Archive: June 16th, 2008

Inherited Runners

A comment by loyal reader Micalpalyn motivated me to post the following stats. This is a list of the main Mets relievers, the number of games they’ve appeared in, the number of runners they’ve inherited (IR), the number of those runners who scored (IRS), and the percentage of runners that remain stranded (%).


Generally speaking, “acceptable” levels are around 75%, and anything above 80% is considered excellent. I can’t find a source that lists team totals for this stat, but I think the Mets are about average in the area. If anyone can point me to these numbers, please post a link below.

For comparison, Chad Bradford in 2006 inherited 58 runners and allowed only 10 to score — a rate of 83%.

Interestingly, Heilman’s current numbers — 7 out of 14 — are IDENTICAL to his entire 2006 campaign. Aaron appeared in 58 games in ’06, but inherited just 14 runners. In ’05, he appeared in 53 games, inherited 28 runners, and allowed 8 of them to score (71%). Last year, in 81 games, Heilman had similar numbers to ’05 — allowing 8 of 29 inherited runners to score (72% stranded).

In comparison, Feliciano inherited 60 runners last year, and stranded 12 (80% stranded). Contrast that to Smith, who last year inherited 51 but allowed 25 to score (51% stranded).

In his brilliant but brief 2006, Duaner Sanchez appeared in 49 games, inherited just 10 runners, and allowed 2 of them to score (80% stranded).

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what’s going on here:

1. Sanchez has historically been given the opportunity to start innings, and/or is brought in with the bases empty.

2. Looking at Smith’s extreme contrast from this year to last, there’s no way to guess whether a pitcher will do well stranding runners from year to year.

3. If anyone is “reliable” in this area from year to year (though far from spectacular), it would be Feliciano.

4. Looking at Heilman’s history, it would seem that a manager should consider bringing him in to start innings (career: 30 of 85 inherited runners score, for a strand rate of 65%). Better yet, convert him to a starting pitcher. It’s pretty clear he doesn’t pitch well with other people’s runners on base, so stop putting him into those situations!.