Titanic Struggle Recap

Offensively-Challenged Padres Not Challenged By Arroyo

On the night of the MLB Draft, most thoughts are on the future, and more specifically, Reds 1st Round Draft Pick Hunter Greene.  If you haven’t read Doug Gray’s write-up at RedsMinorLeagues.com, you should go do that now.  It is quite good. This game recap will still be here when you get back.  Teaser: The game wasn’t good.

After a terrible time in Los Angeles over the weekend, the Reds headed south to face off against the Padres.  Future Jimmy Buffett-listener Bronson Arroyo started the game.  As you might have been able to guess, it didn’t go well.  Arroyo gave up 9 earned runs in 4.2 IP.  Again…this should not come as a surprise to you.  Bronson Arroyo is not a major-league caliber starting pitcher.  This is generally what should be expected.  The Reds should be embarrassed that they keep running him out there every 5 games, injuries or not.

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BOX SCORE | FANGRAPHS WIN PERCENTAGE

THE GOOD

-Scott Schebler had a bases-loaded single in the first inning, along with another single.  He almost hit a homer in the 4th inning. I like Scott Schebler…even if he experiences phantom bean-balls.

-Joey Votto had a pair of singles.  His slash line stands at .304/.419/.604.  With Cozart’s recent performance, Votto is once again the best hitter on the team.  Cozart is carrying a fantastic 155 wRC+ to Votto’s 162.

-Adam Duvall had a single and double, along with a pair of strikeouts.

-The Reds ‘pen pitched 3.1 scoreless innings.  Too bad the game was over before any of them threw a pitch.

Babe Barry Scooter Gennett had a pinch-hit RBI single.  Yeah, these are the things under “The Good.”

THE BAD

-Arroyo was bad.  But you already knew that.  His ERA is now 7.01.  His FIP is 7.00.  His xFIP, which gives him league-average luck on fly balls leaving the yard, is still an unsightly 5.75.  It is hard to have an xFIP that high, given the adjustment.

-Jose Peraza has been decent defensively so far this season, but he made a poor play in the Padres 6-run 2nd.  With the infield in, he had a very catchable ball carom off his glove into right field.  Following the missed pop-up in LA, Peraza’s stock is pulling back a bit. If he can’t play above-average defense, he’s not a starter (yet).

-The Reds offense was fairly bad tonight.  A few guys got on base and a few guys went warning track, but mostly they made Luis Perdomo look like a good pitcher, which he isn’t.  The two runs in the 1st inning were aided by some not-great Padres defense.

-I hate to put Billy here, but I am going to do it.  His wRC+ stands at 58.  During his two best years (2014 and 2016), he ran a wRC+ of 78 and 79.  For his defense and base running to make him an above-average player, he needs to be in that mid-70s range.  If he’s in the 50s, he’s a below-average regular.

SOMEWHAT RANDOM-ISH THOUGHS

-Hunter Greene, eh?

-The Reds also drafted a player named “Jeter Downs.”  I fully support this pick, as anyone with “Jeter” in their name is a born winner.

-Defense and speed have their place, but I really wish the Reds didn’t have 33% of the lineup covered by guys who can’t hit well and have little projection (Hamilton, Peraza, Pitcher).

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54 thoughts on “Offensively-Challenged Padres Not Challenged By Arroyo

  1. Nice cap. As said before, Arroyo is no longer a starter nor Hamilton can’t continue leading-off, not sure why insisting on those two issues. Also, Suarez shall now be moved down the line-up, 6th or 7th. Reds should start looking at the Twins organization: In a year where they picked 1st in the draft, they’re also leading their division. There’s definitely something wrong with this rebuilt phase.

    • Hamilton is 16th in MLB in runs scored. Isn’t scoring runs the point?

      You might want to look a little deeper before declaring the Twins the Reds role model. Their record since 2011 show that their “rebuild” has been going on for quite some time.

      The purpose of a rebuild is to accumulate young talent, show gradual improvement and eventually be in a position for success. The Reds rebuild is proceeding exactly as it should. You stated that something is wrong with the Reds rebuild; perhaps you could share with us examples of a “right” rebuild as a point of reference?

      • Agree with Twins reference, seems silly to try model a team that has 3 wins better than you a third of the way through the season. There have been some great trades one just wishes they could have gotten a bit more for Chapman and Bruce, hopefully Cozart gets on another hot streak and increases his demand

      • No. Not for individual players. It’s too dependent on teammates as a measure. Anyone hitting at the top of the Reds lineup would be scoring a lot of runs. What matters is creating runs. If you don’t get on base, you don’t advance runners ahead of you. If you don’t hit with power, you don’t drive in runners ahead of you.

        wRC+ measures runs created by a batter. League average is 100. Billy Hamilton’s wRC+ is 58. Just about his lowest number in a career of well below average offensive performances. Out of 167 players with enough AB to qualify, Hamilton rates 159.

