B/R MLB 500: Top 55 Relief Pitchers

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B/R MLB 500: Top 55 Relief Pitchers
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

This is it. The final stop on the B/R MLB 500 magical mystery tour. Fittingly, it ends with the guys whose job it is to see games through to the end: relief pitchers.

The scoring for relief pitchers goes like this: 25 points for stuff, 15 points for command, 20 points for hittability, 15 points for reliability and, like everyone else, 10 points for health. Add it all up and you get a max of 85 points. Like designated hitters, relievers just aren't valuable enough to be scored out of 100.

For stuff, we considered what sort of pitches each reliever has in his arsenal, as well as things like velocity, movement and general nastiness. The scoring is subjective, but it's important to note that it was decided that it would take more than just two plus pitches for relievers to earn a perfect score.

The command category concerns what you'd expect it to concern. How good is a reliever at limiting walks? At finding the strike zone? At commanding the ball within the strike zone? And so on.

The hittability category essentially answers the question, "How hard is it to hit this guy?" The ability to miss bats and rack up strikeouts counts for a lot with relievers, so that's primarily what we were looking for.

The reliability category is this countdown's answer to the "Workhorse" category for starting pitchers. Many relievers are talented, but how many of them are actually legit "game over" guys? Which are "game (maybe) over" guys? Which are the "I can't watch!" guys? Like with the workhorse category for starters, a track record is helpful here.

As for health, that's basically 10 free points. Unless, of course, there are reasons to be worried about a pitcher's ability to stay healthy. 

As always, one thing to keep in mind is that a score that's, say, 10 out of 20 is not a failing score. That's an "average" score, making anything below it below average and anything above it above average.

Lastly, here's a reminder that the whole idea is to round up guys we'd want on a team in 2014. Notably, that means Mariano Rivera will NOT be found within, so don't expect to see him. If there are any ties, the edge goes to the player we'd rather have.

That's all there is to it, so let's go ahead and breathe easy with some relievers.

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