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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Reliever'

Reliever Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    reliever n
  1. someone who takes the place of another (as when things get dangerous or difficult); "the star had a stand-in for dangerous scenes"; "we need extra employees for summer fill-ins" [syn: stand-in, substitute, relief, backup, backup man, fill-in]
  2. a person who reduces the intensity (e.g., of fears) and calms and pacifies; "a reliever of anxiety"; "an allayer of fears" [syn: allayer, comforter]
  3. a pitcher who does not start the game [syn: relief pitcher, fireman]
Reliever Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Reliever \Re*liev"er\ (-?r), n. One who, or that which, relieves.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Reliever'

A relief pitcher or reliever is a baseball or softball pitcher who enters the game after the starting pitcher is removed due to injury, ineffectiveness, fatigue, ejection, or for other strategic reasons, such as being substituted by a pinch hitter. Relief pitchers are further divided informally into closers, set-up relief pitchers, middle relief pitchers, left-handed specialists, long relievers, and mop-up relief pitchers.

The importance of relief pitchers has increased significantly since the 1960s. This change in mindsets can be seen by watching any major game, as well as by monitoring the salaries of such pitchers. In decades past, the relief pitcher was merely an ex-starter who came into a game upon the injury, ineffectiveness, or fatigue of the starting pitcher. The bullpen was for old starters who had lost the ability to throw effectively. Many of these pitchers would be able to flourish in this diminished role. Those such as Dennis Eckersley, as with many others, actually prolonged their diminishing careers and often sparked them to new life. The added rest to their arms as well as the lessened exposure of their abilities became an advantage many would learn to capitalize on. Facing some batters only once a season, the opposition would have greater difficulty in preparation for the game.

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