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View Full Version : The Reds are Totally Sucking the Life out of 2008 (Volquez)



Edskin
08-06-2008, 07:54 AM
Until about a week or so ago, I was really pretty positive about the direction of the organization. I never thought we were in contention for the post-season this year, but I was genuinely excited about the young core, Jocketty, and where this team could be headed as early as 2009 with the right roster tweaks.

Now, I'm beginning to wonder if we're just hopeless.

I am a believer that if you have 2-3 top-notch, top of the rotation starters, that filling in the roster behind them isn't too tough. It's been forever though since the Reds could boast of those starters.

It looked like things were changing this year with Harang, Volquez, and Cueto.

But with each start, they look more pedestrian, and with each start, I become less convinced that they are going to be good enough to lead us into the future.

Volquez was brilliant early in the year--- but that was due in large part to his ability to pitch out of some serious jams. He kept walking guys, but managed to get outs before they crossed the plate. Now those walks and singles are scoring. I am beginning to wonder/worry if his extremely good early results weren't a product of some good luck.

I'm actually a bit less worried about Cueto, but at this point, I certainly don't think we can pencil him in as a sure-fire top line starter.

And who knows if the miles on Harang's arm are catching up to him?

Those three guys are close to 100% the key element to our success in the near future, IMO. If they are really good (which is what we need), then this team could be really good because I trust Jocketty to fill out the roster properly.

But if they are NOT really good, then I don't see what Walt will be able to do to make this team any better than average at best.

As much as we talk about all the changes that need to be made to the roster, I truly believe that the most important component(s) to the Reds becoming a contender is already on the roster.

IMO, two of the three need to be excellent, and then we can afford to have another be simply "solid."

Early in the year, this trio looked very promising...now, not so much.

Walt can wheel and deal all he wants, but in the end, if those three don't come through, none of it will really matter.

It's depressing enough to be 10 games under .500 in early August-- but it's made worse when you see the key to the future getting knocked around.

We already know the 2008 team pretty much stinks. But for awhile I had hope that this team may be laying a solid foundation. But they've really sucked the life out of that hope lately. Sigh.

Matt700wlw
08-06-2008, 08:36 AM
Meanwhile, Josh Hamilton continues to roll......Sorry, I'm still torn on this deal, and I probably will be for a while

redsmetz
08-06-2008, 08:48 AM
The downside to the internet and boards like RZ is that everything is here and now. I'm not overly concerned. What's happening to Volquez is, IMO, the normal ups and downs many pitchers experience in a long season. Look at Arroyo's downside earlier in the season, but his last six plus starts, he's been much improved. I still believe, even absent a decent fifth starter (and is that an oxymoron?), that this is probably the best starting staff of young pitchers the Reds have had since the late 60's, early 70's. If Arroyo and Harang had been half of what we had hoped for earlier (and Arroyo's coming around), this club would be in a better position. They weren't and we're not.

But keep in mind everything is immediate now as we, mostly strangers with one another, can instantly rehash the pitfalls throughout the day, 24/7. In the past, these discussions happened at the tavern and you only had your buddies there to yap with. And you had a "cooling off" period before sitting down at the bar and analyzing it all. Now it's right here.

No question, the club needs much work, but I'm not greatly concerned with our pitching staff, although a long run of some good pitching wouldn't hurt. I think they're capable of it, but the team very much feels like it's sleepwalking.

oneupper
08-06-2008, 08:55 AM
Meanwhile, Josh Hamilton continues to roll......Sorry, I'm still torn on this deal, and I probably will be for a while

While Volquez has been fine, Hamilton was supposed to be substituted by Bruce. Instead we got a lot of Patterson with some Hopper sprinkled in.
In addition, Volquez's success made Bako our main catcher, instead of just an injury fill in.

Who would have started if no Volquez? Affeldt? Maloney? Justin Lehr? Shearn? The $3 mm used for Patterson could have bought something, I guess.
Who knows, maybe it wouldn't have been so bad.

It's spilt milk, sure...and I'm crying. :cry::cry:

cumberlandreds
08-06-2008, 08:58 AM
As long as Volquez and Cueto are not hurt I'm not concerned. This is just the effects of a long season on a young pitcher(s). Neither have pitched this much in a season and are wearing down. It really wouldn't hurt if they limited their pitches to around 90 per game for the rest of the season. I'm more concerned about Harang and just hope this isn't nothing serious.

rotnoid
08-06-2008, 09:02 AM
I think this could become a valid concern, but I'm not ready to give up quite yet. Volquez and Cueto are still young guys and are approaching numbers of innings pitched that are very near the most they've thrown in a season. I think fatigue is certainly playing a part, as it's bound to do with young fireballers. The fact that they hopefully won't be pitching winter ball will surely help remedy this next year. Improved defense and a year of experience and learning when to freak out and when not to will surely help too. While 2008 is lost, I'm not ready to give up on 2009 just yet.

registerthis
08-06-2008, 09:27 AM
While Volquez has been fine, Hamilton was supposed to be substituted by Bruce. Instead we got a lot of Patterson with some Hopper sprinkled in.

