View Full Version : How many starters do you need?

09-07-2007, 12:08 PM
If you hate "off season" threads while they are playing baseball, go ahead and skip this one.

The reds have had 11 guys start games this year. It's not an unusually high number. Last year they had 12 guys start a game. This year's Red Sox have used 9. The mets are up to 11 right now. Even the 95 Braves used 7 different starters and that was probably the best rotation ever assembled.

Over the off season, there was a quote where Wayne Krivsky said he was "fully comfortable" coming into this season with the starting rotation of Harang, Arroyo, Milton, Lohse and ...somebody else. There were lots of candidates for somebody else. They all flopped or got hurt. I don't want to see Kirk Saarloos start another game. Surgery has probably killed Bobby Livingston's career. Organizationally it looks like the Lizard and Dumatrait both have forks in them, but that could be premature on my part.

How many of the 10 or so starting pitchers the reds will need in 08 are in the system right now?

Harang and Arroyo make two. I think we can pencil in Bailey, Cueto and Maloney. That's 5, but I don't think you can start the season with one of those guys in your top 5 slots. So that's 5 with a pretty tremendous hole in the middle there.

Milton is gone. Lohse is gone. They aren't coming back.

They haven't given starts to Santos or Gosling now, so I can't imagine they ever will.

Tom Shern? I guess we'll have to wait and see how his season ends.

Matt Belisle? ....He did pitch winter ball last year and it is possible that he's just bone tired. Of course it's also possible that he just isn't ever going to get his head on straight. Can you live with Belisle in your 10?

Let's be generous and put Belisle and Shern on the list. If you don't like those guys, you can add in the Lizard or Dumatrait. That makes 7 guys, 2 of whom you trust and 3 of whom are prospects. That's not gonna get it done.

Organizationally, the reds have a huge hole in the starting rotation. Somebody like Livian Hernandez who can take the mound 35 times and give you 200 innings is something this team desperately needs. I don't think this team CAN overpay for what that type of pitcher brings to the table. Not until you're up over the 15 million per year mark.

I know that's not news to anybody..."Flash: the reds starting pitching staff is thin" but it may give you a framework to think from. From where I sit, the reds need at least two starting pitchers they can count on and a Saarloos type "interesting arm" or two. That's a tall order for a single off season.

Patrick Bateman
09-07-2007, 12:23 PM
My main problem with Hernandez is that he is really, really bad now.

His peripherals are very similar to what Saarloos has been putting up in the last few seasons. Watching Hernandez take the hill for 200 innings could be very painful.

His K/9 is a pitiful 3.90, and at the same tim his walk rate is poor at 3.41. He gets few groundballs.

I understand what you are saying that the Reds need some better stuff tan the Dumatrait's of the world. But those shouldn't be hard to find. Giving anyone 10M + to be a bad pitcher will kill you.

I'm satisfied with handing Harang, Arroyo, and Belisle rotation spots next year. I think Belisle has experienced some learning and poor luck, but he should be a decent option next season as a back end starter.

The problem is finding 2 more rotation worthy starters. I liked Livingston enough to let him be the 5th guy, but with him gone, Ramirez is probably the best internal option to make starts. I'd prefer not to have Cueto/Maloney/Bailey in the majors yet. So the Reds need to look through the scrap heap or trade market for a few other guys.

I'd like to see another Lohse type pick-up. Find a guy who's worn out his welcome with a team, is making some money in the 4-5M range, and is pretty average. I'm thinking Dave Bush may be getting to that point with the Brewers especially if they would rather go with their other 5 starters next season. That may be the best way to get a relatively decent starter at a solid price.

I don't see the FA market being a viable route, so the Reds will have to be creative.

09-07-2007, 09:28 PM
I think the Reds need to get quality over quantity. The team really needs one guy to be better than Arroyo in the number 2 spot (hard to find right now I agree). Belisle in the 4 spot is ok by me and bring in a few guys on the cheap to go with the current crop of suspects (including Bailey, Cueto, Ramirez, Maloney, and even Shearn) for the number 5 spot. I know we get horrified watching each night, but just about everybody else has number 4 and 5 guys as awful as the Reds do. The problem IMO is that the Reds have had three of them in the rotation all year as opposed to 1 or 2 like everybody else. Most number 5 guys either pitch well and move up out of the spot or lose the spot for another candidate to take a shot anyway. The key for a team like the Reds is not to overpay for number 5 caliber guys (like say Lohse) so that the team can afford to overpay for guys in the top three to actually be reliable.

The team needs ot take the same approach with the bullpen. Last year WK loaded up on 6th and 7th inning guys and spent most of the year looking for a reliable 8th inning option. It cost the team dearly and was very predictable. Get quality. Its easy to find junk to supply plenty of bodies.

09-07-2007, 09:43 PM
Keep in mind the Mets, who dominated the NL last year, had 16 starters.