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Thread: Five Most Frustrating Players on the Team

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    Five Most Frustrating Players on the Team

    Todd Frazier, Chris Heisey, Homer Bailey, Jay Bruce and Mike Leake
    written by Robb Hoff

    COMMENTARY | Overall, the Cincinnati Reds' 2013 season was one marked with frustration.

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    The expectations were set for the 2013 team to improve upon 2012 results, which included an NL Central title and the second-best regular-season record in baseball. Instead, the Reds finished third in their division and were bounced from the postseason with a lopsided wild-card loss.

    The Reds' offseason has also proven to be frustrating for Reds Country with the loss of Shin-Soo Choo and Reds' fixtures in Bronson Arroyo and Ryan Hanigan. Furthermore, trade rumors surrounding Brandon Phillips and the inevitable free agency of Homer Bailey have soured an offseason that otherwise featured the hardly inspirational signings of Skip Schumaker and Bryan Pena.

    Here are the five Reds who are the most frustrating:

    Todd Frazier

    As one of the most likable Reds to ever grace the uniform, Todd Frazier is a fan-favorite and impossible to dislike. But Frazier tested the patience of Reds Country on the whole with his inability to hit in 2013. The frustration was made even more pronounced as the season progressed because Frazier had started the season with solid power production -- 6 homers and 19 RBIs in the first month of the season.

    But over the course of the next four months and a total of 93 games started, Frazier hit .225 with just seven more homers and 41 RBIs.

    Frazier did have a decent final month -- 6 HRs and a .261 average -- but his season at the plate was on the whole considerably less than the expectation Frazier had set with a promising rookie year in 2012, in which he proved his worth filling in for inured stars Joey Votto and Scott Rolen.

    Frazier finished 2013 with the same HR output (19) as he did in 2012, but it required 135 more plate appearances to reach that total in 2013. Likewise, his RBI total only increased by six from 67 to 73. His strikeout total jumped to 125 in 2013 and his batting average dropped almost 40 points from .273 to 234.

    The one silver lining in the 2013 for Frazier was his defensive play over the course of the whole season. Frazier committed just 10 errors in 147 games at third base in 2013 after playing third just 79 games in 2012.

    Chris Heisey

    When the Reds lost left fielder Ryan Ludwick for most of the 2013 season to a shoulder injury on opening day, Chris Heisey got the chance once again to prove he could be the Reds' everyday left fielder.
    Heisey had been passed by twice for the opportunity, first in favor of Jonny Gomes in 2010 and 2011 until Gomes was traded, and then in 2012 when the Reds decided to sign Ludwick instead of turning the position over to Heisey.

    Heisey started slow in 2013 as Ludwick's replacement, hitting just .173 in 23 games before a hamstring sidelined him from April 27 to June 27. He was the primary starter in left field for over a month before Ludwick returned and did manage to hit .281 with a .344 on-base percentage, but the Reds decided to plant Ludwick back in left field -- all of which made Heisey's inability to claim the left-field job for the Reds even more frustrating after Ludwick flopped the last two months of the season.

    Overall, Heisey hit just .237 in 2013 but floundered against right-handed pitchers as a starter, hitting just .202. Heisey may not be a five-tool outfielder, but he does possess outfield versatility (including center) and the ability to hit for power and average.

    Homer Bailey

    Homer Bailey has pitched two no-hitters and a masterful playoff game in 2012, but that same Homer Bailey has also taken a long time to develop to the point where he is a reliable, if not always dominant starter. Bailey has given the Reds back-to-back years of 200-plus innings with ERAs of 3.68 and 3.49, which was a long time coming for Reds Country, which has endured the substantial growing pains of Bailey -- ERAs of 4.53, 4.46 and 4.43 from 2009 through 2011.

    The most frustrating part about Bailey now is that 2014 will almost certainly be his final one for the small-market Reds. Just when Bailey is reaching his full potential as a frequently dominant pitcher, it's going to be time for the Reds to wave goodbye instead of perhaps forking over more than $80 million for Bailey's services past 2014.

    Jay Bruce

    When will Reds right fielder Jay Bruce put it all together at the plate? Perhaps no other question in Reds Country is more asked or answered with more frustration. It's not that Bruce doesn't produce at the plate. Each year since he arrived to take over right field for the Reds, he's had more RBIs each year culminating with a career-best of 109 in 2013 and had successively more home runs each year until last year when he still hit 30.

    But it is true that Bruce just can't quite get over the hump to the stardom that seems like is well within his grasp. Bruce hit for his highest average (.262) since 2010, but he also whiffed a career-high 185 times, often looking as over-matched at the plate in his sixth season as he did earlier in his career.

    Until Bruce puts up monster numbers, the frustration will remain.

    Mike Leake

    Throughout his four years as a starter in the Reds' rotation, there have been games where Mike Leake just didn't look like he belonged in big league rotation, yet he managed to survive. Sporting ERAs of 4.23, 3.86 and 4.58 in his first three years, Leake surprised every one in 2013. His 14-7 record and 3.37 doesn't tell the story of just how surprisingly effective Leake was because his ERA was a sparkling 2.59 after his final start of July, which marked his 21st of the season.

