Without needing to rehash the events of today’s game it is fairly clear that something needs (and likely will) be done about the closers role for the Cards.  So that seems to pose two separate questions

  1. What will Tony and Dunc do?
  2. What should they do?

I’ll take them in that order.  It seems that the scuttlebutt points toward Miguel Batista’s aged carcass taking over the closer’s role.  As I type this it is far from official as the decision makers still have to meet on it.  That said I think Batista’s veteren-ness and experience will win out over some of the younger guys stuff and potential.

The more interesting question is what should they do?  All of the likely successors have some issues, some major, some minor.  The young right handers all have some platoon issues with lefties, Batista is simply not good at pitching, and the lefties aren’t very good against righties.  With that said, if I were king I would scrap the traditional vision of a closer (as would most sabermetricians in this setting) and platoon my pitchers accordingly in the appropriate leverage situations.  I would use Boggs in the highest leverage situation that will be predominantly RHBs, Motte the second highest, and Sanchez the third.  I would use Miller in the highest leverage situation that sees predominantly LHBs.  Sure this would take some finagling as I’m not extremely confident with any of the above listed against opposite handed hitters, but since Tony is likely to carry 97 pitchers matching up late should not be a problem.

A final bonus question is what should happen to Franklin?  Despite not being able to miss bats in years past he has still had a FIP below 4 in 3 of the last 4 seasons.  There is some value in keeping a guy like that around in your pen, just not in high leverage situations.  I would personally like to see him take the Batista role and have Batista sent packing.  Unfortunately if Franklin gets Batista’s role it is because Batista and he have just flipped, not because Batista got voted off of the island.

Steve Sommer

Simulation analyst by day, father and baseball nerd by night

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