Turn Off Ads?
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: City Beat's Peterson on Reds Bullpen

  1. #1
    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Winton Place
    Posts
    11,291

    City Beat's Peterson on Reds Bullpen

    This week's City Beat has a good column (as usual) by Bill Peterson about the Reds chances this year with an excellent analysis of the team last year and his view of the current bullpen.

    http://citybeat.com/2007-02-21/sports.shtml

    Open Bullpen Might Ruin it for the Reds

    By Bill Peterson

    As always, the coming of spring awakens hope in a young man's heart, although, after enough springs, a young man becomes an old man and the questions weigh more than the hopes.
    Who's going to emerge from the Reds bullpen to finish off victories in the eighth and ninth innings? What can we expect from Junior Griffey? When's Homer Bailey coming? Can Ryan Freel hold up as an everyday player? Is Edwin Encarnacion going to explode?

    The Reds barely missed snapping their five-year streak of losing seasons last year and we can't be sure they'll break their six-year streak this year. But they seem to be going in the right direction.

    Now that Wayne Krivsky has finished off a full year as general manager, turning over his roster during the season and turning over his front office during the offseason, the Reds are a very different organization. The extent to which Krivsky changed the Reds last year is shown, to some degree, in the league rankings.

    From the batter's box, the Reds declined relative to the National League, falling from seventh with a 2005 club batting average of .261 to 15th in 2006 at .257. While most of the league improved offensively, the Reds just changed a bit, striking out about 100 times less without increasing their walks and hitting for less extra-base power while running a lot more. The Reds diversified offensively, dropping 23 more sacrifice bunts, trying 62 more stolen bases and succeeding 52 more times. When it all shook out, the Reds scored substantially fewer runs, falling from 820 in 2005 to 749 in 2006.

    But the Reds improved substantially in the big picture because pitching improved substantially. The Reds rose from 14th in the league with a 2005 E.R.A. of 5.15 to seventh in 2006 at 4.51. They struck out about 100 more hitters, gave up about 80 fewer hits, walked about 30 fewer and allowed a six fewer home runs. They increased complete games from two to nine and shutouts from one to 10. Opponents scored 801 runs in 2006, down from 889 in 2005.

    Between Aaron Harang's improvement and Bronson Arroyo's arrival, the Reds made big strides in their starting rotation, which jumped from the National League's very worst in 2005 to the top half of the league in 2006. Their starter E.R.A. fell to 4.58 from 5.38.

    The Reds also improved slightly in their bullpen, though we all know that's also where they lost a lot of games. In 2006, the Reds turned games over to the bullpen with 60 save opportunities, up from 47 a year earlier. But they only turned those 13 extra chances into five more saves.

    The Reds have struggled in the bullpen ever since they decided in 2003 to make Danny Graves a starter because they gave him a big contract. Until last year, it didn't make a lot of difference, for the Reds were so bad and so out of so many games that relievers couldn't save them, anyway. Last year, though, the lack of a reliable bullpen cost the Reds five or six games, the difference between nursing a streak of six losing seasons or winning the National League Central and maybe becoming the St. Louis Cardinals in the postseason. Unfortunately, the Reds have not seriously addressed their relief situation since the last pitch of 2006.

    So, that's where we are this spring, looking at a different ball club, though with the same weakness at the ends of games. Unquestionably, this spring's games will turn a little more dramatic with each appearance by the likes of David Weathers, Mike Stanton, Todd Coffey, Bill Bray, Gary Majewski, Eddie Guardado and Rheal Cormier, all of them securely in the bullpen and none of whom is right now a lockdown closer.

    Guardado is the best candidate after hitting on eight of 10 save opportunities when the Reds picked him up midseason last year. But his left arm soon blew up and now he's coming back from ligament replacement surgery. The acquisition of Guardado was just one of Krivsky's desperate efforts to solidify his bullpen on the fly, the more controversial attempt coming near the trade deadline with the banishment of Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez to Washington for a package including Majewski and Bray.

    The trade flopped in the media and failed on the field because Majewski showed up injured, unbeknownst to Krivsky when he made his trade with Washington's general manager, Jim Bowden. The Reds thought Majewski's sore right shoulder was solved during the winter, but the problem returned and they didn't allow him to throw off the mound when pitchers and catchers took their first turns Feb. 18.

    The bullpen issues are at the core of this club's destiny. If the Reds produce just as last year in every respect, excepting a better bullpen, they become a player in the NL Central.

    The Cardinals' pitching staff is unsettled and, even under the best circumstances, their starting rotation will hurt. The Astros might be a little better, or not, depending on whether they show enough through May to bring back Roger Clemens. The Cubs threw a big pile of money at players, but part of the deal is that Alfonso Soriano has to try center field. The Milwaukee Brewers are better and might even surprise. In addition to sporting the division's worst batting order and worst pitching staff, the Pirates will be the division's worst dressed club when they put on the new red jerseys.

    As the clubs stand now, the Cardinals and Astros are less loaded than when they ended last season, the Reds are about the same (perhaps a little worse with the free agency loss of Rich Aurilia), and the Cubs and Brewers are better. It adds up to a wide-open season.

    But a wide-open bullpen could ruin it for the Reds. Spring always brings hope, but it's not likely to make bullpen questions go away.

  2. Turn Off Ads?
  3. #2
    Let's ride BRM's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Colorado's eastern plains
    Posts
    11,232

    Re: City Beat's Peterson on Reds Bullpen

    But a wide-open bullpen could ruin it for the Reds. Spring always brings hope, but it's not likely to make bullpen questions go away.
    I agree the bullpen is a huge question mark but I'm not overly confident in the offense either. The Reds really need a rebound from Dunn and a big step forward by EE to have an average to good offense. That said, I think they will score enough runs to compete as long as the pitching holds up. Interesting that this article didn't address defense at all, particularly the Junior situation. That's a big key this season as well.

