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11BarryLarkin11
03-23-2006, 10:53 PM
I’ve been thinking a lot about the first significant trade made by Wayne Krivsky. Regrettably, I've been out of the loop for the past week or so. But, I've looked at the majority of the posts discussing this deal and they seem to be in favor of it, which, if true, means that once again I possess the minority opinion. I’m rather tired of being a nay-sayer and I really don’t want to become the resident malcontent on this board, so I really did look for reasons to give this trade a big thumbs up, but I just couldn’t find any.

For starters, I’ll say that I am certainly happy with the underlying philosophy of the trade. By trading Wily Mo Pena for Bronson Arroyo, Krivsky achieved several positive outcomes. He acquired a starting pitcher whose rights the Reds control for 3 years, increased the cost certainty of our starting rotation, dealt from an area of strength to improve an area of weakness (something for which 98% of this message board has been clamoring for the past year), and avoided the overheated free agent market for starting pitchers.

Now, how many of the aforementioned positives are actually a tribute to the ingenuity of Krivsky and how much is due to the timing of when he took over is certainly debatable. For example, I’m not sure how much of the trade was based on Wayne Krivsky’s realization that it isn’t cost effective to build a pitching rotation through free agency and how much was actually due to the fact that it was the only method left for improvement this late in the off-season. I hope it was the former, but I suspect it was the latter.

But, while I like the underlying philosophy of the deal, I can’t help but wonder if they failed in its execution. The Reds did ok in this deal, but ok isn’t going to get the job done for a mid-market team. In fact, I suspect that they left significant value on the table by making this deal.

As a mid-market organization, the Reds MUST maximize the return on their available assets in order to be competitive in MLB’s financial structure. They have to get MORE production per dollar/asset than the big market teams in order to close the gap and offset the payroll disparities. If they don’t, then the massive revenues of the large market teams will overwhelm the lower budget organizations. To me, that’s the obvious key to success for a small/mid-market organization and unfortunately I think the Reds left substantial value on the table in this deal.

I hate to keep going back to it, but I think the David Bush/Lyle Overbay deal should have set the market. If Lyle Overbay and a PTBNL are enough to get David Bush, Gabe Gross, and Zach Jackson in return, then how exactly does Wily Mo Pena only bring Bronson Arroyo in return?

If this is all that the Reds could've been gotten for Wily Mo Pena, then they should have waited until his 35 homers in 2006 drove his value up. But, as it stands, it looks like we've traded away a commodity of value for another back-end of the rotation starter, which isn't the wisest way to go in my estimation.

A few weeks ago, I suggested that the Reds would be wise to package both Austin Kearns and Wily Mo Pena in a deal to acquire an IMPACT pitcher and a top prospect. The reason I suggested it was that back-end of the rotation pitchers grow on trees, and what the Reds really need is a top of the rotation starter. While the pitcher (Greinke, Zack) that I suggested acquiring as the main commodity in the deal has certainly fallen on hard times (and yes, the timing of his departure earned me a ton of grief for the idea ), I still think the underlying theory was sound. Trade them both for a true top of the rotation pitcher whose rights we will control for four years, rather than dealing one of them for another back-end of the rotation starter. It would have been riskier, but it also would have had a much, much higher reward.

But, back to reality, let’s take a look at Arroyo and see if we can shed a little light on what we actually got:

Bronson Arroyo
HT: 6-5 WT: 190 Age: 29

Career Stats
IP: 588.1
ERA: 4.59
W-L: 33-33
WHIP: 1.36
BB/9: 2.9
K/9: 5.61
GB/FB: 0.98
BAA: .267

Things to like about Arroyo:
1. His height, as he is 6-5. Nothing like working on a downward plane.
2. His career BB/9 is a respectable 2.9. It could be a tick lower, but it’s significantly better than Dave Williams' 3.76 BB/9.

Things to dislike about Arroyo:
1. His GB/FB ratio is 0.98, which would make him a pitcher with neutral GB/FB tendencies. Maybe dislike is the wrong choice of words, as while his neutral tendencies are certainly better than fly ball tendencies in GABP, wouldn’t it have been better to target groundball pitchers???
2. He has started 90 games in his career, but has only one complete game. It would've been nice to add someone to the pitching staff who can consistently work deep into games. The Reds are seemingly always the last team in baseball each season to get a complete game out of their starters.
3. Arroyo’s K/9 rate dropped from 7.15 in 2004 to 4.38 in 2005. I haven't figured out why that happened, but that could be a BIG problem.
4. His spring training stats. In 11.2 innings, Arroyo has a 10.03 ERA with a 7/6 K/BB ratio. While spring training stats aren't worth much, I think it would be hard to argue that performing poorly is preferable to performing well.

