metafrantic (metafrantic) wrote in baseballblog,

Historic doesn't mean good...

Case in point, Francisco Rodriguez's "historic" 2008 season. K-Rod notched 62 Saves, easily breaking the previous record of 57. Now some people are saying that Rodriguez deserves the AL MVP (but not the Cy Young?).

Even ignoring all the starting pitchers and hitters, Francisco Rodriguez wasn't even CLOSE to being the most dominant relief pitcher in the AL, let alone the majors.

I picked 10 relief pitchers (7 AL, 3 NL), 8 of whom were their team's closer. All 10 had between 58 1/3 and 70 2/3 IP, right around the norm for late-inning relievers. The pitchers are:

Francisco Rodríguez, LAA
Joakim Soria, KC
Jonathan Papelbon, BOS
Brad Lidge, PHI
Mariano Rivera, NYY
Joe Nathan, MIN
Kerry Wood, CHC
Brian Fuentes, COL
Brad Ziegler, OAK
Grant Balfour, TB

There were others I could have included, but this is just a sample. Out of these 10 pitchers, here's how K-Rod ranks in some categories that are actually significant:

ERA - 10th
WHIP - 10th
BAA - 7th
H/9 - 8th
BB/9 - 9th
K/9 - 5th
K/BB - 9th
IP/APP - 10th

That's right: Rodriguez was dead last in ERA and WHIP, and had the shortest average appearance.

And remember, that's ONLY against 9 other guys. Here's K-Rod's rankings in those same categories amongst ALL pitchers with 40 IP or more:

ERA - 20th
WHIP - 122nd
BAA - 44th (T)
H/9 - 45th
BB/9 - 308th
K/9 - 24th
K/BB - 136th

Rodriguez had a VORP of 21.9. That places him 94th amongst pitchers, and 23rd among relievers. Not exactly the stuff history is made of, is it?
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