FanPost

Perception vs. Reality: "Closer" division


If you are anything like me, you have this sense that in a "closer" situation the manager will almost ALWAYS call on that relief pitcher person that HE designates as his stud, if you will, his no-question go-to guy. Thus for the Cardinals ahead 9th inning it's gonna be Rosenthal, for the Pirates, Melancon, etc.

As part of my stat notebooking, post-season, I found myself taking special notice of closer use, and thought I would offer some raw numbers for others' perusal; mostly because some of the data surprised me a bit. In general, STUD use is a bit lower than I anticipated.

Anyhoo, here are some team-by-team 'facts' for 2015, with my apologies for being ignorant on formatting:

team/ # of save opportunities/ # of different pitchers used for at least one save/ % of opps that went to the stud/ stud:

StL. 77 (10) 66% - Rosenthal

NYM. 71 (12) 67% - Familia

Atl. 70 (15) 56% - Grilli

LA. 68 (9) 56% - Jansen

Pitt. 68 (8) 78% - Melancon

Chi. 67 (12) 51% - Rondon

Ariz. 65 (14) 49% - Ziegler

Wash. 64 (12) 67% - Storen/Papelbon

Colo. 61 (11) 51% - Axford

SD. 58 (9) 74% - Kimbrel

Cin. 57 (9) 63% - Chapman

Mia. 56 (8) 68% - Ramos

SF. 56 (7) 79% - Casilla

Milw. 53 (7) 75% - Rodriguez

Phil. 51 (9) 73% - Papelbon/Giles

Observe the oddities or your surprises as you will, but the two that stand out, for me, was the overall LESS use of the stud closer as I anticipated. And the two particulars of how in the hell to the Braves have so many save opportunities (relative to overall W/L record) and the Giants have so few?

* as you will note, I only selected ONE pitcher for each team as 'stud,' except for the Papelbon late-season trade, leaving out the probability that some managers switched their notion of who the stud was for short periods; and of course not taking into account those times when the stud was "not available" for having been used too much on previous days. So, maybe the stud usage % isn't so low overall, after all.