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Coffee’s for Closers: Week 2

Hey look! It’s a new edition of Fake Teams’ weekly bullpen report!

MLB: New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles Patrick McDermott-USA TODAY Sports

If you missed last week’s inaugural edition of Coffee’s for Closers and want to know where the name comes from, I encourage you to check out last week’s post. No long, rambling intro this week. I’m just going to get to the ranking tiers, the NEW! table of leverage index leaders, and some discussion of the current state of bullpens around the league. Ok? Ok? Oh right, I forgot I can’t hear you since this is the Internet, I’ll assume you said ok.

The Closers

  • Aroldis Chapman
  • Zach Britton
  • Kenley Jansen
  • Edwin Diaz
  • Seung-Hwan Oh
  • Mark Melancon
  • Roberto Osuna (back from the DL and ready to go!)
  • Craig Kimbrel
  • Ken Giles (moved him up here after a stellar week with 8 K in 3 IP, even with a loss on his plate and a couple ER)

Cadillac Eldorados

  • Kelvin Herrera (no usage, but should still be very good when he does get into a game)
  • Cody Allen
  • Wade Davis
  • Alex Colome
  • Jeurys Familia

The Good Leads

  • David Robertson
  • A.J. Ramos
  • Greg Holland (he might move up to the next tier soon, he’s been great)
  • Francisco Rodriguez
  • Cam Bedrosian (might also move up after another week like this one)

The Weak Leads

  • Blake Treinen (lots of opportunities, but he’s looked shaky)
  • Jim Johnson
  • Tony Watson
  • Neftali Feliz
  • Brandon Maurer

The Timeshares (these are just the lowest tier, they aren’t all in true committees)

  • Fernando Rodney
  • Sam Dyson (in freefall after an awful first week; I think he’s injured)
  • Ryan Madson
  • Brandon Kintzler
  • Jeanmar Gomez Joaquin Benoit (just named closer on Monday, but don’t give up your Neris shares yet)
  • Raisel Iglesias/Michael Lorenzen

As promised, here’s a table showing the top 50 relievers in terms of game leverage index (gmLI), courtesy of Fangraphs. Remember, this is a measure of how tight the game is when they enter the game and is a proxy for how much trust a manager has in a reliever. I’m using this to track changes in bullpens throughout the season. A gmLI that is trending up means the manager is trusting them more and may move them into a better role, while a declining gmLI might mean they are falling out of the high leverage picture altogether. This week, we can’t do any comparisons to previous weeks, but it will set the baseline for future weeks. For more on leverage index, I encourage you to read this Fangraphs entry. I cut this off at guys with a gmLI of 1.00 or lower because that is league average and not very interesting. We don’t care about low-leverage relievers.

