Ah, the closer by committee

by billfer on August 5, 2008 · 19 comments

in 2008 Season,Managing & Strategy

The Tigers are going the route of closer by committee. Sort of. In the sense that Kyle Farnsworth, Fernando Rodney, and Joel Zumaya will all get opportunities there is definitely a committee of people who will be closing games. But it seems as if it will be pre-determined heading into the game – at least tonight when Joel Zumaya will close if the situation presents itself.

I guess what I’d prefer is to just wing it each game. See who is throwing well, and the match-ups coming up in the 9th. And on another note, why not throw Bobby Seay into the mix.

 
 

{ 19 comments }

Kyle J August 5, 2008 at 8:32 pm

I agree. Given the inconsistency of everybody in the bullpen on a nightly basis (except maybe Seay), why not put a guy out there and, if he’s good, let him throw two innings. If he’s not, pull him after one inning (or before).

This is one case where Leyland’s insistence on traditional strategy will cost us games.

Vince in MN August 5, 2008 at 8:43 pm

The “closer by committee” thing could turn out like the “So-and-so is my regular left fielder” thing. Or any of the many other “I’ll make changes” things that Leyland has said this year.

Palmcroft August 5, 2008 at 9:03 pm

This is what they should have been doing the last three years given the batting practice pitcher who was “the closer.” But then, I’ve always been an advocate of arranging the batting order by recent performance as well…

Ronnie August 5, 2008 at 9:27 pm

Why even have a closer? Its a stupid specialty pitcher anyways. If your setup man/ middle relief is pitching good keep him in. Closers are over rated unless your K-Rod

Chris August 5, 2008 at 11:03 pm

Closer by committee would work, if only those making up the committee can keep the ball over the plate while keeping the ball in the park…. Do we have those guy’s on this committee?

greg August 5, 2008 at 11:46 pm

Is it just me, or does it seem like Seay is pretty good with nobody on base but horrible when he comes into the game with runners on base? Anyone see the #’s on that?

Odds on this going 11 innings w/ Rodney on the hill?

Odds he walks nobody?

greg August 5, 2008 at 11:49 pm

How many times does Rodney have to throw that wild pitch when he tries to throw it too hard to learn not to do that?

greg August 5, 2008 at 11:51 pm

Boy, Rodney is making some nice pitches tonight

Christie August 6, 2008 at 1:17 am

Zumaya and Renteria must go. No excuses for the loss tonight.

Joe August 6, 2008 at 8:12 am

I just read our relievers are 22 of 42 in save situations!

Blake August 6, 2008 at 9:31 am

So…that didn’t go so well.

Walt at UMN August 6, 2008 at 9:51 am

Seay is not considered for the committee of closers simply because he has not thrown a game away as of late. This is clearly the role of a closer in Detroit. It seems that whoever is tapped to be the closer on a given day explodes when they get into the game. I think Leyland should tell one of them that they are the closer before the game, then not pitch that guy that day. I know that this sounds silly, but could it really get any worse?

ron August 6, 2008 at 11:26 am

Ronnie, exactly.

Sky August 6, 2008 at 11:38 am

This is the bad kind of closer-by-committee, where a team doesn’t have any really good bullpen options, so it might as well throw anyone out there and pray.

The good kind, which is given a bad name by the bad kind, is when the bullpen actually does have an hierarchy, but the best reliever isn’t always used in save situations — he pitchers in the most important situations, which don’t include three-run leads. Up one in the ninth? #1 reliever. Bases loaded up two in the eighth? #1 reliever. Up three in the ninth? #3 reliever — he’s the “closer” that night, racking up the save, but not being put into a fire.

Sean C. in Illinois August 6, 2008 at 12:03 pm

Good post, Sky. I agree.

I’ve noticed an odd correlation between “good posts” and posts I agree with. I need to investigate this.

Anthony L. August 6, 2008 at 12:37 pm

Boy howdy did gettin Farnsworth ever pay off. It truly is a “win, win”. I mean the Yankess got a reliable catcher who is having on okay year, and we get to see how many dingers Farnsworth can give up when the game is on the line.

Who wants to set up a new drinking game?

Palmcroft August 6, 2008 at 1:41 pm

Using the top guy in the highest leverage situations would be best, but we need to find a stat beyond the “Hold” for that, otherwise were’s the status? I still maintain that Zumaya was the best pitcher in the league in 2006 and was used in just this way, by accident, but still, that was his role.

scotsw August 6, 2008 at 2:42 pm

I’m getting pretty sick of hearing “(Player X) needs to go” after every instance of bad pitching, bad hitting, bad fielding, etc. Christie says Zumaya needs to go, for instance. That’s madness. The guy is about six weeks back from major surgery, and having some control problems. But nobody here doubts he has major-league stuff, or that he’s one of the very best prospects in MLB. He’s adjusting to the loss of a couple MPH, and learning to pitch in the high 90s, rather than triple digits. Cut him a little break — do we want him recovering and helping Minnesota or Cleveland win pennants?

Before everyone has an aneurysm, keep in mind that the Tigers have lost one starting pitcher for the season, and lost another to, well, whatever they lost Dontrelle to.

In the bullpen, Rodney and Zumaya have dealt with injury, and now Jones has apparently been trying to pitch through injury. Is it good enough? No, but injury is part of the game. It just is. You don’t give up on guys just because they’re injured. Zumaya’s first injury, tendonitis, hasn’t recurred, and I haven’t heard a peep about his finger tendon being a problem again this year, either… He’s just not 100% yet after his surgery. Rodney is, and has always been, hot and cold. Yesterday, he was hot. Tomorrow? Maybe cold. But he’s got a major-league arm, and guys all over the league are similar. There are very few lights-out relievers.

These are they guys we have — they have to play better. You can get mad at Dombrowski or Leyland, you have that right. But they’ve brought in guys with good track records and plenty of talent to win. The organization has been very good at bringing along guys like Raburn, Joyce, Thomas, Dolsi, Verlander, Granderson, Thames, etc. Polanco, Ordonez, Guillen, Cabrera (now that he’s getting healthy) and Rogers have been, on balance, contributors.

The problem is guys failing in key spots, and that’s on them.

Yeah, I’d love to have Jair Jurrjens back, and it doesn’t look like a good trade in retrospect. But at the time, the deal made sense.

scotsw August 6, 2008 at 2:46 pm

By the way, Billfer, I agree on Seay. He’s far and away their best pitcher right now. He’s simply pitching well. If anyone in that bullpen has earned a shot, he has.

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