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Reliever BABIPs

On June 10th, I find myself increasingly frustrated with my inability to select harmless middle relievers in 2008. That is difficult to admit as I have spent years grabbing relievers right before they become the closer. As the first step in trying to dispel my belief that projecting middle relief efforts are essentially random, I decided to take a look at the worst BABIPs for relievers who have thrown 15 or more relief innings this season without making any starts.

From this list of especially unlucky BABIP relievers, I see some familar, crooked-number-runs-and-hits-and-walks-allowing members of my pitching staffs - Rafael Betancourt (.400), Jason Grilli (.385), Jamie Walker (.404), Aaron Heilman (.341), and Russ Ohlendorf (.333). Those are four relievers who are in, or were in, the AL and on my team. Missing is Mariner's Left-handed BABIP nightmare Eric O'Flaherty who managed a .483 BABIP in just under seven innings of work. This seems to help explain the disaster that my AL-Only staff has suffered.

My NL-Only is a little harder to pinpoint though. Heilman did a lot of extra damage because I have Johan Santana and Oliver Perez which gave Heilman extra leverage to damage my team when he allowed their inherited runners to score. Despite that, the BABIPs of Manny Acosta (.277), Justin Miller (.314), Oscar Villareal (.233) don't really provide the comfort of blaming bad luck that the AL does.

NAME TEAM K/9 BB/9 BABIP
Brad Hennessey SFN 6.8 4.5 0.522
Joe Thatcher SDN 6.1 4.3 0.443
Dave Borkowski HOU 6.9 2.6 0.406
Jamie Walker BAL 8.3 3.1 0.404
Rafael Betancourt CLE 9.3 3 0.39
J.J. Putz SEA 10.9 7.6 0.385
Jason Grilli COL 9.9 5 0.385
Darren O'Day ANA 5.5 4.3 0.375
Matt Lindstrom FLO 6.7 5.2 0.375
Mark Lowe SEA 8.4 6.5 0.365
Bob Howry CHN 7.7 1.4 0.36
Jesus Colome WAS 9.7 5.5 0.359
Guillermo Mota MIL 9.9 4.9 0.355
Kyle Farnsworth NYA 8 3.5 0.351
Kevin Hart CHN 7.1 6.6 0.35
Aaron Heilman NYN 9.4 4.4 0.341
Jonathan Broxton LAN 12 3.4 0.339
Joe Beimel LAN 6.5 3.7 0.339
Franquelis Osoria PIT 4.5 1.6 0.338
Rafael Perez CLE 8.8 3.9 0.338
Jorge Sosa NYN 5 4.6 0.338
Ross Ohlendorf NYA 8.6 3.8 0.333
Octavio Dotel CHA 12.9 4.5 0.333
Yasuhiko Yabuta KCA 6.5 4.8 0.333
Frank Francisco TEX 11.6 5.4 0.333
Jared Burton CIN 9.9 2.8 0.33