Originally posted on The Flagrant Fan  |  Last updated 11/4/13

Since 1976, Rolaids has sponsored an award for the best relief pitchers of the year for both the American League and National League. I was going to name my awards the Tums Award, but figured I would get sued. So I figured I would name my award for the least successful relief pitchers of 2013 the Gasoline Award because the following list of pitchers did not put out any fires. Instead...say it with me...they poured gasoline on the fire.   It is difficult judging relief pitchers because they could have ten good performances in a row and then get poached for an inning and have an ERA that balloons to five in a hurry. And often times they will put a base runner on only to have another guy from the bullpen come in and make sure that runner scores. That is the life of a relief pitcher. Noting all of that, I based my award on not only ERA, but on inherited runners scored, rWAR, WHIP and WPA. Doing so seems to cover all the bases. And here are my results: Mike Gonzalez - Gonzalez is a LOOGY, a left-handed specialist who pitched 75 times this past season to log fifty innings. He makes his living one lefty batter at a time. After a mostly successful career doing so, 2013 did not go well. His WHIP was 1.660, his homer per nine rate was 1.8, his WPA was -2.000 (the highest on our list). He allowed 47.7% of his inherited runners to score and this was pitching mostly to get lefties out. Lefty batters had a .780 OPS against him. Not a good season. Brandon League - I love this guy's name. It sounds like a collection of super heroes. League has never been able to hang on to a closer's role and this year was his worst. He had a WHIP of 1.546 and allowed 50% (!) of inherited runners to score. Opposing batters had this triple slash line against him: .305/.354/.464. His rWAR was -1.4 and his WPA was -1.838. Nothing good to see there. Oh yes, his ERA+ was 64. Anthony Bass - I almost hate to put Bass in here as he was one of those guys that was the last guy out of the bullpen--the mop-up guy. He only had 29 appearances, but pitched 42 innings. But I have to put him in there because he allowed an .829 OPS against and allowed 66.67% of inherited base runners to score. That is unbelievable in the gasoline department. His WHIP was 1.690. His ERA was 5.26 and tied League with an ERA+ of 64. Bass had a WPA of -0.538. Hector Rondon - Rondon's stats don't look as bad as the first three. His ERA and WHIP are better. But he allowed 50% of his inherited base runners to score. His WPA was -0.434. I suspect that he had some days where he pitched quite well and had other days where he could not get anyone out. His high walk rate probably did not help him. Jose Mijares - This is our second LOOGY on the list and if you do not get that one guy out that you are supposed to get out, things get ugly. Mijares had the highest OPS against on our list at .844, a terribly bloated WHIP of 1.776. The trouble with LOOGYs are that the other manager will pinch hit for the lefty Mijares had to face and that spelled trouble as his OPS against from right-handed batters was almost one (.961). Mijares allowed 41.30% of inherited runners to score (30% is about average) and his WPA was -1.234. Honorable mention: Joba Chamberlain, John Axford (he did better in Boston) Based on all that information, who would you give the award to? I think Mike Gonzalez gets the nod, though League gave him a run for his money. The good news for all of these pitchers is that most will probably still be employed in 2014.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Five most anticipated September MLB call-ups
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Brandon Jennings takes swipe at Reggie Miller's career

Report: Kaepernick facing ‘uphill battle’ to make roster

Djokovic says ‘private issues’ cost him chance at grand slam

Colin Kaepernick on national anthem: 'I'll continue to sit'

Stephen Jones: Cowboys 'look forward' to starting Prescott

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Stanton has 'slim chance' of returning for final week?

Kubiak hinting that Siemian is favorite for Broncos' QB job?

John Harbaugh: NFL needs to make changes to preseason

Romo expected to miss 6-10 weeks with broken bone in back

Kaepernick explains why he is protesting national anthem

Dwyane Wade’s cousin shot and killed in Chicago

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

Marshall’s first impression of Fitzpatrick: ‘He was terrible’

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Six worst quarterback situations in the NFL

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

The 20 best boxing movies of all time

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker