Biographical

Portrait of Mariano Rivera

Mariano Rivera PYankees

Yankees Player Cards | Yankees Team Audit | Yankees Depth Chart

Career Summary
Years G IP W L SV ERA WARP
23 1115 1283.7 82 60 652 2.21 31.7
Birth Date11-29-1969
Height6' 2"
Weight195 lbs
Age48 years, 9 months, 22 days
BatsR
ThrowsR
WARP Summary

MLB Statistics

Historical (past-seasons) WARP is now based on DRA..
cFIP and DRA are not available on a by-team basis and display as zeroes(0). See TOT line for season totals of these stats.
Multiple stints are are currently shownClick to hide.
YEAR Team Lg G GS IP W L SV H BB SO HR oppTAv PPF H/9 BB/9 HR/9 K/9 GB% BABIP TAv WHIP FIP ERA cFIP DRA DRA- WARP
1995 NYA MLB 19 10 67.0 5 3 0 71 30 51 11 .271 101 9.5 4.0 1.5 6.9 33% .290 .270 1.51 5.18 5.51 115 6.63 135.7 -0.6
1996 NYA MLB 61 0 107.7 8 3 5 73 34 130 1 .270 101 6.1 2.8 0.1 10.9 41% .279 .179 0.99 1.95 2.09 61 2.95 58.3 3.0
1997 NYA MLB 66 0 71.7 6 4 43 65 20 68 5 .263 96 8.2 2.5 0.6 8.5 44% .288 .230 1.19 2.99 1.88 84 4.32 89.9 0.8
1998 NYA MLB 54 0 61.3 3 0 36 48 17 36 3 .262 95 7.0 2.5 0.4 5.3 51% .238 .209 1.06 3.56 1.91 105 4.03 83.5 0.9
1999 NYA MLB 66 0 69.0 4 3 45 43 18 52 2 .267 97 5.6 2.3 0.3 6.8 58% .212 .174 0.88 2.97 1.83 87 3.27 63.5 1.7
2000 NYA MLB 66 0 75.7 7 4 36 58 25 58 4 .268 93 6.9 3.0 0.5 6.9 53% .241 .203 1.10 3.36 2.85 86 3.49 67.1 1.8
2001 NYA MLB 71 0 80.7 4 6 50 61 12 83 5 .261 95 6.8 1.3 0.6 9.3 66% .268 .186 0.90 2.32 2.34 66 2.28 47.3 2.8
2002 NYA MLB 45 0 46.0 1 4 28 35 11 41 3 .257 96 6.8 2.2 0.6 8.0 54% .246 .211 1.00 2.97 2.74 87 3.53 75.8 0.9
2003 NYA MLB 64 0 70.7 5 2 40 61 10 63 3 .262 98 7.8 1.3 0.4 8.0 58% .294 .211 1.00 2.45 1.66 77 2.90 60.7 2.0
2004 NYA MLB 74 0 78.7 4 2 53 65 20 66 3 .258 104 7.4 2.3 0.3 7.6 63% .279 .198 1.08 2.92 1.94 86 2.93 60.5 2.3
2005 NYA MLB 71 0 78.3 7 4 43 50 18 80 2 .264 103 5.7 2.1 0.2 9.2 56% .238 .182 0.87 2.17 1.38 70 2.41 51.8 2.7
2006 NYA MLB 63 0 75.0 5 5 34 61 11 55 3 .262 106 7.3 1.3 0.4 6.6 58% .265 .192 0.96 2.88 1.80 86 3.21 65.5 2.0
2007 NYA MLB 67 0 71.3 3 4 30 68 12 74 4 .259 102 8.6 1.5 0.5 9.3 53% .323 .224 1.12 2.71 3.15 73 2.58 53.5 2.3
2008 NYA MLB 64 0 70.7 6 5 39 41 6 77 4 .261 104 5.2 0.8 0.5 9.8 55% .218 .156 0.67 2.05 1.40 52 2.29 48.8 2.4
2009 NYA MLB 66 0 66.3 3 3 44 48 12 72 7 .264 111 6.5 1.6 0.9 9.8 53% .248 .187 0.90 2.92 1.76 72 2.88 61.7 1.7
2010 NYA MLB 61 0 60.0 3 3 33 39 11 45 2 .262 113 5.8 1.6 0.3 6.8 52% .222 .175 0.83 2.78 1.80 84 3.54 80.0 0.9
2011 NYA MLB 64 0 61.3 1 2 44 47 8 60 3 .261 107 6.9 1.2 0.4 8.8 48% .275 .195 0.90 2.22 1.91 72 3.01 70.0 1.3
2012 NYA MLB 9 0 8.3 1 1 5 6 2 8 0 .258 104 6.5 2.2 0.0 8.6 45% .273 .197 0.96 1.84 2.16 59 2.05 47.0 0.3
2013 NYA MLB 64 0 64.0 6 2 44 58 9 54 6 .270 101 8.2 1.3 0.8 7.6 47% .280 .224 1.05 3.07 2.11 89 3.60 86.3 0.8
CareerMLB1115101283.78260652998286117371.2641017.02.00.58.252%.263.2001.002.812.21773.1565.831.7

