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2009 Closers Thread (No Game Commentary Please)

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Re: 2009 Closers Thread (No Game Commentary Please)

Postby bigwords » Mon Jun 15, 2009 11:08 am

Spartans Rule wrote:Tampa Bay was and still is a committee. Today things just happened to shake out right for Howell to get the save.

In Howell's last four appearances prior to today, he came in 3 times in the 8th and once in the 9th with the Rays trailing. Maddon seems to like to use him to bail out his other RPs when they get in trouble. If no one gets in trouble like today, then maybe he closes. But I'd hardly annoint him a full-time closer just based on this game.


What you say is true.

J.P. Howell has the highest gmLI in the bullpen. He's clearly being used by Maddon in the most important situations. Sometimes, that means appearing in the 7th or 8th inning, as circumstances demand.

It's probably the best way to exploit the most effective pitcher in the bullpen.

If the question is, "Who is Tampa's closer?" the answer is that they don't have one in the traditional sense.

But if the question is, "Which reliever in Tampa's bullpen will likely see the most number of saves through the rest of the season?" the answer is probably JP Howell.

Would you rather have a guy who gets 15-20 saves like Howell and puts up great all-around numbers or have a guy like Matt Capps who might finish with 25-30 saves with woeful ERA/WHIP/strikeouts?

Call me crazy, but I'd take Howell over Capps, Aardsma, Sherrill, Rodney, Lindstrom, and Gregg at the moment. Howell may not be officially anointed, but his potential value even in a limited role seems greatly more secure.
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Re: 2009 Closers Thread (No Game Commentary Please)

Postby nettles1515 » Mon Jun 15, 2009 11:40 am

so jp howell is safe to pick up??
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Re: 2009 Closers Thread (No Game Commentary Please)

Postby Two_for_the_Money » Mon Jun 15, 2009 12:08 pm

nettles1515 wrote:so jp howell is safe to pick up??


Only in non-competitive leagues; all others he's probably gone.
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Re: 2009 Closers Thread (No Game Commentary Please)

Postby Two_for_the_Money » Mon Jun 15, 2009 12:28 pm

bigwords wrote:
Spartans Rule wrote:Tampa Bay was and still is a committee. Today things just happened to shake out right for Howell to get the save.

In Howell's last four appearances prior to today, he came in 3 times in the 8th and once in the 9th with the Rays trailing. Maddon seems to like to use him to bail out his other RPs when they get in trouble. If no one gets in trouble like today, then maybe he closes. But I'd hardly annoint him a full-time closer just based on this game.


What you say is true.

J.P. Howell has the highest gmLI in the bullpen. He's clearly being used by Maddon in the most important situations. Sometimes, that means appearing in the 7th or 8th inning, as circumstances demand.

It's probably the best way to exploit the most effective pitcher in the bullpen.

If the question is, "Who is Tampa's closer?" the answer is that they don't have one in the traditional sense.

But if the question is, "Which reliever in Tampa's bullpen will likely see the most number of saves through the rest of the season?" the answer is probably JP Howell.

Would you rather have a guy who gets 15-20 saves like Howell and puts up great all-around numbers or have a guy like Matt Capps who might finish with 25-30 saves with woeful ERA/WHIP/strikeouts?

Call me crazy, but I'd take Howell over Capps, Aardsma, Sherrill, Rodney, Lindstrom, and Gregg at the moment. Howell may not be officially anointed, but his potential value even in a limited role seems greatly more secure.


Call him whatever you want. Again, does anyone seriously think that Howell would be pulled for Choate, Wheeler, or Balfour depending on matchups? Let's just call Howell the "fantasy closer" for the Rays. That'll settle a lot of bickering.

BTW, Howell's 8th inning appearances over the last week are a bit misleading. He never once entered at the beginning of the 8th (something you might expect if Maddon was simply playing roulette or matchups with his closer "committee"). Yeah, Howell's used in high leverage situations before the 9th; like Rivera and Papelbon are (no surprise that all are in the AL EAST - monkey see, monkey do). Let's not mistake this as a comparison to these two. I just don't think you'll see Howell coming in the 7th anymore, high leverage situation or not.