Things I didn't know about Arroyo:
1. He pitched for Pittsburgh for 3 seasons.
2. He's 29 years old, which means that he is no young pup. He doesn't have a ton of wear and tear on his arm, but I didn't realize that he was almost 30.

On the surface, Arroyo was solid in 2005, but it may have been a rather revealing season for him. In looking at the stats, I think Reds’ fans should be worried about his declining K/9 rate. I can’t recall seeing strikeout rates fall so significantly over an entire season. I can really only think of two possible reasons for the decline: 1) Arroyo is injured or 2) his K/9 rate is regressing to the mean after an outlier season in 2004. Given his minor league stats, I suspect that option 2 is likely to be the reason.

In 2005, Arroyo struck out 2.77 FEWER hitters per nine innings than he did in 2004. That is a HUGE drop off and one that should be of concern to Reds’ fans everywhere. If we get the Arroyo who strikes out 7.15 hitters per nine, we will have something special. But, if we get the Arroyo who strikes out 4.38, then we will have a problem. Generally speaking (yes, yes, there are a couple of exceptions, but Arroyo isn’t one of them), you have to strikeout at least 5 hitters per nine to have any kind of long-term success.

So, is Arroyo a pitcher who strikes out ~ 7 hitters per game? Or, a pitcher who strikes out ~ 4.5 hitters per game? Well, it’s difficult for me to say, but given his stuff, I think it’s unlikely that he’ll strikeout 7+ hitters per game. Let’s take a quick look at his minor league stats to see what we can glean from them.

Bronson Arroyo
Career Minor League Stats

IP: 1,105.0
ERA: 3.80
WHIP: 1.28
BB/9: 2.36
K/9: 6.94
H/9: 9.15

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/A/bronson-arroyo.shtml

Given these career minor league stats, I think Arroyo’s career MLB stats are right about where they should be, which is to say well below the 7+ K/9 he posted in 2004. Overall, his BB/9 rate has risen and his K/9 rate has fallen at the major league level, which is what we would expect. Tougher competition should mean a decline in production. It would be a bit counterintuitive for him to strikeout more major league hitters per nine than minor league hitters.

If you take a look at some of Arroyo’s strikeouts (especially his game on 10/8/2004), they seem to come on breaking balls out of the zone. He doesn’t have great stuff, so I suspect that he relies a lot on undisciplined hitters chasing breaking balls out of the zone. As such, it is entirely possible that big league hitters made significant adjustments to Arroyo between the 2004 and 2005 seasons. Chasing fewer pitches out of the strike zone and forcing him to work within it. Of course, that’s just speculation on my part, but something was certainly different in 2005.

Here's the link, if you want to see him in action for yourself:

http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/team/player_media.jsp?player_id=276520

Now, I’m not saying that Arroyo cannot be a successful back-end of the rotation starter with a K/9 rate of 5, because he certainly can. Rather, what I’m suggesting is that if his ceiling is just that of a #4 starter, is he really worth Wily Mo Pena?

And that is the crux of the problem with this deal, as I see it. The Reds seem to be paying for the 2004 version of Arroyo, despite the fact that Arroyo’s 2004 season was likely an outlier. Dealing WMP for a pitcher who is able to strikeout 7+ hitters per nine innings is much more palatable than dealing him for a pitcher who strikes out 4.5-5 per nine innings. Unfortunately for the Reds, I suspect that Arroyo is more like the pitcher we saw in 2005, than the one we saw in 2004.

If Arroyo continues to strikeout hitters at his 2005 rate, then that means more balls in play for the defense. And, anyone who has ever watched a Reds game or looked at a defensive statistic knows that this isn’t an area of strength for Cincy.

To illustrate the point, we’ll take a look at the BoSox and Red defenses respectively. If you look at the Defense Efficiency Ratio (DER), which is just a big phrase for the percentage of balls in play that the defense turns into outs, for both the Reds and Red Sox in 2005 you’ll see that the BoSox were just a bit better than Cincy in this department. Also note, this stat is based on the concept that pitchers have essentially no control on whether or not a batted ball falls in for a hit, so luck/random chance is the determining factor.

2005 DER
Boston: .683
Cincy: .678

Now, take a look at the main Red Sox starters in 2005 and their respective DERs.

Wakefield: .742
Arroyo: .722
Wells: .680
Clement: .701
W.Miller: .699
C.Schilling: .629

Now, Wakefield is WELL above the overall Red Sox DER. Knuckleball pitchers do seem to have some ability, which traditional pitchers lack, to control whether or not balls in play fall in for hits. So, his high DER isn’t too unusual. But, Arroyo is .039 higher than Boston’s team wide average, which would point to Arroyo being rather “hit lucky” in 2005. Now, obviously, when you are talking about averages, half will exist above and half will exist below. That’s the nature of the beast, but I think it’s rather wise to be cognizant of the extreme outliers when acquiring pitchers.

