More Mopping Up

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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Eric is an accountant and statistical analyst from Philadelphia. He also covers the Phillies at Phillies Nation and can be found here on Twitter.


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