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View Full Version : Spring Battle Royale: The Bullpen beyond the Big 3



membengal
02-03-2011, 08:39 PM
I was just looking over the 40-man roster and the non-roster invitees, and marveling over the crazy depth the Reds have heading to Goodyear who all have designs on spots in the pen. With not much room at the inn, so to speak.

Without getting too into the weeds on locks, I think we all can 100% agree that Cordero, Chapman and Massett are the high leverage/late inning guys.

Beyond that? For the last four spots? A list to choose from that includes, by my count:

Jose Arrendondo
Bill Bray (L)
Jared Burton
Carlos Fisher
Danny Ray Herrera (L)
Sam Lecure (long relief candidate I suppose)
Logan Ondrusek
Jordan Smith
Dontrelle Willis (L)

In theory I suppose the Leake/Bailey/Wood odd man out could be pen bound, but I doubt it. If it's Leake and/or Wood not in the rotation, I think they are headed to AAA.

In any event, that's nine guys for four spots. Even if you figure Bray is probably close to lockish, that's still eight guys for three spots. And each of the guys fighting for those three or four open spots has had success at one time or another with the Reds. That's a ridiculously deep pool of pitchers to choose from heading into the spring.

It also means that the games will be extra interesting, to me anyway, frankly, from the outset in Goodyear as I don't think there will be a lot of room for error even early on in the proceedings.

For instance, I am partial to Ondrusek and Smith, myself, and Bray, for the bullpen, but if those three are in, look at who would be in effect battling for the last spot. But what about Arrendondo, who has filthy stuff? He slots in for, Smith, say? Then Smith is in AAA. And he was good last year. Crazy stuff.

Add in the starting pitching depth, and I really have not seen anything quite like it in my now four decades of following this team in terms of a stash of quality and potentially helpful major league arms. And there will be, at the least, some nice depth in AAA.

Maybe this can be a thread to keep track of these bullpen battles as the spring unfolds.

And, yes, if you couldn't tell, I sure am ready for some baseball.

Will M
02-03-2011, 08:47 PM
IMO Bill Bray & Logan Ondrusek should be in barring a disaster in spring training. The last two spots are wide open.

membengal
02-03-2011, 08:54 PM
IMO Bill Bray & Logan Ondrusek should be in barring a disaster in spring training. The last two spots are wide open.

That's probably right, but I didn't want to drill down and get too specific a few weeks ahead of pitchers reporting. But if that's right, then it is 7 viable guys for two spots. One of whom, if his stuff has returned from rehab, would have to think would be Arrendondo. So perhaps then six guys for one spot.

Again, crazy.

ETA: It's also why I was kinda underwhelmed by the thought that they might invite Isringhausen into the scrum. There's just not a lot of room, and I don't think what he has left is good enough to warrant potentially passing by some of the guys fighting for one of the precious spots.

OnBaseMachine
02-03-2011, 09:07 PM
I think Arredondo should and will be on the team assuming he's ready. Bill Bray and Logan Ondrusek should be on the roster too. So that leaves us with Francisco Cordero, Aroldis Chapman, Nick Masset, Jose Arredondo, Bill Bray, and Logan Ondrusek. That leaves one opening and about six guys competing for it. My guess is the final spot will come down to Dontrelle, Jared Burton, and Lecure or Fisher with Dontrelle probably being the favorite because of his ability to get lefties out and he can be the long man if needed.

I think Donnie Joseph will have a great spring and force the Reds to keep him in camp longer than expected but will eventually be shipped to Louisville.

Captain Hook
02-03-2011, 11:07 PM
While I do believe that Arredondo will play a major roll this year I wouldn't be surprised to see the Reds start him off in AAA considering he hasn't faced big league hitters in well over a year.

I'm starting to wonder if the Reds AAA pitching staff would rival some of the lesser big league pitching staffs.

Blitz Dorsey
02-03-2011, 11:23 PM
I think the final 3 will be Bray, Ondrusek and Burton. (I want to see Arredondo make the team though.)

corkedbat
02-04-2011, 12:51 AM
I agree with others Arredondo is a lock if he's on top of his game, but if they think he needs more than ST to knock the rust off, he will be in Louisville. My biggest concern is Coco. I hope I was wrong at the end of last season. I hope his issues were more mechanical that the fact that his stuff is just going south.