Statistics for All Levels

'opp' stats - Quality of opponents faced - have been moved and are available only as OPP_QUAL in the Statistics reports now.
Minor league stats are currently shownClick to hide.
YEAR Team Lg G GS IP W L SV H BB SO HR oppTAv PPF H/9 BB/9 HR/9 K/9 GB% BABIP TAv WHIP FIP ERA cFIP DRA DRA-
1991 GRB A 29 15 114.7 4 9 0 103 36 123 2 .000 8.1 2.8 0.2 9.7 0% .000 .000 1.21 2.33 2.75 0 0.00 0.0
1992 FTL A+ 10 10 59.3 5 3 0 40 5 42 5 .000 6.1 0.8 0.8 6.4 0% .000 .000 0.76 2.88 2.28 0 0.00 0.0
1993 GRB A 10 10 39.3 1 0 0 31 15 32 0 .000 7.1 3.4 0.0 7.3 0% .000 .000 1.17 2.82 2.06 0 0.00 0.0
1994 TAM A+ 7 7 36.7 3 0 0 34 12 27 2 .000 8.3 2.9 0.5 6.6 0% .000 .000 1.25 3.40 2.21 0 0.00 0.0
1994 ABY AA 9 9 63.3 3 0 0 58 8 39 5 .000 8.2 1.1 0.7 5.5 0% .000 .000 1.04 3.35 2.27 0 0.00 0.0
1994 COH AAA 6 6 31.0 4 2 0 34 10 23 5 .000 9.9 2.9 1.5 6.7 0% .000 .000 1.42 4.64 5.81 0 0.00 0.0
1995 NYA MLB 19 10 67.0 5 3 0 71 30 51 11 .271 101 9.5 4.0 1.5 6.9 33% .290 .270 1.51 5.18 5.51 115 6.63 135.7
1995 COH AAA 7 7 30.0 2 2 0 25 3 30 2 .000 7.5 0.9 0.6 9.0 0% .000 .000 0.93 2.35 2.10 0 0.00 0.0
1996 NYA MLB 61 0 107.7 8 3 5 73 34 130 1 .270 101 6.1 2.8 0.1 10.9 41% .279 .179 0.99 1.95 2.09 61 2.95 58.3
1997 NYA MLB 66 0 71.7 6 4 43 65 20 68 5 .263 96 8.2 2.5 0.6 8.5 44% .288 .230 1.19 2.99 1.88 84 4.32 89.9
1998 NYA MLB 54 0 61.3 3 0 36 48 17 36 3 .262 95 7.0 2.5 0.4 5.3 51% .238 .209 1.06 3.56 1.91 105 4.03 83.5
1999 NYA MLB 66 0 69.0 4 3 45 43 18 52 2 .267 97 5.6 2.3 0.3 6.8 58% .212 .174 0.88 2.97 1.83 87 3.27 63.5
2000 NYA MLB 66 0 75.7 7 4 36 58 25 58 4 .268 93 6.9 3.0 0.5 6.9 53% .241 .203 1.10 3.36 2.85 86 3.49 67.1
2001 NYA MLB 71 0 80.7 4 6 50 61 12 83 5 .261 95 6.8 1.3 0.6 9.3 66% .268 .186 0.90 2.32 2.34 66 2.28 47.3
2002 NYA MLB 45 0 46.0 1 4 28 35 11 41 3 .257 96 6.8 2.2 0.6 8.0 54% .246 .211 1.00 2.97 2.74 87 3.53 75.8
2003 NYA MLB 64 0 70.7 5 2 40 61 10 63 3 .262 98 7.8 1.3 0.4 8.0 58% .294 .211 1.00 2.45 1.66 77 2.90 60.7
2004 NYA MLB 74 0 78.7 4 2 53 65 20 66 3 .258 104 7.4 2.3 0.3 7.6 63% .279 .198 1.08 2.92 1.94 86 2.93 60.5
2005 NYA MLB 71 0 78.3 7 4 43 50 18 80 2 .264 103 5.7 2.1 0.2 9.2 56% .238 .182 0.87 2.17 1.38 70 2.41 51.8
2006 NYA MLB 63 0 75.0 5 5 34 61 11 55 3 .262 106 7.3 1.3 0.4 6.6 58% .265 .192 0.96 2.88 1.80 86 3.21 65.5
2007 NYA MLB 67 0 71.3 3 4 30 68 12 74 4 .259 102 8.6 1.5 0.5 9.3 53% .323 .224 1.12 2.71 3.15 73 2.58 53.5
2008 NYA MLB 64 0 70.7 6 5 39 41 6 77 4 .261 104 5.2 0.8 0.5 9.8 55% .218 .156 0.67 2.05 1.40 52 2.29 48.8
2009 NYA MLB 66 0 66.3 3 3 44 48 12 72 7 .264 111 6.5 1.6 0.9 9.8 53% .248 .187 0.90 2.92 1.76 72 2.88 61.7
2010 NYA MLB 61 0 60.0 3 3 33 39 11 45 2 .262 113 5.8 1.6 0.3 6.8 52% .222 .175 0.83 2.78 1.80 84 3.54 80.0
2011 NYA MLB 64 0 61.3 1 2 44 47 8 60 3 .261 107 6.9 1.2 0.4 8.8 48% .275 .195 0.90 2.22 1.91 72 3.01 70.0
2012 NYA MLB 9 0 8.3 1 1 5 6 2 8 0 .258 104 6.5 2.2 0.0 8.6 45% .273 .197 0.96 1.84 2.16 59 2.05 47.0
2013 NYA MLB 64 0 64.0 6 2 44 58 9 54 6 .270 101 8.2 1.3 0.8 7.6 47% .280 .224 1.05 3.07 2.11 89 3.60 86.3

Plate Discipline

YEAR PITCHES ZONE_RT SWING_RT CONTACT_RT Z_SWING_RT O_SWING_RT Z_CONTACT_RT O_CONTACT_RT SW_STRK_RT
2008 969 0.4592 0.5005 0.7505 0.6247 0.3950 0.7950 0.6908 0.2495
2009 1016 0.4636 0.4665 0.8207 0.6008 0.3505 0.8834 0.7277 0.1793
2010 912 0.4627 0.5011 0.8162 0.6754 0.3510 0.8491 0.7616 0.1838
2011 904 0.4834 0.5033 0.8110 0.6133 0.4004 0.8396 0.7701 0.1890
2012 121 0.4959 0.4876 0.7119 0.6500 0.3279 0.7436 0.6500 0.2881
2013 927 0.5005 0.5005 0.7909 0.6422 0.3585 0.8188 0.7410 0.2091
Career48490.47410.49370.79560.63110.36980.83530.73520.2044

