2016 Reds

Two weeks

Pitchers and catchers report to Goodyear two weeks from today, February 18. Plenty of eyes will be on Devin Mesoraco, to see with our own eyes that he’s fully recovered from his hip impingement surgery.

There are many interesting story lines on the pitching side, starting with charting the progress of Homer Bailey. If he says on schedule, Bailey will be back on a major league mound in May, boasting a new ulnar collateral ligament. Other fascinating questions are out there:

  • Will Anthony DeSclafani and Raisel Iglesias continue their promising development as major league starters?
  • Who will close games for the Reds? Does anyone beside J.J. Hoover and Jumbo Diaz have a realistic chance?
  • Who will fill out the rest of the Reds starting rotation? Lefties John Lamb and Brandon Finnegan figure to be in the mix. How about Tony Cingrani, remember him? Where does Jon Moscot fit in?
  • Will Michael Lorenzen end up as a starter or in the back-end of the bullpen?
  • Which of the youngest guns, if any, will knock down the door to the major league clubhouse? Looking at Robert Stephenson, Cody Reed, Amir Garrett and Rookie Davis as possibilities. Beyond that?
  • Will the Reds make any additional free agent signings, like a veteran starting pitcher or an experienced bullpen arm?
  • Will 30-year-old Blake Wood, who the Reds signed to a major league contract, make the Opening Day roster?

What aspects of the Reds pitching staff will you be paying closest attention come February 18?

92 thoughts on “Two weeks

  1. Here are my answers to your questions (even though you weren’t asking me).
    1. Those 2 guys are going to be at the heart of the rotation. i think we will see both take a huge step forward.
    2. I think Hoover probably has the inside track, at least in the early season.
    3. I’ll go with Lamb and unknowns.
    4. I think he ends up in the bullpen. He could be an outstanding 8th inning guy.
    5. Stephenson has a chance to make the rotation. Garrett is still a year away.
    6. No.
    7. They didn’t sign him to a major league contract to have him pitch at AAA. unless he completely bombs in spring training, he will be in the bullpen.

    I’ll be watching to see which young guys end up in the bullpen.

  2. I’ll answer the questions, too!
    1. Yes, but their performance is largely irrelevant in spring training. Now’s the time for them to work on stuff, the only competition for DeSclafani and Iglesias is who starts on opening day.
    2. It looks like Hoover’s job to lose. Seems like Cingrani could choose to make himself a candidate, if he stops pouting about losing a rotation spot.
    3. Lamb and Lorenzen, followed on the depth chart by Finnegan or Moscot.
    4. I think Lorenzen will start the season in a (or the) rotation, with a shift to the bullpen possible later in the season if his control doesn’t show improvement.
    5. I think Stephenson, Reed, and guys like that will be held back for service clock concerns. A bigger question to me is how they feel about Finnegan, if they think he’s ready and prepared enough to start the season in their rotation. Same with Moscot, who has limited experience above AA.
    6. Further free agent signings look unlikely, so far there’s been no sign that it should be expected.
    7. Probably.

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens with lots of the guys in the spring-
    RHP Blake Wood – they signed him to a big league deal, he has to show why.
    LHP Chris O’Grady – Rule 5 pick, enough said.
    LHP Tony Cingrani – whiny opponent of pitching out the bullpen, maybe he embraces it and becomes a closer candidate.
    RHP Jumbo Diaz – hardest throwing reliever now, who probably wants the closer job.
    RHP Ryan Mattheus – on minor league deal, he wants back in.
    RHP Pedro Villarreal – also on minor league contract.
    RHP Caleb Cotham – acquired in larger trade, defending a 40 man roster spot.
    RHP Carlos Contreras – defending his 40 man roster spot, which he’ll likely lose with a bad spring.
    RHP Stephen Johnson – As a top non-starting prospect he could certainly help his case with a strong spring.
    RHP Zack Weiss – see Johnson.
    RHP Keyvius Sampson – probably his first real look out of the bullpen.

    Many of the guys – Travieso, Garrett, Davis, Romano – are there more for learning experiences, at this point, but it’d be nice to see them excel.

