Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Cincinnati 3
Philadelphia 2

W: B. Arroyo (10-7)
L: V. Worley (6-9)
S: A. Chapman (31)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Outstanding performance by Bronson Arroyo tonight. Arroyo pitched into the ninth, allowing two runs on just three hits. Arroyo struck out four and didn’t walk a better. Masterful.

This is the Bronson Arroyo that became my favorite player a few years ago. Changing arm angles, moving the ball all over the zone. Fun to watch.

–Jay Bruce homered and tripled. He’s now hitting .260/.337/.528 on the season.

–Ryan Hanigan reached base three times again: 2-3 with a walk and a run scored. Hanigan is hitting .293 with a .379 OBP. Are you kidding me?

–Ryan Ludwick and Zack Cozart each had two hits.

–With the game at 3-1 in the eighth inning, and two runners on base, Cozart and Brandon Phillips turned a gorgeous double play to end the inning. Cozart ranged deep behind second base, flipped to BP, who bare-handed the ball and threw a strike to first. Good stuff.

–Aroldis Chapman is good.

NEGATIVES
–Scott Rolen made a rare error, but it was a tough play. Hopper to third took a strange bounce after hitting the lip of the infield grass.

On a related note, it doesn’t seem possible that Rolen has made nine errors this year.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–Another nice win for the ol’ Redlegs. That’s ten wins in thirteen games; 26-11 since Joey Votto last played.

–Pittsburgh lost, so Cincinnati’s lead in the NL Central will be at least 8 games, and maybe 8.5. Crazy.

–A lot of people will question Dusty’s decision to permit Arroyo to come out for the ninth inning. No question that Arroyo has had trouble late in games, but I think I would have done the same thing Baker did. Arroyo had only thrown 83 pitches through eight innings. Give him a shot to finish it.

Then, after a dinky little infield hit, Dusty brought on Chapman to finish things. Baker played that exactly correct.

–Arroyo is the fourth Reds pitcher to win ten games this year. I’m impressed daily with the work we’ve seen from this starting rotation all year long.

–Aroldis tied Rob Dibble and John Franco in the Reds record book tonight:

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–Johnny Cueto takes the mound tomorrow, giving the Reds a good chance to win three of four from the Phils. Me like.

93 Responses

  1. Kurt Frost

    I seem to remember people wanting arroyo cut before the year started.

    • redsfanman

      I seem to remember people wanting arroyo cut before the year started.

      People have wanted Arroyo cut or traded every season since he first came to the Reds. That’s part of not throwing hard. He’s back to second (behind Cueto) for innings pitched and this could be his first season since he arrived in 2006 that he hasn’t led the rotation in innings.

      Bronson Arroyo even pitched reasonably well in his 2010 playoff start against the Phillies (3 runs, 1 ER, on 4 hits and no walks in 5.1 innings) and it was nice to see him excel tonight in a somewhat similar atmosphere.

      • steveschoen

        People have wanted Arroyo cut or traded every season since he first came to the Reds.That’s part of not throwing hard.He’s back to second (behind Cueto) for innings pitched and this could be his first season since he arrived in 2006 that he hasn’t led the rotation in innings.

        Bronson Arroyo even pitched reasonably well in his 2010 playoff start against the Phillies (3 runs, 1 ER, on 4 hits and no walks in 5.1 innings) and it was nice to see him excel tonight in a somewhat similar atmosphere.

        Few wanted him cut as soon as he got here. Many wanted him cut after last year, justifiably so I believe. But, I believe most were understandable enough to be giving him one more chance. After all, with the year he had last year, also, who would take a pitcher with an 8 figure salary coming off a year like that. We would probably be DFA’ing him, still held to pay him. Might as well see if he would still have it or if, yes, he was losing it. Fairly obvious, he has lost some. But, he can still bring it on occasion.

    • David

      I seem to remember people wanting arroyo cut before the year started.

      I was one of them, Kurt. Arroyo was, by many statistical measures, the worst starting pitcher in the NL last season. He had the worst FIP (and it wasn’t even close) and was record setting in the number of HRs he gave up (46!!). The guy turned 35 in February, and by all accounts was finished as an effective MLB SP.

      The one positive I thought Arroyo brought to the table was his IPs. Arroyo at 200 IPs of even 5.00 ERs (if he could LOWER his 2012 ERA) equates to about 7 IPs and 4 ERs per game over 32 starts. I could have lived with that out of a fifth starter.

      I advocated for adding another arm via trade to give the Reds a rotation of Cueto, Latos, X, Chapman, Bailey/Leake/Arroyo. Obviously, Chapman was needed in the pen with all the injuries and Bailey and Arroyo have pitched exceptionally well. That doesn’t mean my analysis at the beginning of the season was faulty. Did anyone predict these numbers for Arroyo?

      • TC

        Bailey and Arroyo have pitched exceptionally well. That doesn’t mean my analysis at the beginning of the season was faulty. Did anyone predict these numbers for Arroyo?

        I think I remember there were many here who thought this would be a bounce back year for Arroyo. Chief among them was Preach.

      • David

        I think I remember there were many here who thought this would be a bounce back year for Arroyo. Chief among them was Preach.

        Look, anybody can make a wild prediction. Those are the same people who pick all upsets during March Madness to say “I picked St. Louis over Duke.” Even though those are the same people who inevitably lose their office pools every year. So, bounce back? Yeah. Many thought he would improve, but I don’t think people realistically expected Arroyo to do in 2012 what he did in 2009.

        For example, you said this:

        TC
        1/27/2012 at 2:05 pm TC(Quote)
        I just said this on the other thread, but however you get it done you need to figure out a way to keep Francis on the roster. This was an awesome bargain and IMO (provided he has his stuff back) he IS one of the 5 best starting pitchers on the team.

        And this:

        TC
        1/27/2012 at 4:42 pm TC(Quote)
        @jrob45601: What about 1.) Cueto 2.) Latos 3.) Leake 4.) Bailey 5.) Francis Long) Arroyo… I know, I know… LeCure found his calling as long and is very effective in that role, but I think there would be a few less blown 1st and 2nd inning starts if Arroyo wasn’t starting. With Volquez gone, there will be at least 5 less long relief opportunities next year. Arroyo is the only other pitcher that has a history of blowing up early a couple times a year. (I still have a headache from the 11 spot he gave the Jays in 2010.)

