I did say counting statistics, not rate. Arroyo's an above average starter who also pitches a ton of innings. He's also that rare breed of pitcher who pitches better than his peripherals suggest. He has virtually his entire tenure as a Red.
"You can learn little from victory. You can learn everything from defeat."
-- Christy Matthewson
"Show me a good loser and I'll show you an idiot."
-- Leo Durocher
I don't think that anyone can argue against the acquisitions of guys like Arroyo and Phillips. Hamilton/Volquez as well. These were very good trades/moves that were made which benefitted the Cincy organization. But these cannot and should not be used as any sort of "evidence" that the GM who made these moves was taking this team in the right direction or that he was the one that was getting the team to October.
A GM is very much like a portfolio manager. Say for example that you had $500k and gave it to a portfolio manager to invest for you. He makes 10 different investments with your money, 3 pan out beautifully and 7 do poorly. Your portfolio is now worth $400k. Are you going to continually say that this portfolio manager was doing well because he was able to pick 3 winners out? I doubt it. This is what Wayne's tenure was like. He had a few nice hits, but other than that he was unable to improve the major league product on the whole even though he was investing most of his resources at that level.
Now you might say that he wasn't given enough time. That's fair, but he wasn't laying out the blueprint for a medium to long term plan so I don't think that he deserved more time. More time could have led to additional setbacks. He was investing far more in the major league product in the short term so we should have seen significant improvement there, which we did not. If you recall, we saw the major league team actually reach KC-like levels at times.
Plus, he was gunning for the 2008-2011 window when we all knew that such a plan was foolish. The team had neither the financial power nor the in house talent to target such a time frame. Yet we saw so much invested for these years.
Here's a question for those who think that WK should have been given more time...what do you think he would have done with the past two years? Do you think he would have been able to produce a winner in 2009 (since we all know the 2008 team was an embarrassment no matter if WK was or wasn't fired)? Do you think he would have had this team in the position to win in 2010? Because this would have definitely been the end of the line for WK if he didn't have them at least challenging for the playoffs. He invested so much money (relatively speaking) in the 2007-2010 window and would have had zero excuse if he didn't hit by this year. And this is where the road would have ended since Arroyo and Harang would be coming off the books with guys like Gonzo and Stanton long gone and Cordero on his way out.
The reason why I had zero issue with WK being launched when he did was because I believe he would not have had the team in position to win by now without something drastic taking place, such as Cincy starting to spend like a New York team. The fact is that we will most likely see this season end with over $100MM invested in guys like Harang, Arroyo, Cordero and Gonzo and not much to show for it. That is awful.
And we can discuss the effectiveness of guys like Arroyo and Cordero and that isn't being disputed. They have obviously provided value for this franchise. But no one would be able to get me to believe that the money spent on these guys made any sense. It didn't take a genius to figure out that the team was not going to be winning anything in this time frame. Having these guys on the team over the past few years has basically just made the team less embarrassing. I'm not sure if the price tag for less embarrassing is $100MM or not, but I think, if given the choice, most FOs would have rather had sucked it up over the past couple of years, picked up some vet FA pitchers on one year deals to take their places and saved $100MM if it just meant finishing 55 games under .500 over the past 4 years rather than 40 games.
Bottom line is that we finally have a true GM at the helm. I can't say it enough...being a GM is so much more than picking up a recovered drug addict in the Rule V draft or acquiring some flamed out top prospect for pennies on the dollar. It's about having a vision. It's about playing the market effectively. It's about building an organization, not one aspect of a team. It's about knowing when to sit back and knowing when to move ahead. It's about winning baseball games. It's about so much more than hitting on a trade now and then.
A 113 ERA+ in his four seasons suggests Arroyo had been an above average starter during that stretch. He may post a 6.00 ERA this year, who knows, but he's been a very solid pitcher during his first four seasons with the Reds.
I believe that the league average #2 starter had an FIP of around 4.10 and a league aveage #3 starter had an FIP of around 4.60 during the years that Arroyo has pitched for the Reds. So his peripherals put him somewhere between a #2 and #3 starting pitcher. I think that is where most people would put him based on his counting stats.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein
When discussing whether or not Arroyo's extension made sense at that time for this team, his performance is actually not where the discussion needs to happen. The fact is that, at the end of 2006, Cincy had a veteran pitcher coming off a very solid year with an insanely cheap contract over the next 2 years on a team that looked to be headed nowhere over those same two years.
Forget about extending him two years earlier than necessary...he should have been shopping him at his peak.
I think the attempts to separate the performance of the pitcher from the defense overlooks that the type of contact that a pitcher allows has a direct effect on his team's DER. I guess when Arroyo was outperforming his FIP in 2006 and 2007 that such stellar defenders as EdE, Griffey, Keppinger, Ross, Conine, Aurilia, Lopez, Javy and of course Adam Dunn were playing Hall of Fame defense behind him. David Weathers seemed to have the same effect on his defense. Every year we'd hear that he was awful, BABIP, blah, blah, blah and every year his results would still be pretty good. I was right there on the bandwagon for a while with the BABIP and FIP guys, but the stat just doesn't capture all the factors and seems just as flawed as ERA or ERA+ IMO.
I'd agree with the notion xFIP and maybe even FIP are better predictors of the future than an outlying ERA from the previous season. But, IMO, 4 years of ERA+ data tells a better story of how the guy actually performed (since its based on actual results) than some contrived substitute based on theoretical results. All these stats have their place. The trick is knowing which are appropriate at which point. I think that is lost on a lot of people.
Last edited by mth123; 03-21-2010 at 06:50 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
Obviously you recognize there's a massive difference between quality starting pitchers and role players.
And if he'd have done that, then he probably would have been dealt for peanuts in the summer of 2008.
Plus, what's the problem with Arroyo's contract? He earned his money and then some last season.
The reality is that at some point you've got to pay veteran players to keep them around. A team that obsessively wants to low ball its players is going to be a team that doesn't get to keep nice things around.
Last edited by M2; 03-21-2010 at 09:54 AM.
Raisel Ghul, the Demon's Head
Make that a thing.
If you want to have a discussion about the nuance of how Bronson Arroyo has been an above average pitcher for the Reds during the balance of his four years with the club, go ahead. Throw FIP into the fire, L/R and home-road splits, opponent OPS, BABIP, the whole kitchen sink.
Yet there's no arguing that for four years he's been one of the better pitchers in the game at logging innings and limiting runs. Sorry if that's not nuanced or sophisticated enough for you, but there's nothing nuanced or sophisticated about it. The guy took the ball and did the job. That's what teams pay for.
It's the endpoint because in the end that is the point.
Raisel Ghul, the Demon's Head
Make that a thing.
For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible
Arroyo's been dogged for the same "peripherals" since the day Krivsky traded for him. It's old now. In my opinion, the stat guys have been looking at the wrong stuff with him. He's about IP, starts and quality start % IMHO.
And beyond that, he's as close to an artist as there is pitching in baseball these days. That's what folks really shouldn't miss.
"Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini
Durability, consistency and reliability are part of the skill set an employer is looking at when they extend a player a big contract.