Aaron Harang’s last start of the season tonight against St. Louis. If you had told me in April that Harang would be trying to get only his 7th win of the season on the next-to-last day of 2008, I wouldn’t have been a bit surprised to find out that the Reds were 74-86, and in 5th place, 22.5 games out of first.

Root on Harang and discuss the game here.

26 Responses

  1. Y-City Jim

    From Fay’s blog:

    Walt Jocketty wouldn’t give an exact number, but he said he expects the player payroll to climb for next season. I don’t like to write about money and payroll — and I don’t think spending is necessarily tied to winning — but I think it’s significant that the Reds will up the payroll for 2009. That means they’re going to try to win next year, despite going younger over the last couple months.

    My guess is payroll will end up in the $80 million range. It was $74 million at the start of this season. With Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr. off the books, that will give the Reds money to spend on the free agent market.

    The top priority?

    “I think we still need a right-handed hitter, a runner producer,” Jocketty said, “not necessarily, a home run hitter, but a run producer, someone who can drive in runs in the clutch.”

    Hint: A person that can hit in the clutch would be someone that 1) can hit, 2) has plate discipline, and 3) will take a walk when that is all that is being given.

    I’m not sure that kind of player is available on the free agent market. A trade for high-salary guy — Matt Holliday or Magglio Ordonez? — might be the best way to fill that need.

    Only make that trade if you plan to sign them to stick around. It isn’t like this team is overstocked with so much MiLB talent that it can afford to throw them in lease-a-player trades.

    Jocketty has re-evaluated the needs somewhat in light of recent play of young guys like Ryan Hanigan and Chris Dickerson.

    “There are way to improve in different areas, but I’ve been very impressed with the way team’s played the last few weeks,” Jocketty said. “Hanigan did a great job catching. I would still say we’re not sure with (Alex) Gonzalez at short. He should be able to come back. But we’ve said all along that catching, short and center field are our needs, along with the right-handed hitter, the leadoff hitter. Now we know we have some flexibility. We’ve seen what Ryan Hanigan can do. We all feel very good about what he’s shown us. If a frontline guy’s not available, Ryan could fill that need. If we allocate money in different areas, we know that Dickerson can play center field and be a leadoff hitter. We know Gonzalez is coming back and can play short. I think it’s going to be more looking at what’s available and if it upgrades our club.

    I agree that Gonzalez is still a question mark. I like that Hanigan isn’t just being handed the job. The remark about Dickerson puzzling. How does he know that Dickerson can handle CF. Dusty has only let him play it seven times. As to whether Dickerson can be an everyday leadoff man, that is highly questionable.

    “Our pitching staff was good but is there somebody out there who could make it better.”

    Hint: Move Arroyo. He’s overpaid, he’s replaceable, and I wonder about his clubhouse presence.

  2. Y-City Jim

    Very strange off the Yahoo box score:

    Cincinnati Inning Summary
    – A. Pujols popped out to first
    – A. Pujols struck out swinging
    – A. Pujols singled to center
    – End of Inning (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)

  3. mhopp

    Joey Votto is my favorite every day player. His and only his shirt will I buy in the off season.

    Anyone have an idea how to watch or listen to the AZ fall league and other off season leagues?

  4. mhopp

    G. Soto not in the line up with CHC? Anyone know why?

  5. mhopp

    Yeah, like he deserves it or something, pathetic. Expect the same crap next year from the “players manager”

  6. mhopp

    Hairston playing a different position every night…no wonder this team can’t win!

  7. mhopp

    I predicted 74-88 as the final standings for the Reds…they’ll lose this one and only one more to go so I wish I’d have taken bets on that! 😥

  8. mhopp

    Amazing how much better the Mendoza twins are hitting now that the season does not matter and they want to make themselves look good for next year! 😛

  9. Phill

    The season hasn’t mattered for pretty much half the season and they still were hitting like crap.

  10. mhopp

    The season hasn’t mattered since the Dumpster Dusty Baker decided to use Harang and Volquez in San Diego…I can’t believe anyone takes him seriously when he says to do something.

