August 13, 2012 posted by Patrick DiCaprio

Closer Identifier Algorithm Results August 13

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Joel Hanrahan, PIT

As of yesterday evening we were unwilling to declare Ryan Cook a “hit.” However, it has now been reported that Cook is officially out as closer. As a result, we have added Cook to the “hit” list.

I have altered the algorithm to include a blown saves criterion: Is the pitcher’s SV/SVO less than or equal to 60% in his last ten SVO? If so, he gets automatic “lose” status. This applies to Santiago Casilla and John Axford, who, as of this writing, is still in the mix. There are rumors that the Brewers will “shut down” both Axford and Francisco Rodriguez, not because of injury but because they are sick and tired of watching them pitch. But, for now, we will not count Axford as a “hit.”

The ledger stands at 20 “hits” and 4 “misses.”


Pitcher CIA result Comments  
Jim Johnson Lose 92% SV/SVO misses by 1%. Almost certainly safe.  
Alfredo Aceves Lose Barely misses ‘hold” with 72 BPV  
Addison Reed Hold Looks safe for ROS  
Chris Perez Hold Despite recent hiccups is still in no danger  
Jose Valverde Lose Still arguably the worst closer in baseball  
Greg Holland Lose Off to a great start but still barely “lose” unless we round up his K/BB to 2.5. Looks good though.  
Ernesto Frieri Hold Probably a bit lucky, and K/BB of 2.9 is not great for his K rate.  
Scott Downs Lose Out for season?  
Glen Perkins Hold He and Burton are in no danger and provide a great opportunity for management to use the pen correctly. Here’s hoping Gardenhire recognizes this fact.  
Jared Burton Hold    
Rafael Soriano Hold Still lucky with 2% HR/FB and skills good not great. I am slightly worried.  
Ryan Cook Lose Lost job- “hit”.  
Grant Balfour Lose Still well below minimums  
Tom Wilhelmsen Hold Rock solid and a great story.   
Fernando Rodney Hold Can you explain a 1.3 BB rate? I can’t. As great as he is, he isn’t one of the ten best and there are holes  
Joe Nathan Hold No danger, despite a few days off.  
Casey Janssen Hold Has literally no flaws and no reason for concern.  
JJ Putz Hold He is a star-closer; K/BB over 5.0 and BPV > 150  
Craig Kimbrel Hold Best reliever in baseball.  
Carlos Marmol Hold Believe it or not, has not blown a save since April(!)  
Aroldis Chapman Hold Only 1 ER vs. NL all season and 96 K in 49 IP as of Friday.  
Rafael Betancourt Hold Seasonal trend in K and K/BB slightly concerning.  
Kenley Jansen Hold Gotten better as season rolled along.  
Steve Cishek Lose Skills say “lose” and only 7/10 so new criteria could hurt. I have been on his side but now a doubter. Plus Bell may get the job back, so CIA looking for the Bell trifecta.  
Wilton Lopez Hold No danger.  
Frank Francisco Lose May only be a matter or time before Mets go in another direction with Parnell, or less interestingly, Jon Rauch.  
John Axford Lose Another possible hit? New criteria makes him a “lose” also.  
Jim Henderson Hold Appears to have the full job.  
Jon Papelbon Hold No danger.  
Joel Hanrahan Hold One of the most dependable in the game.  
Huston Street Hold Injured.  
Luke Gregerson Hold Added in. Skills plenty good for “hold” status IF he has a share while Street is out.  
Dale Thayer Lose Added in. K rate too low for “hold” if he has a share.  
Santiago Casilla Lose See changed criteria new criteria-if have 60% or less SV/SVO in last ten
Sergio Romo Hold Probably has no share of the role.  
Jeremy Affeldt Hold Appears to have the job alone  
Jason Motte Hold No danger.  
Tyler Clippard Hold 2.7 K/BB, inevitable regression to the mean and presence of Storen make him vulnerable.  
Hits Misses    
Hector Santiago Sean Marshall    
Francisco Cordero (TOR) Steve Cishek    
Jordan Walden Dale Thayer    
Brian Fuentes Bobby Parnell    
Rafael Dolis      
Heath Bell      
Henry Rodriguez      
Carlos Marmol      
Javy Guerra      
Grant Balfour      
Brandon League      
Brian Fuentes second time      
Heath Bell second time      
John Axford      
Brett Myers      
Francisco Cordero (HOU)      
Francisco Rodriguez       
Jonathon Broxton      
Ryan Cook      
Santiago Casilla      


The current version of CIA:

1. Does the pitcher have a share of the closer’s job? In the cases we are writing about this will usually be yes, but it should apply to all relievers if it is valid.

If so, is his save percentage greater than 93% with 10 or more opportunities. If “yes” then “hold.” If “no” proceed to step 2.

Is the pitcher’s SV/SVO% less than or equal to 60% over his last ten opportunities? If “yes” then “lose.” If “no” proceed to step 2.

2. Is his strikeout rate (K/9) above 7.0?

3. Is his strikeout-to-walk (K/BB) rate above 2.5?

4. Is his BaseballHQ BPV above 80?

If the answer to conditions 2-4 is yes, then CIA predicts he’ll keep the job. If the answer is no to any one of the conditions, it predicts he’ll lose the job


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