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Dartgod
04-29-2008, 10:32 PM
I was just looking at the box score from tonights game. Nice win for the boys in blue and the offense finally broke out for 9 runs. Not to mention Guillen breaking out with 5 RBIs!

Anyway, I was looking at Soria's season stats.

11 IP, 3 hits, 0.00 ERA!, 6 saves, 13 SO, 1 BB and batters are hitting .083 against him. Un-freaking-real!

He might be the best pitcher in MLB right now.

Adept Havelock
04-29-2008, 10:33 PM
I was just looking at the box score from tonights game. Nice win for the boys in blue and the offense finally broke out for 9 runs. Not to mention Guillen breaking out with 5 RBIs!

Anyway, I was looking at Soria's season stats.

10 IP, 3 hits, 0.00 ERA!, 6 saves, 11 SO, 0 BB and batters are hitting .094 against him. Un-freaking-real!

He might be the best pitcher in MLB right now.

He was one hell of a Rule 5 pick up, that's for damn sure. :thumb:

Dartgod
04-29-2008, 10:35 PM
He was one hell of a Rule 5 pick up, that's for damn sure. :thumb:
Did Dayton Moore get him or is he one of Allard Baird's acquisitions?

huskerdooz
04-29-2008, 10:38 PM
I believe he was Dayton's. Last year was his rookie year and he had to stay on the roster as a rule 5 pickup.

Pitt Gorilla
04-29-2008, 10:43 PM
It's no fluke either; Joakim is simply filthy. His breaking stuff is unreal.

alnorth
04-29-2008, 10:52 PM
I am beginning to believe Soria could actually be the best closer in baseball, or at least top-3. This is not hyperbole or blind homerism, he's got Rivera-in-his-prime stuff and gets a crazy-high number of strikeouts. Its still early to crown him as a bullpen God, but if he has 1 or 2 more full seasons like this, then it would be time to have a serious talk about whether we can sign him long-term when he uses up half his required service with the Royals.

Its just unreal that this kid just falls out of the sky into our laps like this.

WoodDraw
04-29-2008, 10:59 PM
That just show how big of a waste he is as a closer. Our best pitcher has only thrown 10 innings? That's crazy. He should start getting stretched out to multiple innings, with the long term goal of getting him in the rotation.

alnorth
04-29-2008, 11:08 PM
That just show how big of a waste he is as a closer. Our best pitcher has only thrown 10 innings? That's crazy. He should start getting stretched out to multiple innings, with the long term goal of getting him in the rotation.

Right now we still have a faint unlikely hope at competing, so we still have to keep grabbing for the brass ring with what we know works. I'm fine with experimenting with him and/or Nunez later this year if we are hopelessly out of contention, unless our pitching coaches are just somehow absolutely certain that he doesnt have the stamina or pitching arsenal to make it as a starter. As great a closer as he is now, he'd be far more valuable as an ace, if he was capable of it. An elite (top-5) closer is about as valuable as a moderately above-average starter. A really good or elite starter blows away everything else in value.

If we eventually try it out and he cant hack it as a starter, then this would be a really nice consolation prize for him to fall back on.

WoodDraw
04-29-2008, 11:14 PM
Right now we still have a faint unlikely hope at competing, so we still have to keep grabbing for the brass ring with what we know works. I'm fine with experimenting with him and/or Nunez later this year if we are hopelessly out of contention, unless our pitching coaches are just somehow absolutely certain that he doesnt have the stamina or pitching arsenal to make it as a starter. As great a closer as he is now, he'd be far more valuable as an ace, if he was capable of it. An elite (top-5) closer is about as valuable as a moderately above-average starter. A really good or elite starter blows away everything else in value.

If we eventually try it out and he cant hack it as a starter, then this would be a really nice consolation prize for him to fall back on.

I get what you're saying, but I don't think it makes sense. If we have any chance of being competitive, wouldn't maximizing our best pitcher's innings improve that chance? I'm not saying throw him in the rotation; he doesn't have the arm strength or stamina for that yet. But let him pitch in our most important innings, not just a worthless inning where we are up by four runs like today.

He's only valuable if he's pitching in valuable innings. Right now, he's not.

KCChiefsMan
04-29-2008, 11:16 PM
he's damn good, definately the best addition to my fantasy baseball league.

alnorth
04-29-2008, 11:26 PM
I get what you're saying, but I don't think it makes sense. If we have any chance of being competitive, wouldn't maximizing our best pitcher's innings improve that chance? I'm not saying throw him in the rotation; he doesn't have the arm strength or stamina for that yet. But let him pitch in our most important innings, not just a worthless inning where we are up by four runs like today.

He's only valuable if he's pitching in valuable innings. Right now, he's not.

He just got in work today, we cant let him rot on the bench with too many days off. He pitches in almost every valuable 9th, so to say he's being completely wasted is just not true.

Its easier to be a great relief pitcher. They dont have to pace themselves at all, they give everything they have for 3 outs, and they dont have to worry about a lineup seeing their stuff for the third or fourth time while they are running out of gas. The batter has no chance to figure out the closer, its final exam on day 1 and see you later. Frankly, I believe the odds of him succeeding as a starter are maybe 50/50 at best, probably closer to 25/75.

The upside is high enough to try it when we have nothing to lose. However, we know he can help us close games now, and if we try him as a starter while we still have a faint unlikely hope at competing and it doesnt work, the season is over. We have other pitchers in the rotation and waiting to come up who have been trained to be starters, and it'll be up to them until we fall out of the race.

I'd rather experiment when the games do not count. Right now they still do count, so he's our closer until further notice.

WoodDraw
04-29-2008, 11:36 PM
He just got in work today, we cant let him rot on the bench with too many days off. He pitches in almost every valuable 9th, so to say he's being completely wasted is just not true.

Its easier to be a great relief pitcher. They dont have to pace themselves at all, they give everything they have for 3 outs, and they dont have to worry about a lineup seeing their stuff for the third or fourth time while they are running out of gas. The batter has no chance to figure out the closer, its final exam on day 1 and see you later. Frankly, I believe the odds of him succeeding as a starter are maybe 50/50 at best, probably closer to 25/75.

The upside is high enough to try it when we have nothing to lose. However, we know he can help us close games now, and if we try him as a starter while we still have a faint unlikely hope at competing and it doesnt work, the season is over. We have other pitchers in the rotation and waiting to come up who have been trained to be starters, and it'll be up to them until we fall out of the race.

I'd rather experiment when the games do not count. Right now they still do count, so he's our closer until further notice.

It's not experimenting, though. We're not talking about moving him straight to the rotation. Why not pitch him during our most important innings, regardless of where in the game that falls? The idea of having a set closer is stupid. All it does is limit your best pitcher to innings that often are worthless. If we need a good pitcher in the 6th, 7th, or 8th, use him. And don't be scared to let him pitch more than one inning at a time.

And he was a starter before the Royals picked him up. In fact, he threw a perfect game in Mexico a day after the Royals selected him, which is like throwing a perfect game in Denver. If that game had been a few days earlier, the Royals wouldn't have him right now.

Chiefmanwillcatch
04-29-2008, 11:59 PM
sign him long term deal?

beavis
04-30-2008, 03:32 AM
It's not experimenting, though. We're not talking about moving him straight to the rotation. Why not pitch him during our most important innings, regardless of where in the game that falls? The idea of having a set closer is stupid. All it does is limit your best pitcher to innings that often are worthless. If we need a good pitcher in the 6th, 7th, or 8th, use him. And don't be scared to let him pitch more than one inning at a time.

And he was a starter before the Royals picked him up. In fact, he threw a perfect game in Mexico a day after the Royals selected him, which is like throwing a perfect game in Denver. If that game had been a few days earlier, the Royals wouldn't have him right now.

Totally agree with all of your points in this thread. I don't even think it's a matter of the most important innings, but more so the quantity of innings he's throwing. I haven't looked, but I'd imagine that Greinke probably has around 40 IP so far this year, compared to Soria's 10. I think eventually he has to get moved to the rotation, he's just to valubable to be only a closer with his pitch selection, and as you state before, he's been a starter previously, so it's not like it's going to be completely foreign to him.

