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Entries in 30+ saves (1)

Monday
Feb042013

90/30 Pitchers

It would be a good debate to decide who is more specialized: a closer or a DH?

On the one hand, a closer does all the things a pitcher does, just infrequently and briefly.

On the other hand, a DH basically only does one thing: hits.

Perhaps this is a reason why Lee Smith and Edgar Martinez are still waiting for a call from Cooperstown.

The role of bullpen pitchers have become more and more specialized with closers basically restricted to the 9th inning and teams attempting to more and more compartmentalize their 8th and 7th inning pitchers.

Last season, there were 15 pitchers with at least 30 saves. None threw more innings than Fernando Rodney.

RkPlayerIPSVTm
1 Fernando Rodney 74.2 48 TBR
2 Tyler Clippard 72.2 32 WSN
3 Jason Motte 72.0 42 STL
4 Aroldis Chapman 71.2 38 CIN
5 Jonathan Papelbon 70.0 38 PHI
6 John Axford 69.1 35 MIL
7 Jose Valverde 69.0 35 DET
8 Jim Johnson 68.2 51 BAL
9 Rafael Soriano 67.2 42 NYY
10 Joe Nathan 64.1 37 TEX
11 Craig Kimbrel 62.2 42 ATL
12 Joel Hanrahan 59.2 36 PIT
13 Chris Perez 57.2 39 CLE
14 Rafael Betancourt 57.2 31 COL
15 J.J. Putz 54.1 32 ARI
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/4/2013.

Does that seem like a lot of innings or a few?

Here's some perspective: Over the last 20 seasons 389 relievers have accrued 30 saves in a season. Rodney's 74.2 IP puts him in a tie with five other pitchers for 121st on the list.

Reaching the 30-save mark is becoming less of a noteworthy feat.

RkYear#
1 2011 19
2 2006 19
3 2005 19
4 2007 18
5 2002 18
6 1996 18
7 1999 17
8 1998 17
9 2009 16
10 2004 16
11 2000 16
12 2012 15
13 2008 15
14 1997 15
15 2010 14
16 2001 14
17 1995 13
18 1993 13
19 1991 13
20 2003 12
21 1992 12
22 1990 11
23 1989 10
24 1988 8
25 1987 7
26 1984 7
27 1986 6
28 1985 6
29 1983 3
30 1994 2
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/4/2013.

But throwing 90+ innings and earning 30+ saves is truly becoming a rarity.

The last one to do it being Ryan Dempster in 2005. That season, Dempster made 57 relief appearances throwing 58.1 innings, and six starts with 33.2 IP.

RkYear# 
1 1984 6 Bill Caudill / Willie Hernandez / Dan Quisenberry / Dave Righetti / Lee Smith / Bruce Sutter
2 1985 5 Willie Hernandez / Bob James / Donnie Moore / Dan Quisenberry / Lee Smith
3 1987 3 Tom Henke / Dave Righetti / Todd Worrell
4 1986 3 Dave Righetti / Lee Smith / Todd Worrell
5 2002 2 Danny Graves / Billy Koch
6 2000 2 Danny Graves / Derek Lowe
7 1988 2 Bobby Thigpen / Todd Worrell
8 1983 2 Dan Quisenberry / Bob Stanley
9 2005 1 Ryan Dempster
10 1997 1 Jeff Shaw
11 1992 1 Doug Jones
12 1991 1 Jeff Montgomery
13 1989 1 Mark Davis
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/4/2013.

Here are the 28 pitchers since 1983 who have thrown 90+ innings and earned 30+ saves

RkPlayerYearSVIPTmG
1 Billy Koch 2002 44 93.2 OAK 84
2 Derek Lowe 2000 42 91.1 BOS 74
3 Danny Graves 2000 30 91.1 CIN 66
4 Jeff Shaw 1997 42 94.2 CIN 78
5 Doug Jones 1992 36 111.2 HOU 80
6 Jeff Montgomery 1991 33 90.0 KCR 67
7 Mark Davis 1989 44 92.2 SDP 70
8 Bobby Thigpen 1988 34 90.0 CHW 68
9 Todd Worrell 1988 32 90.0 STL 68
10 Todd Worrell 1987 33 94.2 STL 75
11 Dave Righetti 1987 31 95.0 NYY 60
12 Tom Henke 1987 34 94.0 TOR 72
13 Todd Worrell 1986 36 103.2 STL 74
14 Lee Smith 1986 31 90.1 CHC 66
15 Dave Righetti 1986 46 106.2 NYY 74
16 Lee Smith 1985 33 97.2 CHC 65
17 Dan Quisenberry 1985 37 129.0 KCR 84
18 Donnie Moore 1985 31 103.0 CAL 65
19 Bob James 1985 32 110.0 CHW 69
20 Willie Hernandez 1985 31 106.2 DET 74
21 Bill Caudill 1984 36 96.1 OAK 68
22 Willie Hernandez 1984 32 140.1 DET 80
23 Dan Quisenberry 1984 44 129.1 KCR 72
24 Dave Righetti 1984 31 96.1 NYY 64
25 Lee Smith 1984 33 101.0 CHC 69
RkPlayerYearSVIPTmG
26 Bruce Sutter 1984 45 122.2 STL 71
27 Bob Stanley 1983 33 145.1 BOS 64
28 Dan Quisenberry 1983 45 139.0 KCR 69
Provided by Baseball-Reference.comView Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/4/2013.