Injury History  —  No longer being updated

Last Update: 12/31/2014 23:59 ET

Date On Date Off Transaction Days Games Side Body Part Injury Severity Surgery Date Reaggravation
2012-05-04 2012-10-19 60-DL 168 137 Right Knee Surgery ACL and Mensicus 2012-06-12 -
2011-07-04 2011-07-09 DTD 5 4 Right Upper Arm Soreness Triceps -
2010-05-01 2010-05-12 DTD 11 9 Left Trunk Soreness Side -
2009-09-02 2009-09-07 DTD 5 5 Left Groin Soreness -
2009-08-12 2009-08-14 DTD 2 2 Right Shoulder Inflammation -
2008-10-07 2009-03-17 Off 161 0 Right Shoulder Surgery Calcification 2008-10-07
2008-09-24 2008-09-28 DTD 4 3 Right Shoulder Soreness -
2008-08-02 2008-08-06 DTD 4 4 Back Spasms -
2006-09-01 2006-09-22 DTD 21 20 Right Elbow Strain -
2006-05-31 2006-06-05 DTD 5 5 Low Back Spasms -
2005-04-22 2005-04-30 DTD 8 7 General Medical Illness -
2005-03-15 2005-03-31 Camp 16 0 Right Elbow Inflammation Bursitis -
2004-06-10 2004-06-12 DTD 2 2 Back Stiffness -
2003-07-11 2003-07-11 DTD 0 0 Right Ankle Contusion Batted Ball -
2003-03-30 2003-04-29 15-DL 30 25 Right Groin Strain -
2002-08-18 2002-09-20 15-DL 33 31 Right Shoulder Strain -
2002-07-21 2002-08-08 15-DL 18 15 Right Shoulder Strain -
2002-06-10 2002-06-25 15-DL 15 12 Right Groin Strain -
1998-04-06 1998-04-24 15-DL 18 13 Right Groin Strain - -

Compensation

Year Team Salary
2013 NYA $10,000,000
2012 NYA $15,000,000
2011 NYA $15,000,000
2010 NYA $15,000,000
2009 NYA $15,000,000
2008 NYA $15,000,000
2007 NYA $10,500,000
2006 NYA $10,500,000
2005 NYA $10,500,000
2004 NYA $10,890,000
2003 NYA $10,500,000
2002 NYA $9,450,000
2001 NYA $9,150,000
2000 NYA $7,250,000
YearsDescriptionSalary
14 yrPrevious$163,740,000
14 yrTotal$163,740,000

 

Service TimeAgentContract Status
18 y 105 dFernando Cuza1 year/$10M (2013)

Details
  • 1 year/$10M (2013). Re-signed by NY Yankees as a free agent 11/30/12. Award bonuses: $0.5M for LCS MVP. $1M each for WS MVP, Rolaids award.
  • 2 years/$30M (2011-12). Re-signed by NY Yankees as a free agent 12/17/07. 11-12:$15M/year. $1.5M each season deferred without interest, paid in $1M annual installments beginning in 2013.
  • 3 years/$45M (2008-10). Re-signed by NY Yankees as a free agent 12/17/07. 08-10:$15M/year. No-trade protection.
  • 2 years/$21M (2005-06), plus 2007 club option. 05:$10.5M, 06:$10.5M, 07:$10.5M club option. Option guaranteed with 60 GF in 2006 or 114 games in 2005-06. Option vested in 2006.
  • 4 years/$39.99M (2001-04). Signed extension with NY Yankees 2/01 (avoided arbitration, $10.25M-$9M). $8M signing bonus (paid 2001-04). 01:$7.15M, 02:$7.45M, 03:$8.5M, 04:$8.89M. No-trade protection 2001-02. Opt-out clause after 2002.
  • 1 year/$7.25M (2000). Lost arbitration with NY Yankees 2/00 ($9.25M-$7.25M).
  • 1 year/$4.25M (1999).
  • 1 year/$0.75M (1998). Renewed by NY Yankees 3/98.
  • 1 year/$0.55M (1997).
  • 1 year/$131,125 (1996).
  • 1 year/$0.19M (1995).
  • Signed by NY Yankees 2/90 as an amateur free agent from Panama. $3,000 signing bonus.

BP Annual Player Comments

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BP Articles

Click here to see articles tagged with Mariano Rivera

BP Chats

DateQuestionAnswer
2014-07-24 19:00:00 (link to chat)Curious as to how long you think Kimbrel can sustain dominance. It seems closers dont last as long at the top these days. Are we looking at a guy who will be there for the next 5-6 seasons?
(AC from Earth)
Closers with his profile, hard fastball, power slider, don't tend to last long. I don't really need him to be Mariano Rivera to validate his career in my mind. It's likely that he flames out quickly like so many before him, but I'm still going to enjoy this while it lasts. I think 5-6 seasons is a bit too long as a reasonable expectation. (Mauricio Rubio)
2014-03-14 09:00:00 (link to chat)If I roster both Yordano Ventura and Carlos Martinez, what will I have at the end of the season? Two gasoline-throwing RPs? Or two top-50 SPs? Or something in between?
(RatedRookie from Atlanta)
You'll probably have something in the middle in Ventura's case. I think he'll come up later in the year, show flashes of brilliance but offer outings that are maddeningly frustrating. Martinez will likely stay in the pen, but events in St. Louis could prove me wrong. I think he'll be an amazing set up to Trevor Rosenthal, and could provide the Cardinals with the best 1-2 postseason punch since Mariano Rivera and John Wetteland in 1996. (Mike Gianella)
2013-08-30 13:00:00 (link to chat)Pick a closer in the majors now that will still be a dominant pitcher in 2015 not named Kimbrel.
(Grasul from Minneapolis)
Mariano Rivera! But if you want one who'll still be active, Aroldis Chapman. (Ben Lindbergh)
2013-08-01 13:00:00 (link to chat)Shouldn't more closers have a signature move? Like shouldn't Mariano Rivera do a Mutombo finger wag after each out?
(Heroes of my life from GunsNRoses)
In that case wouldn't the lack of a signature move also qualify as a signature move? (R.J. Anderson Trade Deadline Wrap Chat)
2013-06-20 13:00:00 (link to chat)Any idea why Wilhelmsen is suddenly unraveling after being so solid in 2012 and in April of this year?
(xavier from Texas)
Ah the life of relievers. The problem is that it could be SO many things: small sample, injury, loss of effectiveness. This is why RPs are fungible and the overwhelming majority don't deserved long-term deals. All hail Mariano Rivera. (Paul Sporer)
2013-04-16 20:00:00 (link to chat)How do I value Addison Reed if I just started a dynasty rebuild? I know closers should be the first thing to go in a rebuild, but I can't help but believe he's relatively stable and likely to help me when I compete again in 2-3 years. Thanks
(JoeTinker from Chicago)
Here is a list of all closers who recorded 25 or more saves in 2010: Brian Wilson (48), Heath Bell (47), Rafael Soriano (45), Joakim Soria (43), Matt Capps (42), Neftali Feliz (40), Francisco Cordero (40), Carlos Marmol (38), Billy Wagner (37), Jonathan Papelbon (37), Kevin Gregg (37), Mariano Rivera (33), David Aardsma (31), Juan Oviedo (30), Bobby Jenks (27), Ryan Franklin (27), Brad Lidge (27), Jose Valverde (26), Francisco Rodriguez (25) and Andrew Bailey (25). (Bret Sayre)
2013-04-10 20:00:00 (link to chat)Couple of trade questions: My team: Rosario, Howard, Altuve, Frazier, Rollins, Cuddyer, A. Jones, B.Upton, De Aza. Bench: Carpenter, Rutledge, Hicks, Olt, Puig, Soler, Baez Rotation:Wainwright, Burnett, Harvey, E. Jackson, Jose Fernandez Bench: Cole, Hultzen, Gausman, Hammel I give up: Rollins and Altuve I get: Chase Headley(Trying to get Taveras included) I give up: Rollins, Mariano Rivera, Olt I get: Matt Wieters, Wil Myers Which trade if any do I move on? I would move Rutledge into the SS position, then I would move Carpenter into 2B. If I make either move.
(Mr. Slate from Bedrock)
Hi Slate:

