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Thread: The Short Reliever

  1. #1
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    The Short Reliever

    At 5'11 Danny Graves has already beaten conventional baseball wisdom in the expansion era.

    He's short for a pitcher, he pretty much has been riding a big wave.

    It is possible that his board is broken.

    If we were to look at all the relief pitchers since the divisional format was created in 1969 who were under six feet tall and age thirty and younger (with less than 35 starts) Graves would be the leader in innings pitched, batters faced and hits allowed. He also is the leader in Saves (by a RH) by more than 50, but only 5th in Runs Saved Above Average.

    Saves.... that's another debate for another time.

    Anyway, Graves at 5'11 accomplished this workload with the burden of striking out less than league average every season of his career. A pitcher like Graves is a work inducer for the fielders, he demands that the plays be made since he won't be getting many outs alone.

    The diminutive (in relation to some of the trees throwing out there these days) relief pitcher is really a rarity.
    Code:
     
    INNINGS PITCHED                 IP       ERA      BFP       H       SV       GS     
    1    Danny Graves              755.2     3.89     3225      780      172       30   
    2    Gene Garber               685.1     3.24     2815      621       85        9   
    T3   Al Hrabosky               651       3.07     2759      554       93        1   
    T3   John Franco               651       2.53     2730      587      211        0   
    5    Mel Rojas                 595       3.27     2489      501      124        0   
    6    Jeff Brantley             570.2     3.15     2421      503       57       18   
    7    Eddie Guardado            564.2     4.89     2446      559       30       25   
    8    Mike Marshall             564       3.34     2386      508       75       19   
    9    Bill Castro               546.1     3.33     2320      564       45        9   
    10   Bryce Florie              485       4.34     2142      488        2       29   
    11   Bob McClure               477.2     3.54     2060      427       31       31   
    12   Antonio Osuna             449.2     3.58     1911      391       21        0   
    13   Jeff Montgomery           441       2.57     1832      370      115        1   
    14   Tom House                 420       3.56     1763      386       33       12   
    15   Byung-Hyun Kim            419.2     3.37     1770      315       86       16   
    16   Billy Wagner              418.1     2.69     1692      281      181        0   
    T17  Frank DiPino              413.2     3.68     1757      376       47        6   
    T17  Al Holland                413.2     2.52     1736      343       44       10   
    19   Tippy Martinez            397       3.15     1689      343       45        2   
    20   Jamie Easterly            394       4.89     1783      440       12       28   
    21   Salome Barojas            381.1     3.85     1628      367       35       18   
    22   Tom Burgmeier             367.2     3.52     1579      369       32        0   
    23   Bob Apodaca               362       2.86     1505      312       26       11   
    24   Steve Farr                354       3.86     1503      327       11       19   
    25   J.C. Romero               350.2     4.49     1539      345        2       22   
    26   Ken Sanders               320       2.22     1293      263       61        0   
    27   Guy Hoffman               316.2     4.18     1361      334        3       31   
    28   Cliff Politte             314       4.50     1362      304       14       16   
    29   Max Leon                  311       3.70     1346      315       13       13   
    T30  Rich Rodriguez            294.2     3.05     1236      268        4        2   
    T30  Marc Wilkins              294.2     4.28     1292      278        3        2   
    32   Doug Capilla              292.1     4.34     1287      273        0       31   
    33   Shigetoshi Hasegawa       291       3.93     1231      284        7        8   
    34   Phil Hennigan             280       4.28     1216      267       25        2   
    35   Dick Lange                277       4.45     1242      298        1       31   
    36   Luis Vizcaino             274.2     4.52     1164      246        7        0   
    37   John Riedling             274.1     4.13     1222      269        3        8   
    38   Victor Cruz               271       3.09     1144      218       37        0   
    39   Steve Mingori             269       2.94     1164      237       18        1   
    40   Richie Lewis              264.1     4.32     1206      251        2        3   
    41   Mike Venafro              249.2     4.11     1092      261        5        0   
    42   Steve Frey                241.1     3.69     1063      233       27        0   
    43   Gene Harris               241       4.71     1093      246       26        7   
    44   Mike Holtz                238.1     4.68     1078      242        3        0   
    45   Michael Tejera            236.1     5.06     1047      251        3       27   
    46   Scott Strickland          236       3.28     1012      197       20        0   
    47   Francisco Oliveras        235       3.71      965      221        5       18   
    48   Pablo Torrealba           234       3.31     1054      270        5       13   
    49   Enrique Romo              221.2     3.25      906      181       26        3   
    50   Vic Darensbourg           216.1     4.74      943      215        2        0   
    51   Britt Reames              205       5.00      920      205        0       26   
    52   Dave Giusti               203       3.33      852      194       26       13   
    53   Juan Rincon               202       3.70      860      177        2        3   
    54   Tony Castillo             201.2     3.97      877      218        2        6   
    55   Tom Dixon                 199.2     4.33      876      225        1       24   
    56   Rudy Seanez               188.2     4.63      836      176        8        0   
    57   Cy Acosta                 187       2.65      768      143       27        0   
    58   Dave Leonhard             176.1     3.01      742      161        3        9   
    59   Carlos Hernandez          170.2     4.54      765      173        0       33   
    60   Jose Parra                167.2     6.33      779      211        0       19   
    61   Eddie Bane                167       4.69      753      182        2       25   
    62   Eddie Watt                166.1     2.22      679      132       39        0   
    63   John Parrish              160       4.44      733      147        1       10   
    64   Fred Beene                158       2.05      637      132        4        5   
    65   Oscar Zamora              155       4.01      651      166       20        0   
    66   Chuck Hartenstein         152       4.97      651      154       12        0   
    67   Kip Young                 150       3.84      621      154        0       20   
    68   Bill Atkinson             147.1     3.42      625      129       11        0   
    69   Julio Machado             147       3.12      623      115        6        0   
    70   Dave Sells                138       3.91      623      146       12        0   
    71   Mike Ignasiak             137       4.80      596      141        0        6   
    72   Dick Kelley               136       3.57      572      113        0       23   
    73   Larry Hardy               127       5.24      592      171        5        1   
    74   Joe Klink                 124.2     4.04      547      131        3        0   
    75   Tim Davis                 122.2     4.62      560      136        2        6   
    76   Len Whitehouse            115.2     4.67      516      119        4        1   
    77   Bill Wilkinson            113.1     4.13      469       97       12        2   
    78   Danny Murphy              112       4.66      493      110        9        0   
    79   Pete Richert              111.2     2.10      441       78       25        0   
    80   Barry Manuel              107.2     3.01      443       83        0        0   
    81   Rigo Beltran              105.2     4.34      465      109        1        5   
    82   Brandon Villafuerte       102.2     4.12      471      109        3        0
    Only 82 guys (5'11" or less) since 1969 have pitched at least 100 innings before the age of 31.