        And then this:

        TC
        1/27/2012 at 4:46 pm TC(Quote)
        For me it just comes down to who I think helps the team more, LeCure or Francis. When put like that…

        The debate I recall having is whether Arroyo, at best, could bounce back to a league average No. 4. I was pessimistic, and to Arroyo’s credit, I think he is exactly that this year. That doesn’t mean being bearish on Arroyo and having an honest discussion of either trading him or moving him to the pen was somehow a bad thing.

      • LWBlogger

        I think I remember there were many here who thought this would be a bounce back year for Arroyo. Chief among them was Preach.

        @TC: Yes, Preach was a huge supporter if I recall. I thought he’d rebound some and defended him quite a lot but my projections weren’t entirely optimistic (Bronson Arroyo (IP – 188, K/9 – 5.34, HR/9 – 1.49, WHIP – 1.30, ERA – 4.49)

    • LWBlogger

      I seem to remember people wanting arroyo cut before the year started.

      @Kurt Frost: This could apply to several people on the team, most of which are playing pretty darn well.

  2. hydeman

    Two games in a row had me on the edge of the couch all night long…Great to see Brandon dominate with his crazy shapes and speed. Not sure why but everytime they get to Howard and that wanna be Sandberg fella I feel lucky they don’t kill us. GO REDS! 8)

  3. LVW

    Bruce became the 33rd player this to have a triple and HR; but no singles or doubles in the same game.

  4. hoodlum

    I would enjoy a comfortable reds win tomorrow, where we push lots of runs across and i don’t get an ulcer at any point in the game. Is that too much to ask?

    let’s go redlegs, let’s go reds.

  5. CharlotteNCRedsFan

    Fantastic start by Bronson. Got to admit after Monday night’s beat-down, I was a little concerned. No worries now. This club just keeps stepping up to its challenges.

  6. eric nyc

    I was really impressed by Dustys handling of the 9th. I saw Chapman warming up in the 8th and thought “Of course Dusty is going to burn Chapman just because it’s technically a save.” Then when Arroyo came in for the 9th I knew what the plan was and was totally on board. If not for a tick of bad luck from Rolen then Arroyo probably gets the CG and Chap gets a much needed day off. As it stands, our starter gave a great performance, didn’t get quite enough offensive support, and had his All Universe closer slam the door. Good baseball all around.

  7. joelie1274

    Arroyo threw 86 pitches, 61 of them strikes. No walks. Three hits. If he’s still pitching like that in the post-season, then the Reds effectively have 3 aces in the starting rotation. That’s tough to beat in 5 and 7 game series, considering there are no games on travel days and the Reds don’t need all 5 starters necessarily. Plus Homer has some great games in him and Leake doesn’t suck.

    I like our chances.

  8. eric nyc

    I love your optimism, but we get GoodRoyo vs BadRoyo at pretty much a 50:50 ratio. MAYBE 60:40 this year. I will NEVER consider Srroyo anything like an “ace” in post season play. Info like what he does as a change up to Curto and Latos, but I would love some late move on the waiver trade wire for another front end starter. never going to happen, though. Walt and Dusty love Bronson.

    • steveschoen

      was really impressed by Dustys handling of the 9th. I saw Chapman warming up in the 8th and thought “Of course Dusty is going to burn Chapman just because it’s technically a save.” Then when Arroyo came in for the 9th I knew what the plan was and was totally on board. If not for a tick of bad luck from Rolen then Arroyo probably gets the CG and Chap gets a much needed day off. As it stands, our starter gave a great performance, didn’t get quite enough offensive support, and had his All Universe closer slam the door. Good baseball all around.

      Reply

      joelie1274

      8/22/2012 at 10:40 pm joelie1274(Quote)

      Arroyo threw 86 pitches, 61 of them strikes. No walks. Three hits. If he’s still pitching like that in the post-season, then the Reds effectively have 3 aces in the starting rotation. That’s tough to beat in 5 and 7 game series, considering there are no games on travel days and the Reds don’t need all 5 starters necessarily. Plus Homer has some great games in him and Leake doesn’t suck.
      I like our chances.

      Agreed. I’m not really even sure about Latos myself. I believe it will come down to who’s hot, where the games are played, matchups, etc. Which all means, Baker has to make decisions. Oh oh!

  9. Sultan of Swaff

    It’s game 3 of the playoffs, who do you start—Homer or Bronson????

    • eric nyc

      It’s game 3 of the playoffs, who do you start—Homer or Bronson????

      Oof. I don’t like this question at all.

      What is GOING to happen is Arroyo will start Game 2 of any playoff series. That’s just going to happen so let’s get used to the idea now. That could turn out very god for us or very bad for us. It’s almost the definition of a coin flip. Homer has not shown the kind of consistency this year to earn a playoff starting role. He had a run in July or so that made it look like that’s where he was heading, but he hasn’t kept it up. He’s a 2010 Harang all the way right now and I dont’ know if he has enough starting opportunities between now and October to change that.

      in a perfect world, we make a waiver wire trade for a legit #3 starter. I really don’t think there’s any chance that happens. I think Walt and Dusty are happy with a Cueto/Arroyo/Latos playoff rotation. Arroyo is the wild card. If he pitches like he did tonight for a month, we get a ring. If he pitches like he has 40% of the time this year, we don’t. I’m not crazy about those odds, but I’m pretty sure that’s what we’re going into the playoffs with so it is what it is…

      • TC

        Some pitchers who have average years in the regular season shine in the postseason. Some of shine in the regular season blow it in the postseason. Lohse and Carpenter are perfect examples of that from last year. There is limited data to look at, but Arroyo is a good postseason pitcher.

        Wait… didn’t he lose his game in the 2010 NLDS? Yes, but the Phils did not score on him until the 5th inning and he left that game a base runner on and a 4-2 LEAD in the 6th. Rhodes let the base runner score. It was still 4-3 Reds until Chapman gave up 3 runs in the 7th. Game 2 was the only… well, game.

        It is possible to pitch with only 3 pitchers in the postseason, but no one does and no one will. So there are only two things we know for sure, 1) Cueto will pitch game one and 2) Leake will not pitch. The rest will have to do with match-ups and who’s available.

    • Matt WI

      It’s game 3 of the playoffs, who do you start—Homer or Bronson????

