Skip to content

2010 projected leaders: Saves & Relief ERA

Feb 11, 2010, 6:19 PM EDT

Over the next several days, I’ll be dipping into my 2010 projections and presenting some leaderboards.
Saves
1. Mariano Rivera – 40
1. Francisco Rodriguez – 40
3. Joe Nathan – 38
3. Jonathan Papelbon – 38
5. Jonathan Broxton – 37
5. Brian Wilson – 37
7. Heath Bell – 36
7. Huston Street – 36
9. Francisco Cordero – 35
9. Trevor Hoffman – 35
11. David Aardsma – 34
11. Andrew Bailey – 34
11. Joakim Soria – 34
11. Jose Valverde – 34
11. Billy Wagner – 34
- Save projections don’t tend to make for very interesting lists. One or two pitchers from the group above will likely end up with 45-50 saves, but it’s hard to project anyone to finish with that kind of total. Rivera finished with 44 last year, but that was his first season over 40 since 2005. Nathan had 47, but that was after three years of 36, 37, and 39.
- If he were guaranteed to remain in San Diego all season long, I might have pushed Bell over 40. Teams that play low scoring games tend to rack up the most saves, and the Padres should play about as many as any team. Bell, though, is a possibility to be dealt in July, perhaps even to a team that would return him to a setup role.
- Seattle is another team that I could see generating 50 save chances. Aardsma, though, won’t necessarily remain their best reliever. Mark Lowe, Brandon League and Shawn Kelley will all be candidates to overtake him if he stumbles.


Relief ERA (minimum 50 IP)
1. Mariano Rivera – 2.18
2. Joe Nathan – 2.41
3. Jonathan Broxton – 2.54
4. Joakim Soria – 2.64
5. Jonathan Papelbon – 2.73
6. Billy Wagner – 2.77
7. Phil Hughes – 2.79
8. Carlos Marmol – 2.88
9. Heath Bell – 3.01
10. Luke Gregerson – 3.07
11. Mike Adams – 3.09
12. Takashi Saito – 3.10
13. Andrew Bailey – 3.11
14. Francisco Rodriguez – 3.12
15. Francisco Cordero – 3.14
16. Brian Wilson – 3.18
17. Joe Thatcher – 3.19
18. Sergio Romo – 3.21
19. Ramon Troncoso – 3.22
20. Rafael Soriano – 3.25
- I don’t suppose I really had to use the minimum 50 IP. The only pitcher disqualified from the top 20 as a result was Hong-Chih Kuo. I have the injury-prone left-hander at 2.61 in 41 1/3 innings.
- Four Padres make the list. It’s partly a testament to Petco Park, but San Diego has one of the game’s very best bullpens. Adams allowed just one earned run in 15 1/3 innings on the road last season. Bell had a 3.08 ERA and Thatcher came in at 3.26. Only Gregerson struggled, finishing with a 6.48 ERA in 33 1/3 innings, but he still struck out 40 and allowed just three homers in 33 1/3 innings away from Petco.

  1. Steve Braucksieker - Feb 11, 2010 at 7:27 PM

    What is Ryan Franklin chopped liver? How does he get left off the top twenty? 38/43 saves and a 1.92 ERA, with a club that insures ample save opportunities.

  2. Lawrence M - Feb 11, 2010 at 7:29 PM

    Relief pitching is so difficult to predict. Judging from your list I’m assuming you don’t expect Brad Lidge to rebound at all this year? He almost has to, doesn’t he? I mean, he can’t really do much worse.

  3. MYSoo - Feb 11, 2010 at 7:41 PM

    Brad Lidge? Even in his terrible 2009, he still manage 31 saves in 42 opportunities–one would think that with no better option in the pen, the Phillies are going to give him enough 3 run leads to at least match last years number

  4. streakyplayer - Feb 11, 2010 at 8:02 PM

    Those California teams especially the Padres, Giants, and Dodgers play in pitcher friendly ballparks and is reflected in their team ERA. Jonathan Broxton is virtually unhittable at home, but on the road he is just average.

  5. darren - Feb 11, 2010 at 9:22 PM

    George Sherrill in the past 3 seasons combined has a 2.45 ERA… Why no love?

  6. darren - Feb 11, 2010 at 9:25 PM

    Woops, 2.84 for George in the passed three seasons… Career 3.34

  7. Lawrence M - Feb 11, 2010 at 10:44 PM

    Relief pitching is so difficult to predict. Judging from your list I’m assuming you don’t expect Brad Lidge to rebound at all this year? He almost has to, doesn’t he? I mean, he can’t really do much worse.

  8. Jonny5 - Feb 12, 2010 at 9:49 AM

    Lawrence, As A die hard Philly fan, It hurts me to say it, but Brad Lidge is a one trick pony.Ok he’s got two good pitches, but one is a fastball down, and the other is a slider in the dirt. All a batter needs to do is lay off the slider until he’s forced to swing on the fastball if it’s at the knees or above. He scares the hell outta me every time he comes out for a “save”. Even with his perfect season he had me on the edge of my seat, via too many walks getting runners on base, he was fortunate to have that “perfect” season imo with 35 walks in 41 save opportunities.Mariano has never had a “perfect” season and he’s never walked that many batters either. Since 1997 25 was his worst season for walking batters and there are more sluggers for him to see than Lidge sees.

  9. Mazie - Feb 12, 2010 at 12:24 PM

    Again, you show no respect to the Texas Rangers and their bullpen, which is quite good.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

This was 'the perfect baseball game'
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. S. Kazmir (5214)
  2. G. Springer (3785)
  3. K. Uehara (3420)
  4. M. Machado (3266)
  5. D. Pedroia (2921)
  1. J. Reyes (2847)
  2. J. Chavez (2765)
  3. H. Ramirez (2741)
  4. T. Walker (2660)
  5. C. Granderson (2563)