2009 composite pitching projections
The usual caveats apply to these projections so there’s no reason to re-state them here. However, there is one more important note to make, regarding closers. Note that some guys who will be closers this year, such as Heath Bell of the Padres, have relatively low saves projections. That’s not because each site projected Bell with 10 or 12 or 14 saves and it averaged out to 12, but because a few sites that released their projections earlier might have projected him with only one or two on the assumption that he would not be the closer.
Therefore, saves projections are ultimately a measure of confidence more than anything else: if you think the guy will be the closer all season long, project 35 or more saves. If you think he will share the job or lose it at some point during the season, projection 15 or so. If you think he’ll be a backup closer or setup man at best, project five or fewer saves.
(Quick aside regarding Bell… I think he’s going to have a big season and is a good value pick as a #2 closer in mixed leagues. And while I generally discount the annual spring training rite of story-telling — “I had lasik surgery,” “I’m on a macrobiotic diet,” “I worked on a new batting stance,” etc. — Bell thinks he’s in better shape then ever this season thanks to his Wii Fit. Corey Brock has the full story on Padres.com, check it out.)
In any case, always remember always that saves are a zero-sum game, so if someone is getting them, that means someone else can’t get them.