      On the Road: Bailey. Home: Bronson. I’m not messing with Bailey’s freak splits at home in the playoffs.

      • BloodyHo

        @rfay00:

        On the Road: Bailey. Home: Bronson. I’m not messing with Bailey’s freak splits at home in the playoffs.

        ***** RECORD ** ERA ** WHIP * HR
        HOME: * 3-6 *** 5.42 * 1.63 * 17
        AWAY: * 7-2 *** 2.91 * 1.17 * 4

        If I’m a shrewd GM (who is not affiliated with GABP) who is looking for a serious upgrade for my pitching staff with multiple years of team control remaining, I’m seriously targeting Homer for a trade during the off-season. Homer could be a top-of-the-order pitcher for the right team.

        If Luddy doesn’t resign with the Reds in the off-season, maybe that shrewd GM is sitting out in SD with a very good 3B he is looking to trade since he has another very promising young 3B waiting in AAA, maybe…

        If Luddy does resign with the Reds in the off-season, maybe that same GM sitting out in SD might want to part with a serious package of very good prospects from a very deep minor league system, maybe…

        Homer could very well be a #1 or #2 out in PetCo and well worth the consideration. SD is positioned to start challenging the rest of the NL West next year and they need a top-of-the-order pitcher for next year just like the Reds needed one for this year.

    • dn4192

      It’s game 3 of the playoffs, who do you start—Homer or Bronson????

      Depends on whom we are playing and where…

    • LWBlogger

      It’s game 3 of the playoffs, who do you start—Homer or Bronson????

      @Sultan of Swaff: Give me Bronson over Homer in the playoffs.

  10. joelie1274

    Yeah, maybe I’m just remembering to Royo from the Boston WS win, when he pitched quite nicely.

  11. Jmac84

    @Sultan of Swaff:

    I say Bronson.

    Oswalt…er Hamels goes against us tomorrow. He’s 8-0 against us. I believe he debuted dominantly against us as well. I’m guessing Phillips get the night off and we see Cairo at 2nd. Should be another thriller.

    • redsfanman

      @Sultan of Swaff:

      I say Bronson.

      Oswalt…er Hamels goes against us tomorrow. He’s 8-0 against us. I believe he debuted dominantly against us as well. I’m guessing Phillips get the night off and we see Cairo at 2nd. Should be another thriller.

      Phillips is 4/28 (.143) for his career against Cole Hamels and can probably use a night off but I doubt he’ll get one. With all the hype and attention for a big Cueto vs Hamels low-scoring pitching duel, and against a team they’ve had so much trouble with in recent seasons, I expect the Reds will start their Gold Glove secondbaseman. After that… who cares if he gets a day off against then-to-be third place St Louis?

      • TC

        Phillips is 4/28 (.143) for his career against Cole Hamels and can probably use a night off but I doubt he’ll get one.

        I thought Tuesday night that BP looked like he needed a few days off.

  12. BenL

    @Sultan of Swaff: Tough one… My gut says Arroyo, but I also think Arroyo out of the pen would be MUCH better than Bailey out of the pen, so it’s sort of a tough call.

  13. RichmondRed

    I like Arroyo out of the pen because his off speed pitching would really throw some guys off if he really has it turned on. But if he really has it turned on, he should be starting. I’d give it to the guy who had the better prior start, even though that sounds crazy.

    These guys are playing like a complete team. Though we all know the holes, it doesn’t seem to matter, and they are playing without their MVP. Mindblowing.

    • redsfanman

      I like Arroyo out of the pen because his off speed pitching would really throw some guys off if he really has it turned on. But if he really has it turned on, he should be starting. I’d give it to the guy who had the better prior start, even though that sounds crazy.

      These guys are playing like a complete team. Though we all know the holes, it doesn’t seem to matter, and they are playing without their MVP. Mindblowing.

      After watching Arroyo for years I don’t think how he pitched one day gives any indication of how he’ll pitch the next time out. Some days his pitches are working, others they aren’t. On the other hand performance in recent starts might mean something for Bailey or Leake.

      Remember that Cueto and Arroyo are the only Reds starters with postseason experience, and both pitched fairly well in a 2010 NLDS start against the Phillies. They’ve both shown that they can handle the pressure, but who knows how Latos, Bailey, or Leake would do?

  14. petejohnson

    I would mind Homer throwing out of the pen (he did pretty good in 2010 NLDS game 3 at GAB nonetheless), but I’m guessing the Reds will plan on 4 starters and I wouldn’t be shocked if Leake is left off the postseason roster…which kinda sucks b/c he does have some good games in him.

    • redsfanman

      I wouldn’t *edited* mind Homer throwing out of the pen (he did pretty good in 2010 NLDS game 3 at GAB nonetheless), but I’m guessing the Reds will plan on 4 starters and I wouldn’t be shocked if Leake is left off the postseason roster…which kinda sucks b/c he does have some good games in him.

      I agree that it is likely that Mike Leake will be left off the postseason roster. He’s the 5th starter, the least experienced, and the least successful. Alfredo Simon and Sam LeCure are both capable long relievers who ARE likely to make the postseason roster so I see little need to expect a starter to be used out of the bullpen. JJ Hoover is probably a better option for a bullpen spot.

  15. petejohnson

    **I WOULDN’T mind Homer throwing out of the pen**

    • varedsfan

      The Reds magic # is 31.

      Up 8 with 37 to play. Should be 29 to tie 30 outright.

      • mlb

        Up 8 with 37 to play. Should be 29 to tie 30 outright.

        Cardinals still have 39 to play, so it pushes the MN to 31 to clinch.

  16. jkbetz07

    I was just thinking about how awesome this year has been as a Reds and how great of shape the organization is in.

    Just think
    – We have the Cy Young frontrunner in Johnny Cueto
    – We have the best closer, hardest thrower and perhaps most exciting player in Chapman
    – We have the leading Rookie of the Year candidate in Frazier
    – We have the best hitter in baseball (who was the MVP frontrunner before his injury) in Votto
    – We have perhaps Comeback Player of the Year in Ludwick
    – We have the best (arguably) 2B in the NL
    – We have Billy Hamilton, he of the ALL-TIME record for SB with +400 OBP waiting in the wings for a Sept call-up
    – We have the 2nd best record in all of baseball, and the largest division lead
    – We had a stretch of winning 22 of 25 games, something this franchise hasn’t done in over 110 years

    And to top it all off, with some good organizational management this team should only continue to get better over the next few years. All of the core players are signed at least through next year, minus Ludwick (who I think will be back).