My concern is that he has similar problems this year and Dusty is reluctant to remove him from the closer's spot. I believe there is a very good chance that the NL Central is going to be much closer this year. A few blown games could really hurt.

mth123
02-04-2011, 01:19 AM
Locks

Cordero, Chapman, Masset, Bray,

Lock if healthy:

Arredondo

Inside Track:

Burton, Ondrusek

Wild Card:

Willis

I don't think anybody else has a chance unless injuries open a spot. Still hoping for a deal to upgrade elsewhere. The Reds will have guys on the outside looking in who are better than lots of middle inning guys on other teams. I think the odd man out for the rotation will be Leake and he'll be in AAA IMO and not in the pen.

TheNext44
02-04-2011, 02:14 AM
Bullpen arms are very volitile. It's rare for a team's bullpen to repeat two years in a row.

So I'm guessing Smith, Willis, Arredondo and Burton to start the season. But I think everyone mentioned so far will see time with the big club at some point next season.

reds44
02-04-2011, 02:26 AM
Ondrusek and Bray are locks unless they have a disastrous spring.

I honestly don't see Fisher, Herrera, or Lecure starting the year with the big club.

That leaves Smith, Arredondo, Willis, and Burton for two spots, and I can't even put them in an order right now. If I had to guess I'd pick Arredondo and Willis if I had to.

Mario-Rijo
02-04-2011, 03:09 AM
Ondrusek, Bray and if healthy and throwing well Burton and Arredondo. If the latter 2 have a hiccup or 2 then the door will be open for Willis and Smith (in that order most likely). LeCure being the W/C. Herrera, Fisher and LeCure for AAA depth along with Joseph, Valiquette, etc.

membengal
02-04-2011, 05:25 AM
I've got recency bias affecting me with Burton I think. My gut says he is starting from slightly behind in a few weeks.

Mario-Rijo
02-04-2011, 07:53 AM
I've got recency bias affecting me with Burton I think. My gut says he is starting from slightly behind in a few weeks.

You are probably right. I'm just trying to be optimistic.

redsmetz
02-04-2011, 07:56 AM
Another thing I wonder about is what the depth of the pen in Louisville. We assume that guys here who don't make the big club will be in Louisville, but we've listed a plethora of candidates for Cincy that have to go somewhere, but who is slated for AAA that isn't in the run for the Major League club?

I still wonder whether someone or another of our surplus will be moved during Spring Training. It's just a hunch, but there's a lot of arms that can play somewhere. It's a good problem to have, as they say, but it's still an issue.

membengal
02-06-2011, 09:58 AM
This is surprising (to me):

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/2011/02/04/leake-wood-or-bailey-could-end-up-in-the-bullpen/

Walt intimating that the odd man out from Leake/Wood/Bailey could be pen bound.

If Walt is serious about that, there REALLY is not much room at the bullpen inn...

Homer Bailey
02-06-2011, 11:02 AM
This is surprising (to me):

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/2011/02/04/leake-wood-or-bailey-could-end-up-in-the-bullpen/

Walt intimating that the odd man out from Leake/Wood/Bailey could be pen bound.

If Walt is serious about that, there REALLY is not much room at the bullpen inn...

I truly do not understand the rationale behind putting Leake in the bullpen. He needs to be in AAA, IMO.

I really, really hope this isn't to protect his "never pitched in the minors" thing he's got going on.

OnBaseMachine
02-06-2011, 12:12 PM
From John Fay:


Jose Arrendondo really impressed the Reds in Instructional League. Hes got a leg up on a spot, if he remains healthy. Jared Burton, Jordan Smith, Dontrelle Willis, Daniel Ray Herrera, Carlos Fisher, Sam LeCure and Matt Maloney all will be in the mix.



http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/2011/02/06/gone-for-a-week-and-questions-to-ponder/

Edd Roush
02-06-2011, 12:32 PM
I really don't like the thought of Leake, Bailey, Wood, Maloney or even Lecure in the bullpen. I definitely would rather see Leake, Maloney and Lecure pitching in Louisville every fifth day. We have enough good guys suited for the bullpen that we don't need to mess with our rotational depth.

RedsManRick
02-06-2011, 03:50 PM
I've seen a number of quotes about wanting to have a true long man in the pen this year. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Willis make the roster filling that roll.

Rotation-wise, I don't think there's any possible way Bailey doesn't make it. He can't pitch out of the pen because he can't get warmed up quickly enough and he had a very underrated season last year. His strikeouts were up and his walks were down. His FIP was beter than Cueto, 2nd only to Wood. That leaves Wood with a pretty big leg up as the only lefty and having pitched better than Leake.

The only real question to me is does Leake get the long man role or not?

