Well, boys, it’s a round ball and a round bat and you got to hit the ball square.

~Joe Schultz, 1969

Fourteen percet of the season has passed. Poof… it’s gone, in the books, it’s now what we sometimes call…the past. Thus it’s time to kick some tires on that small sample car that has just zoomed through the past 4 weeks.

Let’s start with the team overview. (Note: all stats are prior to Mondays game)

Description 			Ranking 
Won-Lost Record 		11-11 
Place 				3rd of 6 in National League Central 
Runs Scored 			114 1st in the majors 
Runs Allowed 		        97 19th in the majors 
Home Runs 			27 3rd in the majors 
Home Runs Allowed 		24 25th in the majors 
Batting Average 		.262 8th in the majors 
Batting Average Allowed        .257 20th in the majors 
Walks Drawn			82 5th in the majors 
Walks Given 			80 26th in the majors 
OPS For 			.757 5th in the majors 
OPS Against 			.753 23rd in the majors 
Stolen Bases 			19 6th in the majors 
Stolen Bases Allowed 	        20 23rd in the majors 

If you’ve been a Reds fan for a long time (like me), this looks about par for the course: lots of runs, lots of pop and a questionable pitching staff. In short, the team needs to stabilize the starting staff, and the big bats and the bullpen are carrying this team. I’m really impressed with the bullpen, which has allowed only four inherited runners to score all season, in only 3 games!

Good pitching teams will always roll out relief guys that are surprises, Nick Masset-types who burn bright and are also often the hidden stars of the staff, eating innings, and getting big middle inning outs at a lower cost than the what the team pays for outs on the front end of the game and the back end.

Currently the Reds have Logan Ondrusek playing the part of wunderkind. Logan, with an era below 0.75, a whip of 1.18 and an ERA+ of 568, is having quite a year so far.

Below is a small sketch of how he’s done it.

Batters Faced 54
Reached Base 20
Retired 34

Reached Base by:
Single 8
Double 0
Triple 0
Home Run 0
Walk 7
Hit Batsman 0
Error 2
Fielder’s Choice (FC)
FC All Safe 0
FC with Out 3

Retired by:
Strikeout 12
Ground Out 8
Line Out 0
Fly Out 13
Pop Out 1
Other 0

Innings Pitched 12.2
Runs Allowed 2
Innings Started 11
Runs in Those Innings 2

Shutout Innings 9
One-Run Innings 2

Got First Man Out 6
Runs Scored in Those Innings 0
Runs/9 Innings 0.00

First Man Reached 5
Runs Scored in Those Innings 2
Runs/9 Innings 3.60

1-2-3 Innings 5
10-pitch Innings (or less) 2
Long Innings (20 or more pitches) 3
Failed to Finish Inning 0

The bottom of the Reds order has been weak so far this season, and that means one thing: let’s look at our shortstop.

Below is the batting line for National League shortstops.
.265/.318/.372/.690

Below is the batting line for Reds shortstops.
.291/.315/.314/.629

Below is the batting line for Paul Janish, who has 75% of the Reds SS at-bats this season.
.277/.294/.292/.586

Below is the WORST OPS for a Reds SS vs the other SS in the league since World War 2.

OPS                       YEAR     DIFF   PLAYER   LEAGUE     PA       RB      OUTS      AGE    
Roy McMillan             1953    -.123     .591     .714      610      174      451       23   
Virgil Stallcup          1948    -.095     .569     .664      566      141      439       26   
Roy McMillan             1954    -.092     .621     .713      677      199      489       24   
Jeff Keppinger           2008    -.073     .657     .730      502      154      363       28   
Virgil Stallcup          1949    -.064     .604     .667      589      157      443       27   
Dave Concepcion          1983    -.054     .583     .638      593      179      444       35   
Virgil Stallcup          1950    -.054     .632     .686      507      138      383       28   
Roy McMillan             1952    -.051     .656     .707      590      180      428       22   
Orlando Cabrera          2010    -.049     .657     .706      537      161      391       35   
Roy McMillan             1955    -.042     .692     .734      556      199      372       25  

Janish is on pace to displace Virgil Stallcup in the number 2 slot. He has 3 walks for the season in almost 70 ABs. With the glove he’s doing fine, and is rated on Dewan’s Fielding Bible as saving 4 runs so far this season, which a good thing considering what he’s doing with the stick.

Fourteen percent of the season isn’t enough to tell us too much, but like a good story it can provide some foreshadowing.

18 Responses

  1. Bill Lack

    How can you not love a post that begins with a Ball Four quote?

