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Mariano Rivera becomes 15th pitcher in MLB history to make 1,000 appearances

May 25, 2011, 4:40 PM EDT

Mariano Rivera AP

Mariano Rivera hadn’t pitched in a week, so manager Joe Girardi used him in a non-save situation this afternoon to close out a 7-3 victory over the Blue Jays, and the appearance was the 1,000th of Rivera’s amazing career.

He becomes the 15th pitcher in baseball history with at least 1,000 appearances (the first to do it with one team) and, not surprisingly, Rivera’s adjusted ERA+ is the best of the bunch by a huge margin:

                      APP     ERA+
MARIANO RIVERA       1000     205
Hoyt Wilhelm         1070     147
Trevor Hoffman       1035     141
John Franco          1119     138
Kent Tekulve         1050     132
Lee Smith            1022     132
Roberto Hernandez    1010     132
Goose Gossage        1002     126
Jesse Orosco         1252     126
Mike Jackson         1005     126
Mike Timlin          1058     125
Dan Plesac           1064     118
Dennis Eckersley     1071     116
Mike Stanton         1178     113
Jose Mesa            1022     101

Jesse Orosco is the all-time leader with 1,252 appearances and Jose Mesa has the honor of being the worst pitcher to ever appear in 1,000 games, by virtue of his career adjusted ERA+ barely being above the average mark of 100. And just to put Rivera’s dominance in perspective, consider that the difference between his ERA+ (205) and second-ranked Hoyt Wilhelm’s ERA+ (147) is bigger than the difference between Wilhelm (147) and Mesa (101).

  1. kopy - May 25, 2011 at 4:47 PM

    I guess the reason why he’s so popular is because all of his appearances are so fashionably late!

  2. jwbiii - May 25, 2011 at 5:01 PM

    Kyle Farnsworth is at 733 games, so he could wind up as the worst pitcher with 1,000.

    • buddaley - May 25, 2011 at 5:56 PM

      Maybe. But if the measurement is ERA+ he has at least as good a chance to be far better. Since 2005, his ERA+/year have been 197, 104, 95, 101, 97, 124 and currently 222. In two cases, he was traded mid-year when he had an excellent ERA+ and fell off dramatically in less than half the innings for his new team. To wit, in 2008 he was dealt from NY to Detroit when his ERA+ was 124 in 44.1 innings, but he flopped in his 16 innings in Detroit with a 68 ERA+ that dropped his overall number dramatically. And again, in 2010, he was running a 174 ERA+ after 44.2 innings with KC but his last 20 innings in Atlanta it fell to 74. There is some evidence that the addition of an effective cutter may have made him a more consistently effective pitcher.

      There are more significant ways to measure the worth of a reliever, but if the standard is ERA+ as used here, Farnsworth has a chance to be at least middle of the pack in the 1000 appearance club.

      • jwbiii - May 25, 2011 at 6:13 PM

        Valid points. But if Farnsworth lasts the five years or so it will take him get to 1,000 games, I’ll bet there will be some drop in his effectiveness.

  3. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - May 25, 2011 at 5:41 PM

    A stat is a stat, but it seems wrong for lefty specialists to appear on this list mixes with the likes of Mariano and Gossage. I’d love to see the total innings pitched alongside these numbers. The guys who do it 1/3 at a time had it pretty easy…

  4. yankeesjetsknicksrangers - May 25, 2011 at 6:43 PM

    Fatso said on WFAN that he was the first to do it with the same team. Any-who thanks Mo.

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