There are a surprising number of status changes:
-Jose Valverde gets a “hold” status based on his streak of 12 consecutive saves converted;
-Grant Balfour gets a “hold” on the strength of a 9/9 run (which will become 90% or more no matter what happens in his next opportunity) and his overall record of 15/17 is just short of 90%.
-Brandon League is added to the “lose” list, and is waiting to see if Kenley Jansen returns.
-Frank Francisco, like a few others, has bad skills but gets a “hold” status based on a hot streak of save conversions; he is 9/10 and 23/26 on the year.
-John Axford gets a “hold” on his recent run of 9/10 in SV/SVO, but is still precarious for CIA purposes even though he probably is not in short-term danger in real life. With Ron Roenicke as his manager anything is possible.
The complete list:
|Jim Johnson||Hold||Getting his mettle tested in a race and is passing with flying colors so far.||Note: The SV/SVO for automatic “hold” has been eased to 90%|
|Andrew Bailey||Lose||Still rates a “lose” but time constraints are going to make this a loss for CIA if he doesn’t pick it up. 5.08 xERA says struggles are real.||Note: Closers cannot lose jobs by getting hurt, but interim closers can lose jobs by returning injured closers.|
|Addison Reed||Hold||8.71 ERA in last month so may be tiring but is still above minimums.||Note: Automatic hold status is based on season AND last ten.|
|Chris Perez||Hold||More of the same.|
|Jose Valverde||Hold||He finally gets a “hold” based on 12 straight conversions.|
|Greg Holland||Hold||Solidly above minimums, but control is an issue|
|Ernesto Frieri||Hold||Has been surging and BPV is solid 147.|
|Glen Perkins||Hold||Officially repelled Jared Burton’s challenge.|
|Jared Burton||Hold||An odd loss for CIA as he is a righty (Perkins is a LHP) and didn’t really do much wrong. But BPV is middling 97 so there is your answer.|
|Grant Balfour||Hold||15/17 SV/SVO just misses, but since he is 9/9 in last ten, he can blow the tenth and still get a “hold” so he gets it now. Skills still a bit short.|
|Tom Wilhelmsen||Hold||BPV of 98 and K/BB of 2.8 fare from elite.|
|Fernando Rodney||Hold||What else can you say about a guy who may put up the most impressive relief season ever?|
|Joe Nathan||Hold||182 BPV and K/BB north of seven makes him a top ten closer.|
|Casey Janssen||Hold||No worries here.|
|J.J. Putz||Hold||Up a tick from last week and still as sure as the sunset for the most part.|
|Craig Kimbrel||Hold||Still the best in baseball over Chapman.|
|Carlos Marmol||Hold||Amazing string continues even when he lets up base runners. He just cant blow a save despite his best efforts.|
|Aroldis Chapman||Hold||Still nudged out by Kimbrel, but is a clear number two.|
|Rafael Betancourt||Hold||Will be an interesting case next year if he has any further skill erosion, but for now he is holding the job for sure no matter what happens aside from injury.|
|Kenley Jansen||Hold||May yet be back.|
|Ronald Belisario||Lose||Maintains a LOSE status with a subpar K/BB. With League in the mix, he might lose the job even if Jansen does not return.|
|Brandon League||Lose||Once again forces me to include him. Is 2-2 as a Dodger but skill set is among the worst closers.|
|Steve Cishek||Hold||He is 12/13 in SV/SVO since getting the job back. But skill set remains below par.|
|Wilton Lopez||Hold||Under the radar pick who is as good as almost anyone not named Kimbrel or Chapman.|
|Frank Francisco||Hold||23/26 on the year and 9/10 in last ten so gets a hold despite mediocre skills.|
|John Axford||Hold||Only chance to get “hold” status is to get 90% in last ten. Over the weekend he did so, but possibly still precarious.|
|Jim Henderson||Hold||Have to declare this one a “miss” for CIA. One might argue that he never had a true share of the job, but that doesn’t matter for an algorithm.|
|Jon Papelbon||Hold||No worries here.|
|Joel Hanrahan||Hold||No worries here.|
|Dale Thayer||Lose||Got a save on 8/20, blew on the next day and hasn’t had an opportunity since. As of then he was a “lose” so we will declare this a “hit.”|
|Luke Gregerson||Hold||Looking great so far.|
|Sergio Romo||Hold||Still maintains elite skills.|
|Javier Lopez||Lose||Still maintains terrible skills.|
|Jason Motte||Hold||Quietly has become a top ten closer, perhaps.|
|Tyler Clippard||Hold||In the bottom tier of closers for sure, but still merits a “hold.”|
|Hector Santiago||Sean Marshall|
|Francisco Cordero (TOR)||Steve Cishek|
|Jordan Walden||Dale Thayer|
|Brian Fuentes||Bobby Parnell|
|Rafael Dolis||Jared Burton|
|Heath Bell||Jim Henderson|
|Brian Fuentes second time|
|Heath Bell second time|
|Francisco Cordero (HOU)|
|Dale Thayer (second shot)|
And the algorithm:
The current version of CIA:
1. Does the pitcher have a share of the closer’s job? In the cases we are writing about this will usually be yes, but it should apply to all relievers if it is valid.
If so, is his save percentage greater than 90% with 10 or more opportunities, or in his last ten or more? If “yes” then “hold.” If “no” proceed to step 2.
Is the pitcher’s save percentage less than or equal to 60% over his last 10 opportunities? If “yes” then “lose.” If “no” proceed to step 2.
2. Is his strikeout rate (K/9) above 7.0?
3. Is his strikeout-to-walk (K/BB) rate above 2.5?
4. Is his BaseballHQ BPV above 80?
If the answer to conditions 2-4 is yes, then CIA predicts he’ll keep the job. If the answer is no to any one of the conditions, it predicts he’ll lose the job.