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  1. The Yankees projections don’t even include David Phelps, who was basically used as the fireman many have been calling for. If he’s not needed in the rotation, he makes their bullpen even better.

    Comment by Kevin S. — March 26, 2013 @ 4:11 pm

  2. The Rockies’ bullpen ERA won’t beat their FIP.

    Comment by RMD — March 26, 2013 @ 4:18 pm

  3. Well Shit, I guess the Rockies might be the best team in baseball.

    Comment by Jaack — March 26, 2013 @ 4:30 pm

  4. 2013 Cool Name Power Rankings: Relief Pitchers (Bracket 2)

    18. Jerry Richard Blevins
    17. Joshua Steven Outman
    16. Everett James Teaford
    15. Joseph Jason “J.J.” Putz
    14. Justin Louis “Joba” Chamberlain
    13. Brayan Rene Villareal
    12. Cristhian A. Martinez Mercedes
    11. Clayton Anthony “Clay” Rapada
    10. Junichi Tazawa
    9. Kelvin de Jesus Herrera Mercado
    8. Antonio Francisco Bastardo Rafael
    7. Edgmer Eduarado Escalona
    6. Neftali Feliz Antonio
    5. Joakim Agustin Soria Ramos
    4. Rex Coleman Brothers
    3. Albertin Aroldis Chapman de la Cruz
    2. Francisley Trueba Bueno
    1. Alberto Alburquerque

    NOTES
    – This was an unusually long list of names, and the bracket runs deep, with Hispanic names dominating the top 10.
    – With so many players listed, I had to omit many truly excellent surnames because of inferior first/middle names. Venters, Ottavino, Norberto, De Fratus, Stutes, Aardsma, Arredondo, LeCure…
    – This project has been damn fun but it’s taken a lot of time too. Thank you for reading along!

    Comment by Well-Beered Englishman — March 26, 2013 @ 4:32 pm

  5. I’ve enjoyed it, thanks!

    Comment by Curtis — March 26, 2013 @ 4:34 pm

  6. Damn, Junichi and Koji weren’t up to the task of making it a clean Asian sweep on pitchers. Kampai! Hisanori Takahashi, Bruce Kastulo Chen, and Sefat Farid Yu Darvish.

    Comment by King of the Byelorussian Crunkers — March 26, 2013 @ 4:42 pm

  7. Amazing isn’t it??? and they were so bad last year.

    Comment by Hurtlockertwo — March 26, 2013 @ 4:44 pm

  8. They were close in 2011 and 2010. add a little strand rate luck…

    Comment by commenter #1 — March 26, 2013 @ 4:46 pm

  9. Here are the Elite Eight finishers across all MLB positions:

    PITCHERS
    (2) Hisanori Takahashi
    (3) Bruce Kastulo Chen

    (1) Sefat Farid Yu Darvish
    (4) Alberto Alburquerque

    HITTERS
    (2) Giancarlo Cruz-Michael Stanton
    (3) Mariekson Julius “Didi” Gregorius

    (1) Jurickson Barthelomeus Profar
    (4) Covelli Loyce “Coco” Crisp

    Ladies and gentlemen, start your brackets!!

    Comment by Well-Beered Englishman — March 26, 2013 @ 4:56 pm

  10. No Grant Bal(l)four?

    Comment by Tomcat — March 26, 2013 @ 4:57 pm

  11. Ditto, this was awesome, I read them before the entries and looked up far more names then a sane person should. In 5 years, you should be a unanimous selection in the Fangraphs Commenter HOF.

    Until then, if you make it to L.A., I will buy you all the beer you can drink at this place, or this place .

    Or, because Brits seem to find a bit of home, this place, which refuses to play baseball on any of its many screens until I bribe the bartender. Really. Your Brit thing suprises me, however, I’ve long thought that the final best British genes expired at Flanders. Perhaps you’re not British? As Ausonious verily said,

    W.B.E hie Bonus est.
    “Quis W.B.E?”
    Iste Britannus.
    “Aut Brito hie non est W.B.E, aut malus est.”