    That's when the hopes that the Reds had found their new-and-improved version of Bronson Arroyo for the future crashed and the frustration set in. In August, Leake was bombed in five of his next six starts, giving up 26 earned runs in 26.2 innings. Leake's final start of the season seemed to make the point that the frustration may be returning for 2014 after he gave up eight hits and four runs in less than two innings.

    These five Reds -- and the rest of the returning team -- will have yet another chance to turn frustration into celebration.
    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/cincinn...0938--mlb.html

    Do you agree?

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  3. #2
    It's showtime! RedEye's Avatar
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    Re: Five Most Frustrating Players on the Team

    I am a bit frustrated with Frazier and Heisey. Not with Bruce, Leake and Bailey though.
    "Iíll kind of have a foot on the back of my own butt. Thatís just how I do things.Ē -- Bryan Price, 10/22/2013

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    Moderator RedlegJake's Avatar
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    Re: Five Most Frustrating Players on the Team

    Mostly frustrated by losing Bailey just at his peak, but no frustration with Bruce, and Leake outperformed expectations. Frazier? YES. Mesoraco? YES. And people giving Votto a bad time - YES X 10....
    No - I am not from State Farm!

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    A Dude in the Bushes RedTeamGo!'s Avatar
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    Re: Five Most Frustrating Players on the Team

    How is anyone frustrated with Leake? I expected him to be mediocre at best.

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Five Most Frustrating Players on the Team

    I would actually put Votto on the list despite being one of his most ardent supporters. At the end of the day, frustration is a function of performance relative to expectation.

    I think baseball is at it's most enjoyable aesthetically when it's dominated by batted balls and athleticism on the bases and in the field. Votto is undoubtedly the most productive Red, essentially beyond reason for complaint. But he's not the most fun to watch; that would Phillips & Chapman. And I find that juxtaposition extremely frustrating.

    Ultimately, I think that's the underlying frustration most fans have -- even if it gets expressed in terms of RBI and strikeouts. It's the same reason people hated on Dunn. Fair or not (hint: not), his talent and performance created an expectation of something exciting happening. And too often, the outcome was boring. A walk is a great outcome for the purpose of scoring runs, but even an infield pop is more fun to watch. Hence, frustration.

    (Yes, some PA that end in a walk are fun. Everybody loves a 10 pitch PA with balls being fouled off repeatedly. But it's the contact associated with the fouls and the ongoing tension of the PA that creates the excitement. And many walks to Votto, as they were with Dunn, are the result of a pitcher giving him nothing worth swinging at.)

    Otherwise, yeah, that's a pretty good list. Some other things that frustrate me:

    - Brandon Phillips chasing sliders that we all know are coming
    - Aroldis Chapman constantly missing the target high because he's trying to hit 105 again
    - Devin Mesoraco smashing another liner directly at a fielder
    - Mat Latos losing his cool when being squeezed and giving up a few runs because of it
    - Jay Bruce flailing at a low breaking pitch multiple times in the same PA
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: Five Most Frustrating Players on the Team

    Weird article to say the least.

    Most people on the board wanted to bump Leake out of the rotation for Chapman when 2013 began. He was clearly labeled the #5 guy and exceeded expectations. How can that be frustrating?

    LF was a source of frustration due to Ludwick's injury, but how can anyone really take it out on Heisey? The guy is a backup OF trying to fill in. Now I remember a few articles prior to 2013 suggesting Heisey was better than Ludwick. I guess if you were the few that believed that, you'd be frustrated, but I think most people expected what we got out of Heisey.

    Not really frustrated at Frazier and Bruce. Sure, it would be nice to get a higher batting average (and thus OBP) from them. But frustrated?

    I think I have to agree with RedsManRick, I was slightly frustrated with Votto.
    I was slightly frustrated with Cueto's multiple attempts to come back before he was fully healthy (although I appreciate the desire). I love Phillips, but after his hand injury, he was a bit frustrating (Although I understand there were no alternatives). It was frustrating seeing Ludwick hurt on opening day (although again, no really mad at him)
    Thank you Walt and Bob for going for it in 2010-2014!

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    For a Level Playing Field RedFanAlways1966's Avatar
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    Re: Five Most Frustrating Players on the Team

    Quote Originally Posted by REDREAD View Post
    Weird article to say the least.
    Indeed. I feel there are 40-50 people on this board that could have written a better article than the one Robb Hff gave us.
    Small market fan... always hoping, but never expecting.

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    Re: Five Most Frustrating Players on the Team

    Until Bruce puts up monster numbers, the frustration will remain.
    I like how Baseball American decided everything Jay Bruce will ever do needs to be perceived as a relative failure. Poor guy could've saved himself a lot of grief by sandbagging a bit.

