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 USAToday.com 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:
|Jim Johnson||Hold||Two blown saves in one week and now is barely hanging on to “hold” status.Â|
|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.Â|
|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.Â|
|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.|
|Heath Bell||Hold||A 7.67 K/BB and over 11 K/9. He is 5/6 in SV/SVO since assuming the role.Â|
|Craig Kimbrel||Hold||You have to be worried when his K/BB rate dips to 8.33.Â|
|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.Â|
|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.”Â|
|Carlos Marmol||Kelvin Herrera??||Â|
|John Axford||Kyuji Fujikawa||Â|
The current version of the Algorithm:
1. Does the pitcher have a share of the closerâ€™s job?
2. If so, is his save percentage greater than 90% with 10 or more opportunities, or in his last ten opportunities? If â€œyesâ€ then â€œhold.â€ If â€œnoâ€ proceed to step 3.
3. Is the pitcherâ€™s save percentage less than or equal to 60% over his last 10 opportunities? If â€œyesâ€ then â€œlose.â€ If â€œnoâ€ 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 heâ€™ll keep the job. If the answer is no to any one of the conditions, it predicts heâ€™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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