Also, I'd like to nominate Nunez as the man to replace him as closer. :thumb:

Braincase
04-30-2008, 05:33 AM
Why not pitch him during our most important innings, regardless of where in the game that falls? The idea of having a set closer is stupid.

So, you are saying with the game on the line, the 8th and 9th innings of a game aren't the most important?

Keep him where he is. He's very valuable, and I'd rather have a nails closer rather than some washed up bullpen vet that is likely to give up a game winner when we're up by one run in the 8th or 9th innings.

Fish
04-30-2008, 07:53 AM
So, you are saying with the game on the line, the 8th and 9th innings of a game aren't the most important?

Keep him where he is. He's very valuable, and I'd rather have a nails closer rather than some washed up bullpen vet that is likely to give up a game winner when we're up by one run in the 8th or 9th innings.

Exactly. That's how you effectively use a closer. You can't just throw him out there in the 7th inning because you think it's an important inning. It doesn't work that way, and there's a reason why teams don't do it. Soria is still inexperienced. He's handling it well now, but that doesn't mean we should just throw him to the wolves just to see what happens.

He's already one of the best closers out there. Be patient and let him do what he's been doing and get experience being one of the best. Now isn't the time to change it up. Pitchers are a special breed. Their mental part of the game is very important, and must be handled correctly for them to succeed.

Dartgod
04-30-2008, 08:05 AM
So far he has pitched 10 innings of scoreless baseball. That's barely more than 1 game. As it is, he has been involved in at least 6 wins. Who knows how his performance as a closer (when he knows he will be pitching only one inning) will translate to the starting role.

We already have a pretty good core of set-up men (Gobble, Nunez, Ramirez) so there's no reason to use him in that role either.

I see no valid reason to use him in any role other than where is is now, where he is simply dominating I might add.

Demonpenz
04-30-2008, 08:07 AM
I am beginning to believe Soria could actually be the best closer in baseball, or at least top-3. This is not hyperbole or blind homerism, he's got Rivera-in-his-prime stuff and gets a crazy-high number of strikeouts. Its still early to crown him as a bullpen God, but if he has 1 or 2 more full seasons like this, then it would be time to have a serious talk about whether we can sign him long-term when he uses up half his required service with the Royals.

Its just unreal that this kid just falls out of the sky into our laps like this.


One thing I would like to point out is Soria "stuff" Is better than rivera. Rivera was the best for along time but all he threw was his cutter. So when speaking it is probably more correct to say he is as effective as Rivera. If you are talking about "stuff" well rivera didn't have much other than his A+ cutter, but you didn't see him breaking off yellow hammer's all day long making batters miss. Rivera broke alot of bats. Just a different way of skinning a cat but it bothers me when people says their "stuff" are the same.

Adept Havelock
04-30-2008, 08:08 AM
So far he has pitched 10 innings of scoreless baseball. That's barely more than 1 game. As it is, he has been involved in at least 6 wins. Who knows how his performance as a closer (when he knows he will be pitching only one inning) will translate to the starting role.

We already have a pretty good core of set-up men (Gobble, Nunez, Ramirez) so there's no reason to use him in that role either.

I see no valid reason to use him in any role other than where is is now, where he is simply dominating I might add.

Ive got to agree. Last night was the first time I can remember him getting in any kind of trouble, and he got out of it nicely.

If it's not broke, don't fix it. That's one part of the team that is rock-solid.

I've also got to say I'm fairly impressed with Dayton's ability to cobble together a bullpen.

DaKCMan AP
04-30-2008, 08:09 AM
http://www.danvk.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2007/06/joakim_noah.png

Dartgod
04-30-2008, 08:11 AM
By the way, I've probably completely jinxed him now and he will go on to blow his next 10 save opportunities. :banghead:

WoodDraw
04-30-2008, 08:32 AM
So, you are saying with the game on the line, the 8th and 9th innings of a game aren't the most important?

Keep him where he is. He's very valuable, and I'd rather have a nails closer rather than some washed up bullpen vet that is likely to give up a game winner when we're up by one run in the 8th or 9th innings.

What? No. I'm saying any inning where the game is on the line is important. If our bullpen blows the game in the 7th or 8th, what good does having a closer in the 9th do you? Having your best pitcher set for 9th innings only, regardless of the progress of the game, costs your team wins over the year. The fact that every team does it just goes to show you the lunacy and conservatism of the baseball powers today.


You are all pointing out the biggest problem with breaking in a young pitcher in the bullpen. When he has success, people hate to mess with it even though being even an average starting pitcher is so much more valuable. You could put any good starting pitcher in the bullpen, and they'd make an even better. That doesn't mean you should. Everyone used these same arguments with Johan Santana, a rule 5 pick himself, and Greinke. Does anyone want those people back in the bullpen now?

Looking at Soria's innings so far this year, he's only protected a one run game three time this year. The rest of the time he has pitched, the Royals have been losing or leading by more than one run, including five games led by three of more runs. You can't tell me those are the best times to use your best pitcher.

GoHuge
04-30-2008, 08:35 AM
That just show how big of a waste he is as a closer. Our best pitcher has only thrown 10 innings? That's crazy. He should start getting stretched out to multiple innings, with the long term goal of getting him in the rotation.I get what your saying, but we have 4 starters pitching in the rotation right now that are going to be our starters for the next four years. They said they eventually want to see him as a starter, but right now he is in the best position for the team. What we need is offense!! Also Nunez has me extremely nervous. Here we thought we found a lights out setup guy and he has crumbled the last two times he was out. He blew one of those Toronto games and I wanted to take a bat to my TV. But if we had some offense these guys could relax and just pitch instead of being scared to even let one run score, because that one run they give up might be the ball game. I think the starters believe they've got to throw a shut out every game. Of course that's the mind set they all have, but when it really is true that's a whole different type of pressure. Our offense doesn't pick up our pitchers. I feel bad for these pitchers because those are unrealistic expectations. An ERA under four is considered decent. Gil had a 3 something last year and had a losing record. That's just sad.

Guillen is starting to come around, but Meche needs to relax and start coming around. I use to view him as a win if he had just a little help. but this year the offense can't keep up with him. His ERA is somewhere in the 7's. On the bright side Greinke and Bannister are in the top five in ERA in the AL. I also think Like will settle down like he did on his last start and only get better. My main concern is a setup guy. Hopefully Nunez can lock it back in. Other than that out pitching staff is better than it's been in years. Our team ERA is in the 4.4 area which is almost the same as last year, but that will get better once everybody settles down (mainly Luke). Look for Soria next year in the rotation, or not because he really could be the best closer in MLB. Just remember it wasn't long ago we where all scared shitless when the merry-go-round of closers came in. I like having a guy that comes in at the start of the ninth inning and you know the game is over. Burgos and all those guys aren't that distant a memory.

Fish
04-30-2008, 08:39 AM
What? No. I'm saying any inning where the game is on the line is important. If our bullpen blows the game in the 7th or 8th, what good does having a closer in the 9th do you? Having your best pitcher set for 9th innings only, regardless of the progress of the game, costs your team wins over the year. The fact that every team does it just goes to show you the lunacy and conservatism of the baseball powers today.


You are all pointing out the biggest problem with breaking in a young pitcher in the bullpen. When he has success, people hate to mess with it even though being even an average starting pitcher is so much more valuable. You could put any good starting pitcher in the bullpen, and they'd make an even better. That doesn't mean you should. Everyone used these same arguments with Johan Santana, a rule 5 pick himself, and Greinke. Does anyone want those people back in the bullpen now?

Looking at Soria's innings so far this year, he's only protected a one run game three time this year. The rest of the time he has pitched, the Royals have been losing or leading by more than one run, including five games led by three of more runs. You can't tell me those are the best times to use your best pitcher.

So all those professional baseball teams have it wrong, and you've got it figured out?

Nahh... I'll take the proven patient method that has produced quality pitchers for the last 4 or 5 decades.

Ari Chi3fs
04-30-2008, 08:40 AM
sign him long term deal?

YES> YES YES

eazyb81
04-30-2008, 08:41 AM
Have the people pushing for Soria to move to the rotation actually seen him pitch? He has one of the most violent, awkward deliveries I've ever seen. Add in the fact that he's already had elbow reconstruction surgery, and I have no doubt he wouldn't last through a 200 IP season.

