Welcome to another edition of Closing Remarks, where we look at each team’s closer on a weekly basis and spin the Roulette wheel hoping for clarity and successful save conversions. This week I team up with Paul Mammino, founder of RotoFanatic’s Data Monster, to begin applying these useful stats to bullpens. Take a look at this chart below, and we will discuss how to use it later in this piece.
First, let’s attack our reader mailbag questions of the week:
So many questions about Anthony Bender and his role post-trade deadline. Andy Carlson @Bankers_Box
Andy, this is so true. What the heck is going on in Miami? I think there is a 75/25 chance that erstwhile closer Yimi Garcia gets moved before the deadline. It’s important to recall that context matters; Garcia is 31, and not an up-and-coming youngster. He could help bolster a contending team’s middle relief ranks, but will not close for anyone else. Should he be moved, that would seemingly open a spot for Anthony Bender. Dylan Floro also lurks here as well. However, manager Don Mattingly does not prefer committees and would rather have one guy earmarked for the role. Bender showcases a terrific sinker and an overpowering slider. Bender is younger at 26, and the developing Marlins have no pressing need to solve the role. They seem to prefer Floro in a setup role, and he profiles better in that role. Look for Bender to continue to get opportunities to close, even if Garcia remains in Miami. Thanks for the question!
Assuming that Kimbrel and Rodriguez get traded, who are the next two in line for both the Cubs and Pirates for SOLDS and how reliable are they in those roles? Dave Funnell, @sportz_nutt51
Dave, great question and my crystal ball is hazy. Here is my hunch: Kyle Crick has not performed well of late, leading me to think that David Bednar may get the closer opportunity should Rodriguez be traded in the coming weeks. That would mean that Chris Stratton and Sam Howard may get more holds. I’m bullish on Bednar.
As for the Cubs, trading Kimbrel is up in the air. Are they buyers or sellers? While fans want them to buy, based on what we have seen in recent weeks, they are dead in the water. Kimbrel is a valuable piece in a market where many teams (such as Oakland, San Francisco, Toronto, maybe the New York Yankees, maybe the Houston Astros) will be looking to add high-caliber bullpen arms. The resurgent Kimbrel should get a high return for the Cubs. My best guess today is that Andrew Chafin would step into the closer role, with the freshly returned Ryan Tepera getting more holds. But here’s something else to consider: all three of these guys could get traded as well. That would really put a huge question mark in this bullpen. Should that happen, someone like Dan Winkler could step in for the time being. Dillon Maples is quietly rehabbing right now as well. This one is very murky.
|All Data According To Data Monster|
|Player Name||In_Whiff||rfCommand||Stuff ERA|
We are always up for trying new things at RotoFanatic. The uber-talented Paul Mammino developed this wonderful tool last year that we refer to, lovingly, as the Data Monster. I want to start using it as a way to grade our closers and other relief pitchers. But before we do that, let’s take a crash course in what these statistics mean.