Tuesday, March 12, 2013

MAKING THE PITCH: Cincinnati Reds

Manager Dusty Baker is all smiles with an improved pitching staff.
The Reds were named the 2012 Organization of the Year by Baseball America.
(photo courtesy of Mike McCann's Field of Fotos)

Felipe M

We take a look at the projected starting rotations and closer situations of every MLB team.  Of course, this will come from a fantasy perspective.  All cited stats are based on 2013 projections. 

For our review of the Boston Red Sox, click here

Let's see what the Cincinnati Reds are offering this season.


  1. Johnny Cueto
    • Good: Cueto is knocking on the door of the game's elite.  His 2.32 BB/9 is similar to Justin Verlander's. Most impressively is the fact that he can post a .72 HR/9, despite the fact that he plays his home games at Great American Ballpark.
    • Bad: WHIP is projected at 1.20, which prevents him from being considered elite, but Cueto makes more a high end #2 pitcher and a borderline #1.
  2. Mat Latos
    • Good: It's going to be an interesting year for the Reds; they have two, possible "Aces" in their rotation.  8.56 K/9 is a lot better than Cueto's.  HR/9 of 1.00 proved he can limit the long ball in Cincinnati.
    • Bad: Just like Cueto, WHIP of 1.18 prevents him from being an elite starting pitcher, but he's an excellent option at the top of your rotation.
  3. Bronson Arroyo
    • Good: BB/9 of 1.92, along with a 2.88 K/BB makes him a serviceable pitcher.  
    • Bad: K/9 is low at 5.53; H/9 of 9.23 is high and is the main culprit as to why his WHIP is projected at 1.24.  The reoccuring characteristic about Arroyo is his HR/9.  We all have grown to expect it and 2013 will be no different (HR/9 1.23).
  4. Homer Bailey
    • Good: K/BB of 3.06 shows great understanding of the strike zone--finally.  After teetering on the brink of "bust" status, Bailey is finally pitching the way he was expected to when he was a highly touted prospect.  He's only 26 so continuing improvement is expected.
    • Bad: 9.00H/9 raises WHIP to 1.26.  1.11 HR/9 considering where he pitches his home game could be a concern.
  5. Aroldis Chapman
    • Good: Many publications, knowing very well that he will most likely be a starter this season, still believe that he can post a 10+ K/9.  HR/9 of 0.99 is impressive, considering the band box he plays his home games.
    • Bad: Walks might be a bit of an issue: 3.87 BB/9 raising his WHIP to 1.30.
  1. Jonathan Broxton
    • Good: With the Reds intention of keeping Chapman in the rotation, the job is Broxton's to lose.  Won't get burned with the long ball (HR/9 0.95) and can keep his BB/9 low (3.14).  By comparison, Craig Kimbrel's BB/9 projection is 3.04.  Brandon League and Chris Perez have similar BB/9.
    • Bad: K/9 is pretty low for a closer (7.36).  League, Bobby Parnell, and Steve Cishek are expected to have similar K/9.  He also has a high H/9 which raises his WHIP to an alarming 1.29.  Again, these are similar numbers to Brandon League.

The Reds have an impressive cast of pitchers in their rotation.  Outside of Arroyo, the rest of the four starters can rack up the K's in a hurry.  Even with Arroyo's unimpressive K-totals, he is still supposed to lead the team in BB/9.  

Each pitcher, however, has their own, unique flaws, but as far as filling out your rotation, this is certainly a team that boasts depth.  

Broxton is a concern, but with very little competition for that role, Broxton has a chance to rack up saves for a team that is expected to win lots of games.  

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