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Doug Brocail

Posted by Andy on November 28, 2007

I saw that Doug Brocail rejoined the Astros yesterday, and I noticed that he had a really fantastic year in 2007 as a 40-year-old reliever. Click through for some proof.

Here are all the seasons since 1901 for guys at least 40 years old with at least 60% of games coming in relief, 70 IP, and no more than 5 saves. This pretty well isolates guys working in middle relief.

 Cnt Player            **ERA+**   IP  SV Year Age Tm  Lg  G  GS CG SHO GF  W  L  W-L%  H   R   ER  BB  SO   ERA  HR  BF   AB  2B 3B IBB HBP  SH  SF GDP  SB CS Pk BK WP   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS  OPS+  Pit  Str
+----+-----------------+--------+-----+--+----+---+---+--+---+--+--+---+--+--+--+-----+---+---+---+---+---+------+--+----+----+--+--+---+---+---+---+---+---+--+--+--+--+-----+-----+-----+-----+----+----+----+
    1 Joe Heving           172    70.2  5 1941  40 CLE AL  27  3  2   1 13  5  2  .714  63  21  18  31  18   2.29  2  298                  1                        1  0                            0
    2 Dutch Leonard        154    81.2  3 1951  42 CHC NL  41  1  0   0 28 10  6  .625  69  30  24  28  30   2.64  3  337                  2                        0  2                            0
    3 Joe Berry            146   130.1  5 1945  40 PHA AL  52  0  0   0 40  8  7  .533 114  40  34  38  51   2.35  5  537                  0                        0  1                            0
    4 Kent Tekulve         138   105    3 1987  40 PHI NL  90  0  0   0 38  6  4  .600  96  38  36  29  60   3.09  8  432  395 16  1  13   0   5   3  11   8  3  0  0  2  .243  .293  .349  .642   73
    5 Doug Brocail         132    76.2  0 2007  40 SDP NL  67  0  0   0 16  5  1  .833  66  33  26  24  43   3.05  8  319  290  9  3   3   2   2   1   5   3  0  0  0  2  .228  .290  .362  .652   79 1165  757
    6 Satchel Paige        131    83    5 1949  42 CLE AL  31  5  1   0 19  4  7  .364  70  29  28  33  54   3.04  4  348                  1                        1  0                            0
    7 Jose Mesa            127    72.1  1 2006  40 COL NL  79  0  0   0 26  1  5  .167  73  32  31  36  39   3.86  9  315  270 12  1   6   5   2   2  13   0  3  0  1  4  .270  .364  .422  .786  100 1129  666
    8 Red Faber            123    86.1  5 1933  44 CHW AL  36  2  0   0 24  3  4  .429  92  41  33  28  18   3.44  2  376                  1                        0  3                            0
    9 Jesse Haines         121    90    1 1934  40 STL NL  37  6  0   0 18  4  4  .500  86  42  35  19  17   3.50  6  362                  4                        0  3                            0
   10 Dolf Luque           119    80.1  4 1933  42 NYG NL  35  0  0   0 22  8  2  .800  75  27  24  19  23   2.69  4  327                  0                        0  0                            0
   11 Doug Jones           119    73.1  2 2000  43 OAK AL  54  0  0   0 22  4  2  .667  86  34  32  18  54   3.93  6  319  295 18  2   4   2   2   2   5   2  2  1  0  1  .292  .334  .427  .761   95 1167  795
   12 Alex McColl          112   112    1 1934  40 WSH AL  42  2  1   0 26  3  4  .429 129  56  48  36  29   3.86  6  492                  1                        0  2                            0
   13 Jeff Fassero         105    91    0 2005  42 SFG NL  48  6  0   0 11  4  7  .364  92  48  41  31  60   4.05  7  384  343 17  2   1   0   7   3   7   6  8  5  0  3  .268  .326  .391  .717   91 1416  904
   14 Vean Gregg           102    74.1  2 1925  40 WSH AL  26  5  1   0  7  2  2  .500  87  41  34  38  18   4.12  3  327                  2                        0  3                            0
   15 Mike Ryba            102   138    2 1944  41 BOS AL  42  7  2   0 24 12  7  .632 119  57  51  39  50   3.33  7  556                  0                        1  5                            0
   16 Mike Ryba            101   143.2  2 1943  40 BOS AL  40  8  4   1 17  7  5  .583 142  57  52  57  50   3.26  4  607                  0                        0  3                            0
   17 Art Herring          101    86    5 1946  40 BRO NL  35  2  0   0 13  7  2  .778  91  39  32  29  34   3.35  2  373                  1                        0  2                            0

These are all the players to meet those criteria with an ERA+ of 100 or better. Brocail comes in at #5 all time, just ahead of Satchel Paige of all people. A few other recent seasons make this list (Jose Mesa in 2006, Doug Jones in 2000, and Jeff Fassero in 2005) but all other seasons come before 1951 except for Kent Tekulve in 1987.

