SOEFA Sunday: Reliever Rankings Update (July 28, 2013)

Clip art illustration of a Cartoon Tiger with a Missing Tooth

You’ll recall earlier this year we introduced our very own reliever rankings called SOEFA, which you can read about in detail here. For a brief refresher, it combines strand rate, expected OBP against, ERA-, and FIP- into a deviation from league average. Zero is average, and will generally range between -2.5 to 2.5. This includes all pitchers who have thrown at least 20 IP in relief. Should you wish to know the SOEFA for any other reliever, or on a day that isn’t Sunday, hit us on Twitter or in the comments section.

Rank Player Team SOEFA
1 Alex Torres Rays 1.02
2 Neal Cotts Rangers 1.00
3 Drew Smyly Tigers 0.99
4 Sergio Romo Giants 0.86
5 Joaquin Benoit Tigers 0.84
6 Greg Holland Royals 0.84
7 Will Harris Diamondbacks 0.83
8 Kenley Jansen Dodgers 0.79
9 Mark Melancon Pirates 0.79
10 Javier Lopez Giants 0.79
11 Jesse Crain White Sox 0.78
12 Juan Perez Blue Jays 0.77
13 Casey Fien Twins 0.77
14 Jordan Walden Braves 0.74
15 Joe Thatcher Padres 0.73
16 Sam LeCure Reds 0.72
17 Koji Uehara Red Sox 0.72
18 Jason Grilli Pirates 0.71
19 Shawn Kelley Yankees 0.68
20 Preston Claiborne Yankees 0.67
21 Casey Janssen Blue Jays 0.67
22 Edward Mujica Cardinals 0.66
23 Craig Kimbrel Braves 0.65
24 Glen Perkins Twins 0.63
25 Sean Doolittle Athletics 0.62
26 Manny Parra Reds 0.59
27 Paco Rodriguez Dodgers 0.57
28 Brandon Kintzler Brewers 0.55
29 Oliver Perez Mariners 0.55
30 Robbie Ross Rangers 0.55
31 Seth Maness Cardinals 0.55
32 Trevor Rosenthal Cardinals 0.54
33 Andrew Bailey Red Sox 0.52
34 David Aardsma Mets 0.52
35 Chad Qualls Marlins 0.51
36 Edgmer Escalona Rockies 0.51
37 Matt Belisle Rockies 0.50
38 Brian Matusz Orioles 0.49
39 Brett Cecil Blue Jays 0.49
40 Joel Peralta Rays 0.49
41 Fernando Abad Nationals 0.49
42 Antonio Bastardo Phillies 0.48
43 Ryan Cook Athletics 0.48
44 Andrew Miller Red Sox 0.48
45 Boone Logan Yankees 0.48
46 Luke Hochevar Royals 0.47
47 Darren O’Day Orioles 0.47
48 Tommy Hunter Orioles 0.46
49 Aroldis Chapman Reds 0.45
50 Bobby Parnell Mets 0.45
51 Ross Ohlendorf Nationals 0.44
52 Junichi Tazawa Red Sox 0.44
53 Josh Collmenter Diamondbacks 0.43
54 Tyler Clippard Nationals 0.43
55 Jim Henderson Brewers 0.42
56 Matt Reynolds Diamondbacks 0.42
57 Jonathan Papelbon Phillies 0.42
58 Dale Thayer Padres 0.42
59 Chad Gaudin Giants 0.41
60 Sandy Rosario Giants 0.40
61 Dan Jennings Marlins 0.40
62 Francisco Rodriguez – – – 0.40
63 Addison Reed White Sox 0.39
64 J.P. Howell Dodgers 0.39
65 Brad Ziegler Diamondbacks 0.38
66 Luis Avilan Braves 0.36
67 Jason Frasor Rangers 0.36
68 Vin Mazzaro Pirates 0.36
69 David Carpenter Braves 0.34
70 Tom Gorzelanny Brewers 0.34
71 Jeanmar Gomez Pirates 0.34
72 Kevin Gregg Cubs 0.33
73 Cody Allen Indians 0.33
74 Santiago Casilla Giants 0.32
75 Randy Choate Cardinals 0.32
76 Steve Cishek Marlins 0.30
77 Tanner Scheppers Rangers 0.30
78 Ernesto Frieri Angels 0.30
79 Alfredo Simon Reds 0.30
80 Scott Downs Angels 0.28
81 James Russell Cubs 0.28
82 Pat Neshek Athletics 0.27
83 Michael Kohn Angels 0.27
84 Jean Machi Giants 0.27
85 Josh Outman Rockies 0.26
86 Rafael Betancourt Rockies 0.26
87 Aaron Loup Blue Jays 0.26
88 Tony Watson Pirates 0.25
89 Alfredo Figaro Brewers 0.25
90 Jerome Williams Angels 0.25
91 Jared Burton Twins 0.24
92 Jose Veras Astros 0.24
93 Steve Delabar Blue Jays 0.23
94 Anthony Swarzak Twins 0.23
95 Nate Jones White Sox 0.23
96 Jim Johnson Orioles 0.23
97 Jose Mijares Giants 0.23
