Tag Archives: best relievers

SOEFA Sunday: Reliever Rankings Update (August 18, 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 inherited runner strand rate, expected OBP against, ERA-, and FIP- into a deviation from league average. This is a measure of performance, not necessarily ability, and seeks to provide a single number to judge relievers that balances context neutral and context dependent numbers. Certain pitchers, such as Craig Kimbrel, cannot be credited for stranding runners because they are never put into those situations. They are not penalized either, however. Zero is average, and will generally range between -2.5 to 2.5 with -1 to 1 being most common. This includes all pitchers who have thrown at least 20 IP in relief as of this morning, so the average score on this list is closer to 0.11. 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 Kenley Jansen Dodgers 0.94
2 Neal Cotts Rangers 0.93
3 Greg Holland Royals 0.92
4 Drew Smyly Tigers 0.92
5 Chris Withrow Dodgers 0.90
6 Carlos Torres Mets 0.87
7 Nick Vincent Padres 0.86
8 Joaquin Benoit Tigers 0.81
9 Mark Melancon Pirates 0.80
10 Jesse Crain White Sox 0.78
11 Koji Uehara Red Sox 0.77
12 Alex Torres Rays 0.74
13 Craig Kimbrel Braves 0.72
14 Kevin Siegrist Cardinals 0.72
15 Jason Grilli Pirates 0.71
16 Jim Henderson Brewers 0.70
17 Edward Mujica Cardinals 0.68
18 Javier Lopez Giants 0.68
19 Shawn Kelley Yankees 0.67
20 Sergio Romo Giants 0.66
21 Sam LeCure Reds 0.65
22 Sean Doolittle Athletics 0.63
23 Jordan Walden Braves 0.63
24 Manny Parra Reds 0.62
25 Brandon Kintzler Brewers 0.62
26 Jose Veras – – – 0.59
27 Matt Belisle Rockies 0.58
28 Paco Rodriguez Dodgers 0.57
29 Glen Perkins Twins 0.57
30 Casey Fien Twins 0.55
31 Randy Choate Cardinals 0.54
32 Casey Janssen Blue Jays 0.54
33 Andrew Bailey Red Sox 0.52
34 Preston Claiborne Yankees 0.52
35 Luke Hochevar Royals 0.51
36 Joe Thatcher – – – 0.51
37 Dan Otero Athletics 0.51
38 Brian Matusz Orioles 0.51
39 Trevor Rosenthal Cardinals 0.50
40 Caleb Thielbar Twins 0.50
41 Juan Perez Blue Jays 0.50
42 Antonio Bastardo Phillies 0.49
43 Seth Maness Cardinals 0.49
44 J.P. Howell Dodgers 0.47
45 Andrew Miller Red Sox 0.47
46 David Carpenter Braves 0.46
47 Ryan Cook Athletics 0.46
48 David Robertson Yankees 0.45
49 Junichi Tazawa Red Sox 0.45
50 Tommy Hunter Orioles 0.45
51 Scott Downs – – – 0.45
52 Bobby Parnell Mets 0.44
53 Brad Ziegler Diamondbacks 0.44
54 Joel Peralta Rays 0.44
55 Josh Collmenter Diamondbacks 0.43
56 Neil Wagner Blue Jays 0.43
57 Robbie Ross Rangers 0.42
58 Matt Reynolds Diamondbacks 0.42
59 Darren O’Day Orioles 0.42
60 Brett Cecil Blue Jays 0.40
61 Luis Avilan Braves 0.40
62 Chad Gaudin Giants 0.40
63 Aroldis Chapman Reds 0.39
64 Will Harris Diamondbacks 0.39
65 Addison Reed White Sox 0.39
66 Dale Thayer Padres 0.39
67 Jason Frasor Rangers 0.39
68 Jared Burton Twins 0.37
69 Vin Mazzaro Pirates 0.37
70 Josh Outman Rockies 0.36
71 J.J. Hoover Reds 0.35
72 Boone Logan Yankees 0.34
73 Jonathan Papelbon Phillies 0.34
74 Tom Gorzelanny Brewers 0.34
75 Tanner Scheppers Rangers 0.32
76 Chad Qualls Marlins 0.32
77 Francisco Rodriguez – – – 0.31
78 Craig Breslow Red Sox 0.31
79 Rafael Betancourt Rockies 0.31
80 Tyler Clippard Nationals 0.30
81 Alfredo Figaro Brewers 0.30
82 Steve Cishek Marlins 0.30
83 Cody Allen Indians 0.30
84 Heath Bell Diamondbacks 0.29
85 Steve Delabar Blue Jays 0.28
86 Alfredo Simon Reds 0.28
87 Kevin Gregg Cubs 0.27
88 Tony Watson Pirates 0.27
89 James Russell Cubs 0.25
90 Jerome Williams Angels 0.24
91 Nate Jones White Sox 0.22
92 Tim Collins Royals 0.22
93 Anthony Varvaro Braves 0.21
94 Jamey Wright Rays 0.20
95 Joe Smith Indians 0.17
96 Santiago Casilla Giants 0.17
97 Ernesto Frieri Angels 0.16
98 Aaron Loup Blue Jays 0.16
99 Fernando Abad Nationals 0.16
100 J.C. Gutierrez – – – 0.16
101 Jake Diekman Phillies 0.15
102 Matt Thornton – – – 0.15
