Originally Posted by Danny Serafini
Has he really been beyond expectations? His numbers are pretty much in line with what he did in 2009 and 2010. I was always willing to give him a pass on 2011, because having had mono myself I know just how badly that disease will kick your butt. I was surprised he pitched as well as he did last year. What he's done this year is pretty much who he is, and I'd imagine he'll be able to do it for a couple more years.
That said, it's simply too early to worry about extending him.
I think he's exceeded the expectations of many b/c so many viewed him as "pitcher lucky" due to his lack of strikeouts and lower velocity (ie he didn't control the outcome in a sabermetric way). I think many thought he was nothing more than a 4.5-5.5 era innings eater for the life of the extenstion.
Regarding his "bounce back season" we have to remember that he had Valley fever coming out of ST last season. I've heard Chris Welsh mention it more than once w/ various players playing in Arizona and how it can zap the energy out of a player for several months.
Bronson is a guy who doesn't rely on velocity, seemingly keeps both himself and his arm in great shape, and has avoided any sort of major injury thru his career. I could easily see him pitching into his mid 40s, if he wants as an innings eater starter at the back of a rotation and sounding board for other younger pitchers (perhaps still in HS) in someone's rotation 5+ seasons from now.
As far as the Reds, I'd keep my options open. There is no need to extend him this offseason. Bronson seems like the kind of guy who's a no BS type of guy, I think if Walt was honest with him, Bronson wouldn't take it personally. he has to realize that w/ the extensions of Votto, Phillips, Cueto & Bruce that the Reds are would love to have part of their rotation staffed by guys making the league minimum in Cingrani, Stephenson, Corcino, etc...The Reds should have a better idea what kind of chances Corcino & Cingrani have to make and remain in the rotation in 2014 prior to the end of Bronson's tenure.