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View Full Version : That last bench spot



Redsfan320
03-05-2012, 08:51 AM
Assuming four spots are locked up (Mesigan, Cairo, Valdez, Heiswick), who do you think wins the last bench spot to start the season?

320

redsmetz
03-05-2012, 09:07 AM
Is Valdez out of options? I don't recall whether the issue was that he couldn't be sent down or that Philly had no room for him on their 40 man roster.

cumberlandreds
03-05-2012, 09:15 AM
Is Valdez out of options? I don't recall whether the issue was that he couldn't be sent down or that Philly had no room for him on their 40 man roster.

I'm sure I have read he is out of options. As is Francisco. That will have a major impact on who makes it and who doesn't.

Kc61
03-05-2012, 09:53 AM
Francisco will definitely get the last spot unless he is hurt or traded.

If he doesn't get the last spot, it will be Harris because of his lefty bat.

No way Reds go into the season with only two lefty bats, Votto and Bruce.

Frazier may win a RedsZone poll, but his only hope is injuries. And there could be injuries.

mattfeet
03-05-2012, 09:56 AM
If Francsico is healthy, then him.

Otherwise, it goes to Frazier.

PuffyPig
03-05-2012, 10:17 AM
Francisco is out of options, so he'll get it or be traded.

_Sir_Charles_
03-05-2012, 11:20 AM
Puffy beat me to it. Yep, unless Juan's hurt, he's a lock. No options.

RANDY IN INDY
03-05-2012, 11:31 AM
Francisco's gonna be hurt.

757690
03-05-2012, 12:25 PM
Francisco's gonna be hurt.

Yep. He's not even doing "baseball activities" yet. It will be very hard for him to get ready in time. He will likely start the season on the DL, then a rehab assignment.

I could see the Reds go with 11 pitchers, and Harris and Fraizer to start the season.

bucksfan2
03-05-2012, 12:31 PM
Francisco and Harris.

I think they will head out of ST with a creative roster because the need for a 5th starter to be active isn't there. I have a feeling that Francisco will start the season on the DL though. So I guess my best guess is Harris unless Frazier tears it up and forces his way onto the club.

RANDY IN INDY
03-05-2012, 12:41 PM
From what I've heard, they think Francisco needs to shed some pounds.

RedsManRick
03-05-2012, 01:36 PM
If he were healthy, I think Fransisco is a given. But assuming he starts the season on the DL, I think Harris gets the nod. He gives them a LH CF option and a little speed off the bench. Personally, I'd like Frazier to get a spot, but I could see them wanting him to play everyday.

Personally, I'd go with 11 pitchers and have Frazier up with Harris in lieu of carrying Ondrusek.

dougdirt
03-05-2012, 02:05 PM
I am not going to assume Francisco won't be ready for the season. The Reds have played 2 games thus far and there is an entire month until real games start.

He is out of options. The Reds are in love with his power. He gets the last spot if all things are equal. And even if they aren't, once he does come back, he is getting that spot that went to someone else.

Vottomatic
03-05-2012, 02:09 PM
Unless he's on the DL, Francisco gets the spot as insurance for Rolen and that very much needed LH bat off the bench.

757690
03-05-2012, 02:17 PM
I am not going to assume Francisco won't be ready for the season. The Reds have played 2 games thus far and there is an entire month until real games start.

He is out of options. The Reds are in love with his power. He gets the last spot if all things are equal. And even if they aren't, once he does come back, he is getting that spot that went to someone else.

Thats a very important, and often overlooked point. Opening day rosters are great for discussion, but not that meaningful in the grand scope of things. Over 162 games, the roster takes on many shapes and forms.

SirFelixCat
03-05-2012, 04:00 PM
If Francsico is healthy, then him.

Otherwise, it goes to Frazier.

This w/o a doubt, imo.

*BaseClogger*
03-05-2012, 04:19 PM
Francisco starts the season on the DL. Harris impresses Teh Dusty in the Spring and lands the last spot. Frazier and the rest have options and start with the Bats...

