"This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner
Last year, we wore out the bullpen by the AS break, mainly because EV couldn't throw strikes and came out early in the game as well as others. The addition of Latos in the rotation in his place negates that overworked bullpen. I also look for the rest of the starters to go longer this year because of experience. Arroyo should have have a horrid year like last year, but if he does, Wood is waiting in the wings. The only problem I see is Dusty and his love for veterans, meaning that he will go too long with Arroyo if his problems don't improve.
Here's the thing. Go back to the 2010 playoffs versus the Phillies. Everyone agrees that the Reds were terrible in that series. For some reason, the only lesson taken away from that series was that the Reds need a TOR hammer. Huh? That's what we learned in that series?
Look closer. It wasn't the pitching that was bad. It was the offense and the terrible defense. In Games 2 and 3, the starters (Arroyo and Cueto) for the Reds only gave up one earned run each. And in Game 1, the starter (Volquez) gave up four earned runs, but lets be honest, it wouldn't have mattered if Volquez gave up only one run or one hundred runs because the Reds were no-hit and shut out in that game. The offense lost that series. The errors killed them. It was not the pitching. Had the offense that led the league in scoring showed up, and had the defense that was one of the best fielding teams showed up, the Reds win that series. You cannot blame that series on the pitching.
I think the 2012 rotation will be better, but not necessarily because of the addition of Latos. I think Arroyo will be better (closer to his career norms). I think both Bailey, Leake, and Wood will both improve simply because they are one year older. Bailey and Wood are both only 25, and that is the age most pitchers are in their rookie or sophomore years. They are two years away from reaching their peak. Leake is only 23, and I'd give him four years to reach his peak. I also think Volquez would have improved simply because he would have been one year further removed from TJ surgery, and command is always the last thing to return. The only starter I look to digress is Cueto.
The bigger challenge is going to be generating enough offense to win those games when they are behind 1-0 or 2-1. They sure didn't do it in 2011.
Opinions are like belly buttons. Everybody has one, and they don't want someone else's shoved into their face.
I just did a super quick projection of next year's staff to get a feel for a baseline. The only big adjustments I made were Arroyo rebounding to his normal 4.50 FIP self and Chapman getting his walks down to reasonable. This is what I came up with:
This is meant to be quick and dirty, so take it for what it's worth. As currently constructed, with no major injuries we're looking at something like a 4.00 team FIP. Last year we put up a 4.37. Our total R/G last year was 4.44 compared to a league average of 4.16, 12th of 16 teams. So basically, I'd say our run prevention is looking to be around league average,assuming comparable defense. That nets out to about +5 wins. If you add that to last year's expected W-L of 83 wins, that puts us at 88 wins or so. Obviously that's all some real back of the envelope stuff and assumes a good bit of health. Though it passes the sniff test.Code:Pos Player IP K BB HR K/9 BB/9 HR/9 FIP ER UER SP1 Latos 200 200 55 20 9.00 2.48 0.90 3.33 74 4 SP2 Cueto 200 140 60 18 6.30 2.70 0.81 3.87 86 5 SP3 Leake 200 140 45 25 6.30 2.03 1.13 4.10 91 5 SP4 Arroyo 200 130 45 30 5.85 2.03 1.35 4.53 101 6 SP5 Bailey 160 130 40 20 7.31 2.25 1.13 3.95 70 4 LR LeCure 100 90 28 12 8.10 2.52 1.08 3.80 42 3 MR Smith 60 40 22 8 6.00 3.30 1.20 4.70 31 2 MR Arredon 60 55 30 6 8.25 4.50 0.90 4.17 28 2 MR Chapman 80 100 35 5 11.25 3.94 0.56 2.83 25 2 SU Bray 50 45 20 4 8.10 3.60 0.72 3.64 20 1 CL Masset 60 55 25 6 8.25 3.75 0.90 3.92 26 2 P Wood 80 60 20 10 6.75 2.25 1.13 4.08 36 2 P Brackmn 20 16 12 2 7.20 5.40 0.90 4.70 10 1 Total 1470 1201 437 166 7.35 2.68 1.02 3.93 641 38
Google spreadsheet here.
Last edited by RedsManRick; 12-19-2011 at 05:14 PM.
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.
And This One Belongs to the REDS!!!
Seems relatively plausible. It's a nice improvement although, in a way it underscores how poor the pitching was last year. We have to sign an excellent pitcher like Latos just to get average-ish.
It sure would be nice to add another good starter.
"Bring on Rod Stupid!"
One impact I'm imagining is the ability for the Reds to extend winning streaks and, well, end losing streaks. We've all seen what a hot pitching staff can do for the confidence of any team. If your top two pitchers are consistent, then your next two guys get hot, things start falling the right way...you've got a 7 game winning streak. Sometimes 10 game. I'm excited for that possibility next season.
I hope he helps to drastically cut down on those 5 inning, 110 pitch starts that has the bullpen up and throwing in the second inning and racking up 4 innings and 5 pitchers burnt up.
To me, the rash of those things early in the season was the prime culprit in the second half collapse of the pen. You just can't win doing that three times during one turn of the rotation.
"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