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JBChance
03-14-2008, 10:14 AM
Affeldt's rotation status uncertain
Tough outings could land lefty back in the bullpen

By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Jeremy Affeldt knows that his rotation audition could soon get to the point where the Reds say, "Don't call us, we'll call you -- from the bullpen."

"Obviously, pitching like I'm pitching -- it's not going to win the spot," Affeldt said after giving up seven earned runs over 3 1/3 innings in a 10-7 loss to the Phillies on Thursday night. "I have to change that. I have to figure out a way to do it in a hurry."

Affeldt also allowed nine hits -- most of them on solid contact -- and a walk, with three strikeouts. Over his last two starts, totaling 6 2/3 innings, the left-hander has surrendered 13 earned runs on 15 hits.

In 11 2/3 innings over four starts, Affeldt is 0-2 with an 11.57 ERA. While he has struggled, other rotation candidates, such as Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez, have been impressive.

The Reds signed Affeldt to a one-year, $3 million contract in January with the hopes of converting the former Rockies reliever back into a starter. He would be the only lefty in the Cincinnati rotation if he makes it.

If he doesn't, Affeldt is still expected to be on Cincinnati's 25-man roster, in a bullpen spot.

Right now Affeldt's location is off, and some of his pitches are sitting over the middle of the plate. He plans on meeting with pitching coach Dick Pole on Friday to go over his outings.

"For me it's about executing pitches for more than one inning," Affeldt said. "If I want to be a starter, I have to execute my pitches for six innings. I'm not doing that. My first two starts, I felt pretty good about it. Then for some reason, my last two, I've just haven't."

Following a scoreless first inning, the Phillies scored four runs in the top of the second. After Affeldt allowed a one-out triple and a pair of two-out singles, No. 9 hitter Casey Smith launched a three-run homer to left field.

With one out in the fourth, manager Dusty Baker came to get Affeldt, who'd thrown 70 pitches.

"That's an embarrassing amount of pitches in a small amount of innings," Affeldt said. "Right now, whatever I'm doing is not working. I need to fix it."

If Affeldt won't be one of their starters, the Reds will have to determine soon if he should go back to the bullpen to get ready to be a reliever again.

"There's going to come a day. I don't know when that day is yet," Baker said. "We'll have to go back to the drawing board and check it out and see what we need, what's going on and then make a decision."

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080313&content_id=2425657&vkey=spt2008news&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin


My question is this: How many more times do you try to start him?

It hasn't worked out so far and we need to see some others in a starting role. Plus, if (when) he does go to the pen, he'll need to start preparing differently.

He is our only shot at a southpaw in the rotation, though. Is that enough to give it a few more shots?

IMHO, no.

captainmorgan07
03-14-2008, 10:26 AM
He's not going to make the rotation plain and simple. He's gonna be a good lefty for our pen though. He's showed in the last few years he can be a very good bullpen guy.

TheBigLebowski
03-14-2008, 10:27 AM
Based on Dusty's history, I'd say Affeldt will be in the rotation.

I'd rather see him in the pen. He has been brutally unimpressive thus far.

JBChance
03-14-2008, 11:05 AM
Based on Dusty's history, I'd say Affeldt will be in the rotation.

I'd rather see him in the pen. He has been brutally unimpressive thus far.

Not sure what history to which you are referring. The veterans over rooks thing?

I would say pen bound, but we do already have a plethora of lefties there. He would have to show some improvement to crack that group, maybe. 2007 was his best year in that situation, but could that be an anomaly? It was at Coors, so last years numbers, I guess, are even a little more attractive.

Perhaps he's just not best suited to starting, so that's the reason for his tanking so far. I would think that would be even another reason to get some tosses ASAP in the pen - to show that he can complete, right now, somewhere on this club.

Hey Meat
03-14-2008, 11:14 AM
I don't think Dusty will put him in the rotation. Sounds like Cueto has a good shot, and plus you now have Fogg. Affeldt has shown in his last two seasons-which are a stark contrast of one another where he is better. I don't know why there has ever been rotation talk with him. At KC he was not good as a starter and was pretty good as a reliever at Colorado. I would say he is not going to be in the rotation, but in the pen.

Va Red Fan
03-14-2008, 11:23 AM
I have no proof that Dusty is a special needs individual with horrendous reasoning abilities, so I do not think Affeldt will be in the rotation. It makes no difference if he is left handed and all the other starters are righties if he can't go more than 5 or 6 batters without getting rocked. He's fine in the pen and that's where he should be.

tommycash
03-14-2008, 11:29 AM
Looking at the way everyone else is coming along, Affeldt will be in the pen.

justincredible
03-14-2008, 11:38 AM
I'd say his rotation status is certain. As in her certainly won't be in it.

Rocket_Fuel
03-14-2008, 07:24 PM
Based on Dusty's history, I'd say Affeldt will be in the rotation.

I'd rather see him in the pen. He has been brutally unimpressive thus far.

