After reading through the article “Inglorious Relievers” by Peter Douglas, one fact is agonizingly clear to me. I think the list is entirely too dependent on the very small sample size of the first month of the 2010 season. 

In order to create a complete list of the top set-up men in baseball, there has to be at least some consideration given to past success and failure.

For example, while Evan Meek has been tremendous so far this year, those 20 innings (many of which have not come in a set-up role) should not be enough to proclaim him the third best set-up man in the game. 

The same is true of Carlos Villanueva at number two.

To be sure, there are some correct names on Douglas’ list (Gregerson, League and Bard), but there are a few that should have been near the top.


Darren O’Day

2009 season: 58.2 innings, 1.00 whip, .543 OPS against

2010 season: 11.1 innings, 0.88 whip, .529 OPS against


Arthur Rhodes  

2009 season: 53.1 innings, 1.07 whip, .576 OPS against

2010 season: 13.0 innings, 0.62 whip, .357 OPS against


Matt Guerrier

2009 season: 76.1 innings, 0.97 whip, .598 OPS against

2010 season: 15.2 innings, 1.09 whip, .545 OPS against


Matt Thornton

2009 season:  72.1 innings, 1.08 whip, .599 OPS against

2010 season: 15.1 innings, 0.72 whip,   .464 OPS against


Also don’t dismiss Hong Chi Kuo IF he can stay healthy

2008 season:  80.0 innings, 1.01 whip, .566 OPS against

2009 season:  30.0 innings, 1.13 whip, .599 OPS against

2010 season:  4.2 innings,    0.64 whip, .343 OPS against


These guys have succeeded as actual set up men for more than two weeks and are on the short list for best in the game.


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