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Thread: Germano in line for job (2/23)

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    "Let's Roll" TeamBoone's Avatar
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    Germano in line for job (2/23)

    2/23/06
    Germano in line for job
    Reds' rotation has openings
    By Marc Lancaster / Post staff reporter

    SARASOTA, Fla. - Some look at the Reds' track record of developing starting pitchers, or the homer-friendly confines of Great American Ball Park, and wonder why anyone would want to pitch for Cincinnati.

    To the unproven commodities in the Reds' spring training clubhouse, the response to that line of thinking is simple and straightforward. All the Reds' mound meltdowns in recent years represent to them is an opportunity, one they're all too pleased to take.

    Witness Justin Germano. A native Southern Californian, he was thrilled to be drafted by the San Diego Padres and made his major league debut a few months before his 22nd birthday. It was a chance not many people in his position get; if only he'd been able to do some more with it.

    Germano made seven appearances for the Padres, five of them starts, during the 2004 season. He posted an 8.86 ERA, and the precision control that had marked his ascent through the minors deserted him as he walked 14 and struck out 16 in 21 1/3 innings.

    He's still waiting to make it back to the big leagues.

    The Padres weren't giving up on Germano when they traded him and Travis Chick to the Reds for Joe Randa last July. It was more a case of supply and demand. The Padres had pitching prospects to trade, and they did exactly that to get a veteran bat they needed for the playoff run.

    So far, the deal appears to have worked for both teams. San Diego won its division and the Reds have themselves a legitimate candidate to crack the starting rotation in 2006. If Germano was still in San Diego, there's no way he'd be in that position this spring, and he knows it.

    "San Diego had a logjam of pitching and top prospects, so it was tough just to get up there and stay," Germano said Wednesday. "I definitely see some opportunity here."

    His track record makes it easy to see why the Reds think so highly of him after only a month or so worth of work in their organization. It isn't so much the 3-2 record and 4.01 ERA Germano compiled in eight starts for Louisville last summer that impressed the front office; it's the way Germano goes about his work.

    "Just watching him out there throwing, it looks like he has a real good idea," said manager Jerry Narron. "It looks like he's going to be a guy that can throw strikes."

    Germano agrees that detail work in the strike zone is his trademark, and his statistics back it up. In 871 1/3 minor league innings, Germano has walked only 167 batters while striking out 711.

    Of course, unless you're Greg Maddux, when you're around the strike zone that much, you're going to get hit. Germano has given up 904 of them in his minor league career, and said continuing to refine his command is a high priority.

    "Sometimes, it actually does hurt me, sometimes I throw a little bit too good a strike and get hit around a little bit," he said. "I think the biggest thing is just working on my fastball location, keeping the ball down."

    If he can show some progress on that front in camp, he'll have a chance to make the Reds' rotation right out of the gate. With Paul Wilson's health up in the air and the Reds preparing Matt Belisle to return to the long relief role he held last year, Germano enters spring training as one of the top contenders to fill out the starting staff.

    Narron said the 23-year-old will get a chance to prove himself once Grapefruit League play begins.

    "It's going to be interesting," Narron said. "The way our roster is right now, he's going to have a chance to pitch this spring."

    In joining such a pitching-poor organization, Germano immediately became a valuable commodity for the Reds. Because he has options remaining, Germano will be back in Louisville and starting every fifth day if he doesn't break camp with the Reds.

    Whatever happens over the next month, Germano is well positioned to get at least a shot in the majors this year. It's all but impossible to navigate a 162-game season with a five-man rotation intact, and barring a complete collapse, Germano will get a hard look for any opening that might occur.

    "Whether I make it out of spring or make it during the season, I just want to get there," he said, acknowledging that a chance to start in the majors is a considerable incentive not only for spring training but the minor league season, if it comes to that.

    "It definitely is," he said. "Any chance I can to get up there, it just makes me work that much harder."

    http://news.cincypost.com/apps/pbcs....602230325/1027
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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Germano in line for job (2/23)

    Germano's numbers and repitoire scream Brad Radke to me, except with a curve instead of a slider. If he can get his fastball in to the 88-90 range, I think that would make a ton of difference, just like it did for Radke and Maddux. Of course, he's also likely to be fairly defense dependent. Hopefully that doesn't kill him in Cincy. Does anybody have a thorough qualitative scouting report?

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    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: Germano in line for job (2/23)

    Quote Originally Posted by TeamBoone
    With Paul Wilson's health up in the air and the Reds preparing Matt Belisle to return to the long relief role he held last year, Germano enters spring training as one of the top contenders to fill out the starting staff.
    Two points:

    1. How little faith does the organization have in Matt Belisle when, despite screaming need for better starting pitching, they toss him into the long-relief refuse heap?

    2. Paul Wilson should be given his paycheck, a hearty handshake, and told politely that the team really has no use for a guy comnig off rehab whose stuff wasn't all that good to begin with. Seriously, is there anyone with an IQ over 10 that expects him to be anything other than hide-your-eyes awful when he does start pitching again?
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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Germano in line for job (2/23)

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor
    Two points:

    1. How little faith does the organization have in Matt Belisle when, despite screaming need for better starting pitching, they toss him into the long-relief refuse heap?
    It used to be common for organizations to work their potential starters in long relief before they put them in the rotation. Hopefully that is the case for Belisle although the history of this organization for the last 25 years shows they usually make the guys with the best arms relievers.
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    Re: Germano in line for job (2/23)

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor
    Two points:

    1. How little faith does the organization have in Matt Belisle when, despite screaming need for better starting pitching, they toss him into the long-relief refuse heap?

