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WVRedsFan
05-11-2008, 01:40 AM
After a two-year quest for better pitching, the Reds have come a long way toward fixing their main problem, but it's not there yet. We've added two future stars (Volquez and Cueto) and have our mainstays Harang and Arroyo (who looked pretty good today) and a good closer, but what of the rest?

Wayne Krivsky brought in Josh Fogg and had Matt Belisle competing for that fifth spot, but so far neither is any more than hit machines. We knew that about Fogg (nobody else wanted him and he signed with the Reds for far below what he wanted), and Belisle continues to look like a minor league pitcher. That's only the first problem.

In the bullpen, the much heralded Bill Bray continues to be kerosene on an open fire, coming in today and not getting an out while allowing two hits and both of them scoring when Lincoln was brought in. Lincoln, for all the "Stuff" he supposedly has, seems to just blow up and the hits keep on coming. Today he walked two and allowed three hits in two innings of work. It gets shaky after that with Weathers being a question mark.

We may have improved, but we're not there yet.

BCubb2003
05-11-2008, 02:26 AM
We have to account for the ups and downs of pitching, and everything that can go wrong, but...

a legitimate Cy Young candidate

a blossoming Cy Young candidate

a No. 3 who has a brilliant game sometimes

a potential Cy Young candidate

the No. 5 who has issues, like the one on nearly every team

plus some legitimate prospects

The bullpen's not deep enough yet, but we see how a legitimate closer pushes the quality a little farther down the line.

Of course, you can spin it the other way too: Harang can't seem to win, Volquez can't possibly be that good, Arroyo is too inconsistent, whatever happened to Cueto, and there's nothing at No. 5.

But considering how long it's been bad, the rotation is in remarkably good shape all of a sudden.

WVRedsFan
05-11-2008, 02:40 AM
We have to account for the ups and downs of pitching, and everything that can go wrong, but...

a legitimate Cy Young candidate

a blossoming Cy Young candidate

a No. 3 who has a brilliant game sometimes

a potential Cy Young candidate

the No. 5 who has issues, like the one on nearly every team

plus some legitimate prospects

The bullpen's not deep enough yet, but we see how a legitimate closer pushes the quality a little farther down the line.

Of course, you can spin it the other way too: Harang can't seem to win, Volquez can't possibly be that good, Arroyo is too inconsistent, whatever happened to Cueto, and there's nothing at No. 5.

But considering how long it's been bad, the rotation is in remarkably good shape all of a sudden.

Now, about that offense...:)

Tornon
05-11-2008, 04:46 AM
Our rotation is Harang, Volquez, Arroyo, Cueto, pray for rain.. We got the rain we prayed for & started Belisle anyway

GAC
05-11-2008, 05:40 AM
After a two-year quest for better pitching, the Reds have come a long way toward fixing their main problem, but it's not there yet. We've added two future stars (Volquez and Cueto) and have our mainstays Harang and Arroyo (who looked pretty good today) and a good closer, but what of the rest?

Wayne Krivsky brought in Josh Fogg and had Matt Belisle competing for that fifth spot, but so far neither is any more than hit machines. We knew that about Fogg (nobody else wanted him and he signed with the Reds for far below what he wanted), and Belisle continues to look like a minor league pitcher. That's only the first problem.

In the bullpen, the much heralded Bill Bray continues to be kerosene on an open fire, coming in today and not getting an out while allowing two hits and both of them scoring when Lincoln was brought in. Lincoln, for all the "Stuff" he supposedly has, seems to just blow up and the hits keep on coming. Today he walked two and allowed three hits in two innings of work. It gets shaky after that with Weathers being a question mark.

We may have improved, but we're not there yet.

You're absolutely right WV when you say the above (highlighted). Bray has been having his struggles for sure; but the bullpen overall has been improved with a 3.93 ERA, and surprisingly, no blown saves. Of course with the way this offense has been performing over the last month those opps weren't as abundant. The main thing is we got guys like Stanton, Majewski, and Coffey out of there, and there has been some level of stability. So far this year we're not shaking our heads when the BP is called upon.

As for Fogg and Belisle.....

I didn't see, in the off-season, where there was really much to chose, invest in, as far as FA pitchers worth quality. And a majority of teams aren't even in the bidding for a Santana who was asking for ridiculous money IMO. But again, they utilized the scarcity of quality pitching available (supply and demand).

Fogg was 10-9 with the Rockies last year, with a 4.94 ERA. No, nothing to get excited about, but a body brought in for $400,000 (cheap) in still a very tight market.

Everyone, including myself, went into this season hoping that Belisle would put something together this year to at least be a competent #4/#5 guy. I don't think it's going to happen IMO. But no huge monetary investment there either (1.25 mil/1yr).

Jeremy Affeldt has been a pleasant surprise IMO. ... 2.87 ERA, .222 BAA, .323 OB%, .646 OPS. Seems to induce a lot of groundballs.

But these guys are here because we were giving two youngsters a chance in our rotation (Volquez and Cueto), and to not have to rush Bailey.

You have to have some sort of backups. And what alternatives did the Reds have? But if Volquez (who will hit his rough spots), Cueto, and Bailey pan out, then we have the makings of a pretty sound rotation IMO with Harang as the ace.

You can then put a guy like Arroyo where he belongs IMO - at the back end of the rotation. Maybe even end up in the BP if another pitcher can be acquired.

IMO, Weathers, who I like, will be gone at season's end.

