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Krusty
12-14-2006, 10:46 AM
Anyone think this lefty could be the future closer of the Reds. Maybe this is the reason why the Reds haven't signed the likes of Keith Foulke or Eric Gagne? Could we see Stanton and Weathers close out games at the beginning of the season while slowly move Bray into that role at midseason?

Bray was a closer in college and for his rookie year, his stats weren't that bad for the Nationals and Reds.

So, do you think our search for a closer is actually on the roster now?

Team Clark
12-14-2006, 10:51 AM
Anyone think this lefty could be the future closer of the Reds. Maybe this is the reason why the Reds haven't signed the likes of Keith Foulke or Eric Gagne? Could we see Stanton and Weathers close out games at the beginning of the season while slowly move Bray into that role at midseason?

Bray was a closer in college and for his rookie year, his stats weren't that bad for the Nationals and Reds.

So, do you think our search for a closer is actually on the roster now?

I do. I'm all for Bray starting the year in AAA as the closer. Late June, early July call up and ease him into the role.

Johnny Footstool
12-14-2006, 10:54 AM
I'd like him to get major league hitters out on a regular basis before I annoint him the closer. He's got good stuff, but then again, so did Ryan Wagner.

jamess697
12-14-2006, 10:54 AM
AAA! Bray has proven that he deserves a spot in our bullpen. Plus Bray could be our closer eventually, but the Reds should not start one of our best left handed arms out of the pen in AAA.

Krusty
12-14-2006, 10:56 AM
Found this interesting tidbit about Bray when he was with the Nationals:

http://washnationals.blogspot.com/2005/03/early-look-at-minor-leagues-high-ball.html

Bullpen
LHP BILL BRAY
Experience: 1
Age: 22
Height/Weight:
2004 Level and Stats: Low-A, 4.91, 7, 1-6

Bray may move slower than Chad Cordero, who was another first round college reliever draft pick. The Nationals are considering having him pitch out of the starting rotation this year in an attempt to get him more innings and gain experience. Baseball America says he has a change to be a real dominating left-handed reliever closing out ballgames.

redsfan30
12-14-2006, 11:01 AM
We went through this with Todd Coffey last season. He started the year on fire but once he was slotted in the closer's spot he went in a tailspin the rest of the year.

I was all for putting Coffey in the spot last season and (albeit in a small sample size) he failed. I don't want to do that again with Bray this year.

For the time being, I just want the people to get the batters that they're facing out. Don't worry about what inning it is, just do your job. The rest will fall into place.

redsmetz
12-14-2006, 11:01 AM
AAA! Bray has proven that he deserves a spot in our bullpen. Plus Bray could be our closer eventually, but the Reds should not start one of our best left handed arms out of the pen in AAA.

Perhaps having him working amongst seasoned veterans such as Weathers and Stanton will move him along more quickly to a closer role.

Johnny Footstool
12-14-2006, 11:13 AM
Perhaps having him working amongst seasoned veterans such as Weathers and Stanton will move him along more quickly to a closer role.

Working alongside seasoned vets Weathers and Cormier didn't help him much last season.

Falls City Beer
12-14-2006, 11:20 AM
I'd like him to get major league hitters out on a regular basis before I annoint him the closer. He's got good stuff, but then again, so did Ryan Wagner.

Ryan Wagner had very good stuff. Bill Bray would be lucky to have half of Wagner's stuff.

RedsManRick
12-14-2006, 11:21 AM
TC, do you think Bray would be better off learning the pressure of the role in AAA compared to learning how to pitch more effectively in general by facing tougher competition in the majors? It just seems like a bit of a waste. At some point, you put the guy in the pressure situation and he either sinks or swims.

I think they can easily do a closer-by-committee thing again based on favorable matchups and if he shows himself to be the best option, he can get increased opportunities. It would seem to me that putting him in AAA has more of a chance to screw with his psche than simply using him carefully in the majors.

Puffy
12-14-2006, 11:40 AM
I wouldn't mind going into the season with Coffey and Bray co-closers based on righty/lefty matchups and seeing if one of them rises up and grabs the reigns to be THE closer.

Competition ain't a bad thing.

RANDY IN INDY
12-14-2006, 11:50 AM
Ryan Wagner had very good stuff. Bill Bray would be lucky to have half of Wagner's stuff.