If anyone's looking for a closer for fantasy baseball purposes, Howell's the guy, and I wouldn't wait for an update to the front page or Havok's new closer complex at the end of the week before picking him up. You're likely already too late.
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Re: 2009 Closers Thread (No Game Commentary Please)

Postby TheBambino » Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:02 pm

I grabbed him last night in a 10 teamer.... I only have 3 spots but would feel more comfortable in putting him in over Lindstrom... its hit or miss with that guy!!... lets go Howell!!!
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Re: 2009 Closers Thread (No Game Commentary Please)

Postby Neato Torpedo » Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:10 pm

Howell has more blown holds (5) than holds (4) or saves (3). Four were in the 8th inning and one was in the 7th. Just sayin'.
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Re: 2009 Closers Thread (No Game Commentary Please)

Postby auclairkeithbc » Mon Jun 15, 2009 2:01 pm

Neato Torpedo wrote:Howell has more blown holds (5) than holds (4) or saves (3). Four were in the 8th inning and one was in the 7th. Just sayin'.


How many of those blown saves were only inherited runners that scored? Just askin'.
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Re: 2009 Closers Thread (No Game Commentary Please)

Postby Two_for_the_Money » Mon Jun 15, 2009 2:09 pm

Neato Torpedo wrote:Howell has more blown holds (5) than holds (4) or saves (3). Four were in the 8th inning and one was in the 7th. Just sayin'.


This is a classic case of a misleading stat, and his 5 blown saves were pointed out pages ago, as an interesting aside. (3 were from a month or more ago when Percy was still the closer.)

The two most recent blown saves actually provide a bit of (further) evidence, in my opinion, that he's the "fantasy closer" for TB. Pardon the archived game commentary, but I think it's useful to look at them to support my points:

The first one (6/6) was when Howell entered with an inherited runner on in the 8th. That runner scored to tie the game, but Howell got out of the rest of the inning with the game still tied. The Rays subsequently took a four run lead in the top of the 9th, putting Howell in line for a win, and creating no save opp. Wheeler thus comes in (to save Howell for next game, imo) to this non-save situation and then proceeds, by giving up 2 runs, to create a save opportunity for someone else (Choate). Perhaps Wheeler was still being considered to close the game back when Howell was brought in in the 8th, but I don't see this as the case now. If there's ever a case of "things happening to shake out right for a save," this is definitely true of Choate here. So this game could potentially represent Wheeler's last chance for consideration. It certainly explains away Choate's save as situational.

The second one (6/7) Howell again enters in the 8th with runners on (bases loaded), 1 out, and a 3-1 lead. He walks a guy (definitely bad), but then gets the next two to ground out, though the first one reaches on an error and fielder's choice), and so he ends up giving up the lead and getting the blown save. Does Maddon go to him for a 1 2/3 inning save if the error didn't occur? We'll never know. The point is that he's gone with him in the 9th ever since this game, and unlike the dreaded verbal "vote of confidence" from the manager, such a tacit vote of confidence ain't no jinx.

Let me put it all a different way, if the Rays start the 9th with a lead, who comes in for the save? At this point, it's Howell until further notice. Last night confirmed it, with him striking out the side as a little f-you to those non-believers. Choate may be situational, but not when Howell's available. As for fans of Wheeler and Balfour, you're all stuck in 2008.
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Re: 2009 Closers Thread (No Game Commentary Please)

Postby SpecialFNK » Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:20 pm

what to do with Latroy Hawkins?
Cooper said he wanted Valverde's first action to be in a non save situation, which was yesterday. now i assume the next save opportunity will go to Valverde and going forward he is the Astros closer. should one still hold onto Hawkins and start him? or hold onto him and bench him? or maybe wait and see to how Valverde is and after a short time period of say 5-10 days drop Hawkins then if Valverde is cruising? or simply drop Hawkins now?
:-S
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Re: 2009 Closers Thread (No Game Commentary Please)

Postby fitz0527 » Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:47 pm

SpecialFNK wrote:what to do with Latroy Hawkins?
Cooper said he wanted Valverde's first action to be in a non save situation, which was yesterday. now i assume the next save opportunity will go to Valverde and going forward he is the Astros closer. should one still hold onto Hawkins and start him? or hold onto him and bench him? or maybe wait and see to how Valverde is and after a short time period of say 5-10 days drop Hawkins then if Valverde is cruising? or simply drop Hawkins now?
:-S

Personally I'd either drop him now or if you can afford to hold onto Hawkins to make sure Valverde gets the next save opp and if Jose picks up a clean save then I'd definitely drop Hawkins.
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