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savafan
03-25-2010, 05:51 PM
I hate to say it, but he's either messed up mechanically, mentally or teams have just figured out how to hit him. It bothers me that, from my perspective, our opening day pitcher could likely be the weakest link in the starting rotation. I almost expect him to give up 4-7 runs every time out in 3-5 innings whenever he pitches anymore.

RedsManRick
03-25-2010, 06:00 PM
I hate to say it, but he's either messed up mechanically, mentally or teams have just figured out how to hit him. It bothers me that, from my perspective, our opening day pitcher could likely be the weakest link in the starting rotation. I almost expect him to give up 4-7 runs every time out in 3-5 innings whenever he pitches anymore.

I'm curious, obviously this was informed in part by his last two seasons, but was spring training part of it too?

He's admitted to having changed his mechanics over the years and that he's worked hard to get back to his mechanics from when he was more successful. And so far this spring, reports have had him w/ regained velocity and stuff.

Yes, he's gotten hit around, but that doesn't mean much given the context. The environment is extremely hitter friendly. Hitters usually start out more ready than pitchers. And usually players are working on things, not just going all out to win the game.

I think Joe Sheehan did a good job explain why ST are irrelevant in his chat on BP today.



Geer (Bimringham, AL): Speaking of the value of spring stats, surely something positive can be read into Heyward walking so much this spring, no?

Joe Sheehan: No. Who is he facing? What are their goals for the day? Only in rare cases are you facing major-league pitchers trying to beat the other team, and once that's gone, the stats disconnect from the game being played.

On any given day in March, some vast majority of pitchers are going to the mound working on something. You only hear about this when they get hammered.

Bill (New Mexico): "On any given day in March, some vast majority of pitchers are going to the mound working on something." Right, got that, but is the same true of hitters? In other words, if some pitcher looks really GOOD in the spring, how much of that is attributable to the hitters "working on something" rather than to the possibility that the guy on the mound has discovered something and turned nasty? (Add me to the "great to have you back" crowd.)

Joe Sheehan: I elected to not type out the converse, but it is also true.

Statistics are only meaningful when generated in the process of trying to win baseball games. That's the most concise way I can put this.

TheNext44
03-25-2010, 06:17 PM
I hate to say it, but he's either messed up mechanically, mentally or teams have just figured out how to hit him. It bothers me that, from my perspective, our opening day pitcher could likely be the weakest link in the starting rotation. I almost expect him to give up 4-7 runs every time out in 3-5 innings whenever he pitches anymore.

One other option, and I hate to mention it, but maybe Keith Law was right? Maybe Harang never really was that good and was getting by on smoke and mirrors his first few years?

He doesn't throw that hard, doesn't have great movement, but did have great control, especially inside the strikezone. So as he got older, as nearly all pitchers do, he lost a bit on his fastball, lost some movement on his slider, and can only get by so far with his control. If it's off at all, he turns into Josh Fogg. (just kidding)

Look at his peripherals:

His K's are down by around 10%, his BB's up by around 15% and his HR's up by 40%. This has resulted in his FIP up by around 20%.

Personally, when I first saw him pitched, I wondered how he was doing it. He just didn't seem to have that great of stuff. I think that is finally catching up with him, and I could see it getting worse each year.

Homer Bailey
03-25-2010, 06:27 PM
Not basing this off just today obviously, but I feel the same way as Savafan. He certainly is not our best starter anymore.

Will M
03-25-2010, 06:28 PM
before he had an appendectomy he was on pace for 200+ IP. His ERA+ was 102 for the year.

name a team in baseball where a guy who pitches 200 innings with an ERA+ of 102 is not one of the five starters. there isn't one.

wheels
03-25-2010, 06:28 PM
Wait....Are we calling for this moratoruim on Harang because of won loss record?

I didn't see anything really earth shatteringly awful in his numbers from last year.

He gave up quite a few hits, but really I don't see any need for all of the melodrama.

4.21 ERA, he only walked 43 batters, and he's no Eric Milton as he gave up only 24 big flies. He did have the highest BABIP against in his career career with the Reds at .335, which could make a case for being unlucky.

Wow. How long has it been since someone gnashed teeth over a 4.20ish era in Cincy? I remember when people were thrilled that the Reds signed a guy with a 4.76.

Oh wait....Won loss record and spring training performance trumps all.

Superdude
03-25-2010, 06:28 PM
One other option, and I hate to mention it, but maybe Keith Law was right? Maybe Harang never really was that good and was getting by on smoke and mirrors his first few years?

Look at his numbers from '05-'07 ...you can't smoke and mirrors yourself into a borderline cy young candidate for almost 700 innings. If I remember right, Harang's slider used to be just off the table nasty

wheels
03-25-2010, 06:32 PM
Look at his numbers from '05-'07 ...you can't smoke and mirrors yourself into a borderline cy young candidate for almost 700 innings. If I remember right, Harang's slider used to be just off the table nasty

Exactly. The guy has been an absolute horse his entire career.

Maybe the workload has nicked him up a bit, but he's still one heckuva reliable pitcher and I'm happy he's been here.

For so long, he was ALL they had.

TheNext44
03-25-2010, 06:44 PM
before he had an appendectomy he was on pace for 200+ IP. His ERA+ was 102 for the year.

name a team in baseball where a guy who pitches 200 innings with an ERA+ of 102 is not one of the five starters. there isn't one.

I don't think he should be waived, but he clearly is not an Ace anymore. He's solid #3 starter.

I don't agree with Savafan's notion that I expect him to give up "4-7 runs every time out in 3-5 innings whenever he pitches." But I see him doing that often enough to make him an average pitcher instead of a great one.

Not So Bold Prediction:

At the end of 2010, Aaron Harang's ERA will be higher than Bronson Arroyo's ERA.

This is not so bold, since it has happened three of the four years that they have pitched together for the Reds. And I think this add more fuel to the argument that Arroyo has been a better pitcher overall during those 4 years, than Harang has been.

Scrap Irony
03-25-2010, 07:03 PM
Fearless Prediction #2: Harang's ERA will be the highest among the top four starters and may be higher than the fifth starter (Chapman, especially) as well.

mth123
03-25-2010, 07:16 PM
My prediction.

Harang will be a solid mid-rotation guy who provides innings and a mid 4's ERA until he's dealt at the deadline. The Reds won't get much for him though. He won't be the reason that the Reds finish below .500 yet again.

Spring~Fields
03-25-2010, 07:51 PM
Too soon for me to tell, though not very encouraging. I want to think he will be alright, if they don't use him in relief or bring him back after a long rain delay.

VR
03-25-2010, 08:04 PM
He's gone from best stuff on the starting staff to about #7, and his stuff hasn't changed too much. That's a good thing, and also a good reason he should be a prime candidate to trade ASAP.

oneupper
03-25-2010, 08:17 PM
Aaron is going to be 32 in May. I think we have to consider that his best years may well be behind him.
This might have happened even without the famous relief stint in San Diego. Some careers (many in fact) are simply like that.

LoganBuck
03-25-2010, 09:51 PM
Not that I am a giant Aaron Harang fan at this point, but it is "dead arm time", Bailey got whacked the time before last as well. Leake, and Wood last time around. It is a phenomena of spring training. I bet he bounces back next time.

Tony Cloninger
03-25-2010, 09:54 PM
It is no different or at least similar in vain to what happened to Tom Browning after 1991.

REDblooded
03-25-2010, 10:03 PM
I just wish they'd traded him a few seasons ago... Just imagine if they'd traded him at the deadline in 2006... He was 9-6 with 120 K's at the all-star break. He would go on to lead the NL in K's that season... He was 28 at the time... He would go 7-5 down the stretch... The Reds would win one more game than the Braves that season and receive Mesoraco as the consolation prize for missing out on Heyward by one game...

Other interesting picks that happened in the draft that season...

The two players selected immediately following the Reds comp round selection of Frazier (a player I love, but has no place to play right now) CF'r Julio Borbon followed by C Travis D'Arnaud.

Yikes... 76th pick in the draft, 3 selections before the Reds got Cozart, Michael Stanton...

5th Round: Pitcher Jacob Arrieta, OF Michael Taylor

corkedbat
03-25-2010, 11:12 PM
Luv Aaron, but it's time to Burba hm.

Caveat Emperor
03-25-2010, 11:27 PM
Aaron Harang:

- Came up in the Oakland system.

- Fringe ML starter #5/#4 guy for the early part of his career.

- From 2005-2007 was a dominant starting pitcher, shaving a full point off his 2004 ERA and striking out nearly 1.5 more batters per nine. Ate tons of innings.

- Shows up to spring training in 2008 having dropped weight and posted a season where his numbers, again, were #4/#5 level.

Given what's known about the Oakland org and the whole bay area situation when Aaron was a young ballplayer, and given the state of baseball in the years in question, I'm openly skeptical of how Aaron was able to make such a meteoric rise and fall as a starting pitcher.

Maybe he bounces back this year and erases doubts -- but as long as he remains that fringe #4 guy who wasn't even the centerpiece of the deal that brought him to Cincinnati, I'll continue to have some doubts about his accomplishments as a Red (fairly or unfairly to him). We asked lots of questions about guys who had similarly career paths -- I don't think Aaron should get a free pass just because he puts on a uniform I like.

JaxRed
03-26-2010, 12:08 AM
Here's my take and concern. There's no telling what we get with Harang. He could return to the Harang of old, or he could could be fairly bad. (ERA hovering around 5)

But if he's bad, he'll kill us, because they will keep running him out there start after start no matter what.

savafan
03-26-2010, 01:04 AM
Spring training has added to my concern, but it's been steadily growing over the last two seasons, and it's not all in his win-loss record, although that does show that more often than not, he doesn't give his team much of an opportunity at victory, which is something that shouldn't be so readily shrugged off.

Mario-Rijo
03-26-2010, 02:46 AM
Aaron Harang:

- Came up in the Oakland system.

- Fringe ML starter #5/#4 guy for the early part of his career.

- From 2005-2007 was a dominant starting pitcher, shaving a full point off his 2004 ERA and striking out nearly 1.5 more batters per nine. Ate tons of innings.

- Shows up to spring training in 2008 having dropped weight and posted a season where his numbers, again, were #4/#5 level.

Given what's known about the Oakland org and the whole bay area situation when Aaron was a young ballplayer, and given the state of baseball in the years in question, I'm openly skeptical of how Aaron was able to make such a meteoric rise and fall as a starting pitcher.

Maybe he bounces back this year and erases doubts -- but as long as he remains that fringe #4 guy who wasn't even the centerpiece of the deal that brought him to Cincinnati, I'll continue to have some doubts about his accomplishments as a Red (fairly or unfairly to him). We asked lots of questions about guys who had similarly career paths -- I don't think Aaron should get a free pass just because he puts on a uniform I like.

