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View Full Version : Anybody Think O'Brien Pulled The Trigger Too Early?



Krusty
05-31-2004, 10:04 PM
Talking about the Reitsma deal here. Sure we got two young arms but could use Reitsma right now in the bullpen. If anything, O'Brien might have gotten more in return at the trading deadline.

So, what do you think of O'Brien's first deal so far?

MasonBuzz3
05-31-2004, 10:07 PM
i think we got two good young arms and am happy with the return that we got, but we really could use a quality reliever like reitsma right about now. Probably a good deal for the future, but hindsight is 20/20

Bowden's Ghost
05-31-2004, 10:11 PM
The two players we got may eventually be decent pitchers, but Reitsma could have really helped us this year and beyond. I think it was a pretty bad move, but i dont put all the blame on O'Brien. As always, Linder and his tight wallet have really hurt this team. It is a good team, but could have been so much better.

Aronchis
05-31-2004, 10:17 PM
Pair Jones vs. Reitsma, how much better would have Chris done than Todd, analyze if Bong/Nelson can have a positive contribution to THIS years Reds team and then punch=????????????????????

max venable
05-31-2004, 10:22 PM
In all fairness to DanO, he did not think the Reds would be contending in '04 as did NONE of us. He did what he thought was best for the team's future. Yeah, I'd like to have Reitsma right now but how can you give DanO a hard time for the trade? If he made a deal like that RIGHT NOW then I think we'd have every reason to rip him.

Hobo
05-31-2004, 10:25 PM
In all fairness to DanO, he did not think the Reds would be contending in '04 as did NONE of us. He did what he thought was best for the team's future. Yeah, I'd like to have Reitsma right now but how can you give DanO a hard time for the trade? If he made a deal like that RIGHT NOW then I think we'd have every reason to rip him.
I had them wining the World Series, like I always do. :thumbup:

Phhhl
05-31-2004, 10:29 PM
I don't like O'Brien, but I liked and still like the deal. Rietsma has some talent, but he was grossly overrated by scouts due to the fact that he demonstrated a little more velocity coming out of the pen than he did starting. He still yields too many home runs to close, and doesn't have enough pitches to start. I love his changeup, and think it is probably the best this side of Trevor Hoffman. But, I don't think he will ever be any better than he already is.

I don't care what he has done in Louisville, I would bring up Bong right now. He is better than either Norton or Matthews, plus he can eat some innings. I might promote Nelson as well, and let him work out of the pen. I don't know if anyone has noticed, but since Vanpopple went into the rotation we do not even have a long reliever out there. Either of these guys have the potential to be at least as good as Rietsma in the long term, if not better, and I am on board with the 2 fer 1 concept. Replacing Rietsma in the pen should not be brain surgery for O'Brien in the short term, and it all depends on whether he has the balls to fight for it against the percieved reticense of the tight wad owner. THAT is the million dollar question.

KronoRed
05-31-2004, 10:48 PM
If the Braves tank maybe we can get Reitsma back :D

LvJ
05-31-2004, 11:04 PM
Nope.

Bill
05-31-2004, 11:04 PM
The day of the trade I thought it ok but wrote that it signals that the FO does not see their team competing in '04.

hopefully this year they can take advantage of some teams that want to shed payroll and pick up a reliever cheap.

Gary Redus
05-31-2004, 11:09 PM
In a word - no. You always make that trade - flipping a middle reliever for two quality arms who could bolster your rotation down the road. While I'd rather have Reitsma than Reith, I still make this trade. Middle relievers are up and down and usually an avalible commodity.

Bill
06-01-2004, 12:24 AM
Reitsma was perhaps the Reds best pitcher when dealt, not a middle reliever. His changeup is as good as anyone's and his 2.57 era would look nice in setup right now and into the long season.

Cedric
06-01-2004, 12:37 AM
Good trade by DanO, can't blame him for that one.

Tay
06-01-2004, 01:00 AM
I didn't like the deal when it was made and I don't like it now.

It isn't the players they received in return that I have a problem with. I believe the return was actually pretty darned good for a middle reliever. I just have issues with the timing of the deal. Coming into this year, some kind of stability was needed regardless of team expectations after blowing up the pen last season. Reitsma was the only rock.

If Reitsma was to be moved, it should have been a deadline deal.

SantaClaussen
06-01-2004, 09:05 AM
No problem with the deal. Like a lot of deals this one will need 2 or 3 years to really judge. If you base every trade on immediate impact then you're going to have a lot of losing seasons.

princeton
06-01-2004, 10:43 AM
if the Reds compete and if their weakness is pitching, then the trigger was pulled too early. This cannot be debated.

so far, the Reds are competing and their weakness is pitching.

traderumor
06-01-2004, 11:26 AM
Ah, Chris Reitsma, the latest greatest legend in our own minds that can only become so through the trading away of the below average starter and maybe average reliever away (what was that former third baseman's name?). If anyone really believes that we would be better than 30-21 (insert inflated "but we've had 10 blown saves" stat comment even though that counts games we ended up winning) with Reitsma, let me tell ya about this land deal I can do for ya. One part of the equation that keeps getting left out is that Ryan Wagner foiled the plan by not being the setup man. Todd Jones, who is obviously of less quality than Reitsma but is still getting the job done at a similar rate as Reitsma likely would in the same role (see 2002-2003 untimely longballs to cough up lead), ended up there by default, not design. He was an insurance policy we had to reluctantly cash in when Wagner failed. Remember, Wagner was just as effective in ST as he was last season, so Reitsma became expendable. Obviously hindsight tells us now that we could use Reitsma, but then we can also use Bong and Bubba going forward. Just because Bong and Bubba haven't come in and blown us away does not make this a bad deal, or pulling the trigger too soon. We took what was at the time a surplus (right handed setup man) to obtain something we desperately needed (near major league ready rotation prospects).

