Mike Remlinger

He possibly won’t make the team, may be done, and could easily go in the “Other Pitching Possibilities” entry, but he deserves more, and it’s my site so I’ll put him up here instead of saving him until after the starters and Reitsma if I want… Mike Remlinger was the best reliever the Braves had from 1999-2002, and one of the best they’ve ever had, though nobody noticed since he didn’t get the glory job. (Well, he had 12 saves in 2000 but wasn’t used as the full-time closer except for about a week in July, after which he fell out of the role in favor of Rocker for no readily apparent reason. His 18 career saves would rank second in the bullpen should he make it.) He was the cornerstone of the bullpen, giving them good year after good year in a role that not many thrive in. Typically, his best year was lost in the middle of the historic 2002 bullpen (55 saves for Smoltz and an 0.95 ERA for Hammond but he too was awfully good that year).

Mike signed a three-year deal with the Cubs in 2003, and gave them two solid but injury-plagued years, then was cut loose in the middle of last season. You’d think he’s done, but his strikeout and walk data last year isn’t too bad; it’s not great, and certainly not the equal of his years with the Braves, but it’s the numbers of a solid reliever that the Braves could have used. He was likely just unlucky… As you probably know, Mike has historically had a reverse platoon split (Retrosheet data is limited but through 2004 has him at .202/.299/.315 against righties, .267/.336/.427 against lefties) last year he was slightly better against lefties. Basically, he pitched the same against lefties but couldn’t get righties out at his normal rate.

He’ll make $700,000 if he makes the team, marginal salary (his salary minus the minimum) would be about $300,000, so if the Braves get extra cheap that might come into play. I’d love to see him make the team, if only in the last pitcher/elder statesman role. The Braves need some veteran arms — and heads — out there… The most valuable Braves reliever of the past fifteen years was either Remlinger or Smoltz, and my offhand calculation shows Remlinger as slightly ahead.

Mike Remlinger Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com

18 thoughts on “Mike Remlinger”

  1. Mac, on the contrary, I think Remlinger has a pretty good chance on making the team if he can prove to Bobby that he is healthy. Bobby always shows preference toward old veteren players like Jordan, Lockhart, Perez, and, now possibly, Remlinger. You correctly pointed out that his performance with the Cubs wasn’t all that bad. If we check his BAA in the last three years, they are very solid. Of course, I am not taking his Boston stats into consideration at all. I think the biggest issue with Remlinger is actually his health. If Remlinger shows Bobby that he is healthy enough, I think Bobby will keep him on the team.

    Also, an interesting scouting report on Remlinger on ESPN:
    “He pitched best when given a couple of days off between assignments, a less than ideal trait for a relief pitcher. Perhaps because he has such a straight-on delivery, Remlinger is much more effective against righthanded batters. In other words, he’s not your typical situational lefty who comes in to get one left-handed batter out. When healthy, Remlinger has a 90-MPH fastball, a slider and change. He has a decent move to first base, making it tough to run on him.”

  2. It’s mostly a high average on balls in play, though, JC. His strikeout and walk numbers were just about the same last season as they were in 2003-04.

  3. Was a huge Remlinger fan when he was in ATL. Aside from his really impressive on-field accomplishments, he just seemed like a real professional. I’ll always remember his quotes during the Annoying Rocker Period (“This is a humbling game…”) and they just struck me as perfect.

  4. AND he looks just like Christopher Guest as the 6-fingered man in The Princess Bride which get’s even more confusing when you consider the Braves have also had Alfonseca in the bullpen. Maybe they should invite Antonio back and print t-shirts with both on them that say, “Twelve fingers of fury!”.

    I would buy one.

  5. 1/10/06 Signed RHP Travis Smith, INF Cesar Crespo, OF David Kelton and OF Michael Ryan to Minor League contracts with invitations to Spring Training; Invited nonroster players RHPs Kevin Barry and Chad Paronto, Cs Steve Pyzik, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Clint Simmons and 2B Jonathan Schuerholz to Spring Training.

    TRAVIS SMITH…… WHY!!?!?!?!
    Mac you need to write a whole entry about this DUD.

  6. Its nice to have the chance to have a `feel good’ story. I cannot see a downside and I think that he may have a reasonable chance of being an asset.

    I also think that if we collect enough arms, some of them are bound to perform. I would not be surprised to see the bullpen have players who are good for parts of a season–a bit like Will Cunnane in 2003–and then have trouble getting anybody out (Cunnane in 2004).

    What I liked about Mac’s write up, is that I believe that Remlinger was quite undervalued. Lets hope for the best.

  7. Smith is actually a great addition for a usually terrible Richmond club. Hes a quite good AAA pitcher, he just cant pitch anything more than emergency mopup in the bigs before his lack of stuff gets exposed in a horrific manner.

  8. No risk, potential win. I am delighted. If he’s going to succeed again anywhere, it’s Atlanta. Maybe rest can work wonders. Time will tell. I’ll be rooting for him.

  9. You’re right, his chances of succeeding are small but if he did succeed it would be in Atlanta. I am hoping for another Hammond year as well.

  10. I love the guy and would love to see him do well, BUT he was pretty brutal last year for the Red Sox. I know it was a small sample but he was throwing some serious cheese up there from a subjective analysis standpoint, so I’m not convinced this is anything but a kind gesture.

  11. It wasn’t until he left that I realized just how valuable Remmy had been in the bullpen. He was a rock, very dependable, something we lacked when he left (outside of Smoltz).

  12. Just chiming in to agree. Remlinger was a great under-the-radar Brave and here’s to hoping he regains something in ST. I don’t expect a Hammond-esque resurgence (no one should ever do that) but getting back to a guy who knows how to use him (Cox) and away from a guy that doesn’t (Baker) should help him if he has anything left at all.

  13. Do you remember a regular season game where Mike Remlinger was pitching for the Braves with the bases loaded in last inning of a game, either the ninth or extra innings, and the batter fouled off strike three several times before walking to bring in the winning run? I think it was in ’06 but I can’t remember who they were playing. If you recall it, would you send me the date?
    David Evans

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