Nick had a terrible year, in my opinion. It seemed like each time he needed to hold a runner, prevent a big run, whatever Dusty called him to do in favor of Bray or the starter, he failed. The leverage stats indicate he wasn't good in high leverage:

Code:
                                                                                                                         
Split           G  PA  AB  R  H 2B 3B HR SB CS BB SO SO/BB   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB ROE BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
High Lvrge     36 104  89 21 33  6  0  3  0  0 13 14  1.08 .371 .451 .539 .990 48   2   0  2  0   5   0  .417   166   177
Medium Lvrge   33  58  49  4 13  2  0  0  0  0  8 13  1.63 .265 .362 .306 .668 15   1   0  0  1   1   0  .351    81    87
Low Lvrge      43 145 134 12 30  7  0  2  0  0 10 32  3.20 .224 .283 .321 .604 43   1   1  0  0   0   1  .280    62    71
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/26/2011.

This year he took a major step backwards statistically. His K/9 dropped from 10 to 7.8, his walks are a bit higher than last year, and are high in general, at 4.1. His WHIP is 1.56. I know relievers can have fluctuating years, but he about wore me out this year and I won't mind if he's replaced next year somehow if it means we can get a guy with more deceptive stuff and a high K rate. He is definitely upgradable.

Code:
                                                                 
Year    ERA  G   IP HR BB SO ERA+  WHIP  H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2009   2.37 74 76.0  6 24 70  178 1.026  6.4  0.7  2.8  8.3  2.92
2010   3.40 82 76.2  7 33 85  120 1.265  7.5  0.8  3.9 10.0  2.58
2011   3.82 73 68.1  5 31 59  102 1.566 10.0  0.7  4.1  7.8  1.90
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/26/2011.

Who knows, next year could be a bounce back year for him. But I'd rather see the Reds find an 8th inning guy with a better track record.