He doesn't get a free pass because he is a Red he gets one because he isn't the type, that's my 2 cents on the matter. And he is far from done, I expect a nice resurgence this season and folks can go ahead and quote me on it. He won't be quite what he was in his prime but he'll be better than the past 2 years.

fearofpopvol1
03-26-2010, 05:36 AM
I'm not concerned. I think he'll be just fine. Maybe a slight dropoff...but I think he'll be close to par with past seasons.

Gainesville Red
03-26-2010, 06:19 AM
H he gets one because he isn't the type, that's my 2 cents on the matter.

What is "the type", and why isn't he or anyone else "the type"?

I'm not saying he is or isn't, only that I don't know him or anyone else that plays Major League Baseball. I think it's foolish to say it's beyond the realm of possibilities simply because he doesn't fit a certain perceived archetype that we've built for him.

wolfboy
03-26-2010, 09:19 AM
What is "the type", and why isn't he or anyone else "the type"?

I'm not saying he is or isn't, only that I don't know him or anyone else that plays Major League Baseball. I think it's foolish to say it's beyond the realm of possibilities simply because he doesn't fit a certain perceived archetype that we've built for him.

Roger Clemens is "the type". Andy Pettitte is not "the type".

TRF
03-26-2010, 10:26 AM
My Harang prediction:

220 IP, 200+K's, which if he hadn't gotten injured last year, he probably would have gotten. And its not likely he'll need his appendix removed again.

membengal
03-26-2010, 10:40 AM
Didn't Harang go 6 innings with 5 Ks and only run in his previous spring start?

RichRed
03-26-2010, 10:42 AM
Didn't Harang go 6 innings with 5 Ks and only run in his previous spring start?

Spring training results don't mean anything - unless they're bad.

membengal
03-26-2010, 10:49 AM
Oh. Hard to get a fix on the shifting sand...

westofyou
03-26-2010, 10:51 AM
Spring training results don't mean anything - unless they're bad.

Or the guy gets hurt from the result.

membengal
03-26-2010, 10:53 AM
CC Sabathia had a 6.43 spring ERA entering yesterday's start. He then gave up 7 runs on 7 hits over 3 2/3 innings and said afterwards he "felt good".

Now, I am not saying Harang is Sabathia, but Harand IS a vet, and, I would posit, spring results with such pitchers who are working on particular issues in getting ready for the season, should be taken with a Mt. Ranier sized grain of salt...

VR
03-26-2010, 10:54 AM
My observations about Harang have nothing at all to do with his spring training performance (which at this point, I have no idea about).

He was the ace/ workhorse that this organization didn't currently have, nor did they have any candidates in the system. He was rewarded with a contract that reflected that.

At this point, they have enough quality ML ready pitchers....as well as insurance with the young arms in the system. They no longer need to pay for a mediocre 'innings-eater', when they have guys with plus arms lined up.

I would trade him as fast as possible at this point, and that's less of a reflection on Harang, and more of a reflection on the current state of the pitching staff.

membengal
03-26-2010, 11:04 AM
Well, this thread popped up after a bad spring start, so I guess I was linking the two as being part of the reason folks were expressing concern at this juncture.

At any rate, I agree to disagree that Harang is a "mediocre innings eater". If he can duplicate a 4.25 ERA and get to around 200 innings, that is something a staff full of promising young arms desperately needs to take the pressure off their starts. I think Harang is pretty valuable in Cincy in 2010...

RedsManRick
03-26-2010, 11:42 AM
Season IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 WHIP BABIP ERA FIP ERA-FIP LOB% W-L Run Support FB Velo
2004 161.0 7.0 3.0 1.5 1.43 .315 4.86 4.68 0.18 73.0% 10-9 13 (of 52) 90.8
2005 211.2 6.9 2.2 0.9 1.27 .310 3.83 3.67 0.16 74.6% 11-13 30 (of 57) 90.5
2006 234.1 8.3 2.2 1.1 1.27 .325 3.76 3.68 0.08 73.8% 16-11 32 (of 49) 90.4
2007 231.2 8.5 2.0 1.1 1.14 .298 3.73 3.71 0.02 74.0% 16-6 29 (of 54) 90.1
2008 184.1 7.5 2.4 1.7 1.38 .317 4.78 4.79 -0.01 73.6% 6-17 54 (of 55) 89.6
2009 162.1 7.9 2.4 1.3 1.41 .339 4.21 4.14 0.07 75.7% 6-14 52 (of 53) 90.4

Firstly, regarding his W-L record, look at his run support. Clearly that's a BIG part of that story. Regarding his ERA, his FIP and ERA have been nearly identical throughout his Reds career, so his ERA has been a pretty good indicator of how well he's pitched.

In terms of stuff, you can see pretty clearly in 2008 and 2009 that his K/9 dipped slightly (though still good), his BB/9 increased slightly (though still good). However, his HR/9 spiked big time, which is reflected in his FIP. So what happened?

Digging in to the pitch data at Fangraphs:
- His pitch velocities have barely changed. There was a very slight dip in 2008, but he was back to normal in 2009.
- The run value of his fastball dipped a little, but slider cratered from very good (~12 runs above average) in 2006-07 to very bad (~7 runs below average) in 2008-09.
- Batters are swinging a bit less the past two years, but their contact rate on balls out of the zone has skyrocketed from 49.2% in 2006 to 64.8% in 2008 and 64.2% in 2009.
- He's throwing the same amount of strikes as he always has

Given all of that, I think the story is pretty clear. This wasn't some gradual slide as he aged and became a little less effective. Something happened in 2008. (I wonder what that could have been...). While he kept his velocity, his effectiveness cratered.

The slider is known as an all-or-nothing type pitch. Execute it well and it's death to hitters. Execute it poorly and it gets crushed. Either it stopped fooling guys and they stopped chasing it or he started hanging it more often and it got crushed -- probably a bit of both. Harang is not and never has been a guy with a lot room to spare with his stuff.

Whatever the cause, he quite likely changed his mechanics in 2008 leading to the lessened effectiveness observed above. That he's maintained his velocity and not suffered any major injury suggests that he's still physically capable of pitching as he did in 2006 and 2007. He's said very clearly that he shortened up his stride in 2008 after "not feeling right" after the relief appearance in SD. He worked this offseason to readjust his mechanics back to what they were. Considering both the small sample size, that he's been working on his mechanics, and the general competitive issues of ST, we should more or less ignore the numbers -- good and bad. The only thing ST tells us is whether or not the guy is healthy and whether scouts feel they're seeing things working well mechanically.

As far as I'm concerned, all signs point to being cautiously optimistic about Harang this year. He has never been an "ace" in the standard sense of the word. But he has been a top 15 pitcher in the NL and I would not be surprised in the least to see him return to that 220 IP and 3.80 ERA territory again this year.

Kc61
03-26-2010, 12:01 PM
Thing about Harang is that there is no longer a long-term view. He's on a one-year contract now. He needs to do well in April through July 2010. Otherwise, he likely will be traded and replaced by a AAA prospect.

All the analysis is fine, but if he's going to help this ballclub Harang needs to start fast and do well for the majority of about 20 starts. That's what it comes down to.

We'll know soon enough. I hope they score some runs for him. But whatever has held him back the last two years needs to be fixed now, or Harang's stay with the Reds will probably be done soon.

SirFelixCat
03-26-2010, 12:02 PM
My Harang prediction:

220 IP, 200+K's, which if he hadn't gotten injured last year, he probably would have gotten. And its not likely he'll need his appendix removed again.

Yup and an ERA no higher than 4.33

Screwball
03-26-2010, 12:02 PM
Harang doesn't match up well against other team's aces. But I still want him pitching for my team.

SirFelixCat
03-26-2010, 12:03 PM
CC Sabathia had a 6.43 spring ERA entering yesterday's start. He then gave up 7 runs on 7 hits over 3 2/3 innings and said afterwards he "felt good".

Now, I am not saying Harang is Sabathia, but Harand IS a vet, and, I would posit, spring results with such pitchers who are working on particular issues in getting ready for the season, should be taken with a Mt. Ranier sized grain of salt...

This needs to be stickied so that every time someone runs out ST stats, they can be referenced to this.

bucksfan2
03-26-2010, 12:24 PM
As far as I'm concerned, all signs point to being cautiously optimistic about Harang this year. He has never been an "ace" in the standard sense of the word. But he has been a top 15 pitcher in the NL and I would not be surprised in the least to see him return to that 220 IP and 3.80 ERA territory again this year.

When I look at that chart Harang really is an enigma. He has had awful run support in the past two years, but why is that? With the exception of his 16-6 year he often seems to lose double digit games. Heck in 2006 he went 16-11 meaning he was the pitcher of record in 27 starts. To me that sounds like an awfully high number when you consider a given pitcher starts around 32 games in a season. It does seem that Harang gets a higher share of decisions than his peers.

I think a 15-10 season is a possibility for Harang. I think if things do break for him a little bit then he can have a solid season. But at the same time I could see another 6-8 win season.

RedsManRick
03-26-2010, 12:42 PM
When I look at that chart Harang really is an enigma. He has had awful run support in the past two years, but why is that?

Are you inferring it's somehow his fault? The easy answer is the obvious one, bad luck. The other explanation is that if Harang often faced other teams' aces, then he was at a natural disadvantage compared to his rotation mates. But the extremeness of his lack of support (compared to other Reds pitchers) is still quite hard to explain outside of horrible luck.



With the exception of his 16-6 year he often seems to lose double digit games. Heck in 2006 he went 16-11 meaning he was the pitcher of record in 27 starts. To me that sounds like an awfully high number when you consider a given pitcher starts around 32 games in a season. It does seem that Harang gets a higher share of decisions than his peers.

In terms of the number of decisions, that's to his credit. He usually pitches long enough in to the game to earn the decision one way or the other. In terms of specific W/L, look at his ERA. Controlling for ERA, a pitchers win % is going to be largely determined by the run support his teammates give him. He's lost double digit games regularly because the Reds simply haven't supported him as he pitched deep in to games.



I think a 15-10 season is a possibility for Harang. I think if things do break for him a little bit then he can have a solid season. But at the same time I could see another 6-8 win season.

Yep, and when you consider that both 6 wins and 15 wins are a possibility despite an ERA that will likely be in the 4.00 ballpark, you get a pretty good feel for how silly W-L records are as a measure of pitcher performance.

bucksfan2
03-26-2010, 01:37 PM
Are you inferring it's somehow his fault? The easy answer is the obvious one, bad luck. The other explanation is that if Harang often faced other teams' aces, then he was at a natural disadvantage compared to his rotation mates. But the extremeness of his lack of support (compared to other Reds pitchers) is still quite hard to explain outside of horrible luck.

I really don't know. I mean two years of bad run support seems to fly against the face of probability. He may be going against other teams aces but how often do aces line up together after the first week or so of the season.


In terms of the number of decisions, that's to his credit. He usually pitches long enough in to the game to earn the decision one way or the other. In terms of specific W/L, look at his ERA. Controlling for ERA, a pitchers win % is going to be largely determined by the run support his teammates give him. He's lost double digit games regularly because the Reds simply haven't supported him as he pitched deep in to games.

