Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Ryan Franklin and Gambling on Closers-to-be

I'm a little late with this, but zucchiniboy wants to know if it's time to say adios to Ryan Franklin.
I've got Mitchell Boggs and Ryan Franklin. Would you drop Franklin for either Fernando Salas or some other second in line closer behind a shaky closer?
I would drop Franklin right now, but not because he's not saving games. I would drop him because his ERA/WHIP suck, his peripherals tell me that while he's not this bad he still stinks (fourth worst reliever in xFIP according to Fangraphs), and he hasn't shown any signs of getting better. If I had the opportunity to reserve him instead of cutting him I might, but even then it would depend on how deep my reserve roster was.

This week in my N.L. home league, there was some aggressive bidding on Salas, who went for $16 out of $100 FAAB. Was that a good idea? I thought I'd take a look at some aggressive FAAB bids from prior years and see.

Alfredo Simon (2010 A.L.). Winning bid: $18
I thought Simon was a bad gamble last year, but he proved me somewhat wrong, saving 17 games (albeit with lousy ERA/WHIP).

David Weathers (2009 N.L.) $12
Francisco Cordero had a lousy spring and there were rumors floating around that he was hurt. One owner decided to chase Weathers. This owner was rewarded with one save, mediocre peripherals and not even a lot of strikeouts for his trouble.

Garrett Mock (2009 N.L.) $11
You're forgiven if you don't remember Mock - or even what team he played for in 2009. Mock looked like a promising reliever behind Joel Hanrahan for the Nationals but was terrible and didn't pick up a single save. No one really picked up that many saves for the Nats in '09.

Manny Acosta (2008 N.L.) $14
Rafael Soriano was hurt to open the season, and Acosta seemed like a plausible closer in waiting for the Braves. Acosta saved three games, but Mike Gonzalez was the winner of the what's-wrong-with-Soriano now sweepstakes, saving 14 games. This was a bad bullpen to gamble on in general.

Joakim Soria (2007 A.L.) $20
Jackpot. Soria saved 42 games, put up amazing peripherals and was so good that his owner gave him a contract entering the 2009 season. You can't have a FAAB pick-up work out better than this.

It's a limited sample size, but you have one giant success, one decent source for saves and three guys who didn't pan out. This isn't a formula for winning. I didn't look at the cheaper FAAB acquisitions, but I suspect that some of the pitchers owners bid $1-3 were just as likely to snag the closer role as some of these more expensive pick-ups.

If you are going to bid big on a closer in waiting, bid on talent and not role. Weathers seemed like a good bet to snag saves, but his low K/IP probably doomed him to middle relief. Acosta may have been a better bet, but if you saw Gonzalez in front of him you probably knew better. Eduardo Sanchez is starting to look like he might be the guy right now in St. Louis...or at least the guy with the best stuff and thus the best chance to take the job and run with it.

1 comment:

zucchiniboy said...

Hey Mike. Thanks for your comments. Makes sense about going for the most talent. I dropped him during this last week's transactions.