Jay's all of 21 years old with barely 60 MLB games under his belt, and already we're calling him Norris Hopper and Corey Patterson? If you expected Bruce to come in, hit 30 HRs and OPS .900 as a 21 year old rookie, no wonder you're disappointed.

Would I love to see Hamilton in the Reds lineup? Heck yes. But let's cut out the mind-numbing comps for a moment, please.

registerthis
08-06-2008, 09:28 AM
As long as Volquez and Cueto are not hurt I'm not concerned. This is just the effects of a long season on a young pitcher(s).

What? You mean my expectations of Cueto and Volquez battling for the Cy Young may have been too high? Say it ain't so.

HokieRed
08-06-2008, 09:32 AM
I don't think oneupper meant to say Jay B. has been Hopper and Patterson, but that we expected to see Jay in CF most of the year and instead we got Dusty's toys. I'm with Matt as I have been all along--liking Volquez but thinking Josh was way too much to pay. I wish Wayne had taken another approach to fixing the pitching. Hamilton was the one great inspiration of Krivsky's tenure. I wish he'd have stuck with him. But it's important not to underrate Volquez. He's a very young pitcher; he is in that part of the season where starters hit the wall; that's something they've got to learn to get through. We'll see if he does it. But his being very young, however talented, is also why you don't give a Josh Hamilton up for him.

registerthis
08-06-2008, 09:38 AM
I don't think oneupper meant to say Jay B. has been Hopper and Patterson, but that we expected to see Jay in CF most of the year and instead we got Dusty's toys.

I'm not trying to defend all of the PAs given to the likes of Hopper and Patterson, but it's not as if Bruce hasn't been playing. The problem is a bench that is a giant pile of suck. Of course, now with Junior gone and the Reds forced to continue putting three guys in the OF, it's pretty much a sure bet that on any given night one of our three outfielders are going to have Reds fans pining for the days of Paul Householder.

Unassisted
08-06-2008, 09:50 AM
Meanwhile, Josh Hamilton continues to roll......Sorry, I'm still torn on this deal, and I probably will be for a whileYou'll feel better about it if you look past the numbers and blame clubhouse chemistry. ;)

Matt700wlw
08-06-2008, 09:52 AM
You'll feel better about it if you look past the numbers and blame clubhouse chemistry. ;)

I'll try that :D

oneupper
08-06-2008, 09:55 AM
I don't think oneupper meant to say Jay B. has been Hopper and Patterson, but that we expected to see Jay in CF most of the year and instead we got Dusty's toys.

Exactly. And that includes Hairston, who's done really well and that scares me too.

flyer85
08-06-2008, 09:59 AM
from an offensive standpoint the lineup has changed over the last few years from a patient one to a hacking one ... and if you are a hacking one you had better have some high batting average types which the Reds lack.

They just don't get enough guys on base.

REDREAD
08-06-2008, 10:00 AM
Jay's all of 21 years old with barely 60 MLB games under his belt, and already we're calling him Norris Hopper and Corey Patterson? If you expected Bruce to come in, hit 30 HRs and OPS .900 as a 21 year old rookie, no wonder you're disappointed.
.

I agree with your point, but I think many people expected Bruce to do just that. I remember comments about the James projections for Bruce, and how Bruce would replace Hamilton's bat, etc. So I think most people had very unrealistic expectations for this 21 year old.

That is why I was not that critical of the Reds when they started Bruce in AAA and delayed him for Super 2. I admit I changed my tune a little when Bruce got off to his fast start, but in hindsight I think that Wayne made the right call by starting Bruce at AAA.

flyer85
08-06-2008, 10:08 AM
I agree with your point, but I think many people expected Bruce to do just that. I remember comments about the James projections for Bruce, and how Bruce would replace Hamilton's bat, etc. So I think most people had very unrealistic expectations for this 21 year old.
most young players come up and struggle. Major league pitchers will find their weakness and exploit it. I think few understand how hard the transition actually is and that very few make it seamlessly. Most young players really struggle when they first come to the big leagues ... even an uberprospect like Bruce.

RedEye
08-06-2008, 10:08 AM
Before the season, I was hoping that Harang, Volquez and Cueto could all put up close to 200 IP and ERAs between 3.50 and 4.50. That would have made all of them above league-average starters. Needless to say, Volkie is on track to do that, while Cueto is not (although he has looked like that pitcher on and off) and Harang isn't either (mostly because of injury, although he's proven he can do it in the past). With a year under their belts, I think these numbers are realistic for the two young guys next year. And, if Aaron returns to form, I still have confidence that the 2009 rotation will be very, very solid.

RedlegJake
08-06-2008, 10:10 AM
redsmetz is right. On internet boards and with fans in general, all of us, including myself, tend to live in the moment. That's the exact reason teams rarely come out and say we're going to tear down and rebuild. Right now is the worst possible time to try and analyze this team and its young players unless you can detach yourself emotionally. The angst over the Hamilton trade is an emotional response because he is gone - done - over - history while he continues to tear it up and Volquez has hit a rough patch.

