Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (14-13) 3 10 2
Pittsburgh Pirates (12-15) 0 7 0
W: Leake (2-1) L: Cole (4-1) S: Chapman (6)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–How about this guy Mike Leake? Leake pitched eight shutout innings, allowing six hits and no walks. Leake has now tossed sixteen consecutive scoreless innings in his last two starts. I’m glad I remembered to start him on my fantasy team tonight.

–So Marlon Byrd is beginning to heat up, eh? Byrd homered for the third straight game; he was 2-4 on the night.

–Brandon Phillips was 3-4 tonight with an RBI and a run scored. Todd Frazier tripled and walked. Mike Leake doubled in a run in the first inning.

The Bad
–Joey Votto struck out in the third inning, then slammed his helmet into the ground. Home plate umpire Chris Conroy proceeded to eject Votto from the game, whereupon Votto went completely nuts, bumping Conroy in the process.

You could read Votto’s lips as he protested the ejection: “What did I do? What did I do?” What you did, Joey, is earn yourself a suspension that a team already playing with a 24-man roster can’t afford. Yeah, Conroy was probably quick to issue the ejection, but still…

–Kris Negron and Todd Frazier committed errors. They should try not to do that again.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–The Redlegs are over .500! Print those playoff tickets!

–It’s really kinda funny: everyone expected the Pirates to be a playoff contender, and there’s no reason to believe they won’t be in the hunt (unless Andrew McCutchen is hurt). But the Reds are now 5-0 against the Bucs this season. Cool.

–That was the first shutout win of the year for the Redlegs. It’s also the sixth straight win for Leake over Pittsburgh.

–I was looking forward to tonight’s matchup, because Leake has been pitching well, and Gerrit Cole has probably been the best pitcher in the National League thus far in 2015. As you might imagine, I couldn’t have been more pleased with tonight’s result. The Reds handed Cole his first loss of the season, and I love this nugget: Cole has given up six extra base hits all season, and five of those were surrendered to the Redlegs.

–The Reds are 10-2 against Pittsburgh and Milwaukee. They are 4-11 against everyone else. What does this mean? I have no idea.

–Series finale tomorrow, as the Reds go for the sweep. Disco DeSclafani will face AJ Burnett. Go Reds.

168 Responses

  1. pinson343

    Mike Leake, triple threat: power, speed, defense. Oh, and he can pitch a little too.
    As I’ve said many times, I like Mike.

    I think the Reds ought to get very serious about trying to extend him, and not because he’s pitched well so far this early season. He’s improved from season to season, and he has a very underrated strong point in his favor: durability.
    As Brantley has observed, he has an easy, low stress delivery. I could see him going for 10 years or so without missing a start, as his friend and mentor, Bronson, did.

    • sultanofswaff

      Agreed. The intangibles are off the charts—defense, hitting…. To not even explore the possibility of a home town discount in the offseason is malpractice.

    • George Mirones

      If Mike can win 5 more than he loses for 10 years and not miss a start with a 3.28/3.61 era that would be worth about 15-18mil a year.

    • greenmtred

      I couldn’t agree more, Pinson. Leake’s improvement is impressive.

    • lwblogger2

      As I’ve said, I’m all for re-upping Leake if the price is right. The “if” in there is important.

    • aceistheplace2

      I agree whole-heartedly. Love the guy, a true gamer. But I can see it going either way.
      1) Extend Leake and pair him with Bailey, Lorenzen, Disco, Iglesias.
      2) Do not sign him and have a rotation on Bailey, Lorenzen, Disco, Iglesias, and one of our many, many highly touted pitching prospects. This will also save a lot of money to apply other places. Like a leadoff hitter, a capable LFer (assuming Winker isnt ready, or Mez cannot handle it), a Catcher (although I would be happy with Tucker behind the plate, above average D, and a good stick vs RHP), or SS (lets be honest: Cozy is having a gread season offensively – On defense as well – but he is close to 30 and cannot be counted on for the future.

