Top Five Cleveland Indians Relievers of All-Time

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May 30, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Rafael Betancourt (63) leaves the game with an injury during the eighth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Colorado Rockies won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Number One: Rafael Betancourt

Rafael Betancourt spent parts of seven seasons with the Cleveland Indians in various roles. With the sixth best walks per nine and third best WHIP for Tribe relievers, Betancourt kept runners off the bases. What is quite impressive is that Betancourt brought a unique combination of strikeouts and walks, as his strikeouts per nine innings is the ninth best among included relievers. All these peripherals led to a solid 3.25 FIP, good enough for eighth best.

The only real drawbacks to the Venezuelan’s performance were his opponent average and left on base percentage; however, both statistics are in the upper third of the players I included. Also, these stats are still very good. His opponent average of 0.230 is good, and his left on base percentage of 75.30% is also a solid rate. For comparison, relievers averaged a 0.238 opponent average and stranded 73.9% of base runners last season. Both numbers were not as good during Betancourt’s days with the Tribe.

His time with the Indians, however, will be slightly tainted by a steroids scandal. In 2005, he became the sixth Major League player to be suspended for PEDs. He remained with the team during these times, and the club eventually traded him to the Colorado Rockies for Connor Graham.

Here’s a table with all the stats I used to compile this list:

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