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Too Much G-Love

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Lancaster's Sunday Tampa Tribune offering:

When this year's camp officially opens on Valentine's Day, Hickey will have a closer with a World Series ring in Troy Percival backed by Reyes, Glover and Dan Wheeler. That quartet alone should make a significant difference.

One of those four relievers does not fit in, let's look at the WPA (Win Probability Added) and pLI (Leverage Index per Plate Appearance) of each last year:

Player  WPA / pLI
Wheeler -0.35 / 1.61
Glover -0.2 / 0.93
Reyes 0.98 / 1.67
Percival 0.94 / 0.52

We've established a few times that Wheeler's 2007 was in large part a fluke, and I'd expect him to bounce back, but otherwise Glover's entrance simply meant he was actually decreasing  the chances of the Rays winning that game. Using the Leverage Index rating we see that Glover's outings usually were in more relaxed situations than everyone minus Percival who acted as a middle reliever last year for the Cardinals.

Glover had a decent enough season last year, but can we please go without mentioning him as a lock or in the same company as Wheeler, Reyes, and Percival?

Other notes that Lancaster adds: Niemann looks to be in better shape, a number of Rays are all ready at the Naimoli Complex working out, Aybar will wear 16, Longoria will wear 3, and a lengthy piece on Jim Hickey's thoughts on the pen.