I guess when it comes down to it, I am a bit confused by folks who on one hand call the man indecisive and then question if he pulled the trigger too soon on the one deal he did make. The next thing you know, someone will question whether we should have given Jimmy Haynes another chance.

REDREAD
06-01-2004, 11:27 AM
My feeling was that DanO knew he couldn't bring back Reitsma for 2005.. So he figured
he might as well trade him now.

It's sad that he was likely forced into this course of action, but he probably got more
than he would've if he waited until this winter when everyone in baseball knew the Reds
were unwilling to pay Reitsma 1.5 million or whatever he's likely to make in arb.

That said, I think the pitchers he got from Atlanta are pretty questionable. At the time,
I assumed Bong would be an immediate contributor in the pen. Now I think the Reds are
kind of smart to let both Bong and Nelso try to be starting pitchers, but ultimately the
Reds might reach the same conclusion as Atlanta.. that both these prospects are best suited
to middle relief. That's not necessarily bad, we need to have relief prospects as well,
but it makes the trade less exciting than it was a few months ago.

I do agree with Princeton though. If we contend this season, the Reitsma trade was a disaster,
no question about it.

traderumor
06-01-2004, 12:12 PM
I do agree with Princeton though. If we contend this season, the Reitsma trade was a disaster,
no question about it.

Even though this has been deemed undebatable, what the hey. Isn't this a classic case study for some win share analysis? If we contend minus Reitsma and without any contribution from those obtained in the deal this season, wouldn't one have to consider the difference between Reitsma and his replacement before making such a dogmatic assertion?

westofyou
06-01-2004, 12:20 PM
Even though this has been deemed undebatable, what the hey. Isn't this a classic case study for some win share analysis? If we contend minus Reitsma and without any contribution from those obtained in the deal this season, wouldn't one have to consider the difference between Reitsma and his replacement before making such a dogmatic assertion?

Redread use stats to determine a player move?

If it happens let me know. ;)

gm
06-01-2004, 12:39 PM
What traderumor said. The mistake the Red's FO made was putting too much stock in Wagner's success both in 2003 and March. (But, based on Ryan's numbers and mound presense, who can blame them?)

Up until yesterday, Riedling was performing better than expected. So, between Jones and Riedling, "Reitsma's role" has been adequately replaced.

Now, if Wagner can eventually come back and give the Reds 80% of what they originally expected from him, the Cincy bullpen should be all right.

princeton
06-01-2004, 12:52 PM
"Reitsma's role" has been adequately replaced.

if Reitsma were here, Reith wouldn't be, plus Wagner's innings probably would have decreased. Assuming that CR has the same ERA as he does now for Atlanta, I figure that the run differential is about 10 runs. What does that translate to, maybe three victories? Given the closeness of the games, that seems a reasonable estimate if not an underestimate. Someone less partisan should figure that out.

but I'd call three losses every two months "inadequate replacement"

Doc. Scott
06-01-2004, 12:58 PM
if Reitsma were here, Reith wouldn't be, plus Wagner's innings probably would have decreased

Not necessarily. Jones is the one who wouldn't be here. There wouldn't have been any reason to pick him up with Reitsma, Riedling, and Graves all in place.

Wagner's pitched only 14.2 innings, which is about half as many as Riedling and Jones each and five less than Reith. Even if Reitsma had stayed, and pitched the same 25-30 innings that Jones has gotten, I don't think Wagner's innings would have decreased any.

princeton
06-01-2004, 12:59 PM
Jones is the one who wouldn't be here.

he was already here

and CR's presence might have made Jones more effective. I thought that I read that he has better results after a day of rest. CR's presence would have allowed more rest to occur.

that'll also be a factor later in the year. The effective arms in this pen are throwing a lot of innings. CR would have reduced the weariness

Doc. Scott
06-01-2004, 01:05 PM
Yeah, but the transactions happened one day apart. It seems obvious that by this point, the Reitsma trade was almost done and O'Brien was thinking ahead.

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/cin/team/cin_team_transactions.jsp?month=03&year=2004&maj_team=cin
---
Date Transactions

03/26/04 Traded RHP Chris Reitsma to Atlanta for LHP Jung Keun Bong and RHP Bubba Nelson.
03/25/04 Signed RHP Todd Jones to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training.
---

princeton
06-01-2004, 01:18 PM
Yeah, but the transactions happened one day apart. It seems obvious that by this point, the Reitsma trade was almost done and O'Brien was thinking ahead-

you're asserting that he couldn't have both pitchers. If using CR's salary was the only way to pay Todd Jones, then you might have a point. But the Reds profess to having cash, so I don't buy it.

This is not your best argument

Doc. Scott
06-01-2004, 01:23 PM
Well, if Reitsma, Riedling, and Wagner were all going to be RH middle relievers, why would O'Brien have picked up Jones? Do you think he got Jones to come to the Reds' camp by telling him he'd pitch mop-up after Jones was doing well that spring with Tampa, a club that had space for him?

As I remember on the 26th, the Reitsma trade was announced in the morning. The two transactions could have happened but hours apart. It just seems like a pretty simple line of thinking by O'Brien to me, given everything he'd said about building through youth and yadda, yadda, yadda prior to and since the Reitsma trade.

princeton
06-01-2004, 01:30 PM
Well, if Reitsma, Riedling, and Wagner were all going to be RH middle relievers, why would O'Brien have picked up Jones?.

because he wanted to replace guys like Reith and Jimmy Haynes. Jones wants some saves, and with Graves and Reitsma in front he's not exactly blocked by Mariano Rivera and Billy Wagner

the first was a good move. Whether the second one also was depends on whether we compete. A 3 game lead but a 10 run differential suggests at this time that it was not. We'll see what we think in July

Doc. Scott
06-01-2004, 01:40 PM
because he wanted to replace guys like Reith and Jimmy Haynes. Jones wants some saves, and with Graves and Reitsma in front he's not exactly blocked by Mariano Rivera and Billy Wagner

Exactly, so if O'Brien tells him it's only Graves and Riedling he has to beat out for saves instead of the trio of Graves/Riedling/Reitsma, then that's enough to make him give up a likely role in the Tampa mess for a comparable one in Cincinnati.

