SI Vault
 
Baseball Prospectus
Joe Sheehan
September 08, 2008
In 1988 the A's helped usher in the era of the three-out closer when manager Tony La Russa started using Dennis Eckersley for one inning or less, and 29 of the righthander's 45 saves came in that situation. Twenty years later A's skipper Bob Geren may be ushering out the era with his use of rookie Brad Ziegler. The sidearming Ziegler, 28, had six saves in his first six chances—three of which came in two-inning stints. Over the last five seasons only nine relievers have had three two-inning saves in a season compared with 42 pitchers in '88 alone. Ziegler appeared comfortable in his new role: 9 2/3 innings, an 0.93 ERA in his six saves. If Ziegler maintains his effectiveness, other managers might follow Geren's lead and finally alter how they use closers so their teams get more innings from their best relievers.
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
September 08, 2008

Baseball Prospectus

View CoverRead All Articles

In 1988 the A's helped usher in the era of the three-out closer when manager Tony La Russa started using Dennis Eckersley for one inning or less, and 29 of the righthander's 45 saves came in that situation. Twenty years later A's skipper Bob Geren may be ushering out the era with his use of rookie Brad Ziegler. The sidearming Ziegler, 28, had six saves in his first six chances—three of which came in two-inning stints. Over the last five seasons only nine relievers have had three two-inning saves in a season compared with 42 pitchers in '88 alone. Ziegler appeared comfortable in his new role: 9 2/3 innings, an 0.93 ERA in his six saves. If Ziegler maintains his effectiveness, other managers might follow Geren's lead and finally alter how they use closers so their teams get more innings from their best relievers.

1