David Golebiewski on Baseballanalytics.org has an excellent analysis of the new Marlins closer, Heath Bell.
David G. writes:
In a neutral park, Bell’s ERA would have been between four-tenths and six-tenths of a run higher. We don’t know how Miami’s new stadium will play, but there’s little chance it’s as cozy and forgiving as Petco.
Aside from park factors, there’s also the issue of Bell’s significant dip in strikeouts last season. The beefy righty whiffed 28.4 percent of the batters he faced in 2009 and 30 percent in 2010, but just 19.9 percent in 2011. That was well below the 23.4 percent average for relievers this past year. Bell walked a few less hitters (8.2 BB%, compared to 9.8% in 2010 and 8.6% in 2009), but not enough to offset the decline in Ks.
Opponent contact rate by pitch location vs. Bell’s curveball, 2011
Read the whole article here.