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The Cincinnati Reds bullpen got a nice shake-up this offseason. This shake-up led me to wonder if theirs is the best in baseball. Before diving head first into the analysis, I can tell you it very well might be. With Ryan Madson, Sean Marshall, Bill Bray, Nick Masset, Jose Arredondo, Logan Ondrusek and Sam LeCure it isn't out of the question that this group is the best in the league.
Of the pitchers I mentioned above, last season they combined to pitch 454.9 innings in 2011. The seven pitchers also combined for a record of 29-27, 3.03 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 409 strikeouts K/BB rate of 2.54 and a K/9 rate of 8.09.
Those numbers are very good for a bullpen. In comparison to the best bullpens from 2011, the Reds would-be 2012 bullpen would have ranked T-1 in ERA and 14th in strikeouts. The big thing to take away from that is bullpen ERA. At 3.03 they would have finished tied with the Atlanta Braves last season. I don't know how many of you saw the Braves bullpen pitch last year, but they were electric.
I think the Reds can be as effective, just with less strikeouts. I'll leave you with this, if the Reds bullpen inherits a lead from a starter, don't expect it to be given up easily, if at all.