The 2008 MRM in Review

On the heels of the 2009 list of Middle Relievers, I wanted to show how last year’s list fared. Before that, let me address a few things that came across via comments, email and over at the message board I frequent (Rotojunkie.com):

Rafael Soriano was a miss on the list. He’s a huge injury risk, but undoubtedly talented and belongs near the top of the GOLD MINING list. He can strikeout over a batter per inning and has the ability to close if he stays on the field and Mike Gonzalez doesn’t work out.

J.A. Happ and Scott Downs were both brought up separately and the reason they didn’t make the list is because I was under the impression that both would be vying for rotation spots. If they fail to lock down rotation spots, they are viable candidates for MRM, especially Downs with his back-to-back successful seasons out of the ‘pen.

To Dan Lowe, thanks for your great comments. I did include Bob Howry in the FLIERS category as his skills far classed the numbers he yielded. He is still worth a look, even at 35. David Riske has logged a K rate better than 6.0 just once since 2004 and a 2.0 K:BB rate once since 2005. He showed the ability to be an elite MR back in Cleveland, but it’s been awhile. Finally, excellent find on the Burton tidbit in that Baseball Analysts article. I didn’t think my mancrush for him could get any higher, but it just did!!

To the several emailers, I know the Joey Devine is penciled in as the closer on several depth charts, but there is no guarantee that Brad Ziegler doesn’t earn that job come Opening Day. Speaking of Ziegs, the reason he didn’t make any of the lists is because of his 4.5 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9. Not too appetizing, though the 60 IP sample is hardly massive. He hasn’t really blown batters away in the minors either.

Now, the 2008 list in review and some examples of how the method works from those that made the list:

• Diamonds in the Rough (these are the guys most likely to be the next Betancourts and Broxtons):
o 1 Rafael Perez, CLE – AWESOME
o 2 Justin Miller, FLA – FLAMED OUT THANKS TO INJURY
o 3 Matt Guerrier, MIN – 2ND HALF MELTDOWN
o 4 Jensen Lewis, CLE – CLOSED FOR AWHILE–13 SV
o 5 Santiago Casilla, OAK – 2ND HALF MELTDOWN THANKS TO INJURY
o 6 Michael Wuertz, CHC – OK, BUT INNINGS CUT DRASTICALLY
o 7 Juan Cruz, ARI – SUSTAINED 12 K/9; OVERCAME 5.4 BB/9 FOR 2.61 ERA
o 8 Matt Lindstrom, FLA – K/9 DROP, BUT STRONG 2ND HALF EARNED CL JOB
o 9 Brandon Morrow, SEA – AWESOME
o 10 Taylor Tankersley, FLA – DONE AFTER 18 IP
o 11 Tony Pena, ARI – STRONG BB GAINS FROM ’07, MIDDLING K RATE
o 12 Joel Peralta, KC – AWFUL
o 13 Chris Schroder, WAS – SENT DOWN EARLY FOR GOOD
o 14 Jimmy Gobble, KC – OBLITERATED
o 15 Bobby Seay, DET – DECENT IN EXPANDED ROLE THANKS TO 9.3 K/9
o 16 Joe Smith, NYM – MASSIVE GB & STRONG K HELD ALL YEAR
o 17 Andrew Brown, OAK – WEAK SKILLS, WEAKER BODY
o 18 Manny Delcarmen, BOS – AWESOME
o 19 Pedro Feliciano, NYM – SPURRED NYM COLLAPSE; AWFUL V. RIGHTIES
o 20 Mark McLemore, HOU – DNP IN MAJORS
o 21 Justin Speier, LAA – SHARP LOSSES IN K & BB RATES BROUGHT 5 ERA
o 22 Tim Byrdak, DET – BB RATE TOO HIGH; RIGHTIES MASHED HIM
o 23 Kevin Cameron, SD – JUST 10 IP; FLIER POTENTIAL IN OAK?
o 24 John Bale, KC – JUST 27 IP
o 25 Peter Moylan, ATL – INJURED EARLY, COULD BE READY OPENING DAY

