A's bullpen "problems"

By Jason Wojciechowski on May 8, 2014 at 8:26 PM

An emailer to Jane Lee's periodic inbox column asked:

The bullpen is not their biggest strength right now, even though we were told to believe it was, and I don't understand why changes aren't being made to fix it.

Here's a table:

Pitcher FIP
Fernando Abad 1.94
Sean Doolittle 2.16
Luke Gregerson 2.27
Jim Johnson 3.43
Dan Otero 3.58
Ryan Cook 3.91
Drew Pomeranz 4.71

Now, Doolittle and Johnson have been hit hard (.326 and .367 BABIP, respectively), so it would be hard to argue that they've pitched great overall, but the only pitcher on that list, by the component pitching numbers, who you'd replace is Drew Pomeranz, who's the same guy we're apparently all clamoring to replace Tom Milone and/or Dan Straily in the rotation.

Anyway, is the quoted fan just off his rocker? Lee doesn't treat him like he is, and I get the sense that Lee tries to choose emails that reflect the larger narratives around the team. Which means that we're, as fans, apparently dissatisfied with our team having the sixth-best bullpen FIP and fourth-best bullpen ERA in baseball. There have been some notable implosions, sure, but overall, this team isn't giving up runs unless Milone or Straily are on the mound.

Let's breathe.