# Top 30 Relief Pitchers in 2013

To put starting pitchers in perspective it is sometimes nice to see how they rank amongst each other. I put a page up with a ranking of all MLB starting pitchers in 2013.   That table was too big for a single post.  The below table shows a list of  top 30 MLB relief pitchers for the 2013 season.

Koji Uehara tops the list with a 5.0 WAA, about half that of top MLB player, Clayton Kershaw.  WAA represents the number of wins a player brought to his team.  Relief pitchers don’t pitch a lot of innings.  Uehara’s 74 innings pitched is about 1/3 that of a full time uninjured starting pitcher.  He can’t possibly rack up the WAAs because of his lack of playing time.   Relief pitchers are part of a squad that must pick up the end of most all games in some type of fashion.  It is the performance of the entire relief squad as a team that either helps or hurts a team.  Having a relief pitcher contribute a +5 WAA is a huge contribution to a relief squad as well as a team.

BTW: +5 WAA is extremely good for any player.  0 WAA is completely average and anything below average is negative.  Few starting pitchers exceed +5 WAA in a single season.  See this list.

Relief pitching is a type of pitcher.  I chose to define a relief pitcher to qualify for this list as someone who pitched > 35 innings, had a G/IP < 2, and pitched more relief than starts.   This model does not recognize the save stat.  The save stat is simply an award given out that has no meaning in the mathematics of baseball.  Many of the pitchers below have been given quite a few saves.  Mathematically, runs given up in the 6th, 7th, or 8th innings count as much as  runs given up in the 9th.  In the end the team who gives up the fewest runs  wins the ballgame.

Rank WAA BA/IP OBP/ERA PA/G RBI/W R/L Name_Tm BAT/PITCH
1 5.0 74.3 1.09 73 4 1 Koji_Uehara_BOS PITCH
2 4.4 67.0 1.21 68 4 3 Craig_Kimbrel_ATL PITCH
3 4.4 67.0 1.21 68 2 1 Greg_Holland_KCA PITCH
4 4.2 71.0 1.39 72 3 2 Mark_Melancon_PIT PITCH
5 3.9 64.7 1.39 67 6 2 Joe_Nathan_TEX PITCH
6 3.8 56.0 1.13 57 8 3 Neal_Cotts_TEX PITCH
7 3.7 76.7 1.88 75 4 3 Kenley_Jansen_LAN PITCH
8 3.7 65.0 1.52 75 5 0 Luis_Avilan_ATL PITCH
9 3.6 75.7 1.90 75 6 2 Tanner_Scheppers_TEX PITCH
10 3.6 67.3 1.74 72 2 1 Rex_Brothers_COL PITCH
11 3.4 70.3 1.92 58 5 2 Luke_Hochevar_KCA PITCH
12 3.4 65.7 1.78 56 4 1 David_Carpenter_ATL PITCH
13 3.3 39.7 0.45 45 3 1 Kevin_Siegrist_SLN PITCH
14 3.1 73.7 2.08 58 6 1 Justin_Wilson_PIT PITCH
15 3.1 58.0 1.71 39 4 2 Alex_Torres_TBA PITCH
16 3.0 59.7 1.81 61 5 2 Craig_Breslow_BOS PITCH
17 3.0 67.0 2.01 66 4 1 Joaquin_Benoit_DET PITCH
18 3.0 66.3 2.04 70 5 1 David_Robertson_NYA PITCH
19 2.8 36.7 0.74 38 2 3 Jesse_Crain_CHA PITCH
20 2.8 62.0 2.03 67 4 1 J.P._Howell_LAN PITCH
21 2.8 64.0 2.11 64 6 2 Mariano_Rivera_NYA PITCH
22 2.8 76.0 2.37 63 6 0 Drew_Smyly_DET PITCH
23 2.8 73.0 2.22 78 8 1 Brad_Ziegler_ARI PITCH
24 2.6 69.7 2.33 69 4 6 Steve_Cishek_MIA PITCH
25 2.6 71.0 2.41 72 6 3 Tyler_Clippard_WAS PITCH
26 2.6 62.0 2.18 68 5 3 Darren_O’Day_BAL PITCH
27 2.5 71.7 2.39 67 3 1 Tony_Watson_PIT PITCH
28 2.5 70.3 2.43 77 6 1 Cody_Allen_CLE PITCH
29 2.5 63.0 2.29 70 6 2 Joe_Smith_CLE PITCH
30 2.4 78.3 2.64 51 1 3 Adam_Ottavino_COL PITCH