But the idea that [Indians' closer Chris] Perez had to rush back for Opening Day, and that [Indians' manager Manny] Acta had to use him as the closer right away, is the direct result of the save rule. If teams didn’t base bullpen decisions on saves, all of this could have been avoided. The trick is to find a way to reward relief pitchers for great performance without turning it into nothing more than a grand conspiracy to tamp down salaries bloated by gaudy save totals.
There is a way to do that. It’s called shutdowns and meltdowns.
I had heard of this stat, created by FanGraphs before, but I hadn’t ever really paid attention to it. It sounds like I will start to. I hate the save stat, and I wish managers would get over worrying about it. Maybe this will help that movement.