    Very interesting…biggest surprise to me? Ryan Hanigan’s slow start, he’s looking a lot more like ’09 than ’10 and that is not good. And his 0-12 throwing out runners is mind boggling to me. Second biggest surprise is the struggles of Jay Bruce…he’s regressed, or appears to have thus far.

  2. RiverCity Redleg

    I’m not nearly as worried aboutr Janish’s OPS as others on here are. As long as his OBP is in-line (and it is a little below right now), we’ll be fine. We don’t need Janish to hit for power. To me, his slugging % is completely irrelevant. As long as he’s not giving away too many outs, his glove makes up for the rest.

  3. Steve

    Paul Janish is in the lineup to play Gold Glove defense.

    If I was playing doctor, a big part of the “pulse” I’d look at is defense, which isn’t even mentioned in this long post. It comes to the conclusion that Paul Janish isn’t a great hitter.

    News flash.

  4. Brian Erts

    I did mention defense, he’s at plus 4 on the Dewan scale so far.

    And yes it’s what keeps his name in the lineup at this juncture.

  5. Steve

    I’m very glad to hear that Baker is well-prepared and hard-working. Those are important qualities and certainly are preferable to being poorly prepared and lazy. Baker has many endearing qualities as a manager and those are two.

    While I have tremendous respect for Hal McCoy, I don’t trust his overall evaluation of Dusty Baker.

    McCoy falls into the trap of letting his judgment of people be influence by the press-friendliness of that person. In McCoy’s world, Baker is a great manager in part because he is readily available to the press (for their meek questions) after the game. Homer Bailey is a better pitcher because he now is friendlier to the press.

  6. RedinTenn

    @Steve:

    Steve, you’ve exactly captured my thoughts toward Hal McCoy — but I am taking his wise advice and coming in off the ledge today. 😯

    And as a big fan of Soft-J, I agree with the premium value placed on his glove. The quality and consistency of his defense raises everyone else’s play. He’s also shown improvement at the plate, but hasn’t been consistent enough to add the bat to his tool belt — yet.

  7. cliff

    lets give dusty credit for this… if i read Soft-J’s line after 22 games to you during the spring, you would tell me he would be sitting on the bench right now. yet he is still the primary shortstop. he’s started in what- 16 games? so at least dusty is resisting the urge to bench the bat-boy, something we all figured would be a given regardless of what WJ said in the offseason.

    • Steve

      if i read Soft-J’s line after 22 games to you during the spring, you would tell me he would be sitting on the bench right now. yet he is still the primary shortstop. he’s started in what- 16 games? so at least dusty is resisting the urge to bench the bat-boy, something we all figured would be a given regardless of what WJ said in the offseason.

      Baker is also witnessing how severely Edgar Renteria’s defensive skills have eroded (something widely known throughout the league before the Reds signed him to a multi-million dollar bench role). Further, Renteria has looked progressively worse at the plate after a couple of good games.

      So the Reds signed an aging player to a multi-million dollar contract to play a position that he can no longer play, and he apparently can’t really play any other positions, either. Major miscalculation.

  8. RedinTenn

    Ohhh, but there’s the World Series MVP thing. 🙄

    • Steve

      Ohhh, but there’s the World Series MVP thing.

      And the 34 stolen bases in 2003. And 14 home runs in 2006. And .390 OBP in 2007. 🙂

  9. RedinTenn

    veteran leadership — which is great, but does there come a point where Chris Speier can provide it…?

  10. jdm00

    I would say the Cairo two-year signing is more egregious than Renteria’s, but he’s stepped up the past few games, so I will give him a pass.

  11. AnnapolisHoosier

    I don’t get the constant bashing of Cairo. The guy was a key player last year stepping in at multiple positions when guys went down and he’s doing it again this year.

  12. jdm00

    @AnnapolisHoosier: It’s not that he’s a bad player, and he has obviously made significant contributions. I think for most people (me included) it is the idea of giving a two-year contract to a 37-year-old backup infielder/utility guy.

  13. jdm00

    Particularly when there are guys at Louisville who could provide Cairo’s career line of .267/.317/.361, with probably better defense, and do it cheaper.

    But since he was signed to the contract, I am glad he is playing well.

    • Bill Lack

      Particularly when there are guys at Louisville who could provide Cairo’s career line of .267/.317/.361, with probably better defense, and do it cheaper.

      But since he was signed to the contract, I am glad he is playing well.

      And there is no reason to believe that he can do this year what he did last year.