Welcome to the Reliever section! Our metric works just about the same for relievers with one difference; we’ll be using WPA instead of rWAR as our major determiner. In case you need a refresher (it was an hour or so ago), WPA is actually a stat that evaluates every event in conditions of effect it has on the chances of winning the game.
Think of it as the clutch stat; grounding out the final batter of the game while up one with two outs and the bases loaded is worth quite a bit (as it guarantees the win, that was quite in doubt). Striking out three direct batters when down by ten is worth minimal WPA (even though dazzling out the medial side requires a lot of skill) because being down by ten, your efforts did not appreciably boost the chance of winning. Also, we’re ignoring saves except as flavor. WPA will everything will save purport to do but better. As for the cutoff?
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Actually, in conditions of value over their careers, the cutoff for relievers is about exactly like it is perfect for catchers (which is slightly lower than it is for everybody else). So relievers aren’t obtaining a massive break; if you’d to select from the career of an Honorable Mention reliever or an Honorable Mention catcher, as as great months far, the two are pretty equivalent.
A major difference is that the reliever tiers are compressed quite a bit; the best better ever (I’ll leave you all in suspense) would at best certainly be a Gold tier player at any other position. Low Gold Catchers. And with that, we go here! The first reliever we’ll discuss, and the second farthest back, Lindy McDaniel!
McDaniel was the proto-closer. Where Hoyt Wilhelm was an unusual knuckleballing exception to normal rules therefore could pitch in relief frequently and deep into games, McDaniel was just a failed beginner but a dominant reliever. While not known for his velocity, McDaniel had a sinking fastball, a great overhand curve, and a forkball that became his go-to pitch late in his career.
You’ll notice a craze; many of these pitches are heavy and drop. Willie McCovey, known slugger, opined that he’d rather face a lefty (against which, you may recall, he struggled) than McDaniel, because McDaniel’s pitches were so difficult to put in the new air. McDaniel came up with the Cardinals at the age of 19 (1955) owing to his status as an additional benefit baby. He pitched comfort for his first two years and began for another two but battled as a starter. In 1959 they made him a full-time reliever and saw him stand out, and from thereon out he was a alleviation ace on whatever team he was on.
His overall career stats are not overwhelming. McDaniel’s inclusion with this list is the product of two seasons where he was at his best. In 1960 he pitched 116 innings (he routinely pitched 1.5-2 innings per appearance), with peripherals of 0.6 / 1.9 / 8.1 (HRA / BB9 / K9).
108) however, not dominant. Then in 1970, for the Yankees he had another great year (age group 34). His stuff experienced reduced (only 6.5 K/9) but his control was as good as ever over-111 innings. He previously a better protection behind him in a pitchers’ recreation area so his 2.01 ERA isn’t quite as good as his performance in 1960, but his aggregate result was worthy of another 5 still.7 WPA. WPA is very high; Mariano Rivera topped out with a 5 and 5 even.4 WPA season.
Lindy McDaniel did it twice. A unique pitcher with an unusual name, Dan Quisenberry! Of the year awards for the Royals The Quiz won five relievers, which is inquisitive given his makeup. The thing is, Quisenberry, by most requirements, had no arm. Lacking any type of speed on his fastball he modified in the minors (“found a delivery in my flaw” has he wittily characterized it) by becoming a submariner and throwing a sinker and curveball as his primary pitches. He previously absurd, pinpoint, control, and was hard to hit.