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Thread: Change or slump?

  1. #1
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Change or slump?

    I've been asking this question with each crappy outing, both for starters and relievers. Is the starting pitching in a slump or has Bryan Price introduced some adjustments that have not had the desired effect or taken hold yet? I mean, come on, getting beat around by the Dodgers is one thing, but the Padres dropping a 10 spot? Homers to Tony Gwynn? Everyone not named Cordero or Rhodes has been generally ineffective (Leake would not impress anyone were it not for the pathetic outings night after night by everyone else. His WHIP is poor and he will pay).

    Guys are nibbling, then throwing meatballs down the middle. Surely this isn't within Price's philosophy? Or is it? Welsh pointed it out in Arroyo last night, that he lacked his usual aggressivenes. He attributed it to not having it, but is there some communication that he is hearing in his ears that he heard all spring?

    Food for thought. Price spoke of a minor adjustment that Harang needed to make to his mechanics that has him "back." Results? Regression.

    Disclaimer: I am not "blaming" Bryan Price, just making observations and wondering if we might be witnessing short term pain for long-term gain, or just a slump?

    Regardless, watching 2003-2004 esque pitching night after night is brutal.
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  3. #2
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Change or slump?

    I think we're seeing a slow start brought on by poor preparation in Spring and exacerbated by falling confidence that a few poor outings will cause.

    1 or 2 guys being bad is a slump. Everyone being worse than usual is something systemic IMO.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

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    HS Athletic Director alexad's Avatar
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    Re: Change or slump?

    What ever it is, they need to get it fixed NOW. I am getting tired of watching a BAD TEAM..
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    Member Strikes Out Looking's Avatar
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    Re: Change or slump?

    This is a good question. The pitchers past performance shows that they are not this bad--Harang and Arroyo do not have a career 6+ era.

    Let me add some other thoughts:

    Did spring training in Arizona have an effect on the pitchers?

    Why are the Reds pitcher's consistently nibbling early in the count rather than throwing strikes?

    Is their a GABP effect? Are they shell shocked by the fly balls that go out of this stadium which causes them to attempt to be to fine with their pitches. Don't forget that the Dodgers gave up alot of runs in the series against the Reds as well.

    Something is missing and I'd sure like to know what it is.
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    Socratic Gadfly TheNext44's Avatar
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    Re: Change or slump?

    The problem is that it's early.

    Arroyo has had one bad game, one really bad game. Bailey has had one bad start, two meh starts. Cueto has had three decent, but short starts, Leake has had three good starts, and Harang has been terrible.

    So take out Harang and there really has only been two bad starts. The big problem is that there really hasn't been any great starts, which mentally and statistically makes everything seem worse.

    If this continues, then it will be a long season. But do you really think that every Reds pitcher will pitch the entire season without a nice run of good to great games. I think all of them, including Harang are very capable of that this season.

    Will they?
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  7. #6
    SSG, Red Army Choir Guacarock's Avatar
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    Re: Change or slump?

    Quote Originally Posted by Strikes Out Looking View Post
    Did spring training in Arizona have an effect on the pitchers?
    I don't think moving to Arizona, per se, had any impact whatsoever. But the way the Reds handled spring training might have had an effect. What do I mean? Simply.

    At a point a week or two before the end of spring, when other teams had cut their squads down to the 25-man limit, the Reds were still carrying a dozen or so extra players. Not only that, but the Reds were regularly inserting High A and AA players into games right up until the bitter end.

    I do believe the delayed streamlining of the squad could contribute to a lack of preparation. Instead of getting into a groove and working themselves into "game mode," our players were still fretting whether they would make the cut-off, or having to share playing time with scrubs. The indecision, the lack of resolution cost us.

    Maybe we needed to let the Wood-Leake duel play out until the 11th hour, but did we really need to witness the colossal slugout between Burke and Cairo? Nope, that's a slugout not destined to be etched into history. That's fortunate for us, as it suggests this blip will become a footnote, to be forgotten soon enough.

  8. #7
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Change or slump?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guacarock View Post
    I don't think moving to Arizona, per se, had any impact whatsoever. But the way the Reds handled spring training might have had an effect. What do I mean? Simply.

    At a point a week or two before the end of spring, when other teams had cut their squads down to the 25-man limit, the Reds were still carrying a dozen or so extra players. Not only that, but the Reds were regularly inserting High A and AA players into games right up until the bitter end.

    I do believe the delayed streamlining of the squad could contribute to a lack of preparation. Instead of getting into a groove and working themselves into "game mode," our players were still fretting whether they would make the cut-off, or having to share playing time with scrubs. The indecision, the lack of resolution cost us.

