Within a day of adding Danys Baez to the Closer Poll, he has already forged ahead of both Tom Gordon and Trevor Hoffman. Also, many have explicitly suggested they prefer Baez as the closer. But be careful what you wish for, most signs point to a clear statistical advantage for Tom Gordon. Below is a comparison of the two in terms of strikeout-walk ratio courtesy of FanGraphs.com (the blue line is the MLB average):
The site’s various charts all show Tom Gordon having better numbers than Baez. But the clear counterpoint is that while Baez’s lines start in 2001, Flash’s numbers go aaaaall the way back to 1988. From what we’ve heard, a closer role was most definitely part of the contract and I don’t think he would be happy with anything less. Now perhaps in 2007 or 2008 it could be used as leverage to get rid of the old timer or even demote him to the minors, but for 2006 count on him being the closer.
Seeing that he’s had a four year hiatus from closing, the big question on my mind is: what music will he come out to? Closing in Wrigley only gave him a selection from Gary Pressy’s organ, in Philly he will have his choice.