I would postulate that if you acquire a pitcher who was reasonably successful despite being rather “hit unlucky” (interestingly enough, Billy Beane’s big off-season signing, Esteban Loaiza, fits nicely into this category), then you are MUCH better off than if you acquire a pitcher who was reasonably successful while being rather “hit lucky” (Unfortunately, I would put both Dave Williams and to a lesser extent Bronson Arroyo into the latter category). While it may indeed be “better to be lucky than good”, it is much more difficult to replicate luck year in and year out. Once again, the Reds seem to be acquiring a pitcher who was “hit lucky” in 2005.

For comparison, here is Arroyo’s 2005 DER compared to the 2005 DER of Cincy’s starting pitchers:

Arroyo: .722
Harang: .697
Claussen: .705
R.Ortiz: .697
E.Milton: .689

I think Arroyo can expect less help from the defense on all balls in play, which will make his strikeout rate even more important. And, I’m sure we can all agree that having to rely on the Cincy defense in order to be successful is a bad idea. Much like Dave Williams, although to a lesser extent, Arroyo was both “hit lucky” in 2005 and going to be pitching in front of a lower quality defense in 2006. Arroyo needs improve his strikeout rate, which will reduce balls in play, in a big hurry for this deal to bear fruit.

The Reds seemed doomed to repeat the same mistake over and over again. They consistently give up WAY too much for league average, at best, starting pitching. If you accept Bill James’ theory (which I do) that there isn’t a scarcity of quality major league talent, then you shouldn’t be willing to overpay in order to keep or acquire it.

First, the Reds gave a ridiculous free agent contract to Eric Milton. Now, Arroyo is acquired at a very steep cost in talent. Unfortunately, the old axiom “you get what you pay for” doesn’t ring true in baseball. The Reds overpaid in cash for Milton and overpaid in talent for Arroyo.

Put another way, how much better will Arroyo be in 2006 than other starting pitchers who could have been acquired at a lesser cost of salary and talent? How much better will he be than Gil Meche, Boof Bonser, Kevin Correia, Mark Redman, or countless others who would likely have come at a substantially lower cost? Will he be so much better than the aforementioned pitchers that it justifies giving up Wily Mo Pena to get him?

Personally, I doubt it, so once again we aren’t maximizing value. This deal is discouraging because our surplus of good one outfield talent was the one way in which we could have acquired good starting pitching. Given the lack of minor league talent in the organization, this team just didn’t have many bullets in the gun with which to bring in good talent. In fact, WMP was probably the last bullet and unfortunately, I don’t think our aim was true. I suspect that we could’ve gotten a better, cheaper pitcher in exchange for Wily Mo Pena.

So, I guess this deal is a step forward for the front office, as while the execution was flawed; at least the strategy was sound. The Reds managed to acquire a solid starting pitcher and lock up three years of cost certainty in exchange for WMP. While both are steps in the right direction, I still think they could’ve gotten a pitcher who would’ve provided more cost certainty and better production for WMP. In essence, by acquiring Arroyo for WMP, I think we left BOTH money and production on the table.

I certainly like Arroyo better than Dave Williams, but when you look at what we gave up respectively to get each, that's to be expected. Unfortunately, I think we traded WMP for a back-end of the rotation starter, who likely won't have a significant impact on the fortunes of this organization.

I think it would've been nice to see the Reds be bold. Just once, swing for the fences like Adam Dunn. Perhaps my expectations are too high. Maybe it's time to be happy with a move that doesn't reek of ineptitude as in years past. But, I still expect more and better out of Reds than this.

In the past, the Reds’ front office has been plagued by BOTH flawed strategy and execution, so this is a step in the right direction, albeit a small one, as at least we got one of the two right.

As always, just my $.02.

Red Leader
03-23-2006, 10:57 PM
I'd say that was more like $2.00 than $.02. ;)

Nice post.

Nugget
03-23-2006, 11:09 PM
Good post - but like all other analysis of the trade on whether Bronson is worth the cost - it comes down to where you value WMP. WMP is certainly full of potential but he has been full of potential for three seasons. Right now he really hasn't had that year like Dunn has to really say he is any more valuable than a middle to back of the rotation SP. Don't forget that Bronson is also signed to a relatively cheap salary for three years.

MartyFan
03-23-2006, 11:13 PM
I was hopeing that someone would start a thread on this deal...really haven't seen too much about it on the board.

