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Money aside, would you rather have Jim Johnson or Grant Balfour as closer in 2014?


Frobby

Money aside, would you rather have Balfour or JJ closing for the Orioles in 2014?  

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  1. 1. Money aside, would you rather have Balfour or JJ closing for the Orioles in 2014?



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Guys who strike out 10.5 per nine allow less ground balls. And sometimes more fly balls.

They also strike a guy out when someone is on third.

They get more swings and misses.

He had a 2.45 ERA last year.

His effectiveness was not all about the Coliseum.

Not entirely, but the Coliseum did have a big effect for him, as his 1.55 career ERA there attests.

Based on his track record, Balfour is going to get more strikeouts and allow fewer hits than Johnson. He's going to walk more batters, allow more homers and fly balls, and induce fewer double plays. With JJ, when he blew a save, it was usually the death by 1,000 cuts: an infield single, some play that advanced the runner to 2B, then a grounder through the hole, something like that. With Balfour, it's more likely to be sudden death via a homer or an extra base hit that follows a walk. Balfour blew three saves this year and in each one he allowed a homer that tied or lost the game. That's how he tends to get burned. So, pick your poison. There's no fun way to blow a save.

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So, pick your poison. There's no fun way to blow a save.

Of which Balfour has done 5 times in 24 mths. So maybe he will give up a solo shot with a three run lead. Just not that double over Adam's head after the walk, error (his own), single, single.

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Of which Balfour has done 5 times in 24 mths. So maybe he will give up a solo shot with a three run lead. Just not that double over Adam's head after the walk, error (his own), single, single.

Give any pitchers as many opportunities as Johnson had over two years and there liable to blow more saves.

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Not entirely, but the Coliseum did have a big effect for him, as his 1.55 career ERA there attests.

Looking at Balfour's home/road stats the last couple years, the biggest difference is that his walk rate is nearly twice as high on the road versus at home. Unless you can give a compelling reason as to why that is likely to continue, I will not be too worried about it.

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Of which Balfour has done 5 times in 24 mths. So maybe he will give up a solo shot with a three run lead. Just not that double over Adam's head after the walk, error (his own), single, single.

Shut it haters! j/k of course but can you be sure the aging Balfour can field? :scratchchinhmm:

I'm actually looking forward to Grant's fire, bee atch! :angryfire:

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Shut it haters! j/k of course but can you be sure the aging Balfour can field? :scratchchinhmm:

I'm actually looking forward to Grant's fire, bee atch! :angryfire:

No. Maybe he can't. Then don't try to and let our awesome sauce fielders do it. I cringed ever time Jake or Jim went for a ball.

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SO when the control-ability and price is taken into account, Balfour is a HUGE win over Johnson for you?

No, the contracts make it a cost vs risk proposition. Johnson is more expensive this year, but since there's no 2015 commitment the risk is very low. Balfour is a reliever, therefore subject to relatively high volatility, and he's fairly old. The tradeoff for not paying the extra $ is the risk that Balfour either (1) regresses significantly, (2) starts to feel his age, or both, and has a bad year in 2014 followed by the Orioles being on the hook for another $7.5M the next season. You know, Danys Baez/Jamie Walker syndrome.

That tradeoff of added risk in terms of guaranteed money for a lower annual rate isn't a bad one, but I think it's pretty even there too. Adding Weeks as part of the deal helps a bit as well. Overall, I don't think the Orioles got much better, but I don't think they got much worse either.

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Looking at Balfour's home/road stats the last couple years, the biggest difference is that his walk rate is nearly twice as high on the road versus at home. Unless you can give a compelling reason as to why that is likely to continue, I will not be too worried about it.

That is because it is a lot easier to challenge a hitter in the Grand Canyon than it is in a park like OPACY. When you don't have to fear the long ball as much, you can afford to throw more strikes.

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That is because it is a lot easier to challenge a hitter in the Grand Canyon than it is in a park like OPACY. When you don't have to fear the long ball as much, you can afford to throw more strikes.

Every other pitcher on the A's besides Balfour totaled 2.599 BB/9 on the road and 2.596 BB/9 innings at home in 2013. Why was Balfour the only pitcher affected?

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Yeah, what I think is going unsaid which I pointed out in the Balfour thread are his splits. I don't think there's much difference between the two either unless you hold up the fact the Balfour has been a much better pitcher at home than away.

[h=4]Home or Away[/h]Direct Link ? Glossary ? SHARE ? Embed ? CSV ? PRE ? LINK ? ?

