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Thread: Who advances to the bigs in '09?

  1. #31
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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.
    Disagree rather strongly.

    Hoping that pitchers dramatically improve is simply a recipe for disaster.

    Harang, Cueto and Arroyo have been circa 5 ERA pitchers this year. Owings has been just under a 6 ERA pitcher this year. Anyone who expects this to suddenly turn around is just hoping.

    One of them may do much better. But another may do much worse. You cannot bank next year on hoped-for turnarounds by so many pitchers.

    And the notion that a supposedly "decent" fifth starter is sufficient has been disproven by the Reds time after time because borderline to poor starting pitchers, with a couple of bad breaks, often wind up with ERAs in the 6s and 7s.

    More good starting depth. Critical for 2009.
    Last edited by Kc61; 09-07-2008 at 03:50 PM.

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  3. #32
    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: Who advances to the bigs in '09?

    Sorry, but one bad year from Harang doesn't outweigh his whole career. I'm pretty confident he'll return to form next season. The Reds do need to acquire another solid starter though to further strengthen the rotation.

  4. #33
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    Re: Who advances to the bigs in '09?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    Harang, Cueto and Arroyo have been circa 5 ERA pitchers this year. Owings has been just under a 6 ERA pitcher this year. Anyone who expects this to suddenly turn around is just hoping.
    Current ERA is a pretty bad predictor of future ERA. You look at the four guys we have and see:

    Volquez 3.96 xFIP
    Harang 4.30 xFIP
    Arroyo 4.36 xFIP
    Cueto 4.49 xFIP

    Plus Cueto and Volquez are in their first full seasons as MLB starters, so some improvement should be expected there. The four guys that we have are pretty good, even though the 2008 ERAs don't show it. I still would like to add one more good starter. But it's not simply "hope" to forecast a turnaround from Arroyo/Harang in 08, it's an informed analysis of the seasons they are having and their past history.

  5. #34
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    Re: Who advances to the bigs in '09?

    FWIW I don't think Micah Owings is the answer to the 5th starter question. He's a nice guy to have as depth but I don't want him the rotation to start the season. I don't think Owings give you anything better than Maloney (except of course a great bat).

  6. #35
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    Re: Who advances to the bigs in '09?

    I like Micah Owings more than some on here. He's never going to be an ace but I like his chances of settling in as a solid back end starter. His minor league numbers compare favorably to Aaron Harang's, and he had a solid rookie season last year. As a rookie he posted a 4.30 ERA in 152.2 innings, with a .761 OPS against, and a 6.25 K/9. Not overwhelming numbers but I think we'd all be pleased with those type of numbers from our number four or five starter.

  7. #36
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    Re: Who advances to the bigs in '09?

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    I like Micah Owings more than some on here. He's never going to be an ace but I like his chances of settling in as a solid back end starter. His minor league numbers compare favorably to Aaron Harang's, and he had a solid rookie season last year. As a rookie he posted a 4.30 ERA in 152.2 innings, with a .761 OPS against, and a 6.25 K/9. Not overwhelming numbers but I think we'd all be pleased with those type of numbers from our number four or five starter.
    The strikeouts are alright, but he's pretty wild and definitely a flyball pitcher (even more than Cueto). If he pitched a full season here I don't think he'd keep the ERA under 5.00. He's still relatively young so we could see an improvement, but it's not something I really want to bank on.

  8. #37
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    Re: Who advances to the bigs in '09?

    IIRC the Arizona ballpark is homerun friendly too so there shouldn't be too much of a difference between the BOB and GABP.

  9. #38
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    Re: Who advances to the bigs in '09?

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    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.
    IMO 1/4 to 1/3 of a run of ERA could be attributed to shoddy D, but anything more than 1/3 of a run is a talent issue. .64 is the difference between 5.07 and 4.43, so that tells me it's a combination of shoddy D and lack of talent.

    Guys like Fogg, Majewski, Bailey, Belisle, Coffey, and Thompson predictably contributed to the wrong side of a 5 ERA. That sensational 6 combined to give up 170 ER over 215.2 IP. That means between the 6 of them, they gave us an ERA over 7 (7.09) in over 200 IP. Awesome. Factor in an off year of Aaron Harang, 5.24 ERA in 149.1 IP prior to today's start, and we get the full picture as to why our ERA is on the wrong side of 5.

    Fogg, Bailey, Belisle and Thompson tell me 1 thing: the 5 spot in the rotation was a black hole of suck.