Last year he averaged 6.23 innings per start. Not bad, but not something to write home about. He also really didn't have any great outings but poor losses. Actually it the Reds seemed to do better in games in which Harang didn't factor in the decision, going 5-1 in those games.

I have a hard time chalking a poor record up to strictly luck. And with Harang I really can't come up with a good reason why the poor records over the past two seasons.

dougdirt
03-26-2010, 01:48 PM
I have a hard time chalking a poor record up to strictly luck. And with Harang I really can't come up with a good reason why the poor records over the past two seasons.

So Aaron Harang caused the Reds offense to suck much worse than every other starter in baseball caused their offense to suck each of the last two seasons?

wolfboy
03-26-2010, 01:50 PM
Actually it the Reds seemed to do better in games in which Harang didn't factor in the decision, going 5-1 in those games

If you use that measure, you are drawing a conclusion based upon what the team did, not what Harang did or didn't do.

Kc61
03-26-2010, 01:53 PM
Season IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 WHIP BABIP ERA FIP ERA-FIP LOB% W-L Run Support FB Velo
2004 161.0 7.0 3.0 1.5 1.43 .315 4.86 4.68 0.18 73.0% 10-9 13 (of 52) 90.8
2005 211.2 6.9 2.2 0.9 1.27 .310 3.83 3.67 0.16 74.6% 11-13 30 (of 57) 90.5
2006 234.1 8.3 2.2 1.1 1.27 .325 3.76 3.68 0.08 73.8% 16-11 32 (of 49) 90.4
2007 231.2 8.5 2.0 1.1 1.14 .298 3.73 3.71 0.02 74.0% 16-6 29 (of 54) 90.1
2008 184.1 7.5 2.4 1.7 1.38 .317 4.78 4.79 -0.01 73.6% 6-17 54 (of 55) 89.6
2009 162.1 7.9 2.4 1.3 1.41 .339 4.21 4.14 0.07 75.7% 6-14 52 (of 53) 90.4

.

Helpful chart. Two key variables for Harang are his K rate and his HR rate. When he isn't striking guys out, he tends to give up long balls.

The good news is that both of these stats improved somewhat in 2009 as compared to 2008. If they continue to improve in 2010 his overall results will be better, maybe more like his earlier years.

Unless he dramatically changes his style, Harang needs to fan 8 per nine innings or slightly more to be successful. Otherwise, too many balls leave the yard.

nate
03-26-2010, 02:02 PM
I really don't know. I mean two years of bad run support seems to fly against the face of probability.

Why? The Reds have had one of the worst offensive teams in the league during those two years. It seems entirely logical.


He may be going against other teams aces but how often do aces line up together after the first week or so of the season.

The Reds have made a lot of opposing pitchers look like aces over the past couple years.


Last year he averaged 6.23 innings per start. Not bad, but not something to write home about. He also really didn't have any great outings but poor losses. Actually it the Reds seemed to do better in games in which Harang didn't factor in the decision, going 5-1 in those games.

Really? He had 26 starts last year. He had 16 starts where he and his defense gave up 3 or fewer runs. In only one of those starts did he not go longer than 5 innings. One of those outings was a CG and the vast majority were 7 or more innings.

The Reds averaged 3.37 runs of support when Harang pitched. You'd think they'd pick a brother up but they didn't. Again, as Rick says, this clearly demonstrates the folly of pitching record.


I have a hard time chalking a poor record up to strictly luck.


If the Reds had simply scored what they scored on average (4.15 runs/game), Harang would've won 15 out of the 16 games I mentioned and maybe won two of the ones he and his defense allowed 4 runs in.

Again, the folly and utter uselessness of pitching record.


And with Harang I really can't come up with a good reason why the poor records over the past two seasons.

Rick and I have just illustrated several.

TheNext44
03-26-2010, 02:34 PM
Season IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 WHIP BABIP ERA FIP ERA-FIP LOB% W-L Run Support FB Velo
2004 161.0 7.0 3.0 1.5 1.43 .315 4.86 4.68 0.18 73.0% 10-9 13 (of 52) 90.8
2005 211.2 6.9 2.2 0.9 1.27 .310 3.83 3.67 0.16 74.6% 11-13 30 (of 57) 90.5
2006 234.1 8.3 2.2 1.1 1.27 .325 3.76 3.68 0.08 73.8% 16-11 32 (of 49) 90.4
2007 231.2 8.5 2.0 1.1 1.14 .298 3.73 3.71 0.02 74.0% 16-6 29 (of 54) 90.1
2008 184.1 7.5 2.4 1.7 1.38 .317 4.78 4.79 -0.01 73.6% 6-17 54 (of 55) 89.6
2009 162.1 7.9 2.4 1.3 1.41 .339 4.21 4.14 0.07 75.7% 6-14 52 (of 53) 90.4

Firstly, regarding his W-L record, look at his run support. Clearly that's a BIG part of that story. Regarding his ERA, his FIP and ERA have been nearly identical throughout his Reds career, so his ERA has been a pretty good indicator of how well he's pitched.

In terms of stuff, you can see pretty clearly in 2008 and 2009 that his K/9 dipped slightly (though still good), his BB/9 increased slightly (though still good). However, his HR/9 spiked big time, which is reflected in his FIP. So what happened?

Digging in to the pitch data at Fangraphs:
- His pitch velocities have barely changed. There was a very slight dip in 2008, but he was back to normal in 2009.
- The run value of his fastball dipped a little, but slider cratered from very good (~12 runs above average) in 2006-07 to very bad (~7 runs below average) in 2008-09.
- Batters are swinging a bit less the past two years, but their contact rate on balls out of the zone has skyrocketed from 49.2% in 2006 to 64.8% in 2008 and 64.2% in 2009.
- He's throwing the same amount of strikes as he always has

Given all of that, I think the story is pretty clear. This wasn't some gradual slide as he aged and became a little less effective. Something happened in 2008. (I wonder what that could have been...). While he kept his velocity, his effectiveness cratered.




Excellent analysis. Here is where I read things a bit differently:

I think that you can read those stats as both, Harang gradually declining and something happening to reduce his effectiveness.

On the something that you are implying about, the San Diego extra inning appearance, his numbers were declining a bit before. In his 8 outings before that apperance, his K rate was 8.1, BB rate 2.2 and HR rate 1.35. So he already was on a bit of a decline.

I definitely think that the Reds not giving him extra time off after that extra inning appearance affected him adversely. But I would argue that he was already starting to decline, and this only made things worse.

Take away that appearance, and he probably goes from

8.4 K/9 2.1 BB/9 1.1 HR/9 to
8.1 K/9 2.2 BB/9 1.25 HR/9 to
7.9 K/9 2.4 BB/9 1.3 HR/9

Which looks like a steady decline to me and which would lead me to believe that he's on line for a

7.6 K/9 2.5 BB/9 1.4 HR/9 for this year, or something like it.

And this view makes even more sense, since it matches what nearly every major league pitchers does after the age of 29, they decline.

OnBaseMachine
03-26-2010, 03:41 PM
I predict 200 innings and a sub 4.30 ERA out of Harang. Another solid season that goes under the radar...

Spitball
03-26-2010, 09:30 PM
He doesn't get a free pass because he is a Red he gets one because he isn't the type, that's my 2 cents on the matter...

Like Joe Boyd selling his soul to the devil to become Joe Hardy in Damn Yankees, there probably isn't a "type." I had known Paxton Crawford since he was about eleven years old, and there is no way he was the "type.". Young men start out with a dream and will often do anything to achieve that dream.

http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/extras/extra_bases/2006/06/crawford_comes_1.html

I(heart)Freel
03-26-2010, 10:09 PM
I keep thinking about the trading deadline this year and how awkward it's going to be.

Let's say Harang and Arroyo are doing well. Not setting the world on fire, CY-type campaigns, but their usual seasons.

Do you trade one of them at the deadline, just to get SOMETHING for them before you decline their option? I can't imagine you trade both.

But the team does have depth. There will probably be a solid MLB-ready pitcher at AAA ready to go. And Volquez shortly thereafter.

The thing is going to get really interesting. At least if they're in a race at the deadline. Which I optimistically think they will be.

Ron Madden
03-27-2010, 03:10 AM
I predict 200 innings and a sub 4.30 ERA out of Harang. Another solid season that goes under the radar...

That's pretty much what I expect as well. :thumbup:

IslandRed
03-27-2010, 11:49 PM
I keep thinking about the trading deadline this year and how awkward it's going to be.

Let's say Harang and Arroyo are doing well. Not setting the world on fire, CY-type campaigns, but their usual seasons.

Do you trade one of them at the deadline, just to get SOMETHING for them before you decline their option? I can't imagine you trade both.

I think it'll be very simple, actually. If they're in the race and both pitchers are solidly in the rotation, they won't be interested in moving either. If they're out of the race, they'll look to trade both.

Degenerate39
03-28-2010, 09:55 AM
I keep thinking about the trading deadline this year and how awkward it's going to be.

Let's say Harang and Arroyo are doing well. Not setting the world on fire, CY-type campaigns, but their usual seasons.

Do you trade one of them at the deadline, just to get SOMETHING for them before you decline their option? I can't imagine you trade both.

But the team does have depth. There will probably be a solid MLB-ready pitcher at AAA ready to go. And Volquez shortly thereafter.

The thing is going to get really interesting. At least if they're in a race at the deadline. Which I optimistically think they will be.

It all depends on if the Reds are in the playoff hunt or not and on how good Wood and Leake are doing

Mario-Rijo
03-28-2010, 10:43 AM
I predict 200 innings and a sub 4.30 ERA out of Harang. Another solid season that goes under the radar...

Heck if he has a season like that folks will start calling him Jimmy Haynes. I have seen Bronson set out with the trash on many ocassions and he has had only 1 season worse than that in his 4 as a Red.

savafan
03-30-2010, 05:55 PM
4.2 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 HR today in his last start before opening day. This is not inspiring.

TheNext44
03-30-2010, 07:48 PM
4.2 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 HR today in his last start before opening day. This is not inspiring.

I am not expecting much from Harang this year, but today he pitched fine. A few bad plays behind him and a few bad pitches. He finished strong and ended with 6 K's.

It could have been better, but today did not lower my confidence level in him.

RED VAN HOT
03-30-2010, 08:49 PM
IIRC, Price spotted a flaw in Harang's delivery and made some changes. I suspect that implementing the changes has been the focus of his spring. I would not expect instant success. In 14.2 IP he has 15K's and 5BB's. I find that encouraging.

Falls City Beer
03-30-2010, 09:13 PM
When it comes to Harang, track the K's. I think he'll be okay, and I ain't exactly a Harang booster.

OnBaseMachine
03-30-2010, 09:21 PM
From John Fay:


Aaron Harang declared himself ready for his Opening Day start, despite a 9.88 spring ERA.