        • Steve, no reasonable person could disagree with you.

          However, I have an unproven theory ( I’m working on proving it…or learning that I’m scientifically full of crap) that when on base, Hamilton creates such a distraction for pitchers that he better enables the guys behind him to succeed….that their numbers are dramatically better with Hamilton on base than anyone else….and the run alpha created in those situations offsets his lower OBP.

          I believe in science and math. I also believe their are ancillary elements in baseball that aren’t easily recognized and that Hamilton creates outlier circumstances.

          Maybe I’m right, maybe not….we’ll see.

  2. Can we get a Milton? Maybe Milton can break the Reds out of this funk.

    Oh, and I hate west coast road trips.

    • I don’t do many recaps, so I don’t want to cop out with a Milton. 😉 Maybe he’ll make a guest appearance tonight if the Reds continue like this.

  3. On a completely separate note, the Nats bullpen blew up again tonight. Might be a good time to try to pluck a few top notch prospects from them from the solid stable of guys in the pen. Reds still have some good pen arms in the minors (Hernandez, Guillon, Herget, etc.) that could step in. Nats might pay a fortune for Iglesias.

    • The Nats will pay a fortune for Iglesias. This rebuild is slated for 2019 at the earliest, not 2018. Iglesias will be expensive then. Hamilton will be expensive then. With 3 picks in the the first 38, I would finish the rebuild by trading Cozart and Iglesias and Hamilton and stockpile talent and get a high pick in 2018 again. The Reds would then have the deepest minors in all of baseball and be set for 2020+

  4. Said I’d give Bronson until June 15th to right the ship. Well, close enough. Time to move on. Embarrassing now.

    • I have been trying to find positives, he seemed to have had some decent starts, sadly most consistently in mid-April. He was an out away from back to back decent starts before last night. I thought he have a solid one against one of the worst offenses, but it is time. Pitchers will be coming back, Reed and Stephenson need a full major league trial, lets go for the number 1 pick.
      Just for fun, lets seem what type of long reliever Bronson can be.

      • I’d be ok with that Vic. Much as I like Arroyo, it is too painful to keep running him out there. I’m glad I went to bed after the top of the 2nd inning.

  5. And Bronson comes out with his famous quote “I need to pitch better.” What a joke organization. This is the reason why you can’t put people in the seats for home games against the Cardinals. Why would you waste your hard earned money on this pathetic starting rotation.

  6. Arroyo’s body language last night signaled to me that he knows that it’s over. Homer and Finnegan will be back in about two weeks, and it doesn’t seem plausible that Arroyo remains on the roster when they get here.

    Good guy, but they may as well try Jack Billingham or Jim Maloney as running Arroyo out there again.

    • Such hyperventilation…. The long toothache is almost over……

      Context matters – both Bailey and Finnegan appeared sound and trouble-free in their first rehab starts. Assume three (cautious – would normally have said two) more such before they come back up – that’s roughly two weeks elapsed time — i.e. before the Break, before 30 June even.

      So the priority will shift to slotting them in to the rotation and letting them work up – even if one or two of those starts are rocky – and, given that the Reds are still in play within division, getting them up to speed with all deliberate haste.

      That would imply Bronson back to spot long relief for a decent interval and then a more formal decision sometime after the break as long as no one else breaks down.

      The only questions are: who gets bumped back, who gets sent down, does anyone become a small piece of trade bait (no, -not- Bronson……). I would assume Wojo goes to the pen, Garrett gets a few more starts and goes back to AAA if he hasn’t refound mojo by then and we see one or two bumps in the bullpen (only question is who……nominations in order)

      15 July rotation (if all goes well) Bailey, Finnegan, Feldman, Adelman, Garrett (or the latest candidate maybe Reed or even Bob Steve get another look).

  7. In my fantasy world, the one where I watched the top of the 1st, saw our Reds hit the ball hard, run up the pitch count and score 2 before I went to bed, Arroyo was adequate and we kept on scoring.

    Of course, something inside me, even as I turned off the light, suspected we’d see Bad Bronson and come up short. I had no idea we’d mess it up that badly. Makes the two near-wins in LA all that much more painful.

  8. The only thing wrong with the Reds rebuild is that they haven’t given any of their young pitchers a legit chance to start when there starters went down.Not using that window was wrong and now when they come back there will be less chances.Reed had nothing to prove at AAA and we can discuss Stephensen but together they have got 18 starts last year and 1 this year.Finny got 31 last year and was awful the first half of the year.Garrett started off like Cy Young and was sent down.He came back after a few days and has been bad but he still needs to pitch every 5th day from here on out.It takes more then a few starts to find out about a young pitcher and they will take their lumps but you have to let them pitch.The young Braves pitcher that pitched so well against us with the ERA under 4 got hammered last night.Giving a guy 5-6 starts and then saying he’s got it like everybody did when Garrett is foolish.Its works the other way to say he doesn’t have it like they did with Reed and Stephensen and Davis after a few starts.