Yes, it would be great to have him pitch like this as a starter instead of a reliever, but it's just no realistic. Just let him dominate the end of games like K-Rod and Rivera.

Dartgod
04-30-2008, 08:56 AM
Burgos and all those guys aren't that distant a memory.
Winnar!

Manila-Chief
04-30-2008, 09:30 AM
So, you are saying with the game on the line, the 8th and 9th innings of a game aren't the most important?

Keep him where he is. He's very valuable, and I'd rather have a nails closer rather than some washed up bullpen vet that is likely to give up a game winner when we're up by one run in the 8th or 9th innings.

Correct!!! Any of you remember our glory years and how valuable a closer was to our success? I wouldn't mess with this kid. To have an excellent closer will help us when we do get to the point we can challenge in the playoffs.

How many games have we lost in recent years when the bull pen could hold a lead? Enough said!!!!

It seems to me that we have several very promising starters. Soria will help them win a lot of games. Don't mess with success!!!!

duncan_idaho
04-30-2008, 09:49 AM
The other thing to consider with Soria is that his stuff won't be quite as nasty as a starter as it is as a reliever.

His fastball is going to dip a few mph, and his curve is going to be a little more flat - because you can't throw every pitch as hard as a starter as you can as a reliever.

petegz28
04-30-2008, 10:19 AM
Actually he did walk a guy last night. I think it was a tease. He loaded the bases and went 3-2 on the tying run before sitting him down with a K and the game.

Dartgod
04-30-2008, 10:24 AM
Actually he did walk a guy last night. I think it was a tease. He loaded the bases and went 3-2 on the tying run before sitting him down with a K and the game.
Yeah, looks like I pulled stats that didn't include last night.

Current stats;

11 IP, 3 hits, 0.00 ERA!, 6 saves, 13 SO, 1 BB and batters are hitting .083 against him

Sure-Oz
04-30-2008, 10:26 AM
Soria sucked last night.....lol

im sure he was a bit tired since hes been out there 3 out of the last 4 days i think

Dartgod
04-30-2008, 10:29 AM
Soria sucked last night.....lol

im sure he was a bit tired since hes been out there 3 out of the last 4 days i think
Yeah, he walked a batter! Oh Noes!!!

He also got two more K's and lowered his BAA from .094 to .083. :shake:

Sure-Oz
04-30-2008, 10:30 AM
Yeah, he walked a batter! Oh Noes!!!

He also got two more K's and lowered his BAA from .094 to .083. :shake:

dude is money right now, i love having a dominant closer

huskerdooz
04-30-2008, 10:32 AM
Have the people pushing for Soria to move to the rotation actually seen him pitch? He has one of the most violent, awkward deliveries I've ever seen. Add in the fact that he's already had elbow reconstruction surgery, and I have no doubt he wouldn't last through a 200 IP season.

Yes, it would be great to have him pitch like this as a starter instead of a reliever, but it's just no realistic. Just let him dominate the end of games like K-Rod and Rivera.

?????

Soria has a violent, awkward delivery? Since when?

Can you show me any documentation of having prior reconstructive elbow surgery.

Please provide one reputable source that claims Soria has a violent delivery.

The reason he has been so effective as a closer with a fastball that tops out at 91-92 mph is because he has such a smooth delivery and because for some reason hitters are unable to pick up the ball out of his hand.

WoodDraw
04-30-2008, 10:34 AM
So all those professional baseball teams have it wrong, and you've got it figured out?

Nahh... I'll take the proven patient method that has produced quality pitchers for the last 4 or 5 decades.

It's not like I just made this up. The effectiveness of having a set closer has been examined in study after study. Having your best bullpen arm consistently pitch only the 9th inning, regardless of the score, costs your team runs. The better solution is to have a "relief ace" - a pitcher that you turn to whenever the game is on the line, regardless of the inning. How many games have you seen blown in the 6-8th innings, only to see the closer come in in the 9th to get some work in?

You're the one ignoring the evidence. Screw the statistics and the studies, I know more. Baseball has a long standing hostility to sabermetrics that is just beginning to disappear. People don't like to be told that the long standing traditions of America's pastime are stupid.

Have the people pushing for Soria to move to the rotation actually seen him pitch? He has one of the most violent, awkward deliveries I've ever seen. Add in the fact that he's already had elbow reconstruction surgery, and I have no doubt he wouldn't last through a 200 IP season.

Yes, it would be great to have him pitch like this as a starter instead of a reliever, but it's just no realistic. Just let him dominate the end of games like K-Rod and Rivera.

Ah, ****, I knew I was forgetting something.

He was a starter before being moved to the bullpen by the Royals. The Royals moved him to the bullpen solely because he was a rule 5 pick and had to be carried on the roster all year. If he followed the normal developmental track of a minor leaguer, he'd be in the rotation right now.

Sure it's realistic. Moore talked about doing it last year, but picked Greinke instead and kept Soria's innings lower. His delivery isn't violent, at least when compared to other power pitchers. Elbow surgery doesn't tend to have long-term effects like shoulder surgery either. His control is near perfect, too.

The other thing to consider with Soria is that his stuff won't be quite as nasty as a starter as it is as a reliever.

His fastball is going to dip a few mph, and his curve is going to be a little more flat - because you can't throw every pitch as hard as a starter as you can as a reliever.

Yeah, the typical difference between a pitchers ERA in the bullpen and their ERA in the rotation is 25%. Various things affect that, mainly their control, strike out rate, and ability to not give up HRs. Most bullpen arms are either power pitchers who either lack the control or secondary pitches needed to make it in the rotation, or situational lefties, who have drastic splits that limit their effectiveness to specific situations.

Soria has every quality you look for in a starting pitcher: multiple plus pitches, control, high strike out rate, past as a starter, and a low HR rate. AGAIN, I'm not saying move him to the rotation now - that's stupid. Maybe in September for a few starts if his innings aren't too high, and definitely in the future. But right now he should be pitching more innings that are actually important. We're using our best pitcher rarely and 50% of the time in innings that are nearly worthless.

Dartgod
04-30-2008, 10:39 AM
?????

Soria has a violent, awkward delivery? Since when?

Can you show me any documentation of having prior reconstructive elbow surgery.

Please provide one reputable source that claims Soria has a violent delivery.

The reason he has been so effective as a closer with a fastball that tops out at 91-92 mph is because he has such a smooth delivery and because for some reason hitters are unable to pick up the ball out of his hand.
Here you go. Doesn't look violent to me. :shrug:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Avl34AsCHIw&feature=related

Demonpenz
04-30-2008, 10:42 AM
the hardest out to get is the final one

WoodDraw
04-30-2008, 10:48 AM
the hardest out to get is the final one

Prove it.

huskerdooz
04-30-2008, 10:51 AM
Prove it.

Prove that it's not.

Fish
04-30-2008, 10:53 AM
It's not like I just made this up. The effectiveness of having a set closer has been examined in study after study. Having your best bullpen arm consistently pitch only the 9th inning, regardless of the score, costs your team runs. The better solution is to have a "relief ace" - a pitcher that you turn to whenever the game is on the line, regardless of the inning. How many games have you seen blown in the 6-8th innings, only to see the closer come in in the 9th to get some work in?

You're the one ignoring the evidence. Screw the statistics and the studies, I know more. Baseball has a long standing hostility to sabermetrics that is just beginning to disappear. People don't like to be told that the long standing traditions of America's pastime are stupid.



Study after study huh? Well could you link a few of these studies for us? I'd like to see them....

And how many holds have we seen in the 6th or 7th innings in the past, only to be blown for a loss in the 9th because our lights-out pitcher has already pitched?

Your sabermetrics justifications are weak.....

Demonpenz
04-30-2008, 10:54 AM
Prove it.

The last out is the hardest out to get that is why managers put the person who throws the hardest or has the nastiest stuff in that very inning because it is so tough of an out. You expect me to put in some stats that show it is the toughest out but the stats dont reflect how hard it is because for one inning you have one dude that is there to shut the other team down throwing his best stuff.

