Not really sure what I think about this? Although I don't remember the last time a closer was taken in the first round (except Gagne in some leagues as of late). I'd rather have the top 5 SP's on my team than the top 5 RP's. What do you guys think?

This was posted about a yr ago, and it really has changed the way I play the game. Pitchers who only pitch 70 innings or so can actually have a greater positive impact on your overall %s than most SPs. The numbers used were from a yr ago, but obviously the points remain relevant. Check it out - a must read:

Having the top five of either starters or closers is a no brainer; of course you want the top five starters. A more likely scenario would be the end of the fourth round and you had to pick between Nathan, Isringhausen, Foulke, Wagner and Benitez or Owalt, Zambrano, O. Perez, Peavy, and Mulder. Than it might be prudent to pass up a very promising talent like Perez or Peavy for a known saves machine like Isringhausen or Wagner.

I'd never make a closer my first pick. My first choice would be a power hitter, second a starter and then a closer.
Closers are valuable and in short supply. But, then again great starting pitching is also in short supply.

what values did you come up with last yr for the top closers vs. the top SPs? Just give me the names AND VALUES of the top 10 overall pitchers from '04.

I have a couple problems with some of the assumptions in the SI article...

1. Just because there were 2x the number of wins as saves does not mean saves are twice as valuable as wins. I can list a number of reasons why that statement is laughable, but for the sake of simplicity will just say that according to that logic, if a closer saved 50 games, those 50 saves would be exactly as valuable as 100 wins recorded by a single starting pitcher. Oops.

2. K/9 is the only stat that matters for strikeouts. That's another good one. So I suppose Hoffman (54) SO's and Clemens (218) helped teams equally in the strikeout category since they both struck out about 1 batter / inning?

9er Fan wrote: 2. K/9 is the only stat that matters for strikeouts. That's another good one. So I suppose Hoffman (54) SO's and Clemens (218) helped teams equally in the strikeout category since they both struck out about 1 batter / inning?

The K/9 logic applies if you use up all of your allotted innings.

9er Fan wrote:I have a couple problems with some of the assumptions in the SI article...

1. Just because there were 2x the number of wins as saves does not mean saves are twice as valuable as wins. I can list a number of reasons why that statement is laughable, but for the sake of simplicity will just say that according to that logic, if a closer saved 50 games, those 50 saves would be exactly as valuable as 100 wins recorded by a single starting pitcher. Oops.

2. K/9 is the only stat that matters for strikeouts. That's another good one. So I suppose Hoffman (54) SO's and Clemens (218) helped teams equally in the strikeout category since they both struck out about 1 batter / inning?

9er fan - those assumptions are 100% accurate if you are talking about roto leagues. Value in roto leagues are driven by statistical scarcity as well as positional scarcity. Also, since their are IP limits, ALL pitchers should be evaluated on what they give you per IP to maximize those limited IP you have - thats why high K, low % MR are so valuable in roto - regardless if they get you saves or not - their ERAimp, WHIPimp, K/IP, and W/IP will rank them just below the elite SPs.

If you dont play roto then disregard everything you read - it doesnt apply.

Closers and relievers can help a fantasy team. I don't think that point can be disputed. But a stud starting pitcher should always be the cornerstone of a fantasy staff if you can get one. Plus, remember that the closer/reliever has to be so much better than the starting pitcher in order to acheive the 'same help level' as shown in the thread mentioned by cornbread (with Gagne and Prior as examples: Gagne had to have such an awsome era and whip and k/9 to effect the same change as prior with his 3.35 era...)

You need closers on your staff, but don't waste early round draft choices on them...