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StrikeIndicator
07-09-2007, 10:03 AM
The bull pen has been taking it on the chin all season long and I think that it is time to at least consider some other contributing factors.

One obvious place to look is the catcher, more specifically, David Ross
At first I thought it was just that he did not know and trust the rookies in the pen, it seemed like he would very rarely set up inside for the penpals.
This has continued throughout the season. He especially will not come close to going inside on a hitter if runners are on 1st base.

He never went inside, continued to set up on the outside and Stone got blasted for 2 dingers in a row. Same for giving up runs by Coffey, McBeth, Salmon and Coot.

Then the answer came. Yes, the youngsters can be a little wild, different baseball and all, but the real reason probally lies in what I heard from the booth.
They praise the heck out of him for how well he throws runners out at 2nd.
Physics tells us that it is easier to grab and outside pitch and go the 2nd than an inside 4 seamer.

Outside corner is only a pitcher best friend if he has thrown one of two tight fast ones on the inside.

Until David Ross starts calling a more balance and unpredictable game will we see what the rookies can really do or not do. Before you blast me saying that they should shake him off, let me just say that from what I have heard they are very uncomfortable doing that due to his MLB and team status vs them being rookies. Also Narron and Pole seemed to want them just to go out and throw what Ross called.

Reds Freak
07-09-2007, 10:17 AM
I'm not sure if Ross has anything to do with the bullpen problems or not, but I really wish the Reds would make it a priority this offseason to go out and get a decent stop gap catcher until Mesoraco or Tatum or any other catching prospect is ready. I think Ross could be a decent backup catcher but I hope they don't plan on him being the full time starter next year. And since no catching prospect is close to being ready, this requires going out and getting one. Ross has been absolutely abysmal at the plate and the only thing he seems to do well defensively is throw out runners. He struggles with popups and he doesn't block the plate well. I'm not sure who is available but I think it would be wise of the Reds to go out and acquire a catcher in the off season...

durl
07-09-2007, 10:36 AM
Ross has struggled at the plate this year but he's showing some signs of improvement. His BA hasn't gotten better but his slugging percentage is up 50 points since June 1 and his OPS is up almost 40 points in the same period. If you go back to the beginning of May, Ross' OPS is up over 200 points and SLG is up over 170.

And he calls a good game, in my opinion.