  17. jkbetz07

    @eric nyc:
    I seriously doubt Arroyo throws game 2 for the fact that the Game 2 starter would most likely also be the series deciding Game 5 starter in the NLDS. That game is exactly the reason we gave up 4 players of the caliber of Grandal, Alonso, Boxberger, and Volquez – to get a stud pitcher you can throw when your season is on the line. Latos certainly has been pitching like that stud pitcher recently (really since the end of April).

    For all the gripe and angst we as fans had over Latos at the beginning of the season, he is closing in on lowering his ERA from last year. That would be an amazing feat considering he switched from Petco to GABP for his home park.

    • steveschoen

      @eric nyc:
      I seriously doubt Arroyo throws game 2 for the fact that the Game 2 starter would most likely also be the series deciding Game 5 starter in the NLDS.That game is exactly the reason we gave up 4 players of the caliber of Grandal, Alonso, Boxberger, and Volquez– to get a stud pitcher you can throw when your season is on the line. Latos certainly has been pitching like that stud pitcher recently (really since the end of April).

      For all the gripe and angst we as fans had over Latos at the beginning of the season, he is closing in on lowering his ERA from last year. That would be an amazing feat considering he switched from Petco to GABP for his home park.

      I can understand your reasoning. But, I don’t think Baker thinks like that (oh, boy, did I say someone thinks like Baker). As an example, in 2010, look how he set them up, then.

      I can’t see setting up a staff for a series that would go 5 games. You want to plan on sweeping the series, maybe going 4. If a series goes 5, you may be pulling all stops out, anyhow. It would make more sense going to a 4 man rotation, thus the game 1 starter also pitching game 5.

      But, then, Baker won’t consider that. He will consider the hard-soft-hard, with a dose of what parks they are playing in.

      • jkbetz07

        @steveschoen:

        I can understand your reasoning.But, I don’t think Baker thinks like that (oh, boy, did I say someone thinks like Baker).As an example, in 2010, look how he set them up, then.

        I can’t see setting up a staff for a series that would go 5 games.You want to plan on sweeping the series, maybe going 4.If a series goes 5, you may be pulling all stops out, anyhow.It would make more sense going to a 4 man rotation, thus the game 1 starter also pitching game 5.

        But, then, Baker won’t consider that.He will consider the hard-soft-hard, with a dose of what parks they are playing in.

        I think in 2010 there was no real set order as to who was where in the rotation, thus Dusty chose to go with the hard-soft-hard theme. Remember, we started Volquez in Game 1 after only recently coming back from Tommy John 😥 😥 😥 , Cueto hadn’t developed into the ace he is now, and hell people were even hollering for Travis Wood to start game 2. Now we have a much better defined 1-2 punch at the top.

        As to whether it is Arroyo or Bailey, I think that mostly depends on how Homer performs from here on out. Dusty has made many references over the years of developing Bailey into an ace (think of the quotes regarding letting him stay in the game in tough situations in order to develop him), and so I believe he would like to see Homer grab the bull by the horns over in his last 6 or so starts and show them he is man for the job. If Homer finished the year strong and is looking good, I think he’ll be the man to get the nod. Otherwise, they’ll go with Arroyo.

  18. jkbetz07

    @steveschoen:
    I do see your point, and I think the debate of Game 2 hinges on whether they use a 3 or 4 man rotation. If they use a 4 man rotation the Bailey/Arroyo debate is moot, and I think you may be right that we see Arroyo in Game 2 since the only pitcher who would throw 2 games would be Cueto. Also, remember that if we are able to secure the top seed we would get the wild card winner, which would be huge because most likely that team will have just thrown their ace in the 1-game WC matchup. This could prove invaluable, especially against a team like the Dodgers who have Kershaw head and shoulders above anyone else.

    On the flip side of the Game 2 argument though is where is the game going to be played? Homer has been a completely different pitcher at home versus on the road this year.

    PS It sure feels wonderful to be debating post-season strategy in the middle of August.

    • steveschoen

      I think you may be right that we see Arroyo in Game 2 since the only pitcher who would throw 2 games would be Cueto. Also, remember that if we are able to secure the top seed we would get the wild card winner, which would be huge because most likely that team will have just thrown their ace in the 1-game WC matchup. This could prove invaluable, especially against a team like the Dodgers who have Kershaw head and shoulders above anyone else.
      On the flip side of the Game 2 argument though is where is the game going to be played? Homer has been a completely different pitcher at home versus on the road this year.
      PS It sure feels wonderful to be debating post-season strategy in the middle of August.

      Word up, there. Even if we all are right or wrong, all of this being speculation for us, it is good to talk like this rather than not being able to. Again, all good problems to have.

      • eric nyc

        Word up, there.Even if we all are right or wrong, all of this being speculation for us, it is good to talk like this rather than not being able to.Again, all good problems to have.

        I appreciate the sentiment, and I do love that we’re talking October baseball in August, but this is not a good problem to have. Lack of a clear #3 starting pitcher for the playoffs is a very very bad problem to have. This isn’t the “How do we get Todd Frazier enough playing time for his awesomeness?” kind of problem. This is the “fundamental flaw in the 2012 Reds post-season roster” kind of problem.

      • BloodyHo

        @steveschoen:

        Even if we all are right or wrong, all of this being speculation for us, it is good to talk like this rather than not being able to.

        I’m with you Steve. Last year was a bummer come playoff time and 2010 was totally unexpected with no serious playoff expectations. This year the Reds have given us real hope and expectations for a serious playoff run(s), not only this year but for several years to come. I like those types of discussions.

        “Joey is going to play. Nobody is better at third than Scott, and he’s coming on quickly,” Baker said on Wednesday. “Sometimes when you’re on a real good team, you’ve got to wait your turn to play every day. It’s fortunate that he’s had this opportunity. He (Frazier) wouldn’t have been playing every day had Joey and Rolen [not been hurt].”