REDREAD
03-08-2012, 01:22 PM
Personally, I'd go with 11 pitchers and have Frazier up with Harris in lieu of carrying Ondrusek.

That's a thought. The problem I see is that Masset and Arrondo have tons of potential, but are still wildcards. Ondrusek was a pretty stablizing arm in middle relief last year (at least in the first half). I am not saying Masset and Arrondo will stink (I am optimistic), but I think Ondrusek is more valuable than Harris, esp since Frasier can play LF in a pinch. I know Harris is a much needed bat off the bench though.

If I was more confident in Arrondo and Masset, I'd be more inclined to agree with you. It's a good idea regardless..:)

_Sir_Charles_
03-08-2012, 02:16 PM
I seem to get this feeling that Ondrusek is widely under-appreciated on this forum. For the first 3/4's of the season last year, he was lights out. The work-load got to him late in the season though and made his overall numbers look much more mediocre. He seems to be the odd man out if you ask RZ. I'd lean more towards LeCure being the odd man out. I think we should re-stretch Sam back out and have him start in Louisville.

RedsManRick
03-08-2012, 02:27 PM
That's a thought. The problem I see is that Masset and Arrondo have tons of potential, but are still wildcards. Ondrusek was a pretty stablizing arm in middle relief last year (at least in the first half). I am not saying Masset and Arrondo will stink (I am optimistic), but I think Ondrusek is more valuable than Harris, esp since Frasier can play LF in a pinch. I know Harris is a much needed bat off the bench though.

If I was more confident in Arrondo and Masset, I'd be more inclined to agree with you. It's a good idea regardless..:)

I just don't understand why people have such confidence in Ondrusek and less in Masset and Arredondo. With relievers, I think people get distracted by a guy's ERA, especially if he has a particularly good or bad start to the year -- as if the beginning of the year is a particularly good indicator of ability. Ondrusek may have had a shiny ERA, but relievers who strike out 10 and walk 8 in 19 innings aren't 2.30 ERA pitchers -- and that's his summer. If he could sustain his April and May, he'd be very solid -- but we can play that game with almost any pitcher and imagine he's really pretty good.



IP K/BB ERA xFIP BABIP
Masset 70.1 2.00 3.71 3.75 .322
Arredondo 53.0 1.55 3.23 4.39 .271
Ondrusek 61.1 1.46 3.23 4.49 .257

Ondrusek was not as good as his ERA last year. His K/BB is sub-par and his ERA was significantly boosted by good batted ball luck. While I can appreciate a lack of certain confidence in Masset and Arredondo, I don't see how adding Ondrusek helps anything. Adding mediocrity + slight mediocrity does not = quality.

mbgrayson
03-08-2012, 02:35 PM
Yep. He's not even doing "baseball activities" yet. It will be very hard for him to get ready in time. He will likely start the season on the DL, then a rehab assignment.

FWIW, Juan Francisco has now playeed in two spring games. See his player stat page HERE (http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=464433#gameType='S'&sectionType=career&statType=1&season=2012). The game Tuesday was as a DH, but yesterday he played third base.

_Sir_Charles_
03-08-2012, 02:41 PM
Up to the end of July, Logan was at 50.1 ip, 1.80 k/bb, 1.97 era.

In those last 13 appearances he pitched 11 innings, his era was 9.00 and had a 0.62 k/bb. As I said, his workload ended up skewing his end of year numbers IMO.

As for the xFIP and BABIP...not only do I not know how to figure those, but I'm not sure how effective they are in measuring relievers, especially with small samples like 11 innings or even 61 innings. I'll lean towards your expertise in that department Rick. :O)

RedsManRick
03-08-2012, 03:18 PM
Up to the end of July, Logan was at 50.1 ip, 1.80 k/bb, 1.97 era.

In those last 13 appearances he pitched 11 innings, his era was 9.00 and had a 0.62 k/bb. As I said, his workload ended up skewing his end of year numbers IMO.