98 Fernando Rodney Rays 0.21
99 Craig Breslow Red Sox 0.21
100 Luke Gregerson Padres 0.21
101 Justin Wilson Pirates 0.20
102 David Robertson Yankees 0.20
103 Rex Brothers Rockies 0.19
104 Rafael Soriano Nationals 0.18
105 Caleb Thielbar Twins 0.17
106 Ross Wolf Rangers 0.16
107 J.J. Hoover Reds 0.16
108 Jamey Wright Rays 0.15
109 Mariano Rivera Yankees 0.14
110 Dane de la Rosa Angels 0.14
111 Logan Ondrusek Reds 0.14
112 Charlie Furbush Mariners 0.13
113 Jesse Chavez Athletics 0.13
114 Heath Bell Diamondbacks 0.12
115 Kevin Jepsen Angels 0.11
116 Bryan Morris Pirates 0.11
117 A.J. Ramos Marlins 0.11
118 Joe Nathan Rangers 0.09
119 John Axford Brewers 0.09
120 Anthony Varvaro Braves 0.08
121 Burke Badenhop Brewers 0.07
122 Tim Collins Royals 0.07
123 Chris Perez Indians 0.06
124 Joe Kelly Cardinals 0.06
125 Aaron Crow Royals 0.05
126 Tyson Ross Padres 0.04
127 LaTroy Hawkins Mets 0.04
128 Mike Dunn Marlins 0.04
129 Cesar Ramos Rays 0.02
130 Yoervis Medina Mariners 0.01
131 Matt Lindstrom White Sox 0.01
132 Ryan Pressly Twins 0.00
133 Matt Thornton – – – -0.01
134 Joe Smith Indians -0.01
135 Adam Ottavino Rockies -0.02
136 Bryan Shaw Indians -0.04
137 Manuel Corpas Rockies -0.04
138 Joe Ortiz Rangers -0.04
139 Michael Bowden Cubs -0.05
140 Carter Capps Mariners -0.05
141 Wilton Lopez Rockies -0.05
142 Jake McGee Rays -0.07
143 Craig Stammen Nationals -0.08
144 Brad Brach Padres -0.09
145 Greg Burke Mets -0.09
146 Darren Oliver Blue Jays -0.09
147 Scott Rice Mets -0.09
148 Ryan Webb Marlins -0.09
149 Josh Edgin Mets -0.09
150 Tony Sipp Diamondbacks -0.10
151 Matt Guerrier – – – -0.11
152 Troy Patton Orioles -0.11
153 Darin Downs Tigers -0.11
154 Joba Chamberlain Yankees -0.12
155 Brian Duensing Twins -0.12
156 J.J. Putz Diamondbacks -0.12
157 Tim Stauffer Padres -0.13
158 Blake Parker Cubs -0.14
159 Brad Lincoln Blue Jays -0.15
160 Luke Putkonen Tigers -0.17
161 Tom Wilhelmsen Mariners -0.17
162 Josh Roenicke Twins -0.19
163 Cory Gearrin Braves -0.19
164 Rich Hill Indians -0.20
165 Nick Hagadone Indians -0.21
166 Jerry Blevins Athletics -0.22
167 Wesley Wright Astros -0.23
168 David Hernandez Diamondbacks -0.23
169 Ronald Belisario Dodgers -0.25
170 Jonathan Broxton Reds -0.26
171 Blake Beavan Mariners -0.27
172 Phil Coke Tigers -0.28
173 Michael Gonzalez Brewers -0.28
174 Vinnie Pestano Indians -0.28
175 Danny Farquhar Mariners -0.29
176 Garrett Richards Angels -0.30
177 Jose Cisnero Astros -0.32
178 Pedro Strop – – – -0.34
179 George Kontos Giants -0.35
180 Drew Storen Nationals -0.36
181 T.J. McFarland Orioles -0.36
182 Grant Balfour Athletics -0.36
183 Paul Clemens Astros -0.37
184 Kyle Farnsworth Rays -0.37
185 Matt Albers Indians -0.39
186 Mike Adams Phillies -0.40
187 Huston Street Padres -0.40
188 Kelvin Herrera Royals -0.40
189 Clayton Mortensen Red Sox -0.41
190 Travis Blackley Astros -0.42
191 Scott Atchison Mets -0.43
192 Alex Wilson Red Sox -0.44
193 Al Alburquerque Tigers -0.47
194 Brandon Lyon Mets -0.48
195 Esmil Rogers Blue Jays -0.49
196 Justin De Fratus Phillies -0.52
197 Bruce Chen Royals -0.54
198 Jeremy Horst Phillies -0.59
199 Raul Valdes Phillies -0.62
200 Hector Ambriz Astros -0.62
201 Jeremy Affeldt Giants -0.64
202 Adam Warren Yankees -0.67
203 Henry Rodriguez – – – -0.70
204 Michael Kirkman Rangers -0.73
205 Carlos Marmol – – – -0.86
206 Anthony Bass Padres -0.91
207 Shawn Camp Cubs -1.02
208 Hector Rondon Cubs -1.05
209 Brandon League Dodgers -1.12
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6 responses

