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.

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10. Glen Perkins, Minnesota Twins

 

Full article at Mariner Brainstorm: here.

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okdanDang. Padres land Justin Upton, Matt Kemp, and Will Myers in the span of a couple weeks. Impressive.2 min 47 sec ago
rick82Upton to San Diego. Guess that means we'll get Seth Smith.5 min 9 sec ago
rick82Nah...it's the Padres.18 min 16 sec ago
rick82MLB rumors reports: The Braves are finalizing a trade of Justin Upton, tweets Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. Late last night, Fangraphs’ Kiley McDaniel reported that Atlanta appeared to be “down the road” on a deal sending Upton to an AL West team for young pitching (Twitter link). Among AL West clubs, the Mariners have been prominently linked to Upton in trade rumors for much of the offseason, but the Rangers also have a need in the corner outfield, and the extremely active Athletics have been stocking up on young pitching in trades recently.1 hour 13 min ago
GLSMLBTR reporting the Kemp deal is finalized.10 hours 24 min ago
GLSI think I'd be okay with Brad Miller in RF most days with Ruggiano against lefties.10 hours 25 min ago
TaroWow.. good thing the Kemp deal didn't go through.15 hours 19 min ago
malcontentTrue, but Venable would provide some insurance against Austin Jackson faceplanting again.15 hours 38 min ago
rick82I think we're still on Upton, in that we've made an offer, it still stands, and Atlanta is hoping to get more. I think we have the best offer on the table, and that it is a very good offer, and that there is still a chance Atlanta will take it. Somewhere between what Atlanta wants and what we've offered is middle ground that we may end up meeting them on. That's based on absolutely no sources whatsoever.16 hours 13 min ago
Gordon GrossVenable's not as much of a platoon dude, mal. If you're gonna run a platoon you'd like to see mashing against oppo pitching, not just decent performance. Agreed he's cheaper and shorter, but that alone might be two reasons for the Padres to keep him - since they aren't likely to get much on the trade market for him.16 hours 28 min ago
MtGrizzlyLowe is going to have a tough time making this roster. Bullpen be stacked.16 hours 42 min ago
MtGrizzlyArthritis in both hips? Yikes - Kemp is not going to age well.17 hours 54 min ago
Tacoma RainMark Lowe is back!!???!18 hours 45 min ago
malcontentI'm surprised there hasn't been any interest in getting Will Venable over Seth Smith. Same team, same age, similar (but lesser) offensive profile, much better defense. And with one year left on his contract, he should be cheaper to acquire coming off a down year.19 hours 52 min ago
Gordon GrossPadres probably can't trade Smith til they're sure about whether the Kemp deal even exists due to the double-arthritis. That's probably the hangup on move#2 after Ruggiano: our other dance partner fled the floor on stage two thanks to a bad medical. So we probably won't make progress til after the Kemp thing is resolved, if we wanna make a couple large assumptions.19 hours 57 min ago
GLSSeth Smith is a quality player that would work really well in a strict platoon. Not sure what the Padres would want for him, but if they start shopping him there are bound to be multiple suitors.20 hours 24 min ago
DaddyOKemp: Padres physical turned up arthritis in both hips...Padres consulting with medical experts and determining how to proceed...perhaps we "Dodged" a bullet? http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2014/12/padres-to-acquire-matt-kemp.html21 hours 9 min ago
moethedogOver that last 24 hourse I've come to think more and more that this is a Denorfia move made early this year. This type of move is the right one and we gave up nothing we couldn't afford and Ruggiano doesn't block our kids if we want to cut him loose....but it didn't make us a lot better by itself.23 hours 48 min ago
moethedogYou might argue that the natural progression of Romero or the emergence of Kivlehan results in a hitter of Ruggiano's quality. When looking at Ruggiano you almost have to throw out '12 as he BABIP'ed .401 that year. That was down to .260 in '13 then back up to .375 in '14! Weird, no? Anyway, I'm discounting '12 as his Figgins-outlier year and figuring we've got something between '13-'14. That might be something like .280-.333-.500 vL. He hit 11 homers in vL 213 AB's. He was ugly against RHP in '13 and competent in '14. Oh..he plays CF which Kivlehan and Romero don't. He gives us a RH homer presence vs LHP, which we sorely missed last year and the promise of not flailing vs. righties.23 hours 48 min ago
moethedogHe most likely made us some better but there is a nother shoe to fall. It is possible that it is a 1B shoe as Morrison can survive in RF. Then your platoon is Morrison and Ruggiano. Unlikely, I think...as it is easier to find the LH hitting OF than it is to find a regular 1B, unless we want Smoaky back.23 hours 49 min ago