    49 of them were RH Pitchers like Graves.

    Moving the age to older than 30 the list cuts almost in half and the total number falls to 44
    Code:
     
    INNINGS PITCHED                 IP       ERA      BFP       H       SV       GS     
    1    Gene Garber               824.2     3.42     3512      843      133        0   
    2    Tom Burgmeier             818.1     3.00     3398      797       65        1   
    3    Mike Marshall             763.2     3.09     3212      722      103        5   
    4    Juan Berenguer            634       3.65     2699      539       31       13   
    5    Dave Giusti               601       3.05     2526      550      114        2   
    6    John Franco               579.2     3.18     2505      556      213        0   
    7    Steve Farr                470.1     2.79     1984      424      121        9   
    8    Tippy Martinez            437       3.73     1855      389       70        0   
    9    Jeff Montgomery           427.2     4.00     1805      415      189        0   
    10   Ray Sadecki               421.1     3.52     1825      428        3       28   
    11   Rheal Cormier             408.2     3.70     1715      369        2        0   
    12   Enrique Romo              381.1     3.56     1603      367       26        0   
    13   Shigetoshi Hasegawa       362.2     3.45     1521      341       26        0   
    14   Ramon Hernandez           358.2     2.79     1502      320       37        0   
    15   Rich Rodriguez            346       4.45     1514      374        4        0   
    16   Juan Pizarro              326.2     3.77     1420      298        9       28   
    17   Tony Castillo             325       3.90     1399      337       20        0   
    18   Steve Mingori             315       3.11     1327      307       24        1   
    19   Jeff Brantley             288.2     3.87     1223      251      115        0   
    20   Frank DiPino              286.1     4.05     1224      297        9        0   
    21   Tom Gordon                269.1     3.07     1102      204       54        0   
    22   Bob Shirley               255.2     4.22     1089      257        5       15   
    23   Al Holland                232.1     3.80      973      205       34        1   
    24   Orlando Pena              226       3.03      931      214       13        2   
    25   Jamie Easterly            217.1     4.14      961      223        2        8   
    26   Salomon Torres            213       3.85      898      215        2       16   
    27   Claude Raymond            207       4.65      908      234       25        0   
    28   Doug Creek                192.2     4.76      875      171        1        0   
    29   Lee Stange                186.2     4.15      836      199        5       15   
    30   Ken Sanders               185.1     3.69      788      175       21        0   
    31   Eddie Guardado            178.1     2.88      706      134      104        0   
    32   Mike Hampton              172.1     4.28      760      198        0       29   
    33   Pete Richert              170.2     2.79      716      137       18        0   
    34   Eddie Watt                161       3.52      695      145       18        0   
    35   Jack Lazorko              155.1     4.29      652      145        0       14   
    36   Jose Alvarez              152.2     2.95      653      132        5        0   
    37   Rudy Seanez               144.2     4.04      626      116        3        0   
    38   Ricky Bones               141.1     4.78      640      165        0        0   
    39   Pat Jarvis                138       3.85      591      131        2        6   
    40   Billy Wagner              134.1     2.01      517       83       65        0   
    41   Bob Humphreys             132.1     2.99      568      110        8        1   
    42   Fred Beene                130       5.47      575      140        4        1   
    43   Brian Shouse              120       3.15      508      113        1        0   
    44   Tom House                 116       4.66      506      130        0        9
    23 of the above pitchers were RH like Graves.

    On August 7th Danny Graves turns 32 years old, as he gets older his comps come from a smaller pool.

    The majority of Relievers have the ability to strike out players, Graves had the second worst strikeout vs the league average for all the relievers under the age of 30.


    Code:
    All relievers with below average strikeout rates 1969-2004
    
    STRIKEOUTS/9 IP                 DIFF   PLAYER   LEAGUE     GS     
    1    Dave Leonhard             -2.02     3.52     5.54        9   
    2    Danny Graves              -1.89     4.84     6.73       30   
    3    Dave Sells                -1.88     3.20     5.08        0   
    4    Mike Venafro              -1.66     4.65     6.31        0   
    5    Bill Castro               -1.42     3.34     4.76        9   
    6    Tom Burgmeier             -1.30     4.06     5.36        0   
    7    Chuck Hartenstein         -1.27     4.68     5.94        0   
    8    Oscar Zamora              -1.26     3.83     5.09        0   
    9    Danny Murphy               -.97     4.66     5.63        0   
    10   Tom Dixon                  -.95     4.24     5.18       24   
    11   Steve Frey                 -.92     4.89     5.81        0   
    12   Salome Barojas             -.85     4.15     5.01       18   
    13   Francisco Oliveras         -.79     4.98     5.77       18   
    14   John Riedling              -.77     5.97     6.74        8   
    15   Jose Parra                 -.75     5.53     6.28       19   
    16   Rich Rodriguez             -.71     5.16     5.87        2   
    17   Joe Klink                  -.69     5.05     5.75        0   
    18   Guy Hoffman                -.63     5.06     5.69       31   
    19   Eddie Bane                 -.58     4.31     4.89       25   
    20   Pablo Torrealba            -.57     4.31     4.88       13   
    21   Dick Lange                 -.52     4.45     4.98       31   
    22   Kip Young                  -.27     4.26     4.53       20   
    23   Max Leon                   -.26     4.92     5.18       13   
    24   Michael Tejera             -.24     6.47     6.72       27   
    25   Bob Apodaca                -.23     4.90     5.13       11   
    26   Barry Manuel               -.18     6.35     6.54        0   
    27   Shigetoshi Hasegawa        -.18     6.19     6.37        8   
    28   Mike Ignasiak              -.18     5.78     5.96        6   
    29   Fred Beene                 -.15     5.13     5.27        5   
    30   Tom House                  -.14     4.97     5.11       12   
    31   Marc Wilkins               -.14     6.66     6.80        2   
    32   Larry Hardy                -.14     4.96     5.10        1   
    33   Ken Sanders                -.03     5.48     5.51        0
    One thing that I found was that the RH reliever is less likely to be the reliever with the high K rate in both groups.
    Representing 19.4% in the under 30 crowd and 14% in the over 30 crowd.