Given the way O'Brien works (slowly), it seems impossible that he wouldn't have told Jones about the impending trade to get him to come over to Sarasota. Otherwise, if you're Todd and you want the best job possible, why do you leave a situation where you're gonna get to work in the later innings and maybe even save situations for one where you work in the 6th and 7th innings of blowouts?

gm
06-01-2004, 01:44 PM
Hindsight is 20/20, IIRC, few "objective" Red's commentators were expecting the team to be in first place on June 1.

Now "the Reitsma deal looks bad because we're competing..." sounds like someone's revising their predictions, similar to Rosenthal and the other national "experts". Could the Red's bullpen depth be improved? Sure, if the FO was willing to pay 10 mil/year in contracts for their relievers like Bowden did. But those same spendy bullpenners were burned out by the end of June in previous seasons, because the Red's low-budget, retread rotation wasn't pitching past the 5th inning.

"O'Brien's way" seems to be working. Gullett's getting the credit for the "pitch to contact" theory (even though Don's been around for 10 years, with poor results from his rotations in most seasons) But it doesn't matter how they're getting it done, or who gets the props. I've been driving the bandwagon since last July and it's gonna take more than "did O'Brien pull the trigger too soon on the Reitsma deal?" hand-wringing to rattle me off that perch.

princeton
06-01-2004, 02:26 PM
Now the Reitsma deal looks bad because we're competing

exactly. Thanks for admitting it

I'm happy to agree that this trade may work out to be the best thing to have done. If this juggernaut derails, either by injury or by rotation ineffectiveness, then it was the right move. Also, if either Bong or Nelson shore up the ineffective rotation, it could work out. I certainly took note of Nelson's great game last week

but if the juggernaut remains on track, only to be slowed by the overwrought bullpen while Reitsma remains effective, then it wasn't the correct move.

If we miss the playoffs by three games, for instance-- it's probably easy to extrapolate three W's to Reitsma

Time will tell. Me, I don't think that we'll remain competitive because of the starters. Still, I'd have waited a while to see what time would show. You could have dealt Reitsma in July, albeit for less return. But less return is OK because I never want to waste a competitive season. That, you never get back

REDREAD
06-01-2004, 02:35 PM
Redread use stats to determine a player move?

If it happens let me know. ;)

Well, if we consider we are going to get zilch or minimal contribution from the 2 prospects this year,
then Reitsma's win shares or whatever is obviously larger.

Given how poorly Bong and Nelson are doing in AAA, I'm not sure either will become as
good of a middle reliever as Reitsma. In other words, I'm not sure the Reds even
make out long term in this deal.

Of course, since Allen and Dano's "plan" was to throw in the towel this year, I can
see why DanO tried to get what he thought was the best deal for Reitsma. Not saying
it was a good or bad move, but I can see his thought process.

1990WorldChamps
06-01-2004, 02:38 PM
Imagine this team with both Reitsma and Williamson in the BP. How much is Willie making this year?

REDREAD
06-01-2004, 02:41 PM
Well, if Reitsma, Riedling, and Wagner were all going to be RH middle relievers, why would O'Brien have picked up Jones? Do you think he got Jones to come to the Reds' camp by telling him he'd pitch mop-up after Jones was doing well that spring with Tampa, a club that had space for him?

As I remember on the 26th, the Reitsma trade was announced in the morning. The two transactions could have happened but hours apart. It just seems like a pretty simple line of thinking by O'Brien to me, given everything he'd said about building through youth and yadda, yadda, yadda prior to and since the Reitsma trade.

On the other hand, DanO SHOULD"VE been looking for more bullpen help all winter. I know the party line was "the bullpen will be just fine",
but any pen with Norton and Reith (with Reitsma and Reidling being shopped),
should've had some vet filler like Jones added.

I do see your point though.. without the Reitsma trade, DanO might've been
too lazy to look for more bullpen help. At the same time, I think you can't
justify the Reitsma trade by counting the Jones signing as a benefit. That
move could've been made independently.

[QUOTE=Doc. Scott]Exactly, so if O'Brien tells him it's only Graves and Riedling he has to beat out for saves instead of the trio of Graves/Riedling/Reitsma, then that's enough to make him give up a likely role in the Tampa mess for a comparable one in Cincinnati.
QUOTE]

IIRC, wasn't Jones CUT by Tampa.. The dude was desparately looking for a job. I don't think he was in a position to be picky about saves.. Think about it. In spring training, it was very unlikely
he'd get saves with Wagner and Graves in front of him. It's very likely if Jones
didn't sign with Cincy, he'd be unemployed now.

Plus, looking at the stats (just for you WOY), Reitsma is a better pitcher.

Reitsma 28 ip; 29 hit; 5 bb; 16 K; whip 1.21; era 2.57
Jones 29.1 IP; 25 hit; 14 BB; 23k; whip 1.33; era 4.30

westofyou
06-01-2004, 02:42 PM
Given how poorly Bong and Nelson are doing in AAA, I'm not sure either will become as good of a middle reliever as Reitsma. In other words, I'm not sure the Reds even make out long term in this deal.


They're younger, they're starters and both have decent K to BB ratio.

