2013 Reds

Reds (Arroyo) vs. White Sox at 3:05 ET

Here’s today’s Cactus League lineup, per Mark Sheldon. The middle of the Reds regular order is hitting today. Brandon Phillips makes his last start before leaving for the World Baseball Classic. JoeyMVP apparently remains undecided about his participation for Team Canada.

Bronson Arroyo makes his first trip to the mound in 2013. The 36-year-old right hander from Key West is coming off a year where he compiled a 12-10 record, 3.74 ERA (4.08 FIP), and a 1.208 WHIP. In 2012, Arroyo continued to see his walk rate fall, posting a career-low 1.56 BB/9. That was the second-lowest BB/9 among qualified starting pitchers last season. Cliff Lee was first at 1.19.

You might remember Arroyo’s last game for the Reds. It was a 9-0 win in Game Two of the NLDS in San Francisco. Arroyo pitched seven innings, giving up one hit and one walk. The performance was also noteworthy because over the seven innings Arroyo threw pitches that registered each and every MPH between 69 and 90.

Heisey 8
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Ludwick 7
Bruce DH
Frazier 5
Olivo 2
Phipps 9
Izturis 6
Arroyo 1

Game time: 3:05 p.m. ET at Camelback Ranch.

In other club news, which many shoulder surgeons were celebrating last night, Mark Prior signed a minor league contract with the Reds. In Prior’s final ten regular season games of 2003, his pitch count was 116, 118, 100, 116, 131, 129, 109, 124, 131, and 133. On Sept. 1 of that year, Prior was allowed to throw 131 pitches in a game the Cubs were winning 7-0. His manager was Dusty Baker.

11 thoughts on “Reds (Arroyo) vs. White Sox at 3:05 ET

  1. I’d like to see Henry Rodriguez get a good long look while Brandon’s at the WBC. I know that’s probably not gonna happen, what with Donald, Hannahan, Izturis & Burriss looking like the likely the contenders for the backup IF spots (and of course they all have the veteran-iness, which the manager seems to cherish above all else), but I think the kid could really open some eyes.

  2. Regarding Prior: Dusty said on Saturday’s pregame show with Marty that he warned Prior that signing with the Reds would likely make a few headlines and maybe bring back some bad memories, but that Prior wasn’t fazed and wanted to give it a shot.

    What I found the most interesting was what Dusty said of people critical of his handling of Wood and Prior. He said ultimately he didn’t care what those people were saying because they don’t know “the truth,” but he and Prior know the truth. … Having just read Steve’s account of Prior’s pitch count, I wonder what “the truth” is, because Dusty didn’t define the truth on Saturday.

  3. Woah, 131 pitches in a 7-0 game? Here’s a link to a recap for that game, and some background information.
    http://espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=230901116
    -After leaving Mark Prior said “I wanted to stay in, but I had 130 pitches”.
    -The Cubs were scheduled to play a doubleheader the next day and apparently they really wanted to rest the bullpen.
    -The bullpen pitched 11 innings in the previous two games.
    -Prior pitched dominantly all night.

    @Brian Van Hook: I think Dusty specified plenty of times previously that fans hold him responsible for injuries to Prior and Wood but that neither of those guys have pressed blamed Dusty for their problems. If Dusty and Prior are together with the Reds they’ll have to keep answering the same questions about how Mark Prior should be angry that Dusty Baker destroyed his career, which both sides have denied.

    • Woah, 131 pitches in a 7-0 game?Here’s a link to a recap for that game, and some background information.
      http://espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=230901116
      -After leaving Mark Prior said “I wanted to stay in, but I had 130 pitches”.
      -The Cubs were scheduled to play a doubleheader the next day and apparently they really wanted to rest the bullpen.
      -The bullpen pitched 11 innings in the previous two games.
      -Prior pitched dominantly all night.

      @Brian Van Hook: I think Dusty specified plenty of times previously that fans hold him responsible for injuries to Prior and Wood but that neither of those guys have pressed blamed Dusty for their problems.If Dusty and Prior are together with the Reds they’ll have to keep answering the same questions about how Mark Prior should be angry that Dusty Baker destroyed his career, which both sides have denied.

      You want to dig this deep, you would need to dig deeper. For instance, why did the pen have to throw 11 innings the previous 2 games? Did Baker have a quick hook then? Shouldn’t he have been planning for the doubleheader during those games as well? How many relievers were used during those games anyhow? Were there any other pitchers left in the pen he could have gone to?

