Old Red Guard wrote:
I just don't understand the pessimism Mike and Red Leader have about Graves. Maybe they've been watching a different pitcher than I have, maybe they just don't want to get their hopes too high, but I've said for a couple of years, along with others on here, that Graves is perfectly cast for the starting rotation. Personally I expect a solid season - 14-16 wins for Danny and an era below 3.50.
ORG, I can't speak for Red Leader, but I have heard all these comparisons to Derrick Lowe - reliever turned starter, and frankly, I just don't see it.
Lowe is the exception rather than the rule and I see no basis for thinking that just because Lowe had a career yerar, that Graves will become the Reds' #1 ace for the next five seasons. I agree Graves is not a closer. I never once pretended he was a closer. But the comparisons to Derreck Lowe are rather far-fetched. To me, the comparisons between the two have as much logic as if a fellow RedsZoner won the lottery, then I think that because I'm a RedsZoner, I will win the lottery, too.
As for the 200+ innings ForLoveOfTheGame predicts, that's quite a feat for a guy who HAS NEVER pitched more than 112 innings in a single season. And he has only had ONE season where he broke 99 innings (and only TWO seasons where's he'd broke 92 innings). I know Graves is supposedly "conditioning" himself, but come on, the guy is 29 years old and at most he will be a six inning pitcher, which is all we need - another bullpen dependent starter. The guy made $3.5 million in 2002, and will probably be in the $4.8-$5.2 million range for 2003. Thta's a lot for a #4 or #5 pitcher. I don't know about you all, but when I think of a #1 ace, I think of a guy who will have 200+ K's and pitch 3 CG's. That certainly is not Graves.
And that leads me to my last point on Graves. IMHO, I think he'll be on the DL with arm trouble. If he's making the tranistion to starter as a 22 year old, that's one thing. but at 29-30 years old, that could be a problem. 30 years old isn't necessarily old, but in baseball terms, it sure isn't young. And if he tweaks his arm one time, and even misses one start, it will raise red flags as far as any trade value Graves will have come July.
I realize many on this board are high on Graves a s a starter. I'm just not one of them. But if I'm wrong, and Graves wins the Cy Young Award for 2003, I won't complain about it.