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Thread: Pitching Depth 2008

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    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Pitching Depth 2008

    Here is a look at the framework for the pitching depth placements for the 2008 season. As you can see there are multiple players crowding the upper levels at this time, though the higher ceilings are still limited to the same few. To fix that glut I hope a few things occur:

    1. The major league Bullpen is sorted out through the trade or release of a couple of guys past their expiration dates - Mike Stanton and Gary Majewski. Some team in need of a lefty might be willing to take at least a portion of Stanton's $ off the Reds hands and Majewski needs a fresh start somewhere that doesn't have the cloud of "the trade" and the massive failure it spawned for the 2006 play-off "push." In there place, I hope a reliever who can log a lot of innings and maybe a top lefty are added. One dark horse to watch may be Ramon Ramirez. He was a starter most of last year and could be the long reliever the team needs at some point. I don't think the Reds would want to risk the development of Cueto, Bailey or Maloney in that role.

    2. Sergio Valenzuela is sent back to Atlanta or acquired for the lower levels.

    3. A solid mid-rotation starter is added and Homer Bailey joins a very strong AAA rotation with Cueto, Maloney, Shearn and Gardner.

    4. Some thinning of the ranks will need to occur. Looking at this, its hard to understand why the Reds signed guys like Ricky Stone, Jon Adkins, Justin Lehr and Jim Brower. Adkins, Lehr and Brower may be in the mix for the major league long relief role in Spring Training, but I don't imagine all will be kept around if they don't make it or don't appear to be needed. Other Guys who could be in trouble:
    Ricky Stone - He does not appear to be needed at this point. The Reds seem to have a number of options for short/middle relief and Stone is 32.

    James Avery - The crowd of starters pushing for AA rotation spots (including Sean Watson and Logan Ondrusek who I have listed as relievers for now) may push Avery out. Avery hasn't posted a K/9 above 6 since 17 innings in the Gulf Coast League at age 21.

    Brad Salmon - The Reds removed him from the 25 Man roster and others appear to be passing him by. I personally think he could help if given a shot, but I wonder if the Reds will be showcasing him in Spring with the idea of adding him as a kicker to a spring deal. Some smart franchise can probably make decent use of him in the middle of the pen somewhere. IMO Salmon is to the Reds what Heath Bell was to the Mets, some other team will provide the opportunity and I think he has a good chance to succeed. I hope the Reds don't make the same mistake the Mets did and keep Jon Adkins in favor of him.

    Brock Till - He's already 27 (28 on July 1) and has thrown 105.333 innings in AA the last two years with an underwhelming K Rate or 5.55. Couple that with a walk rate of 3.84 and it doesn't bode well. He's been great at limiting HR, giving up only 2 in those AA innings, but his age and position in line suggest that the spot would be better filled by a younger player.

    Robert Manuel - He'll be 25 in July and hasn't pitched above A+. His peripherals were pretty good in A+ in 2007, so he's probably worth keeping around, but he needs to move faster and has a crowd in front of him.

    Thomas Pauly - He'll be 27 in July. He was again hurt a lot in 2007 and posted a 7.23 BB/9 in 18.666 innings when he was pitching. Sad (typical Red's) tale of a guy who had real promise at one point.

    Here is the chart:

    Code:
    Spot #	Majors     	AAA        	AA         	A+      	A-	        Billings	GCL
    1	Aaron Harang	Tom Shearn	Carlos Fisher	Travis Wood*	Jamie Arneson*	Tzu Chiu*	Andrew Bowman*
    2	Bronson Arroyo	Johnny Cueto	Daryl Thompson	Rafael Gonzalez	Scott Carroll	Ef. Rodriguez	Ricky Rhodes
    3	Matt Belisle	Matt Maloney*	Sam Lecure	Alex Smit*	Josh Ravin	Jon Conaster	Leonardo Astorga
    4	Edinson Volquez	Richie Gardner	James Avery	D. Guerrero	Kyle Lotzkar*	Har Honeycutt	Charles Snowden*
    5	Homer Bailey	Justin James	B. Jukich*	Travis Webb*	E. Del Rosario	Anthony Romero	Brandon Rice
    6	S. Valenzuela	Justin Lehr	Camilo Vazquez*	Jordan Smith	S. Otterness*	Curtis Partch	Evan Hildenbrandt
    
