Our Wonderfully Craptastic Bullpen

What a grotesque beast this year’s bullpen is turning out to be.

What’s mind-boggling is that most of the culprits have major-league track records. Jose Jimenez, David Riske, and Scott Stewart have all closed before with at least some degree of success. Yet all three have been absolute gas-cans this season.

What can the Indians do about it? Not much, besides going after another fungible arm or two like Rick White. Otherwise they just have to just hope that the main guys get things back together before the rest of the team is affected by it.

The most unfortunate thing about the bullpen is that it’s overshadowing an otherwise improved team. The Indians are light-years better offensively, ranking at least in the middle of the pack in vritually every team category. The starting pitching has been pretty good for most of the season. But the only thing people seem to mention on this team is the bullpen…it’s been that bad.

VORP Results – April

Probably the best measure of how good or bad a player has been is his VORP, or Value Over Replacement Player. It’s essentially a measure of how much better a player is than a generic replacement player. If you’d like to see the mathematics behind this, here’s a good introduction.

First the starters:

CC Sabathia 10.8
Jason Davis 0.7
Cliff Lee 6.3
Jeff D’Amico -1.7
Jason Stanford 6.8
Jake Westbrook 11.2

Only veteren crumb Jeff D’Amico has really been a below-average pitcher, though Jason Davis has resided there for a couple starts. If you assume Westbrook is going to boot out Jeff when Jason Stanford comes off the DL, it’s a pretty good rotation.

Now, for the hitters:

Matt Lawton 5.0
Omar Vizquel 5.7
Jody Gerut 3.0
Casey Blake 1.5
Travis Hafner 9.6
Ron Belliard 18.2
Ben Broussard 3.6
Victor Martinez 3.6
Alex Escobar 1.1

Again, not too bad considering the expectations for the offense. Obviously Belliard is playing way over his head, but the runs have been there. Unfortunately, the wins haven’t come because of these guys:

David Riske -4.8
Rafael Betancourt 1.3
Scott Stewart -5.5
Jose Jimenez -1.1
Chad Durbin -8.8
Rick White 0.4
David Lee -5.0
Kaz Tadano 0.0

Ouch. Betancourt has the highest value at 1.3, and the rest have been pretty much scrub-level.

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