I don't like the first trade at all. Headley is ahead of his timetable and could be back in a couple of weeks, but even if Headley does what he did in 2012, Jimmy Rollins OR Jose Altuve aren't that much worse and you're giving up both. Oscar Taveras obviously helps, but unless you're playing for 2014 or unless you know you can flip him for another player if you're gunning for it, this is a risky move. The second trade has some of the same problems. Rollins is probably better than Wieters and you're giving up Mariano as well. I don't know what your "dump" culture is like: that is to say, how players like Myers and Taveras are valued by teams playing for next year. If you think you can flip Taveras or Myers later for more in this year talent to push yourself to victory, then do it. If you can't and you're just making this trade for stats, hold off. (Mike Gianella)
2013-04-04 11:00:00 (link to chat)RE: Bundy and the cutter. It's my understanding that Dan Duquette loathes cutters in general and doesn't want any of their pitchers throwing them. He also said Mariano Rivera doesn't throw a cutter and that's it's a bad pitch in general. I think they're going to stunt Bundy's growth with this silliness.
(Dobbs from Delaware)
I think they know more about Bundy and his development than we do. (Jason Parks)
2013-01-29 14:00:00 (link to chat)Is the Yankee bullpen deep enough to overcome the loss of Soriano?
(Alex from Anaheim)
Thanks for coming back, Alex.

With Mariano Rivera, and David Aardsma and Joba Chamberlain in the mix, I don't think the Yankees will miss Soriano too much, provided that at least two of those three righties are healthy. Also, to throw in a little Top 10 prospect lingo, keep in mind that they have a potential "Factor on the Farm" in Mark Montgomery. (Daniel Rathman)
2013-01-11 14:00:00 (link to chat)I think that Troy Percival comes up in a couple of years. Do you think he is a deserving HOFer?
(Steve N from Delaware)
Nope. He's 81st among relievers in JAWS. Mariano Rivera is the only reliever above the standard who's not in, and that includes Trevor Hoffman. (Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame)
2012-09-26 13:00:00 (link to chat)What auteur director do you think would be the best pitcher? I think Michael Haneke would have a helluva cutter.
(Mike from Miami)
As discussed on twitter, obviously Walter Murch would be film' version of Mariano Rivera.

That said, I think Takeshi Kitano would be hard to beat. Power pitcher who would just mow guys down. Antonioni might've been great, maybe a Koufax type.

Dark horse candidate (no pun intended, honestly) would be Charles Burnett. "Killer of Sheep" was just so honest and brutal and immediate -- like vintage Bob Gibson.

And you didn't ask, but Lav Diaz would be the director most likely to be a horrible umpire. (Ian Miller)
2012-08-17 13:00:00 (link to chat)Hey Sam, first time, long time! Thanks for taking my question. So, the Astros, huh? j/k lololol Any insight into why the Giants' bullpen has been so awful this year? Apart from the obvious lack of Brian Wilson, I mean. Is it simply regression? I'll take my answer off the air.
(Ian from Bump City)
Bullpens are so weird. I wrote a Game of the Week piece in, oh, i don't know mid-May about the Giants' bullpen and how good they were. I also noted in the piece that the Rangers' bullpen was something like historically good, like Mariano Rivera's entire career boiled down and replicated by an entire bullpen. Since then, the Giants and Rangers have both had lousy bullpens and now I wonder what they're going to get in October (if they make October).

For the Giants, I'm not too worried. The top five, the guys I mentioned in the GOTW, have held it together, although Clay Hensley is not to be trusted for what seem to me to be pretty obvious reasons. The overall bullpen numbers have been crushed by the fact that the Giants haven't had a decent longman, and the Pennys and Louxes have been crushed when they've gotten innings. This is probably a bit more worrying for the Giants as it relates to the rotation; if something happens to somebody in their rotation, they basically have nobody who can step in, as the Pennys and Louxes have shown. The Giants bullpen isn't great. It makes me a little nervous. But it's good. Good bullpens just make me (and everybody) nervous, because that's their nature.

