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lollipopcurve
03-26-2012, 02:13 PM
Maybe. Barring injury. With an infield perhaps of Soto, Rodriguez, Cozart, and Francisco or Frazier.

What would the $$$ saved from not paying Votto, Phillips or Rolen be used for?

lollipopcurve
03-26-2012, 02:21 PM
Chapman is highly paid and the clock is ticking on his contract.

That's why you stretch him out as a starter beginning now. Time's a wasting.


The Reds have a big hole in their bullpen and Chapman is obviously the most able to fill that hole.

Since when is a pitcher who doesn't handle multiple consecutive appearances well that guy?


The team intends to win this year, one could argue that there isn't the luxury of putting Aroldis in Louisville this year for stretching.

Right. That's where the adjectives come in. At least the short-sighted one.


From my perspective if Chapman can start for the Reds most of this year, even after a relatively short AAA stint, that's the best case. Otherwise I want him to relieve for the Reds.

They won't know if he can do it until they give him a chance. And there will be growing pains. That's called development.

The Reds window to be good is not a porthole. If Chapman can develop as a starter, you're possibly looking at an elite starting staff as soon as 2013 and under control for beyond that.

Kc61
03-26-2012, 02:21 PM
What would the $$$ saved from not paying Votto, Phillips or Rolen be used for?

Probably trying to get Latos, Cueto, Chapman, and Leake to stay with the team.

I just don't see the future being as predictable as you do. When a small market team is ready to win, they should try to win. The whole off-season was an attempt to try to win now.

Chapman (and Latos) are the team's two great arms. They are both healthy. I would find a way to use them to win. Now. On the Reds.

There are small patches of time for a small market team to win. This is such a time. I hate like heck to see this golden arm in the minor leagues for this year.

757690
03-26-2012, 02:31 PM
Probably trying to get Latos, Cueto, Chapman, and Leake to stay with the team.

I just don't see the future as predictable as you do. When a small market team is ready to win, they should try to win. The whole off-season was an attempt to try to win now.

Chapman (and Latos) are the team's two great arms. They are both healthy. I would find a way to use them to win. Now. On the Reds.

There are small patches of time for a small market team to win. This is such a time. I hate like heck to see this golden arm in the minor leagues for this year.

Tne Reds needed to go for it during the Griffey/Dunn/Kearns window.
Then during the Harang/Arroyo window.
Then during the Phillips/Volquez/Cordero window...

Championship teams of all market size are most successful when they build a contending team year in and year out. If the Reds feel like this is the only year they can contend in the near future, then they might as well pack it all up and go out of business. Really, what the point then?

Kc61
03-26-2012, 02:33 PM
The Reds window to be good is not a porthole. .


The Reds' window to be good may be a porthole.

I've watched the Reds avidly since 1961. In that time frame, there has been exactly one period of time with sustained excellence spanning several years. One.

For a small market team, "next year" is usually a false hope.

I'll stop debating now, it's enough, but I see a pitching staff with holes. I see two possible holes in the rotation. I see a giant hole in the bullpen. I also see a healthy golden arm out there. I want it to fill a hole.

Caveat Emperor
03-26-2012, 02:37 PM
Chapman (and Latos) are the team's two great arms. They are both healthy. I would find a way to use them to win. Now. On the Reds.

There's a world of difference between a strong arm and a great arm. A strong arm can electrify a radar gun with a pitch hitting triple digits, a great arm can paint the black outside and at the knees hitting that same speed.

Chapman is a strong arm. He's miles away from a great arm.

Vottomatic
03-26-2012, 03:06 PM
I "heard" a rumor that Heisey is being floated as trade bait for another set up guy.

And the rumor monger also noted how Phipps is still in camp.

Take it for what it's worth. :eek:

Kc61
03-26-2012, 03:07 PM
I "heard" a rumor that Heisey is being floated as trade bait for another set up guy.

And the rumor monger also noted how Phipps is still in camp.

Take it for what it's worth. :eek:

Interesting. Phipps was optioned yesterday. He may physically be in camp on "hold" waiting for a trade, if that's what they are doing.

Reds are thin in the outfield.

Degenerate39
03-26-2012, 03:20 PM
What happened to Chapman not being able to pitch 3 days in a role?

lollipopcurve
03-26-2012, 03:22 PM
I "heard" a rumor that Heisey is being floated as trade bait for another set up guy.

And the rumor monger also noted how Phipps is still in camp.

Take it for what it's worth.

Makes good sense. Frazier can play LF too. Shouldn't be too tough to find a mediocre team willing to trade a veteran reliever for a young position player.

Sea Ray
03-26-2012, 03:23 PM
Interesting. Phipps was optioned yesterday. He may physically be in camp on "hold" waiting for a trade, if that's what they are doing.

Reds are thin in the outfield.

It seems to be a curious rumor since they are thin in the OF but I would like to see more of Phipps. The other question is can a deal surrounding Heisy bring a key part to this bullpen?

Maybe it's Coco? Wouldn't you deal Coco for Heisey if you were the Blue Jays GM?

SirFelixCat
03-26-2012, 03:24 PM
I "heard" a rumor that Heisey is being floated as trade bait for another set up guy.

And the rumor monger also noted how Phipps is still in camp.

Take it for what it's worth. :eek:

I could totally get on board with that. In fact, I think that helps the Reds in multiple ways...make it happen Walt.

Ron Madden
03-26-2012, 03:39 PM
The worst thing the Reds front office can do right now is panic.

Stick with the plan, develop Chapman as a starter and don't trade anything of value for 50 innings of middle relief pitching. (JMHO)

757690
03-26-2012, 03:48 PM
The worst thing the Reds front office can do right now is panic.

Stick with the plan, develop Chapman as a starter and don't trade anything of value for 50 innings of middle relief pitching. (JMHO)

Ron "The Voice of Reason" Maddon strikes again. :thumbup:

Homer Bailey
03-26-2012, 04:05 PM
:thumbup:


The worst thing the Reds front office can do right now is panic.

Stick with the plan, develop Chapman as a starter and don't trade anything of value for 50 innings of middle relief pitching. (JMHO)

Kc61
03-26-2012, 04:12 PM
Sure, leave the holes. Why fill them? Next year will be perfect.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Ron Madden
03-26-2012, 04:17 PM
Sure, leave the holes. Why fill them? Next year will be perfect.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Either step back from the ledge or jump and get it over with...

Sorry couldn't resist.

Cedric
03-26-2012, 04:57 PM
Pretty apparent that getting a high leverage bullpen arm is very expensive in today's game. I would be pretty shocked if Walt makes any moves for a good reliever at this point.

Will M
03-26-2012, 05:07 PM
Madson - out for the year.
Chapman - concerns regarding whether he can start or not.
Bailey & Arroyo - not looking good this spring.
The more I think about it the more I feel Madson's injury will have a domino effect on the Reds. I think they should go get another pitcher if they can.

1) if the team actually could trade Phillips for Hamels this should be done ASAP. then backfill 2B. i for one doubt that the Phillies would do this deal

2) Frazier has looked good this spring. I like the idea of moving either Heisey or Francisco for an arm.

Sea Ray
03-26-2012, 05:37 PM
Madson - out for the year.
Chapman - concerns regarding whether he can start or not.
Bailey & Arroyo - not looking good this spring.
The more I think about it the more I feel Madson's injury will have a domino effect on the Reds. I think they should go get another pitcher if they can.

1) if the team actually could trade Phillips for Hamels this should be done ASAP. then backfill 2B. i for one doubt that the Phillies would do this deal

2) Frazier has looked good this spring. I like the idea of moving either Heisey or Francisco for an arm.

I agree this isn't a championship team on paper but it's a long season and all the holes don't need to be filled before Opening Day. They can play this out by ear and see how it goes. In addition to this new void at closer, I also don't like the void in LF or the lack of balance in LH bats and LH arms. I think these are problems that Walt can address during the year

traderumor
03-26-2012, 05:53 PM
Marshall, Masset, Arredondo and Bray's performance are the answer to the burning question at this point. If Marshall is Marshall, he is an upgrade over Cordero. If Bray repeats last year, he is a solid 7-8th inning option. Massett and Arredondo take a step forward and are a tick above average, the bullpen is still going to get their job done at an above average level. The back end of the bullpen has potential to be better than average even with Ondrusek, Lecure, et al. I'm still bullish on the bullpen. :)

RedsManRick
03-26-2012, 07:32 PM
I get all that but how do you explain him not trying his off speed pitches in Spring Training games? He's been around long enough to throw a few every now and then. I'll admit, Doug's report gives me doubt that he really wants to start

I don't know. He could just still be working on it. We don't know that it was his choice as opposed to something that he and the coaching staff mutually agreed upon.

dougdirt
03-26-2012, 08:49 PM
I don't know. He could just still be working on it. We don't know that it was his choice as opposed to something that he and the coaching staff mutually agreed upon.

But isn't that kind of a problem either way?

Either he isn't confident to throw it, or the management isn't confident that he can.

reds44
03-26-2012, 08:51 PM
Lack of a quality third pitch? Serious command issues? Limited history of pitching deep into games?

Pick one.

There are a lot more reasons to think Chapman as a starter is fools errand than there are reasons to believe he'll succeed.
You're kidding right? You've concluded that off of 16 career starts in this country? He hasn't developed a third pitch because he's been a reliever.

Last time I checked lefties who throw 105 don't grow on trees.

dougdirt
03-26-2012, 08:53 PM
You're kidding right? You've concluded that off of 16 career starts in this country? He hasn't developed a third pitch because he's been a reliever.


I would go with the fact that he hasn't thrown a third pitch this spring despite being in a battle for the 5th starter spot suggests he hasn't developed a third pitch that is actually worth anything.

reds44
03-26-2012, 08:57 PM
I would go with the fact that he hasn't thrown a third pitch this spring despite being in a battle for the 5th starter spot suggests he hasn't developed a third pitch that is actually worth anything.
When would he have developed it?

dougdirt
03-26-2012, 09:03 PM
When would he have developed it?

Bullpen sessions. Spring training this and last year when results don't matter and you can throw it without any ill-effects?

Gallen5862
03-26-2012, 09:09 PM
http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/

Cubs Release Trever Miller
By Ben Nicholson-Smith [March 26 at 3:03pm CST]

Miller, who turns 39 in May, posted a 3.80 ERA with 5.1 K/9, 5.1 BB/9 and a 38% ground ball rate in 21 1/3 innings for the Cardinals, Blue Jays, and Red Sox in 2011. He started the season in St. Louis, went to Toronto in a July trade, and signed with Boston after the Blue Jays released him.

Gallen5862
03-26-2012, 09:10 PM
Is Trever Miller worth a look?

reds44
03-26-2012, 09:12 PM
No.

757690
03-26-2012, 09:16 PM
I would go with the fact that he hasn't thrown a third pitch this spring despite being in a battle for the 5th starter spot suggests he hasn't developed a third pitch that is actually worth anything.

Spring training isn't over yet. He could be working on it, but not using it games just yet. He has been able to do quite well without it so far, so he might be hesitant to use it since he's fighting for a spot.

Btw, lots of lefties have had very nice careers using mostly two pitches. Glavine, Carlton, R. Johnson, Koufax...

757690
03-26-2012, 09:17 PM
You're kidding right? You've concluded that off of 16 career starts in this country? He hasn't developed a third pitch because he's been a reliever.

Last time I checked lefties who throw 105 don't grow on trees.

Exactly. If we were talking about Sam LeCure, I would be worried that he hasn't developed a third pitch. Chapman, not so much,

dougdirt
03-26-2012, 09:24 PM
Spring training isn't over yet. He could be working on it, but not using it games just yet. He has been able to do quite well without it so far, so he might be hesitant to use it since he's fighting for a spot.

Btw, lots of lefties have had very nice careers using mostly two pitches. Glavine, Carlton, R. Johnson, Koufax...

If he is still working on it and not using it in games, then it isn't close to being a usable pitch. Him doing well without it in spring training doesn't mean anything. Unless you meant as a reliever, in which case it is irrelevant to him starting.

Naming four Hall of Fame pitchers doesn't make your point.

757690
03-26-2012, 09:35 PM
If he is still working on it and not using it in games, then it isn't close to being a usable pitch. Him doing well without it in spring training doesn't mean anything. Unless you meant as a reliever, in which case it is irrelevant to him starting.

Naming four Hall of Fame pitchers doesn't make your point.

The ... Means there are a bunch more. You know that there are plenty of successful pitchers, especially hard throwing lefties, that mostly use two pitches. This third pitch necessity is a myth. As I said before, if you're Sam LeCure, or Mike Leake, or Bronson Arroyo, or Jeff Francis, you need as many bullets as possible to be successful. But guys like Chapman, if he can locate his fastball, really just needs two.

That said, I agree with you that he needs to spend more time in AAA to develop as a starter, and I hope he does master a third pitch.

dougdirt
03-26-2012, 09:41 PM
The ... Means there are a bunch more. You know that there are plenty of successful pitchers, especially hard throwing lefties, that mostly use two pitches. This third pitch necessity is a myth. As I said before, if you're Sam LeCure, or Mike Leake, or Bronson Arroyo, or Jeff Francis, you need as many bullets as possible to be successful. But guys like Chapman, if he can locate his fastball, really just needs two.

That said, I agree with you that he needs to spend more time in AAA to develop as a starter, and I hope he does master a third pitch.

Justin Verlander uses three pitches. He throws just as hard as Chapman does and has excellent control.

The other side of it is, Chapman has shown no ability to locate either his fastball or slider to this point in his career. Pointing to what is essentially two starts worth of innings in spring training against who knows what kind of line ups doesn't say that he has taken that step no matter how much some of us want him to have taken that step.

OnBaseMachine
03-27-2012, 01:23 AM
Jesse Sanchez - Chapman settling into big league groove

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120326&content_id=27642782&vkey=news_cin&c_id=cin

gilpdawg
03-27-2012, 03:18 AM
The worst thing the Reds front office can do right now is panic.

Stick with the plan, develop Chapman as a starter and don't trade anything of value for 50 innings of middle relief pitching. (JMHO)
Good lord, yes, yes, yes. I could not agree with this post any more.

AtomicDumpling
03-27-2012, 04:12 AM
The worst thing the Reds front office can do right now is panic.

Stick with the plan, develop Chapman as a starter and don't trade anything of value for 50 innings of middle relief pitching. (JMHO)

Agreed 100%.

GAC
03-27-2012, 05:39 AM
If not Chapman as that 5th guy, then who? Francis? He didn't help his cause any yesterday vs Texas, and the Reds have to make a decision on him by Wednesday as far as the 25 man roster goes. Looking at him career-wise I'm not that impressed. And then there's pitching at GABP. Bailey, who also has not had a stellar ST, is also out of options. They aren't going to give up on him just yet. At least not for the likes of a Francis.

IMO, Chapman, looking at his performance this Spring, has earned that spot and opportunity. This is a 24 yr old kid with great potential. I still go with Chapman in the rotation. It's not like it's written in stone either. If need be, he can be moved back into the BP. But he has definitely earned his shot.

GoReds
03-27-2012, 07:44 AM
Chapman as the fifth starter with Bailey in long relief in the pen for the first five starts. If Chapman is pulled early, Bailey takes over in long-relief. If another starter falters or has an injury, Bailey is there to step into that role.

I can see Chapman being more productive in the next two years than Bailey will likely be in any two-year stint in his career. I don't see Bailey with the Reds past this year.

Caveat Emperor
03-27-2012, 08:40 AM
You're kidding right? You've concluded that off of 16 career starts in this country? He hasn't developed a third pitch because he's been a reliever.

Last time I checked lefties who throw 105 don't grow on trees.

And yet history has shown time and time again that the ability to throw a baseball fast is meaningless unless it's coupled with command (the ability to throw MULTIPLE pitches for strikes) and pitching sense.

Chapman throws 105 -- it's a neat moment for fans and gives him something to put on the license plate of his lamborghini, but it's pretty meaningless in any calculus of his value to the Reds. Until he develops a third pitch and refines his command, or shows the ability to pitch multiple days in a row in relief without a drop in effectiveness, Chapman is a novelty act with limited real value to the Reds beyond being a situational reliever.

Cedric
03-27-2012, 08:44 AM
And yet history has shown time and time again that the ability to throw a baseball fast is meaningless unless it's coupled with command (the ability to throw MULTIPLE pitches for strikes) and pitching sense.

Chapman throws 105 -- it's a neat moment for fans and gives him something to put on the license plate of his lamborghini, but it's pretty meaningless in any calculus of his value to the Reds. Until he develops a third pitch and refines his command, or shows the ability to pitch multiple days in a row in relief without a drop in effectiveness, Chapman is a novelty act with limited real value to the Reds beyond being a situational reliever.

You act as though Chapman hast already produced at the major league level. He has.

Caveat Emperor
03-27-2012, 08:48 AM
You act as though Chapman hast already produced at the major league level. He has.

He's produced in the role they've carved out for him -- reliever that can't go multiple days in a row.

Beyond that to closer? Starter?

Right now, hard to see it.

lollipopcurve
03-27-2012, 09:08 AM
Right now, hard to see it.

I can understand the skepticism. The simple response is....

1. He doesn't have a pressing need for a 3rd pitch. His fastball and slider are potentially dominant. He's working on a split. If his third pitch eventually becomes nothing more than a show me pitch, 5X or so a game, that should suffice.
2. The command is improving. Look at the spring stats. Note Bud Black's comment that the delivery looks improved (Bud Black knows pitching). And the reports that his tempo is better, quicker.

He is NOT the same pitcher he was. He is developing. You can be as skeptical as you like, but if you think you know what kind of pitcher he is, based on 2010-2011, you're not paying attention to what he is now and to what he could become.

traderumor
03-27-2012, 09:28 AM
And yet history has shown time and time again that the ability to throw a baseball fast is meaningless unless it's coupled with command (the ability to throw MULTIPLE pitches for strikes) and pitching sense.

Chapman throws 105 -- it's a neat moment for fans and gives him something to put on the license plate of his lamborghini, but it's pretty meaningless in any calculus of his value to the Reds. Until he develops a third pitch and refines his command, or shows the ability to pitch multiple days in a row in relief without a drop in effectiveness, Chapman is a novelty act with limited real value to the Reds beyond being a situational reliever.A starter with two very good pitches is always better than a starter with three or four mediocre pitches. You make it sound axiomatic that a third pitch is a necessity for a starter, sort of like "pitchers under 6 feet tall will have short careers." Methinks you doth protest too much to be taken seriously and sound like you're dogging a guy instead of providing a realistic critical analysis of his value.

