Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Farrell Formula

I wrote this post at around 8:30 this morning -- long before I found out about Jon Rauch's appendectomy. I feel bad for the guy, and this is more of a swipe at Farrell's managing style than Rauch's unfortunate pitching of late. I just wish I could have seen that appendix - it could probably feed a family of four.

In my last post, I was singing the praises of Jon Rauch and his dragon eating abilities. Things have changed. In the last ten games, the "closer" of our Toronto Blue Jays has posted an ERA of 6.75. For the month of August, his ERA is 7.50. He's given up 10 home runs on the season so far, only three off of his single-season record set in 2006. His WHIP was below 1 (0.9) in May, and it's steadily been creeping upwards ever since. His Fangraphs WAR is -0.6, the lowest in his career, yet John Farrell is still sending him out. Why? I call it the Farrell Formula.

Before I proceed, let me be clear: I am not a professional analyst, a fact that will become very clear over the life of this blog. I am just a fan who is concerned with the choices being made by the Manager of his favourite team.

It appears to me that no matter how the pitchers fared in 7th inning, more often than not, John Farrell will send out Frank Francisco in the 8th, and Jon Rauch in the 9th. It may be my selective memory, but it seems to me that in high leverage situations, Jon Rauch is in, and the game is in jeopardy. I hate the save stat - it just means your team is in too many close games - but when you have 11 saves in 16 opportunities, it means you've blown five of them. That's a blown save percentage of 31.25. These are not the numbers of a closer in my mind.

Are these the lingering effects of Farrell being a former pitching coach? They could be, and they may change over time, but Jesse Litsch has been lights-out as of late, and Casey Janssen hasn’t been bad himself. So what the eff, John? Why not give them a shot late in the game – you might be surprised.

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