    • Redsfan48

      Unfortunately, Mike Leake is just an average (to maybe slightly above average) major league pitcher. They shouldn’t pay an average pitcher $50-100 million when they have all these young arms. Maybe some of the young guys don’t pan out, but they have at least 5 (Lorenzen, Stephenson, Iglesias, Moscot, Travieso) young guys (not inc. DeSclafani, Cingrani) that could potentially be very good starters. If even 3 of them pan out, we have a solid starting 5. Bottom line is, that money would be better spent on offense, which we need more than pitching at this point.

      • Redsfan48

        By the way, that’s not a knock on Leake, I like him a lot, I just think their money would be better spent elsewhere

  2. pinson343

    Byrd looks so much more relaxed at the plate than early in the season. Before he was waving his bat around in an exaggerated, hyper kind of way. Now he’s much more still, just waving it a little, looking confident.

    • jdx19

      Yeah, I noticed that, too. I wonder if the pressure of a new team made him go outside his normal at-bat routine.

      Either way, I’ll take this current version of Marlon.

      • George Mirones

        I agree now lets move him to the 3 spot and JV back to the two spot, Todd 4 with BP fifth, Bruce 6, Cozart 7, Pena 8. Still need leadoff hitter.

      • Redsfan48

        I think the move to the 2 spot was what sparked Byrd’s recent hot streak. Think about it, with Billy hitting in front of him, and Votto behind him, what pitches will Byrd see the most? Fastballs. Marlon Byrd is a very good fastball hitter, so keep him in the position where he will likely see the most fastballs.

      • redmountain

        Or maybe he just stopped reading this website,where he was being ripped apart for not being (enter any player)!

  3. sultanofswaff

    Negatives—–Price failing at shielding Votto from the umpire. GHEESH. It’ your only job in that situation.

    • ECReds

      Completely agree. Probably nothing to see here but not one player stepped in the fray or tried to calm down Joey. Price could have used the help.

      • greenmtred

        I thought I saw Byrd getting between Joey and the ump?

      • redmountain

        Wrong! Byrd stepped in, before Votto found out that he had been tossed. After that no one was going to stop him.

    • ohiojimw

      “Joey shouldn’t have gone down there and made contact with the umpire. We know that. This was an avoidable situation.”


      Price on the situation with Votto as quoted by Mark Sheldon


      Even more avoidable if Price or somebody else from the coaching staf would have stepped up and kept Votto at bay from the ump.

    • RedAlert

      Excellent point – he can curse out a reporter but won’t stand up for his own player and keep him from getting ejected – WEAK !!!

    • Andrewpky

      Disagree. The replay showed Price was heading towards the umpire and looking at him. Meanwhile, Votto flew down the field behind Price’s back and straight into the umpire. Price didn’t see him until the last second. By then it was too late. I think it’s unfair to put blame on Price for Votto’s actions. At least Votto behaved like a grownup after the game.

    • lwblogger2

      I don’t think he really had time. And I think that Greenmtred is right and Byrd tried to get in there. It was too late though.

  4. Grant Freking

    Starting to become convinced the Pirates have a 2014 Votto situation brewing with McCutchen, who looks like he’s playing at about 57 percent.

    • jdx19

      Makes Votto’s .250/.390 last year all the more amazing, eh?

    • George Mirones

      On one of McCutchens at bat he looked a lot like last years version of Votto , almost falling down after swinging and missing. That knee or whatever is not strong.

      • gerald

        Same problem and they are just as insistent on running him out like we did. The management is not all that different and I wonder if there fans are saying terrible contract etc.

      • tct

        The McCutchen contract is one of the best in baseball, and I think it is a bit insulting to Pittsburgh’s management to compare them to the Reds. The Pirates are much more analytical and have an organizational philosophy that they stick to. I would trade GM’s with them in a second.

      • charlottencredsfan

        You want o see great contract? Rizzo and Altuve’s are a good place to start.