Kc61
03-27-2012, 09:57 AM
IMO, the reality is that Homer and Arroyo are in the rotation mostly because (a) Homer was a highly touted draft choice who is still young and has been "okay" and (b) Arroyo has a big contract.

Chapman is the guy, however, with clearly superior stuff. It might be best if he could train at AAA for awhile, but I see him as the clear choice to be fifth starter. He's just harder to hit than the other guys.

I agree with lollipopcurve on this one. Chapman had a meltdown last year, but otherwise was effective at the big league level. He's not a novice.

As a fifth starter, throwing five or six inning stints to begin, he brings the most to the table -- and I don't think it is really very close.

Chapman isn't perfect, but right now he seems like the best solution to me and I would feel much more confident in the Reds pitching with Aroldis on the staff, preferably in the rotation.

Sea Ray
03-27-2012, 10:02 AM
I can understand the skepticism. The simple response is....

1. He doesn't have a pressing need for a 3rd pitch. His fastball and slider are potentially dominant. He's working on a split. If his third pitch eventually becomes nothing more than a show me pitch, 5X or so a game, that should suffice.
2. The command is improving. Look at the spring stats. Note Bud Black's comment that the delivery looks improved (Bud Black knows pitching). And the reports that his tempo is better, quicker.

He is NOT the same pitcher he was. He is developing. You can be as skeptical as you like, but if you think you know what kind of pitcher he is, based on 2010-2011, you're not paying attention to what he is now and to what he could become.

Keep in mind that Aroldis won't be throwing 105 MPH as a starter. He'll likely settle in between 95-99MPH. Big league hitters can time that. Changing speeds is huge to successful pitching

dougdirt
03-27-2012, 10:23 AM
I can understand the skepticism. The simple response is....

1. He doesn't have a pressing need for a 3rd pitch. His fastball and slider are potentially dominant. He's working on a split. If his third pitch eventually becomes nothing more than a show me pitch, 5X or so a game, that should suffice.
2. The command is improving. Look at the spring stats. Note Bud Black's comment that the delivery looks improved (Bud Black knows pitching). And the reports that his tempo is better, quicker.

He is NOT the same pitcher he was. He is developing. You can be as skeptical as you like, but if you think you know what kind of pitcher he is, based on 2010-2011, you're not paying attention to what he is now and to what he could become.

1. Justin Verlander has a better fastball than Aroldis Chapman does (as a starter, he throws it just as hard or harder and he can throw it for strikes in any count). His curveball is just as good as the slider from Chapman. Yet he also throws a plus change up and an above average slider. Even guys with two plus pitches as starters, tend to throw third pitches often. Yes, there are a handful of exceptions in history who didn't. That doesn't mean we should count on Chapman joining their ranks.

2. I pay little attention to his spring stats as a suggestion that his command has improved. Mike Leake has 3 walks and 4 strikeouts this spring. I don't expect his rates to look like that at the end of the year and I expect you don't either, because we know he has better control than that. With Chapman, we don't know that at all. What we know is that in 12 innings this spring he has been able to post a strong K/BB rate and a few anecdotes that his delivery looks better. The 12 innings over 4 games against marginal at best competition doesn't tell us anything. The anecdotes may or may not tell us much. Dusty Baker once told us how hard Norris Hopper hit the baseball (the same guy who had 3 career home runs in over 3000 trips to the plate).

To suggest that he isn't the same pitcher as he was, based off of spring training, is very likely getting well ahead of yourself. Maybe he really is different in terms of his control. But to be honest, we don't know at all if he is or not and nothing provided here is going to actually show it. I will say that I feel a lot more comfortable thinking I know what kind of a pitcher a guy is based off of 170 innings over the previous two years than I do based off of 12 spring training innings though.

lollipopcurve
03-27-2012, 10:52 AM
To suggest that he isn't the same pitcher as he was, based off of spring training, is very likely getting well ahead of yourself. Maybe he really is different in terms of his control. But to be honest, we don't know at all if he is or not and nothing provided here is going to actually show it. I will say that I feel a lot more comfortable thinking I know what kind of a pitcher a guy is based off of 170 innings over the previous two years than I do based off of 12 spring training innings though.

Every journey starts with a step. Yes, after a step you're closer to where you started than to where you will end up. But the fact of the matter is that this organization intends to develop Chapman as a starter -- as they should -- and that the development has begun on multiple fronts. Delivery, tempo, 3rd pitch (moving to a split), and, of course, stretching the arm out to carry a starter's workload. These are tangible changes, even if they are not facts recorded on a stat line. This stuff takes time, and if you don't give it time, instead preferring to look backwards, you don't understand it.

RANDY IN INDY
03-27-2012, 11:00 AM
Talk of the "split" with Chapman really scares me a little. Really a tough pitch on the arm. Would love to see him be able to develop a straight change.

RANDY IN INDY
03-27-2012, 11:06 AM
Keep in mind that Aroldis won't be throwing 105 MPH as a starter. He'll likely settle in between 95-99MPH. Big league hitters can time that. Changing speeds is huge to successful pitching

Really agree with you, here. Chapman's fastball is really straight and flat, and at the lower speed, that is dangerous. His slider is a really good pitch, and he throws it really hard, but I'm afraid that it will be in nearly the same neighborhood as his fastball, as a starter. He really is going to need a quality third pitch to be effective as a starting pitcher, and I don't know if he has anything close to that right now. I am still not sold on Chapman as a starter. I hope it works out.

_Sir_Charles_
03-27-2012, 11:08 AM
If not Chapman as that 5th guy, then who? Francis? He didn't help his cause any yesterday vs Texas, and the Reds have to make a decision on him by Wednesday as far as the 25 man roster goes. Looking at him career-wise I'm not that impressed. And then there's pitching at GABP. Bailey, who also has not had a stellar ST, is also out of options. They aren't going to give up on him just yet. At least not for the likes of a Francis.

IMO, Chapman, looking at his performance this Spring, has earned that spot and opportunity. This is a 24 yr old kid with great potential. I still go with Chapman in the rotation. It's not like it's written in stone either. If need be, he can be moved back into the BP. But he has definitely earned his shot.

IMO, the rotation is exactly what we thought it was going INTO spring training. Cueto, Latos, Arroyo, Leake & Bailey. End of story. Chapman AAA starting, Francis AAA starting if he accepts it, LeCure emergency starter with Cincy. Madson shouldn't change ANY of that. Key word being "shouldn't".

I'd leave Chapman in Louisville all season long as long as the starting 5 stay healthy. If there's an injury...get on the phone and get him up there.

Caveat Emperor
03-27-2012, 11:13 AM
A starter with two very good pitches is always better than a starter with three or four mediocre pitches. You make it sound axiomatic that a third pitch is a necessity for a starter, sort of like "pitchers under 6 feet tall will have short careers." Methinks you doth protest too much to be taken seriously and sound like you're dogging a guy instead of providing a realistic critical analysis of his value.

I'm not "dogging" Chapman -- I'm providing my assessment of his value and his role on the team. People are penciling him in as a starter when he lacks the basic tools required to be a successful starter: command of his fastball and a third pitch to throw. I'm not suggesting It's impossible for him to ever develop these tools, but I think it's unrealistic to just assume his command will develop and a third pitch will appear in his arsenal without a significant amount of refinement.

Kc61
03-27-2012, 11:40 AM
I'd leave Chapman in Louisville all season long as long as the starting 5 stay healthy. If there's an injury...get on the phone and get him up there.

So in other words, it's vital for Chapman to develop in the minor leagues, but if there's an injury in the rotation on April 10 he then belongs in the major leagues. Ok, got it.

Frankly, I think there may be an injury right now. Homer Bailey has a 7.98 ERA this spring. He's allowed 20 hits, 13 earned runs, and 4 homers in 14.2 innings. He has 6 Ks. The opposition is hitting .364 BA against him. He has a history of injury.

If Homer doesn't do better next time out, I'd have some medical people take a look at him.

If, as I suspect, Homer isn't quite right, then suddenly Chapman may seem readier.

traderumor
03-27-2012, 11:47 AM
I'm not "dogging" Chapman -- I'm providing my assessment of his value and his role on the team. People are penciling him in as a starter when he lacks the basic tools required to be a successful starter: command of his fastball and a third pitch to throw. I'm not suggesting It's impossible for him to ever develop these tools, but I think it's unrealistic to just assume his command will develop and a third pitch will appear in his arsenal without a significant amount of refinement.He's an extreme power pitcher, so "command" is relative with him. From what I've read, you are basing his lack of command on the short-term loss of control last season rather than the entire body of work. A third pitch is a luxury, not a necessity. Maybe its the thing that takes him from young developing pitcher to ace, but I think giving him a shot in the 5th slot is actually at an acceptable risk level at this point in his development and in consideration of the team's state.

traderumor
03-27-2012, 11:49 AM
So in other words, it's vital for Chapman to develop in the minor leagues, but if there's an injury in the rotation on April 10 he then belongs in the major leagues. Ok, got it.

Frankly, I think there may be an injury right now. Homer Bailey has a 7.98 ERA this spring. He's allowed 20 hits, 13 earned runs, and 4 homers in 14.2 innings. He has 6 Ks. The opposition is hitting .364 BA against him. He has a history of injury.

If Homer doesn't do better next time out, I'd have some medical people take a look at him.

If, as I suspect, Homer isn't quite right, then suddenly Chapman may seem readier.I think Homer may just not be an answer. Hide him in the bullpen during April, let some things shake out, then try to trade him in for a new model. Who knows, maybe we'll stumble on to a Matt Belisle type who turns out to be an effective 3-6 out righty in the pen. I'd take that at this point considering the Madson situation.

Plus Plus
03-27-2012, 11:52 AM
1. Justin Verlander has a better fastball than Aroldis Chapman does (as a starter, he throws it just as hard or harder and he can throw it for strikes in any count). His curveball is just as good as the slider from Chapman. Yet he also throws a plus change up and an above average slider. Even guys with two plus pitches as starters, tend to throw third pitches often. Yes, there are a handful of exceptions in history who didn't. That doesn't mean we should count on Chapman joining their ranks.

Comparing Chapman to (arguably) the best pitcher in baseball right now might be a little much right now. My question would be: if Chapman only has a fastball and slider right now, and potentially develops either an average or slightly below third pitch or a "show me" pitch as some have described, could he still be an above-average starter?

Caveat Emperor
03-27-2012, 11:54 AM
He's an extreme power pitcher, so "command" is relative with him. From what I've read, you are basing his lack of command on the short-term loss of control last season rather than the entire body of work. A third pitch is a luxury, not a necessity. Maybe its the thing that takes him from young developing pitcher to ace, but I think giving him a shot in the 5th slot is actually at an acceptable risk level at this point in his development and in consideration of the team's state.

A "short term loss of control" as a reliever requires you to go put in another reliever. A "short term loss of control" as a starter requires you to burn through your bullpen for a night.

Until there's some confidence that his command won't completely desert him for stretches of time, I don't see how you can send him out to start. It's foolhardy to ignore the past until you're confident it isn't likely to repeat itself.

traderumor
03-27-2012, 12:00 PM
A "short term loss of control" as a reliever requires you to go put in another reliever. A "short term loss of control" as a starter requires you to burn through your bullpen for a night.

Until there's some confidence that his command won't completely desert him for stretches of time, I don't see how you can send him out to start. It's foolhardy to ignore the past until you're confident it isn't likely to repeat itself.He returned last year and still had some control bumps, but does not appear to be an Ankiel. If he gets the 5th starter post, he'll likely be one of the best 5th starters in the league. I understand your skepticism/pessimism, I just think that your recommended approach is being overly cautious, overly risk averse.

GoReds
03-27-2012, 12:14 PM
The Rays are moving Wade Davis, who has never relieved, to the bullpen to make way for Matt Moore. Davis' pitching stats are not far removed from Homer's.

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/03/27/jeff-niemann-wins-final-spot-in-rays-rotation-wade-davis-heads-to-bullpen/

Nasty_Boy
03-27-2012, 12:19 PM
Comparing Chapman to (arguably) the best pitcher in baseball right now might be a little much right now. My question would be: if Chapman only has a fastball and slider right now, and potentially develops either an average or slightly below third pitch or a "show me" pitch as some have described, could he still be an above-average starter?

It looks to me as if Doug is contrasting but not comparing the two... But as for your question, I'd say with 2 plus-plus pitches that he could be a well above average starter. His fastball (when located) is the best in the game and the slider couldn't have too many others in the conversation.

Roy Tucker
03-27-2012, 01:01 PM
When Chapman closes, he cuts loose. When he cuts loose he gets wild. When he gets wild he ends up at Charlie Sheen's house. We don't want him at Charlie Sheen's house.

RANDY IN INDY
03-27-2012, 01:12 PM
I've not seen him close many games, Roy.

OnBaseMachine
03-27-2012, 01:18 PM
When Chapman closes, he cuts loose. When he cuts loose he gets wild. When he gets wild he ends up at Charlie Sheen's house. We don't want him at Charlie Sheen's house.

Well played, Roy. I laughed.

_Sir_Charles_
03-27-2012, 01:25 PM
So in other words, it's vital for Chapman to develop in the minor leagues, but if there's an injury in the rotation on April 10 he then belongs in the major leagues. Ok, got it.

Frankly, I think there may be an injury right now. Homer Bailey has a 7.98 ERA this spring. He's allowed 20 hits, 13 earned runs, and 4 homers in 14.2 innings. He has 6 Ks. The opposition is hitting .364 BA against him. He has a history of injury.

If Homer doesn't do better next time out, I'd have some medical people take a look at him.

If, as I suspect, Homer isn't quite right, then suddenly Chapman may seem readier.

No, I don't think it's "VITAL" that Chapman stay at Louisville all year. I'm saying that he needs seasoning as a starter, and if the rotation is healthy, then give him as much time as you can. If that means nearly all season, so be it. But he's the first callup and 6th starter IMO.

As for Homer, don't forget he was asked to put on something like 15-20 lbs this off season. He may just be adapting to it. But then again, we're talking about ST stats...I've never taken them very seriously. I'd rather look at his career stats. And in regards to those, he's improved each year. His K/BB peripherals look solid. I'm not concerned at ALL with Homer. In truth, I see big things from him this season. BIG things.

RANDY IN INDY
03-27-2012, 02:54 PM
Spring training is the only viable time for players to work on things that they are trying to implement or improve in real game situations. I always take spring training stats and performances with a grain of salt.

dougdirt
03-27-2012, 06:18 PM
Comparing Chapman to (arguably) the best pitcher in baseball right now might be a little much right now. My question would be: if Chapman only has a fastball and slider right now, and potentially develops either an average or slightly below third pitch or a "show me" pitch as some have described, could he still be an above-average starter?

If he could throw both pitches within the strikezone whenever he wanted, sure. But I don't see anything suggesting that he can do that.

traderumor
03-27-2012, 08:17 PM
If he could throw both pitches within the strikezone whenever he wanted, sure. But I don't see anything suggesting that he can do that.Wouldn't the standard be if he can consistently hit his spots? And "whenever he wanted" is a higher standard than what, 95% (and probably higher) of MLB pitchers?

dougdirt
03-27-2012, 08:54 PM
Wouldn't the standard be if he can consistently hit his spots? And "whenever he wanted" is a higher standard than what, 95% (and probably higher) of MLB pitchers?

Even if we go with consistently, nothing I have seen suggests he can do that either.

757690
03-27-2012, 08:56 PM
Wouldn't the standard be if he can consistently hit his spots? And "whenever he wanted" is a higher standard than what, 95% (and probably higher) of MLB pitchers?

Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson were average pitchers or better early in their careers when they had walk rates similar to Chapman's. And really, there aren't many other pitchers who Chapman should be compared to.

traderumor
03-27-2012, 09:29 PM
Even if we go with consistently, nothing I have seen suggests he can do that either.Either way, you beg the question.

dougdirt
03-27-2012, 09:30 PM
Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson were average pitchers or better early in their careers when they had walk rates similar to Chapman's. And really, there aren't many other pitchers who Chapman should be compared to.

I am willing to bet large sums of money that Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson had gone past 6 innings more than once in the first two years of their professional careers.

Chapman, unlike those two, hasn't shown any such ability to do that, at this point in his career. Throw in that in those two players days (especially early in Johnsons career) 130+ pitch games were relatively commonplace. With Chapman likely being pulled after 100-110 pitches, with similar control of those guys, you are looking at likely 1-2 fewer innings per start than those guys were likely to get.

reds44
03-27-2012, 10:34 PM
I am willing to bet large sums of money that Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson had gone past 6 innings more than once in the first two years of their professional careers.

Chapman, unlike those two, hasn't shown any such ability to do that, at this point in his career. Throw in that in those two players days (especially early in Johnsons career) 130+ pitch games were relatively commonplace. With Chapman likely being pulled after 100-110 pitches, with similar control of those guys, you are looking at likely 1-2 fewer innings per start than those guys were likely to get.
He's made 13 career starts. He hasn't not shown the ability as much as he hasn't been given the chance to show it.

GAC
03-28-2012, 05:23 AM
I'm not "dogging" Chapman -- I'm providing my assessment of his value and his role on the team. People are penciling him in as a starter when he lacks the basic tools required to be a successful starter: command of his fastball and a third pitch to throw. I'm not suggesting It's impossible for him to ever develop these tools, but I think it's unrealistic to just assume his command will develop and a third pitch will appear in his arsenal without a significant amount of refinement.

I've taken note to what you've posted over the last couple of pages Caveat, on your assessment of Chapman, and I have to say I most certainly agree with you. You're right - you're not "dogging" him. Just giving, IMO, an honest assessment. I really enjoy reading your insights.

I've seen improvement in Chapman this Spring for sure. And when looking at our alternatives for a 5th starter in Bailey and Francis, Chapman has out-performed them. But ST is all about showcasing your abilities, making an impression, and trying to earn a spot on that roster.... not development. And as much as I like Chapman (and the potential), and want to see in as that 5th guy, I have to admit there's that big BUT staring me in the face. He can't go out there, IMO, every 5th day throwing 105 MPH heat, mixing in a slider here and there, and expect the level of success we want to see out of him. And even if he backs his fastball down some, that's still not good.

