PDA

View Full Version : Positives/Negatives from first series



OnBaseMachine
04-08-2010, 11:54 PM
Positives:

The starting pitching was very good in two of the three games. Last night, Johnny Cueto allowed just two runs in six innings, and one of those runs scored on a botched groundball by Votto. Then today, Bronson Arroyo allowed just one run in eight innings. Even though Aaron Harang didn't get great results on Monday, he threw the ball well, as he was hitting 93/94 with his fastball while throwing a good curve. If he can maintain that type of stuff, while improving his command, he could be in for a pretty good season.

Joey Votto had a great series as he picked up five hits including a home run and a walk.

Drew Stubbs had a couple singles and two walks.

Jonny Gomes' walkoff HR.

Francisco Cordero has been very sharp in his first two appearances, and Arthur Rhodes pitched well too. Nick Masset also pitched much better yesterday after a horrible first outing.

Negatives:

The bullpen was horrible in the first two games as they allowed a total of 11 runs in those two games.

The defense had a subpar series. Aaron Harang made a throwing error on Opening Day that led to a run. Chris Dickerson overthrew Ramon Hernandez on a play at the plate where a good throw would've had the runner out by 20 feet. Orlando Cabrera showed well below average range, and also dropped a popout in foul territory. Scott Rolen also committed an error, but made a few good plays too to make up for it. And finally, Joey Votto botched a routine grounder on Wednesday night that eventually led to a run scoring.

Quite a few of our key hitters are off to slow starts. Our 4-5-6 hitters have a combined five hits in 35 atbats. We're gonna need those guys to hit to have any chance of having a decent offense this season.

Overall I can't complain too much about where the Reds are at the moment. As bad as they played at times in this series they still managed to avoid getting swept and came away with one victory. I kind of figured they would lose two of three with Carpenter and Wainwright pitching in the series. Hopefully the Reds can take at least two of three from the Cubs and go on their first road trip with a .500 or better record.

I'm anxious to see Homer Bailey and Mike Leake pitch this weekend. Hopefully they can follow in the footsteps of Cueto and Arroyo and give the Reds a great opportunity to win.

Anybody got anything else to add?

Homer Bailey
04-09-2010, 12:17 AM
I thought Jay Bruce looked good at times, just kept getting robbed of hits, reminding me way too much of last year. I would have thought his luck would have turned around by now, but through the first two games (didn't see today's), it would appear not. He's still not being selective enough (IMO) at the plate, and is getting himself out on pitchers pitches. I was hoping to see him start to use the opposite field like he did when he originally came up, but I watched him take an outside offspeed pitch and try to pull it (ended up grounding out to second). It was only one at bat, but it was something I was hoping he would work on in the offseason.

I'm so glad we have Gomes. This team is going to be starved for offense, and that guy can just flat out supply it. He'll strike out his fair share of times, but he's got legit power, and we'll need him over the course of the year.

Cabrera has been bad at SS so far, but I'm still pro Cabrera over Janish (the 2 hole SS factor weighs heavily). I think we need someone in that 2 spot that has somewhat of a live bat. Janish has done nothing over his career to make us think he can carry a stick in the major leagues. I think OC will be better in the field than he was this series.

I love watching Drew Stubbs prance the outfield. Hasn't had any really tough plays yet, but something about that kid truly excites me. Love watching him run the bases as well.

BP is going to drive me crazy at the plate for the rest of my life. I just need to come to terms with that.

Guacarock
04-09-2010, 12:21 AM
One other positive:

* Catching tandem of Hernandez/Hanigan looking solid and building upon strong campaigns by both players this spring in Arizona. Against the Cards, they went 4 for 9 with a pair of doubles and a pair of runs. So far this young season, Hernandez has an OBP of .429 and Hanigan .667. Sweet!

One negative:

Overall, Reds' batters thrashing and hacking too much, swinging at a lot of first pitches, failing to work the counts, and drawing 21 strikeouts in the three-game series with the Cards. They need to take a cue from Bronson Arroyo, who delivered a clutch RBI single today and demonstrated great poise and patience at the plate. He avoided striking out in any of his three plate appearances although he put Penny through an extended workout.

Captain Hook
04-09-2010, 01:12 AM
In order to flip the script in these kind of series against good teams the Reds are going to have to have Jay Bruce contribute.Off the top of my head I can't think of one single thing that he did to help create runs although I may be forgetting something.

Overall the team did ok.Could have won the first 2 had the guys in the BP done their job.I'm not overly concerned with that being a consistent problem this year though.They just have too many good arms on the team and with even more in AAA being fine tuned it's unlikely this team will be forced to send guys out there that are certain to fail.

