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Why aren't there more closer committes?

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Postby GotowarMissAgnes » Sat Apr 28, 2007 9:45 am

magoosh007 wrote:Committee's don't usually work out very well.


Actually, I'd say we don't know this. No team has really tried to build a real closer by committee bullpen and stick with it for any length of time.

I think the main reason why "closer by committee" has such a bad perception is that it generally only been tried by bad teams with bad relievers to choose from.

It would be interesting to see a team with 3 or 4 high quality relievers try it.
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Postby GotowarMissAgnes » Sat Apr 28, 2007 9:46 am

The Miner Part 2 wrote:Well how many times has this been accomplished successfully? Once? That Red's team from the early '90s is the only one I can think of.

Closers are a rare breed. When you find one you stick with it. Once the game is on the line, it's a whole different ball game with most of these relief pitchers.


I'd argue they are a lot more common than you think. Certainly, there are guys that can't handle the pressure, but that doesn't mean there aren't dozens of guys who can.
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Postby Y2J » Sat Apr 28, 2007 5:24 pm

Id like to see this too. If the best hitters of the opposing team are up in the 8th (arod, bonds, etc), have your best reliever pitch the 8th, and then have the next best guy do the ninth
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Postby blankman » Sat Apr 28, 2007 6:06 pm

Remember when Epstein thought he could do that with guys like Embree? :-b

Its rarely been tried, so its hard to tell if the idea is bad or if the few times its been tried just haven't had the right people.
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Postby frankadelic » Sat Apr 28, 2007 6:14 pm

Y2J wrote:Id like to see this too. If the best hitters of the opposing team are up in the 8th (arod, bonds, etc), have your best reliever pitch the 8th, and then have the next best guy do the ninth


This makes sense to me. You want your best pitcher in the highest leverage situations.

The idea of "closer" didn't even come about until the saves stat was invented in 1960. Interesting article on the subject:

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m ... i_84542687
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Postby jfg » Sat Apr 28, 2007 6:52 pm

I think finding two guys- One that is superb against left handers and one that is the same against right (LOOGYs and ROOGYs) would work well and cost much less than paying a star closer. There are a bunch of specialty guys in the league with insane numbers against certain handed players. Just thinking of the Twins- 2006:Neshek and Reyes. Combine those two in the 9th and always play the matchups and you're looking good. Obviously Nathan's one of the best. I'm just using that example.

I do think there are guys who can't handle the pressure but I don't think it's only a select few who can. I agree with the post before that it's the other way around. Guys have struggled in the 9th because they're mediocre pitchers not because they can't get a hold of their nerves.
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Postby rainman23 » Sat Apr 28, 2007 7:56 pm

frankadelic wrote:
Y2J wrote:Id like to see this too. If the best hitters of the opposing team are up in the 8th (arod, bonds, etc), have your best reliever pitch the 8th, and then have the next best guy do the ninth


This makes sense to me. You want your best pitcher in the highest leverage situations.

The idea of "closer" didn't even come about until the saves stat was invented in 1960. Interesting article on the subject:

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m ... i_84542687


Good find. As an old timer who became a baseball fan in the 70's, I'm always surprised by fans who think that there is something natural and inevitable about the "single closer" setup that is the norm today. If you want to see whether this "closer by committee" thing can work, you just have to check out most of major league history before the early 80's. There's a reason why closers have only recently begun to appear in the Hall of Fame -- until the 70's, they didn't exist. And the idea that every team would have one -- that's a real recent phenomenon. I think there are a lot of situations where it doesn't make sense. If you have that one guy who is leaps and bounds better than everyone else on the staff -- sure, why not? Play him in those innings where if he does his job, you win. To feel the need to annoint a guy out of a collection of stiffs, or maybe where you have several equally talented guys, though -- there's nothing natural about that. I often think it can be counter-productive -- demoralizing -- to name one guy the "closer" who isn't clearly better than every other guy sitting in the bullpen.
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Postby GotowarMissAgnes » Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:41 pm

rainman23 wrote:
Good find. As an old timer who became a baseball fan in the 70's, I'm always surprised by fans who think that there is something natural and inevitable about the "single closer" setup that is the norm today. If you want to see whether this "closer by committee" thing can work, you just have to check out most of major league history before the early 80's.