But please continue to dump on them based on the guy they replaced, the world of baseball does not always exist in the vacum of the moment.

gm
06-01-2004, 02:45 PM
[QUOTE=princeton} Me, I don't think that we'll remain competitive because of the starters. Still, I'd have waited a while to see what time would show. You could have dealt Reitsma in July, albeit for less return. [/QUOTE]


If you want to employ hindsight, don't let me stop you. Like traderumor said "at the time of the deal" it was the right decision. If you want to cite "O'Binder" for not expecting the Reds to be competitive and for overestimating Ryan Wagner, go right ahead. DanO's getting paid to be "the target of second-guessing" If you guess wrong, it's nothing more than free advice for Red's fans to take or leave. (IIRC, you called the Reitsma "flip" a day or so before it happened, you must have felt it was a reasonable action to take, at the time)

My take is that O'Brien covered his Reitsma "hole" by acquiring Jones. So far, so good. Now you want to eat your cake and have it, too. It's much too easy to play "Monday morning GM" two months down the road

traderumor
06-01-2004, 02:51 PM
Imagine this team with both Reitsma and Williamson in the BP. How much is Willie making this year?

We did, for two years.

Princeton, maybe I misread your post, but Jones wasn't considering alternatives in Tampa, they let him go. And it was blatantly obvious that Jones was a pawn in the Reitsma deal. I'm not saying that was the trigger to let OB feel more comfortable with the deal, but it was clear that he was snatched up knowing we were soon in need of a righty arm in the bullpen.

REDREAD,

Bong and Bubba (sounds like a low budget version of Cheech and Chong) aren't the ones to consider for the effect of Reitsma's departure, it would be his replacement(s), which are right now Jones and Riedling. I think if you throw those numbers in the pot, Princeton's 10 run estimate is a bit on the high side considering that Jones/Riedling have been serviceable. Hopefully Riedling realizes soon that he is starting to pitch like the rest of his career in his last few outings and remembers what he was doing that wasn't like the rest of his career for the rest of this season. Then, the Reitsma effect will be a non-issue. Even so, right now it would seem to be a wash. Our bullpen was ranked 9th in ERA and 10th in WHIP IIRC going into yesterday, and I'm not sure that one could plug in Reitsma's numbers for Jones (not Reith) and change that ranking much, if at all.

1990WorldChamps
06-01-2004, 03:03 PM
We did, for two years.

Actually no, we did not. The differences are clear, but to summarize for those who have not been paying attention: Casey, Griffey, Dunn, Lidle, Wilson, Acevedo, Castro. These players are playing their best baseball in 3 years this year, in some cases by far. This is clearly not last years team (or the prior year). If you fail to see how Willie and Reitsma could help THIS team, well then I can't help you.

Doc. Scott
06-01-2004, 03:05 PM
Yeah, I agree with traderumor. I don't think the difference between Jones and Reitsma is three wins. Yes, Reitsma is better, with more upside. No argument there at all.

But if there's only six earned runs' difference between the two, that's only one win, isn't it? Maybe two?

The bullpen does indeed miss Reitsma somewhat. But as the season progresses, I think you're going to see that win gap narrow somewhat. For the record, I think the dropoff from White/Heredia to Norton/Matthews has been just as costly for the Reds.

1990WorldChamps
06-01-2004, 03:06 PM
What did they get for Heredia?

traderumor
06-01-2004, 03:19 PM
Actually no, we did not. The differences are clear, but to summarize for those who have not been paying attention: Casey, Griffey, Dunn, Lidle, Wilson, Acevedo, Castro. These players are playing their best baseball in 3 years this year, in some cases by far. This is clearly not last years team (or the prior year). If you fail to see how Willie and Reitsma could help THIS team, well then I can't help you.

The fatal flaw is the assumption that Willy and Reitsma (on the DL last I checked, but then I'm just barely paying attention ;) ) would perform the same or better while the rest of the crew you mentioned has improved. Maybe they would be putting up numbers like Wagner, Bong, and Bubba with the "pitch to contact" motif. The funny thing about this game is that you finally get guys performing back to expectations, and then others you counted on perform below expecations. That's why "if-dog-rabbit" trails can only go so far. For me, this one's gone far enough.

REDREAD
06-01-2004, 03:26 PM
Bong and Bubba (sounds like a low budget version of Cheech and Chong) aren't the ones to consider for the effect of Reitsma's departure, it would be his replacement(s), which are right now Jones and Riedling.

I guess it all depends on your point of view.. I agree with Princeton though. Reitsma's
replacement is really Reith, Norton, or Valentine. Because if Reitsma was still here,
one of those guys would be cut.

I mean, if we traded Casey and wily Mo today, and moved Dunn to 1b and Romano to LF,
who is technically Casey's replacement? I say it's Romano, but I guess some would
say Dunn is the "replacement", so we really didn't lose anything by trading Casey...



They're younger, they're starters and both have decent K to BB ratio.

But please continue to dump on them based on the guy they replaced, the world of baseball does not always exist in the vacum of the moment.


But they are both far from sure things... that's what I'm saying. Just like very few
people realized at the time that the Michael Tucker trade was horrible, despite getting
2 "arms".. More people realized the Williamson trade was horrible, but I guess it is the nature
of being a fan to believe that all the prospects will work out ok.

The Reitsma trade might work out ok.. but in reality, the Braves considered both those
guys to be future bullpenners. (they had both of them in the pen, despite the fact that
the Braves also need starting pitching prospects in the pipeline too).
If we can get a solid 3-4 years of bullpen work between both of those guys, it's still an
ok trade. If we get zilch, it obviously a bad trade .. like Neagle trade.. that was pretty much zilch as Wily Mo isn't
likely to get significant playing time. Even if the prospects are young, there is still risk..