    • A little harsh on Cingrani. I think we all wished he embraced the move to the pen more than he did, but can you blame him? The Reds were the ones who made him a starter when he was a closer when he finished college. Then he looked like one of the first in line (with Disco) to grab one of two open rotation spots, and the Reds essentially replaced him with Marquis without really giving him much of a shot to contend for it. Even after Price said he was one of the leading candidates. I might be a little bitter too.

      • Yes, 100% can blame him and personally I’m still holding on to hope they package him in a deal and show him the door out of Cincinnati

        • So, if you were in his shoes you wouldn’t feel even a little salty about the whole thing? Let’s say you had done a job for two years, with mixed results (good in 2013, poor in 2014) and were once again in line for the same job the next year. Your boss says you’re one of the top competitors for this job, and then out of nowhere you aren’t allowed to go after this job. Instead the job is outsourced to someone with minimal expectations to succeed (Marquis) and you are reassigned to do a job that will lessen your career earning potential. You’d be able to take all of that without ushering one complaint about the situation?

          These guys are human, they get disappointed and sometimes let their frustration be known. As far as I can recall there was only one mention of it. That’s hardly reason to label someone as a malcontent, pouter, or whiner.

      • I think they’ve made it clear to Cingrani for years what they wanted him to work on – developing secondary pitches – and he’s seemingly made no effort, no improvement on that front. Cingrani had an outline of what he needed to do to continue to be a starter and ignored it. His own stubborn refusal to try to improve got him removed from the competition. Of course injury problems also didn’t help.

        I was a big fan and supporter of under-appreciated Cingrani when he first came up, but I thought they were well justified in removing him from the rotation competition when they did. That Marquis took his desired role is an irrelevant side note to Cingrani not doing what was asked of him to retain it.

        Now he’s in the bullpen, where he’ll likely remain for the rest of his career. I hope he accepts it, and embraces it. If he does, maybe he can win the closer role, if we see the same Cingrani we saw when he first came up.

        • There is no reason to be so bitter about Cingrani. We had hopes for him, and they rose and then fell. It’s not a matter of attitude.Simply put: Can he develop the secondary pitches necessary for success in the majors? If not, speaking without emotions and disappointment, the Reds do not have to dump him; Cingrani will just fit a role in the bullpen.

        • I agree…because he has not apparently developed the necessary secondary pitches, doesn’t necessarily imply he hasn’t tried. Its unfortunate that a good relief pitcher doesn’t have the earning potential as a starter, so I can see how he would be disappointed. If he is still sore, and it affects his ability to perform in the role that is now before him…time to trade him.

        • What we can say is “His secondary pitches haven’t improved.” We can see that as fans. What we probably shouldn’t say as fans is “He didn’t put forth the effort to improve his secondary pitches.” because we, as fans, have no idea how much or how little effort he put in.

        • At the time, prior to the Latos and Simon trades, when Bryan Price was saying publicly that Cingrani was better suited to be in the pen, I believe Price tied things all together by saying Cingrani’s injuries likely resulted from his efforts to efforts to develop secondary pitches and also related to his throwing style and body structure and therefore Cingrani was best suited to work out of the bullpen. Then two of the five rotation guys got traded and the company line was switched to match that reality.

        • LWBlogger, fair enough, it’s unfair to say he didn’t put effort into his secondary pitches, since we don’t really know. We can, however, look at the PitchFX results to see that his heavy reliance on the fastball and negligible use of other pitches in games hasn’t changed much at all. There’s been no measurable change or development – except declining results – since Cingrani debuted.

          If Cingrani DID put in a great deal of work on secondary pitches it didn’t lead to better outcomes, more confidence in them, or more usage of those pitches. Clearly Bryan Price was not impressed with the progress, to make such an early decision.

          Daytonian, I’m not bitter about Cingrani’s removal from the rotation or struggles. I was, however, disappointed in his unprofessional response. Believe it or not Cingrani is now one of the older and more experienced pitchers on the team, and he didn’t handle a reassignment to the bullpen with any dignity… the exact opposite of how many players handle the same shift, when many expect guys like Lorenzen, Finnegan, Moscot, and Sampson to go through the same thing. If Cingrani adjusts his attitude towards focusing on success out of the bullpen I think he’ll fit in well. If not, that’s unfortunate.