I'm with you rainman. I was growing up as an O's fan in the late 60s and 70s, and the Orioles always had what we would recognize as a closer by committee. Essentially Richert and Watt formed a primary L/R platoon, each appearing in about 30 games in the 9th inning and saving about 10-15 games. Dick Hall and Moe Drabowsky might get the call, too. Each appeared in the 9th inning about 15 times, with a handful of saves. The number of saves was pretty low, because Weaver would match-up against hitters based on platoon splits and his match-up stats.
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Postby blankman » Sat Apr 28, 2007 10:25 pm

jfg wrote:I think finding two guys- One that is superb against left handers and one that is the same against right (LOOGYs and ROOGYs) would work well and cost much less than paying a star closer. There are a bunch of specialty guys in the league with insane numbers against certain handed players. Just thinking of the Twins- 2006:Neshek and Reyes. Combine those two in the 9th and always play the matchups and you're looking good. Obviously Nathan's one of the best. I'm just using that example.

I do think there are guys who can't handle the pressure but I don't think it's only a select few who can. I agree with the post before that it's the other way around. Guys have struggled in the 9th because they're mediocre pitchers not because they can't get a hold of their nerves.


That doesn't work though.

Lets say you have those two guys, one for lefties, one for righties.

What happens when you've got a lineup thats R,L,R like most managers try to do?

Your LOOGY or ROOGY is going to have to pitch against a righty or lefty respectively.

Secondly, you increase the burden on the rest of the bullpen because you're now putting 1 person's job into 2 people.
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Postby GotowarMissAgnes » Sat Apr 28, 2007 10:59 pm

blankman wrote:
jfg wrote:I think finding two guys- One that is superb against left handers and one that is the same against right (LOOGYs and ROOGYs) would work well and cost much less than paying a star closer. There are a bunch of specialty guys in the league with insane numbers against certain handed players. Just thinking of the Twins- 2006:Neshek and Reyes. Combine those two in the 9th and always play the matchups and you're looking good. Obviously Nathan's one of the best. I'm just using that example.

I do think there are guys who can't handle the pressure but I don't think it's only a select few who can. I agree with the post before that it's the other way around. Guys have struggled in the 9th because they're mediocre pitchers not because they can't get a hold of their nerves.


That doesn't work though.

Lets say you have those two guys, one for lefties, one for righties.

What happens when you've got a lineup thats R,L,R like most managers try to do?

Your LOOGY or ROOGY is going to have to pitch against a righty or lefty respectively.

Secondly, you increase the burden on the rest of the bullpen because you're now putting 1 person's job into 2 people.


Nonsense. Of course it can work. It's not like ROOGYs and LOOGYs can ONLY get one type of hitter out and it's not like the manager has to be an automaton who mindlessly uses the pitchers. You use your pitchers with a mind to minimize the chance you use the lead and maximize your advantage. For example, if you like the match-up you have with your ROOGY against the second righty and the righties the other team has on its bench, then you might start the inning with your lefty. With the second hitter, the opposing manager faces a choice of letting his lefty bat against your lefty, or bringing in the RH hitter from his bench, allowing you to call to the pen for the RH match-up that you wanted all along.

And the burden is not significantly increased, since each pitcher is throwing fewer pitches per game. And, again, it's not like you have to do this every time. With a 3 run lead in the 9th, for example, teams in the 60s/70s would have brought in their 3rd or 4th best reliever, rather than handing a really simple save to the closer, saving their best reliever's arm for games where it was really tight.
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