Baseball’s Best Bullpens…

First, I would like to congratulate noted Chicago White Sox fan, Barack Obama on becoming the 44th President of the United States of America. We all would agree he has his work cut out for him in the next 4 years. Second, I have added a new category called Baseball’s Best, where I will be taking a look at baseball’s best starting rotation, bullpen, infield, outfield and overall team. Rankings will begin in Spring Training and will be updated after every 40 games in the regular season. In the first installment we’ll take a look at who has the best bullpen heading into Spring Training.

Bullpens are hard to predict. One year a bullpen can be a disasterand the next it can turn out to be the strength of your team. Case in point….the Tampa Bay Rays. Look at their bullpen in 2008 compared to that of 2007:

                         W        L         ERA         S        BS        BAA

2007                 21       34       6.61        28      21         .303

2008                31        17       3.55        52      16         .220

A pretty remarkable turnaround. So as you can see anything can happen from one year to the next. So using 4 different categories – Closer, RH Set-up guys, LH Set-up guys and 2008 era, 10 teams were selected to determine who has the best bullpen headed into Spring Training. Each category is worth 10 points. 10 being the best and 1 being the worst for that particular category.

Points are in parentheses

10-6. Indians, Twins, Angels, Rays, White Sox

5. The New York Mets – 23 Points

RH – JJ Putz, Sean Green (9)

LH – Pedro Feliciano (5)

C – Francisco Rodriguez (7)

2008 bullpen era – 4.27 (2)

Analysis – There isn’t a team in baseball who has done more to improve their bullpen in 2009. Out are Aaron Heilman, Scott Schoeneweiss and Billy Wagner and in are JJ Putz, Sean Green and Krod. This bullpen should be much better than the disaster that was in 2008

4. New York Yankees – 24 Points

RH – Edwar Ramirez, Brian Bruney (2)

LH – Damaso Marte (6)

C – Mariano Rivera (10)

2008 bullpen era – 3.79 (6)

Analysis – With Joba Chamberlain slated to be in the starting rotation in 2009, the Yankees don’t have a dominate RH set up guy in pen. But when you have the greatest closer of all-time still on top of his game, you will always have a good bullpen.

3. Toronto Blue Jays – 26 Points

RH – Jason Frasor, Brandon League (3)

LH – Jesse Carlson, Scott Downs (10)

C – BJ Ryan (3)

2008 team era – 2.94 (10)

Analysis – The Blue Jays had the #1 bullpen era in 2008 and bring back everyone from the pen in 2009. The Blue Jays’ pen is a killer on lefty batters late in the game with Carlson and Downs. Ryan is a little shaky as the closer but he still knows how to close games.

2. Philadelphia Phillies – 27 points

RH – Ryan Madson (8 )

LH – Scott Eyre (4)

C – Brad Lidge (6)

2008 bullpen era – 3.22 (9)

Analysis – Ryan Madson emerged as one of the top set-up men in baseball last year and Brad Lidge regained his form that made him a top closer with the Astros. It will be interesting to see if Scott Eyre can fill the void left by the suspended JC Romero. I think he can. What I don’t think can happen is Brad Lidge going through the season perfect in save opportunities again. However, until he does blow a save the Phillies have the best bullpen in the NL.

1. Boston Red Sox – 28 points

RH – Justin Masterson, Manny Delcarmen, Ramon Ramirez (7)

LH – Hideki Okajima, Javier Lopez (9)

C – Jonathon Papelbon (8 )

2008 bullpen era – 4.00 (4)

Analysis – The Red Sox have everything you would want in a bullpen. They have power arms in Delcarmen, Masterson and Ramirez, 2 lefties in Okajima and Lopez who held lefties to a .183 avg last year and a dominating closer in Jonathon Papelbon. With the additions of Ramon Ramirez who had 70 K’s in 71.2 innings last year with the Royals and former Dodgers closer Takashi Saito, the Red Sox have the top bullpen headed into 2009


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4 Responses to “Baseball’s Best Bullpens…”

  1. Baseball’s Best Bullpens. Where do the Yankees Rank? « Zell’s Pinstripe Blog Says:

    […] 21, 2009 by zellyanks91      According to The Ghost of Moonlight Graham, the Boston Red Sox do.  I can’t argue with the Red Sox as #1. I believe that the Yankees […]

  2. Baseball’s Best Bullpens. Where do the Yankees Rank? | Yankees Rumors - Says:

    […] to subscribe to the RSS feed for updates on this topic.Powered by WP Greet Box     According to The Ghost of Moonlight Graham, the Boston Red Sox do. I believe that the Yankees had the best bullpen in all of baseball last […]

  3. Baseball’s Best Bullpen – Midseason… « The Ghost of Moonlight Graham Says:

    […] the season started, I had the Boston Red Sox having the best bullpen in baseball. That was based on four categories – 2008 ERA, lefthanded relievers, lefthanded […]

  4. Wallace: RP more important than SP | It's About The Money Says:

    […] Pettitte, by far. And by all accounts, they are a pretty darned good bunch. Their 2008 bullpen was among the best in the game and they return largely intact. K-Rod set the all time record for saves in a season last year and […]

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