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If not K-Rod, then who?

Tigers' Closer  

33 members have voted

  1. 1. If not K-Rod, then who?

    • Justin Wilson
      19
    • Alex Wilson
      7
    • Anibal Sanchez
      1
    • Joe Jimenez
      0
    • Bruce Rondon
      0
    • Other on roster?
      4
    • Other NOT on roster?
      2


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6 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

Probably coincidence and small sample size.

He lacks confidence in his sample size?

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1 minute ago, Yoda said:

I think TV/media great exaggerate this because it sells. 

I think they do so as well.  I think the TV/media exaggerates EVERYTHING way more than it is, does not mean you can still believe the baseline.  Especially in baseball where failure is considered greatness in hitters and pitchers are expected to be perfect.  I am sure it is an interesting balance in the clubhouse to maintain.

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I don't think it will be Alex Wilson, even though I think that is the best choice right now. I think brad wants to be political with this, and the traditional thinking is that the 8th inning guy gets promoted to closer when the job opens up. 

If justin had more experience in an Andrew Miller type multi inning role it might be a different story. 

Alex seems like he can handle multiple innings, so they could bring him into the seventh and ride him through the 8th, or justin could come in for a four out save if needed. 

Anyway, either wilson is fine with me. 

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3 minutes ago, tiger337 said:

He started pitching poorly around this time last year without switching to the closer role.  So, it would be hard to say that it's a mental toughness thing.  Like I said, there is probably group of pitchers who fear the closer role. but I would bet that most would have no problem with it.  I believe most closers get the role because of high k rates and then they are labelled mentally tough after the fact.  

I think the media does that....calling them mentally tough after the fact.  I think the majority of guys in the biggs have 'it', but I do not think they all have it.

As far as pitchers go, bullpen guys, I would guess that about 80% or so could transition to the closer role and not have lingering effects on their numbers.  If they were a 1.4 WHIP before becoming a closer they will be a 1.4 WHIP after etc.

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I think the idea of saving the best reliever for high leverage is good in theory but harder to do in practice. A lot of times the high leverage happens with little warning. 

And I don't mind just making the best reliever the closer. JBK mentioned it, but if you blow it in the 7th inning, the offense has more chance to bail you out. And you still need to get the outs later. 

If you could simply insert the best guy the instant the high leverage occurs, that would be great, but these guys and their warm up routines make that difficult. 

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12 minutes ago, John_Brian_K said:

I think the media does that....calling them mentally tough after the fact.  I think the majority of guys in the biggs have 'it', but I do not think they all have it.

As far as pitchers go, bullpen guys, I would guess that about 80% or so could transition to the closer role and not have lingering effects on their numbers.  If they were a 1.4 WHIP before becoming a closer they will be a 1.4 WHIP after etc.

We are not too far apart then.  

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14 minutes ago, Shelton said:

I think the idea of saving the best reliever for high leverage is good in theory but harder to do in practice. A lot of times the high leverage happens with little warning.

 

This

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Just now, John_Brian_K said:

I think the media does that....calling them mentally tough after the fact.  I think the majority of guys in the biggs have 'it', but I do not think they all have it.

As far as pitchers go, bullpen guys, I would guess that about 80% or so could transition to the closer role and not have lingering effects on their numbers.  If they were a 1.4 WHIP before becoming a closer they will be a 1.4 WHIP after etc.

I think the number is much greater than 80%.

I think it is pretty rare for a legitimately good reliever otherwise to struggle in a closing role.

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32 minutes ago, Shelton said:

I think the idea of saving the best reliever for high leverage is good in theory but harder to do in practice. A lot of times the high leverage happens with little warning. 

 

Right, that makes the managers job harder which might be part of the reason they have set roles.  I do think though if you look at past data, you can identify specific situations which are high leverage situations and then you can anticipate when one of those situations is about to happen.  I believe that is how managers used to do it intuitively.  They could start by not bringing their best reliever into a game with a three run lead and bases empty.  

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I think it is as simple as there are institutional biases and they are coming into play, specifically:

a. It is risky to do anything too radical relative other teams, and

b. losing in the 9th looks worse than losing in the 7th, even though they both count the same in the standings.

 

Throw on the pile that virtually all teams win 90% - 100% of all games they enter the 9th with a lead (so it doesn't matter that much relative other decisions available to a manager), appearances tend to matter more than the underlying best strategy - especially if you think you might lose some of the players doing it an unconventional way.

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48 minutes ago, Shelton said:

I think the idea of saving the best reliever for high leverage is good in theory but harder to do in practice. A lot of times the high leverage happens with little warning.

A big reason why top relievers generally deliver less value in terms of wins and losses than a guy who pitches 200+ innings reasonably effectively.

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15 minutes ago, tiger337 said:

Right, that makes the managers job harder which might be part of the reason they have set roles.  I do think though if you look at past data, you can identify specific situations which are high leverage situations and then you can anticipate when one of those situations is about to happen.  I believe that is how managers used to do it intuitively.  They could start by not bringing their best reliever into a game with a three run lead and bases empty.  

Sure. If the game is in the late innings and it is tied or a one run lead for either team, that's probably a good game to be using your best relievers prior to the ninth. You could anticipate that the game will remain close enough that you could get your best guy warmed up and ready to go even if it is the 7th or 8th inning. 

It would seem to make a lot of sense to try using a lesser reliever if you get to the ninth and you have a three run lead, therefore saving the good pitcher for tomorrow if you haven't used them yet. 

I think that's a big problem with the way managers acknowledge the existence of the save stat. If it's a four run lead they almost always use a scrub, but they don't for a three run lead, although the odds of winning in either situation are close to the same. 

That would be a small thing to change and could have benefits. Basically, don't be shy about using your best guy to start the 7th or 8th when the game is close. Get those 9 or 6 outs however you can. 

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1 hour ago, tiger337 said:

He lacks confidence in his sample size?

most men have way too much confidence in their sample size.

so im told.

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i voted for franklyn german.  it was a close call between him and kevin saucier.

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36 minutes ago, tiger337 said:

Right, that makes the managers job harder which might be part of the reason they have set roles.  I do think though if you look at past data, you can identify specific situations which are high leverage situations and then you can anticipate when one of those situations is about to happen.  I believe that is how managers used to do it intuitively.  They could start by not bringing their best reliever into a game with a three run lead and bases empty.  

I don't think they'd be able to snuff everything out completely.  I realize there are some higher leverage situations that are going to occur pretty darn quickly.  But I think there's definitely room for improvement.

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I'd say Alex WIlson, Justin has obviously been our best reliever but I'd prefer to keep him in the Andrew Miller role because of his ability to get strikeouts in high leverage situations.   Starting an inning off clean like what happens in majority of the situations a closer is used the ability to strike guys out isn't as important.

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I think it's interesting that there is a lot of consensus of the board is that Justin Wilson is more valuable in the "Fireman" role than as closer and by implication that the closer need not and maybe should not be the team's best reliever. I'm pretty sure Brad Ausmus disagrees completely and that J Wilson will be the closer for the immediate future. I agree with the board and so hope I'm wrong, but I wouldn't bet a nickel on it.

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12 minutes ago, Gehringer_2 said:

I think it's interesting that there is a lot of consensus of the board is that Justin Wilson is more valuable in the "Fireman" role than as closer and by implication that the closer need not and maybe should not be the team's best reliever. I'm pretty sure Brad Ausmus disagrees completely and that J Wilson will be the closer for the immediate future. I agree with the board and so hope I'm wrong, but I wouldn't bet a nickel on it.

I guess it depends on how you define fireman role. Have we even seen wilson used in anything resembling a fireman role? Maybe we have, but to me he has simply been warming up to go into the game in the 7th (early in the season) or 8th (this season). I don't recall many instances where he has come in to the middle of an inning to put out a fire. 

I mentioned it earlier, but I just don't think you can plan to use a guy that way. 

Everyone wants to have a guy you use like Andrew Miller, but that's easier said than done. Besides, I think what makes miller unique is that he is awesome and Cody Allen also happens to very good. And miller has the ability to go multiple innings without too much trouble. So you can look at a close game and get miller warming up during the sixth or seventh while your starter is approaching 100 pitches. If the starter struggles miller is ready to go to get the final out or two of that inning, and he can easily stay in for the next inning. 

I don't know that miller or Francona are doing anything particularly revolutionary. I think it's simply a case of having a great reliever that can go multiple innings coupled with a great closer you can hand the ball to in the ninth. 

Houston has devenski and Giles doing something similar. 

