How Ned Yost Leveraged His Pitchers

In the post-WPA era, we have an increasingly objective view of leverage -- that is if one wants to use it. Individual game situations vary, and inevitably weird or even nonsensical decisions can be made. Over the long season however, patterns tend to emerge. No manager today approaches the game outside of the inning framework. We're still, I don't know, years away from that. Mostly, we have bullpen guys who pitch in close games, and those who don't. And the close game guys then get assigned an order, and that tends to be how things get done. It's far from perfect, but if you've got enough good relievers at some level it almost doesn't matter.

Anyway, that's enough prelude, here are the leverage numbers from 2011:

 

IP aLI ▾ LevHi LevMd LevLo
Joakim Soria 60.1 2.08 35 12 11
Aaron Crow 62.0 1.72 30 5 20
Greg Holland 60.0 1.42 25 13 8
Louis Coleman 59.2 1.23 20 11 16
Felipe Paulino 124.2 1.13 1 0 0
Danny Duffy* 105.1 1.09 0 0 0
Tim Collins* 67.0 1.00 21 14 31
Sean O'Sullivan 58.1 1.00 1 1 0
League Average .99
Blake Wood 69.2 .85 16 16 22
Nathan Adcock 60.1 .58 2 5 14
Team Total 1.06 170 85 155
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/6/2011.


(I probably should have removed Duffy and Paulino, as I took out the other starters, alas...)

 

It's interesting to see that Collins ended up so low. For a time, Collins and Crow functioned as dual setup/firemen, but Collins, perhaps by sheer dint of just so many effing appearances, also pitched in a lot of low leverage situations.

Louis Coleman also appears to have been all over the place, perhaps this is random, perhaps it is simply because the Royals had a deep 'pen and a lot of options.

It did feel like Soria pitched in less meaningless "getting in work" games this season, though maybe that was a function of the Royals being a little more competitive and playing in fewer blowouts (which, is that even true? I don't know). You can also see above how Holland pretty quickly emerged as an important guy.

What do you make of these numbers? Do you like this deployment? Crow seems the vexed question to me.

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