Wednesday, September 14, 2011

So you have saved 600 have you? Mariano Rivera

Last night, Yankee's closer Mariano Rivera saved his 600th game. He did this around midnight Central time in Seattle, on a, bizarrely, failed Ichiro (I am really starting to question whether this season is just an aberration for Ichiro, he may be done) stolen base attempt, with little fanfare and no celebration. Rivera, who is now just 1 save behind all-time leader Trevor Hoffman, is still pitching great, with a 2.05 ERA, .930 WHIP, nearly a strikeout per inning pitched, only 1 walk per 9 innings, 21 RAR (Runs Above Replacement), and 3.1 WAR (Wins Above Replacement). For his career, Rivera has a 55.9 WAR (basically meaning he has single handedly won 60 games for the Yankees, when you add up all his accomplishments), and this doesn't even mention the post-season success. Saber-metrically, his career compares to Dennis Eckersley who compiled a 59 WAR in his career. However, it is quite silly to call (as I have been hearing lately) Rivera "the most valuable Yankee" or "greatest pitcher ever, as Greg Maddux had a WAR of nearly 100 for his career, and C.C. Sabathia more than doubles Rivera's WAR on the season with a 6.5. Relief pitchers, no matter how great, cannot be as valuable as good starting pitchers (this explains how Brandon League's, clearly having the better year, WAR is lower than Brandon Morrow's, who has struggled for the most part). As far as Rivera salary to performance (measured by WASP, which is discussed in previous postings here) he is well above (above is bad, below is good) the "Halladay Standard", posting a WASP of nearly 5000. But one could correctly make the point that the Yankees do not need to worry about efficiency because they are able to spend so much money. During his career, Rivera has made an eye popping $144 million and change. However, his career WASP is under the "Halladay Standard" of 3000 at 2585.51, so even for moneyball teams, Rivera would have been worth it. An obvious hall of famer, Rivera will become the all-time leader in saves with in the next few days, and its always fun seeing old guys do great

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