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Thread: Pitching Observations

  1. #1
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    Pitching Observations

    As much as fans/FO hype the young pitchers, it is painful to build a staff with youth. Look at all the younger pitchers who have struggled with the Reds this year. Dumatrait, Bailey, Coffey, McBeth, Belisle (first year starting), Salmon, Coutlangus (at the end of his stay), Burton at the beginning.

    The Reds bullpen suffered because of three guys, each expected to throw a lot of innings. Stanton, Coffey and Bray. If those three were healthy and performing as expected the bullpen would have been pretty good. Stanton had a bad year, the FO guessed wrong. Blame the baseball gods for Bray's injury. Coffey was used 26 times in April and May and I wonder if that overuse destroyed his season; he looked good this spring and his bad year was unexpected.

    The decision this off-season to go with Milton, Lohse and Belisle in the 3-4-5 rotation spots made it virtually impossible for the Reds to win. You can't have question marks pitching 60 percent of your games. If the Reds just "go with kids" next year in the 3-4-5 spots it will be painful to watch. They need to add at least one veteran quality starter to be semi-competitive.
    Last edited by Kc61; 08-21-2007 at 10:12 AM.

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Pitching Observations

    Bailey, McBeth, Salmon, Coutlangus and Belisle are all guys I have no worries about. McBeth pitched fine. His ERA looks bad, but his numbers are fine. Coutlangus and Salmon had ERA's under 4. Belisle is a fine #5. Bailey was hurt for part of the time he was up and still pitched well at times.

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    Re: Pitching Observations

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Bailey, McBeth, Salmon, Coutlangus and Belisle are all guys I have no worries about. McBeth pitched fine. His ERA looks bad, but his numbers are fine. Coutlangus and Salmon had ERA's under 4. Belisle is a fine #5. Bailey was hurt for part of the time he was up and still pitched well at times.
    We're discussing different objectives. Your focus is whether these kids may have a good future -- some day. My focus is having a competitive ballclub -- soon.

    For example, you may have no worries about McBeth and think his numbers are fine. But his 7.5 ERA and 1.5 WHIP didn't help the team this year. You may think Belisle is fine, but no other NL starter with 100 innings got hit as hard (.308 BAA), except a guy who was DFA'd.

    The minor league kids are interesting and important. But, as my initial post said, relying on them too much is painful and unwise. You need an appropriate mixture, including more good veteran hurlers than the team currently has.
    Last edited by Kc61; 08-21-2007 at 11:14 AM.

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    Re: Pitching Observations

    McBeth simply needs to learn to pitch inside. If all he does is nibble at the outside corner then he'll never make it.

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    Re: Pitching Observations

    Good veteran pitcher's under $10 million don't grow on trees, and that's the problem with being a small to mid-market team like ourselves. We almost have no choice but to watch the young kids take their bumps.

    I understand your position KC, but this team has been trying to "win now" for 8 seasons now, and they haven't done it correctly yet, so I almost wish they'd just blow it completely up and start from scratch with these kids.

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    Re: Pitching Observations

    I would be comfortable with trying to win now with Burton, Cout, Salmon, Bray, McBeth, Maj/Coffey, and a vet like Stormy to close.

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    Re: Pitching Observations

    Quote Originally Posted by cincrazy View Post
    Good veteran pitcher's under $10 million don't grow on trees, and that's the problem with being a small to mid-market team like ourselves. We almost have no choice but to watch the young kids take their bumps.

    I understand your position KC, but this team has been trying to "win now" for 8 seasons now, and they haven't done it correctly yet, so I almost wish they'd just blow it completely up and start from scratch with these kids.
    I don't disagree, going "very young" would be a reasonable approach. All I'm saying is that it is painful to watch. Young pitchers have lots of growing pains; many don't ever overcome them.

    My other points are that, if the Reds do want to be competitive near term, they have to add at least one good vet starter, one or two good relievers, avoid gambling on pitchers who are very iffy, and make better use of some of the current guys (avoid heavy overuse, for example). Mix in the kids, but with a more solid core of proven talent. I know, it costs a bit more than they seem willing to spend.
    Last edited by Kc61; 08-21-2007 at 12:13 PM.

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    Re: Pitching Observations

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    I don't disagree, going "very young" would be a reasonable approach. All I'm saying is that it is painful to watch. Young pitchers have lots of growing pains; many don't ever overcome them.

