Quick breakdown on Hernandez. He turns 33 in May. He pitched for the LA Angels and Arizona Diamondbacks last year.

Solid reliever. Career SIERA 3.70. Strikeout and ground ball rate about league average for relievers. Walk-rate half the league rate, which is good. Hernandez had an exceptionally good 2017 season.

Money: Hernandez signed for 2 years and will make $2.5 million/year plus incentives that could reach a total of $7 million.

Here’s Zach Buchanan’s post on the signing. Hernandez’s player page at FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference.

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 69 Comments

  1. A pretty good signing. The bullpen is a bit better. Spots are filling up in the bullpen.
    Iglesias, Lorenzen, Peralta, Hughes and Hernandez leave only 2 spots open.
    If Finnegan isn’t moved to the bullpen, that would leave LHP Kyle Crockett with an inside track for one spot if he can keep the BB’s down in the spring. That also seems to suggest that Cody Reed and Amir Garrett will both start 2018 in the rotation mix at AAA instead of vying for a bullpen spot at this time. Good all around.

    • Lorenzen will be given a chance to start. I wouldn’t be so quick to push him to the bull pen

  2. Is Hernandez a big fly ball pitcher or about league average?

    • Hernandez, like Hughes, is a solid groundball pitcher.

      • Is this true? Fangraphs says 2017 was the first year Hernandez’s GB% was over 40%, which is a pretty low percentage of ground balls. The League Average GB% is 44%, so Hernandez is a below-average groundball pitcher.

        On the flip side, his career average FB% of 47% (40% in 2017) is well above the league average 35% FB%. Looking at this, it’s safe to say Hernandez is a fly ball pitcher. He was much more so a fly ball pitcher in his earlier years, but with the juiced baseball, he’s obviously had to make adjustments.

        Furthermore, his career 11% HR/FB rate is well below league average (9.5%). Again, this number was down in 2017, mostly due to pitching in Anaheim. He gave up dingers left and right in Arizona.

        It worries me a little, but the cost was worth the risk, probably. Have to remember that this guy was salvage at the beginning of last year, but that’s not really a death sentence. I think it’s safe to say Hernandez will give up his fair share of home runs in GABP, but will also be a little bit better than league average as a reliever, if he can reclaim his 2017 form.

      • According to Fangraphs, the ground-ball percentage in 2017 for all major league pitchers was 44.2%.
        Hughes had a 62.2% GB% in 2017 which lines up with his career number of 61.2%
        Hernandez has a career GB% of 32.8% but was at 43% in 2017

  3. Adding stability to bullpen this offseason. I still find the two year deals for relievers in their 30’s a bit odd, but the money’s not much in either case. I like Hernandez a bit better than Hughes, but either should be decent set up men along with Lorenzen and Peralta.

    The Reds have 5 pieces of their bullpen set, with a lot of interesting pieces, including current starters, set to fill in the final two spots. Herget, Weiss, and Rainey not too far behind the guys that got their feet wet last season.

    Could this reinforcing of the bullpen be an attempt to set up some stability over the next two years in order to be opportunistic on Iglesias? I hope so.

  4. Good move. Williams was clear they have young starters who need to pitch….and not in the bullpen. Not much lefty action in the bullpen. Crocket must be slated as #2. I think Cody Reed ends up there.

    AAA staff could be outstanding.
    Winker is going to play.
    Now sign Suarez.

  5. With these signings of veteran relievers does it point to Lorenzen competing for a spot in the rotation?

    • Garrett makes 8 and Lorenzen makes candidate #9. Why not? Guys like Lorenzen almost seem to pitch worse when they throw harder. Maybe it straightens out or something? In theory…jump pump that 93-94 mph sinker in there and we know he’s in shape. He’ll still be strong at 90-100 pitches and can help with the bat.

