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OnBaseMachine
04-02-2010, 08:04 PM
Thought this might deserve a thread of it's own. If not, mods feel free to merge it.

From Mark Sheldon:


The fifth starter has been determined. It's Mike Leake, although the Reds have not announced anything.

Travis Wood learned first and returned to the clubhouse and started packing his stuff. About five minutes later, Leake walked back from his meeting trying to contain his smile. He and Wood bumped fists.


more from Sheldon:
http://marksheldon.mlblogs.com/archives/2010/04/leake_is_reds_5th_starter.html

membengal
04-02-2010, 08:09 PM
I think it definitely deserves a thread of its own, although I am certainly no mod. I like the cut of Walt's gib here. Going for it. Good on Walt. If the Reds think this is their best chance to win right now, and they think Leake is ready, then I love this decision.

reds44
04-02-2010, 08:11 PM
Awesome. Can't wait to see his first start. I think he deserved it.

mth123
04-02-2010, 08:13 PM
I think Leake is good enough and his IP in college seem to have him sufficiently prepared for a #5 spot seasonal load. I just hope the 5 day routine doesn't cause us to regret this in July.

OnBaseMachine
04-02-2010, 08:14 PM
So, if someone told you two months ago that a young Reds pitcher would completely skip the minors and go straight to the majors, would you have ever guessed it would be Mike Leake?

I remember early in camp I predicted Mike Leake would have a good spring and open some eyes but I never thought he would make the team.

membengal
04-02-2010, 08:15 PM
mth, if he needs a break by July, then Wood or Chapman. I am 100% thrilled with the start of this season now. The difference between this set-up and the days of Dave Willliams/Josh Fogg is so night and day I am giddy.

It's worth a shot. I feel like they are trying to win in 2010. That's fantastic. Good on them. And good luck to them.

mth123
04-02-2010, 08:18 PM
mth, if he needs a break by July, then Wood or Chapman. I am 100% thrilled with the start of this season now. The difference between this set-up and the days of Dave Willliams/Josh Fogg is so night and day I am giddy.

It's worth a shot. I feel like they are trying to win in 2010. That's fantastic. Good on them. And good luck to them.

Not concerned about him needing a break by July. More concerned about him being completely broken by July. Lots of guys to take his starts, but he would be a big hole to fill in the team's 5 year future.

OnBaseMachine
04-02-2010, 08:21 PM
Though he didn't make the team, Travis Wood had a nice spring and surely opened some eyes in Reds camp. It sounds like he handed this with class. I was impressed with him in the couple times I saw him on TV. I think we'll see him in Cincy sometime this season.

reds44
04-02-2010, 08:22 PM
http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/



“Realisitically, I didn’t think I had a chance,” he said. “But inside I thought I did. I guess realistically I did. I’m just thankful they had faith in me.”


More quotes from leake at the link.

Ron Madden
04-02-2010, 08:24 PM
Well I'll be damned, never expected this.

TheNext44
04-02-2010, 08:25 PM
Not to say I told you so, but...

Leake In Lead For #5 Rotation Spot (http://www.redszone.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2040237&postcount=14)

fearofpopvol1
04-02-2010, 08:30 PM
Can't say I saw this coming. Interesting.

You'd have to think Arroyo and/or Harang must wonder how many days it'll be before they pack their stuff for the next destination.

Based on comments, it sounds like they don't plan on keeping Chapman down too long, so either one of them is going or Leake will get demoted?

camisadelgolf
04-02-2010, 08:31 PM
Please, please, please tell me they make room on the roster by DFAing Aaron Miles. :pray:

OnBaseMachine
04-02-2010, 08:38 PM
With Mike Leake being confirmed as the 5th starter, 3/5th's of the Reds rotation is 24 years old or younger. Cueto turned 24 in February, Homer Bailey turns 24 in early May, and Mike Leake is only 22 (turns 23 in November).

Degenerate39
04-02-2010, 08:38 PM
Please, please, please tell me they make room on the roster by DFAing Aaron Miles. :pray:

Miles has been cut.

Tom Servo
04-02-2010, 08:39 PM
Wow.

_Sir_Charles_
04-02-2010, 08:51 PM
I'm quite happy by this move. But let's be honest here, they really didn't have a BAD option out of the group. Lehr, Maloney, Owings (although I don't think he was seriously considered this time round), Wood, Chapman & Leake. I would've been fine with ANY of those candidates. Wouldn't you guys?

Joseph
04-02-2010, 08:51 PM
Congrats Mike Leake.

I like the guts Dusty and Walt showed with this one. Its about time this team didn't let dollars and arbitration dictate who makes the team and instead took the guys they believe to be the best.

BCubb2003
04-02-2010, 09:23 PM
Its about time this team didn't let dollars and arbitration dictate who makes the team and instead took the guys they believe to be the best.

I agree. You can outsmart yourself by trying to time the market. Go with the best you have, then keep getting better.

TheNext44
04-02-2010, 09:30 PM
I agree. You can outsmart yourself by trying to time the market. Go with the best you have, then keep getting better.

Yep, if you keep putting your best players out there, good chance you'll be winning enough by the time they hit Arbitration that you can afford them.

redsfandan
04-02-2010, 09:47 PM
Disappointed. Don't think the difference between Wood and Leake over only a handful of starts makes it worth it. Oh well, hopefully it works out.

HeatherC1212
04-02-2010, 09:50 PM
Wow, that's quite a surprising decision! It was a tough choice between the two guys but Leake has done so well for being such a young guy in the major leagues that I guess they couldn't deny him the opportunity. I'm excited that he's going to get a shot as the fifth starter and I agree with Fay that the rotation at Louisville is stacked and ready to go if anyone falters in Cincy. I'm not a big fan of attending Cubs weekend games at GABP but if his first start happens to be the Sunday game of that series, I will be there for sure. Congrats Mike! :)

Spitball
04-02-2010, 09:51 PM
I just hope Baker, who is in the last year of his contract, has more regard for Leake's future than his own.

mth123
04-02-2010, 09:55 PM
I just hope Baker, who is in the last year of his contract, has more regard for Leake's future than his own.

Amen.:notworthy

Caveat Emperor
04-02-2010, 10:19 PM
Have to feel for Travis Wood right now -- he posted silly numbers last year throughout the organization, was named minor league "pitcher of the year," and pitched fairly well in spring training. All that, and he was beat out by a guy who's never made a professional start in his life (who will also be the first player to completely skip the minors in 21 years). Wood has to be wondering "what else do they want from me?"

I hate to say it, but this a dumb move by the Reds both from a talent deployment and a organizational morale perspective. If it was such a close call between Leake and Wood that it took this long to make, you default to giving the guy who has been through your system and put the hard work in to make it the first shot.

Even setting aside the whole "make good to the guys who are working hard for you" argument, this move has disaster written all over it. The Reds are betting that Mike Leake is not just a once-in-a-decade player, they're betting he's once-in-a-generation player -- a guy who is so good and so polished that he has nothing to gain from pitching in the minor leagues and gaining some professional experience before coming to the bigs. Sorry, but I just don't see it. Even Strasburg got sent to the minors, and he was unquestionably considered a better pitcher than Leake in college.

I'd like to be excited, but this move -- rushing young pitchers to the majors -- just reeks of old Reds thinking.

Blitz Dorsey
04-02-2010, 10:21 PM
WOW. Talk about the last thing I expected when camp began. I would have bet my house Leake began the season in the minors. I would be homeless right now.

Way to freakin' go Mike Leake! I was hoping for Wood, but this has me pumped up. I think I was half hoping for Wood because I thought there was no chance they would actually put Leake in the rotation right away WITHOUT EVER PITCHING A SINGLE INNING OF MINOR LEAGUE BALL.

I love it. We might have a young stud on our hands here. Too bad we don't have any other young pitchers to go with him. Oh, wait...!!!!

mth123
04-02-2010, 10:23 PM
Have to feel for Travis Wood right now -- he posted silly numbers last year throughout the organization, was named minor league "pitcher of the year," and pitched fairly well in spring training. All that, and he was beat out by a guy who's never made a professional start in his life (who will also be the first player to completely skip the minors in 21 years). Wood has to be wondering "what else do they want from me?"

I hate to say it, but this a dumb move by the Reds both from a talent deployment and a organizational morale perspective. If it was such a close call between Leake and Wood that it took this long to make, you default to giving the guy who has been through your system and put the hard work in to make it the first shot.

Even setting aside the whole "make good to the guys who are working hard for you" argument, this move has disaster written all over it. The Reds are betting that Mike Leake is not just a once-in-a-decade player, they're betting he's once-in-a-generation player -- a guy who is so good and so polished that he has nothing to gain from pitching in the minor leagues and gaining some professional experience before coming to the bigs. Sorry, but I just don't see it. Even Strasburg got sent to the minors, and he was unquestionably considered a better pitcher than Leake in college.

I'd like to be excited, but this move -- rushing young pitchers to the majors -- just reeks of old Reds thinking.

Agreed. Not high on Wood, but it would have been a better long term move.

Blitz Dorsey
04-02-2010, 10:25 PM
Sorry, but I just don't see it. Even Strasburg got sent to the minors, and he was unquestionably considered a better pitcher than Leake in college.

That isn't exactly accurate. Strasburg was considered clearly a better pro prospect. However, Leake was the better college pitcher. Leake put up better stats than Strasburg despite pitching in a much-tougher conference.

I know what you're saying though and I do feel for Wood a little bit. But I don't think the race was as close as you think. I think they let it go late to make sure, but it sounds like they are blown away by Leake, while Wood is good but doesn't exactly blow them away.

I like the aggressive approach from the Reds. Give me the best 25. Hopefully that will include Aroldis Chapman soon.

redsfandan
04-02-2010, 10:26 PM
Have to feel for Travis Wood right now -- he posted silly numbers last year throughout the organization, was named minor league "pitcher of the year," and pitched fairly well in spring training. All that, and he was beat out by a guy who's never made a professional start in his life (who will also be the first player to completely skip the minors in 21 years). Wood has to be wondering "what else do they want from me?"

I hate to say it, but this a dumb move by the Reds both from a talent deployment and a organizational morale perspective. If it was such a close call between Leake and Wood that it took this long to make, you default to giving the guy who has been through your system and put the hard work in to make it the first shot.

Even setting aside the whole "make good to the guys who are working hard for you" argument, this move has disaster written all over it. The Reds are betting that Mike Leake is not just a once-in-a-decade player, they're betting he's once-in-a-generation player -- a guy who is so good and so polished that he has nothing to gain from pitching in the minor leagues and gaining some professional experience before coming to the bigs. Sorry, but I just don't see it. Even Strasburg got sent to the minors, and he was unquestionably considered a better pitcher than Leake in college.

I'd like to be excited, but this move -- rushing young pitchers to the majors -- just reeks of old Reds thinking.

:thumbup:

Will M
04-02-2010, 10:28 PM
I like this move.

If the team wants to baby his arm a bit they can always skip him in the rotation once every few weeks. Instead of 32 starts he could make 26-28.
Cuts back say 30 innings pitched. Helps keep him fresh if the 5 man rotation is a bit much over the long haul in his first big league season.

As to Wood he blew it by not throwing strikes this spring. His AA numbers in 2009 were fantastic but his AAA were just good. No better than Maloney's. It won't hurt him to start in AAA. He'll be here soon enough.

Something to dream about: what happens ~May 15th when both Wood & Chapman are tearing up AAA?

mth123
04-02-2010, 10:30 PM
Something to dream about: what happens ~May 15th when both Wood & Chapman are tearing up AAA?

By then Dusty will have Leake on the DL and Bailey will be struggling because of the 60 inning leap he made in 2009.;)

Caveat Emperor
04-02-2010, 10:31 PM
I like the aggressive approach from the Reds. Give me the best 25.

I like aggressive, but put your talent in the best possible position to succeed. You don't throw the player development playbook out the window because of some good spring training stats. College players are, almost as a rule, not ready to play in the majors immediately. A pitcher skipping the minors entirely hasn't happened since Jim Abbot in 1989. There's a very good reason for that: college competition simply doesn't compare to even AAA ball and players aren't ready to be big leaguers right out of school.

The Reds are rushing Leake -- and that's sad, considering they need to look no further than Mr. Bailey to remind themselves what happens when they get caught up in the hype of a young pitcher and decide "this one is too special to keep in the minors."

sonny
04-02-2010, 10:33 PM
I like aggressive, but put your talent in the best possible position to succeed. You don't throw the player development playbook out the window because of some good spring training stats. College players are, almost as a rule, not ready to play in the majors immediately. A pitcher skipping the minors entirely hasn't happened since Jim Abbot in 1989. There's a very good reason for that: college competition simply doesn't compare to even AAA ball and players aren't ready to be big leaguers right out of school.

The Reds are rushing Leake -- and that's sad, considering they need to look no further than Mr. Bailey to remind themselves what happens when they get caught up in the hype of a young pitcher and decide "this one is too special to keep in the minors."

Didn't Darren Driefort Do it with the Dodgers in the 90's?

mth123
04-02-2010, 10:34 PM
Didn't Darren Driefort Do it with the Dodgers in the 90's?

Darren Driefort and Jim Abbott. Maybe those guys are examples of why you should be cautious.

Caveat Emperor
04-02-2010, 10:36 PM
Didn't Darren Driefort Do it with the Dodgers in the 90's?

You're right, 1994 -- I just saw a list posted online: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_baseball_players_who_went_directly_to_the_ major_leagues

I think the point still stands, though. I don't care how good you think Mike Leake is, decades of history suggest that the Reds are dead wrong on this move and are rushing a potentially valuable asset to the club in 2010 and beyond.

