Saturday, September 19, 2009

Free Agent Market: Closers

In addition to great pitching skills, to be a successful closer a pitcher has to be mentally tough to withstand the attention and pressure that comes from finishing games. Some managers want a pitcher with a solid track record so they can deflect blame away from themselves if the closer fails. Closer may be the hardest bullpen role to fill.

FIP: Julio Bennett, long a fixture in bullpens around Cobb, leads the group with a 2.75 in 13 2/3 innings. Bennett was sent to the minors by Cleveland although he converted 8 of 8 save opportunities, and will be looking for another opportunity in Season 14. Evan Taylor (3.07 in 48 2/3 innings- mutual option), Shane Parrish (3.38 in 77 innings), Charles Gold (3.40 in 45 1/3 innings) and Bart Sutton (3.73 in 36 innings) are the rest of the FIP leaders.

Saves: The more traditional way to evaluate closers is by the number of saves they collect. Shane Parrish and Geraldo Santiago (4.01 FIP over 59 1/3 innings) both converted 44 of 48 save opportunites. Bart Sutton and Bobby Flores (4.67 FIP over 36 innings) saved 30 of 34 and 23 of 26 respectively.

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