    • Price said he will be given a shot at rotation

  6. Hernandez and Hughes don’t really excite me much. I’d rather try to find a guy with a live arm like Lorenzen and see if he could get it together. They’re both well into their 30s by now? I thought we could try to move Scooter/pitcher/prospect to the Yankees for Chad Green or Tommy Kahnle? Or a decent closer candidate like Brandon Kintzler that could free up Iggy to pitch them out of jams in the 7th-8th.

    All in all though…if one of them hit then the pen should be fairly good. Peralta has nasty nasty stuff and if the rotation is healthy then they could always try Romano or Finnegan in the pen? When the Cards needed a closer then Wainwright was a closer. They could always move them back to the rotation after a trade or something.

    • My guess is no one wants scooter. They figure the Reds are trying to sell high.

  7. I would have liked Seung-hwan Oh, Sergio Romo, or Huston Street on a one year deal with incentives and try and swing a trade at the deadline for prospects. By that time, Herget, Rainey, or Weiss will be ready for the majors if not earlier

  8. Doesn’t hurt to add a couple consistent relievers. Williams is guarding against another injury-riddled starting rotation by having plenty of starting arms on hand. It got so bad last year that Feldman became our go-to guy in May.Yikes

  9. Nice, solid pickup for the Reds. Not a blockbuster move, but one that should help improve the ballclub. I also totally agree with the idea that this prevents some of our young, raw arms from moving to the bullpen “to fill a short-term need.”

  10. This is what I am observing . . .
    1. Assuming a mostly healthy rotation, we need 2-3 cars to be competitive. The front office is buying bicycles they find on sale.
    2. We are bringing in 2-year pitchers from outside for what . . . to eat innings in years we are not expected to be competitive rather than give experience to the young pitchers?
    3. Hunter and Senzel will be in their prime when Votto is 40.
    I am concerned that the front office is deciding that they can go for an inexpensive team and enough people will come to the games that it will still be profitable.

    Admittedly, I don’t follow the team as closely as most of the readers on this site. So, if I am thinking amiss on some of these, I would appreciate another view. I am getting a little discouraged here.

    • The pitchers brought in on 2-year contract this off-season are not inning eaters as in previous seasons. They are strictly relievers to fill out the bullpen and limit the over-use of the bullpen as in previous seasons. This should not have a negative impact on innings for the young starters (see below) as in previous seasons.

      There are no significant FA signings that would benefit the Reds for this off0season. The contracts for players who would actually provide significant performance benefits are too long and too expensive to provide real value for the Reds. This has created a significant stalemate in FA signings for the upper-level FA’s as all teams are beginning to recogonize the fallacy or long, expensive contracts that pay players for past performance rather than future performance. Such long, expensive contracts will be reserved for FA’s with expected highly productive years ahead of them rather than behind them. We’ll see that action next off-season when the elite, young FA’s hit the open market and sign mega-contracts.

      Hunter will not contribute at the major league level until Votto nears the end of his contract, but Senzel will be in his prime as early as 2018 and probably no later than 2019. That’s the difference in signing an elite college prospect versus an elite high school prospect.

      The article on Duvall by Sheldon on MLB.com outlines Duvall’s physical concerns and struggles, almost certainly related to his diabetes, during his 2nd half swoons. The issue is how to properly address those concerns to avoid the 2nd half struggles. Price did not appear to be capable of recognizing and addressing those issues previously. Hopefully the Reds and Duvall can create a valid plan to address tose issues going forward. If they are successful, that leaves only 2 positions to address for performance upgrades: cf & ss. There are cost-effective options for addressing those performance short-falls in the near future, possibly as early as the 2018 season. The pitching needs to be resolved and it looks like the 2018 season will finally be utilized to that end. The young studs are in place and the competition is set. By the end of the 2018 season, the Reds should have a true MLB capable pitching staff, bullpen and starters.

      • In regards to long and expensive contracts, it seems the Reds may have been ahead of their time when they signed Votto long term. Rather than paying him a lot for past production, they extended his contract right around his breakout season (2010 MVP). So far the Reds have gotten great value on that signing and, without looking up the stats, Votto has had more great seasons since the contract than before.

