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View Full Version : It's crazy, but this pitching is solid



redsrule2500
06-07-2006, 12:52 PM
When I now go to look at the starting pitching probables for the Reds, I think positive thoughts. I actually think "Oh good, Harang should probably have a good outing" rather than "hopefully he can pitch 6 innings...".

The pitching has turned around completely from last year. Just look at our ERA Ranking thus far 2006:

#11 in Major League Baseball: 4.35 ERA

That's spectacular when you compare it to last years:

#28 in Major League Baseball: 5.15 ERA.

That 4.35 might not be amazing, but we are 11th in MLB. Also, with the aquisition of a reliver that could pickup the struggling bullpen, and maybe a solid starter, the ERA should drop even further. Personally, I think a lot of the recent struggles may have had to do with Don Gullett. It seems that ever since he came to the Reds organization the pitching has been mediocre at BEST. It's well known the pitching has extremely struggled since he came to the Reds, and that every player we had "hope" in turned to crap. (See more recently Ryan Dempster, Eric Milton, etc.)

All I know is with the already established solid offense, we should be a very good team. :thumbup:

BRM
06-07-2006, 12:55 PM
Broken down a little further.

Starters ERA: 4.18 (6th in MLB)
Bullpen ERA: 4.72 (24th in MLB)

Staff OPSA: .781 (23rd in MLB)

TRF
06-07-2006, 01:07 PM
While I still feel the key to any sustained success for the reds this year is Claussen, Milton's performance has been spectacular over the last three games.

But it won't last. I hope Krivsky realizes this. I repeat: it won't last.

But if the Reds ignore off days, and get the rotation extra rest, perhaps Milton can keep this up for 5-6 more starts. That would put the Reds near the trade deadline. If they are in contention, can the Reds make the kind of move needed to improve on a pitcher that is pitching well but one you know can't last? It's not like his knee is going to get better. You would have to target the teams that think they are still in it. M2 made an excellent list in another thread.

It would be easier if the Reds had a clear cut prospect ready to make the jump. But Dumatrait has had one start at AAA and hit a bump in the road. Chick is starting to pitch well at AA, but let's not Reith him just yet. Bailey isn't ready. Wood isn't ready. Cueto isn't ready. Pelland isn't ready. I could go on, but you get the point.

Ramirez has been a nice addition to the rotation. He's throwing a lot harder than I expected. He's changing speeds well, and his control is outstanding.


Personally, I think a lot of the recent struggles may have had to do with Don Gullett. It seems that ever since he came to the Reds organization the pitching has been mediocre at BEST. It's well known the pitching has extremely struggled since he came to the Reds, and that every player we had "hope" in turned to crap. (See more recently Ryan Dempster, Eric Milton, etc.)

Not to defend Gully, but Dempster came to the Reds and promptly needed TJ surgery. Milton was bad the year before, nobody on this board expected anything more than what he gave the Reds last year. The reason the Reds pitching has been bad is because the Red's GM's have been signing bad pitchers for a decade. There have been bright spots, and some really good reclamation projects, but overall, a lot of bad pitchers.

PickOff
06-07-2006, 01:08 PM
Milton: 1.14 WHIP, team leader (with Arroyo) and 6th in the NL. :eek:

westofyou
06-07-2006, 01:10 PM
Personally, I think a lot of the recent struggles may have had to do with Don Gullett. It seems that ever since he came to the Reds organization the pitching has been mediocre at BEST. It's well known the pitching has extremely struggled since he came to the Reds, and that every player we had "hope" in turned to crap. (See more recently Ryan Dempster, Eric Milton, etc.)
http://redlegnation.com/2006/06/07/rn-exclusive-interview-with-chris-welsh-part-iii/

From RLN interview with CW


RN: Vern Ruhle. The pitching seemed to improve after they let Don Gullett go last year, why?

CW: I don’t know if that was coincidence or not.

A lot of people have gotten on Don Gullett over the years as a bad pitching coach, but Jack McKeon had painted him as a terrific pitching coach, maybe one of the best ever. I think he’s probably somewhere in between.