103 Danny Farquhar Mariners 0.14
104 Jim Johnson Orioles 0.14
105 Jean Machi Giants 0.13
106 Craig Stammen Nationals 0.12
107 Charlie Furbush Mariners 0.12
108 Justin Wilson Pirates 0.12
109 Ross Wolf Rangers 0.11
110 Rex Brothers Rockies 0.11
111 Jeanmar Gomez Pirates 0.11
112 Luke Gregerson Padres 0.10
113 Mike Dunn Marlins 0.10
114 Sandy Rosario Giants 0.10
115 Pat Neshek Athletics 0.09
116 Anthony Swarzak Twins 0.09
117 Wilton Lopez Rockies 0.09
118 Yoervis Medina Mariners 0.08
119 Brad Lincoln Blue Jays 0.08
120 Jesse Chavez Athletics 0.08
121 Bruce Rondon Tigers 0.07
122 Aaron Crow Royals 0.07
123 Kevin Jepsen Angels 0.07
124 Bryan Shaw Indians 0.06
125 LaTroy Hawkins Mets 0.06
126 Fernando Rodney Rays 0.06
127 Luis Ayala – – – 0.06
128 Joe Kelly Cardinals 0.06
129 Dan Jennings Marlins 0.05
130 Scott Rice Mets 0.05
131 Oliver Perez Mariners 0.05
132 Cesar Ramos Rays 0.05
133 Burke Badenhop Brewers 0.04
134 Tyson Ross Padres 0.04
135 Darren Oliver Blue Jays 0.04
136 Rafael Soriano Nationals 0.04
137 Joe Nathan Rangers 0.04
138 Jared Hughes Pirates 0.03
139 Edgmer Escalona Rockies 0.03
140 Brian Duensing Twins 0.02
141 Ryan Webb Marlins 0.02
142 Jose Mijares Giants 0.01
143 Troy Patton Orioles 0.01
144 Matt Guerrier – – – 0.00
145 Carter Capps Mariners 0.00
146 Dane de la Rosa Angels 0.00
147 Josh Edgin Mets -0.01
148 Kelvin Herrera Royals -0.01
149 Ryan Pressly Twins -0.02
150 Jerry Blevins Athletics -0.02
151 Adam Ottavino Rockies -0.02
152 Chris Perez Indians -0.03
153 Blake Parker Cubs -0.04
154 Michael Kohn Angels -0.04
155 Joe Ortiz Rangers -0.04
156 J.J. Putz Diamondbacks -0.05
157 Mariano Rivera Yankees -0.05
158 Josh Roenicke Twins -0.05
159 Matt Lindstrom White Sox -0.05
160 Ronald Belisario Dodgers -0.06
161 David Aardsma Mets -0.07
162 Phil Coke Tigers -0.08
163 Bryan Morris Pirates -0.09
164 Greg Burke Mets -0.09
165 Brad Brach Padres -0.10
166 Tony Sipp Diamondbacks -0.10
167 Darin Downs Tigers -0.12
168 Logan Ondrusek Reds -0.12
169 Jake McGee Rays -0.13
170 Rich Hill Indians -0.14
171 Ross Ohlendorf Nationals -0.14
172 Wesley Wright – – – -0.16
173 Luke Putkonen Tigers -0.17
174 Huston Street Padres -0.18
175 Tim Stauffer Padres -0.18
176 Ramon Troncoso White Sox -0.19
177 Cory Gearrin Braves -0.19
178 Nick Hagadone Indians -0.21
179 A.J. Ramos Marlins -0.23
180 Raul Valdes Phillies -0.23
181 Manuel Corpas Rockies -0.25
182 Jonathan Broxton Reds -0.25
183 Drew Storen Nationals -0.26
184 Matt Albers Indians -0.27
185 Vinnie Pestano Indians -0.27
186 Blake Beavan Mariners -0.28
187 Joba Chamberlain Yankees -0.29
188 Al Alburquerque Tigers -0.29
189 Tom Wilhelmsen Mariners -0.30
190 Garrett Richards Angels -0.30
191 Justin De Fratus Phillies -0.31
192 Scott Atchison Mets -0.31
193 John Axford Brewers -0.32
194 Fernando Salas Cardinals -0.33
195 Pedro Strop – – – -0.34
196 Grant Balfour Athletics -0.34
197 David Hernandez Diamondbacks -0.35
198 Paul Clemens Astros -0.36
199 George Kontos Giants -0.36
200 Michael Gonzalez Brewers -0.37
201 Michael Bowden Cubs -0.37
202 Kyle Farnsworth Rays -0.39
203 Mike Adams Phillies -0.40
204 T.J. McFarland Orioles -0.41
205 Clayton Mortensen Red Sox -0.41
206 Travis Blackley Astros -0.44
207 Ian Krol Nationals -0.44
208 Alex Wilson Red Sox -0.45
209 Josh Fields Astros -0.46
210 Dallas Keuchel Astros -0.48
211 Brandon Lyon Mets -0.49
212 Esmil Rogers Blue Jays -0.50
213 Ryan Mattheus Nationals -0.51
214 Bruce Chen Royals -0.54
215 Adam Warren Yankees -0.55
216 Jose Cisnero Astros -0.57
217 Jeremy Horst Phillies -0.60
218 Hector Ambriz Astros -0.62
219 Jeremy Affeldt Giants -0.65
220 Carlos Marmol – – – -0.66
221 Lucas Luetge Mariners -0.71
222 Henry Rodriguez – – – -0.71
223 Michael Kirkman Rangers -0.73
224 Hector Rondon Cubs -0.78
225 Brandon League Dodgers -0.84
226 Anthony Bass Padres -0.91
227 Shawn Camp Cubs -1.05

