Apr 9, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; San Diego Padres relief pitcherHuston Street
(R) celebrates with catcherRene Rivera
(44) after defeating the Cleveland Indians 2-1 at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Huston Street: A+
Street has been perfect in save opportunities this year, at 21-for-21. He has allowed three runs all year. He is 8th in baseball in saves, and his ERA (0.93) and WHIP (0.76) are both better than each of the seven closers with more saves. In short, Street has been the best closer in baseball this year.
Another in a long line of successful setup men for the Padres, Benoit has been practically as good as Street, with a 1.34 ERA and 0.74 WHIP. Benoit has only given up runs in 3 of his 33 appearances this year, and in none of those games did he give up the lead. He has not allowed a run since May 11.
Nick Vincent: B-
Vincent’s grade has dropped since June 1. Prior to that date, his ERA was a fine 2.96, and he was holding down the 7th inning spot before handing the ball to Benoit and Street to finish games. But shoulder fatigue kicked in, and he gave up 9 runs in 3 June games after allowing only 8 runs in all of April and May, and he is currently on the DL.
After starting the year at AAA El Paso, Quackenbush has quickly earned the confidence of Bud Black, and has appeared in 14 games in June. He is pitching in late innings, and appears likely to take the 7th inning role in Vincent’s absence. He has a 2.91 ERA and an outstanding 0.78 WHIP.
Dale Thayer: A
Thayer’s 38 appearances lead the team, and his ERA of 1.85 shows why Black uses him so much. He allowed only one run in April and one run in June. Thayer has kept the Padres from falling further behind in many games this season.
Alex Torres: A-
Another reliever who has been enjoying a fine season, Torres came into June with an ERA of 0.79, having allowed only two runs in the first two months of the season. June brought a couple of shaky starts, but Torres still sports a fine 1.89 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. The team’s lefty specialist, he has excelled against both lefties and righties, holding all opponents to an overall .195 batting average. Extra credit to Torres for ignoring detractors and being the first major leaguer to wear the protective cap.
Tim Stauffer: B
As a reliever, Stauffer rates an A-, with a very good 2.25 ERA. As a starter, he earns a D+, with one very good start and two that were pretty awful. Even though we wish we got more out of this former first-round draft pick, Stauffer has consistently been a good long reliever, and this year has been no exception.
Overall Bullpen: A
This bullpen is the best in baseball, with an overall opponents’ batting average of .204, and a major-league leading 2.40 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. There is not a weak link – every pitcher in the ‘pen belongs on a major league roster, and would find a job on any team in the majors.