1. Volquez wasn't coming here for any other package of players. Several reports from Texas and from the Reds claim the deal was a long time in making and the Reds tried to substitute different packages but the Rangers would only give up Volquez if Hammy was part of the deal. Maybe the Reds could have gotten another arm for a different player but EV would not have been here. I believe these reports. Why not? Look at the Reds. Short of Jay Bruce, who else would the Rangers have really had any interest in? Jr at his age and salary? Dunn with his upcoming FA and salary? The Reds made Bruce sacrosanct and Hamilton was the only player left. So was the deal a mistake after all? Suddenly a whole bunch of guys are quivering on the anchor chain ready to jump ship but I'm still on board.

2. Volquez is not a bust by a long shot. Nor is he suddenly mediocre. He was a bit lucky early on but he also got terrific run support and decent defense in those starts. I'd claim more that his team left him stranded at the dock. He's young and pitching for a bunch of guys that simply look as if they've decided to wait for the next ship to sail. The run support he got earlier and the defense behind him have evaporated - or at least, fallen back to the abysmal comedic level of play his rotation mates have had all along. It's more a wonder to me that he and Cueto haven't been even more ineffective.

3. Young guys in most businesses I've been in, and I can't believe it's any different in sports, tend to follow the tone set by more senior, experienced members of a staff. Besides the fact that they're pitching into total innings territory where they've rarely been in a season, compressed into a shorter time span, and in brutal August heat, on a team going nowhere, for management who's publicly stated goal is just playing .500 ball. Really, a situation that tends to bring out the worst in young guys, I'd think.

OnBaseMachine
08-06-2008, 11:14 AM
Volquez is reaching a point where's he never been in the majors - 140+ innings. He was bound to tire out and start struggling at some point, same with Cueto. I'm surprised to so many people didn't see this coming. Volquez still looks like a top-of-rotation talent, he's just wearing down like most rookies pitchers do in their first full big league season. I'm not worried at all.

Edskin
08-06-2008, 11:16 AM
3. Young guys in most businesses I've been in, and I can't believe it's any different in sports, tend to follow the tone set by more senior, experienced members of a staff. Besides the fact that they're pitching into total innings territory where they've rarely been in a season, compressed into a shorter time span, and in brutal August heat, on a team going nowhere, for management who's publicly stated goal is just playing .500 ball. Really, a situation that tends to bring out the worst in young guys, I'd think.

Very valid point and it all comes back to the "losing culture" thing...and if that's the case, it sure doesn't look like it's going to be easy to solve.

princeton
08-06-2008, 11:16 AM
yeah, well-- it's not Dusty's team.

Matt700wlw
08-06-2008, 11:23 AM
According to Dusty...Walt says Volquez threw very FEW innings in winter ball, and is not fatigued...

Dusty's going to check the tape and try to figure out what's wrong. Dusty thinks it's probably adjustment from the hitters and he needs to now adjust to them, again...


(that's a pregame show tease :D)

flyer85
08-06-2008, 11:24 AM
from what I have seen Edinson has been making a lot more mistakes with his changeup(leaving it up)

westofyou
08-06-2008, 11:26 AM
returning to a normal mean is a reality... let it sink in.. let it roll around your head.. the guy was lights out for a 1/2 a season, he's in uncharted territory, he's young and he's going to experience some difficulty.

So blame the culture, blame Dusty... but remember the mean is wicked taskmasker and returning to it occurs for 98% of most players.

WVRedsFan
08-06-2008, 12:01 PM
I'm not worried about either Volquez or Cueto--time will tell their value. I always think pitching is a crapshoot in about half your prospects anyway. Kids are kids.

Now the hitting--that's what worries me. But to tell you the truth, a hot Hamilton wouldn't be the answer either. The future? I will wait to see what happens this winter, but it's blek.

RedlegJake
08-06-2008, 12:25 PM
I'm not worried about either Volquez or Cueto--time will tell their value. I always think pitching is a crapshoot in about half your prospects anyway. Kids are kids.

Now the hitting--that's what worries me. But to tell you the truth, a hot Hamilton wouldn't be the answer either. The future? I will wait to see what happens this winter, but it's blek.

I agree with this. The hitting is a problem and has been. Finding league average bats to take the place of the bottom 6 guys or so (Bako, Patterson, Hopper, Janish, Valentin, Phillips) isn't as easy at it might sound. Then adding to the offense without hurting the defense? Even harder - improving the overall defense while upgrading the offense. I'm convinced a lot of the pitching problems are the result of defense. The Reds' D adds a ton of pitches, a bunch of unearned hits, and way too many free at bats to every pitcher. The only guys who have any chance of succeeding are the pure power pitchers. Even Arroyo has had to go for the K much more than he has in the past because he can't rely on the defense - and I wonder if he hasn't changed his pitching routine somewhat realizing that, and in the process disrupted himself.

KronoRed
08-06-2008, 01:18 PM
What? You mean my expectations of Cueto and Volquez battling for the Cy Young may have been too high? Say it ain't so.
Darnit why can't all out young guys win the MVP? what is wrong with them???? :D