Demonpenz
04-30-2008, 10:56 AM
350 game winner maddux says it is the hardest

Maddux: 'Closing's got to be the hardest job in baseball'
By Tom Krasovic
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
9:47 p.m. April 24, 2008

Don't tell Greg Maddux that relievers are failed starting pitchers. Maddux, who has made 712 starts, said a closer has baseball's toughest job because the mental burden is so great.

"When the closer messes up, you lose," Maddux said, elaborating on comments he made Wednesday after closer Trevor Hoffman blew the save. "Anyone here can go 0-for-4 -- you can still win. A starting pitcher can get knocked out in the fifth -- you can still win. A reliever can come in and walk the two guys he faces -- you can still win.

"Mentally, closing's got to be the hardest job in baseball."

WoodDraw
04-30-2008, 10:58 AM
Prove that it's not.

Hah, it doesn't generally work that way. ;)

There's no evidence that points to the 27th out somehow behind harder to get than the 15th out. Logically, that doesn't make sense. People tend to weigh the last out higher, because that's the last thing that happened. If the closer blows the lead, he blows the game. If a reliever blows the leads, he simply lost the lead. It's emotional, not statistical.

Now that doesn't mean some innings worked by a pitcher shouldn't be weighed above others. Or that every single out is equally easy to get. But that's different than what he said, and more complex. And since I'm already running late, I'll have to post on that later.

Demonpenz
04-30-2008, 10:59 AM
As with position players and starting pitchers, reliable Fantasy performance among closers is hard to find. There is a scarcity of pitchers who can be counted on for saves year after year. One key to accumulating saves is to find pitchers with superior skills. The ability to strike batters out is critically important for closers, because it's the most direct way that a pitcher can prevent baserunners. The research of Voros McCracken and others tells us that roughly three out of every 10 balls hit in play will become base hits. Avoiding home runs and walks aren't bad ways to prevent runs either.

As important as these skills are, a closer should also pitch for a winning team if he is going to be a reliable source of saves. Last year, a save was credited in 49% of all games played, so a pitcher who pitches for a 60-win team could pick up as many as 20 more saves simply by moving to a 100-win team. It is good to have a closer who strikes out a batter an inning, walks almost no one, and is stingy with the long ball, but it is much better to have that pitcher on a contending squad.

Below is a list of closers who pitched at an elite level in 2007 (or in the recovering B.J. Ryan's case, in 2006). Elite performance is defined here as a K/BB rate greater than 3.0 and a HR/9 rate below 1.0. Nearly all of these closers should be reliable sources of saves in 2008. However, expectations for Huston Street, Francisco Cordero, Bobby Jenks, Joe Nathan, Matt Capps, Joakim Soria and George Sherill should be a bit lower than for the others. They are good enough to keep their jobs all season long, but their save totals will likely be depressed by a relative lack of opportunity to close out wins for bad or mediocre teams. The same is true for Troy Percival, and also note that his 2007 numbers were based on only 40 innings.

Elite Closers (2007 Stats)
Pitcher BB/9 K/9 K/BB HR/9
J.J. Putz 1.6 10.3 6.3 0.8
Mariano Rivera 1.5 9.3 6.2 0.5
Takashi Saito 1.8 10.9 6.0 0.7
Jonathan Papelbon 2.3 13.0 5.6 0.8
Huston Street 2.2 11.3 5.3 0.9
Francisco Cordero 2.6 12.2 4.8 0.6
Bobby Jenks 1.8 7.8 4.3 0.3
B.J. Ryan ('06) 2.5 10.7 4.3 0.4
Joe Nathan 2.4 9.7 4.0 0.5
Matt Capps 1.8 7.3 4.0 0.6
Joakim Soria 2.5 9.8 3.9 0.4
Billy Wagner 2.9 10.5 3.6 0.8
Troy Percival 2.3 8.1 3.6 0.7
George Sherrill


You think if the final out wasn't the toughest to get these studs wouldn't be closing?

Demonpenz
04-30-2008, 11:02 AM
Hah, it doesn't generally work that way. ;)

There's no evidence that points to the 27th out somehow behind harder to get than the 15th out. Logically, that doesn't make sense. People tend to weigh the last out higher, because that's the last thing that happened. If the closer blows the lead, he blows the game. If a reliever blows the leads, he simply lost the lead. It's emotional, not statistical.

Now that doesn't mean some innings worked by a pitcher shouldn't be weighed above others. Or that every single out is equally easy to get. But that's different than what he said, and more complex. And since I'm already running late, I'll have to post on that later.

The evidence is around the league. The managers who make the big bucks put their best in to close. I would rather go with those guys who are in the clubhouse and have been around the players all their lives than a person with a hardon for excel spreadsheets

heapshake
04-30-2008, 11:04 AM
Here is Rany's opinion on the subject

It’s the classic dilemma in modern baseball: do you take a pitcher that has proven they can succeed in a high-leverage relief role, and move him to the rotation, where he might give you three times as many innings?<?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = O /><O:P>
</O:P>
Soria threw 69 innings last year. Factor in two additional weeks that he spent on the DL for precautionary reasons more than anything else, and you figure he’s good for 75-80 innings as a reliever. Projecting any starter for more than 200 innings is risky anymore, so let’s say that he’s worth 200 innings in the rotation.<O:P>
</O:P>
Now factor in leverage. A closer’s innings will be necessarily more valuable than a starter because (presumably) he is being leveraged in situations where a single run allowed has far more impact on the game than it would in, say, the first inning of a tie game. Fortunately, at Baseball Prospectus we have a statistic to measure that, conveniently called Leverage (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?mode=viewstat&stat=249). Soria’s Leverage was 1.53 last year, so roughly speaking you can argue that his 69 innings were as important as 69*1.53=106 innings from a starting pitcher would be.<O:P>
</O:P>
But Soria’s Leverage last year reflects the time he spent in middle relief as well as his time as the closer. The Leverage of the other four closers in the division last year ranged from 1.59 (Bobby Jenks) to 2.09 (Joe Borowski). A typical closer has a Leverage rating between 1.7 and 1.8. So Soria’s 75-80 innings in relief would be the equivalent of about 135 innings as a starter.<O:P>
</O:P>
Then you have to account for the fact that, almost without exception, all pitchers will be more effective in relief than in the rotation. This is not a controversial statement, but the size of that difference might be surprising. Research (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=5471) that Nate Silver did as part of his annual improvements to PECOTA showed that, if you hold all other factors equal and move a reliever into the rotation, his ERA will rise a full 25%.<O:P>
</O:P>
Now, Soria had a 2.48 ERA last season; tack on 25% and you’re at 3.10, and a starter with a 3.10 ERA is a damn sight more valuable than a reliever with a 2.48 ERA, Leverage be damned. But what if Soria’s true talent is more in the 3-3.5 ERA range? Would you rather have a closer with an ERA of 3.20, or a starter with an ERA of 4.00? In that case, you’d still want the starting pitcher. According to Nate, in fact, “a 2.00 ERA closer is roughly as valuable as a 3.69 ERA, 200-inning starting pitcher.”<O:P>
</O:P>
Not all pitchers improve equally when moving from the rotation to the bullpen. As Nate found in a subsequent article (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=5488), there are certain factors that make it more likely that a starting pitcher will blossom in relief. Those factors are 1) a high strikeout rate; 2) a high walk rate, i.e. poor command; 3) lots of isolated power, i.e. a flyball pitcher who gives up homers.<O:P>
</O:P>
In other words, a pitcher with great stuff and little idea where the ball is going should see more improvement, moving from the rotation to the bullpen, than average. Nate brings up the examples of Bobby Jenks, Jonathan Papelbon, and J.J. Putz as guys who took to the bullpen like a fish to water. Conversely, that means that such a pitcher who was already in the bullpen would struggle more than average if he was moved to the rotation. For that reason, Nate argued against the idea of moving Papelbon back to the rotation after his rookie year (an opinion the Red Sox eventually agreed with, and an opinion that was borne out last year.)<O:P>
</O:P>
But look at Soria. Soria had a terrific strikeout rate, <?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = ST1 /><ST1:METRICCONVERTER productid="75 in">75 in</ST1:METRICCONVERTER> 69 innings, true. But he also had phenomenal control – just 16 unintentional walks in 69 innings – and was almost impossible to hit for power; he surrendered just three homers, a triple, and eight doubles all year. His isolated power against was just .077, which is less than Tony Pena Jr’s isolated power (.089) last year. Soria is the antithesis of the Rick Vaughn closer stereotype – his strikeouts were the result of movement and placement, not from just blowing the hitters away with high heat. He would seem to be, in other words, the type of pitcher that would adjust better to the rotation than most relievers.<O:P>
</O:P>
I understand why the Royals are keeping him in the bullpen, because it’s just so easy to look at him and envision a young Mariano Rivera on the mound. There are some visual similarities, and of course Soria has a great cutter, and like Rivera he used that cutter to just saw off the bats of left-handed hitters last year (they hit just .167/.217/.229 against Soria, which is filthy). And like Rivera he gave up very few extra-base hits.<O:P>
</O:P>
But we shouldn’t be making momentous decisions like this based purely on his superficial similarities to one admittedly unique pitcher. Rivera has thrived in the bullpen as essentially a one-pitch pitcher, but Soria has four good pitches, he’s young, he’s worked as a starter for most of his pro career, and there’s a lot of statistical evidence to suggest he will adapt to the rotation just fine.<O:P>
</O:P>
The Royals need their security blanket for now, so they’re leaving Soria in the closer’s role, but they have not shut the door on him returning to the rotation in the future. Unfortunately, time will shut that door for them soon enough. Assuming the Royals aren’t actually in a pennant race in the second half and can afford to experiment for the future, they need to put Soria in the rotation for the last month or two of the season and see what they’ve got. Worst-case scenario, in 2009 he goes back to being the team’s first bona-fide closer since Jeff Montgomery. Best-case scenario…the Royals have something even more valuable than a bona-fide closer.<O:P>
</O:P>
In whatever role they use him in, he’s a joy to watch. Good thing we’ll be watching him in <ST1:CITY><ST1:PLACE>Kansas City</ST1:PLACE></ST1:CITY> for the next five years.