        To me, Votto is a great example of paying for future production rather than past, due to his softly-aging skill set.

        • I think it gets really ugly on the out years but overall value has been good and should continue to be good for at least a 2-3 more years I’m hoping.

  11. I believe the Reds and Lorenzen are committed to giving Lorenzen a legitimate shot to start this spring. The signing of Highes and Hernandez to 2-year, major-league contracts appear to substantiate that commitment.

    Heading into spring training, I believe the bullpen has four of the seven slots locked: Iggy (RHP), Hernandez (RHP), Hughes (RHP) & Peralta (LHP) with three bullpen roles to fill. I believe Crockett (LHP) gets a long, serious look as a fifth lock for the bullpen. That creates a serious competition for the remaining 2 or 3 bullpen roles on the 25-man roster among Shackelford, Weiss, Brice, Mella, A. Hernandez, Stephens. Additional competition from the non-40-man roster invitees could come from Astin and Herget with any relievers no added to the 25-man roster forming a formidable bullpen at AAA.

    The starting candidates are freed up for a wide-open competition. Unless injury or health issues prevent them from starting in spring training, I believe Bailey, Disco & Finnegan are locks for 3 of the 5 available starting roles to begin the season. That leaves tough competition for the two remaining starting roles among Castillo, Stephenson, Romano, Mahle, Lorenzen, Garrett and Reed. I believe all seven of those pitchers have at least one option remaining and could be sent to AAA to fill out an impressive starting rotation for the Bats until a starting position on the 25-man roster opens up.

    Two weeks until pitchers and catchers report on Tuesday, 02/13/18!!!

    • Health allowing, Castillo will be a lock for the rotation over Finnegan. But at the very least, 4 of the 5 spots would appear to be spoken for.

    • Stephenson has been in the minors long enough? Romano and Mahle have great stuff and need to figure out the big leagues as well? They need to do something a little different. A 6 man rotation maybe? Try Reed as a closer at Lville possibly? In reality I can see more shenanigans like they pulled w/Bob Steve and Winker last year. Putting up good #s at Lville means next to nothing.

      • I would not include Stephenson in a ‘shenanigans’ comment: the numbers in Louisville for Stephenson were not good; the Reds sent him down with explicit instructions on what to work on – and to improve his strike throwing. His walk rate stayed too high for most of his time in Louisville. Given the fact that it did finally improve some, and then improved a bit at the major league level, perhaps the treatment of him was exactly what he needed. (Certainly nothing else had worked to that point – and he still has more progress to make to become an effective major league starter over time.)

        • Yeah but 1-2 innings a week for half the season while Arroyo, Feldman, Adleman, Bonilla, etc all waste time? I call shenanigans on any “innings eater” they even think about signing. Don’t make me bring up Marquis and Kevin Gregg either:)

          • I agree that he should have gotten more innings out of the bullpen – or moved down to AAA earlier. I really dislike Price’s (lack of) use of whoever gets tagged as the ‘long’ guy in the pen. Gives the guy little chance to be successful.

            I do not mind that they told Stephenson he hadn’t earned a starting rotation slot – and backed up the message.

        • Stephenson did EXACTLY what they told him to do when they sent him down during the season. I’m not sure what you’re referring to. They told him to throw strikes and reduce his walk rate. He did exactly that.

          In 8 games (7 starts) at AAA last year Stephenson posted 40.1 IP and his BB/9 was 2.9 to go along with a 10.0 K/9 rate. The ERA wasn’t great (3.79) as he gave up some HR but his strike-throwing is why the Reds brought him back up to the Reds.

          • In his first 4 starts in Louisville, Stephenson pitched only 18.2 innings but gave up 12 walks. That’s lousy control and rightly did not earn a call up. He then pitched four starts with good control and got called up. While you can blame the Reds for some of their handling of his season in the bullpen (as rightly noted by Indy above), it looks to me like his Louisville handling was appropriate.

