By Joe Cooper @joeRantSports on May 1, 2014
The only branch of the Cleveland Indians that has been able to keeps its head above water is the bullpen. Led by Marc Rzepczynski, Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen, the Tribe bullpen has weathered the storm of early appearances and minuscule run support. The pen ranks 13th in both FIP (3.52) and WAR (.7) in MLB, playing close to slightly above league average as a group.
The left-handed reliever has been a steal early on in 2014 becoming a reliable entity for manager Terry Francona with 10.80 K/9, 2.16 ERA all while allowing a BABIP of.333. Outman hasn’t been an easy pitcher to make contact with leaving 95.9 percent of runners on base.
Terry Francona’s ageless wonder Scott Atchison quickly proved his value as a reliever participating in multiple roles like pitching several innings and making situational appearances. Atchison has recorded outs the old fashion way drawing a ground ball percentage of 78.1 percent offering a .150 BAA. With a .77 WHIP, the 38-year-old has shown he doesn’t take kindly to base runners either.
Once again, Marc Rzepczynski, also known as Scrabble, has gone about his business quietly having his number called upon regularly when the starting pitching is caught in a bind. Despite a higher strikeout and walk rate in 2014, Scrabble has been able to keep base runners at bay earning a 2.53 ERA.
Before Cody Allen allowed a three-run walk-off homer to Brandon Hicks in the ninth inning Sunday, he hadn’t allowed a run in his first 9.1 innings of work by the way of 14 strikeouts. Allen’s 95-97-mph fastball has been too much for hitters to catch up to as the 25-year-old owns 13.50 strikeouts per nine innings. To the surprise of many, Allen maintains a BAA of .095 against lefties, allowing only two hits in 6.2 innings in opposition to them.
Bryan Shaw’s steady progression since entering the big leagues in 2012 continued this April posting a 1.98 ERA, 9.22 K/9, 1.98 BB/9 and a .4 WAR in 13.2 frames. Shaw has kept batters guessing alternating between his slider and curveball while integrating his cutter as his primary pitch. Unlike Allen, Shaw has earned his keep against right-handed bats totaling .071/.194/.074.
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