Originally Posted by Kc61
You can fill out a bullpen, your middle relievers, LOOGYs, inning eaters, depth guys, sixth-seventh inning guys from failed starters and second-tier prospects. No problem with that at all.
But a top bullpen needs a few elite arms. Closers, eighth inning guys, highest leverage spots. All relief positions, all bullpen spots, not the same.
IMO, a team should devote most top prospect arms to the rotation, but not all. Some very good arms should be trained as relievers to help fill the key late inning roles.
I don't think there is a single arm in the Reds bullpen that isn't a former starting pitcher. Chapman, Broxton, LeCure, Hoover, Marshall, Simon, Parra, Partch, Villarreal and Ondrusek all started at times in the minors. Only Justin Freeman was a non-starter who has pitched in the bullpen this year as far as I can recall.
Looking at the saves leaders in MLB right now, here is the top 10:
Johnson - former starter
Kimbrel - always a reliever
Nathan - former starter
Rivera - former starter
Holland - almost always a reliever
Mujica - former starter
Soriano - former starter
Balfour - former starter
Chapman - former starter
Grilli - former starter
It is a crude way to look at it, but 80% of the top 10 saves guys in the Majors as of today were starting pitchers at some point in their careers.