I'll agree that Wagner had good stuff..........in college. It never happened on the big league level. His fastball diminished and I think he forgot how to throw the slider. It simply didn't have the bite and break that it had in college. That may be the Reds fault, as his arm angle also changed. Reason I think they tried to change his mechanics was that his delivery was a little severe and I think they feared arm injury from the very beginning. Watching him in college, I had the same thought. Never liked the pick for that reason.

I think Bray has a real good chance of being a much better major league pitcher than Wagner. That isn't saying much with Wagner's career, but I really think Bray has a lot of upside and his mechanics are much more sound. He needs to be much more consistent, quit overthrowing, and really have the confidence that he has the stuff to get hitters out. He looked a little "wide eyed" on the mound last season. He rushed and didn't look balanced over the rubber, at times. Things need to slow down a little bit for him, and I believe it will happen this season.

RANDY IN INDY
12-14-2006, 12:02 PM
One more thing that I like about Bray is that he hasn't logged a lot of innings on that strong left arm. I think part of his control problems are a result of that lack of work. I'm kind of with Team Clark, in that I think he could use a stint at AAA getting regular work as a closer and some innings and confidence under his belt. The down side to that is that he is one of the best arms on the Reds staff. Still, I believe a short stint in AAA would be of benefit.

dunner13
12-14-2006, 12:35 PM
Let Weathers start the year as the closer and slowly move bray into the role. He should for sure be the closer by 08, possibly some time in 07 if he shows he can handle it. Weathers gives us the insurance so that we dont have to rush bray.

Team Clark
12-14-2006, 12:46 PM
TC, do you think Bray would be better off learning the pressure of the role in AAA compared to learning how to pitch more effectively in general by facing tougher competition in the majors? It just seems like a bit of a waste. At some point, you put the guy in the pressure situation and he either sinks or swims.

I think they can easily do a closer-by-committee thing again based on favorable matchups and if he shows himself to be the best option, he can get increased opportunities. It would seem to me that putting him in AAA has more of a chance to screw with his psche than simply using him carefully in the majors.

I hear what you are saying and in a perfect word I would agree.

If I am not mistaken Bray has options left. Cormier and Stanton are going to break camp on the 25. I do not see Bray making the Roster as a third lefty. It could happen but I don't see it. The reasoning I have is he needs INNINGS. The all important improvement factor. :laugh: Do you think Cormier and Stanton are going to want to sit by idle? I don't. Would it benefit Bray to be in the Bigs and have Weathers, Stanton and Cormier to bounce ideas off of. Absolutely! Will he get that for 6 weeks in ST. Yes, without a doubt. All I am talking about is 8-10 weeks in AAA as a CLOSER. Is that really going to hurt a guy who is still trying to find some measure of consistency? No. It will sharpen his focus and give him a fined tune set of goals.

Middle relieving and closing are not the same thing. It's a different mind set and and I think he needs to be put in those tight situations to adapt. Granted AAA and the Big Leagues are also two different things but I just can not see Bray being thrown in the closer's role after sharing limited innings in the Bigs. Especially with a guy who has options. Folks I could be Waaaay off base here. Cormier could get traded at 4:00 to the Mariners for all I know. This is just how I see the scenario playing out.

Doc. Scott
12-14-2006, 12:48 PM
Ryan Wagner had very good stuff. Bill Bray would be lucky to have half of Wagner's stuff.

Yeah, but Wagner would likely be lucky to have half of Bray's everything else. And I say that assuming that Bill's average across the board in every other characteristic (aside from pure stuff) that makes a pitcher.

RFS62
12-14-2006, 01:05 PM
Wagner had one great pitch, the slider. But once he'd been around the league, hitters started laying off and letting it bounce in for a ball. It was unhittable, but he couldn't throw it for strikes unless the hitters swung.

So, he's in the hole 1-0 and 2-0 now and has to come in with a mediocre fastball, which was summarily pounded.

Once the league figured him out and started laying off the slider, he was toast.

jojo
12-14-2006, 03:47 PM
Here's my take on Bray: Basically as his slider goes so too does his fortunes. If I had to hit against him, i'd make him prove he can throw his slider for a strike consistently. Right now a team with great plate discipline could give him alot of trouble. I don't think he is closer material in '07 but he could develop into one.

