Monday, October 4, 2010

bdj610's 2010 End of Year MLB All-Star Teams...The Relief Pitchers

As I have done every year for the last 22 years, I am going to compile lists of players for my 2010 End of the Year (or 2011 MLB) All-Star teams. If you want to know what the heck I'm talking about, please review 2008's introduction and brief history (ahem...brief???) as to why I have done this every year for the past 22 years. And while you're at it, please feel free to review the rosters of past teams, and the results of simulated games by clicking the links along the sidebar.

Quick rules on how I comprise the teams:

  • Two teams, one National League League team, and one American League team
  • There are 36 spots on each team (three first basemen, three second basemen, three third basemen, three shortstops, nine outfielders, three catchers, six starting pitchers, four relief pitchers/closers, one relief pitcher/set-up, and one DH-the NL spot is taken by the player with the highest average who did not make the team at any position)
  • Every team gets a representative. No exceptions. If a player gets snubbed by a guy who is only there because a team needed a rep, then that's sadly the way it goes.
This is going to be a four-post process. Today, I will announce the bullpen staffs for each team.

Why start with the bullpens?

Because it's relatively simple. The top four guys with the most saves are usually guaranteed automatic spots on the teams. Emphasis on the word 'usually' though.

Last year, I started with the National League staff. This time, I'll begin with the American League. The closers on this year's AL team are:

  • Rafael Soriano, Rays (3-2, 1.73, 45 saves)
  • Joakim Soria, Royals (1-2, 1.78, 43 saves)
  • Neftali Feliz, Rangers (4-3, 2.73, 40 saves)
  • Mariano Rivera, Yankees (3-3, 1.80, 33 saves)
Now I know that both Kevin Gregg of the Blue Jays and Jonathan Papelbon of the Red Sox have more saves than Rivera (37 each), but both have ERA's that are at or more than double that of Rivera's (3.51 and 3.90 respectively), and that 1.80 ERA is tough to ignore.

The National League closers for the 2010 team are:

  • Brian Wilson, Giants (3-3, 1.81, 48 saves)
  • Heath Bell, Padres (6-1, 1.93, 47 saves)
  • Carlos Marmol, Cubs (2-3, 2.55, 38 saves)
  • Billy Wagner, Braves (7-2, 1.43, 37 saves)
Now, I know what you're already thinking. Chicago bias is allowing me to pick Marmol over Reds closer Francisco Cordero (4-3, 3.84, 40 saves). And I had thought about that myself. However, CoCo, heading into the weekend, had an ERA of 4.00 (it has since gone down to a season ending 3.84). And how can you ignore Marmol leading all relief pitchers with a staggering 138 strikeouts (that's rounds out to a ridiculous 15.99 K's per nine innings). And while you can argue that Marmol drew a league leading 52 walks for a closer, don't forget that even strikeout king Nolan Ryan is also the the all-time Walks leader too.

The AL Middle Reliever for the 2010 team will be Daniel Bard of the Red Sox. He is the 2010 AL leader in holds with 32, had a 1-2 record, sports a dazzling 1.93 ERA, and struck out 76 batters. Others considered for this role were Joaquin Benoit of the Rays, Joba Chamberlain of the Yankees, and Matt Thornton, the actual All-Star middle reliever from the White Sox.

Choosing the NL Middle Reliever for the 2010 team was a lot tougher as the competition was fierce. But in the end, I am choosing Mike Adams of the Padres. He finished the year with 37 holds, which was good for second in the NL, but also went 4-1 with an ERA of 1.76 while striking out 73 (his WHIP was a low 1.065). The competition for the one middle relief spot came from Padres teammate Luke Gregerson (league leading 40 holds), Tyler Clippard of the Nationals, and actual All-Stars Arthur Rhodes of the Reds and Hong-Chin Kuo of the Dodgers.

So right now, we've named the bullpens for each team. Who will fill out the rest of the rosters?

On Tuesday, I will name the six starting pitchers that will round out the pitching staffs on each team.

By Wednesday, every team will get a representative as I announce just some of the players who will take spots on both leagues' rosters.

And finally on Thursday, I will round out the rest of the rosters and introduce the complete National and American League teams.

Wait and see. It's going to look good I promise.

Sincerely,

JayBee Anama

1 comment:

lifetimetopps said...

As a Reds fan, I completely agree with your pick of Marmol over Cordero. Cordero was borderline awful in the 2nd half of the year, and if he had been even marginal, the Reds would have at least 2 more wins, the #2 seed, and home field advantage in the first round. Instead? We get to face the phillies 3 aces in a 5 game series.