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Thread: Reds Starting Pitching

  1. #1
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    Reds Starting Pitching

    I just completed my review of the Reds' stats through 50 games.

    For all the talk (myself included) of Janish, Gomes, Renteria, Stubbs' strikeouts, all the offensive issues, the following stats are glaring:

    ERA

    Volquez 6.35
    Leake 5.70
    Arroyo 5.28
    Wood 5.11

    Reds cannot win with these kinds of numbers from starting pitchers. Bailey and Cueto have been much better, in fewer tries due to injury.

    Reds are constantly behind in games in the early innings. Two of these starters are now at AAA, but Leake is headed back and eventually so will Volquez be.

    Maybe all the talk of Reyes, Beltran, shortstops, and left fielders, is unnecessary.

    Maybe the starting pitching isn't any good.
    Last edited by Kc61; 05-26-2011 at 11:20 AM.

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    Re: Reds Starting Pitching

    Somewhere FCB smiles

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    Re: Reds Starting Pitching

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    Maybe the starting pitching isn't any good.
    I think the ERAs for Wood and Leake are kind of misleading. The pitching hasn't been as bad as the ERAs say, but it hasn't been great either.

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    Re: Reds Starting Pitching

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44 View Post
    I think the ERAs for Wood and Leake are kind of misleading. The pitching hasn't been as bad as the ERAs say, but it hasn't been great either.
    Obviously, over time, the ERAs will become more meaningful. ERAs can be skewed by a couple of terrible outings early.

    But let's not kid ourselves. These numbers aren't made up. This team is constantly playing from behind. These four starters haven't been good overall. ERAs over 5 and over 6 aren't close to acceptable.

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    Re: Reds Starting Pitching

    We should also keep in mind that Reds pitchers are likely always going to have a hard time keeping their ERAs low, due to pitching a lot in GAB. Not saying the pitching isn't a real disappointment so far, because it is.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

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    Re: Reds Starting Pitching

    I posted on this on another thread this morning. The guys whose ERA's KC posted have gotten 37 starts. SS and LF are surely problems, but, IMHO, those are minor compared to these ERA's. It's the starting pitching. And I think we need another, top flight starter, either now or certainly by 2012. It begins with getting out of denial about Volquez, and I'm glad to see the org. seems to be figuring that out. Move 2, IMO, should be to stretch Chapman out, with the goal of his being in the rotation in 2012. But I'd also be actively looking for a quality starter, and I'd love to do a deal with Ariz. for Drew and Kennedy, but I suspect they are way too smart to trade Kennedy for anything we'd be willing to offer.

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    Re: Reds Starting Pitching

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    We should also keep in mind that Reds pitchers are likely always going to have a hard time keeping their ERAs low, due to pitching a lot in GAB. Not saying the pitching isn't a real disappointment so far, because it is.
    I agree.

    League average team ERA is now 3.76. Reds is 4.34. That's too big a gap.

    I think we can reasonably expect the Reds to be around 4.00 or a tad higher. That's where they were last year.

    4.34 is obviously too high (and it probably was higher - last night Reds allowed 5 runs in 19 innings, which helped the team ERA).

    And the Reds pitching numbers are not evenly balanced between starting and relieving. The relievers have a solid ERA of 3.36. The starters' team ERA of 4.95 is just unacceptable.

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    Re: Reds Starting Pitching

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    Obviously, over time, the ERAs will become more meaningful. ERAs can be skewed by a couple of terrible outings early.

    But let's not kid ourselves. These numbers aren't made up. This team is constantly playing from behind. These four starters haven't been good overall. ERAs over 5 and over 6 aren't close to acceptable.
    Leake - 4 QS in 6 starts (67%)
    Wood - 7 QS in 11 starts (63%)
    Arroyo - 5 QS in 10 starts (50%)
    Volquez - 2 QS in 10 starts (20%)

    Arroyo's QS percentage last year was 63%.

    FTR, Arroyo has one start which accounts for over 1 run of his ERA. Those are the kinds of things which kill ERA more than the team, especially when you only have 10 starts.

    I think the starters have been much better than the ERAs indicate.

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    Re: Reds Starting Pitching

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44 View Post
    Leake - 4 QS in 6 starts (67%)
    Wood - 7 QS in 11 starts (63%)
    Arroyo - 5 QS in 10 starts (50%)
    Volquez - 2 QS in 10 starts (20%)

    Arroyo's QS percentage last year was 63%.

    FTR, Arroyo has one start which accounts for over 1 run of his ERA. Those are the kinds of things which kill ERA more than the team, especially when you only have 10 starts.

    I think the starters have been much better than the ERAs indicate.

    I don't necessarily agree.

    The overall record you presented is 18 quality starts out of
    37 games for the four pitchers. That's below 50 percent. I don't see what's so good about that. Of course, Volquez is largely responsible, I recognize that.

    Further, a pitcher's ERA is an average. We all know that averages can reflect different kinds of performance.

    Some 5.00 pitchers consistently give a 5.00 performance. Some vary between 2.00 performances and 8.00 performances. With lots of permutations in between.

    IMO, when it averages out at 5.00 in MLB, there is something wrong. But over time, these percentages are fixable. Time will tell if they fix the percentages by a string of consistent performances.

    If the end result, after 162 games, is a 5.00 pitcher, then he is just that. As Parcells said, you are what you are.
    Last edited by Kc61; 05-26-2011 at 12:11 PM.

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Reds Starting Pitching

    To provide a bit more color:

    Code:
    Name		GS*	IP	W	L	K/9	BB/9	HR/9	BABIP	LOB%	GB%   HR/FB	ERA	FIP	xFIP	WAR
    Travis Wood	11	61.7	3	3	7.0	2.9	0.9	.321	67%	34%	 8%	5.11	3.63	3.83	1.0
    Bronson Arroyo	10	59.7	3	5	6.3	2.3	1.8	.304	70%	38%	14%	5.28	4.91	3.93	0.1
    Edinson Volquez	10	51.0	3	2	9.4	6.7	1.6	.288	66%	55%	22%	6.35	5.53	4.15   -0.3
    Mike Leake	6	36.3	3	2	7.9	3.2	1.2	.302	64%	47%	15%	5.70	4.09	3.37	0.4
    Homer Bailey	4	26.0	3	1	6.9	1.4	0.7	.230	79%	47%	 7%	2.08	2.83	3.06	0.7
    Johnny Cueto	4	24.7	2	1	5.5	2.9	0.4	.244	71%	44%	 3%	2.19	3.19	4.00	0.5
    Sam LeCure	4	34.0	0	1	7.9	2.1	1.3	.225	79%	48%	14%	3.18	4.02	3.28	0.2
    Matt Maloney	1	15.0	0	1	7.2	2.4	2.4	.392	73%	30%	17%	7.20	5.77	4.13   -0.1
    Total		50	308.3	17	16	7.4	3.3	1.3	.294	68%	43%	12%	4.85	4.25	3.75	0.3
    My takeaways:
    • The starters' ERA, which ranks 15th in the NL, is inflated in large part by what amounts to bad "luck". It's not the defense's fault, as the .294 BABIP shows. Rather it seems to be mostly a function of bad timing that isn't a function of skill, but of circumstance. A 68% LOB simply isn't likely to continue. For a team with a strong defense, healthy strikeout rate and decent relievers, we'd expect something much closer to the 71% league average.
    • That said, the FIP of 4.25 still isn't good, ranking 13th.
    • However, the xFIP of 3.75 is solidly middle of the pack, ranking 8th.
    • As a staff, we've been way too HR prone. But that is likely the result of some bad "luck" thus far, as we've allowed an unsustainably high 12.9% HR/FB rate. Major league average is ~9.5% and HR/FB rate is not something pitchers typically have much control over. Last year, our starters were at 9.8%, so it's not like we have a staff that is particularly susceptible. Even if you account for GABP, that shouldn't be more than about a 1% bump on the aggregate totals (that is, an expected HR/FB of 10.5% for Reds pitchers).