    W.B.E. is hilarious
    “Who is W.B.E.?”
    He is a Briton.
    “Either this W.B.E. is no Briton, or he
    is W.B.E. the Dud.”

    Comment by King of the Byelorussian Crunkers — March 26, 2013 @ 5:08 pm

  12. Maybe I’m a homer, but the only way that Mariano Rivera posts an ERA above 3 is if the injury nags him. He’s still doing everything like always: same velocity, location, movement. I know he’s 43, but if the cutter is the same pitch it’s always been, why should the results change?

    Comment by phoenix2042 — March 26, 2013 @ 5:31 pm

  13. Nonsense, Aggregate WAR from the Fangraphs Power rankings has them as the 4th best team in the division, and that is without the park factor adjustment for their hitters.

    Comment by David — March 26, 2013 @ 5:48 pm

  14. Because you know, he’s 43? And coming off a season lost to injury?

    Comment by Victorious — March 26, 2013 @ 5:59 pm

  15. The best part about the Bruce-Rondon-as-opening-day-closer decision is that it hasn’t been made by the organization.

    Comment by Michigan Matt — March 26, 2013 @ 5:59 pm

  16. Same as with the starting pitching ratings, the Giants are being cheated again. Like all Giants fans I think that because they won the World Series by definition they are the best in everything, and your maths continue to disrespect the Giants. Besides, you forgot to add Jairo Garcia’s WAR to the total.

    Comment by Fatbot — March 26, 2013 @ 6:13 pm

  17. Yes, you are a homer (and I’d guess Rivera’s ERA will be under 3 fwiw)

    Comment by Chief Keef — March 26, 2013 @ 6:27 pm

  18. This has been the best part of the series. Notgraphs worthy.

    Comment by MikeS — March 26, 2013 @ 6:46 pm

  19. Just hold on. Tomorrow they will post the grit and chemistry power rankings.

    Comment by Daniel — March 26, 2013 @ 7:05 pm

  20. barves the best (for once)

    Comment by Anon21 — March 26, 2013 @ 7:34 pm

  21. Also, I’ll go ahead and say it: that Avilan projection is bad pessimistic, I think he could be a 1.0 WAR guy if given 60 IP, and shouldn’t be sub-replacement at all.

    Comment by Anon21 — March 26, 2013 @ 7:36 pm

  22. Or rather, it’s mad pessimistic. Wouldn’t want to screw up my annoying dudebro idioms.

    Comment by Anon21 — March 26, 2013 @ 7:37 pm

  23. While I get the nature of the exercise, it does seem to me that both Reds pitching lines should be adjusted in the wake of the Chapman Decision (yes, I think it should be capitalized at this point). Both his and Mike Leake’s projections were highly skewed by the assumption that Chapman would be a starter. I doubt it would move the rankings all that much, but the Reds pitching projections just feel weird as they are right now.

    Comment by Jason461 — March 26, 2013 @ 7:39 pm

  24. If my math is right, I’ve got the Tigers as the best team in baseball by 3.4 wins. If you don’t count the DH, the Nats are 3rd, .3 WAR behind the Angels and .4 WAR in front of Atlanta. 2 questions:
    1. Are the Tigers really that good of a team?
    2. I wonder how much this will change the whole “Nats are the best team in baseball” mood. My gut tells me that they are head-and-shoulders above the rest of the NL. Are the projections not as bullish on Washington? Maybe their rotation gives them a short-series playoffs boost that makes them seem better? Just something I’ve been thinking about…

    Comment by kp — March 26, 2013 @ 8:09 pm

  25. So, kinds blows the definition of replacement that every team’s “others” aka, the replacement level players, are negative WAR, right?

    Also, WAR is definitely the measure of a reliever. Closers and 8th inning guys should be up weighted pretty substantially. If the 6th best reliever is coming in, the starter didn’t have a great day to start with. By the looks of it though, this wouldn’t change the rankings a ton.