Edd Roush
02-06-2011, 04:00 PM
I've seen a number of quotes about wanting to have a true long man in the pen this year. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Willis make the roster filling that roll.

That's unfortunate because Willis"s value on the Reds is only as a LOOGY. If the Reds really want a long man, I would prefer Smith or Lecure.

Jpup
02-06-2011, 07:43 PM
I truly do not understand the rationale behind putting Leake in the bullpen. He needs to be in AAA, IMO.

I really, really hope this isn't to protect his "never pitched in the minors" thing he's got going on.

I think he makes the rotation anyway.

Will M
02-06-2011, 07:53 PM
I think he makes the rotation anyway.

I have a suspicion that Bailey is the odd man out in the rotation & will be in the bullpen.

Homer Bailey
02-07-2011, 12:01 AM
I think he makes the rotation anyway.


I have a suspicion that Bailey is the odd man out in the rotation & will be in the bullpen.

What makes you guys say so? Bailey's peripheral's are significantly better than Leake's, he has more experience, a more live arm, etc. In 2010, I saw Bailey trending the right way, and Leake trending the wrong way.

Will M
02-07-2011, 01:17 AM
What makes you guys say so? Bailey's peripheral's are significantly better than Leake's, he has more experience, a more live arm, etc. In 2010, I saw Bailey trending the right way, and Leake trending the wrong way.

Arroyo, Cueto & Volquez are in the rotation. This is based on what the Reds have said. Wood, Leake & Bailey are battling for the last 2 spots.

1) Wood had the best season of all 3 & is a lefty.

2) Jocketty has stated "we think Mike will step up and throw 20 to 30 more innings for us,'' . That 'us' I suspect is the Reds & not the Bats.

3) I have gotten the "we really love Mike Leake" vibe from the Reds front office for a while.

4) thats why i think Homer is the odd man out & headed for the pen. Is that what I would do? no. But I think its what the Reds will do.

membengal
02-07-2011, 06:34 AM
My guess is you are reading "us" to literally in that quote, Will. I read that as the organization, not necessarily the big league team. In fact, the need to build up the extra 20-30 innings still is part of the reason I think he is AAA bound.

Jpup
02-07-2011, 09:36 AM
I agree Will. I think Homer is in the pen or traded unless someone gets hurt. I'm a Bailey fan, but I just believe the other 5 are better pitchers.

lollipopcurve
02-07-2011, 11:07 AM
I'm a Bailey fan, but I just believe the other 5 are better pitchers.


Take a look at Bailey's August & September starts, after he came back from his arm problems last year. Then there was his strong finish in 2009. If Homer's healthy, he's got a chance to be tough. In my mind, Leake has more to prove. No way do I pull Homer from the rotation if he's throwing decently this spring.

RedsManRick
02-07-2011, 11:27 AM
Take a look at Bailey's August & September starts, after he came back from his arm problems last year. Then there was his strong finish in 2009. If Homer's healthy, he's got a chance to be tough. In my mind, Leake has more to prove. No way do I pull Homer from the rotation if he's throwing decently this spring.

You don't even need to focus on his finish. Just look at his season numbers. Among Reds starters with 100+ IP, he was 2nd in K:BB, 2nd in HR/9, 2nd in GB%, 3rd in Strike%, 2nd in SwStr%.

I think we're still stuck in the "Homer as failed prospect" mindset, judging him on a tougher scale. Sure, his ERA wasn't great last year, but the ERA hid some real steps forward. Unless we have reason to believe that he'll sustain lesser defensive support and/or sequencing issues (e.g. gives up hits in bunches, more so than most pitchers), we should expect his ERA to drop this year.

Kc61
02-07-2011, 11:46 AM
I think we're still stuck in the "Homer as failed prospect" mindset, judging him on a tougher scale. Sure, his ERA wasn't great last year, but the ERA hid some real steps forward. Unless we have reason to believe that he'll sustain lesser defensive support and/or sequencing issues (e.g. gives up hits in bunches, more so than most pitchers), we should expect his ERA to drop this year.

Perhaps the Reds like Leake because he has definite ground ball tendencies which suits him well to GABP.

Leake - even with his disastrous "late" season - had a 1.57 GO/AO ratio. Homer's was 1.13. Wood's was .72, he's more of a fly ball pitcher so far.

Frankly, I don't know why so many are resistent to using one of these guys in the bullpen. Leake in the pen could give the Reds some good long outings, also could get the Reds key double plays. He can learn against major league hitters, rather than go to AAA where he is probably too advanced.

I've also thought that Bailey might do well in the pen. He is the type of guy who can be downright impossible to hit for a few innings.