  9. Bad game, but very good recap. Pitching Arroyo was a desperate move by a desperate team. At one time, it carried a little suspense but all the suspense is gone now– it’s an automatic loss.

    • They’re 7-6 in games started by Arroyo. Perhaps your definition of automatic loss differs from mine.

      • This is one of the reasons I like baseball so much. Things that don’t make sense, but are true anyways.

        Arroyo has been nearly uniformly terrible, yet the team has won most of his games. A good offense will do that, I guess.

      • But hasn’t the mantra been that the rebuild is about experience for the young starting pitchers, not the over thirty-five crowd and wins.

  10. The PadS manager is quoted as saying he told them to treat it like a back yard wiffle ball game and to have fun.What a total lack of respect for Bronson and for this organization.Of course if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck.Bronson is quoted as saying it looked like they knew what was coming.No kidding.Everybody knows what’s coming and its slow,

  11. I think that little league pop up behind the mound literally surrounded by 5 Reds players and hit the ground deserves a special mention.

    • I thought about putting it in there.

      From a baseball side, that ball has to be caught by Cozart, right? I always hear the SS is the “leader on the field” and other crap like that. If he has a play on a ball in the IF, shouldn’t he be the guy to catch it every time? Would simplify things if they had that pecking order.

      • I have always found it interesting that anyone but the pitcher is seemingly in charge of a high pop near the mound. I guess the reason is that the pitcher might trip over the mound or rubber or something if he is trying to move laterally or back to field a popup. Does anyone know the rationale behind the pitcher being called off on popups at or near the mound?

      • I thought it was Suarez’s ball, as he was closest to it, and appeared to be calling for it. The middle infielders have to cover second base. They got an out on the next pitch, so no harm.

  12. It was patently obvious in the 2nd inning that Arroyo had NOTHING, yet Price kept running him out there. Plain and simple, it was dereliction of duty by Price and it really really really ticked me off. You desperately need a win and you’re playing a crap team and yet he threw in the towel in the 2nd inning. Pathetic. This by far was the worst game of the year because they didn’t even do the most basic thing a professional team should do—compete and try to win the game.

    We see this time and time again—that the shuttle from the minors to majors stops working when the team is on the west coast, as if planes don’t fly from Louisville to beyond the Rockies!

    • No doubt Price was trying to save the bullpen. But still wasn’t fun to watch.

  13. You watch something like that, and you know how beyond stupid it is to keep putting him out there. The only explanation that makes any sense is that he (and a few others) are roster filler who will be removed from the 40-man roster when Bailey, DeSclafani and Finnegan return.

    Cutting Arroyo, Buchanan and Wojciechowski now would mean some younger prospects would replace them on the 40-man roster. Then, when the three injured pitchers return from the 60-day disabled list, those younger prospects (or some other younger prospects) would have to go through waivers before the Reds could retain them in their farm system.

    The plan seems to be to have Arroyo, Buchanan and Wojciechowski (barring any other injuries) be the ones that go through waivers. The risk of losing them is not nearly as acute as it would be to lose a prospect when you’re still rebuilding.

    • I’m not in any way endorsing this idea of holding on to Arroyo until an injured starter returns. They could cut him right now and insert someone from Louisville into the rotation and not have any roster issues. I’m just trying to imagine the reasoning behind why this is continuing.

    • Agree that those three seem likely targets for demotion when (if) Bailey, Finnegan and DeSclafani make it back. But Cody Reed, Robert Stephenson, Michael Lorenzen, Luis Castillo, Sal Romano, Ariel Hernandez and Keury Mella are already on the 40-man roster. They could pitch now without taking Arroyo, Buchanan and Wojciechowski off the 40-man.

      • You are correct. It seems Dick Williams and-or Price believe that as long as Arroyo is on the roster, he’s a starting pitcher for the big-league team, and that is another aspect of this situation that just doesn’t make any sense.

  14. For the love of all that is good and wholesome, will someone in the Reds Front Office say I can’t take this anymore and tell Bronson to retire or get cut. It is is like dying a slow death. Glad I went to bed after top of first.

  15. Does leaving Reed, Stephenson, and Garrett out there and get hammered all year long make them better pitchers in the long run or are they just not MLB material. Is Cueto an appropriate analogy?