  3. Let the countdown begin!

    I think your #1 item is the crux of the rebuild. The Reds likely need either Disco or Raisel to become a front-line starter (whatever that means) if the Reds are to compete in their 2-3 year rebuild time-frame.

    Of course we do have other pitching prospects, but to my eyes, DeSclafani and Iglesias are the best hopes to slot in as a #1 or #2 starter in 2018.

    • Unfortunately, I don’t see either of them as really #1 guys. In a top-quality rotation, Iglesias looks like possibly a high #2 and DeScclafani looks like a nice #3 to me. If the Reds are pinning their hopes on either of them being a rotation anchor for a solid playoff contender I feel we may be in some trouble.

        • Arrieta had wicked good stuff. He just didn’t put it together in Baltimore, unfortunately for my O’s… Certainly not out of the question one of them becomes a hammer. You keep those fingers crossed and I’ll do the same. When he’s right, Bailey is also a high #2 kind of guy. What the Reds have is a lot of rotation depth. They have the potential to run 6 or 7 deep in quality starters who’d slot at least #3 in most rotations. That depth is valuable, especially during the regular season’s long 162.

  4. Ah, finally … two weeks and counting.

    Coming out of spring training:

    Disco, Iggy, Lamb, Moscot & Finnegan (at least I hope). This season is all about identifying the long-term solutions and preserving service time for the best prospects. Stephenson, Garrett and Reed have too much upside and can use a little more minor league seasoning. Mella, Davis and Travieso are not major-league ready but still have potential to future starters. I think Lorenzen would benefit from additional time as a starter in AAA. He was pressed into service last season but was not major-league ready as a starter. Even if the Reds have seen all they need to see of Lorenzen as a starter and deem his future as a back end of the bullpen reliever, let him spend a half season in AAA working on his mechanics and secondary pitches before moving him into a closer/high leverage bullpen arm at AAA until September. I think Lorenzen may very well be the long-term answer at closer at the major league level, so save his service time and get him fully prepared.

    The bullpen should be a matter of throwing options against the wall and seeing what sticks. Certainly Hoover and Jumbo will hold down two bullpen slots. Cingrani will get a shot in the bullpen early to give him a good opportunity to audition for a future bullpen role or trade option. I see Wood, Johnson, O’Grady, Contreras and Cotham as the desired bullpen fill early in the season. I really don’t want to see a hot spring performance by a young pitcher with serious upside prospects used in a bullpen role for 2016. Save their service time for when the Reds are better equiped to begin making a serious run at the major league level.

    After seeing Mesoraco healthy and hammering again, I’m anxious to see what Cabrera, Hudson and Wallach do this season and spring training is a good place to start that evaluation process. None of those players have high upside potential as a starter at the major league level, but all three could have a nice future role at the major league level.

    Still two weeks to go and it’s 20 friggin degrees out…

    • Once again, you are on point with many of your opinions. I especially agree about Lorenzen being in AAA and what may end up being his future role.

    • RE: Lorenzen…. I’m pretty much with you. All I would add is decide once and for all if he is going to be an MLB capable pitcher in any capacity quickly enough to still have a look at him as a position guy if the pitching thing looks to be a reach.

      After all, with the possible exception of Peraza, nobody who came into the org over the winter projects as strongly as a position player as Lorenzen did when he came out of CS Fullerton. He has two and depending on the rule interpretations, maybe three option years left. Don’t waste them all trying to prove correct whomever it was that decided he was a pitcher versus a position guy. By the end of this season, he should clearly be an MLB ready pitcher or off to winter ball to start the conversion back to being a position player then on to AA in that capacity this time next year.

    • I haven’t really looked into Cabrera’s upside analysis, but he sure seemed pretty impressive, especially making contact at the plate, when called up last year. I may have remembered a couple of bad defensive plays.

