MLB DG: Building a Staff with the Bullpen
Starting pitchers are throwing fewer innings than ever before (see Will My Arm Fly Off?). As noted in The Value of Relievers, and expanded upon here, the idea that you can eschew moderate starting pitching and bolster your pitching staff with relief arms is a doable and an intriguing option. Additionally, we’ll touch on the idea of adding the middle reliever, and not the closer, when talking about building a staff with bullpen arms.
Guys like Mike Leake, Jason Vargas and Zach Davies all produced usable numbers last season. By that, I mean that they were usable starting pitchers in mixed leagues. However, let’s take a look at the numbers of each man and note that if we look past their W-L records, that their average effort really wasn’t anything to get excited about. I will list the average of the three men, and then the major league average as well.