  16. When the Reds return home from this awful west coast road trip some hard decisions are going to have to be made.
    Bronson has to go to the bullpen if not released and retired. No more starts for Arroyo.
    Amir Garrett should be sent to AAA Louisville. He didn’t look very good before he got his hand in the way of a scalding line drive. He needs to right his ship. He hasn’t been good for quite some time now.
    They have Adelman and Feldman. They need 3 faces to bridge the gap until Bailey and Finnegan are ready to come off the DL in 2-3 weeks. Arroyo and Buchanan should not be 2 of those 3. That was great news on Bailey in his rehab outing. Finnegan hopefully is doing the same.
    That leaves one opening for Reed, Stephenson, Romano, or Davis to step up to fill. If Feldman is going to be a flip candidate at the trade deadline, one more needs to step up too. Garrett could be back and ready by then maybe.

    • Amir Garrett was decent his first three games. Ever since then he has only had one game with a FIP below 7.39 and no games with an xFIP below 5.36. I still don’t get why the Reds brass decided he, Arroyo and Davis were better options to start than Stephenson and Reed. Ya Reed and Stephenson have troubles with walks, Garrett with his 4.25 BB/9 does too. Reed and Stephenson have the ability to strike people out, Garrett outside of that one outlier game where he struck out 12, has struggled getting strikeouts. This season has been a major disappointment thus far as far as the development of starting pitching goes.

      • Yes it has been. Season is almost 1/2 over and I don’t know if we can really say anyone has progressed. Maybe Garrett. Perhaps he’s going through the “getting shelled” phase and will come out smelling like roses on the other side.

        • Its Finnegan and then hopefully Tyler Mahle will get a shot w/the Reds late in the summer. I seriously doubt Bob Steve ever makes it and Garrett is a 3-4 type at best. Reed still has a shot to be good but everything is always up and he doesn’t seem to have anything offspeed? If he could atleast get the ball down then he could be a 4th/5th just on his arm talent alone. They really need to go out and get the best starter they can afford. Even if they picked up a #3 starter then they need atleast 2 of Finnegan, Disco, and Homer to be at that level and Homer/Disco can’t stay healthy. Its kind of depressing! Ted Power was good and Mario Soto was helping our young guys but maybe we need new pitching instructors in the minors?

          • Castillo could be in the mix too next year! He has good control but 63 hits in 66 ip at AA is a little concerning? I’m guessing he needs work w/his offspeed stuff.
            I’m done w/Lorenzen in the rotation for now…..its really mandatory with all the other holes so thats why they won’t do it.

        • Garrett is going to take a bit of time to get sorted. Note that performance deteriorated sharply -after- the recall / -after- the hip concern. I suspect the latter and that, if it’s still tender or aggravated, it might be throwing off his mechanics. In a normal situation, we might never had known this because we would have available alternatives. In real time, however, Price and Williams may have felt that they had “no choice” but to throw him out there. Depends on what Garrett’s actual physical state is. Either way, he has to work up -somewhere- and this is why I suspect he’ll be back in Louisville to insure getting adequate starts once Homer and Finn are back.

        • It really is almost like Carlos Marmol, where a batter can literally go up there saying to himself “I’m not swinging because I don’t think this guy can throw me 3 in the zone before he throws 4 out of the zone, and his stuff is so good that I’m not sure I can barrel him up.”

  17. They have Reed. They have Bob Steve. Austin Ross has pitched 2 good games at Lville out of 3. Cmon? This is ridiculous w/Arroyo. They have Bailey and Finnegan coming anyway so why not cut bait now? Guys like Rookie/Bonilla haven’t passed the test at AAA but they’ve started games so whatever excuses they make don’t work? Teams in rebuild don’t hang on to the past. Do you get remarried and hang up all your stuff from your first marriage?

  18. At least with the young guys you have this hope that maybe this is the game they figure it out or put it together. With Arroyo there is only hope that the other team doesn’t show up or our offense score a dozen runs.

  19. We will never find out anything about our young pitchers unless they pitch.If they get hammered then they get hammered.Give them 12-15 starts each (which really isn’t enough)and then lets talk about it.Thank goodness Finnegan got 31 starts last year and didn’t get thrown away after the first half.In fact you could say the jury is still out on him because even with close to 40 starts now we really aren’t sure about him.Not one single young pitcher has progressed because they haven’t been given a chance.

  20. I was at the game in San Diego last night, and Arroyo’s performance was butt-ugly. It was batting practice for the Padres, and they were foaming at the mouth in anticipation of getting their chance to tee off on Arroyo. Before the game even started, I told my daughter (who attended the game with me) that she could likely be seeing the last starting pitching performance in Bronson Arroyo’s career. After that outing, let’s hope my words were prophetic.

  21. The fans in Redsland are in a funk with the manager/front office as to why a forty year old pitcher, we esteem, should be wheeled out to start every fifth game. Rebuild means to start anew so why isn’t a young pitcher, such as Cody Reed, given that assignment? The Reds are on the brink of making some noise in the NL Central. It’s past time to see what the young pitchers can do.

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