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Just The Sports: Relievers' Home Run Rates

Just The Sports

Friday, August 04, 2006

Relievers' Home Run Rates

In addition to taking a more in-depth look to starting pitchers' home run rates, I decided to repeat the look with relievers' home run rates. Only pitchers who have pitched at least 25 innings are eligible for the award of worst reliever at preventing home runs.

There is one major difference between looking at starting pitchers' home run rates and relievers' home run rates, which has to do with the nature of the job. Unlike starting pitchers who always enter the game with the opponent having scored zero runs, relievers do not control when they appear and can be called on to pitch in any number of situations. Therefore, a reliever's leverage score also should be factored into his home run rates. When a middle reliever pitching in the 6th inning with his team ahead by 4 runs gives up a 2-run homer, he has decreased his team's win expectancy, but the team still has a good chance to win. But when a closer pitching in the bottom half of the ninth inning trying to protect a 1-run lead gives up a 2-run home run, he has completely wiped out any chance of his team winning.

So, without further adieu, here are the ten worse pitchers at preventing home runs in the American and National league.

American League

Home Runs per Game
1. Cliff Politte 2.30 HR/G
2. Guillermo Mota 2.01 HR/G
3. Sendy Rleal 1.90 HR/G
4. Keith Foulke 1.74 HR/G
5. Ambiorix Burgos 1.71 HR/G
6. C.J. Wilson 1.71 HR/G
7. Fernando Cabrera 1.67 HR/G
8. Jason Frasor 1.56 HR/G
9. Chris Ray 1.47 HR/G
10. Brian Meadows 1.42 HR/G

Runs per Home Run with Leverage Score
1. Jason Frasor 2.2 R/HR (1.03 LEV)
2. C.J. Wilson 2.0 R/HR (.95 LEV)
3. Guillermo Mota 1.7 R/HR (.80 LEV)
4. Sendy Rleal 1.7 R/HR (.87 LEV)
5. Keith Foulke 1.7 R/HR (.87 LEV)
6. Chris Ray 1.7 R/HR (1.51 LEV)
7. Fernando Cabrera 1.6 R/HR (.65 LEV)
8. Ambiorix Burgos 1.5 R/HR (1.45 LEV)
9. Cliff Politte 1.3 R/HR (1.18 LEV)
10. Brian Meadows 1.1 R/HR (1.23 LEV)

On a run per home run basis, Chris Ray's home runs have hurt the Orioles' win expectancy the most because he has given up these home runs at critical junctions of the games.

It should be noted that a few of the players on this list have not pitched in some time. Jason Frasor, Sendy Rleal, and Cliff Politte are no longer pitching in the majors because relivers who give up home runs and provide no relief are not relievers for very long. Keith Foulke has been on the disabled list, but he will be back soon to give up more home runs.

National League

Home Runs per Game
1. Kent Mercker 2.07 HR/G
2. Chad Cordero 2.01 HR/G
3. Robert Novoa 2.01 HR/G
4. Chris Reitsma 1.92 HR/G
5. Scott Cassidy 1.89 HR/G
6. Trever Miller 1.80 HR/G
7. David Weathers 1.73 HR/G
8. Scott Linebrink 1.69 HR/G
9. Ryan Franklin 1.67 HR/G
10. Rick White 1.65 HR/G

Runs per Home Run with Leverage Score
1. Chris Reitsma 1.9 R/HR (1.71 LEV)
2. Scott Cassidy 1.9 R/HR (1.28 LEV)
3. Robert Novoa 1.8 R/HR (.63 LEV)
4. Kent Mercker 1.7 R/HR (1.29 LEV)
5. David Weathers 1.7 R/HR (1.39 LEV)
6. Ryan Franklin 1.6 R/HR (1.31 LEV)
7. Chad Cordero 1.5 R/HR (2.01 LEV)
8. Trever Miller 1.5 R/HR (1.12 LEV)
9. Rick White 1.4 R/HR (.89 LEV)
10. Scott Linebrink 1.2 R/HR (1.89 LEV)

Chris Reitsma's and Chad Cordero's home runs look to have been the most damaging for their teams. With the way Reitsma performed before his injury it is no surprise the Braves bullpen has struggled the way it has.

National League relievers who give up a lot of home runs suffer the same fate as their American League counterparts as Scott Cassidy and Ryan Franklin can attest.


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