- FanGraphs Baseball - http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs -

Mopping Up in 2009

Last season, Eric Seidman set out on a quest to find the most extreme mop-up men. Eric has since moved on, but if I may, I would like to keep the tradition of honoring those ill-forsaken heroes by following the same methodology laid out in this post. To quote the most important part:

The LI component, for those unaware, is Leverage Index, developed by the aforementioned TangoTiger. The stat essentially measures the stress level of the situation at hand. An average LI is 1.00, so when dealing with supposed mop up pitchers, of interest are the average LIs for pitchers equal to, or below, the average. Plugging it into the above formula, dividing by innings pitched, and multiplying that quotient by the total number of games pitched should, in theory, help us narrow these mop up guys down. Basically, the lower the number provided by that formula, the more mop-uppy the pitcher.

Pretty straight-forward, no? The bar for qualification was set at 40 innings, which just so happened to give a nice selection of relievers – 176 to be exact – for which we can answer of whom was the most janitorial and of whom was the most executive – or whatever the opposite of the pitching equivalent of a janitor is. The answer to the former question is actually well-known – or at least should be by now. Most of the die-hard readers know more about Luis Perdomo than they should thanks to my obsession with him. His “MOP” score came out to a minuscule 0.163. Only one other pitcher finished within 0.1 points of Perdomo, and that was Josh Fogg at 0.174. The top 10 breaks down as such:

Luis Perdomo Padres	0.163
Josh Fogg Rockies	0.174
Chris Smith Brewers	0.266
R.A. Dickey Twins	0.293
D.J. Carrasco White Sox	0.307
Matt Palmer Angels	0.323
Leo Rosales Diamondbacks	0.344
Carlos Fisher Reds	0.344
Mark Hendrickson Orioles	0.405
Brian Bass Orioles	0.418

Carrasco is the best of the bunch (as judged by FIP) and as such, dethrones Buddy Carlyle as mop-up man of the year.