Taking a Closer Look
We all know how crazy the closer turnover has been so far this year, whether it be due to poor performance, or injury. So just for fun, I decided to do a little study to figure out the exact number of undisputed current closers who are the same guys we drafted for saves if our drafts were held on or before March 15. The answer? Less than half. 14 of 30 to be exact. Here’s the breakdown, with the name on the left being the draft day closer and the name on the right the current closer.
But does this disprove the longstanding 411 strategy of drafting elite closers early? Not exactly, as noted by Cory below:
I think the injury part skews the analysis, especially in Mariano’s case. I’ve never see any evidence to suggest that closers are greater injury risks than other groups of players. Moreover, Bailey was known to be injured during spring training, so even though his replacement was in doubt, his injury was not. Same with Madson, Storen and Soria.
In my opinion, the closers to truly “lose” their jobs this year, along with their order of selection among all relievers in my NFBC league, are:
5. Bell (although he did get it back, for what that’s worth)
6. Walden (not even a top-10 closer in the 411 preseason rankings)
17. Francisco (assuming he has lost the job)
26. Guerra (Kenley got taken before him, too)
27. Thornton (although this one was up in the air from the start)
Yes, the injury rate has been unusually high this year, but this fail rate does nothing – NOT ONE THING – to disprove our assertion that top-tier closers are a better investment.
So what do you guys think? All opinions are welcome.