RedsManRick
03-23-2006, 11:24 PM
If only Wily Mo could face Arroyo... he'd be chasing breaking balls out of the zone all day :-P

Superdude
03-23-2006, 11:32 PM
I completely agree with you. Pena was just too talented to give away at this point in his career for a mediocre pitcher that's dangerously close to 30. What was the danger in hanging onto him for another year. It's not like we weren't sure if he was going to bomb next year. In a worst case scenario, Pena would have probably held a .300OBP and hit 25 homers. I'm sure we could still have gotten an Arroyo like talent for that. And I think we can all agree that Pena would be more likely to hit at least 30 homers which have attracted WAY more than Arroyo coming from a 24 year old outfielder. We may have improved the pitching staff, but I think we just screwed our self out of a huge value.

RedsMan3203
03-24-2006, 12:21 AM
If I remember correctly... You are a woman....

And a if I'm correct... You are awesome...

Cuz 1.. Your brillant!

Cuz 2.. Your a Reds Fan.


Anyways... Nice Post. :thumbup:

puca
03-24-2006, 06:24 AM
You are not alone in your opinion. In fact I was in the middle of posting that exact message to this board (other than the Grienke stuff). :)

Really, if I could have expressed my thoughts that clearly I would have. It's not that I like Wily Mo that much, or that I dislike Broson Arroyo that much, but when a Rhino is charging and you have only one bullet in your gun, you really hope that the shot stops the Rhino and not just slows it down. The Reds are pretty much out of bullets and the Rhino is still heading towards us.

vermonter
03-24-2006, 08:30 AM
Nice post. A couple of small points:
1. Arroyo's not really a complete game pitcher, but he did lead the 2005 Sox in quality starts, which is pretty impressive with Wells, Wakefield and Clement on the staff. He'll generally give you 6-7 innings of quality work, and containment, if not dominance, for those innings. With an offense like the Reds have, that should be plenty good.

2. Regarding strikeouts, you are quite right that most of his K's come from breaking stuff off the plate and that the league (particularly the Division) did learn from facing him frequently. Pitching 19 games per year vs A.L. East opponents is quite different than pitching 19 games per year vs N.L. Central opponents. This is not to say that N.L. Central hitters aren't as good, but they are a lot younger, less disciplined and more susceptible to breaking stuff. Add 3 or 4 ABs per game against the pitcher slot, and I think his K-rate will recover pretty well.

3. I did some analysis on his hits against in Boston, and I'm not sure that the "hit lucky" label fits his 2005 season. Boston's infield defense was fairly horrible in 2005, so the ground ball pitchers (such as Clement) got penalized and the fly ball pitchers (like Arroyo, Wells and Wakefield) got a break. Arroyo doesn't actually give up many lucky hits. He does occasionally serve up some fat pitches that truly do get hammered, mainly hanging curves. So the hits he gives up are pretty well-earned. He's good at spacing those events out, though, and solid contact is actually pretty rare.

Regarding the notion of acquiring impact pitching through trades or free agency, I'm of the opinion that that's usually a futile pursuit. Since the going price for marginally good pitchers, such as Javier Vasquez, Eric Milton, Jaret Wright, Kevin Millwood, Carl Pavano, A.J. Burnett and Matt Clement is in the vicinity of 10M/per on the open market, it seems to be a fool's errand. Most pitchers have already had their best years by the time they reach free agency, especially the power pitchers. I think the best way to get impact pitching is to grow your own, a pursuit which only about half or less of the MLB clubs seem to be able to do (and not the Reds). Perhaps the best thing the Reds can do when they finally clear themselves of the Milton contract, is to invest his salary into the minor leagues and player development.

11BarryLarkin11
03-24-2006, 03:57 PM
Nice post. A couple of small points:
1. Arroyo's not really a complete game pitcher, but he did lead the 2005 Sox in quality starts, which is pretty impressive with Wells, Wakefield and Clement on the staff. He'll generally give you 6-7 innings of quality work, and containment, if not dominance, for those innings. With an offense like the Reds have, that should be plenty good.

2. Regarding strikeouts, you are quite right that most of his K's come from breaking stuff off the plate and that the league (particularly the Division) did learn from facing him frequently. Pitching 19 games per year vs A.L. East opponents is quite different than pitching 19 games per year vs N.L. Central opponents. This is not to say that N.L. Central hitters aren't as good, but they are a lot younger, less disciplined and more susceptible to breaking stuff. Add 3 or 4 ABs per game against the pitcher slot, and I think his K-rate will recover pretty well.

3. I did some analysis on his hits against in Boston, and I'm not sure that the "hit lucky" label fits his 2005 season. Boston's infield defense was fairly horrible in 2005, so the ground ball pitchers (such as Clement) got penalized and the fly ball pitchers (like Arroyo, Wells and Wakefield) got a break. Arroyo doesn't actually give up many lucky hits. He does occasionally serve up some fat pitches that truly do get hammered, mainly hanging curves. So the hits he gives up are pretty well-earned. He's good at spacing those events out, though, and solid contact is actually pretty rare.

