Friday, July 06, 2012

A vote for closer by committee

You know how you have good ideas -- such as "let's abolish the electoral college and just have whoever gets the most votes will be president" -- while knowing that you'll never ever see the idea get taken seriously? That's how I feel about closer by committee.

I'd say that in the case of that Giants, a committee of four -- Santiago Casilla, Javier Lopez, Jeremy Affeldt and Sergio Romo. Romo closed tonight and did so pretty convincingly but as Henry Schulman's game story for San Francisco Chronicle points out, he can't be overused. 

I'm convinced that closer-by-committee is a viable option for this team, though I'm pretty sure that this isn't going to happen, due to a front office and manger who crave consistency on the pitching staff. I've always thought that closer-by-committee is a good idea but it never catches on anywhere.

Chris Quick of Bay City Ball posted about the game, which he attended. Here's the key part of his post -- 

After watching Santiago Casilla meltdown in the District on Thursday night, I’m all for letting Romo try to close a few games here and there. Casilla, unavailable because of a blister, has done a nice job for the Giants as the fill-in closer, but it’s been clear lately that he’s been out of sync. Romo is the best reliever in the pen and if he’s healthy and the trick knee is feeling fine, then let him close. Even though the Giants historically have used Romo as a ROOGY, he’s performed well enough against left-handed batters in his career – 2.83 FIP, 3.94 xFIP – to warrant the move. The team looks poised to trade for a reliever in the second half, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Romo get the next handful of save opportunities, despite what he says. The Giants love few things more than bullpen stability.
Tonight, the bullpen largely did a good job. Kontos threw another clean inning and has been a welcome addition since he was called up to the team. He’s faced 47 batters this year while only walking one of them. Brad Penny looked like Brad Penny; the stadium gun had his fastball on the top-end around 91 miles per hour. Javier Lopez gave up the rare home run to a left-handed batter; his first homer allowed to a LHB since he became a Giant (I stand corrected), so he gets a pass for now. On most nights the bullpen does a good enough job to get things done. This, thankfully, was one of those nights.


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