I agree with Randy on the split finger. I don't like it. He needs that 3rd pitch, but that ain't it IMO. I know he's been working on a change-up... which I think would be a great addition to his arsenal... but it's obviously not there for him, on a consistent basis, right now. The more I think about it, I see him starting the season at Louisville... because he has options (the others don't)... with Bailey and Francis on the roster. And maybe that's where Chapman needs to be, to develop (master) that pitch. It's not something you "work on" at the ML level. He's 24 (still young).

mth123
03-28-2012, 06:43 AM
I've taken note to what you've posted over the last couple of pages Caveat, on your assessment of Chapman, and I have to say I most certainly agree with you. You're right - you're not "dogging" him. Just giving, IMO, an honest assessment. I really enjoy reading your insights.

I've seen improvement in Chapman this Spring for sure. And when looking at our alternatives for a 5th starter in Bailey and Francis, Chapman has out-performed them. But ST is all about showcasing your abilities, making an impression, and trying to earn a spot on that roster.... not development. And as much as I like Chapman (and the potential), and want to see in as that 5th guy, I have to admit there's that big BUT staring me in the face. He can't go out there, IMO, every 5th day throwing 105 MPH heat, mixing in a slider here and there, and expect the level of success we want to see out of him. And even if he backs his fastball down some, that's still not good.

I agree with Randy on the split finger. I don't like it. He needs that 3rd pitch, but that ain't it IMO. I know he's been working on a change-up... which I think would be a great addition to his arsenal... but it's obviously not there for him, on a consistent basis, right now. The more I think about it, I see him starting the season at Louisville... because he has options (the others don't)... with Bailey and Francis on the roster. And maybe that's where Chapman needs to be, to develop (master) that pitch. It's not something you "work on" at the ML level. He's 24 (still young).

Great post. Chapman has a chance to be the Reds' Ace someday. Maybe that happens even later this year, but lets see him go 6 innings every 5th day for a while first. Bailey gets the spot on a short leash, Chapman finishes his conversion in AAA and Francis becomes the long man/added lefty in the pen.

GoReds
03-28-2012, 08:51 AM
Chapman has a chance to be some team's Ace someday.

Corrected for context as Chapman is in the middle of his contract. If he does not develop as a starter this year, I don't see him being an Ace for the Reds before his contract expires and I would be surprised to see him re-sign with the Reds.

dougdirt
03-28-2012, 09:03 AM
He's made 13 career starts. He hasn't not shown the ability as much as he hasn't been given the chance to show it.

Sure, but that doesn't change my point at all. They, even with their iffy command, had larger margins of error to work with on not burning a bullpen because they were allowed to throw 10-20 more pitches every game than Chapman will be getting.

traderumor
03-28-2012, 10:24 AM
I've taken note to what you've posted over the last couple of pages Caveat, on your assessment of Chapman, and I have to say I most certainly agree with you. You're right - you're not "dogging" him. Just giving, IMO, an honest assessment. I really enjoy reading your insights.

I've seen improvement in Chapman this Spring for sure. And when looking at our alternatives for a 5th starter in Bailey and Francis, Chapman has out-performed them. But ST is all about showcasing your abilities, making an impression, and trying to earn a spot on that roster.... not development. And as much as I like Chapman (and the potential), and want to see in as that 5th guy, I have to admit there's that big BUT staring me in the face. He can't go out there, IMO, every 5th day throwing 105 MPH heat, mixing in a slider here and there, and expect the level of success we want to see out of him. And even if he backs his fastball down some, that's still not good.

I agree with Randy on the split finger. I don't like it. He needs that 3rd pitch, but that ain't it IMO. I know he's been working on a change-up... which I think would be a great addition to his arsenal... but it's obviously not there for him, on a consistent basis, right now. The more I think about it, I see him starting the season at Louisville... because he has options (the others don't)... with Bailey and Francis on the roster. And maybe that's where Chapman needs to be, to develop (master) that pitch. It's not something you "work on" at the ML level. He's 24 (still young).

Major league pitchers develop and refine new pitches all the time, during a season, in the offseason, in bullpen sessions, all manners of ways. It doesn't always happen in the laboratory with full white biohazard suits on. With what he has in his arsenal right now makes him a better option to be our 5th starter than anyone else. Let him develop that 3rd pitch naturally.

I'd love to read a good, documented example of a success story using the method proposed for Chapman here (send to AAA, develop additional pitch, return to majors as ace).

Fun debate, eh?

BTW, my "dogging" comment is speaking to CE's tendency to focus on the one period of unwatchable wildness and painting that as the norm, in my opinion. It is taking a guys worst performance in his life and claiming he is now unable to do a certain job.

Kc61
03-28-2012, 10:29 AM
Major league pitchers develop and refine new pitches all the time, during a season, in the offseason, in bullpen sessions, all manners of ways. It doesn't always happen in the laboratory with full white biohazard suits on. With what he has in his arsenal right now makes him a better option to be our 5th starter than anyone else. Let him develop that 3rd pitch naturally.

.

I agree with this.

To me, it's quite simple. Chapman's current ability is too good to be off this Reds roster in a year they are truly seeking the playoffs.

In a rebuilding year, sure, he might as well at at AAA. But that's not the current situation.

Right now, they need his ability, even if not yet perfected. Don't destroy the good in pursuit of the perfect, as they say.

paulrichjr
03-28-2012, 10:41 AM
Corrected for context as Chapman is in the middle of his contract. If he does not develop as a starter this year, I don't see him being an Ace for the Reds before his contract expires and I would be surprised to see him re-sign with the Reds.

Except the Reds effectively control him for 7 years because the first year of his contract was spent mostly in the minor leagues. Just because he signed a contract for 6 years doesn't mean he will be able to leave after 6 years. We have him for at least 5 more years if we want him so if by 2016 we are still talking about him as a setup man or starter and wondering if he can do one or the other I assume you are right and the Reds won't resign him.

Kc61
03-28-2012, 01:36 PM
With Madson out and Masset on the DL to open the season, Reds have to add a bullpen arm. It's either going to be Chapman; or Bailey/Francis; or a minor leaguer; or a new acquisition.

If Bailey seems ok to start, it will be very hard to resist keeping Chappy in the pen for awhile.

lollipopcurve
03-28-2012, 01:51 PM
it will be very hard to resist keeping Chappy in the pen for awhile.

You can't keep someone in a place they aren't. ;)

Kc61
03-28-2012, 01:54 PM
You can't keep someone in a place they aren't. ;)

Fair enough.

But of course, when last pitching in the regular season, Chapman was in the pen. So "keep" does have some validity.

puca
03-28-2012, 03:08 PM
With Madson out and Masset on the DL to open the season, Reds have to add a bullpen arm. It's either going to be Chapman; or Bailey/Francis; or a minor leaguer; or a new acquisition.

If Bailey seems ok to start, it will be very hard to resist keeping Chappy in the pen for awhile.

But that is the thing. This decision to use him in the bullpen can no longer be viewed as a temporary thing. It is make it or break it time for Chapman. If he is not developed as a starter this year he is unlikely to ever reach TOR status as a Red. If he is in the bullpen he is not developing a third pitch and is not being stretched out. If he succeeds in the bullpen he will not be suddenly taken out of the bullpen and sent to the minors so he can work on those things.

It may be the right decision, but it should not be made lightly as it has long term consequences.

Kc61
03-28-2012, 03:12 PM
But that is the thing. This decision to use him in the bullpen can no longer be viewed as a temporary thing. It is make it or break it time for Chapman. If he is not developed as a starter this year he is unlikely to ever reach TOR status as a Red. If he is in the bullpen he is not developing a third pitch and is not being stretched out. If he succeeds in the bullpen he will not be suddenly taken out of the bullpen and sent to the minors so he can work on those things.

It may be the right decision, but it should not be made lightly as it has long term consequences.

I think the Reds want Chapman to start. (I want him to start games in the major leagues right away.)

But the season is days away and the bullpen is now real short.

So either Chappy makes the rotation, or he is in the pen for a short while until Masset gets back, or somebody else gets acquired.

I do not see the Reds using Fisher and Mahay in the major leagues, or Brackman, while Aroldis is at Louisville. That's not a winning formula.

The Reds spent a lot of time, money, and effort to have a winning team this year and IMO they will not let the Chapman plan derail these winning expectations. They will use Chapman in the majors, somewhere, at least until some troops join the bullpen.

Benihana
03-28-2012, 03:43 PM
With Madson out and Masset on the DL to open the season, Reds have to add a bullpen arm. It's either going to be Chapman; or Bailey/Francis; or a minor leaguer; or a new acquisition.

If Bailey seems ok to start, it will be very hard to resist keeping Chappy in the pen for awhile.

What about Brackman or Judy?

Kc61
03-28-2012, 03:50 PM
What about Brackman or Judy?

What about them?

See, where I feel differently than many is that I find it unacceptable to have Chapman pitching for Louisville and Brackman/Judy pitching for the Reds. I think that is backwards.

The Reds pen is short right now. I'd like to see Chapman start for the team, but if not, I just think the Reds will decide to keep him in the pen until Masset is back and maybe an acquisition can be made.

I know others disagree, they would rather have Brackman, or Judy, or Mahay, or Fisher for the Reds and Aroldis starting at AAA.

I wouldn't.

Caveat Emperor
03-28-2012, 04:01 PM
Where did this notion develop that Andrew Brackman was, in any way, a good idea on the major league roster?

Are we talking about a different guy than the 26 year old with a career minor-league ERA of 5.11 who was basically kicked to the curb by the Yankees?

steig
03-28-2012, 04:51 PM
If you start Chapman in the pen I think it becomes a lot harder to take him out of the pen in the middle of the season and transition to a starter. You have to send him down to AAA or build his innings up slow and tax the bullpen on known days. It's always easier to move him from starter to the bullpen. He has been pitching well and for significant innings. Start your best starters and worry about the bullpen later.

Crumbley
03-28-2012, 06:50 PM
Where did this notion develop that Andrew Brackman was, in any way, a good idea on the major league roster?

Are we talking about a different guy than the 26 year old with a career minor-league ERA of 5.11 who was basically kicked to the curb by the Yankees?
The Brackman love has perplexed me since he was signed. Maybe he'll become productive, it's not the worst roll of the dice. But I never saw it as any kind of a "get."

Superdude
03-28-2012, 09:57 PM
But that is the thing. This decision to use him in the bullpen can no longer be viewed as a temporary thing. It is make it or break it time for Chapman. If he is not developed as a starter this year he is unlikely to ever reach TOR status as a Red. If he is in the bullpen he is not developing a third pitch and is not being stretched out. If he succeeds in the bullpen he will not be suddenly taken out of the bullpen and sent to the minors so he can work on those things.

It may be the right decision, but it should not be made lightly as it has long term consequences.

Agree with this x100. He will not be a starter the way we're using him, and I'd say we've already put a pretty big dent in his chances the last two years. The Chapman decision should be made in a complete vacuum IMO. I don't care if Marshall throws out a shoulder tomorrow; Chapman's too talented to let short term circumstances dictate his long term role.

GAC
03-29-2012, 05:17 AM
Major league pitchers develop and refine new pitches all the time, during a season, in the offseason, in bullpen sessions, all manners of ways. It doesn't always happen in the laboratory with full white biohazard suits on. With what he has in his arsenal right now makes him a better option to be our 5th starter than anyone else. Let him develop that 3rd pitch naturally.

What you state above is true to a degree. But not all pitchers are created equally either. It's probably more likely with a pitcher who has already established himself in the majors (maybe even trying to prolong his career). Not a young prospect trying to crack the rotation. Take Arroyo for instance, who, this Spring, is experimenting with a new one-seam sinker (Leake throws it too). But he's doing it during ST. Don't know if it will carry over into the season. And it was mentioned earlier in this discussion that Chapman isn't throwing the change-up this Spring. So the question I have to ask is "Why not? What is the reasoning behind this?" Is it a failed experiment as far as Chapman (and the coaching staff) goes? If he's not going to work on it now, during ST, then the regular season is not the place to start.

And lets not forget that Chapman was shut down from playing Winter ball, which would have been a great opportunity to work on developing that third pitch, because of shoulder stiffness. They instead decided to have him work on a strength-and-conditioning program at their facilities during the off-season.

Again, I've already advocated that by his performance in ST he's earned that shot at #5. I just share some of Caveat's skepticism too. I think he brings up some valid points.


BTW, my "dogging" comment is speaking to CE's tendency to focus on the one period of unwatchable wildness and painting that as the norm, in my opinion. It is taking a guys worst performance in his life and claiming he is now unable to do a certain job.

I wasn't referring to you specifically buddy. Was speaking in generality towards those disagreeing (going after) Caveat for his assessment. Personally, I think both "sides" make very valid points. All needs to be weighed IMO.

gilpdawg
03-29-2012, 05:26 AM
I've got a feeling, just reading between the lines of comments made by TPTB, that Chapman is going north as the 5th starter. Whether he starts in the show, or at Louisville, it's all good with me, as long as he's not in the pen. If he struggles you can just send him down.

Homer Bailey
03-29-2012, 05:05 PM
I'm listening to the game now, and not watching, so obviously take this with a grain of salt. But I can't picture Chapman not being in the rotation at this point. I was 100% on board with him going to Louisville to stretch out, and I know there are plenty of reasons why many think he won't succeed, but to me, he seems ready and destined for the Reds rotation.

reds44
03-29-2012, 05:07 PM
I'm listening to the game now, and not watching, so obviously take this with a grain of salt. But I can't picture Chapman not being in the rotation at this point. I was 100% on board with him going to Louisville to stretch out, and I know there are plenty of reasons why many think he won't succeed, but to me, he seems ready and destined for the Reds rotation.
I am doing the same, and those are my thoughts as well.

RANDY IN INDY
03-29-2012, 05:09 PM
Like hearing Doug Flynn with Marty, today. Surprisingly good.

Kc61
03-29-2012, 05:13 PM
If Chapman is in the rotation, which I favor, that leaves two bullpen spots open. The Madson spot and the Masset start.

One would expect Bailey to get one of the bullpen spots. As a long reliever to stay sharp until he is needed as a starter.

That leaves one spot. I doubt that it goes to Francis. It probably goes to a minor leaguer or it goes to somebody new.

Bases loaded against Chapman, gives up a hit scoring two runs. Error by Francisco extended the inning. Hit was by Kattaras. Now the inning is over.

Caveat Emperor
03-29-2012, 05:16 PM
I feel like this comes up every year.

Bailey can't pitch out of the bullpen. This has been said many times by many different people. I'm not certain why anyone would think that has changed in the last few years.

reds44
03-29-2012, 05:17 PM
He's not going to get a spot in the rotation because he "can't" pitch in the bullpen.

Homer Bailey
03-29-2012, 05:18 PM
I am doing the same, and those are my thoughts as well.

Of course I said that with 2 outs in the 4th, and he gives up single, single, error, single, and 2 runs (unearned).

_Sir_Charles_
03-29-2012, 05:19 PM
Yeah, but he knocked one in with a double of his own...so that offsets it some. :O)

Kc61
03-29-2012, 05:21 PM
I feel like this comes up every year.

Bailey can't pitch out of the bullpen. This has been said many times by many different people. I'm not certain why anyone would think that has changed in the last few years.

Well, let's see. If Chapman makes the rotation there is no spot for Homer there. He has no options so there's no spot for him in Louisville. I doubt we're looking at an unconditional release.

So it seems to me the logical alternative is the bullpen.

Homer would probably have to be a long man, pitching longer stints relatively early in games. I doubt they would use him as a short man who has to warm up quickly and who is constantly getting ready.

Caveat Emperor
03-29-2012, 05:23 PM
He's not going to get a spot in the rotation because he "can't" pitch in the bullpen.

So what's the solution? Sell Bailey for pennies on the dollar to make room for a guy who has 13 minor league starts to his name?

That strikes me as an incredibly poor deployment of talent.

reds44
03-29-2012, 05:23 PM
So what's the solution? Sell Bailey for pennies on the dollar to make room for a guy who has 13 minor league starts to his name?

That strikes me as an incredibly poor deployment of talent.
No. You stash him in the bullpen until you need another starter, which will happen.

reds44
03-29-2012, 05:24 PM
They called the Francisco play a hit. Marty is going off on it.

Kc61
03-29-2012, 05:24 PM
No. You stash him in the bullpen until you need another starter, which will happen.

That's exactly what would happen.

Still, no decision, wonder how Homer did in his minor league start today.

_Sir_Charles_
03-29-2012, 05:25 PM
So what's the solution? Sell Bailey for pennies on the dollar to make room for a guy who has 13 minor league starts to his name?

That strikes me as an incredibly poor deployment of talent.

No, the solution is to be happy with his excellent spring but Chapman still goes to Louisville. Homer is in the rotation. Period. The only way Aroldis makes the rotation is via an injury. Homer is too valuable to just dump or hide in the pen. Spring stats are NOT that important.

reds44
03-29-2012, 05:26 PM
No, the solution is to be happy with his excellent spring but Chapman still goes to Louisville. Homer is in the rotation. Period. The only way Aroldis makes the rotation is via an injury. Homer is too valuable to just dump or hide in the pen. Spring stats are NOT that important.
The most likely conclusion right now is Chapman makes the rotation and Bailey goes to the bullpen, so you might want to get used to the idea.

Homer Bailey
03-29-2012, 05:26 PM
No, the solution is to be happy with his excellent spring but Chapman still goes to Louisville. Homer is in the rotation. Period. The only way Aroldis makes the rotation is via an injury. Homer is too valuable to just dump or hide in the pen. Spring stats are NOT that important.

I don't think that statement can be said with such certainty. And this is coming from a poster named Homer Bailey.

Caveat Emperor
03-29-2012, 05:27 PM
No. You stash him in the bullpen until you need another starter, which will happen.

Or, you send out the guy with options and let everyone work on regular rest until another starter is needed (due to injury or ineffectiveness).

That seems to make much more sense.

_Sir_Charles_
03-29-2012, 05:27 PM
The most likely conclusion right now is Chapman makes the rotation and Bailey goes to the bullpen, so you might want to get used to the idea.

Sorry. I'm not buyin' it. Homer has improved each year. They're not going to base this big of a decision on 20 innings pitched (guessing on the numbers from spring).

reds44
03-29-2012, 05:28 PM
Sorry. I'm not buyin' it. Homer has improved each year. They're not going to base this big of a decision on 20 innings pitched (guessing on the numbers from spring).
Yes, his ERA the last three years has gone from 4.53, to 4.46, to 4.43. At this point he might get under 4 by the time he's 60.

