May 19, 2013 posted by Patrick DiCaprio

Closer Identifier Algorithm Results for May 19

Closer Identifier Algorithm Results for May 19
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This week I am posting this a day early, with stats through Saturday’s games, since the unfortunate fact of having a day job is interfering with the usual schedule. The weekly article will be current through Monday’s games when it goes up.

One reminder: the first prong of CIA, the Save Conversion Test, is based on when the closer assumes the role, if applicable. So, for CIA purposes Heath Bell is 5/6 in SV/SVO. Since Junichi Tazawa does not yet have an opportunity, he does not count as a “hit” for his automatic “lose” status, even though Koji Uehara seems to have overtaken him.

There are a surprising number of “name” closers with poor skills who are perfect in SV/SVO, gaining automatic “hold” status despite their struggles, and still a number of status changes. Here are the results:

Pitcher CIA Result Comments
Jim Johnson Hold Two blown saves in one week and now is barely hanging on to “hold” status. 
Andrew Bailey Hold Not back yet.
Junichi Tazawa Auto Lose No save opportunities yet, so we do not count him as a “hit” as of this writing.
Koji Uehara Auto Lose Superlative skills but still only 1/2 in SV/SVO. Its an algorithm so we cannot use judgment; but he is fine and got a save so he counts for us as having a share of the job.
Addison Reed Auto Hold Now third in baseball in SV/SVO at 14/15.
Chris Perez Hold A bit of a rocky week. 
Jose Valverde Lose Breaking news: he still stinks.
Jose Veras Lose Dips ever so slightly below the 2.5 K/BB minimum.
Greg Holland Hold Seems fine for now but still walking a fine line.
Ernesto Frieri Lose Only a 2.33 K/BB ratio and 8/9 in SV/SVO drops him to lose status through Saturdays games.
Glen Perkins Auto Hold Still perfect in SV/SVO and in another market would be a star. 
Mariano Rivera Auto Hold Mr. Perfect
Grant Balfour Auto Hold Like some others, he has skills below CIA minimums. A perfect SV/SVO gains him a fleeting automatic hold status.
Tom Wilhelmsen Auto Hold Still mowing them down in SV/SVO despite his subpar K rate.
Fernando Rodney Lose We have been waiting for him to lose the job all year, and probably are the only ones who can say that.
Joe Nathan Auto Hold 12/12 in SV/SVO but skills drop has him only slightly above CIA minimums with a 2.50 K/BB.
Casey Janssen Auto Hold 10/10 and still zero walks. He has been one of CIAs best successes since last year, when we ID’d him as a top closer.
National League    
Heath Bell Hold A 7.67 K/BB and over 11 K/9. He is 5/6 in SV/SVO since assuming the role. 
Craig Kimbrel Hold You have to be worried when his K/BB rate dips to 8.33. 
Kevin Gregg Auto Hold Moves to 6/6 in SV/SVO and skills are still above the minimums, so he is looking good.
Aroldis Chapman Hold Loses automatic “hold” status because of a blown save, and his K/BB ratio is starting to dip just a bit.
Rafael Betancourt Auto Hold 10/10 in SV/SVO but still a well below average skill set, continuing a four-year decline.
Brandon League Lose He is close to done, and hanging on by a thread.
Steve Cishek Lose A bad week drops him to “lose.” He is what he has always been: a bottom-tier closer always at risk.
Jim Henderson Auto Hold Making a case to be this year’s Casey Janssen; a guy who was essentially ignored but turned into a top closer.
Bobby Parnell Hold As we expected, he promptly dropped the “auto lose” status, and skills-wise there are no blemishes. We would like to see more Ks though.
Jonathan Papelbon Auto Hold K rate in freefall and he cannot lose more without being in grave danger. However he is perfect in SV/SVO for now.
Jason Grilli Auto Hold Marches on as Baseball’s best closer with 16/16 SV/SVO, a 14.50 K rate and 7.50 K/BB. 
Huston Street Automatic Hold Goes from “lose’ to automatic hold in one week, and is now 10/11 in SV/SVO.
Sergio Romo Hold 13/15 with a 7.00 K/BB? Yes, please.
Edward Mujica Auto Hold To all the naysayers who dispute that he is a top five closer, he is 12/12 in SV/SVO with an 18.00 K/BB.
Rafael Soriano Hold Drops from Automatic hold because of a blown save. His K rate is weak but still merits a “hold.” 
Carlos Marmol Kelvin Herrera??  
John Axford Kyuji Fujikawa  
Mitchell Boggs    
Shawn Camp    
Joaquin Benoit    
Phil Coke??    
Bruce Rondon??    
Joel Hanrahan    

The current version of the Algorithm:

1. Does the pitcher have a share of the closer’s job?

2. If so, is his save percentage greater than 90% with 10 or more opportunities, or in his last ten opportunities? If “yes” then “hold.” If “no” proceed to step 3.

3. Is the pitcher’s save percentage less than or equal to 60% over his last 10 opportunities? If “yes” then “lose.” If “no” proceed to step 4.

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

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

6. Is his BaseballHQ BPV above 80?

If the answer to conditions 4-6 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. The prediction will be deemed correct or not at the time of an official announcement or when the pitcher has lost a share of the job, in which case we go back to the appearance directly after his last save.






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