Reliever Leverage Index Week 1

Name Past Week gmLI Change Last Two Weeks gmLI Change
Name Past Week gmLI Change Last Two Weeks gmLI Change
Zach Britton 4.7 N/A
Greg Holland 3.59 N/A
Chris Devenski 3.41 N/A
Mike Dunn 3.13 N/A
Brad Brach 2.88 N/A
Erasmo Ramirez 2.8 N/A
Tony Watson 2.7 N/A
Edwin Diaz 2.69 N/A
Carlos Torres 2.64 N/A
Peter Moylan 2.61 N/A
Cam Bedrosian 2.61 N/A
Carlos Estevez 2.48 N/A
Alex Colome 2.42 N/A
Raisel Iglesias 2.35 N/A
Carl Edwards Jr. 2.35 N/A
Michael Feliz 2.31 N/A
Tyler Duffey 2.27 N/A
Koda Glover 2.23 N/A
Wade Davis 2.22 N/A
Jose Ramirez 2.22 N/A
Joe Smith 2.21 N/A
Jerry Blevins 2.19 N/A
Felipe Rivero 2.14 N/A
Jared Hughes 2.11 N/A
Koji Uehara 2.08 N/A
Juan Nicasio 2.01 N/A
Craig Kimbrel 2.01 N/A
Will Harris 1.99 N/A
Alex Claudio 1.98 N/A
Ryan Pressly 1.98 N/A
Nick Vincent 1.97 N/A
Jim Johnson 1.96 N/A
A.J. Ramos 1.96 N/A
Andrew Miller 1.95 N/A
Jacob Barnes 1.94 N/A
Michael Lorenzen 1.92 N/A
Adam Warren 1.91 N/A
Hector Rondon 1.91 N/A
Jake McGee 1.89 N/A
Brandon Kintzler 1.89 N/A
Joseph Biagini 1.88 N/A
Daniel Hudson 1.85 N/A
Jose Alvarez 1.85 N/A
Brandon Maurer 1.84 N/A
Brad Ziegler 1.83 N/A
Adam Ottavino 1.82 N/A
Cody Allen 1.8 N/A
Casey Fien 1.8 N/A
Jorge de la Rosa 1.8 N/A
Cody Reed 1.79 N/A
Ty Blach 1.79 N/A
Justin Wilson 1.77 N/A
Tyler Wilson 1.75 N/A
James Pazos 1.75 N/A
Heath Hembree 1.74 N/A
Addison Reed 1.73 N/A
Alex Wood 1.73 N/A
Scott Oberg 1.72 N/A
Josh Edgin 1.7 N/A
Arodys Vizcaino 1.68 N/A
Joaquin Benoit 1.67 N/A
Fernando Salas 1.66 N/A
Taylor Rogers 1.64 N/A
Matt Belisle 1.63 N/A
Santiago Casilla 1.58 N/A
Brad Hand 1.54 N/A
Marc Rzepczynski 1.53 N/A
Zach Putnam 1.49 N/A
Ross Stripling 1.48 N/A
Hunter Strickland 1.46 N/A
Ryan Madson 1.46 N/A
Sammy Solis 1.45 N/A
Sean Doolittle 1.42 N/A
Matt Barnes 1.42 N/A
Liam Hendriks 1.42 N/A
Tony Cingrani 1.4 N/A
Darren O'Day 1.4 N/A
Jonathan Holder 1.4 N/A
Grant Dayton 1.39 N/A
Jose Leclerc 1.39 N/A
Jose Torres 1.38 N/A
Oliver Drake 1.36 N/A
Joe Kelly 1.35 N/A
Tom Wilhelmsen 1.34 N/A
Ryan Buchter 1.34 N/A
Mychal Givens 1.32 N/A
Matt Bowman 1.32 N/A
Miguel Socolovich 1.32 N/A
Hector Neris 1.31 N/A
Bryan Mitchell 1.31 N/A
Kenley Jansen 1.31 N/A
Edubray Ramos 1.3 N/A
Sergio Romo 1.3 N/A
Miguel Diaz 1.29 N/A
Matt Bush 1.29 N/A
Danny Farquhar 1.28 N/A
Tommy Hunter 1.28 N/A
Drew Storen 1.28 N/A
Jumbo Diaz 1.27 N/A
Jeanmar Gomez 1.27 N/A
Archie Bradley 1.26 N/A
Dustin McGowan 1.25 N/A
Josh Fields 1.23 N/A
Zach McAllister 1.22 N/A
Luis Avilan 1.19 N/A
Kyle Ryan 1.19 N/A
Justin Grimm 1.18 N/A
Joakim Soria 1.17 N/A
Oliver Perez 1.17 N/A
Brad Peacock 1.16 N/A
Bryan Shaw 1.16 N/A
Frankie Montas 1.14 N/A
Jonathan Broxton 1.14 N/A
Barrett Astin 1.14 N/A
Neil Ramirez 1.13 N/A
Andrew Bailey 1.13 N/A
Wandy Peralta 1.1 N/A
Noe Ramirez 1.09 N/A
Donnie Hart 1.07 N/A
Boone Logan 1.04 N/A
Chris Hatcher 1.04 N/A
Tony Barnette 1.01 N/A

It is funny to note that this early, guys like Aroldis Chapman, Nate Jones, Kelvin Herrera, Blake Treinen, Ken Giles, Seung Hwan Oh, Fernando Rodney, Neftali Feliz, Mark Melancon (0.02), Sam Dyson (0.0!) and Francisco Rodriguez all fall below 1.0 due to no save chances or save chances with 3 run leads. Obviously, they are clear closers for their teams and should see higher gmLI as the season goes on. It’s too early to draw much from this table, but we should learn more as the season goes on and start to see who managers trust more.

This table confirms Tony Watson is the clear closer in Pittsburgh. Felipe Rivero isn’t far behind him and Daniel Hudson is not too far behind him. That bullpen is going to be competitive all season and we could see some shuffling if Watson struggles.

Carl Edwards Jr. is just ahead of Wade Davis. Davis is certainly the closer, but Edwards has the talent and Joe Maddon’s trust to move into the setup role sooner rather than later.

This table confirms that Michael Feliz and Chris Devenski are going to be used often in Houston and are great for their ratios, innings, strikeouts, occasional wins, and holds. Don’t forget about them in deeper leagues in place of bad starters or non-closing relievers.

It seems Dusty Baker trusts Koda Glover in high leverage situations, even if Treinen is the (shaky) closer and Shawn Kelley hangs around. Glover’s gmLI is much higher after one week than either of those two, who are both below 1.0. Don’t forget about him. He could easily be the closer in a month or two.

Santiago Casilla has an early lead in the A’s pen over Madson and Doolittle, but I still believe Doolittle will end up the closer at some point. I’ll keep watching this situation in case Bob Melvin prefers Casilla.

That’s the insights I’ve got for this week. Check back next time for updates! Tschus!