    In short, the pitching could be better, no doubt. The return of Bailey and Cueto has been huge and LeCure has been a godsend. Seroiusly, LeCure has REALLY stepped up and is pitching like he belongs in a major league rotation moving forward. That said, even with Volquez's issues, we should expect the starters' collective ERA to drop moving forward.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  12. #11
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    Re: Reds Starting Pitching

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    I don't necessarily agree.

    The overall record you presented is 18 quality starts out of
    37 games for the four pitchers. That's below 50 percent. I don't see what's so good about that. Of course, Volquez is largely responsible, I recognize that.

    Further, a pitcher's ERA is an average. We all know that averages can reflect different kinds of performance.

    Some 5.00 pitchers consistently give a 5.00 performance. Some vary between 2.00 performances and 8.00 performances. With lots of permutations in between.

    IMO, when it averages out at 5.00 in MLB, there is something wrong. But over time, these percentages are fixable. Time will tell if they fix the percentages by a string of consistent performances.

    If the end result, after 162 games, is a 5.00 pitcher, then he is just that. As Parcells said, you are what you are.
    But averages at this time of year will be greatly affected by outlying games. Arroyo had a low 4s ERA before his last game. Now he is in the 5s. Does that one game move him from solid to really bad? When, worst case, it only affects 1 game in the standings?

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Reds Starting Pitching

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44 View Post
    But averages at this time of year will be greatly affected by outlying games. Arroyo had a low 4s ERA before his last game. Now he is in the 5s. Does that one game move him from solid to really bad? When, worst case, it only affects 1 game in the standings?
    I've done this analysis with Arroyo before. He's unusually inconsistent, which can actually be a good thing as pitchers go. As an extreme example, a guy who allows 0 runs in 9 games and 30 in 1 game is doing more to help his team win those 10 games than a guy who allows 3 runs each time out.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  14. #13
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    Re: Reds Starting Pitching

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    I've done this analysis with Arroyo before. He's unusually inconsistent, which can actually be a good thing as pitchers go. As an extreme example, a guy who allows 0 runs in 9 games and 30 in 1 game is doing more to help his team win those 10 games than a guy who allows 3 runs each time out.
    Exactly, that's my point. The games haven't all been pretty but those 3 haven't been a real problem. EV on the other hand...

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    Re: Reds Starting Pitching

    Hopefully Bailey won't be out for an extended period. Starting pitching across the board other than the return of Cueto/Bailey has been a major issue all year and explains the 26-25 record of medicority. Just a week ago the spurt to get to 25-17 and a healthy staff made the path to 90+ wins seem clear. A disastrous 1-8 stretch with the continued Volquez implosion and the Brewers emergence has made things a bit more complicated. Now we have 3 out of 5 games where the pitching staff has just imploded although today can be explained by last night's 19 inning gift wrapped loss.

    Things are going to be quite interesting for the front office in June/July at the rate things are unraveling with the starting staff, assuming they can actually manage to stay within a few games at the Break given the current trend.
    Last edited by oregonred; 05-26-2011 at 03:54 PM.

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    Re: Reds Starting Pitching

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44 View Post
    Exactly, that's my point. The games haven't all been pretty but those 3 haven't been a real problem. EV on the other hand...
    So your position is that the Reds' starting staff, except for V, has been acceptable so far this year.

    My position is that a 5 starting staff ERA is unacceptable. And it's not just Volquez.

    Leake was so good that the Reds shipped him out.

    Arroyo may straighten out but lately he's been getting bombed.

    Wood has been a bit better, but his meltdown in Cleveland really didn't help his own stats or the team.

    This starting staff is terrible right now. It can improve.

    But unless it does, this team will go noplace.


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