  4. #3
    Haunted by walks
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Syracuse
    Posts
    6,732

    Re: City Beat's Peterson on Reds Bullpen

    From the batter's box, the Reds declined relative to the National League, falling from seventh with a 2005 club batting average of .261 to 15th in 2006 at .257. While most of the league improved offensively, the Reds just changed a bit, striking out about 100 times less without increasing their walks and hitting for less extra-base power while running a lot more. The Reds diversified offensively, dropping 23 more sacrifice bunts, trying 62 more stolen bases and succeeding 52 more times. When it all shook out, the Reds scored substantially fewer runs, falling from 820 in 2005 to 749 in 2006.
    This seems like a very important point in the debate over striking out too much. The Reds struck out less in 2006, but it seems to have translated into other outs: Not more walks, hits or runs.

  5. #4
    Let's ride BRM's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Colorado's eastern plains
    Posts
    11,232

    Re: City Beat's Peterson on Reds Bullpen

    Quote Originally Posted by BCubb2003 View Post
    This seems like a very important point in the debate over striking out too much. The Reds struck out less in 2006, but it seems to have translated into other outs: Not more walks, hits or runs.
    It translated into less power as well.

  6. #5
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    35,944

    Re: City Beat's Peterson on Reds Bullpen

    Quote Originally Posted by BRM View Post
    It translated into less power as well.
    Thats what happens when you replace Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez with Royce Clayton and Deno/Freel. Your power drops significantly.

  7. #6
    Let's ride BRM's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Colorado's eastern plains
    Posts
    11,232

    Re: City Beat's Peterson on Reds Bullpen

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Thats what happens when you replace Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez with Royce Clayton and Deno/Freel. Your power drops significantly.
    No doubt. You strike out less though.

  8. #7
    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Winton Place
    Posts
    11,291

    Re: City Beat's Peterson on Reds Bullpen

    I'm surprised there hasn't been more discussion of this article. I found it intriguing the number of different ways Peterson looked at various stats for last season versus the previous years and how that played out last year.

  9. #8
    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Posts
    7,441

    Re: City Beat's Peterson on Reds Bullpen

    As the clubs stand now, the Cardinals and Astros are less loaded than when they ended last season, the Reds are about the same (perhaps a little worse with the free agency loss of Rich Aurilia), and the Cubs and Brewers are better. It adds up to a wide-open season.

    But a wide-open bullpen could ruin it for the Reds. Spring always brings hope, but it's not likely to make bullpen questions go away.
    Thanks for posting this article Redsmetz.

    I'm torn about the bullpen. With all the tinkering Wayne did you'd think it be top notch by now. Then again, starting with the likes of Mike Burns and Rick White it's a big mountain to climb. I wasn't thrilled by the return of Weathers and bringing in Stanton, but the reality is lots of clubs have to stock their bullpen with simply average guys. That doesn't make it right or "ideal" but it is reality. As some are fond of saving, just being average has some value.

    If we could go from horrific blood bath in 2006 to mearly average in 2007 I'd be estatic.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

  10. #9
    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Winton Place
    Posts
    11,291

    Re: City Beat's Peterson on Reds Bullpen

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltlabner View Post
    Thanks for posting this article Redsmetz.

    I'm torn about the bullpen. With all the tinkering Wayne did you'd think it be top notch by now. Then again, starting with the likes of Mike Burns and Rick White it's a big mountain to climb. I wasn't thrilled by the return of Weathers and bringing in Stanton, but the reality is lots of clubs have to stock their bullpen with simply average guys. That doesn't make it right or "ideal" but it is reality. As some are fond of saving, just being average has some value.

    If we could go from horrific blood bath in 2006 to mearly average in 2007 I'd be estatic.
    Well last year I made a statement early that if the club could drop their ERA a point, we'd be in contention. We dropped it about 2/3 of a point and we came pretty close, shabby division or not. I think you're right if this bullpen can be average, that's a step up.

  11. #10
    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    16,314

    Re: City Beat's Peterson on Reds Bullpen

    I think a bullpen is only worth as much as the rest of your team. No point in having a group of players designated to hold leads when:

    a) Your lineup will have a somewhat tough time getting a lead; and
    b) Your rotation will have a somewhat tough time stopping the other team from scoring.

    To me, you should be more worried about your BP when the rest of your team is set. I think WK put together a nice BP (add a closer and it would be very strong) but it was, IMO, wasted time and money.


Turn Off Ads?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Board Moderators may, at their discretion and judgment, delete and/or edit any messages that violate any of the following guidelines: 1. Explicit references to alleged illegal or unlawful acts. 2. Graphic sexual descriptions. 3. Racial or ethnic slurs. 4. Use of edgy language (including masked profanity). 5. Direct personal attacks, flames, fights, trolling, baiting, name-calling, general nuisance, excessive player criticism or anything along those lines. 6. Posting spam. 7. Each person may have only one user account. It is fine to be critical here - that's what this board is for. But let's not beat a subject or a player to death, please.

Thank you, and most importantly, enjoy yourselves!


RedsZone.com is a privately owned website and is not affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds or Major League Baseball


Contact us: Boss | GIK | BCubb2003 | dabvu2498 | Gallen5862 | LexRedsFan | Plus Plus | RedlegJake | redsfan1995 | The Operator | Tommyjohn25