I don’t think the pitching coach has all that much to do with it.

From my experience up to the major leagues, the pitching coach in the big league level doesn’t instruct. He doesn’t teach very much because guys aren’t willing to be instructed or be taught. They’ve gotten here with their certain stuff and they’re going to stay with their certain stuff and they’re going to either make it or break it that way.

Don Gullett was given project after project. And some guys stuck to the wall and some guys didn’t.

I think it was more or less a coincidence that the pitching improved. I think guys got healthy.

I’m not saying Vern Ruhle’s not a good pitching coach, I don’t think a pitching coach, you fire one, bring another one in the next week and all of a sudden the pitching improves? It’s not because of the pitching coach is doing anything different. These guys are still throwing the way they want to throw.

RN: Any current word on how he’s doing in his cancer treatments?

CW: He’s in the hospital currently in Houston, taking cancer treatments for a very serious form of cancer. I’ve not heard in the last week or so how he’s doing, but we hope to get an update when we get to Houston.

RN: Tommy Hume has been acting pitching coach. He seems like he’s done a nice job.

CW: I’ve always thought Tommy would be a great pitching coach.

Because your pitching coach is very small part instructor. You’re a big part, big brother. And you’re another part – father figure. And you have to be somewhat of a game strategist and have the ear of the manager from a “who to bring in when” standpoint.

He can be their friend, he’s pitched in the big leagues, he was an All Star, he knows that it’s more mental than anything else and he just tries to keep these guys relaxed. He’s a very calming influence and I think that’s very helpful.

GoReds
06-07-2006, 01:14 PM
We make a couple of moves to improve the bullpen and the team could be interesting all year.

RedsManRick
06-07-2006, 01:17 PM
We're 3rd in all of MLB in fewest walks allowed (158). Meanwhile, we've allowed the 9th most hits and the 5th most homers. I know we don't have a great staff. But when you stop giving people free passes, the hits and homers hurt a whole lot less. Look at a guy like Curt Schilling. He's always given up lots of homers. But a solo homer hurts less than 2 walks and a double.

Given that we don't have a great infield defense (thereby negating the advantage of a groundball pitcher), using pitchers who don't walk people might be the easiest way to see great improvement. Call it the "Lizard" effect.

flyer85
06-07-2006, 01:17 PM
the bullpen definitely needs an upgrade as there has to be serious questions about White, Yan and Mays.

reds44
06-07-2006, 01:17 PM
Adding Arroyo and Elizardo, having a healthy Milton, and having Coffey and lately Hammond be lights out in the bullpen have been huge for this team.

Reds1
06-07-2006, 01:23 PM
Could Tom Hume having more power as he really is the guy now be any reason why we are improving?

On Milton, I don't think he was healthy last year. He is spotting his pitches and throwing harder. Maybe he's just healthy. I don't expect him to throw zeros, but he really has looked good. Still a flyball pitcher though and balls will go out. I consider him the 3rd best pitcher now. that's amazing and EZ is 4. Claussen needs some cofidence, but I'm not ready to run him out of town yet!

ochre
06-07-2006, 01:24 PM
I'm still reluctant to rely on Milton pitching like that every time out there. He had a similar streak coming out of spring training. I wonder if his knee wears down over time and he needs a bit of time off to adequately recover?

flyer85
06-07-2006, 01:30 PM
I'm still reluctant to rely on Milton pitching like that every time out there. He had a similar streak coming out of spring training. I wonder if his knee wears down over time and he needs a bit of time off to adequately recover?certainly valid specualtion. The bad memories of the 2005 Milton are still all too fresh.

paulrichjr
06-07-2006, 01:32 PM
I'm still reluctant to rely on Milton pitching like that every time out there. He had a similar streak coming out of spring training. I wonder if his knee wears down over time and he needs a bit of time off to adequately recover?


