Category Archives: Bullpen

Pitching Backwards: Designing a Bullpen Usage Critique

Collaboration with Jeff Long

Perplexed, I posed a simple question to a colleague, Bryan Cole. I wanted to know how realistic it is for a manager to use recent performance to ‘predict’ a reliever’s next performance. Bryan built out a series of scatter plots that quickly illustrate how difficult it would be to say with confidence that recent performance was especially significant. We selected three relievers (one elite, one middle-of-the-road, and one poor) to quickly take a look at how recent performance predicts the results of a pitcher’s next outing.

Read the rest of Jeff’s article at Baseball Prospectus ($)

Do hard-throwing relievers really pitch better?

Collaboration with Jeff Long

There has been a distinct trend in Major League Baseball that has involved filling bullpens with flamethrowers the likes of which older fans had rarely seen. Relievers have become even greater specialists, making it more difficult on opposing hitters looking to put up runs later in games. The question though, is does this added velocity really help?

Read the rest of Jeff’s post at Beyond the Box Score

Koji Uehara’s second-half dominance

Look, Koji Uehara wasn’t “good” for the Red Sox last year. The cupcake I got from the deli last week was good. My parking spot at the mall last weekend was good. “Good” just doesn’t cut it.

Uehara was incredible. Although he started the season as the Red Sox’ third-string closer*, Uehara took over the job at the end of June and posted a 1.34 FIP through the end of the season. At one point, he retired 37 straight batters, a feat which Baseball Prospectus’ Sam Miller estimated had a probability of 1-in-2 million.

Read the rest at Beyond the Box Score