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## Wednesday, May 04, 2005

#### Relief Pitchers

Should we maybe start a thread for general discussion of relief pitchers at some point?

- that “definitely immoral” cat :-)

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: May 04, 2005 at 04:31 PM | 460 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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401. Mefisto Posted: June 06, 2006 at 06:20 PM (#2053826)
Yes, a simple average isn't really proper. Most direct and proper is just to compute the aggregate ERA of both sets based on the total innings and earned runs, which is what I plan to do.

That sounds right to me.
402. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 07, 2006 at 05:22 PM (#2055284)
OK, here's a bunch of ways that I looked at the total group of 82 reliever/starter hybrids. Someone more adept with math can tell me if any of them are preferable to another.

1) Third-grade math. As earlier reported, I simply segregated the INN and ER as SP and RP, totaled them and figured the ERA. That gave me the previously reported totals of 3.76/3.40 (starters to relievers). A problem with this method could be that guys like Gaylord Perry and Phil Niekro are throwing off the average with their 5000+ innings as SP (and less than 300 as RP). So I tried...

2) Re-starting the starting innings. I set each pitcher's SP innings to the same as Perry's (5156.67), figuring a new SP ER total based on the individual's actual SP ERA, then allowing RP INN to increase proporitionally to the degree of increase needed to get the SP innings to 5156. So, for instance, Bob Stanley went from 548/1149 in SP/RP innings to 5156.67/10906. I then added 'em up and figured the ERAs for the group: 3.91/3.39.

3) The mean of the averages. I took all the split ERAs for each pitcher from the sample, and averaged them for SP and RP: 3.91/3.43.

4) The ratio of the averages. From the original sample, I figured the split ERAs for each pitcher, then figured the ratio of the RP ERA to the SP ERA two ways(note that's the reverse order I've listed them previously in this post). First I averaged the ratios of the individuals: .89. Then I took the found the ratio of the total group average from #3: .88 (so the ratio of the mean of the averages, if you dig).

5) The simple difference. I averaged the difference between each pitchers' split ERAs: -.48 (that is, RP ERA 48 pts lower than SP ERA).

And that's as far as my simple math skills go.

Even if one method is preferable to another, it seems to me that it's all kind of saying the same thing. In this group of hybrid starter/relievers, relieving presented them with around a 35-50 point ERA advantage over starting, depending on how you deal with the add 'em up or average 'em question. Or it could be seen as a 10% reduction in ERA for relieving. To boot this seems to correspond with our general idea of how this dynamic works. Then again, I don't have a comprehensive enough sample to say anything with authority.

I can't speak to how it squares with the earlier ministudy I did that showed the 1960s guys who almost exclusively started showing little difference in performance between roles, except to say that I suspect again that break-in and decline phases may influence things. Maybe someday I'll be be able to figure out how to deal with that issue.
403. Steve Treder Posted: June 07, 2006 at 06:04 PM (#2055326)
Dr. Chaleeko,

That's really interesting stuff. Your simple math skills likely dance circles around mine.

Last night I began my analysis of my group of 291 pitchers, which is comprised of every pitcher with at least 75 starts and 75 relief appearances whose careers started in 1957 or later.

Some preliminary stuff:

The total group has a median overall-career ERA+ of 98. As starters, their combined ERA is 3.93; as relievers, 3.61 (8% improvement). As relievers, their hits/9 improves by 5%, their HR/9 improves by 14%, their unintentional BB/9 (and you have to control for intentional walks, since relievers issue so many more than starters) gets 7% worse, and their K/9 improves by 15%.

My next steps will be to sort the population by various factors (LHP vs. RHP, overall walk rate, overall strikeout rate, etc.) to see what types of pitchers might tend to have a greater/lesser relief-benefit tendency than the group as a whole. I'll also isolate out those guys who did a lot of starting and relieving in the peak phase of their careers, and see if they're different than the whole group.

I'll also take a close look at those guys who've gotten significantly worse results when relieving (they're a minority, but they're there) and see what other factors they might have in common.

I'm targeting to write the whole thing up and publish it on THT on Tuesday, July 4th.
404. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 07, 2006 at 06:23 PM (#2055343)
Great discussion guys, I just caught up - Sunday to Tuesday is usually my dead time regarding the web. I have nothing to add . . . just wanted to say thanks to all of you.
405. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 07, 2006 at 08:07 PM (#2055469)
Steve,

Your simple math skills likely dance circles around mine.

Only if you have trouble with averaging.... ; )

I'd bet the difference between the ERAs I'm seeing and you're seeing is strictly due to the quality of the pitchers in the sample. I was picking the good/memorable ones, you have a much more comprehensive list that likely includes less-skilled pitchers as well as the 82 good ones I picked out (thus 98 ERA+ and my finding an unweighted 3.76/3.40 ERA versus your 3.91/3.61). So that's pushing the ERA split downward from 10% to 8% difference.
406. Steve Treder Posted: June 07, 2006 at 09:11 PM (#2055557)
Only if you have trouble with averaging.... ; )

Hell, Doc, counting has been known to be too much for me ...

I'd bet the difference between the ERAs I'm seeing and you're seeing is strictly due to the quality of the pitchers in the sample. I was picking the good/memorable ones, you have a much more comprehensive list that likely includes less-skilled pitchers as well as the 82 good ones I picked out (thus 98 ERA+ and my finding an unweighted 3.76/3.40 ERA versus your 3.91/3.61). So that's pushing the ERA split downward from 10% to 8% difference.

No doubt. Many of your guys are among my 291, but any group as large as 291 is going to represent not just the stars but also the journeymen. However, with the requirement of both 75 starts and 75 relief appearances, truly marginal guys are filtered out.

The group includes a few Hall of Famers (G. Perry, P. Niekro, Eckersley), and a few who might be Hall of Famers (Smoltz, Schilling, Santana), but it also includes the likes of Dick Drott, Todd Van Poppel, and Mike Kekich.
407. Paul Wendt Posted: June 09, 2006 at 05:27 PM (#2057873)
This winter I sent to SABR-L a little data and analysis regarding Pete Palmer's Relief Ranking, published through 1992 in Total Baseball 3 and through 2004 in the 2005 ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia. Asst. Editor Greg Spira responded by sharing this list which KJOK posted far above (#45).

At a skim I believe that John Hiller (20) is third eldest behind Kinder (30) and Wilhelm (2).
<hr>
Rivera has since ascended to first in Relief Ranking.
The top 25 through 2005, courtesy of the upcoming 2006 ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia.