    Taking those 4 out of the SP ERA, while looking at Harang, Volquez, Cueto and Arroyo, we get an ERA of 4.47, which is very respectable considering the off year of Harang.

    So, if Harang, Volquez, Cueto and Arroyo can combine for a SP ERA of 4.47, that tells me they either pitched well in spite of the D, or the D didn't factor in as much as you want to think.

    The sensational 6 were sensationally sucky, regardless of the D. Again, that's a talent issue, not a D issue.

    I agree that the D isn't great and needs to be addressed, but it doesn't single-handedly explain that .64 difference in ERA between 5.07 and 4.43. IMO, lack of talent is a better explanation.

  10. #39
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    Re: Who advances to the bigs in '09?

    I agree that talent is the bigger issue, but if you can find one pitcher to pitch 150+ innings with a less-than-5.00 ERA, you won't be needing the services of Majewski, Coffey, Fogg, Belisle, etc.

    If Micah Owings can be that person, and I think he can, the Reds will have a very good rotation, and as a result, the bullpen will be improved, too, due to being more rested and the crappier relievers being needed less.

  11. #40
    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
    IMO 1/4 to 1/3 of a run of ERA could be attributed to shoddy D, but anything more than 1/3 of a run is a talent issue. .64 is the difference between 5.07 and 4.43, so that tells me it's a combination of shoddy D and lack of talent.

    Guys like Fogg, Majewski, Bailey, Belisle, Coffey, and Thompson predictably contributed to the wrong side of a 5 ERA. That sensational 6 combined to give up 170 ER over 215.2 IP. That means between the 6 of them, they gave us an ERA over 7 (7.09) in over 200 IP. Awesome. Factor in an off year of Aaron Harang, 5.24 ERA in 149.1 IP prior to today's start, and we get the full picture as to why our ERA is on the wrong side of 5.

    Fogg, Bailey, Belisle and Thompson tell me 1 thing: the 5 spot in the rotation was a black hole of suck.

    Taking those 4 out of the SP ERA, while looking at Harang, Volquez, Cueto and Arroyo, we get an ERA of 4.47, which is very respectable considering the off year of Harang.

    So, if Harang, Volquez, Cueto and Arroyo can combine for a SP ERA of 4.47, that tells me they either pitched well in spite of the D, or the D didn't factor in as much as you want to think.

    The sensational 6 were sensationally sucky, regardless of the D. Again, that's a talent issue, not a D issue.

    I agree that the D isn't great and needs to be addressed, but it doesn't single-handedly explain that .64 difference in ERA between 5.07 and 4.43. IMO, lack of talent is a better explanation.
    I think we agree then. I'm arguing that the front 4 are good enough and that the team needs another pitcher who can go 180+ innings of league average to join. That will probably be a $10 Million per year man at this point. That 5th starter is the major reason for the difference that can't be attributed to defense. If Harang can make a comeback and the type of guy I'm talking about is acquired, I think the team will better that 4.43 in 2009. Owings, Masset, and whoever isn't dealt of Bailey, Ramirez, Thompson, Maloney, Lecure and Jukich serve as depth in long relief or AAA.

    Some of those kids have some value and should be dealt to address SS (now the biggest most glaring problem on the team IMO) and C as well as that 5th arm. Adding a SS who can actually play SS will help all these guys. Dickerson and an improved Bruce in CF and RF should correct a lot of issues in comparison to 2008 as well. That alone may shave a baserunner or two per game.
    "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

  12. #41
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    Re: Who advances to the bigs in '09?

    Quote Originally Posted by SMcGavin View Post
    Current ERA is a pretty bad predictor of future ERA. You look at the four guys we have and see:

    Volquez 3.96 xFIP
    Harang 4.30 xFIP
    Arroyo 4.36 xFIP
    Cueto 4.49 xFIP

    Plus Cueto and Volquez are in their first full seasons as MLB starters, so some improvement should be expected there. The four guys that we have are pretty good, even though the 2008 ERAs don't show it. I still would like to add one more good starter. But it's not simply "hope" to forecast a turnaround from Arroyo/Harang in 08, it's an informed analysis of the seasons they are having and their past history.
    FIP tends to reward bad pitchers and punish good pitchers.

    There's no way Volquez has only pitched 1/3 of a run better than Harang this year. They pitch in front of the same defense, after all.
    Last edited by kpresidente; 09-07-2008 at 05:54 PM.

  13. #42
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    Re: Who advances to the bigs in '09?

