Brett Myers / Icon SMI

The Astros have announced that Brett Myers is going to be their closer in 2012. Is it a good idea?

Probably.

For starters, Myers wasn’t all that good as a starter last year. As it stands now, his career ERA+ is a perfect 100, but he’s coming off a down year. His K/9 rate in 2011 was 6.7, below his career average and trending in the opposite direction from the league on average.

From that standpoint, moving Myers to a new role seems like it can’t hurt.

Myers was a closer once before, in 2007 for the Phillies, taking over from Tom Gordon. Interestingly, he posted a career high of 10.9 K/9 that year. That might have something to do with his approach, or the batters being more aggressive with the game on the line, or it might have been a blip since it was just 68 innings. Myers’ walk rate also went way up, to 3.5 per 9 innings.

Here are the guys in 2007 to record at least 20 saves with a BB rate of at least 3.5:

Rk Player SV BB/9
1 Ryan Dempster 28 4.05
2 Kevin Gregg 32 4.29
3 Jason Isringhausen 32 3.86
4 Brett Myers 21 3.54
5 Francisco Rodriguez 40 4.54
6 Jose Valverde 47 3.64
7 Bob Wickman 20 3.75
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/28/2012.

Not too many folks survive as closers with such high walk rates.

Here’s what the 7 guys did in the following 4 seasons:

Rk From To Age G GS SV IP ERA+ Tm
1 Jose Valverde 2008 2011 30-33 261 0 144 261.1 151 HOU-DET
2 Francisco Rodriguez 2008 2011 26-29 272 0 145 265.1 150 LAA-NYM-TOT
3 Brett Myers 2008 2011 27-30 115 106 0 700.1 99 PHI-HOU
4 Jason Isringhausen 2008 2011 35-38 104 0 19 97.1 87 STL-TBR-NYM
5 Kevin Gregg 2008 2011 30-33 270 0 111 256.0 107 FLA-CHC-TOR-BAL
6 Ryan Dempster 2008 2011 31-34 132 132 0 824.1 113 CHC
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/28/2012.

Bob Wickman didn’t pitch in the majors again after 2007 and Myers and Dempster became starters. Isringhausen was mostly hurt, and the rest of the guys have done pretty well. (Valverde and K-Rod have done really well, actually.)

If Myers can get his K rate back up and his BB rate back down, he should do reasonably well.

Subscribe to: RSS feed