        So now the discussion reverts back to the daily grind. Mr. Baker simply works in his own little world and his own little reality. Rolen WAS a great 3B, but that is simply no longer true. He is still a good 3B, but no better than most other 3B playing in the ML. His Fld% at 3B is a very pedestrian .940 this year. That would rank in the BOTTOM third of starting 3B and compares to Super Todd’s Fld% of .963 at 3B which would rank in the middle third of starting 3B. Rolen is NOT coming on quickly. He came back from the all star break rested and healthy and hot, but he is cooling off quickly. Since the all star break, Rolen is hitting .352/.437/.568, but for the past 2 weeks he is hitting .333/.364/.619 and for the past week he is hitting .294/.333/.412. I’m not even going to post Super Todd’s hitting stats. They are absurdly good and consistent and they would simply be embarassing in comparison. Rolen is wearing down from the consistent playing time and his number show it. He needs consistent rest, not consistent playing time, if he is going to be productive come post season playing time. Rolen should be the fill-in and pinch hitter, not Frazier, simply to preserve his health through the end of the season.

  19. TC

    They need both Arroyo and Bailey for the postseason this year. It won’t be either or.

  20. TC

    Here’s another reason to hope the Reds sweep the Cardinals this weekend. I’d like to see the Pirates back in second place. I’ve enjoyed seeing the Pirates have some success this year.

  21. rfay00

    @TC: 3) Arroyo will start a game

    No way that changes.

    • rfay00

      @TC: 3) Arroyo will start a game

      No way that changes.

      To add to that, anyone on here is high if they think that Dusty will put three “hard throwers” in a row against a team.

      • TC

        To add to that, anyone on here is high if they think that Dusty will put three “hard throwers” in a row against a team.

        I guess I’m high then. Teams do it all the time. What is the point of splitting up two hard throwers? — It’s to protect the second hard thrower. Think about it. If you subscribe the the hard-soft-hard theory the soft tosser is just as affective second or third or whatever. You want to change the speed for the second tosser so that the other team doesn’t start to catch up to the fast ball in the second pitcher. Latos can throw the ball hard and does often, in fact he’s got great velocity. But 2012 Cueto/Latos is NOT 2010 Volquez/Cueto. Both Volquez and Cueto relied on overpowering the hitter. Neither 2012 Cueto, nor Latos play that game. They can overpower hitter when necessary, but both use their secondary pitches for strikes and outs, not to get hitters off their fastball. Latos does not need the protection of having a soft tosser in the game before him.

      • rfay00

        I guess I’m high then.Teams do it all the time.What is the point of splitting up two hard throwers?— It’s to protect the second hard thrower.Think about it.If you subscribe the the hard-soft-hard theory the soft tosser is just as affective second or third or whatever.You want to change the speed for the second tosser so that the other team doesn’t start to catch up to the fast ball in the second pitcher.Latos can throw the ball hard and does often, in fact he’s got great velocity.But 2012 Cueto/Latos is NOT 2010 Volquez/Cueto.Both Volquez and Cueto relied on overpowering the hitter.Neither 2012 Cueto, nor Latos play that game.They can overpower hitter when necessary, but both use their secondary pitches for strikes and outs, not to get hitters off their fastball.Latos does not need the protection of having a soft tosser in the game before him.

        Did you forget who manages this team?

      • redsfanman

        Did you forget who manages this team?

        The same guy who started the team with a rotation of Cueto, Latos, Arroyo, Bailey, and Leake, in that order. I expect he’ll go with the same order, minus Leake, in the playoffs.

      • rfay00

        The same guy who started the team with a rotation of Cueto, Latos, Arroyo, Bailey, and Leake, in that order.I expect he’ll go with the same order, minus Leake, in the playoffs.

        That rotation came into play after Cueto’s push back for a few games due to that blister. Prior to that it was Cueto, Leake, Latos, Arroyo, Bailey.

      • redsfanman

        That rotation came into play after Cueto’s push back for a few games due to that blister. Prior to that it was Cueto, Leake, Latos, Arroyo, Bailey.

        Cueto, Latos, Arroyo, Bailey, and Leake. That’s what they went into the season with after weeks to consider it during spring training. It has been mixed a bit since then due to minor injuries (Cueto’s blister) and an occasional choice to keep Cueto pitching every 5th day. That that the Reds selected on opening day also pretty well reflects how well they’ve performed, and a reasonable order for the playoffs.

      • rfay00

        The same guy who started the team with a rotation of Cueto, Latos, Arroyo, Bailey, and Leake, in that order.I expect he’ll go with the same order, minus Leake, in the playoffs.

        That order was changed early in the year when Latos was struggling.

  22. Matt WI

    Also… Bronson should throw in the 1991 jersey for the rest of the way out. You know, just to keep things going.

  23. Matt WI

    From Mark Sheldon’s Blog: The Reds now have four 10-game winners as Arroyo has moved to 10-7. The last time the Reds had four 10-game winners was 2000 and the pitchers were Steve Parris, Elmer Dessens, Ron Villone and Danny Graves.

    Thought it was worth a smile. Good ol’ Elmer. Those guys did alright (85 wins), but I think I’ll take this year’s staff though. 😀

  24. earl

    I loved seeing the old uniforms last night. Reds need to do a 75/76/90 game at home with those uniforms. I’d love to see VOTTO or BRUCE or CUETO in those big beautiful block letters on the back.

    I like the uniforms now, but I’d love to see a hybrid using that script that was on the old pullover jerseys. The lettering on the back was always great because it was so easy to read.

  25. TC

    The following are the Minor league PAs:

    Ludwick….3210
    Phillips…3074
    Votto……3016
    Frazier….2258
    Hanigan….2212
    Cozart…..2166
    Stubbs…..1858
    Mesarco….1796
    Hamilton…1666 (Billy Hamilton)
    Rolen……1539
    Bruce……1512

    There is a theory perpetuated by some WLW talk-show hosts that the more PAs you have in the minors the more consistent you are when you get to the majors. Infer what you like.

  26. Matt WI

    @TC: I’d say Rolen’s career jumps out to disrupt the correlation a little bit.

  27. rfay00

    @BloodyHo: So why would the Reds trade him? Why can’t we hope that he can continue to improve and become a huge part of the Reds rotation?

    Unless the return is too nice to pass up, signing Bailey to a 4-5 year @ 4 million a year (or less) would be great.