If either Leake or Bailey is deemed not quite ready to start effectively every fifth day, I have no problem with either of them facing major league bats as a reliever for 2011, a la Chapman.

My guess is the Reds feel the same way.

RedsManRick
02-07-2011, 12:11 PM
Perhaps the Reds like Leake because he has definite ground ball tendencies which suits him well to GABP.

Leake - even with his disastrous "late" season - had a 1.57 GO/AO ratio. Homer's was 1.13. Wood's was .72, he's more of a fly ball pitcher so far.

Frankly, I don't know why so many are resistent to using one of these guys in the bullpen. Leake in the pen could give the Reds some good long outings, also could get the Reds key double plays. He can learn against major league hitters, rather than go to AAA where he is probably too advanced.

I've also thought that Bailey might do well in the pen. He is the type of guy who can be downright impossible to hit for a few innings.

It is very well documented that Bailey has a lot of trouble getting warmed up quickly enough to be effective out of the bullpen. That said, put me in the group that likes Leake available out of the pen for the reasons you mentioned. Though long-term he's a starter, he could be very effective as a guy who can come in with 2 on in the 6th when Bailey or Cueto is running on fumes, get the double play and then pitch the 7th.

The Reds themselves have said he doesn't have anything to prove in AAA. If he's down there, it's basically just a function of getting him innings to get used to the workload and keeping arbitration a little further down the road.

lollipopcurve
02-07-2011, 01:23 PM
You don't even need to focus on his finish. Just look at his season numbers. Among Reds starters with 100+ IP, he was 2nd in K:BB, 2nd in HR/9, 2nd in GB%, 3rd in Strike%, 2nd in SwStr%.

I think we're still stuck in the "Homer as failed prospect" mindset, judging him on a tougher scale. Sure, his ERA wasn't great last year, but the ERA hid some real steps forward. Unless we have reason to believe that he'll sustain lesser defensive support and/or sequencing issues (e.g. gives up hits in bunches, more so than most pitchers), we should expect his ERA to drop this year.

I agree. When he's been healthy and given a regular turn, he's shown quite well at ages 23 and 24. Absolutely no reason to monkey with Homer now.

edabbs44
02-07-2011, 02:06 PM
It is very well documented that Bailey has a lot of trouble getting warmed up quickly enough to be effective out of the bullpen.

Do you know where this is documented?

Edd Roush
02-07-2011, 04:18 PM
Frankly, I don't know why so many are resistent to using one of these guys in the bullpen.

I am resistent because the Reds have so many good arms already in the battle for bullpen spots and I believe there is a major drop-off from Leake until the #7 starter (unless Chapman is included in the starter mix). I know someone is going to have to miss a start at some point this year and I want Leake to be the one who steps in. I don't want the Reds to have to wait for him to be stretched back to a starter nor do I want him starting if he hasn't been stretched out.

There is no reason to roll Leake's arbitration clock forward if he is only going to be pitching 60 innings. Leake profiles better as a starter and I like Bailey better as the #5 starter so I want Leake to get more seasoning in AAA. He can build up his inning count there and be ready when the Reds inevitably need him. The Reds don't have the option to stash Bailey in AAA until an injury happens, so I want Leake to bite the bullet for the good of the team.

I simply don't see Leake as a superior bullpen option to Burton or Willis as a LOOGY. They have very similar value to me and I don't see a need for a long man with a solid 5-man rotation and a 7 man bullpen.

kaldaniels
02-07-2011, 04:34 PM
Stick Leake in AAA. I really think the Reds caught lightning in a bottle with his fast start last year. I think the world of Mike and expect him to become a great pitcher down the road, but to me he is a little rough around the edges.

Forget that last year he skipped the minors, there is nothing wrong with having our 2009 number one pick in AAA, one phone call away from the bigs if needed.

membengal
02-07-2011, 07:43 PM
If Leake is the odd man out this spring (and all things being equal, I think he is), if its me I would much prefer he get ready for when he's needed by pitching every fifth day in Louisville. There are still things he can work on, and making sure he pitches a full season and builds his innings this year should be a part of Cincy's consideration. I don't think that can be as easily done with him in a theoretical long relief role. And this team has, in my opinion, a LOT of really good options for that part of the pen and can afford to let a guy of Leake's caliber take a regular turn at AAA as opposed to stashing him in long relief.

WebScorpion
02-07-2011, 07:50 PM
Do you know where this is documented?
I know it's etched in my mind that he throws harder (1-2mph) in the 5th through 7th innings than he does in the 1st and 2nd. He does it consistently, every start I can remember in 2010.