    2. Paul Wilson should be given his paycheck, a hearty handshake, and told politely that the team really has no use for a guy comnig off rehab whose stuff wasn't all that good to begin with. Seriously, is there anyone with an IQ over 10 that expects him to be anything other than hide-your-eyes awful when he does start pitching again?
    Wilson is going to be paid by the Reds regardless. I'd rather see if he can rebound and be a decent pitcher again. If he simply can't do it, then they can release him. But the guy could conceivably -- without too much imagination involved -- be the second best starter on the staff.

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Germano in line for job (2/23)

    Any argument which revolves around the idea of a good potential starter not getting a chance, while frustrating on the face of it, does say something about the fact that we have more starters with a reasonable claim to a rotation spot. That is a good thing.

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    You know his story Redsland's Avatar
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    Re: Germano in line for job (2/23)

    At this point, I have more faith in Wilson than I do in Milton.

    Hopefully one will get kicked out of the rotation the same time the other becomes "healthy."
    Makes all the routine posts.

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    Re: Germano in line for job (2/23)

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor
    1. How little faith does the organization have in Matt Belisle when, despite screaming need for better starting pitching, they toss him into the long-relief refuse heap?
    I'd rather see Belisle than Milton, but I'm not completely sold on the guy. Belisle has better stuff, but Germano's minor league numbers are comparable. Germano's k/9, k:bb, and whip look better than Belisle through the minors. Neither one looks all that special, but I'd take one or the other over a Pedro Astacio or some other "never was" veteran.
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    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    Re: Germano in line for job (2/23)

    Wilson won't be better than Harang. He won't be better than Claussen. He might not be better than Dave Williams. Milton... ah who knows.

    And he might not pitch until May or June even.

    Matt Belisle can hit 96 on the gun. I've seen it in three different parks scoreboards. 96. He should absolutely been in the SP mix. IMO he's got tremendous upside similar to Harang, but he throws harder.

    I like Germano. He's a clone of the Lizard, so I am ok with either guy making it on merit.

    Ideally given the personnel in house, my 5 man rotation would be:
    Harang
    Claussen
    Belisle
    Germano/Lizard
    Williams

    I'd prefer a four-man with Williams as swingman
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    On the brink wolfboy's Avatar
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    Re: Germano in line for job (2/23)

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF
    Wilson won't be better than Harang. He won't be better than Claussen. He might not be better than Dave Williams. Milton... ah who knows.

    And he might not pitch until May or June even.

    Matt Belisle can hit 96 on the gun. I've seen it in three different parks scoreboards. 96. He should absolutely been in the SP mix. IMO he's got tremendous upside similar to Harang, but he throws harder.

    I like Germano. He's a clone of the Lizard, so I am ok with either guy making it on merit.

    Ideally given the personnel in house, my 5 man rotation would be:
    Harang
    Claussen
    Belisle
    Germano/Lizard
    Williams

    I'd prefer a four-man with Williams as swingman

    I could live with that rotation. Unfortunately, Milton isn't going away, and Wilson is all too eager to come back.
    How do we know he's not Mel Torme?

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    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Germano in line for job (2/23)

    My rotation would be:

    Harang
    Claussen
    Williams
    Belisle
    whoever angers me least at the moment

    RMR, Germano works in 86-88 range, has a spotty change and tries to get by on his curve. He ran into longball issues, which is rather predictable because everyone who tries to live off a curve runs into longball issues (even guy who have a good heater to go with the bender). Anyway, as a pitcher I'd say he's no Rod Nichols, or Ed Wojna, take your pick.
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    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    Re: Germano in line for job (2/23)

    I'd put Belisle over Williams for two reasons.

    1. slpits up a couple of lefties
    2. Williams doesn't throw as hard as Belisle

    92-96 from the right side followed the next day by 88-92 from the left. Gives the opposing offense a completely different look in a series. And while I said I think Claussen will be the Red to make the biggest step up this season, the only reason I picked him is more opportunity to do so than Belisle.
    Suck it up cupcake.

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    Basement-Dwelling Blogger JinAZ's Avatar
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    Re: Germano in line for job (2/23)

    I don't really understand why Belisle isn't in the mix either. He was reasonably effective as a starter last year, so he should at least be considered as the #5. But I'm pleased to see Germano getting consideration at this point. I was thrilled that we got both he and Chick for Randa last year. Probably the best trade of DanO's stint (though there weren't many).

    But I'm going to part slightly with folks and say that I think Wilson still has a chance to be an important cog this year. I don't expect to see him until May or June, but by then we're almost certainly going to have a hole to fill due to injury or ineptitude. And if he can have a season like he had in '03 or '04, he could go a long way in helping us to stabilize the rotation. He's no ace, and really shouldn't be considered anything more than a #4 starter, but #4's can be helpful and are a hell of a lot better than what we had last year outside of Harang and Claussen (and man, I sure hope those two don't regress....).
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    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    Re: Germano in line for job (2/23)

    but #4's can be helpful and are a hell of a lot better than what we had last year outside of Harang and Claussen
    Now, this i disagree with. I don't want a number 4 starter. But I'd take a boatload of number 2's. I think Harang can emerge as a bonafide Ace this year. All his peripherals and progress point to the possibility that he gets his ERA in the low threes with another 200+ ip season. Claussen knocked two full runs off his ERA from '04 to '05. I'd like another run shaved off and his IP up to 200. That would make him a #2 or better.

    Now that's a start. Belisle IMO has the talent and the heat to follow Claussen as #3 in the rotation. Does he have the stamina?
    Suck it up cupcake.

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    Re: Germano in line for job (2/23)

    Let me 42nd the calls for starting Belisle and/or Germano (more Belisle than Germano). This upcoming season is the type of season where you want your young pitchers to get his feet wet, get pounded a bit and learn what he can and cannot do at the major league level. It also gives management an opportunity to make better evaluations of who they can go with in the future.
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