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    I think we agree then. I'm arguing that the front 4 are good enough and that the team needs another pitcher who can go 180+ innings of league average to join. That will probably be a $10 Million per year man at this point. That 5th starter is the major reason for the difference that can't be attributed to defense. If Harang can make a comeback and the type of guy I'm talking about is acquired, I think the team will better that 4.43 in 2009. Owings, Masset, and whoever isn't dealt of Bailey, Ramirez, Thompson, Maloney, Lecure and Jukich serve as depth in long relief or AAA.

    Some of those kids have some value and should be dealt to address SS (now the biggest most glaring problem on the team IMO) and C as well as that 5th arm. Adding a SS who can actually play SS will help all these guys. Dickerson and an improved Bruce in CF and RF should correct a lot of issues in comparison to 2008 as well. That alone may shave a baserunner or two per game.
    If we're spending $10 Mil a year for another 180 IP league average arm, I'd rather that money be spent on either a massive upgrade to SS or C. I can live with our merry go round of suck in the 5 spot of the rotation if we're getting a legitimate SS or C, something we more desperately need than a 5th SP, IMO.

    If we really wanna help this ballclub defensively for 2009, make Janish the everyday SS, plug Bruce into RF and then figure if Stubbs goes in LF or CF and have Dickerson play the other. That means we upgrade C, and possibly 3B, and stomach the offensive void that will be Janish and Stubbs while enjoying their excellent defense. Give our arms a drastically better D, and I honestly believe we'd see that 1/4 to 1/3 of a run drop in ERA as a staff.

  14. #43
    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
    If we're spending $10 Mil a year for another 180 IP league average arm, I'd rather that money be spent on either a massive upgrade to SS or C. I can live with our merry go round of suck in the 5 spot of the rotation if we're getting a legitimate SS or C, something we more desperately need than a 5th SP, IMO.

    If we really wanna help this ballclub defensively for 2009, make Janish the everyday SS, plug Bruce into RF and then figure if Stubbs goes in LF or CF and have Dickerson play the other. That means we upgrade C, and possibly 3B, and stomach the offensive void that will be Janish and Stubbs while enjoying their excellent defense. Give our arms a drastically better D, and I honestly believe we'd see that 1/4 to 1/3 of a run drop in ERA as a staff.

    I'd rather deal some combination of Bailey, Maloney, Stubbs, Valaika and FRancisco with some other stuff to address SS and C with guys who can be building blocks. Probably complimentary players and not main guys (like Bruce or Votto) but building blocks none the less. Janish doesn't cut it. In the OF, I'd go with Votto in LF. It would upgrade the defense in the IF and put him where he can do the least damage. Get a stopgap for 1B. The good thing is even cheap mediocrities at 1B can add something to the offense.
    "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. #44
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    Re: Who advances to the bigs in '09?

    Quote Originally Posted by Highlifeman21 View Post
    If we really wanna help this ballclub defensively for 2009, make Janish the everyday SS, plug Bruce into RF and then figure if Stubbs goes in LF or CF and have Dickerson play the other. That means we upgrade C, and possibly 3B, and stomach the offensive void that will be Janish and Stubbs while enjoying their excellent defense. Give our arms a drastically better D, and I honestly believe we'd see that 1/4 to 1/3 of a run drop in ERA as a staff.
    Thanks for bringing the topic back to who will be promoted. I see Stubbs starting his ML career (provided he is in good health) in CF but can play in RF too. Dickerson can play CF to spell Stubbs. I see Dorn getting some time in LF to spell Jay Bruce, who should be playing LF.
    After that pathetic throw in the 7th inning today, I'm sick of seeing Bruce in RF. He needed to nail that guy, but he couldn't. He can't play there right now. He is not playing ML average defense. I'm willing to give him time to receive some instruction but someone better tell this kid that the Larry Walker comparisons have ended because of things like his poor defense.

  16. #45
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    Re: Who advances to the bigs in '09?

    Quote Originally Posted by Betterread View Post
    Thanks for bringing the topic back to who will be promoted. I see Stubbs starting his ML career (provided he is in good health) in CF but can play in RF too. Dickerson can play CF to spell Stubbs. I see Dorn getting some time in LF to spell Jay Bruce, who should be playing LF.
    After that pathetic throw in the 7th inning today, I'm sick of seeing Bruce in RF. He needed to nail that guy, but he couldn't. He can't play there right now. He is not playing ML average defense. I'm willing to give him time to receive some instruction but someone better tell this kid that the Larry Walker comparisons have ended because of things like his poor defense.
    He's 21 years old. And his defense has been far from pathetic. He's made some excellent plays while messing up some easier ones. It happens with young players.


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