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OnBaseMachine
06-13-2008, 11:20 AM
How huge has Jared Burton been for this team lately? I was just looking at his numbers and he's been downright amazing in the last three weeks or so. In his last 13 innings he's allowed 0 earned runs on eight hits with only four walks and 14 strikeouts. In that timespan he's lowered his ERA down to 2.62. I've liked Burton since the first time I saw him pitch on TV in spring training of 2007. He was just a wild kid with a good arm back then but in the last year or so he's greatly improved his control and has developed into one of the better relievers in the league IMO. He's got a 2.25 ERA in 68.1 innings since last years all-star break. Pretty darn good.

Team Clark
06-13-2008, 11:24 AM
How huge has Jared Burton been for this team lately? I was just looking at his numbers and he's been downright amazing in the last three weeks or so. In his last 13 innings he's allowed 0 earned runs on eight hits with only four walks and 14 strikeouts. In that timespan he's lowered his ERA down to 2.62. I've liked Burton since the first time I saw him pitch on TV in spring training of 2007. He was just a wild kid with a good arm back then but in the last year or so he's greatly improved his control and has developed into one of the better relievers in the league IMO. He's got a 2.25 ERA in 68.1 innings since last years all-star break. Pretty darn good.

Couldn't agree more. Has all of his pitches working and is keeping the ball down. Hey Walt, lock this kid up before arbitration.

RedsManRick
06-13-2008, 11:35 AM
Control was his bugaboo, and he seems to have it worked out. What I love about a guy with a cutter is that he can get both lefties and righties out with it. His H/9 has returned to normal levels, but his BB/9 is down and his K/9 is up, suggesting to me that he's exchanging an "effectively wild" strategy for a more controlled "effective".

It's great to have a fireman in addition to the closer.

OnBaseMachine
06-13-2008, 11:47 AM
And while we're at it, Bill Bray seems to be developing into a solid reliever. He's allowed only three runs on nine hits in his last 14.2 innings and overall has a 2.75 ERA in 19.2 innings. He allowed a lot of baserunners early in the season but has really been pitching much better lately. With Bray, Burton, and Cordero I think the Reds have three great arms in the bullpen to build around. Josh Roenicke also has a great arm and should soon be up to join those three. The Reds are another solid lefty away from having a top notch bullpen IMO. Pedro Viola has the stuff to be that guy but he has struggled so far this year but watching him pitch on TV in spring training it was clear to me he has the stuff to pitch effectively in the major leagues someday.

PuffyPig
06-13-2008, 12:00 PM
He's good but I hear he doesn't have as much upside as Manny Acosta.....

;)

SunDeck
06-13-2008, 12:03 PM
Sometimes I wonder what's more important, solid relief or good starting pitching. If you have the former, I would think you can get by with a little less of the latter, but not the other way around. If your relief pitching isn't reliable, starting pitchers (no matter how good they are) have to press every time they go out.

I'm liking the direction the club has taken with respect to pitching, both in relief and in the starting rotation. But oh, how I'd like to see them stronger up the middle.

Post edit: It's also kind of nice to be worried more about Shortstop, Catcher and Center Fielder than it is about the awfulness of the pitching.

knuckler
06-13-2008, 04:13 PM
I love what Burton and Bray have brought to the pen.

What this bullpen is missing is a long-relief guy with a rubber arm. He doesn't have to put up the spectacular numbers like Burton, just a consistent 4+ ERA, a run every other inning. But mop up 3 innings at a time so that Bray and Burton aren't used when the team is down by 5, and so that Dusty doesn't feel he has to squeeze just one more 20-pitch inning out of the starters to keep the bullpen fresh. I was hoping Fogg or Affeldt would fill that role, but whether it's Dusty not wanting to put them in it or them not seizing it, it hasn't happened. Mercker, Weathers and Lincoln and Herrera don't seem to have the endurance to do it.

RedsManRick
06-13-2008, 04:14 PM
I love what Burton and Bray have brought to the pen.

What this bullpen is missing is a long-relief guy with a rubber arm. He doesn't have to put up the spectacular numbers like Burton, just a consistent 4+ ERA, a run every other inning. But mop up 3 innings at a time so that Bray and Burton aren't used when the team is down by 5, and so that Dusty doesn't feel he has to squeeze just one more 20-pitch inning out of the starters to keep the bullpen fresh. I was hoping Fogg or Affeldt would fill that role, but whether it's Dusty not wanting to put them in it or them not seizing it, it hasn't happened. Mercker, Weathers and Lincoln and Herrera don't seem to have the endurance to do it.

I believe the term you're looking for is "Scott Sullivan 2.0"

What's promising to me about 3 really solid guys is that the bullpen is fundamentally different than starting. You have more information. By the time the bullpen is needed, the game's outcome is much better defined. You need a good start every time out to have a good chance of winning. But there are days, both on the winning and losing sides, where you can safely expose the weaker members of your pitching staff without altering the likely outcome.

Unlike with your starters, where each guy has equal impact on the games in which they pitch, you don't need to be solid 6 deep to have an effective bullpen. Taken to the extreme, you can see this in a bullpen like Arizona's last year, or the Yankee and Sox pens of recent vintage. A "closer", 2 high strikeout setup/firemen, and a reliable innings guy (like Weathers of recent years) is really all you need to be well positioned to win all the games within reach.

Sure, your swing man (Fogg) and 2nd middle/long reliever (Affeldt) are expected to give up a fair amount of runs and might inflate your team ERA. But they shouldn't have very much of an impact on winning and losing ball games if used properly.

PuffyPig
06-13-2008, 04:36 PM
Our 3 main bullpen guys ensure that we will win the vast majority of games they are asked to protect.

Were we fall down is when the other guys are asked to keep a game close to give us a chance to come back.