It's mostly the same issue with Texas, with some extra injuries thrown in. Scheppers, Tateyama, Grimm have been lousy, but they won't be lousy in October because they won't sniff action in October. (Sam Miller)
2012-08-14 14:00:00 (link to chat)best shot to be a closer by this time next year. Doolittle, Villareal, Stroman?
(Bernie Fine from Syracuse NY)
I know this isn't a good answer but I have no idea. They all could be closers or none could. Then they could all reverse themselves. Look at the guys who were supposed to be closers this year. even the great Mariano Rivera got hurt and the Yankees have used a number of different closers this season. Heck, even Derek Lowe got a save for the Yankees last night. Predicting closers is pretty tough. (Matthew Kory)
2012-05-25 14:00:00 (link to chat)Why is Mariano Rivera's cutter so difficult to emulate?
(Alex from Anaheim)
Mariano's ability to make microscopic alterations to his angle of supination allows him to generate different trajectories and velocities on his cutter. Other players will show unplanned variations in supination, but Rivera seems to have complete command of how to make a minute change to get the desired effect. (Doug Thorburn)
2012-04-13 13:00:00 (link to chat)Good chat. Over the last 15 - 20 years, who are some of your favorite players to go to the ballpark and see play and why?
(Jerome from T Hills)
Some of them are obvious - warts and all, I'm thrilled that I've gotten to see Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez as often as I have over the years - both have provided some incredible moments. Mariano Rivera, of course. I'm lucky to have seen Tim Raines and Rickey Henderson relatively late in their careers. Ken Griffey Jr., Edgar Martinez, Jay Buhner and Randy Johnson were pretty special because the Mariners were a favorite before I came to New York, and a common point of reference for me and my brother. Manny Ramirez, when he was still an Indian, was a lot of fun. Jim Thome was a beast who seemed to homer every time he came to town.

Going further back, I'm thrilled I got to see Fernando Valenzuela pitch in person, even if it was only spring training. Likewise for seeing Reggie Jackson in spring training - both were huge parts of my childhood and adolesence. My first regular season major league game was Roger Clemens vs. Nolan Ryan in 1989 (read about it in today's column). That was incredibly special in retrospect because Ryan always meant a great deal to me.

I'm sure I've forgotten somebody, but that's a good start. (Jay Jaffe)
2012-02-20 13:00:00 (link to chat)Mariano Rivera didn't flat-out tell reporters he was retiring after this season, but it sounds like that's his plan. As a Yankees fan, what is an appropriate reaction? Because I'm leaning towards setting myself on fire and running around the block while weeping/ rending my garmets. Thoughts?
(eephus from Brooklyn)
I think that's an appropriate response. I've always said that if Mo went down in-season, the appropriate action to be taken by Yankee fans would be to put your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye. If he is indeed hanging 'em up after this season, they have the opportunity to plan accordingly. (Jay Jaffe)
2012-02-20 13:00:00 (link to chat)I don't know how you can keep chatting so calmly when Mariano Rivera might be retiring this fall.
(eephus from Brooklyn)
I am rending garments between questions. (Jay Jaffe)
2012-01-09 13:00:00 (link to chat)Hey Jay. I was having a conversation with some friends and we were wondering whether the current iteration of the Red Sox has any Hall of Famers on it. What do you think? Also, if you haven't addressed this already, Posada: yes or no? Thanks for the chat!
(mattymatty2000 from Portland, OR)
There's nobody who's a lock, that's for sure. Youkilis doesn't even have 1,000 hits yet, let alone the era's de facto minimum of 2,000. Ortiz has the PED connection and the DH problem. Varitek doesn't even have Posada's credentials. Pedroia and Ellsbury have the potential but they're still mostly potential as far as building cases go - they don't even have good peak scores yet. Late note: I completely forgot about Adrian Gonzalez, who has three straight seasons of at least 6.0 WARP and doesn't turn 30 until May - he's got a stronger JAWS-based case than Pedroia so far. H/T to Cliff Corcoran for pointing out the omission.

Sad to say, the recent Red Sock who might have been building the best case for the Hall of Fame might be the guy who got away, Jonathan Papelbon, in that - much as I loathe him - he's got the talent to wind up better than Trevor Hoffman, if not Mariano Rivera. Still a looooong ways to go on that front, too. (Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special)
2012-01-09 13:00:00 (link to chat)Jay, With regards to Edgar Martinez, why do writers continue to back the DH as position but hold it against a player for the HOF? Is it similar to closers where over time voters will come around?
(asstarr1 from Madison, WI)
As I said before, intellectual consistency isn't the forte of the voting body, and there still aren't a ton of voters who are receptive to advanced metrics.

I do think some of the resistance to Edgar comes from the fact that a) his career got a late start due to the Mariners' silliness; and b) he had three Hall of Fame-caliber teammates in Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez and Randy Johnson overshadowing him for much of his time in Seattle.

I think we'll be done with closers in the Hall for a good long time once Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman get in, and I'd honestly be surprised if Edgar is in by that point. I think he'll still be on the ballot when I finally get a vote in 9 years. (Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special)
2012-01-30 13:00:00 (link to chat)Do you lend any credence to the thought Neftali Feliz is forever ruined because of game 6 of the 2011 WS?
(SDILincoln from Colorado)
No, I don't think I do. These reactions are so individualistic. Mark Wohlers was never the same after Jim Leyritz, but Mariano Rivera bounced back just fine from Sandy Alomar. There is nothing inevitable about Feliz's aftermath. (Steven Goldman)
2011-09-20 13:00:00 (link to chat)Jay, If a player's career ended after the 2011 season (compared to if his career had ended a year earlier), who most significantly raised his chances of eventually making it into the Hall of Fame? I'm just asking for conversational purposes -- no need to generate JAWS scores.
(Detroit Michael from Detroit, MI)
Jim Thome reaching the 600-homer plateau, with all of the extra attention it brought him, probably sealed the deal. And of course now Mariano Rivera has the saves record, so he's obviously in ;-) (Jay Jaffe)
2011-04-25 13:00:00 (link to chat)Hi Marc, thanks for the chat. I'm wondering if I should trade Prince + Dexter Fowler for Mariano Rivera + Mike Stanton? My current closers are Joe Nathan (yikes) and Brian Wilson. Along with Prince, I have Votto + A-Roid at the corners...in a H2H points league...Thanks
(cbelford from Chicago)
So, you're not using Prince at all? (Marc Normandin)
2011-04-05 13:00:00 (link to chat)Steve, I know this site has been advocating using teams' best relievers in high leverage situations. Has there ever been any consideration to using them earlier in games? For example, you see a lot of managers use their 5th or 7th(if you're TLR) worse relievers in the 6th innning of a game they trail 2-1. Would it not be better to put some of your best relievers into the game at that point to keep the deficit at one, and allow the offense to score some runs? As opposed to letting your worse reliever give up two runs to the heart of the order in the 6th, and significantly reduce their teams chances of winning.
(SaberTJ from Cleveland, OH)
Yes, although it's a complicated proposition because there are some natural limits on how you use those best relievers. EVERY game has its high-leverage situations, but you can't use, say, Mariano Rivera every game. Those lesser pitchers are necessary to spread out the workload, and that means that a perfectly leveraged bullpen is impossible. However, if managers chose to eschew the closer in just a few three-run, soft-save situations so that the guy could pitch the sixth now and again, it would be possible to get closer to the mark. One other problem: the moment that Famous Closer gets pounded pitching earlier than the ninth, the idiot media will jump on the manager with both feet and a ham sandwich.

