Ender wrote:Casilla was higher than Romo.
Clippard was the highest on the Nats.
Cook higher than Balfour
You realize all three of those guys were closers last year, right? Casilla had 25 saves, Clippard had 32 saves, and Cook had 14 saves.
Again... this is in no way an endorsement of pitching to the save rule. Using your bullpen ace in the 8th inning in a game that is tied or you're up by 1 makes more sense than using him in the 9th inning of a game that you're up by 3. But the closer is still by far the most high leverage of any relief role, even if it isn't done perfectly.
Of course, all of this is irrelevant if managers don't realize who their best reliever is. Don Mattingly doesn't seem to care that Kenley Jansen is his best relief pitcher (Paco Rodriguez has been pretty damn good too) and that Brandon League is not very good. How bad does League have to be to lose the job? He's only blown one save even though he's been terrible. He'll probably need to actually blow some saves to give a closer change any attention. It's hard to remove a guy like league who is technically doing what you've asked him to do, even if his performance doesn't bode well for the future. The mistake was naming him the closer in the first place.