Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

State of MLB closers... and Wagner's place

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • State of MLB closers... and Wagner's place

    (Bear with me, I am bored and sicked of writing this lousy paper)

    The popular consensus is that closers are hard to find and closing is a tough job, and a proven closer is even harder to find.

    Let's take at closers around baseball and rank all closers. I am excluding teams that don't have any pitchers solidified in the role. I am doing this off the top of my head without doublechecking, so pardon me if I screw anything up.

    1-Rivera NYY (the greatest of all time)
    2-Nathan MIN (1/3 of that retarded Pierzynski deal. Best closer that no one ever hypes)
    3-Papelbon BOS (came out of nowhere much like Gagne did some years ago, more proof that closers in fact aren't that hard to find. Wore down down the stretch but kept the Sox alive for longer than thought possible)
    4-BJ Ryan TOR (I wanted the dude instead of Wagner if Mets insisted on overpaying for closers)
    5-Saito LA (another previously unknown)
    6- JJ Putz SEA (starting to see a pattern here...)
    7-KROD LAA (filthy stuff)
    8-Wagner NYM (you can count on him to implode come playoff time, but he racks up very nice stats in the regular season)
    9-Hoffman SD (does it with tricks and mirrors nowadays. I trust him even less than Wagner, but the top tier closers are running out)
    10-Otsuka TEX (Oh god it's so hard to find a closer. Wait... it's not)
    11-Ray BAL (Oops, another first timer succeeding)
    12-Fuentes COL (He's actually really good, and he succeeds at Coors)
    13-Chad Cordero WAS (Does it with guts. Whatever the hell it means)
    14-Francisco Cordero MIL (Reject from TEX, but he's good)
    15-Lidge HOU (Albert's dinger ruined him I guess. He once belonged in the top 3)
    16-Street OAK (Blew a zillion games, but also had a zillion chances)
    17-Jenks CHW (Numbers not that great, in fact he's the most likely to implode out of the pitchers listed so far)
    18-Mike Gonzalez PIT (Got hurt, but he's good. Another "non-proven" closer doing the job)
    19-Borowski FLA (A funny one, more proof it's not that hard to close)
    20-Wickman ATL (He's baaaaack, for 2007)
    21-Izzy STL (Probably was pitching hurt all year. Would have belonged higher up a year ago)
    22-Tood Jones DET (Ah~ Here's your proven closer... LOL)
    23-Gordon PHI (Reason for low ranking is that he will be hurt next year. Only question is for how long)
    24-Benitez SF (He got demoted, but I assume he's gonna be back next year)

    I omitted TAM, CLE, CIN, ARI, CHC, and KC due to the unsettled situation.

    Moral of the story? You don't need to waste money on a closer with many innings and saves under his belt.
    Last edited by Joltin Joe Giradio; 10-26-2006, 11:54 AM.

  • #2
    While I would agree on your ordering of the closers (except Jon Papelbon, who is slated to go as a starter next year...the BoSox basically have no idea who their closer is going to be next year) and the moral of the story (I also would have preferred B.J. Ryan), I would disagree on some of the hype/lack thereof. All we heard about just before the Twins vs. A's series was about Joe Nathan and Johan Santana, in that order. Nathan is INCREDIBLY hyped and has been ever since Minnesota got him, although not overhyped. Papelbon did not come out of nowhere, either. He was a collegitate pitching superstar, and all the prospect trackers were following him. In fact, his brother Josh Papelbon (who I think should be ready for the Majors in the middle of this upcoming season) is expected to become a terrific middle reliever/closer. His other brother, Jeremy (Josh's identical twin), is pitching in the Cubs organization and also shows great promise. While Takashi Saito was the ultimate unknown, a lot was expected of J.J. Putz. He did not come out of nowhere, and was one of the Mariners' top prospects. Akinori Otsuka was lights-out in Japan, and the only thing preventing him from becoming a terrific closer for San Diego was Trevor Hoffman. I fully expected him to do very well with the Rangers.
    "They put me in the Hall of Fame? They must really be scraping the bottom of the barrel!"
    -Eppa Rixey, upon learning of his induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

    Motafy (MO-ta-fy) vt. -fied, -fying 1. For a pitcher to melt down in a big game situation; to become like Guillermo Mota. 2. The transformation of a good pitcher into one of Guillermo Mota's caliber.

    Comment


    • #3
      What I mean is that guys with no track record of closing can step in and do fantastic jobs. If you're going to be anal about the definition of "coming out of nowhere" in the sense that no one (including scouts, experts etc.) has heard of him, then you would hardly have any coming out of nowhere players (position and pitching, not just relief pitching) because in today's age, practically anyone who has played collegiate ball or high school varsity leagues has been scouted and is a "known entity" in one form or another. The point is, you don't need to go out there and pay big money to "proven" closers. All you need is a pitcher with good stuff and strong mental makeup, and you got yourself a closer.

      I assume Papelbon is still going to be a closer for the moment, and as such, he deserves to be that high up.

      Nathan is not hyped. I have rarely ever heard his name brought up in the top 2 or 3 when discussing top-tier closers. When his name is brought up, it's usually in the form of "oh yeah, and there's Nathan in Minnesota too." He is one of the elite, and I wouldn't have any problem if anyone named him the best. Santanna has pitched well in the post season ever since he bacame THE Johan, it's just that his offense stinks (cuz they are hackers). There is no dispute that he is the best SP in baseball right now.