This is the quietest chat in my nearly eight years at BP. Let's have some chatter out there! (Steven Goldman)
2011-03-24 13:00:00 (link to chat)Your opinion on the biggest issue of the spring, Mariano Rivera's high socks?
(Pounded Clown from 3RF)
I'm a fan of the high socks in general (or, as Rivera has pointed out, regular socks with shorter pants). Of course, if I were superstitious, I would say: you're Mariano Rivera. Why change ANYthing? (Emma Span)
2010-11-11 13:00:00 (link to chat)How in the world is Mariano Rivera still pitching at a high level at age 40? At this pace, he might be one of the few players to retire while still playing at an all-star level.
(Billy from New York)
The man throws a helluva cutter, doesn't he? This could go on for a while. With a guy like that, it seems like an injury will have to be what stops him and that could still be a few years away. (Matt Swartz)
2010-10-20 13:00:00 (link to chat)On Girardi for a second, was I the only Yankees fan who was a little nervous that he WOULD leave? Look, I hate some of his in-game management but he has constructed a very successful bullpen our of scraps in three straight years. He doesn't fall into small ball traps as often as other prestigious managers (Maddon) and, at the very least, he has an open mind about unorthodox maneuvering. I'm not Girardi's biggest fan but I still feel oddly comfortable with him.
(Adam from NY)
The bullpen rebuilding thing is a big point in his favor. That's a real skill. After Mariano Rivera, you know how many relievers Joe Torre established in 13 years? Scott Proctor? Maybe? Girardi has broken in more pitchers in three seasons than the old man did in more than a decade. I also appreciate his being willing to bat a power-hitter second, be it Swisher or Granderson. Tactically he's not all there, but few managers these days are John McGraw. On the whole, I think he's positive, even if in other aspects of his thinking, like closer usage and those bloody IBBs, he's too conventional. (Steven Goldman)
2010-10-14 13:00:00 (link to chat)Why did Jonathon Broxton help ruin my fantasy team's chance at a 3-peat this year? Can you see him bouncing back next year? Which is a better Nintendo cover band, the NESkimos or Power Glove?
(jnelson33 from Office Desk)
I just got off the phone with Jonathan Broxton, and he told me it's because he doesn't like you. He also said he doesn't like me, and wanted to ruin my fantasy closer rankings. Then he said something about not having a "closer's mentality", and how he think he left it in some pants that were stolen from him at the laundry mat.

I think he can bounce back, but I've learned my lesson to rely on a closer that isn't Mariano Rivera, Heath Bell, Joakim Soria or Brian Wilson at the top spot in my rankings. Or anyone named Jonathan. (Marc Normandin)
2010-10-07 13:00:00 (link to chat)TBS solution: 1. Turn the volume on your television all the way down. 2. Listen to ESPN radio's broadcast. For example, Jon Miller & Orel Hershiser called the Yankees-Twins game last night. Listening to Miller's description of Mariano Rivera as "The Great Rivera" is worth it alone.
(jasonbradleymill from Tucson)
I bought MLB At Bat for my BlackBerry this season and have gotten every bit of my $14.95 worth out of it. I like listening to the home team announcers because you pick up a lot of interesting tidbits. (John Perrotto)
2010-08-26 13:00:00 (link to chat)D'oh! Addendum: Care to expand on your praise of Heath Bell, Mike Adams, and Luke Gregerson, and add lauds and exultates for Joe Thatcher and Edward Mujica?
(Functionary from Grey Cubicle, DC)
Joe Thatcher missed the beginning of the season, but in the 27 1/3 innings since he's returned, he's held lefties to a line of .149/.212/.255. Mujica is a beast in the K/BB department as I said. He's given up some homers but seems to have that little problem under control lately, and is flat out dominant at times despite being a back-end option.

Bell walks some hitters sometimes, but most of the hits against him are dinky singles, and he can bring it and whiffs plenty of batters. The only closer I trust more than Bell is Mariano Rivera. Luke Gregerson and Mike Adams would be closing for most of the other teams in baseball--even when Gregerson walks batters he's an ace reliever, but this year he's got the walks under control. This is not a Petco bullpen, this is a pen full of really, really good pitchers. (Marc Normandin)
2010-08-02 13:30:00 (link to chat)Joakim Soria is on pace to shatter the saves record by a mile. If he stays healthy, does he become the best closer the game has seen?
(carlosrubi from México)
As great as the Mexicutioner has been, he's got a long way to go from 118. Even if Trevor Hoffman doesn't make it to 600 (he's at 596 and counting), Mariano Rivera's at 548. Picking anybody to deliver 10 straight 43-save save seasons just to catch Mo seems like a bit of a dodgy proposition, because of the number of things (or injuries) that might happen in the intervening time. (Christina Kahrl)
2010-05-14 13:00:00 (link to chat)Who gets into the HOF on the first ballot with a higher percentage of votes, Mariano Rivera or Derek Jeter? I think even those voters with anti-closer bias are going to agree with Mo's inclusion, eh? Tough call.
(tommybones from brooklyn)
I don't think I'm going out too far on a limb by saying that either of these guys could challenge Tom Seaver's 98.84% record vote. The closer thing is more likely to work against Mo, but any writer who doesn't think both of those two are Hallworthy should be considered a fraud. (Jay Jaffe)
2010-05-14 13:00:00 (link to chat)Do you think there's any chance Joba ever makes it back into the rotation? Given his demeanor on the mound (he seems to always be max-effort and very emotional), does it even make sense any more?
(Jeff from NYC)
While Brian Cashman would surely deny it if asked point blank, I suspect that this spring's decision to move him to the bullpen is the first step in the direction of making him the heir apparent to Mariano Rivera. (Jay Jaffe)
2010-03-26 13:00:00 (link to chat)Crystal ball--i.e. wild guess--time. 10-15 years from now, what will we be saying about the careers of Joba and Hughes?
(Timo from An hour north of Yankee Stadium)
Hey, Timo! Thanks for dropping by.