“Yeah,” Harang said. “I feel great. This is the best I’ve in spring training. The outcome is not what you want and expect. But it doesn’t count. This is about getting really for the long haul of the season.”


follow the link for more:
http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/2010/03/30/harang-i-feel-great/

OnBaseMachine
03-30-2010, 09:24 PM
From C. Trent:


He's confident he's done that to this point, and so is Reds manager Dusty Baker.

"Aaron threw the ball well, he was at 93-94 mph, the velocity was good and he just made one mistake on the slider to big Blanks and a fastball in on Hairston, other than that he threw the ball excellent, that's what we want to see," Baker said. "I look beyond (the results), he's throwing the ball with better velocity and coming inside, using his legs."


http://cnati.com/spring-training-2010/harang-confident-heading-to-opening-day-001660/

REDblooded
03-30-2010, 09:59 PM
this thread unreadable for anybody else?

I have to scroll sideways to read...

OnBaseMachine
03-30-2010, 10:08 PM
this thread unreadable for anybody else?

I have to scroll sideways to read...

Same here.

REDblooded
03-30-2010, 10:09 PM
order is restored

Homer Bailey
04-15-2010, 09:12 PM
Does Harang get shipped out this year? The guy flat out can not get people out.

Falls City Beer
04-15-2010, 09:15 PM
Does Harang get shipped out this year? The guy flat out can not get people out.

That's true of 60-80% of the rotation, depending on the week. This is a bottom 1/3 rotation.

I know the narrative was one of tremendous depth, but I see hope and chaff.

jojo
04-15-2010, 09:17 PM
That's true of 60-80% of the rotation, depending on the week. This is a bottom 1/3 rotation.

I know the narrative was one of tremendous depth, but I see hope and chaff.

Maybe this year you'll be be right. Maybe. :cool:

Falls City Beer
04-15-2010, 09:19 PM
Maybe this year you'll be be right. Maybe. :cool:

Yeah, I'm wrong so often about this team's pitching. :)

Honestly, how anyone can see this rotation as a strength is blindingly mystifying.

Ghosts of 1990
04-15-2010, 09:22 PM
I think you give Harang two more starts. If we see more of the same he's the odd man out and we bring in Wood or the big lefty and let the youth grow.

Falls City Beer
04-15-2010, 09:24 PM
I think you give Harang two more starts. If we see more of the same he's the odd man out and we bring in Wood or the big lefty and let the youth grow.

And do what with the $12 million owed Harang this season? Send it to the bullpen?

reds44
04-15-2010, 09:24 PM
On a team with 3 young pitchers, Harang along with Arroyo are supposed to help out the bullpen and go deep into games.

edabbs44
04-15-2010, 09:26 PM
Does Harang get shipped out this year? The guy flat out can not get people out.

He has to have limited value right now.

Brutus
04-15-2010, 09:29 PM
He has to have limited value right now.

He certainly doesn't have any takers at his full contract price. Cincinnati would have to chip in some money just to get someone to take him. They'd have to pay most of the remaining amount, I imagine, to get much in return.

Will M
04-15-2010, 09:54 PM
wow. i was wrong. i thought he'd have a nice 2010. i am certainly no expert but it seems like every pitch he throws is a fastball low & away. he never brushes anyone off the plate. he doesn't seem to have an offspeed pitch. this year he is a human batting tee.

TheNext44
04-15-2010, 10:08 PM
Yeah, I'm wrong so often about this team's pitching. :)

Honestly, how anyone can see this rotation as a strength is blindingly mystifying.

Arroyo, Leake and Cueto have pitched fine., better than most starters in this league, Bailey has struggled, and Harang's been bad.

I'll say that having three pitchers above average, one struggling and one on the decline is definitely a strength, and makes the rotation better than most.

The easiest thing to do in baseball is to question a team's rotation. You'll be right at least 75% of the time, every year. Nearly everyone needs more pitching.

wolfboy
04-15-2010, 10:13 PM
And do what with the $12 million owed Harang this season? Send it to the bullpen?

I'd stick him in the bullpen. Without looking it up, IIRC he's looked great the first time through the lineup. Right now the guy is March - in like a lion, out like a lamb.

Will M
04-15-2010, 10:15 PM
Arroyo, Leake and Cueto have pitched fine., better than most starters in this league, Bailey has struggled, and Harang's been bad.

I'll say that having three pitchers above average, one struggling and one on the decline is definitely a strength, and makes the rotation better than most.

The easiest thing to do in baseball is to question a team's rotation. You'll be right at least 75% of the time, every year. Nearly everyone needs more pitching.

the Reds are 5-5 & i think to myself "really? it seems like we should be 2-8".
a closer looks reveals some guys on the team who have actually done ok so far. we are only 10 games into the season so i am trying hard not to get too discouraged by some of the truly awful performances so far.

some good news: we actually have several guys at AAA (Chapman, Maloney, Wood) who could replace a guy in the rotation who just isn't getting it done.
I really really hope these guys keep pitching not just good but great. one of 2 things will happen. either the poor performances in Cincinnati will pitch better in order to keep their jobs or they will be replaced.

Will M
04-15-2010, 10:16 PM
And do what with the $12 million owed Harang this season? Send it to the bullpen?

its a sunk cost.

Kc61
04-15-2010, 10:44 PM
Matt Maloney and Travis Wood are knocking on the door down at AAA. Harang has to get it going.

toledodan
04-15-2010, 10:48 PM
"Chapman called up, Harang to the pen!"

when will we hear this. we need to cut our loses with Harang.

SirFelixCat
04-15-2010, 10:49 PM
Change the title. That ain't cool.

TheNext44
04-15-2010, 11:59 PM
the Reds are 5-5 & i think to myself "really? it seems like we should be 2-8".



This is something some here are missing.

Votto, Phillips and Bruce are not producing. Not just what they were expected to produce, but actually are below league average players to this point. They are expected to lead this club.

Cabrera, Stubbs and Hernandez are also producing below average, and they need to be at least average.

Bailey has been struggling, Harang just bad, and the pen, outside of Cordero and Owings, has been a weakness so far.

And yet, with all those problems, even after playing three teams who should be contenders, they are 5-5.

Some of these problems will continue, but most won't. Most of these struggling players will end up coming close to their projected production. And since no one is really playing above their heads, that can only be reason for optimism.

fearofpopvol1
04-16-2010, 12:11 AM
Just a reminder...Harang has had THREE starts so far this year. And his 2nd start, he gave up 3 ER. He has not even pitched 10% of his season yet. And he historically has not been this bad.

Blitz Dorsey
04-16-2010, 12:23 AM
He's pretty bad right now and I might be crazy for saying this, but I'm not giving up on him quite yet. Give him until June 1 and if he's still stinking up the joint by then, it's Chapman time.

corkedbat
04-16-2010, 12:33 AM
Hope he can put two or three solid starts together and pray someone will off a bag of balls and a used jock strap to pick uphalf the remainder of this year. If Walt was offered anything at all for Aaron over the winter and passed on the deal - he messed up.

Razor Shines
04-16-2010, 02:34 AM
He was mediocre in his first start, he pitched above average in his second start and was awful in his third start. I think his first and second starts are going to be more typical of what we get out of him this year. He'll mix in an awful one like tonight, but he'll also mix in a gem. Is it gonna be worth his salary? No, but he'll still be worth having in the rotation.

Ron Madden
04-16-2010, 02:51 AM
Just a reminder...Harang has had THREE starts so far this year. And his 2nd start, he gave up 3 ER. He has not even pitched 10% of his season yet. And he historically has not been this bad.


Ahh, a voice of reason. Thank You. :thumbup:

red-in-la
04-16-2010, 03:36 AM
Just a reminder...Harang has had THREE starts so far this year. And his 2nd start, he gave up 3 ER. He has not even pitched 10% of his season yet. And he historically has not been this bad.

He has had two years plus 3 starts and even more....lots of "excuses" for what has been wrong with him all that time.

I just don't see him suddenly fixing whatever is wrong, especially given the lack of an impressive track record from their coaching staff for successful reclaimations.

I really like Aaron, he is a good baseball player. But I am afraid he is toast as a starter. I think it would be interesting to see how he would fair in the bullpen......until Aroldis is ready, I might consider trading Aaron with Micha for a few starts.

reds44
04-16-2010, 03:57 AM
I know that win-loss is a bad stat for a pitcher, but Harang is now 12-33 in the last 2 years and 3 starts.

That's horrible. I doubt their is a pitcher worse than that.

GAC
04-16-2010, 04:27 AM
And do what with the $12 million owed Harang this season? Send it to the bullpen?

He's owed that 12M regardless. It may still be too early to tell on Harang, as far as 2010 goes; but after two disastrous previous seasons, coupled with what they are seeing so far this year, the writing may be on the all as far as Aaron goes.

But if over the next couple of months this guy is hurting the team more then he's helping, then you can't keep trotting him out there, regardless of what he is being paid. But the Reds will if they don't have a suitable alternative. And I don't think it's necessarily Chapman at this stage. I really don't want to see this kid rushed and have a lot of pressure thrown on him right now. Let him tear up AAA for a bit and get comfortable.

So what is wrong with trying to get some "positive" out of that 12M by moving him to the bullpen (middle relief) if by June this guy is not showing us anything as a starter? Try, as best possible I guess, to "lessen the damage" and possibly help the team win because the guy's gone after this season anyway.

fearofpopvol1
04-16-2010, 04:28 AM
He has had two years plus 3 starts and even more....lots of "excuses" for what has been wrong with him all that time.

I just don't see him suddenly fixing whatever is wrong, especially given the lack of an impressive track record from their coaching staff for successful reclaimations.

I really like Aaron, he is a good baseball player. But I am afraid he is toast as a starter. I think it would be interesting to see how he would fair in the bullpen......until Aroldis is ready, I might consider trading Aaron with Micha for a few starts.

are you forgetting about the epic San Diego game that ruined him for the rest of the season? have you look at his stats vs. league averages last year? Aaron, in a little bit of an off year last year was still better than league average. And to suggest he would be better than Owings is a stretch. Look at their career stats. It's not even close.

forfreelin04
04-16-2010, 08:52 AM
I purposely didn't watch the game because it is sometimes frustrating to watch Harang pitch. Mechanically speaking he isn't getting on top of his pitches and his peppering of the outside corner is mind boggling. By not getting on top of his pitches, he's leaving to much air underneath of them which causes a general float to the plate. This might be hard to tell from the untrained eye, but this floating is what causes the ball to be placed on a tee. It stays in the strike zone longer than it should and becomes very easy to see for the batter. This is probably why Harang (if he keeps it up) will give up an exorbitant amount of home runs this year.