SOEFA Sunday: Reliever Rankings Update (August 11, 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 inherited runner strand rate, expected OBP against, ERA-, and FIP- into a deviation from league average. This is a measure of performance, not necessarily ability, and seeks to provide a single number to judge relievers that balances context neutral and context dependent numbers. Certain pitchers, such as Craig Kimbrel, cannot be credited for stranding runners because they are never put into those situations. They are not penalized either, however. Zero is average, and will generally range between -2.5 to 2.5 with -1 to 1 being most common. This includes all pitchers who have thrown at least 20 IP in relief as of this morning, so the average score on this list is closer to 0.11. 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 Carlos Torres Mets 1.14
2 Neal Cotts Rangers 0.99
3 Drew Smyly Tigers 0.97
4 Alex Torres Rays 0.95
5 Greg Holland Royals 0.91
6 Kenley Jansen Dodgers 0.90
7 Joaquin Benoit Tigers 0.82
8 Mark Melancon Pirates 0.81
9 Nick Vincent Padres 0.79
10 Casey Fien Twins 0.78
11 Jesse Crain White Sox 0.78
12 Koji Uehara Red Sox 0.76
13 Jordan Walden Braves 0.72
14 Craig Kimbrel Braves 0.71
15 Jose Veras – – – 0.71
16 Kevin Siegrist Cardinals 0.71
17 Jason Grilli Pirates 0.71
18 Edward Mujica Cardinals 0.68
19 Joe Thatcher – – – 0.67
20 Sean Doolittle Athletics 0.67
21 Casey Janssen Blue Jays 0.66
22 David Robertson Yankees 0.65
23 Javier Lopez Giants 0.64
24 Will Harris Diamondbacks 0.64
25 Sergio Romo Giants 0.63
26 Shawn Kelley Yankees 0.62
27 Glen Perkins Twins 0.59
28 Sam LeCure Reds 0.58
29 Jim Henderson Brewers 0.56
30 Brandon Kintzler Brewers 0.56
31 Manny Parra Reds 0.54
32 Brian Matusz Orioles 0.54
33 Dan Otero Athletics 0.52
34 Andrew Bailey Red Sox 0.52
35 Matt Belisle Rockies 0.52
36 Luke Hochevar Royals 0.51
37 Darren O’Day Orioles 0.51
38 Juan Perez Blue Jays 0.51
39 Trevor Rosenthal Cardinals 0.50
40 Boone Logan Yankees 0.50
41 Paco Rodriguez Dodgers 0.49
42 Preston Claiborne Yankees 0.49
43 Antonio Bastardo Phillies 0.49
44 Seth Maness Cardinals 0.49
45 Junichi Tazawa Red Sox 0.48
46 Tommy Hunter Orioles 0.48
47 Brett Cecil Blue Jays 0.47
48 David Carpenter Braves 0.47
49 Andrew Miller Red Sox 0.47
50 Ryan Cook Athletics 0.45
51 Brad Ziegler Diamondbacks 0.44
52 Bobby Parnell Mets 0.44
53 Joel Peralta Rays 0.44
54 J.P. Howell Dodgers 0.44
55 Matt Reynolds Diamondbacks 0.42
56 Scott Downs – – – 0.41
57 Chad Gaudin Giants 0.41
58 Robbie Ross Rangers 0.41
59 Randy Choate Cardinals 0.40
60 Caleb Thielbar Twins 0.39
61 Luis Avilan Braves 0.38
62 Jason Frasor Rangers 0.38
63 Aroldis Chapman Reds 0.36
64 Vin Mazzaro Pirates 0.36
65 Addison Reed White Sox 0.36
66 Dale Thayer Padres 0.35
67 Josh Collmenter Diamondbacks 0.35
68 Jonathan Papelbon Phillies 0.34
69 Tom Gorzelanny Brewers 0.34
70 Sandy Rosario Giants 0.34
71 Josh Outman Rockies 0.32
72 Oliver Perez Mariners 0.32
73 Tanner Scheppers Rangers 0.32
74 Fernando Abad Nationals 0.32
75 Jared Burton Twins 0.31
76 Nate Jones White Sox 0.31
77 Chad Qualls Marlins 0.31
78 Dan Jennings Marlins 0.30
79 Alfredo Figaro Brewers 0.30
80 Francisco Rodriguez – – – 0.30
81 J.C. Gutierrez – – – 0.30
82 Tyler Clippard Nationals 0.29
83 Alfredo Simon Reds 0.29
84 Steve Delabar Blue Jays 0.28
85 Steve Cishek Marlins 0.27
86 Heath Bell Diamondbacks 0.27
87 Tony Watson Pirates 0.26
88 Rafael Betancourt Rockies 0.25
89 Santiago Casilla Giants 0.25
90 Jerome Williams Angels 0.25
91 J.J. Hoover Reds 0.24
92 Rafael Soriano Nationals 0.24
93 Kevin Gregg Cubs 0.24
94 Neil Wagner Blue Jays 0.24
95 Craig Breslow Red Sox 0.23
96 Cody Allen Indians 0.22
97 Jim Johnson Orioles 0.21
98 Jose Mijares Giants 0.20
99 Tim Collins Royals 0.20
100 Luke Gregerson Padres 0.19