I don't think the Tigers have the horses to do anything even remotely similar. But I guess if you can find someone to take the ball in the ninth, you could use justin Wilson similarly, but that assumes he is able to go multiple innings without sacrificing his effectiveness. 

If he is going to be mostly a one inning guy, might as well just plan for him to pitch the ninth when the game is close. 

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6 minutes ago, Shelton said:

I guess it depends on how you define fireman role. Have we even seen wilson used in anything resembling a fireman role? Maybe we have, but to me he has simply been warming up to go into the game in the 7th (early in the season) or 8th (this season). I don't recall many instances where he has come in to the middle of an inning to put out a fire. 

I mentioned it earlier, but I just don't think you can plan to use a guy that way. 

Everyone wants to have a guy you use like Andrew Miller, but that's easier said than done. Besides, I think what makes miller unique is that he is awesome and Cody Allen also happens to very good. And miller has the ability to go multiple innings without too much trouble. So you can look at a close game and get miller warming up during the sixth or seventh while your starter is approaching 100 pitches. If the starter struggles miller is ready to go to get the final out or two of that inning, and he can easily stay in for the next inning. 

I don't know that miller or Francona are doing anything particularly revolutionary. I think it's simply a case of having a great reliever that can go multiple innings coupled with a great closer you can hand the ball to in the ninth. 

Houston has devenski and Giles doing something similar. 

I don't think the Tigers have the horses to do anything even remotely similar. But I guess if you can find someone to take the ball in the ninth, you could use justin Wilson similarly, but that assumes he is able to go multiple innings without sacrificing his effectiveness. 

If he is going to be mostly a one inning guy, might as well just plan for him to pitch the ninth when the game is close. 

I said that very thing to a friend via text today.  You can't emulate what Francona does with Miller until you have a Miller.  He's very good.  Among the best in baseball.  Trying to replicate that with a lesser reliever will probably fail but that's a failure of the player not the process.

 

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14 minutes ago, Shelton said:

I guess it depends on how you define fireman role. Have we even seen wilson used in anything resembling a fireman role? Maybe we have, but to me he has simply been warming up to go into the game in the 7th (early in the season) or 8th (this season). I don't recall many instances where he has come in to the middle of an inning to put out a fire. 

I mentioned it earlier, but I just don't think you can plan to use a guy that way. 

Everyone wants to have a guy you use like Andrew Miller, but that's easier said than done. Besides, I think what makes miller unique is that he is awesome and Cody Allen also happens to very good. And miller has the ability to go multiple innings without too much trouble. So you can look at a close game and get miller warming up during the sixth or seventh while your starter is approaching 100 pitches. If the starter struggles miller is ready to go to get the final out or two of that inning, and he can easily stay in for the next inning. 

I don't know that miller or Francona are doing anything particularly revolutionary. I think it's simply a case of having a great reliever that can go multiple innings coupled with a great closer you can hand the ball to in the ninth. 

Houston has devenski and Giles doing something similar. 

I don't think the Tigers have the horses to do anything even remotely similar. But I guess if you can find someone to take the ball in the ninth, you could use justin Wilson similarly, but that assumes he is able to go multiple innings without sacrificing his effectiveness. 

If he is going to be mostly a one inning guy, might as well just plan for him to pitch the ninth when the game is close. 

I agree with this, however, it does still concern me that Brad has shown little if any inclination to do this. Based on his public statements and his usage of relievers, I think it's pretty clear he wants a "long guy", 7th inning guy, 8th inning guy, 9th inning guy, and he's going to use them in that order whenever possible.

In my opinion, doing that requires better pitching than the "fireman" strategy. You have to have 3 relievers who can get the job done on a daily basis in any close game. And they all have to be "on" the same day. Alex Wilson at the least seems fully capable of pitching 2-3 innings. If he gets a 1-2-3 inning in the 7th, I feel like it makes plenty of sense to just send him out for the 8th.

It seems kind of common sense to me that the more pitchers you insert into a game the more likely you are to run into a guy having an off day. Andrew Miller might be better at this role than almost anyone else in MLB, but that doesn't mean other pitchers couldn't fill the same role. Maybe Miller blows 3 games over the season, and Alex Wilson blows 6. I still think that's better than Wilson blowing 2, J. Wilson blowing 3, and K-Rod blowing 8. Or whatever. Yeah, it's a risk, but is it any riskier than putting more Tigers relievers into a game?

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