At the time of the trade, I was hoping Bong was at the level to give us immediate contribution.
That would've assured us of at least getting some value out of the trade. That's all I'm
saying.

But you can't deny they have been struggling for the most part in AAA. That's all I said.
I never said they were crap. I just said they've been struggling and more than likely will
be bullpenners.

1990WorldChamps
06-01-2004, 03:38 PM
The fatal flaw is the assumption that Willy and Reitsma (on the DL last I checked, but then I'm just barely paying attention ;) ) would perform the same or better while the rest of the crew you mentioned has improved. Maybe they would be putting up numbers like Wagner, Bong, and Bubba with the "pitch to contact" motif.

Assuming that Willy and Chris will perform at their traditional levels is not a stretch or a flaw in my argument. The fact is that the crew I mentioned IS performing at those levels, and if you throw in some BP guys with the traditional performances of Willy and Reitsma then it would help the team. Pretty clear from where I stand.

"Maybe they would be putting up numbers like Wagner, Bong, and Bubba with the "pitch to contact" motif."

Doubtful.

westofyou
06-01-2004, 03:45 PM
I never said they were crap.

No, you didn't.....you said everything else but that they were crap, eschewing their age, the organizations lack of starters ect....

Looking at the bottom line and assuming that garbage was gotten and gold was given away.

Like I said the world of baseball isn't this past 2 months or the 2 months after this, time will tell what happens and your love and overestimation of the cost of middle relief will continue.

I'm sure when Reitsma was obtained for Bichette you poo pooed his career and his broken arm and chance for success.

Many did at the time.

creek14
06-01-2004, 03:45 PM
Reitsma (on the DL last I checked, but then I'm just barely paying attention ;) )
Maybe you should pay attention. That Reitsma 2.02 ERA in May looked pretty good.

Notes: Stellar setup men
Gryboski, Reitsma helping Smoltz do his thing
By Pierre Moussette / Special to MLB.com

MONTREAL -- Behind every star closer there is one or more quality setup men. While the hold is certainly not nearly as glamorous as the save, Atlanta relievers Chris Reitsma and Kevin Gryboski have done yeomen's work in paving the way for stopper John Smoltz.

"Reitsma's been our go-to guy in the eighth inning to get us to Smoltz," pitching coach Leo Mazzone said. "We've got Gryboski for the seventh and Reitsma for the eighth. What we like about Reitsma is it doesn't matter who's hitting in the lineup because he's got the pitches to offset whether they are left-handed or right-handed."

So far, Reitsma has enjoyed working under Cox and Mazzone.

"It's been good," Reitsma said. "The two months have gone by like a week. They've plugged me in; they've used me quite a bit. I'm just trying to do the best I can every time I go out there with the role they've given me and I'm enjoying myself -- things are good."

The former Reds starter had an ERA of 4.52 in three losing seasons in Cincinnati. Upon his arrival in Atlanta, Mazzone preached his mantra of location, location, location, and it seems to have revived the right-hander's career.

"It's unbelievable but the simple thing is the consistency of trying to own a down-and-away strike with the fastball," he said. "When you practice with them that's the most difficult thing to do, so we spend all our time practicing that particular pitch in that particular area."

The strategy of keeping the ball down has obviously worked well in the past and continues to do so. Only the St. Louis Cardinals obtain a higher percentage of their outs via the ground ball, and the Braves' staff ERA is fourth in the NL.

"He just emphasizes the down-and-away strike, being in the zone down, being aggressive all the time and being ahead," Reitsma said of his pitching coach's philosophy. "It's nothing new from what I've heard before, it's just that he's very focussed and very intent on that. And obviously he's had a lot of good pitchers under him and a lot of success. You listen to him and try to keep things simple -- I think that's the key."

On the whole, Mazzone is pleased with the performance of his staff so far and sees plenty of opportunity for even better results the rest of the way.

"Our pitching staff has come together pretty good," Mazzone added. "We have a chance to have a really solid rotation and our bullpen has been really good with Alfonseca pitching extremely well."

gm
06-01-2004, 03:57 PM
Was anyone suggesting that the Reds keep Chris Reitsma AND pick Todd Jones up off waivers during the last week of spring training?

Anyone? No one?

Then all of this extrapolation is moot. The Reds never considered keeping both RHR pitchers in their 2004 bullpen and neither did you. Bemoaning it post-facto is pointless, IMO

traderumor
06-01-2004, 04:06 PM
Maybe you should pay attention. That Reitsma 2.02 ERA in May looked pretty good.

The DL reference was to Willy, so I guess my grade needs to go down, but then points off to the reviewer for not quoting the whole sentence ;) . Actually, I think I added Reitsma after I had typed the parentheses. My bad.

Aronchis
06-01-2004, 04:07 PM
If Bong and especially Nelson become "good" ML starting pitchers, we win. Nothing more needs to be said. Reitsma will never be a starter, "just a MR".

The Reds don't need help with RH in the BP(we have Wagner,Valentine and even Coffey developing for Christs sake), but the left side(which Bong may be able to help also) where Norton and Sanchez are subpar. Lets understand, you have to give something to get something. If O'brien did his job, he may have gotten starting pitching. While we won't know for another year or two, good,goody and thank goodness.

red-in-la
06-01-2004, 04:07 PM
WHAT O'Brien plan?

The team that is winning is the one Bowden built.....minus some serious talent that the Limited dumped before O'Biren got here.

One thought so far was compare Todd Jones to Rietsma.....are we serious?

Rietsma has a 2.17 era while Jones is at 4.30 and was over 5 a week ago.

The other thought has been the "quality arms" the Reds got. If the arms are SUCH QUALITY, how come Valentine pitched Sunday and threw that game away before the first inning was even over with?