  5. I heard Anthony DeSclafani on MLB Network radio this morning. It was good to hear what he said. He wants the honor to be named opening day starter. He’s ready for spring.
    The Royals released one of their relievers RHP Louis Coleman. He’s been up and down between AAA and KC the last few years. He’s pitched well at AAA and some good and some not so good at KC. His fastball is in that 89-90 mph range. But he’s had a good K/9 ratio in the minors in the 10-12 range. If they are looking for a cheap somewhat veteran presence, this might be it. He’ll be 30 in April. He could take the role Sam LeCure used to have. He was a part of the KC bullpen the last 3 years. KC will pay his 700k salary for 2016 and the Reds could have him for league minimum.
    Stephenson, Reed, and Winker, no matter how well they play in spring training, will get the Cubs/Kris Bryant treatment. They won’t see the 25-man roster until late April at the very earliest.

    • Stephenson, Reed, and Winker should not be called up this year (maybe September callup). There is no reason to give them the “Kris Bryant” treatment because they are not even ready for the big show.

      • Winker is “ready” depending on what your definition of “ready” is. He would probably provide league average offensive production this year due to plate discipline alone.

      • Reed is going to cause a big stir in spring training. Get on the Cody Reed bandwagon now, because it will be crowded by mid-season.

  6. The Reds starting rotation and bullpen salaries all combined (12 positions) on opening day will be less than one year (2016) and 60 innings pitched of Aroldis Chapman.

    • That’s pretty sad! If Aroldis were still here, he might only get 50 innings since we won’t have the lead in the 9th very often.

      • When I was writing this post, it occurred to me I didn’t have anything to list about how Aroldis Chapman was going to be used.

  7. I have never really been less excited in my 40 years of being a red fan! I am OK with tanking, but where is the silver lining? Its not like 2008 where we had a couple possible future aces and some young exciting power hitters. Am I supposed to hope that we have a couple number 3 starters, some slap hitters who can run, and a collection of bullpen dumpster-fires?

    • Yeah, tanking is painful enough on its own, but not trusting the architects of the post-tanking rebuild is troubling as well. I’ll be doing what it seems like Walt has been doing for a few years now: Cross my fingers and hope for the best.

      • I’ll be less invested as a fan. Disgusted at the return for Chappy and Frazier. Walt and Co. haven’t a clue.

    • Stephenson is still regarded by many sources as a possible ace and Winker is a possible Silver Slugger. Reed and Garrett both have high ceilings and Peraza is a potential All-Star.

      I think your pretty pessimistic about the Reds prospects. They’ve had 5 or 6 in the top 100 on every list that has come out so far

    • I recommend reading about the Reds’ prospects. Many of them are very talented, and are nearing their MLB debuts. DeSclafani and Iglesias are the most established starters, but not necessarily the most talented options. You should hope that several of the prospects turn into successful MLB players, rather than ignore them or fret because they aren’t yet. It’s an exciting time to be a Reds fan.

      Look back to the early years of Great American Ballpark, you can seriously say you were more excited about those teams? Rotations filled with even then washed up older guys with no upside were no less exciting than seeing what Iglesias, Lamb, Finnegan, Moscot, Lorenzen (and others behind them) become?

      • I think I was pretty excited about the early GABP era teams until it became apparent KGjr was used up/ damaged goods and Larkin was also undergoing age related decline. Think about it, two eventual National HoF guys playing together for ~5 years with an emerging masher like Dunn. It was hard not to believe KGjr and Larkin could simultaneously put together a last round up type season and them pitching would jell just enough to get them into a playoff run.

        On then other hand I also share your excitement for the next couple of seasons.

        • Hitting homers and power potential isn’t the only thing to look for in a prospect. Dunn had 40 HR power but also struck out 200 times a season. Winker may have 15-20 HR power but may go years without cumulatively striking out 200 times

        • For his time in Cincy, Dunn had an even .900 OPS and OPS+ of 130. Despite the K’s, a .380 OBP rate was a big part of Dunn’s success.

          If Winker can come close to matching Dunn’s the OPS/ OPS+ numbers, I think everyone will be pleased regardless of how he gets it done.

    • The Reds aren’t tanking. If they were, Votto and Bruce, at a minimum, would be gone.

      Look at what the Astros did. That is tanking. They got rid of every single MLB vet. Their payroll in 2013 was 26 million. No, that isn’t a typo.