    
    Pen Spot
    1	Fran. Cordero	Josh Roenicke	Pedro Viola*	Sean Watson	Terrell Young	Scott Gafney	Tom Fiebig
    2	David Weathers	Tyler Pelland*	Derrik Lutz	P Valiquette*	Bo Lanier	Ray Jeffords	Aguido Gonzalez*
    3	Jared Burton	Todd Coffey	Brock Till	Misael Dejesus	Dan Donaldson*	Matthew Klinker	Victor Navarro
    4	Bill Bray*	Jon Adkins	Justin Mallett	Logan Ondrusek	Kevin Gunter	Joseph Krebs*	Josh Beal
    5	Mike Stanton*	Ricky Stone	T. Pauly	R. Geronimo	Jeremy Horst*	J. Hotchkiss	Jeremy Vinyard
    6	Gary Majewski	Jim Brower	Robert Manuel	Lee Tabor*	Luis Montano	Tyler Rhoden	Jose Marizan
    7	Jon Coutlangus*	Brad Salmon	R. Medina	A. Gressick	Juan Rafael	Dan Zeffiro	James Morris*
    8	Marcus McBeth	Daniel Herrera*	Ramon Ramirez
    Last edited by mth123; 01-01-2008 at 11:11 AM.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

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  3. #2
    Something clever pahster's Avatar
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    Re: Pitching Depth 2008

    Maybe it doesn't matter, but why did you put Shearn higher in the AAA rotation than Cueto, Maloney, and Gardner?

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    Re: Pitching Depth 2008

    I really hope you are wrong about Brad Salmon,mth123. He had the 3rd best era for a reliever last year(in limited action, true) and I think he could really help the Reds bullpen this year. I fear you are correct however, as the Reds have never seemed very high on Salmon. They didn't use him very much in his September callup, so I imagine a less deserving reliever will get a roster spot instead of him.

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    Re: Pitching Depth 2008

    I'm actually a lot more positive about the Jim Brower signing than others seems to be. He always seems to get mentioned together with Ricky Stone and now with Lehr and Adkins, but Brower's been a vastly better major league pitcher than those guys, he's only 35, and he put together some pretty good numbers last year at Scranton-WB. With relievers you're always trying to find the guy who's arm is good this year and that could be Brower. If he's sound, he bumps up way past a lot of others to the number 4 spot in the pen, following Cordero, Weathers, and Burton. Here's Brower's line from last year: 2007 Scr/wb IL 34 Nyy AAA 4 2 2.27 38 0 0 0 34 21 47.2 44 12 12 2 13 45 2 0 8.31 0.38 2.45 8.50 1.20

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    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Pitching Depth 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by pahster View Post
    Maybe it doesn't matter, but why did you put Shearn higher in the AAA rotation than Cueto, Maloney, and Gardner?
    No reason really. When I was putting this together I put the guys in that I was most sure of and was pretty sure that Shearn would start out in AAA, so Shearn went in first while I tried to sort out where the others may be as the picture cleared up. I probably should put Shearn in the 4th or 5th spot. But I do think he may start the first game and if a starter is needed early in the year they may call Shearn ahead of the others to keep them on the development path.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

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    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Pitching Depth 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by AmarilloRed View Post
    I really hope you are wrong about Brad Salmon,mth123. He had the 3rd best era for a reliever last year(in limited action, true) and I think he could really help the Reds bullpen this year. I fear you are correct however, as the Reds have never seemed very high on Salmon. They didn't use him very much in his September callup, so I imagine a less deserving reliever will get a roster spot instead of him.
    I think removing Salmon from the 40 man roster is an indication of where he stands in the pecking order.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

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    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Pitching Depth 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by HokieRed View Post
    I'm actually a lot more positive about the Jim Brower signing than others seems to be. He always seems to get mentioned together with Ricky Stone and now with Lehr and Adkins, but Brower's been a vastly better major league pitcher than those guys, he's only 35, and he put together some pretty good numbers last year at Scranton-WB. With relievers you're always trying to find the guy who's arm is good this year and that could be Brower. If he's sound, he bumps up way past a lot of others to the number 4 spot in the pen, following Cordero, Weathers, and Burton. Here's Brower's line from last year: 2007 Scr/wb IL 34 Nyy AAA 4 2 2.27 38 0 0 0 34 21 47.2 44 12 12 2 13 45 2 0 8.31 0.38 2.45 8.50 1.20
    Brower had a good year in AAA last year and I prefer him to Stone, Lehr and Adkins primarily because of his superior K Rate. Brower has the ability to go multiple innings which is something this pen lacks, but I don't see him jumping in front of Stanton, Majewski, or Bray. I also think that McBeth, Coutlangus and Coffey are all at an age where it may be their time.

    For what its worth, the Reds were stretching Salmon out to 3 inning stints in AAA at the end of last year, and I'd prefer that they try that for the long man spot.

    It would probably undermine any trade value and possibly stunt his development, but Maloney would be a good choice for the long relief spot. He's a LH and with all the Red's starters probably going to be RH, he'd enter the game with the platoon advanage or force teams to go to the bench early to turn the line-up around. Of course, I'm not high on Maloney's chances as a starter long term, so I don't mind if the team finds a niche for him in long relief. I doubt that the Reds share that opinion. A wild card might be another lefty in Bobby Livingston who is supposed to be on track for a return prior to June. Since he had a torn labrum, I'm in the camp that he is no help until he proves he can be.
    Last edited by mth123; 01-01-2008 at 07:04 PM.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

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    Re: Pitching Depth 2008

    Mth, I appreciate you taking the time to put together these charts. I've enjoyed looking at them this past season, I think it makes me feel like I'm a GM or something perusing over my pitching stock...
    "In our sundown perambulations of late, through the outer parts of Brooklyn, we have observed several parties of youngsters playing 'base', a certain game of ball. Let us go forth awhile, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our close rooms, the game of ball is glorious"
    -Walt Whitman

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    Re: Pitching Depth 2008

    Excellent chart. Interesting thing next year to see how Lecure, Thompson and Fisher handle AA.

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    Re: Pitching Depth 2008

    Mth, I wasn't advocating you move Brower up on your chart, which is very helpful, by the way. Just suggesting that the Brower move is a hopeful move. We should all hope his arm is sound. If it is, I think he will jump ahead of Stanton, Bray, and Majewski. I hope the organization treats the whole thing as wide open, with Salmon, Coffey, McBeth etc etc. all getting a good look.

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    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Pitching Depth 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by HokieRed View Post
    Mth, I wasn't advocating you move Brower up on your chart, which is very helpful, by the way. Just suggesting that the Brower move is a hopeful move. We should all hope his arm is sound. If it is, I think he will jump ahead of Stanton, Bray, and Majewski. I hope the organization treats the whole thing as wide open, with Salmon, Coffey, McBeth etc etc. all getting a good look.
    Agree. My whole point is that if one of the vets has no shot at making the Reds, I see no point in them sticking around and taking up valuable slots in AAA or AA. I hope that means that the Reds intend to package a few guys for upgrades where needed (like the rotation or a more sure reliever) and that these guys were signed to be backfills for the vacated spots.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

  13. #12
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Pitching Depth 2008

    By my count the Reds have about 10 guys too many to fill the slots at the upper levels. Assuming Lincoln and Mercker make the Reds to start out and Belisle starts on the DL with Stanton gone, the Reds have 34 or 35 guys that should be in AA or AAA. It will be interesting to see how it shakes out. Here is the list of guys that I'd cut loose:

    Ricky Stone, Chris Michalek, Jim Brower, Gary Majewski, Jon Adkins, Brock Till, Scott Sauerbeck and Adam Pettyjohn.

    I'm also seeing Ezequial Astacio appearing on the roster and I don't remember the Reds getting him. If he is there, I'd cut him too. If the DL comes into play to make some room, I may keep Pettyjohn and Sauerbeck around. Leftys are always in demand and maybe the Reds could deal a Coutlangus or a Bray for a nice return and use these guys to backfill.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS


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