Dave’s Latest At 710sports.com

Dave · August 4, 2011 at 9:57 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Hey all,

Thanks again for all the support over the last few weeks. I’m feeling a lot better and am slowly building my work schedule back up, so I resumed my writing for the 710sports.com blog today, doing a piece on reliever inconsistency and why the M’s should have traded Brandon League.

This isn’t a knock on Brandon League specifically, but on relievers in general. Here are the top 10 relief pitchers in baseball by ERA in 2010, and then their corresponding 2011 ERAs:

1. Hong-Chih Kuo, 1.20; 12.46
2. Joaquin Benoit, 1.34; 4.50
3. Andrew Bailey, 1.47; 2.20 (but only 22 IP due to injury)
4. Chris Perez, 1.71; 3.11
5. Rafael Soriano, 1.73; 4.76 (and only 17 IP due to injury)
6. Mike Adams, 1.76; 1.29
7. Joakim Soria, 1.78; 4.14
8. Brian Wilson, 1.81; 2.88
9. Mariano Rivera, 1.80, 1.74
10. Heath Bell, 1.93; 2.23

I’ll be on with the guys tomorrow to discuss the post and talk about the team. When we have a time, I’ll post it here.


15 Responses to “Dave’s Latest At 710sports.com”

  1. robbbbbb on August 4th, 2011 10:11 am

    Dave, you’ve repeatedly stated that ERA is a bad tool for evaluating pitchers. Not only that, but ERA is a worse tool for evaluating relief pitchers, with the way that responsibility for scoring is allocated.

    So why did you use ERA in this article? Target audience?

  2. bill1410 on August 4th, 2011 10:23 am

    So glad you’re feeling a lot better Dave, that’s the best news I’ve heard all day. And so great to have you back!

  3. just a fan on August 4th, 2011 10:32 am

    I can’t imagine how League gets a better return than either Fister or Bedard did.

    I don’t see how League has a similar trade value to Uehara and Adams, two of the very best relievers in baseball. Why would we expect Texas to deal for inferior talent within their division? League ain’t no Cliff Lee.

    It’s hard to judge when nobody knows if the best offer was Wilson Ramos 2.0, or a 25-year-old utility infielder and 25-year-old middle relief prospects.

  4. The_Waco_Kid on August 4th, 2011 10:40 am

    Dave, I agree, but I think it’s fairly likely League will finish strong these last couple months. If so, do you think his value will have diminished much? I thought it might increase his value, though it’s a gamble.

    Glad you’re feeling better, man!

  5. henryv on August 4th, 2011 10:44 am

    Can I openly say that the M’s should have traded Brandon League because he’s not particularly great? He’s a better-than-average closer, but his xFIP puts him at about #42 out of 201 RP with at least 20 innings pitched. And #40 out of 151 with at least 30 innings pitched.

    Yeah, he’s the best reliever we’ve got, but he’d probably be the 4th or 5th reliever on say the 2001 M’s for instance. Of course, that’s not a fair comparison, but screw fairness, I’m trying to make a point!

    Anyways, we’ve got a team that is going to lose about 90-95, and so they’ve got about 20-25 more wins in them. Of these, you should expect 10-15 to be close, maybe?

    Without Brandon League, you should expect to give up 2 more run per 9 innings, which works out to 2-3 additional runs by your relievers for the rest of the season. (Assuming you replace him with an xFIP player of a 5.0, which should be reasonably easy to do.) Does that matter? Really?

    I don’t think so.

    However, what happened, I think, is that teams are starting to devalue to the relief pitching position. Heath Bell didn’t move. Brandon League didn’t move. A LOT of relievers didn’t go anywhere, considering how many moves there were, and how many were on the market.

    I think a lot of teams are doing the math that a pitcher pitching 15-20 innings for the rest of the season isn’t worth much, given that there is a slightly worse player already on their team, and it’s not worth giving much up for a run or two for the remainder of the season.

    One group of teams you can see this not applying to are the teams with horrible defense. The Cardinal, Phillies, and Blue Jays for instance. Seems like they would be more interested in good bullpen pitching seeing as how they are more likely to need it with the questionable defense they play behind their pitchers.

    Of course, all of these players could still clear through waivers, I suppose, so this may be a moot point (or a mute point, if it’s really, really quiet).

  6. henryv on August 4th, 2011 10:47 am

    Dave, you’ve repeatedly stated that ERA is a bad tool for evaluating pitchers. Not only that, but ERA is a worse tool for evaluating relief pitchers, with the way that responsibility for scoring is allocated.

    So why did you use ERA in this article? Target audience?

    What I think Dave was showing was the VARIABILITY of relief pitching. And ERA is a highly variable stat.

    It’s not that they aren’t (or are) good pitchers, it’s that the results don’t often represent the quality and process. Some of those pitchers may have been very lucky the first year, and didn’t “deserve” the ERA they had.

    Not to put words in Dave’s mouth.

  7. Typical Idiot Fan on August 4th, 2011 11:53 am

    So why did you use ERA in this article? Target audience?

    I’d say so. Remember, he’s talking to the “straights” in this case, not us weirdo nerds.

  8. currcoug on August 4th, 2011 11:54 am

    I supported League being moved, if the price was right…but does anyone here really want Wright or Gray closing games for the rest of the season? Lueke still doesn’t look ready to assume that mantle either.

    It was a relief to see League come to the rescue yesterday, pardon the pun.

  9. SODOMOJO360 on August 4th, 2011 11:59 am

    We can still get a nice deal for him this winter

  10. Carson on August 4th, 2011 12:09 pm

    I’m really interested to see what happens with the CBA in relation to free agent draft pick compensation.

    If that is altered or done away with, it could be one more reason the M’s should have moved League now as the desire for other clubs to give up prospects for a rental reliever could go down quite a bit.

  11. Paul B on August 4th, 2011 12:15 pm

    Jack would have had to find a trading partner who wanted an “established closer”, and was willing to pay (or, what we would consider to be overpay) for that skill set. Maybe there just wasn’t anyone out there like that.

  12. Ralph_Malph on August 4th, 2011 12:28 pm

    Mariano Rivera just continues to defy all the rules. I hate the Yankees, love it when Rivera gets beat, but looking at this list you have to respect him all the more.

  13. lalo on August 4th, 2011 12:40 pm

    Trayvon Robinson called up, Halman to Tacoma, Furbush, Wells, Robinson already with the M´s, Martinez, Chiang and the PTBNL? Next week i suppose…

  14. Adam B. on August 4th, 2011 4:20 pm

    I agree with some of the others here;

    I would hope that the only reason that League wasn’t moved at the deadline is that Zduriencik thinks he’s a good bet to gain value if he finishes the year with 35-40 saves and a decent ERA, and could then be moved this Winter.

    Sure it’s a gamble, but the payoffs could be equal to what we got for J.J. Putz.

    The last thing I want to see is Brandon earning $4-5M in 2012 as a closer on a marginal team.

  15. DawgDays on August 4th, 2011 4:53 pm

    Glad to have you back. Hope the induction took.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.