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RedRamage

The last Tigers *home grown* bullpen star?

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Even though "Senior Smoke" was not home-grown, I will never forget the pitching CLINIC he put on

throughout the 1984 post season. He could have put a camel's arse through a pinhole, that year.

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Phil Regan

He had a couple of great relief seasons in the NL for sure. More of a starter with the Tigers, so he's one of those "succeeded elsewhere" guys. I thought that he'd be a contender for most career relief wins, but I looked it up and he's a long way back from ElRoy Face.

He's a great example of how "pitching wins" don't mean much, and that's where that "Vulture" nickname came from...pitch an inning or two while your team gets the lead. A record of 14-1 in one season as a reliever, that's crazy.

Here's something interesting - he didn't pitch well in 1964, after 3 pretty good years, but he hit .317/.391/.366 in 50 plate appearances. That was a career high in OPS by almost 300 points, he was just dreadful in other years. I wonder what was different?

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John Hiller

Absolutely. Best homegrown Tigers reliever of my lifetime without question. Not even close imho. Had a heart attack really young in his career. Bounced back to lead the league in saves. One year he had 17 wins in relief iirc.

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Anderson had a lovely 1.582 lifetime whip. 157 bb in 257 lifetime innings. #1 overall pick, out of baseball by 28. He's still only 39. Maybe there's hope for him yet. Total bust and waste of a pick.

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In 1973 Hiller was 4th in the AL in both CYA and MVP voting. He followed that up in 1974 being voted 7th and 20th respectively. He was dominate for about a decade. Best overall Tigers reliever in their history. And he was home grown.

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Anderson had a lovely 1.582 lifetime whip. 157 bb in 257 lifetime innings. #1 overall pick, out of baseball by 28. He's still only 39. Maybe there's hope for him yet. Total bust and waste of a pick.
But he sure could punish the ol' cephalopod.

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I think Joe Jiminez will be the Tigers closer of the future, and a possible all-star. He's very good.

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Senor Smoke briefly played for STL & KC before starring in Detroit.

I was going to say Tom Timmerman but I see he started 44 games in his years. I swear he was a closer....fogggy memory. : )

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I'm not sure the innings pitched his first season doomed Zoom. He just threw the ball faster than a human arm can endure, although Joe Morgan might challenge how fast that was.

Anybody throwing hard enough to break his arm is throwing very hard.

As for being a star? He would come into a game to massive cheers and standing ovations. No doubt a huge star, just not one for long. I feel kind of bad the way his career went.

And remember Tiger fans booing Willie Hernandez? Looking back on it, that seems very spoiled. Perfection his first year and then only successful 95% of the time next years.

What a bum! : )

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I'm not sure the innings pitched his first season doomed Zoom. He just threw the ball faster than a human arm can endure, although Joe Morgan might challenge how fast that was.

MLBN had a program on last week about stat cast and the different things that are being tracked now. I was fascinated by the show. One of the points mentioned was that ballparks are now equipped with high tech cameras about 15 meters apart that take Doppler like readings of players at the rate of about 2,000 images per second.

Back to Morgan and pitch speed, they mentioned absolute pitch speed and perceived pitch speed. Absolute pitch speed (I guess now I wonder if the correct term was absolute) was the top velocity of the ball on its travel to home. Perceived pitch speed was based off of pitch speed and release point from the pitcher's hand. While all of these cameras and computers are calculating these things, Joe Morgan just watches it. That's just what he does.

One interesting statistic that was shared was the number of throws by an outfielder to the infield that topped 100 MPH in 2015. Jake Marisnic and Carlos Gomez were at the top, one with 5 and the other with 4. Another player had 5 and a fourth player had 3 of these throws, I just cannot recall who they were. Fifth on the list was none other than Anthony Gose with 2 throws from the outfield at over 100 MPH. I'd have never guessed that he'd be on that list.

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So it seems the general concession here is that Zumaya should be considered a Bullpen star. I'm okay with that. As others have brought up bullpen "star" is not an easy definition to pin down. Given the variable-ness of the bullpen and the often fleeting nature of careers for bullpen guys, it's pretty hard to determine who is or isn't a star, especially outside of the closer roll.

So Zumaya would get the nod as the most recent homegrown bullpen star. Which of course leads to the question: Who would be the next more recent guy?

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