http://www.ranyontheroyals.com/2008/03/reason-9-closer.html

Sfeihc
04-30-2008, 11:05 AM
Soria=All Star

Demonpenz
04-30-2008, 11:05 AM
This is compition people get more focus late in the games it is just human nature

Sure-Oz
04-30-2008, 11:07 AM
Just watchign soria out on the mound, he knows he's a badass mother****er....

he even has the whole mini beard thing going a quiet confidence that just dominates hitters

alnorth
04-30-2008, 11:14 AM
The Royals need their security blanket for now, so they’re leaving Soria in the closer’s role, but they have not shut the door on him returning to the rotation in the future. Unfortunately, time will shut that door for them soon enough. Assuming the Royals aren’t actually in a pennant race in the second half and can afford to experiment for the future, they need to put Soria in the rotation for the last month or two of the season and see what they’ve got. Worst-case scenario, in 2009 he goes back to being the team’s first bona-fide closer since Jeff Montgomery. Best-case scenario…the Royals have something even more valuable than a bona-fide closer.

In whatever role they use him in, he’s a joy to watch. Good thing we’ll be watching him in Kansas City for the next five years.

I agree with this.

Demonpenz
04-30-2008, 11:31 AM
I don't like the idea of putting him in the starter roll. We have a closer fine lets fill the other spots, but I trust the guys in baseball know better than me. I just have this scary feeling one day around the 6th inning Jakim has to come out he is grabbing his elbow. It's a strain, then on the dl, then out for the year the 2 year surgery then comes back in 2011 throwing 81

duncan_idaho
04-30-2008, 11:32 AM
I think if Hochevar proves he is ready and Meche bounces back, the Royals can afford to leave Soria in the bullpen (though I'm not 100 percent against giving him a shot as a starter), because then you're looking at one spot and have several promising young pitchers ready to compete for it in 2009 (Lumsden, Davies, etc).

That said, he projects better as the No. 3 behind Greinke and Bannister than anyone else the Royals can run out their right now, and if there's one thing Moore has absolutely proven, it is that he knows how to construct a bullpen...

alnorth
04-30-2008, 11:40 AM
I don't like the idea of putting him in the starter roll. We have a closer fine lets fill the other spots, but I trust the guys in baseball know better than me. I just have this scary feeling one day around the 6th inning Jakim has to come out he is grabbing his elbow. It's a strain, then on the dl, then out for the year the 2 year surgery then comes back in 2011 throwing 81

I agree with holding off the first part of this season till we are no longer in contention, but at some point we absolutely have to try and see what he can do. There's a chance he could get hurt? Fine, the upside is well worth the small risk. We already have 4 or 5 pitchers? Dont care, if he's an elite pitcher, he can steal one of those jobs away, and we can trade away or send our worst starter to the bullpen to be our new closer.

Starters and relief pitchers are not equal roles where once a hole is filled you can move on to the next hole. It is hard to draw an analogy in football terms since each position's required skills are mutually exclusive of almost every other position in the NFL. One analogy that could work would be like having an elite Tight End, and somehow you think they may be able to play quarterback at a Peyton Manning or Tom Brady level, but there could be a small chance of getting hurt. If he fails to do that, and also doesnt get hurt, he can go back playing his old position at an elite level. The risk of injury and the fact that you already have a quarterback is irrelevant, you tell Tony G to take a few snaps and see what he can do. Maybe not during a playoff chase, but if your headed for a 9-loss season anyway, you can experiment.

Thats obviously rediculous in the NFL, but not so with pitchers.

Demonpenz
04-30-2008, 11:42 AM
I didn't like the tom brady comparison, because they are different sports and qb is the most elite position, but i agree we have to see atleast

WoodDraw
04-30-2008, 12:06 PM
The evidence is around the league. The managers who make the big bucks put their best in to close. I would rather go with those guys who are in the clubhouse and have been around the players all their lives than a person with a hardon for excel spreadsheets

You're equating the way something is with the way something ought to be. The acceptance of an idea doesn't prove its truth.

You're attitude is similar to many in baseball though. For whatever reason, people are incredibly hostile to any changes in baseball tradition, to the point where they'll openly dismiss hard statistical evidence as "a person with a hardon for excel spreadsheets."

WoodDraw
04-30-2008, 12:19 PM
Here are two articles on the issue to get started with. The first is by Rany Jazayerli, a life long Royals fan. The other one is a follow up using some of his research. Killer quote:

A pure closer is a reliever who only comes in to protect a one- to three-run lead, only in the ninth. The worst pitcher in baseball stands a great chance of pitching the ninth inning without giving up three runs. With no outs, a team with an average offense against an average pitcher can expect to score half a run. The best offense in baseball last year, the Red Sox, averaged about .65 runs/half inning over the course of the season. The worst reliever in the major leagues last year was Jaret Wright, who gave up 46 runs in just over 56 innings of work--.82 runs an inning. Given a three-run lead in the ninth, pitching against the Red Sox, Wright could reasonably be expected to give up an average of a run each appearance, and if he did it all season, he'd rack up 20 saves, be anointed a proven closer, and sign with the Mets for $4 million a year.

This makes no sense. Keith Woolner did a really cool study on how many runs get scored in an inning, and between 1980 and 1998, 94.6% of all innings had less than three runs scored; 87.8% had less than two, and 73% of all innings played saw no runs scored.

Ouch.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=648
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2603

Demonpenz
04-30-2008, 12:23 PM
You're equating the way something is with the way something ought to be. The acceptance of an idea doesn't prove its truth.

You're attitude is similar to many in baseball though. For whatever reason, people are incredibly hostile to any changes in baseball tradition, to the point where they'll openly dismiss hard statistical evidence as "a person with a hardon for excel spreadsheets."

Well it is because baseball isn't played on fantasy sites or in mommy's baseball. It is played on a field. A field of battle. Those stats don't take into account grit, determination or heart. Three things baseball was built on. As any hardnosed player he will show you where exactly you can shove those Quote unquote Stats. We're talking Pete Rose, Ty Cobb, Ray nitchke!

Demonpenz
04-30-2008, 12:25 PM
How many world series has rany won? Again?

