h2h Corner ~ Brad Ziegler, A’s closer

With news that Joey Devine, he of the 0.59 ERA last year, is headed to the DL and Dr. James Andrews, Brad Ziegler appears to be the next closer wire claim of the unborn season. In 59 innings last season, Ziegler struck out 30 batters (not great), but posted a 1.06 ERA and 1.15 WHIP.

With worse ratios than that, he could be a 30 save closer in 2009. He is certainly someone who can step right in for Joey Devine and perform. Don’t forget, last year Ziegler set a major league record for most consecutive scoreless innings to start a career.

There is the chance that major league batters caught up to his funky delivery slightly, as he posted a 3.00 ERA in September/October. Still, as a waiver wire pick-up, you should be jettisoning your Mariner’s closers, Fernando Rodney, Chris Ray, George Sherrill, Chris Perez, and J.J. Putz types. A 3.00 ERA closer is still a rosterable entity.

5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jesse Mendelson on March 31, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    Be careful, though. Ziegler had a strand rate of 92% last year – the highest in major league baseball by nearly 3 percentage points. The major league average is closer to 77%, which means that if Ziegler regresses closer to the mean, his ERA will go way up, as will his blown save numbers. But after all, a closer is a closer.

    Reply

  2. Very good point. I figured if his ERA sits around 3.00 – 3.5, which seems likely, he’ll still be the presumptive closer.

    Jesse is right, there will be a regression in the ERA, but it rising by 2/2.5 points isn’t as big a deal for a guy who had a 1.06 last year. He also has trouble getting lefties out, which should add to the increase.

    And as always, a closer is a closer.

    Reply

  3. […] As I wrote yesterday, I’d grab Ziegler before Rodney, but you can’t slouch on Rodney just because he kind of sucks, for two reasons: Joe Borowski (three seasons of 30+ saves) and Todd Jones (six seasons of 30+ saves). Oh, and by the way, who was Todd Jones’ manager? Mr. Innovative himself, Jim Leyland. […]

    Reply

  4. […] it time to breath. Sure, you can jettison late round speculative picks for newly coronated closers (Brad Ziegler, Rodney, and Motte), but don’t overreact and drop or trade Cliff Lee because he got shelled. […]

    Reply

  5. […] h2h Corner ~ Red Light District I, the Closer Carousel h2h Corner ~ Red Light District II, the Closer Carousel h2h Corner ~ Red Light District III, the Closer Carousel […]

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