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    Re: Five Most Frustrating Players on the Team

    Mike Leake

    Throughout his four years as a starter in the Reds' rotation, there have been games where Mike Leake just didn't look like he belonged in big league rotation, yet he managed to survive. Sporting ERAs of 4.23, 3.86 and 4.58 in his first three years, Leake surprised every one in 2013. His 14-7 record and 3.37 doesn't tell the story of just how surprisingly effective Leake was because his ERA was a sparkling 2.59 after his final start of July, which marked his 21st of the season.
    Someone got paid in American dollars for this. Talk about frustrating.

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    Re: Five Most Frustrating Players on the Team

    Quote Originally Posted by REDREAD View Post
    Weird article to say the least.

    Most people on the board wanted to bump Leake out of the rotation for Chapman when 2013 began. He was clearly labeled the #5 guy and exceeded expectations. How can that be frustrating?

    LF was a source of frustration due to Ludwick's injury, but how can anyone really take it out on Heisey? The guy is a backup OF trying to fill in. Now I remember a few articles prior to 2013 suggesting Heisey was better than Ludwick. I guess if you were the few that believed that, you'd be frustrated, but I think most people expected what we got out of Heisey.

    Not really frustrated at Frazier and Bruce. Sure, it would be nice to get a higher batting average (and thus OBP) from them. But frustrated?

    I think I have to agree with RedsManRick, I was slightly frustrated with Votto.
    I was slightly frustrated with Cueto's multiple attempts to come back before he was fully healthy (although I appreciate the desire). I love Phillips, but after his hand injury, he was a bit frustrating (Although I understand there were no alternatives). It was frustrating seeing Ludwick hurt on opening day (although again, no really mad at him)
    He didn't exceed my expectations in any way. He doesn't K a lot of guys, puts a lot of runners on and was fortunate to have excellent defense behind him.

    In 2014 I expect 30 starts a 1.25ish WHIP and something like 5.75 K/9. I won't predict his ERA because frankly, I don't think you really can with him. 2011 was a better season for him by every measurement except ERA. It's flukish.

    Frazier was a little frustrating, but a sophomore slump isn't uncommon, and power wise he finished strong. He finished 3rd in the NL for HR's at 3B. I think he's poised for a big season. I'm thinking 25+ HR's this year.

    Bruce doesn't really frustrate me. I'll take his average slashline, .257 .330 .482 .812 and perennial 30 HR's a year.

    Bailey, again, no frustration, more like sadness that his development was so screwed up. But he improves every single year. I expect he'll post huge numbers this year, improving once again. 200+ IP 200+ K's 1.10 WHIP. He'll get a mention or two for Cy Young.

    Heisey. Why on earth would anyone be frustrated with a fourth OF? He is what he is.
    Suck it up cupcake.

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    Re: Five Most Frustrating Players on the Team

    Top of my list would be Cozart. In the minors he hit .310 one year, he OBP'ed .360 another (100 points higher than his BA), another year swiped 30 bags in 34 attempts.

    He never did it all in the same year, so it was tough to get a read on him. But it's disappointing that neither the BA or the walks or the speed has materialized in the Bigs.
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    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Five Most Frustrating Players on the Team

    Bruce frustrates me the most out of any Red. It isn't that he is a bad player, its just you get those flashes of greatness and then all of a sudden he can't hit a curve ball to save his life.

    Bailey frustrates me in that there is good Homer and gad Homer. When he is on there isn't a better pitcher in baseball. When he is off your looking at a 5 IP 6ER type of game. If he would limit those bad starts to 4ER then all of a sudden you have an ACE.

    Last season there were times when I was waiting for Joey Votto to step up, do something special, and lift this team to the NL Central title. But it never happened. It wasn't that Votto wasn't a good player, it was that he didn't do anything "special" last season. Towards the end, he pressed and was making routine mistakes in the field.

    Phillips going to one knee to hit a pitch is never fun to watch.

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    Re: Five Most Frustrating Players on the Team

    Quote Originally Posted by Superdude View Post
    I like how Baseball American decided everything Jay Bruce will ever do needs to be perceived as a relative failure. Poor guy could've saved himself a lot of grief by sandbagging a bit.
    It is because all he does as a hitter is hit for power.
    He doesn't hit for average and isn't good at getting on base.

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    Re: Five Most Frustrating Players on the Team

    Quote Originally Posted by Rojo View Post
    Top of my list would be Cozart. In the minors he hit .310 one year, he OBP'ed .360 another (100 points higher than his BA), another year swiped 30 bags in 34 attempts.

    He never did it all in the same year, so it was tough to get a read on him. But it's disappointing that neither the BA or the walks or the speed has materialized in the Bigs.
    I think Price said something about identifying Cozart as one guy that had the ability to reach a new level and make a difference next year. Seems like in the minors he was always hinting at a variety of offensive skills, and the question was whether or not he could bring them all together at once. Now it's as if he can't get anything going except the bit of power he showed in 2012. Maybe that's just his major league ceiling, but I'm holding out a bit of hope for 2014.

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    A Dude in the Bushes RedTeamGo!'s Avatar
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    Re: Five Most Frustrating Players on the Team

    Quote Originally Posted by junkhead View Post
    It is because all he does as a hitter is hit for power better than the vast majority of MLB players.
    He doesn't hit for average and isn't good at getting on base.
    fixed that for ya


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