Floating may not be a great term for this, but it basically looks like Harang is throwing to the catcher's mitt instead of throwing through it. He extended his stride in ST or during the off season, but he's missing the point. Price (if he did suggest this) is trying to get a longer stride to get the proper arm action moving downhill. Since Harang is 6-6, he needs alot of this downhill movement. A longer stride to the plate will cause the knee to have to bend farther out on the mound causing more of a downhill movement. But, this downhill movement is pointless if the arm and body don't come with it. Often, Harang leaves his entire body up which causes him to spy over his striding leg, finish high, and not get that downward action for more velocity and break on his slider. All he needs is to correct this.

I was searching the web for some video of what I'm talking about. Obviously, I won't post them, but if you look at the tape between 08 and 09 you will see a subtle difference in how Harang finishes his pitches. I was watching a game against Boston in 2008 and Harang had a similar windup (less of a stride) and movement on his pitches but he was breaking over his front foot causing just a little more movement and speed. If you look at a game between the Nats and the Reds last year (August, did he go on the DL shortly thereafter?) you can see the lack of finish. He still struck out a few but mostly because the Nats were swinging at balls out of the zone.

Harang is also back to peppering the outside of the zone. I don't necessarily have a huge problem with this. If your not finishing your pitches, the best way to roam is outside. Problem is: Harang doesn't change the eye level much. Pitches are all about knee to letter high. If you keep seeing them same pitches on the same plane eventually they become much easier to hit. The easier it is to see, the easier it is put into play, the easier it is to drive over the wall. Hopefully Harang can get more downward movement and improve his location as the season moves on. It might be another long year if he doesn't.

lollipopcurve
04-16-2010, 09:14 AM
Harang is also back to peppering the outside of the zone. I don't necessarily have a huge problem with this. If your not finishing your pitches, the best way to roam is outside. Problem is: Harang doesn't change the eye level much. Pitches are all about knee to letter high. If you keep seeing them same pitches on the same plane eventually they become much easier to hit. The easier it is to see, the easier it is put into play, the easier it is to drive over the wall. Hopefully Harang can get more downward movement and improve his location as the season moves on. It might be another long year if he doesn't.

Agree with this -- but I think you mean "knee to thigh high." Velo on the fastball seemed good, but I wish he would try to work inside more and elevate it more often.

The other issue is that he does not have the knockout slider he used to have.

nate
04-16-2010, 09:29 AM
Quite honestly, the only problem I see him having is the longball. The strikeouts are down slightly but all other peripherals are eerily similar to what he's done in the past three years. I would say it's time to see if Bryan Price has some tricks in his bag before we banish Harang to the back 40 after three starts.

Homer Bailey
04-16-2010, 09:35 AM
Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP BK WP BF ERA+ WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2008-2010 CIN 12 33 .267 4.67 59 58 0 3 2 0 362.2 410 201 188 64 97 11 308 8 0 10 1568 94 1.398 10.2 1.6 2.4 7.6 3.18

Tough to read that, but those are his 3 years splits. Most disturbing stat to me? 59 games pitched, 58 games started :barf:

Falls City Beer
04-16-2010, 09:35 AM
I think that when you're already counting on a cavalry of Chapman, Maloney, and Wood to come riding to the rescue, your rotation is incredibly thin.

The answer was to trade for a TOR and then let the bottom 4 shake out as they would. But right now, this rotation has no anchor and a bunch of guys in various stages of flux.

The organization has entirely too much faith in its own ability to produce pitching talent.

Homer Bailey
04-16-2010, 09:40 AM
I think that when you're already counting on a cavalry of Chapman, Maloney, and Wood to come riding to the rescue, your rotation is incredibly thin.

The answer was to trade for a TOR and then let the bottom 4 shake out as they would. But right now, this rotation has no anchor and a bunch of guys in various stages of flux.

The organization has entirely too much faith in its own ability to produce pitching talent.

I forgot how willing other teams were to trade away their TOR guys. With our farm system being "painfully overrated", how could we have even traded for a TOR guy? How many TOR guys do you see change hands?

Falls City Beer
04-16-2010, 09:43 AM
I forgot how willing other teams were to trade away their TOR guys. With our farm system being "painfully overrated", how could we have even traded for a TOR guy? How many TOR guys do you see change hands?

The Reds could have got Halladay. They didn't want to pay him.

Homer Bailey
04-16-2010, 10:27 AM
The Reds could have got Halladay. They didn't want to pay him.

Halladay had 10/5 rights. Why in the world would he ever want to come to Cincinnati?

lollipopcurve
04-16-2010, 10:28 AM
Halladay had 10/5 rights. Why in the world would he ever want to come to Cincinnati?

Yep. And it was widely reported he wanted to go to a contender only.

Falls City Beer
04-16-2010, 10:29 AM
If you say so. Halladay could have been convinced.

HokieRed
04-16-2010, 10:39 AM
What's going to be crucial vis-a-vis FCB's reading of the pitching staff, with which I largely agree (although I disagree about Bailey), is what we do now, not what didn't get done in the offseason. To me it's clear that if we're going to take fullest advantage of this window of possible contention, it's not going to be with a rotation composed of the five best now in the org. Out of Chapman, Bailey, Wood, Leake, Volquez, Cueto, we should shoot for four, with one in reserve, and try to add a true TOR guy from outside with money that comes back from Harang and Arroyo--and if that's not enough, from Phillips. I've not looked yet at how Webb has started the year, but he might be the guy to start with.

membengal
04-16-2010, 10:47 AM
Webb is starting the year on the DL and has reported his shoulder feels "stagnant". It is an open question whether he will ever be effective again, much less a TOR starter.

westofyou
04-16-2010, 10:48 AM
Webb is starting the year on the DL and has reported his shoulder feels "stagnant". It is an open question whether he will ever be effective again, much less an TOR starter.

yep I watched the Dback game last night and they said he's still throwing on flat ground and has no timetable.

Shoulder woes are a deathblow.

lollipopcurve
04-16-2010, 10:54 AM
If you say so. Halladay could have been convinced.

Oh, you know the guy?

Name one example of a superstar still in his prime with no trade rights being convinced to go to an also-ran when there were contenders in the bidding. You won't find one.

What's going to convince him? He can't negotiate with the new team unless it's one of those 72-hour window deals, which teams generally don't do these days.

Falls City Beer
04-16-2010, 10:58 AM
Oh, you know the guy?

Name one example of a superstar still in his prime with no trade rights being convinced to go to an also-ran when there were contenders in the bidding. You won't find one.

What's going to convince him? He can't negotiate with the new team unless it's one of those 72-hour window deals, which teams generally don't do these days.

I don't know Halladay, but I do know the death-stench of a can't-do mentality.

lollipopcurve
04-16-2010, 11:00 AM
I don't know Halladay, but I do know the death-stench of a can't-do mentality.

Powerful enough to overcome the Chapman camp, apparently.

jojo
04-16-2010, 11:00 AM
I don't know Halladay, but I do know the death-stench of a can't-do mentality.

How would the Reds have jammed $16M into their budget this season? How would they have jammed $20M next year?

Sea Ray
04-16-2010, 11:01 AM
Agree with this -- but I think you mean "knee to thigh high." Velo on the fastball seemed good, but I wish he would try to work inside more and elevate it more often.

The other issue is that he does not have the knockout slider he used to have.


This nibbling to RH hitters is driving me nuts. This seems like an issue that could easily be fixed through simple coaching, so why isn't it being addressed?

Falls City Beer
04-16-2010, 11:01 AM
How would the Reds have jammed $16M into their budget this season? How would they have jammed $20M next year?

Traded 2 of Harang, Arroyo, Cordero.

lollipopcurve
04-16-2010, 11:04 AM
Halladay was a pipe dream. Wasn't going to happen for a few very easy to understand and plain to see reasons. Too stupid to continue to discuss.

jojo
04-16-2010, 11:08 AM
Traded 2 of Harang, Arroyo, Cordero.

There were long lines full of takers?

Seriously.

Falls City Beer
04-16-2010, 11:10 AM
Halladay was a pipe dream. Wasn't going to happen for a few very easy to understand and plain to see reasons. Too stupid to continue to discuss.

When your reasons can be reduced to simple nonsense boilerplate about "wanting to go to a contender," I begin to see why the Reds' FO and fanbase are fine with garbage squads.

If the Reds had gotten aggressive with an offer, he'd be a Red.

Falls City Beer
04-16-2010, 11:15 AM
How much do the Reds have to pay out to make Harang and Arroyo bugger off next season?

Razor Shines
04-16-2010, 11:19 AM
When your reasons can be reduced to simple nonsense boilerplate about "wanting to go to a contender," I begin to see why the Reds' FO and fanbase are fine with garbage squads.

If the Reds had gotten aggressive with an offer, he'd be a Red.

Maybe if they were just dealing with the Jays, but Roy had to agree to the trade. You criticize that as a reason why the Reds couldn't get him, but you haven't given a good argument for how they could have gotten him here. What could have convinced him to come here?

Falls City Beer
04-16-2010, 11:21 AM
Maybe if they were just dealing with the Jays, but Roy had to agree to the trade. You criticize that as a reason why the Reds couldn't get him, but you haven't given a good argument for how they could have gotten him here. What could have convinced him to come here?

A milllion more a season. Good place to start.

Homer Bailey
04-16-2010, 11:23 AM
When your reasons can be reduced to simple nonsense boilerplate about "wanting to go to a contender," I begin to see why the Reds' FO and fanbase are fine with garbage squads.

If the Reds had gotten aggressive with an offer, he'd be a Red.

A.) According to you, the Reds don't even have the prospects to get a deal done.

B.) The Reds can't afford him. This isn't fantasy baseball. You can't just "trade Cordero, Harang or Arroyo". It's just not that simple. So you're asking the Reds to trade two of those guys, assuming they wouldn't have to kick in any salary, for the HOPE of trading for Halladay, AND signing him to a financially crippling extension.

C.) Any "aggresive offer" would have to be made towards Toronto, not Halladay. What could the Reds possibly offer him to make him be a Red? Honestly?

D.) No fanbase is fine with a garbage squad. However, we at least are realistic. We understand it was not feasibly possible to trade for Halladay, not matter how you try to slice it.

Falls City Beer
04-16-2010, 11:26 AM
We've seen the fruits of 10 years of incremental margin-tinkering. Working on year 11.

The only glimmer this organization has is Chapman and maybe Volquez.

lollipopcurve
04-16-2010, 11:32 AM
When your reasons can be reduced to simple nonsense boilerplate about "wanting to go to a contender," I begin to see why the Reds' FO and fanbase are fine with garbage squads.

If the Reds had gotten aggressive with an offer, he'd be a Red.

There was no shortage of this kind of reporting around Halladay. Just 1 example, from Bob Elliot:


A Minnesota Twins official confirmed in July that Halladay would not approve a deal to the Twin-Cities and Texas Rangers president Nolan Ryan said in September he was told Halladay would block a deal to Arlington, Tex.

As in July, Halladay is driving the bus. So don’t pay any attention to headlines like July 30: “Marlins in the mix for Halladay.”

