The Bullpen
2012 Pitching Line: 434.1 IP, 478 K, 181 BB, 2.65 ERA
2013 Projection: 455 IP, 500 K, 190 BB, 2.80 ERA

2012 WAR: 6.3
2013 Best Guess: 6.0*
Projected Difference: -0.3
2013 Ceiling: 8.0
2013 Floor: 4.0

*This number does include Chapman’s WAR, which I also projected on Monday.

Hey, the season starts on Monday and we still don’t exactly know who’s going to be in the bullpen. If it were up to me, I’d take: Aroldis Chapman, Jonathan Broxton, Sean Marshall, Sam Lecure, Alfredo Simone, J.J. Hoover, and (probably) Jose Arredondo. I suspect, however, that Logan Ondrusek will be coming north, and I’m accounting for that in the projection. I’ll update if things change.

One good thing about the Chapman decision is that if the Reds get through six with a lead, the game should pretty much be over. Throwing Marshall, Broxton, and Chapman at any team, well, that’s going to be scary for them. I’d also be comfortable with Lecure, Simon, and Hoover in high leverage situations. This is a really good bullpen.

Of course, it will likely be hampered a bit by Logan Ondrusek. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but there is just no way he keeps this up. His peripherals are crazily bad. You just can’t walk five batters per nine innings while only striking out six and survive long in the majors. I shudder at the though of important innings going to him. If he makes the team, he should be last-man-out, mop-up-duty-only.

Arredondo also has some questionable peripherals, but his k-rate makes him less of a liability than Ondrusek.

All in all, this should, once again, be one of the best bullpens in the league. Expect a few more innings than they threw last year (second fewest in baseball) as the starters are unlikely to hold up quite as well, and a bit of a drop from Chapman. A full season of Broxton should help make up for that drop, though.

On Friday I’ll wrap things up, but I’ll give you a hint: This is probably going to be a good year to root for the Reds.

Redleg Nation Season Preview Schedule

Joey Votto – 2/27
Brandon Phillips – 3/1
Todd Frazier – 3/4
Zack Cozart – 3/6
Ryan Ludwick – 3/8
Shin-Soo Choo – 3/11
Jay Bruce – 3/13
Ryan Hanigan & Devin Mesoraco – 3/15
Bench – 3/18
Johnny Cueto & Mat Latos – 3/20
Homer Bailey & Bronson Arroyo – 3/22
Aroldis Chapman & Mike Leake – 3/25
Bullpen – 3/27
Updates & Preview Wrap-Up – 3/29