Yesterday began our discussion regarding mop up pitchers, the ones that enter into blowouts and accrue innings to prevent the unnecessary usage of higher-leverage relievers. I asked for some help identifying the mop up men for several teams, as only a few existed off the top of my head, and got great feedback. One of the comments on the thread, from TangoTiger, suggested we apply the formula: GP*(LI/IP). The minimum amount of innings would be set to 40, in order to ensure these pitchers logged ample enough time to qualify.
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.
Below are the results, with the mop up number next to the name. I was only looking for the mop-uppiest pitcher on each team, so certain players with lower scores than others mentioned will not appear below:
Darren O'Day (Angels), 0.251 Seth McClung (Brewers), 0.279 Josh Rupe (Rangers), 0.289 Aquilino Lopez (Tigers), 0.301 Brian Bass (Twins/Orioles), 0.334 Boof Bonser (Twins), 0.343 Gary Majewski (Reds), 0.361 Clay Condrey (Phillies), 0.365 Joel Peralta (Royals), 0.414 Robinson Tejeda (Rangers/Royals), 0.426 Jon Lieber (Cubs), 0.436 Lance Cormier (Orioles), 0.445 Billy Sadler (Giants), 0.464 Ryan Rowland-Smith (Mariners), 0.478 Jason Hammel (Rays), 0.509 Franquelis Osoria (Pirates), 0.514 Luis Vizcaino (Rockies), 0.523 Jeremy Affeldt (Reds), 0.531 Buddy Carlyle (Braves), 0.543 Nick Masset (White Sox/Reds), 0.551 Jesus Colome (Nationals), 0.558 Cory Wade (Dodgers), 0.603 Doug Waechter (Marlins), 0.624 Brian Tallet (Blue Jays), 0.627 Chris Sampson (Astros), 0.660 Mike Timlin (Red Sox), 0.660 Mike Adams (Padres), 0.763 Jensen Lewis (Indians), 0.788 Edwar Ramirez (Yankees), 0.799 Santiago Casilla (Athletics), 0.926 Juan Cruz (Diamondbacks), 0.969
This is the list generated by the suggested formula. If there are players above that you disagree with, please comment below your case for disagreement, as I would like to have a concrete list to evaluate for Monday. Then, we can identify which mop up pitcher was the best at his job in 2008, and get cracking on sending he, or his agent, an official award. Also, remember, not every team may have a specific mop up man, so some of the players on this list, especially towards the bottom may not belong in the discussion. Curious to hear your thoughts.
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