Originally written on WHYGAVS?  |  Last updated 11/14/14
This is not a secret, but the way that relievers are used has changed quite a bit throughout baseball history. One  of the first truly famous relievers was the Pirates' own ElRoy Face, who had a dominant run from 1957-1962. In that span, he averaged 61 appearances a season with 47 games finished. That doesn't sound terribly different from the way the Pirates used Joel Hanrahan last year (63 appearances/57 games finished) except that Roy also averaged 95 innings a year, which is just about 1 2/3 innings per appearance. Saves weren't an official stat back then, but Face averaged 18 a season. Face wasn't brought in to protect leads late in games, he was brought in under any and all circumstances to finish games, no matter the situation.  That sort of pattern came to its natural culmination with Mike Marshall in the early 1970s. In 1973 with the Expos and 1974 with the Dodgers, Marshall threw 179 innings, then 208 1/3 innings in 198 total appearances, all in relief. Marshall finishe...
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