1 Mariano Rivera 379
2 Hoyt Wilhelm 366
3 Rich Gossage 318
4 John Franco 263
5 John Wetteland 251
6 Roberto Hernandez 249
7 Trevor Hoffman 244
8 Lee Smith 223
9 Dan Quisenberry 219
10 Rollie Fingers 218
11 Tom Henke 214
12 Billy Wagner 212
13 Robb Nen 205
-- Kent Tekulve 205
15 Doug Jones 194
16 Sparky Lyle 190
17 Dennis Eckersley 189
18 Mike Marshall 187
19 Jesse Orosco 183
20 John Hiller 181
21 Rick Aguilera 178
22 Jeff Montgomery 175
-- Bruce Sutter 175
24 Troy Percival 168
25 Tug McGraw 167
26 Armando Benitez 164
-- Keith Foulke 164
28 Bob Stanley 158
29 Mike Timlin 155
30 Ellis Kinder 154
-- Ron Perranowski 154
408. sunnyday2 Posted: June 10, 2006 at 12:40 AM (#2058506)
Whoever said Rivera, Wilhelm and Gossage are your 3 HoMer relievers apparently knew something. It would be hard for me to go to Quiz and Fingers and et al when obvious non-HoMers like Franco and Hernandez (Roberto Hernandez?) are ahead of them.

OTOH I will want to understand this rating system at some point. With Wilhelm I don't need to know much more than the traditional stats but with some of the future borderline relievers, additional info will be needed before pulling the trigger.

Where can I find a description of what this number means? It's not TPR or LWTs.
409. KJOK Posted: June 10, 2006 at 04:25 AM (#2058924)
obvious non-HoMers like Franco and Hernandez (Roberto Hernandez?)

I'm not so sure yet that's a true statement. Franco certainly piled up a lot of value over his career compared to most other relief pitchers.
410. sunnyday2 Posted: June 10, 2006 at 10:01 AM (#2058993)
Well, obviously he did, according to whatever 263 rating actually consists of. But if any players "feel" like HoMers during their career, John Franco is not one of them.
411. sunnyday2 Posted: June 22, 2006 at 12:39 PM (#2072141)
The Griffiths had Firpo Marberry, of course, but beyond that I couldn't say that they were early adopters of the "fireman" model. Nobody had 10 saves for the Senators between Mickey Harris (led the league with 15) in 1950 and Dick Hyde (2nd with 18) in 1958. In 1959 Hyde got a sore arm and 3 pitchers got a total of 13 saves, though in 1960 they brought in 34 year old Ray Moore who saving 13 in less than a full season. Of course, the Senators were bad during most of this era and there were few enough save opportunities.

But it has always seemed to me that the Twins, starting in 1961, always had a primary "fireman" type reliever, more so that other AL teams. (This was inspired by Ron Perranoski's eligibility this year.)

1961 Moore 14 saves (4th in league), 4-4, 3.70 (115 ERA+), 46 G, 56 IP; 4 other pitchers had 9 saves
1962 8 pitchers had 27 saves, none had as many as 10; Moore sore arm and 4.71 ERA
1963 Bill Dailey 21 (3rd), 6-3, 1.98 (183), 66 G, 109 IP--his song was "Won't You Come Home, Bill Dailey;" 5 other P 9 S
1964 Al Worthington 14 (7th in partial year), 5-6, 1.38 (261), 41 G, 72 IP--Dailey SA and 8.40; 8 other P 15 S
1965 Worthington 21 (6th), 10-7, 2.14 (167), 62 G, 80 IP--no save opps in World Series; 8 other P 24 S
1966 Worthington 16 (5th), 6-3, 2.47 (146), 65 G, 91 IP; 5 oither P 12 S
1967 Worthington 16 (5th), 8-9, 2.84 (122), 59 G, 92 IP; 3 other P 8 S
1968 Worthington 18 (led league), 4-5, 2.72 (114), 54 G, 76 IP; 5 other P 11 S
1969 Perranoski 31 (led league), 9-10, 2.10 (174), 75 G, 120 IP; 6 other P 12 S

1970 Perranoski 34 (led league), 7-8, 2.43 (153), 67 G, 111 IP; 5 other P 24 S including Stan Williams 15 (10th); Perranoski (throws L) Williams (R)
1971 8 P 25 S, no one with more than 9; Perranoski 6.70 and Williams 4.15 both traded mid-season
1972 Wayne Granger (throws R) 19 (4th), Dave LaRoche (L) 10
1973 Ray Corbin 14 (8th), 8-5, 3.04 (131), 51 G, 148 IP; 5 other P 20 S
1974 Bill Campbell 19 (3rd), 8-7, 2.63 (143), 63 G, 120 IP; 5 other P 10 S
1975 Tom Burgmeier (L) 11 (8th), 5-8, 3.08 (124), 46 G, 76 IP; Campbell (R) threw 121 IP but only 5 S
1976 Campbell 20 (3rd), 17-5, 3.00 (119), 78 G, 168 IP; 2 other P 3 S
1977 Tom Johnson (R) 15 (6th), 16-7, 3.12 (128), 71 G, 147 IP; 2 other P 10 S, Burgmeier (L) still platooning
1978 Mike Marshall 21 (4th), 10-12, 2.45 (156), 54 G,99 IP; 3 other P 5 S
1979 Marshall 32 (led league), 10-15, 2.64 (166), 90 G, 143 IP; 1 other P 1 S

1980 Doug Corbett 23 (6th), 8-6, 1.99 (221), 73 G, 136 IP; 5 other P 7 S
1981 Corbett 17 (4th), 2-6, 2.56 (154), 54 G, 88 IP; 1 other P 5 S (Jerry Koosman L platoon but traded mid-season)
1982 Ron Davis 22 (5th), 3-9, 4.43 (96), 63 G, 106 IP; 2 other P 6 S
1983 Davis 30 (3rd), 5-8, 3.34 (128), 66 G, 89 IP; 5 other P 9 S
1984 Davis 29 (5th), 7-11, 4.55 (92), 64 G, 83 IP; 4 other P 9 S
1985 Davis 25 (7th), 2-6, 3.48 (127), 57 G, 65 IP; 5 other P 9 S
1986 8 P 24 S, Keith Atherton led with 10
1987 Jeff Reardon 31 (2nd), 8-8, 4.48 (103), 63 G, 80 IP; 3 other P had 8

Conclusions

The Twins seem to have had a strong organizational focus on finding a quality "fireman" and as a result their primary reliever was among the top 5 in the AL in saves 17 times in 27 years, including some years when the team was poor with relatively few save opportunities. It is true that Perranoski also led the league in blown saves both years, and Ron Davis had 14 blows one year. Still the Twins did very very well. Mostly they brought in veterans--not always proven like Perranoski, Davis and Reardon, i.e. in the early days the tended to be journeyman starters like Moore and Dailey. But sometimes young guys like Corbett (rookie in 1980), Campbell, Johnson and Corbin. And they always seemed to get a couple good years out of all of them.

They would also pull the switch real quick though most of the changes were not difficult decisions. Generally their "firemen" lost their effectiveness, often due to a sore arm, and their ERA+ would drop well below 100. So there were several mid-year changes. Ron Davis seems to be the one and only exception to the rule, the Twins stuck with him an awfully long time. He remains locally famous as one of the worst Twins' players from a very poor era.

Also the Twins continued to close by committee right up through 1986. There were almost always 3-4 pitchers in addition to the primary "fireman" with saves, and often the second guy would have 4-5-6, not just 1 or 2. A few years there was a clear platoon of "closers," left and right, with Granger and LaRoche in 1972, as well as Perranoski and Williams in 1970, being the most successful. They tried this strategy as late as 1975-76-77 and 1981 though with a little less success.