Brutus
04-02-2010, 10:51 PM
You're right, 1994 -- I just saw a list posted online: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_baseball_players_who_went_directly_to_the_ major_leagues

I think the point still stands, though. I don't care how good you think Mike Leake is, decades of history suggest that the Reds are dead wrong on this move and are rushing a potentially valuable asset to the club in 2010 and beyond.

Philosophically, I generally agree. However, the goal is to put the 25 best players that give you the chance of winning. If the Reds feel Mike Leake is the guy to do that for the fifth spot in the rotation, throw the book out the window and throw caution to the wind.

History is not always accurate. There are exceptions to every rule. I could sit here and throw out a bunch of tireless cliches, but I won't do it. Point is... not every kid has to be coddled with some sort of development plan. There are guys that are capable of learning on the job without it affecting their physical maturity or psychological development. If Leake has the tools to get people out at this level, as well as the capacity to handle the obstacles thrown at him, I applaud the Reds for having the guts to do this.

Blitz Dorsey
04-02-2010, 11:42 PM
I like aggressive, but put your talent in the best possible position to succeed. You don't throw the player development playbook out the window because of some good spring training stats. College players are, almost as a rule, not ready to play in the majors immediately. A pitcher skipping the minors entirely hasn't happened since Jim Abbot in 1989. There's a very good reason for that: college competition simply doesn't compare to even AAA ball and players aren't ready to be big leaguers right out of school.

The Reds are rushing Leake -- and that's sad, considering they need to look no further than Mr. Bailey to remind themselves what happens when they get caught up in the hype of a young pitcher and decide "this one is too special to keep in the minors."

But one of the reasons it hasn't happened in 21 years is $$$. Teams leave pitchers down in AAA on occasion even when they are better than some of the schlubs in their rotation. We see it all the time. You could even make the argument that's what is happening with Chapman, minus the schlubs.

Strasburg should be in the Nats rotation, but they are keeping him in the minors until probably June so he doesn't reach "Super 2" status before they want him to. It's more about economics than it is about some college pitchers not being ready. Mark Prior was ready right away, but the Cubs sent him down to try and avoid Super 2 status. There are some college pitchers ready right away. Not many. Glad we have one of the few.

steig
04-02-2010, 11:52 PM
I like the move. While he has not started a game in the minors he did dominate the Arizona fall league and was ranked the third best prospect in the organization (before Chapman signed).

Hoosier Red
04-02-2010, 11:58 PM
You're right, 1994 -- I just saw a list posted online: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_baseball_players_who_went_directly_to_the_ major_leagues

I think the point still stands, though. I don't care how good you think Mike Leake is, decades of history suggest that the Reds are dead wrong on this move and are rushing a potentially valuable asset to the club in 2010 and beyond.

Rob Neyer made a good point about a week ago, just because pitchers went to the minors doesn't mean they needed to go to the minors. Did Dwight Gooden need minor league seasoning? Did Roger Clemens? Wouldn't Mark Prior have been ready to begin blowing out his arm if he'd gone straight to the majors out of college?

mbgrayson
04-03-2010, 12:30 AM
Didn't Darren Driefort Do it with the Dodgers in the 90's?

Why do we say Leake is 'completely skipping the minors' when he pitched in the Arizona Fall League for the Reds affiliate, posting a 1.37 ERA and 15/3 K/BB ratio over 19 2/3 innings?

I know it's not the 'regular' path to MLB, but did Driefort even do that?

Cedric
04-03-2010, 12:36 AM
Get the best pitchers innings somewhere where it counts. Mark Prior is a fine example of wasted innings.

Will M
04-03-2010, 01:00 AM
But one of the reasons it hasn't happened in 21 years is $$$. Teams leave pitchers down in AAA on occasion even when they are better than some of the schlubs in their rotation. We see it all the time. You could even make the argument that's what is happening with Chapman, minus the schlubs.

Strasburg should be in the Nats rotation, but they are keeping him in the minors until probably June so he doesn't reach "Super 2" status before they want him to. It's more about economics than it is about some college pitchers not being ready. Mark Prior was ready right away, but the Cubs sent him down to try and avoid Super 2 status. There are some college pitchers ready right away. Not many. Glad we have one of the few.

Would the 2010 Reds be better with 80 IP out of the pen coming from Mike Lincoln or Aroldis Chapman?

OnBaseMachine
04-03-2010, 01:35 AM
Article from Mark Sheldon on Leake making the team...



"Neither Walt nor I have ever had a player that didn't have any professional experience, but he's special," Baker said. "He's a different young man. He's poised and disciplined. His pitch selection, his control, his command are far beyond his years.

"He came here to make the club. I could tell by the way he acted and the way he paid attention."


http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100402&content_id=9056296&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

OnBaseMachine
04-03-2010, 01:43 AM
From Jamie Ramsey:

8th inning of a game he is not scheduled to have any part of and Mike Leake is watching from dugout. I love this kid

http://twitter.com/Jamiereds

BearcatShane
04-03-2010, 01:49 AM
They shouldn't do this. Skip the minors completely? Nooo. But for whatever reason, I think this move will work. I love it actually.

11larkin11
04-03-2010, 02:18 AM
I'm usually the eternal optimist, but I got a bad feeling about this. Meet Ryan Wagner.

...and is has NOTHING to do with Dusty Baker.

Blitz Dorsey
04-03-2010, 02:19 AM
Why do we say Leake is 'completely skipping the minors' when he pitched in the Arizona Fall League for the Reds affiliate, posting a 1.37 ERA and 15/3 K/BB ratio over 19 2/3 innings?

I know it's not the 'regular' path to MLB, but did Driefort even do that?

Good point. And I'm sure the Reds' brass took his strong performance in the AFL into consideration when they made this move.

Tommyjohn25
04-03-2010, 02:24 AM
Put me in the "has a good feeling about this" camp. Don't know why. Just a gut feeling I guess.

TheNext44
04-03-2010, 03:16 AM
It seemed from the day after he pitched in his first Spring Training game that the Reds brass thought he was ready. It wasn't stuff, it wasn't stats, it was poise and intelligence. Those are usually reasons why you send a guy to the minors, so he can mature and learn from experience.

I have no idea if they are right, this could backfire in a big way very easily, but it seems like the Reds are convinced that Leake is ready.

Captain Hook
04-03-2010, 04:15 AM
I don't think that Walt, Dusty and Price would do this if they felt like Leake wasn't 100% ready for the bigs.They had other options that were cheaper,safer,more convenient(40 man issues) and obviously a little more popular but they chose Leake anyways.

The guy has been impressive with all opportunities given to him.All the way through college to AFL to spring training.40-6 and college player of the year warranted the early 1st round selection and the ability to do every thing asked of him(and do it well)warranted the spot in the rotation.I know the jump straight to the bigs is rare but considering how long it has been since someone else has done it imo the "look what at what happened to that guy"argument isn't much of a valid argument against the Reds making this decision.

I love the move and I love the possibility that the Reds made one of the better if not best selections in last years draft.Not to mention I'm really happy about one of the first dominoes to fall as a result of this move.Austin Miles is gone and there is a good chance that we all have Leake to thank for that.

Caveat Emperor
04-03-2010, 04:38 AM
Rob Neyer made a good point about a week ago, just because pitchers went to the minors doesn't mean they needed to go to the minors. Did Dwight Gooden need minor league seasoning? Did Roger Clemens? Wouldn't Mark Prior have been ready to begin blowing out his arm if he'd gone straight to the majors out of college?

When Mike Leake has a fastball that sits at 94-98 MPH like the three pitchers you listed, maybe I'll start to slide over into this camp.

The fact is, Leake is a guy that lacks an overpowering fastball. He's a finesse guy who relies on movement and location to make outs. He is exactly the type of pitcher that needs minor league seasoning (preferably high-minors, AAA level) to learn how to use his tools to retire professional hitters. Having a fastball that moves isn't going to fool as many people or induce as many swing-and-misses as it did for Leake in college. He's going to encounter hitters that can fight those pitches off and force him to give them a pitch over the plate. He can't rear back and throw one by a hitter the way Prior, Clemens or Gooden could when they were rookies. He needs the minors to learn what to do when he gets a guy at 2-2 who keeps stubbornly fouling off his best stuff, the way good hitters will in the major leagues.

I think, at this point, it's equally as likely that Leake gets shelled and is back in the minors before the end of May as it is that he pitches well. If you made me lay money, I'd absolutely lay on the former before I did the latter. I think he's being sent into an unnecessarily difficult situation, and the organization has no one to blame but themselves if he bombs out.

Redsfan320
04-03-2010, 08:20 AM
After an event all evening last night, I just now found out the news here. I'm thrilled, and hope Leake can keep up the good work. :D

320

Marty and Joe
04-03-2010, 10:46 AM
For no logical reason, I have a good feeling about this.

It could be the Reds have one of those few kids who has that extra intangible mentally that normally only comes with experience. A feel for the game, an ability to learn and to make proper adjustments in the heat of the moment...unflappability.

It's extremely rare for someone just out of college (and out early) and may not be the case here. But, I am intrigued by the possibility and am curious how this unfolds.

I also think this may be the reason Walt and company are willing to take this risk. Even if he struggles early, they may think he will react to it as a learning experience as opposed to a crushing setback blow.

Plus Plus
04-03-2010, 10:52 AM
When Mike Leake has a fastball that sits at 94-98 MPH like the three pitchers you listed, maybe I'll start to slide over into this camp.

The fact is, Leake is a guy that lacks an overpowering fastball. He's a finesse guy who relies on movement and location to make outs.

I think I had read earlier that Leake has a fastball that sits between 89-92 and touches 94, and that he used to throw it harder but that he noticed an increase in movement when he threw it softer. I have never heard Leake called a finesse pitcher once, but rather described as a pitcher who seems to understand what he needs to do in order to succeed.

There are a load of guys in baseball who can catapult the ball at 95,96,98 mph- however, a bunch of those guys aren't very good. The key isn't the little number showing up on the back of the radar gun for Leake, it's results- and he has produced results (and strong ones at that) everywhere he has pitched. There is nothing that implies that he will not succeed, imo.

lollipopcurve
04-03-2010, 11:03 AM
The lessons Leake has to learn -- beyond pitching on a professional schedule -- are probably best learned at the major league level, since he already has mature stuff, pitchability, poise and confidence. He's got to learn the hitters, the umpires, the mounds, and the day to day routines. The sooner he digests it, the sooner he reaches his potential.

hebroncougar
04-03-2010, 11:32 AM
Props to the Reds brass for showing some serious guts. Some things to ponder:

1. Mike Leake was pretty dominant, and showed good control in the AZ Fall League. He absolutely dominated a great college league last year.

2. Travis Wood's K rate dropped considerable at the AAA level last year.

3. There was open competition this spring for the 5th spot, and Leake pitched better.

4. Mike Leake is all of 9 months younger than Wood.

5. If Travis Wood had not pitched decent this spring, people would be going crazy of the Reds had sent Leake down (with his stats), saying they are more worried about saving money in arb. years than winning.

6. Stephen Strausbourg wishes he was drafted by the Reds. ;)

steig
04-03-2010, 11:33 AM
I understand the concern a lot people here have about starting Leake with the Reds and not getting any minor league experience first. However, just because he is starting the season with the Reds doesn't mean they are going to keep running him out to the mound if he struggles. At this point in time the Reds have a back up plans who are close to ready for the MLB level of play. Unless something happens where three starters get hurt and the Reds have to run Chapman, Wood, and Leake out there then I think Leake will possibly have a short leash to work with over the first month of the season.

Spring~Fields
04-03-2010, 12:44 PM
I am going to accept this quote below as a fact until we see something consistently, for a telling period of time to the contrary. If we consider the word pitcher to be some variation of a quality type artist with the baseball, we’re going to see poise, maturity, sound mechanics, the ability to command and locate various pitches consistently to induce outs.

I don't think that we have seen anything that contradicts the quote.


"Neither Walt nor I have ever had a player that didn't have any professional experience, but he's special," Baker said. "He's a different young man. He's poised and disciplined. His pitch selection, his control, his command are far beyond his years.

We often are fed positive spins regarding pitchers or other players that we attempt to buy into with hope. Then we frequently see the uh-huh, yeah right moments come along that calls into question the original positive affirmations, complimentary spins on a pitcher or player.

I haven’t and I don't think that we have seen the uh-huh, yeah right moment come along with Leake, he appears to actually be different, and he keeps doing the job.

I think, that it is possible, if we consider what we have seen and have known of Arroyo, the recent past Harang, the still a work in process of Cueto and Bailey, the good and the bad of those four. I think it might be possible that Leake could turn out being the most efficient and productive pitcher in that group, presently. Of course then again he could have some very tough lessons ahead that would contradict the positives until he goes through the experience phases.

But I would not be shocked if we found ourselves being more pleased with Leake in the near weeks to come than the other four previously mentioned, as we all know that Arroyo, Harang, Cueto and Bailey can be an experience and an adventure at times, sometimes good, sometimes, something else.

BuckeyeRedleg
04-03-2010, 02:59 PM
For no logical reason, I have a good feeling about this.

It could be the Reds have one of those few kids who has that extra intangible mentally that normally only comes with experience. A feel for the game, an ability to learn and to make proper adjustments in the heat of the moment...unflappability.

It's extremely rare for someone just out of college (and out early) and may not be the case here. But, I am intrigued by the possibility and am curious how this unfolds.

I also think this may be the reason Walt and company are willing to take this risk. Even if he struggles early, they may think he will react to it as a learning experience as opposed to a crushing setback blow.

