The 10 Most Valuable Relief Pitchers of 2013

First of Two Pitching Lists

After ranking our Top 20 hitters of 2013 here and here, we’re back with two lists of pitchers.

Once again, this is just our “camera angle.”  We do not purport to have rendered all other baseball analysis obsolete, nor do we claim to “prove” that one player is better than another.  We are simply pointing out the interesting results that one gets when one examines the overlap of certain “non-random” results.

The philosophical background is here and here, and expounded upon here.

Relief pitchers are difficult to measure for a variety of reasons.  First, they don’t face a huge number of batters, so there isn’t as much data (some would call this “small sample size”; I don’t but that’s just me; I call it “small amount of data”).  Second, since the manager selects when they go into the game, they are more likely to pitch in situations that are favorable to their strengths.

So it’s not surprising that relief pitchers generally rank much higher than starters on our metrics, and these results don’t necessarily indicate that these pitchers would have the same level of success pitching as starters.

The minimum number of batters faced for ranking is 200.


10. Glen Perkins, Minnesota Twins


Full article at Mariner Brainstorm: here.


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Gordon GrossThat's about what I expect next year, DaddyO. And in our park, that's be about equivalent to the 6 WAR season Alex Gordon is putting up for the Royals. Okay, minus a couple WAR on defense. ;) Let's hope we get that 3+ WAR season for both of our sakes, m'man. Trust me, I want it proven as much as you do. Time's up, Beardley. Try to do 80% of what Seager is doing out there, will ya?15 min 53 sec ago
DaddyOAll I'm sayin' is, I'm not so sure. I won't be persuaded until he puts up a full season of 500 AB's that looks something like .275/.330/.425-- total against all comers. That would indicate to me he's fixed and ready to move up from there and fulfill his potential. I'm just old school that way.24 min 12 sec ago
Gordon GrossExactly, Matt - he's doing what I want him to do - driving the ball the other way when that's what's provided by the pitcher instead of trying to pull everything. Just needs to get it down the line instead of at the glove. Or over the fence, I guess...24 min 19 sec ago
Gordon GrossTR - Gotcha! I was wondering about trading Alex Jackson. ;-) I mean, for Stanton I could get behind it. Trading Austin Jackson makes more sense, absoutely. And GLS, you might be right about the Ms. But from a cost-control standpoint, Tomas is actually cheaper than many options, and younger. We'll see. I think Tomas is more Ms-like than signing Cruz or V-Mart to high dollars, I'll say that. Not as likely as a one-year-too-late flier on Willingham...26 min 17 sec ago
SABR MattConcurred, Gordon...Most of Ackley's balls in play lately have been to left and center, not to second base...he's hit a lot of line drives at the left fielder that have been caught.26 min 27 sec ago
Gordon GrossIt's like when LoMo was blasting line-drives right at people. It's not the approach that was the problem, and you figure given enough time it'll reverse itself. If Ackley reverts to the guy hitting 5-hoppers to the 2B every other AB, or being woefully unable to cover the outer edge of the plate, THEN I'll worry. He picked a terrible time to get unlucky when it comes to our playoff hopes, but I don't view it as a regression to his previous (inept) form.30 min 16 sec ago
Gordon GrossDaddyO: his BABIP for September is .086. That's pretty inhumanly unlucky. Sometimes stuff like that just happens. Ackley is hitting righties well for the year not just for the second half (.260/.310/.435/.745)... but isn't hitting lefties well at all. That happens to most lefties for a bit - they just don't see em enough. The bone spurs concern me in a running position (because bone spurs come back, even after surgery), but giving him some time off with a legit RH replacement I don't have a problem with Ackley. It's a scouting call, not necessarily a numbers one - I just like what I've seen the last few months when he can plant. Gotta get the ankle fixed in the offseason. Gotta remember in April what he was doing in August. But I like him as a contributor.35 min 23 sec ago
DaddyODustin Ackley 2014: Three bad months (April, May, June), two hot months (July, August), and now one disastrous month (September, hitting .116 in 43 at bats.) I know: (1) he's suffering from foot/ankle problems, and (2) everybody think's fixed and rarin' to fulfill his potential in 2015. Me, I'm not so sure. His stats for 2014 look much like 2013 except for an increase in power.3 hours 20 min ago
IcebreakerXThe rotation is bleeding out, which is a change of pace. Although we all wish Kuma and Young are still awesome, the Lloyd's gonna have to reequip on the fly. I find it hard to believe that Young actually had 3 innings in his game. By the time he gave up 3 runs, the pen should have been on hot standby and Erasmo or The Bartender should have been ready to go. You got us here, Lloyd. Take it all the way.4 hours 33 min ago
IcebreakerXIf the M's make the ALDS, I'm buying a Felix Hernandez jersey. If not, I'll end up without a Mariners jersey again.4 hours 40 min ago
Tacoma RainGordon... when I said I think the M's would trade Jackson in the off season... I meant Austin - not Alex. I truly hope Jack never trades Alex.8 hours 27 min ago
GLSI'll be absolutely shocked if they go after Tomas. I just don't think it's in the DNA of the organization to do something like that.10 hours 7 min ago
Gordon GrossAbreu was their Pujols. Tomas is... good. But more like the 4/36 for Cespedes, as he's more that sort of player. If somebody does wanna pay through the nose for him, okay. I'm fine with that not being us. But I want in on him at non-ludicrous prices.11 hours 18 min ago
GLSI think Tomas will get something like what Abreu and Castillo got. Paying out the nose for your very own Cuban is all the rage these days. Even at 5/40, I'd be surprised to see the M's go that way.12 hours 27 min ago
Gordon GrossTomas is not a 70 million dollar man. He's not Abreu. If he gets 70 million then no, I don't really want him for that price. Just give that to Cruz, sheesh. I expect more like 5/40 for Tomas, and that's in our range. I wouldn't mind Tomas AND Myers... ;-) We can't trade Jackson til after the draft, though. He has to be with the team a year to get traded. But we have enough trade bait to get something done. We just need a partner - and the right dude.13 hours 23 min ago
GLSFor Myers, I would dangle Elias, Saunders, and Tyler Marlette.13 hours 57 min ago
Tacoma RainUnfortunately, I agree with you GLS... I think the main way Jack is going to get a weapon or two is via trades. I will not be surprised to see Jackson, all the relievers including Maurer and Smith, and all the RH power guys in the minors be used as bait.14 hours 45 min ago
GLSI think the Mariners definitely need another weapon or two. I don't see them rolling the dice on Tomas. It simply doesn't strike me as consistent with how they do business. Assuming Stanton isn't available, I would explore a trade for Wil Myers.15 hours 36 sec ago
Tacoma RainIf the M's could get Tomas for something like 4 years $70M with an option year or two... I for one would be happy.15 hours 59 min ago
Tacoma RainI hope we are both wrong Matt, and some how the budget goes up to $130M...16 hours 23 min ago