Halladay went to a team HE wanted to go to. That's how the real world of baseball trades works. A third grader could understand it.

forfreelin04
04-16-2010, 11:51 AM
We've seen the fruits of 10 years of incremental margin-tinkering. Working on year 11.

The only glimmer this organization has is Chapman and maybe Volquez.

Agreed. For fear of public ridicule I'd hate to get on your Cards bandwagon, but I have too. Look at their starting staff, homegrown talent? Don't see it. Someone could make an argument for Wainwright but he was in the Braves org until 2003. Carpenter, Loshe, and Penny. Ryan Franklin? All coming from elsewhere to do a fantastic job. Much of the turnaround goes to Dave Duncan but kudos to the Cards FO for saving money and bringing in players that could be taught.

Arguably, Bronson has been the best starter since he came here. Truthfully he had the best track record before being signed. And even he was a 5th starter in Boston at best.

Harang- minor leaguer when traded for
Volquez-AAA pitcher with control problems when traded for
Maloney- AAA pitcher with marginal success when traded for
Cueto-homegrown, struggling
Bailey-homegrown, struggling
Leake- polished college pitcher, verdict is still out
Wood-homegrown, verdict is still out
Chapman-unproven wildcard

Point is FCB has one. Rinse wash and repeat. No one's advocating Eric Milton here. But the Reds did have success under Bowden when they were signing FA pitchers. I'm all for Bailey, Leake, Cueto, Volquez, Wood and Chapman being TOR starters each year for the next 5, but the chances of even 1 of them being that is slim.

forfreelin04
04-16-2010, 11:57 AM
There was no shortage of this kind of reporting around Halladay. Just 1 example, from Bob Elliot:



Halladay went to a team HE wanted to go to. That's how the real world of baseball trades works. A third grader could understand it.

The Reds getting a chance at Halladay was a pipedream. Halladay was filet mignon to everyone else's Sailsbury steak. You pay a premium for filet. The only teams that had that dough were the Dodgers, Mets, Phils, Yanks and Red Sox.

Halladay spent too many years underappreciated and underpublisized in Toronto too. He wanted a perennial contender.

HokieRed
04-16-2010, 12:14 PM
Traded 2 of Harang, Arroyo, Cordero.

Trade Harang, Arroyo, and Phillips.

savafan
04-16-2010, 12:26 PM
I love how some are still wanting to trade Arroyo. He's our best pitcher, and actually earning his salary. You hang on to someone like that.

HokieRed
04-16-2010, 12:32 PM
[QUOTE=Falls City Beer;2057515]We've seen the fruits of 10 years of incremental margin-tinkering. Working on year 11.

This, to me, is the serious point, not whether Halladay would have come over to the Reds. It's too soon this year to do it yet, but the serious judgment the FO must make this year is whether we have the resources from within--primarily in pitching--to be a contender in 2011 and beyond. I think it will be proven out that we do not. So to break out of the incrementalism will take a serious major move for a starter who is an echelon up from Arroyo and Harang. Hope lies in that starter with Chapman, Volquez, and the two best of the others backing him.

Caveat Emperor
04-16-2010, 01:13 PM
I don't know Halladay, but I do know the death-stench of a can't-do mentality.

Your cited example of Halladay was shot down -- do you have another TOR starter in mind that the Reds could've had? You suggest trading Arroyo / Harang / Phillips -- who wants them? Arroyo and Harang both cleared waivers last season, and I don't think there was more than a "kick the tires" to Arroyo (no interest whatsoever in Harang). There's a difference between a "can't do" mentality and a "stop asking the impossible" mentality.

Nobody is "happy" with what's going on here -- but most people were (or should have been) realistic about what 2010 was: a transition year. This team wasn't going to compete for a damn thing this year unless just about everything went right. The goal of 2010 was to have, by seasons end, a team in place that could take the ballclub into a competitive position in 2011 and beyond.

That's still entirely possible.

Volquez should come back at some point in 2010 to get a little work in before the season ends. By the end of 2010, the team will have a good idea where they stand on Bailey, Leake, Chapman, and Wood at the least. They'll have the opportunity to be rid of Harang, Arroyo or both at the end of the year (I'd keep Arroyo, but that's just me).

Positionally, I'd be surprised if Yonder Alonso doesn't get a cup of coffee at the end of the year in left field, and if Todd Frazier doesn't get a crack at playing a little 2B to see if they can deal away Phillips this season / off-season.

Transition. Moving all the young parts into place for a window of contention. That's how small-market teams have to play ball, unless you've got a Dave Duncan that magically spins straw into gold every year on a pitching staff.

BTW -- get real on the "see, I told you so" act with the pitching. You've done it ever year I've been around, and it's tired. We know the pitching is bad, nobody needs to see you crowing about how right your doom and gloom projections were for the Xth straight season.

TheNext44
04-16-2010, 01:15 PM
I think that when you're already counting on a cavalry of Chapman, Maloney, and Wood to come riding to the rescue, your rotation is incredibly thin.

The answer was to trade for a TOR and then let the bottom 4 shake out as they would. But right now, this rotation has no anchor and a bunch of guys in various stages of flux.

The organization has entirely too much faith in its own ability to produce pitching talent.

I agree that the could have gotten Halliday, not sure they should have, considering the cost in talent.

But are you arguing that Chapman, Wood and Maloney are a weak cavalry or that the counting on them is weak? Just hard to tell the meaning of your first sentence.

Ltlabner
04-16-2010, 01:19 PM
I begin to see why the Reds' FO and fanbase are fine with garbage squads.

The fans are fine with garbage squads? Being that you live in a different city you probably haven't noticed that Cincinnati stopped caring about the Reds a ways back. The fans aren't fine with the product. It's generally the same group of diehards that show up on Wednesday nights in the mid part of the season when the Reds are out of it.

While I can agree with you 100% about the front office accepting mediocrity the fans sure haven't. The Reds are pretty much irrelevant around town (rightfully so) because the fans simply have rejected the product.

Falls City Beer
04-16-2010, 01:24 PM
[QUOTE=Falls City Beer;2057515]We've seen the fruits of 10 years of incremental margin-tinkering. Working on year 11.

This, to me, is the serious point, not whether Halladay would have come over to the Reds. It's too soon this year to do it yet, but the serious judgment the FO must make this year is whether we have the resources from within--primarily in pitching--to be a contender in 2011 and beyond. I think it will be proven out that we do not. So to break out of the incrementalism will take a serious major move for a starter who is an echelon up from Arroyo and Harang. Hope lies in that starter with Chapman, Volquez, and the two best of the others backing him.

If the Reds didn't grab the brass ring this season, what on earth gives you the faith that they're all of a sudden going to get one next season or the season after that? Complaining about the budget is a moveable feast--it knows no offseason with this organization.

I don't know what the Reds have in the minors--maybe there's a keeper among them--but whatever the case, it'll be years before they're ready to assume a 200-220 IP load with some semblance of consistency and effectiveness.

Falls City Beer
04-16-2010, 01:36 PM
Your cited example of Halladay was shot down -- do you have another TOR starter in mind that the Reds could've had? You suggest trading Arroyo / Harang / Phillips -- who wants them? Arroyo and Harang both cleared waivers last season, and I don't think there was more than a "kick the tires" to Arroyo (no interest whatsoever in Harang). There's a difference between a "can't do" mentality and a "stop asking the impossible" mentality.

Nobody is "happy" with what's going on here -- but most people were (or should have been) realistic about what 2010 was: a transition year. This team wasn't going to compete for a damn thing this year unless just about everything went right. The goal of 2010 was to have, by seasons end, a team in place that could take the ballclub into a competitive position in 2011 and beyond.

That's still entirely possible.

Volquez should come back at some point in 2010 to get a little work in before the season ends. By the end of 2010, the team will have a good idea where they stand on Bailey, Leake, Chapman, and Wood at the least. They'll have the opportunity to be rid of Harang, Arroyo or both at the end of the year (I'd keep Arroyo, but that's just me).

Positionally, I'd be surprised if Yonder Alonso doesn't get a cup of coffee at the end of the year in left field, and if Todd Frazier doesn't get a crack at playing a little 2B to see if they can deal away Phillips this season / off-season.

Transition. Moving all the young parts into place for a window of contention. That's how small-market teams have to play ball, unless you've got a Dave Duncan that magically spins straw into gold every year on a pitching staff.

BTW -- get real on the "see, I told you so" act with the pitching. You've done it ever year I've been around, and it's tired. We know the pitching is bad, nobody needs to see you crowing about how right your doom and gloom projections were for the Xth straight season.

Transition: this suggests a bridge between the bad past and a good future. I can't imagine this team's young pitching is going to line up next season in any meaningful way. Seriously, who--other than the most quixotic fan--believes that 5 kid starters are going to create a contending rotation in 2011?

HokieRed
04-16-2010, 01:43 PM
[QUOTE=HokieRed;2057553]

If the Reds didn't grab the brass ring this season, what on earth gives you the faith that they're all of a sudden going to get one next season or the season after that? Complaining about the budget is a moveable feast--it knows no offseason with this organization.

I don't know what the Reds have in the minors--maybe there's a keeper among them--but whatever the case, it'll be years before they're ready to assume a 200-220 IP load with some semblance of consistency and effectiveness.


I've no particular faith that there will be a break from incrementalism but Jocketty has shown some willingness in the past to make acquisitions of starters who can actually make the difference: it was WJ who signed Carpenter and who made the deal for Wainwright. I also think they will be in better financial position to do so than they were this last year. The macro problem economically is still, in my view, the far too great percentage of the resources that goes to Harang, Arroyo, and Cordero--and will, in 2011, go to Phillips. We do have Harang and Arroyo coming off--I really don't care whether we can get anything much for them or not. The important thing for 2011 is getting out of their contracts. Seeing this, WJ may also be emboldened enough to move Phillips, which I suggest largely because I do think he's somebody who could be moved. At that point one should be able to look seriously at acquiring the kind of established pitcher needed to push the rotation to contending level. The tough question, I predict, will be whether to do that or renew Arroyo.

TheNext44
04-16-2010, 01:49 PM
If the Reds didn't grab the brass ring this season, what on earth gives you the faith that they're all of a sudden going to get one next season or the season after that? Complaining about the budget is a moveable feast--it knows no offseason with this organization.

I don't know what the Reds have in the minors--maybe there's a keeper among them--but whatever the case, it'll be years before they're ready to assume a 200-220 IP load with some semblance of consistency and effectiveness.

Your argument that a team can't go to the playoffs without an elite #1 starter is just bunk, and not supportable by facts. You can keep arguing it, but it just won't make it true.

Over the last five years, 22.5% of the teams that made the playoffs without an elite #1 starter, according to your criteria. And one of them won the World Series, the White Sox in 2005. What's most important, is that most of the teams that accomplished this, did so with a rotation similar to the Reds this year. Deep, with above average to average talent 1-5.

So yeah, it's harder, but definitely doable. Having an elite #1 starter is not a must for a team to make the playoffs or even win the World Series.

And how you can think that Chapman is unlikely to be an elite #1 starter by 2011 is just too funny.

gonelong
04-16-2010, 01:53 PM
"Lost in Transition"

The film centers on an aging GM (Walt Jockerty) and a recent college-graduate (Mike Leake) who develop a unique bond after a meeting in Spring Training. The movie explores themes of Reds fans loneliness, alienation, insomnia, existential ennui, and culture shock against the backdrop of Major League Baseball.

Coming soon to a theater near you.

This movie is a remake of the films of the same name released in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009. With an all new cast this version is as fresh and deeeeelightful as the original release.

This movie is not yet rated.



GL

Falls City Beer
04-16-2010, 01:55 PM
[QUOTE=Falls City Beer;2057591]


I've no particular faith that there will be a break from incrementalism but Jocketty has shown some willingness in the past to make acquisitions of starters who can actually make the difference: it was WJ who signed Carpenter and who made the deal for Wainwright. I also think they will be in better financial position to do so than they were this last year. The macro problem economically is still, in my view, the far too great percentage of the resources that goes to Harang, Arroyo, and Cordero--and will, in 2011, go to Phillips. We do have Harang and Arroyo coming off--I really don't care whether we can get anything much for them or not. The important thing for 2011 is getting out of their contracts. Seeing this, WJ may also be emboldened enough to move Phillips, which I suggest largely because I do think he's somebody who could be moved. At that point one should be able to look seriously at acquiring the kind of established pitcher needed to push the rotation to contending level. The tough question, I predict, will be whether to do that or renew Arroyo.

What SHOULD happen is that both Arroyo and Harang should be allowed to walk after this season (including paying them off to go away) AND an ace should be traded for or signed via FA. But you know that one of two things is going to happen--Harang/Arroyo will be cut and paid to go away, all the while the Reds will complain about having to pay the severance; or the Reds will just pick up their contracts and they continue the long slow race to the bottom that way.

Whatever the case, waiting for a raft of young starters to bring this club to contention is a fool's game. It won't happen. They need window-accelerating TOR from outside.

Side note: how long before the Bryan Price lynch mob gathers?

Falls City Beer
04-16-2010, 01:56 PM
[QUOTE=Falls City Beer;2057591]

Your argument that a team can't go to the playoffs without an elite #1 starter is just bunk, and not supportable by facts. You can keep arguing it, but it just won't make it true.

Over the last five years, 22.5% of the teams that made the playoffs without an elite #1 starter, according to your criteria. And one of them won the World Series, the White Sox in 2005. What's most important, is that most of the teams that accomplished this, did so with a rotation similar to the Reds this year. Deep, with above average to average talent 1-5.

So yeah, it's harder, but definitely doable. Having an elite #1 starter is not a must for a team to make the playoffs or even win the World Series.

And how you can think that Chapman is unlikely to be an elite #1 starter by 2011 is just too funny.


The Reds don't even have a #2 starter, much less an elite ace. So there's that.

Falls City Beer
04-16-2010, 01:59 PM
And how you can think that Chapman is unlikely to be an elite #1 starter by 2011 is just too funny.

Because he's a kid. Kids take tons of time to develop.

TheNext44
04-16-2010, 02:27 PM
Because he's a kid. Kids take tons of time to develop.

Ok, but that logic, then one of Cueto, Bailey and Volquez should be a legit #1 by next year. They will all be three year veterans by then and all three have legit #1 talent.

And guys who throw 100 MPH become #1 starters a lot faster than others. ;)

forfreelin04
04-16-2010, 02:39 PM
Because he's a kid. Kids take tons of time to develop.

Agreed. Just because Chapman throws 100 mph doesn't mean he is guranteed to even be an average Major League starter.

In fact, you could make a decent argument that pitchers that throw that hard have more success in the pen. Wohlers, Wagner, and Farnsworth. Each played in the minor leagues as a starter before finding success in the bigs (marginally for Farnsworth) as a reliever.

forfreelin04
04-16-2010, 02:41 PM
Ok, but that logic, then one of Cueto, Bailey and Volquez should be a legit #1 by next year. They will all be three year veterans by then and all three have legit #1 talent.

And guys who throw 100 MPH become #1 starters a lot faster than others. ;)

Next, how do you know that? If you can't find the strike zone with a compass, it means nothing.

TRF
04-16-2010, 02:43 PM
A milllion more a season. Good place to start.

That's actually how the Reds signed Cordero, a guy you want gone.


I love how some are still wanting to trade Arroyo. He's our best pitcher, and actually earning his salary. You hang on to someone like that.

Actually, you sell high on him because the curtain could drop at any time revealing an old man saying "pay no attention..."

RedsManRick
04-16-2010, 02:53 PM
I found a few interesting nuggets on Fangraphs:
- Harang is averaging a higher velocity on his fastball this year than he has ever put up over a full year. The idea that he's "lost a few mph" from his younger days does not seem rooted in fact.
- 34.5% of his pitches have not been able to be classified. It appears these are coming out of his fastball. Perhaps he's throwing 2 kinds of fastballs, one of which (the slower one) is not being classified properly?
- He is getting destroyed on his slider, as he has the past 2 seasons. I don't claim to be a scout, but judging solely from the numbers, I'd have to ask why he continues to throw a pitch that he's just not successful with anymore (since 2007)

So, for the more scouting inclined among us, what do you see as the problem? If he's lost some of his control and his hanging sliders with regularity (the worst pitch in baseball), should he abandon the pitch and stay more fastball, change-up, curve?

TheNext44
04-16-2010, 02:58 PM
Next, how do you know that? If you can't find the strike zone with a compass, it means nothing.

Not saying they all do, just that the ones that throw real hard become elite faster than those who don't.

Beckett, CC, King Felix, Liriano, Bonderman, Verlander, Josh Johnson, Zambrano, Lincecum, just to name recent ones, all needed very little seasoning before they became #1 starters.

Chapman may be worse than Todd Van Poppel or Bobby Witt, but judging from history, guys with his stuff have a better than 50-50 chance of being an elite #1 starter at an early age.

TheNext44
04-16-2010, 03:01 PM
I found a few interesting nuggets on Fangraphs:
- Harang is averaging a higher velocity on his fastball this year than he has ever put up over a full year. The idea that he's "lost a few mph" from his younger days does not seem rooted in fact.
- 34.5% of his pitches have not been able to be classified. It appears these are coming out of his fastball. Perhaps he's throwing 2 kinds of fastballs, one of which (the slower one) is not being classified properly?
- He is getting destroyed on his slider, as he has the past 2 seasons. I don't claim to be a scout, but judging solely from the numbers, I'd have to ask why he continues to throw a pitch that he's just not successful with anymore (since 2007)

So, for the more scouting inclined among us, what do you see as the problem? If he's lost some of his control and his hanging sliders with regularity (the worst pitch in baseball), should he abandon the pitch and stay more fastball, change-up, curve?

Nice research. As usual.

Really hard to understand why he's sticking with his slider when he's been getting hammered on it for two years now. One guess could be that he was so successful with it earlier, that he's afraid to try to pitch without it?

CTA513
04-16-2010, 03:08 PM
I found a few interesting nuggets on Fangraphs:
- Harang is averaging a higher velocity on his fastball this year than he has ever put up over a full year. The idea that he's "lost a few mph" from his younger days does not seem rooted in fact.
- 34.5% of his pitches have not been able to be classified. It appears these are coming out of his fastball. Perhaps he's throwing 2 kinds of fastballs, one of which (the slower one) is not being classified properly?
- He is getting destroyed on his slider, as he has the past 2 seasons. I don't claim to be a scout, but judging solely from the numbers, I'd have to ask why he continues to throw a pitch that he's just not successful with anymore (since 2007)

So, for the more scouting inclined among us, what do you see as the problem? If he's lost some of his control and his hanging sliders with regularity (the worst pitch in baseball), should he abandon the pitch and stay more fastball, change-up, curve?


His fastball has been fine it just seems like he keeps trying to nibble at the outside of the plate and ends up leaving pitches over the plate that get hammered.

reds44
04-16-2010, 03:10 PM
Arroyo is a lock to get you 200+ innings. On a team with 3 youngsters and Aaron Harang, you need somebody who is going to eat innings. No way I'd trade him, and I'd probably pick up his option for next year.

Harang's problem isn't stuff, he's throwing the same he always did. His problem is that he leaves way too many pitches over the middle of the plate, and with the mediocre stuff he's always had, he can't get away with that.

Falls City Beer
04-16-2010, 03:13 PM
Ok, but that logic, then one of Cueto, Bailey and Volquez should be a legit #1 by next year. They will all be three year veterans by then and all three have legit #1 talent.

And guys who throw 100 MPH become #1 starters a lot faster than others. ;)

I'm not sure in what universe Bailey has shown #1 starter chops. At any level.

Volquez, yeah, he represents the Reds' best shot at a TOR arm.

lollipopcurve
04-16-2010, 03:13 PM
Harang is averaging a higher velocity on his fastball this year than he has ever put up over a full year. The idea that he's "lost a few mph" from his younger days does not seem rooted in fact.

He's throwing harder this year, so far, than he was in the past couple. But those in those years his velo was down.

At times he has had a show-me curve and a changeup. Maybe he can use those a bit more. I'd say it's too soon to abandon the slider, since it was such a great pitch for him. But this is all guesswork on our part, since we don't know if there are any arm issues associated with any of the secondary pitches -- health issues always override.

My prescription is to work the fastball to all four quadrants of the zone, and definitely increase how often he elevates the 4 seamer. Keep trying to unlock the slider, and if it can't be done see what can be developed with the other pitches. Maybe a splitter seminar with Professor Lehr would help.

Caveat Emperor
04-16-2010, 03:19 PM
So, for the more scouting inclined among us, what do you see as the problem? If he's lost some of his control and his hanging sliders with regularity (the worst pitch in baseball), should he abandon the pitch and stay more fastball, change-up, curve?

I don't know that Harang has a put-away pitch without his slider. When he was at his best, he was using plus-command to get ahead with his fastball and then burying a slider in the dirt to strike batters out.

Falls City Beer
04-16-2010, 03:21 PM
That's actually how the Reds signed Cordero, a guy you want gone.

My guess is that's how they signed Milton too. Doesn't mean it isn't the right way, for the right arm.

fearofpopvol1
04-16-2010, 03:48 PM
I think that when you're already counting on a cavalry of Chapman, Maloney, and Wood to come riding to the rescue, your rotation is incredibly thin.

The answer was to trade for a TOR and then let the bottom 4 shake out as they would. But right now, this rotation has no anchor and a bunch of guys in various stages of flux.

The organization has entirely too much faith in its own ability to produce pitching talent.

I'd love to hear you name 5 teams that have 3 starters better than those in the minors? And name the pitchers as well.

LoganBuck
04-16-2010, 03:51 PM
I found a few interesting nuggets on Fangraphs:
- Harang is averaging a higher velocity on his fastball this year than he has ever put up over a full year. The idea that he's "lost a few mph" from his younger days does not seem rooted in fact.
- 34.5% of his pitches have not been able to be classified. It appears these are coming out of his fastball. Perhaps he's throwing 2 kinds of fastballs, one of which (the slower one) is not being classified properly?
- He is getting destroyed on his slider, as he has the past 2 seasons. I don't claim to be a scout, but judging solely from the numbers, I'd have to ask why he continues to throw a pitch that he's just not successful with anymore (since 2007)

So, for the more scouting inclined among us, what do you see as the problem? If he's lost some of his control and his hanging sliders with regularity (the worst pitch in baseball), should he abandon the pitch and stay more fastball, change-up, curve?


Brantley said during the game that Harang is developing a new breaking pitch that he holds funny. I can't remember what he called it, but the description of the fingers made it seem more like a splitter. He mentioned that he "would turn it over" sometimes. He was supposedly throwing it a number of times against Florida. I have not seen Harang throw more than 3 innings this season so I have no frame of reference in regards to this new pitch.

Superdude
04-16-2010, 03:54 PM
When he was at his best, he was using plus-command to get ahead with his fastball and then burying a slider in the dirt to strike batters out.

agreed. I've only been able to see clips from Harang this year, but what happened to his slider? From what I remember, he used to get an incredibly sharp break on it and the pitch would just dive into left handers ankles and they'd chase it every time. From what I've seen this year, and the past two years, his slider looks more like a rolling "get-me-over" type pitch. He still has arm speed considering he hit 95MPH in his last start, but it seems like he totally lacks an out-pitch like he had a few years ago.

Sea Ray
04-16-2010, 04:28 PM
Point is FCB has one. Rinse wash and repeat. No one's advocating Eric Milton here. But the Reds did have success under Bowden when they were signing FA pitchers. I'm all for Bailey, Leake, Cueto, Volquez, Wood and Chapman being TOR starters each year for the next 5, but the chances of even 1 of them being that is slim.


Haven't you learned by now that Bowden's way is unsustainable for our market? That's not how to run a baseball team with a $70mill budget.

There are still a few folks on this site that don't understand the economics of MLB and the fact that it's not a level playing field. Teams like Philly have an advantage over the Reds. They can pay a Halladay and we can't. I wish it weren't that way but it is. That's why I rarely read threads that suggest we sign Halladay, Holliday, Sabathia or Mauer to name a few. They're wasted bandwidth. Such signings don't work in Cincinnati

forfreelin04
04-16-2010, 04:31 PM
I found a few interesting nuggets on Fangraphs:
- Harang is averaging a higher velocity on his fastball this year than he has ever put up over a full year. The idea that he's "lost a few mph" from his younger days does not seem rooted in fact.
- 34.5% of his pitches have not been able to be classified. It appears these are coming out of his fastball. Perhaps he's throwing 2 kinds of fastballs, one of which (the slower one) is not being classified properly?
- He is getting destroyed on his slider, as he has the past 2 seasons. I don't claim to be a scout, but judging solely from the numbers, I'd have to ask why he continues to throw a pitch that he's just not successful with anymore (since 2007)

So, for the more scouting inclined among us, what do you see as the problem? If he's lost some of his control and his hanging sliders with regularity (the worst pitch in baseball), should he abandon the pitch and stay more fastball, change-up, curve?

I don't think he should abandon it at all. Like I stated in my analysis, he is simply not finishing his pitches like he was in 2008. This might be from arm and/or body fatigue, lack of concentration or a simple lack of proper conditioning. Big pitchers like Harang require so much more torque then a smaller pitcher. Doesn't mean they can't be successful starter, (CC being a prime example) it just requires more discipline in mechanics.

If he is hanging his slider, it means he's not finishing it. Mike Lincoln proves this point perfectly. He has a plus curveball and when it breaks over the plate for strikes, it is among the leagues best. When it's really working you can see Lincoln really push down hard with his wrists to break it off. When he finishes it, its almost as if he's throwing the ball directly at the ground. This is similar to a slider but its coming at a 3 quarters arm angle and breaking sharply. The margin for error is less because the slider is thrown at a harder velocity then a curveball. With no downward movement, it has a tendency to sit in the zone (hanger) and boom there goes the HR. This is probably why you see Harang pepering the outside part of the plate because a hanging slider is less vulnerable to be taken yard on the outside corner then on the inside to a right hander.

Falls City Beer
04-16-2010, 04:32 PM
I'd love to hear you name 5 teams that have 3 starters better than those in the minors? And name the pitchers as well.

What does naming other teams with high end minor league talent have to do with anything? No one knows what each of those three guys will do; maybe they'll be great. The point is the team's already looking for replacements for their MLB starters--that's hardly an auspicious sign. That was my point.

RedsManRick
04-16-2010, 04:32 PM
Brantley said during the game that Harang is developing a new breaking pitch that he holds funny. I can't remember what he called it, but the description of the fingers made it seem more like a splitter. He mentioned that he "would turn it over" sometimes. He was supposedly throwing it a number of times against Florida. I have not seen Harang throw more than 3 innings this season so I have no frame of reference in regards to this new pitch.

Interesting. This is the first I've heard of that.

TheNext44
04-16-2010, 04:37 PM
I'm not sure in what universe Bailey has shown #1 starter chops. At any level.

Volquez, yeah, he represents the Reds' best shot at a TOR arm.

Bailey Aug 23-Oct 4, 2009

9G 6-1(W-L) 58.1IP 53H 11R 11ER 24BB 53K 1.70ERA

I hear Ginko helps with short term memory loss. ;)

forfreelin04
04-16-2010, 04:54 PM
Haven't you learned by now that Bowden's way is unsustainable for our market? That's not how to run a baseball team with a $70mill budget.

There are still a few folks on this site that don't understand the economics of MLB and the fact that it's not a level playing field. Teams like Philly have an advantage over the Reds. They can pay a Halladay and we can't. I wish it weren't that way but it is. That's why I rarely read threads that suggest we sign Halladay, Holliday, Sabathia or Mauer to name a few. They're wasted bandwidth. Such signings don't work in Cincinnati

Give me Bowden's 2 years of playoff caliber baseball over the dark ages of the 21st Century.

forfreelin04
04-16-2010, 05:28 PM
Bailey Aug 23-Oct 4, 2009

9G 6-1(W-L) 58.1IP 53H 11R 11ER 24BB 53K 1.70ERA

I hear Ginko helps with short term memory loss. ;)

You taking yours? :eek: Have you seen his last two starts?

Pretty bad when the catcher calls for a pitch well above the zone and Homer puts it right over the plate. High School kids are taught to do this with consistency when their ahead in the count. He's behind the curve again. Growing pains..... patience with this one. .

You could fill a semi full of Reds pitchers and hitters who had a great September this decade. Rinse, wash, repeat

TheNext44
04-16-2010, 05:42 PM
You taking yours? :eek: Have you seen his last two starts?

Pretty bad when the catcher calls for a pitch well above the zone and Homer puts it right over the plate. High School kids are taught to do this with consistency when their ahead in the count. He's behind the curve again. Growing pains..... patience with this one. .

You could fill a semi full of Reds pitchers and hitters who had a great September this decade. Rinse, wash, repeat

I was simply relying to FCB who said that Homer has never performed at a TOR starter at any level.

Homer could continue to pitch like he did in his last two starts, or he could pitch like he did last Sept, or most likely something in between. But he clearly as shown that he could be an elite #1 starter if he put everything together.

11larkin11
04-16-2010, 06:09 PM
Harang to the pen is interesting. Would Harang as SU man, Masset/Rhodes in the 7th, Herrera/Ondrusek in 6th make this team better, with Maloney as the 5th guy?

fearofpopvol1
04-16-2010, 06:25 PM
What does naming other teams with high end minor league talent have to do with anything? No one knows what each of those three guys will do; maybe they'll be great. The point is the team's already looking for replacements for their MLB starters--that's hardly an auspicious sign. That was my point.

When did the Reds begin to look for replacements for their MLB starters? I don't recall Walt or anyone in the FO saying that?

bucksfan2
04-16-2010, 09:01 PM
I found a few interesting nuggets on Fangraphs:
- Harang is averaging a higher velocity on his fastball this year than he has ever put up over a full year. The idea that he's "lost a few mph" from his younger days does not seem rooted in fact.
- 34.5% of his pitches have not been able to be classified. It appears these are coming out of his fastball. Perhaps he's throwing 2 kinds of fastballs, one of which (the slower one) is not being classified properly?
- He is getting destroyed on his slider, as he has the past 2 seasons. I don't claim to be a scout, but judging solely from the numbers, I'd have to ask why he continues to throw a pitch that he's just not successful with anymore (since 2007)

So, for the more scouting inclined among us, what do you see as the problem? If he's lost some of his control and his hanging sliders with regularity (the worst pitch in baseball), should he abandon the pitch and stay more fastball, change-up, curve?

As for the first point velocity isn't always king. Most pitchers like to sit a few MPH below max velocity because of movement on the ball. For some reason Harang seems to be nibbling a lot and not attacking hitters. He is throwing too many hittable strikes or missing off the plate. As for velocity I don't think it really matters with Harang because of his long stride. If he sits at 91 or 92 that is quite enough.

Don't really know what to say about pitches that aren't classified. Does that mean bad pitches? Or does that mean pitches that don't have a lot of velocity but also don't have a lot of movement?

As for the slider what percentage is he throwing now compared to the past? Is he throwing it too much? Or is he just not getting results?

Always Red
04-16-2010, 09:51 PM
Speaking of confidence...

....in the 5th inning last night, it truly looked like Aaron Harang had lost confidence in himself.

Once an athlete does that, it's hard to have confidence in him.

Sea Ray
04-17-2010, 05:17 PM
Give me Bowden's 2 years of playoff caliber baseball over the dark ages of the 21st Century.

Marge overspent on those years and yes, it was fun for us fans. But you cannot realistically expect ownership to lose money and that's the only way we can get in on the bidding for the big boys like Halladay

M2
04-17-2010, 06:38 PM
I only saw him pitch in the opener, but my take on Harang for two years has been he desperately needs a change of scenery.

Caveat Emperor
04-17-2010, 06:51 PM
I only saw him pitch in the opener, but my take on Harang for two years has been he desperately needs a change of scenery.

With his longball issues and west-coast background, he'd seem to be an ideal candidate for the Padres or the Dodgers -- were either of them able to take on some of his salary.

jojo
04-17-2010, 06:54 PM
With his longball issues and west-coast background, he'd seem to be an ideal candidate for the Padres or the Dodgers -- were either of them able to take on some of his salary.

The Padres didn't/don't seem to have room in their budget. Harang might have been a Dodger this off season were it not for domestic issues with their ownership.