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Felipe Rivero: The Most Underrated Reliever in Major League Baseball

AP Photo/Fred Vuich
AP Photo/Fred Vuich

After his revenge performance against the Nationals, it's time to look at Rivero for what he is: an elite reliever. There's really no way around it now. The Nationals have to be kicking themselves for giving him up in the Melancon trade. It's not hard to see how much they miss him. Their bullpen has been their Achilles this year, while Rivero has been a centerpiece of the Pirates'. In 21 appearances so far this year, he has a 0.83 ERA and 5.50 SO/BB ratio, some of the best numbers of his young career. If he keeps this up over the season, he'll be more than a setup man by the end of it.

The real kicker is this: he's only 25. For a relief pitcher to have numbers like that at such a young age is mind boggling. His ERA may not stay so low, but his consistency can't be ignored. The Pirates will be enjoying it for a long time too with his team friendly contract. Rivero is going to be the start of a new Shark Tank for the Pirates. He's that good.

So, why isn't anyone talking about him? Maybe it's because of the Pirates' unimpressive 18-23 record. Maybe it's because he's not a closer. Whatever the reason is, fantasy owners and critics alike are going to regret it. Rivero's not going to be under the radar for much longer. I wouldn't be surprised if he was the Pirates' closer by the end of the year.

Watch out MLB. Felipe Rivero has arrived and he's not going away any time soon.

Michael Ferro
Michael was born and raised in South Carolina. He loves Pirates baseball and fishing.
http://mlbmayhem.com

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