Regarding the notion of acquiring impact pitching through trades or free agency, I'm of the opinion that that's usually a futile pursuit. Since the going price for marginally good pitchers, such as Javier Vasquez, Eric Milton, Jaret Wright, Kevin Millwood, Carl Pavano, A.J. Burnett and Matt Clement is in the vicinity of 10M/per on the open market, it seems to be a fool's errand. Most pitchers have already had their best years by the time they reach free agency, especially the power pitchers. I think the best way to get impact pitching is to grow your own, a pursuit which only about half or less of the MLB clubs seem to be able to do (and not the Reds). Perhaps the best thing the Reds can do when they finally clear themselves of the Milton contract, is to invest his salary into the minor leagues and player development.

Thanks. You make some interesting points, though I'm not sure that I am in total agreement with them.

Over the past few days, I have seen several posters laud Arroyo for his Quality Starts last year, but I still think his component stats tell a different story. I still submit that Arroyo was hit lucky last season. If that is indeed the case, then his Quality Starts were likely the result of luck as well.

I'm not sure what type of analysis you performed on Arroyo's hits in 2005 (though I'd certianly be curious to know more), but the fact remains that his DER was still significantly higher than the other starters save Wakefield (who is a knuckleball pitcher and henceforth not subject to the laws that govern the universe ;)).

As for the AL East, you make a valid case. With the Yanks and the BoSox in the same division, it is very difficult for pitchers who have to face them (In fact, that was one of my favorite arguments in favor of acquiring David Bush from Toronto). But, I don't think the argument holds up for Arroyo, as he was a member of the BoSox, hence he didn't have to face them.

Arroyo only had to face the Yanks. And, while the Yanks are tough, Baltimore and Toronto certainly have their fair share of free swingers. So, I don't think the quality of competition was that much more difficult for Arroyo, especially when you factor in Albert Pujols, Scott Rolen, Lance Berkman, Morgan Ensberg, Adam Dunn, Derek Lee, and Jason Bay all reside in the NL central and all have a fairly disciplined approach. Though, getting away from the DH will certainly be a boon to him.

Arroyo will likely be a solid #4 at a reasonable cost, but I think we missed out on the oportunity to grab more talent or an impact starting pitcher. WMP was really the last chip we had with which to bring in a starting pitcher who could really make a splash. I really think we left significant value on the table in this deal in the form of both cost savings and talent/production.

Does anyone think Arroyo will significantly impact the Reds fortunes over the next three years?

11BarryLarkin11
03-24-2006, 04:10 PM
Good post - but like all other analysis of the trade on whether Bronson is worth the cost - it comes down to where you value WMP. WMP is certainly full of potential but he has been full of potential for three seasons. Right now he really hasn't had that year like Dunn has to really say he is any more valuable than a middle to back of the rotation SP. Don't forget that Bronson is also signed to a relatively cheap salary for three years.

True enough, it always comes back to talent evaluation. But, I'm just not sure how Lyle Overbay would be of significantly more value than WMP. Pena is younger, cheaper, plays a more important defensive position, and has a MUCH higher ceiling than Overbay.

As such, how does Milwaukee end up with David Bush (who I like much more than Arroyo), Gabe Gross, and Zach Jackson while we end up with Arroyo? Unless the Jays got one hell of a PTBNL, then I think we left significant value on the table.

Now, due to ownership issues, etc, I realize that the exact Bush deal may not have been available to the Reds, but I think it should have set the market for what we got for either WMP or AK. Unfortunately, it didn't, as we got much less in return.

11BarryLarkin11
03-24-2006, 04:15 PM
If I remember correctly... You are a woman....

And a if I'm correct... You are awesome...

Cuz 1.. Your brillant!

Cuz 2.. Your a Reds Fan.


Anyways... Nice Post. :thumbup:

Thanks!

But, for the record, I'm not a woman. ;)

cincyinco
03-24-2006, 08:11 PM
True enough, it always comes back to talent evaluation. But, I'm just not sure how Lyle Overbay would be of significantly more value than WMP. Pena is younger, cheaper, plays a more important defensive position, and has a MUCH higher ceiling than Overbay.

As such, how does Milwaukee end up with David Bush (who I like much more than Arroyo), Gabe Gross, and Zach Jackson while we end up with Arroyo? Unless the Jays got one hell of a PTBNL, then I think we left significant value on the table.

Now, due to ownership issues, etc, I realize that the exact Bush deal may not have been available to the Reds, but I think it should have set the market for what we got for either WMP or AK. Unfortunately, it didn't, as we got much less in return.