Demonpenz
04-30-2008, 12:28 PM
Non of those people ever win anything exept for nerd of the year LOL. We are talking about WINNING AND LOOSING NOTE ALGEBRA!

WoodDraw
04-30-2008, 12:40 PM
Did that really require three different posts? I'm not even sure what your argument is. Baseball lies outside the realm of statistical study? Or does it defy the rules of logic all together?

It's amazing how much passion can outweigh intelligence.

huskerdooz
04-30-2008, 12:57 PM
Here are two articles on the issue to get started with. The first is by Rany Jazayerli, a life long Royals fan. The other one is a follow up using some of his research. Killer quote:



Ouch.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=648
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2603

I don't disagree with Rany in respect to whether Soria has more potential value as a starter as opposed to a closer. I disagree with your assessment that he has more value as a middle reliever than a closer. I would rather have him potentially available for 3 out of every 4 games as a closer than to have him available every 1/3 day in 2-3 inning shots.

WoodDraw
04-30-2008, 01:05 PM
I don't disagree with Rany in respect to whether Soria has more potential value as a starter as opposed to a closer. I disagree with your assessment that he has more value as a middle reliever than a closer. I would rather have him potentially available for 3 out of every 4 games as a closer than to have him available every 1/3 day in 2-3 inning shots.

You misunderstand what I'm saying. I don't want him switched to middle relief from closing with someone else pitching the ninth. I want him used in the most valuable situations. As the bullpen ace, he should be used whenever we need a dominant relief outing, whether that be in the 6th, 7th, 8th, or 9th. He does us no good protecting three run leads in the 9th; nearly every pitcher in baseball can do that day in and day out.

Rany runs through the value of a pitcher in each situation and inning over the course of a season. It's in the article I linked.

Demonpenz
04-30-2008, 01:18 PM
I think if we get some more stolen bases and more aggresive baserunning we will be fine.

beavis
04-30-2008, 01:18 PM
Non of those people ever win anything exept for nerd of the year LOL. We are talking about WINNING AND LOOSING NOTE ALGEBRA!

Sincerely,
Brian Bannister

huskerdooz
04-30-2008, 01:19 PM
I think if we get some more stolen bases and more aggresive baserunning we will be fine.

ROFL

beavis
04-30-2008, 01:20 PM
You know, in reading through this thread, it suddenly dawned on me the vast difference between now and 3 years ago. We're arguing over a stud pitcher that is probably going to be successful whatever they do with him. Nice problem to have. Amazing the difference DM has made with this team.

huskerdooz
04-30-2008, 01:22 PM
You misunderstand what I'm saying. I don't want him switched to middle relief from closing with someone else pitching the ninth. I want him used in the most valuable situations. As the bullpen ace, he should be used whenever we need a dominant relief outing, whether that be in the 6th, 7th, 8th, or 9th. He does us no good protecting three run leads in the 9th; nearly every pitcher in baseball can do that day in and day out.

Rany runs through the value of a pitcher in each situation and inning over the course of a season. It's in the article I linked.

The question I have is if any old RP can get you through the 9th inning, then why can't the same logic be used for those situations in the 6th, 7th, and 8th inning

Dartgod
04-30-2008, 01:29 PM
Here are two articles on the issue to get started with. The first is by Rany Jazayerli, a life long Royals fan. The other one is a follow up using some of his research. Killer quote:

A pure closer is a reliever who only comes in to protect a one- to three-run lead, only in the ninth. The worst pitcher in baseball stands a great chance of pitching the ninth inning without giving up three runs. With no outs, a team with an average offense against an average pitcher can expect to score half a run. The best offense in baseball last year, the Red Sox, averaged about .65 runs/half inning over the course of the season. The worst reliever in the major leagues last year was Jaret Wright, who gave up 46 runs in just over 56 innings of work--.82 runs an inning. Given a three-run lead in the ninth, pitching against the Red Sox, Wright could reasonably be expected to give up an average of a run each appearance, and if he did it all season, he'd rack up 20 saves, be anointed a proven closer, and sign with the Mets for $4 million a year.

This makes no sense. Keith Woolner did a really cool study on how many runs get scored in an inning, and between 1980 and 1998, 94.6% of all innings had less than three runs scored; 87.8% had less than two, and 73% of all innings played saw no runs scored.

Ouch.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=648
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2603
This is flawed reasoning. Sure the averages that he cites in your quote are accurate stats, but you have to take in account how those averages were reached. In the case of Jaret Wright, how many of those runs were given up in bunches, say 3 or 4 in an inning? Maybe he could get 20 saves, but how many blown saves?

In the case of the Red Sox, how many 4 or five run innings did they have compared to scoreless innings?

Those averages are nice for the argument you are making, but how do they relate to individual game situations? Do you really want Jaret Wright protecting a 3 run lead against the Red Sox when the playoffs ore on the line? I sure as hell don't.

WoodDraw
04-30-2008, 01:33 PM
The question I have is if any old RP can get you through the 9th inning, then why can't the same logic be used for those situations in the 6th, 7th, and 8th inning

It's not that any old RP can get you through the 9th, it's that any pitcher can protect a three run lead for 1 inning with bases empty. I don't have a problem with Soria being used in the 9th, as long as that inning is productive. But he's been coming in to protect 2, 3, and 4 run leads. Thats a colossal waste of a great pitcher.

A couple examples:

Royals up 1-0, going into the 8th inning. The heart of the order is coming up for team X. What inning do you think they are more likely to take the lead in - the 8th or 9th?

Royals up again in the 7th, but the SP has gotten into trouble. Bases loaded, one out. When is the game more likely to be blown - now or in the 9th?


What reason is there for not using your best RP in each of these situations?

huskerdooz
04-30-2008, 01:42 PM
It's not that any old RP can get you through the 9th, it's that any pitcher can protect a three run lead for 1 inning with bases empty. I don't have a problem with Soria being used in the 9th, as long as that inning is productive. But he's been coming in to protect 2, 3, and 4 run leads. Thats a colossal waste of a great pitcher.

A couple examples:

Royals up 1-0, going into the 8th inning. The heart of the order is coming up for team X. What inning do you think they are more likely to take the lead in - the 8th or 9th?

Royals up again in the 7th, but the SP has gotten into trouble. Bases loaded, one out. When is the game more likely to be blown - now or in the 9th?


What reason is there for not using your best RP in each of these situations?

All the more reason to find guys like Greinke and Soria to pitch the 7th and 8th like they did last year when Dotel was closing. This is also 1 more reason to take your young stud future starters and stick them in the BP to get them acclimated to MLB. I've always wondered why they didn't try to use Davies and and De La Rosa in the pen and let them work out there control issues in the pen at the MLB level. Worst case scenario they never develop into quality starters but they become good relievers.

WoodDraw
04-30-2008, 01:47 PM
This is flawed reasoning. Sure the averages that he cites in your quote are accurate stats, but you have to take in account how those averages were reached. In the case of Jaret Wright, how many of those runs were given up in bunches, say 3 or 4 in an inning? Maybe he could get 20 saves, but how many blown saves?

In the case of the Red Sox, how many 4 or five run innings did they have compared to scoreless innings?

Those averages are nice for the argument you are making, but how do they relate to individual game situations? Do you really want Jaret Wright protecting a 3 run lead against the Red Sox when the playoffs ore on the line? I sure as hell don't.

He gave up 5 runs twice (over 2+ innings both times), 3 runs three times, 2 runs eight times, 1 run eleven times, and 0 runs 26 times. (Those are just outings, with no detail paid to innings pitched).

He's obviously averaging out the numbers, but that doesn't make it useless. Out of all of his innings, he would have 'saved' a three run game 45 times. Twenty-six times he would have protected a one run game.

But again, no one is saying he was a good pitcher. The exact opposite, really. It just points out the uselessness of the 9th inning save.

Dartgod
04-30-2008, 01:51 PM
He gave up 5 runs twice (over 2+ innings both times), 3 runs three times, 2 runs eight times, 1 run eleven times, and 0 runs 26 times. (Those are just outings, with no detail paid to innings pitched).

He's obviously averaging out the numbers, but that doesn't make it useless. Out of all of his innings, he would have 'saved' a three run game 45 times. Twenty-six times he would have protected a one run game.