And with the exception of Al Worthington, who was 36 years old in 1965, the Twins' primary saves guy always pitched more than 1.5 IP per G right up until Ron Davis in 1983. But even Davis and Reardon were not modern "closers," note the consistent pattern of 12-13-15-16 decisions (and about 5 wins) right up to 1987. Of course, Davis and Reardon averaged about 10 blown saves voer those 5 years, too, so maybe they were pitching primarily save situations. Of that I cannot be sure but their decisions seem high by today's standards.

It was also surprising and interesting that as late as the mid-'70s through 1981, 11-15-17 saves was still good enough for top ten in the league, or Corbett's 17 for 4th in the latter year.

In the 1960s 2/3rds of saves went to the primary "fireman" (only including those years when there was a clear "primary" rather than a committee or a platoon). In the 1970s it was still about 2/3. In each decade there was one year when the rest of the committee had more saves than the "fireman." But the '70s is skewed, several years where the ratio was more like 55-45 and several more where it was 6-1, so things were changing. Still in the '80s (through '87) it was only 2.5-1, though if you throw out 1986 it is about 3-1.

And as I said, the Twins almost always had somebody in the top 5 in saves, so these trends were all probably just a bit slower for the league as a whole. Can't say that for sure based on this study, and can't say about the NL what with the differential rules concerning pitchers hitting. Still, interesting.... Mainly my "bias" that the Twins under the Griffiths were in the vanguard in their use of relief pitchers seems to be correct.
412. Paul Wendt Posted: June 22, 2006 at 03:40 PM (#2072266)
Clark Griffith and John McGraw relied heavily on workhorses to get through 1904, their first 154-game season. Thereafter they were leaders in using a staff of pitchers.

Where can I find a description of what this [Relief Ranking] number means? It's not TPR or LWTs.

There is one adequate for me in the relief section of my overview, Total Baseball: stats in the registers

Essentially, I and others have provided the same explanation here more than once (probably this thread).
413. DL from MN Posted: June 22, 2006 at 04:01 PM (#2072289)
If Griffith was a pioneer in using relievers, relievers must have been cheap.
414. sunnyday2 Posted: June 22, 2006 at 04:20 PM (#2072330)
Even in the '60s, ALL players were cheap.
415. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 23, 2006 at 10:04 AM (#2073100)
One thing I've noticed in running these relievers through my system . . . they pretty much all received great support when they left runners behind . . . it's wild.

Wilhelm (all numbers here are from 1960 onward and are relative to league average) save 10 inherited runners from scoring. But his relievers saved him 18.7.

Roy Face saved 18.8 inherited runners from scoring - his relievers also saved him 11.6.

Lindy McDaniel saved 2.5, his relievers saved him 16.5.

Stu Miller is the on exception - he saved 27 runners, and his relievers cost him 1.6.

Ted Abernathy actually was 2.9 worse than average with inherited runners, and his relievers saved him 20.9 more.

Ron Perranoski saved .3 inherited runners and his relievers saved him 28.3 more.

Dick Radatz only pitched for a few years. He prevented 3 inherited runners from scoring, and his bullpens saved him 5.

Eddie Fisher saved 3.8, his relievers saved him 11.6.

That's everyone I've done so far. I wonder if this is a reason for the ERA advantage relievers seem to have? That their bequeathed runners don't seem to score as often as for starters.

I've only got a few starters in post 1960 - here are their bullpen support numbers . . .

(negative numbers mean bullpen helped)

Bunning -3.6
Pierce 4.7
Newcombe -3.3 (just from 1960)
Drysdale 15.9 (terrible bullpen support)
Friend -7.7
Simmons 2.5
Jackson -4.8
Wilhelm 1.7 (only 97.7 IP)
Pasqual 7.2
McDaniel .7 (86.7 IP)
Miller .4 (20.3 IP)

Notice how it's a much more mixed bag.

There's got to be something here, right?

I want to make sure I'm not 'double-penalizing) these guys - if the reason for their ERA advantage is bequeathed runners being saved - and I'm adjusting for this - then I don't need to give relievers a lower replacement level too.

Very interested in any thoughts.

************

I ran Firpo Marberry through the system - didn't do as well as I thought he would. He gets a huge reliever bonus - estimated 1.43 LI over 730 relief innings.

But his final PA number is just .490, which puts him between Rube Marquard (.506) and Mel Parnell (.471).

Marberry had great defensive support, .15 in DERA. He also pitched in pitcher's parks for his entire career - I get his park factor at 97.9, which is pretty low (that's directly applicable, already adjusted for half the games on the road). Those things deflate him a bunch.

He had some big years, 1926, 1929 (wow!), 1931 and 1933, but overall I was disappointed.
416. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 23, 2006 at 10:07 AM (#2073102)
BTW, with no leverage adjustment, Marberry would be at .442 - just to give an idea of the extra value of his leverage.

His 1929 would have been 6.8 WAR, but the LI of 2.14 over 41 rIP bumps it to 7.9.
417. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 23, 2006 at 01:23 PM (#2073197)
Joe,

No proof, no guarantees, no idea if it's true, but here's a theory right out of my ### regarding the support that star relievers got. Actually it's two complementary theories.

THEORY 1
1) Star relievers are taking the hill mostly during close games when the better starting pitchers tire out and can "only" go 7 or 8 innings or when the lesser ones have a good game and are stretched.
2) The star relievers are the first man out of the bullpen in a close one. They are the presumed bridge bewteen the starter and the final out.
3) Therefore who remains to pitch if the star reliver must exit the game? Well, everyone else but the day's starter.
4) It's probably still a close game when he leaves, so what caliber of pitcher will take over? The best available.
5) Who are the best available? Good starting pitchers who aren't tuckered out from recent outings or your next-best reliever. The next-best reliever in many bullpens was nearly as good as the star reliever. As Sunny noted above, the Twins had a duo or even troika going in some years. The White Sox had their famous three-headed pen monster. The Dodgers had Sherry and Perranoski in the same pen for a while. The O's had Turkey Neck Hall and Stu Miller. The next guy in woulnd't be a big downgrade.

In other words, due to the gravity of the situation, the nature of the deployment, the way rosters were constructed, and contemporary inhibitions about using starters to get out of occasional relief jams, I theorize that star relievers were in position to receive excellent run support.

THEORY 2
More bunting. Seriously, I wonder if the era had more bunting in late-inning pressure situations than we do now. When the reliever replacing the star reliever comes on and the opposing team gives away an out, it might reduce the total number of bequeathed runs scored after the star reliever leaves.

Now combine these two theories. You've got either a fab starter or a really good reliever coming on to replace the star reliever. It's a late-inning situation and close. There's a runner at first and second with zero or one outs. Gene Mauch would bunt nearly every time in this situation. And in a run environment that's pretty low, he and his contemporaries might not be wrong to bunt a lot. But the guy who comes through the gate is nearly as tough as the last guy, and on this day he's got better stuff than the guy he's replaced. Bunt. Strikeout. Pop up. Game.