While I'm disappointed in Cabreras Defense so far it was nice to have a little production from the SS position.I'm still favoring Janish a bit(for obvious reasons)but it if OC can swing a significantly stronger bat then Yanish potentially could I will keep an open mind.

oregonred
04-09-2010, 01:14 AM
All I am focused on is Cueto developing into a #2 type pitcher, Bailey becoming a solid #3 or better and Bruce/Stubbs development. Votto is a beast, just needs to stay healthy.

Leake and Chapman are all upside surprise potential as 2010 contributions just seems too early. Arroyo will be a solid #3 this season. Harang has me worried, but he's off the books after 2010 regardless.

My focus is 2011 as a serious division and NL contender. Hoping for a nice 2010 surprise but the key is the development of Cueto/Bailey/Bruce and Stubbs.

Spring~Fields
04-09-2010, 01:42 AM
I was impressed with Johnny Cueto, Arroyo, Cordero, the two catchers and of course Joey Votto.

The Reds should be good to go against the Cubs in this series.

wally post
04-09-2010, 01:50 AM
I'm quite worried about Jay Bruce, not because of his production. He just looks a bit wonky compared to hitters that rake. Johnny Bench said something about his hips being ahead (or behind.. I don't remember) of his hands and said this would hinder him. I don't know about this stuff, but for JB to say this in the broadcast booth - probably after having a beer or two, is notable to me.
On the good side - I think we have a good pitching coach now. Hitting coach? I don't know.

WVRedsFan
04-09-2010, 01:52 AM
I was impressed with Johnny Cueto, Arroyo, Cordero, the two catchers and of course Joey Votto.

The Reds should be good to go against the Cubs in this series.

My hope also, but I keep going back to a lackluster offense. Put Stubbs in center, Gomes and Dickerson in right, and hope that Bruce comes through. I'm worried about Bruce. He looks clueless at times. If we're counting on him, we may be in trouble. I hope I'm wrong.

reds44
04-09-2010, 02:08 AM
The major red flag out of that series is the potential that the middle of our bullpen is awful.

Tom Servo
04-09-2010, 02:11 AM
Rolen's clearly a professional 3B and I look foward to him hopefully having a full, healthy year.

Spring~Fields
04-09-2010, 02:14 AM
My hope also, but I keep going back to a lackluster offense. Put Stubbs in center, Gomes and Dickerson in right, and hope that Bruce comes through. I'm worried about Bruce. He looks clueless at times. If we're counting on him, we may be in trouble. I hope I'm wrong.

I believe that you will be pleased with the offense and defense overall in the series against the Cubs and Silva, Gorzelanny, Zambrano.

On Jay Bruce, I understand that he was making hard contact against good pitching, good coaching and a good team. I think that he will be alright in this series.

HokieRed
04-09-2010, 10:04 AM
The major red flag out of that series is the potential that the middle of our bullpen is awful.


Agree. We badly need a return of Burton to top form so that we go four deep of real strength: Cordero, Masset, Rhodes, Burton.

VR
04-09-2010, 10:17 AM
There's a bit of a mention about 'starting pitching', but Arroyo should be having his own thread for the game he pitched yesterday.

Falls City Beer
04-09-2010, 10:23 AM
The major red flag out of that series is the potential that the middle of our bullpen is awful.

Yeah. Harang's inability to hit his spots consistently is another huge problem. Bruce has been about as bad at the plate as any young hitter I've ever seen.

Plusses: Votto's and Rolen's patience at the plate. Arroyo's outstanding control and spot-hitting. Cueto's changeup. Cordero and Rhodes.

lollipopcurve
04-09-2010, 10:28 AM
I'm quite worried about Jay Bruce, not because of his production. He just looks a bit wonky compared to hitters that rake. Johnny Bench said something about his hips being ahead (or behind.. I don't remember) of his hands and said this would hinder him. I don't know about this stuff, but for JB to say this in the broadcast booth - probably after having a beer or two, is notable to me.

I wouldn't say I'm worried, because I think Bruce is going to be a solid hitter at least, but I do find this observation by Bench interesting. Bruce's set-up and swing has always looked a tad too anxious and rushed to me, like he needs to calm everything down. I think he's making progress, but if there's a disconnect between his hips and hands, that's a more fundamental issue that could go beyond what Bruce thinks he's correcting.