But again, no one is saying he was a good pitcher. The exact opposite, really. It just points out the uselessness of the 9th inning save.
I still don't think the numbers bear out. What were the situations that he came in the game? How many times did he come in with a huge lead? A pitcher like that is probably more likely to give up runs in a pressure situation than he would in mop up duty.

You are discounting the mental make up of a reliever like Soria.

WoodDraw
04-30-2008, 01:51 PM
All the more reason to find guys like Greinke and Soria to pitch the 7th and 8th like they did last year when Dotel was closing. This is also 1 more reason to take your young stud future starters and stick them in the BP to get them acclimated to MLB. I've always wondered why they didn't try to use Davies and and De La Rosa in the pen and let them work out there control issues in the pen at the MLB level. Worst case scenario they never develop into quality starters but they become good relievers.

Sure, but a SP is far more valuable, and as we see here people don't like messing with success. You also have to worry about going from the bullpen to the rotation too often, as you have to build up the stamina and pitch counts to avoid injury. But the point remains, why not use your best pitcher in the riskiest situation?

eazyb81
04-30-2008, 01:54 PM
?????

Soria has a violent, awkward delivery? Since when?

Can you show me any documentation of having prior reconstructive elbow surgery.

Please provide one reputable source that claims Soria has a violent delivery.

The reason he has been so effective as a closer with a fastball that tops out at 91-92 mph is because he has such a smooth delivery and because for some reason hitters are unable to pick up the ball out of his hand.

Okay, here you go:

http://drivelinemechanics.com/2008/04/10/quick-note-joakim-soria/

It's a brief analysis of Soria's delivery, and it notes his awful follow-through issues.

Even without this analysis, it's easy to see that Soria has a fairly violent, max-effort delivery if you have much experience with pitching. It's not as bad as K-Rod's, but there's no doubt he would not hold up as a starter for a full season.

WoodDraw
04-30-2008, 01:56 PM
I still don't think the numbers bear out. What were the situations that he came in the game? How many times did he come in with a huge lead? A pitcher like that is probably more likely to give up runs in a pressure situation than he would in mop up duty.

I see your point, but it doesn't change the argument. How many innings that a closer pitchers are pressure innings? When Soria came in yesterday with a 4 run lead, can you call that a pressure situation? With 3 runs? 2? How about with the end of the order coming up?

Here's his point:

This reaches back to Ye Good Old Days, when teams didn't have closers, they had 'stoppers', the firemen who came in not just when the game was close, but when the starter was faltering. These brave souls would come in not with a lead and no one on, but with the game tied and two runners on--situations where being dominant and getting the outs has a clear and significant impact on the game's final score. These were situations where Gagne might strike out three guys to get out of the jam unscathed, while Jaret Wright's predictable single scores two runs and costs the ballgame. The tighter the situation, the more important it is to have your best pitcher on the mound. We understand this instinctually--you want your best hitter at the most important point in the game--but for some reason the modern mystique around the ninth inning has clouded the judgement of managers across the league.

Dartgod
04-30-2008, 02:04 PM
I see your point, but it doesn't change the argument. How many innings that a closer pitchers are pressure innings? When Soria came in yesterday with a 4 run lead, can you call that a pressure situation? With 3 runs? 2? How about with the end of the order coming up?

Here's his point:
You have some good points, I just hate the stats that you are using to back them up. They are not relevant to game situations.

I remember when "closers" (Quisenberry, etc.) used to pitch 2 or 3 innings to earn a save.

MIAdragon
04-30-2008, 02:04 PM
I am beginning to believe Soria could actually be the best closer in baseball, or at least top-3.


ROFL

MIAdragon
04-30-2008, 02:09 PM
I see your point, but it doesn't change the argument. How many innings that a closer pitchers are pressure innings? When Soria came in yesterday with a 4 run lead, can you call that a pressure situation? With 3 runs? 2? How about with the end of the order coming up?

Here's his point:

The majority of the innings pitched (if used properly) are "pressure innings". Baseball is a LONG season you need to pick your spots wisely, what good does it do to bring your closer in the 5th or 6th in a jam and he gets you out of it only to have the rest of the pen blow the game? So you wasted innings and possibly don’t have him for the next game.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>

Dartgod
04-30-2008, 02:17 PM
ROFL
Who is better right now?

MIAdragon
04-30-2008, 02:26 PM
Who is better right now?

Yes he looks good in all what 11 innings? Clay Buchholz threw a no hitter last year in his second MLB start well hell he MUST be the next Nolan Ryan. Its a little early to be making predictions thats all im saying.

keg in kc
04-30-2008, 02:34 PM
Yes he looks good in all what 11 innings? Clay Buchholz threw a no hitter last year in his second MLB start well hell he MUST be the next Nolan Ryan. Its a little early to be making predictions thats all im saying.11 innings...this year.

Throw in last year, and in 73 total appearances he's pitched 80 innings, given up a total of 49 hits, 20 walks (for an 0.84 whip) and 19 earned runs (2.14 ERA). He has 88 Ks.

MIAdragon
04-30-2008, 02:57 PM
11 innings...this year.

Throw in last year, and in 73 total appearances he's pitched 80 innings, given up a total of 49 hits, 20 walks (for an 0.84 whip) and 19 earned runs (2.14 ERA). He has 88 Ks.

Those are good numbers, his BABIP is a little concerning, I still dont think you can coin him as one of the top closers in the game.

Dartgod
04-30-2008, 02:59 PM
Those are good numbers, his BABIP is a little concerning, I still dont think you can coin him as one of the top closers in the game.
Help me out. What is BABIP?

WoodDraw
04-30-2008, 03:00 PM
Those are good numbers, his BABIP is a little concerning, I still dont think you can coin him as one of the top closers in the game.

His K, BB, and HR peripherals are all top notch, so you can't focus too much on BABIP here. Regardless of his luck, he's still a hell of a pitcher.

WoodDraw
04-30-2008, 03:04 PM
Help me out. What is BABIP?

Batting average on balls in play. Overall, pitchers have very little control on balls once they're put in play, so BABIP tends to average out at around .300. So with your pitchers, you want a lot of strike outs, very few walks, and no HRs. After that, it's mostly luck.

DJ's left nut
04-30-2008, 03:29 PM
Batting average on balls in play. Overall, pitchers have very little control on balls once they're put in play, so BABIP tends to average out at around .300. So with your pitchers, you want a lot of strike outs, very few walks, and no HRs. After that, it's mostly luck.

It's a theory, little else.

Guys like James say that pitchers have no way to control balls in play because bad pitchers have lower BABIPs than good ones in a lot of cases. Clemens is his poster child for this.

On the other hand, there's simply no way you can convince me that a guy like Maddux, with late movement down in the zone, isn't more able to keep guys from getting base hits than a guy like Odalis Perez, who pitches up and is prone to well struck balls.

The bottom line is that statisticians and sabrematricians have yet to be able to account for the difference, so they assume it's luck. It ain't, they just haven't figured out the correlation yet. A few years from now they'll have that one centered as well.

duncan_idaho
04-30-2008, 03:45 PM
It's a theory, little else.

Guys like James say that pitchers have no way to control balls in play because bad pitchers have lower BABIPs than good ones in a lot of cases. Clemens is his poster child for this.

On the other hand, there's simply no way you can convince me that a guy like Maddux, with late movement down in the zone, isn't more able to keep guys from getting base hits than a guy like Odalis Perez, who pitches up and is prone to well struck balls.

The bottom line is that statisticians and sabrematricians have yet to be able to account for the difference, so they assume it's luck. It ain't, they just haven't figured out the correlation yet. A few years from now they'll have that one centered as well.

Agreed strongly. We can learn a lot from sabremetrics, but they aren't the be-all, end-all.

Here's one example (of many): Sabremetrics completely discount the value of the stolen base because they have no way to measure the pressure placed on teh defense, the effect a good base stealer has on the pitcher's focus and execution, pitch selection, etc.

WoodDraw
04-30-2008, 03:47 PM
It's a theory, little else.

Guys like James say that pitchers have no way to control balls in play because bad pitchers have lower BABIPs than good ones in a lot of cases. Clemens is his poster child for this.