    My other points are that, if the Reds do want to be competitive near term, they have to add at least one good vet starter, one or two good relievers, avoid gambling on pitchers who are very iffy, and make better use of some of the current guys (avoid heavy overuse, for example). Mix in the kids, but with a more solid core of proven talent. I know, it costs a bit more than they seem willing to spend.
    Just curious, which non-iffy veteran starter and 2 non-iffy good relievers would you have us sign?
    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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    Re: Pitching Observations

    I agree that we have to find someone, but as Rick mentioned, I don't know where in the world we'll find that. The market is just terrible, unless you have lobs of cash to throw around. This team's going to have to find a few diamonds in the rough to make next year watchable. Can you imagine if Harang ever went down with an injury, particularly next year? We'd make the 62 Mets look unbeatable

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    Re: Pitching Observations

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Just curious, which non-iffy veteran starter and 2 non-iffy good relievers would you have us sign?
    Sandy Koufax, Mariano Rivera and Bruce Sutter. (Need a lefty starter and righty bullpenners.)

    Seriously, I don't know who will be out there. But if the suggestion is that it is impossible for the Reds to afford or trade for high-end pitchers, I just don't buy it. If it cost $25 million to add these guys, then add $15 million to payroll and trade a corner outfielder. Milton will be off the books, use his salary slot.

    Think big. Or at least bigger.

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    Re: Pitching Observations

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...day/index.html

    Also in this column:
    • Why the Price was wrong
    • The problem with the draft
    • Red Sox catch a break
    • More news and notes

    What was already the weakest free-agent starting pitcher market in years was made worse with the signing of Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano to a five-year, $91.5 million extension. There aren't any Zambrano replicas in the crop that remains, not even close. And it's likely no starting pitcher will get even a quarter of Zambrano's haul.

    Zambrano and recently signed White Sox star Mark Buehrle were the potential gems of a free-agent class that now features a lot of age (Roger Clemens, Curt Schilling, Jon Lieber), pain (Randy Wolf, Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon, Matt Clement, Eric Milton) and a combination of both (Kenny Rogers).

    "It's a joke," is the way one general manager classified a group that contains a never ending supply of question marks to go along with some obvious talent.

    Big free-agent signings have surprised us all before. But between the issues of age and pain, there may be only one or two multiyear contracts to be had here.

    "There's nothing available," the GM added, before identifying the 40-year-old Schilling, who missed seven weeks with a shoulder issue, as the cream of the demonstrably weak crop.

    Here are the best of the weakest free-agent group in years (side note: pitchers with options are not considered here; those include Steve Trachsel, Kris Benson, Tim Wakefield, Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and Kip Wells):

    1. Schilling (7-5, 4.25). The Red Sox were probably wise not to rush into the two-year deal Schilling sought this spring and he later amended his request (at least publicly, via Boston radio station WEEI) to one year. They have up-and-comers Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz, but Schilling is more of a certainty, especially when healthy. The guess here is he returns for about the same $13 million guaranteed he made this year.

    2. Clemens (5-5, 3.92). He's no longer a No. 1 pitcher but has been valuable as a solid No. 3 starter, adding credibility and a spark to the Yankees. If he returns at 46, he would still be well-paid on a one-year basis (though $28 million pro-rated won't be repeated).

    3. Carlos Silva, Twins (9-12, 4.17). He's perhaps the sleeper of the class and is turning in a solid season but is often lost in a rotation led by Johan Santana.

    4. Jeff Weaver, Mariners (5-10, 5.57). He's come on strong after another typically dreadful start, dropping his ERA from 14.32 entering June, while winning five of nine decisions.

    5. Colon, Angels (6-6, 6.72). A former ace, he's talented, and at 34, he may have a few years left. But he's been injury-plagued the past couple (he's 7-11 since the start of '06), and his weight isn't a selling point, either.

    6. Randy Wolf, Dodgers (9-6, 4.73). Wolf took a reasonable one-year deal to go home to the Dodgers when he could have gotten multiple years from the Cardinals, Cubs, Diamondbacks, Mets and others. A shoulder injury is expected to keep him out until at least September, and he's probably looking at no better than one-year offers this time.

    7. Livan Hernandez, Diamondbacks (9-7, 4.86). He eats innings but seems to be all out of those dominating games we saw in the 1997 postseason. He's been surpassed by his older, more fit brother El Duque.

    8. Freddy Garcia, Phillies (1-5, 5.90). Right from spring training, he never was right. When he is, he's one of the better clutch pitchers in the game. He could be a steal for someone.

    9. Jason Jennings, Astros (2-8, 6.16). Jennings sought $12 million a year for four years about the time Houston surrendered three young players for him. But after an injury-ruined year in which his highlight was an game-winning pinch hit in extra innings, he'll be lucky to get guaranteed money.

