FanPost

Closing Argument

I have a bone to pick with closers.  Well... I guess it's not so much the closers themselves but the way they are managed.  It is my opinion that they are overpaid for the value they bring.  I am going to do my best to support this with numbers, but I honestly don't even think I have to.  I am not trying to say that most closers aren't very good pitchers, what I am trying to say is that teams aren't using them to their fullest potential.  I am not sure whether or not I am beating a dead horse, bringing up a legitimate argument, or perhaps most of you will think I am way out in left.

I am going to start simple.  Lets just look at the amount of money these guys are making for every inning they pitch.  I know that some would bring up the argument that the innings that a closer pitches are more important than others, but I don't necessarily feel that way.

 

Closers:

Name

Salary

IP

$/IP

Joakim Soria

$4,000,000

60.1

 $  66,555

Mariano Rivera

$15,000,000

61.1

 $245,499

Jonathan Papelbon

$12,000,000

63.2

 $189,873

Jose Valverde

$7,000,000

71.1

 $  98,452

Heath Bell

$7,500,000

62.2

 $120,578

Now some starters:

Name

Salary

IP

$/IP

Justin Verlander

 $12,850,000

251.0

 $  51,195

Zack Greinke

 $13,500,000

165.2

 $  81,719

CC Sabathia

 $24,285,714

237.1

 $102,428

Roy Halladay

 $20,000,000

233.2

 $  85,763

My biggest problem with the above is that one of the highest paid players on the Royals roster is not playing enough.  I think there is no doubt that Joakim is a very talented pitcher and all I am asking is to get the guys with the most talent on the field more often.  Joakim is also due for some pretty large pay increases the next couple of years.

Now, lets look at WAR from this season for closers compared to other relief pitchers.

Closers:

Name

WAR

Joakim Soria

0.7

Mariano Rivera

3.5

Jonathan Papelbon

2.1

Jose Valverde

2.6

Heath Bell

1.7

Relief "Set Up Men":

Name

WAR

Sean Marshall

2.5

Jonny Venters

3.6

Eric O'Flaherty

3.7

Matt Belisle

1.1



I thought these numbers were interesting, other than the fact that Joakim has just not had a good year.  In every case the non-closer has pitched more innings than the closers have.  I hope that at least some of you agree that bullpens are already too large and that 1 inning pitched every 3rd game is not ideal.  All I want to see is more innings pitched so they can have a bigger effect on games.  Isn't that what we all want from our best pitchers.

 

It is likely I am oversimplifying things, I tend to do that.  So I want your opinion.

This FanPost was written by a member of the Royals Review community. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the editors and writers of this site.

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