    Maybe we needed to let the Wood-Leake duel play out until the 11th hour, but did we really need to witness the colossal slugout between Burke and Cairo? Nope, that's a slugout not destined to be etched into history. That's fortunate for us, as it suggests this blip will become a footnote, to be forgotten soon enough.
    Agreed, This team did not leave Arizona ready to play. Pitchers making their first start of the season after only having gone as many as 5 innings in spring is a recipe for a slow start IMO.
    Last edited by mth123; 04-24-2010 at 04:14 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

  9. #8
    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: Change or slump?

    FWIW, Game Score by Reds' start...

    Harang vs. St. Louis (43)
    Cueto vs. St. Louis (54)
    Arroyo vs. St. Louis (73)
    Bailey vs. Chicago (44)
    Harang vs. Chicago (64)
    Leake vs. Chicago (58)
    Cueto vs. Florida (34)
    Arroyo vs. Florida (42)
    Bailey vs. Florida (29)
    Harang vs. Florida (12)
    Leake vs. Pittsburgh (46)
    Cueto vs. Pittsburgh (45)
    Arroyo vs. Pittsburgh (46)
    Bailey vs. Los Angeles (34)
    Harang vs. Los Angeles (23)
    Leake vs. Los Angeles (45)
    Arroyo vs. San Diego (9)

    Averages:

    Leake (50)
    Cueto (44)
    Arroyo (43)
    Harang (36)
    Bailey (36)
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

  10. #9
    Member Spring~Fields's Avatar
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    Re: Change or slump?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheNext44 View Post
    The problem is that it's early.

    Arroyo has had one bad game, one really bad game. Bailey has had one bad start, two meh starts. Cueto has had three decent, but short starts, Leake has had three good starts, and Harang has been terrible.

    So take out Harang and there really has only been two bad starts. The big problem is that there really hasn't been any great starts, which mentally and statistically makes everything seem worse.

    If this continues, then it will be a long season. But do you really think that every Reds pitcher will pitch the entire season without a nice run of good to great games. I think all of them, including Harang are very capable of that this season.

    Will they?
    I keep thinking that the pitching will come around. Surely it will. They'll get it ironed out. I hope.

  11. #10
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Change or slump?

    Ok, now I'm blaming Bryan Price:

    Aaron Harang said it was all about challenging hitters.

    “I was able to get ahead,” he said. “That inside corner was working for me . . . I talked to (pitching coach Bryan Price) about being aggressive, instead of picking around the zone. He said: Go out and be the old you.”
    http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/201...e-was-the-key/

    So, if Price is behind this nibbling we've been seeing, I hate him. Nibbling is for guys who do not have stuff, who cannot challenge hitters. The Reds have a rotation full of guys with stuff who can go after hitters, and have been successful doing so.

    So, there is the smoking gun cryptic message I was looking for. If that is what he is all about, he could pack his bags yesterday.
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    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: Change or slump?

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor View Post
    Ok, now I'm blaming Bryan Price:


    http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/201...e-was-the-key/

    So, if Price is behind this nibbling we've been seeing, I hate him. Nibbling is for guys who do not have stuff, who cannot challenge hitters. The Reds have a rotation full of guys with stuff who can go after hitters, and have been successful doing so.

    So, there is the smoking gun cryptic message I was looking for. If that is what he is all about, he could pack his bags yesterday.
    First, I think it's awfully shortsighted to make a snap judgment based on one snippet. But from that little quote, I got the impression that Price was telling him to go after hitters not go after corners.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

  13. #12
    Member Spring~Fields's Avatar
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    Re: Change or slump?

    I inferred that TR is just suggesting that there might be an indicator to a possible changing in philosophy on pitching theory, that might need an adjustment if there had been.

    As an aside question. Who call’s the pitches for the Reds, and how is it decided what pitches are thrown? Is it from advanced scouting and who interprets that report to decide what pitches are called to be thrown?

