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RedsManRick
06-29-2010, 07:39 PM
So the national media is starting to pick up on Arthur Rhodes' amazing streak and I started wondering how well he's actually pitched (if you don't take ERA as the best measure of that).

So, I headed over to fangraphs and started pulling some data. The easiest way to get at this question was to simply get the leaders in WAR among pitchers who have pitched only in relief. It turns out that Rhodes is at 0.8 WAR, 14th among all NL relievers, 7th among NL middle relievers,. Interesting. So I dug further and pulled together the stats below for the top 21 guys (all relievers with 0.6 WAR or greater)

Given that reliever value cannot be judged by WAR since context drives so much of how they are used, I wanted to look at some context info. The last three columns are stats related to this:

WPA (Win Probability Added): How the team's chances of winning the game changed when he pitched
LI (Leverage Index): A measure of how important a particular situation is in a baseball game depending on the inning, score, outs, and number of players on base, created by Tom Tango
WPA/LI: WPA, but with the leverage removed. Basically, this is just another assessment of how well the guy pitched in a generic context.
gmLI:Average Leverage Index when entering the game



Rank Name Tm IP WAR SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP LOB% ERA FIP xFIP WPA WPA/LI gmLI
1 Broxton LAD 33.2 1.8 16 13.1 1.9 0.00 .395 79.0% 1.87 0.93 1.95 1.43 0.61 1.69
2 Gregerson SDP 39.1 1.5 1 11.7 0.9 0.46 .189 71.4% 1.60 1.58 2.07 1.98 1.60 1.47
3 Wilson SFG 32.0 1.3 21 12.4 3.4 0.28 .385 84.1% 2.25 2.01 2.84 2.34 0.58 1.82
4 Belisle COL 47.0 1.2 1 9.6 2.1 0.57 .321 75.8% 2.87 2.54 3.01 1.11 1.20 0.91
5 Marmol CHI 34.2 1.2 13 16.6 6.5 0.26 .335 83.7% 2.34 2.41 2.94 1.62 0.55 1.86
6 Bell SDP 32.2 1.1 21 11.9 3.6 0.28 .394 83.0% 1.93 2.09 2.90 1.86 0.04 1.94
7 Marshall CHI 36.1 1.1 1 10.4 3.0 0.25 .293 79.8% 2.23 2.25 2.83 1.24 0.72 1.35
8 Adams SDP 36.0 1.0 0 10.0 2.8 0.25 .281 78.0% 2.25 2.19 3.08 1.43 0.87 1.52
9 Nunez FLA 31.2 1.0 16 8.8 2.3 0.28 .274 77.7% 2.27 2.34 3.05 1.33 0.94 1.65
10 Meek PIT 44.0 0.9 1 8.4 2.1 0.41 .238 80.1% 1.02 2.61 3.07 0.00 0.92 1.11
11 Clippard WAS 48.0 0.9 1 9.9 3.9 0.56 .280 83.6% 2.25 3.17 4.12 1.07 0.65 1.73
12 Wagner ATL 30.1 0.9 15 13.7 3.6 0.59 .275 95.6% 1.19 2.24 2.69 0.87 0.60 1.36
13 Rodriguez NYM 38.0 0.8 17 11.4 3.1 0.71 .321 88.5% 2.13 2.82 3.37 1.24 0.47 1.56
14 Rhodes CIN 32.0 0.8 0 8.4 3.1 0.28 .189 100.0% 0.28 2.68 3.44 2.01 1.28 1.43
15 Kuo LAD 24.1 0.8 2 11.1 3.0 0.37 .189 90.4% 1.11 2.19 3.11 1.32 0.95 1.55
16 Hensley FLA 32.1 0.8 0 11.7 3.9 0.28 .309 75.1% 2.51 2.51 3.12 0.80 0.53 1.19
17 Franklin STL 32.1 0.6 15 5.3 1.4 0.28 .257 79.8% 2.23 3.10 4.18 2.60 0.76 1.94
18 Venters ATL 34.1 0.6 1 10.0 5.2 0.00 .254 81.4% 1.31 2.93 3.56 0.41 0.61 1.10
19 Betancourt COL 27.0 0.6 1 11.0 1.7 1.33 .394 66.9% 5.33 3.17 3.16 1.23 -0.16 1.52
20 Lyon HOU 33.1 0.6 1 7.0 3.0 0.27 .299 41.0% 2.97 3.13 4.50 1.63 0.55 1.48
21 Lindstrom HOU 31.1 0.6 18 7.2 3.5 0.29 .369 80.3% 3.16 3.10 3.86 -0.25 -0.11 1.57


A few observations:

I think sometimes we forget to look at IP. This is true with starters too. Belisle has not pitched as well or in as tough as situations as the other leaders, but he's done well a lot.
If you want to be a great reliever, keep the ball in the yard.
ERA is overrated. Much of a relievers value is tied up in his ability to keep other guys' runners from scoring. Brandon Lyon, I'm looking at you.
Heath Bell, Carlos Marmol and Brian Wilson have it tough. I'm guessing that's what happens when you play for a team that doesn't' score many runs. Not only do you only pitch with a lead but you pitch with small leads.
The Padre bullpen is ridiculous, with 3 of the top 8 guys as relievers
Pitching well doesn't make you a closer and being a closer doesn't make you pitch well. Obviously hindsight is 20/20, but there are a number of guys who have pitched well in tough situations but who are not their teams closer, notably Gregerson, Adams, and Marshall, who are behind 3 of the best closers.
Arthur Rhodes has been a very good pitcher this year, but I think it's pretty hard to make a case for him as one of the 5, 6, 10 best relievers. His crazy low BABIP combined with very good, but not great peripherals suggests that he's been getting a lot of help.

Blitz Dorsey
06-29-2010, 08:04 PM
No question about it. If he doesn't make it, it's a travesty.

fearofpopvol1
06-29-2010, 08:24 PM
I say "yes" because it's likely that Charlie Manuel isn't looking at advanced sabermetrics to make his decisions for the ASG. He's likely to look at ERA.

I still say the scoreless streak, even considering the sabermetrics that shouldn't be overlooked, should warrant the ASG nod for the 40 year old.

RedsManRick
06-29-2010, 09:55 PM
I swear it's not my fault...

HeatherC1212
06-29-2010, 10:04 PM
Even with what happened tonight, I think Rhodes deserves to be on the All Star team. He's been amazing this year and one bad night shouldn't negate the rest of his season so far.

kbrake
06-29-2010, 10:20 PM
I swear it's not my fault...

Pitch forks and torches headed your way RMR.

dougdirt
06-29-2010, 10:32 PM
Ok, so everyone be outside of Ricks around 11:45 tonight.