that for what it's worth.
    2014 predictions:
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    Bruce/Votto neck and neck MVP race (neither takes it)
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  8. #37
    Flash the leather! _Sir_Charles_'s Avatar
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    Re: Closer for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by nate View Post
    How much is that?
    An actual dollar amount? I don't know, but considering his age and the fact that he WANTS to come back...I'd think the difference will be considerable.

    No, we've actually never seen it. No one is ever given enough of a chance to actually "see" that, yes, Jeff Reliefpitcher cannot pitch in situations where he might triumphantly leave the field with his teammates but somehow, can pitch in situations where he knows he'll have a bird's eye view of the action in the dugout after throwing 20 or pitches.
    I'm at work right now so I can't really research this right now, but I think this really depends on what you consider to be "given enough of a chance". I know I've seen lots of guys over the years be given a shot to be closer only to see it bomb after a few months. Most teams can't afford to allow a bad reliever stay in the closer role for more than that without a huge amount of backlash from the fanbase. If I get some time later this evening, I'll see if I can get some actual names & numbers though.

    I think Masset has pitched better than Cordero this season. If Masset had Cordero's luck, we wouldn't be having this exchange.

    I wouldn't have a closer.
    That's more than likely true. But until he's given a shot at the different role, we'll never know.
    2014 predictions:
    99-63 WS champs (Cards take 2nd WC, Mil 3rd, Pit 4th, Chi 5th)
    Bruce/Votto neck and neck MVP race (neither takes it)
    Bailey CYA winner
    Hamilton ROY & GG

  9. #38
    Charlie Brown All-Star IslandRed's Avatar
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    Re: Closer for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Just curious, but do we have data on this? I know that's the common refrain, but most of examples I'm aware of are one where a guy struggles and then is immediately removed from the role, thus denying him the larger sample that would bear out the decision. Essentially, it's a bias in opportunity backed by a narrative.

    I look at a guy like Kyle Farnsworth who would previously have been placed in the "isn't cut out for it" box but who has been among the best closers in baseball this year. I wonder, how many other guys got that label but never had the chance to show that it was just a bad stretch like every pitcher goes through from time to time.
    Just for my part, I think there's no question it's different psychologically. Setup men lose leads; closers lose games. That's a different manner of walk back to the dugout, and while all pitchers are used to pressure to some degree, there's pressure and then there's Pressure, and not all pitchers are the same. Simply put, some guys bounce back from I Lost The Game better than others, and it's probably evident to guys in the clubhouse long before it shows up in an acceptable stat sample.

    You made a great point, though -- this is not necessarily a permanent condition. Taking golf as an example, there are plenty of golfers who gagged the first time or two they were in position to win a pro tournament who later figured out how to close the deal. But, conversely, the entire argument of "most any decent reliever can close" argues against patiently waiting for a guy to get it together. If they're interchangeable, it shouldn't be an issue to move on to the next guy in line if the first one struggles.

    Having said all that, I'm actually a proponent of the fireman-over-closer theory of bullpen management, but these days that idea gets about as far as returning to a four-man rotation.
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  10. #39
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    Re: Closer for 2012

    Honestly, my concern isn't that the Reds will go into 2012 without a closer. It's that they will overpay for a closer and this will keep them from meeting other needs.

    I'm in the camp that thinks that most pitchers can close with a certain amount of success. I think that what makes people think otherwise is the intrinsic volatility of the role. Any failure is magnified, and all pitchers, no matter how talented, fail a certain amount of times.

    As far as the psychology of the pitcher is concerned, I think Rick's point about Kyle Farnsworth is a good one. I think baseball has a tendency to label players more quickly than they should. While physical abilities aren't likely to change dramatically over the course of a player's career, psychological abilities can change more easily.

    Whole, currently undiscovered planets will one day have to be used to store the research we've done on this subject. Yet in sports we seem to want to quickly give up on a player because he isn't made of the right psychological stuff. That's what's been done with Homer Bailey, to use a familiar example. At this point I think the Reds would be silly not to consider Homer as a major factor in next year's rotation. We give up on players too easily, and when we're dealing with something as explosive as a closer's role, we really need to step back and view things logically, I think.

  11. #40
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Closer for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by tixe View Post
    Honestly, my concern isn't that the Reds will go into 2012 without a closer. It's that they will overpay for a closer and this will keep them from meeting other needs.

    I'm in the camp that thinks that most pitchers can close with a certain amount of success. I think that what makes people think otherwise is the intrinsic volatility of the role. Any failure is magnified, and all pitchers, no matter how talented, fail a certain amount of times.

    As far as the psychology of the pitcher is concerned, I think Rick's point about Kyle Farnsworth is a good one. I think baseball has a tendency to label players more quickly than they should. While physical abilities aren't likely to change dramatically over the course of a player's career, psychological abilities can change more easily.

    Whole, currently undiscovered planets will one day have to be used to store the research we've done on this subject. Yet in sports we seem to want to quickly give up on a player because he isn't made of the right psychological stuff. That's what's been done with Homer Bailey, to use a familiar example. At this point I think the Reds would be silly not to consider Homer as a major factor in next year's rotation. We give up on players too easily, and when we're dealing with something as explosive as a closer's role, we really need to step back and view things logically, I think.
    Kyle Farnsworth has been the game for 12 years now, been the closer in waiting for a couple of different clubs, and finally put it together as a 35 year old. Put me in the camp that firmly believes there is a psychological effect that makes closing much more difficult than pitching in any other inning. When you take the ball in the 8th there isn't a sense of finality. When you take the ball in the 9th, everything is magnified and if you fail the game is over.

