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Why is Mike Gonzalez not closing somewhere??

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Why is Mike Gonzalez not closing somewhere??

Postby Secret Avatar » Fri Apr 29, 2005 11:50 am

Why is Mike Gonzalez not closing somewhere?? Take a look at his stats and tell me this dude couldn't get three outs a night. In 2004, he threw 43 innings with 55 K, a 1.25 ERA, and a .88 WHIP. Jesus. That's Gagne territory. With all the teams that are struggling with weak closers, you'd think this animal would be getting the ball in the ninth.
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Postby Pogotheostrich » Fri Apr 29, 2005 11:54 am

Maybe cause he is cheap and the Pirates don't want to trade him unless they get something worthwhile back.
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Postby Strasil42 » Fri Apr 29, 2005 11:59 am

Pogotheostrich wrote:Maybe cause he is cheap and the Pirates don't want to trade him unless they get something worthwhile back.


would u take mike g over linebrink or otsuka in a league that counts holds??
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Postby bolkonsky » Fri Apr 29, 2005 12:02 pm

Some of us at the cafe won't like the simplicity of this reason, but here goes:

He is a lefty.

Go do some research before you flame away and you will find the number of successful left handed closers in the history of baseball is closer to 0 than it is to 20.
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Re: Why is Mike Gonzalez not closing somewhere??

Postby Conner » Fri Apr 29, 2005 12:09 pm

Secret Avatar wrote:In 2004, he threw 43 innings with 55 K, a 1.25 ERA, and a .88 WHIP. Jesus. That's Gagne territory.


No it's not.
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Postby warrick95 » Fri Apr 29, 2005 12:16 pm

bolkonsky wrote:Some of us at the cafe won't like the simplicity of this reason, but here goes:

He is a lefty.

Go do some research before you flame away and you will find the number of successful left handed closers in the history of baseball is closer to 0 than it is to 20.


That's not the reason. The reason is not that they can't be successful, it's that they're a. more valuable on the field used elsewhere in the game and b. cheaper as long as they remain in a setup/middle relief role.

A. because they are more effective vs. lefties than other right handed pitchers, they can be used at the best point in the game...mostly when the other team's best lefty(ies) are up. In this case, the left-handed batters that otherwise would've presented a larger matchup problem are neutralized. Saving the lefty for the ninth inning whether or not lefties are due up will not maximize his potential use. It's not about what the lefty pitcher can or cannot do, it's about what he does better than righty relievers. This is kind of consistent with how relievers were used in yesteryear. They were put into the game at the BEST time that the manager saw fit. For example, if 3-4-5 was due up in the 8th, the manager wouldn't hesitate to put his best reliever in, because 3-4-5 in the 8th will be harder than 6-7-8 in the 9th. However, now, the closer is always saved for the 9th, or part of the 8th and the 9th, at times.

B. closers are overpaid in this industry over setup men, even if setup men contribute more to the team. Like that little annoying girl preached in the ESPN Radio commercial (anybody who watched 18 hours of the NFL Draft coverage like myself can testify that they almost threw their remote at the TV due to the sheer times this commercial was played), setup men are underappreciated. For example, Braden Looper is paid $5.3 million this year. Damaso Marte is paid $1.25 million. Who's the better pitcher and who contributes more to their team?
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Postby d18Mike » Fri Apr 29, 2005 12:16 pm

Some of us at the cafe won't like the simplicity of this reason, but here goes:

He is a lefty.


The answer is probably all of the above with the Lefty component looming large. Witness Damaso Marte.[/quote]
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Postby Cooner » Fri Apr 29, 2005 12:18 pm

bolkonsky wrote:Some of us at the cafe won't like the simplicity of this reason, but here goes:

He is a lefty.

Go do some research before you flame away and you will find the number of successful left handed closers in the history of baseball is closer to 0 than it is to 20.


I've never understood that. I couldn't cut paper in Kindergarden cause they didn't give me lefty scissors (yes, there was a note sent home about that one). I, to this day, can't use a cheap can-opener. Just when I thought I was set cause I can throw a curveball that starts at your head and ends at your toes, they told me I couldn't be a closer. WHY WHY WHY!!!!

(I turned to science... at least here the ratio of succesful brilliant lefties to brilliant righties is much higher than the general population ratios.)

But seriously- As for Mike Gonzalez- the Bucs like him as a setup man. We simply have a fairly weak starting rotation, and a good middle reliever is something that can help win games with a weak starting rotation. Can he be a great closer- I would bet PNC park on it. But he costs nothing, and is helping the team win games. Those are the most valued things in Pittsburgh right now (unfortunately in that order).
Last edited by Cooner on Fri Apr 29, 2005 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Cooner » Fri Apr 29, 2005 12:21 pm

warrick95 wrote:This is kind of consistent with how relievers were used in yesteryear. They were put into the game at the BEST time that the manager saw fit. For example, if 3-4-5 was due up in the 8th, the manager wouldn't hesitate to put his best reliever in, because 3-4-5 in the 8th will be harder than 6-7-8 in the 9th.


Huh, I didn't know that. You learn something every day around here ;-D
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Postby bolkonsky » Fri Apr 29, 2005 12:24 pm

I didn't mean to imply that there wasn't some sort of rationale behind the lefty thing. In particular, the mere fact that someone is lefty does not preclude them from being a closer.

In the big picture, though, this is a quick (and good) reason to dismiss virtually any lefty set-up man, reliever etc. as a potential closer. The fact is that, for whatever reason, lefties do not close very often in MLB. Is Mike Gonzalez a good P? It certainly looks that way. Will he be a closer? Odds are that he won't be, despite a seemingly good opportunity to take over for J. Table in the near future.

That said, I would stash M. Gonz on a deep NL-league bench if I had the chance and try to deal him as a "closer-in-waiting", knowing that history tells me he will likely never get the opportunity. ;-D
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