Dracodave
12-14-2006, 03:57 PM
Folks I could be Waaaay off base here. Cormier could get traded at 4:00 to the Mariners for all I know. This is just how I see the scenario playing out.




Cormier Weathers and Stanton to the Mariners for...Half their starting rotation.


I think Seatle is dumb enough to do that lately...

Team Clark
12-14-2006, 03:59 PM
Cormier Weathers and Stanton to the Mariners for...Half their starting rotation.


I think Seatle is dumb enough to do that lately...

No kidding. I hear ya on that.

I'd keep Weathers and give them Coffey.

Falls City Beer
12-14-2006, 04:02 PM
Here's my take on Bray: Basically as his slider goes so too does his fortunes. If I had to hit against him, i'd make him prove he can throw his slider for a strike consistently. Right now a team with great plate discipline could give him alot of trouble. I don't think he is closer material in '07 but he could develop into one.

Steel (IIRC) made an interesting observation about pitchers who are unable to throw their out pitch for a strike. I don't remember all of the intricacies of the discussion, but the gross and scope of it is that it's a bad problem to have if you're a pitcher. And the prognosis isn't usually good.

Patrick Bateman
12-14-2006, 04:06 PM
I'd keep Weathers and give them Coffey.

How come?

Coffey was probably the better pitcher last season, plus he should be on the upswing, while Weathers is likely to start declining in the next 2 seasons.

Also, the Reds have Coffey under control for the next 5 seasons (most of which will require a very minimal salary), while Weathers of course has the 2 year contract at a fair market rate, and after that his career will be nearing an end.

Do you think Coffey is going to decline rapidly (and if so, why?), and that it would be best to sell him while his value is at a high point?

Falls City Beer
12-14-2006, 04:09 PM
How come?

Coffey was probably the better pitcher last season, plus he should be on the upswing, while Weathers is likely to start declining in the next 2 seasons.

Also, the Reds have Coffey under control for the next 5 seasons (most of which will require a very minimal salary), while Weathers of course has the 2 year contract at a fair market rate, and after that his career will be nearing an end.

Do you think Coffey is going to decline rapidly (and if so, why?), and that it would be best to sell him while his value is at a high point?

Coffey was definitely--not probably--the better pitcher last year.

Team Clark
12-14-2006, 04:11 PM
How come?

Coffey was probably the better pitcher last season, plus he should be on the upswing, while Weathers is likely to start declining in the next 2 seasons.

Also, the Reds have Coffey under control for the next 5 seasons (most of which will require a very minimal salary), while Weathers of course has the 2 year contract at a fair market rate, and after that his career will be nearing an end.

Do you think Coffey is going to decline rapidly (and if so, why?), and that it would be best to sell him while his value is at a high point?

Just sparking debate on a slow day. I like Coffey too. He had his ups and downs last year but he learned quite a bit. He was an ALL Star mention as late as Mid June. That's probably more than most expected out of him. He's still very predictable, however, you can be that way as long as your "stuff" is filthy. He's progressing toward that quickly. I do wish he'd shave that Ugly goatee. The Red/Orange Goat is not intimidating.

I hope he has a hot start this year like he did last.

Roy Tucker
12-14-2006, 04:19 PM
Steel (IIRC) made an interesting observation about pitchers who are unable to throw their out pitch for a strike. I don't remember all of the intricacies of the discussion, but the gross and scope of it is that it's a bad problem to have if you're a pitcher. And the prognosis isn't usually good.

Seems to be the Rob Dibble/Brad Lidge model. They stop getting their sliders over and MLB hitters can eventually catch up to their heat.

M2
12-14-2006, 04:31 PM
If Bray's ever going to be a closer then he probably needs to flash that ability in 2007. I'm not saying he has to be the Reds' closer, just that he'll need to demonstrate those hard-to-hit, swing-and-miss skills in the near term. Otherwise he's probably never going to be more than a middle reliever sort, perhaps a good one, but not the sort of fellow you really want closing.

Mario-Rijo
12-14-2006, 04:41 PM
Originally posted by Falls City Beer
Steel (IIRC) made an interesting observation about pitchers who are unable to throw their out pitch for a strike. I don't remember all of the intricacies of the discussion, but the gross and scope of it is that it's a bad problem to have if you're a pitcher. And the prognosis isn't usually good.