A decade from now, I think folks will be talking about how well Hughes adapted to the rotation thanks to that cutter he learned from Mariano Rivera, and how for awhile there, Chamberlain gave the Royals a decent 1-2 punch with Greinke before he got hurt and went south. (Jay Jaffe)
2009-12-17 13:00:00 (link to chat)What will become of Phil Hughes? Help me Obi Wan!!
(norcal from slopes)
Hughes will go back to the rotation armed with the cut fastball he learned from Mariano Rivera - the reason he become so dominant in relief in 2009 - and will establish himself as an above-average major league starter. (Jay Jaffe)
2009-12-17 13:00:00 (link to chat)"but the players you mention have been about as good at what they do as Tiger has at what he does" Really? Tiger is probably the greatest golfer who has ever played. His ten year stretch of dominance is basically unprecedented. I don't see how any of the players mentioned (or for that matter anyone in any sport) have had a 00s that comes even close to that. There have been other great hitters/relievers/pitchers in other decades ya know.
(Alex from SF, CA)
Like I said, it's difficult if not impossible to compare team vs. individual sports, but both Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols have shots at breaking Barry Bonds' all-time home run record and winding up as arguably the best player ever at their position. Mariano Rivera already is, without argument, the best at his, and has been so for a stunningly long time and in particular, when the heat was at its hottest (the postseason) -- though it's admittedly a lesser accomplishment than being an everyday player or even a starter. (Jay Jaffe)
2009-10-28 14:00:00 (link to chat)You picked Yankees over Phillies in your chat before the playoffs started. So far so good! Do you still think the Yankees will win?
(The Flying Bernard from Acton, MA)
Thank you for noticing - I'd almost forgotten that in the wake of having gotten the NLCS call wrong.

I do think the Yankees will win; I picked them in six games in today's preview based upon the depth of their lineup, the experience of their rotation in working on three days' rest, the way their lefty starters match up with the Phillies' lefty hitters and vice versa, and the presence of Mariano Rivera. (Jay Jaffe)
2009-10-23 16:00:00 (link to chat)What is the current thinking on the magnitude of a manager's impact on regular season victories? For example, the Reds won 78 games in 2009. What realistically could have been expected of the team with Dusty Baker replaced?
(BBBill from Hamilton, Ohio)
It's a very slippery slope here because one's evaluation of managers would need to use something other than personal opinions on which pitchers are brought into games. I tend to think that managers will impact 1-3 games in a season. I don't think Dusty was the difference between the Reds winning 78 or 88 games this season. Then again, if you attribute his handling of Volquez, Harang and Cueto to injuries or reduced effectiveness, the impact could be greater. Suffice to say, there are a lot of factors that go into something like this and too many people tend to focus primarily on the pitching change or lineup construction aspect. Unless you are bringing in Adam Eaton to replace Mariano Rivera, or completely avoiding platoon splits and things of that nature, a lot of it is common sense. And if you don't have a lot of weapons, that is more on the GM/Owner than the manager. (Eric Seidman)
2009-09-02 13:00:00 (link to chat)Mariano Rivera is easily one of the best _(#?)_ players in history at any position. When all is said and done he'll probably be considered one of the _(#?)_ best and may be the _(#?)_ best ever (motivated to ask by all the hagiographies going around this past season). Thanks!
(Tony from Brooklyn, NY)
He is the best closer in history, best reliever, too, but let's not confuse 45-50 IP/yr with 700 PAs and defense to boot, regardless of the importance of the 9th inning. (Eric Seidman)
2009-09-02 13:00:00 (link to chat)K, let's try the inverse. Probably _(#?)_ starters in MLB history could have replicated the career success that Mariano Rivera has in his role. Pedro, Clemens, Randy Johnson, et al are all good examples (?).
(Tony from Brooklyn, NY)
Again, this is an apples to oranges comparison wrapped inside a hypothetical impossible to answer. If you really want an inverse, how about this - if Rivera was a starter, whose career would his replicate? It's much harder to do what Pedro, Clemens and Johnson have done than it is to log 50 high pressure innings a season. Rivera is the best closer and reliever of all time, but he is not better than the most valuable starters. (Eric Seidman)
2009-06-24 13:00:00 (link to chat)I didn't think I'd need to spell it out: what is Mariano Rivera's number?
(Ken from NY)
Yes, nine of you just entered that. D'oh. And I don't think it's lame at all.