Sounds like a good recipe for fewer IHR! But when it comes to proof, I got nuttin'.
418. KJOK Posted: June 23, 2006 at 07:47 PM (#2073633)
My theory on the IHR puzzle is:

More outs already in the inning on average when a reliever relieves a reliever mid-inning that when a reliever relieves a starter mid-inning.
419. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 24, 2006 at 03:04 AM (#2074279)
Does anyone have the ability to put a WARP leaderboard together - or tell me how to do it myself?

I'd like to get a list of every pitcher with a WARP1 of 50.0 or higher if possible . . .
420. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 24, 2006 at 03:11 AM (#2074285)
Interesting theories . . . they definitely make sense. I agree with KJOK especially. I wonder if the numbers account for that. That is, is Prospectus just tracking inherited runners that score - or looking at the situation, and giving more credit for preventing an inherited runner if you inherit him with 1 out than 2, for example.

My big thing is that if this explains a significant portion of the 'reliever ERA advantage', I don't want to double count . . .
421. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 24, 2006 at 03:28 AM (#2074299)
Anyone know anything about Johnny Murphy 1944-45? The 1969 MacMillan says "voluntarily retired" but was he working in a 'defense related industry' or something? If so, I'd still give him credit for those years.

I never knew he was the GM that put the late 1960s Mets together.
422. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 24, 2006 at 03:36 AM (#2074309)
BTW, Murphy's career estimated LI is 1.70 for his relief IP, which is pretty insane - the only one's I've seen that are higher are Walter Johnson, Dizzy Dean and Lefty Gomez - in many fewer relief IP.
423. Howie Menckel Posted: June 24, 2006 at 12:26 PM (#2074425)
Not really making a serious argument here, but Jorge Sosa was 1-9 as a starter when he was just elevated to Braves' closer.
5.25 ERA, 90 H in 71.3 IP entering last night.
424. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 24, 2006 at 11:54 PM (#2074864)
Anyone know anything about Johnny Murphy 1944-45?

No, but I'm pretty knowledgeable about 1965-2006. ;-)
425. Rob_Wood Posted: June 25, 2006 at 02:49 AM (#2074928)
According to the Biographical Encyclopedia, Murphy "voluntarily retired in April 1944 and performed war work
during the 1944 and 1945 seasons."
426. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: June 25, 2006 at 04:47 AM (#2074976)
Mike Carminati of Mike's Baseball Rants just produced an updated version of his "Halls of Relief" study.

Here is the 2003 explanation of what he's doing. I didn't really try to follow it all, and some of that is out of date, because, I believe, he's come up with a better way of assigning the roles to different pitchers.

Here is the updated totals (through 2005) for relievers by his "Relief Wins" stat. You have to page down past the single-season lists. The short version is that Hoyt, Mariano and Goose are clearly far ahead of everyone else, and Mariano should catch Hoyt this season. (Of course, if you included post-season performance, he would have done so already.) The next two are Quiz and John Franco, although Billy Wagner might pass them this year. Not that this week was encouraging.

And here he combines Relief Wins with Starter Wins - based on the old Total Baseball stats, I think, which says that Wilhelm is the 6th-best pitcher in the Hall of Fame.