I'm assuming this is exactly why TC advocates giving him some time in AAA. To get that slider tightened up among other things. One thing I do like about him is that he seems to be very aggressive in nature, he comes right after you with his stuff which is a trait that he shares with Guardado. Tighten up that Slider Billy and be a little less predictable with your locations and walaa Closer material IMHO.

lollipopcurve
12-14-2006, 04:47 PM
Seems to be the Rob Dibble/Brad Lidge model. They stop getting their sliders over and MLB hitters can eventually catch up to their heat.

And, among the less fearsome, Ryan Wagner.

M2
12-14-2006, 05:23 PM
Seems to be the Rob Dibble/Brad Lidge model. They stop getting their sliders over and MLB hitters can eventually catch up to their heat.

Though it should be noted that, seemingly, throwing all those sliders robbed movement and heat from those pitchers' fastballs as well. The combo of slider you can't place and what used to be your B heater is where you really invite trouble.

Willy
12-14-2006, 06:07 PM
I agree with TC that Bill needs to start the year in AAA. I think he was rushed the Majors by his last GM, before he was completely developed. Yes he is good enough to get Major Leagers out now, but is that all we want? If you want a pitcher to reach his full potential, they must spend the time in the minors really tighting things up. I think that is why Wayne is so patient with Baliey, he needs to tight things up. Much better to try to tighten things up in AAA than against Pujols.

That is something Bowden never understood.

jojo
12-14-2006, 09:48 PM
Steel (IIRC) made an interesting observation about pitchers who are unable to throw their out pitch for a strike. I don't remember all of the intricacies of the discussion, but the gross and scope of it is that it's a bad problem to have if you're a pitcher. And the prognosis isn't usually good.

Ya...kinda the same point I was making....

Coffeybro
12-14-2006, 10:49 PM
I do wish he'd shave that Ugly goatee

I doubt its going anywhere because he has grown to like it. As most have probably heard before Narron is the one that told him to grow it his rookie year. :rolleyes:

Falls City Beer
12-14-2006, 10:53 PM
Ya...kinda the same point I was making....

But I was taking it a step further by saying don't count on him suddenly finding that ability to throw it for a strike...hence, the prognosis metaphor.

In other words, he's not closer material.

He's 24; if he can't throw it for a strike by now, he's probably always going to have a tough time doing so.

Willy
12-14-2006, 11:07 PM
But I was taking it a step further by saying don't count on him suddenly finding that ability to throw it for a strike...hence, the prognosis metaphor.

In other words, he's not closer material.

He's 24; if he can't throw it for a strike by now, he's probably always going to have a tough time doing so.

24 is pretty young. There is plenty of time, most guys that age are still in the minors working on it.

Falls City Beer
12-14-2006, 11:12 PM
24 is pretty young. There is plenty of time, most guys that age are still in the minors working on it.

Not necessarily. Most guys are polishing themselves by the age of 24, not learning to throw their bread and butter pitch for a strike. Right now, he's getting by, in the way the Wagner did briefly with his slider, on the pure nastiness of the pitch. It takes more than that initial flash and sizzle.

Twenty four isn't ancient, and there is some time, but it definitely doesn't bode well for him being anything but a middling middle reliever.

M2
12-15-2006, 01:55 AM
24 is pretty young. There is plenty of time, most guys that age are still in the minors working on it.

It's certainly the start of where a lot of guys break through. I don't expect Bray to be a fully cooked bird in 2007, but I think we'll probably have a good handle on whether he's closer material based on what he does next season.

I actually don't think his slider's the ticket for him. If you can't make hitters swing and miss on your fastball, then you're a dangerous closer (to your own team). My favorite example of why you probably don't want a closer who relies on a slider is the last pitch of the 1993 World Series. Mitch Williams threw a good slider there. It had movement and it was diving out of the strikezone. Didn't matter. It was still moving at slider speed and it was still close enough for Joe Carter to reach it.

Going down to AAA to fool lesser hitters with a wrinkle pitch doesn't strike me as good closer training. I want to see how his ace fares against major league hitters, at least if the notion is that he's got a big future. If the club thinks he's just a future setup man, then Louisville's fine by me.