But we can't just be selective like that unless we have a very clear reason to do so. All players have good stretches and bad ones. We could selectively make any player look potentially great. But what differentiates the great from the good from the average is, to a large degree, their ability to sustain a high level of performance.

If Ondrusek was legitimately injured, I'll reconsider my insistence that we look at his whole season. But everybody gets tired in the dog days of summer. We can't just dismiss that portion of his season as not-representative of what we should expect from him moving forward.

The reality, as I see it, is that he's never missed many bats or demonstrated great control outside of ~40 innings in AAA where he didn't walk anybody. What we saw from him in both 2010 and 2011 is pretty much who he is, with some BABIP luck on his side (even if he is good at inducing a low BABIP, he's not THAT good).



As for the xFIP and BABIP...not only do I not know how to figure those, but I'm not sure how effective they are in measuring relievers, especially with small samples like 11 innings or even 61 innings. I'll lean towards your expertise in that department Rick. :O)

It's all on FanGraphs; no need to calculate anything.

With relievers, you want to look at the things that "stabilize" quickly. That is, how much data do you need before you can sort out ability from luck. Or put another way, at what point do the numbers he puts up become a better predictor of his future performance than simply assuming league average? It differs substantially from one metric to the next. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=14293

- Strikeouts and ground ball rates stabilize very quickly -- at ~25-30 innings.
- Walks and fly ball rates take about 60 innings.
- Home Run rates take about 500 innings.
- Hit rates (BABIP) takes thousands of innings

In other words, for relievers, we know in the first full season roughly how effective they are based on their K/BB. It's not fate, but it's a good estimate. Meanwhile, a good or bad HR/FB or BABIP can significantly affect a guy's ERA in a given season, but can't really be counted on in future seasons. That makes past ERA not terribly useful as a predictor of future ERA.

So why xFIP? Because it's basically giving you a guy's K/BB in ERA form. If you want to try and project a reliever's ERA, look at his K/BB. If a reliever can sustain a K/BB of 3 or higher, he's a stud. Around 2, he's mediocre. Closer to 1 and he shouldn't be in the majors.

Ondrusek has a long track record of mediocre K/BB which he's continued in the majors. He's put up two years of nice ERAs on the back of low BABIPs that we cannot expect to continue. The month-by-month breakdown may give us a nice narrative, but it's reading tea leaves. There's simply too much noise in 10 or 20 innings at a time to have much meaning at all. The most we can say about Ondrusek based on his stats is that he's solidly in fringe territory. Anything more than that is wishcasting.

_Sir_Charles_
03-09-2012, 10:59 AM
That's all a very fair point(s) Rick. But when I see a kid leading the league in appearances for a large portion of the season, I get concerned about his workload. It also wasn't just short partial inning stints like Bray was getting. He had lots of 2 inning outings. Sure, it's not scientific evidence or any such thing, but my brain was telling me he was tired and overworked, my eyes were telling me that, and my gut was telling me that. But seeing as how I've got ulcers, glasses and I remember my SAT scores...none of that counts for too much. :O)

_Sir_Charles_
03-09-2012, 11:05 AM
By the way, to be clear, I wasn't suggesting Ondrusek over Arredondo or Masset. I was suggesting him over LeCure. I think Sam will be more valuable to us as a starter in Louisville.

_Sir_Charles_
03-10-2012, 10:18 AM
Here's a quick excerpt from today's article about Logan...I think it states my feelings on the kid.


GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- There was a sizeable stretch of last season when Reds pitcher Logan Ondrusek was about as dominant as a reliever can be.

Then the wear and tear took its toll.

Ondrusek had a 0.68 ERA in 29 appearances from May 11-July 23. For the following seven appearances, he had a 14.53 ERA before a trip to the disabled list for two weeks with a strained right forearm.

HokieRed
03-10-2012, 07:46 PM
Phipps? Some of us have liked him all along. Starting to look like he might well be in the running.