      • Nobody wants Bruce…..nobody but a few teams can afford Votto and he’s in his 30s. Make no mistake…the Reds are tanking

        • At this point I don’t think any of us and perhaps not even “the Reds” themselves really know if they are tanking 2016. Suppose that over the first 3+ months of the season the following not unreasonable things transpire.

          Votto is the Votto of 2015; Meso is even 90% of the Meso of 2014. Phillips and Suarez produce at least as well as they did in 2015. Two years removed from knee surgery, Bruce is splitting the difference between his pre-surgery 2013 season (807 OPS/ 120 OPS+) and his 2105 season (.729 OPS/ 97 OPS+); and, the combination of guys filling out are at least replacement level as their combined mean.

          On the pitching side, Iggy and Disco are generally living up to the expectations created by their 2015 seasons. Lamb is maintaining his K rate and missing enough bats to keep them in games more often than not given the better offense (i.e. his “one bad inning” when it happens is no longer a death knell). Moscot is eating innings and most often keeping them in games. The 5th spot has been something of a crap shoot between several guys but Bailey is starting to look ready to hold it down. Overall the pen is roughly league average quality with Jumbo, JJ, and Cingrani or Finnegan are giving them a solid back end.

          Down on the farm, Stephenson and Winker both look ready for the big show. Reed is pushing the envelope at AAA.

          Incredibly the Reds find themselves hanging in around .500. Across the NL (including the Central Division), things are breaking in such a way that it looks like it will likely take 90 wins at most to make the playoffs.

          How the Reds front office responds should something like this happen defines whether or not they are tanking……..

        • I guess we just disagree. Guess there isn’t a such thing as rebuilding?

  8. I think Cingrani is in the pen, if anywhere this year. Prior to the trades of Latos and Simon, Price was already saying Cingrani was best suited to be in the pen then following those trades had to change his tune to fit the new company line.

    Moscot could emerge as the innings eater this year. Long term, I see him as either a middle man out of the pen or if he does well enough, traded as part of a deal to get the Reds the kind of offense they couldn’t get this off season.

  9. I think the starting rotation will end up being Disco, Iglesias, Lamb (who is out of options and the Reds won’t risk losing him), Moscot, and Finnegan. Lorenzen may take that last spot, but I would really like to see him start the year in AAA.

    All of those guys, except Finnegan, should be able to give a full season, or close to it. Bailey will be able to finish out the year.

    The back end of the bullpen I suspect will be sorted out between Hoover, Diaz, and Cingrani. I would suspect Wood to make the team due to having a guaranteed contract/MLB contract. After that some mix of Cotham, Contreras, O’Grady, and possibly some minor league FA’s such at Mattheus or Villarreal. I would put Sampson in the pen, but I suspect the Reds may have him start at AAA to have depth without having to call up Stephenson/Reed for a spot start.

    As someone mentioned above, Louis Coleman, and I would add Carlos Torres as two guys to look at bringing in for the last 40-man spot to compete for a bullpen role.

    I would suspect AAA is Stephenson, Reed, Lorenzen (or Finnegan), Sampson, and Tim Adelman. Maybe Daniel Wright slots in there or Melville. I would definitely keep Weiss, Stephen Johnson, Somsen, and Hayes in the AAA bullpen and ready to be called up if anyone in the Reds pen falters.

    It’ll be fun to watch all the moving parts this year. Can’t wait until ST.

  10. Starting pitchers have to hit their sports and hitters have to hit line-drives. Ever what 13 do this best is the answer, pretty simple isn’t it?

      • I think he’s saying take the 13 best pitchers and roll on out… I’d go with 12 pitchers myself though.

        • he is saying have best 13 players play ie. 5 starting pitchers hit their spots and 8 hitters hitting line drives = whatever 13 do this best.

    • Well I had to read that a couple of times, but i think I comprehend the post.

  11. I’m hoping for Homer to come back strong but no need to rush him back. We have the arms. I will be interested to see how he looks the second half of the year.

    I think Lorenzen’s future is in the bullpen. Moving forward we have enough starting arms. The concern is the bullpen. J.J. & Jumbo are OK but I see blown saves in 2016.

    This is make-or-break year for Cingrani.

    • … Moving forward we have enough starting arms….