So far, you cannot judege what O'Brien has done, because what he was hired to do is supposed to take years to accomplish. As for the current success, the Reds have had similar early success 3 of the last 4 years and Bowden was fired for it. So don't try to hang good or bad on O'Brien for what has happened so far.

His trade of Rietsma was STUPID....no other way to put it because as other posters have said, it screamed loud and long that the Reds had no intention of fieling a ML team in 2004. The fact that JR and Larkin are finally healthy, and that Casey is having an all world first two months are the reason for the current fine fortune.

As for pitching to contact, that is also a bunch of bull. Fact is that Wilsn WAS finally healthy, Acevedo MADE the FO finally concede that he might be a ML pitcher, and public condemnation led to the release of Haynes (which I DO give o"Brien and mostly Miley kudos for). If your insightful plan is ACTUALLY that pitching to contact makes you win, why in the world do you call up a WILD MAN like Valentine? That sure makes a statement.

MHO is that if you DON'T trade Rietsma, that Reds are probably 13 games over .500 right now instead of 9.....but who really knows?

gm
06-01-2004, 04:11 PM
"He just emphasizes the down-and-away strike, being in the zone down, being aggressive all the time and being ahead," Reitsma said of his pitching coach's philosophy. "It's nothing new from what I've heard before, it's just that he's very focussed and very intent on that. And obviously he's had a lot of good pitchers under him and a lot of success. You listen to him and try to keep things simple -- I think that's the key."

Could this be a rare example of a pitcher who leaves Gullett's tutelage and actually improves?

westofyou
06-01-2004, 04:17 PM
As for pitching to contact, that is also a bunch of bull.


Here's the defensive efficiency report on the Cubs, Reds and Astros. (from last week)



TEAM PA AB H BB SO HBP HR ROE DEF_EFF

CIN 1798 1617 443 128 283 17 56 15 0.6941
CHN 1738 1527 358 160 372 21 47 11 0.7170
HOU 1745 1556 370 149 398 16 49 17 0.7017


The amount of balls in play by the Reds opposition compared to the others is rather large, coupled with the low K rate then you really have to lean on the amount of BB allowed that the Reds staff to see where their success lies, that's called "Pitching to Contact"

Cincinnati 1 bb every 14.0 batters
Chicago 1 bb every 10.8 batters
Astros 1 bb every 11.7 batters


The Lack of BB's is really holding the Reds staff collective heads above water at this point.

Currently the Reds allow a hit every 4 PA and the Cubs 4.7 and Astros 4.85 add in HBP and BB that brings the rate in at:



Reds 1 BR every 3 batters
Astros 1 BR every 3.26 batters
Cubs 1 BR every 3.22 batters


So in essence it's not BS it's what they're doing, because if their BB rate goes up that plus hits they allow will hurt them bad.

REDREAD
06-01-2004, 04:20 PM
No, you didn't.....you said everything else but that they were crap, eschewing their age, the organizations lack of starters ect....


Read what you want to read into my stuff.. There's no point in trying to
explain myself, you've already made up your mind what I meant :yawn:



I'm sure when Reitsma was obtained for Bichette you poo pooed his career and his broken arm and chance for success.


And that would be another wrong assumption you made about my thoughts, but it
helps your usual strategy of side tracking the issue and trying to make me look
inferior to the almighty stat god (you)..

Deny it all you want, but right now, both Bong and Nelson look more like future bullpenners.
In your mind, it probably doesn't matter what Atlanta's opinion was, a few years of Naehring
yelling "pitch to contract" at them will surely fix everything.. I want this org to develop
starting pitching as much as anyone, but Bong and Nelson don't look like answers right now.
And they may never be answers.

gm
06-01-2004, 04:20 PM
WHAT O'Brien plan?

So far, you cannot judege what O'Brien has done, because what he was hired to do is supposed to take years to accomplish.

Acevedo MADE the FO finally concede that he might be a ML pitcher,

MHO is that if you DON'T trade Rietsma, that Reds are probably 13 games over .500 right now instead of 9.....but who really knows?

So say no one should judge DanO, then you proceed to do just that. Niiice.

Acevedo was buried in the minors by Bowden and Boone. Immediately after their firing Jose was called up and performed well, up until his ankle accident

YHO is unconvincing. The only factoid you shared is that the Reds are 9 games over .500, which is probably about 18 games better than what you would've expected for June 1, on the day that Reitsma was dealt.

westofyou
06-01-2004, 04:34 PM
And that would be another wrong assumption you made about my thoughts, but it helps your usual strategy of side tracking the issue and trying to make me look inferior to the almighty stat god (you)..


Oh please, if you occasionally used stats, projections ect.. I wouldn't poke at you.

But you don't.

As for my "usual strategy" it doesn't involve "sidetracking" or trying to make you look "inferior" but if you want to try insult me by alluding to my use of stats go ahead, I'm a big boy who can handle the heat.

red-in-la
06-01-2004, 04:36 PM
No, you didn't.....you said everything else but that they were crap, eschewing their age, the organizations lack of starters ect....

Looking at the bottom line and assuming that garbage was gotten and gold was given away.

Like I said the world of baseball isn't this past 2 months or the 2 months after this, time will tell what happens and your love and overestimation of the cost of middle relief will continue.

I'm sure when Reitsma was obtained for Bichette you poo pooed his career and his broken arm and chance for success.

Many did at the time.

WHO, WHO, WHO were the MANY WOY? Just about everybody wanted Bichette gone for a bucket of old baseballs.....who cared what they got for him.

Just razin' you WOY. I get your point. :D :D :D

As to gm's assertion earlier that people upset with this trade are second guessing.....I take issue. I was one of several posters who openly disliked this trade the moment it was announced....and it is still an AWFUL trade.