Lyle Overbay is a fairly proven commodity which can take a walk and probably won't K much more than 100 times a year.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/6639

Wily Mo on the otherhand is "potential" - but he wont take a walk to save his life and would K more than Adam Dunn if given 500 plate appearances.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/6522

I love your posts larkin, both here and ESPN... but I really think you're overvaluing a potential that WMP may very well never realize due to his free swinging. I think you seriously undervalue Arroyo. He's league average yeah, but we haven't even had that here as Reds fans since the days of Elmer Dessens. He's given us cost certainty, and good cost certainty at that. And the fact he's a pitcher means to me he currently has much more realized value than WMP...

Superdude
03-24-2006, 08:17 PM
He's league average yeah, but we haven't even had that here as Reds fans since the days of Elmer Dessens.

This is what I don't get. Just because Arroyo is better than the garbage we were planning on throwing out there, it seems that people just assume it was a good trade based on that reason alone. A barely league average pitcher is not worth Pena whether you've got a terrible rotation or not.

cincyinco
03-24-2006, 08:26 PM
This is what I don't get. Just because Arroyo is better than the garbage we were planning on throwing out there, it seems that people just assume it was a good trade based on that reason alone. A barely league average pitcher is not worth Pena whether you've got a terrible rotation or not.

And what is Pena worth? He is unrealized potential, nothing more. He hits for power, and thats about it. he doesn't get on base so he doesn't really score a lot of runs.

I think - and this is why I think its a good trade - that WMP may have realized his peak trade value. I really do. He may not get much better than he currently is.

Arroyo is a very good back end rotation starter if everything goes well, locked up at a very reasonable contract and for a reasonable length of time. IMHO, he would fetch far more than WMP come deadline time in 2006 and more than likely 2007.

I really don't see whats not to like about this trade. When we get better pitchers than Arroyo, then you slide him down the order.. but until then, he's one of the better pitchers on our team, and a commodity in which the Reds were SORELY lacking.

Superdude
03-24-2006, 08:31 PM
He may not get much better than he currently is.

Even if doesn't improve at all next year, we'd still be able to flip him at the deadline for a pitcher the quality of Arroyo. And the odds of a 24 year old with Pena's potential not improving at all is pretty slim.

cincyinco
03-24-2006, 08:50 PM
Even if doesn't improve at all next year, we'd still be able to flip him at the deadline for a pitcher the quality of Arroyo. And the odds of a 24 year old with Pena's potential not improving at all is pretty slim.

I disagree - not at the contract that Arroyo is signed for. Pitchers worse than him get 8-10 million a year at this market. see eric milton.

And as for a 24 year olds with bad plate discipline not improving, see Jose Guillen..

And odds are that even if Arroyo sucks up the joint all year, we'd still be able to flip him at the deadline for something. Pitching is a valueable commodity, especially pitching locked into a more than reasonable contract.

wally post
03-24-2006, 09:27 PM
You are not alone in your opinion. In fact I was in the middle of posting that exact message to this board (other than the Grienke stuff). :)

Really, if I could have expressed my thoughts that clearly I would have. It's not that I like Wily Mo that much, or that I dislike Broson Arroyo that much, but when a Rhino is charging and you have only one bullet in your gun, you really hope that the shot stops the Rhino and not just slows it down. The Reds are pretty much out of bullets and the Rhino is still heading towards us.


great! and great post!!

11BarryLarkin11
03-24-2006, 10:07 PM
Lyle Overbay is a fairly proven commodity which can take a walk and probably won't K much more than 100 times a year.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/6639

Wily Mo on the otherhand is "potential" - but he wont take a walk to save his life and would K more than Adam Dunn if given 500 plate appearances.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/6522

I love your posts larkin, both here and ESPN... but I really think you're overvaluing a potential that WMP may very well never realize due to his free swinging. I think you seriously undervalue Arroyo. He's league average yeah, but we haven't even had that here as Reds fans since the days of Elmer Dessens. He's given us cost certainty, and good cost certainty at that. And the fact he's a pitcher means to me he currently has much more realized value than WMP...

Well, thanks for the kind words, cincyinco.

I certainly realize that everyone values talent differently. Everyone has their own views on a player's value. But, I still don't see what makes Overbay more valuable than WMP.

When I look at the two, this is what I see:

Defense/Position:
Overbay plays a solid first base, but lacks the power (Career High 19 HRs) that traditionally comes from the position.
WMP plays an average outfield, but is young and talented enough to get better.

Pena is playing the more valuable position on the defensive spectrum.

Age:
Wily Mo Pena is 5 years younger than Overbay.