I am too BUT I no longer expect a loss when he pitches. As far as Gullet...the pitching improved last year almost as soon as he left. I just don't think he was any good. I do think that one of the bigget moves has been not having Graves blowing up this year and Arroyo showing the other guys that a starter can go past the 5th inning in GABP.

registerthis
06-07-2006, 01:51 PM
I'm still reluctant to rely on Milton pitching like that every time out there. He had a similar streak coming out of spring training. I wonder if his knee wears down over time and he needs a bit of time off to adequately recover?

if so, the Reds need to realize that and plan accordingly. Give him every 4th start off or something to rest. If he can pitch like he has the last few outings with some rest in between, what a boon that would be.

M2
06-07-2006, 01:54 PM
No doubt the pitching has been surprisingly good. What Eric Milton and Elizardo Ramirez are doing right now is almost a Miracle of Fatima.

And in that comes the concern. I find it highly improbable this run will continue for another four months. It's been great fun to watch so far and I'm in no hurry for it to end, but you've got to know the difference between a fling and the one you stick with for the long haul. The team is playing well, no qualifications needed, but at some point some of the shine is going to wear off this pitching staff.

registerthis
06-07-2006, 01:57 PM
The team is playing well, no qualifications needed, but at some point some of the shine is going to wear off this pitching staff.

That's true, but something else to keep in mind is that this team's offense better insulates it against pitching blowups than many other teams. Case in point is Monday night, when the pitching was far from spectacular, but the Reds won. I said going into the season that the Reds would need only a serviceable performance from the pitching staff in order to be competitive, and I maintain that now. That they've gotten excellent production from their starters is icing at this point.

M2
06-07-2006, 02:39 PM
That's true, but something else to keep in mind is that this team's offense better insulates it against pitching blowups than many other teams. Case in point is Monday night, when the pitching was far from spectacular, but the Reds won. I said going into the season that the Reds would need only a serviceable performance from the pitching staff in order to be competitive, and I maintain that now. That they've gotten excellent production from their starters is icing at this point.

The offense is already doing that though. Let's be honest here, the Reds don't have good pitching. They've got low-end mediocre pitching (or at least that's where they rank at the moment as a team). This team can compete with that because of the offense, but if the pitching slides at all then the club is in trouble. The Reds need to play pretty much as well as they're playing right now, in terms of run differential, in order to make a real run at the playoffs.

oregonred
06-07-2006, 03:55 PM
No doubt the pitching has been surprisingly good. What Eric Milton and Elizardo Ramirez are doing right now is almost a Miracle of Fatima.

And in that comes the concern. I find it highly improbable this run will continue for another four months. It's been great fun to watch so far and I'm in no hurry for it to end, but you've got to know the difference between a fling and the one you stick with for the long haul. The team is playing well, no qualifications needed, but at some point some of the shine is going to wear off this pitching staff.

Your concern is valid, but the Reds 2H '05 ERA was 4.61 (after a laughable 5.60 in 1H '05). June alone was 6.52 at the peak of the absurdity. July was 4.77, August was 4.09 and September was 4.93.

We've got almost a full year now of a respectable staff ERA in the 4.5 range

Add Arroyo to the staff mix from last year and much better defense/range at some key fielding positions (Phillips/Kearns/EE) and maybe we have cause for the trend of improved pitching numbers since 1H '05 to continue.

westofyou
06-07-2006, 04:10 PM
I'm still reluctant to rely on Milton pitching like that every time out there. He had a similar streak coming out of spring training. I wonder if his knee wears down over time and he needs a bit of time off to adequately recover?Eric Milton's last 3 starts opponents’ batting average on balls put in play (BABIP) is low, low,low .191.

KronoRed
06-07-2006, 04:19 PM
Eric Milton's last 3 starts opponents’ batting average on balls put in play (BABIP) is low, low,low .191.
So it's luck?

I fear Milton returning to career norms, and I don't trust anyone out of the pen other then Coffey, but I hope they can keep it together.

TRF
06-07-2006, 04:20 PM
Eric Milton's last 3 starts opponents’ batting average on balls put in play (BABIP) is low, low,low .191.

