September 10, 2012 posted by Patrick DiCaprio

Closer Identifier Algorithm Results September 10

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Aroldis Chapman, the 2nd best closer in baseball.

There are a surprising number of status changes:

-Jose Valverde gets a “hold” status based on his streak of 12 consecutive saves converted;

-Grant Balfour gets a “hold” on the strength of a 9/9 run (which will become 90% or more no matter what happens in his next opportunity) and his overall record of 15/17 is just short of 90%.

-Brandon League is added to the “lose” list, and is waiting to see if Kenley Jansen returns. 

-Frank Francisco, like a few others, has bad skills but gets a “hold” status based on a hot streak of save conversions; he is 9/10 and 23/26 on the year.

-John Axford gets a “hold” on his recent run of 9/10 in SV/SVO, but is still precarious for CIA purposes even though he probably is not in short-term danger in real life. With Ron Roenicke as his manager anything is possible.

The complete list:

Pitcher CIA result Comments  
Jim Johnson Hold Getting his mettle tested in a race and is passing with flying colors so far. Note: The SV/SVO for automatic “hold” has been eased to 90%
Andrew Bailey Lose Still rates a “lose” but time constraints are going to make this a loss for CIA if he doesn’t pick it up. 5.08 xERA says struggles are real. Note: Closers cannot lose jobs by getting hurt, but interim closers can lose jobs by returning injured closers.
Addison Reed Hold 8.71 ERA in last month so may be tiring but is still above minimums. Note: Automatic hold status is based on season AND last ten.
Chris Perez Hold More of the same.  
Jose Valverde Hold He finally gets a “hold” based on 12 straight conversions.  
Greg Holland Hold Solidly above minimums, but control is an issue  
Ernesto Frieri Hold Has been surging and BPV is solid 147.  
Glen Perkins Hold Officially repelled Jared Burton’s challenge.  
Jared Burton Hold An odd loss for CIA as he is a righty (Perkins is a LHP) and didn’t really do much wrong. But BPV is middling 97 so there is your answer.  
Rafael Soriano Hold    
Grant Balfour Hold 15/17 SV/SVO just misses, but since he is 9/9 in last ten, he can blow the tenth and still get a “hold” so he gets it now. Skills still a bit short.  
Tom Wilhelmsen Hold BPV of 98 and K/BB of 2.8 fare from elite.  
Fernando Rodney Hold What else can you say about a guy who may put up the most impressive relief season ever?  
Joe Nathan Hold 182 BPV and K/BB north of seven makes him a top ten closer.  
Casey Janssen Hold No worries here.  
J.J. Putz Hold Up a tick from last week and still as sure as the sunset for the most part.  
Craig Kimbrel Hold Still the best in baseball over Chapman.  
Carlos Marmol Hold Amazing string continues even when he lets up base runners. He just cant blow a save despite his best efforts.  
Aroldis Chapman Hold Still nudged out by Kimbrel, but is a clear number two.  
Rafael Betancourt Hold Will be an interesting case next year if he has any further skill erosion, but for now he is holding the job for sure no matter what happens aside from injury.  
Kenley Jansen Hold May yet be back.  
Ronald Belisario Lose Maintains a LOSE status with a subpar K/BB. With League in the mix, he might lose the job even if Jansen does not return.  
Brandon League Lose Once again forces me to include him. Is 2-2 as a Dodger but skill set is among the worst closers.  
Steve Cishek Hold He is 12/13 in SV/SVO since getting the job back. But skill set remains below par.  
Wilton Lopez Hold Under the radar pick who is as good as almost anyone not named Kimbrel or Chapman.  
Frank Francisco Hold 23/26 on the year and 9/10 in last ten so gets a hold despite mediocre skills.  
John Axford Hold Only chance to get “hold” status is to get 90% in last ten. Over the weekend he did so, but possibly still precarious.  
Jim Henderson Hold Have to declare this one a “miss” for CIA. One might argue that he never had a true share of the job, but that doesn’t matter for an algorithm.  
Jon Papelbon Hold No worries here.  
Joel Hanrahan Hold No worries here.  
Dale Thayer Lose Got a save on 8/20, blew on the next day and hasn’t had an opportunity since. As of then he was a “lose” so we will declare this a “hit.”  
Luke Gregerson Hold Looking great so far.  
Sergio Romo Hold Still maintains elite skills.   
Javier Lopez Lose Still maintains terrible skills.  
Jason Motte Hold Quietly has become a top ten closer, perhaps.  
Tyler Clippard Hold In the bottom tier of closers for sure, but still merits a “hold.”  
Hits Misses    
Hector Santiago Sean Marshall    
Francisco Cordero (TOR) Steve Cishek    
Jordan Walden Dale Thayer    
Brian Fuentes Bobby Parnell    
Rafael Dolis Jared Burton    
Heath Bell Jim Henderson    
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      
Alfredo Aceves      
Scott Downs       
Jeremy Affeldt      
Dale Thayer (second shot)      

And the algorithm:

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 90% with 10 or more opportunities, or in his last ten or more? If “yes” then “hold.” If “no” proceed to step 2.

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 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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