I don't really know how much value to put on this, mainly because I'm not sure exactly what he's doing, but I thought people might want to check it out.
427. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 25, 2006 at 08:32 PM (#2075510)
I also posted this on the Wilhelm thread. I'll try to keep it updated as relievers become eligible.

``` Pitcher           PA  aDRA  tIP   WAR RSAR  PSup InRP  BRP  LI  LIP     1    2    3    4    5   Top3  Top5Hoyt Wilhelm     .850 3.38 2905.7 69.6 665  1.7  10.0 18.7 1.4 1871.0  7.8  6.5  6.0  5.1  5.0  15.8  30.4Stu Miller       .577 3.59 2087.3 46.4 443  0.4  27.0 -1.6 1.4 1103.3  8.6  7.0  5.8  4.5  4.4  16.8  30.3Lindy McDaniel   .541 4.08 2590.7 44.5 425  0.7   2.5 16.5 1.3 1672.7  7.5  7.1  5.1  3.7  3.5  13.2  27.0Firpo Marberry   .501 3.96 2334.7 40.9 391  0.0   0.0  0.0 1.4  730.0  7.9  5.6  5.1  4.9  3.5  16.3  26.9Roy Face         .463 3.75 1894.0 38.7 370  0.0  18.8 11.6 1.4 1186.3  5.7  5.4  5.1  4.8  3.0  13.7  23.9Ron Perranoski   .382 3.90 1562.0 31.3 299  0.0   0.3 28.3 1.4 1170.7  6.2  6.1  4.4  3.9  3.7  12.0  24.3Dick Radatz      .339 3.29  952.7 25.8 246  0.0   3.0  5.0 1.4  693.7  8.3  7.8  5.6  4.0  0.1  21.7  25.8Clint Brown      .324 4.20 1688.7 27.6 263  0.0   0.0  0.0 1.4  595.0  4.9  4.5  3.5  3.5  2.7  11.1  19.2Ron Kline        .302 4.61 2400.3 26.1 250 -3.5 -28.6  3.7 1.2  871.0  5.2  3.8  3.3  2.2  2.2  10.3  16.8Johnny Murphy    .298 4.09 1582.0 25.5 244  0.0   0.0  0.0 1.7  764.0  4.9  4.4  3.2  3.0  2.6   8.5  18.1Al Worthington   .273 4.11 1470.7 23.8 227  0.0  -4.2  4.0 1.3  838.0  4.8  3.4  2.3  2.3  1.9  10.5  14.7Eddie Fisher     .263 4.46 1633.7 22.1 211  0.0   3.8 11.6 1.1 1186.0  6.4  3.6  3.4  2.7  2.3  12.8  18.5Jim Konstanty    .248 4.09 1303.7 20.8 199  0.0   0.0  0.0 1.3  749.0  7.1  3.3  2.2  1.9  1.6  12.0  16.1Ted Abernathy    .225 4.40 1330.7 19.3 184  0.0  -2.9 20.9 1.2  913.0  5.5  3.7  2.2  1.8  1.7   9.3  14.9Joe Page         .214 4.37 1137.3 16.9 162  0.0   0.0  0.0 1.7  510.3  7.1  6.5  1.4  0.8  0.7  15.0  16.5Phil Regan       .205 4.54 1522.7 16.9 162  3.6  -6.8  8.0 1.2  721.0  7.2  3.1  2.4  1.3  0.9  10.2  14.8Frank Linzy      .175 4.34 1052.7 15.2 145 -1.1 -11.6 20.6 1.3  812.3  4.3  2.8  2.6  2.3  1.5   9.4  13.5Bob Lee          .152 3.74  597.3 12.4 119  0.3  -4.5  2.3 1.3  457.7  5.3  5.2  1.5  0.4  0.0  12.0  12.4Hal Woodeshick   .135 4.85  950.0 11.6 111 -3.2 -13.2 28.6 1.2  567.3  4.1  3.0  2.2  1.7  0.6   9.3  11.6Jack Baldschun   .058 5.33  737.7  5.3  51  0.0 -29.2 22.6 1.1  704.0  2.1  1.4  1.3  0.6  0.0   4.7   5.3  ```

PA - Pennants Added; aDRA - my version of Defense adjusted runs allowed, which uses PythaganPat exponents, and the Baseball Prospectus adjustments from NRA to DERA, 4.50 is league average; tIP - my version of translated IP, which accounts for leverage of relief innings, and adjusts starters based on era norms based on the league leaders IP and the size of the league; WAR - my wins above replacement, using aDERA, tIP and accounting for pitcher hitting; RSAR - my version of runs saved above replacement; PSup - starting pitcher bullpen support, taken directly from Baseball Prospectus (negative means good support); InRP - Inherited Runs Prevented, taken directly from Baseball Prospectus (positive is good); BRP - bequeathed runs prevented, taken directly from Baseball Prospectus (positive means good support); LI - Leverage Index, 1960-2005, taken directly from Baseball Prospectus, 1871-1959 estimated based on Pete Palmer's formula, the only difference being that I cap it at 3.00, not 2.00. 1 - pitcher's best season WAR; 2 - pitcher's second best season WAR; 3,4,5 - figure it out, you are smart; Top3 - pitcher's top 3 consecutive seasons of WAR; Top5 - pitcher's top 5 individual WAR seasons.

The numbers in the chart include all seasons, not just reliever seasons. Any years where WAR or RSAR would be negative are zeroed out, under the premise that as long as someone is willing to play you, you can't have negative value.

The best individual reliever seasons that I've found among relievers retired prior to the 1979 election:

x1. 8.6 Stu Miller (1965)
x4. 7.5 Lindy McDaniel (1960)
x5. 7.2 Phil Regan (1966)
x6. 7.1 Joe Page (1949)
x7. 7.1 Jim Konstanty (1950)
x8. 7.1 Lindy McDaniel (1970)
x9. 7.0 Stu Miller (1961)
10. 6.5 Hoyt Wilhelm (1965)
11. 6.5 Joe Page (1947)
12. 6.4 Eddie Fisher (1965)
13. 6.2 Ron Perranoski (1969)
14. 6.1 Ron Perranoski (1963)
15. 5.7 Roy Face (1959)

My career value rankings would be exactly as on the chart above.

My peak rankings (highest established/sustained 2-3 season level) would be:

1. Stu Miller
3. Hoyt Wilhelm
4. Lindy McDaniel
5. Firpo Marberry
6. Joe Page
7. Ron Perranoski
8. Roy Face
428. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 25, 2006 at 08:35 PM (#2075513)
One quick thing - since I'm adjusting for inherited and bequeathed runners, I reset the replacement level to be equal to that of starters.

I'm fairly convinced that 'bequeathed runner support' is where most if not all of the 'reliever advantage' comes from at this point.

Murphy doesn't have any war credit above.

I gave Kontstanty credit for 1945 (not a lot worked out to .014 PA.

Any war seasons that were pitched have been docked. Any other questions, let me know . . . hope to see as many of you as possible in Seattle this week.
429. DanG Posted: June 26, 2006 at 02:04 AM (#2075827)
The best individual reliever seasons that I've found among relievers retired prior to the 1979 election:

x1. 8.6 Stu Miller (1965)
x4. 7.5 Lindy McDaniel (1960)
x5. 7.2 Phil Regan (1966)
x6. 7.1 Joe Page (1949)
x7. 7.1 Jim Konstanty (1950)
x8. 7.1 Lindy McDaniel (1970)
x9. 7.0 Stu Miller (1961)
10. 6.5 Hoyt Wilhelm (1965)
11. 6.5 Joe Page (1947)
12. 6.4 Eddie Fisher (1965)
13. 6.2 Ron Perranoski (1969)
14. 6.1 Ron Perranoski (1963)
15. 5.7 Roy Face (1959)

Just for comparison, from the 2004 edition of The Baseball Encyclopedia by Palmer and Gillette, these are the leaders for the same period in Relief Ranking:

1. 52.8 Lindy McDaniel (1960)
3. 47.8 Ellis Kinder (1953)
5. 43.5 Stu Miller (1965)
6. 42.4 Joe Page (1949)
7. 42.0 Luis Arroyo (1961)
8. 40.6 Ken Sanders (1971)
9. 40.5 Jim Konstanty (1950)

Those above are from the All-Time Leaders: Single Season top-50 list in the back of the book. The season-by-season Historical Record section preceding this has different values for RR. Some of the other great years, with RR from that section:

40.9 Roy Face (1962)
40.9 Ron Perranoski (1969)
39.6 Hoyt Wilhelm (1964)
37.3 Phil Regan (1966)
36.8 Marv Grissom (1954)
35.1 Jim Brewer (1972)
34.7 Ted Abernathy (1967)
430. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 26, 2006 at 04:07 AM (#2076124)
Thanks Dan!

Kinder, Arroyo, Grissom, Brewer and Sanders (never heard of him before) are guys I haven't run that I can add, anyone else? I should have remembered Grissom, he was the closer on a few of my ESPN teams, he's a nice value at \$1.5 million.

Remember that it takes about 15 minutes to run a guy a little more or less depending on how often he played for 2 teams in a season, or even worse, 2 leagues in a season :-)
431. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 26, 2006 at 05:47 AM (#2076149)
Kinder's 1953 rates at a 7.4, which would slot at #5 on the list . . .

Grissom's 1954 rolls in at 6.3, which would be top 15.

Arroyo's 1961 is pretty overrated, I only get it at 4.7.

1) His leverage index was 1.60, which nothing special for a big closer year, and certainly lower than would be expected from a 15-5, 29 SV season in 119 IP.

2) He was also below average on inherited runners (-3.6 runs).

3) The park factor was insanely low, 92. He didn't have to face the Yankee offense, which is a part of that park factor.

4) His defensive support was outstanding, saving him .20 on his ERA.

Add it all up and it's a good year but not a lengendary one. It's not any better than Al Worthington's 1965, for example. Worthington saved 8 inherited runs that year. His LI was 1.74, so despite having the same ERA+ (167 vs. 169 for Arroyo) and pitching 28.7 fewer innings, he was just as valuable.

Still rolling through a few of the others. I'll wait on Brewer and Sanders until they are eligible (retired 1976).
432. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 26, 2006 at 06:39 AM (#2076158)
Here's an updated chart, with Kinder, Grissom, Arroyo, Sherry. I'll add others as they become eligible, and these guys too as I have time . . .

Clem Labine
Joe Heving
Johnny Klippstein
Don McMahon
Dick Hall
Billy O'Dell
Al McBean
Doc Crandall
Hugh Casey
Mace Brown
Bill Henry
Syl Johnson