    Comment by snack man — March 26, 2013 @ 8:22 pm

  26. Personally, I find the fact that the Reds being out of the top 5 pretty crazy. Sean Marshall, while not necessarily a household name, may be one of the top left handed setup men in the game. Broxton, who could close on alot of MLB teams, as a setup man should be above average. JJ Hoover (who Fangraphs projects pitching 25 innings) was outstanding in his time with the Reds last year, even pitching several quality innings in the playoffs. Look for Hoover to stick with the club for a majority of the year. Don’t even have to mention Chapman. The top four Reds relievers (Chapman, Marshall, Broxton, LeCure) will be tough on any opposing lineup.

    Comment by Corry44 — March 26, 2013 @ 8:24 pm

  27. Any chance to see cumulative rankings?

    Comment by glib — March 26, 2013 @ 8:56 pm

  28. Bullpens are the most unpredictable area in baseball. A great one one year can be awful the next. I don’t think the Giants will have that kind of dropoff in 2013, but it’s hard to really be upset with bullpen predictions (this coming from a Giants fan)

    Comment by Joe — March 26, 2013 @ 9:35 pm

  29. So Carston, I know that the bullpen rankings have to be assessed in WAR here because all the other positional rankings are in WAR. That said, though, and per my remarks in the other relief pitcher ranking thread, WAR just does not seem like an optimal stat for assessing relief pitchers. As you say, there is little distinction by this metric between many different bullpen corps, and some of the ‘rankings’ seem highly suspect on their face, even taking into account that these are projections and that relievers are inherently volatile (both often one-pitch guys and throwing with maximum effort every pitch).

    WAR is heavily dependent upon a few rate stats; these cumulate meaningfully for starting pitchers, but relief pitchers throw a few innings with high leverage, and often come in with men on base. Also bullpens are about matchups, so guys who are killer from one side can have a real and high utility even if the are vulnerable from the other, a situation which their usage won’t always reflect accurately. WAR says very little about guys who are going to throw 40 innings against same-handed batters unless they get most of their outs by Ks. A reliever can strike out the side, have no walks, give up only one hit which however was a bases-clearing double off the wall, and seal the loss for his team. His own WAR will look OK, but he’s not getting the job done. For a starter, that will all average out over a season. For a reliever, that’s harder to say.

    It would make more sense, to me, to compare relievers primarily by ‘wOBA against,’ and yeah I know that’s not really calculated at present. If a team has a guy who they can bring in from the pen who _consistently_ makes every batter hit worse than a pitcher, that’s what I want to know (and likely what his manager wants to know). There’s little margin for error in relief, so simply striking out opponents doesn’t say what happens when they do make contact. A wOBAa would show who was wobbly in the late innings (*heh-heh-heh*).

    But seriously, a wOBA against, would be a perhaps more useful component, together with some weighting for how good a reliever was against same-handed and opposite-handed batters, and some weighting for the leverage of the situations in which he pitches. Rates say little about leverage, whereas bullpen usage is all about matchups and leverage situations. _I’m_ not going to synthesize sucha a relief pitching metric, I’ll say that, but I’d be interested to read measurements of that kind, and especially for bullpen cadres as groups. We know that Craig Kimbrell is a better pitcher than Joel Hanrahan, and nobody should thing they know what Brue Rondon is going to produce, so having WRA projections doesn’t really give value added over eyeball measures.

    Comment by Balthazar — March 26, 2013 @ 11:16 pm

  30. you should read the chapter of “the book” that deals with this subject

    Comment by commenter #1 — March 26, 2013 @ 11:30 pm

  31. Why should closers and 8th inning guys be weighted? Blowing a game in the 7th counts just as much.

    Comment by Antonio bananas — March 27, 2013 @ 12:14 am

  32. I don’t think it’s an elite bullpen, but agree it’s a little underrated here and should at least be top 10. Why is Lopez projected at .2 WAR with 3 straight years of .6? He is a model of consistency, why lose 2/3rds his value? Casilla also, he seemed to figure out the control issue after July…he was lights out August through the playoffs. .3 WAR seems pretty bearish, he could easily double it or more.

    Comment by chaz — March 27, 2013 @ 12:37 am

  33. No mention of Jose Valverde as addition by subtraction? Come on!

    If Leyland can manage this bullpen committee without getting obsessed with anointing a closer, they’ll be effective enough to win a World Series. But he won’t so they’ll have to go out and a “closer” at the deadline.