But I will also point out that without assumption and second guessing, baseball would rank just about two ticks above watching paint dry as the most boring pastime in history....hence, boards like this that are fun and enjoyable.

princeton
06-01-2004, 04:54 PM
Was anyone suggesting that the Reds keep Chris Reitsma AND pick Todd Jones up off waivers during the last week of spring training?

Anyone?

why, yes

also, I "called" the trade but you shouldn't extrapolate that I thought it was a good idea. I didn't, I just expected it.

the best way to analyze a deal is whether you'd do it today, and whether you CAN do it today.

with the Reitsma trade, the Reds wouldn't do it today, and Atlanta would in a heartbeat. Disadvantage Reds.

BTW, whoever is comparing Jones' numbers instead of Reith's as Reitsma's replacement went to the same logic school as mrs. princeton. she's sexy though

that trade cost 10 big runs, three wins. At least.

traderumor
06-01-2004, 05:05 PM
BTW, whoever is comparing Jones' numbers instead of Reith's as Reitsma's replacement went to the same logic school as mrs. princeton. she's sexy though

Well, I said I was done with this wascally wabbit twail, but I just wanted to point out that my wife thinks the same about me, but my logic was sound. If Reitsma stays, Jones isn't signed (are chicken/egg concepts too tough for east coasters? ;) ). Reith stays either way to pull middle relief. Do you really think that the Reds were gonna do Reitsma/Jones/Wagner/Reidling? Maybe Mrs. Princeton is smarter than you think :confused:

princeton
06-01-2004, 05:09 PM
Do you really think that the Reds were gonna do Reitsma/Jones/Wagner/Reidling?

why yes: a bad rotation deserves a good pen. It's (here's that word again) logical

traderumor
06-01-2004, 05:11 PM
the best way to analyze a deal is whether you'd do it today, and whether you CAN do it today.

You're right, with logic like this, who can argue and win?

BTW, I doubt that Jones comes on board if he is replacing Reith, which I guess is what you're getting at. The dude is old and seems to be foot loose and fancy free enough to not bite the first hook thrown his way but to wait for a late inning short reliever stint like the one he landed in Redsland.

princeton
06-01-2004, 05:19 PM
BTW, I doubt that Jones comes on board if he is replacing Reith, which I guess is what you're getting at.

Jones was here, Reitsma was here. At the same time. Saw their picture together myself. A trade didn't necessarily follow. It's not a hammer on the knee.

you can always trade someone later, once you've figured out if Wagner's good, if the starters can give you innings, if the team will be out of race, etc. You might not get the same return, though in this case you could have gotten the same return if not better.

where's that skull/brick wall thing, anyway?

traderumor
06-01-2004, 05:29 PM
where's that skull/brick wall thing, anyway?

:dflynn: You mean this? Glad you can relate. Ok, let me try. The chicken came first, which was DanO getting the Bong and Bubba for Chris offer, eh? Then, DanO sees the waiver wire and lo and behold there's Todd Jones, which as destiny would have it could fill in short term for Chris. I think I'm gonna do that deal now if I can sign Todd. Now, Todd and DanO shakes hands, snapshot is taken, trade is announced Saturday morning IIRC, a couple of days after Jones comes on board. You and I both recognized that and called it before it happened. Just because it doesn't now fit your rant doesn't mean its an illogical conclusion by moi :dflynn:

gm
06-01-2004, 05:36 PM
Hey princeton, do you typically jump such great distances to these conclusions, or does Mrs. princeton have to "dwarf-toss" you? :duel:

princeton
06-01-2004, 06:04 PM
The chicken came first, which was DanO getting the Bong and Bubba for Chris offer, eh? Then, DanO sees the waiver wire and lo and behold there's Todd Jones, which as destiny would have it could fill in short term for Chris.

or, they could have just signed Jones and decided, let's not deal Chris because now that we have a pen, we might actually be able to compete in spite of our rotation. Which was what I said they should do

hey, it probably should have worked out for DanO. He did go against the percentages (MOST GMs would have waited until late May) but it was still an understandable move given the Reds record last year.

And the move still could turn out to be the right one-- the Reds may go into a skid that no bullpen could save.

But right now, it wasn't the right move

red-in-la
06-01-2004, 06:11 PM
So say no one should judge DanO, then you proceed to do just that. Niiice.

Acevedo was buried in the minors by Bowden and Boone. Immediately after their firing Jose was called up and performed well, up until his ankle accident

YHO is unconvincing. The only factoid you shared is that the Reds are 9 games over .500, which is probably about 18 games better than what you would've expected for June 1, on the day that Reitsma was dealt.

Come on gm, I did NOT just now judge O'Brien. He made a really stupid trade....that isn't judging him in the vein of this thread. I didn't call for his firing or anything else. If saying a guy did ONE stupid thing is judging him, I am damned by 5:30 am every morning.

And Acevedo wasn't BURIED in the minors. Unlike most other Reds so-called pitching prospects, Acevedo (after a rush to the majors) was allowed to get a little success for a few months in AAA before he was called up. Now, I, like any other Reds fan last year would have loved to see ANY pitcher who hadn't been dumped by someone else pitching for the Reds wanted Acevedo called up sooner, but that is beside the point.

As for my unconvincing opinion....says who? You? OK, THAT is your unconvincing opinion I guess. :idea:

You are correct though, the Reds are exactly 5 places ahead of where I expected them to be.