      Isn’t it amazing that after the shutdown run Nick Travieso had in the Arizona Fall League, there are only two brief passing mentions of him in this entire thread. Time was folks would be calling to jump him over AA and as soon as he put together a decent run at AAA to get him to Cincy.

      I think it is somewhere between very likely to almost inevitable that the at some point inside the next three, the Reds will trade some serious pitching talent to land the type of offensive prowess they did not land this off season. I hope someone like Travieso or Garrett et al doesn’t turn out to be the person moved just because they happen to be a year or two behind the crop getting the most ink right now.

      • I kind of noticed that too about Travieso. And Big Sal is one to add to that too. Doug Gray has convinced me that Sal Romano and his 98 mph heater should be in the keeper group. These two and Garrett come in the wave after Stephenson and Reed. The Reds have to stagger these five guys arrivals so as not to face another situation where 4 out five starters become free agent eligible at the same time, again. That was something the front office saw coming, but didn’t do anything about it, until time called their hand. Cingrani not developing as a starter probably played into that somewhat too.
        Roster management. Not one of the Reds front office’s strong suits.

      • Travieso has a ton of potential but he needs to continue to work on his command. Once his command gets there, he’s going to be filthy.

    • This is just an observation over the last 5 or so years but the pitchers are healed and return about a year after TJ surgery. The pitchers who regain pre surgery velocity don’t seem to regain it until the start of the following season. I have noticed it doesn’t seem to make much difference if they come back in May or September it is the start of season two.

  12. I noticed that Moscot was not invited to (or didn’t attend) the pitcher’s summit. Anyone know why?

    • I’ve not seen the specific list of invitees/ attendees. Was anyone with MLB experience or anyone on the 40 man roster invited; if not it could have something to do with the CBA and having guys in the MLBPA at an off season “voluntary” but organized training/ preparation event. Also in Moscot’s case it could be due to him coming off injury.

      • It was made up of the top starting pitching candidates relevant to the next few seasons. Relative veterans Bailey, DeSclafani, and Iglesias were there, while no relievers were invited. Several of the participants are probably approaching their first big league spring training camp, while many more are new to the Reds organization.

        The only reason a kid hoping to be a MLB pitcher wouldn’t attend something like that is a pressing obligation, like a wedding. With Bailey and Moscot there, guys coming off injuries were clearly invited. They didn’t even throw off a mound during the summit.

    • Mark Sheldon’s MLB.com article about the pitchers summit only listed 10 names, including Bailey, but Mike Lorenzen’s photo of participants includes (at least) 16 players.

      Moscot isn’t mentioned, but (after looking for pictures of him) he sure looks like the guy standing next to Homer Bailey. I don’t think I see Garrett or Travieso in the photo, or Mella, but I barely know what he looks like… if you’re looking for noteworthy people who weren’t there.

      • It was mentioned that it may be reserved for guys on the 40-man roster. Of course that doesn’t explain why Garrett isn’t there. But out of all the SP on the 40-man, he’s the only one w/o AA experience, so maybe that had something to do with it. Reed’s quote in the article seemed to suggest that those invited were possible contributors in 2016, which would be a stretch for Garrett until September.

        • It’s hard to find a precise criteria that fits the participants, beyond future contributors.
          -Reed was one of the invites not on the 40 man roster
          -Rookie Davis only has 5 starts at AA, after putting up so-so numbers before being promoted from advanced A ball, but was there.
          -Travieso, Mella, and Garrett seem just as far from the majors as Davis. Seeing any of them in 2016 is a stretch, yet at least one was there.

        • Yeah I don’t know. Just trying to sort out the parameters of who was and was not invited. It’s likely there was simply an prior obligation or the club didn’t see 2016 as a likely arrival date for some of the others. Good point about Reed not being on the 40-man.

    • It was discussed yesterday on redsminorleagues.com and it appears that both Romano and Moscot were in the picture Lorenzen posted from the summit. I don’t know why article left their names out. But Doug Gray and a couple other commenters stated they were in the twitter pic.