    In no way do I want the Reds to go out there and spend major money on a closer. But at the same time I don't think they should go out and insert anyone and expect them to close. Some guys have it, some develop it as they mature, and some just don't have it.

  12. #41
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    Re: Closer for 2012

    IMO, Boxberger is the closer of the future. He was sent to the pen last year and then fast tracked. He had a rough start in AAA, then turned it around nicely. The Reds never wavered in their decision to move him there even when he started poorly in that role last year. He has shown that he can make adjustments. I believe he will at the ML level also. The .152 BAA is particularly impressive.

    That said, it is asking a lot to start someone in the closer role. For that reason I would try to retain Cordero with a two year contract. That may be all that he wants. He should be wise enough to realize that his closing days are limited. That would provide an opportunity to phase in Box in the closer role. I think Coco would be fine closing in the near term as long as he had some rest between outings. As I have said before, there is no law that all the save opps have to go to the same pitcher.

  13. #42
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    Re: Closer for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by _Sir_Charles_ View Post
    An actual dollar amount? I don't know, but considering his age and the fact that he WANTS to come back...I'd think the difference will be considerable.
    You said it with such authority that I thought you knew both how much "people think" is and what you though he'd sign for. I know neither.

    I'm at work right now so I can't really research this right now, but I think this really depends on what you consider to be "given enough of a chance".
    180 innings. Roughly 3 relief pitching seasons. See Rick's example of Farnsworth above.

    I know I've seen lots of guys over the years be given a shot to be closer only to see it bomb after a few months.
    That's not enough time since you've seen "lots," name five.

    Most teams can't afford to allow a bad reliever stay in the closer role for more than that without a huge amount of backlash from the fanbase.
    Fans affecting managerial decisions is a bit "inmates running the asylum" and a sign of poor leadership.
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  14. #43
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    Re: Closer for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandRed View Post
    Just for my part, I think there's no question it's different psychologically. Setup men lose leads; closers lose games.
    I disagree. A "setup man" can easily lose a game. A "closer" can easily lose a lead without losing the game.

    That's a different manner of walk back to the dugout, and while all pitchers are used to pressure to some degree, there's pressure and then there's Pressure, and not all pitchers are the same. Simply put, some guys bounce back from I Lost The Game better than others, and it's probably evident to guys in the clubhouse long before it shows up in an acceptable stat sample.
    It's entirely possible that some relief pitchers don't have the mettle to "close" the "big game." However, much of this, to me, this is a meta game conjured solely by the romantization of the modern "closer": a guy who gets "saves" - a made up stat to legitimize the act of throwing the last pitch in a winning effort.

    Were bullpens "tougher" in the 70's when they bounced back from a tough loss?

    You made a great point, though -- this is not necessarily a permanent condition. Taking golf as an example, there are plenty of golfers who gagged the first time or two they were in position to win a pro tournament who later figured out how to close the deal. But, conversely, the entire argument of "most any decent reliever can close" argues against patiently waiting for a guy to get it together. If they're interchangeable, it shouldn't be an issue to move on to the next guy in line if the first one struggles.
    There's so much noise in a relief pitching season that it's hard to distinguish the interval of a "struggle."

    Having said all that, I'm actually a proponent of the fireman-over-closer theory of bullpen management, but these days that idea gets about as far as returning to a four-man rotation.
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  15. #44
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    Re: Closer for 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    Kyle Farnsworth has been the game for 12 years now, been the closer in waiting for a couple of different clubs, and finally put it together as a 35 year old. Put me in the camp that firmly believes there is a psychological effect that makes closing much more difficult than pitching in any other inning.
    Put me in the camp that thinks your camp follows an inflated pantheon.

    When you take the ball in the 8th there isn't a sense of finality.
    Oh, I don't know about that. I can imagine many situations where the 6th, 7th and 8th innings are much more "hairy" (I say this as a bald man) than the 9th.

    When you take the ball in the 9th, everything is magnified and if you fail the game is over.

    In no way do I want the Reds to go out there and spend major money on a closer. But at the same time I don't think they should go out and insert anyone and expect them to close.
    I can say with 100% certainty that no one else wants "anyone" to close. Especially, if by anyone, you mean me.

    Some guys have it, some develop it as they mature, and some just don't have it.
    Some of the guys who "have it," have been fortunate enough to "have it" (and some luck) in a contract year. Some of those who don't "have it" have not.

    Put your best pitcher for a situation in that situation and roll the dice. I don't think a field manager can do any better than that.
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

  16. #45
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    Re: Closer for 2012

    I am a believer in "closers"

    The Modern closer was developed by LaRussa, at a time when he was one of the first managers to use a computer. Since that time, all the teams have computers. They all have the data, and continue to use the modern closer. This would lead me to believe the data shows there is an advantage.

    The bigger change in modern baseball was free agency. This has led to players being treated like human resources instead of army enlisted men.

    One of the beliefs of managing human resources, is that people will perform better if they are given a well defined role and then used in that role. Having a defined closer and defined roles for the rest of the pen leads to better play. The team also gets a psychological advantage when bringing in a successful closer


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