This post represents the final installment of our 2012 positional power rankings. This edition looks at bullpens.
A couple notes on these rankings. Because, over the course of a season, any number of pitchers will appear in relief for a given team, I’ve decided to concentrate on those pitchers who are most likely to receive high-leverage innings during the season. Additionally, note that a number of relief pitchers are also projected for starter’s innings. In those instances where this is the case, I’ve preserved the raw ZiPS rate projections (i.e. K/9, BB/9, HR/9), but adjusted both the innings and WAR projections, while attempting to represent the bump in performance that starters receive when moving to the bullpen.
In terms of criteria, these rankings are based both on the projected WAR of the relevant relievers and also each club’s relief depth. While the Rays, for example, don’t necessarily have the highest-end arms at the back of their bullpen, they have a wealth of slightly above-average ones.
Finally, please note that absolute precision is not the objective here — nor a possibility, really. Indeed, a reasonable argument could be made for moving most teams up or down a couple spots. Rather, the idea is to get a general sense of where each team is situated relative to the rest of the league.