On the other hand, there's simply no way you can convince me that a guy like Maddux, with late movement down in the zone, isn't more able to keep guys from getting base hits than a guy like Odalis Perez, who pitches up and is prone to well struck balls.

The bottom line is that statisticians and sabrematricians have yet to be able to account for the difference, so they assume it's luck. It ain't, they just haven't figured out the correlation yet. A few years from now they'll have that one centered as well.

Look at Maddux though:

1988: .278
1989: .280
1990: .306
1991: .282
1992: .258
1993: .278
1994: .261
1995: .253
1996: .292
1997: .285
1998: .272
1999: .334
2000: .286
2001: .292
2002: .288
2003: .290
2004: .290
2005: .296
2006: .295
2007: .313

Those numbers are right in line with the league average, slightly above some years and below others years. Greg Maddux isn't an average pitcher. His success then must come from some area other than BABIP.

WoodDraw
04-30-2008, 03:48 PM
Agreed strongly. We can learn a lot from sabremetrics, but they aren't the be-all, end-all.

Here's one example (of many): Sabremetrics completely discount the value of the stolen base because they have no way to measure the pressure placed on teh defense, the effect a good base stealer has on the pitcher's focus and execution, pitch selection, etc.

That's just not true. The amount of misinformation out there is incredible. Probably coming from people who think they understand the concepts and don't.

WoodDraw
04-30-2008, 03:54 PM
It is just a theory; work is still being done to understand the specifics of the pitcher's effect on batted balls. Different studies have shown the pitcher affects a ball in play to differing degrees, but all studies have shown it is far less than is believed. And they can control Ks, BBs, and HRs to a much higher degree.

Now that doesn't mean pitchers have no control on BIP, nor does it mean good and bad pitchers are separated based only on luck. But it does mean that our previous understanding of why pitchers are successful was wrong. That's important to understand.

DJ's left nut
04-30-2008, 03:56 PM
Look at Maddux though:

1988: .278
1989: .280
1990: .306
1991: .282
1992: .258
1993: .278
1994: .261
1995: .253
1996: .292
1997: .285
1998: .272
1999: .334
2000: .286
2001: .292
2002: .288
2003: .290
2004: .290
2005: .296
2006: .295
2007: .313

Those numbers are right in line with the league average, slightly above some years and below others years. Greg Maddux isn't an average pitcher. His success then must come from some area other than BABIP.

Timing.

I guess I agree with the idea that BABIP isn't entirely controllable (though I do think they diminish how big a difference even a deviation from the norm can make). However, I think they have bastardized the stat. They seem to believe that it is inevitable that guys will slide to the norm and that slide will inevitably cause them to fail. I think a good pitcher simply knows when he can let up a little and that even an increase in BABIP does not necessarily mean a decrease in effectiveness. They'll give up a few more hits, but they'll bear down in between and make those nasty pitches that seperate them from the pack.

It just doesn't pass the sniff test. Tell me how it's possible that a Maddux two seamer that runs down and in on your hands is less likely than a Perez 4 seamer that just kinda floats in there. That Maddux pitch is much more likely to saw a guy off and induce a weak grounder, whereas the Perez pitch is likely to get struck. The idea also runs contradictory to the fact that sabres put so much emphasis on GB/FB ratio. They say that a higher GB/FB ratio yields a lower WHIP and fewer baserunners. They'll also say that a pitcher can control GB/FB ratio.

Does the transitive property not apply to baseball?

DJ's left nut
04-30-2008, 04:00 PM
Here's one example (of many): Sabremetrics completely discount the value of the stolen base because they have no way to measure the pressure placed on teh defense, the effect a good base stealer has on the pitcher's focus and execution, pitch selection, etc.


Eh, that idea comes from people that glossed over moneyball but didn't really read it (or Earl Weaver fans).

Sabremetrics is designed to unmask the undervalued. It value SBs, but they look at a guy like Juan Pierre that sucks at everything, but will steal a few bases and say that he's simply not worth it. His SBs have value, but not enough to offset his low OBP or the high cost of purchasing SBs on the FA market.

Once SBs become undervalued and a guy like Pierre is looking at a 1 year, $1 million contract, Sabre guys will be all over him as a way to add value cheaply. Sabremetrics is as much about market economics as it is baseball. It's a damn complicated concept when you start digging.

Ari Chi3fs
04-30-2008, 04:14 PM
Okay, here you go:

http://drivelinemechanics.com/2008/04/10/quick-note-joakim-soria/

It's a brief analysis of Soria's delivery, and it notes his awful follow-through issues.

Even without this analysis, it's easy to see that Soria has a fairly violent, max-effort delivery if you have much experience with pitching. It's not as bad as K-Rod's, but there's no doubt he would not hold up as a starter for a full season.


He does an analysis on Greinke as well. http://tinyurl.com/yw9ufb (http://tinyurl.com/yw9ufb)

huskerdooz
04-30-2008, 06:27 PM
Okay, here you go:

http://drivelinemechanics.com/2008/04/10/quick-note-joakim-soria/

It's a brief analysis of Soria's delivery, and it notes his awful follow-through issues.

Even without this analysis, it's easy to see that Soria has a fairly violent, max-effort delivery if you have much experience with pitching. It's not as bad as K-Rod's, but there's no doubt he would not hold up as a starter for a full season.

Thanks, this is the first time I've seen anything on Soria having a violent delivery. I do see where the website author is coming from. I'd be interested to know if other pitchers that have deliveries similar to Soria experience shoulder problems as well.

WoodDraw
04-30-2008, 06:43 PM
Timing.

I guess I agree with the idea that BABIP isn't entirely controllable (though I do think they diminish how big a difference even a deviation from the norm can make). However, I think they have bastardized the stat. They seem to believe that it is inevitable that guys will slide to the norm and that slide will inevitably cause them to fail. I think a good pitcher simply knows when he can let up a little and that even an increase in BABIP does not necessarily mean a decrease in effectiveness. They'll give up a few more hits, but they'll bear down in between and make those nasty pitches that seperate them from the pack.

It just doesn't pass the sniff test. Tell me how it's possible that a Maddux two seamer that runs down and in on your hands is less likely than a Perez 4 seamer that just kinda floats in there. That Maddux pitch is much more likely to saw a guy off and induce a weak grounder, whereas the Perez pitch is likely to get struck. The idea also runs contradictory to the fact that sabres put so much emphasis on GB/FB ratio. They say that a higher GB/FB ratio yields a lower WHIP and fewer baserunners. They'll also say that a pitcher can control GB/FB ratio.

Does the transitive property not apply to baseball?

First, I want to say I'm not an expert here. This area is one of the more complex aspects of baseball being researched right now, and I'm by no means on that level. So, bare with me and sorry for any errors.

Voros McCracken was the first person to claim that pitchers have little control over balls put in play. He went far, saying hits allowed is a useless statistic and pitchers show no ability to control it from year to year. He later backed off a bit, saying some pitchers showed a statistically significant ability to control balls in play, but it's impossible to overstate the significance of his original research.

Tom Tippett did some follow up research that has generally been the accepted starting point on this subject since then. He found that pitchers can control BIP more than McCracken said, with some showing a significant ability (especially knuckleballers). He also found that their influence here was much lower than their influence on walks, strike outs, and HRs, and there is significant random variation.

Since then, research has focused on the pitcher's ability to control the level of contact on BIP, whether solid or poorly hit. I haven't read anything in a while, but it seems that this also plays a significant role in BIP.

So I overstated the significance of luck earlier. If a pitcher consistently shows a statistically significant ability to get more outs from balls in play, that's not based on luck. It can be important, especially given the large amount of balls put in play. If a pitcher has an abnormally low or high average for one year though, that's likely based on random variation, and not skill. Also, walks and strikeouts are far more important in predicting future success than BABIP is.

Dartgod
04-30-2008, 06:56 PM
He does an analysis on Greinke as well. http://tinyurl.com/yw9ufb (http://tinyurl.com/yw9ufb)
You asshole.

alnorth
04-30-2008, 07:40 PM
He does an analysis on Greinke as well. http://tinyurl.com/yw9ufb (http://tinyurl.com/yw9ufb)

Damn, thats like 4 times this week for me.