      Second, every big league player always wants to play, rarely ever being asked to come out of a game. You would have to take them out. 7-0 ballgame, correct move is to put some innings on a pen scrub, not your franchise pitcher.

      Remember, Baker’s rep is he’s not a good X’s and O’s guy, not a very good in-game manager. That would include things like pitcher and bullpen management. He lets the pitcher coaching up to the pitching coach 100% already. Who’s to say he doesn’t understand how to use them, either?

  4. Also, regarding Mark Prior’s final 10 regular season games in 2003, Prior went 9-1 in those games. His only loss was when he gave up 3 runs in 5.2 innings to lose 3-2. His ERA in August 2003 was 0.69 in 39 innings, in September it was 2.27 in 43.2 innings. After that Mark Prior was 2-1 in the playoffs. Was he disappointed with his 18 win, 211.1 inning, 245 strikeout, 2.43 ERA season? I doubt it. In hindsight maybe that ruined his career, but does anybody blame Dusty Baker for relying on him? I guess they do. Whatever.

  5. @concepcion13: I’d say that Jack Hannahan is a sure thing to make the team, Jason Donald is a guy with a roster spot/job to lose, Cesar Izturis is a guy who could win (or be awarded due to an injury) a job, while Burriss doesn’t have much of a chance at anything.

    I think we’ll see Henry Rodriguez plenty when Phillips is enjoying the WBC. There’s a strong argument to be made that he’s better off playing everyday in AAA though than sitting on the bench, even if he does open some eyes this spring. I guess being young and talented does have some drawbacks… while an old veteran like Izturis doesn’t have much of a future to worry about. So far Henry Rodriguez is hitting .667 – not too shabby.

  6. @redsfanman: Your desire to defend Dusty is exhausting. Especially because I wasn’t criticizing, merely asking what the truth really was behind Prior’s demise. From reading up on all of his injuries, I couldn’t help wondering if maybe Prior tweaked his pitching motion to accommodate other injuries, or whatever.

    Dusty’s “truth” answer came across to me as there kinda was a traceable reason for what happened to Prior, and those two guys both know what it was. …

  7. @redsfanman: Supposing that it was true that the bullpen needed to be rested, one thing I’d never do is put extra pitches on the franchise pitcher.

    No, I’m not saying whose fault it is Prior got hurt, because we’ll never know with certainty. But the reasoning is faulty. Throw extra innings onto some bullpen scrub, not Mark Prior.

  8. This column, dated 5/10/2004, discusses pitch counts and how teams approach the subject. There was no uniform approach back then and a significant number of teams did not express concern over the number of pitches a pitcher threw in a game.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=schwarz_alan&id=1790788

    However; in these snippets from the article, Dusty let the pitch count run up quite often on Wood and Prior compared to their colleagues:
    One of the most thorough and interesting statistical studies belongs to Rany Jazayerli and Keith Woolner of Baseball Prospectus, who use a system they call Pitcher Abuse Points. What makes their system significant is that Jazayerli and Woolner discovered a correlation between starts above 100 pitches, particularly those above 120, and both decreased short-term effectiveness and increased chance of long-term serious injury. Last year’s top five in Pitcher Abuse Points per start were Kerry Wood, Javier Vazquez, Mark Prior, Mark Redman and Livan Hernandez.

    Apparently Prior does not blame Dusty for his injuries. It’s good that he can keep things in perspective. And I am glad to see Dusty go to bat for him with Walt to get him a chance. It would be a great story if he can help the Reds later in the year as Aroldis approaches his season pitch limit.

  9. Remember, Baker is nothing more than the “utility fielder” of managers. Every team wants one; that’s why he’s been able to hold on this long. But, as far as being vital to the overall team success, the “utility fielder” doesn’t have that much of an effect. If your team is relying on the “utility fielder” to win games, your team is pretty much shot already. If the “utility fielder” was going to have a positive effect on the success of your team, they would probably be starting.

  10. As bad as the workload he heaped on a young pitcher at the end of 2003 appears, it didn’t stop there. The very next season the Cubs were playing the Reds and in the 10th game of the year he allowed Wood to throw 131 pitches. I still remember listening to that game and thinking what Baker was doing was insane because not only was it early in the season, but Wood had already had an issue with arm trouble. But that’s Dusty – manage a game in mid-April like it’s the deciding game of a playoff series and manage the deciding game of a playoff series like it’s a get-away Sunday afternoon game in April.

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