``` Pitcher           PA  aDRA  tIP   WAR RSAR  PSup InRP  BRP  LI  LIP     1    2    3    4    5   Top3  Top5Hoyt Wilhelm     .850 3.38 2905.7 69.6 665  1.7  10.0 18.7 1.4 1871.0  7.8  6.5  6.0  5.1  5.0  15.8  30.4Stu Miller       .577 3.59 2087.3 46.4 443  0.4  27.0 -1.6 1.4 1103.3  8.6  7.0  5.8  4.5  4.4  16.8  30.3Lindy McDaniel   .541 4.08 2590.7 44.5 425  0.7   2.5 16.5 1.3 1672.7  7.5  7.1  5.1  3.7  3.5  13.2  27.0Firpo Marberry   .501 3.96 2334.7 40.9 391  0.0   0.0  0.0 1.4  730.0  7.9  5.6  5.1  4.9  3.5  16.3  26.9Ellis Kinder     .477 3.54 1794.0 39.1 374  0.0   0.0  0.0 1.5  611.3  7.4  5.5  4.5  4.5  3.9  15.0  25.7Roy Face         .463 3.75 1894.0 38.7 370  0.0  18.8 11.6 1.4 1186.3  5.7  5.4  5.1  4.8  3.0  13.7  23.9Ron Perranoski   .382 3.90 1562.0 31.3 299  0.0   0.3 28.3 1.4 1170.7  6.2  6.1  4.4  3.9  3.7  12.0  24.3Dick Radatz      .339 3.29  952.7 25.8 246  0.0   3.0  5.0 1.4  693.7  8.3  7.8  5.6  4.0  0.1  21.7  25.8Clint Brown      .324 4.20 1688.7 27.6 263  0.0   0.0  0.0 1.4  595.0  4.9  4.5  3.5  3.5  2.7  11.1  19.2Ron Kline        .302 4.61 2400.3 26.1 250 -3.5 -28.6  3.7 1.2  871.0  5.2  3.8  3.3  2.2  2.2  10.3  16.8Johnny Murphy    .298 4.09 1582.0 25.5 244  0.0   0.0  0.0 1.7  764.0  4.9  4.4  3.2  3.0  2.6   8.5  18.1Al Worthington   .273 4.11 1470.7 23.8 227  0.0  -4.2  4.0 1.3  838.0  4.8  3.4  2.3  2.3  1.9  10.5  14.7Eddie Fisher     .263 4.46 1633.7 22.1 211  0.0   3.8 11.6 1.1 1186.0  6.4  3.6  3.4  2.7  2.3  12.8  18.5Jim Konstanty    .248 4.09 1303.7 20.8 199  0.0   0.0  0.0 1.3  749.0  7.1  3.3  2.2  1.9  1.6  12.0  16.1Ted Abernathy    .225 4.40 1330.7 19.3 184  0.0  -2.9 20.9 1.2  913.0  5.5  3.7  2.2  1.8  1.7   9.3  14.9Joe Page         .214 4.37 1137.3 16.9 162  0.0   0.0  0.0 1.7  510.3  7.1  6.5  1.4  0.8  0.7  15.0  16.5Phil Regan       .205 4.54 1522.7 16.9 162  3.6  -6.8  8.0 1.2  721.0  7.2  3.1  2.4  1.3  0.9  10.2  14.8Marv Grissom     .195 4.07  972.0 16.4 157  0.0   0.0  0.0 1.3  492.7  6.3  2.8  2.2  1.8  1.3  11.3  14.4Frank Linzy      .175 4.34 1052.7 15.2 145 -1.1 -11.6 20.6 1.3  812.3  4.3  2.8  2.6  2.3  1.5   9.4  13.5Bob Lee          .152 3.74  597.3 12.4 119  0.3  -4.5  2.3 1.3  457.7  5.3  5.2  1.5  0.4  0.0  12.0  12.4Hal Woodeshick   .135 4.85  950.0 11.6 111 -3.2 -13.2 28.6 1.2  567.3  4.1  3.0  2.2  1.7  0.6   9.3  11.6Larry Sherry     .133 4.61  928.0 11.8 113  1.4   1.7 13.6 1.2  702.0  2.9  2.4  1.7  1.4  1.2   7.0   9.6Luis Arroyo      .095 4.65  653.3  8.1  77  0.0  -8.8  1.6 1.4  319.3  4.7  2.2  0.8  0.2  0.1   5.5   8.1Jack Baldschun   .058 5.33  737.7  5.3  51  0.0 -29.2 22.6 1.1  704.0  2.1  1.4  1.3  0.6  0.0   4.7   5.3  ```

PA - Pennants Added; aDRA - my version of Defense adjusted runs allowed, which uses PythaganPat exponents, and the Baseball Prospectus adjustments from NRA to DERA, 4.50 is league average; tIP - my version of translated IP, which accounts for leverage of relief innings, and adjusts starters based on era norms based on the league leaders IP and the size of the league; WAR - my wins above replacement, using aDERA, tIP and accounting for pitcher hitting; RSAR - my version of runs saved above replacement; PSup - starting pitcher bullpen support, taken directly from Baseball Prospectus (negative means good support); InRP - Inherited Runs Prevented, taken directly from Baseball Prospectus (positive is good); BRP - bequeathed runs prevented, taken directly from Baseball Prospectus (positive means good support); LI - Leverage Index, 1960-2005, taken directly from Baseball Prospectus, 1871-1959 estimated based on Pete Palmer's formula, the only difference being that I cap it at 3.00, not 2.00. 1 - pitcher's best season WAR; 2 - pitcher's second best season WAR; 3,4,5 - figure it out, you are smart; Top3 - pitcher's top 3 consecutive seasons of WAR; Top5 - pitcher's top 5 individual WAR seasons.

The numbers in the chart include all seasons, not just reliever seasons. Any years where WAR or RSAR would be negative are zeroed out, under the premise that as long as someone is willing to play you, you can't have negative value.

The best individual reliever seasons that I've found among relievers eligible for the 1979 election:

x1. 8.6 Stu Miller (1965)
x4. 7.5 Lindy McDaniel (1960)
x5. 7.4 Ellis Kinder (1953)
x6. 7.2 Phil Regan (1966)
x7. 7.1 Joe Page (1949)
x8. 7.1 Jim Konstanty (1950)
x9. 7.1 Lindy McDaniel (1970)
10. 7.0 Stu Miller (1961)
11. 6.5 Hoyt Wilhelm (1965)
12. 6.5 Joe Page (1947)
13. 6.4 Eddie Fisher (1965)
14. 6.3 Marv Grissom (1954)
15. 6.2 Ron Perranoski (1969)
16. 6.1 Ron Perranoski (1963)
17. 5.7 Roy Face (1959)
433. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: June 26, 2006 at 04:34 PM (#2076432)
14. 6.3 Marv Grissom (1954)

Wasn't Marv Grissom the guy who brought you the Family Feud?
434. Jeff M Posted: June 26, 2006 at 06:14 PM (#2076571)
Wasn't Marv Grissom the guy who brought you the Family Feud?

I thought he was an astronaut. :)
435. DanG Posted: July 14, 2006 at 03:03 AM (#2098505)
I updated this list from 3+ years ago, career leaders in relief IP. Here's the top 50, although it's posssible an active pitcher or two is omitted near the bottom.

