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  1. I think that there isn’t enough of a sample size here. I think that you should have done it the same way that you did the starters.

    /eloquence

    Comment by The Hemogoblin — September 28, 2009 @ 10:07 pm

  2. Why don’t relievers’ HR/FB rates regress to a central mean?

    Comment by Matt Walsh — September 28, 2009 @ 11:15 pm

  3. I think that putting Paplebon’s name in the same sentence as the words “failed starter” is just totally false. Paplebon was quite good in limited time as a starter before his transition into closer. While some referred to his health concerns as reasons for keeping him a closer, I have never seen any real substance to that idea, nor do I think that labels him as a failed starter.

    Comment by Nateg26 — September 29, 2009 @ 12:23 am

  4. Is it just me, or do these lists not really say much about what is the “best” way to acquire players of certain positions? Small sample size aside, does the fact that most of the top relievers were acquired via trade or draft mean that those avenues are more effective for teams looking for a reliever?

    Or, does it just mean that there are more relievers drafted/brougt up through a farm system and traded in a given year than there are signed via free agency? i.e., it is easier and more cost efficient for teams to purusue relief arms in this fashion, therefore it is done more often, therefore it should be expected that a disproportianed number of traded/drafted relievers would be represented in the top ten.

    I just think this is an ineffective way of “proving” that teams are better off avoiding free agency when it comes to looking for relievers, if that is what you are trying to do. the same goes for the other positions you are looking at.

    Am I missing the point?

    Comment by Wrighteous — September 29, 2009 @ 9:25 am

  5. Agreed. In fact, Papelbon was drafted as a closer from MS, was converted to starter in mL, and did very well as one, but is a closer today primarily because of how he absolutely dominated in the role in ’06. Papelbon has the pitches and command to convert back, if he so chose. Bet he’d be damn good too.

    Stating that Papelbon is a reliever today because he failed as a starter is akin to saying Joba is a starter today because he failed as a reliever. Neither failed. Instead, their respective teams slotted them where needed.

    Comment by Dirty Water — September 29, 2009 @ 9:47 am

  6. The best way to acquire players is to find talented players through the draft, free agency, amateur free agency, and trades by discovering these players through both good scouting and statistical analysis.

    Comment by Branch Rickey — September 29, 2009 @ 12:32 pm

  7. “but is a closer today primarily because of how he absolutely dominated in the role in ‘06″

    Or because of concerns about his shoulder imploding with a starters workload? If the Red Sox really thought Papelbon would dominate as a starter…he’d be starting. The simple fact of the matter is a good starter is worth much, much more than a good reliever.

    “Neither failed. Instead, their respective teams slotted them where needed.”

    Which basically makes this not true. Or it shows these front offices don’t understand the relative importance of starters vs. relievers? Or that they cater to fans/media that don’t understand? Take your pick, at least with the Red Sox they’ve built up enough credibility that injury concerns seem like they have to be the explanation…

    Comment by B — September 29, 2009 @ 1:43 pm

  8. every writer on this site needs to STOP writing about hughes staying in the pen. get a clue.

    Comment by Tom B — September 29, 2009 @ 1:47 pm

  9. Solid bull pens are probably the easiest thing to acquire via free agency in baseball, but clearly it does not always work.

    Comment by PhD Brian — September 29, 2009 @ 2:05 pm

  10. didn’t Papelbon say he preferred to close back in the day? My memory is that he liked closing more than starting and that was a big factor in the decision.

    Comment by PhD Brian — September 29, 2009 @ 2:08 pm

  11. sample size never gets large enough.

    Comment by PhD Brian — September 29, 2009 @ 2:11 pm

  12. That sounds right (about his preferences), but I don’t see why a smart team like the Red Sox would let their investment make that decision (which is bad for the team) for them? I seem to remember it ultimately being about his shoulder, which is the only plausible explanation in my opinion…

    Comment by B — September 29, 2009 @ 3:12 pm

  13. The Sox did go into ’07 slotting Papelbon as a starter. It was both Paps wish to close (and dominance doing so) along with no other option (Pineiro, really?) that put him there for good. Good thing too, having a dominant closer is underrated.

    I’m not sure about the shoulder thingy. I’ve read that relieving can be more stressful to a pitchers arm than starting would be. I don’t understand why but some apparently are of that opinion.

    Comment by Dirty Water — September 29, 2009 @ 3:53 pm

  14. No doubt. Obviously the position is all Joba’s :)

    That said, would someone please explain to me how the MFY can win 100+ games, considering how the team’s FO has handled these two young starters? What a bozo operation.

    Comment by Dirty Water — September 29, 2009 @ 4:01 pm

  15. Another thing to mention about Hoffman is that besides being a converted starter, he actually began his career as a shortstop, switched to the mound after a couple failed seasons at the plate in the Reds’ system.

    Comment by David Coonce — September 29, 2009 @ 4:26 pm

  16. Having enough money to buy 4 WAR starters at any open position in every single offseason helps.

    Comment by Paul Thomas — September 29, 2009 @ 8:02 pm

  17. “That said, would someone please explain to me how the MFY can win 100+ games, considering how the team’s FO has handled these two young starters?”

    Having a 900-run offense helps a lot.

    Comment by Raf — September 30, 2009 @ 1:29 pm

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