• The Known Commodities (these guys are the premier middle relief aces as well as the steady, unheralded relievers :
o 1 Jonathan Broxton – BRILLIANT-FULL TIME CLOSER NOW
o 2 Rafael Betancourt – BUST EARLY, STABLE IN 2ND HALF
o 3 Carlos Marmol – BRILLIANT-MADE 2K9 LIST JUST IN CASE
o 4 Joba Chamberlain – BRILLIANT-FULL TIME STARTER NOW
o 5 Heath Bell – STRONG AGAIN THOUGH 2ND HALF FADE; HOFFMAN HEIR
o 6 Scot Shields – VERY GOOD, MADE 2K9 LIST
o 7 Aaron Heilman – BIG K SPIKE BROUGHT BIGGER BB SPIKE, TROUBLE ENSUED
o 8 Pat Neshek – LOST ’08 AFTER 13 IP; GONE TIL ’10
o 9 Dan Wheeler – VERY GOOD-MADE 2K9 LIST
o 10 Hideki Okajima – VERY GOOD-MADE 2K9 LIST
o 11 Chad Qualls – BRILLIANT-FULL TIME CLOSER NOW
o 12 Joaquin Benoit – NOT 100% IN ’08-MISSING AT LEAST HALF OF ’09
o 13 Scott Proctor – WORKLOAD CAUGHT UP; NOW IN FLORIDA-AVOID
o 14 Bob Howry – ERA & WHIP DECEIVE-PERIPHS SAY BUY IN ’09 DESPITE AGE
o 15 Fernando Rodney – PRETTY BAD; 13 SV ALLEVIATES PAIN OF 6.7 BB/9
o 16 Derrick Turnbow – LOST ’08 AFTER 6 IP; MOVE TO TEX FRIGHTENS
o 17 Octavio Dotel – STILL DOMINANT; WORTH ELEVATED ERA
o 18 Damaso Marte – TALE OF 2 HALVES; STILL VIABLE AT 34
o 19 Jeremy Accardo – LOST ’08 AFTER 12 IP; ’07 AN OUTLIER FOR NOW
o 20 Al Reyes – SQUEEZED OUT OF ELITE TB PEN; TURNS 102 IN ’09

• I’ll close with a few DEEEEEP sleepers:
o Kerry Wood, CHC – HUGE PAYOFF AS DOMINANT CLOSER
o Edwar Ramirez, NYY – SOLID ’08-A FAVORITE FOR ’09
o Renyel Pinto, FLA – NOTHING TERRIBLY SPECIAL
o Vinnie Chulk, SF – A 4.5 K/9 RENDERED HIM USELESS IN ’08
o Wil Ledezma, SD – LEFT SD, NOT MUCH ELSE TO SAY
o Jack Taschner, SF – DROPPED NEARLY 2 K/9-DIMINISHING ROLE IN SF
o Jon Coutlangus, CIN – DIDN’T GET TO ’08 MAJORS
o Guillermo Mota, MIL – SOMEWHAT USABLE IN ’08, BUT 35 IN ’09
o Lenny DiNardo, OAK – 23 WORTHLESS IP IN ’08
o Zach Miner, DET – BECAME OK STARTER, BUT K RATE WAS AWFUL
o Tyler Yates, ATL – K AND BB RATES TANKED YET ERA DROPPED
o David Aardsma, CHW – MADE 2K9 LIST AS A SLEEPER
o Royce Ring, ATL – WORTHLESS IN 22 IP

Here are some examples of the method in practice from 2008’s list:

o Hong-Chih Kuo, Juan Cruz and Manny Delcarmen:
o 205 IP
o 10 W
o 3 SV
o 2.67 ERA
o 1.12 WHIP
o 239 K

o Kerry Wood, Edwar Ramirez and Reynel Pinto:
o 186 IP
o 12 W
o 35 SV
o 2.67 ERA
o 1.12 WHIP
o 239 K

o Rafael Perez, Justin Miller and Matt Guerrier:
o 199 IP
o 14 W
o 3 SV
o 4.35 ERA
o 1.40 WHIP
o 188 K

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One Comment to “The 2008 MRM in Review”

  1. Heath Bell ahead of Okajima……i dont know about that

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