Actually, I went back to MLB Gameday to check and his fastball doesn't always get stronger, but it very rarely drops off. Most games he's still throwing 94mph fastballs in the 6th and 7th innings, but he often touches that speed in the first inning too. I've read before that Homer takes a while to warm up, here's one (http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20101006&content_id=15446368&notebook_id=15446496&vkey=notebook_cin&c_id=cin) from last year's playoffs:


Reds manager Dusty Baker said that Wood can warm up quicker than Bailey, which could be a concern if the Phillies start a big rally.

...and another from a Real Clear Sports blog (http://www.realclearsports.com/blognetwork/redlegs_rundown/2010/07/what-to-do-with.html):

The problem with putting Homer in the bullpen is the fact that he takes a lot longer than others to warm up. It might not be a great fit.

IMO Homer's a born starter: Long and lanky, slow to warm up, gets stronger as the game goes on...

Maybe we should have a 6-man rotation? ;)

Will M
02-07-2011, 09:36 PM
I looked at the 2010 team. Specifically its top five starters by IP & how many innings the 6th, 7th, 8th & 9th starters pitched.

215.2 Arroyo (33 starts)
185.2 Cueto (31 starts)
138.1 Leake (22 starts)
109.0 Bailey (19 starts)
108.2 Harang (20 starts)
------------------------
102.2 Wood (17 starts)
062.2 Volquez (12 starts)
033.1 Lecure (6 starts)
011.2 Maloney (2 starts)

So 37 games were started & 210 innings were pitched last year by guys not in the top five in the rotation. This was due to injuries & ineffectiveness.

I looked at the other seven playoff teams last year & counted how many games were started by the 6th starter or lower:
SFG 11
PHI 18
ATL 25
NYY 19
TBR 8
TEX 35 (!)
MIN 16
This averages out to 19 games per team. And these are the teams that made the postseason.

lets say Leake or Bailey starts in the pen. Then he ends up pitching 1/2 the season in the pen & 1/2 the season in the rotation (due to minor injuries by the top 5 starters). 40 innings in the pen. 18 starts x 6 innings a start gets 108 innings. thats 148 innings total even in a fairly middle of the road estimate that the team will only need a 6th starter ~18 times.
so IMO its not a totally outrageous scenario to put the odd man out in the rotation into the bullpen.

Edd Roush
02-07-2011, 10:35 PM
I looked at the 2010 team. Specifically its top five starters by IP & how many innings the 6th, 7th, 8th & 9th starters pitched.

215.2 Arroyo (33 starts)
185.2 Cueto (31 starts)
138.1 Leake (22 starts)
109.0 Bailey (19 starts)
108.2 Harang (20 starts)
------------------------
102.2 Wood (17 starts)
062.2 Volquez (12 starts)
033.1 Lecure (6 starts)
011.2 Maloney (2 starts)

So 37 games were started & 210 innings were pitched last year by guys not in the top five in the rotation. This was due to injuries & ineffectiveness.

I looked at the other seven playoff teams last year & counted how many games were started by the 6th starter or lower:
SFG 11
PHI 18
ATL 25
NYY 19
TBR 8
TEX 35 (!)
MIN 16
This averages out to 19 games per team. And these are the teams that made the postseason.

lets say Leake or Bailey starts in the pen. Then he ends up pitching 1/2 the season in the pen & 1/2 the season in the rotation (due to minor injuries by the top 5 starters). 40 innings in the pen. 18 starts x 6 innings a start gets 108 innings. thats 148 innings total even in a fairly middle of the road estimate that the team will only need a 6th starter ~18 times.
so IMO its not a totally outrageous scenario to put the odd man out in the rotation into the bullpen.

It's funny, you use the statistics of games started by non-top 5 starters of playoff teams as a reason why Leake should be put into the pen and I see that as the reason why Leake should be stashed in the minors. I want Leake pitching every fifth day as regularly as possible so he is ready for those big league starts. When I send Leake down on the last day of Spring Training, I quote these stats to him and tell him to stay sharp in Louisville because odds are we are going to need him soon. When the first starter gets put on the DL, Leake will be ready to take his spot. This keeps Leake in with the major league team but saves his accumulation of major league service time. Leake is also more used to pitching out of the rotation and gets more of a hammer arm in the bullpen. I am very bullish on Willis' chances as a high-leverage LOOGY and Burton and Smith's abilities as above-average relievers which is why I want to clear a spot for one of them in my bullpen.