1871.0 Hoyt Wilhelm
1694.0 Lindy McDaniel
1556.7 Rich Gossage
1500.3 Rollie Fingers
1452.7 Gene Garber
1436.7 Kent Tekulve
1390.3 Sparky Lyle
1301.3 Tug McGraw
1297.0 Don McMahon
1276.7 Jesse Orosco

1259.3 Mike Marshall
1252.3 Lee Smith
1248.7 Tom Burgmeier
1245.7 John Franco*
1212.3 Roy Face
1204.7 Clay Carroll
1186.0 Eddie Fisher
1177.3 Bill Campbell
1170.7 Ron Perranoski
1157.0 Bob Stanley

1154.7 Mike Jackson
1132.3 Jeff Reardon
1097.3 Doug Jones
1094.7 Stu Miller
1087.3 Greg Minton
1077.7 Gary Lavelle
1052.3 Darold Knowles
1043.3 Dan Quisenberry
1042.0 Bruce Sutter

1040.7 Johnny Klippstein
1039.7 Roger McDowell
1016.7 Mike Timlin*
1016.3 Pedro Borbon
1003.0 Dan Plesac
994.3 Willie Hernandez
992.7 Bob Miller
990.7 Larry Anderson
984.7 Mike Stanton*
976.0 Dave LaRoche

970.0 Ted Abernathy
962.7 John Hiller
950.0 Roberto Hernandez*
931.0 Steve Bedrosian
923.0 Greg Harris
919.0 Eric Plunk
905.0 Elias Sosa
901.3 Dale Murray
900.7 Todd Jones*
889.3 Doug Bair
436. sunnyday2 Posted: July 14, 2006 at 11:47 AM (#2098659)
DanG, great list. When all is said and done, if I had to choose between ranking RPs based on this list or on the saves list, I would choose this one. Or to put it only very slightly differently, I would choose raw innings over leveraged innings. Having said that, of course, both are important, but even as a peak voter, part of a great peak is some raw innings. Then, if they're leveraged, so much the better.
437. DanG Posted: July 14, 2006 at 12:47 PM (#2098702)
This is a chronological listing of every pitcher I found with 130 relief IP in a season. There may be a couple omissions at 134 IP and lower, because this is the top 50 list from Total Baseball, plus I searched and found 12 more to add. It seems that it took until the mid 1980's for teams to figure out that nobody can throw that many innings in relief for more than a year or two before they break down.

144.7 1923 Allan Russell
146.0 1927 Garland Braxton
166.7 1945 Andy Karl
130.3 1945 Joe Berry
135.3 1949 Joe Page
152.0 1950 Jim Konstanty
159.3 1952 Hoyt Wilhelm
145.0 1953 Hoyt Wilhelm
134.3 1959 Bill Henry

139.7 1963 Jack Lamabe
131.3 1964 Hoyt Wilhelm
165.3 1965 Eddie Fisher
144.0 1965 Hoyt Wilhelm
136.3 1965 Ted Abernathy
131.3 1965 Bob Lee
137.3 1966 Clay Carroll
145.0 1968 Wilbur Wood
135.0 1968 Clay Carroll
134.7 1968 Ted Abernathy
134.7 1968 Phil Regan
144.7 1969 Wayne Granger

135.3 1970 Mudcat Grant
134.3 1970 Dic Selma
136.3 1971 Ken Sanders
179.0 1973 Mike Marshall
138.3 1973 Lindy McDaniel
208.3 1974 Mike Marshall
150.0 1974 John Hiller
144.3 1974 Steve Foucault
139.0 1974 Pedro Borbon
131.0 1974 Terry Forster
141.7 1975 Rich Gossage

167.7 1976 Bill Campbell
142.7 1976 Charlie Hough
134.7 1976 Rollie Fingers
146.7 1977 Tom Johnson
140.0 1977 Bill Campbell
137.0 1977 Sparky Lyle
133.0 1977 Rich Gossage
132.3 1977 Rollie Fingers
135.3 1978 Kent Tekulve
134.3 1978 Rich Gossage
130.0 1978 Dave Heaverlo
143.0 1979 Jim Kern
140.7 1979 Mike Marshall
134.3 1979 Kent Tekulve
134.0 1979 John Montague
131.0 1979 Sid Monge

137.0 1980 Tom Hume
136.3 1980 Doug Corbett
131.0 1980 Ron Davis
168.3 1982 Bob Stanley
136.7 1982 Dan Quisenberry
133.7 1982 Dan Spillner
145.3 1983 Bob Stanley
140.3 1983 Sammy Stewart
139.0 1983 Dan Quisenberry
140.3 1984 Willie Hernandez
137.7 1984 Aurelio Lopez
157.0 1986 Mark Eichhorn
438. sunnyday2 Posted: July 14, 2006 at 01:07 PM (#2098718)
Dan, meaning that nobody's done it since Eichhorn?
439. DanG Posted: July 14, 2006 at 01:28 PM (#2098733)
Dan, meaning that nobody's done it since Eichhorn?

Yes, I'm nearly certain that's the case. Typical league leaders now come in around 105-110, IIRC.
440. sunnyday2 Posted: July 14, 2006 at 01:39 PM (#2098739)
Really interesting. 2 in the '20s, none in the '30s, 3 in the '40s, 3 in the early '50s, but then only one between '53 and '63. You'd think the success of Page and Konstanty would have generated more of them.

Then beginning in '63, I hadn't realized how much Radatz was the archetype (no disrespect to Lamabe who I don't remember being regarded as a great pitcher or a model for much of anything). From '63 to '86 somebody did it every year except '72, '81 and '85. But as you imply, nobody did it more than twice, except the famously durable Mike Marshall (just ask him). Oh, Wilhelm did it twice twice, which just proves my point.

Along with save counts, this really suggests that a new model kicked in in the period from '80-'85. During tht period the guys throwing all the innings were not the guys who were in the game at the end anymore, with the exception of Quiz and Willie Hernandez. Previously they were mostly the same guys.
441. DanG Posted: July 14, 2006 at 02:03 PM (#2098757)
Gossage also shows up three times on the list. Just an amazing arm, to survive that workload and still go on to pitch over 1000 games in his career.

I remember that 20-30 years ago there was a lot of variation in bullpen use, as teams continued to experiment. Wasn't it Ron Davis who first acquired the title of Set Up Man for the Goose? For a time the Red Sox' Bob Stanley pitched a lot of IP, but in fewer games than other RP. Sparky Anderson was called Captain Hook: he liked to save his starters (like a modern manager) and burn out his main RP's (unlike a modern manager).

You see a number of closers like Lee Smith in the 1980's, with a quickly declining work load. In 1983-85 he averaged over 100 IP per year; by 90-92 it's down to 77 IP per year.
442. DanG Posted: July 15, 2006 at 01:31 AM (#2099568)
Three additions (so far) to the list in #445:

132.3 1920 Bill Sherdel
134.0 1947 Joe Page
130.7 1980 Mike Proly
443. Howie Menckel Posted: July 15, 2006 at 01:59 AM (#2099579)
Wow,
Mike Proly - the most forgotten RP of the last 35 years!

