In 2010, the bullpen held a reputation for having unique, wild and passionate personalities pitch the late innings.
We first saw Sergio Romo grow out his pirate beard in late August, and with every end of an inning he would skip off the mound yelling and pounding his glove. Exciting.
Then Jeremy Affeldt would step in with his grown facial hair, sometimes talking to himself when he ended his outings in triumph. Electric.
Then they call out the wildest and craziest guy we have ever seen on a baseball field: Brian Wilson. With his dark beard, tattoos, and cold blue eyes staring at the batter, whatever pitch he threw looked as deadly as the last.
Then you have the quiet, reserved pitchers in the 'pen like Javier Lopez, Dan Runzler, Santiago Castilla, and Ramon Ramirez who pitched diligently.
As a group, these men made up one of, if not the best, bullpens in the league. Here are the ERA totals for each of them in 2010:
Jeremy Affeldt 4.14
Denny Bautista 3.74
Santiago Castilla 1.95
Javier Lopez 1.42
Guillermo Mota 4.33
Ramon Ramirez 0.67!
Chris Ray 4.13
Sergio Romo 2.18
Dan Runzler 3.03
Brian Wilson 1.81
Thats an average ERA of 2.74 in the bullpen, need I say more?
We saw them dominate in the playoffs and World Series to prove that the Giants have the deepest bullpen in the league.
But can they repeat their success?
I believe so. Some of the Giants best relief pitchers (Ramon Ramirez and Javier Lopez) last year joined the team halfway through the season, who knows how well they would have done if they played from the beginning.
I think Affeldt will have a rebound season from his mediocre 4+ ERA of 2010, but I don't think he will be as good as his 2009 ERA of 1.73 with 33(!) holds.
Because there are too many of these guys, I'm going to predict if each member will improve from last season, stay the same or become worse:
Jeremy Affeldt- Improve, sub 3 ERA
Santiago Castilla- about the same, or a little worse.
Javier Lopez- Same, sup 2 ERA
Guillermo Mota- Same
Ramon Ramirez-Worse, impossible to maintain an ERA so low
Sergio Romo- Improve, sub 2 ERA
Dan Runzler- Improve, sub 3 ERA
Brian Wilson- See projection here, but in a nutshell, improve.
Feel free to comment below, I enjoy any feedback I can get.