[TABLE=class: sortable stats_table]

<colgroup><col><col><col><col><col><col><col><col><col><col><col><col><col><col><col><col><col><col><col><col><col><col><col><col><col><col><col><col></colgroup><thead>[TR]

[TH=class: tooltip sort_default_asc, align: left]Split[/TH]

[TH=class: tooltip, align: center]G[/TH]

[TH=class: tooltip, align: center]PA[/TH]

[TH=class: tooltip, align: center]AB[/TH]

[TH=class: tooltip, align: center]R[/TH]

[TH=class: tooltip, align: center]H[/TH]

[TH=class: tooltip, align: center]2B[/TH]

[TH=class: tooltip, align: center]3B[/TH]

[TH=class: tooltip, align: center]HR[/TH]

[TH=class: tooltip, align: center]SB[/TH]

[TH=class: tooltip, align: center]CS[/TH]

[TH=class: tooltip, align: center]BB[/TH]

[TH=class: tooltip, align: center]SO[/TH]

[TH=class: tooltip hide_non_quals, align: center]SO/BB[/TH]

[TH=class: tooltip hide_non_quals, align: center]BA[/TH]

[TH=class: tooltip hide_non_quals, align: center]OBP[/TH]

[TH=class: tooltip hide_non_quals, align: center]SLG[/TH]

[TH=class: tooltip hide_non_quals, align: center]OPS[/TH]

[TH=class: tooltip, align: center]TB[/TH]

[TH=class: tooltip, align: center]GDP[/TH]

[TH=class: tooltip, align: center]HBP[/TH]

[TH=class: tooltip, align: center]SH[/TH]

[TH=class: tooltip, align: center]SF[/TH]

[TH=class: tooltip, align: center]IBB[/TH]

[TH=class: tooltip, align: center]ROE[/TH]

[TH=class: tooltip hide_non_quals, align: center]BAbip[/TH]

[TH=class: tooltip, align: center]tOPS+[/TH]

[TH=class: tooltip, align: center]sOPS+[/TH]

[/TR]

</thead><tbody>[TR]

[TD]Home[/TD]

[TD=align: right]36[/TD]

[TD=align: right]145[/TD]

[TD=align: right]134[/TD]

[TD=align: right]8[/TD]

[TD=align: right]27[/TD]

[TD=align: right]4[/TD]

[TD=align: right]0[/TD]

[TD=align: right]4[/TD]

[TD=align: right]0[/TD]

[TD=align: right]1[/TD]

[TD=align: right]10[/TD]

[TD=align: right]41[/TD]

[TD=align: right]4.10[/TD]

[TD=align: right].201[/TD]

[TD=align: right].257[/TD]

[TD=align: right].321[/TD]

[TD=align: right].578[/TD]

[TD=align: right]43[/TD]

[TD=align: right]1[/TD]

[TD=align: right]0[/TD]

[TD=align: right]1[/TD]

[TD=align: right]0[/TD]

[TD=align: right]1[/TD]

[TD=align: right]3[/TD]

[TD=align: right].258[/TD]

[TD=align: right]89[/TD]

[TD=align: right]64[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Away[/TD]

[TD=align: right]29[/TD]

[TD=align: right]117[/TD]

[TD=align: right]99[/TD]

[TD=align: right]12[/TD]

[TD=align: right]21[/TD]

[TD=align: right]2[/TD]

[TD=align: right]0[/TD]

[TD=align: right]3[/TD]

[TD=align: right]0[/TD]

[TD=align: right]0[/TD]

[TD=align: right]17[/TD]

[TD=align: right]31[/TD]

[TD=align: right]1.82[/TD]

[TD=align: right].212[/TD]

[TD=align: right].328[/TD]

[TD=align: right].323[/TD]

[TD=align: right].651[/TD]

[TD=align: right]32[/TD]

[TD=align: right]1[/TD]

[TD=align: right]0[/TD]

[TD=align: right]1[/TD]

[TD=align: right]0[/TD]

[TD=align: right]1[/TD]

[TD=align: right]0[/TD]

[TD=align: right].277[/TD]

[TD=align: right]114[/TD]

[TD=align: right]82

[/TD]

[/TR]

</tbody>[/TABLE]

I've only listed 2013 but the same trend was present from the time he first pitched for Oakland. I hope some of what I'm reading here is correct, but I'd prefer the GB pitcher with the sparkling D behind him to the SO/FB pitcher who has benefited from a pitchers park the last three years.

And let's be clear, there's no way to discount the money issue. I'd rather neither of them were an Oriole.

Ignoring the fact that reliever splits are pretty small sample sizes, the only difference I see between him pitching in OAK and on the road is BB/9. I don't know if that's a mound issue, fear/confidence, or just a flukey thing. I guess we'll find out.

Regardless...I think it's interesting that the people that call JJ's performances a roller coaster are ignoring that Balfour actually walks more people than Johnson. He'll give up far less hits, but the thing that always makes me uneasy when JJ is struggling is those walks.

Really, though...I don't see much difference between the two other than the way they get the job done. So...good enough for me.

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Every other pitcher on the A's besides Balfour totaled 2.599 BB/9 on the road and 2.596 BB/9 innings at home in 2013. Why was Balfour the only pitcher affected?

One reason is because Balfour is in high leverage situations every time out there as the closer. Giving up the Home Run likely means losing the game. And for a fly ball pitcher, that would make me nibble a little bit too.

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Of which Balfour has done 5 times in 24 mths. So maybe he will give up a solo shot with a three run lead. Just not that double over Adam's head after the walk, error (his own), single, single.

Mike, in my opinion you are setting yourself up for disappointment if you think Balfour will have a 92.5% save rate pitching half his games at OPACY instead of in Oakland. It just stands to reason he's going to allow more homers for us than for the A's, and it will cost him a save here and there. If he saves 87% I'll be satisfied. JJ was at 85% last year and 94% in 2012.

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