Thursday October 13, 2011
First I want to apologize for not posting much this season.
My new employment has kept me on the road much of the year wand watching minor league baseball instead of the 100+ major league games I have attended in years past.
Recently my employers have asked all of us to not blog until we had a new boss in place. While that is not completed yet, I did not want to let down the BBA by neglecting to vote for the Goose Gossage Award for the best reliever in the NL.
Without further ado my vote for the Best reliever in the NL goes to John Axford of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Not only did Axford lead the NL in saves and save percentage, he was also amongst the lowest in ERA, FIP and xFIP. His LOB% was the best amongst closers and his k/9 was near the top as well.
An honorable mention goes to Heath Bell of the San Diego Padres who has been arguably the best closer in baseball over the past three years leading in nearly every category.
In 2011 he performed exceptionally well recording 43 saves against just 5 blown saves while pitching for a team that gave him sporadic opportunities at best, often going 5 or more days between outings, and for a team was out of contention by the end of May. Those are tough conditions to battle for a closer.
J.J Putz made a complete u-turn in his career to record 45 saves for the Arizona Diamondbacks and desreves at least a mention here. Too many of his saves were 1 or 2 batters with a 3 run lead to merit real consideration as top reliever in the league. not enough high leverage situations.
According to the BBA rules I am supposed to grade these guys on a point system so here goes:
5 points - John Axford Milwaukee Brewers
3 points - Heath Bell - San Diego Padres
1 point - JJ Putz - Arizona Diamondbacks