It really is nothing against Mike Leake. I just think that Bailey is a better bet to put up better numbers as a #5 starter due to the stats that Rick quoted earlier. Furthermore, Bailey can't be stashed in the minor leagues. We are going to need a #6 starter for around 19 starts next year; we may as well make sure Leake is ready for each and every one of them.

mth123
02-08-2011, 01:28 AM
Stick Leake in AAA. I really think the Reds caught lightning in a bottle with his fast start last year. I think the world of Mike and expect him to become a great pitcher down the road, but to me he is a little rough around the edges.

Forget that last year he skipped the minors, there is nothing wrong with having our 2009 number one pick in AAA, one phone call away from the bigs if needed.

This.

Once the league figured Leake out, starting in about the beginning of June, he actually gave up more FB than GB from that point on and a whopping 15 HR in 72 IP. Personally, I think Leake will get tattooed if he's in the rotation. Stick him in AAA, build his innings and wait for him to re-emerge as a back of the rotation innings eater (a la Arroyo) in 2012 or 2013.

"Lightning in a bottle" is exactly how I'd describe April and May of 2010. Nothing about those two months worth of stats provides any indication of what should be expected of Leake from this point forward. Those were stats accumulated when the entire league was taking to get a read on him and he was basically starting out 0-1 on lots of guys. Once they started swinging at the meatballs, they went out of the park with great frequency.

reds44
02-08-2011, 03:07 AM
It all depends on who doesn't win the 5th starter job. If Leake wins the job, the Reds have no choice but to put Bailey in the pen or trade him. He's out of options. If Bailey wins the job, I just don't see what good sending Leake to the pen does. I don't like his pure stuff coming out of the pen, and I want him to build up his arm strength.

Ron Madden
02-08-2011, 03:59 AM
If Leake is the odd man out this spring (and all things being equal, I think he is), if its me I would much prefer he get ready for when he's needed by pitching every fifth day in Louisville. There are still things he can work on, and making sure he pitches a full season and builds his innings this year should be a part of Cincy's consideration. I don't think that can be as easily done with him in a theoretical long relief role. And this team has, in my opinion, a LOT of really good options for that part of the pen and can afford to let a guy of Leake's caliber take a regular turn at AAA as opposed to stashing him in long relief.


Agreed.

I honestly believe it would better serve Mike Leake's future to let him go every 5 days in AAA and build up his IP than to use him sparingly out of the pen in a long relief role.

Will M
02-08-2011, 09:06 PM
It's funny, you use the statistics of games started by non-top 5 starters of playoff teams as a reason why Leake should be put into the pen and I see that as the reason why Leake should be stashed in the minors. I want Leake pitching every fifth day as regularly as possible so he is ready for those big league starts. When I send Leake down on the last day of Spring Training, I quote these stats to him and tell him to stay sharp in Louisville because odds are we are going to need him soon. When the first starter gets put on the DL, Leake will be ready to take his spot. This keeps Leake in with the major league team but saves his accumulation of major league service time. Leake is also more used to pitching out of the rotation and gets more of a hammer arm in the bullpen. I am very bullish on Willis' chances as a high-leverage LOOGY and Burton and Smith's abilities as above-average relievers which is why I want to clear a spot for one of them in my bullpen.

It really is nothing against Mike Leake. I just think that Bailey is a better bet to put up better numbers as a #5 starter due to the stats that Rick quoted earlier. Furthermore, Bailey can't be stashed in the minor leagues. We are going to need a #6 starter for around 19 starts next year; we may as well make sure Leake is ready for each and every one of them.

i am not arguing that Leake SHOULD go to the pen if he is the 6th starter. i am suggesting that its not an outrageous move by the Reds if they do just that. why? because he will likely get his starts at some point in the season due to injuries to the top 5 guys. same for Bailey if he is the 6th starter. he very likely will not be in the pen for the entire season.

personally i would start Leake in AAA for all the reasons you state. however
i actually expect Bailey is the one going to long relief. he will start if one of the other five guys gets hurt. he will also end up taking the #5 spot from Leake in mid to late August as the Reds are on record as stating they want Leake to pitch ~158-168 innings. so if he is in the rotation from day 1 & stays there he'll hit his innings limit before the season is over.