Kc61
03-29-2012, 05:29 PM
No, the solution is to be happy with his excellent spring but Chapman still goes to Louisville. Homer is in the rotation. Period. The only way Aroldis makes the rotation is via an injury. Homer is too valuable to just dump or hide in the pen. Spring stats are NOT that important.

Under your scenario, with Chapman in the minors and Bailey in the rotation, please name the seven members of the Reds bullpen. Thanks.

_Sir_Charles_
03-29-2012, 05:29 PM
Yes, his ERA the last three years has gone from 4.53, to 4.46, to 4.43. At this point he might get under 4 by the time he's 60.

I wasn't talking about ERA. It's his other numbers I'm referring to.

Caveat Emperor
03-29-2012, 05:30 PM
Sorry. I'm not buyin' it. Homer has improved each year. They're not going to base this big of a decision on 20 innings pitched (guessing on the numbers from spring).

Because this is a big decision. "Stashing" Homer Bailey means screwing with his routine. The last thing he needs, as a pitcher looking to put together a completely healthy season and take the next step forward, is his routine being screwed with.

Chapman hasn't started a professional game in over a year. He has 13 career minor league starts. Going to Louisville and proving this spring wasn't a fluke not only won't kill him, it'll likely make the team better by allowing them to keep all their starting pitchers on regular rest / work so they can seamless transition when an injury or ineffectiveness strikes a rotation member.

reds44
03-29-2012, 05:30 PM
I wasn't talking about ERA. It's his other numbers I'm referring to.
Well his H/9 and HR/9 went up last year and his K/9 went down and his ERA+ has gone down the last 3 years.

So now you're just making stuff up.

Kc61
03-29-2012, 05:31 PM
Homer Bailey and Aroldis Chapman should both be on the Cincinnati Reds this year.

This isn't some exercise in preserving assets for some time in the indefinite future.

The Reds spent a lot of money this spring trying to win.

These guys should be on the team, in one capacity or another.

gilpdawg
03-29-2012, 05:32 PM
I feel like this comes up every year.

Bailey can't pitch out of the bullpen. This has been said many times by many different people. I'm not certain why anyone would think that has changed in the last few years.

Can't is a pretty strong word. So it takes him a few minutes longer to get loose. Get him up a little earlier. He pitched out of the pen in the playoffs against Philly and did quite well, IIRC. I know, I know, small sample, but I think "he can't pitch out of the pen" is a red herring. Sure he can if you plan accordingly and as a professional he should be able to adjust after a period of time.

_Sir_Charles_
03-29-2012, 05:34 PM
Under your scenario, with Chapman in the minors and Bailey in the rotation, please name the seven members of the Reds bullpen. Thanks.

LeCure
Ondrusek
Bray
Marshall
Arredondo
2 guys from minors. Smith, Fisher, Brackman, Francis, Judy, Mahay, Texeria, Zevada, etc, etc, etc.

Masset it sounds like won't be out long.
They've also been checking out another reliever (can't recall name)

gilpdawg
03-29-2012, 05:34 PM
No, the solution is to be happy with his excellent spring but Chapman still goes to Louisville. Homer is in the rotation. Period. The only way Aroldis makes the rotation is via an injury. Homer is too valuable to just dump or hide in the pen. Spring stats are NOT that important.

That said, I agree with this.

Caveat Emperor
03-29-2012, 05:34 PM
Homer Bailey and Aroldis Chapman should both be on the Cincinnati Reds this year.

This isn't some exercise in preserving assets for some time in the indefinite future.

The Reds spent a lot of money this spring trying to win.

These guys should be on the team, in one capacity oranother.

Yup, and it'd be the height of silliness to base a major rotation decision off a few spring training innings, IMO.

dougdirt
03-29-2012, 05:36 PM
Well his H/9 and HR/9 went up last year and his K/9 went down and his ERA+ has gone down the last 3 years.

So now you're just making stuff up.

Three years ago Homer Bailey had a K/BB of 1.6. Last year it was 3.2. His WHIP was 1.47, last year it was 1.28.

Kc61
03-29-2012, 05:37 PM
LeCure
Ondrusek
Bray
Marshall
Arredondo
2 guys from minors. Smith, Fisher, Brackman, Francis, Judy, Mahay, Texeria, Zevada, etc, etc, etc.

Masset it sounds like won't be out long.
They've also been checking out another reliever (can't recall name)

You mean Gonzalez, but he's out for some time yet, not an immediate answer.

I guess we just disagree. I think the Reds have worked too hard to have two of those guys on the staff, with Chapman in the minors. I doubt that will happen. We'll know soon.

reds44
03-29-2012, 05:37 PM
Three years ago Homer Bailey had a K/BB of 1.6. Last year it was 3.2. His WHIP was 1.47, last year it was 1.28.

Aaaaand the post I quoted was:


Sorry. I'm not buyin' it. Homer has improved each year. They're not going to base this big of a decision on 20 innings pitched (guessing on the numbers from spring).


He hasn't "improved" each year.

_Sir_Charles_
03-29-2012, 05:39 PM
Well his H/9 and HR/9 went up last year and his K/9 went down and his ERA+ has gone down the last 3 years.

So now you're just making stuff up.

Okay, I wasn't talking about ALL of his stats. I'm trying to respond to about 3 or 4 things at once here, so bear with me.

bb/9 has gone down all 5 years
k/9 have gone from the 4-5/9 towards the 7-8/9
total K's have increased each year
WHIP has gone down steadily each year (besides first year)
K/BB has improved every year

So no, not EVER stat...just the most important ones in my book.

reds44
03-29-2012, 05:40 PM
So he has improved in some areas and gotten worse in others.

Kc61
03-29-2012, 05:41 PM
Barring a trade, Homer will be a Red. Aroldis will also be a Red. There are too many open spots on the pitching staff to send either of them to AAA (even if Homer did have options).

The questions are who starts; who is in the pen; and who ELSE is in the pen; there are TWO openings there, so it's more than Bailey or Chapman, it's someone else needed too.

_Sir_Charles_
03-29-2012, 05:42 PM
You mean Gonzalez, but he's out for some time yet, not an immediate answer.

I guess we just disagree. I think the Reds have worked too hard to have two of those guys on the staff, with Chapman in the minors. I doubt that will happen. We'll know soon.

Yeah, that's who it was. But even if they don't go that route...we've still got viable arms available to hold down the fort until Masset returns.

Caveat Emperor
03-29-2012, 05:44 PM
Barring a trade, Homer will be a Red. Aroldis will also be a Red. There are too many open spots on the pitching staff to send either of them to AAA (even if Homer did have options).

The questions are who starts; who is in the pen; and who ELSE is in the pen; there are TWO openings there, so it's more than Bailey or Chapman, it's someone else needed too.

You can yo-yo a marginal talent like Sam LeCure between the rotation and the pen, but I think it's incredibly foolhardy to suggest you can send the "loser" of the Chapman/Bailey position battle to the bullpen and expect that he'll be ready to do anything noteworthy in the rotation down the road.

ESPECIALLY at the start of the season, when pitchers are getting their feel and extending themselves for the grind of the regular season.

_Sir_Charles_
03-29-2012, 05:47 PM
Aaaaand the post I quoted was:

He hasn't "improved" each year.

What stats do you look at for a starter? Wins? ERA? HR's allowed?

Personally, I look at WHIP, BB/9, K/9, BB/K, innings.

Even if he DOESN'T take that step forward we all hope for (and that I personally EXPECT), he's got a far better track record than Aroldis does. Chapman is finally showing some signs of success as a starter, I certainly don't want to stop that progress and shove him into the bullpen because of an injury. He's just now getting stretched out and he needs to continue to start until he shows that he's not able to do it effectively. But with the fact that Homer is out of options, that he doesn't warm up quickly, that he basically has ZERO experience as a reliever...Homer to the pen makes VERY little sense IMO.

If there was one starter who I could see being moved to the pen...it would be Bronson. And I can only picture that happening if he struggles mightily and if Chapman tears it up in Louisville forcing a call-up.

dougdirt
03-29-2012, 05:51 PM
So he has improved in some areas and gotten worse in others.

Where has he gotten worse?

_Sir_Charles_
03-29-2012, 05:51 PM
Just out of curiosity...can somebody tell me who is announcing with Marty?

dougdirt
03-29-2012, 05:52 PM
Just out of curiosity...can somebody tell me who is announcing with Marty?

Doug Flynn.

_Sir_Charles_
03-29-2012, 05:52 PM
Where has he gotten worse?

HR/9 and hits/9 and a few others.

I mean EVERY pitcher goes up in some and down in others. My point was that Homer has improved fairly consistently in all the IMPORTANT stats IMO.

_Sir_Charles_
03-29-2012, 05:52 PM
Thanks Doug.

dougdirt
03-29-2012, 05:56 PM
HR/9 and hits/9 and a few others.

I mean EVERY pitcher goes up in some and down in others. My point was that Homer has improved fairly consistently in all the IMPORTANT stats IMO.

Hit and HR per 9 isn't something that is guys generally have a ton of control over assuming they keep their general K rate in line.

Kc61
03-29-2012, 05:57 PM
You can yo-yo a marginal talent like Sam LeCure between the rotation and the pen, but I think it's incredibly foolhardy to suggest you can send the "loser" of the Chapman/Bailey position battle to the bullpen and expect that he'll be ready to do anything noteworthy in the rotation down the road.

ESPECIALLY at the start of the season, when pitchers are getting their feel and extending themselves for the grind of the regular season.

Well, I certainly never intended to be incredibly foolhardy.

I disagree with your point, I think long relievers can become starters later in the season. But even if you are correct, it likely won't matter. I'm confident the Reds will not put a top talent in the minor leagues while Mahay and Fisher are on the hill for the major league club.

They've worked too hard to put together a good team. I'd be very surprised if either Homer or Aroldis is sent out.

cinreds21
03-29-2012, 06:45 PM
You have to think that removing Judy from the 40 means something, no?

_Sir_Charles_
03-29-2012, 06:47 PM
Hit and HR per 9 isn't something that is guys generally have a ton of control over assuming they keep their general K rate in line.

I agree. I was only repeating what someone said earlier. If his hits/9 go up but his WHIP goes down...I'm TOTALLY fine with that. Fewer baserunners, however they happen, is a good thing.

_Sir_Charles_
03-29-2012, 07:05 PM
The way I look at it is this....

Over the long haul, it's in the best interest of the Reds to have Bailey, Cueto, Leake, Chapman, Latos all starting. Where ever that may be. But starting. Bronson is under contract for this season and next. So, that gives us 6 starters for the next 2 years. 5 of the starters are young and entering their prime years. 1 is aging and looks to be on the decline. Ideally, we'd trade Bronson for something more useful. But the way his contract is, we're stuck with him. So, in my mind, if ANYBODY of these 6 pitchers is yo-yo'd around (to steal someone's phrase), it should be Bronson. If there's any pitcher who could arguably work as the "long man" in the pen, it's Arroyo. The guy who professes to like to work on short rest. The guy who's stuff is so radically different from most of our other pitchers that as a reliever he'd at least be a nice change of pace. The guy who, if the change affects him negatively, it doesn't hurt us in the long haul.

That being said, Chapman has pitched basically 2 games worth of innings now spread out over several weeks and been successful. While I'm thrilled with how he's looking, that hasn't proven very much to me in terms of being successful over a bigger stretch of innings & games. As long as the other 5 starters are healthy, not GOOD and healthy...just healthy...I let Chapman continue to stretch out as a starter. And for now, that's in Louisville. In theory, I'd love to just take the best arms available and figure it out later, but that ends up hurting us in the long haul. If after a substantial number of games started in AAA, he's shown that he's ready for the move...THAT'S when I make the call in regards to Bronson. IMO, that's where the decision lies. Not between Homer and Aroldis. Between Aroldis and Bronson.

If we were to move Bailey to the pen as a "long man", you're basically scrapping a viable starter for a handful of innings pitched. I mean really...how often do you REALLY use a "long man"? Especially Dusty? If we're talking about 50-100 innings total, I'd rather give that to some other minor league reliever and see how he does.

Kc61
03-29-2012, 07:16 PM
You have to think that removing Judy from the 40 means something, no?

Yes. I do. I think the Reds will send Jeff Francis to AAA and will add a reliever from the minors or from the outside to replace him.

RedsManRick
03-29-2012, 07:42 PM
So he has improved in some areas and gotten worse in others.

In the areas that best predict a guy's ERA moving forward, he's improved.

reds44
03-29-2012, 07:53 PM
Here's the way I look at it: Chapman only has a certain number of innings in his arm this year. It looks like he'll be starting somewhere. Pitch him in the majors as a starter, and when he approaches his innings ceiling move him to the pen.

I don't understand why people refuse to put Homer in the pen. I'm not saying I want him gone, just put him in the pen until he's needed, and he will be needed.

dougdirt
03-29-2012, 07:57 PM
Here's the way I look at it: Chapman only has a certain number of innings in his arm this year. It looks like he'll be starting somewhere. Pitch him in the majors as a starter, and when he approaches his innings ceiling move him to the pen.

I don't understand why people refuse to put Homer in the pen. I'm not saying I want him gone, just put him in the pen until he's needed, and he will be needed.

Because Homer Bailey is a much more likely pitcher to be of quality than Aroldis Chapman is in 2012.

The real issue here is that the guy likely to be the worst of the 6 starters is a lock.

reds44
03-29-2012, 07:59 PM
Because Homer Bailey is a much more likely pitcher to be of quality than Aroldis Chapman is in 2012.

The real issue here is that the guy likely to be the worst of the 6 starters is a lock.
Agreed with your last point, not sure I agree with the first one.

dougdirt
03-29-2012, 08:14 PM
Agreed with your last point, not sure I agree with the first one.

Here is why I think Bailey > Chapman for 2012

Bailey has proven he can go deep into games. Chapman hasn't.
Bailey has proven he can throw more than two pitches. Chapman hasn't.
Bailey has proven he can throw more than 100 innings in a season as a starter. Chapman hasn't (at least on American soil).
Bailey has proven he has good control of throwing strikes. Chapman hasn't.

Chapman has proven he put up better results in spring training for 2012. If spring training didn't happen, would anyone honestly think Chapman deserves a rotation spot over Bailey? Do people really think that spring training stats mean that much?

Kc61
03-29-2012, 08:21 PM
Here is why I think Bailey > Chapman for 2012

Bailey has proven he can go deep into games. Chapman hasn't.
Bailey has proven he can throw more than two pitches. Chapman hasn't.
Bailey has proven he can throw more than 100 innings in a season as a starter. Chapman hasn't (at least on American soil).
Bailey has proven he has good control of throwing strikes. Chapman hasn't.

Chapman has proven he put up better results in spring training for 2012. If spring training didn't happen, would anyone honestly think Chapman deserves a rotation spot over Bailey? Do people really think that spring training stats mean that much?

You ignore one thing.

Chapman is harder to hit than Bailey.

dougdirt
03-29-2012, 08:23 PM
You ignore one thing.

Chapman is harder to hit than Bailey.

And if Chapman is walking 5 batters a game and can't get out of the 5th inning does that really matter?

Kc61
03-29-2012, 08:28 PM
And if Chapman is walking 5 batters a game and can't get out of the 5th inning does that really matter?

No. If Chapman's control doesn't improve he will have problems.

But Homer has become a very hittable pitcher. Chapman remains very difficult to hit. This is the essential difference.

It's only spring, but Chapman's control has been better.
Homer's hittability hasn't been better.

How did Homer do today against the minor leaguers, any report?

mattfeet
03-29-2012, 08:31 PM
Homer vs Class AAA Nashville, 6ip, 4h, 0r, 1bb, 5k

dougdirt
03-29-2012, 08:32 PM
No. If Chapman's control doesn't improve he will have problems.

But Homer has become a very hittable pitcher. Chapman remains very difficult to hit. This is the essential difference.

It's only spring, but Chapman's control has been better.
Homer's hittability hasn't been better.

How did Homer do today against the minor leaguers, any report?

6ip, 4h, 0r, 1bb, 5k.

One thing that isn't brought up nearly enough, is that unlike past spring trainings, Bailey came in only ready to throw 30 pitches this year rather than 60 like in the past.

Chapman has most certainly been the better of the two this spring. I just don't care one bit about anything that happens in spring aside from declined velocity or injuries because I don't believe for a second anything else tells me anything about what is going to happen from April-October.

reds44
03-29-2012, 08:34 PM
Here is why I think Bailey > Chapman for 2012

Bailey has proven he can go deep into games. Chapman hasn't.
Bailey has proven he can throw more than two pitches. Chapman hasn't.
Bailey has proven he can throw more than 100 innings in a season as a starter. Chapman hasn't (at least on American soil).
Bailey has proven he has good control of throwing strikes. Chapman hasn't.

Chapman has proven he put up better results in spring training for 2012. If spring training didn't happen, would anyone honestly think Chapman deserves a rotation spot over Bailey? Do people really think that spring training stats mean that much?
Homer has been starting games for the Reds for 5 years now and he's never thrown more than 130 innings. Shouldn't that tell you something?

reds44
03-29-2012, 08:35 PM
And if Chapman is walking 5 batters a game and can't get out of the 5th inning does that really matter?
I understand spring numbers mean very little, but you don't put ANY stock into 2 walks all spring?

dougdirt
03-29-2012, 08:36 PM
Homer has been starting games for the Reds for 5 years now and he's never thrown more than 130 innings. Shouldn't that tell you something?

That he has been injured. But when he is healthy, he goes deep into games. He went 7+ in 10 of his 22 starts last year. That was a higher rate than Mike Leake did, and well, 9 more times than Chapman has ever done it in his career. Bailey has gone over 200ip in a single season before. Bailey's MLB innings tell me that he was brought up earlier than he should have been and was ineffective for a few years, then he ran into some injury problems. But for the past few years, when healthy, he goes deep into games.

Kc61
03-29-2012, 08:36 PM
Homer did well. The plot thickens.

Whoever is the fifth starter, I firmly believe that both Homer and Aroldis will be Reds pitching in some capacity.

Maybe the Reds can re-work Arroyo's contract.

dougdirt
03-29-2012, 08:38 PM
Homer did well. The plot thickens.

Whoever is the fifth starter, I firmly believe that both Homer and Aroldis will be Reds pitching in some capacity.

Maybe the Reds can re-work Arroyo's contract.

I doubt Arroyo is going to allow you to re-work his contract in order to demote him to the bullpen or trade him to make room for Bailey and Chapman in the rotation.

Kc61
03-29-2012, 08:41 PM
I doubt Arroyo is going to allow you to re-work his contract in order to demote him to the bullpen or trade him to make room for Bailey and Chapman in the rotation.

So do I. I was kidding.

dougdirt
03-29-2012, 08:43 PM
I understand spring numbers mean very little, but you don't put ANY stock into 2 walks all spring?
Not really.
For starters, what was the competition he was facing most of the time?
Was he throwing three pitches? (No, he wasn't)

I don't think that because Chapman has thrown strikes in the spring it means he can do so in the regular season. There are too many variables. Is he just on it right now? Who says if he is, that it will last?

I like that Chapman has shown good control this spring. But that doesn't mean I expect it or should expect it to carry over to the regular season.

reds44
03-29-2012, 08:47 PM
That he has been injured. But when he is healthy, he goes deep into games. He went 7+ in 10 of his 22 starts last year. That was a higher rate than Mike Leake did, and well, 9 more times than Chapman has ever done it in his career. Bailey has gone over 200ip in a single season before. Bailey's MLB innings tell me that he was brought up earlier than he should have been and was ineffective for a few years, then he ran into some injury problems. But for the past few years, when healthy, he goes deep into games.
Holy excuses batman.

dougdirt
03-29-2012, 08:51 PM
Holy excuses batman.

Whatever.

What are the reasons Chapman can't get past 6 innings? Why can't he throw 3 pitches in a game? Why does he have the highest walk rate of any pitcher in baseball over the last two years?

REDblooded
03-29-2012, 08:54 PM
Because Homer Bailey is a much more likely pitcher to be of quality than Aroldis Chapman is in 2012.

The real issue here is that the guy likely to be the worst of the 6 starters is a lock.

Bingo... Again. Terrible contract. Pick up the option in 2011 instead of signing him to that contract and we're talking about what's happening in LF instead of this mess.

OnBaseMachine
03-29-2012, 09:00 PM
From John Fay:


Chapman, the 24-year-old Cuban left-hander, went five innings Thursday in a 9-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. He allowed seven hits, walked none and struck out six. Chapman threw 89 pitches. He said he could have gone more.

“He threw the ball well,” Baker said. “If we hadn’t make the error, he wouldn’t have given up anything. He had a good breaking ball, change-ups. He threw the ball well.”



http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/2012/03/29/no-decision-on-chapman/

reds44
03-29-2012, 09:02 PM
Whatever.

What are the reasons Chapman can't get past 6 innings? Why can't he throw 3 pitches in a game? Why does he have the highest walk rate of any pitcher in baseball over the last two years?
He's made 13 career starts!

traderumor
03-29-2012, 09:02 PM
Chapman, the 24-year-old Cuban left-hander, went five innings Thursday in a 9-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. He allowed seven hits, walked none and struck out six. Chapman threw 89 pitches. He said he could have gone more.

“He threw the ball well,” Baker said. “If we hadn’t make the error, he wouldn’t have given up anything. He had a good breaking ball, change-ups. He threw the ball well.” Dusty should have researched the pitch F/X before making these statements. Buffoon.

reds44
03-29-2012, 09:02 PM
For sure Dusty is lying. He can only throw two pitches I'm told.

traderumor
03-29-2012, 09:03 PM
For sure Dusty is lying. He can only throw two pitches I'm told.
For sure. I beat you to it, btw :p

dougdirt
03-29-2012, 09:03 PM
Dusty should have researched the pitch F/X before making these statements. Buffoon.

Not available for the game today.

dougdirt
03-29-2012, 09:05 PM
For sure Dusty is lying. He can only throw two pitches I'm told.
This would be the first game this spring Chapman has thrown a non fastball/non slider.

Matt700wlw
03-29-2012, 09:13 PM
Looks to me that Chapman has done everything asked of him in the starter role this offseason, and has earned the spot.

I'm not looking for him to be a Cy Young candidate.....right now.

dougdirt
03-29-2012, 09:14 PM
Looks to me that Chapman has done everything asked of him in the starter role this offseason, and has earned the spot.

I'm not looking for him to be a Cy Young candidate.....right now.

17 innings is enough to earn a spot?

reds44
03-29-2012, 09:15 PM
17 innings is enough to earn a spot?
If it was truly an open competition, of course.

dougdirt
03-29-2012, 09:19 PM
If it was truly an open competition, of course.

So you believe competitions should be held against inconsistent competition in practices for the other guys too, in incredibly small sample sizes? Wouldn't using the history of the guys be much better, you know, where there is ten times as much information to work with?

How does that seem like a good idea?

reds44
03-29-2012, 09:21 PM
So you believe competitions should be held against inconsistent competition in practices for the other guys too, in incredibly small sample sizes? Wouldn't using the history of the guys be much better, you know, where there is ten times as much information to work with?

How does that seem like a good idea?
Why would you ever let spring training decide anything then?

Homer Bailey is an average (at best) starting pitcher. There's hope Chapman can be more.

lollipopcurve
03-29-2012, 09:23 PM
Wouldn't using the history of the guys be much better, you know, where there is ten times as much information to work with?

You're looking in the wrong direction.

dougdirt
03-29-2012, 09:24 PM
Why would you ever let spring training decide anything then?

Homer Bailey is an average (at best) starting pitcher. There's hope Chapman can be more.

I wouldn't ever let spring training decide anything. It is silly to ignore all past data in favor of practices that amount to 20 innings pitched or 40 at bats.

If you don't think there is hope that Homer Bailey can be more than average, well, I am not sure what guy you are watching.

I feel pretty darn confident that Homer Bailey would be a better starting pitcher than Aroldis Chapman would be this year if both were given the same opportunity. He can pitch deeper into games and has shown the ability to throw strikes.

dougdirt
03-29-2012, 09:26 PM
You're looking in the wrong direction.

Not really. Past seasons MLB data >>>>> Current season spring training data. As long as there aren't injuries at play, I feel very confident in that assessment.

I want Chapman starting. I just don't want him taking the spot of Bailey, because Bailey deserves that spot a lot more than Chapman does.

reds44
03-29-2012, 09:26 PM
Homer is a guy who has been given chance after chance with the Reds. It's Chapman's time.

And again, Bailey isn't going anywhere. He'll still be there when he is needed.

dougdirt
03-29-2012, 09:30 PM
Homer is a guy who has been given chance after chance with the Reds. It's Chapman's time.

And again, Bailey isn't going anywhere. He'll still be there when he is needed.

Homer Bailey as a starter > Aroldis Chapman as a starter.

In terms of what you want from a starting pitcher, what advantage does Aroldis Chapman have on Homer Bailey? It isn't stamina. It isn't control. Stuff? Sure, kind of. Maybe. Tough to say since Chapman has yet to actually throw a third pitch in an official Major League game. So what is it? Spring training stats? I just can't see where Chapman makes more sense than Bailey does as a starter unless you are only looking at 2012 spring training as the be all and end all.

reds44
03-29-2012, 09:32 PM
Homer Bailey as a starter > Aroldis Chapman as a starter.

In terms of what you want from a starting pitcher, what advantage does Aroldis Chapman have on Homer Bailey? It isn't stamina. It isn't control. Stuff? Sure, kind of. Maybe. Tough to say since Chapman has yet to actually throw a third pitch in an official Major League game. So what is it? Spring training stats? I just can't see where Chapman makes more sense than Bailey does as a starter unless you are only looking at 2012 spring training as the be all and end all.
You simply can't say Bailey is better than Chapman. There's no basis.

dougdirt
03-29-2012, 09:42 PM
You simply can't say Bailey is better than Chapman. There's no basis.

I can say that its incredibly likely given their histories and evidence.

757690
03-29-2012, 09:44 PM
I wouldn't ever let spring training decide anything. It is silly to ignore all past data in favor of practices that amount to 20 innings pitched or 40 at bats.

If you don't think there is hope that Homer Bailey can be more than average, well, I am not sure what guy you are watching.

I feel pretty darn confident that Homer Bailey would be a better starting pitcher than Aroldis Chapman would be this year if both were given the same opportunity. He can pitch deeper into games and has shown the ability to throw strikes.

I agree spring training stats don't mean much, but it doesn't mean nothing can be learned from a player performance in spring training.

Teams look at evey AB a player or pitcher had that spring and see what they can learn from each one about that player. Most teams have a page for each AB, which gives them evey detail of that AB. For instance, they won't pay much attention to the fact a player K's in an AB, but will notice that he did a good job of recognizing off speed pitches and laying off of them. Or they will notice that a pitcher is speeding up tne time imbetween pitches, which shows more confidence, or that the pitcher is getting more first pitch strikes, or pitching inside more often. You smartly picked up on the fact that Chapman was not using his third pitch until this last start.

I think that a team can definitely gain enough knowledge about a player from his performance in spring training to know if that player is ready for certain roles, if they look past the stats and deeper into the details.

I don't know if Chapman is ready to start in the majors, or looks to be better than Bailey, but I think that it is possible that the Reds do, just based on how he performed this spring.

kheidg-
03-29-2012, 09:46 PM
I think Bailey has been given every opportunity in the world to stick in the rotation and can't seem to figure it out. I'm not giving up on him but I think it's time to turn the page.

Let's see what Chapman can give us. That's why we're paying him the big bucks.

reds44
03-29-2012, 09:47 PM
I can say that its incredibly likely given their histories and evidence.
There's no evidence for Chapman.

REDblooded
03-29-2012, 09:48 PM
Not really.
For starters, what was the competition he was facing most of the time?


The strike zone...

dougdirt
03-29-2012, 09:50 PM
The strike zone...

Like last spring when Mike Leake walked more than he struck out? Were you concerned then that Leake couldn't throw strikes?

REDblooded
03-29-2012, 10:02 PM
Like last spring when Mike Leake walked more than he struck out? Were you concerned then that Leake couldn't throw strikes?


I'm not the one fighting with you over sample size... Ease up on the defensive tactics...

My only concern with Chapman is his ability to go deep into games, and the major factor playing into that is his ability to locate his pitches and not put runners on base. So far he's looked good and has struck out some above average hitters while doing it.

As far as your argument on Bailey vs. Chapman... Hard pressed to disagree, but I can't really agree either. I'm probably one of the most forgiving Bailey supporters out there... I think he's a lot better, and has a lot more upside, than the casual fan is giving him credit for... I also think Arroyo is pretty terrible as a starter at this point and is bogging the whole situation down with his contract...

However, that contract is already sunk cost. So put the best team possible on the field and go with it. Just like Chapman's money is already sunk cost. The Reds are starting to run out of time with him, and a season of pitching from the pen pretty much cements that he'll never reach his full potential as a member of this ballclub.

Caveat Emperor
03-29-2012, 10:04 PM
Homer is a guy who has been given chance after chance with the Reds. It's Chapman's time.

And again, Bailey isn't going anywhere. He'll still be there when he is needed.

There is no way to expect Bailey to be ready to do anything if you throw him into the long relief role out of ST. He could go a week+ between appearances, and there would be no way for him to stretch himself out should he be called upon to start.

If the team is going to persist in this fools errand with Chapman, there's no point wasting a bullpen spot on a guy who isn't equipped to pitch out of it.

REDblooded
03-29-2012, 10:14 PM
One obvious benefit of moving Arroyo to the pen for LR...

2 things Baker tries to avoid using... long relievers, and young players...

If Chapman or Homer were to struggle early, and a veteran long-reliever like Arroyo were available, which would Dusty finally decide to roll with?

Would his head explode while trying to make the decision?

Nasty_Boy
03-29-2012, 10:32 PM
Is it just me or has Homer improved as a pitcher each year? Is he still not incredibly young? Hasn't he shown enough in spurts to see this thing through with him? Isn't there a very good chance that Homer has yet to determine what kind of pitcher he will be going forward? Do you believe that Chapman can be consistent long and deep enough into this season to be counted on?

I think Chapman has a very very bright and dominating future ahead of him, but outside of this spring training there is nothing to make you think the future is now. And why is it just Homer and Chapman? Homer was the Reds 3rd best starter last season, and that carries more weight than a few rough spring innings... Especially when spring stats only count for who you want them to count. I don't think there is anyway that Chapman could start this season and not be handled with kid gloves. Strict pitch counts and bouts of wildness could handcuff an already short handed bullpen. Homer can at least be counted on to eat some innings even if struggling (the Bronson argument) and he earned a spot in the rotation last year IMO.

WildcatFan
03-29-2012, 10:47 PM
I think we can mostly agree that Bronson would be the ideal guy to bump from the rotation until needed, and we know that's not going to happen. The way I see it, Bailey's lack of options keeps him in the rotation. This is his last chance to prove he's an effective starter (I happen to think he can be. He really does seem to be improving.) Start Chapman in AAA until either a starter goes down or he forces your hand by being lights out. It's not ideal, but it's the hand the Reds are dealt right now. The way the team is built now, they can hang around near the top of the division until we get a better picture of where Bailey and Chapman are, and that's the silver lining.

AtomicDumpling
03-30-2012, 12:40 AM
Perhaps the reason Bailey was pitching in a minor league game today was so they can put him on the DL to start the season dated retroactively to his last major league spring training game and have Chapman in the rotation. Not likely, but possible.

The best option is to put Arroyo in the bullpen or give him away to anyone that will pay part of his salary.

The next best option is to put Aroldis Chapman in the AAA rotation for a month or so until he truly earns a spot in the Reds rotation and basically forces the team to bring him up. Chances are good an injury or poor performance from Arroyo/Bailey will create an opening for Senor 105.

Putting Chapman back in the bullpen is the worst thing to do.

edabbs44
03-30-2012, 07:32 AM
If Chapman is going to be a starter then he should start the season in the minors. Tell Homer that there is a dude who throws 105 who is ready to take his spot at a moment's notice. Give each 3-5 starts and see what happens.

Just because someone gets the job in early April doesn't mean they have to have it in late April.

dougdirt
03-30-2012, 08:17 AM
If Chapman is going to be a starter then he should start the season in the minors. Tell Homer that there is a dude who throws 105 who is ready to take his spot at a moment's notice. Give each 3-5 starts and see what happens.

Just because someone gets the job in early April doesn't mean they have to have it in late April.
No, but it probably should mean that they should have it in late April. 3-5 starts isn't going to tell us a whole lot more than spring has sans a complete falling apart that is likely tied to an injury.

Caveat Emperor
03-30-2012, 08:30 AM
Perhaps the reason Bailey was pitching in a minor league game today was so they can put him on the DL to start the season dated retroactively to his last major league spring training game and have Chapman in the rotation. Not likely, but possible.

The best option is to put Arroyo in the bullpen or give him away to anyone that will pay part of his salary.

The next best option is to put Aroldis Chapman in the AAA rotation for a month or so until he truly earns a spot in the Reds rotation and basically forces the team to bring him up. Chances are good an injury or poor performance from Arroyo/Bailey will create an opening for Senor 105.

Putting Chapman back in the bullpen is the worst thing to do.

Arroyo is an easy target after last season, but prior to that he'd thrown two consecutive seasons of 200+ IP baseball at under 4.00 ERA. He ate up a ton of innings at better than league average.

With the bullpen getting shorter and shorter due to injuries, the need for a guy who can go out and toss 7+ on his night becomes that much more pronounced.

Replacing Arroyo w/ Chapman is going to leave a lot of extra innings in the hands of the 'pen.

_Sir_Charles_
03-30-2012, 08:38 AM
You ignore one thing.

Chapman is harder to hit than Bailey.

In one and 2 inning stints...yep. But how is Aroldis going to be in the 5th and 6th innings? When he doesn't have that 103 velocity? Instead is sitting around 97-98 with a pretty straight and flat fastball?

This is why he goes to Louisville. 14 innings in spring doesn't tell us squat.

dougdirt
03-30-2012, 08:47 AM
In one and 2 inning stints...yep. But how is Aroldis going to be in the 5th and 6th innings? When he doesn't have that 103 velocity? Instead is sitting around 97-98 with a pretty straight and flat fastball?

This is why he goes to Louisville. 14 innings in spring doesn't tell us squat.

I will be surprised if Chapman is sitting 97-98 in innings 5 and 6. I think he probably rises to 97-100 from time to time, but I don't think he sits there.

_Sir_Charles_
03-30-2012, 09:08 AM
Why would you ever let spring training decide anything then?


Firstly, I wouldn't let ST decide anything. If you go back a couple of years, Wood & Leake were battling it out for the last spot. In that specific case, we had 2 guys with ZERO track record in the bigs. So yeah, I guess I'd put some stock in how they pitched against "some" major leaguers. But overall, no, I wouldn't base any decisions on ST stats. ST performance is another thing. Work ethic, coachability, effort, etc. These things probably hold more weight than ST stats.


Homer Bailey is an average (at best) starting pitcher. There's hope Chapman can be more.

There's no hope Homer can be more?!? He's got the stuff for a #1 or #2 starter, yet there's no hope for more than "average at best"? Sorry, but it sounds to me as if you've got your mind made up on Homer. Injuries happen, you can't hold him responsible for something out of his control holding his stats down. When healthy, he's shown solid improvement in most areas. Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that he's freaking 25 still! Getting called up as early as he was has done Homer NO FAVORS.

_Sir_Charles_
03-30-2012, 09:09 AM
I will be surprised if Chapman is sitting 97-98 in innings 5 and 6. I think he probably rises to 97-100 from time to time, but I don't think he sits there.

I'm talking later in the season if he remains a starter. And I was just spitballing numbers. You're probably closer to correct. But the point remains. Take away a good amount of the velocity...and I think he becomes more hittable.

_Sir_Charles_
03-30-2012, 09:13 AM
Homer is a guy who has been given chance after chance with the Reds. It's Chapman's time.

And again, Bailey isn't going anywhere. He'll still be there when he is needed.

Before he was ready. That can't be stressed enough. People are frustrated with Homer because he hasn't become what we thought he'd be. But it was them pushing him too early that has essentially pushed him BACKWARDS on the normal time-line.