...My kids' babysitter just asked me if I'd heard anything good about "Transformers 2." I sobbed. (Steven Goldman)
2009-04-28 13:00:00 (link to chat)The Yankees have a gaggle of arms between Mariano Rivera down to Melancon and Roberston. What kind of operation can't get at least average production over the season after casting a net that wide?
(Tony from Brooklyn, NY)
That's a great question. It just goes to show you that spending more money than everyone else doesn't ensure that you can be the perfect club. (John Perrotto)
2009-04-16 13:00:00 (link to chat)The Mariano Rivera "Nothing But Class" Career Achievement Award
(dianagramr from NYC)
I was thinking more performance based, but we'll take whatever. (Marc Normandin)
2008-12-05 14:00:00 (link to chat)Nicky's Vietnamese sandwiches? You should try Hanco's. What are the chances that the Mets actually have 5-6 HOFers right now: Wright, Reyes, Beltran, Johan... Delgado, Wagner?
(Dan from Brooklyn)
Thanks for the tip. No on Delgado or Wagner; the former doesn't have enough great seasons under his belt (just four 8.0+ WARP seasons), the latter's elbow issues plus the eventual comparisons to Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman will doom his candidacy. (Jay Jaffe)
2008-10-24 14:00:00 (link to chat)It seems like there are no players on either team who are already good Hall of Fame candidates (though guys like Utley, Upton, etc. have time to qualify.) Can you ever remember a Series without such an established veteran star?
(oira61 from San Francisco)
Wow, that's a good question, one that pretty much ties into what I was saying a couple of days ago about how rare it is to get two fresh teams facing off in the series for the first time in awhile. Add to that the fact that both teams are dominated by younger guys whose best days may still be ahead of them and you wind up with a situation like this. I'm jogging my memory and looking back over the WS matchups and thinking that we've hit a real stumper. At the time, people wondered aloud if the 1998 Yankees would yield a Hall of Famer, but now it's apparent that Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter will make it if nobody else does, to say nothing of Tony Gwynn from the opposite dugout.

The 1982 matchup maybe - at the time it certainly wasn't apparent that Ozzie Smith, Robin Yount, Paul Molitor or Don Sutton would make it (Sutton would win 60-something more games in the majors), adn Rollie Fingers was sidelined too. Definitely a question to sock away for future pondering. (Jay Jaffe)
2008-10-20 13:00:00 (link to chat)Steven, please give us an analogy for the use of David Price in that spot. What other player with such limited experience appeared in such a high-leverage role, successful or unsuccessful?
(oira61 from San Francisco)
I was mildly reminded of Buck Showalter suddenly discovering that Mariano Rivera was a great reliever during the 1995 ALDS. (Steven Goldman)
2008-09-16 13:00:00 (link to chat)"Why did I know that when Yost didn't?" We have been saying that here for years! Mostly regarding the management of the bullpen, is there any reason at all for his ineptness at it?
(Adam from Milwaukee)
He's just your typical manager, or below average in that department? I've often said that bullpen construction is probably the hardest job for a GM because of the randomness of reliever performance. Managers face some of the same challenges, trying to catch lightning in a bottle with five out of six relievers or even six out of six if they don't have a Mariano Rivera-type closer. The one thing I've thought Girardi did well this year was get away from his original bullpen alignment and figure out alternatives. If that's a trick he can repeat, he can be an asset to an organization as manager or pitching coach or something, because I think most of them aren't all that good at it. I haven't tried to document, but I think Tony LaRussa is one of the ones who is good at it... (Steven Goldman)
2008-06-20 13:30:00 (link to chat)Does Trevor Hoffman deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as Mariano Rivera?
(Seymour from Brooklyn)
Sure, you're talking about the two best one-inning closers ever. Rivera is better, as much because of his massive body of postseason work, but it's no insult to compare the two. We may dismiss Hoffman because he holds a record that isn't terribly meaningful; we shouldn't, he's been a great player and will be a legitimate Hall of Famer. (Joe Sheehan)
2008-03-26 12:00:00 (link to chat)Hey Bryan, Standard 5x5 league, I have Giambi, Sexson, Vernon Wells, and Andrew MIller on my bench/extra pitcher. I only have marmol, tony pena, and brian wilson as RP's. DO you think I should make a trade with those big four on the bench for someone like rivera, wagner, or nathan? Thanks Bryan.
(SnakeDoctor18 from Washington DC)
Sure, but do you think you have enough to get it done. I mean, assuming it isn't a keeper league, does the guy with Mariano Rivera accept Richie Sexson, Andrew Miller and Brian Wilson for him? I guess it depends on his team, but I'm not so sure. Then again, I'm just backing my way back into rotisserie. (Bryan Smith)
2008-01-10 13:00:00 (link to chat)Joe, I think Bernie Williams might be someone who is overrated because he was on the Yankees and won titles.
(JKGaucho from DC)
There's absolutely no evidence that being on particular team helps you in the BBWAA voting. Cardinals, Giants and Yankees are overrepresented in the Hall of Fame because the Hall wasn't bright enough to do away with the Veterans Committee once it had served the purpose of catching early-baseball players and the backlog of qualified 20th-century candidates.
Bernie Williams is a Hall of Famer to me, although I admit I may be too close to it. Postseason performance does matter, and it matters more now in the era of three-level playoffs. Williams, Mariano Rivera, John Smoltz and Curt Schilling are just a few of the players whose resumes are stronger than a JAWS-flavored analysis would indicate. (Joe Sheehan)


BP Roundtables

DateRoundtable NameComment
2009-11-02 17:00:002009 WS Game FiveWill, given the matchups (.400ish OBP vs. lefties) I'd want as little high-leverage Gaudin as possible. The reason he's on the roster is to sponge a couple of innings in a blowout loss, not as a bridge to Mariano Rivera in a win. (Jay Jaffe)
2009-10-16 13:00:00NLCS Game Two/ALCS Game OneShaun P. (Medway, MA): Jay, I was as surprised as you to see Torre deviate last week with Broxton - and I have no idea how often he did this season or last - but it will take a lot more than a couple of deviations to convince me he's changed. Not saying its not possible, just that I'm incredibly skeptical. Steven, I think he should have pulled Kershaw when he was laboring - but since he didn't, I'm not surprised he left Sherrill in too.

Actually I wasn't surprised at the Broxton move at all. I know he did it twice this year, once in late April (backed by Will Ohman) and once in late August (Sherrill). Plus he brought Broxton in for a 4 or 5 out save several times as well, just as he did with Mariano Rivera in the Bronx. I've said my piece about last night but bullpenwise, there are managers with much less flexibility than Joe. (Jay Jaffe)
2009-10-12 15:00:00Phillies/Rockies Playoffs RoundtableBut not Mariano Rivera! (Steven Goldman)
2008-10-13 17:00:00NLCS Game FourVictorino on the road this year, .272/.316/.405.

Torre is just awful when he has to think about how to use his bullpen. Every single time. If the path isn't as clear as Mike Stanton to Jeff Nelson to Mariano Rivera he gets lost. (Steven Goldman)
 

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