        • Yes, that is correct… I can agree with you that his first starts were icky and his last 3-4 were good… Upon coming back up, he started struggling with strike-throwing again but not nearly like he was before he was sent down. I had no issues with him being sent down nor how he was handled after that (for the most part). I don’t think putting him in the pen with the Reds and then not using him for long stretches helped him at all however. That’s where he was mishandled, at least in my opinion.

    • I wouldn’t be so quick to lock Finnegan into the rotation. He has the perfect arm to be a bullpen guy. Max effort for 1-2 innings. He shouldn’t be a starter. Castillo is more of a lock than Homer/Disco/Finnegan.

      • Finnegan with a vastly improved change-up 2nd half of 2016 (2.97 era) and then came into 2017 throwing harder at 96 mph! I still like him in the rotation if healthy but can’t put 8-9 guys in the rotation and he’s not going to Lville either.

    • Castillo not a lock for the rotation? Did you miss something last year?

  12. Shchi,

    Per usual, excellent comments.

    The way you have set up the Reds and Bats potential rotations, it feels like one of two things needs to happen during course of season:

    1) Let DeSclafani show he’s healed and trade him (turns 28 this season, FA after 2020)

    or

    2) Trade a couple of Bats pitchers before they get overexposed at the major league level

    In either case, get back young talent to fill at least one of the Reds’ positional holes.

    Also, Finnegan or Reed need to come good, or that Cueto trade really looks horrible in hindsight. The third piece, Lamb, is in the Angels minor league system.

    Rebuilding teams in 2018 would almost certainly demand at least one high-ceiling position player back in exchange.

    • I wouldn’t say that the Cueto trade was “horrible” if Finnegan or Reed don’t develop into productive starters. It certainly wouldn’t be a great result. But it’s all tempered by the fact that those 3 were obtained for 3 months of Cueto’s contract (with no chance of the Reds resigning Cueto). Injuries to Finnegan and Reed’s regression have no doubt hurt, but I can still see both Finnegan and Reed being contributors going forward, even if they end up in the BP.

      • Any production from the Cueto trade is a plus, the alternative was the QO, so the Reds were forced to trade or getting an extra draft pick. The return was essentially three draft picks. I believe the Royals drafted them in the 1st, 2nd, and 5th round

      • I’ll add that the return looked really good to other teams and analysts at the time. The Reds were considered to make out quite well in that deal. If it does indeed turn out to be a flop, the Reds weren’t the only experts that got it wrong.

  13. Works for me but I would think we have somebody in house that could throw 50 or 60 innings in the pen.

  14. Toward the end of last season, I stated my belief that with the rate of injuries suffered by the Reds’ pitching staff that Dick Williams needed to build, in effect, a 10-man starting pitching staff — five in the majors and five ready at Louisville. My argument then was that acquiring an established starter was a key to that idea, but the acquisitions of Hughes and Hernandez also set up that possibility.

    The bullpen now looks like Iglesias, Hernandez, Hughes and Peralta at the top, with Lorenzen hopefully being given a shot to start in spring training. Barring injury setbacks, Bailey, DeSclafani and Castillo appear to be in the rotation. That leaves two starting rotation slots and three bullpen slots up for grabs. Brandon Finnegan’s role seems up in the air, and could be one of the pivot points of the spring decision making process.

    In an Enquirer report (https://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/mlb/reds/2018/01/30/reds-sign-reliever-david-hernandez-two-year-deal/1079521001/) yesterday, Williams said:

    “We have a lot of good, young arms. Many of them we still believe can and should be starters. So we want to keep as many of those guys starting as possible. We also felt like we needed to strengthen our bullpen.”

    This scenario would put two of those young guys in the major league rotation, based on what they show in the spring, and five more self-sorting themselves into a starting rotation pecking order at Louisville. I agree with the idea of giving the young pitchers every chance to prove they should be starters. If they can’t do so at Louisville, then try them as relievers.