Now using all the same criteria, here are the best such seasons ranked by WHIP. (For any newbies out there, WHIP is Walks plus Hits per Inning Pitched):

  Cnt Player             **WHIP**   IP  SV Year Age Tm  Lg  G  GS CG SHO GF  W  L  W-L%  H   R   ER  BB  SO   ERA  ERA+ HR  BF   AB  2B 3B IBB HBP  SH  SF GDP  SB CS Pk BK WP   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS  OPS+  Pit  Str
+----+-----------------+---------+-----+--+----+---+---+--+---+--+--+---+--+--+--+-----+---+---+---+---+---+------+----+--+----+----+--+--+---+---+---+---+---+---+--+--+--+--+-----+-----+-----+-----+----+----+----+
    1 Mike Ryba           1.145   138    2 1944  41 BOS AL  42  7  2   0 24 12  7  .632 119  57  51  39  50   3.33  102  7  556                  0                        1  5                            0
    2 Joe Berry           1.166   130.1  5 1945  40 PHA AL  52  0  0   0 40  8  7  .533 114  40  34  38  51   2.35  146  5  537                  0                        0  1                            0
    3 Jesse Haines        1.167    90    1 1934  40 STL NL  37  6  0   0 18  4  4  .500  86  42  35  19  17   3.50  121  6  362                  4                        0  3                            0
    4 Dolf Luque          1.170    80.1  4 1933  42 NYG NL  35  0  0   0 22  8  2  .800  75  27  24  19  23   2.69  119  4  327                  0                        0  0                            0
    5 Doug Brocail        1.174    76.2  0 2007  40 SDP NL  67  0  0   0 16  5  1  .833  66  33  26  24  43   3.05  132  8  319  290  9  3   3   2   2   1   5   3  0  0  0  2  .228  .290  .362  .652   79 1165  757
    6 Dutch Leonard       1.188    81.2  3 1951  42 CHC NL  41  1  0   0 28 10  6  .625  69  30  24  28  30   2.64  154  3  337                  2                        0  2                            0
    7 Kent Tekulve        1.190   105    3 1987  40 PHI NL  90  0  0   0 38  6  4  .600  96  38  36  29  60   3.09  138  8  432  395 16  1  13   0   5   3  11   8  3  0  0  2  .243  .293  .349  .642   73
    8 Satchel Paige       1.241    83    5 1949  42 CLE AL  31  5  1   0 19  4  7  .364  70  29  28  33  54   3.04  131  4  348                  1                        1  0                            0
    9 Joe Heving          1.330    70.2  5 1941  40 CLE AL  27  3  2   1 13  5  2  .714  63  21  18  31  18   2.29  172  2  298                  1                        1  0                            0
   10 Don McMahon         1.341    82    4 1971  41 SFG NL  61  0  0   0 26 10  6  .625  73  40  37  37  71   4.06   85  9  356  302  4  0   6   7   7   3   5   5  1  0  0  2  .242  .335  .344  .679   99
   11 Jeff Fassero        1.352    91    0 2005  42 SFG NL  48  6  0   0 11  4  7  .364  92  48  41  31  60   4.05  105  7  384  343 17  2   1   0   7   3   7   6  8  5  0  3  .268  .326  .391  .717   91 1416  904
   12 Jim Kaat            1.360    75    2 1982  43 STL NL  62  2  0   0 12  5  3  .625  79  40  34  23  35   4.08   89  6  321  286 19  4   9   2   4   6   8   6  1  1  0  2  .276  .328  .434  .762  117
   13 Kent Tekulve        1.363    80    4 1988  41 PHI NL  70  0  0   0 35  3  7  .300  87  34  32  22  43   3.60   99  3  347  315 15  2  11   2   6   2  11  13  0  0  0  0  .276  .326  .365  .691  103
   14 Mike Ryba           1.385   143.2  2 1943  40 BOS AL  40  8  4   1 17  7  5  .583 142  57  52  57  50   3.26  101  4  607                  0                        0  3                            0
   15 Red Faber           1.390    86.1  5 1933  44 CHW AL  36  2  0   0 24  3  4  .429  92  41  33  28  18   3.44  123  2  376                  1                        0  3                            0

So Brocail makes #5 again but 3 out of 4 guys ahead of him are different. Fassero is there too, and Kent Tekulve is on there twice for both 1987 and 1988. Incidentally, these are all the 40+ year old pitchers meeting the IP and Sv requirements discussed above to have a WHIP under 1.40.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 28th, 2007 at 6:55 am and is filed under Season Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Doug Brocail”

  1. AMusingFool Says:

    It doesn't bode well for the Astros that his top five "most similar through age 40" comps had about 20 IP after their age-40 seasons. Combined.

    And I was wondering that I hadn't heard his name in quite a long time. How did he miss the 2001-2003 seasons? That many injuries? Or one that just stuck with him for THAT long?

    Still, you're right, that was quite a nice season last year.

  2. He missed most of 2001-2003 due to injuries to his right elbow. He also had (more recently) angioplasty to remove an arterial blockage.

  3. Notice that the pitchers Brocail is most similar to all are currently (or finished their careers) around age 36. That's because he missed all those years. If his body holds up, he's probably got a lot of pitches left in him, and those similar age 40 pitchers are misleading since he's only played as much as a 36-year-old.

  4. Doug Brocail holds another distinction -- back in 1993, from June 6 to June 16, he gave up home runs to opposing pitchers in three consecutive starts (Chris Hammond, Kevin Gross and Mark Portugal). That has to be a record!