  13. Look at the advanced metrics for Iglesias and where he ranked out of all MLB starters with at least 50 IP last year:

    K%: 27.0% (#13 out of 186)
    BB%: 7.1% (#93 out of 186)
    K-BB%: 19.8% (#17 out of 186)
    FIP: 3.58 (#50 out of 186)
    xFIP: 3.28 (#20 out of 186)
    SIERA: 3.26 (#16 out of 186)

    He doesn’t really need to develop further. If he maintains that, he is a quality #1. If he develops further, he would likely be a top 10 or 15 pitcher in MLB. By comparison, here is DeSclafani:

    K%: 19.2% (#87 out of 186)
    BB%: 7.0% (#87 out of 186)
    K-BB%: 12.2% (#82 out of 186)
    FIP: 3.67 (#55 out of 186)
    xFIP: 3.97 (#80 out of 186)
    SIERA: 4.08 (#86 out of 186)

    However, check out DeSclafani in the 2nd half and where he ranked out of all MLB starters with at least 30 IP in the 2nd half:

    K%: 22.0% (#54 out of 166)
    BB%: 4.0% (#9 out of 166)
    K-BB%: 18.0% (#29 out of 166)
    FIP: 3.46 (#38 out of 166)
    xFIP: 3.33 (#27 out of 166)
    SIERA: 3.41 (#25 out of 166)

    DeSclafani looks like a #3 (or maybe a #4 on a competing team?), based on his full 2015 performance. If he can maintain his performance from the second half, he looks like a quality #2.

    Data Source: FanGraphs

    • Good points, David. I think some folks don’t realize how good Raisel was last year in his 95 innings. If he can do that for 200 innings, he’ll be a 3.5 WAR pitcher, or so, which is on the bottom end of a #1 type guy. In order to get there, he’ll need to be able to get through more than 5 2/3 per start, as well.

      So, he still needs to improve. He has #1 stuff, but he isn’t a #1 quite yet.

    • These are the kind of stats that have encouraged me about Iglesias and DeSclafani, particularly the former. Obviously, they’ll have to sustain that performance, but the underlying numbers are really great. They are masked by the more popular and common ways of evaluating pitchers, like W-L and ERA. John Lamb’s K-BB was 17.7 percent. Small sample, but also encouraging.

      • Agreed. Here are the numbers for Lamb for the 2nd half and where he ranked out of all MLB starters with at least 30 IP in the 2nd half:

        K%: 26.4% (#19 out of 166)
        BB%: 8.6% (#122 out of 166)
        K-BB%: 17.7% (#32 out of 166)
        FIP: 4.16 (#82 out of 166)
        xFIP: 3.73 (#56 out of 166)
        SIERA: 3.56 (#39 out of 166)

    • The other thing about DeSclafani’s second half was that he was leading a group of all rookie starters. That is impressive. Thanks for showing those second half numbers, my optimism needed a boost.

    • Thanks for posting. It’s impressive to see how well they handled themselves during their rookie year. It speaks well to the future of the Reds rotation with these two on board.

  14. I think Iglesias should be the opening day starter, over DeSclafani. DeSclafani may have had a more consistent 2015 season, but Iglesias has more upside. Looking a year down the road to 2017, I don’t know whether or not Iglesias will start that opening day, but I’m pretty confident in saying DeSclafani won’t. The Reds just have too many guys with more raw talent than DeSclafani, and Iglesias is one of them.

    • Until Iglesias or another pitcher proves better than Disco (Raisel is close, although 95 IP isn’t much of a sample), he’s gotta be your de factor #1 until Homer comes back.

  15. Speaking of Reds pitchers, MLBTR is reporting that Hoover won his arbitration hearing against the Reds. I believe this is the first time the Reds have gone to arbitration since “beating” Reitsma.

    • I’m still not sure why the Reds couldn’t reach a settlement with Hoover. They seemed really close. Yes, the money can be compounded over the next couple years of arb but one has to wonder if even that would be enough to quibble over when we’re talking MLB money?

      • I’m with you on that. I saw that the Reds had offered $1.225M, and Hoover asked for $1.4M. They usually settle in the middle, but even agreeing to Hoover’s amount wasn’t enough of a divide to go to a hearing. This seemed odd to take it to a hearing with such a small difference. The middle ground would have been $1,312,500. So they went to a hearing over $87,500. As you say, in MLB dollars, miniscule, a drop in the bucket.