So you are saying BABIP lucky?

zombie-a-go-go
06-07-2006, 04:46 PM
So it's luck?

I don't think it's all skill, but some (a majority?) of those BIPs were big lazy popups to the short outfield. Despite Grande's claims to the contrary, they weren't all caught at the warning track. ;) I'd posit that inducing the slow popup as opposed to the HR is a skill.

Ugh. No I'm not drunk.

registerthis
06-07-2006, 04:48 PM
I'd posit that inducing the slow popup as opposed to the HR is a skill.

I agree, and in fact it's essentially the only way that a pitcher like Milton can be successful.

Cyclone792
06-07-2006, 04:58 PM
I'll update the pitching/defense numbers from this thread (http://www.redszone.com/forums/showpost.php?p=999530&postcount=33) in a couple days, but just for kicks here's our single game defensive efficiency ratios and BABIP figures since I last updated that thread:


Date BABIP DER

5/31 .167 .833
6/02 .214 .786
6/03 .375 .636
6/04 .233 .781
6/05 .167 .833
6/06 .192 .808

Our defense has probably played a bit better for the last week or so, but I'm sure simple hit-luck has got to be playing some sort of role. When that disappears, it might start getting ugly again.

Our team ERA has fallen from 4.49 to 4.35 the last six games, but our DIPS ERA is identical: 4.47 on May 30th and still 4.47 as of right now. On the pitching end of things, our HR/9 and BB/9 has dropped during our winning streak, but our K/9 is also down.

RedsManRick
06-07-2006, 05:06 PM
Cyclone, I know this is beside your point, but our DIPS is 4.47. If we finish the season with that number, I think we're a playoff contender.

Cyclone792
06-07-2006, 05:11 PM
Cyclone, I know this is beside your point, but our DIPS is 4.47. If we finish the season with that number, I think we're a playoff contender.

Yup, so long as the defense can find a way to not suck. Our DIPS ERA has been trending down now since about May 10th, but our ERA was trending up for much of that same time period.

What's interesting about the winning streak is our DIPS ERA has leveled off, but our ERA reversed itself and began to trend down again. Throw in some good offensive production like we've had during our streak, and well, we've got a winning streak!

Roy Tucker
06-07-2006, 05:19 PM
Eric Milton's last 3 starts opponents’ batting average on balls put in play (BABIP) is low, low,low .191.
I wondered about that.

A start or so back, he only struck out one batter and there were a *ton* of balls in play for outs.

Rojo
06-07-2006, 05:21 PM
There's a chance that Milton could end up with a 4is ERA to career normalize his 2005. And, yes, you move it.

Falls City Beer
06-07-2006, 05:31 PM
There's a chance that Milton could end up with a 4is ERA to career normalize his 2005. And, yes, you move it.

I agree, you move it.

But then, if the Reds are still in it, you need to make a separate move to replace him in the rotation. It's an interesting spot for Krivsky, certainly. Maybe Krivsky could trade an artificially inflated Milton for prospects and then turn those prospects along with Bailey to pick up a real starter for the stretch run; the Reds then sign that pitcher to a long term deal. But I think what you're saying will require two separate moves to bridge the gap.

OnBaseMachine
06-07-2006, 05:36 PM
The pitching has been much better than I thought it would, but I still say the Reds are a couple of bullpen arms and another starter away from being a serious contender.

The two bullpen arms may come from within the organization (Shafer, Coutlangus, Guevara, Medlock, or Dumatrait, or Salmon) but the starter will have to come from another organization.

Some starters that I would target are: Jason Jennings, John Lackey, and Jerome Williams.

I really like Jason Jennings...he could thrive outside of Coors Field, IMO. Denorfia and LaRue could possibily get the job done. Throw in Miguel Perez and his hype if you have to.

I doubt the Angels would trade John Lackey, but why not ask? I would give up probably anybody in the Reds minor league system for Lackey. Again, he probably isn't available but don't be afraid to ask.

