From SABR member David Laurila at FanGraphs on July 18, 2017:
Not just anyone can close a game. The ninth inning is different than the first eight innings. Along with quality “stuff,” a certain mentality is needed to walk out to the mound and get those last three outs with your team leading by three runs or less.
Or is it?
Managers are typically averse to using someone other than their designated closer in a save situation — they do so only when necessary — but should that really be the case? Could most teams not realistically expect their “second-best reliever” to get those final outs if their “best reliever” was used in a high-leverage situation earlier in the game, and it was prudent to not have him return for the ninth?
I recently asked that question (albeit not always in those exact words) to a cross section of relievers, pitching coaches, and managers. Here is what they had to say.
Read the full article here: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/players-view-who-can-handle-the-ninth/
Originally published: July 18, 2017. Last Updated: July 18, 2017.