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Thread: Reds at Winter Meetings

  1. #331
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    Guelph, ON

    Re: Reds at Winter Meetings

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    Having watched Belisle pitch and reviewed his numbers, no we can't dispense with ERA and WHIP.

    Belisle has a lifetime 1.46 WHIP. That is high for a starter, very high for a good reliever, and it reflects a career involving both starts and relief outings. This is a pitcher with relatively few walks. He has allowed 366 hits in 312 lifetime innings. The question is why.

    For sure, any Reds pitcher's numbers are hurt by defense. Yet the defense is good enough to allow a pitcher like Harang to have had a 1.14 WHIP last year. Not comparing the two, just pointing out that a top pitcher can succeed with this defense.

    I still contend that if Belisle continues to pitch as he has the results will be the same. Watch him, he doesn't fool the hitters, certainly not over a full outing.

    However, if he learns to mix his pitches and change speeds more effectively, thereby causing hitters to be off balance more, he can do much better. He doesn't have the stuff to just continue. He needs to change his approach. If he does, I think he can be ok.

    To get back to the Winter Meetings, the issue for the Reds is simply that there is a gaping hole in the rotation, a hole that right now literally can't be filled from the major league roster. The only possibility in the org would be Cueto or Maloney, neither of whom has a major league inning under the belt. There's no debate that Belisle should be in the rotation -- at this point there is hardly any other choice.

    It may be hard to accept, and the price seems outrageous, but the Reds have to get somebody who is a solid starter, not someone to "compete" for a position. Otherwise, they just spent $46 million for a closer who may or may not have much to do next year.
    The thing is KC, all the scouting evidence in the world will still show up in the numbers. If he's too hittable, that will show up in strike rates. If he makes too many mistake pitches that will show up too in high HR rates. However, the entire point of my comment is that the ERA we keep citing is not due solely to the way Belisle pitched and thus not very predictive of what his ERA is likely to be in the future.

    I'm not saying he's going to improve as a pitcher in 2008. I'm saying Belisle can be the exact same quality of pitcher in 2008 as he was in 2007 and we would expect his ERA to drop by nearly half a run. Because pitchers that do the things Belisle does have ERAs in the mid to high 4's, not the low to mid 5's. This is the key take away. It's that he's going to magically become a better pitcher. It's that he doesn't have to in order to justify a rotation spot. Your criticisms of him as a pitcher are spot on. But that's why he's a pitcher with a 4.64 career FIP. He's mediocre. That his ERA was over 5.00 was a result of a 4.64 Matt Belisle with half a run of bad luck and bad defense stirred in.

    Yes, a top pitcher can succeed in spite of his defense. Frankly, I'd love to have a staff of 5 Aaron Harangs. But looking around free agency and the trade market, and given that Belisle is currently our #3 starter, there's no way in heck that we can obtain 3 pitchers who are better than him.

    Lohse, Silva, Lieber -- all not better than Belisle. Maybe about the same, but not worth spending resources on to displace Belisle. Again, I don't like Belisle as a #3, but he's not Eric Milton either. He's a solid #4 starter on a good team. He's Jeff Suppan. You don't want to build your rotation around him, but he fills a spot capably and better than you can get without major costs.

    Fill the other two spots in the rotation with guys better than Belisle, then we'll see how much of a priority it is to find a replacement for him.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 12-07-2007 at 01:47 PM.
    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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  3. #332
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Right Down Broadway

    Re: Reds at Winter Meetings

    Quote Originally Posted by redsmetz View Post
    Is it possible that some pitchers pitch their game the way they expect it to go and their fielders are able to position themselves better because the pitcher knows where he's putting the ball and how to coax out of the batter where he wants a ball to be put in play?
    While that is what the pitcher and defense are indeed trying to do, much of what happens once the ball leaves their hand is out of their control. However, I think some of the traditional numbers like ERA, WHIP, K/BB rates and HR rates reveal that for starters, with ERA being a little less meaningful for relievers. BABIP and DIPS ERA is interesting, but there seems to be a tendency to oversimplify its predictive capabilities.

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