If Homer came up as a rookie last season and did what he did last season, there wouldn't be very much disappointment. But when people look and see that he's been in the bigs for 5 years and THAT'S all he's done?!? Like I said, give the kid a break. He's only 25.

dougdirt
03-30-2012, 09:17 AM
If Homer came up as a rookie last season and did what he did last season, there wouldn't be very much disappointment. But when people look and see that he's been in the bigs for 5 years and THAT'S all he's done?!? Like I said, give the kid a break. He's only 25.

Our rookie starting shortstop is older than Bailey is.

Bailey had the best strikeout rate on the team last year of starters, best K/BB of all pitchers and a well above average walk rate and people are disappointed.

CySeymour
03-30-2012, 09:38 AM
Our rookie starting shortstop is older than Bailey is.

Bailey had the best strikeout rate on the team last year of starters, best K/BB of all pitchers and a well above average walk rate and people are disappointed.

This my take as well. I don't really feel that Bailey's spot should be a big question right now. I felt he was a bit unlucky last year, and given the peripherals, actually did the job. No, he wasn't the shut down #1 a lot felt he was going to be and should be, but still a sound major league starter.

Ghosts of 1990
03-30-2012, 09:55 AM
Our rookie starting shortstop is older than Bailey is.

Bailey had the best strikeout rate on the team last year of starters, best K/BB of all pitchers and a well above average walk rate and people are disappointed.

Just a question, but do you only reply on twitter to those that disagree with you?

Kc61
03-30-2012, 09:58 AM
Our rookie starting shortstop is older than Bailey is.

Bailey had the best strikeout rate on the team last year of starters, best K/BB of all pitchers and a well above average walk rate and people are disappointed.

I think it is quite reasonable to be disappointed in Homer so far. His best ERA, last year, was 4.43 and lifetime it is nearly 5. He allows 9 plus hits per game, his ERA+ is always below 100, and he is injured every season.

His strikeout rate is pretty good and his walk rate is improved, but they haven't led to success in terms of shutting down the opposition.

These predictive peripherals are fine to a point, but some of us look at results. And we see a pitcher who so far is a far cry from what was expected. He's still young, true, but he's been in the majors a lot longer than Cozart.

Unfortunately, even after his horrendous season last year, Arroyo seems to have a lock on the rotation. This is creating a log jam for starters, while at the same time there is a dearth in the bullpen. This is a problem and will likely lead to either Bailey or Chapman throwing some relief, barring a serious acquisition.

This is unexpected, but it's ok with me, I want the Reds to win, and sometimes you have to vary from plan. Whether it is Homer or Chapman who logs some bullpen time, is really not that critical, it's a long season, and things will change eventually.

Nasty_Boy
03-30-2012, 10:00 AM
What did Cueto's numbers look like before last year?

Nasty_Boy
03-30-2012, 10:03 AM
I meant 2010... Cueto wasn't great but he started showing improvement. Homer has done the same thing. It would be different if Homer were 27-28, with a ton of big league innings. As of right now, he's still a young guy finding himself and showing improvement as a big league pitcher.

Kc61
03-30-2012, 10:04 AM
What did Cueto's numbers look like before last year?

In 2010, Cueto had a 3.64 ERA and threw 185 innings.

dougdirt
03-30-2012, 10:07 AM
Just a question, but do you only reply on twitter to those that disagree with you?

No. I try to reply to everyone.

Nasty_Boy
03-30-2012, 10:08 AM
In 2010, Cueto had a 3.64 ERA and threw 185 innings.

Was that expected after 2009? To me, if young guys show improvement (especially in k/bb area) and the stuff is still there, you need to give it a chance to mature. And honestly, the guy was the 3rd best starter last season... That means more than a few spring training innings.

dougdirt
03-30-2012, 10:12 AM
I think it is quite reasonable to be disappointed in Homer so far. His best ERA, last year, was 4.43 and lifetime it is nearly 5. He allows 9 plus hits per game, his ERA+ is always below 100, and he is injured every season.

His strikeout rate is pretty good and his walk rate is improved, but they haven't led to success in terms of shutting down the opposition.

These predictive peripherals are fine to a point, but some of us look at results. And we see a pitcher who so far is a far cry from what was expected. He's still young, true, but he's been in the majors a lot longer than Cozart.

If by results, you mean solely at ERA, then sure. But aside from ERA, everything that Homer Bailey does is strong. If player A walks fewer and strikes out more guys than player B, wouldn't you think that player B is going to be the better pitcher? Well, aside from Latos, Bailey is player A and anyone else on the roster is player B. Sure, it hasn't worked out so his ERA has been better yet, but the odds are that it will unless he takes a step backwards in regards to his ability to miss bats or his ability to control his walks. I honestly think you can make a solid argument that Bailey should have a better ERA than Cueto or Leake this season based on what each guy is capable of.

Kc61
03-30-2012, 10:17 AM
Was that expected after 2009? To me, if young guys show improvement (especially in k/bb area) and the stuff is still there, you need to give it a chance to mature. And honestly, the guy was the 3rd best starter last season... That means more than a few spring training innings.

I disagree on many levels. First, I'm not sure the "stuff" is there to be a TOR starter. Second, Bailey has had over 100 innings for three years in a row with similarly middling results.

But mostly, as a fan, I am ready for my ballclub to win. I don't watch games to see young pitchers try to find themselves. I'm ready for a winner and, unfortunately for some guys, teams usually try to win based on past performance.

I have no problem with Bailey being on the Reds staff this year, and if he was one of the best five starters -- as of right now -- I would start him. But if the Reds decide he isn't, then he should be in the pen until an opportunity presents itself.

The concept that this team should go forward with Bailey as a starter and Chapman in the minor leagues is, in my view, absurd. It's a capitulation of 2012, a statement that the ballclub is not presenting fans with the best 25 players.

Let them both be on the club, in whatever role. Believe me, if they both are on the team, the ballclub is a lot stronger.

dougdirt
03-30-2012, 10:19 AM
I disagree on many levels. First, I'm not sure the "stuff" is there to be a TOR starter. Second, Bailey has had over 100 innings for three years in a row with similarly middling results.
No, he has had a similar ERA.

cumberlandreds
03-30-2012, 10:22 AM
IMO and from the spring results the Reds would be doing a disservice to themselves if they don't start Chapman. He's done everything and more to earn that spot. Bailey has been spotty at best. He should go to the pen. If he doesn't like it, tough. Pitch better and he's back in the rotation if Chapman,Leake or Arroyo falter or if injury occurs. I'll be very disappointed in the Reds if they don't have Chapman starting. He's earned it.

Kc61
03-30-2012, 10:30 AM
No, he has had a similar ERA.

Homer's ERA+ the last three seasons were 93, 91, 88. This does not show me improvement.

Homer's K rate over the last three seasons were 6.8, 8.3, 7.2. This does not show me improvement (maybe very, very slight improvement).

Homer's rate of hits allowed were 9.1, 9.0, 9.3. This does not show me improvement.

The one area in which Homer has improved over the last three years is walks allowed. 4.1, 3.3, 2.3.

And ask yourself if it is reasonable to expect Bailey to walk fewer than 2.3 per nine in 2012. I would doubt it.

cinreds21
03-30-2012, 10:42 AM
Reds manager Dusty Baker said he's yet to make a decision on which role Aroldis Chapman will fill this season.
"I don’t know, man," Baker said. "We haven’t come up with it yet. We’ll let you know. Quit asking me. Please. Honestly, we haven’t decided yet. There’s more people involved than just Chapman." Chapman had another nice outing Thursday and boasts a 18/2 K/BB ratio over 17 innings this spring to go along with a 2.15 ERA. But, he could still lose out on a rotation spot to Homer Bailey or perhaps even Jeff Francis.

At this point, it is has become embarrassing. Make a damn decision. It's taken so long that at this point I don't care if he's starting, relieving, or in Bakersfield, just make a decision. I understand that they have had some unexpectedly injuries, but it doesn't take a week to decide something like this. To me, this shows how bad the front office and the coaching staff relationship is.

Blitz Dorsey
03-30-2012, 10:46 AM
Has Homer ever had a season where he wasn't hurt? (Serious question.) That could be playing a big role in the Reds' decision here. Not only are they paying Chapman a lot, but they might feel like Bailey's lack of durability is a concern.

Also, I know this is out of left field (er, out of the bullpen I guess) but I think Bailey could be a good closer. I think Chapman could be as well, but he's a bit too wild for my tastes as a closer. Too many teams would just take until they got a strike and he would walk too many batters in a closer's role IMO. However, Bailey has better control than Chapman, good stuff and I would be intrigued with the idea of making him a closer. I'm sure it won't happen though. And now I'll get ready to be ridiculed for bringing this idea to the surface.

CySeymour
03-30-2012, 10:47 AM
Well, if y'all want to go on last year, then it should be noted that Homer's SO/BB ratio was 3.21, which is darn solid. Chapman's was 1.73, which isn't.

Kc61
03-30-2012, 10:57 AM
Well, if y'all want to go on last year, then it should be noted that Homer's SO/BB ratio was 3.21, which is darn solid. Chapman's was 1.73, which isn't.

Homer walked far fewer guys per nine innings than Chapman, very true. That's why the K/BB ratio favors Homer, correct.

But Chapman, on the other hand, allowed 4.3 hits per nine innings. He allowed 24 hits in 50 innings. That is a very, very low rate, much lower than Homer who allowed over 9 hits per nine innings.

RedsManRick
03-30-2012, 10:59 AM
What did Cueto's numbers look like before last year?



K% BB% K/BB HR/9 HR/FB GB/FB BABIP ERA FIP xFIP SIERA
2008 20.6 8.8 2.3 1.5 13.9% 0.95 .298 4.81 4.90 4.31 4.12
2009 17.8 8.2 2.2 1.3 11.2 1.02 .291 4.41 4.69 4.51 4.35
2010 17.7 7.2 2.5 0.9 8.6 1.07 .290 3.64 3.97 4.09 4.12
2011 16.5 7.5 2.2 0.5 5.8 1.78 .249 2.31 3.45 3.90 3.93

Cueto is a perfect study in how ERA can trick you. While he's changed the kind of pitcher he is last year, the improvements we've seen in his ERA aren't necessarily attributable to a change in his skill. Here's what I see:

- The progress in ERA makes it look like he's gone from scrub to stud and FIP supports that. But his xFIP and SIERA, the two ERA estimators based most directly on the things the pitcher controls, have been relatively steady in the low 4s. What gives? Let's start with FIP - Ks, BBs and HRs.
- His K% and BB% have both dipped, but at similar rates, leaving his K/BB unchanged. He's gone from power pitcher to contact pitcher (loosely speaking), but that hasn't really driven his ERA & FIP improvement.
- His HR rates dropped each year -- that's what drove the decrease in his FIP. But what caused the HR rate to drop? Two things: a decrease in HR/FB and a spike in GB/FB (fewer flyballs).
- Unfortunately, pitchers don't have a ton of control over HR/FB. While there's a decent spread from about 6% to 14% in the 3-year HR/FB rates, they are significantly correlated with park effects. The "real talent" distribution is more like beween 8% and 12%. So, Cueto's 5.8% HR/FB is not sustainable, especially in GABP.
- But that GB/FB rate -- totally sustainable. Cueto clearly came back from injury in 2010 with a revamped delivery and started featuring a 2 seamer that functions like a sinker. GB and FB rates stabilize quickly and the scouting report backs it up. Even if his HR/FB rate jumps back up, the total HR rate will stay down at league average or better.
- But why has his ERA been lower than his FIP and why did it drop even more than his FIP last year? That's BABIP in action. The Reds have a good defense, lowering the expected BABIP of their pitchers a bit. That said, a .249 BABIP in 2012 after three years of league average suggests "fluke". Yes, he did have that surge in grounders last year and the Reds IF defense is superb. But GB are actually more likely to be hits than FBs (that stay in the yard). So while we shouldn't treat the .249 as all luck -- a nice chunk of it is defense -- he's likely to give most of that back.

So what do I expect from Johnny in 2012? I expect to see the K/BB stay steady where it's been in the 2.2 range, his HR/FB regress back to the 10% range and his BABIP to regress to .280 or so. He'll put up a FIP around 4.10 and a SIERA (and ERA) around 3.90.

CySeymour
03-30-2012, 11:07 AM
Homer walked far fewer guys per nine innings than Chapman, very true. That's why the K/BB ratio favors Homer, correct.

But Chapman, on the other hand, allowed 4.3 hits per nine innings. He allowed 24 hits in 50 innings. That is a very, very low rate, much lower than Homer who allowed over 9 hits per nine innings.

Yet Homer still had a lower WHIP then Chapman. Just a hair lower, but still lower.

RBA
03-30-2012, 11:42 AM
Have I said I absolutely hate the title of this thread. I keep forgetting about the "?" at the end when my eyes shift over to read it.

traderumor
03-30-2012, 11:45 AM
K% BB% K/BB HR/9 HR/FB GB/FB BABIP ERA FIP xFIP SIERA
2008 20.6 8.8 2.3 1.5 13.9% 0.95 .298 4.81 4.90 4.31 4.12
2009 17.8 8.2 2.2 1.3 11.2 1.02 .291 4.41 4.69 4.51 4.35
2010 17.7 7.2 2.5 0.9 8.6 1.07 .290 3.64 3.97 4.09 4.12
2011 16.5 7.5 2.2 0.5 5.8 1.78 .249 2.31 3.45 3.90 3.93

Cueto is a perfect study in how ERA can trick you. While he's changed the kind of pitcher he is last year, the improvements we've seen in his ERA aren't necessarily attributable to a change in his skill. Here's what I see:

- The progress in ERA makes it look like he's gone from scrub to stud and FIP supports that. But his xFIP and SIERA, the two ERA estimators based most directly on the things the pitcher controls, have been relatively steady in the low 4s. What gives? Let's start with FIP - Ks, BBs and HRs.
- His K% and BB% have both dipped, but at similar rates, leaving his K/BB unchanged. He's gone from power pitcher to contact pitcher (loosely speaking), but that hasn't really driven his ERA & FIP improvement.
- His HR rates dropped each year -- that's what drove the decrease in his FIP. But what caused the HR rate to drop? Two things: a decrease in HR/FB and a spike in GB/FB (fewer flyballs).
- Unfortunately, pitchers don't have a ton of control over HR/FB. While there's a decent spread from about 6% to 14% in the 3-year HR/FB rates, they are significantly correlated with park effects. The "real talent" distribution is more like beween 8% and 12%. So, Cueto's 5.8% HR/FB is not sustainable, especially in GABP.
- But that GB/FB rate -- totally sustainable. Cueto clearly came back from injury in 2010 with a revamped delivery and started featuring a 2 seamer that functions like a sinker. GB and FB rates stabilize quickly and the scouting report backs it up. Even if his HR/FB rate jumps back up, the total HR rate will stay down at league average or better.
- But why has his ERA been lower than his FIP and why did it drop even more than his FIP last year? That's BABIP in action. The Reds have a good defense, lowering the expected BABIP of their pitchers a bit. That said, a .249 BABIP in 2012 after three years of league average suggests "fluke". Yes, he did have that surge in grounders last year and the Reds IF defense is superb. But GB are actually more likely to be hits than FBs (that stay in the yard). So while we shouldn't treat the .249 as all luck -- a nice chunk of it is defense -- he's likely to give most of that back.

So what do I expect from Johnny in 2012? I expect to see the K/BB stay steady where it's been in the 2.2 range, his HR/FB regress back to the 10% range and his BABIP to regress to .280 or so. He'll put up a FIP around 4.10 and a SIERA (and ERA) around 3.90.I appreciate what you are saying, but then he is young, so I don't know that you can project based on "he is what he is, last year lower ERA was favorable BABIP"

Will M
03-30-2012, 12:01 PM
K% BB% K/BB HR/9 HR/FB GB/FB BABIP ERA FIP xFIP SIERA
2008 20.6 8.8 2.3 1.5 13.9% 0.95 .298 4.81 4.90 4.31 4.12
2009 17.8 8.2 2.2 1.3 11.2 1.02 .291 4.41 4.69 4.51 4.35
2010 17.7 7.2 2.5 0.9 8.6 1.07 .290 3.64 3.97 4.09 4.12
2011 16.5 7.5 2.2 0.5 5.8 1.78 .249 2.31 3.45 3.90 3.93

Cueto is a perfect study in how ERA can trick you. While he's changed the kind of pitcher he is last year, the improvements we've seen in his ERA aren't necessarily attributable to a change in his skill. Here's what I see:

- The progress in ERA makes it look like he's gone from scrub to stud and FIP supports that. But his xFIP and SIERA, the two ERA estimators based most directly on the things the pitcher controls, have been relatively steady in the low 4s. What gives? Let's start with FIP - Ks, BBs and HRs.
- His K% and BB% have both dipped, but at similar rates, leaving his K/BB unchanged. He's gone from power pitcher to contact pitcher (loosely speaking), but that hasn't really driven his ERA & FIP improvement.
- His HR rates dropped each year -- that's what drove the decrease in his FIP. But what caused the HR rate to drop? Two things: a decrease in HR/FB and a spike in GB/FB (fewer flyballs).
- Unfortunately, pitchers don't have a ton of control over HR/FB. While there's a decent spread from about 6% to 14% in the 3-year HR/FB rates, they are significantly correlated with park effects. The "real talent" distribution is more like beween 8% and 12%. So, Cueto's 5.8% HR/FB is not sustainable, especially in GABP.
- But that GB/FB rate -- totally sustainable. Cueto clearly came back from injury in 2010 with a revamped delivery and started featuring a 2 seamer that functions like a sinker. GB and FB rates stabilize quickly and the scouting report backs it up. Even if his HR/FB rate jumps back up, the total HR rate will stay down at league average or better.
- But why has his ERA been lower than his FIP and why did it drop even more than his FIP last year? That's BABIP in action. The Reds have a good defense, lowering the expected BABIP of their pitchers a bit. That said, a .249 BABIP in 2012 after three years of league average suggests "fluke". Yes, he did have that surge in grounders last year and the Reds IF defense is superb. But GB are actually more likely to be hits than FBs (that stay in the yard). So while we shouldn't treat the .249 as all luck -- a nice chunk of it is defense -- he's likely to give most of that back.

So what do I expect from Johnny in 2012? I expect to see the K/BB stay steady where it's been in the 2.2 range, his HR/FB regress back to the 10% range and his BABIP to regress to .280 or so. He'll put up a FIP around 4.10 and a SIERA (and ERA) around 3.90.

nice post.

