Tuesday, November 19, 2013
One of the Braves’ strengths is bullpen depth, so even if losing Kimbrel costs the team an excellent reliever, the possible return from a trade is worth the risk. Atlanta’s bullpen, outside of Kimbrel, combined for a 2.67 ERA in 2013, so we’re not talking about a pen that’s starving for quality. A Kimbrel trade wouldn’t involve someone on the Byron Buxton level, unless Twins general manager Terry Ryan hangs out with Rob Ford in the offseason, but in a world in which the Phillies are willing to offer Edward Mujica a three-year deal, and a 39-year-old Joe Nathan is likely to clear $10 million, three years of Kimbrel at arbitration prices is worth a lot to a big-spending team.
Friday, November 01, 2013
The Indians have released controversial closer Chris Perez and re-signed veteran slugger Jason Giambi.
A two-time All-Star, Perez wore out his welcome in Cleveland. He lost his job in the final week of the season as the Indians were trying to clinch a wild-card berth. It capped another tumultuous year for the right-hander, who was arrested in June after drug agents followed a package containing marijuana to his home. He and his wife pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge.
Perez always seemed to be at the center of something. He angered Indians fans for saying they didn’t support the team and he rankled Cleveland’s front office when he said it wasn’t spending enough to win.
Perez, who was eligible for salary arbitration this winter, recorded 25 saves this past season. He had 124 in five seasons with the Indians, who acquired him in a 2009 trade from St. Louis….
Giambi provided leadership to the Indians from the moment he arrived at training camp last spring.
The 42-year-old, who was a finalist for Colorado’s managerial job last year, was signed to a minor league contract but it didn’t take him long to have a major impact in Cleveland’s clubhouse and he contributed some memorable moments on the field.
Friday, October 11, 2013
In both cases, there was an additional twist: the player to emerge from the shuffle as closer was not even the first or second player in line. In St. Louis, analysts thought that Trevor Rosenthal or Mitchell Boggs would take the helm, while in Boston, it was supposed to be Andrew Bailey, then Junichi Tazawa.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Some Rivera fundamentals:
Let the record show that this man racked up 31 postseason saves in which he got more than three outs. Only 32 other closers in the wild-card era even saved one postseason game like that. The closers for all the other AL teams in that time have saved 21 games like that combined.
But Rivera’s managers also knew better than to save him just for save situations when it came time to take the October stage. So in total, he made 58 postseason appearances of more than one inning—and allowed an earned run in exactly six of them. His ERA in those games: 0.53.
. . .
OK, one more postseason nugget before we move on. This man faced the best hitters on the best teams in baseball in 98 postseason games—and held them to this microscopic slash line: .174/.212/.227. Now here’s what that means, essentially: In the most important games of his life, he turned the best hitters on earth into Houston Jimenez—only not that good. (Jimenez’s career slash line: .185/.221/.234.)
. . .
For those of us who care about numbers, this is a big, big week—because Rivera still has a shot to become the only pitcher in the live-ball era with a WHIP below 1.00—even if it’s only microscopically below 1.00. He heads into the final days of his career with 998 hits allowed and 286 walks. Which totals up to 1,284 baserunners (via hits and walks) in 1,282 1/3 innings. So, if he just has two or three more perfect innings in him, he can still wind up with fewer baserunners (via hits and walks) than innings.
Much more in TFA.
Tuesday, August 06, 2013
You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.
The big news came after the game, when one-time closer Tom Wilhelmsen was packing his gear and receiving hugs from teammates. Wilhelmsen confirmed that he is headed for Class AAA Tacoma to try to regain the form that at one point this year allowed him to lock down the ninth inning.
Wilhelmsen, however, was removed from closing duties for the second time this year after a disastrous outing in Boston last Thursday in which he was charged with four runs without recording an out.
“I’m not throwing strikes; it makes sense,’’ a glum Wilhelmsen said of his demotion.
It was not known who will take Wilhelmsen’s place on the roster. Nor is it known if Wilhelmsen will try starting, as Geoff suggested today in a blog post.
Saturday, July 13, 2013
Mariano Rivera owns another record. The Yankees closer now has the most 30-save seasons in baseball history with 15 after recording the save in Friday’s 2-0 win over the Twins. Rivera passed Trevor Hoffman to set the new mark.
. . .
Rivera, baseball’s all-times save leader with 638, recorded his first 30-save campaign in 1997, his first full season as the team’s closer. He reeled off five straight 30-save seasons until he recorded only 28 in 2002. He started the stretch again in 2003, when he had 40, and then went nine years before he recorded only five last season after he tore his ACL early in the season and appeared in only nine games.
SPECIAL BONUS LINK: Map of Mariano Rivera’s Farewell Tour.
Has anyone led the league in the signature stat for their position in their retirement year? At age 43?
Saturday, June 22, 2013
Oh where, oh where has Willie Hernandez gone?
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