Overall, too early to make any kind of lucid assessments. It's just good they got that first win. You don't want a mostly young team feeling pressure this soon, especially at home.

forfreelin04
04-09-2010, 10:29 AM
I'm quite worried about Jay Bruce, not because of his production. He just looks a bit wonky compared to hitters that rake. Johnny Bench said something about his hips being ahead (or behind.. I don't remember) of his hands and said this would hinder him. I don't know about this stuff, but for JB to say this in the broadcast booth - probably after having a beer or two, is notable to me.
On the good side - I think we have a good pitching coach now. Hitting coach? I don't know.

Wouldn't surprise me if Jacoby was the next in line for the unemployment office. Unless he's to credit for Votto's rise to All-Star status of course. I doubt that though. Joey seems to be a workaholic

Rasmus is a great comparison to Bruce. Rasmus has a nice short compact swing which allows him to stay inside himself and still get the sweet part of the bat on the ball. I'm fairly certain, Rasmus employs the no step and merely shifts weight when swinging. His swing looks a lot like Chase Utley's; just not as perfected yet.

Bruce, although robbed multiple times throughout the series, is still flaring his hips causing him to be out on his front foot too soon. This causes a longer swing and in turn- slower bat speed. It also makes a curveball harder to hit since the weight is exposed before the bat comes around and meet the ball. The key with his stance is to stay back as long as possible and shift all his weight upon impact with the ball. Think of a golfer on a tee swing.

IMO, once some of those line drives start falling you'll see Bruce really take off. When the hits aren't falling, he becomes frustrated and loses concentration in the box. Hopefully, his luck begins to change.

lollipopcurve
04-09-2010, 10:32 AM
Wouldn't surprise me if Jacoby was the next in line for the unemployment office. Unless he's to credit for Votto's rise to All-Star status of course. I doubt that though. Joey seems to be a workaholic

Rasmus is a great comparison to Bruce. Rasmus has a nice short compact swing which allows him to stay inside himself and still get the sweet part of the bat on the ball. I'm fairly certain, Rasmus employs the no step and merely shifts weight when swinging. His swing looks a lot like Chase Utley's; just not as perfected yet.

Bruce, although robbed multiple times throughout the series, is still flaring his hips causing him to be out on his front foot too soon. This causes a longer swing and in turn- slower bat speed. It also makes a curveball harder to hit since the weight is exposed before the bat comes around and meet the ball. The key with his stance is to stay back as long as possible and shift all his weight upon impact with the ball. Think of a golfer on a tee swing.

IMO, once some of those line drives start falling you'll see Bruce really take off. When the hits aren't falling, he becomes frustrated and loses concentration in the box. Hopefully, his luck begins to change.

Solid analysis.

forfreelin04
04-09-2010, 10:42 AM
To add a little something, I'm almost entirely convinced that most of his problems are mental.

Votto spoke in ST about how Bruce's level of success was always so high and to have a year like 2009 was quite a blow to him. If Jay can just hit the ball hard every time at the plate, he should be happy with this. Whether it falls or not is unimportant because they will a large portion of the time. When he starts to try to "will" the ball for a hit or "hit" it out of the ballpark is when his mechanics start to suffer.

membengal
04-09-2010, 10:50 AM
Combined pitching line for the Reds' starting pitchers in the St. Louis series:


19 IP 14 hits allowed 7 runs allowed (6 earned) 11 Ks and 8 BBs.

All in all, not too shabby. Need the Ks to come up, but otherwise, a lot to like against the defending division champs.

Deepred05
04-09-2010, 10:54 AM
Its nice not having to hold your breath on a ball hit to third. Rolen is as automatic as there is at that position.

lollipopcurve
04-09-2010, 10:55 AM
Votto spoke in ST about how Bruce's level of success was always so high and to have a year like 2009 was quite a blow to him. If Jay can just hit the ball hard every time at the plate, he should be happy with this. Whether it falls or not is unimportant because they will a large portion of the time. When he starts to try to "will" the ball for a hit or "hit" it out of the ballpark is when his mechanics start to suffer.

I hope Bruce listens hard to Votto.

And yeah, Bruce's luck so far has been absolutely ridiculous. At some point, it's going to turn around.

Eric_the_Red
04-09-2010, 10:55 AM
Its nice not having to hold your breath on a ball hit to third. Rolen is as automatic as there is at that position.

True, but I do think Rolen and/or OCab should have had the grounder that let to the Cardinals 2nd run vs. Cueto. That was brutal, right under Rolen's glove and off of OCab's.

bucksfan2
04-09-2010, 11:14 AM
Luck or not the Reds need Bruce to hit. That was my only concern after the first series of the season.