Took the words right out of my keyboard.

This is very exciting.

Ltlabner
04-03-2010, 03:24 PM
Gotta agree with CE on this one. It's not like the Reds have a storied history of top-flight pitcher development to rely on. In fact, as CE points out, they have the text book example of what happens when you fall for the hype in a pitcher that is in the very same rotation.

And I'll go ahead and say it, it's not like the team manager has a rock solid track record with young arms either. While Teh Dusty hasn't been as bad as I expected with the arms, he hasn't gone out of his way to be cautious with them either. Now we're going to entrust a young arm, with exactly zero MLB experience, that is so good he's slated to play a key role in our future rotations to him?

I give them kudos for being bold and gutsy, but why do it with a young arm that's got no experience in professional baseball? Not one pitch.

This has disaster written all over it.

Ron Madden
04-03-2010, 03:36 PM
I thought they would go with Maloney just because he had been there before and throws LH.

While it's nice to see the Reds thinking out of the box for a change, I can't help but feel a little nervous about rushing Mike Leake.

lollipopcurve
04-03-2010, 03:40 PM
I give them kudos for being bold and gutsy, but why do it with a young arm that's got no experience in professional baseball? Not one pitch.

Not true -- he pitched in the Arizona Fall League.

I do think Leake is a different breed of cat. I think he's got a solid shot to meet the challenge, though no one should expect he won't have rough patches. They all do.

TheNext44
04-03-2010, 03:41 PM
When Mike Leake has a fastball that sits at 94-98 MPH like the three pitchers you listed, maybe I'll start to slide over into this camp.

The fact is, Leake is a guy that lacks an overpowering fastball. He's a finesse guy who relies on movement and location to make outs. He is exactly the type of pitcher that needs minor league seasoning (preferably high-minors, AAA level) to learn how to use his tools to retire professional hitters. Having a fastball that moves isn't going to fool as many people or induce as many swing-and-misses as it did for Leake in college. He's going to encounter hitters that can fight those pitches off and force him to give them a pitch over the plate. He can't rear back and throw one by a hitter the way Prior, Clemens or Gooden could when they were rookies. He needs the minors to learn what to do when he gets a guy at 2-2 who keeps stubbornly fouling off his best stuff, the way good hitters will in the major leagues.

I think, at this point, it's equally as likely that Leake gets shelled and is back in the minors before the end of May as it is that he pitches well. If you made me lay money, I'd absolutely lay on the former before I did the latter. I think he's being sent into an unnecessarily difficult situation, and the organization has no one to blame but themselves if he bombs out.

Leake may get rocked and this decision could easily blow up in the face of the Reds, but this bold part is just not accurate.

Pitchers go to the minors to learn how to pitch instead of throw, to gain maturity. A pitcher whose fastball moves and he can control it, can get batters out at any level, almost no matter how fast he throws. Look at Herrera, Arroyo and knuckleballers like Wakefield and Hough.

It's pitchers that throw hard, but can't control it that need minor league seasoning, not pitchers who have great control already. It's the pitcher who is used to blowing his fastball by hitters, who must adjust once he sees that major league hitters can time a ball coming out of a bazooka, and who keep fouling off his best fastball, who needs time in the minors to adjust. Not pitchers who have movement and control, since that is what you learn in the minors.

_Sir_Charles_
04-03-2010, 03:46 PM
Leake may get rocked and this decision could easily blow up in the face of the Reds, but this bold part is just not accurate.

Pitchers go to the minors to learn how to pitch instead of throw, to gain maturity. A pitcher whose fastball moves and he can control it, can get batters out at any level, almost no matter how fast he throws. Look at Herrera, Arroyo and knuckleballers like Wakefield and Hough.

It's pitchers that throw hard, but can't control it that need minor league seasoning, not pitchers who have great control already. It's the pitcher who is used to blowing his fastball by hitters, who must adjust once he sees that major league hitters can time a ball coming out of a bazooka, and who keep fouling off his best fastball, who needs time in the minors to adjust. Not pitchers who have movement and control, since that is what you learn in the minors.

Agree 100%. Herrera and Arroyo were the exact examples I was going to throw out there. Velocity is not the end all be all. Locating, changing speeds and movement are MUCH more important than velocity IMO. ESPECIALLY at the big league level. Nearly all MLB pitchers have velocity. Control & movement however...not so much.

I fully expect him to go through his struggles, but he's mature enough and smart enough to learn from the experiences. There's a huge difference between having a HS pitcher go straight to the bigs and a 4 year college pitcher go straight to the bigs. Maturity.

TRF
04-03-2010, 04:11 PM
Not true -- he pitched in the Arizona Fall League.

I do think Leake is a different breed of cat. I think he's got a solid shot to meet the challenge, though no one should expect he won't have rough patches. They all do.

19 IP in the AFL isn't development. its show us what you have.

mth123
04-03-2010, 04:17 PM
Not true -- he pitched in the Arizona Fall League.

I do think Leake is a different breed of cat. I think he's got a solid shot to meet the challenge, though no one should expect he won't have rough patches. They all do.

Its not about perfromance. I'm guessing Leake will be ok. I'm worried about risking his health by sticking him right in the fire before adjusting to the 5 day routine in a more controlled setting.

I just generally think teams should be conservative with top arms. Leake and Chapman are like gold. If keeping them down a year increases the odds of a long career vs. a couple year burn out, I hold him back.

I keep thinking about Wayne Simpson and Gary Nolan. Teams like the Reds can replace just about anything else, but they simply can't compete for TOR arms and when they can get them from within, they should be very cautious.

Spring~Fields
04-03-2010, 04:29 PM
I keep thinking about Wayne Simpson and Gary Nolan. Teams like the Reds can replace just about anything else, but they simply can't compete for TOR arms and when they can get them from within, they should be very cautious.

Simpson, Nolan and Gullet were primarily hard throwing fast ball pitchers weren’t they, that were ridden hard? I don’t recall pitch counts and concerns back then to protect the pitchers arms and shoulders. Maybe I am wrong, I was just a kid so very wowed by them back then.

Leake appears to be different from them. Volquez, Cueto and Bailey seem more prone to be like a Simpson, Nolan or a Gullet.

Nolan's first Major League ballgame was at the age of only 18.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Nolan_(baseball)

Gullett (born January 6, 1951) The Reds selected Don Gullett in the first round of the 1969 amateur draft, and he made his big league debut on April 10, 1970, 18 years old ?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Gullett

Wayne Kirby Simpson ( born December 2, 1948) Simpson was 14-3 with a 3.02 Earned Run Average as a rookie in 1970 21 or 22 year of age?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayne_Simpson

TheNext44
04-03-2010, 04:55 PM
Simpson, Nolan and Gullet were primarily hard throwing fast ball pitchers werenít they, that were ridden hard? I donít recall pitch counts and concerns back then to protect the pitchers arms and shoulders. Maybe I am wrong, I was just a kid so very wowed by them back then.

Leake appears to be different from them. Volquez, Cueto and Bailey seem more prone to be like a Simpson, Nolan or a Gullet.

They all also younger than Leake when they came up, 19 for Gullett and Nolan, 21 for Simpson.

But still mth123 is right, the primary concern is wear and tear on his arm. Since there is no track record on him, I really hope they are extra conservative with him.

Caveat Emperor
04-03-2010, 05:02 PM
Pitchers go to the minors to learn how to pitch instead of throw, to gain maturity. A pitcher whose fastball moves and he can control it, can get batters out at any level, almost no matter how fast he throws. Look at Herrera, Arroyo and knuckleballers like Wakefield and Hough.

Herrera, Arroyo and Wakefield didn't just roll out of bed and get to where they're at right now.

Arroyo logged over 1,000 IP in the minor leagues -- roughly 700 of those coming before he debuted with the Pirates in 2000. Herrera threw 198 before finally getting the call in 2008. Wakefield owns 800+ minor league innings to his credit.

Pitching is a craft and art. Successful pitchers hone their craft in the minors before coming to the major leagues and, even after that, most still struggle their first few years before finding a groove and being successful.

WebScorpion
04-03-2010, 05:25 PM
Like everyone, I'm a little worried they'll overwork Leake since he's never even pitched a full Minor League schedule, much less a Major League schedule. I'm keeping in mind our new pitching coach, Bryan Price, who's well versed on the adjustments young pitchers must make...I'm hoping he'll be the saving grace in that department. That coupled with the fact the 5th starter normally pitches much less than the other four could make this move great. Plus, if they need to shut him down early Volquez should be ready to rock by the end of the season.
:thumbup:
At the same time, I'm excited to see our Reds make such a bold move. I expected Leake to come quickly, but this is incredible. He must have really impressed everyone to be the guy selected here. I hope he siezes this opportunity and never looks back. Color me really, really excited to see this kid pitch! :dancingco:rockband:

Spring~Fields
04-03-2010, 05:46 PM
They all also younger than Leake when they came up, 19 for Gullett and Nolan, 21 for Simpson.

But still mth123 is right, the primary concern is wear and tear on his arm. Since there is no track record on him, I really hope they are extra conservative with him.

Yes, you guys are right to point that out and be concerned. Very true. I would not dismiss being conservative with any of the pitching, especially the younger ones.

Spring~Fields
04-03-2010, 05:48 PM
I'm keeping in mind our new pitching coach, Bryan Price, who's well versed on the adjustments young pitchers must make...I'm hoping he'll be the saving grace in that department. That coupled with the fact the 5th starter normally pitches much less than the other four could make this move great. Plus, if they need to shut him down early Volquez should be ready to rock by the end of the season.
:thumbup:
At the same time, I'm excited to see our Reds make such a bold move.

I think those are real factors too, and I think that you are right to have faith and trust in them to do the right things.

TheNext44
04-03-2010, 06:35 PM
Herrera, Arroyo and Wakefield didn't just roll out of bed and get to where they're at right now.

Arroyo logged over 1,000 IP in the minor leagues -- roughly 700 of those coming before he debuted with the Pirates in 2000. Herrera threw 198 before finally getting the call in 2008. Wakefield owns 800+ minor league innings to his credit.

Pitching is a craft and art. Successful pitchers hone their craft in the minors before coming to the major leagues and, even after that, most still struggle their first few years before finding a groove and being successful.

Considering that Leake is the first guy in 20 years to make the majors without any time in the minor leagues, of course any other pitcher I mention will have spent time in the minors.

But Arroyo was drafted out of HS, and made it to the majors just a few months older than Leake will be when he premiers.

Wakefield was an infielder converted to a pitcher in 1990, so naturally he needed a lot of time in the minors.

Herrera looks like a 12 year old, and only throw 80-85 MPH, so it's understandable why he spent time in the minors.

Nearly every player needs time in the minors, but I think that the reason for this is so that they can gain maturity, intelligence and control. The Reds are convinced that Leake is at the major league level in those areas.

I agree with you that this a big risk for the Reds, but it is a calculated risk, one not done because of need or desperation, but because the guy forced them to think uniquely. The Reds could be wrong on this, but they seemed convinced they are right.

westofyou
04-03-2010, 06:36 PM
I thought the point of drafting college pitchers was to fast track them to MLB.

Evidently the Reds are loaded with pitchers for once, they have a plethora of 5th type guys, look for Leake to barely top 125 innings this year is my best guess, and that's if he sticks around.

However I like the fact that the Reds feel they can make this move and that he's the type of guy that can pull it off. Too many Haynes, Andersons, Wilsons, Ortiz's and other assorted dead dogs in the rear view mirror of this franchise to not want to hold onto a young guy and coddle him, but sometimes they leave the nest before you can take the chance, some guys can pitch when they get the chance, even if they don't throw heat.

Ron Madden
04-03-2010, 06:44 PM
When was the last time the Reds went through an entire season with just five starters?

I'd guess we'll see at least eight different pitchers start games this season.

Spring~Fields
04-03-2010, 07:00 PM
I thought the point of drafting college pitchers was to fast track them to MLB.

Evidently the Reds are loaded with pitchers for once, they have a plethora of 5th type guys, look for Leake to barely top 125 innings this year is my best guess, and that's if he sticks around.

However I like the fact that the Reds feel they can make this move and that he's the type of guy that can pull it off. Too many Haynes, Andersons, Wilsons, Ortiz's and other assorted dead dogs in the rear view mirror of this franchise to not want to hold onto a young guy and coddle him, but sometimes they leave the nest before you can take the chance, some guys can pitch when they get the chance, even if they don't throw heat.

:clap::clap::clap::clap::clap:

TheNext44
04-03-2010, 07:29 PM
Strangely, this story did not make MLB.com's front page for news. They did include stories about Buster Posney being sent down, and Garrett Mock winning the Nationals # 5 spot in their roation, but nothing on the front page about Leake. Maybe I missed it, but I'm a regular at MLB.com

I would think something that hasn't happened in 20 years would be a big front page story, but I guess not if it happens in the Midwest?

Blitz Dorsey
04-03-2010, 07:33 PM
Strangely, this story did not make MLB.com's front page for news. They did include stories about Buster Posney being sent down, and Garrett Mock winning the Nationals # 5 spot in their roation, but nothing on the front page about Leake. Maybe I missed it, but I'm a regular at MLB.com

I would think something that hasn't happened in 20 years would be a big front page story, but I guess not if it happens in the Midwest?

That's a good point. Hasn't been made a national story, even though it deserves the press. Maybe after he actually makes the start it will be a big deal.

Chip R
04-03-2010, 07:35 PM
Nearly every player needs time in the minors, but I think that the reason for this is so that they can gain maturity, intelligence and control. The Reds are convinced that Leake is at the major league level in those areas.