I think the Reds have a nice #1 starter in Latos. Probably a 'weak' #1 guy. He certainly isn't in the same league as the best of the best starters in baseball. Cueto & Leake IMO are solid #3 guys. Thats a better top 3 than the Reds have had in recent years but it isn't all that great. I for one would like to see Chapman be a starter because of his potential to be a TOR arm. I'd put Bailey or Arroyo in the pen and make Chapman a starter. When he reaches a certain number of innings then he can switch to the pen (I don't think his arm is going to be able to handle 32 starts in 2012). I wouldn't want the Reds to use Chapman as a reliever until he fails as a starter.

Related question: who has more value? A starter who gives you 210 IP with a 3.50 ERA or a closer who gives you 65 IP with a 2.50 ERA. IMO even if Chapman doesn't become the next Randy Johnson the Reds could be better off with him as a starter.

Scrap Irony
03-30-2012, 12:06 PM
I'd argue that Latos is a bona fide TOR starter, that Cueto is a solid #2 starter, that Leake graded out as a middle of the pack #3 starter last season, that Bailey is a much better than average number four starter, and that Arroyo is a number five starter.

Chapman is a wildcard that could go anywhere from dominant ace to AAA middle relief this season.

RedsManRick
03-30-2012, 12:40 PM
I appreciate what you are saying, but then he is young, so I don't know that you can project based on "he is what he is, last year lower ERA was favorable BABIP"

I think you're conflating a few different things:

1. Why did what happen in the past happen the way it did?
2. What is likely to happen in the future?

It's important to remember that ERA is a combination of stuff the pitcher did because of his skills and stuff that happened because of luck, defense, randomness, etc. In projecting forward, we can't expect the luck, defense, randomness, etc. stuff to continue. We have to focus on the skills of the pitcher.

Youth has absolutely nothing to do with the relationship between a guy's peripherals and ERA in a given season. That is to say a 24 year old with a 4.00 FIP is no more/less likely to have a 3.00 ERA than a 38 year old. The relationship between ERA and peripherals is a function of the mechanics of baseball - age is irrelevant. However, age definitely matters when we're discussing how a guy's skills have evolved and are likely to continue to evolve.

Let's say both Player A (24 years old) and Player B (36 years old) put up the same peripherals in 2011 -- those in line with a 4.00 FIP. Player A had a 3.00 ERA and Player B had a 4.00 ERA.

When looking at 2011, something has to explain why Player A had an ERA that was out of line with his FIP; because he somehow had 2+2 = 3. So we might find that he had a really low (unsustainably low) HR/FB or BABIP. While pitchers have some influence over those things, most of the changes we observe from year to year are random (or explained by things other than the pitcher's actual skills). So if we're projecting 2012, we shouldn't assume he's going to repeat that low HR/FB or BABIP. If those guys pitch the same way next yea in terms of the things they can actually control, we should expect a 4 ERA again.

However, this is where age comes in. For the 24 year old, we might reasonably expect him to improve his underlying skills - to miss more bats, walk fewer people, get more grounders, etc. And the opposite for the 36 year old. So what we do is look at what his skill-based ERA projection is given what we expect him to do in his peripherals. We may very well project that the 24 year old is going to put up peripherals that support a 3.75 FIP in 2012, especially if he's shown a trend of improving his peripherals.

With Cueto, the dirty little secret is that while his ERA has dropped precipitously over the last few years, his underlying skills haven't really improved much. What's really driven the bulk of the drop in his ERA has been a cratering HR rate and then, last year, a huge drop in his BABIP. And those two things are more a result of luck/randomness than a change his ability.

That certainly doesn't mean that he can't or won't improve next year. But, if Cueto puts up similar K and BB rates and a similar GB/FB rate, we should expect an ERA in the upper 3s or low 4s. The things he does that are a function of his skills as a pitcher simply don't support the kind of ERA we saw last year. If he does improve his K and/or BB rates, a lower ERA would be justified. And because he's young, that's a possibility. But if you want to project an ERA for him of say, 3.20, you are either suggesting that he's going to improve his peripherals significantly or that he's going to get lucky again.

And I personally see a guy who's K/BB rate has gone basically unchanged. He has improved some, but he's done so by changing the type of pitcher he is rather than markedly improving raw skills. He turned himself in to a ground-ball machine, which takes advantage of a great Reds defense and limiting his exposure to GABP. But both his HR/FB and BABIP rates in 2011 were lower can be explained based on his new skills. If we take his 2011 ERA at face value, we confuse a whole lot of good luck for a little real improvement.

_Sir_Charles_
03-30-2012, 03:44 PM
Homer walked far fewer guys per nine innings than Chapman, very true. That's why the K/BB ratio favors Homer, correct.

But Chapman, on the other hand, allowed 4.3 hits per nine innings. He allowed 24 hits in 50 innings. That is a very, very low rate, much lower than Homer who allowed over 9 hits per nine innings.

2 things. Chapman didn't allow as many hits because he was busy walking guys. So IMO, if you want to be comparing hits...then use WHIP because that basically counts BASERUNNERS...walks and hits.

Secondly, Chapman's numbers were as a reliever. Where he can let loose and go all out for an inning. Moving him to a starter changes the expectations for his numbers dramatically. Hitters will get a second and third look at him thereby improving their chances of hitting him dramatically. He'll also get tired and lose velocity on the heater...again, improving the hitters' odds.

Kc61
03-30-2012, 04:01 PM
2 things. Chapman didn't allow as many hits because he was busy walking guys. So IMO, if you want to be comparing hits...then use WHIP because that basically counts BASERUNNERS...walks and hits.

Secondly, Chapman's numbers were as a reliever. Where he can let loose and go all out for an inning. Moving him to a starter changes the expectations for his numbers dramatically. Hitters will get a second and third look at him thereby improving their chances of hitting him dramatically. He'll also get tired and lose velocity on the heater...again, improving the hitters' odds.


Chapman didn't allow so few hits because he was "busy walking guys." He allowed few hits because he has great stuff and is very difficult to hit. He struck out 12.8 guys per nine innings. He allowed 2 home runs in 50 innings. For his major league career, with his home park GABP, Chapman has allowed 2 homers in 63 innings. (Over 200 innings that's about 7 homers total.)

Chapman has control issues, but is very difficult to hit. This is undeniable and is why I find it impossible for the Reds to send him to the minor leagues, as some of you would apparently like.

And as a starter, Chapman might pace himself more, but there is every reason to believe that his stuff would still be excellent. And very difficult to hit.

reds44
03-30-2012, 04:26 PM
Chapman didn't allow so few hits because he was "busy walking guys." He allowed few hits because he has great stuff and is very difficult to hit. He struck out 12.8 guys per nine innings. He allowed 2 home runs in 50 innings. For his major league career, with his home park GABP, Chapman has allowed 2 homers in 63 innings. (Over 200 innings that's about 7 homers total.)

Chapman has control issues, but is very difficult to hit. This is undeniable and is why I find it impossible for the Reds to send him to the minor leagues, as some of you would apparently like.

And as a starter, Chapman might pace himself more, but there is every reason to believe that his stuff would still be excellent. And very difficult to hit.
This. Now could you argue if Chapman better controls his pitches, he'll give up more hits because he'll be in the strikezone more? Yes, to a certain extent, but there's no doubting he's harder to hit than Bailey. He's an extremely difficult pitcher to hit because of his stuff, which is why people want him in the rotation when you consider how good his control has been this spring.

reds44
03-30-2012, 04:28 PM
And I don't understand why anybody would mention Cueto when it comes to Bailey. Cueto put up as good of numbers in his second year as a 23 year old as Bailey ever has. He pitched more innings as a 22 year old rookie than Bailey ever has. They're not really comparable.

traderumor
03-30-2012, 04:29 PM
I think you're conflating a few different things:

1. Why did what happen in the past happen the way it did?
2. What is likely to happen in the future?

It's important to remember that ERA is a combination of stuff the pitcher did because of his skills and stuff that happened because of luck, defense, randomness, etc. In projecting forward, we can't expect the luck, defense, randomness, etc. stuff to continue. We have to focus on the skills of the pitcher.

Youth has absolutely nothing to do with the relationship between a guy's peripherals and ERA in a given season. That is to say a 24 year old with a 4.00 FIP is no more/less likely to have a 3.00 ERA than a 38 year old. The relationship between ERA and peripherals is a function of the mechanics of baseball - age is irrelevant. However, age definitely matters when we're discussing how a guy's skills have evolved and are likely to continue to evolve.

Let's say both Player A (24 years old) and Player B (36 years old) put up the same peripherals in 2011 -- those in line with a 4.00 FIP. Player A had a 3.00 ERA and Player B had a 4.00 ERA.

When looking at 2011, something has to explain why Player A had an ERA that was out of line with his FIP; because he somehow had 2+2 = 3. So we might find that he had a really low (unsustainably low) HR/FB or BABIP. While pitchers have some influence over those things, most of the changes we observe from year to year are random (or explained by things other than the pitcher's actual skills). So if we're projecting 2012, we shouldn't assume he's going to repeat that low HR/FB or BABIP. If those guys pitch the same way next yea in terms of the things they can actually control, we should expect a 4 ERA again.

However, this is where age comes in. For the 24 year old, we might reasonably expect him to improve his underlying skills - to miss more bats, walk fewer people, get more grounders, etc. And the opposite for the 36 year old. So what we do is look at what his skill-based ERA projection is given what we expect him to do in his peripherals. We may very well project that the 24 year old is going to put up peripherals that support a 3.75 FIP in 2012, especially if he's shown a trend of improving his peripherals.

With Cueto, the dirty little secret is that while his ERA has dropped precipitously over the last few years, his underlying skills haven't really improved much. What's really driven the bulk of the drop in his ERA has been a cratering HR rate and then, last year, a huge drop in his BABIP. And those two things are more a result of luck/randomness than a change his ability.

That certainly doesn't mean that he can't or won't improve next year. But, if Cueto puts up similar K and BB rates and a similar GB/FB rate, we should expect an ERA in the upper 3s or low 4s. The things he does that are a function of his skills as a pitcher simply don't support the kind of ERA we saw last year. If he does improve his K and/or BB rates, a lower ERA would be justified. And because he's young, that's a possibility. But if you want to project an ERA for him of say, 3.20, you are either suggesting that he's going to improve his peripherals significantly or that he's going to get lucky again.

And I personally see a guy who's K/BB rate has gone basically unchanged. He has improved some, but he's done so by changing the type of pitcher he is rather than markedly improving raw skills. He turned himself in to a ground-ball machine, which takes advantage of a great Reds defense and limiting his exposure to GABP. But both his HR/FB and BABIP rates in 2011 were lower can be explained based on his new skills. If we take his 2011 ERA at face value, we confuse a whole lot of good luck for a little real improvement.

I understand your explanation. What I was getting at is that, and perhaps I misunderstand you on this point, Cueto "is what he is," but then in the same breath you noted how he basically reinvented the type of pitcher he was last year, whereby he became a GB pitcher. I got whacked on the knuckles by someone (no idea who the poster was) for noting this development in season last year when I noted he was a GB pitcher, and they pointed to his past performance. So, where I'm coming from is that I'm not sure that Cueto has hit his ceiling yet, and that projecting an almost 2 point ERA spike this season based on peripherals seems a bit dogmatic.

AtomicDumpling
03-30-2012, 04:47 PM
Arroyo is an easy target after last season, but prior to that he'd thrown two consecutive seasons of 200+ IP baseball at under 4.00 ERA. He ate up a ton of innings at better than league average.

With the bullpen getting shorter and shorter due to injuries, the need for a guy who can go out and toss 7+ on his night becomes that much more pronounced.

Replacing Arroyo w/ Chapman is going to leave a lot of extra innings in the hands of the 'pen.

Arroyo's SIERA over the last three years combined is 4.59, which is ranked 135th out of all 167 starting pitchers who threw 200+ total innings over those three years. His SIERA in 2009 was 4.64, in 2010 it was 4.56 and in 2011 it was 4.57. That is not good. Not good at all.

So the problem was not just last year. His career SIERA is 4.45 which again is not good. Arroyo has been a problem for awhile. I would not keep a guy in the rotation just because he throws a lot of innings. At some point you have to expect the pitcher to pitch well, not just pitch a lot of innings. I wouldn't take a loss every 5th game just to rest the bullpen. Arroyo is not an automatic loss but he definitely needs the Reds offense to bail him out almost every game.

Homer Bailey put up a SIERA of 3.81 and 3.78 in 2010 and 2011. Aroldis Chapman's career SIERA is 3.23 in limited action. They need to give him the chance to pitch a lot more innings to see if he can become a very good pitcher or even an ace. Both Bailey and Chapman are young and improving. Arroyo is old and declining.

Bronson Arroyo has proven he is not a good pitcher. The Reds have better options and they should use them despite the fact they are paying Arroyo way too much money. They need to admit they screwed up when they gave him that big contract and move on. There is too much at stake this year to stubbornly keep him in the rotation just because of his bloated contract. The Reds have a chance to win the division this year and they need to put their best pitchers on the bump as much as possible.

RedsManRick
03-30-2012, 05:50 PM
I understand your explanation. What I was getting at is that, and perhaps I misunderstand you on this point, Cueto "is what he is," but then in the same breath you noted how he basically reinvented the type of pitcher he was last year, whereby he became a GB pitcher. I got whacked on the knuckles by someone (no idea who the poster was) for noting this development in season last year when I noted he was a GB pitcher, and they pointed to his past performance. So, where I'm coming from is that I'm not sure that Cueto has hit his ceiling yet, and that projecting an almost 2 point ERA spike this season based on peripherals seems a bit dogmatic.

There are two things we're talking about here.

Firstly, I think you are conflating skill and performance.

Your perspective implies a point of view which says that our most reasonable starting point for making an ERA projection is to look at last year's ERA. To project performance, look at past performance and adjust.

My position is that past performance is a result of a bunch of things, many of which aren't attributable to that player.

For example, let's say we have a die. We roll it 60 times. We know we have a 1/6 chance of getting a given face. But in those 60 rolls, we ended up with 15 6's.

Now let's say we're going to roll it another 60 times. How many 6's should we expect? You're suggesting 15. I'm suggesting 10.

Obviously it's not quite this clean. We can't know a guy's skills the way we can know the odds of a dice roll. But it does frame the approach. To come up with our projection for next year's performance, we should come up with our best estimate of his underlying skills.

ERA, because it's affected by a lot of things other than the pitcher himself, is not a great estimate of a guy's skill. And that shows up in the fact that when we compare players' ERA over time, it jumps around quite a bit. Is that because the guy's skills changed? Nope. They do indeed evolve over time, but a lot of that "noise" is due to all of the other influences.

By contrast, pitchers' K and BB rates are very stable. They don't change much from year to year and when they do change, those changes tend to be "real" -- sustained. So what FIP does is turn those underlying, stable skills in to an ERA. And it turns out that when we're trying to predict ERA, a guy's FIP in the prior year actually does a better job predicting next year's ERA than does his ERA. (SIERA is even better because it includes GB and FB rates).

Cueto just so happens to be a pretty extreme example of ERA differing from FIP. Is predicting his ERA to jump by a run and a half crazy? No. What's crazy is that he put up an ERA so low compared to his peripherals to begin with.

The second thing we actually agree on -- Cueto is pretty young and could still legitimately improve his skills. However, we shouldn't judge whether or not he's improving his skills by look at his ERA. We should look at the things that are most closely related to his skills as a pitcher -- missing bats, avoiding walks and getting grounders. If he improves in those areas, most notably the first two, his expected ERA will be lower. But if he doesn't, the "physics" of baseball suggest he'll likely put up an ERA closer to league average than the league lead.

Caveat Emperor
03-30-2012, 07:09 PM
Arroyo's SIERA over the last three years combined is 4.59, which is ranked 135th out of all 167 starting pitchers who threw 200+ total innings over those three years. His SIERA in 2009 was 4.64, in 2010 it was 4.56 and in 2011 it was 4.57. That is not good. Not good at all.

Yet he's posted an ERA+ of over 100 in 2 of the past 3 years and 6 of the past 8.

No one is arguing that Arroyo is an all-star or that he deserves the money he's being paid, but the fact remains that someone has to throw innings on this team and there's a lot of guys people are penciling into the rotation (namely Chapman, Bailey and Leake) who don't have a strong history to suggest they can get you close to 175 or 200IP.

Where do the rest of those innings go? To a bullpen that's already missing key components. Arroyo's probably a 4.40-4.6 xFIP guy, but to a team that's going to have bullpen issues, 200+ innings of that can be valuable.

traderumor
03-30-2012, 10:21 PM
There are two things we're talking about here.

Firstly, I think you are conflating skill and performance.

Your perspective implies a point of view which says that our most reasonable starting point for making an ERA projection is to look at last year's ERA. To project performance, look at past performance and adjust.

My position is that past performance is a result of a bunch of things, many of which aren't attributable to that player.

For example, let's say we have a die. We roll it 60 times. We know we have a 1/6 chance of getting a given face. But in those 60 rolls, we ended up with 15 6's.

Now let's say we're going to roll it another 60 times. How many 6's should we expect? You're suggesting 15. I'm suggesting 10.

Obviously it's not quite this clean. We can't know a guy's skills the way we can know the odds of a dice roll. But it does frame the approach. To come up with our projection for next year's performance, we should come up with our best estimate of his underlying skills.

ERA, because it's affected by a lot of things other than the pitcher himself, is not a great estimate of a guy's skill. And that shows up in the fact that when we compare players' ERA over time, it jumps around quite a bit. Is that because the guy's skills changed? Nope. They do indeed evolve over time, but a lot of that "noise" is due to all of the other influences.

By contrast, pitchers' K and BB rates are very stable. They don't change much from year to year and when they do change, those changes tend to be "real" -- sustained. So what FIP does is turn those underlying, stable skills in to an ERA. And it turns out that when we're trying to predict ERA, a guy's FIP in the prior year actually does a better job predicting next year's ERA than does his ERA. (SIERA is even better because it includes GB and FB rates).

Cueto just so happens to be a pretty extreme example of ERA differing from FIP. Is predicting his ERA to jump by a run and a half crazy? No. What's crazy is that he put up an ERA so low compared to his peripherals to begin with.