    Comment by Randy — March 27, 2013 @ 1:01 am

  34. I’ll add my thanks to the others for this. I like Jurickson over Alburquerque for the cool name title.

    Comment by TKDC — March 27, 2013 @ 4:33 am

  35. It appears that Luis Mendoza will be in the Royals rotation and Bruce Chen will be in the bullpen.

    Comment by buddaley — March 27, 2013 @ 8:00 am

  36. And?

    Go ahead and try to find precedent for the guy with the highest ERA+ in baseball history (yes, I know we shouldn’t compare relievers and starters, this isn’t 2003).

    We are talking about the guy who has been the BEST EVER at preventing runs in one inning stints. EVER.

    And it’s not like he hurt his arm last year. If anything, he rested his arm for a year.

    Comment by Steve — March 27, 2013 @ 8:44 am

  37. This was fun, thanks.

    I feel like Joba Chamberlain is underrated here. The guy has basically made his career on an amazing few months after his call-up and his name. The only reason people consistently talk about Joba is the cool name! You really can’t say that about Al Albuqurque…

    Comment by Jason H — March 27, 2013 @ 9:25 am

  38. Don’t let your silly facts get in the way of Jack’s whining! He’s got an axe to grind, dammit!

    Comment by Jason B — March 27, 2013 @ 11:02 am

  39. To paraphrase Fatbot: “WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!” *Sucks thumb and sulks*

    Again, who gives two craps when they’ve won two of the last three World Series. Channel your righteous indignation. CHANNEL!

    Comment by Jason B — March 27, 2013 @ 11:06 am

  40. Are we going to have a positional ranking on bench? I know bench is basically depth players that were covered in each positional ranking but it would be nice to see rankings of supposed bench right now, so will supposed lineup also? Thanks.

    Comment by binqasim — March 27, 2013 @ 11:33 am

  41. News from the Cool Names Futures Game: The two minor leaguers the Yankees shipped to Anaheim to complete the nonsensical Vernon Wells acquisition are named Exicardo Cayones and Kramer Sneed!

    Another mark against the Bombers in this deal and a potential feather in the Angels’ . . . halo, should these chaps make it to the bigs (which, you know, they probably won’t, but still. What coulda been!).

    Comment by AC of DC — March 27, 2013 @ 12:25 pm

  42. What? No Boof Bonser, no Joulys Chacin! I demand a better selection committee.

    Comment by Baltar — March 27, 2013 @ 1:42 pm

  43. OK, since nobody else has done it, I’ll be the yokel here. Cincinnati (where I live) and Tampa Bay (my favorite team) are underrated.

    Comment by Baltar — March 27, 2013 @ 1:46 pm

  44. A little tough on Blevins, two years in a row of below 3 era’s (granted a higher FIP and low BABIP)should count for something. His LD% and GB% are both well below league average though, so he’ll have a naturally lower BABIP. I think he should provide a really nice 4th option (and second lefty) for the A’s with an era around 3.

    Comment by Gabe — March 27, 2013 @ 2:32 pm

  45. If Julio Teheran even pitches between his spring and last year’s MLB #s this could be a helluva good race for the pennant. Mike minor is also another wildcard, he went jekyl and hyde last year. If Minor truly figured something out in the 2nd half last year and teheran pitches even alright we could be looking at two 100 win teams easily.

    Playoff rotations though Nats have a good edge over the braves though unless Beachy comes back where he left off and medlen/minor pitch like they did in the 2nd half which about as much wishful thinking as it gets.

    Comment by Geiric — March 27, 2013 @ 4:22 pm

  46. Bruce Kastulo Chen, Alberto Albuquerque, Covelli Loyce Crisp, Giancarlo.

    Assuming Giancarlo, officially changes his name to just Giancarlo, or a symbol.

    Comment by samuelraphael — March 27, 2013 @ 4:44 pm

  47. IMO The Mariners will be top 5 in bullpen WAR this year.

    I am amazed there is not even a mention of them.

    Comment by Patrick — March 27, 2013 @ 7:10 pm

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