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April 12, 2000
Doctoring The Numbers
Consistent Relief, Brady Anderson and Gabe White
John Wetteland's name has been dropped from discussions of the game's best closers, but his consistency in the most capricious role in baseball is still the standard for the new generation of relief aces. Wetteland has amassed 25 or more saves for eight straight seasons, and his low season of 25 saves came in strike-shortened 1994. The longest streaks of 25 or more saves:
Wetteland's streak is a testament to his pitching as much as to his opportunity: last season was the first time in the streak that his ERA was above 3.00. Anyone looking to build a platform for Lee Smith's Hall of Fame chances should look closely: only two pitchers in history have a 25-save streak even half as long as the all-time saves leader.
Hell Yes, It Was a Fluke
Last season, Brady Anderson hit 24 home runs, which was a career-high...if you don't count his 50-homer explosion in 1996. Granting that his career isn't over yet, the difference between Anderson's two highest homer totals is the greatest in baseball history:
Name HR (Best) HR (2nd-Best) Diff
(Only active players with more than five seasons in the majors were considered, as otherwise Troy Glaus--29 homers as a sophomore, one as a rookie--would top the list.)
It's probably just a coincidence that Anderson's manager in 1996, Davey Johnson, formerly held the fluke-power title. But if Devon White lights the lamp 45 times this year, we'll dispatch a research team immediately.
Oh, He's Going to LOVE Colorado
Gabe White, the most recent pitcher to break down crying in his manager's office after being asked to change into a Rockies uniform, is already quite familiar with the gopher ball. While effective at keeping runners off base (just 11.23 BR/G for his career), White has given up homers to 15.1% of those baserunners, easily the highest percentage of any active pitcher (minimum 250 innings):
Name HR BR HR/BR