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Consider the Houston closer.

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# 25.11.2017 - 07:50:49

Before the 2015 season, the Astros signed Luke Gregerson to be their closer for three years. The next winter, they traded a hefty package for Ken Giles, a younger, better pitcher who had recently taken over as the Phillies' closer. A few months into the 2016 season, they took the job from Gregerson, passed over Giles and gave it to Will Harris, an earlier waiver pickup who had outpitched them both.

Giles took the job from Eddie George Womens Jersey Harris later that season, and he kept it throughout 2017, except that sometimes Chris Devenski, a breakout All-Star fireman, would get the saves instead of Giles or Harris or Gregerson. And then came the World Series, when manager A.J. Hinch seemed to have lost faith in the whole quartet. The closer for Game 7 of the 2017 World Series was the Astros' fourth- Adeiny Hechavarria Youth jersey or fifth-best starter: Charlie Morton.

So, where do closers come from? Free agency, trades, waiver pickups, the farm, failed starters, good starters, bags of beans? In 2000, our own Christina Kahrl -- then at Baseball Prospectus -- asked just that question in a piece for ESPN. Most top starting pitchers began as younger starting pitchers, and most top hitters began as younger hitters. But top closers had little history in common, Kahrl found, other than being born and playing baseball.
Today, the same could be said -- though, as we'll get to, a lot has changed since Kahrl's survey. The pasts of closers, as a species, remain broad and inexplicable. And the immediate future of your favorite team's closer is only a coin-flip proposition. 1. Where closers come from, narrow picture Who will close games for your favorite team 10 months from now? Odds are it won't be the name you have in mind. (Just consider the Houston closer!)
Of the 31 pitchers who served as their team's closer this past September -- we're giving both Mike Minor and Scott Alexander credit for sharing the job in Kansas City -- just 15 got even a single save for the same team in April. Only 12 got at least five saves for the same team in 2016. The median number of career saves, through 2016, for those 31 pitchers was just 19, about a half-season's worth. Four of our September closers had never saved a game before 2017, and 11 of them -- more than a third -- had no more than two career saves.
It's hard, looking at that group now, to appreciate how weird a list of names it is. Of course, Hector Neris and Corey Knebel look like closers now, now that we've seen them do it and carried them for months on our fantasy rosters. But 12 months ago, Neris and Knebel had two career saves apiece. So let's try this: I'm going Sheldon Rankins Youth jersey to predict the 30 pitchers who will be closers in September 2018, and you're going to look at me like I'm insane:
Cody Allen, Henderson Alvarez. Jacob Barnes, Cam Bedrosian, Archie Bradley, Alan Busenitz, Steve Cishek, Alex Colome, Wade Davis, Edwin Diaz, Brian Duensing, Jeanmar Gomez, Chad Green, Jesse Hahn, David Hale, Brad Hand, Raisel Iglesias, Kenley Jansen, Keone Kela, Craig Kimbrel, Knebel, Tom Koehler, Jake McGee, Sam Moll, Roberto Osuna, Addison Reed, Felipe Rivero, Joe Smith, Drew Steckenrider, Hunter Strickland and Vince Velasquez.
There you go. You're looking at me like I'm insane, and of course I am! There are two names on Authentic Eddie Lack Jersey there I just learned five minutes ago. There are pitchers who haven't pitched in the majors in more than a year,
who have never pitched in relief, who have no saves, who are currently behind legit relief aces, who are practically punch lines, who are probably shocked that this article set off a Google Alert for their name. But each of those pitchers is in, roughly, the same career state one of our September 2017 closers was in 12 months ago. For example:
Henderson Alvarez, an above-average starter four years ago, missed almost all of the past three seasons with shoulder injuries. He is in his late 20s, and has never made a relief appearance. Just like Mike Minor, an above-average starter four years ago, who missed all of two seasons with injuries before 2017. He was in his late-20s and had made one relief appearance (as a rookie). In this résumé, Kansas City found an excellent reliever who would serve as closer (with near perfection) in September.
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