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September 5, 2013

Bullpen Report

Examining Trends

by Mike Gianella


Welcome to another installment of The Bullpen Report. As a reminder, closers are rated in five tiers from best to worst. The tiers are a combination of my opinion of a pitcher’s ability, the likelihood that he will pick up saves, and his security in the job. For example, a pitcher in the third tier might have better skills than a pitcher in the second tier, but if the third-tier pitcher is new to the job or has blown a couple of saves in the last week this factors into the ranking as well.

Tier 1 – Money in the Bank

The walk rate is too high for my tastes, but with Rafael Betancourt out for the year, Brothers is entrenched as the Rockies closer. His peripherals don’t suggest a 1.56 ERA, but with a high ground-ball rate, Brothers will succeed anywhere, including Coors Field.

Papelbon gets bumped up to the top again despite his dip in velocity and a corresponding drop in strikeout rates. Paps is here in part because he’s going to get the saves barring a complete immolation. His contract keeps him as secure as a closer can possibly get.

Rivera moves back up after a brief period in the second tier. His slump seems like a distant memory and—like Papelbon—Rivera has a certain job security that goes beyond whatever numbers he might put up in the short term.

Tier 2 – Solid and Reliable

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Related Content:  Closers,  Fantasy,  Grant Balfour,  Rex Brothers,  Jim Henderson

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Daily Roundup: Around ... (09/05)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Bullpen Report: Oh, Br... (08/29)
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Fantasy Article Bullpen Report: Lookin... (09/12)
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Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Week... (09/05)

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