    • Here is a idea on how to help those young pitchers in their development.
      Sign free agent C Jonathon Lucroy. The free agent market has collapsed his price. A 3 year deal in the $27-$30MM range in this market probably gets his signature.

      https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/01/poll-who-will-sign-jonathan-lucroy.html

      Lucroy would give the Reds the best offensive and defensive C tandem in the Majors. Barnhart is good against RH pitching, but not LH pitching. Lucroy is good against LH pitching, and almost as good against RH pitching. Lucroy is one of the best pitch framers and could teach Barnhart and the minor league C’s some about this. Lucroy after he was traded to Colorado, is credited for helping to lower the Colorado starting rotation’s ERA by 0.50, a half run. That is incredible.
      The Reds could carry 3 C’s on their roster until Mesoraco can be traded at either end of spring or in June or July. Dropping C Stuart Turner from the 40 man roster would probably be a move the Reds would make. But there isn’t anything wrong with that. Lucroy > Mesoraco. Lucroy > Turner.
      This is a move that helps the C position, the offense, and the young pitching. A very nice trifecta!

      • I like Lucroy as well. But the Reds are not going to pay 9-10 mil a year for a platoon catcher.

    • Looks as if they have changed their mind from last year when Bob and Reed were punished by putting them in the pen.Glad to see DW taking a stand if in fact it comes true.

  15. Per MLB.com, “The D-Backs have 6 additional hires in player development since last reported; 3 coaches and 3 medical staff. Jonny Gomes will serve as Hitting Coach for the Rookie AZL D-backs.”

    • There is a youth movement in MLB. You better be Joey Votto or Clayton Kershaw or Bryce Harper if you want a big contract past 35. Love Jonny Gomes…but hitting coach? that guy hit 1 majestic home run a week to left field and had 10x more strikeouts and pop-ups.

  16. Somebody please do a courtesy check and see if Walt Jocketty, Dick Williams and Bob Castellini are still alive. If you find them please wake them from their winter slumber and let the know that pitchers & catchers report in 10 days. The big equipment truck hasn’t even been washed and serviced yet for the long trip to Goodyear next week.

  17. I’m not sure why people think Lorenzen and his career 4.57 ERA (much higher if you remove his 2016 season spent purely as a reliever) is a good possible shot for the rotation?

    Career stats as a starter: 5.40 ERA, 1.685 WHIP, 6.6 K/9, 1.42 K/BB
    Career stats as a reliever: 3.90, 1.25 WHIP, 8.8 K/9, 2.71 K/BB

    Not to mention he had injury issues under a starters workload. They may pay lip service to him having a shot in the rotation, but in actuality I think he’s a virtual lock for the bullpen.

    • I don’t think he realistically has a shot. He was good as a reliever for part of a season and horrible for the rest. I think he has a better shot at a pinch hitter role than as a starter

    • I just have a hard time including Lorenzen in the mix with Bailey, DeSclafani, Finnegan for rotation spots. I know Lorenzen has 4 or 5 different pitches and he has stated his preference to start. But having 4 rotation pieces with 3 of them with elbow issues and one with lat and shoulder issues is a bit much to consider.
      I am hopeful and betting on Bailey being able to handle a full load in 2018. Castillo is pegged for 30+ starts in 2018. Not expecting DeSclafani or Finnegan to hold up for a whole season in 2018. And if Lorenzen is a starter, I wouldn’t be putting expectations on him for 30+ starts either.
      With Lorenzen in a rotation spot, are you putting him in a spot where he can succeed? Or are you setting him up for failure? If you put him out there as a starter, he has a 5.65 ERA by the All-Star break and gets demoted to the pen or the AAA rotation, will that crush his competitive spirit. Lorenzen is as tough as nails, but he is a very emotional and sensitive person too.
      Either way, I would like to see him in a spot where he has success after his up and down 2017.

