I thought we'd combine our two possible closers into one one post and ask which you think will get more saves this season.
Casey has long been a favorite around here, I'm glad he got a chance to fill the closer role. We even had an interview with him, back here. I think we just like high socks and drop and drive pitchers.
I'd be happy with him as closer this year. It will depend on his shoulder being ok, I'd imagine it will be, we've got a month and a half until the season starts. Casey's strike rate has improved each year and his walk rate has gone down, I doubt he can keep improving, but he's been great.
Bill James figures him to pitch in 65 games, 3.18 ERA (figuring not as much balls in play, .240 BABIP last year, Bill says .303 this season). Bill figures him for just 3 saves. I think he'll have a few more than that. James also figures him for just 7.41 strikeouts/9, a huge drop from the last few years. I'd like to think he'll do better.
Sergio Santos started last year as the closer, then went on the DL (giving us the fun of watching the closer stylings of Francisco Cordero, until Farrell finally switched to Casey). Here are his career numbers:
I'm sure that, at some point, Sergio will get the job of closer back, if for no other reason than the fact that he is being paid to be the closer. He strikes out a lot of batter, he also walks a lot of batters. Hopefully the walk number will drop some, but then I can't imagine he'll strikeout 13 batters per 9 innings either.
James figures him to pitch in 62 games, 11.1 strikeouts/9, 3.52 ERA and 21 saves.
So, if you are following along, that's 24 saves from the two guys that are likely to get the bulk of our save opportunities. I'm hoping for more, but maybe we are going win by several runs each game? Or we are going to get a bunch complete games?
My guess is that Casey will get around 25 saves and Sergio 10. If they both pitch around 60 games, life will be good. ERA slightly below 3 for Casey, 2.80, and slightly above 3 for Sergio, 3.20