101 James Russell Cubs 0.19
102 Aaron Loup Blue Jays 0.18
103 Pat Neshek Athletics 0.16
104 Aaron Crow Royals 0.15
105 Matt Thornton – – – 0.15
106 Jamey Wright Rays 0.15
107 Michael Kohn Angels 0.15
108 Danny Farquhar Mariners 0.15
109 David Aardsma Mets 0.14
110 Jean Machi Giants 0.14
111 Rex Brothers Rockies 0.13
112 Kevin Jepsen Angels 0.12
113 Jeanmar Gomez Pirates 0.12
114 Anthony Varvaro Braves 0.12
115 Mike Dunn Marlins 0.12
116 Bryan Morris Pirates 0.11
117 LaTroy Hawkins Mets 0.11
118 Darren Oliver Blue Jays 0.10
119 Justin Wilson Pirates 0.10
120 Ross Wolf Rangers 0.10
121 Charlie Furbush Mariners 0.10
122 Yoervis Medina Mariners 0.08
123 Anthony Swarzak Twins 0.08
124 Joe Smith Indians 0.08
125 Mariano Rivera Yankees 0.07
126 Ernesto Frieri Angels 0.06
127 Adam Ottavino Rockies 0.06
128 Joe Kelly Cardinals 0.06
129 Wilton Lopez Rockies 0.05
130 Craig Stammen Nationals 0.04
131 Tyson Ross Padres 0.04
132 J.J. Putz Diamondbacks 0.04
133 Burke Badenhop Brewers 0.04
134 Bryan Shaw Indians 0.04
135 A.J. Ramos Marlins 0.04
136 Jesse Chavez Athletics 0.04
137 Carter Capps Mariners 0.02
138 Fernando Rodney Rays 0.02
139 Joe Nathan Rangers 0.01
140 Dane de la Rosa Angels 0.01
141 Matt Guerrier – – – 0.00
142 Scott Rice Mets 0.00
143 Cesar Ramos Rays 0.00
144 Ryan Webb Marlins 0.00
145 Josh Edgin Mets -0.01
146 Jared Hughes Pirates -0.02
147 Ryan Pressly Twins -0.03
148 Joe Ortiz Rangers -0.04
149 Brian Duensing Twins -0.06
150 Troy Patton Orioles -0.06
151 Edgmer Escalona Rockies -0.06
152 Blake Parker Cubs -0.06
153 Matt Lindstrom White Sox -0.06
154 Chris Perez Indians -0.07
155 Jerry Blevins Athletics -0.07
156 Rich Hill Indians -0.08
157 Greg Burke Mets -0.09
158 Jake Diekman Phillies -0.09
159 Brad Lincoln Blue Jays -0.09
160 Brad Brach Padres -0.10
161 Tony Sipp Diamondbacks -0.10
162 Darin Downs Tigers -0.11
163 Josh Roenicke Twins -0.12
164 Logan Ondrusek Reds -0.13
165 Ross Ohlendorf Nationals -0.14
166 Phil Coke Tigers -0.15
167 Luke Putkonen Tigers -0.17
168 Tim Stauffer Padres -0.18
169 Jake McGee Rays -0.18
170 Wesley Wright Astros -0.19
171 Cory Gearrin Braves -0.19
172 Ronald Belisario Dodgers -0.20
173 Nick Hagadone Indians -0.21
174 Jonathan Broxton Reds -0.21
175 Ian Krol Nationals -0.21
176 Ramon Troncoso White Sox -0.21
177 Huston Street Padres -0.22
178 Manuel Corpas Rockies -0.24
179 Ryan Mattheus Nationals -0.25
180 Kelvin Herrera Royals -0.25
181 Vinnie Pestano Indians -0.26
182 Blake Beavan Mariners -0.27
183 Grant Balfour Athletics -0.27
184 Tom Wilhelmsen Mariners -0.29
185 Michael Gonzalez Brewers -0.29
186 John Axford Brewers -0.30
187 Raul Valdes Phillies -0.30
188 Garrett Richards Angels -0.30
189 Fernando Salas Cardinals -0.33
190 Scott Atchison Mets -0.34
191 T.J. McFarland Orioles -0.35
192 David Hernandez Diamondbacks -0.35
193 Pedro Strop – – – -0.36
194 Drew Storen Nationals -0.36
195 Paul Clemens Astros -0.36
196 George Kontos Giants -0.36
197 Michael Bowden Cubs -0.37
198 Kyle Farnsworth Rays -0.38
199 Matt Albers Indians -0.38
200 Joba Chamberlain Yankees -0.38
201 Al Alburquerque Tigers -0.39
202 Mike Adams Phillies -0.40
203 Clayton Mortensen Red Sox -0.41
204 Justin De Fratus Phillies -0.43
205 Travis Blackley Astros -0.44
206 Alex Wilson Red Sox -0.45
207 Dallas Keuchel Astros -0.48
208 Brandon Lyon Mets -0.49
209 Esmil Rogers Blue Jays -0.49
210 Bruce Chen Royals -0.54
211 Jose Cisnero Astros -0.57
212 Jeremy Horst Phillies -0.60
213 Hector Ambriz Astros -0.62
214 Jeremy Affeldt Giants -0.65
215 Josh Fields Astros -0.66
216 Lucas Luetge Mariners -0.66
217 Adam Warren Yankees -0.68
218 Henry Rodriguez – – – -0.71
219 Michael Kirkman Rangers -0.73
220 Carlos Marmol – – – -0.81
221 Hector Rondon Cubs -0.82
222 Brandon League Dodgers -0.88
223 Anthony Bass Padres -0.91
224 Shawn Camp Cubs -1.04

