Friday, January 22, 2010

Octavio Dotel 2010: Pittsburgh Pirates Closer

Yesterday, the Pittsburgh Pirates signed Octavio Dotel to be their closer for 2010. It remains to be seen where Dotel will be picked in drafts, but I'm guessing that it will be low enough to make him a solid sleeper. The combination of being on a bad team, having had some problems when used as a closer in the past, and a terrible walk rate last season (BB/9: 5.20) should be enough to keep people from being too enthusiastic about him. The only one of those that I put any stock in is the walk rate. And since his strikeout rate remained excellent (K/9: 10.83), I'm willing to give Dotel the benefit of the doubt and assume that his walk rate should move back to a more typical (for him) level in the high 3s. The other concern is that he's an extreme flyball pitcher, with a career groundball rate of only 33.3%. That means that he is prone to giving up home runs. Overall, I'd view him as a very slightly inferior version of David Aardsma...very high strikeout rate, bad control, flyball pitcher, without a long record of closing success. Given the risks Dotel isn't someone you want to reach for in the draft (hint: neither is Aardsma), but if he falls far enough, he could make a big impact for your team.


themanfromearth said...

I know Dotel has shown promise in the past, but he's also shown reason to worry. Something tells me that he won't be Pittsburgh's closer for the entire season. Do you think Hanrahan is the next best option to become the closer?

Alex said...

Hanrahan wouldn't be a bad alternative...but I do think Dotel is their best choice.