San Diego Padres’ Third-in-NL Bullpen, By the Numbers

DENVER, CO - APRIL 09: Pitcher Craig Stammen
DENVER, CO - APRIL 09: Pitcher Craig Stammen /

The San Diego Padres currently have one of the best bullpens in the National League. After Hand, Stammen, and the injured Yates, this is a young, patchwork group…and they’re excelling.

The San Diego Padres’ bullpen is ranked third in the National League after Monday’s games. Although we’re less than an eighth into the season, this is a bit of an unexpected turn of events.

Few had this group pegged as more than a mediocre group but, lo and behold, here we are. By no means should we get too excited about two good weeks of relief pitching, but boy is this intriguing.

If this Padres team can stay somewhat competitive through the next few months and find themselves within striking distance in late-August, a strong bullpen figures to be a great asset to have.

As of Tuesday morning, the Friars ‘pen has a combined earned-run average of 2.18. That’s good for third in the National League, behind only the Cubs (2.09) and the D-Backs (1.92).

Keep in mind, the Padres and the Rockies have played more games than any other NL team with 18 (April showers…), and their bullpen has thrown the second-most innings in the league with 74.1 (Miami, 76.1).

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The Friars’ relief corps leads the NL in strikeouts with 85, leading the Brewers by one and the Marlins by three. Their 28 walks issued rank fifth-most in the league, but things have been better as of late.

The Padres lead the National League with their bullpen’s 1.01 WHIP.

The D-Backs (1.05), Rockies (1.09), and Cubs (1.11) are all within a tenth of a point of them. Either way, first or fourth, this is still a very encouraging statistic.

The Friars currently have six relievers with a WHIP of under 1.00: Craig Stammen, 0.29; Kirby Yates (DL), 0.55; Adam Cimber, 0.77; Robbie Erlin (likely headed back to the ‘pen after last night), 0.79; Jordan Lyles, 0.87; and Phil Maton, 0.94.

Even the team’s closer, Brad Hand, who is second in the group with four walks (Kazuhisa Makita, five), is hovering around that mark with a 1.11 WHIP.

This is a young group being led by a stalwart in Stammen, a workhorse in Hand, and a ragtag group of wet-behind-the-ears hurlers who are simply going out there and getting their jobs done.

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While these types of numbers likely won’t be sustainable all season (fingers are crossed that they will be), even middle of the pack would suffice for this team. If the cards fall the right way and the Padres stay in the thick of things, they could have the bullpen to thank for it.