    • BloodyHo

      @rfay00: @earl:

      @BloodyHo: Unless the return is too nice to pass up…

      But that is my point, Homer could have huge value in the right trade. I am not adverse to signing Homer and continuing to work on his pitching approach so he can pitch effectively in GABP, just like Cueto learned and developed. The Reds are entering unchartered territory for them since probably the onset of free agency. They are now in a position to start dictating terms in trades and if the other team refuses, then Uncle Walt simply says see ya later (can you say Span or Pierre), we will do just fine without you but will you do the same without us?

  28. earl

    Got to agree, I have to figure the Reds will try to sign Homer Bailey to a nice pay raise for the next two arbitration years and try to get him to sign up for a year or two after his free agency year.

    It would be kind of dumb to go through all of the days of bad Homer to not to get to enjoy the good Homer as a player for a few years.

    • redsfanman

      Got to agree, I have to figure the Reds will try to sign Homer Bailey to a nice pay raise for the next two arbitration years and try to get him to sign up for a year or two after his free agency year.

      It would be kind of dumb to go through all of the days of bad Homer to not to get to enjoy the good Homer as a player for a few years.

      With Tony Cingrani and Daniel Corcino in AA I somewhat doubt that they’ll be looking to sign any of the starters to extensions beyond, say, 2014. It should be even longer before Robert Stephenson and Nick Travieso are ready, but they’re likely to deserve rotation spots someday.

      • Matt WI

        With Tony Cingrani and Daniel Corcino in AA I somewhat doubt that they’ll be looking to sign any of the starters to extensions beyond, say, 2014. It should be even longer before Robert Stephenson and Nick Travieso are ready, but they’re likely to deserve rotation spots someday.

        I wouldn’t overestimate what it takes to actually have that many starters be drafted and perform at the MLB level. If two of those guys make it, that’d be pretty amazing.

      • eric nyc

        I wouldn’t overestimate what it takes to actually have that many starters be drafted and perform at the MLB level. If two of those guys make it, that’d be pretty amazing.

        Yeah I’m not that high on Corcinco. I think he ends up as a reliever in the big leagues eventually. Cingrani looks much more promising but I’m going to need to see him put up at LEAST a full year at AAA pitching similarly before I’m counting on him for anything. Stephenson is still years away, but he has the potential to be a real ace. Way too early to tell if he’ll pan out, though.

        I think Corcinco could be a trading chip this offseason. Sell high.

      • redsfanman

        Yeah I’m not that high on Corcinco. I think he ends up as a reliever in the big leagues eventually. Cingrani looks much more promising but I’m going to need to see him put up at LEAST a full year at AAA pitching similarly before I’m counting on him for anything. Stephenson is still years away, but he has the potential to be a real ace. Way too early to tell if he’ll pan out, though.

        I think Corcinco could be a trading chip this offseason. Sell high.

        Tony Cingrani is still mentioned as a possible future closer, so that should be interesting to watch. Hopefully he can be a successful starer.

        Daniel Corcino, I hear a lot of comparisons between him and Johnny Cueto. For years the Reds have been trading hitters for young pitchers, hoping to develop successful young pitching prospects… and ‘selling high’ to move these guys this offseason seems like a step in the wrong direction.

        If Ryan Ludwick chooses to return I really doubt the Reds will see any need to make any big trades in the offseason.

      • eric nyc

        Tony Cingrani is still mentioned as a possible future closer, so that should be interesting to watch.Hopefully he can be a successful starer.

        Daniel Corcino, I hear a lot of comparisons between him and Johnny Cueto.For years the Reds have been trading hitters for young pitchers, hoping to develop successful young pitching prospects… and ‘selling high’ to move these guys this offseason seems like a step in the wrong direction.

        If Ryan Ludwick chooses to return I really doubt the Reds will see any need to make any big trades in the offseason.

        I think it’s easy for people to throw out Cueto’s name when they talk about him because he’s Dominican and he doesn’t strike many people out. He probably has a slightly better fastball than Cueto, but he hasn’t dominated anyone at any level yet. He’s been effective, but for me to be really excited about a pitching prospect I have to see them blow away SOME lower level of competition. When I see a guy coasting through A and AA ball putting up upper 3.00 ERA’s I think “Meh.” That’s why I don’t really have high hopes for him to be more than a reliever with this club. I could be wrong, obviously.

      • redsfanman

        I think it’s easy for people to throw out Cueto’s name when they talk about him because he’s Dominican and he doesn’t strike many people out. He probably has a slightly better fastball than Cueto, but he hasn’t dominated anyone at any level yet. He’s been effective, but for me to be really excited about a pitching prospect I have to see them blow away SOME lower level of competition. When I see a guy coasting through A and AA ball putting up upper 3.00 ERA’s I think “Meh.” That’s why I don’t really have high hopes for him to be more than a reliever with this club. I could be wrong, obviously.

        Well, aside from background and pitching style, a similarity between their appearances is that Cueto (5’10) and Corcino (5’11) are both too short to be successful MLB pitchers. Johnny Cueto had a 3.07 ERA in his final minor league season, Corcino’s ERA this season is at 3.17. I don’t mean that Daniel Corcino is a can’t-miss prospect or the next Johnny Cueto… but at the same time it’s premature to write him off. I think we have good reason to be optimistic about Reds prospects after the farm system has been so productive over the past few years.

      • redsfanman

        I wouldn’t overestimate what it takes to actually have that many starters be drafted and perform at the MLB level. If two of those guys make it, that’d be pretty amazing.

        They don’t need all those guys to make it. For 2014 they’ll need somebody to replace Bronson Arroyo. Then somebody else to replace Homer Bailey when his contract is up. If Chapman doesn’t get converted to a rotation spot. I’d rather gamble on them than sign Homer Bailey to a long extension.

      • steveschoen

        They don’t need all those guys to make it.For 2014 they’ll need somebody to replace Bronson Arroyo.Then somebody else to replace Homer Bailey when his contract is up.If Chapman doesn’t get converted to a rotation spot.I’d rather gamble on them than sign Homer Bailey to a long extension.

        They don’t even need to consider the minors for a 5 hole pitcher. Those are almost a dime a dozen come spring training time. Not to mention, those are guys where no one expects them to win 15-20 games, ERA under 3.5, etc. Some minors will probably be asked up to compete, as well as some unsigned vets during ST.