SOEFA Sunday: Reliever Rankings Update (July 21, 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
2 Joaquin Benoit Tigers 0.99
3 Neal Cotts Rangers 0.97
4 Drew Smyly Tigers 0.96
5 Mark Melancon Pirates 0.89
6 Sergio Romo Giants 0.88
7 Greg Holland Royals 0.88
8 Will Harris Diamondbacks 0.86
9 Kenley Jansen Dodgers 0.81
10 Jason Grilli Pirates 0.8
11 Glen Perkins Twins 0.8
12 Jesse Crain White Sox 0.78
13 Javier Lopez Giants 0.77
14 Casey Fien Twins 0.72
15 Jordan Walden Braves 0.7
16 Sam LeCure Reds 0.69
17 Trevor Rosenthal Cardinals 0.68
18 Koji Uehara Red Sox 0.68
19 Joe Thatcher Padres 0.67
20 Craig Kimbrel Braves 0.66
21 Preston Claiborne Yankees 0.66
22 Shawn Kelley Yankees 0.63
23 Edward Mujica Cardinals 0.62
24 Casey Janssen Blue Jays 0.62
25 Brett Cecil Blue Jays 0.61
26 Oliver Perez Mariners 0.61
27 Sean Doolittle Athletics 0.58
28 David Robertson Yankees 0.58
29 Manny Parra Reds 0.56
30 Francisco Rodriguez Brewers 0.55
31 Junichi Tazawa Red Sox 0.54
32 Boone Logan Yankees 0.54
33 Seth Maness Cardinals 0.54
34 Ernesto Frieri Angels 0.54
35 Paco Rodriguez Dodgers 0.53
36 Andrew Bailey Red Sox 0.52
37 Dale Thayer Padres 0.51
38 Brandon Kintzler Brewers 0.51
39 Robbie Ross Rangers 0.5
40 Sandy Rosario Giants 0.5
41 Joel Peralta Rays 0.49
42 Matt Belisle Rockies 0.48
43 Edgmer Escalona Rockies 0.48
44 Brian Matusz Orioles 0.48
45 Andrew Miller Red Sox 0.48
46 Jason Frasor Rangers 0.46
47 Tommy Hunter Orioles 0.45
48 Grant Balfour Athletics 0.45
49 Aroldis Chapman Reds 0.45
50 Darren O’Day Orioles 0.45
51 Luis Avilan Braves 0.44
52 Josh Collmenter Diamondbacks 0.43
53 Scott Downs Angels 0.43
54 Bobby Parnell Mets 0.43
55 Luke Hochevar Royals 0.43
56 Vin Mazzaro Pirates 0.43
57 Kevin Gregg Cubs 0.42
58 Matt Reynolds Diamondbacks 0.42
59 Chad Gaudin Giants 0.41
60 Chad Qualls Marlins 0.41
61 Randy Choate Cardinals 0.41
62 Jonathan Papelbon Phillies 0.41
63 J.P. Howell Dodgers 0.39
64 David Carpenter Braves 0.39
65 Antonio Bastardo Phillies 0.39
66 Tanner Scheppers Rangers 0.38
67 Luke Gregerson Padres 0.38
68 Addison Reed White Sox 0.37
69 Tyler Clippard Nationals 0.36
70 Tom Gorzelanny Brewers 0.35
71 Steve Cishek Marlins 0.35
72 Brad Ziegler Diamondbacks 0.34
73 Cody Allen Indians 0.34
74 James Russell Cubs 0.33
75 Ryan Cook Athletics 0.33
76 Rafael Soriano Nationals 0.32
77 Jim Henderson Brewers 0.32
78 Steve Delabar Blue Jays 0.31
79 Jose Mijares Giants 0.3
80 Craig Breslow Red Sox 0.27
81 Michael Kohn Angels 0.27
82 Pat Neshek Athletics 0.26
83 Rafael Betancourt Rockies 0.26
84 Alfredo Simon Reds 0.25
85 Jean Machi Giants 0.25
86 Jerome Williams Angels 0.25
87 Tony Watson Pirates 0.25
88 Fernando Rodney Rays 0.24
89 Josh Outman Rockies 0.24
90 Rex Brothers Rockies 0.23
91 Nate Jones White Sox 0.23
92 Justin Wilson Pirates 0.22
93 Jamey Wright Rays 0.21
94 Jim Johnson Orioles 0.21
95 Jose Veras Astros 0.2
96 Yoervis Medina Mariners 0.19
97 Charlie Furbush Mariners 0.18
98 Santiago Casilla Giants 0.18
99 Jesse Chavez Athletics 0.17
