4. 2014 Kansas City Royals
Speaking of those Kansas City Royals, their bullpen from 2014 comes in at #4.
The trio of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, and Greg Holland escalated the importance of bullpens in the modern game. The flame throwing threesome made ballgames only 6 innings long, dominating with high 90s heaters and devastating breaking pitches.
While the Royals of 2015 were crowned champions, the 2014 team had the better ‘pen. Any one of the three showed the ability to pitch in high leverage situations, essentially giving them three closers. Although they didn’t win MLB’s ultimate prize in 2014, they came just one game away, largely in part to their ‘pen.
Their ability to dominate games in the late innings revolutionized the way the game is being played. Their impact from 2014 could be a major reason why Brian Cashman acquired Aroldis Chapman. Considering how expensive starting pitching is in today’s game, why not just create the most dominant bullpen you can, and try to get a lead after 6 innings? The way starters are being handled, most of today’s pitchers don’t often throw beyond 6 innings, anyways.
The 2014 Royals changed the way today’s game is played, earning the number 4 spot on our list.