  11. Y-City Jim

    Read McCoy’s blog

    But as he told Castellini, “Sometimes it is difficult to be patient because time is running out. That’s OK, though, because when leave I want to have made this team a winner, won a championship and leave the organization in a better place than when we got here. I want to do what Tom Kelly did with the Minnesota Twins.”

    Dusty, you are no Tom Kelly.

  12. Y-City Jim

    Yahoo’s box score was been a real source of amusement tonight, Check out the scoring summary for tonight’s game:

    Bot 4th: St. Louis
    – A. Miles scored, T. Wellemeyer out at third
    – A. Miles scored, T. Wellemeyer out at third
    Top 7th: Cincinnati
    – Batter singled to left, C. Patterson scored
    Bot 8th: St. Louis
    – A. Miles grounded out to shortstop, A. Kennedy scored
    Top 9th: Cincinnati
    – D. Weathers homered to deep left

  13. Evarmstrong

    I am not sure how anyone could question keeping Bronson on the team. Pitching wins titles,and finally we have the makings of a decent staff. Clubhouse problem…prove it.

  14. Y-City Jim

    The Reds have young arms, which makes Arroyo replaceable at a much cheaper price. Thompson, Bailey, Maloney, Ramirez are all waiting the opportunity.

  15. Evarmstrong

    Sorry Y-City, none of those you listed have yet to prove they can do anything on the major league level, so unless we could get say a player like that kid at third for the Rays, I don’t deal a good starting pitcher.

  16. Y-City Jim

    Arroyo has yet to prove that he can do it for an entire season and he is on the books for $9 million next season. He simply is not worth it. Of those I listed, all would give better performances better than the Eric Miltons, Dave Williams, Paul Wilsons, Jimmy Haynes, Cory Lidles, etc. of the world.

  17. GregD

    Arroyo is streakier and more prone to slumps than Adam Dunn. An ERA of almost 7.00 in April. Over 8.00 in June.

    Last year he hit a stretch of 12 starts covering all of May & June going 2-7 with a 5.88 ERA.

    Everyone likes to think of him as the 2006 version. He’s never pitched like that over a full season before in his career. And even in that magical (for him) season, he had a prolonged slump covering July and August, ERA over 5.00, 1-5 record, including a stretch of 10 starts (Jun 24-Aug 10) without a W.

    He had a good 2nd half overall this year. If that boosts his trade value, and they can get a bat that they need for him, I’d be in favor of trading Arroyo.

    Obviously, if they plan to make a move for Sabathia, and can land him, Arroyo would seem to be the logical choice to move.

  18. Evarmstrong

    15-11, he finished the season at 15-11, which I will take from my number 3 guy anytime. You have Harrang, Edison, Bronson, Johnny C and Ownings, a pretty good 5 man rotation. 9 million for Bronson is chump change to what other pitchers make.

  19. GregD

    Do you think Arroyo (15-11) was that much better than Harang (6-17) this year?

  20. pete

    Yes. Take out 2 bad innings and his ERA was under 4.

  21. GregD

    Which innings are you subtracting and can I also do the same for Aaron Harang (to compare?)

    For Arroyo:
    There was the 2nd inning vs. Atlanta – gave up 7 runs and only 1 out, was pulled early.
    There was the 1st inning vs. Toronto – gave up 6 runs in a complete inning
    There was the 2nd inning vs. Toronto – gave up 4 runs and recorded 0 outs, was pulled early.

    Even if I subtract all 3 of those innings (and the respective # of innings pitched), I get an ERA over 4.

  22. GregD

    Arroyo’s ERA minus worst 3 innings
    4.03

    Harang’s ERA minus worst 3 innings
    4.17

    And Harang always completed his “bad innings” and went out to start the next inning.

  23. GregD

    PS – I’m not arguing that Harang was better than Arroyo. I’m just pointing out that “15-game winner” is not all that it’s cracked up to be.

    Harang only won 6 games, but had similar numbers, better quality start percentage, and terrible run support.

    Remember 2002?
    Jimmy Haynes was 15-10.

    The year before the Reds signed Eric Milton, he was 14-6 with the Phillies.

  24. pete

    Greg, that is considered 2 1/3 innings. You are correct however, that the ERA is over 4. The numbers I ran were before his last 2 starts. My bad.