  29. David

    “Jay Bruce homered and tripled. He’s now hitting .260/.337/.528 on the season”

    Assuming Bruce finishes with 635 PAs and his 10% walk rate, Bruce would have to muster just 42 more hits in his final 37 games to get his average up to .275. In other words, if Bruce hits .320/.386/.545 the rest of the way, he’ll finish in the .275/.341/.530 range. He is hitting .329/.372/.671 in August, and as we saw in 2010, he is capable of finishing strong. With a slash line of .275/.341/.530 and 30+ HRs at age 25, will that be enough to shut up the Bruce haters? Sadly, probably not.

    Of OFs ages 20-26 (guys not yet to their prime years), I don’t put him in the Andrew McCutchen/Carlos Gonzalez/Mike Trout class, but I’d put him in the next tier with Upton, Heyward, Stanton and Trumbo. The Reds have arguably one of the top five young OFs in baseball, and it is about time people start giving Bruce a bit more respect here at the Nation.

  30. Matt WI

    @David: Only if most of those hits come with two outs and runners in scoring position

    Love,
    Marty

  31. TC

    @BloodyHo: I love your posts.

    I also don’t think the Padres will move prospects just yet. They are still trying to stock the shelves which was evidenced by the statement the GM made that they’d except a package similar to Latos for Headley. I could see Bailey playing the part of Volquez and Gregorius playing the part of Alonzo in that deal, but I don’t see the other pieces lining up. But with new ownership in San Diego coming in last week, anything is possible I suppose.

    Personally, I’d rather have Frazier over Headley anyway.

    • TC

      I also don’t think the Padres will move prospects just yet.

      I was referring to some saying Homer will likely get a contract in Cincinnati.

    • BloodyHo

      @TC:

      Personally, I’d rather have Frazier over Headley anyway.

      Yes, I agree with Frazier over Headley, but if Luddy does not resign, then the option is both Frazier & Headley. I also agree that the option of a slew of top prospects coming from SD for Bailey is not realistic. Oh, and TY kind sir, the feeling is mutual.

  32. dn4192

    I think the whole discussion of the playoff rotation will be based to a degree on what team we are playing and where. Right now Games 1 and 2 could be in SF which I think would lend itself to going with Cueto and Homer and then maybe Latos and Bronson here in Cincy with Cueto in game 5 if needed.

  33. eric nyc

    I don’t get all the pessimism about re-signing Ludwick. He’s said numerous times that he always wanted to play for the Reds and he loves it here. I think the mutual option (I believe it’s in the $4-5 million range?) is perfectly in line with what he would get anywhere else after having a very slow start to this year and then finishing strong. He’ll be 35 years old so I can’t imagine anyone giving him more than a 2 year deal. Maybe we re-negotiate it to make it a 2-year contract instead of just the single year option, but I’d be pretty surprised if Ludwick wasn’t back next year. That puts Frazier at 3B where he belongs. So I’m not entirely sure why we’re talking about Chase Headley at all.

    Bailey is such a weird problem to have. What this team needs more than anything is a consistent #3 starter who’s at least coming close to Latos’ level. That’s what the great post-season teams have. By all accounts Bailey SHOULD have turned into that guy by now, but the splits just don’t show that. So unfortunately we’re looking at a situation where possibly our biggest trading chip is a starting pitcher who we would be looking to move for…a better starting pitcher. Of course, maybe you package Homer and Stubbs to get a CF who can actually get on base and then move Chapman to the rotation. Seems so easy. But it sure seems every day like Chapman is going to stay in the closer role beyond this season. Who knows.

    • redsfanman

      sm about re-signing Ludwick. He’s said numerous times that he always wanted to play for the Reds and he loves it here. I think the mutual option (I believe it’s in the $4-5 million range?) is perfectly in line with what he would get anywhere else after having a very slow start to this year and then finishing strong. He’ll be 35 years old so I can’t imagine anyone giving him more than a 2 year deal. Maybe we re-negotiate it to make it a 2-year contract instead of just the single year option, but I’d be pretty surprised if Ludwick wasn’t back next year. That puts Frazier at 3B where he belongs. So I’m not entirely sure why we’re talking about Chase Headley at all.

      Bailey is such a weird problem to have. What this team needs more than anything is a consistent #3 starter who’s at least coming close to Latos’ le

      I think it’s very likely that Ludwick will pick up his half of the option. He seems very happy, he found a contending team that wants him, and he plays in a ballpark in which he excels… after seeing how badly he can perform in certain places. How much more than $5m does he expect to earn elsewhere? How much more would he need to get paid to compel him to leave this environment? Tough call. On the other hand, I don’t want him signed to an extension by the Reds. Part of why he’s so valuable is that he’s such a bargain.

      Does Frazier belong at 3b? I think he belongs anywhere where they can get him in the lineup. His flexibility is an asset.

      Replacing Bailey in the rotation with Chapman doesn’t guarantee that the rotation will get better, it just guarantees that the team’s closer will be worse. I doubt Homer Bailey is going anywhere, regardless what any fans might want.

  34. BloodyHo

    @eric nyc: But again, ain’t it fun to be able to have these discussions now rather than just bemoaning our plight as Reds’ fans? In regard to Luddy resigning, I can see it happening and I really hope it does, but on the open market I believe Luddy would fetch a 2-3 year contract similar to the one Cuddyer or Willingham received this past off-season.

  35. dn4192

    I would be shocked if Ludwick is playing anywhere but Cincy next year.

  36. docmike

    Hey guys, long time listener, first time caller.

    I took the liberty of looking up each starter’s home/road splits for ERA and WHIP this year, and here they are:

    Cueto: 2.26/1.02 (home) 2.59/1.21 (away)
    Latos: 3.14/1.15 (home) 4.15/1.23 (away)
    Arroyo: 4.43/1.45 (home) 3.48/1.05 (away)
    Bailey: 5.42/1.63 (home) 2.91/1.17 (away)
    Leake: 5.40/1.37 (home) 3.80/1.27 (away)

    So, it appears that Cueto is slightly better at home, although he is still great on the road too. Latos has a definite preference for home games, almost a run/game better. Arroyo is kinda the opposite of Latos, being almost a run/game better on the road. Then you get to the bottom two, who are both significantly better on the road, with Homer being 2 1/2 runs/game worse at home.

