2014 AL East Closers Preview

bos_g_springts_600x400Hello folks baseball is back in Spring Training and it is time to start grading out the AL East. I’m only doing the AL East to assess where I think the Red Sox sit in their division. We are going to do this fairly scientifically. I’m going to grade each player, at each starting position. The team with the best player at the position gets 5 points, 2nd 4 points etc. Get it? Good, if not go away. Each position gets 2 lists, purely statistical and purely sleeveless. At the end the team with the most points from both lists will be the scientific favorite to win the AL East. Then I’ll wrap it all up and tell if I agree or disagree with science or if I’ll have my own sleeveless prediction.

February 24th, we did catchers! February 25th, we did first basemen! February 26th, we did second basemen! , February 27th, we did third basemen! February 28th, we did shortstops! March 1st we did left fielders! March 2, we did center fielders! March 3, we did right fielders! March 4, we did designated hitters! March 5, we did starting pitcher #1s! March 6, we did starting pitcher #2s! March 7, we did starting pitcher #3s! Yesterday, March 8, we did starting pitcher 4’s! Yesterday, March 10, we did setup pitchers!

Today, March 11, we punch the lights out with closers!

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS

CL

NAME

TEAM

WHIP

K%

BB%

WAR

W

SV

ERA

K

1

Uehara

RED SOX

0.57

38.1

3.4

3.3

4

21

1.09

101

2

Robertson

YANKEES

1.04

29.4

6.9

1.6

5

3

2.04

77

3

Hunter

ORIOLES

0.98

20.2

4.2

0.7

6

4

2.81

68

4

Janssen

BLUE JAYS

0.99

23.8

6.2

1.3

4

34

2.56

50

5

Balfour

RAYS

1.2

27.5

10.3

0.6

1

38

2.59

72

SLEEVELESS ANALYSIS

1. David Robertson – Yankees

Have fun replacing a legend!

2. Koji Uehara – Red Sox

At his age can his 2013 dominance continue?

3. Grant Balfour – Rays

Will tougher AL East challenge Balfour like it did former A’s closers?

4. Casey Janssen – Blue Jays

Not elite, but good.

5. Tommy Hunter – Orioles

Not a closer really.

AL EAST RANKS

3/11/2014

Closers

Overall

Points

Yankees

9

Red Sox

119

Red Sox

9

Yankees

101

Orioles

4

Orioles

89

Rays

4

Blue Jays

85

Blue Jays

4

Rays

85

SUMMARY

My overall impression of AL East closers is that David Robertson is going to be very good for the Yankees, not Mariano Rivera good, but who could be? Koji Uehara’s age is a big if. It was a big if last year and wasn’t an issue, but make me think its an even bigger if this year. Grant Balfour was very good for the A’s, but past A’s closers such as Andrew Bailey and Keith Foulke have struggled when exposed to prolong stints in the AL East. Casey Janssen is a very solid closer, but not potentially elite like the 3 above him. I don’t know why the Orioles traded Jim Johnson and replaced him with Tommy Hunter. Maybe they thought they were signing Fernando Rodney or Balfour, but they didn’t and now this seems like a big hole.

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