By Jason Wojciechowski on March 27, 2015 at 8:26 PM
Big news out of camp today: Tyler Clippard is going to be the A's closer until Sean Doolittle comes back!
Fine, I'll stop.
Susan Slusser called it "anticlimactic" and it's hard to disagree with that assessment. The only other really legit option is probably Eric O'Flaherty, who's as liable as anyone in the 'pen to get hurt and require even further shuffling than has already gone on. Clippard's probably the slightly better pitcher, pound-for-pound and/or inning-for-inning in any event, though PECOTA, for one, claims that "slightly" slights Clippard, pegging his advantage at nearly six tenths of a run per nine.
In any event, I remain fully confident in this bullpen.1 To return to PECOTA as a guidepost, Clippard and Doolittle grade out as elite relievers, and O'Flaherty, Dan Otero, R.J. Alvarez, and Ryan Cook (sigh) are all above average. Also Evan Scribner, for what that's worth. The system doesn't love Fernando Abad, but he's adequate. Jesse Chavez is tougher to grade because I'm pretty sure the system takes role into account in figuring rate stats, as it should, given the typical bump pitchers see when they move to shorter outings. Chavez was a smidge better as a starter than a reliever in 2014, though we should factor in his stamina too -- 21 starts might well have gassed him to the point where moving to relief couldn't pull him out of the fire quite quickly enough.