Dewan: Easy and tough saves

From SABR member John Dewan at ACTA Sports on August 30, 2013:

In recent seasons, we’ve seen many of the sabermetric principles we study and advocate at Baseball Info Solutions matriculate into the professional game. For example, if the current pace continues, teams will use the defensive shift three times as often this season as they did in 2011.

One aspect of the game that has remained largely unchanged is closer usage. The prevailing notion that there is something different about the ninth inning entices managers to use their closers, frequently their best arms in the bullpen, in situations that do not take full advantage of their abilities.

One way to measure that trend is with Easy Saves and Tough Saves. We define a save as easy if a reliever pitches one inning or less, and the first batter he faces does not at least represent the tying run. In contrast, a Tough Save requires a reliever to enter with the tying run on base. Here are the pitchers with the most Easy Save Opportunities in 2013.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: August 30, 2013. Last Updated: August 30, 2013.