2013 Reds

Redleg Nation 2013 Season Preview: The Bullpen

The Bullpen
2012 Pitching Line: 434.1 IP, 478 K, 181 BB, 2.65 ERA
2013 Projection: 455 IP, 500 K, 190 BB, 2.80 ERA

2012 WAR: 6.3
2013 Best Guess: 6.0*
Projected Difference: -0.3
2013 Ceiling: 8.0
2013 Floor: 4.0

*This number does include Chapman’s WAR, which I also projected on Monday.

Hey, the season starts on Monday and we still don’t exactly know who’s going to be in the bullpen. If it were up to me, I’d take: Aroldis Chapman, Jonathan Broxton, Sean Marshall, Sam Lecure, Alfredo Simone, J.J. Hoover, and (probably) Jose Arredondo. I suspect, however, that Logan Ondrusek will be coming north, and I’m accounting for that in the projection. I’ll update if things change.

One good thing about the Chapman decision is that if the Reds get through six with a lead, the game should pretty much be over. Throwing Marshall, Broxton, and Chapman at any team, well, that’s going to be scary for them. I’d also be comfortable with Lecure, Simon, and Hoover in high leverage situations. This is a really good bullpen.

Of course, it will likely be hampered a bit by Logan Ondrusek. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but there is just no way he keeps this up. His peripherals are crazily bad. You just can’t walk five batters per nine innings while only striking out six and survive long in the majors. I shudder at the though of important innings going to him. If he makes the team, he should be last-man-out, mop-up-duty-only.

Arredondo also has some questionable peripherals, but his k-rate makes him less of a liability than Ondrusek.

All in all, this should, once again, be one of the best bullpens in the league. Expect a few more innings than they threw last year (second fewest in baseball) as the starters are unlikely to hold up quite as well, and a bit of a drop from Chapman. A full season of Broxton should help make up for that drop, though.

On Friday I’ll wrap things up, but I’ll give you a hint: This is probably going to be a good year to root for the Reds.

Redleg Nation Season Preview Schedule

Joey Votto – 2/27
Brandon Phillips – 3/1
Todd Frazier – 3/4
Zack Cozart – 3/6
Ryan Ludwick – 3/8
Shin-Soo Choo – 3/11
Jay Bruce – 3/13
Ryan Hanigan & Devin Mesoraco – 3/15
Bench – 3/18
Johnny Cueto & Mat Latos – 3/20
Homer Bailey & Bronson Arroyo – 3/22
Aroldis Chapman & Mike Leake – 3/25
Bullpen – 3/27
Updates & Preview Wrap-Up – 3/29

23 thoughts on “Redleg Nation 2013 Season Preview: The Bullpen

  1. It’ll be interesting to see who else we also see in the bullpen sometime this year – particularly if we’ll see Mark Prior. Or Clay Hensley. Or even Tony Cingrani out of the bullpen.

  2. On Friday I’ll wrap things up, but I’ll give you a hint: This is probably going to be a good year to root for the Reds.

    With the way the schedule sets up, we are jumping directly into the fray. I can’t remember a more challenging spring schedule for the Reds, but if you want to be the best you have to beat the best. We might as well start early.

    • @Shchi Cossack: You are right on that! April’s schedule is tough. I keep telling my kids (and therefore reminding myself) that .500 at the end of April won’t be the end of the world.

      • @Kyle Farmer: Tempering your expectations is always wise, but sometimes you just gotta believe. By the end of April, the Reds will be 19-9 with the Birds & Bucos looking up at the Reds and shaking their heads and the Nats and Halos hoping that somebody else can beat the Reds so they don’t have to face them in the post season.

    • @Shchi Cossack:

      With the way the schedule sets up, we are jumping directly into the fray.I can’t remember a more challenging spring schedule for the Reds, but if you want to be the best you have to beat the best.We might as well start early.

      Shouldn’t this have a “WOOOOOO!” after it?

  3. I still see some sort of trade involving all of these arms. There are just too many there, and we have even more supposedly on the way up.

    Hard to think they will be just as good or even better than last year. But, I do believe they will be one of the top pens again this season.

  4. Jason, this series certainly has provided some interesting material for lucnhtime reading for me lately. Thanks for all the effort.

    I have to agree with your choices for BP. It would be disappointing to see Hoover sent to AAA. Do any of the other pitchers have options left?