100 Anthony Swarzak Twins 0.16
101 Joe Nathan Rangers 0.15
102 Bryan Morris Pirates 0.13
103 Dane de la Rosa Angels 0.13
104 Alfredo Figaro Brewers 0.13
105 Aaron Loup Blue Jays 0.13
106 Mariano Rivera Yankees 0.11
107 Matt Lindstrom White Sox 0.1
108 Caleb Thielbar Twins 0.09
109 Darren Oliver Blue Jays 0.09
110 Jared Burton Twins 0.08
111 Anthony Varvaro Braves 0.07
112 John Axford Brewers 0.07
113 Joe Kelly Cardinals 0.07
114 Ross Wolf Rangers 0.06
115 Logan Ondrusek Reds 0.06
116 Tyson Ross Padres 0.05
117 LaTroy Hawkins Mets 0.05
118 Matt Thornton – – – 0.05
119 Aaron Crow Royals 0.05
120 Cesar Ramos Rays 0.05
121 J.J. Hoover Reds 0.04
122 Joe Smith Indians 0.04
123 Drew Storen Nationals 0.04
124 Tim Collins Royals 0.02
125 Kevin Jepsen Angels 0.01
126 Adam Ottavino Rockies 0
127 A.J. Ramos Marlins 0
128 Ryan Pressly Twins 0
129 Tony Sipp Diamondbacks -0.01
130 Mike Dunn Marlins -0.01
131 Troy Patton Orioles -0.02
132 Burke Badenhop Brewers -0.02
133 Carter Capps Mariners -0.02
134 Wilton Lopez Rockies -0.03
135 Joe Ortiz Rangers -0.04
136 Luke Putkonen Tigers -0.04
137 Ryan Webb Marlins -0.06
138 Chris Perez Indians -0.07
139 David Hernandez Diamondbacks -0.07
140 Heath Bell Diamondbacks -0.08
141 Bryan Shaw Indians -0.09
142 Brad Brach Padres -0.09
143 Jake McGee Rays -0.09
144 Darin Downs Tigers -0.11
145 Scott Rice Mets -0.12
146 Josh Edgin Mets -0.13
147 Danny Farquhar Mariners -0.13
148 Jerry Blevins Athletics -0.13
149 Paul Clemens Astros -0.15
150 Brad Lincoln Blue Jays -0.15
151 Michael Gonzalez Brewers -0.15
152 Matt Guerrier – – – -0.16
153 Craig Stammen Nationals -0.16
154 Greg Burke Mets -0.16
155 Tim Stauffer Padres -0.17
156 Brian Duensing Twins -0.18
157 Tom Wilhelmsen Mariners -0.18
158 Cory Gearrin Braves -0.18
159 Joba Chamberlain Yankees -0.2
160 Wesley Wright Astros -0.21
161 Nick Hagadone Indians -0.21
162 Jose Cisnero Astros -0.21
163 Ronald Belisario Dodgers -0.24
164 Blake Beavan Mariners -0.25
165 Jonathan Broxton Reds -0.26
166 Vinnie Pestano Indians -0.26
167 Travis Blackley Astros -0.27
168 Phil Coke Tigers -0.28
169 Garrett Richards Angels -0.29
170 George Kontos Giants -0.31
171 Rich Hill Indians -0.31
172 Josh Roenicke Twins -0.31
173 Kyle Farnsworth Rays -0.32
174 T.J. McFarland Orioles -0.36
175 Mike Adams Phillies -0.39
176 Clayton Mortensen Red Sox -0.4
177 Al Alburquerque Tigers -0.42
178 Matt Albers Indians -0.42
179 Alex Wilson Red Sox -0.43
180 Hector Ambriz Astros -0.44
181 Pedro Strop – – – -0.45
182 Brandon Lyon Mets -0.47
183 Huston Street Padres -0.47
184 Esmil Rogers Blue Jays -0.49
185 Justin De Fratus Phillies -0.51
186 Adam Warren Yankees -0.52
187 Kelvin Herrera Royals -0.52
188 Bruce Chen Royals -0.53
189 Jeremy Horst Phillies -0.59
190 Jeremy Affeldt Giants -0.64
191 Henry Rodriguez – – – -0.7
192 Carlos Marmol Cubs -0.72
193 Michael Kirkman Rangers -0.72
194 Anthony Bass Padres -0.9
195 Hector Rondon Cubs -0.98
196 Shawn Camp Cubs -1.02
197 Brandon League Dodgers -1.66