  1. Perfect visual description of the Tigers’ bullpen – Smyly and Benoit Top 5, no one else in the Top 150. Little wonder Leyland sounds crabby when speaking about his bullpen.

  2. 1. Reinforces what other metrics indicate about Papelbon: http://aldland.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/bay-of-cigs-forget-what-you-know/.

    2. Why do you think Kimbrel doesn’t rank higher?

    3. Not that they’d trade him to a division rival, but do you agree the Tigers should pursue Crain, as some have suggested?

    1. Papelbon has tremendous numbers in his career, but in his current form his isn’t enough of an upgrade given the cost. Crain would be a good addition if not for the injury. I woulnd’t risk much because he isn’t going to pitch for at least another week and it’s unclear when he’ll be back. The Tigers just got Veras, so that’s probably it.

      As for Kimbrel, he has only inherited 1 baserunner (whom he allowed to score). This metric does not penalize Kimbrel for that, but it also doesn’t give him credit for stranding runners. He ranks very well in the other components of the metric, but is given a league average score in in Strand Rate. Kimbrel simply isn’t used with runners already on base. If he were to have inherited more than 5 runners and stranded more thna 85% of them, he would be right near the top.

      1. That makes sense re: Kimbrel. I’m still relatively new to advanced metrics, to say nothing of SOEFA, and the calculations behind them. Are you concerned that SOEFA may undervalue guys like Kimbrel, who are only ever going to come in at the beginning of an inning? Do you think there’s a way to build in an element that rewards guys who a) are extremely unlikely to inherit any runners due to the manner in which they are used and b) also do not usually allow runners to reach in the first place?

    2. First of all, if you haven’t seen it, this is the full explanation of SOEFA and how I calculate it. https://newenglishd.com/2013/06/26/a-new-way-to-measure-relief-pitchers-soefa/

      That will probably answer any questions but here’s the jist. SOEFA combines three aspects of a reliever’s job:

      Stranding runners
      Not allowing runners
      Not giving up runs.

      Those are pretty basic functions of the reliever and I’m trying to create a stat that combines some context specific info (when they are used, how well they handle big spots) with some context neutral info (how often they K guys, not just when).

      For each of those three qualities, I give each pitcher a score based on how much better or worse they are from league average. Therefore, a pitcher with a great strand rate gets positive credit and one with a bad strand rate gets negative credit. If you are league average OR if you don’t get any opportunities you simply get a 0. So Kimbrel doesn’t strand runners because he doesn’t inherit them. Until he shows that he can do that, I consider him average at that part of the stat.

      I use Expected OBP (my own creation) for the not allowing runners part. This is simply how often the allow runners to reach base, with a little statistical correction that assumes some pitches get lucky on balls put in play and some get unlucky. Then I score it the same way as strand rate by comparing to league average.

      For not giving up runs, I take their average ERA and FIP (fielding independent pitching) and do the same process.

      Basically, this stat is a comparison from league average. Kimbrel does very well in the runners and runs allowed part but doesn’t get credit in the stranding runners part. He still scores well, but he doesn’t score at the very top. My goal with this stat was to create a way to measure relievers that partly measures their underlying skill and partly measures how well they pitch in certain situations. The way I would tell you to read the Kimbrel ranking is that he’s a great reliever but would be better utilized if they allowed him to come into games with men on base because he is probably going to succeed at putting out those fires.

      Don’t take it as gospel, it’s just another way of looking at relievers, who I think are pretty hard to measure a lot of the time.

      If you haven’t seen it already, we have a page explaining a lot of advanced stats. Might be helpful as you learn more about them. https://newenglishd.com/stat-primer/

  3. […] and there aren’t any red flags involved. By New English D’s own reliever metric, SOEFA, Veras comes in at 0.24, which is an above average […]

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