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Thursday, August 22, 2019

The Real Reliever Problem

Over the past five seasons, medium- and high-leverage situations have gone up by about two percentage points. Low-leverage situations have shot up at twice that level, increasing by about four percentage points. Not only are the worst relievers performing at a lower level than their peers compared to past seasons, they are also pitching a lot more.

When we consider the issue of reliever usage and performance, we generally aren’t talking about taking out the starting pitcher who used to finish a game, but now only goes seven innings. Those relievers are still getting the job done, at least relative to starter performance. We aren’t even talking about a starter being removed after five innings in a close game and asking the bullpen to get the last 12-15 outs. When those situations occur, relievers are still performing better than starters, just as they have in year’s past.

Where baseball might have a reliever problem is when the game is 6-1 in the fourth inning. Managers are no longer asking their starters to soak up innings, and they aren’t going to use one of their better relievers when the team doesn’t have a great chance of winning.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 22, 2019 at 06:22 AM | 1 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: reliever problems

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   1. bobm Posted: August 23, 2019 at 03:53 PM (#5873837)

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