A New Way To Measure Relief Pitchers: SOEFA

Clip art illustration of a Cartoon Tiger with a Missing Tooth

I’ve long been a critic of the save statistic, and I don’t need to rehash why it’s the scourge of the baseball world, but relief pitching is still an important part of the game and we often struggle to properly measure it. Won/Loss record and saves tell you nothing about a player’s individual skill, especially not relievers, and even things like ERA don’t do a lot of good because relievers aren’t charged for runners they let in belonging to another pitcher and can get charged with runs allowed by the pitchers who come after.

Strikeouts, walks, and homeruns allowed (the basis of FIP) are good measurements, but FIP inherently strips away context. And context does matter for relief pitchers. It’s an elite reliever’s job to come in and strand runners, so strikeouts are good and homeruns are bad, but sequencing is really important and it matters a lot when they get outs and when they allow baserunners.

In a sense, FIP and similar statistics are good, but they aren’t perfect because they’re context neutral and we might want some context in reliever stats. Win Probability Added (WPA) is a typical way to fix this, but this feels too context dependent for me. WAR is always a nice combination of these kinds of measures, but WAR is a counting stat so how much a reliever is used matters a lot, and relievers are often used incorrectly.

My point here is not that I can come up with something better, but rather that I want to try to add something. I always look at reliever stats and find logical holes more often than with position players and starters. I want a reliever stat that measures context, considers the peripheral numbers, and also understands the luck involved. I didn’t find one out there that satisfied me, so I went to work inventing one.

I’ll say this. This isn’t perfect and I want to improve it. Flaws you may find in the method should not cause you to discount it, but rather to add to the discussion. This is a first crack. I hope you find it useful.

The Goal

So first, I started with a question: What is the job of a relief pitcher? Here was my answer:

  1. Strand runners
  2. Don’t allow baserunners
  3. If you allow baserunners, don’t let them score.

With that outlined, I went to work thinking about how to measure each and came up with the following statistic that I will call SOEFA, pronounced like “sofa.” It stands for Strand On-base ERA FIP Average and should be thought of as a way to measure relievers from your sofa. Yes, I have a whimsical side.

It has four components, let’s walk through them.

The Formula

First is Strand Rate+, which I calculated as what percent better or worse a reliever is from league average at stranding runners. League average is 70%, so if you strand 100% of your inherited runners, your Strand Rate+ is .43 because you are 43% better than league average.

Second, is your Expected OBP+ or xOBP+ which is your opponents on base percentage calculated as a percentage deviation from league average just like SR+, except that I regress your hits allowed based on league average BABIP because sometimes batters get lucky hits.

Third, is my version or ERA+, which is just like normal ERA- except I scale mine to zero instead of 100 like the major stat sites and invert it. Same principles regarding deviation from average applies. FIP+ is exactly the same, except I use FIP-. These numbers are park adjusted.

To combine them, I add SR+ to xOBP+ and then add ERA+ to get eSOEFA. I then repeat the same process and replace ERA+ with FIP+ to get fSOEFA. A pitcher’s SOEFA score is the average between the two.

The output gives you a number that sets league average at zero and ranges technically from negative infinity to about 2.5, but generally speaking you won’t see a reliever fall below -2.5. Basically it’s a -3 to 3 scale that puts good relievers on the plus side and bad ones on the negative side.

Additionally, at my discretion, relievers who have inherited fewer than five baserunners during the season (this number will likely be fluid based on where we are in the season) are given a league average SR+ so that if you don’t ever inherit runners you aren’t unfairly punished because you are not given sufficient opportunity to strand them or you are not given credit for an awesome strand rate if you strand the only runner you inherit.

I’m pretty happy with the first round of results. The first run of results came from stats entering June 25th and it generally lines up with my impression of the best performing relief pitchers in baseball. I have no idea if this stat is predictive or how long it takes to stabilize. Right now, it correlates with ERA and FIP at -.73 and -.75 despite the fact that each is only 1/6 of the input and the R squared is around .6 using it to predict FIP, if those kinds of things interest you.

It’s experimental. It’s meant to be fun and maybe helpful.

A word of note is that Fangraphs and B-R seem to use different cutoffs for which relievers “qualify,” so this output may be missing a few relievers. I’m sorry about that. The great thing about this statistic is that I can easily produce the number for any reliever in baseball in less than two minutes. If you want to know how a reliever measures up or how a reliever did during a given season, just ask and I can provide the number based on a handy program I wrote. Hit me on Twitter @NeilWeinberg44 and I’d be happy to provide the SOEFA for any reliever.

Thanks for reading and I welcome any feedback. Who knows, maybe this will work.

Below are the SOEFA for the vast majority of qualifying relievers up through 6/24/13. If you want to know the SOEFA of a reliever not on this list or would like an update score, please let me know.

