Sunday, January 4, 2009

Thinking Outside the Box

A. How about Jeff Suppan as the Brewers closer?
Baseball splits pitchers' stats by high, medium, and low leverage situations. Basically high leverage situations are more game critical than medium, which are more game critical than low. Suppan pitched rather well in high leverage situations in 2008 - exactly those that the closer faces.

High Leverage 0.244 0.268 0.370
Medium Leverage 0.292 0.372 0.464
Low Leverage 0.328 0.388 0.556

His career numbers also show the same pattern, although not as dramatic.

High Leverage 0.272 0.322 0.403
Medium Leverage 0.276 0.339 0.447
Low Leverage 0.292 0.350 0.476

There have been all kinds of starter-to-closer pitchers who have had great success making the transition. Maybe the switch would be just what Suppan needs to salvage the last part of his career and fill a big need in the bullpen. I've got to believe that Carlos Villanueva would be just as good as Suppan as the fifth starter.

B. Shouldn't the Brewers at least inquire about Manny Ramirez?
If there was money to go after CC Sabathia with the thinking being that you make a run at a championship now, the same logic should be used with Ramirez. Imagine Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, and Manny Ramirez batting 3-4-5 in the order. That would make up for a lot of deficiencies in pitching. Ramirez' stock seems to have come down somewhat. Why not make a run while Prince Fielder is still around? Corey Hart would obviously be the odd man out, but the way he finished last year you've got to wonder if he's going to end up being any better than Brady Clark.

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