Edd Roush
02-09-2011, 10:09 AM
i am not arguing that Leake SHOULD go to the pen if he is the 6th starter. i am suggesting that its not an outrageous move by the Reds if they do just that. why? because he will likely get his starts at some point in the season due to injuries to the top 5 guys. same for Bailey if he is the 6th starter. he very likely will not be in the pen for the entire season.

personally i would start Leake in AAA for all the reasons you state. however
i actually expect Bailey is the one going to long relief. he will start if one of the other five guys gets hurt. he will also end up taking the #5 spot from Leake in mid to late August as the Reds are on record as stating they want Leake to pitch ~158-168 innings. so if he is in the rotation from day 1 & stays there he'll hit his innings limit before the season is over.

I see your point, but wouldn't you think that a pitcher would be more effective in those spot starts if he were to be called up from AAA after pitching every fifth day rather than languishing in the bullpen? Especially with Leake. He needs to work on things and while the coaching may be better in the majors, he would get much more pitching experience in AAA.

I would just rather not have one guy chilling in the bullpen waiting for the Reds to be blown out (which hopefully won't happen too much this year) to throw as a long man or wait for an injury to be a starter and would instead rather have a guy who could pitch in high leverage situations late in the game. I think Willis would be a good guy to get a Rasmus or Fielder out in a tight game and I think that Burton or Smith could both be good 7th inning guys. I don't want to waste a bullpen spot on a "long-man" when I can have a guy who is going to provide value to my team available.

membengal
02-28-2011, 06:52 AM
From John Fay today:

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20110227/SPT04/102280317/Reds-insider-Quiet-camp-good-camp-Cincinnati?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Reds


The Reds will tell you that some bullpen spots are open. But Francisco Cordero, Nick Masset, Aroldis Chapman, Bill Bray and Logan Ondrusek will take five of the seven spots. Willis looks as if he could get the sixth. The front-office types are really high on Jose Arredondo.

If it is settling in this quick, that sure makes it less of a battle royale and more of a battle writ small. The reports have indeed been good on Willis, and his presence was the one thing you couldn't be relatively sure of as spring got here. If they go with him, and Arrendondo is healthy, that would kinda seal things it looks. That's what to watch for the next few weeks it would appear.

If it does set-up this way, it leaves Burton on the outside looking in. Ridic good depth to have that kind of arm and experience at AAA. And a possible trade piece if the Reds so chose.

TheNext44
02-28-2011, 09:54 AM
It's funny, you use the statistics of games started by non-top 5 starters of playoff teams as a reason why Leake should be put into the pen and I see that as the reason why Leake should be stashed in the minors. I want Leake pitching every fifth day as regularly as possible so he is ready for those big league starts.

if Leake is in the pen, he would have no problem stepping in to fill in for an inured or ineffective starter. He's already stretched out. In fact, that would be optimal, since he would already be with the team and not need to travel from wherever the Bats would be playing.

TheNext44
02-28-2011, 09:58 AM
From John Fay today:

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20110227/SPT04/102280317/Reds-insider-Quiet-camp-good-camp-Cincinnati?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Reds

If it is settling in this quick, that sure makes it less of a battle royale and more of a battle writ small. The reports have indeed been good on Willis, and his presence was the one thing you couldn't be relatively sure of as spring got here. If they go with him, and Arrendondo is healthy, that would kinda seal things it looks. That's what to watch for the next few weeks it would appear.

If it does set-up this way, it leaves Burton on the outside looking in. Ridic good depth to have that kind of arm and experience at AAA. And a possible trade piece if the Reds so chose.

Odds are that will change by the end of spring training, due to injury and ineffective pitching, which is why the Reds are saying spots are still open. Still impressive depth.

Dan
02-28-2011, 10:07 AM
I'm loving the depth of the pitching staff this year. Not just the bullpen, but the starters as well.

REDREAD
02-28-2011, 10:40 AM
I know Homer takes longer to warm up out of the pen, but I don't see that as a huge issue.

Let's suppose it's midseason, and it seems best for the team for Leake to take Homer's spot in the rotation. I hope it does not play out that way, but just for the sake of discussion.

Homer would probably be the long man then. Even though it takes him a long time to warm up, it's not that big of a deal.

Suppose the starter gets shelled in the 2nd inning and has to come out. Dusty can bring in someone like Bray to finish the 2nd inning, then Homer has the rest of the inning, plus the 1/2 inning that the Reds hit to get ready.
Then Homer could pitch innings 3-7 or whatever.
I think his time to warm up only becomes an issue if they want to make him the setup man (or the guy that handles the unexpected 7/8th inning crisis) . Even if they wanted to make Homer the closer, most of the time, it's very predictable when the closer comes in, and he has plenty of time to prepare.

