Originally Posted by princeton
I'm sure that it was made with '05 and especially '06 in mind, and it wouldn't take a stellar performance for Nelson to beat the other guys that we'll have for those years.
Reitsma would be an even better pitcher to have around for those seasons, so I agree that it could be a lousy idea. But the Reds want to spend Reitsma's '05 and '06 arbitration awards in different areas.
The ability to beat out the Jimmy Hayneses of the world does not a contender make.
It's some fraction of the top percentile of prospect pitchers who are ready to make a difference at the major league level before their 24th birthday. I like Bubba Nelson. I think he's got a legitimate shot to be a good pitcher down the road. Yet he's not in that fraction of that percentile.
Good enough to make the rotation and get his tail kicked by major league hitters isn't a good 2005/6 plan, nor a particularly good development philosophy. I think we'd both agree that Bubba should show some consistent mastery at the AAA level before the Reds call him up the majors.
I'm sure the Reds are thinking along the lines you laid out, doesn't make it a less implausible idea. If the 2005/6 plan hinges on Bubba Nelson having a big season, then that's a bad plan. IMO, it was a good move that should pay off in 2007/8. I'm fine with that, but if the team needs to artificially advance the timetable, it's setting itself up for disappointment. Among other things, it's unfair to Nelson to burden him with unrealistic expectations.