    So what does this mean for the postseason? Cueto can pitch anywhere, anytime. Prefer Latos at home and Arroyo on the road. And don’t let Bailey or Leake anywhere near the mound at GABP.

  37. rightsaidred

    @TC: Yes, I felt that there was a large number of poeple ready to throw out the bulk of 2011 due to the mono and bronson playing underweight with down velocity. Was he another year older? Sure. But Bronson has the kind of stuff that can be effective for a few more years. He is a change of speed/location specialist and he has improved his control as he has aged.

  38. rightsaidred

    rightsaidred
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    👿

  39. docmike

    As for how I would set up the postseason rotation, a couple things to keep in mind. One, in the first round best-of-five, there is only one off-day, being between games 2 and 3. So, you have to go with four starters unless you want guys going on 3 days rest. So either Bailey or Leake has to pitch in the series. The other is that the first two games will be on the road (which is a complete crock, btw).

    So I go with Cueto in Game 1, setting him up to also pitch game 5 if necessary. Then, I go with Homer Bailey, who has the second-best road ERA, in game 2. Game 3 goes to Latos, then game 4 to Arroyo.

    This accomplishes two things. One, it allows Latos to wait and pitch in GABP, where he has been dominant. Two, since Bailey has to start a game in the series anyway, you set it up so that it’s a road start.

  40. sandylover

    What the Reds have done without Votto is one of the team’s greatest achievments in the last 50 years. Dustry drives me crazy some times but give the man credit when credit is due.

    He has these guys playing with confidence and as a team.

    I hate to see Frazier benched when Votto returns but I think Rolan’s BA is higher than Todd’s since the all-star break and Rolan still pays third as well as anyone in the league.

    I am stunned and shocked by their performance.

  41. rfay00

    @redsfanman: I hope it goes Cueto, Latos in the playoffs, I just really think Bsker will stick Arroyo in between them.

  42. David

    @redsfanman: If you go by FIP it has been Cueto, Latos, Leake, Arroyo, Bailey; xFIP and it is Cueto, Leake, Latos, Bailey, Arroyo. Interestingly, only Cueto and Leake have above average xFIP.

    • eric nyc

      @redsfanman: If you go by FIP it has been Cueto, Latos, Leake, Arroyo, Bailey; xFIP and it is Cueto, Leake, Latos, Bailey, Arroyo.Interestingly, only Cueto and Leake have above average xFIP.

      All of Latos’ numbers are horribly skewed by April. I’m not saying we shoudl cherry pick stats to evaluate him – those games counted as much as the games in September will – but he’s clearly a MUCH better pitcher right now than he was at the start of the season. His numbers in the last 2 months have been Cy Young-worthy.

  43. redsfanman

    You know, I don’t care about the FIP. I doubt Dusty does either. Like everything else FIP isn’t a perfect stat.

    According to win-loss record and ERA that opening day rotation has been accurate in predicting the most successful pitchers. Dusty chose that rotation in April and has no reason to question that decision or change his mind.

    1. Cueto, 2.44 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 16-6
    2. Latos, 3.56 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 10-3
    3. Arroyo, 3.87 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 10-7
    4. Bailey, 4.11 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 10-8
    5. Leake, 4.59 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 5-8.

    I think everyone would agree that Leake has removed himself from consideration for a postseason rotation spot. If they choose a three starter rotation I believe that Arroyo’s reasonably well pitched game in the 2010 NLDS continues to give him an edge over Homer Bailey.

    • David

      You know, I don’t care about the FIP. I doubt Dusty does either. Like everything else FIP isn’t a perfect stat. According to win-loss record and ERA that opening day rotation has been accurate in predicting the most successful pitchers. Dusty chose that rotation in April and has no reason to question that decision or change his mind.1. Cueto, 2.44 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 16-62. Latos, 3.56 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 10-33. Arroyo, 3.87 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 10-74. Bailey, 4.11 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 10-85. Leake, 4.59 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 5-8.I think everyone would agree that Leake has removed himself from consideration for a postseason rotation spot. If they choose a three starter rotation I believe that Arroyo’s reasonably well pitched game in the 2010 NLDS continues to give him an edge over Homer Bailey.

      Ah, wins as a measure of how good a pitcher has been… You do realize Cliff Lee (3.78) has two wins, right? Ivan Nova (4.92 ERA) has 11.

      ERA too… I mean Rick Porcello’s ERA compared to FIP (4.67 to 3.72) has little to do with the fact that he plays for a team with pretty shoddy defense, or that Yu Darvish (4.51 to 3.74) plays in a band box or that Clayton Richard doesn’t (3.73 to 4.34).

    • steveschoen

      You know, I don’t care about the FIP.I doubt Dusty does either.Like everything else FIP isn’t a perfect stat.

      According to win-loss record and ERA that opening day rotation has been accurate in predicting the most successful pitchers.Dusty chose that rotation in April and has no reason to question that decision or change his mind.

      1.Cueto, 2.44 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 16-6
      2.Latos, 3.56 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 10-3
      3.Arroyo, 3.87 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 10-7
      4.Bailey, 4.11 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 10-8
      5.Leake, 4.59 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 5-8.

      I think everyone would agree that Leake has removed himself from consideration for a postseason rotation spot.If they choose a three starter rotation I believe that Arroyo’s reasonably well pitched game in the 2010 NLDS continues to give him an edge over Homer Bailey.

      Can’t be selective about one stat and dis when someone else uses another.

      But, seriously, it is pretty much useless to try to tell what the pitching rotation is going to be. First, we all saw what Baker used in 2010 playoffs, at the beginning of 2011, beginning this year, etc. He is going to look at hard-soft-hard as well as where we are playing what games. Since we don’t know where we are playing what games yet, all of these are real shots in the dark.

      Frankly, given Baker, I wouldn’t be surprised if Baker pitches Cueto in game 2 with the whole idea that gets Cueto to game 5 on his regular rest day if needed come that time.

  44. LVW

    If we’re going to call up Hamilton this year, do it on Aug 31 so he can be on the postseason roster.

  45. steveschoen

    Sort of useless to mention AA pitchers as possible major league starters and closers. Do you have an idea how many of them actually make it to spend any time here, much less having any success? I would wait to see some success at AAA first for, like, 3-5 months before we start anointing someone to take Bronson’s place or be our next closer.