    From where I sit it looks like Graves is on his way towards a career curve that his peers have already layed out for him. At best he might end up with a few years like Dave Giusti had in the late 70's. Past the age of 32 the list whittles down to 18 RH relievers with 100 IP. Advance that age to 35 then the list pares down to 9.

    The leaders on both lists for mid 30 releivers in innings pitched are both 1970's workhorses. Garber and Marshall compiled their innings in an era that utilized relievers in a different manner, however both had around 100 less innings pitched than Graves by the age of 31. But they K'd more people than Graves and thus were able to help themseves out

    In short I don't Graves problem is medical, it's natural and as much part of the game as diminishing bat speed.

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  3. #2
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    Re: The Short Reliever

    Stupid question.
    How do the pitchers above 6'0'' compare?
    How many of them were there before age 30, how many after 30.

    I know it's a lot, but I'd like to hear how many more.

  4. #3
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    Re: The Short Reliever

    I supported Danny's contract (princeton at his most astute), though I pointed out at the time the risk of the short RHPer. Since he was pitching well at the time, I thought that we'd get two more good years, but he faded faster

    but I also figure that there's a physical cause, though it may not be one that is either medically detectable or solvable

  5. #4
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: The Short Reliever

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoosier Red
    Stupid question.
    How do the pitchers above 6'0'' compare?
    How many of them were there before age 30, how many after 30.

    I know it's a lot, but I'd like to hear how many more.
    Under age 30, 537 pitchers over 6 foot with 100 IP as a reliever.

    Older than 30, 236 pitchers.

  6. #5
    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    Re: The Short Reliever

    woy, please write a book. i mean really, you have a flair.
    Suck it up cupcake.

  7. #6
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: The Short Reliever

    If he writes a book we might lose him around here..we don't want that
    Go Gators!

  8. #7
    Not Laughing
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    Re: The Short Reliever

    ...just when I think I have heard every stat possible...





    Intersting info WOY
    Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.
    ~Oscar Wilde

  9. #8
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: The Short Reliever

    Reds defensive efficiency during Danny's years on the team, with Danny's corresponding ERA:

    1998 - .701 (4th in NL), 3.32
    1999 - .726 (1st in NL, best NL rating of the past decade), 3.08
    2000 - .705 (1st in NL), 2.56
    2001 - .686 (15th in NL), 4.15
    2002 - .693 (10th in NL), 3.19
    2003 - .689 (14th in NL), 5.33
    2004 - .690 (12th in NL), 3.95
    2005 - .672 (16th in NL), 7.36

    So not only has Danny's stuff been decomposing, but he's been a defense dependent pitcher on a club that can't field. Great defense was a big part of what made his star rise in the first place.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

    I'm witchcrafting everybody.

  10. #9
    Cruisin' for trouble
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    Re: The Short Reliever

    Garber was more of a sidearm pitcher, IIRC. Was Marshall 3/4 or over the top?

    IMO, if a pitcher throws sidearm, it really negates the effect that height plays. It would be interesting to know if sidearm relievers under 6'0 had longer careers.

  11. #10
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: The Short Reliever

    Quote Originally Posted by GoReds
    Garber was more of a sidearm pitcher, IIRC. Was Marshall 3/4 or over the top?

    IMO, if a pitcher throws sidearm, it really negates the effect that height plays. It would be interesting to know if sidearm relievers under 6'0 had longer careers.
    Marshall was a screwball pitcher during his heyday, the earlier organizations he was in didn't want him to throw it, that probably helped extend his longevity and in turn introduced him as a different pitcher in his 30's. The same holds true for Fred Norman, who was a screwball pitcher that was not allowed to throw ith (Padres) when he came to the Reds Sparky encouraged it.

    Juan Berenguer learned the split finger from Roger Craig and prolonged his career.


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