Aronchis
06-01-2004, 06:19 PM
He made a really stupid trade? Again the bottom line: If one of those pitchers, especially Nelson become good starting pitchers, the deal was not only worth it, it was a steal. Good starting pitching is the toughest commodity to find in baseball. Reitsma will never be a starting pitcher. The Reds have good enough depth of righties that are probably a year or two at most behind Reitsma, one maybe with bigger potential than Reitsma. Can't let the Bowden era go eh? Overvaluing relievers was problem number one. Lets not be stupid eh :evil:

Maybe the deal blows up in O'brien's face and he wastes Reitsma's value. But maybe, just maybe we finally got one right for once but the Reds fan has become so jaded, they can't accept it.

princeton
06-01-2004, 06:23 PM
Maybe the deal blows up in O'brien's face.

as in 10 BIG runs, three losses, and an overtaxed bullpen. To date.

gm
06-01-2004, 06:27 PM
And the move still could turn out to be the right one-- the Reds may go into a skid that no bullpen could save.


And the Braves could miss the playoffs for the first time since the Reagan administration and wish they had kept Bong/Bubba around to help them rebuild

Opinions are like belly-buttons...

princeton
06-01-2004, 06:41 PM
And the Braves...

have you tried braveszone.com?

TRF
06-01-2004, 06:52 PM
rila Acevedo was way buried in the minors last season. i almost got called up before him, and i don't even play ball. everyone and his dog were called up ahead of lil jose. Boone and JimBo were sour on him and he was left to rot in AAA. Did it do him some good? probably, but i bet he could have been pitching in Cincinnati in July of last year with some success.

gm
06-01-2004, 07:35 PM
have you tried braveszone.com?

No need, I can get updates on Chris' progress right here (whether I'm interested in them, or not)

I'm just saying trade "regrets" come from all angles. And if a fan is predisposed to doubt the abilities of the FO/scouting dept those "regrets" will be voiced sooner, rather than later

(he says, speaking from experience)

Matt700wlw
06-01-2004, 07:55 PM
Opinions are like belly-buttons...

They have ins and outs?? :p:

EX BRAVEDAD
06-01-2004, 08:39 PM
Well folks I know I probly shouldnt say this but I could care less if Chris Reitsma got traded I am glad Kenny got traded to the Reds he still has alot to learn yet but in the long run I think he will be ok and one more thing to hell with that bullpen talk I know that I for one dont want to see him in the pen and I know he doesnt want to be in the pen but if that is what it takes to get him to the show and have some success than so be it out :mhcky21:

REDREAD
06-01-2004, 09:47 PM
Oh please, if you occasionally used stats, projections ect.. I wouldn't poke at you. .

Translation.. "stats are the most important thing.. in fact the only thing."
This line of thinking makes you very predictable.. like "Guillen is a fluke", for example. Because the fact that a player could make an adjustment at that age is such a foreign concept.. because the stats can't predict it.

That is my beef with the stats only approach.

But that's not my main problem... You ran out of things to say, so you had to say, "You probably hated the bichette trade that brought Reitsma here" (paraphrased).. Why was there a need to add that?.. For the record, I didn't mind the bichette trade, even though I felt Bichette was underrated here (his OPS was about the same as Young and Casey during his stay here).. But I can understand trading an old 6 million dollar OF for a young prospect when you are out of it.. I have less understanding why a rebuilding team that needs pitching would trade their "most outstanding pitcher" from the previous year who was only making 900k, for what appears (IMO) to be 2 future middle relievers of less quality.. But as I said, if we can get 3-4 years of solid relief from those guys (ie. not Reith-like).. the trade is ok.. Ironically, my criteria for success of that trade is much lower than most on the board.


So please refrain from making up stuff or making wild guesses at what I said in the past to hurt my crediblity. I don't care if stats are the only thing that matter to you, but don't misrepresent what I said..

If you define crap as future middle relievers, that's your definition. (You claimed I was portraying them as crap).
I didn't say those 2 prospects were crap. We are going to need middle relievers in a couple years too (along with just about everything else)..
So if Bong/Nelson fill that need, that is not too bad.. I did call them disappointing (or something to that effect), but that's because I expected Bong to be ML ready. To me, a ML ready guy is a lot more valuable than a "maybe in 2-3 years".. Also, that's part of the reason I have soured a little on Clausen.. My informal "scout" has not been impressed. Even the Reds brass would rather have Valentine up here than Claussen..

REDREAD
06-01-2004, 10:02 PM
Do you really think that the Reds were gonna do Reitsma/Jones/Wagner/Reidling? Maybe Mrs. Princeton is smarter than you think :confused:


Well after 2002 ended , these guys were already in tow for 2003 for the bullpen as options:

White
Sully
Williamson
Reidling
Reitsma (who they were trying to figure out his role)
Reith

Yet they still invited/signed:
Manzillo
Heredia
Mercker

They did this knowing Graves might fail as a starter.

If they did Sully/Williamson/Reidling/Manzillo last year (and sent Reitsma to AAA), why is it a stretch to consider Reitsma/Jones/Wagner/Reidling this year? Why would they limit themselves to only 3 reliable RH pitchers? A smart GM should grab any cheap bullpen arm that might be an upgrade.

In fact, DanO didn't go far enough. He should've more aggressively tried to upgrade Reith and Norton.

westofyou
06-01-2004, 10:41 PM
So please refrain from making up stuff or making wild guesses at what I said in the past to hurt my crediblity. I don't care if stats are the only thing that matter to you, but don't misrepresent what I said..

I apologize for that statement, it was off the cuff and misplaced within the debate.

For the record stats aren't the only thing that matters to me, far from it.

However it's not lost on me that with that statement you're also putting on the shoes that you're accusing me of wearing in my attempt to walk over your argument.

REDREAD
06-01-2004, 11:55 PM
To WOY: ok.. I apologize for getting too worked up over it.. I went a bit overboard. I am calm now for the moment.. Likewise, I apologize for overgeneralizing/stereotyping you.. that was too much.