Upside:
Overbay is 29 years old and has likely reached his peak.
WMP is 24 and has yet to hit his prime.

Cost:
WMP is set to make $1.25M in 2006.
Overbay is set to make $2.525M in 2006.

In my mind, you can make the case that Overbay is as valuable as Pena, but I just don't see how you can make the case that Overbay is MORE valuable than Pena.

Heath
03-24-2006, 10:16 PM
What's really sad about cincyinco's post is that from 2001-2005 our best pitcher was Elmer Dessens.

Sad.

BTW - Heck of a post, 11BL11...good research....

vermonter
03-24-2006, 11:41 PM
I'm not sure what type of analysis you performed on Arroyo's hits in 2005 (though I'd certianly be curious to know more), but the fact remains that his DER was still significantly higher than the other starters save Wakefield (who is a knuckleball pitcher and henceforth not subject to the laws that govern the universe ;)).


I'm not exactly sure if DER is the best indicator of hit luck, especially using a one year data set. DER is essentially the flip side of BABIP, (1.000 - BABIP), so if high BABIP is measuring hard contact, DER is measuring poor contact. That's why Wakefield's knuckler creates such high DER. I also think this is why Arroyo has a higher DER than the fastballers - lots of poor contact on his curve.

Another thing to remember is that Arroyo had a huge drop in his K-rate, so he gave up a lot more contact in general last season. Here are some more numbers to show how his lower K-rate was manifested:


K/BF GO/BF FO/BF Outs BB 1B 2B 3B HR NOuts Other 1B/GO XB/FO
2004 .186 .246 .259 .691 .062 .135 .062 .005 .022 .286 .023 .354 .205
2005 .114 .254 .321 .689 .062 .145 .064 .009 .025 .305 .006 .363 .185
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Career .143 .256 .278 .677 .074 .146 .062 .007 .024 .313 .010 .363 .198


The most interesting thing is that even though he had a .072 drop in his K/BF, that only equated to a .002 drop in his total out rate. His hit rates did all increase slightly. In particular, he saw a .062 increase in his Fly Out rate, so essentially, most of those missing strikeouts were converted to fly outs.

The two columns on the right are the 1B-to-GO ratio and XB-to-FO ratio (not counting HRs). We see that there was a .010 increase in his 1B/GO ratio, which is slightly higher than should have been from his .010 1B/BF increase, but not significantly. Still, both his singles and ground out rates are relatively low.

However, the .062 increase in FO/BF was mitigated by a .020 decrease in his XB/FO ratio. So the extra fly balls did not result in a proportional increase in extra base hits.

The team average XB/FO was .197, btw, and Wakefield's XB/FO was a ridiculously low .135.

This is why I say that with Arroyo, K-rate doesn't matter much, because for the most part, he lives on creating poor contact.

doug flynn
03-25-2006, 12:54 AM
The Reds are pretty much out of bullets and the Rhino is still heading towards us.

That's why you sign speedy guys like Tony Womack...

SteelSD
03-25-2006, 02:03 AM
I'm not exactly sure if DER is the best indicator of hit luck, especially using a one year data set. DER is essentially the flip side of BABIP, (1.000 - BABIP), so if high BABIP is measuring hard contact, DER is measuring poor contact. That's why Wakefield's knuckler creates such high DER. I also think this is why Arroyo has a higher DER than the fastballers - lots of poor contact on his curve.

Another thing to remember is that Arroyo had a huge drop in his K-rate, so he gave up a lot more contact in general last season. Here are some more numbers to show how his lower K-rate was manifested:


K/BF GO/BF FO/BF Outs BB 1B 2B 3B HR NOuts Other 1B/GO XB/FO
2004 .186 .246 .259 .691 .062 .135 .062 .005 .022 .286 .023 .354 .205
2005 .114 .254 .321 .689 .062 .145 .064 .009 .025 .305 .006 .363 .185
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Career .143 .256 .278 .677 .074 .146 .062 .007 .024 .313 .010 .363 .198


The most interesting thing is that even though he had a .072 drop in his K/BF, that only equated to a .002 drop in his total out rate. His hit rates did all increase slightly. In particular, he saw a .062 increase in his Fly Out rate, so essentially, most of those missing strikeouts were converted to fly outs.

The two columns on the right are the 1B-to-GO ratio and XB-to-FO ratio (not counting HRs). We see that there was a .010 increase in his 1B/GO ratio, which is slightly higher than should have been from his .010 1B/BF increase, but not significantly. Still, both his singles and ground out rates are relatively low.

However, the .062 increase in FO/BF was mitigated by a .020 decrease in his XB/FO ratio. So the extra fly balls did not result in a proportional increase in extra base hits.

The team average XB/FO was .197, btw, and Wakefield's XB/FO was a ridiculously low .135.

