Originally Posted by Chip R
I think the bullpen has a great deal to do with it. Look at the guys you could go to when you take Peavy, Webb or Santana out as opposed to the guys the Reds had to turn to. You can talk all you want about protecting the future of your top guys but a manager is looking to win as many games as he can to keep his job.
Take a real good look at the 2005 Arizona Diamondbacks under Bob Melvin ...
Arizona Bullpen ERA: 5.50
Arizona Bullpen OPSA: .823
NL Bullpen ERA: 4.23
NL Bullpen OPSA: .745
The Diamondbacks had an awful bullpen in 2005, much like the Reds bullpens in recent seasons. Arizona finished 77-85 that season, which is also a won/loss record similar to the Reds in recent seasons.
The Diamondbacks also had a 26-year-old up-and-coming staff ace in Brandon Webb in their rotation yet he ranked only 40th in Pitcher Abuse Points for the season. Webb pitched 229.0 innings for the Diamondbacks that season, a number Harang and Arroyo have topped only once each in their careers.
Here's Webb's top 10 individual pitch count games for 2005: 118, 116, 115, 114, 114, 113, 113, 111, 111, 111, 110
The Diamondbacks as a team stunk. Their bullpen stunk. They also had a new manager in his first season. Yet that new manager took care of their prize pitcher that very same season and did not abuse him anywhere near the level that the Reds have abused Harang and Arroyo. If Bob Melvin could handle Brandon Webb with care in 2005 while also having a lousy bullpen, then why can't the Reds hire a manager who can do the same?
With regards to protecting pitchers, the Reds need to go out and find their own version of Bob Melvin.