      • @Greg Dafler: One of the broadcast crew also made reference a few days ago to Ondru having options, I think it was Thom. … There was an interesting comment about Ondru a few days ago also, I think it was from Brantley. He said that when Logan gets in a groove, he needs to pitch often, to make sure he doesn’t lose his “mechanics” etc. Then late in the season, when he can’t physically pitch as often, he has trouble repeating those proper mechanics. I’ve never heard that about a pitcher before.

  5. It is essentially a straight up WAR comparison based FanGraphs’ staff playing time projections in combination with a ZiPS projected WAR, but the Reds bullpen was rated 9th best in baseball by the system. They were rated 4th in the NL. This was including Chapman in the pen. I am not as tied to WAR as some and bullpen pitchers are terribly hard to project so I’m not sure I’d agree with how everything shook out. That said, it’s a decent preview of all the pens.

    The start of the relief pitcher power rankings can be found here: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/positional-power-rankings-relief-pitchers-1-15/

    There is also an interview with Bronson Arroyo by David Laurila there that I haven’t read yet. You can find it here: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/qa-bronson-arroyo-master-craftsman/

    • @LWBlogger: Arroyo is awesome. He said he probably has three years left before he starts to fade. I think that’s an honest answer. I hope he spends those years in the Reds uniform.

    • @LWBlogger: The problem with the Fangraphs projection (as noted in the article) is that Chapman was generally projected to be a starter. Thus, his innings are correctly adjusted, but his other stats aren’t. It’s probably safe to give him credit for something close to another 1.0 WAR, which puts the Reds as, I believe, the #2 bullpen in baseball.

      • @Jason Linden: I’m not sure I’d go a full 1.0 WAR (making him a 2.0 WAR pitcher I believe based on that FanGraphs projection) but you make a good point. I’d say that would be worth at least another .5 WAR and maybe as much as the +1.0 you suggested.

  6. I must have missed every appearance where Arredondo was any good last year. From what I saw, He starts batters out with ball one, and gets worse from there. Fair or not, his awfulness in Game 4 will be etched in my head for a looong time. Hope he does not make the trip north.

    • @jessecuster44: I could live with either Arredondo or Ondrusek not making the team, as long as Hoover makes it. But, Arredondo does provide some value against lefties as his splits are pretty remarkable for a right handed pitcher.

      • @RiverCity Redleg: I believe Arredondo provides definite value over Ondrusek for the reason you note. The amazing thing about that reverse split is that NONE of the managers seem to recognize the split during games. Dusty routinely ignores the reverse split and brings Arredondo in to face RH hitters and the opposing managers routinely substitute a LH hitter to face him. Maybe it has something to do with the way water goes down the drain…

  7. As far as I can tell, Ondrusek should have an option year left. He used up options in 2010 and 2012. He also has less than 5 years of MLB experience so doesn’t fall under veteran consent.

    • @LWBlogger: Yep. As I noted yesterday, I think the source of the confusion is that he was first “option eligible” in 2009, but instead of putting him on the 40-man roster, the Reds left him exposed to the Rule V draft. At that time, he was still in A+ ball. That year was the year that he found great success and jumped up to the AAA level. The Reds were able to put him on the 40-man roster that offseason and use his first option year in 2010.

  8. Dusty is being Dusty again and that concerns me in ths ‘win now’ season.

    “He’s (Parra) got to make the team first,” Baker said. “Manny’s better than he’s been here. Fortunately for us, we’ve seen him on the other side. We’ve seen him very good. (If he makes team), it will probably be a situation much like Billy Bray last year — the need for a second lefty to take pressure off of Marshall earlier in the game. Or, if Marshall has gone three or four days in a row.”

    When Dusty made his response prior to yesterday’s game with KC, Parra has a 4.05 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 9.45 H/9 & 2.2 SO/BB for this spring. Parra was actually pitching much better this spring than during his career. For his illustrious career, Parra has a 5.12 ERA, 1.64 WHIP, 10.2 H/9 & 1.83 SO/BB. Parra has been remarkably consistent (i.e. consistently bad) throughout his career. I wonder just when Dusty has ‘seen him very good’? After yesterday’s performance against KC, Parra came down from his lofty heights this spring to a 5.28 ERA, 1.63 WHIP, 11.15 H/9 & 1.83 SO/BB, which is right in line with his very consistent (i.e. consistently bad) career performance.

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