This is why I say that with Arroyo, K-rate doesn't matter much, because for the most part, he lives on creating poor contact.

Interesting analysis, but I can't buy it. Basically you're saying that Arroyo is the exception- Bigfoot if you will. But the 2004 data doesn't demonstrate that. Arroyo's XB/FO rate is significantly higher in 2004 which appears to counter the concept that Arroyo has some significant long-term modicum of control over the quality of his Fly-Out events.

Furthermore, such an analysis would involve the concept that Arroyo's .291 BABIP in 2004 was actually a result of him getting Hit-UNLUCKY while playing in front of a defense that posted a .694 DER that season versus .685 in 2005.

When looking for Bigfoot, one must be careful because if the lighting's bad you might just be seeing your average ordinary brown bear.

Nugget
03-25-2006, 02:12 AM
WMP plays an average outfield, but is young and talented enough to get better.

Pena is playing the more valuable position on the defensive spectrum.



I think there is the difference. Its a stretch to say that WMP is an average outfielder. And on the valuable defensive position 1B is much more important than corner outfield.

Overbay may not be the power first baseman but he will be valuable in the position especially as other positions cater for the drop off in power.

vermonter
03-25-2006, 06:50 AM
Interesting analysis, but I can't buy it. Basically you're saying that Arroyo is the exception- Bigfoot if you will. But the 2004 data doesn't demonstrate that. Arroyo's XB/FO rate is significantly higher in 2004 which appears to counter the concept that Arroyo has some significant long-term modicum of control over the quality of his Fly-Out events.

Furthermore, such an analysis would involve the concept that Arroyo's .291 BABIP in 2004 was actually a result of him getting Hit-UNLUCKY while playing in front of a defense that posted a .694 DER that season versus .685 in 2005.

When looking for Bigfoot, one must be careful because if the lighting's bad you might just be seeing your average ordinary brown bear.

I like the Bigfoot analogy, except for for Red Sox fans, that drums up images of Bigfoot Bob Stanley and the '86 World Series ... :(

Sorry, I didn't word that little blurb well (it was after midnight). Let me see if I can clarify it a little.

I think I showed that although Arroyo's K-rate dropped precipitously in 2005 from 2004, he achieved essentially the same out rate per batter faced, and that happened mainly through increased fly outs. I wasn't meaning to imply that he did that purposefully, but that it was more or less a natural consequense of the way he pitches. I think there is a natural heirarchy for getting batters out that goes like this.

1. If possible, strike everybody out.
2. Failing that, make sure that when they hit you, it isn't hit hard.
3. When one guy hits you hard, make sure the next guy doesn't.
4. If a lot of guys hit you hard, hope that your defense fields it.
5. If your defense fails you, hope they hit it right to somebody.
6. Failing that, pray for divine intervention from the baseball gods.

Hit luck (or hit Karma, or hit randomness) may or may not exist, but if it does it is manifested further down in this heirarchy. Pitchers like Arroyo, and Wakefield pretty much exist on levels two and three. Power pitchers, guys who have all their eggs in the first level, pretty much go straight to level four when number one fails.

The key point is that different types of pitchers have varying skills on this chart. David Wells is another guy who exists on level two, but he pretty much jumps from number two to number four because he is primarily a location pitcher.

So DER is more complex than just "hit luck."

There is a natural variance in rates, since there is often a grey area between contact outs and non-outs. Since Arroyo really only has a two year data set (two years of spot starting with Pittsburgh as a young pitcher, followed by two years primarily in the minor leagues generally thrown out, except for career averages), its hard to establish the ranges of his variation, but for most of his rates, we see that he was slightly above or below his career averages in 2004 and 2005, so we can get an estimation of his range. In most cases, it looks as though he slightly overachieved in 2004, slightly underachieved in 2005, and that his expectations for 2006 are probably somewhere in between (except for park effect variations, which should see a strong reduction in his doubles rate, and a slight increase in his HR rate switching over to the N.L.).

Heath
03-25-2006, 08:17 AM
If I remember correctly... You are a woman....

And a if I'm correct... You are awesome...

Cuz 1.. Your brillant!

Cuz 2.. Your a Reds Fan.


Anyways... Nice Post. :thumbup:

I believe you have 11BarryLarkin11 confused with SuperBarry_11 who ought to be studying or playing softball. Or both.

cincyinco
03-25-2006, 11:39 PM
What's really sad about cincyinco's post is that from 2001-2005 our best pitcher was Elmer Dessens.

Sad.

BTW - Heck of a post, 11BL11...good research....

Its unfortunately true... Even league average pitching is something this team hasn't consistently been able to produce or acquire. Give me quality starts and I'm a happy Reds fan.