Originally posted on Brewers Bar  |  Last updated 4/6/13
Mlb-brewers-cubs-june
(Jeffrey Phelps/Associated Press) Following John Axford’s uninspiring outing against the Rockies on Wednesday, Ron Roenicke said something we’ve heard some version of before – that for whatever reason closers do not perform well in non-save situations.  I wondered how true that is, so I did a little research. It probably wouldn’t be fair to compare Axford to guys like Mariano Rivera or Trevor Hoffman.  Axford has been his team’s closer for three seasons, so I think it makes sense to compare him to his peers: guys who have been in the closer role for two to four seasons.  Looking at earned running average, opponent batting average, and walks/hits per inning pitched, here is what we find. John Axford (Brewers) 2.80 / .200 / 1.19  Save 3.86 / .248 / 1.43  Non-Save (Whoa.  Axford is remarkably less effective, including a whole ‘nother earned run in non-save situations.) Carlos Marmol (Cubs) 3.35 / .170 / 1.29  Save 2.73 / .176 / 1.23  Non-Save Craig Kimbrel (Braves) 1.59 / .149 / 0.83  Save 1.19 / .149 / 1.02  Non-Save (Lights out.  Interesting that, like Marmol, Kimbrel’s ERA is higher in save situations.) Rafael Soriano (Nationals) 2.47 / .191 / 0.96  Save 2.64 / .197 / 1.07  Non-Save Joel Hanrahan (Red Sox) 2.76 / .216 / 1.19  Save 3.81 / .238 / 1.39  Non-Save (Hanrahan seems to share Axford’s tendencies in allowing earned runs.) Chris Perez (Indians) 3.18 / .222 / 1.22  Save 3.29 / .195 / 1.14  Non-Save Fernando Rodney (Rays) 3.53 / .238 / 1.31  Save 3.97 / .228 / 1.41  Non-Save Based on this modest sample size, it seems clear that calling on Axford (or Hanrahan) in non-save situations is a dubious proposition.  However, there does not appear to be a general pattern of closers significantly underperforming in these roles.  Hopefully Rick Kranitz can work some magic here.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Mike Trout to undergo MRI after suffering thumb injury

John Wall: Bench was cause of Wizards’ ‘downfall’

Arum says Pacquiao would fight McGregor if Mayweather won't

Aaron Judge hits first grand slam of his career

David Stern: Lakers could have had Chris Paul, GM panicked

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brandon Jacobs vows to 'expose' Jim Harbaugh, get him fired

Mike Zimmer won’t retire even if right eye goes blind

Kevin Love responds to Draymond Green’s ‘annihilation’ trash talk

Spike Lee deletes Instagram post saying Kaepernick signed with Seattle

Errol Spence is the real deal, takes down Kell Brook

Indians reveal Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field

Meet your Stanley Cup finalists: Nashville Predators

Getaway Day: There's a murderer's row in the NL West

Journey to the Stanley Cup Final: Pittsburgh Penguins

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 5/26: Bring on the Finals

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Meet your Stanley Cup finalists: Nashville Predators

Getaway Day: There's a murderer's row in the NL West

Journey to the Stanley Cup Final: Pittsburgh Penguins

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker