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Is it time to move Johnson from the closer role?


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#21 BSLMikeRandall

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 10:48 PM

Mike , all I can tell you is Roy Firestone wants Gausman to close too. I'm not sure I ever want to agree with a Firestone idea. Just saying.



Just a thought I was throwing out there. Honestly haven't heard anyone bring it up. I certainly won't be upset if they don't make Gaus the closer. Just a hypothetical "what if."
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#22 DJ MC

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 10:52 PM

I'm just being hypothetical, but if he succeeds, where's the downside? He doesn't start? We don't know if he can start yet. As of now, hes not.

Rivera was always a SP before he couldn't hack it and was eventually relagated to the bullpen and then closer. That worked out well.

 

Re-read the first half of that Rivera sentence. "Before he couldn't hack it."

 

You don't assume that a pitcher can't start, you let them show you. Sometimes that's in the minors, other times its in the majors. But you DEFINITELY don't take a guy who looks like he'll be at worst a mid-rotation starter and just dump him in the bullpen. You find another, actual failed starter and put them there.

 

You're wasting resources, and lowering your overall chances to win games in the long term.


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#23 clapdiddy

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 10:54 PM

I wouldn't  be surprised to see us deal for another reliever.   I don't think it's necessary, but I won't be surprised to see it happening.



#24 BSLMikeRandall

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 11:05 PM

I'm just being hypothetical, but if he succeeds, where's the downside? He doesn't start? We don't know if he can start yet. As of now, hes not.


Rivera was always a SP before he couldn't hack it and was eventually relagated to the bullpen and then closer. That worked out well.

 
Re-read the first half of that Rivera sentence. "Before he couldn't hack it."
 
You don't assume that a pitcher can't start, you let them show you. Sometimes that's in the minors, other times its in the majors. But you DEFINITELY don't take a guy who looks like he'll be at worst a mid-rotation starter and just dump him in the bullpen. You find another, actual failed starter and put them there.
 
You're wasting resources, and lowering your overall chances to win games in the long term.


I see your point. In Riveras case, your right. He was a starter through the minors, came up to the bigs, it didn't work, and the bullpen can a place for guys who can't put it together for more than an inning or two.

But it doesn't have to be permanent home. David Price as an example. Touted as an ace, and he started in the pen. Got his feet wet, then was a starter on the biggest stage that year in the world series. He's been solid in his career.

So if you put Gaus there to try to win you a few games, and he does, it doesn't mean it has to be set in stone that he's your closer forever.
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#25 DJ MC

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 11:13 PM

I see your point. In Riveras case, your right. He was a starter through the minors, came up to the bigs, it didn't work, and the bullpen can a place for guys who can't put it together for more than an inning or two.

But it doesn't have to be permanent home. David Price as an example. Touted as an ace, and he started in the pen. Got his feet wet, then was a starter on the biggest stage that year in the world series. He's been solid in his career.

So if you put Gaus there to try to win you a few games, and he does, it doesn't mean it has to be set in stone that he's your closer forever.

 

Other examples:

 

Neftali Perez

Aroldys Chapman

Joba Chamberlain

 

Two of those guys have or are the process of failing in trying to transition back to starting, and the third is being denied the opportunity.

 

Price was a September move: bring up the top prospect for a late-season run, and then go back to the original plan in the spring. You're talking about two additional months of that routine and likely success. I also remember a lot of talk about how maybe Price shouldn't be moved back because of how good a job he did. I wonder if they wish they had done that instead of finding an ace and getting quality "closer" performances out of JP Howell, Kyle Farnsworth, and Fernando Rodney?

 

I simply do not trust either Showalter--or the majority of the fanbase and people within the organization--to ignore the dazzling mysticism of the Proven Closer when Gausman mows down batters for a few months.


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#26 JeffLong

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 11:29 PM

This is all kind of funny to me because his FIP is about .5 runs higher than it was last year.

 

He's essentially pitching the same, but a little less lucky. BABIP is up .050 points, despite marginal increase in LD%.

 

HR/FB is highest since 2009. All points to a guy being unlucky (to a degree) and grooving balls after falling behind. He's not THAT far off of last year.


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#27 fishteacher

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 12:11 AM

I would love to see him "get a break" from the role, and maybe try Tommy Hunter in it.  Put Johnson in a set=up roll, let him gain some confidence, or let someoen else pick up the pressure a bit.  He failed in the ALDS last year, so it's apparent he can't take the mental strain of it, and now he's questioning his stuff.  Give him a break.  I still love JJ (with my heart) but I would have traded him with hindsight being 20/20 when we had the chance and put another guy in that role.  I think the closer role has changed in teh past few years...it's NOT as automatic as it may have seemed to be years ago.  Maybe someoen can dig up some save conversion stats, and it will complete piss on my idea, but I'm still happy with where the O's are right now.  He didn't pitch terrible toinght until he got gusy on base and got frustrated...you could see it in his face and his confidence went to shit. 


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#28 Matt

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 01:11 AM

It has been past time. I said it after the second blown save against San Diego and everyone laughed at me and said I didn't know what I was talking about when I said he should have taken JJ out in that game and we were in trouble with Buck and worrying about Johnson's ego. Here we are, two months later, and he still refuses to take him out of games until it's too late.



#29 mdak06

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 07:16 AM

I think the Orioles should not have ANYONE in the closer role.
 
I would much rather see Showalter treat the 9th inning the same as if it is the 8th inning, which is to say ... send someone out there to pitch the ball and get 'em out. I do not like the closer role and I think unless you get a special guy who thrives on pressure long-term (e.g. Rivera, Eckersley, etc.), you're better off without a defined closer.
 