  14. #13
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Change or slump?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus the Pimp View Post
    First, I think it's awfully shortsighted to make a snap judgment based on one snippet. But from that little quote, I got the impression that Price was telling him to go after hitters not go after corners.
    Seeing as I'm not in a decision making capacity here and reading into cryptic messages, I'm not real worried about the impact of my "snap judgment." But then, I see that snippet as clear evidence for the theory I have been pondering, so it isn't like I hadn't been giving thought to the very area he touched. Harang's inference is that he went to his pitching coach and was seemingly asking permission to use a more aggressive approach. That implies to me that Price had been instructing his pitchers to "work around the zone, stay just off the plate, tantalizingly close, so the hitters won't chase and center the ball." That is exactly what we have been seeing night after night. Ball one, just a bit outside, Ball two, just a bit low, there's a strike "Boom!" Hopefully Price quickly realizes that is a recipe for disaster, that he has three power pitchers in his rotation, an aggressive junkballer, and a kid with lots of movement who likes to go right after hitters. Then maybe he'll realize that his closer has a penchant for nibbling and gets hurt when he does, but can blow guys away when he goes right after guys.

    Yep, snap judgment, you're right, have given this subject little thought and haven't been reading what Price and the pitching staff is up to at all.
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    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: Change or slump?

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor View Post
    Seeing as I'm not in a decision making capacity here and reading into cryptic messages, I'm not real worried about the impact of my "snap judgment." But then, I see that snippet as clear evidence for the theory I have been pondering, so it isn't like I hadn't been giving thought to the very area he touched. Harang's inference is that he went to his pitching coach and was seemingly asking permission to use a more aggressive approach. That implies to me that Price had been instructing his pitchers to "work around the zone, stay just off the plate, tantalizingly close, so the hitters won't chase and center the ball." That is exactly what we have been seeing night after night. Ball one, just a bit outside, Ball two, just a bit low, there's a strike "Boom!" Hopefully Price quickly realizes that is a recipe for disaster, that he has three power pitchers in his rotation, an aggressive junkballer, and a kid with lots of movement who likes to go right after hitters. Then maybe he'll realize that his closer has a penchant for nibbling and gets hurt when he does, but can blow guys away when he goes right after guys.

    Yep, snap judgment, you're right, have given this subject little thought and haven't been reading what Price and the pitching staff is up to at all.
    I'm not saying you have or haven't thought about it or that you are right or wrong.

    But you said, "So, there is the smoking gun cryptic message I was looking for. If that is what he is all about, he could pack his bags yesterday."

    Something about a cryptic message being a smoking gun that doesn't jibe. By nature, I think calling a cryptic message the smoking gun is still a snap judgment, even having preconceived beliefs on the matter. It's still not a definitive statement, especially since not everyone even interprets the comments the same way.

    I don't see Harang going to Price about changing his philosophy as seeking permission. I see it as a sign of respect that he would ask Price's opinion on something.

    To be perfectly honest, even if his philosophy is correct, you have to be able to work the corners in this league if you want to make it. You can't work the middle of the plate unless you have a fastball you can blow by people, a ton of movement on all your pitches or are very, very good at changing speeds and eye levels. Even then, you still have to start from the corners in - otherwise you're not going to have very good results.

    I agree you can't get behind in the count. Where I disagree is that it means you need to automatically go right after every hitter on the first pitch. It really depends on the hitter.
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Change or slump?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus the Pimp View Post
    I'm not saying you have or haven't thought about it or that you are right or wrong.

    But you said, "So, there is the smoking gun cryptic message I was looking for. If that is what he is all about, he could pack his bags yesterday."

    Something about a cryptic message being a smoking gun that doesn't jibe. By nature, I think calling a cryptic message the smoking gun is still a snap judgment, even having preconceived beliefs on the matter. It's still not a definitive statement, especially since not everyone even interprets the comments the same way.

    I don't see Harang going to Price about changing his philosophy as seeking permission. I see it as a sign of respect that he would ask Price's opinion on something.

    To be perfectly honest, even if his philosophy is correct, you have to be able to work the corners in this league if you want to make it. You can't work the middle of the plate unless you have a fastball you can blow by people, a ton of movement on all your pitches or are very, very good at changing speeds and eye levels. Even then, you still have to start from the corners in - otherwise you're not going to have very good results.

    I agree you can't get behind in the count. Where I disagree is that it means you need to automatically go right after every hitter on the first pitch. It really depends on the hitter.
    A smoking gun is a smoking gun, whether its cryptic or not. It's my interpretation of the snippet. It puts me on notice right away where the source of some of the struggles may be. Obviously, for what its worth. I'm not running to WJ just yet.....yet

    However, I do not see where I stated "agressive" means "automatically go right after every hitter on the first pitch." For clarification, an aggressive pitcher to me is one who attacks the zone with quality strikes throughout an at-bat. Of course, that is a generality and there will be multiple factors when taking the foot off the pedal is the right strategy, such as game situation, opponent tendencies, and the quality of the pitcher's stuff on any given day.
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