RC+ Stat Stumper: The Bullpen and HR/FB

RC+ Stat Stumper: The Bullpen and HR/FB

Welcome to RC+ Stat Stumper!

We’re taking a longtime ballpark tradition and giving it a  modern twist. At Great American Ball Park, the Scoreboard Stumper tests your knowledge of baseball history and you might learn a little bit about the Reds as well. The RC+ Stat Stumper is a weekly question about the Reds that involves a newer statistic.

We invite you to post your guesses in the comments (no looking up the answers, please). The correct answers and winners will be revealed prior to first pitch that day. Enjoy and thanks for playing!

Here’s the RC+ Stat Stumper:

The Reds bullpen has struggled so far in 2020. One reason why is an abnormally high percentage of fly balls that have gone for home runs. The current 24.2% HR/FB rate is worst in baseball and well above league average for a full season. RC+’s Steve Mancuso highlighted this as a reason to expect better performance from the ‘pen as the season progresses. If that number drops closer to 15% (league average for bullpens was 15.3% in 2019), it can be assumed that they will allow a lot fewer runs than they have so far.

Looking at the players who have allowed unusually high rates of home runs during their time with the Reds, three names stand out. Name the three bullpen pitchers from 2010 to 2019 (with a qualifying amount of innings) who posted a HR/FB rate of greater than 15%. For extra credit, how many of those three players accumulated positive fWAR?

Matt Habel

Matthew Habel was born and mostly raised in Cincinnati and was always a Reds fan growing up. Ironically, he did not become die-hard until moving to Pittsburgh after college and experiencing the 2013 Wild Card game behind enemy lines. While the "Cueto Game" is one of the worst sports moments of his life, he became enamored with the analytics side of the game after reading Big Data Baseball and watching the Pirates organization end their postseason drought. He started writing for Redleg Nation in 2017 and has enjoyed continuously learning more about the sport. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon where he loves exploring the great outdoors. Find him on Twitter @MattadorHeyBull

7 Responses

  1. Matt Wilkes says:

    Great question. Going back through some of these bullpens was nightmare-inducing. Here are my guesses:

    J.J. Hoover, Jumbo Diaz, and Blake Wood. I’ll say Hoover and Diaz had positive fWARs and Wood did not.

  2. Kyle Berger says:

    My guesses: Wandy Peralta, Jumbo Diaz, JJ Hoover. I’ll say Hoover had positive fWAR

  3. Steve Mancuso says:

    This is tough, in part because HR/FB is kind of random to begin with. Here are my guesses:


    I wouldn’t be surprised if Cody Reed does, but he won’t have enough innings as a RP. All with positive fWAR.

  4. kmartin says:

    For sure JJ Hoover. He has to be number one. I also vote of Iglesias. I will round out my selections with David Weathers. I will go with Hoover having a positive fWAR.

    • Anonymous says:

      JJ Hoover actually came in around the middle of the group with a 12% HR/FB rate. I thought that was a good guess though,

    • Kyle Berger says:

      Weathers was probably a solid guess, but his final season was 2009.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for playing.The answers are:

    Jumbo Diaz, 15.6% HR/FB, 0.5 fWAR
    Amir Garret, 15.5% HR/FB, 0.9 fWAR
    Wandy Peralta, 15.3% HR/FB, -0.5 fWAR

    An interesting note is that including innings pitched as a starter, Cody Reed has the highest HR/FB rate at 23.3% (0.1 fWAR) and Amir Garrett’s rate jumps up to 21.5%.

    Congrats Kyle Berger on correctly guessing 2 out of 3!