Jerome Williams is getting beat around in Triple-A, but I still like his stuff. Williams is someone who needs a change of scenary. Although he probably wouldn't help the Reds much this year, next year could be the reward. Williams is exactly the type of arms the Reds need to target - cheap, talented, and ready to break out.

registerthis
06-07-2006, 05:36 PM
I agree, you move it.

But then, if the Reds are still in it, you need to make a separate move to replace him in the rotation. It's an interesting spot for Krivsky, certainly. Maybe Krivsky could trade an artificially inflated Milton for prospects and then turn those prospects along with Bailey to pick up a real starter for the stretch run; the Reds then sign that pitcher to a long term deal. But I think what you're saying will require two separate moves to bridge the gap.

Right. i think it's important that the Reds avodi making moves that woul dtake them OUT of contention. trading Junior, Milton, Dunn etc. without getting sufficient return risks doing that. It's a good way to not only blow up your season, but to lose a lot of goodwill with the fans.

Fullboat
06-07-2006, 05:46 PM
There's a chance that Milton could end up with a 4is ERA to career normalize his 2005. And, yes, you move it.

Why not move him at the end of the season?

The Good
1.He might get us into the post season.
2.better #'s larger sample size(see it was his legs all along as the selling line)

The Bad
1.He goes chernobyl on us again.

D-Man
06-07-2006, 11:38 PM
Broken down a little further.

Starters ERA: 4.18 (6th in MLB)
Bullpen ERA: 4.72 (24th in MLB)

Staff OPSA: .781 (23rd in MLB)

Yep, I am more worried about the middle relief than I am about the starting pitching at this point in time. Once those 6- and 7-inning starts turn into 4- and 5-inning starts, the Reds are in serious, serious trouble. This middle relief corps, as always, is bloody awful. The Reds need to shore up the middle relief in a big way; you can't expect to win *anything* in a 162-game season with only two serviceable relievers.

On the flip side, the Reds offense is getting ahead in games early and often. That allows the club to work starters deeper than usual, so the middle relief hasn't been exposed as much.

And no question, this offense is totally legit. Coming into this evening, the Reds have a runs created of 5.61 per game, but actual runs have been 5.26 per game.

If "regression to the mean" holds here, we should expect this offense to continue to score more, not less (all else equal).

redsrule2500
06-09-2006, 12:21 PM
That's true, but something else to keep in mind is that this team's offense better insulates it against pitching blowups than many other teams. Case in point is Monday night, when the pitching was far from spectacular, but the Reds won. I said going into the season that the Reds would need only a serviceable performance from the pitching staff in order to be competitive, and I maintain that now. That they've gotten excellent production from their starters is icing at this point.

I agree with this completely, the Reds only need a decent pitching staff to stay competetive. Our offense will score a lot of runs, so as long as the Reds pitching is somewhere in the middle of the league, I think our offense can keep us winning.

KronoRed
06-09-2006, 03:06 PM
A decent staff might get us to the postseason but I think we'd get rolled out pretty quick because of the caliber of pitching we'd see in the playoffs.

Rojo
06-09-2006, 05:14 PM
I agree, you move it.

But then, if the Reds are still in it, you need to make a separate move to replace him in the rotation. It's an interesting spot for Krivsky, certainly. Maybe Krivsky could trade an artificially inflated Milton for prospects and then turn those prospects along with Bailey to pick up a real starter for the stretch run; the Reds then sign that pitcher to a long term deal. But I think what you're saying will require two separate moves to bridge the gap.

Beane made a move like this a few years ago where he traded away Kenny Rogers and traded for Kevin Appier.

Milton is Kenny Rogers.


Why not move him at the end of the season?

The Good
1.He might get us into the post season.
2.better #'s larger sample size(see it was his legs all along as the selling line)

The Bad
1.He goes chernobyl on us again.

"The Bad" is even worse if he goes chernobyl while your in contention. Not only are you stuck with an overpaid player for another year, but your stuck with an overpaid player that cost you a ring.

I'm with Beane on this one, I want an Appier in the Post-season. Nothing wrong with lefty curve-ballers (like Zito) in the post-season but I want a hard thrower at the top of the staff.