Yeah, Dusty's teams won all of those division titles and wild card titles and a NL championship by willingly putting suspect pitching in the starting rotation. :rolleyes:

Newman4
03-15-2008, 03:33 PM
but we do already have a plethora of lefties there.

"Plethora" is kind of a strong word. The Reds certainly don't have much quality (Stanton) or anyone proven (Bray and Cout) there. Affledt's numbers last year at least show he can do the job.

HokieRed
03-15-2008, 03:54 PM
Based on performance this spring, the decision gets easier with every passing game: Harang, Arroyo, Cueto, Fogg, Volquez. Homer to Louisville, Affeldt and Belisle to the pen.

Edd Roush
03-15-2008, 07:06 PM
Based on performance this spring, the decision gets easier with every passing game: Harang, Arroyo, Cueto, Fogg, Volquez. Homer to Louisville, Affeldt and Belisle to the pen.

Still not ready to give up on Belsile. Fogg has pitched enough to prove to me that his ceiling is an average #4 and his floor is god awful. Belisle can still be that #3 guy, although he has channelled Phil Dumatrait this spring. I want to give this guy one more shot.

As for Affeldt, this spring has gone about as well as possible on that front. He has pitched like garbage and gotten his shot in the rotation. Therefore, he can't complain about not getting his shot and he is going to be in the right role. With the black hole for lefties in the bullpen, we are certainly going to need him there.

jmac
03-15-2008, 08:13 PM
As for Affeldt, this spring has gone about as well as possible on that front. He has pitched like garbage and gotten his shot in the rotation. Therefore, he can't complain about not getting his shot and he is going to be in the right role. With the black hole for lefties in the bullpen, we are certainly going to need him there.

Affedlt and Bray out of the bullpen sounds pretty good ( hopefully Bray stays healthy).

AmarilloRed
03-16-2008, 01:28 AM
Affeldt will have to do better to even make a roster spot; he is not going to make the bullpen simply because he is left-handed.

mlbfan30
03-16-2008, 01:55 AM
Affeldt will have to do better to even make a roster spot; he is not going to make the bullpen simply because he is left-handed.

Affeldt is going to be in the bullpen and he deserves to be there. He's the best Lefty RP on the team. Spring Training Stats don't matter. He had a 3.51 ERA at Coors last year, compared to a 5.93 ERA for Stanton and a 6.28 ERA for Bray. But yea... let's judge Affeldt on a couple Spring Training Starts when he clearly is not a good SP and never has been.

Jr's Boy
03-16-2008, 02:26 AM
Such a bad idea in the first place,signing a guy in the HOPES of making him a starter.Heck mine as well give the spot to a young player.

Edd Roush
03-16-2008, 09:44 AM
Affeldt will have to do better to even make a roster spot; he is not going to make the bullpen simply because he is left-handed.

I think we can give him the benefit of the doubt with his career numbers out of the bullpen. Affeldt will never be your best bullpen pitcher, but he can be a league average cog that the 2007 Reds' bullpen so sorely lacked.

AmarilloRed
03-16-2008, 12:12 PM
I think we can give him the benefit of the doubt with his career numbers out of the bullpen. Affeldt will never be your best bullpen pitcher, but he can be a league average cog that the 2007 Reds' bullpen so sorely lacked.

I simply think there will be a lot more competition in the bullpen. Salmon, Roenicke, Bray, Coffey(and even Stanton) have pitched better. Cordero, Burton, and Weathers can be assumed to be locks for the bullpen. I am not even mentioning other candidates such as McBeth, Coutlangas, and Belisle who all have a chance to make the bullpen. Affeldt can not take a bullpen spot for granted. He needs to pitch much better to earn a roster spot in the bullpen.

Edd Roush
03-16-2008, 01:20 PM
I simply think there will be a lot more competition in the bullpen. Salmon, Roenicke, Bray, Coffey(and even Stanton) have pitched better. Cordero, Burton, and Weathers can be assumed to be locks for the bullpen. I am not even mentioning other candidates such as McBeth, Coutlangas, and Belisle who all have a chance to make the bullpen. Affeldt can not take a bullpen spot for granted. He needs to pitch much better to earn a roster spot in the bullpen.

And you know what Amarillo, I'm sure he knows that too. I'm sure he is busting his butt doing whatever he can to make this team. I just think if every journalist thinks Stanton is a lock for the big club because of his contract, then Affeldt has to be a lock too. I think his numbers will look better out of the pen then they do in the rotation in the first place.

AmarilloRed
03-16-2008, 03:54 PM
I don't think Stanton is a lock, but he has pitched better than Affeldt so far. I hope you are right and Affeldt does step it up and makes the bullpen.

JBChance
03-16-2008, 11:24 PM
If he can replicate some #'s from last season, he surely will make the pen. But, that's a big IF right now. He needs to start showing it ASAP, so he can get his place. His contract $ will probably help him, but he needs to perform.

I hope he does. We had some borderline throwers out there last year.