      Personally, I like Halladay better, but based on performance, over the last 3 years, Santana is #1. My list is a combination of 2006 performance and 2007 projection. If it was based purely on next year, Saito would not be that high, and Izzy wouldn't be that low, for example.

      Comment


      • #4
        While I think Ryan is a better pitcher than Wagner, Ryan only makes $1 mil less per year than Wagner. Either way, we would have overpaid...
        ~MOE

        Moonlight Graham
        ...one game, no at-bats...


        RisingApple.com

        Comment


        • #5
          So your argument is that anyone, or almost anyone, can come in and close. I totally disagree with you.

          For a closer to be successful he must possess certain traits mentally. Closing baseball games is half mental and half good stuff. If a player doesn't have it mentally, then he cant close. Closers need to have a bulldog mentality. They need to be almost in a rage when they come into the game, like they have a chip on their shoulder. The best closers are these types of guys, the ones that pump their fists and scream like a madman after they close out a game. Look at K-Rod from the Angels or how Gagne used to be. After they close out a game, they are always screaming.

          For the mentality part of it, I can give you a couple examples. First is Brad Lidge. He had that killer instinct before. He's always had great stuff and he still does. What happened to him is all mental and that is why he can't close anymore. Another guy is LaTroy Hawkins. The man has great stuff and he is one of the top set-up guys. When the Cubs tried using him as a closer he couldn't do it. It's not that his stuff was bad but he doesn't have that killer instinct. He would come out to close games calm as can be and that doesn't work.

          Papelbon is a great closer because he has great stuff and that killer instinct as evidenced when he closed out games and pumped his fist and screamed a lot. Wagner used to have it now he relies only on his stuff. Same with Hoffman.
          Tinker, Evers, Chance & Steinfeldt: The nucleus of our elite World Series teams!!!!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by TRIPxCORE
            So your argument is that anyone, or almost anyone, can come in and close. I totally disagree with you.

            For a closer to be successful he must possess certain traits mentally. Closing baseball games is half mental and half good stuff. If a player doesn't have it mentally, then he cant close. Closers need to have a bulldog mentality. They need to be almost in a rage when they come into the game, like they have a chip on their shoulder. The best closers are these types of guys, the ones that pump their fists and scream like a madman after they close out a game. Look at K-Rod from the Angels or how Gagne used to be. After they close out a game, they are always screaming.

            For the mentality part of it, I can give you a couple examples. First is Brad Lidge. He had that killer instinct before. He's always had great stuff and he still does. What happened to him is all mental and that is why he can't close anymore. Another guy is LaTroy Hawkins. The man has great stuff and he is one of the top set-up guys. When the Cubs tried using him as a closer he couldn't do it. It's not that his stuff was bad but he doesn't have that killer instinct. He would come out to close games calm as can be and that doesn't work.

            Papelbon is a great closer because he has great stuff and that killer instinct as evidenced when he closed out games and pumped his fist and screamed a lot. Wagner used to have it now he relies only on his stuff. Same with Hoffman.
            I think his point is that there are only a few closers who have been solid over a long period of time. The majority of closers are guys that have fallen into the role, and done a good enough job to retain it.
            ~MOE

            Moonlight Graham
            ...one game, no at-bats...


            RisingApple.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by TRIPxCORE
              So your argument is that anyone, or almost anyone, can come in and close. I totally disagree with you.

              For a closer to be successful he must possess certain traits mentally. Closing baseball games is half mental and half good stuff. If a player doesn't have it mentally, then he cant close. Closers need to have a bulldog mentality. They need to be almost in a rage when they come into the game, like they have a chip on their shoulder. The best closers are these types of guys, the ones that pump their fists and scream like a madman after they close out a game. Look at K-Rod from the Angels or how Gagne used to be. After they close out a game, they are always screaming.

              For the mentality part of it, I can give you a couple examples. First is Brad Lidge. He had that killer instinct before. He's always had great stuff and he still does. What happened to him is all mental and that is why he can't close anymore. Another guy is LaTroy Hawkins. The man has great stuff and he is one of the top set-up guys. When the Cubs tried using him as a closer he couldn't do it. It's not that his stuff was bad but he doesn't have that killer instinct. He would come out to close games calm as can be and that doesn't work.

              Papelbon is a great closer because he has great stuff and that killer instinct as evidenced when he closed out games and pumped his fist and screamed a lot. Wagner used to have it now he relies only on his stuff. Same with Hoffman.
              I never said ANYONE could close. Really, anyone who knows about baseball and says that is an idiot. I am no genius, but I am not an idiot. If you read my previous post, you would see that I said "All you need is a pitcher with good stuff and strong mental makeup, and you got yourself a closer." I clearly value mental toughness in a closer.

              What I am saying is that it isn't as hard to find a closer as some people like to make it out to be. Just in the Mets pen alone, Heilman and Sanchez (if he stayed healthy) would both have saved 30+ gms this yr had they been given 9th inning duties. Reject Looper would have saved 30+ games too.

              Hell, Billy Taylor saved 30 gms for a couple of yrs with the A's, and Beane was able to fool Steve Phillips (who clearly didn't understand that you don't have to be a very good pitcher to be a closer).

              Comment

              Ad Widget

              Collapse
              Working...
              X