in the blez/beane interview posted today there was special mention made to the importance of the a's bullpen in '05. it sounded like beane will attempt to manage games from the 9th inning BACK to the 1st inning. if true, the a's bullpen in '05 had better be stout. but is it?
hardballtimes posted an interesting article looking at '04 relievers and their effectiveness using Win Probability Added (WPA). simply put, WPA is a way to evaluate relievers by measuring their impact on games by looking at how well they pitched and how CRITICAL their appearances were during '04 games. the results may surprise you.
the top '04 relievers-who posted a 1 WPA or better- were posted. there are i think 48. the top reliever in the a's bullpen in '04 was...the duke with a 1.29 WPA. dotel made the list with a 1.08 WPA-but just barely.
WPA may have played a role in BB acquiring calero from st.louis because he was mid-pack with a 1.38 WPA. plus, WPA may also explain why there have been rumours about the a's attempting to acquire otsuka (3.88) and ryan (3.76).
this may or may not interest some. here's the link if you are bored with some of the trade talk: