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Thread: Who advances to the bigs in '09?

  1. #16
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    Re: Who advances to the bigs in '09?

    Quote Originally Posted by Betterread View Post
    I don't understand your point. If Harang is part of the four deep then he's not a #5. As you said, the Reds have four legitimate starters. That's a good situation. Unless you're saying that what you want is more than 4 legitimate starters. Everyone knows that 5 or 6 is greater than 4. However, many teams wish they were in that position of having 4 starters. The fact that the Reds did not win was not due to poor starting pitching.
    I don't really care what other teams have. What the Reds have in the rotation hasn't worked for years and, unfortunately, didn't work in 2008.

    Why? Lack of depth.

    Four legitimate starters is only a good situation if they are backed up by three additional capable starters. Guys who you can use if somebody does poorly, gets hurt, has a bad year. One in the rotation, one in long relief, one (or even two) more at AAA.

    This year is a perfect example. On paper, Arroyo, Harang, Volquez, Cueto looks good. Let's just fill it out with Belisle, or Fogg, or somebody. Doesn't matter, few teams have good fifth starters.

    That logic leads to disaster. Why? Harang is 4-15. Arroyo just got below 5.00. Cueto has been a good rookie but doesn't have winning numbers. Only Volquez has really held up his end all year.

    And what's in reserve? Belisle. Fogg. An unready Bailey. Not enough.

    Planning for four good starters without high level depth doesn't work because the four guys will almost always have a weak link or two in a particular year.

    Getting another starter should be a priority for the Reds. Harang, Arroyo, Cueto and Volquez sound good, but to get them all going well together is a real challenge and the team needs depth in this critical area.

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  3. #17
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Who advances to the bigs in '09?

    Quote Originally Posted by SMcGavin View Post
    Defense is the difference between 4.43 and 5.07?
    A lot of extra baserunners and a lot of extra wear and tear. I think defense has destroyed this staff.
    "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

  4. #18
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    Re: Who advances to the bigs in '09?

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    A lot of extra baserunners and a lot of extra wear and tear. I think defense has destroyed this staff.
    The poor defense hasn't helped, but the pitchers helped do themselves in.

    Arroyo has allowed 25 homers. Cueto 27 homers. Harang 31 homers.

    Volquez has the same defense and has done much better.

    The team needs to continue to improve its pitching. They have four good starters but only one had a really good season in 2008.

  5. #19
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Who advances to the bigs in '09?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    The poor defense hasn't helped, but the pitchers helped do themselves in.

    Arroyo has allowed 25 homers. Cueto 27 homers. Harang 31 homers.

    Volquez has the same defense and has done much better.

    The team needs to continue to improve its pitching. They have four good starters but only one had a really good season in 2008.
    Agreed, but I don't think anything happens in a vacuum. Volquez is a ground ball guy and the poor defense impacts him in a different way. The fly ball guys are going to give up some homers, but they do more damage when the routine flies fall in for base hits when outs should be recorded. The wear and tear has an effect on the subsequent pitches and guys make more mistakes in long innings especially when they are most likely frustrated when they know they should be in the dugout. This season was probably the worst OF defense I've ever seen with Griffey in particular being the worst defender I can ever recall seeing at any position. The catching has been putrid and three of the 4 infielders have been totally inadequate. Its a sad state of affairs when 75% of the infield defense is awful and that is the defense's strong suit.

    I just don't think we can porject this year's horrible results to the future given the extreme circumstances that this defense has created. For the record, I think the team needs to add another middle of the rotation starter, but the other guys won't be this bad if they can get a reasonable chance at batted balls becoming outs at a more normal rate.
    Last edited by mth123; 09-06-2008 at 09:44 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

  6. #20
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    Re: Who advances to the bigs in '09?

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    Agreed, but I don't think anything happens in a vacuum. Volquez is a ground ball guy and the poor defense impacts him in a different way. The fly ball guys are going to give up some homers, but they do more damage when the routine flies fall in for base hits when outs should be recorded. The wear and tear has an effect on the subsequent pitches and guys make more mistakes in long innings especially when they are most likely frustrated when they know they should be in the dugout. This season was probably the worst OF defense I've ever seen with Griffey in particular being the worst defender I can ever recall seeing at any position. The catching has been putrid and three of the 4 infielders have been totally inadequate. Its a sad state of affairs when 75% of the infield defense is awful and that is the defense's strong suit.

    I just don't think we can porject this year's horrible results to the future given the extreme circumstances that this defense has created. For the record, I think the team needs to add another middle of the rotation starter, but the other guys won't be this bad if they can get a reasonable chance at batted balls becoming outs at a more normal rate.

    I agree entirely. But also keep in mind that beyond the "big four" the Reds have very little in the way of solid starting pitching. This was true last year as well, when only Harang and Arroyo (half season) pitched consistently well. Guys like Milton/Dumatrait/Livingston/Shearn/Fogg/Belisle/and yes, Bailey have started a lot of games in the last two years.

    So improve the defense, for sure, but folks shouldn't think this team is set in the starting pitching department. Another ground ball type should round out this rotation, again somebody with a good track record. With Ramon R and Massett as swing men in the pen, and with Bailey and others getting ready at AAA.
    Last edited by Kc61; 09-06-2008 at 11:26 PM.

  7. #21
    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: Who advances to the bigs in '09?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    I agree entirely. But also keep in mind that beyond the "big four" the Reds have very little in the way of solid starting pitching. This was true last year as well, when only Harang and Arroyo (half season) pitched consistently well. Guys like Milton/Dumatrait/Livingston/Shearn/Fogg/Belisle/and yes, Bailey have started a lot of games in the last two years.

    So improve the defense, for sure, but folks shouldn't think this team is set in the starting pitching department. Another ground ball type should round out this rotation, again somebody with a good track record. With Ramon R and Massett as swing men in the pen, and with Bailey and others getting ready at AAA.
    So I assume you think that Owings, Bailey, Thompson, Maloney, Ramirez have little chance of contributing next year, is that so? I can certainly see adding 1 more experienced arm however I cannot imagine that we won't be able to get 1 of those guys to man 1 spot in the rotation. I think we already have our starting 5 set at least in the minds of the F.O., just a hunch but what I expect assuming Owings isn't damaged goods. These 5 and in that order most likely. However I wouldn't mind seeing a guy like Randy Wolf brought in to A.) give us a LHSP and B.) a quality guy who can be easily moved if need be.

    Harang
    Volquez
    Arroyo
    Cueto
    Owings

    With the other aforementioned chomping at the bit at AAA to steal a job that's a minimum of 8 maybe 9 deep. With a solid Vet like Wolf we are talking 10 deep and think all 10 can give us some quality innings, some more than others obviously.

    Anyhow I expect Cumberland, Stubbs, Dorn to compete for a possible 5th OF type out of ST with Cumberland the frontrunner in my eyes, unless Freel is that 5th guy but being used again as IF/OF.

    I'm not quite sure which veteran bullpen guys return but I am expecting both Weathers and Lincoln (not as sure about Affledt) to have an offer of some sort and Lincoln being in the fight for last spot or 2 with the likes of Ramirez, Roenicke, Fisher, Geronimo. I like Ramirez as that long man so I expect he has a better than avg shot as the last guy so Lincoln against the youth w/ Geronimo with the early look IMO.

    On the IF Rosales and Janish have outside chances to make it. I don't foresee Wilkin Castillo up at all next year except for on a 2 way tram all season in case of injuries to a catcher.

    So that's Bailey, Thompson, Maloney, Ramirez, Owings (if he doesn't make the club initially) Stubbs, Cumberland, Dorn, Roenicke, Herrera, Fisher, Geronimo, Rosales, Janish, Richar, Castillo with a fairly reasonable chance of making it up at some point for who knows how much time.

    And these guys who have a shot albeit remote at making it next year if nothing more than cameos or september call ups. Valaika, Henry, Alonso, Tatum, Gutierrez, Viola, Frazier. That's about it in a nutshell. I would say Tyler Pelland but I think he is let go in the offseason, just a hunch. I also expect a few others I have mentioned here to be moved but who knows which ones so I just listed everyone who has any shot.
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  8. #22
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    Re: Who advances to the bigs in '09?

    [QUOTE=Mario-Rijo;1735833]So I assume you think that Owings, Bailey, Thompson, Maloney, Ramirez have little chance of contributing next year, is that so? I can certainly see adding 1 more experienced arm however I cannot imagine that we won't be able to get 1 of those guys to man 1 spot in the rotation. I think we already have our starting 5 set at least in the minds of the F.O., just a hunch but what I expect assuming Owings isn't damaged goods. These 5 and in that order most likely. However I wouldn't mind seeing a guy like Randy Wolf brought in to A.) give us a LHSP and B.) a quality guy who can be easily moved if need be.

    Harang
    Volquez
    Arroyo
    Cueto
    Owings

    QUOTE]

    I absolutely think that this is insufficient. There is nobody in the minor leagues, including Owings, who should be a front line starter next year -- unless the Reds intend another "building" year. The Reds absolutely need another solid experienced starting pitcher.

    Owings has a 5.93 ERA with the DBacks in 104 innings this year. If you count on him, don't you risk a 6 plus ERA at GABP? How does that help?

    Maloney, Bailey and Thompson haven't shown readiness to be a regular Reds starter right out of spring training. Ramirez has exceeded expectations but I wouldn't plan on him pitching every fifth day for six or seven major league innings. Long man in the pen, sure.

    Even Johnny Cueto is no sureshot for next year. He's shown flashes of excellence this year and should eventually be fine, but he gives up a lot of long balls and hasn't had winning numbers this season.

    Reds lack starters with ground ball tendencies. If I were them, I would spend for a guy like Derrick Lowe, who (I've heard) will be a free agent and may be at a point where he would be happy with the Reds if they give him a good contract. Then let the kids earn their way into the rotation over time.

    Every rotation spot accounts for about 30 starts a year. You can't just say, oh, it's a fifth starter, we'll get those games from somebody. This kind of plan has failed for the Reds for years.
    Last edited by Kc61; 09-07-2008 at 09:20 AM.

  9. #23
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    Re: Who advances to the bigs in '09?

    Quote Originally Posted by SMcGavin View Post
    Actually, it was. The NL average for starting pitchers is 4.43 ERA, and the Reds have gotten a 5.07 ERA from their starters. I'm of the opinion a lot of that is due to bad luck and a rotating stable of ridiculously awful fifth starters, but a big (perhaps the biggest) reason the Reds are bad this season is that they've gotten poor results from the SPs.
    Thank you for supplying the numbers, which don't surprise me. I still think the starting pitching was OK this year (not above average, but an improvement over recent years) with 2 young arms revealing ML ability and health for 4 starters. Really, only Harang has had a disappointing campaign (I think this is about what you'll get from Arroyo - maybe slightly better numbers but he makes every start and can sometimes really impress). I definitely think the SP stats were damaged by the putrid #5 spot - I think the overall data on the starters is compromised by that spot.

  10. #24
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    Re: Who advances to the bigs in '09?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    I don't really care what other teams have. What the Reds have in the rotation hasn't worked for years and, unfortunately, didn't work in 2008.

    Why? Lack of depth.

    Four legitimate starters is only a good situation if they are backed up by three additional capable starters. Guys who you can use if somebody does poorly, gets hurt, has a bad year. One in the rotation, one in long relief, one (or even two) more at AAA.
    On paper we have that right now. Owings was a #5 starter for a very good team for about 2 years, then there's still hope for Bailey and Thompson's talent to emerge in some acceptable performance. The issue is that that they are not proven starters - they could fail and no-one would be amazed. But the candidates for the 5 spot are there.

  11. #25
    Member SMcGavin's Avatar
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    Re: Who advances to the bigs in '09?

    Quote Originally Posted by Betterread View Post
    I definitely think the SP stats were damaged by the putrid #5 spot - I think the overall data on the starters is compromised by that spot.
    Yeah, there is no denying that. When the average is 5.07, and the top four guys went like this:

    Volquez 3.12 (29 GS)
    Cueto 4.77 (28 GS)
    Arroyo 4.84 (30 GS)
    Harang 5.24 (25 GS)

    Obviously something there is weird. And here it is:
    Fogg 8.23 (14 GS)
    Bailey 7.93 (8 GS)
    Belisle 7.28 (6 GS)
    Thompson 6.91 (3 GS)

    That's 31 starts with a collective ERA upwards of 7.50. I don't really need to state how bad that is.

    So I agree with what KC is saying, I would try to add another average pitcher this offseason. Even though I still like Matt Maloney a lot, I would rather have him in AAA for depth than to count on him from day one. Somebody will get hurt next season, you need more than five pitchers who can get the job done.

  12. #26
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    Re: Who advances to the bigs in '09?

    Quote Originally Posted by SMcGavin View Post
    Defense is the difference between 4.43 and 5.07?
    Lack of talent is the difference between 4.43 and 5.07.

    Defense is the scapegoat.

  13. #27
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    Re: Who advances to the bigs in '09?

    That 5.07 ERA can improve quickly. All it will take is Aaron Harang getting healthy and returning to form (and I think he will) and Johnny Cueto continuing to get better. Add in a new ace in Edinson Volquez and a solid innings eater like Arroyo and you have a very good 1-4 rotation. Now just add a decent fifth starter (Micah Owings?) and you have yourself one of the better rotations in the league IMO.

  14. #28
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Who advances to the bigs in '09?

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    That 5.07 ERA can improve quickly. All it will take is Aaron Harang getting healthy and returning to form (and I think he will) and Johnny Cueto continuing to get better. Add in a new ace in Edinson Volquez and a solid innings eater like Arroyo and you have a very good 1-4 rotation. Now just add a decent fifth starter (Micah Owings?) and you have yourself one of the better rotations in the league IMO.
    Yep.
    "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

  15. #29
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Who advances to the bigs in '09?

    Quote Originally Posted by Highlifeman21 View Post
    Lack of talent is the difference between 4.43 and 5.07.

    Defense is the scapegoat.
    If you think defense is a scapegoat then you haven't been watching and your viewpoint is suffering from a lack of information. We've had a season where nearly every routine medium depth fly ball to RF through July (Griffey) was a single (where the large majority are outs on other teams), a clanky glove in LF (Dunn, who I think is awesome but truth is truth), a rookie OF phenom who provided a clanky glove in CF and lately RF (Bruce who should get better and be part of the fix), a collection of catchers who can't catch (Ross), can't throw (Bako) or both (Javy), a SS spot manned by guys who give up hits on ground balls to the OF that the vast majority of teams turn into outs (Kepp, Cabrera, Hairston), a 3B (EdE) whose range is suspect and makes every throw an adventure and a 1B (Votto) who does his infieldmates no favors when the throws are a little off line and also went through a stretch where he botched a lot of other plays as well. When this team put its "best line-up" on the field 7 of the 8 positions were manned by guys who are below average at best, awful more accurately and the RF and C spots have IMO easily been the worst in baseball defensively (and haven't improved as much as they should since Bruce took over).

    This is a defense that created a ton of opportunities for the opposition and magnified the damage when pitchers did make a mistake. The top 4 have good K rates, reasonable control and if batted balls were turned into outs at a reasonable clip, the HR problems would be less damaging. Add that getting these guys in the dugout when they should be and having them throw less extended innings and the HR rates may (can't say will 'cause its speculation) improve as well.

    The defense on this team is absolutely atrocious. If the team played on a bigger stage, it's defense would be a national laughingstock. About the only thing missing is "Marvelous Marv" Throneberry and "Hot Rod" Kanehl.
    "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

  16. #30
    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: Who advances to the bigs in '09?

    Excellent post mth. I agree that Bruce will be fine. He's made some errors but overall I've been impressed with his defense. He's got a chance to be a plus defender in right field someday IMO.


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