    • Lorenzen needs to find consistency. At times he has looked unhittable, and at times he loses control (both in and out of the zone) and has been lit up. I don’t know how many options he has left, but if he doesn’t show well in the spring, he may get a trip to Louisville if he has an option. In my mind, he’s on equal footing right now with the 10 or so other young arms battling for major league roster spots. None of those numbers cited by The Duke above give you the idea that this guy who has been around for portions of three years is a sure thing.

    • Hey may not have the stuff… but judging a guy on 113 IP in his age 23 season doesn’t seem all that strong of an evaluation.

      Aaron Harang’s first two years in Oakland (108 IP) was a 4.97 ERA and 1.59 WHIP and a 6.6 K/9. He ended up being a pretty good horse.

      • Agreed, Matt. He’s changed his pitch arsenal since then. So I would heavily discount the early results. That being said, his pitch mechanic issues from last year are troubling. If he doesn’t get right, we can expect much more lackluster results. But if he gets locked in again, he’s right up there with the best 2 or 3 arms on this staff. And that figures to make a pretty good starting pitcher candidate.

        • I agree and will add that as a starter, it is easier to work on mechanical issues than it is for a reliever. You get regular side-sessions in as a SP. You can’t regularly do that as a RP because you can be called on any day to go an inning or 3. As a RP, if you really, really need side work, the team has to schedule it and the RP is generally unavailable the next game even if he hasn’t thrown an inning in a day or two.

    • People are probably basing their thinking on the quality of his pitches, at times, and on the fact that he’s relatively inexperienced as a pitcher, given his age. Room to grow, in other words. Nobody is saying he’s a lock for the rotation.

  18. I also urge people to be a little more patient with Lorenzen. The Reds saw a live arm and rushed him to the Reds in 2015 when he wasn’t ready. I haven’t looked, but he only had 180-190 ip in the minors compared to 400+ from guys like Romano and Castillo. He was frustrating to watch in the 2nd half last year. It seemed like he always trying to find something and was always changing something about his delivery?

    The pros are obvious! You can’t teach a 96-99 mph sinker w/movement. He can get groundballs and he keeps the ball in the park…atleast by Reds standards. 14 HRs allowed in 2016-17 in 133 ip (1 per 9.5 innings). By comparison…Castillo was at a HR allowed very 8.5 innings last year.

    I used to have Rangers season tickets and he reminded me of Kevin Brown. I’ve typed this on here 40x but Hawk Harrelson saw him in an interleague game and compared him to Greinke. Guys like that almost get punished by more velocity. The ball tends to straighten out? Perhaps he makes the rotation and just pumps in 94 mph sinkers in Lance Lynn mode and figures it out? He can also hit and help himself that way occasionally. There is only Castillo on the Reds with obviously more arm talent. I hope they give him a shot and he runs with it. The Reds need a bunch of 20 somethings to blossom quickly!!

  19. Pre AS break last year for Lorenzen….2.93 era with a .218 batting average allowed. Only 4 HRs in 46 ip. There is a lot of talent there somewhere.

  20. Never have and never will understand why the Reds are so quick to anoint their young pitchers or throw them under the bus after so few innings or starts.Lorenzen got 21 starts as a 23 year old in 2015 and yes they weren’t so good but is he now just a reliever?The Reds are just silly when it comes to handling young pitchers.Young pitchers always struggle the first time around the block and the second time and sometimes the third time.Bet you other clubs would give him the ball 30 times every 5th day and not blink unless he developed health problems.His stuff is electric and lets not forget who our starters were last year while he set and watched.

    • I think Lorenzen to the bullpen was more due to the fact that he was injured at the beginning of 2016 and they needed for him to build up innings/arm strength so they put him in the pen for the rest of the season. He found some success there, and the Reds had several SP options, so they left him there for the time being. Now over a full year removed from returning from injury he’s getting another shot.