I think that if possible, let whoever pitched the 8th also pitch the 9th. If that's not desirable, then get whoever would be the best matchup against the upcoming batters warmed up for the 9th and have that person pitch.
 
IMO, a pitcher who is given the closer role has a lot of unwarranted pressure put on them (as in YOU MUST ALWAYS BE PERFECT). Some pitchers thrive on that long-term (Eckersley, Rivera, etc.). Others may do well for a while but then the pressure builds up and they can't handle it.
 
Could Hunter close? Maybe, for a while. Could Matusz? Maybe, for a while. Why take the chance that they become a decent closer for a year and then the pressure overwhelms them and they turn into another JJ?
 
Take the pressure off of everyone by not emphasizing the role. Everyone pitches and tries to get people out, regardless of the inning. End of story.
 
(JMHO)

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#30 BSLRobShields

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 07:41 AM

I think the Orioles should not have ANYONE in the closer role.
 
I would much rather see Showalter treat the 9th inning the same as if it is the 8th inning, which is to say ... send someone out there to pitch the ball and get 'em out. I do not like the closer role and I think unless you get a special guy who thrives on pressure long-term (e.g. Rivera, Eckersley, etc.), you're better off without a defined closer.
 
I think that if possible, let whoever pitched the 8th also pitch the 9th. If that's not desirable, then get whoever would be the best matchup against the upcoming batters warmed up for the 9th and have that person pitch.
 
IMO, a pitcher who is given the closer role has a lot of unwarranted pressure put on them (as in YOU MUST ALWAYS BE PERFECT). Some pitchers thrive on that long-term (Eckersley, Rivera, etc.). Others may do well for a while but then the pressure builds up and they can't handle it.
 
Could Hunter close? Maybe, for a while. Could Matusz? Maybe, for a while. Why take the chance that they become a decent closer for a year and then the pressure overwhelms them and they turn into another JJ?
 
Take the pressure off of everyone by not emphasizing the role. Everyone pitches and tries to get people out, regardless of the inning. End of story.
 
(JMHO)


Well said..I wish it was basically always looked at this way.
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#31 BSLRobShields

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 07:44 AM

What exactly are you guys advocating? What role do you want to put JJ in? Set up? 6th inning, low pressure? Something in between?

I mean, if you take him out of the 9th inning pressure situations and put him in for the 8th inning pressure situations, what have you really changed?

End of the day, Buck just needs to stay with the hot hand....he needs to have a shorter leash on JJ and he needs to stop being a slave to the save rule.
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#32 mdak06

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 08:04 AM

What exactly are you guys advocating? What role do you want to put JJ in? Set up? 6th inning, low pressure? Something in between?

 

I want his role, and the role of Matusz, Patton, Hunter, etc. to be "bullpen pitcher." Come in from the bullpen and get guys out, regardless of the particular situation.

 

Any relief appearance in a close game is theoretically a "high pressure" situation. They should ALL be able to handle those. Having a guy in the bullpen who can only come in if there's a blowout one way or another isn't very helpful.

 

End of the day, Buck just needs to stay with the hot hand....he needs to have a shorter leash on JJ and he needs to stop being a slave to the save rule.

 

My thought is that Buck generally ignores the idea of "bullpen roles" and have everyone just go out and pitch. The only exception might be a long reliever type (who is fine coming in for 3-6 innings in case of an injury or a horrible start).


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#33 BSLChrisBacon

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 08:31 AM

I missed the game, but when Jim Johnson enters into the game, I just start to worry irrationally. It's been like that since his week of hell in May. He inspires 0 confidence right now, and that's just not what you want from a closer when he comes in to pitch the 9th.



#34 Mashed Potatoes

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 09:32 AM

Having setup and closer roles is obviously not putting the team in the best position to win. With that said, the one benefit of having a closer is that if he succeeds, his value is artificially inflated which can benefit you in the case of a trade. Wish we would've dealt JJ in the offseason and eliminated the role altogether!


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#35 JeffLong

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 10:19 AM

BSL: Why Jim Johnson Will Be Just Fine

 

http://baltimorespor...l-be-just-fine/

 

Because I knew you guys would love it, I wrote up a piece arguing why JJ will be just fine as the closer.


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#36 BSLChrisStoner

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 10:25 AM

BSL: Why Jim Johnson Will Be Just Fine

 

http://baltimorespor...l-be-just-fine/

 

Because I knew you guys would love it, I wrote up a piece arguing why JJ will be just fine as the closer.

 

Good piece... I've written similar about Johnson this year (BB's up, GB's down, K's up)...  one thing you pointed out that I didn't realize was that his first strike % was up. That's interesting.



#37 BSLRobShields

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 10:44 AM

@danconnollysun: Showalter says Jim Johnson is still the team's best option to close out games.

@masnRoch: Buck doesn't sound like he's ready to change closers. Noted not everyone physically able pitch consecutive days. #Orioles
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#38 SammyBirdland

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 10:55 AM

It's time to move Johnson from the closer role in the same way that it's time to go to work after you oversleep for four hours.
¡Hasta la vista, pelota!

#39 SammyBirdland

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 10:58 AM

@masnRoch: Buck doesn't sound like he's ready to change closers. Noted not everyone physically able pitch consecutive days. #Orioles

There's a difference between pitching consecutive days and pitching WELL consecutive days. There's no rule that says one guy has to be your closer.
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#40 Ricker Says

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 10:59 AM

BSL: Why Jim Johnson Will Be Just Fine

 

http://baltimorespor...l-be-just-fine/

 

Because I knew you guys would love it, I wrote up a piece arguing why JJ will be just fine as the closer.

 

Good numbers, and a good case that he'll be alright.

 

But there is also the narrative, justifiably so, that he's rattled. That's the reality right now. Hopefully he over comes that, but I'm not terribly optimistic at this point.


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