Great charts, DanG....
444. DanG Posted: July 15, 2006 at 03:26 AM (#2099619)
OK, just one more, to mention today's relief IP kings. In most years now, you can count the number of 90 rel IP guys on the fingers of one hand.

These stats are mainly from MLB.com, which fails to combine stats for multiple-team players. So, the following probably misses someone.

Salomon Torres is leading the majors in 2006 at this point. He also led in 2005 with 94.7 rel IP. I believe that's the lowest total to ever lead MLB. He also had 92.0 in 2004.

Scot Shields was the only other guy with 90 in 2005, with a total of 91.7 rel IP. He led MLB in 2004 with 105.3 rel IP.

Guillermo Mota was 2nd in 2004 with 96.7 rel IP for two teams. He also finished second in 2003 with 105.0. Steve Sparks led in 2003 with 107.0 for two teams.

Scott Sullivan was the only consistent 100 relief IP guy in the past decade. He topped 100 every year from 1998-2001, with a high of 113.7 in 1999.

So the list of 130 relief IP men looks like it's frozen in time, likely to look exactly the same 20 years from now, as it did when it welcomed its last member 20 years ago.
445. Paul Wendt Posted: July 16, 2006 at 03:08 PM (#2100698)
> You can say the same thing about track athletes. Are all sprinters failed long distance runners?

I almost made this analogy; it's a good one. Yes, in one sense of the word, marathoners are failed sprinters. They, of course, would prefer that we say how well suited they are to marathoning.

How is the analogy good?

Baseball players are mainly allocated to different roles by managers with the goals of winning games or pennants or fans. Regarding pitchers in particular, I guess it's true only recently and only slightly that some youngsters choose collegiate programs based on promises that they will start or close. And some professional free agents choose clubs based on similar expectations if not promises.

Runners mainly win honor\$ individually, without teammates; choose their roles, without managers. Only in relatively low-level competition, such as USAmerican collegiate track and field, is there a moderately good analogy to the game or pennant. Yet that level is way too high for significant substitution between short- and long-distance running.

--
So the majority is on the right track here. Voters cannot reasonably place relief pitchers on their ballots, or not, by considering relief pitchers alone.
446. Howie Menckel Posted: July 16, 2006 at 07:34 PM (#2101183)
2 more innings for Rivera today, for his 400th save.
He's now on a pace for 89 IP, his most since 1996.

Normally he pitches 70 to 80 IP per year; the 80.6 in 2001 is his high as a closer.
447. Paul Wendt Posted: June 15, 2007 at 01:01 AM (#2404639)
If you have waited a few days to read this, Tom Henke is now eligible. He was consistently good for a decade. Probably there is too little bulk to get him more than token support for the HOM but he should help dispel the opinion that no one but Rich Gossage and Lee Smith both endured and flourished in the role. (A decade later, Hoffman Percival Wagner and Rivera all put up a quality decade or more.)

Lee Smith, Eck, and Randy Myers are coming up --to name save leaders a level or two better in quality than Jeff Reardon, and a year or three longer lived than Dave Smith, who have recently passed through without much comment. Virtually at the end of the century, we have a critical mass of closer careers in the books.

There is a lot of data on relief pitchers in these five pages. Go back to page one and skim. (But it may be that no one yet has even basic historical relief pitching data in digital format. See DanG #444, 449.)

Does anyone have a Palmer encyclopedia for this year (thru 2006)?
Maybe it includes the quality relief statistic Palmer & Gillette presented at SABR35 in Toronto.
It must include an update or update/revision of the career relief rank (copied by KJOK on page one, from asst editor Greg Spira on SABR-L).

Joe Dimino, have you updated the Pennants Added #439 anywhere else around here?
448. sunnyday2 Posted: June 15, 2007 at 01:12 AM (#2404667)
Still, to my eye Gossage is the answer to "who was the best relief pitcher of the 20 years of the '70s and '80s.
449. Paul Wendt Posted: June 15, 2007 at 02:24 PM (#2404940)
If you have waited a few days to read this, Gossage isn't now eligible.
450. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 17, 2007 at 04:46 AM (#2406805)
Saying Henke was consistently good is a major understatement Paul.

When he pitched, he was Great with a capital G. I have him with the 2nd highest career DRA+ of anyone I've figured. Rivera 201, Henke 154, then . . . Koufax at 153, and Clemens and Walter Johnson at 144.

I haven't run too many of the late 90s closers yet. But Henke was a machine. Even his last year in the game, at age 37 he posted a 245 DRA+ in 104.7 tIP (1.77 LI in a strike year).

Problem was he just didn't pitch enough. So he doesn't have a huge peak season, but he was consistently Great, pretty much whenever he was on the mound. Only 5 eligible aces I've figured have a better "6th or 7th best season" and those are the top 5 (Wilhelm, Gossage, Fingers, Smith, Sutter). Unfortunately, he wasn't on the mound enough. He ranks just behind Marshall, Face and Righetti (w/starter credit for 1981-83) for me, but just ahead of Quisenberry and Minton.
451. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 17, 2007 at 04:50 AM (#2406807)
Paul I haven't, best I can do right now is a quick list with no explanation . . .

Wilhelm .942
Gossage .930
Fingers .820
Rivera .804
Smith .764
Sutter .674
Miller .648
McDaniel .631
McGraw .625
Hiller .600
Tekulve .593
Marshall .533
Face .528
Righetti .518
Henke .497
Quisenberry .484
Minton .473
Stanley .454
Garber .426
Lavelle .424
McMahon .419
Perranoski .418
Lyle .416
Brewer .377
Hall .374
Murphy .369
Carroll .367
Kern .361
Forster .356
Campbell .348
Casey .338
Guisti .326
Hernandez .321
Worthington .318
Burgmeier .304
452. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: June 17, 2007 at 04:52 AM (#2406808)
To me Lee Smith is the great question mark. Everyone above him is a no brainer (to me). Everyone below him should be out (for me).

Smith basically is the line. Whether he's just over, or just under is tough, but he really was better than I realized.
453. Paul Wendt Posted: November 20, 2007 at 05:06 PM (#2621319)
Copied entire from "2008 Ballot Discussion"

140. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: November 19, 2007 at 05:28 PM (#2620553)
The 1990s Yankee dynasty didn't have any inner circle types. Rivera may be the best closer evar but he's still a closer.

A *very preliminary* finding on relief pitchers which is *subject to revision at a moment's notice*: to adjust for chaining for relievers in a modern bullpen setup, multiply their leverage by .613 and add .065. E.g. a leverage of 2.0 becomes 1.3, and 0.5 becomes 0.4. I got this simply by creating a standard sample bullpen, replacing each pitcher and sliding everyone else up a role, and seeing the effect on the bullpen's leveraged winning percentage (the effective leverage), and then plotting that against the actual leverage and taking the trend line. I used a reliever replacement winning percentage of .470. I can send the data to anyone who is interested.

It looks like DanR has a shoulder under the wheel of the relief pitching applecart, leverage edition.

DanR and JoeD, at least, seem to have a sabermetric project for 2008.
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