Bullpen Management

One important way a manager can effect his team's performance is through bullpen management. A manager needs to bring in his relievers in the right situations, getting his best relievers in when the game is on the line. We can look at how Joe Torre is doing in this aspect of management using a stat called Leverage index. Leverage Index (LI) measures the importance of a game situation with a single number. According to Fangraphs Leverage Index is defined as:

"A measure of how important a particular situation is in a baseball game depending on the inning, score, outs, and number of players on base, created by Tom Tango."

The average LI is 1. This is the LI in a neutral game situation. In a blowout, the LI goes down because the situation is not as important. 60% of all game situations have a LI of less than 1. But if the score stays close, the LI goes up as you get into the later innings. 10% of all game situations have a LI of greater than 2. This is typically when a closer is used; the average closer has a LI of about 1.8 and the average set-up man about 1.3.

Obviously, you want to bring in your best relievers in the most important situations. Using gmLI (the average Leverage index when a pitcher enters a game) we can see how Dodger relievers are being used:

gmLI ERA FIP
Broxton 2.03 1.33 1.27
Wade 1.76 5.12 3.36
Kuo 1.69 6.75 7.47
Belisario 1.32 2.18 3.61
Troncoso 1.15 1.83 2.78
Ohman 1.03 5.84 8.19
Leach 1.03 5.19 2.00
McDonald 1.01 1.69 3.72
Weaver 0.95 5.40 5.90
Elbert 0.63 7.11 7.89
Mota 0.56 6.04 5.35

In general, Torre has done a good job making sure the best relievers get in the most important game situations. Jonathan Broxton, easily the best reliever on the team, also leads in gmLI by a comfortable margin. Cory Wade has been used in the second most important game situations, and while he has struggled, his FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching, defined here) suggests that is mostly due to bad luck. After him comes Hong-Chih Kuo, who was the set-up man early on because of his amazing performance in 2008. After that you have the effective combo of Ronald Belisario and Ramon Troncoso, who are coming in more important game situations as they gain Torre's trust. And at the bottom of the list there's Jeff Weaver, Scott Elbert, and Guillermo Mota, generally considered the worst pitchers on the Dodgers so far this year.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join True Blue LA

You must be a member of True Blue LA to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at True Blue LA. You should read them.

Join True Blue LA

You must be a member of True Blue LA to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at True Blue LA. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker