A Historical Perspective of the Royals Bullpen Usage

April 9, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost (left) relieves starting pitcher Luis Mendoza (39) at the pitchers mound against the Oakland Athletics during the sixth inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

The Royals bullpen has been taxed quite a bit this season with most of the starters unable to go more than 5 innings. As of yesterday, over 43% of the innings thrown by the team have been by the bullpen. Here is a chart of the percentage of innings the Royals bullpen has thrown compared to the league average since 1974.

Bullpen___medium

The 2012 bullpen has by far the largest % of total innings thrown by releivers for a Royals team. Now here is how the team ranks historically:

Rank Season Team relief_perc
1 1981 Cubs 50.1%
2 1996 Pirates 49.2%
3 1989 Mariners 46.9%
4 1995 Tigers 46.3%
5 1995 Twins 45.9%
6 2008 Padres 45.8%
7 2009 Padres 45.4%
8 1993 Rockies 45.1%
9 1985 Athletics 44.5%
10 2000 Angels 43.8%
11 2004 Devil Rays 43.6%
12 2005 Rangers 43.4%
13 2012 Royals 43.2%
14 2008 Athletics 43.2%
15 2012 Twins 43.2%
- - - -
1069 1990 Braves 17.1%
1070 1986 Twins 17.1%
1071 1976 Dodgers 16.6%
1072 1974 Angels 16.5%
1073 1976 Brewers 16.4%
1074 1977 Orioles 16.0%
1075 1981 Athletics 15.9%
1076 1978 Rangers 15.4%
1077 1980 Athletics 14.3%
1078 1977 Angels 13.0%

The Royals and the Twins are doing more than battling for 4th place in the AL Central, they are battling for some historic ineptitude. Adding another digit to the right of the decimal, the Royals are at 43.18% and the Twins are at 43.15%. It will be a WAR to the end.

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