July 15, 2012 posted by Patrick DiCaprio

Closer Identifier Algorithm Results July 15

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Joel Hanrahan, PIT

Heath Bell, and his $27m contract, has yet again pitched his way out of the closer’s role in Miami. After seeing enough of Bell’s shenanigans, manager Ozzie Guillen demoted Bell, most likely for the final time this year. While Guillen wants to go to a committee, the first crack went to Steve Cishek, who already had the job earlier this year.

In his first go-round Cishek performed admirably, but has since regressed to the point that CIA now thinks he will lose his share of the job. His BB rate has been the culprit, driving his BPV below 80 and his K/BB ratio below 2.5. However, Cishek is close to the “hold” threshold, and could rate a “hold” within a week if things go well.

Matt Capps is on his way back, presenting a dilemma for CIA. Capps rates a “hold” despite subpar skills, since he is exactly at the minimum criteria for SV/SVO. We recalibrated the first prong of CIA a few weeks ago to give automatic “hold” status to any pitcher who is at least 14/15 in SV/SVO. As a result, CIA predicts hold for both Glen Perkins and Capps. This may end up giving CIA a guaranteed loss, but it will not be because of the methodology but because of the two pitchers involved.

The other situation worth watching is in New York, where Bobby Parnell started off hot in the closer role. Frank Francisco had a setback and may not be back until August. For his part, Francisco has yo-yoed back and forth between “hold” and “lose” status this year, and right now is a “lose.” Parnell has a real chance to hold him off, and given Francisco’s superficially ugly stats, CIA thinks it is Parnell’s job to lose.

Scott Downs has proven to be markedly inferior to co-closer Ernesto Frieri. Frieri has been rock solid for CIA, meriting a “hold” all season, despite an ugly 5.0 BB rate. Downs, on the other hand, doesn’t meet any of CIA’s minimums, though he is close on BPV and K/BB. After a shellacking in his first post-All-Star-Break outing, it remains to be seen if Mike Scioscia will once again keep an inferior player in a key role for no apparent reason other than inertia.

If you want daily updates, feel free to follow me on Twitter @pdicaprioFP911

Pitcher CIA result Comments
Jim Johnson Hold  
Alfredo Aceves Hold  
Addison Reed Hold barely makes CIA minimums
Chris Perez Hold  
Jose Valverde Lose  
Jon Broxton Lose  
Ernesto Frieri Hold  
Scott Downs Lose Weak K rate
Matt Capps Hold overall weak skills, but 14/15 in SV/SVO makes automatic “hold”
Glen Perkins Hold  
Rafael Soriano Hold  
Ryan Cook Lose getting closer to “hold” but still weak
Tom Wilhelmsen Hold  
Fernando Rodney Hold  
Joe Nathan Hold  
Casey Janssen Hold  
JJ Putz Hold  
Craig Kimbrel Hold  
Carlos Marmol Lose only way to get “hold” will be SV/SVO
Aroldis Chapman Hold  
Rafael Betancourt Hold  
Brett Myers Lose  
Kenley Jansen Hold  
Heath Bell Lose Lost Job
Steve Cishek Lose Lose, but close to “hold”
John Axford Lose  
Frank Francisco Lose  
Bobby Parnell Hold  
Jon Papelbon Hold  
Joel Hanrahan Hold  
Huston Street Hold  
Santiago Casilla Hold  
Jason Motte Hold  
Tyler Clippard Hold  

The current version of CIA:

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.

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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