IslandRed
02-28-2011, 10:50 AM
Assuming Willis has his stuff together for real, I like him in the pen a lot. Extra lefty, and being an ex-starter, he'd be a good long man. Most everyone else in the pen is a one- or two-inning guy.

bucksfan2
02-28-2011, 10:55 AM
I think its pretty much set. You know the big 3 are going to make it unless Walt is able to unload Cordero. The Reds didn't sign Arrendondo and pay him to rehab for a year to cut him the next season. It appears as if Bray and Ondrusek are near locks which I would be a little opposed to. Relievers traditionally can be up on year and down the next. I think Ondrusek "earned" a spot last season but I also remember when Burton was closer in the waiting. Oh and when did Bray learn to pitch healthy for a full season.

I think the Reds start the season with 8 in the pen. They won't need a 5th starter until later in April so no need to keep that inactive spot occupied to start the season. Therefor I think both Burton and Willis make the club out of ST.

IslandRed
02-28-2011, 02:33 PM
I think the Reds start the season with 8 in the pen. They won't need a 5th starter until later in April so no need to keep that inactive spot occupied to start the season. Therefor I think both Burton and Willis make the club out of ST.

Maybe as a procedural move for the first few days. After that, I doubt it. I could be wrong, but our pitching situation being what it is, I don't see us skipping the #5 even when off days give us the opportunity to do so... at least, not if it's Wood or Bailey in that spot. If it's Leake, maybe they'd skip him occasionally to manage the innings.

bucksfan2
02-28-2011, 02:44 PM
Maybe as a procedural move for the first few days. After that, I doubt it. I could be wrong, but our pitching situation being what it is, I don't see us skipping the #5 even when off days give us the opportunity to do so... at least, not if it's Wood or Bailey in that spot. If it's Leake, maybe they'd skip him occasionally to manage the innings.

In the past the Reds liked to keep Harang and Arroyo on regular schedule throughout the season. I thought they did that with Leake last season. He made the team out of ST but wasn't activated until his first start. I thought it was longer but it was game 6 that Leake pitched. Not as big of a deal as I originally had thought.

TheNext44
02-28-2011, 03:03 PM
In the past the Reds liked to keep Harang and Arroyo on regular schedule throughout the season. I thought they did that with Leake last season. He made the team out of ST but wasn't activated until his first start. I thought it was longer but it was game 6 that Leake pitched. Not as big of a deal as I originally had thought.

Yep, Leake was not activated until April 11th last year.

If Wood is not activated until then this year, the same time the Reds would first need a Fifth starter, he would lose an option. I have no idea how many he has left.

Scrap Irony
02-28-2011, 06:16 PM
If the pen is indeed set, I'd love to see Jocketty deal the extra starter, an mlb-effective reliever, a possible starter, and a prospect or two for someone really good. Or perhaps someone that could be really good in the future.

In my dreams, Mike Leake, Jared Burton, and Ryan Hanigan turn into Jesus Montero and change.

Or maybe it's Yonder Alonso and Bill Bray for Desmond Jennings.

Or maybe it's Leake, Janish, Hamilton, and Burton for Stephen Drew and a couple million.

It'll be interesting to see what happens. I hope Jocketty makes a deal or two, but that's probably because I'd like to see what he'd do. Or I'm bored.

Will M
02-28-2011, 07:30 PM
From John Fay today:

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20110227/SPT04/102280317/Reds-insider-Quiet-camp-good-camp-Cincinnati?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Reds



If it is settling in this quick, that sure makes it less of a battle royale and more of a battle writ small. The reports have indeed been good on Willis, and his presence was the one thing you couldn't be relatively sure of as spring got here. If they go with him, and Arrendondo is healthy, that would kinda seal things it looks. That's what to watch for the next few weeks it would appear.

If it does set-up this way, it leaves Burton on the outside looking in. Ridic good depth to have that kind of arm and experience at AAA. And a possible trade piece if the Reds so chose.

i have to agree. I have read more than once how good Willis has looked. If Arrendondo is healthy then thats 7 guys for the pen with Burton, Fisher, Smith, Maloney, Lecure, etc all in AAA. Really amazing as just a few years ago ALL these guys would probably have been on the team.

OnBaseMachine
03-01-2011, 08:28 PM
He won't make the team out of spring training, but I was very impressed with Jerry Gil today. I see why the Reds seem to like him. He's got a very good arm, he had to be throwing in the mid-90's today and he showed the makings of a good breaking ball too. It was only one appearance, but based on what I saw today, he's got the arm to pitch in the major leagues. His control is what's holding him back. It was fine today but it remains to be seen whether he can throw strikes consistently.