The second thing we actually agree on -- Cueto is pretty young and could still legitimately improve his skills. However, we shouldn't judge whether or not he's improving his skills by look at his ERA. We should look at the things that are most closely related to his skills as a pitcher -- missing bats, avoiding walks and getting grounders. If he improves in those areas, most notably the first two, his expected ERA will be lower. But if he doesn't, the "physics" of baseball suggest he'll likely put up an ERA closer to league average than the league lead.I think that is a gross oversimplification of my point. My conclusion is a comparison of ERA, but it is not driving my expectation. All I'm saying is that I don't buy into your probability that Cueto is going to give up an average of a couple more runs a game because all things will be equal and last year's performance was randomness/luck. Even if he cannot sustain what you are identifying as randomness from last year's results, I think that there is still room for improvement that will show up in a 3-3.50 ERA.

And I think you overuse the word "conflated." ;) And I at least took a statistics class in college, so while I may not be an advanced statistician, randomness is not a 3rd grade concept for me.

RedsManRick
03-31-2012, 12:28 PM
I think that is a gross oversimplification of my point. My conclusion is a comparison of ERA, but it is not driving my expectation. All I'm saying is that I don't buy into your probability that Cueto is going to give up an average of a couple more runs a game because all things will be equal and last year's performance was randomness/luck. Even if he cannot sustain what you are identifying as randomness from last year's results, I think that there is still room for improvement that will show up in a 3-3.50 ERA.

And I think you overuse the word "conflated." ;) And I at least took a statistics class in college, so while I may not be an advanced statistician, randomness is not a 3rd grade concept for me.

I think you're conflating... sorry, force of habit.

Ok, so if he's going to put up an ERA in the 3.00 to 3.50 range, he's going to have to put up better underlying peripherals than he did last year. Either get more K's and/or fewer BB's or sustain a HR rate or BABIP that is lower than we can explain based on skill. What do you see him doing in those areas to produce that low 3's ERA?

757690
03-31-2012, 02:29 PM
I think you're conflating... sorry, force of habit.

Ok, so if he's going to put up an ERA in the 3.00 to 3.50 range, he's going to have to put up better underlying peripherals than he did last year. Either get more K's and/or fewer BB's or sustain a HR rate or BABIP that is lower than we can explain based on skill. What do you see him doing in those areas to produce that low 3's ERA?

First, I think conflate is an excellent word, I use it every chance I get and I hope you don't stop using it. ;)

Second, one thing we have learned is that the number of GB a pitcher gets can result in a lower BABIP, and less runs allowed. Also, It's very preliminary, but research done on the speed of the ball leaving the bat reveals that there some skill on a pitcher's part in terms of inducing weak contact. Basically, we are discovering the there is more to predicting future run prevention than just K/BB and HR/9 rates.

Cueto made a decision to cut down on his strike outs, and get more GB, much like what Brandon McCarthy did. Cueto nearly doubled the number of GB's he gets in 2011. I agree that Cueto's BABIP was absurdly low and not sustainable. However, I think it can be much lower than average if he continues to emphasize weak contact over K's.

Third, we know that Cueto is capable of striking hitters out, he is just choosing to use those same skills to induce weak contact. The reason why we use K rate as a main factor in projections, is because the skill set needed to strike hitters out, is what is needed to be a successful pitcher, not because striking out hitters is better than getting hitters out via contact. It's not the fact that Jeff Francis doesn't strike enough hitters out that leads us to think he will have a high ERA in the future, it's that he doesn't have the skills to do so, and therefore, doesn't have the skills to do the other things necessary to keep his ERA low.

Therefore, it shouldn't matter what type of outs Cueto is getting in terms of projecting his ERA, all that should matter are the skills that he has shown to possess. And he has shown he has the skill to get a certain number of outs, either via K or weak contact, keep the ball in the park at a certain rate, and avoid walks at a certain rate. We should use those attributes in projecting his ERA, not just his K/BB rate and Hr/9 rate.

That said, I don't know what that ERA would be. Maybe it's the same as what you are projecting, but that's what I would like to see in projecting Cueto.

RedsManRick
03-31-2012, 06:53 PM
Therefore, it shouldn't matter what type of outs Cueto is getting in terms of projecting his ERA, all that should matter are the skills that he has shown to possess. And he has shown he has the skill to get a certain number of outs, either via K or weak contact, keep the ball in the park at a certain rate, and avoid walks at a certain rate. We should use those attributes in projecting his ERA, not just his K/BB rate and Hr/9 rate.

That said, I don't know what that ERA would be. Maybe it's the same as what you are projecting, but that's what I would like to see in projecting Cueto.

But ERA doesn't just happen in parallel with those things. We shouldn't be predicting it separately -- and I'm not. The peripherals correlate so strongly with ERA not because good pitchers do both, but because the combination of strikeouts, walks, homers and balls in play the pitcher allows is precisely what results in those runs being scored. The peripherals are the building blocks that ERA and they combine in a pretty predictable fashion.

What makes ERA harder to predict than the peripherals is that there are a few other variables that affect ERA outside of the pitchers control, namely defense and the timing of the things.

So I'm not just pulling that ERA out of thing air, I'm saying that if Cueto does this:

K% = 17.0% (16.5% in 2011)
BB% = 7.5% (7.5% in 2011)
GB/FB = 1.80 (1.78 in 2011)
HR/FB = 8.0% (5.8% in 2011)
BABIP = .275 (.249 in 2011)

Then that's going to produce to an ERA around 3.80 to 4.00. All of the things you've mentioned about Cueto's abilities is captured in those 5 numbers. If you want to argue that we should be using different inputs (say a 20% K%, a .260 BABIP or 6.0% HR/FB), then we can see what kind of ERA that would correspond to. But we can't really make an argument that he's going to put up those peripherals but still have an ERA closer to 3.00 than to 4.00. It's like saying 2 + 2 = 3.

To be clear, there's still one factor not counted here and that's the timing of things. Obviously HR, BB, BB is a lot better than BB, BB, HR. However, pitchers have very little ability to control the timing of when things happen (Consider, they're never trying to give up a hit, a HR, a BB). So yeah, it's possible that 2 + 2 ends up as 3. And it's possible that 2 + 2 ends as up 5. But we can't predict that, because it's essentially "luck", not skill. (if it were a skill, we'd see guys like Greg Maddux and Roy Halladay routinely beat their FIP -- but over time their ERA ends up very close to what their peripherals suggest)

757690
03-31-2012, 07:37 PM
But ERA doesn't just happen in parallel with those things. We shouldn't be predicting it separately -- and I'm not. The peripherals correlate so strongly with ERA not because good pitchers do both, but because the combination of strikeouts, walks, homers and balls in play the pitcher allows is precisely what results in those runs being scored. The peripherals are the building blocks that ERA and they combine in a pretty predictable fashion.

What makes ERA harder to predict than the peripherals is that there are a few other variables that affect ERA outside of the pitchers control, namely defense and the timing of the things.

So I'm not just pulling that ERA out of thing air, I'm saying that if Cueto does this:

K% = 17.0% (16.5% in 2011)
BB% = 7.5% (7.5% in 2011)
GB/FB = 1.80 (1.78 in 2011)
HR/FB = 8.0% (5.8% in 2011)
BABIP = .275 (.249 in 2011)

Then that's going to produce to an ERA around 3.80 to 4.00. All of the things you've mentioned about Cueto's abilities is captured in those 5 numbers. If you want to argue that we should be using different inputs (say a 20% K%, a .260 BABIP or 6.0% HR/FB), then we can see what kind of ERA that would correspond to. But we can't really make an argument that he's going to put up those peripherals but still have an ERA closer to 3.00 than to 4.00. It's like saying 2 + 2 = 3.

To be clear, there's still one factor not counted here and that's the timing of things. Obviously HR, BB, BB is a lot better than BB, BB, HR. However, pitchers have very little ability to control the timing of when things happen (Consider, they're never trying to give up a hit, a HR, a BB). So yeah, it's possible that 2 + 2 ends up as 3. And it's possible that 2 + 2 ends as up 5. But we can't predict that, because it's essentially "luck", not skill. (if it were a skill, we'd see guys like Greg Maddux and Roy Halladay routinely beat their FIP -- but over time their ERA ends up very close to what their peripherals suggest)

You're missing the point, and it's a tough one to get, so I understand.

Let me try to explain it more simply.

Cueto has changed his approach in the last year. He has worked on getting less strike outs and more weak contact. He has used the same skills he always has had, but just to get different results.

So certain batters that he normally would strike out, he now gets them to ground weakly to short, or pop up to shallow left. So what this means is that his BABIP will be lower than normal, since it is including AB's where he normally would strike the batter out. Those are still outs, but now instead of counting as strike outs, they are included in his BABIP. Normally when a pitcher is striking less batters out, he also is allowing more hits and home runs, but not in this case with Cueto, since he is purposefully avoiding strike outs. His lower strike out total is not because of a lack of skill, but because of a change in approach.

Therefore, there needs to be a new formula for figuring out Cueto's future ERA, as the one used for most pitchers doesn't fit him.

One way to think about it is to take some of his balls put into play that are outs, and count them as strike outs, just for the purpose of figuring out his future ERA.

I hope that makes sense.

Superdude
03-31-2012, 07:56 PM
Normally when a pitcher is striking less batters out, he also is allowing more hits and home runs, but not in this case with Cueto, since he is purposefully avoiding strike outs. His lower strike out total is not because of a lack of skill, but because of a change in approach.

Why does it matter whether his dropping K rate is a change in skill or a change in approach? He is what he is. It's going to take more than one season to convince me that he's an extreme statistical anomaly as much as we'd all like that to be true.

dougdirt
03-31-2012, 07:59 PM
You're missing the point, and it's a tough one to get, so I understand.

Let me try to explain it more simply.

Cueto has changed his approach in the last year. He has worked on getting less strike outs and more weak contact. He has used the same skills he always has had, but just to get different results.

So certain batters that he normally would strike out, he now gets them to ground weakly to short, or pop up to shallow left. So what this means is that his BABIP will be lower than normal, since it is including AB's where he normally would strike the batter out. Those are still outs, but now instead of counting as strike outs, they are included in his BABIP. Normally when a pitcher is striking less batters out, he also is allowing more hits and home runs, but not in this case with Cueto, since he is purposefully avoiding strike outs. His lower strike out total is not because of a lack of skill, but because of a change in approach.

Therefore, there needs to be a new formula for figuring out Cueto's future ERA, as the one used for most pitchers doesn't fit him.

One way to think about it is to take some of his balls put into play that are outs, and count them as strike outs, just for the purpose of figuring out his future ERA.

I hope that makes sense.

It all makes sense, but I don't think you are going to get anyone to actually buy into the theory based off of one years worth of data, because we have seen one year wonders do things just like this before, only to come back to Earth when it didn't happen the next year with that same attempted approach.

757690
03-31-2012, 08:04 PM
It all makes sense, but I don't think you are going to get anyone to actually buy into the theory based off of one years worth of data, because we have seen one year wonders do things just like this before, only to come back to Earth when it didn't happen the next year with that same attempted approach.

Good point. We'll see if his new approach continues to work. I have no idea if it will.

mth123
03-31-2012, 08:16 PM
Good point. We'll see if his new approach continues to work. I have no idea if it will.

Even if it works somewhat, I don't think he'll have a .250 BABIP. He may be able to hold it to .275, but it won't be as good as last year. Throw in a 4.4% HR/FB rate last year and there is little chance that Cueto will see the same results if he pitches the same way. I'm guessing an ERA around 3.80 and that is fine for the strong number 3 that Cueto is. IMO, he has fulfilled his potential and any team would be happy to have him in its rotation. He's a success but he's not an ace and never really was a potential one.

757690
03-31-2012, 08:28 PM
Even if it works somewhat, I don't think he'll have a .250 BABIP. He may be able to hold it to .275, but it won't be as good as last year. Throw in a 4.4% HR/FB rate last year and there is little chance that Cueto will see the same results if he pitches the same way. I'm guessing an ERA around 3.80 and that is fine for the strong number 3 that Cueto is. IMO, he has fulfilled his potential and any team would be happy to have him in its rotation. He's a success but he's not an ace and never really was a potential one.

All excellent points.

As I said earlier, I didn't know if using a different formula for predicting Cueto's future ERA would result in a better or worse ERA, I just thought it was a different way to look at it. Regardless, I don't think anyone would expect Cueto to repeat what he did last season in 2012.

RedsManRick
04-01-2012, 03:08 AM
You're missing the point, and it's a tough one to get, so I understand.

Let me try to explain it more simply.

Cueto has changed his approach in the last year. He has worked on getting less strike outs and more weak contact. He has used the same skills he always has had, but just to get different results.

So certain batters that he normally would strike out, he now gets them to ground weakly to short, or pop up to shallow left. So what this means is that his BABIP will be lower than normal, since it is including AB's where he normally would strike the batter out. Those are still outs, but now instead of counting as strike outs, they are included in his BABIP. Normally when a pitcher is striking less batters out, he also is allowing more hits and home runs, but not in this case with Cueto, since he is purposefully avoiding strike outs. His lower strike out total is not because of a lack of skill, but because of a change in approach.

Therefore, there needs to be a new formula for figuring out Cueto's future ERA, as the one used for most pitchers doesn't fit him.

One way to think about it is to take some of his balls put into play that are outs, and count them as strike outs, just for the purpose of figuring out his future ERA.

I hope that makes sense.

Cueto hasn't invented some new way of pitching. Anything that can possibly happen will show up in those stats I listed. You're saying that he's going to sustain a very low BABIP because he knows how to induce weak contact. I understand what you're suggesting, I do. There are many pitchers who sustain an ERA lower than their FIP because of their ability to induce weak contact -- these are typically guys with extreme GB or FB tendencies.

Cueto has turned himself in to a groundball pitcher in front of an infield defense that is very good. He's going to sustain a lower BABIP that we might normally expect. I just don't see how it's a full run's worth. I suppose we'll see.

AtomicDumpling
04-01-2012, 04:33 AM
First, I think conflate is an excellent word, I use it every chance I get and I hope you don't stop using it. ;)

Second, one thing we have learned is that the number of GB a pitcher gets can result in a lower BABIP, and less runs allowed. Also, It's very preliminary, but research done on the speed of the ball leaving the bat reveals that there some skill on a pitcher's part in terms of inducing weak contact. Basically, we are discovering the there is more to predicting future run prevention than just K/BB and HR/9 rates.

Cueto made a decision to cut down on his strike outs, and get more GB, much like what Brandon McCarthy did. Cueto nearly doubled the number of GB's he gets in 2011. I agree that Cueto's BABIP was absurdly low and not sustainable. However, I think it can be much lower than average if he continues to emphasize weak contact over K's.

Third, we know that Cueto is capable of striking hitters out, he is just choosing to use those same skills to induce weak contact. The reason why we use K rate as a main factor in projections, is because the skill set needed to strike hitters out, is what is needed to be a successful pitcher, not because striking out hitters is better than getting hitters out via contact. It's not the fact that Jeff Francis doesn't strike enough hitters out that leads us to think he will have a high ERA in the future, it's that he doesn't have the skills to do so, and therefore, doesn't have the skills to do the other things necessary to keep his ERA low.

Therefore, it shouldn't matter what type of outs Cueto is getting in terms of projecting his ERA, all that should matter are the skills that he has shown to possess. And he has shown he has the skill to get a certain number of outs, either via K or weak contact, keep the ball in the park at a certain rate, and avoid walks at a certain rate. We should use those attributes in projecting his ERA, not just his K/BB rate and Hr/9 rate.

That said, I don't know what that ERA would be. Maybe it's the same as what you are projecting, but that's what I would like to see in projecting Cueto.

I don't disagree with your main theory, but I would like to point out that increasing your groundball rate is likely to increase, not decrease, your BABIP. Ground balls are more likely than fly balls to result in a base hit, but they are less likely to result in an extra-base hit. Preventing doubles and home runs are why groundballs are desirable, not because groundballs lower the BABIP -- they don't. I guess you could say grounders improve a pitcher's SLGBIP even though they harm his BABIP.

The fact that Cueto's BABIP fell so dramatically despite his increased GB/FB rate is all the more reason to believe that Cueto's 2011 BABIP is unsustainable and will revert from .249 up to his normal range in the .290's. Cueto's HR/FB rate from 2011 is also unsustainable.

Cueto had a good year in 2011 and it was not all luck. His peripherals were slightly better than in prior seasons even after you consider the decline in strikeouts. His drop in K/9 was actually not all that large compared to 2010 so I don't think he intentionally decided to pitch to contact before last season. His K rate has fallen gradually each year from 8.17 per game in 2008 to 6.00 per game in 2011 and that is worrisome. He needs to strike out more batters if he wants to remain a top of rotation starter. The Reds excellent defense should help Cueto continue to outperform his DIP stats, but not to the degree he did in 2011. (DIP of course means Defense Independent Pitching stats like FIP, xFIP and SIERA).

Kc61
04-02-2012, 12:54 PM
Read on Twitter that Chappy will begin in the pen because Bray isn't quite ready to be the late inning lefty reliever.

I'm ok with it, as long as Chappy is in the major leagues.

OnBaseMachine
04-02-2012, 01:17 PM
The Reds have got to be the worst ran organization in baseball. The way they have handled Chapman has been a flat out joke. If it had been up to the Reds, Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson would have been Hall of Fame relievers.

reds44
04-02-2012, 01:25 PM
The Reds have got to be the worst ran organization in baseball. The way they have handled Chapman has been a flat out joke. If it had been up to the Reds, Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson would have been Hall of Fame relievers.

Sweet mother of hyperbolic overreactions, batman.

redsfan30
04-02-2012, 01:33 PM
Sweet mother of hyperbolic overreactions, batman.

This.

Disappointing, sure. But far from the worst run organization in baseball.

OnBaseMachine
04-02-2012, 01:35 PM
Here we have a guy with ACE potential. He's throwing strikes, the Reds have praised his mechanics, and have talked about how he's learning to pitch now instead of just throwing. So what do they do? Stick him back in the bullpen where he can go back to just throwing the ball 105 mph. Genius move. I look forward to the day Dusty Baker is no longer manager of this club.

Crumbley
04-02-2012, 01:36 PM
The Chapman thing is so strange. Here's this guy they've invested so much money and effort into. And his spot on the team is dependent on what Bill Bray is up to? Bray is a nice player to have, but come on. It's a company not promoting someone to President because their janitor quit.