July 9, 2007

At the Break (Bullpen)

Well, the first edition of "At the Break" was posted yesterday, and it covers the starting pitchers from the first half. Now, it's time to look back at what the bullpen did in the first half with stats and grades for each player.

The next edition in this series will look over the starting lineup from the first half with stats and grades for each player in the starting nine. Also, at the end of this post are the players that were left out of this bullpen edition because they didn't pitch in very many games.

The Bullpen:
Joe Nathan
First Half Grade: B+
This grade may be somewhat low to you, but I gave it to him for a couple of different reasons. First, Joe hasn't' been as reliable in non-save opportunities as he was in the past. He has pitched pretty well in save opportunities other than a few times, but I'm grading his all around performance. Secondly, the Twins haven't given him a lot of save chances this season, and although that isn't his fault, it does make his numbers seem a little worse.

2007 Season Stats

Juan Rincon
First Half Grade: C
Juan Rincon was once arguably the Twins best setup man. However, call ups along with his poor performances have changed that. Rincon got this grade because he has basically lost his setup role after being inconsistent and not very trustworthy. As of now, I think Rincon's biggest asset to the Twins is simply his stock (trade ability).

2007 Season Stats

Matt Guerrer
First Half Grade: A+
Matt Guerrier has flat out impressed me this season, and I'm glad we haven't lost him in past seasons. The main reason for Guerrier's awesome grade is the fact that he went from being a mop-up guy to being a very reliable setup man. Guerrier can be trusted in tight situations, and has awesome numbers so far this season. Another reason for this grade is that he can be used for multiple roles -- setup, long relief, mop-up and heck, he even wants to be a starter.

2007 Season Stats

Pat Neshek
First Half Grade: A
Pat, much like Guerrier has really impressed me this season. I knew what he could do last season, but the addition of a changeup to his arsenal of pitches has helped him even more. He simply didn't get an A+ because he doesn't pitch in all of those situations, and I have to say I expected more from him coming in to the season than I did from Matt.

2007 Season Stats

Dennys Reyes
First Half Grade: C+
Dennys Reyes was injured early on this season, and that's a huge reason why his stats are down. Since his return from the disabled list, he's been lights out. I thought about giving Reyes a B-, but decided a C+ was better based on his numbers. Whether you want to believe it or not, a big reason that Reyes' numbers are disappointing is because of that injury. If Reyes stays healthy, he'll be a big key to this team in the second half.

2007 Season Stats
* Missed time from injury

Jesse Crain
First Half Grade: C- (Incomplete)
Jesse Crain barely pitched this season, or at least it seemed like it. Crain's numbers, much like Reyes' were down this season, but again the thought is that the reason for it is because of his injury. There is no telling if this was the reason for sure, but based on the type of injury, there is good reason to believe that was the case. Crain has no chance of returning this season, and it'll be interesting to see how fast he can return from such a bad (pitching) injury.

2007 Season Stats
* Won't pitch again this season

Glen Perkins
First Half Grade: B-
Glen Perkins, much like the previous two pitchers, has missed time because of an injury this season. Perkins had a few dull moments before the injury, but at times he really impressed which is the reason for the higher grade.

2007 Season Stats
* Projected are assuming he returns from injury

Pitchers Not Included:
Julio DePaula
Jason Miller
Carmen Cali

This concludes the second edition of the "At the Break" series. As I mentioned above, the next edition will be the starting lineup, and that will then be followed by the bench players.

As I mentioned in the first edition, this is my first time awarding grades, and I'm sure some people have different views. I'd be interested to hear what you think about the grades (what would you give them) and what you just simply think about any of these bullpen pitchers.

Finally, all of the stats, and projected stats for the end of the season are from ESPN.com.

I failed to mentioned this in the first post, but I didn't, so I'll do so now...

The projected stats are also from ESPN.com. They do not project final batting averages, earned run average or opponents batting average. I have simply added the projections because I thought it would be a cool way to show what the player's stats might be around when the season ends. Obviously many players will out-perform the projections while others may not live up to them. If you're not interesting in the projections, you can simply look at just the player's season stats which is listed above the projections.