I think the pen will respond. I mean what did we really expect from Logan Ondrusek? Masset had a bad outing but I don't expect that to be a problem this season.

REDblooded
04-09-2010, 11:17 AM
I was very impressed with Stubbs... Seemed like every AB went 4+ pitches...

Big Klu
04-09-2010, 11:32 AM
I get tired of hearing about "bad luck" as the reason behind Jay Bruce's struggles over the last year. Maybe he's just a solid player, but not the elite player that everyone was led to believe.

Hoosier Red
04-09-2010, 11:34 AM
I get tired of hearing about "bad luck" as the reason behind Jay Bruce's struggles over the last year. Maybe he's just a solid player, but not the elite player that everyone was led to believe.

That's possible. Even probable. And its worth noting that everyone has their share of attem balls.

But man o man does it seem like Jay has a screaming meemee caught every game.

Homer Bailey
04-09-2010, 11:39 AM
That's possible. Even probable. And its worth noting that everyone has their share of attem balls.

But man o man does it seem like Jay has a screaming meemee caught every game.

And the numbers don't lie. .221 BABIP last year and a .111 BABIP this year (SSS of course).

nate
04-09-2010, 12:10 PM
I'm really don't have the gumption to evaluate players after the third game of the season other than saying "he played well" or "he'll get 'em next time." There really aren't yet any conclusions to be drawn other than baseball is here and we dislike the Cubs.

Bumstead
04-09-2010, 12:26 PM
I'm really don't have the gumption to evaluate players after the third game of the season other than saying "he played well" or "he'll get 'em next time." There really aren't yet any conclusions to be drawn other than baseball is here and we dislike the Cubs.

And it's always fun to beat Zambrano! :D

HokieRed
04-09-2010, 12:30 PM
I'm really don't have the gumption to evaluate players after the third game of the season other than saying "he played well" or "he'll get 'em next time." There really aren't yet any conclusions to be drawn other than baseball is here and we dislike the Cubs.


Agree. And the Dodgers.

edabbs44
04-09-2010, 12:33 PM
I get tired of hearing about "bad luck" as the reason behind Jay Bruce's struggles over the last year. Maybe he's just a solid player, but not the elite player that everyone was led to believe.

"Bad luck" just means that it flies in the face of what the stats say. I am sure that, if we wanted to, we could find more than a few bloop/dribbler base hits for him over the past couple of years.

He is also extremely young. I still expect him to become a top player, but maybe it will take a little longer than some expected.

Hoosier Red
04-09-2010, 01:16 PM
And it's always fun to beat Zambrano! :D

I'm a little worried about facing Big Z on Sunday. I've been to three games with him pitching, in two he completely shut the Reds down. In the other he gave up about half a hundred.

lollipopcurve
04-09-2010, 01:41 PM
I'm a little worried about facing Big Z on Sunday. I've been to three games with him pitching, in two he completely shut the Reds down. In the other he gave up about half a hundred.

Big Z is Saturday, I believe. He'll probably homer.

Reds1
04-09-2010, 01:56 PM
Don't forget Bradon Phillips web gem throwing a guy out from his butt. :)

I'd say I liked OC's bat the her of late.

OnBaseMachine
04-09-2010, 10:32 PM
A few positives/negatives from tonight.

Homer Bailey was far from sharp tonight, but he kept the Reds in the game. The Homer Bailey of old would've allowed seven or eight runs in four innings. This version of Homer Bailey was able to limit the Cubs to three runs despite not having his command and having bad defense behind him. Hopefully he's sharper next time out.

Drew Stubbs. Enough said. He's been the Reds best player so far, IMO.

Micah Owings threw three great innings tonight and kept the Reds in the game. I like him in the role he's in.

The bad:

The offense managed only one run against Carlos Silva, arguably the worst pitcher in baseball the last few years. Jay Bruce, Brandon Phillips, and Scott Rolen aren't producing anything with the bat. Those three guys have got to hit.

The defense was awful again tonight. Cabrera couldn't get to a couple balls. Rolen cut Janish off in the 9th and committed an error. Paul Janish had trouble with a groundball. Votto committed an error. The infield defense has had an awful week so far.

HeatherC1212
04-09-2010, 10:40 PM
The defense was awful again tonight. Cabrera couldn't get to a couple balls. Rolen cut Janish off in the 9th and committed an error. Paul Janish had trouble with a groundball. Votto committed an error. The infield defense has had an awful week so far.

I know they have to score it that way but it kind of sucks that Joey's error tonight came on his glove breaking and not really anything that he did wrong during the play. I agree that the infield defense has been either really sharp or pretty bad this week overall though.