Grading The Texas Rangers' Confusing Bullpen In Baseball

Angelo CerilliCorrespondent IMay 12, 2009

So your wondering how I'm doing this grading system? Well here is a layout of what my grades will be based on, it's mostly on ERA, this is because the Rangers play in such a small stadium that ERA is probably the most accurate stat in Texas, the stadium is so small you HAVE to be good to keep it low so here is the grading system based on ERA.

A: 2.00-0.00

B: 2.01-3.00

C: 3.01-4.00

D: 4.01-5.00

F: 5.00+

Now that'sa pretty tight grading scale but if the Rangers have any chance of making to the playoffs, even in a weak AL West, they need to get some good pitching there. However some grades will be pushed up, or down based on other statistical factors, such as saves or WHIP.

Frank Francisco - Closer

Stat Line: 1-0 0.00 ERA 9 SV 9 SV Opp 14.2 IP7 H 0 R 0 ER 4 BB 13 K .137 AVG 0.75 WHIP

Grade: A+

Normally relies on his fastball that sits at 93.7 MPH (throws it 79.8% of the time) but that isn't the only pitch he knows, he has a curve ball at 77.7 MPH (5.8% throw rate) and a sinking fastball at 85.3 MPH (14.4% throw rate), which he relies to fool the batters at the plate, which has worked so far. 

This guy is becoming a very good closer in the MLB and at the time is atop the saves leader and lowest era, with other pitchers like Ramon Ramirez of the Boston Red Sox.

He is the anchor of the Rangers bullpen and when he comes into the game there is no getting out of it, like Mariano Rivera and Jonathan Papelbon he has been that effective this year, if he can continue that success is a question but so far he has been atop the AL closers.


C.J. Wilson - Set-Up

Stat Line: 1-2 4.85 ERA 0 SV 0 SV Opp 13 IP14 H 11 R 7 ER 7 BB 10 K .275 AVG 1.62 WHIP

Grade: D

Not exactly having the best season, however Wilson's best season came in 2007 when his ERA was 3.03 so he hasn't been exactly the best, however Wilson does know plenty of pitches and it was rumored a few years ago that he was learning the Gyro ball but all that has faded. 

Wilson like Francisco uses his fastball but not as much (72.1% throw rate) averaging almost 93 MPH (92.9). Wilson also has a Slider at almost 85 MPH (84.9) (22.8% throw rate), a Cutter at 88.7 MPH (1.8% throw rate) and a Change Up at 87.9 MPH (3.2% throw rate). 

Wilson needs to slow down his Change-Up as it goes so fast that it doesn't have enough time to move, so he needs to work on movement he throws his breaking pitches too fast but can still be very productive.


Kris Benson - Long Relief

Stat Line:1-1 8.36 ERA 0 SV 0 SV Opp 14 IP21 H 14 R 13 ER 6 BB 8 K .339 BA 1.93 WHIP

Grade: D

I can't believe I gave Benson a D however he has two things which makes me lean up, one his ERA was affected by him being a starter that did bad than moved to the bullpen and has done better, and second is this is his first year playing MLB ball since 2006.

Benson is ageing and it is showing, badly, his stuff is not as impressive as it used to be. Benson isn't like Wilson or Francisco, he only throws his fastball 44.9% of the time at 87.9 MPH. He also throws a Slider 24% at 82.4 MPH. A Cutter 12.7% at exactly 85 MPH. A Curve ball 7.9% at 75.2 MPH.

And finally a Change-Up at 81.1 MPH. So the guys relies more on fooling his opponents with unpredictable pitches, unfortunately it hasn't work too well for him as a starter but is transitioning a little better for him as a reliever, his first outing as a relief pitcher he went 3 innings gave up 5 hits 2 ER walked 1 and struck out 3 so not bad for the guy.


Eddie Guardado - Middle Relief

Stat Line: 0-1 8.53 ERA 0 SV 0 SV Opp 6.1 IP12 H 6 R 6 ER 3 BB 2 SO .387 BA 2.37 WHIP

Grade: F

The Rangers re-signed him after trading him, I can imagine they won't be doing this again as Eddie's value as this point must have reached an all time low at this point his stuff just really isn't that impressive and he isn't getting many strikeouts, which is a bad combination in the Rangers ballpark.

Everyday, Eddie has three main pitches: A fastball that he throws 63.6% of the time hitting only 85.4 MPH. He has a slider (12.9% at 77.3 MPH) and finally a Change-Up that he throws 23.5% of the time and it sits at 77.9 MPH.

He seems to lack any kind of power what so ever in his pitching and he relies more on his location, unfortunately for him it just isn't working this year.


Jason Jennings - Long Relief

Stat Line: 0-1 4.02 ERA 0 SV 0 SV Opp 15.2 IP14 H 9 R 7 ER 7 BB 10 K .241 BA 1.34 WHIP

Grade: C

Mr. Rookie of the Year turned injury prone. I gave him a C even though his ERA does constitute D status because I didn't really see any reason to give him a D nothing about those stats scream below average, all those scream average, unfortunately that seems to be all that he is now is average.

But this still was a low-ball signing so I guess this has worked out for the Rangers. Even his pitches are average, his fastball sits a 88.1 MPH but he only throws it 36.3% of the time.

His main pitch is his slider, which he throws 50% of the time and it sits at 80.9 MPH. He also throws a Cutter, which is faster than his fastball, which I didn't think was possible at 91.5 MPH but that also could be because he only throws it 5% of the time.

His curve ball sits at 80.5 MPH and throws it one in a blue moon 0.8% of the time.

Finally his Change-Up which is his "out," pitch sits at 82.1 MPH and he throws it 8% of the time. He has a decent amount of pitches but they all are mediocre in my mind so like I said before everything about this guy right now is average.


Derek Holland - Long Relief

Grade: B

Stat Line: 0-1 2.08 ERA 0 SV 0 SV Opp 8.2 IP8 H 2 R 2 ER 3 BB 4 K .235 BA 0.69 WHIP

One of the Rangers shining rookie prospects have been flourishing so far against major league hitting. He may give up his fair share of hits but once a hitter gets on the base pathHolland is lights out, and his WHIP just proves it.

He has been heavily relying on his fastball which sits at 94.1 MPH, he uses it 80.4% of the time.

Holland also has a slider, which he throws 13% of the time and sits at 83 MPH and a Change-Up which he throws 6.5% of the time and that sits at 84.8 MPH, overall he needs to develop more pitches but the pitches he already knows are pretty solid, he has a chance to shine as a pitcher in the future and this years stats are already proving that he can be a good pitcher in the future.


Darren O'Day - Middle Relief

Grade: A

Stat Line: 1-0 1.42 ERA 0 SV 0 SVO 6.1 IP 5 H 1 R 2 1 ER 0 BB 6 K .227 ER 0.79 WHIP

If i'm an Angels/Mets fan right now i'm sort of mad that the Rangers got this lights out pitcher, and that's exactly what he has been for the Rangers so far not allowing a single walk while still striking out six.

Whats so amazing about O'Day right now is that his stuff isn't exactly lights out, he is doing all this the Guardado way, location. He has a fastball that he uses 69% of the time and that sits at ONLY 84.2 MPH.

He also has a slider that he uses 37.8% of the time and throws it 77.4 MPH and finally a change-up which he never uses (0.3% throw rate) and he throws it at 82 MPH.

The guy doesn't have anything that I would expect from a dominate pitcher but the guy is adjusting great from the Mets field to the Rangers ballpark and is doing a great job for this team right now.


A special thanks to for giving me the MPH and the Throw %.


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