Rank Player Team SOEFA
1 Sergio Romo Giants 0.99
2 Jason Grilli Pirates 0.95
3 Junichi Tazawa Red Sox 0.92
4 Kevin Gregg Cubs 0.92
5 Drew Smyly Tigers 0.9
6 Joaquin Benoit Tigers 0.89
7 Jordan Walden Braves 0.88
8 Robbie Ross Rangers 0.87
9 Mark Melancon Pirates 0.85
10 Jesse Crain White Sox 0.83
11 Edward Mujica Cardinals 0.79
12 Brett Cecil Blue Jays 0.79
13 Greg Holland Royals 0.75
14 Oliver Perez Mariners 0.74
15 Trevor Rosenthal Cardinals 0.74
16 Kenley Jansen Dodgers 0.72
17 Glen Perkins Twins 0.71
18 Koji Uehara Red Sox 0.7
19 Preston Claiborne Yankees 0.69
20 Sam LeCure Reds 0.68
21 Casey Janssen Blue Jays 0.64
22 Mariano Rivera Yankees 0.63
23 Luke Gregerson Padres 0.62
24 Craig Kimbrel Braves 0.62
25 Sean Doolittle Athletics 0.6
26 Edgmer Escalona Rockies 0.56
27 Tommy Hunter Orioles 0.56
28 Brad Ziegler Diamondbacks 0.54
29 Joe Nathan Rangers 0.53
30 Joe Smith Indians 0.53
31 Vin Mazzaro Pirates 0.51
32 Jim Henderson Brewers 0.5
33 James Russell Cubs 0.49
34 Casey Fien Twins 0.48
35 Tim Collins Royals 0.47
36 Shawn Kelley Yankees 0.47
37 Brian Matusz Orioles 0.46
38 Addison Reed White Sox 0.46
39 Tanner Scheppers Rangers 0.45
40 Rafael Soriano Nationals 0.44
41 Aroldis Chapman Reds 0.44
42 Joel Peralta Rays 0.43
43 Matt Reynolds Diamondbacks 0.43
44 Brandon Kintzler Brewers 0.43
45 Ryan Cook Athletics 0.42
46 Chad Qualls Marlins 0.42
47 Cody Allen Indians 0.4
48 Andrew Miller Red Sox 0.4
49 David Robertson Yankees 0.38
50 Seth Maness Cardinals 0.36
51 Bobby Parnell Mets 0.36
52 Matt Belisle Rockies 0.36
53 Josh Outman Rockies 0.36
54 Rex Brothers Rockies 0.35
55 Jonathan Papelbon Phillies 0.35
56 Dale Thayer Padres 0.35
57 Darren O’Day Orioles 0.33
58 Justin Wilson Pirates 0.33
59 Luke Hochevar Royals 0.31
60 Grant Balfour Athletics 0.3
61 John Axford Brewers 0.29
62 Ernesto Frieri Angels 0.29
63 Drew Storen Nationals 0.27
64 Bryan Shaw Indians 0.26
65 Nate Jones White Sox 0.26
66 Luis Avilan Braves 0.25
67 Anthony Varvaro Braves 0.25
68 Anthony Swarzak Twins 0.24
69 Paco Rodriguez Dodgers 0.24
70 Jean Machi Giants 0.2
71 Tyler Clippard Nationals 0.19
72 Matt Thornton White Sox 0.19
73 Steve Delabar Blue Jays 0.18
74 Craig Stammen Nationals 0.17
75 Tony Watson Pirates 0.17
76 Pat Neshek Athletics 0.16
77 Jamey Wright Rays 0.16
78 J.P. Howell Dodgers 0.16
79 Cesar Ramos Rays 0.15
80 Alfredo Simon Reds 0.15
81 Troy Patton Orioles 0.15
82 Matt Lindstrom White Sox 0.14
83 Jim Johnson Orioles 0.12
84 Carter Capps Mariners 0.11
85 Ryan Pressly Twins 0.11
86 Steve Cishek Marlins 0.11
87 Darin Downs Tigers 0.1
88 Antonio Bastardo Phillies 0.09
89 Charlie Furbush Mariners 0.07
90 Brian Duensing Twins 0.07
91 Yoervis Medina Mariners 0.07
92 Jerry Blevins Athletics 0.07
93 Tom Gorzelanny Brewers 0.06
94 Jared Burton Twins 0.05
95 Jose Veras Astros 0.05
96 Joe Kelly Cardinals 0.05
97 David Hernandez Diamondbacks 0.04
98 Ryan Webb Marlins 0.04
99 Aaron Loup Blue Jays 0.03
100 Wesley Wright Astros 0.01
101 Bryan Morris Pirates 0.01
102 Burke Badenhop Brewers 0
103 Dane de la Rosa Angels -0.02
104 Adam Ottavino Rockies -0.04
105 LaTroy Hawkins Mets -0.04
106 Cory Gearrin Braves -0.06
107 Joe Ortiz Rangers -0.08
108 Wilton Lopez Rockies -0.08
109 Brandon Lyon Mets -0.08
110 J.J. Hoover Reds -0.08
111 Mike Dunn Marlins -0.09
112 Fernando Rodney Rays -0.1
113 Hector Ambriz Astros -0.1
114 Paul Clemens Astros -0.13
115 Tom Wilhelmsen Mariners -0.13
116 Matt Guerrier Dodgers -0.13
117 Josh Roenicke Twins -0.17
118 Jose Mijares Giants -0.21
119 Michael Gonzalez Brewers -0.23
120 Jonathan Broxton Reds -0.25
121 Jake McGee Rays -0.25
122 Matt Albers Indians -0.26
123 A.J. Ramos Marlins -0.26
124 Scott Rice Mets -0.29
125 Nick Hagadone Indians -0.31
126 Travis Blackley Astros -0.33
127 Vinnie Pestano Indians -0.34
128 George Kontos Giants -0.35
129 Mike Adams Phillies -0.39
130 Clayton Mortensen Red Sox -0.4
131 Garrett Richards Angels -0.43
132 Heath Bell Diamondbacks -0.46
133 Esmil Rogers Blue Jays -0.5
134 Ronald Belisario Dodgers -0.51
135 Jeremy Affeldt Giants -0.55
136 Brandon League Dodgers -0.55
137 Jeremy Horst Phillies -0.58
138 Kelvin Herrera Royals -0.67
139 Carlos Marmol Cubs -0.72
140 Huston Street Padres -0.82
141 Anthony Bass Padres -0.94
142 Hector Rondon Cubs -1.24

 

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