After reading this yesterday, color me unexcited about Troy Percival feeling "great."
Friedman said Percival has thrown off the mound a couple times and said he “feels great.” Nonetheless, the Rays are eager to get him into camp and get a firsthand look before figuring out exactly where things stand. Friedman expects Percival to report to Port Charlotte within the next couple of days.
We heard this story far too often last year. Percival would get hurt, rehab, "feel great" and then implode on the mound. This is also know as rinse, reuse, repeat. Normally, a Percival appearance from the month of May forward would provoke a statement like "man, this guys is the worst." However, to my surprise he wasn't the worst reliever in Rays history as far as FIP is concerned. Again, we use FIP because it tells you how effective a pitcher was regardless of how his defense played. Here is the list of the worst FIP's for a Rays reliever (min. 40 relief IP).
As you can see we all owe another round of applause to Mr. Chuck LaMar. Victor Zambrano was not only a 5.29 FIP starter when he was traded for Scott Kazmir, but his 48.2 innings of relief in 2002 were the worst as far as FIP is concerned. Percival, however, is right up there and because he was in higher leverage situations, you could argue that he was the worst. The rest of the list includes no surprises: Colome x2, Yan, Meadows and Harper were bad and we all knew that. One interesting note, while the 2007 bullpen was the worst collection of relievers, only Brian Stokes makes the list. However, the much improved 2008 bullpen features two relievers in this "top" 10.