        • Worse yet, if I’m Hoover, I’m now probably pretty annoyed. I’d be like “You mean to tell me that you’ll come up millions to settle with some players but you couldn’t come up to my asking price? Bull!!”

      • Yeah I’m surprised as well that it went to arbitration. That’s not really how the Reds have been operating over the past decade or so. Especially for such a minor difference.

      • Here’s the words of “wisdom” from Jocketty via Mark Sheldon:

        “We had decided that if we exchanged figures, we’d take the case to trial…..”
        “We felt it was important to let it be known we would go to a hearing if we couldn’t come to an agreement on a deal.”


        Guess they really showed them🙂 How much did they spend versus how much it would have cost them to settle somewhere in the middle??

  16. All I know is the Reds will lose more games in 2016 than last year. Expect them to be in the cellar for many years to come.

    • The Reds have a very good, very deep farm system. To expect them to be in the cellar for years to come is just nay-saying for the sake of nay-saying.

      They’ll likely be in the cellar for 2 years, by design… in 2018, the returns on the farm system start to show and we have some money to spend in the best free agent class in awhile, and BOOM… back to relevance.

  17. The Reds have hired Sweet Lou Pinella to be a senior advisor in the baseball ops department. Sweet Lou, back in the fold. Good hire. Beats the heck out of a Kevin Towers hiring.

      • For the record, I still haven’t heard back on my application, resume, and cover-letter for one of the Baseball Operations Analyst openings. I’m guessing that means I’m not being considered so free to speak my mind again.

        • Drat! I would have loved to have heard better news than this.

          BTW – I changed from JDX19 to my real name. Just didn’t want you thinking I’m some new guy!😉

        • Heh. I guess a giant stuffed giraffe/bear in the passenger seat of a car is a bit of a giveaway, eh?

  18. I am anxious to see what happens to a guy with no service time such as Reed if he has a great spring.That will tell you more then anything about what the plan is going forward.I personally feel the Reds are going to go with the same guys they used in the rotation last year and hope they pitch better and if they do then the Reds win more games.It would have been nice to have moved Phillips and even Bruce just to say we are really in rebuild mode but it hasn’t happened yet.I am excited about our young pitching because most all of them have swing and miss stuff and that plays anywhere.They just need to pitch.Finally I would love to see Lorenzen a chance to close if he doesn’t start.He seems to have the makeup to be able to handle it.

    • I’m hoping if some of the younger guys blow it up in ST and their inevitable assignments to AA/AAA, the Reds may see that as an opportunity to compete in 2017 and bring them up after the all-star break, or something similar to that. If they are just middling, I bet we’ll see most of the talent remain in the minors the whole years with the common AAAA guys being the September call ups.

  19. One less body in spring training.

    “Reds outfielder Juan Duran received an 80-game suspension from Major League Baseball on Friday for testing positive for performance-enhancing substances that are in violation of Major League Baseball’s joint drug prevention and treatment program.”

    Personally, the Old Cossack doesn’t see this as much of a loss for the organization. His 33% SO% simply won’t be missed.

      • None. Especially hitters. The last really good Latin hitter than the Reds developed was Tony Perez, 50 years ago. It is the organization’s fundamental weakness, equivalent to not scouting amateur talent in California.

  20. And just a little salt in the wound regarding how non-opportunistic and the Reds organization has been and contiues to be…

    From Cardinals.com…

    It was 2003, one year after the club won 97 games and made its third straight playoff appearance. DeWitt had seen his strategy of boosting payroll and trading for talent re-energize the franchise, but the sustainability of the model was a concern. DeWitt asked his group to change its focus to include investing heavily in the Draft, streamlining the player development system and rebuilding its international approach.

    “I think when you’re looking at this in more of a global sense as to where you can get talent and how you can get talent and what you’re spending for talent, it still seems like there could be some smart investments if you’re willing to spend some time,” Mozeliak said.

    “I think when you’re looking at this in more of a global sense as to where you can get talent and how you can get talent and what you’re spending for talent, it still seems like there could be some smart investments if you’re willing to spend some time,” Mozeliak said.


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