What is your opinion of the A.J. Pierzynski signing?
MJH on accountability
I made a comment during our game chat the other night that sparked a pretty good discussion. I said that Mariano River is overrated as a closer, but not as a relief pitcher. I further clarified my point by expressing my belief that closing pitchers are paid top dollar to pitch in lower leverage situations than their lower paid bull pen mates. Lo and behold I found a great article about Shutdowns/Meltdowns by Dave Cameron written last year. Last summer Joey had a pretty nice piece here, where he discussed them and linked to an article by Jonah Keri. Let me get off topic a little bit, to commend Joey on really being a solid writer that isn't afraid to read about newer things and bring them in to his analysis.
I really do hope that Shutdowns and Meltdowns make more of a splash in baseball. Guys like Mike Adams end up making less money to do better jobs than big name closing pitchers on other clubs, and I don't see how that is good for pitchers. That also means closing pitchers end up making way more money than they are worth.
Anyway, I thought it was worth a read for anyone who has not already read up on them, or is finally starting to see the silliness of paying someone 10MM+ AAV to get the last three outs only if the team has a lead.
Thanks for the bibliography and the Joey boot licking.Wait till Nathan blows a 2 run lead then rate that.
I think the issue comes down to people are obsessed with stats, and a save is an easily identifiable statistic that average fans can understand and closers can use to validate themselves. And I think this as much as anything keeps the status quo of misusing relievers in high/low leverage situations. Some managers are better at this than others (LaRussa was pretty good), but some bullpens have more "better" arms.
If Wash went to Nathan and said, you will only pitch the ninth 33% of the time over the next month and only get saves for half of your appearances, how do you think Nathan would respond? I imagine most closers would not be pleased about missing out on the only recognition they can get.
Now maybe the rise of a new stat such as shutdowns will help that, but I can't see it happening anytime soon.
Also, this topic has been established quite a bit over recent times, so I'm not certain we need to continue to discuss it, but whatever.
The logic of "Let's NOT use our best bullpen arm to kill any kind of rally in the 7th/8th" is one that escapes me. Yeah you might have to pull him before the game's over, but you might not depending on how he looks and what kind of load he's been under recently.
What's a more important time to have your best arm out there - when the bases are empty, or when runners are at 2nd and 3rd with 1/2 out(s), for example?
The whole concept is that you need to start it in your organization from top to bottom. Sure you won't get big named closers to sign with you, but if you train all your young relievers to not worry about saves and pitching whenever they are called upon, it creates a new culture. I think it would be very interesting to see a major league club do this for their entire organization. That way pay is based on merit and not position.
Even if a topic has been discussed in the past, doesn't mean you cannot re-evaluate it at a later date.
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