    10. Rodrigo Lopez, Rockies (5-4, 4.42). Lopez appeared to be on his way to a decent season when he was felled by a torn flexor tendon in his pitching arm. Might be a bargain for the back end of a rotation somewhere.

    11. Rogers (3-2, 5.23). Returned from blood clot issue, but he's out now with a sore elbow. Lately he's been speaking of a quick return for what might be one last hurrah before possible retirement.

    12. Lieber, Phillies (3-6, 4.73). Someone might prosper taking a flier on him after he didn't live up to his contract in Philly, which may not be the right park for him (or any other pitcher, for that matter). Yet another who's currently hurt.

    13. Matt Clement, Red Sox (0-0, 0.00). It's been a pretty much a disaster there ever since he was shelled in his 2005 Division Series start at Chicago. Didn't pitch this year after shoulder surgery.

    14. Eric Milton, Reds (0-4, 5.17). Milton has been associated with the gopherball almost since he got to Cincy. Out for the year after elbow surgery.

    15. Josh Fogg, Rockies (7-8, 4.82). Fogg is strictly a back-end guy.
    I just stumbled across this article on si.com, thought it would be fitting to post since we're talking about pitcher's that we could possibly add for next season. Let the debates begin!

  13. #12
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Pitching Observations

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    We're discussing different objectives. Your focus is whether these kids may have a good future -- some day. My focus is having a competitive ballclub -- soon.

    For example, you may have no worries about McBeth and think his numbers are fine. But his 7.5 ERA and 1.5 WHIP didn't help the team this year. You may think Belisle is fine, but no other NL starter with 100 innings got hit as hard (.308 BAA), except a guy who was DFA'd.
    McBeth pitched 10.2 innings. Lets not talk about how he did or didnt help the team this year. He wasn't given any type of real chance this year.

    Belisle is a fine #5 pitcher. No other pitcher with 100 innings may have a batting average as high as his, but his ERA was the same or better than most of the NL's other #4 and 5's. So yeah, he is fine in that role.
    The minor league kids are interesting and important. But, as my initial post said, relying on them too much is painful and unwise. You need an appropriate mixture, including more good veteran hurlers than the team currently has.
    You do need an appropriate mixture..... but the problem is the Reds have 1 veteran reliever worth a crap in Weathers. Give me a young guy with upside over an old guy who sucks if the results are going to be the same. I would rather have McBeth throw than Stanton every day of the week.

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    High five! nate's Avatar
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    Re: Pitching Observations

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I would rather have McBeth throw than Stanton every day of the week.
    Recently, I'd like to have McBeth throw Stanton!

    I appreciate the old guy and he's snapped off a few nasty curves but it seems like he's done.

    Oh for the Mike Stanton of a decade ago.
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

  15. #14
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    Re: Pitching Observations

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    Sandy Koufax, Mariano Rivera and Bruce Sutter. (Need a lefty starter and righty bullpenners.)

    Seriously, I don't know who will be out there. But if the suggestion is that it is impossible for the Reds to afford or trade for high-end pitchers, I just don't buy it. If it cost $25 million to add these guys, then add $15 million to payroll and trade a corner outfielder. Milton will be off the books, use his salary slot.

    Think big. Or at least bigger.
    And that's the problem. Fixing the pitching by breaking the hitting doesn't really make us any better of a ballclub. It just gives us something else to complain about.

    I'll take Dunn and Junior at their salaries and expected level of performance over using their salaries on any FA pitcher(s) unless the removal of one of those two is part of a trade in which we acquire substantial talent.
    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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    Re: Pitching Observations

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    McBeth pitched 10.2 innings.

    Belisle is a fine #5 pitcher. No other pitcher with 100 innings may have a batting average as high as his, but his ERA was the same or better than most of the NL's other #4 and 5's. So yeah, he is fine in that role.

    You do need an appropriate mixture..... but the problem is the Reds have 1 veteran reliever worth a crap in Weathers. Give me a young guy with upside over an old guy who sucks if the results are going to be the same. I would rather have McBeth throw than Stanton every day of the week.
    Belisle's 5.40 ERA was 55th of 58 NL starters with 100 innings. In all of MLB, for starters with 100 innings, his ERA was 100th of 111.

    I hope Belisle and all these guys improve and do well. The point is that you can't bank on a bunch of unproven pitchers. You need a better nucleus of veteran starters and relievers. Not just Aaron Harang, David Weathers, and Arroyo in a good year.

    I fully agree that I'd prefer a McBeth to an ineffective veteran. I want the Reds to get effective veterans. Other teams do.
    Last edited by Kc61; 08-21-2007 at 01:29 PM.


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