I know this isn’t what you were all expecting, sorry. The Chapman situation is suddenly ridiculous, as you all know. I’ll handle that projection on Monday regardless of what we know, but I wanted to give myself a few extra days, especially since Chapman is pitching today, to see what the Reds do and determine if I want to start rooting for the Cubs (kidding).
2012 Pitching Line: 208 IP, 168 K, 52 BB, 3.68 ERA
2013 Projection: 200 IP, 160 K, 50 BB, 4.00 ERA
2012 WAR: 2.8
2013 Best Guess WAR: 2.5
Projected Difference: -0.3
2013 Ceiling: 5.0
2012 Floor: 1.5
2012 Pitching Line: 202 IP, 129 K, 35 BB, 3.74
2013 Projection: 200 IP, 120 K, 40 BB, 4.00 ERA
2012 WAR: 2.5
2013 Best Guess WAR: 2.0
Projected Difference: -0.5
2013 Ceiling: 4.0
2013 Floor: 0.0
These two are such an interesting pair. As back of the rotation starters, they are really quite excellent as I expect both to be in the average to slightly-above-average category this year. That is fantastic production for those rotation slots.
I’ll start with Bailey. I know a lot of people are high on him after the way he finished last year. I am less so. First, he’s had trouble staying healthy. Second, he’s had hot streaks before. Third, the peripherals say he’s been the same pitcher for about three years (and almost exactly the same for the last 2).
Bailey is entering his peak years, and that’s something that has to be acknowledged. He also strikes out batters at a decent clip. He could certainly have a big year and his ceiling is certainly higher than Bronson’s, but I just don’t see anything, big picture, that makes me think it’s going to click all of a sudden.
Arroyo is so easy to project it’s comical. Other than his illness-plagued 2011, he has been very consistent. One thing to remember about Bronson is that his WAR total doesn’t fully reflect his value. He almost always outperforms his peripherals, and he’s done it over a long enough career that we probably have to assume there’s something going on there.
However, he is getting older and that must be acknowledged. I can’t be the only one who noticed that he often lost it very suddenly in the sixth inning last year. This is likely a sign of his decline. There’s no reason to panic, of course, a six inning pitcher with an average ERA is great to have as your 4th or 5th starter, but I do think his years of 200 innings are drawing to a close. He’ll probably get there this year, but only just.
Neither of these guys is a great pitcher, but they are both great to have around. On many clubs, Bailey would be the number 2 and Arroyo the number 3. Remember what you have when you watch these two pitch, Reds fans.
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
Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.