No, we haven't "arrived" yet, but I like what we are seeing. The pieces are there to fill those holes.

The biggest challenge facing Jocketty will be either at the trading deadline and/or the off-season in improving this offense. He has some sound pieces there too to work with; but changes have to be made.

Watching that first game of the dbl header yesterday was painful, yet very typical of this offense to date.... 10 hits off of Santana and 3 measly runs. Meanwhile the Mets had 12 hits, which translated into 12 runs.

Redhook
05-11-2008, 08:58 AM
Our rotation is Harang, Volquez, Arroyo, Cueto, pray for rain..

Personally, I'm thrilled about the pitching for the first time since Rijo was in his prime. It's awesome that we, as fans, only have to pray for rain once a week instead of the typical 5 times a week.

Kc61
05-11-2008, 09:36 AM
With a little luck, the Reds have four good starters and four good relievers (Burton, Cordero, Affeldt and Weathers). Can't complain about these guys, although obviously Arroyo has to build on last night and not revert to earlier form.

That leaves Belisle, Bray, Lincoln and Fogg.

Lincoln has done some good work in middle relief, his numbers suffered by yesterday's debacle. He fills out the bullpen ok, not a big worry for me..

Bray has been inconsistent but it's too soon to judge. Has the talent so it's worth giving him a trial run for awhile.

That leaves Belisle and Fogg. My own view is that one of them should stay for long relief, one of them probably should be moved to another team. Not sure who the replacement is, but probably a new fifth starter. Perhaps give Justin Lehr a shot until Bailey or Thompson is ready.

I would like to see the Reds and Affeldt work out a (reasonable) extension. Affeldt has impressed me and I hope the Reds don't lose him to free agency.

PuffyPig
05-11-2008, 09:44 AM
Our rotation is Harang, Volquez, Arroyo, Cueto, pray for rain.. We got the rain we prayed for & started Belisle anyway

And how would you have handled the rotation without starting Belisle?

A rainout followed by a doubleheader doesn't make things easier on the rotation, only harder.

jojo
05-11-2008, 09:52 AM
After a two-year quest for better pitching, the Reds have come a long way toward fixing their main problem, but it's not there yet. We've added two future stars (Volquez and Cueto) and have our mainstays Harang and Arroyo (who looked pretty good today) and a good closer, but what of the rest?

Wayne Krivsky brought in Josh Fogg and had Matt Belisle competing for that fifth spot, but so far neither is any more than hit machines. We knew that about Fogg (nobody else wanted him and he signed with the Reds for far below what he wanted), and Belisle continues to look like a minor league pitcher. That's only the first problem.

In the bullpen, the much heralded Bill Bray continues to be kerosene on an open fire, coming in today and not getting an out while allowing two hits and both of them scoring when Lincoln was brought in. Lincoln, for all the "Stuff" he supposedly has, seems to just blow up and the hits keep on coming. Today he walked two and allowed three hits in two innings of work. It gets shaky after that with Weathers being a question mark.

We may have improved, but we're not there yet.

After a two-year quest???????? :cool:

mth123
05-11-2008, 10:13 AM
With a little luck, the Reds have four good starters and four good relievers (Burton, Cordero, Affeldt and Weathers). Can't complain about these guys, although obviously Arroyo has to build on last night and not revert to earlier form.

That leaves Belisle, Bray, Lincoln and Fogg.

Lincoln has done some good work in middle relief, his numbers suffered by yesterday's debacle. He fills out the bullpen ok, not a big worry for me..

Bray has been inconsistent but it's too soon to judge. Has the talent so it's worth giving him a trial run for awhile.

That leaves Belisle and Fogg. My own view is that one of them should stay for long relief, one of them probably should be moved to another team. Not sure who the replacement is, but probably a new fifth starter. Perhaps give Justin Lehr a shot until Bailey or Thompson is ready.

I would like to see the Reds and Affeldt work out a (reasonable) extension. Affeldt has impressed me and I hope the Reds don't lose him to free agency.

Good summary. I'm a little more skeptical of Bray than most and I would give Belilse a couple more starts before turning to Lehr. I agree that the Reds need to keep a long reliever. Since Fogg can't be moved without his consent until June 15th it probably means a DL stint or a DFA (either Belilse or Fogg) if the move needs to be made. I agree that barring an acquisition that Lehr is next in line. Does Belilse have an option?

Kc61
05-11-2008, 12:09 PM
Good summary. I'm a little more skeptical of Bray than most and I would give Belilse a couple more starts before turning to Lehr. I agree that the Reds need to keep a long reliever. Since Fogg can't be moved without his consent until June 15th it probably means a DL stint or a DFA (either Belilse or Fogg) if the move needs to be made. I agree that barring an acquisition that Lehr is next in line. Does Belilse have an option?

I view Lehr, like Livingston, as the type of pitcher who probably won't have great major league success over the long term but could have a few good outings until the league catches up to him. I think it's about the time to give him a shot, although with the current doubleheader crunch I might give Belisle one more start. Lehr would be a stopgap until Homer or Thompson is ready hopefully later this year, or someone else emerges.

Belisle has allowed 32 hits in 19.1 innings. A 1.91 WHIP which includes very, very few walks. He's not fooling anyone out there and there is no indication that he's improved meaningfully from last season. Fogg is preferable to me since, at least in some past years, he's had a sub 5 ERA as a starter which is, at least, something. In either case, Belisle or Fogg, it should be long man relief duty.