Something smells…Let’s see if we can figure out what it is…

Yesterday, somebody in the comments section asked about the number of runners inherited that Shawn Camp had allowed to score this year. Of course, we really don’t need a statistics to tell us that the answer is somewhere between “too many” and “seriously? Shawn Camp?…again?”

While most media outlets still list wins, losses, saves and ERA, a true measure of a relief pitchers effectiveness is their ability to come in and put out a fire. Strangely, IR (number of inherited runners) IRS (number of inherited runners scored) and IRS% (percentage of inherited runners that scored) are elusive numbers. None of the giant online media outlets list the numbers. But never fear, after some searching, the fine folks over at Baseball Prospectus have come through (as usual).

First let us take a look at the numbers for every pitcher that has pitched in relief this season for the Devil Rays. In all Major League games this season, relief pitchers have faced a total of 1906 IR. Of those runners, 589 have come around to score for a ML average of 30.9%.

Shawn Camp 29 13 44.8%
Gary Glover 16 3 18.8
Brian Stokes 15 6 40.0
Ruddy Lugo 10 7 70.0
Juan Salas 9 3 33.3
Al Reyes 4 1 25.0
Tim Corcoran 2 1 50.0
Chad Orvella 2 0 0.0
Jae Kuk Ryu 0 0 0.0

Jae Kuk Ryu is the only pitcher that is yet to enter a game with a runner on base. As we can see from the numbers, Shawn Camp, as well as Brian Stokes and Ruddy Lugo (currently in AAA) have been atrocious. Gary Glover has been surprisingly effective.

Now let’s see how the Devil Rays rank as a team against the rest of Major League relief pitchers…

Colorado 56 25 44.6%
St. Louis 47 19 40.4
New York Yankees 83 32 38.6
Baltimore 81 31 38.3
Kansas City 78 29 37.2

As a team the Devil Rays have allowed 34 of 87 IR (both Major League highs) to score or 39.1%. Sadly, the Rockies, as a team, have been nearly as bad as Shawn Camp, but they have faced 31 fewer IR than the Rays. The Yankees and Orioles actually have similar numbers to the Rays.

There have been 27 pitchers that have inherited at least 15 runners in 2007

Shawn Camp 29 13 44.8%
Geoff Geary 28 5 17.9
Brian Shouse 25 2 8.0
Aaron Fultz 20 7 35.0
John Parrish 20 6 30.0
Micah Bowie 20 6 30.0
Joseph Smith 19 6 31.6
Mike MacDougal 19 5 26.3
Jack Taschner 19 5 26.3

Shawn Camp has inherited more base runners than any other pitcher, with 29 and has allowed the most to score by a wide margin. His IRS% (44.8%) is the 3rd worst among pitchers with at least 15 IR. If Camp only allowed the league average, he would have only allowed 9 IRS, so Camp has allowed 4 more inherited runners to score than an average pitcher would have if placed in the same situations. Ruddy Lugo is tied for the 7th most IRS with 7 and Brian Stokes is tied for 10th with 6. On a brighter note, Glover has the 5th best IRS% of pitchers with at least 15 IR (18.8%).

Of the 74 pitchers that have faced at least 10 IR, Lugo is the league leader with 70% of those runners scoring.

We’re no brain surgeons here, but maybe Camp and Stokes shouldn’t be entering close games with runners on base. Just a hunch.


  • Andrew Friedman recently spent 5 days in Durham watching each of the Rays 5 AAA starting pitchers. It appears as though we are getting closer to seeing some changes in the Devil Rays rotation. In the meantime our Jae Seo and Casey Fossum voodoo dolls are taking a beating.

Each pitcher from the group – left-hander J.P. Howell and right-handers Andy Sonnanstine, Jason Hammel, Jeff Niemann and Mitch Talbot – is working on a few specific areas of interest. Friedman wouldn’t handicap who might get the first call to Tampa Bay, but said he could see a couple being ready “very soon” while others have some work to do.

  • The Rays have a catching problem. Josh Paul, who was hit by a pitch spiked on a play at home plate on Sunday, needs to head to the DL. The problem is, his replacement, Shawn Riggans is on the DL at AAA Durham and not eligible to come off until Thursday. The Rays do not have any other catchers on the 40-man roster, so if they wanted to replace Paul with somebody else, they would need to designate somebody for assignment. Instead the Rays will keep Paul active as the emergency backup catcher and hope they don’t play any 16 inning games in the Mariners series.
  • The Mariners come to the Trop for a 3-game set beginning tonight. Seattle is 19-21, 5.5 games behind the Angels in the AL West. They are coming off a loss to Cleveland that was a makeup game from earlier this season. They have lost 5 of 6. The Rays were 3-6 against the Mariners in 2006.


  1. Anonymous says:

    Josh Paul was injured by getting spiked by the Marlins catcher this weekend.

  2. The Professor says:

    you are absolutely will be corrected

  3. Anonymous says:

    Oops, I also meant to say, good post. It seems like IRS% is a pretty telling stat when every team in that second table had a pretty bad record and was either last in their division, or close to it.

  4. Jason Lyman, I read this every single day says:

    Hey Prof, After this recent butt whooping by Seattle, I got two stats for you to research.
    A. In how many games have the Rays given up a run in the 7th inning

    B. We struggle with middle relief pitching, It seems outr ability to hit goes out the window one the starter leaves, any idea whay our team BA is between innings 6, 7, 8?

    This homestand has taken it out of me quite a bit.... We had all this damn momentum, and now it's gone, and I don't see us getting near .500 again...


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