I'm glad you brought up this point. I'm not trying to argue with you, per se, but just the conventional wisdom that players need minor league seasoning before they are major league ready. This sports universe is a place where 16-17 year old kids are playing international soccer with some of the best teams in the world. We have 19 year old kids with a year of college under their belts expected to become immediate superstars in the NBA. We have kids who would be college seniors (be they juniors or redshirt sophomores) expected to contribute in the NFL immediately. There are 19 and 20 year old players in the NHL now.

But there are also players in those sports who did the 4-5 years of college and they are expected to be superstars or contributors. But in MLB, people insist that these players serve an apprenticeship in the minor leagues whether they are ready for the majors or not. I think a lot of it is controlling these players for as long as they can for economic reasons. But the question is, why is baseball so different that young players just out of college or even high school cannot contribute to a major league team? Pitchers I can understand a little more but if they are put in relief or used as a 5th starter like Leake is, the physical transition isn't an enormous progression.

There's really no way to prove this but this almost mandatory time these players spend in the minor leagues may be one factor in the deteriorating number of African American players in the major leagues. I'm sure that there are other contributing factors but in basketball and football, all that is required of the best players is that they go to college for a year or 3 then they get drafted and make big money. If you're a baseball player you may get a nice bonus but your salary is usually the league minimum until you are a 3 year veteran. Not to mention that in the minor leagues a lot of trips are made on the bus to smaller cities where the African American population is negligible. If it looked like these players had a shot at the majors immediately, perhaps more kids - especially African American kids - would choose baseball over football and basketball.

I don't think every first round pick should make the major league team but I think it shouldn't be as cut and dried as it is now.

Ron Madden
04-03-2010, 07:39 PM
WOW! nice post Chip. :beerme:

TRF
04-03-2010, 08:32 PM
I'm glad you brought up this point. I'm not trying to argue with you, per se, but just the conventional wisdom that players need minor league seasoning before they are major league ready. This sports universe is a place where 16-17 year old kids are playing international soccer with some of the best teams in the world. We have 19 year old kids with a year of college under their belts expected to become immediate superstars in the NBA. We have kids who would be college seniors (be they juniors or redshirt sophomores) expected to contribute in the NFL immediately. There are 19 and 20 year old players in the NHL now.

But there are also players in those sports who did the 4-5 years of college and they are expected to be superstars or contributors. But in MLB, people insist that these players serve an apprenticeship in the minor leagues whether they are ready for the majors or not. I think a lot of it is controlling these players for as long as they can for economic reasons. But the question is, why is baseball so different that young players just out of college or even high school cannot contribute to a major league team? Pitchers I can understand a little more but if they are put in relief or used as a 5th starter like Leake is, the physical transition isn't an enormous progression.

There's really no way to prove this but this almost mandatory time these players spend in the minor leagues may be one factor in the deteriorating number of African American players in the major leagues. I'm sure that there are other contributing factors but in basketball and football, all that is required of the best players is that they go to college for a year or 3 then they get drafted and make big money. If you're a baseball player you may get a nice bonus but your salary is usually the league minimum until you are a 3 year veteran. Not to mention that in the minor leagues a lot of trips are made on the bus to smaller cities where the African American population is negligible. If it looked like these players had a shot at the majors immediately, perhaps more kids - especially African American kids - would choose baseball over football and basketball.

I don't think every first round pick should make the major league team but I think it shouldn't be as cut and dried as it is now.

I disagree. Soccer is a much different sport. The NFL requires kids to go to college because their bodies at 18 aren't prepared for the speed of the pro game. The NBA had issues with making 18 year old kids millionaires an exposing them to the pro lifestyle. MLB is really the only sport (hockey to a lesser extent) that allows kids to grow up within their sport, preparing them for success and failure. Maybe college kids need it less.

I just don't see where Mike Leake is such a finished, polished product that he can forgo that education. Is he really so much better than EVERY pitcher out of college over the last 20 years? You can make the argument he wasn't even the best pitcher vying for the 5th spot in the rotation.

But the question holds: is Mike Leake pitching every 5th day the difference? does his presence add more than 2 wins over his first 5 starts? Because if he goes 0-5, it's going to look like a really bad decision. And the name Brian Reith will be mentioned again.

camisadelgolf
04-03-2010, 08:33 PM
Miles has been cut.
I have to give Jocketty credit--we may not agree with his 25-man roster decisions, but he's trying to put together the best team he can without letting finances get in the way.

mth123
04-03-2010, 09:14 PM
I thought the point of drafting college pitchers was to fast track them to MLB.

Fast tracking is fine. But there is a difference between taking the express elevator to the street and jumping from the top floor window.

A year at AAA followed by a late season call-up for good is still a pretty fast track, but allows caution during the transition to the pro schedule.

pedro
04-03-2010, 09:41 PM
I have no problem with this.

Falls City Beer
04-03-2010, 09:43 PM
As long as they don't expect him to throw more than 125-150 innings this season, I see no problem really.

mth123
04-03-2010, 09:48 PM
As long as they don't expect him to throw more than 125-150 innings this season, I see no problem really.

The outings need to be short early while he gets used to the 5 day routine. I think that's more easily managed in the minors. Even if the risk is low, its not worth it. This isn't the year.

westofyou
04-03-2010, 09:53 PM
The outings need to be short early while he gets used to the 5 day routine. I think that's more easily managed in the minors. Even if the risk is low, its not worth it. This isn't the year.

The year usually does the choosing, not the team.

He's 22 years old, by the time these guys were 22 they had thrown this many Innings



CAREER
1995-2009

AGE <= 22

INNINGS PITCHED IP
1 Felix Hernandez 666.1
2 C.C. Sabathia 588
3 Jeremy Bonderman 535
4 Matt Cain 437
5 Ismael Valdes 422.2
6 Oliver Perez 412.2
7 Jon Garland 379.1
8 Scott Kazmir 364
9 Dontrelle Willis 357.2
10 Sidney Ponson 345


He's gotta pitch and if it's in the big leagues then so be it, he's not the first 22 year old pitcher or will he be the last, even if he doesn't pitch in the minors.

He's currently an outlier, outliers make people nervous, especially outlier pitchers.

Chip R
04-03-2010, 10:01 PM
I disagree. Soccer is a much different sport. The NFL requires kids to go to college because their bodies at 18 aren't prepared for the speed of the pro game. The NBA had issues with making 18 year old kids millionaires an exposing them to the pro lifestyle. MLB is really the only sport (hockey to a lesser extent) that allows kids to grow up within their sport, preparing them for success and failure. Maybe college kids need it less.

I just don't see where Mike Leake is such a finished, polished product that he can forgo that education. Is he really so much better than EVERY pitcher out of college over the last 20 years? You can make the argument he wasn't even the best pitcher vying for the 5th spot in the rotation.

But we aren't necessarily talking about 18 year old kids. And adjusting to the pro lifestyle is a completely different matter. Forget about the teenagers for a minute. We are also talking about 21-22 year old kids right out of college who will have to spend anywhere from a couple to several years in the minors just because it's always been done that way.



But the question holds: is Mike Leake pitching every 5th day the difference? does his presence add more than 2 wins over his first 5 starts? Because if he goes 0-5, it's going to look like a really bad decision. And the name Brian Reith will be mentioned again.

And if he goes 3-2 or 4-1 or 5-0 it's going to make the Reds look pretty smart. And we all know it isn't about wins and losses. if he goes 1-5 and the Reds can't score any runs for him - not very far fetched - and he has an ERA in the 2s or 3s, it's going to look pretty good. But the thing is, someone has to be bold enough to do it. MLB, just like any other pro league, is a copycat league. If someone has success doing something, you can bet all the other teams are going to do the same thing. So if Leake has success, more teams may follow suit.

mth123
04-03-2010, 10:19 PM
The year usually does the choosing, not the team.

He's 22 years old, by the time these guys were 22 they had thrown this many Innings



CAREER
1995-2009

AGE <= 22

INNINGS PITCHED IP
1 Felix Hernandez 666.1
2 C.C. Sabathia 588
3 Jeremy Bonderman 535
4 Matt Cain 437
5 Ismael Valdes 422.2
6 Oliver Perez 412.2
7 Jon Garland 379.1
8 Scott Kazmir 364
9 Dontrelle Willis 357.2
10 Sidney Ponson 345


He's gotta pitch and if it's in the big leagues then so be it, he's not the first 22 year old pitcher or will he be the last, even if he doesn't pitch in the minors.

He's currently an outlier, outliers make people nervous, especially outlier pitchers.

Hernandez had arm issues for a while, so did Bonderman. Willis, Ponson, Vades and Perez flamed out into fringe guys early. Kazmir is on that road. Perhaps had they spent another year in the minors, they would have lasted as TOR arms for a decade.

OnBaseMachine
04-03-2010, 10:22 PM
Adam Foster of Project Prospect on Mike Leake:

Thoughts on Leake going straight to the show?

Foster - Most polished NCAA pitcher I've ever seen. Minors would've been a breeze

Even more polished than Stephen Strasburg?

Foster - I think so. Leake commands 4 pitches. Strasburg only threw 2 in college.

http://twitter.com/AdamWFoster

dougdirt
04-03-2010, 10:28 PM
As long as they don't expect him to throw more than 125-150 innings this season, I see no problem really.

Leake threw 142 at Arizona State last season.... why limit him to 150 this season?

Will M
04-03-2010, 10:31 PM
Hernandez had arm issues for a while, so did Bonderman. Willis, Ponson, Vades and Perez flamed out into fringe guys early. Kazmir is on that road. Perhaps had they spent another year in the minors, they would have lasted as TOR arms for a decade.

the cynic would say that Leake's career is irrelevant to the Reds.
what matters is:
1. how he pitches during the six years we control him
2. how much he produces compared to what we pay him
3. making sure he doesn't break down before his first six years are up thereby ruining his trade value or draft pick compensation value in the case of him becoming a free agent after 2015

fearofpopvol1
04-03-2010, 10:33 PM
Leake threw 142 at Arizona State last season.... why limit him to 150 this season?

there's no doubt that 142 innings at the show will be much harder (with more stress pitches) than his time logged in the pac-10.

mth123
04-03-2010, 10:41 PM
the cynic would say that Leake's career is irrelevant to the Reds.
what matters is:
1. how he pitches during the six years we control him
2. how much he produces compared to what we pay him
3. making sure he doesn't break down before his first six years are up thereby ruining his trade value or draft pick compensation value in the case of him becoming a free agent after 2015

Agree. I think number three is at risk if his first couple of months aren't handled cautiously. Personally, I think he's ready to get hitters out and his inning load shouldn't be an issue. I just think those first few starts where he is pitching evey 5 days for the first time should be limited to 4 or 5 innings max. I don't see that happening in the big leagues. I wouldn't let him go 6 innings until June at the earliest. In the big leagues he'll have to jump right in.

It may end up being fine, just an extra risk I wouldn't take. Like I said, Leake is important to this team's future chances. He's part of the core IMO with Bailey, Chapman, Cueto, Volquez, Bruce and Votto. I don't think the chances in the present are so hot, so why risk it?

westofyou
04-03-2010, 11:00 PM
Hernandez had arm issues for a while, so did Bonderman. Willis, Ponson, Vades and Perez flamed out into fringe guys early. Kazmir is on that road. Perhaps had they spent another year in the minors, they would have lasted as TOR arms for a decade.

What pitchers have never had arm problems?

jojo
04-03-2010, 11:09 PM
Leake threw 142 at Arizona State last season.... why limit him to 150 this season?

Exactly.....

Breaking him in as a 5th spot arm is exactly how they should do it if they feel he's ready.

Falls City Beer
04-03-2010, 11:11 PM
Leake threw 142 at Arizona State last season.... why limit him to 150 this season?

It shouldn't be arbitrary, of course. But I'd caution against expecting 200 innings, or even 175 for that matter.

Chances are he'll get kicked around well before that, though.

kaldaniels
04-03-2010, 11:18 PM
I disagree. Soccer is a much different sport. The NFL requires kids to go to college because their bodies at 18 aren't prepared for the speed of the pro game. The NBA had issues with making 18 year old kids millionaires an exposing them to the pro lifestyle. MLB is really the only sport (hockey to a lesser extent) that allows kids to grow up within their sport, preparing them for success and failure. Maybe college kids need it less.

I just don't see where Mike Leake is such a finished, polished product that he can forgo that education. Is he really so much better than EVERY pitcher out of college over the last 20 years? You can make the argument he wasn't even the best pitcher vying for the 5th spot in the rotation.

But the question holds: is Mike Leake pitching every 5th day the difference? does his presence add more than 2 wins over his first 5 starts? Because if he goes 0-5, it's going to look like a really bad decision. And the name Brian Reith will be mentioned again.

That is poor logic. No one feels that he is the best pitcher to come out of college over 20 years. It is all about how developed he is now in relation to his potential development he would gain in the minors. I understand this move lends itself to alot of debate...but don't throw that silly sentence in there to justity your point.

kaldaniels
04-03-2010, 11:22 PM
there's no doubt that 142 innings at the show will be much harder (with more stress pitches) than his time logged in the pac-10.

I see this argument come up quite a bit. Ok, then someone present a number of MLB innings that is equivalent to 142 Pac-10 innings and explain the reasoning.

Chip R
04-03-2010, 11:30 PM
Another advantage in having a guy like Leake start in the majors right away is that theoretically, you are supposed to have the best instructors on the major league staff. You have veteran pitchers who can show him the ropes. If he has a sore arm, they can get an MRI quickly and have a major league training and medical staff examine him rather than getting pot luck in the minor leagues. If he exceeds the number of innings pitched in a game or year, the team has only themselves to blame. They can't blame some minor league coach or manager or some player personnel director.

HeatherC1212
04-04-2010, 12:02 AM
Not that ESPN is all that great at covering teams that aren't in CA, NY, IL, or PA, ;) but the guys on Baseball Tonight did mention Mike Leake making the Reds rotation and they were actually pretty positive about the news. They said some nice things about him both as a person and pitcher and gave some props to the Reds for their decision. I don't know how reliable those guys are anymore since they seem to worship the ground that some other teams walk on a little too much (*cough*Yankees*cough*) but it was nice to hear some good things from them. :)

fearofpopvol1
04-04-2010, 12:50 AM
I see this argument come up quite a bit. Ok, then someone present a number of MLB innings that is equivalent to 142 Pac-10 innings and explain the reasoning.

It's pretty simple...the competition is going to be tougher. He's a rookie pitcher. He's going to be facing smarter hitters and working out of more jams.

There's a study out there that shows throwing in stress situations vs. throwining in non-stress situations at the Show. I can't remember who wrote the piece though.

Why risk an important piece of the future in a year where the Reds aren't going to the World Series?

jojo
04-04-2010, 12:54 AM
Lets take the argument to it's next logical extension....if the Reds truly believe he's ready to get major league hitters out now, why risk Leake blowing his arm out against inferior quality hitters while pitching in meaningless games at Louisville? He should probably only be allowed to pitch in the bullpen or maybe just throw long toss until we're sure the Reds are a near certain lock.

Cedric
04-04-2010, 01:15 AM
Lets take the argument to it's next logical extension....if the Reds truly believe he's ready to get major league hitters out now, why risk Leake blowing his arm out against inferior quality hitters while pitching in meaningless games at Louisville? He should probably only be allowed to pitch in the bullpen or maybe just throw long toss until we're sure the Reds are a near certain lock.

I said that much earlier. Get innings that matter when you are as polished as Leake. Don't waste innings.

If a guy is maxed out in potential than you don't over think this. You don't not do something just because it's rare or not usual.

Cedric
04-04-2010, 01:17 AM
It's pretty simple...the competition is going to be tougher. He's a rookie pitcher. He's going to be facing smarter hitters and working out of more jams.

There's a study out there that shows throwing in stress situations vs. throwining in non-stress situations at the Show. I can't remember who wrote the piece though.

Why risk an important piece of the future in a year where the Reds aren't going to the World Series?

I'd say the risk of injury is exactly the same here as in Louisville. If not more of a risk with different instructors at the AAA level.

fearofpopvol1
04-04-2010, 01:32 AM
I'd say the risk of injury is exactly the same here as in Louisville. If not more of a risk with different instructors at the AAA level.

it's really not though. the hitters at the show are much better than the hitters at AAA. he's going to be facing tougher competition and will be working in more higher stress situations.

it's also easier to limit innings at AAA. it should be as easy at the show, but we do have a manager that unfortunately has not historically adhered to limiting innings pitched or pitch counts all too much. if i knew this part of the equation would be controlled, i'd feel better about the situation.

kaldaniels
04-04-2010, 01:37 AM
It's pretty simple...the competition is going to be tougher. He's a rookie pitcher. He's going to be facing smarter hitters and working out of more jams.

There's a study out there that shows throwing in stress situations vs. throwining in non-stress situations at the Show. I can't remember who wrote the piece though.

Why risk an important piece of the future in a year where the Reds aren't going to the World Series?

I understand the thinking, I'd just like a number. There's no right or wrong answer...I just want to see how much different some view it.

Captain Hook
04-04-2010, 01:42 AM
It's pretty simple...the competition is going to be tougher. He's a rookie pitcher. He's going to be facing smarter hitters and working out of more jams.

There's a study out there that shows throwing in stress situations vs. throwining in non-stress situations at the Show. I can't remember who wrote the piece though.

Why risk an important piece of the future in a year where the Reds aren't going to the World Series?

That's pretty simple as well.If he is the best pitcher for the spot he is competing for then you give him the job.

I certainly understand your point but there are risk involved every time one of the Reds pitchers take the ball.I'm sure your right and it will be much harder on Leake pitching in the bigs and I share some of your concerns but I'd much rather be worrying about these things then wondering 3 years from now if our 1st round pick from 2009 will ever make it to the show.

TRF
04-04-2010, 02:21 AM
What pitchers have never had arm problems?

Nolan Ryan?

:)

fearofpopvol1
04-04-2010, 02:22 AM
I understand the thinking, I'd just like a number. There's no right or wrong answer...I just want to see how much different some view it.

there is an article that explains this in way more depth than i could. i apologize i don't remember who wrote it, but someone posted i on RZ within the last year.

fearofpopvol1
04-04-2010, 02:23 AM
That's pretty simple as well.If he is the best pitcher for the spot he is competing for then you give him the job.

I certainly understand your point but there are risk involved every time one of the Reds pitchers take the ball.I'm sure your right and it will be much harder on Leake pitching in the bigs and I share some of your concerns but I'd much rather be worrying about these things then wondering 3 years from now if our 1st round pick from 2009 will ever make it to the show.

Let me ask you this...do you think Chapman right now is better than Leake is? If so, why isn't he starting the rotation instead of Leake?

I'm just saying...why risk some important development (both physically and mentally) at a time when the Reds won't be competing for the World Series?

Redsfaithful
04-04-2010, 02:34 AM
It's silly to say the Reds aren't going to the World Series. It's unlikely, sure, but their division is as wide open as any, and once you make the playoffs anything can happen. Saying this isn't the Reds year isn't really a valid argument, not to mention it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy were the team to actually be run like that.

Captain Hook
04-04-2010, 03:49 AM
Let me ask you this...do you think Chapman right now is better than Leake is? If so, why isn't he starting the rotation instead of Leake?

I'm just saying...why risk some important development (both physically and mentally) at a time when the Reds won't be competing for the World Series?

I think the Reds were much more willing to speed up Leake's arbitration clock by one year then they were willing to turn Chapmans 30 mil over 6 yrs to 30mil over 3yrs(I'm not really sure about Chapmans contract but have seen these numbers a lot).The difference between Chapman and Leake being in the rotation right now is minimal to nothing as far as talent on the field goes while the difference in the money that decision would cost the team is drastic.I can't blame them.

For the record I would've been fine with Chapman in the rotation.I do think some of the same issues you have brought up with Leak would've applied to Chapman as well and maybe even more so.Communication is very important when health and injuries are involved and Chapman certainly has issues there.

camisadelgolf
04-04-2010, 04:25 AM
Leake threw 142 at Arizona State last season.... why limit him to 150 this season?
Is that including his AFL numbers?

reds44
04-04-2010, 04:26 AM
Is that including his AFL numbers?
Nope, he threw 142 innings at ASU and then another 19 in the AFL.

jojo
04-04-2010, 08:26 AM
If the Reds are convinced Leake is ready to get major league hitters out, then he needs to learn the lessons he'll learn by pitching to them. It's not that difficult to manage a 5th starter's workload.

lollipopcurve
04-04-2010, 11:47 AM
If the Reds are convinced Leake is ready to get major league hitters out, then he needs to learn the lessons he'll learn by pitching to them. It's not that difficult to manage a 5th starter's workload.

Yep.

What people who don't like the move are missing is that Leake already has a lot of what pitchers develop in the minors -- mixed arsenal, pitchability, poise, inner confidence. Saying he needs "development" without defining what that means is meaningless.

_Sir_Charles_
04-04-2010, 12:27 PM
Jojo & lollipop are spot on IMO.


Let me ask you this...do you think Chapman right now is better than Leake is? If so, why isn't he starting the rotation instead of Leake?

I'm just saying...why risk some important development (both physically and mentally) at a time when the Reds won't be competing for the World Series?

I know this wasn't directed to me, but for my money's worth...I think Leake is better than Chapman is right now. Hands down. No real comparison IMO. Now if you include who has the more upside & potential...then it shifts the other way VERY drastically.

Chapman isn't stretched out enough, doesn't have anywhere close to the same control that Mike does, and he's still got a LOT of adjusting to do to the US and MLB.

The only legitimate argument I've heard for Leake to start in the minors is to get accustomed to the 5 man rotation. I still think it'll be just as easy to do so in the bigs. The first month or so is usually pretty flexible in terms of needing a 5th starter. If need be, he can get his work in every fifth day in the pen to keep him on a schedule.

And lastly, why aren't the Reds competing for the world series this year? The season hasn't even started yet and they're out of contention? Nobody knows how this season will shake out.

Blitz Dorsey
04-04-2010, 12:54 PM
Just enjoy the ride. Too many people are fretting about things that fans shouldn't worry about. I think the fact that our 2009 first-round pick made the team coming out of 2010 spring training is what I will focus on. Pretty big statement that he won the No. 5 spot in the rotation and I love it. And I was pulling for Travis Wood, but if you can't see that this is a great sign for the Reds, I don't know what to tell ya. Mike Leake is the real deal.

jojo
04-04-2010, 01:09 PM
Think about it this way, when is the last time ya got excited about watching a game because the 5th spot in the rotation is going tonight?

It'll be fun watching him pitch to major league hitters and learning what he's all about.

top6
04-04-2010, 01:29 PM
Have to admit, I really don't follow this team "day to day" anymore, because I just got so tired of watching this franchise mess everything up. Based on this move, it looks like nothing's changed. Wake me up when Dusty and Walt are gone.

pedro
04-04-2010, 01:33 PM
Have to admit, I really don't follow this team "day to day" anymore, because I just got so tired of watching this franchise mess everything up. Based on this move, it looks like nothing's changed. Wake me up when Dusty and Walt are gone.

I think you're going to sleeping for a while.

top6
04-04-2010, 01:36 PM
I have to give Jocketty credit--we may not agree with his 25-man roster decisions, but he's trying to put together the best team he can without letting finances get in the way.

I don't understand this. The reds have limited financial means to spend on salary. Until they have a $200 million payroll, they need to consider the financial implications of every move they make. There's not some arbitrary distinction between baseball and finances.

Not letting fiances "get in the way" leads to giving 2-year deals to Willy Taveras. Or Eric Milton. etc. etc.

TRF
04-04-2010, 01:44 PM
His college IP plus the AFL might suggest he could handle the work load.

except...

he had a what, three month layoff between college and the AFL? that isn't insignificant. The IP, even in college suggests the jump is possible, but it isn't the IP that matters, its the number of pitches and the intensity. Do we have that data? You can bet he wasn't facing 1/4 the competition he'll be facing 7 days from today. Lets face it, Leake hasn't faced a lineup for 6 innings equivalent to what will be behind Wood at Louisville.

It could work. I don't discount that. But the most precious commodity a team possesses is starting pitching. Young, high upside starting pitching. Taking the chance of ruining said pitching seems foolish. And i am not just suggesting injury here.

camisadelgolf
04-04-2010, 01:47 PM
I don't understand this. The reds have limited financial means to spend on salary. Until they have a $200 million payroll, they need to consider the financial implications of every move they make. There's not some arbitrary distinction between baseball and finances.

Not letting fiances "get in the way" leads to giving 2-year deals to Willy Taveras. Or Eric Milton. etc. etc.
I worded it poorly. I just mean that even though it would financially make sense to have both Aaron Miles and Travis Wood on the team, they instead went with Miguel Cairo and Mike Leake because they felt they would give the Reds a better chance of winning in 2010.

jojo
04-04-2010, 01:50 PM
I doubt Leake would be allowed to rack up worrisome pitch counts for the sake of eating innings...

I think the way to interpret this decision is that the Reds believe Leake is ready to get major league hitters out and he gives them their best chance to win.

If he needs a boat load of pitches just to make 5 innings, I'm willing to give the FO the benefit of the doubt concerning the assumption they'd revisit their decision.

dougdirt
04-04-2010, 01:52 PM
Talk about a no win situation by the Reds FO here....

They picked the guy who pitched the best and they made the wrong decision.

If they picked Travis Wood then I am sure it would have been the wrong decision too. He walked too many guys in spring.

If they went with Aroldis Chapman, it would be more of the same Leake talk.

If they went with Maloney, it would have been that he got beat up all spring and overlooked guys with higher ceilings.

If they went with Lehr - see Maloney.

Tommyjohn25
04-04-2010, 02:01 PM
Talk about a no win situation by the Reds FO here....

They picked the guy who pitched the best and they made the wrong decision.

If they picked Travis Wood then I am sure it would have been the wrong decision too. He walked too many guys in spring.

If they went with Aroldis Chapman, it would be more of the same Leake talk.

If they went with Maloney, it would have been that he got beat up all spring and overlooked guys with higher ceilings.

If they went with Lehr - see Maloney.

This. And pretty much everything JoJo has said in this thread.

TRF
04-04-2010, 02:11 PM
so we should just not discuss it then? we can't disagree with the FO that brought us Willy Taveras, traded it's best SP prospect (Stewart) and STILL hasn't found a LF?

ok then, Redszone is now closed, whoever is the last to leave, please turn out the lights.

Sorry, but UNTIL this FO puts a team on the field that can win one more than 81 games, they get questioned.

dougdirt
04-04-2010, 02:12 PM
so we should just not discuss it then? we can't disagree with the FO that brought us Willy Taveras, traded it's best SP prospect (Stewart) and STILL hasn't found a LF?

ok then, Redszone is now closed, whoever is the last to leave, please turn out the lights.

Sorry, but UNTIL this FO puts a team on the field that can win one more than 81 games, they get questioned.

Not sure why we would discuss any of those things in this thread at all since its about Mike Leake (I guess theoretically we could talk Stewart since he could have been an option).

The point was though that no matter the move they made it was going to be questioned and they were in a no win situation.

Tommyjohn25
04-04-2010, 02:26 PM
This is also the front office who replaced Stewart with Aroldis Chapman and Mike Leake. I don't know about you, but I would be banging my head into a wall if EE was the 3B again.

I don't blame you for being skeptical, 9 years of losing will do that to the best of us. I am excited for this season though. Probably more so than I have been since the 90's.

westofyou
04-04-2010, 02:28 PM
This is also the front office who replaced Stewart with Aroldis Chapman and Mike Leake. I don't know about you, but I would be banging my head into a wall if EE was the 3B again.

I don't blame you for being skeptical, 9 years of losing will do that to the best of us. I am excited for this season though. Probably more so than I have been since the 90's.

Agreed....Stewart was sent down by Toronto 3 weeks ago, they have a totally inexperienced staff and they didn't turn to him. Including his name in the mix would be revisionist history at its finest.

mth123
04-04-2010, 02:34 PM
Talk about a no win situation by the Reds FO here....

They picked the guy who pitched the best and they made the wrong decision.

If they picked Travis Wood then I am sure it would have been the wrong decision too. He walked too many guys in spring.

If they went with Aroldis Chapman, it would be more of the same Leake talk.

If they went with Maloney, it would have been that he got beat up all spring and overlooked guys with higher ceilings.

If they went with Lehr - see Maloney.

I think Leake was probably the best choice. I just wanted the team to give him a month or two getting used to the 5 day routine to ensure he wasn't getting too many innings too quickly. I think he can handle the load overall and I think he has a chance to get guys out. I just don't take chances with young arms who could be a building block. You wanna risk somebody who probably isn't such a big part of the future, go ahead. Can't see what it would have hurt to go with a stopgap for a while to let all these things develop. Sometimes time just has to do its job no matter how impatient we may be.

There were a number of "who is your number 5?" threads. I voted Lehr or Maloney each time. Before Spring Training I supported Wells for the same reasons. Most of those against this move are against it because we all are very high on Leake and don't see any need to take even minor risks with the guy. This team can't afford "what the heck, lets do it" type decision making.

dougdirt
04-04-2010, 02:56 PM
There were a number of "who is your number 5?" threads. I voted Lehr or Maloney each time. Before Spring Training I supported Wells for the same reasons. Most of those against this move are against it because we all are very high on Leake and don't see any need to take even minor risks with the guy. This team can't afford "what the heck, lets do it" type decision making.

I voted for Maloney, but just because the Reds made a different decision than I would have doesn't mean I think they made a wrong one either. I get their decision and its probably a good one. Its just different than what I would have done.

TRF
04-04-2010, 03:10 PM
Agreed....Stewart was sent down by Toronto 3 weeks ago, they have a totally inexperienced staff and they didn't turn to him. Including his name in the mix would be revisionist history at its finest.

Well, I wouldn't have had Stewart pegged for this season either. I'd have him starting at AAA and if he was the best pitcher there, then he's who i turn to first. I'm thinking the Blue Jays are likely thinking the same thing. Plus since he kind of surprised as a starter, they are probably looking to build his innings, getting him further adjusted to pitching every 5th day.

No revision whatsoever. Had he been Reds property I'd have been of the same opinion. He needs additional time at AAA.

I'd have preferred Wood over Leake because of experience and 40 man issues, but I think he needs at least another half season at AAA. Since Bailey and Cueto still aren't consistent enough to be considered locks as TOR arms, i err on the side of caution.

Mario-Rijo
04-04-2010, 03:38 PM
I probably would have been against this move if it were your typical draft pick but Leake is a special case and as long as the Reds keep him under 180 innings I won't have a problem with the move whatsoever. I think he possesses everything required to make such a leap including a fairly rubber arm.

BearcatShane
04-04-2010, 03:46 PM
Will Leake pitch in the Cubs series?

Blitz Dorsey
04-04-2010, 03:49 PM
Will Leake pitch in the Cubs series?

Yes, Sunday, April 11.

Ltlabner
04-04-2010, 04:00 PM
so we should just not discuss it then? we can't disagree with the FO that brought us Willy Taveras, traded it's best SP prospect (Stewart) and STILL hasn't found a LF?

ok then, Redszone is now closed, whoever is the last to leave, please turn out the lights.

Sorry, but UNTIL this FO puts a team on the field that can win one more than 81 games, they get questioned.

Amen brother. Thus far Walt's done exactly Jack Squat in Cincinnati during his tenure here. He's got a great resume from the past and deserves respect but until we see the Reds start pounding out winning season after winning season Walt's done nothing worthy of shutting down all discussion about his moves.

By the way, since Leake has been tagged with the labels of "poised, pitchablity and inner maturity" do we have a shred of evidence to support this other than what Walt, Dusty and Price have said? I mean, there's been plenty of high draft choices that have a good spring training that haven't been catapulted directly into the show. What specific instances do we have to point at that scream "poise, pitchablity and inner maturity" deep in the soul of Mr. Leake?

Did he stare down Pujols? Did he baffle Utley? Did he work his way out of repeated 2 on 1 out jams? Did he not get ruffled when his defense let him down? Did Jetter give an interview saying "I've never seen a kid pitch like this"?

I'm asking seriously as I've not been able to hear/watch too many spring training games. I'm just curious what we're hanging our hat on other than the words of the FO.

Will M
04-04-2010, 04:12 PM
One thing that has not been mentioned:

There is a pitcher whose build & arsenal is similar to Leake's.
This pitcher is a guy that Leake can learn a whole lot from.
This pitcher doesn't throw hard but mixes up his pitches, arm angle & release point.
This pitcher can teach Mr Leake not via lectures but by watching him pitch every 5th day.

Hint: This pitcher is on the 2010 Reds but may not be on the team after this year (or even after this years trading deadline).

BearcatShane
04-04-2010, 04:16 PM
I don't know, has Jocketty rushed prospects before? If the Reds brass thinks he's ready, then I'm on board. I know they know more about this than me, and probably all of this board.

Caveat Emperor
04-04-2010, 04:46 PM
Saying he needs "development" without defining what that means is meaningless.

"Development" means learning to pitch to advanced hitters -- figuring out how to retire hitters who aren't fooled by a "fastball with good movement" and who have the bat control to avoid missing the pitches that could strike out college kids.

I suppose he can get that in the majors, but I suspect the results aren't going to be pretty. Leake profiles, to me, as a guy who will need to eat a significant number of innings before he learns how to use his stuff effectively. I'd rather he get those in the minors, especially when there are other options available right now. I've been low on Leake since he was drafted, so that probably colors my view of things -- but I expect Leake to be back in AAA by the end of May, tail tucked firmly between his legs.

I simply don't think he has the stuff to retire big league hitters 2 and 3 times through the lineup. We'll see, though.

fearofpopvol1
04-04-2010, 04:50 PM
I think no matter what, there's a lot of risk involved with doing this. You may crash the guy's confidence for a long time. Maybe the reverse is true and he'll dominate and everything will be peachy. Hopefully it's the latter, but it's not the move I would make to start the season.

lollipopcurve
04-04-2010, 05:30 PM
By the way, since Leake has been tagged with the labels of "poised, pitchablity and inner maturity" do we have a shred of evidence to support this other than what Walt, Dusty and Price have said? I mean, there's been plenty of high draft choices that have a good spring training that haven't been catapulted directly into the show. What specific instances do we have to point at that scream "poise, pitchablity and inner maturity" deep in the soul of Mr. Leake?

The labels of poise and inner confidence/maturity are anecdotal -- there have been several quotes pointing to these attributes -- and if you've watched him pitch and heard him talk you get a sense. If you don't buy anecdotal stuff or subjective judgments re: "intangibles," that's understandable.

"Pitchability" is clearly evident in his stuff. It refers to having a mixed arsenal that he can command well. Any pitch in any count is a phrase often used to describe pitchability.

There are reasons Leake has been chosen to make this leap. Either you try to understand what those are, or you don't.

wheels
04-04-2010, 05:40 PM
Let's just hope they'll have the sense to not keep running him out there if he's getting his head kicked in.

Have a quick hook. During actual games, and ship him back to the minors as soon as there is evidence he's totally overmatched.

I can see them using the fifth slot as a sort of audition for next year with Leake, Wood, and Maloney whizzing around the revolving door.

It will be interesting to see how it's all going to shake out.

Ltlabner
04-04-2010, 05:55 PM
"Pitchability" is clearly evident in his stuff. It refers to having a mixed arsenal that he can command well....

...against collage hitters and spring training hitters.

The kid may take the league by storm, or struggle for a few seasons and then turn into the next Maddux. Who knows. Hopefully those of us in the "be cautious" camp are proven dead wrong.

My only point is that some here are anointing him with all sorts of attributes and I'm curious what they are using to come to these conclusions. Are there specific events or is it all just relying on Walt's quotes, some spring training performances and "feelings".

If there are specific reasons why people are saying these things I'd like to hear them. If it's all just gut feel, spring training observations and what the FO is saying then that tells me something too.

dougdirt
04-04-2010, 06:07 PM
I went through John Walsh's 150 pitcher pitch plot PDF's from 2007 (http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/pitch-identification-tutorial/) to try and find someone who got between -10 and -15 inches of horizontal movement on their fastball like Mike Leake does (chart below). I couldn't find one. Greg Maddux, Jake Peavy, Jason Marquis, Justin Germano, Roy Halladay and a few others were in the -8 to -12 range, but I didn't see anyone consistently in the -10 to -15 inch range that Leake has been in the limited sample of Pitch F/X data we have.

Here is the breakdown of Mike Leake's movement on his pitches:
http://www.redsminorleagues.com/images/mikeleakepfxmovement.gif

Of course that doesn't mean that he will succeed or anything really, other than in comparison to a lot of major leaguers, Mike Leake gets a ton of movement on his fastball.

BearcatShane
04-04-2010, 06:13 PM
Doug, I really respect your opinion so what do you think of this? Do you think he'll succeed right away? (As in be a servicable 5?)

dougdirt
04-04-2010, 06:17 PM
Doug, I really respect your opinion so what do you think of this? Do you think he'll succeed right away? (As in be a servicable 5?)

I think he will certainly be able to contribute as a #5 (typically a 5.25 ERA is a good #5 starter). I think he will actually do a bit better than that. It is not the move I would have made, but I don't think its the wrong move either. Just a different one.

lollipopcurve
04-04-2010, 06:44 PM
..against collage hitters and spring training hitters.

Pitchability has no relation to who the hitters are. It describes a pitcher's ability to command multiple pitches well -- any pitch in any count.

lollipopcurve
04-04-2010, 06:47 PM
Are there specific events or is it all just relying on Walt's quotes, some spring training performances and "feelings".

Some is anecdotal. Some is based on his performance record. Don't forget, his college numbers -- in a top conference -- were unearthly good in 2009. Pitched well in the AFL (vs top minor league hitters) and in ST. In other words, the kid has delivered in every opportunity so far.

You don't think Bryan Price knows what he's looking at?

Will M
04-04-2010, 07:01 PM
Some is anecdotal. Some is based on his performance record. Don't forget, his college numbers -- in a top conference -- were unearthly good in 2009. Pitched well in the AFL (vs top minor league hitters) and in ST. In other words, the kid has delivered in every opportunity so far.

You don't think Bryan Price knows what he's looking at?

good point about Price. i suspect he had major input into keeping Leake & sending Wood & Chapman to AAA. i suspect not all the Reds Brass are the idiots so many think they are & some of them may even know more than us fans.

Patrick Bateman
04-04-2010, 07:11 PM
You know, I get the standpoint of those who think Leake is perhaps being unjustly rushed. But, at worst, this will make the current state of the team more interesting to watch. That does mean something to me who has to sit there and watch 150 games a year. For the time being it's nice to actually have another reason to want to watch a game.

As for the actual merits of the deicsion, we're not talking about a 19 year old who lacks experience. Leake may have not pitched professionall yet, but he's 22 and has been scouted as being near major league ready at the time of the draft. If he's not in the majors, he may as well be in AAA. He is that polished, so I see this as basically skipping one level. He would hardly be the first guy to make that type of jump successfully. He may be doinh it in a different way than the norm, but again, he's not 19 years old. based on where is developmentally, the amount of lessons he would learn in AAA are probably pretty minor.

Sure, he's likely to have some bumps in the road in the majors, but that's true for just about any pitcher. He may as well take them now if he looks ready. In the end, you might find that come mid year, he is ready to be a GOOD major league pitcher because of the development he gets in the majors right now. Development doesnt end in AAA, quite the opposite really. He needs to transform into a big league starter at some point, so I don't understand why that transformation cant happen right now for a 22 year old that is widely considered the most polished prospect in a long time.

mth123
04-04-2010, 07:17 PM
good point about Price. i suspect he had major input into keeping Leake & sending Wood & Chapman to AAA. i suspect not all the Reds Brass are the idiots so many think they are & some of them may even know more than us fans.

But none have much experience running a guy out there right out of college, so how can they know much more than anybody?

FWIW, performance is the last thing I'm worried about. I expect every young starter is going to get cuffed around for about his first 200 big league innings or so (any that skip the lump taking I consider a nice surprise). From that standpoint, I'm glad we're getting a big chunk of that out of the way. Its just health that concerns me. I'm not even worried about the inning load for the season, I just don't want him to have to pitch in a big league race while he adjusts to the 5 man routine. Circumstances with the rest of the staff may force him to stay in too long when he should be going slow during the adjustment. After he's adjusted, turn him loose, but until then, I don't see why taking a risk with one of the team's core players is worth it when there are plenty of other options to buy some adjustment time.

TRF
04-04-2010, 07:37 PM
Can we all remember that when Maddux came up, he threw 95?

The next time Mike Leake throws 95 will be the first time.

I see him more as a right handed Jamie Moyer. That ain't bad. but i don't think he's there yet.

A pretty smart poster, that almost never posts here anymore said it best... coddle thy pitchers.

dougdirt
04-04-2010, 07:39 PM
Can we all remember that when Maddux came up, he threw 95?

The next time Mike Leake throws 95 will be the first time.

I see him more as a right handed Jamie Moyer. That ain't bad. but i don't think he's there yet.

Maddux could throw 95, but he didn't do it often. Just like Leake can throw 94, but doesn't do it often. Surely there should never be a comparison until Leake you know, goes out and puts up an all time great season or 3.

TheNext44
04-04-2010, 07:43 PM
Can we all remember that when Maddux came up, he threw 95?

The next time Mike Leake throws 95 will be the first time.

I see him more as a right handed Jamie Moyer. That ain't bad. but i don't think he's there yet.

A pretty smart poster, that almost never posts here anymore said it best... coddle thy pitchers.

Not saying Leake should even be mentioned with Greg Maddox, but Maddox could hit 95, but stayed at around 90-92. Leake can hit 94, but stays at 89-91. Really not a whole lot of difference in their velocity.

There is a difference in that far fewer pitchers threw 95 when Maddox came up, so Leake at 94 should be less effective that when Maddox first came up and hit 95.

lollipopcurve
04-04-2010, 08:10 PM
But none have much experience running a guy out there right out of college, so how can they know much more than anybody?

Pitchers are pitchers. They know what they're looking at.

mth123
04-04-2010, 08:15 PM
Pitchers are pitchers. They know what they're looking at.

Maybe from a performance standpoint, but from a health risk standpoint, its pretty uncharted water. Why risk it?

dougdirt
04-04-2010, 08:38 PM
Maybe from a performance standpoint, but from a health risk standpoint, its pretty uncharted water. Why risk it?

It isn't really uncharted for a guy to be drafted June of XXXX year and debut in April of XXXX+1 year.

lollipopcurve
04-04-2010, 08:52 PM
Maybe from a performance standpoint, but from a health risk standpoint, its pretty uncharted water. Why risk it?

Some would say the smart play from a health perspective is to get as many major league innings as you can from a pitcher who looks as if he may be ready. (In other words, err on the side of promoting too soon instead of too late.)

I see no difference in the injury risk whether Leake's in the majors or minors.

Ltlabner
04-04-2010, 09:15 PM
Pitchability has no relation to who the hitters are. It describes a pitcher's ability to command multiple pitches well -- any pitch in any count.

All well and good. Let's see how well he commands his multiple pitches once he's facing actual MLB hitters in actual MLB games. You can't say the guy has great MLB command when he hasn't pitched a single MLB inning.

The world is littered with guys who tore up collage and the minors and flamed out at MLB level despite their 'pitchability' (which might be the dumbest word ever).


You don't think Bryan Price knows what he's looking at?

You don't think Bryan Price is the only guy who made the decision do you? Besides this is the Reds we are talking about. It's not like they have a stellar track record this century of making rock solid decisions.

You make piss poor decisions long enough you really ought not be surprised when the all the buying public doesn't slurp up your every last word as gospel truth anymore.


A pretty smart poster, that almost never posts here anymore said it best... coddle thy pitchers.

Someone else pointed out that at least he's the 5th starter so it's not like he's the #1 guy, but yea....if this kid is THAT good wouldn't you want to do everything you can to make sure he's around for as long as possible?

lollipopcurve
04-04-2010, 10:13 PM
You can't say the guy has great MLB command when he hasn't pitched a single MLB inning.

The kid has command. It's like saying Chapman throws hard.


The world is littered with guys who tore up collage and the minors and flamed out at MLB level despite their 'pitchability' (which might be the dumbest word ever).


Name a couple. Yeah, they're out there, but you're just vomiting bile.


You don't think Bryan Price is the only guy who made the decision do you? Besides this is the Reds we are talking about. It's not like they have a stellar track record this century of making rock solid decisions.

Bitter, table for one?

Opening day is tomorrow, and you're miserable. Must suck.

TRF
04-04-2010, 10:36 PM
He wasn't my choice for 5th starter. I think the potential for harm outweighs the POSSIBLE benefit he brings. I think sending him to AA or AAA for three months and telling him he needs to learn a few things isn't a bad idea. In fact I think its the smartest idea. The Nats have the consensus best pitching prospect in baseball, and they are sending him to AA. There are things to learn. subtleties of the game, the routine, the grind etc. He's missing an opportunity to learn from a guy like Lehr. Instead he's being given the keys to the team sportscar the week he gets his license.

He might not crash. but would you give your teenager the keys his first week as a licensed driver? Maybe for an older car, say a 1994 Ford Tempo. you gradually ease him up to the Mustang.

Cedric
04-04-2010, 10:48 PM
He wasn't my choice for 5th starter. I think the potential for harm outweighs the POSSIBLE benefit he brings. I think sending him to AA or AAA for three months and telling him he needs to learn a few things isn't a bad idea. In fact I think its the smartest idea. The Nats have the consensus best pitching prospect in baseball, and they are sending him to AA. There are things to learn. subtleties of the game, the routine, the grind etc. He's missing an opportunity to learn from a guy like Lehr. Instead he's being given the keys to the team sportscar the week he gets his license.

He might not crash. but would you give your teenager the keys his first week as a licensed driver? Maybe for an older car, say a 1994 Ford Tempo. you gradually ease him up to the Mustang.

And that guy in Washington isn't there for opening day because of monetary reasons, that's it.

kaldaniels
04-04-2010, 10:52 PM
I think he will certainly be able to contribute as a #5 (typically a 5.25 ERA is a good #5 starter). I think he will actually do a bit better than that. It is not the move I would have made, but I don't think its the wrong move either. Just a different one.

You've hit on this point a couple times Doug, and its great. Just because a move isn't the move someone on here would make...doesn't make it the wrong move worth complaining about. Nice perspective. :thumbup:

TRF
04-04-2010, 10:56 PM
And that guy in Washington isn't there for opening day because of monetary reasons, that's it.

horse hockey. That ain't the JimBo and Marge/Lindner show there. If that were the reason, then they why send him to AA?

They sent him down because he needs some development. Same as Chapman. Leake too.

I can see this working. I can see it failing. I think the risk is too great.

Ltlabner
04-04-2010, 10:56 PM
Bitter, table for one?

Opening day is tomorrow, and you're miserable. Must suck.

I see that you have zero logic to your argument other than your feelings and what the Reds press-releases tell you to think.

Welcome to the ignore list, population you.

edabbs44
04-04-2010, 10:59 PM
Let's try and get positive. The decision has been made and the fact that the Reds drafted a guy who forced his way into the OD rotation without going to the minors should be a good thing, something that should be viewed as positive. The fact that anyone sees this as being negative is a shame.

Cincy is headed in a good direction. Why not act like it?

Ltlabner
04-04-2010, 11:00 PM
I can see this working. I can see it failing. I think the risk is too great.

Well said. Hopefully we'll both prove to be nervous-nellies who laugh at each other for being wrong for the first time ever about a Reds move.

Blitz Dorsey
04-04-2010, 11:34 PM
Still can't believe most of the reaction from Reds fans on this board is negative. Wow.

paintmered
04-04-2010, 11:39 PM
Still can't believe most of the reaction from Reds fans on this board is negative. Wow.

Maybe it's already time to bring back Debbie. I thought we could have held off for a few more weeks. There's no time like the present, I suppose.

http://sidesalad.net/archives/DebbieDownerRachaelDratch.jpg

westofyou
04-04-2010, 11:40 PM
I sure wish Micah Owings and his 5.08 era and 330 IP won the 5th starters job.

reds44
04-04-2010, 11:46 PM
I sure wish Micah Owings and his 5.08 era and 330 IP won the 5th starters job.
But he can hit!

gm
04-05-2010, 12:42 AM
What pitchers have never had arm problems? Nolan Ryan?

Ryan had elbow trouble as a teenager in the Met's organization, back in the
'60s

I'll throw out another name from the past as a comparison to Leake

Jim "Catfish" Hunter

TheNext44
04-05-2010, 01:46 AM
...against collage hitters and spring training hitters.

The kid may take the league by storm, or struggle for a few seasons and then turn into the next Maddux. Who knows. Hopefully those of us in the "be cautious" camp are proven dead wrong.

My only point is that some here are anointing him with all sorts of attributes and I'm curious what they are using to come to these conclusions. Are there specific events or is it all just relying on Walt's quotes, some spring training performances and "feelings".

If there are specific reasons why people are saying these things I'd like to hear them. If it's all just gut feel, spring training observations and what the FO is saying then that tells me something too.

All that any of us have are quotes and observations from others who do see him on a regular basis. Personally, we all have nothing but stats and a few innings we might have seen him pitch on TV to judge Leake on.

But we make solid, logical, rational judgments on less knowledge every day. We base on knowledge on what we hear and read from reliable sources, like beat writers, other team beat writers, national writers, national TV commentators, coaches, other players, et al. We have learned (at least I have learned) who to trust, who not to trust, and most importantly, to pay attention when everyone is saying the same thing.

When Chapman was first signed, no one had seen him pitch except for a few innings in international competition. Yet when reports were coming from camp, from everyone who saw him, that he threw 100 MPH and had better control than thought, I believed them. I didn't need to dig deeper and ask why were all these people saying this about Chapman. I didn't doubt what they were saying simply because they couldn't "prove" it to me.

The only way your questions about the validity of the reports on Leake are logical and valid, is if you don't believe what you read and hear about any player from any media source. Maybe you don't, and maybe you have a logical reason for not believing. But I think most of us chose to believe the sports media, especially when they all are saying the same thing.

Caveat Emperor
04-05-2010, 02:08 AM
I sure wish Micah Owings and his 5.08 era and 330 IP won the 5th starters job.

I think Leake will be lucky to post an ERA better than that for the season.

"Poise" and "Maturity" are nice words to throw around, but neither one of them is going to help you retire Albert Pujols or Ryan Braun with a 91 MPH fastball.

Patrick Bateman
04-05-2010, 02:12 AM
I think Leake will be lucky to post an ERA better than that for the season.

"Poise" and "Maturity" are nice words to throw around, but neither one of them is going to help you retire Albert Pujols or Ryan Braun with a 91 MPH fastball.

Well neither is Micah Owings.

He doesnt have to be gangbusters for this to work. Leake is rounding out the rotation. Poise and maturity perhaps means there is nothing to be gained by mowing down minor leaguers. If he can hold his own for the time being, he may as well learn up here. It's not like he's taking over for Harang or something.

pedro
04-05-2010, 02:15 AM
I think Leake will be lucky to post an ERA better than that for the season.

"Poise" and "Maturity" are nice words to throw around, but neither one of them is going to help you retire Albert Pujols or Ryan Braun with a 91 MPH fastball.

Well then he's never going to do it is he? Sending to the minors isn't going to make that 91 MPH fastball any faster is it? Might as well get what we can from him before he ends up on the trash heap I guess.

TheNext44
04-05-2010, 02:25 AM
I think Leake will be lucky to post an ERA better than that for the season.

"Poise" and "Maturity" are nice words to throw around, but neither one of them is going to help you retire Albert Pujols or Ryan Braun with a 91 MPH fastball.

Poise and Maturity aren't going to help you get those guys out with a 99 MHP fastball. Although Braun and Pujols are a combined 1-9 against Justin Lehr. :p:

Will M
04-05-2010, 02:42 AM
I think Leake will be lucky to post an ERA better than that for the season.

"Poise" and "Maturity" are nice words to throw around, but neither one of them is going to help you retire Albert Pujols or Ryan Braun with a 91 MPH fastball.

three words: Danny Ray Herrera.

Since when does every major league pitcher have to throw smoke? Estaban Yan threw a high 90s straightball & got lit up like a Christmass tree in the bigs. If Leake can really throw 4 different pitches with pinpoint control he does not need a high 90s fastball to be a very successful major league pitcher.

reds44
04-05-2010, 02:42 AM
I think Leake will be lucky to post an ERA better than that for the season.

"Poise" and "Maturity" are nice words to throw around, but neither one of them is going to help you retire Albert Pujols or Ryan Braun with a 91 MPH fastball.
Holy crap has no pitcher in major league history been able to get people out when lacking a mid-90's fastball? Because that what you make it seem like.

Caveat Emperor
04-05-2010, 02:57 AM
Holy crap has no pitcher in major league history been able to get people out when lacking a mid-90's fastball? Because that what you make it seem like.

I didn't say that. I said "Poise" and "Maturity" aren't going to help you retire good hitters with a 91 MPH fastball. The word you're looking for with a pitcher like Leake is "Experience."

When you don't have fireballer stuff, you have to learn to get guys out. You have to spend time learning how to pitch to advanced hitters. You have to learn how to get guys out who won't chase your pitches or who can adjust to your off-speed offerings. It takes time, it takes good coaching, and it takes a good bit of failure along the way.

Leake might very well learn how to do that and become an effective pitcher -- I don't have a crystal ball to tell you how it's going to turn out. But, I think it's silly to expect he'll be immune to the learning process just because he's "poised" and has a fastball that breaks a few inches more than the average cat.

Most pitchers do their learning in the minor leagues -- which Leake won't have the opportunity to do. He'll be doing his learning against major league hitters. I suspect that the results won't be pretty. If he had some overpowering fastball or a killer secondary offering, maybe I'd think differently -- but the Mike Leake I've seen right now doesn't profile as the kind of guy who is going to dominate.

reds44
04-05-2010, 03:32 AM
I didn't say that. I said "Poise" and "Maturity" aren't going to help you retire good hitters with a 91 MPH fastball. The word you're looking for with a pitcher like Leake is "Experience."

When you don't have fireballer stuff, you have to learn to get guys out. You have to spend time learning how to pitch to advanced hitters. You have to learn how to get guys out who won't chase your pitches or who can adjust to your off-speed offerings. It takes time, it takes good coaching, and it takes a good bit of failure along the way.

Leake might very well learn how to do that and become an effective pitcher -- I don't have a crystal ball to tell you how it's going to turn out. But, I think it's silly to expect he'll be immune to the learning process just because he's "poised" and has a fastball that breaks a few inches more than the average cat.

Most pitchers do their learning in the minor leagues -- which Leake won't have the opportunity to do. He'll be doing his learning against major league hitters. I suspect that the results won't be pretty. If he had some overpowering fastball or a killer secondary offering, maybe I'd think differently -- but the Mike Leake I've seen right now doesn't profile as the kind of guy who is going to dominate.
And do you not think the Reds know this as well? Have you not read any of the quotes talking baout how his poise and ability to pitch is uncanny for somebody with no professional expierence?

Ltlabner
04-05-2010, 07:55 AM
three words: Danny Ray Herrera.

Who is used (or should be) used sparingly and in specific situations to give him the best opportunity to be successful. No comparison to a starting pitcher at all.

Ltlabner
04-05-2010, 07:59 AM
And do you not think the Reds know this as well? Have you not read any of the quotes talking baout how his poise and ability to pitch is uncanny for somebody with no professional expierence?

I don't know about CE but when I hear these sorts of quotes from Walt, Dusty or Price I take them with a grain of salt. Puffery at Spring Training is as common as rosinbags and groupies. Even comments from teammates are suspect.

That's why I keep asking, and honestly want to know, has an objective, non Reds related source made these sorts of comments? I haven't been able to spend hours on Spring Training so I'm genuinely curious. When the Pujols, Brauns, Lee's and Berkmans of the world start touting his otherworldly poise and ability to pitch then I'm going to be less of a Debbie Downer. Otherwise, I place little stock in what a team says about it's players, especially this one.

OnBaseMachine
04-06-2010, 12:13 AM
From C. Trent:

* Mike Leake will wear No. 44.

http://cnati.com/cincinnati-reds/pregame-opening-day-001687/

RedEye
04-06-2010, 12:42 AM
From C. Trent:

* Mike Leake will wear No. 44.

http://cnati.com/cincinnati-reds/pregame-opening-day-001687/

Any other ED fans out there think that's a little weird? I mean, Leake seems like a great guy and a good young pitcher, but does he have to use Eric's number?

TheNext44
04-06-2010, 12:44 AM
I don't know about CE but when I hear these sorts of quotes from Walt, Dusty or Price I take them with a grain of salt. Puffery at Spring Training is as common as rosinbags and groupies. Even comments from teammates are suspect.

That's why I keep asking, and honestly want to know, has an objective, non Reds related source made these sorts of comments? I haven't been able to spend hours on Spring Training so I'm genuinely curious. When the Pujols, Brauns, Lee's and Berkmans of the world start touting his otherworldly poise and ability to pitch then I'm going to be less of a Debbie Downer. Otherwise, I place little stock in what a team says about it's players, especially this one.

No idea who this guy is, but here is one source with no connection to the Reds who talks about Leake's poise.

http://fantasybaseball365.com/2010-articles/april/mike-leake-skips-the-minors-named-reds-fifth-starter.html


All the while scouts raved about his poise on the mound... His command and poise are Major League ready now, but he may not have the strikeout upside to be a true impact pitcher right away.

If you type into any search engine, "Leake Poise" you will find many articles on the subject, some who think he needs time in the minors, some who think he should be in the bigs right away, but all of them say he has the poise to pitch in the majors.

Also, every beat writer has said the same thing, each time making clear that this was their personal opinion after seeing him pitch and talking to him. They are objective, they don't work for the Reds and it hurts their career to say things that end up being shown to be false.

I hope this helps. :)

TheNext44
04-06-2010, 12:50 AM
Any other ED fans out there think that's a little weird? I mean, Leake seems like a great guy and a good young pitcher, but does he have to use Eric's number?

As you can tell by my Username, I am little interested in this number. Okay, a little obsessed by it, but there's nothing weird with only pressing "44" on a microwave every time I have to warm something up, even if I have to do it over and over again. Right???

Anyway, really wish it went to a power hitter.

savafan
04-06-2010, 12:02 PM
Anyway, really wish it went to a power hitter.

"44" always seemed like a power hitter's # to me as well.

Bumstead
04-06-2010, 12:11 PM
As you can tell by my Username, I am little interested in this number. Okay, a little obsessed by it, but there's nothing weird with only pressing "44" on a microwave every time I have to warm something up, even if I have to do it over and over again. Right???

Anyway, really wish it went to a power hitter.

Probably not any weirder than seriously trying to convince one's wife that name their first child Eric The Red or Eric Davis (obviously followed by my last name that is so far somewhat anonymous except for my mom from AK...) is a great idea....My son's name is Oscar, so I clearly failed in that regard...
:D

Screwball
04-06-2010, 12:19 PM
I think Leake will be lucky to post an ERA better than that for the season.

"Poise" and "Maturity" are nice words to throw around, but neither one of them is going to help you retire Albert Pujols or Ryan Braun with a 91 MPH fastball.

Probably a good thing he has sick movement and control then.

You're getting waaaay too caught up in velo with Leake, and have been since the day he was drafted. I doubt he'll set the world on fire, but my guess is his multiple qualities other than a rocket-propelled fastball will let him hold his own in the Majors. At least enough to justify skipping the Minors anyway.

_Sir_Charles_
04-06-2010, 12:33 PM
three words: Danny Ray Herrera.

Since when does every major league pitcher have to throw smoke? Estaban Yan threw a high 90s straightball & got lit up like a Christmass tree in the bigs. If Leake can really throw 4 different pitches with pinpoint control he does not need a high 90s fastball to be a very successful major league pitcher.


Ding, ding, ding, ding. We have a winner.

I've never understood that argument that he doesn't have good enough "stuff". And the "stuff" they're talking about is velocity. There's a ton more to pitching than velocity. In fact, of all the factors...I'd rate velocity pretty darn low on the scale. Location, changing speeds, changing locations, changing arm angles, changing the speed in which you work. All these things keep a batter unbalanced. Minor league hitters might be intimidated by a 98 mph fastball...but not the big boys. You've got to PITCH in the majors...not THROW. And Leake pitches.

lollipopcurve
04-06-2010, 12:48 PM
I have to say I love the fact Leake has chosen #44.

reds44
04-06-2010, 03:47 PM
Any other ED fans out there think that's a little weird? I mean, Leake seems like a great guy and a good young pitcher, but does he have to use Eric's number?
I thought Adam Dunn when I saw it, shows the difference in generations I suppose.

Redsfan320
04-06-2010, 03:59 PM
Wow! #44. When I first saw "He had to wear Eric's number," I thought "what's tha- oh. 44." I then thought Adam Dunn. Interesting.

320

TheNext44
04-06-2010, 05:18 PM
Wow! #44. When I first saw "He had to wear Eric's number," I thought "what's tha- oh. 44." I then thought Adam Dunn. Interesting.

320

I always think Hank Aaron when I see 44. Man, am I old. :)

gm
04-06-2010, 10:01 PM
I always think Hank Aaron when I see 44. Man, am I old. :)

and Willie McCovey, don't forget about ol' stretch

speaking of uniform numbers, wasn't there any lower number than 66 to give to Ondrusek?

OnBaseMachine
04-06-2010, 10:13 PM
speaking of uniform numbers, wasn't there any lower number than 66 to give to Ondrusek?

He was given the opportunity to change numbers but declined. From C. Trent:


When Logan Ondrusek made the Reds' roster, he had a chance to change his number from the spring training 66 to a lower number, something that looks more like a regular-season pitcher's number instead of a late-inning guy in Goodyear.

Instead, Ondrusek chose to stick with the 66 he was assigned in spring.

"It keeps me grounded," Ondrusek said. "It reminds me where I came from and where I don't want to go back."


http://cnati.com/cincinnati-reds/debut-day-001684/

Redsfan320
04-06-2010, 10:13 PM
speaking of uniform numbers, wasn't there any lower number than 66 to give to Ondrusek?

Well there're 9 (last worn by Danny Richar), 16 (Chris Burke), and 23( Adam Rosales), but those are low enough to be considered "hitter's numbers;" then there's 28 (Heisey) which may work, then you have 30 (Kip Wells) then after 40 there're plenty of empty spaces. I doubt they touch 36 (Volquez) which is the only other number smaller than 40. So, to answer you're question, yes. And don't forget about Retired #s/ Coach #s/14/11 when trying to figure this out.

320

OUReds
04-06-2010, 11:19 PM
Here's at least one scout who wasn't very impressed with Leake in the spring training game he saw.

Fangraphs: Scouting Mike Leake (http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/scouting-mike-leake/)

OnBaseMachine
04-06-2010, 11:48 PM
Here's at least one scout who wasn't very impressed with Leake in the spring training game he saw.

Fangraphs: Scouting Mike Leake (http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/scouting-mike-leake/)

And then there was this at the bottom of that page:


For what itís worth (nothing on this site), my buddy who faced both Strasburg and Leake on numerous occasions in college claims Leake will have a better career.

He thinks Leake had much better in the zone command than Strasburgís. He asserts that Strasburgs lack of control was hidden by the fact that he was just way too overpowering in college (hitters just guessing).

He does refuse to take my 100 bet because of Dusty Baker though


http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/scouting-mike-leake/

TheNext44
04-07-2010, 12:11 AM
Here's at least one scout who wasn't very impressed with Leake in the spring training game he saw.

Fangraphs: Scouting Mike Leake (http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/scouting-mike-leake/)

It was Leake's worst performance of the Spring, when he couldn't get his fastball over. The writer made that clear, and qualified his report as such.

That is the problem that Leake will have. If he's off just a bit, he's an average pitcher at best.

dougdirt
04-07-2010, 12:27 AM
Just took all of the pitch f/x information on the Reds 5 starters from 2009 (Leake from the AFL and his 1 start this spring where PFX was on) and charted their fastballs. This is what the pitch moves like in comparison to a pitch with no spin at all.

http://redsminorleagues.com/images/2010rotationfastballs.gif

He will absolutely be a different type of pitcher than the rest of the rotation. I know people have been trying to compare him to Arroyo because of his mixing pitches and velocity, but there really isn't a good comp for him on the current staff. His fastball is just so much different than the Reds can offer from anyone else.

Caveat Emperor
04-07-2010, 01:40 AM
He will absolutely be a different type of pitcher than the rest of the rotation. I know people have been trying to compare him to Arroyo because of his mixing pitches and velocity, but there really isn't a good comp for him on the current staff. His fastball is just so much different than the Reds can offer from anyone else.

It'll be interesting to see what happens when hitters start to lay off his stuff. Does Leake have the ability to control a pitch with that much run and throw it consistently for strikes?

dougdirt
04-07-2010, 01:47 AM
It'll be interesting to see what happens when hitters start to lay off his stuff. Does Leake have the ability to control a pitch with that much run and throw it consistently for strikes?

That has always been the reports on him, that he has plus to plus plus control.

Screwball
04-07-2010, 08:31 AM
Would Brandon Webb be a good comp for Leake's ceiling? Doesn't throw hard but all kinds of movement with plus command leading to extraordinary results...

RED VAN HOT
04-07-2010, 08:41 AM
This is an informative thread. The contributions from various sources improved my understanding of what Leake throws. If I understand correctly the charts that Doug posted, both Leake's fastball and change-up show the same excellent horizontal movement. They are both in and slightly up to a RH hitter. The curve is down and away without much movement while the slider looks to be relatively straight and flat. It seems to me that improving the break on the latter two pitches could make him a top of the rotation starter. The changes in speed and direction of movement could make hitters look pretty bad.

OnBaseMachine
04-09-2010, 07:22 PM
From John Fay:


Pretty good final tuneup: Miek Leake threw seven innings Monday at the Reds’ complex in Goodyear. He allowed three runs (one earned) on four hits. He walked none and struck out 17.

When Leake makes his major league debut Sunday, he will become the 21st player since the draft began in 1965 to go straight the majors with playing the minors at all.


http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/2010/04/09/leake-note/

0 BB/17 K in 7 innings? Wow.

Superdude
04-09-2010, 07:33 PM
He walked none and struck out 17.

Was he facing local little leaguers?

RichRed
04-09-2010, 07:54 PM
From John Fay:



http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/2010/04/09/leake-note/

0 BB/17 K in 7 innings? Wow.

It's been corrected to read 7 Ks now. John Fay, ladies and gentlemen.

HeatherC1212
04-09-2010, 11:37 PM
Can we keep it at 17 and send that report to the Cubbies?! ;)

Chip R
04-10-2010, 12:39 AM
It's been corrected to read 7 Ks now. John Fay, ladies and gentlemen.

:lol:

I saw 17 then I saw John Fay and I knew that wasn't right.