  21. What exactly is the plan for the Reds front office moving forward? Seems like they are throwing away 2018 by not competing and waiting on 2019. The Reds roster is going to see a lot of turnover in the next 3 years, just as they claim they will be ready to compete.
    The Reds have 10 players who are big contributors that will have contracts or team control cease by end of 2021.
    Hamilton==2018 and 2019.
    Gennett==2018 and 2019.
    Bailey===2018 and 2019. Option for 2020.
    Iglesias==2018, 2019, and 2020.
    Suarez==2018 (a-1), 2019 (a-2), 2020 (a-3).
    DeSclafani=2018 (a-1), 2019 (a-2), 2020 (a-3).
    Four players end after 2021: Duvall, Barnhart (option 2022), Finnegan and Lorenzen.

    How many of those first 6 will be looked upon as long term players moving forward in Cincinnati?
    How important is that contract extension this winter looking now for Eugenio Suarez?
    Consideration might be there to extend Iglesias out another couple of years.
    So then that begs the question, what to do with Billy Hamilton? Play, a contract extension, trade or even a demotion to 4th OF? I’d keep Hamilton if they could get a serious upgrade in a corner outfield spot over Schebler and Duvall. We have one in Winker but need a second one. Backing out of those Yelich trade talks early looks like even more of a big mistake.

    • I would bet the farm Hamilton will not sit the bench. Price will bench Winkler, Duvall, or Schebler before he benches Hamilton.

  22. Lorenzen’s motion and mechanics got weird in the second half. There was a pretty telling video about it somewhere on line Reds sites. His release point became inconsistent.

    Power pitchers do sometimes take a bit more time to figure out how to harness it all and throw consistent strikes. When his stuff is working, he’s got a range of pitches, which you have to have as a starter.

  23. We need to get past evaluating relief pitchers by ERA in one season. The number of innings is too small. The number of runs given up is affected too much by a couple home runs or bad jobs by relievers taking over inherited runners. Cherry picking ERA from part of a season is even less reliable. Look at fundamentals like strikeouts, walks, pitch velocity.

    • Yeah, you can’t say that enough. Just too many extraneous factors in those numbers to render reliable conclusions. Even the data points you mentioned need some time to stabilize but they’re certainly better than ERA.

      And the age and health of the player should matter a little more than is often acknowledged. Is a 23 yr old pitcher getting his first few months of coffee in the big leagues representative of a finished product? Is a guy that is coming back or working through some arm issues the same pitcher as one that is fully healthy? Plainly the answer is no to both questions. But yet the temptation seems to ogreat to cherry pick results without context.

  24. I am very optimistic that Lorenzen bounces back after a disappointing 2nd half. He is a competitor and a guy who isn’t afraid to work harder to fix things. Baseball is a very hard game and young players rarely have a linear path to success. Joey Votto is still refining, still improving, still developing his craft. I think Lorenzen comes out and dominates ST.

    Brandon Finnegan is another guy who I think will impress early in ST. He is a competitor. Only guy to pitch in the college World Series and MLB World Series in the same year. He’s been idling for a year and will be chomping at the bit.
    Spring training is just around the corner. I cant wait.

  25. Adding Hughes & David Hernandez to the bullpen removes Lorenzen from the set-up role . Assuming Castillo, Finnegan, Bailey, & DeSclafani are healthy & in the rotation; Lorenzen ( along with Stephenson, Romano, Mahle, & Garrett) is competing for that 5th sp spot. A battle he can’t win (or place) . Hopefully the Reds place him in the long relief role, where he can “stretch out” in the first half. By August, perhaps he has EARNED some starts, or proved he doesn’t deserve to be an sp in the Reds organization.

  26. Can either of Hughes or Hernandez bet traded this year? Did they get NTCs? I hope, that if they’re pitching well, with both having a 2nd year of control, and the Reds are floundering (maybe not) by trade deadline, that both are moved. I’d love to see Hamilton shipped out with one or both to get an improvement in CF.

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About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

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