  5. WVRedlegs

    Thank you Mike Leake for keeping on keeping on…increasing your trade value. I listened to MLB radio on the way home from work today and they just on and on at what a “Sellers” market it is going to be for starting pitching on the trade market. Having two top trade targets, and possibly a third in Chapman, should bring a King’s ransom.
    But then the other shoe will drop, and the Reds will be on the outside looking in trying to decide if they are buyers or sellers, because we have Jocketty.

    • greenmtred

      The Reds will certainlly be on the outside looking in if they trade Cueto, Leake and Chapman in the middle of the season. And the outside is where they would stay for a good long while.

  6. WVRedlegs

    First Bryan Price blows a gasket, now Joey Votto flips out and bumps the umpire. Castellini is going to have to fly in Wild Thing Charlie Sheen for some Anger Management sessions. (Goose frabar).

  7. jdx19

    Harold Reynolds said Mike Trout is the best player because of his ‘intangibles.’ Oh, Harold! I love to comedy you provide!

    • mtkal

      That is funny. As if Mike Trout needs any intangibles.

    • greenmtred

      Obviously, Trout brings more to the table than intangibles. But it seems to be group-think at RLN to dismiss the importance of intangibles, presumably because there is no way of quantifying them. Milton Bradley, I believe, said he didn’t believe in dinosaurs because he had never seen one.

      • jdx19

        Dinosaur bones?

        You made a poor inference in your statement. Reynolds said “because” of Trout’s intanglbiles Not something liek “Trout can hit for power, average, OBP, play above-average CF defense, and steal bases. PLUS, he has those intangibles you love to see.”

        This is one of those agree-to-disagree topics. Intanglibles can’t be quantified, so some folks won’t believe them. Other folks don’t care if something can be proven and just like to guess. That’s fine, too, I suppose.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Tell you about intangibles: if Jonny Gomes would have been in Votto’s shoes last night. Sure Jonny would have extended an invitation to visit after the game to further discuss their little disagreement.☺ Dang, I miss Jonny Gomes!

        Cole is a bully, nothing more nothing less. Someday, hopefully, he will challenge the wrong guy.

      • charlottencredsfan

        The point? Jonny Gomes gave the team a toughness (intangible you might say). Of course, Coles isn’t going to pull that on JG.

      • lwblogger2

        He challenged the perfect guy in Votto. You want to get under the skin of a rival’s best player or their best players. You want to get that guy to lose it. If you’re lucky the guy ends up suspended and your rival is without his services for a while.

        It wouldn’t surprise me if Cole got knocked off the plate in his 1st AB the next time the Reds faced him.

      • jdx19

        I hope so, LW. I thought Leake might try it last night right after it happened. Likely that would have been to obvious, though, and Leake would have been looking over the post-game spread with Votto.

    • lwblogger2

      I know a lot of people don’t like Reynolds because he’s such a traditional thinker (as most players are). That said, a lot of times I find myself agreeing with him. Last night however, he also had a spot about pitch framing and while his general premise that a pitcher can help make a catcher look like a good framer, the point he was missing was that a catcher can cost a pitcher a lot of strikes. When I disagree with him, I strongly disagree with him. Also, I hate that even as a traditional thinker, he can find no place for analytics. Sorry, but if you ignore analytics completely and totally disrespect them, you’re missing a big part of player evaluation. It makes me wonder how much of it is an act and how he really would feel about some of this stuff “off the record” because he’s a smart guy and can’t be that naive to know that.

      • jdx19

        Good points. I saw the pitch framing segment, as well, and I just shook my head. Dan Plesac was agreeing with him, as well. The way he was speaking, he doesn’t even understand what the ‘pitch framing’ argument is.

      • Carl Sayre

        I am old school eye test type of fan. I come on this sight in particular because there are a lot of anlytical type fans on here. This has shown me a large amount of my eye test is proven out by numbers. The really great part is when the numbers disprove my eye test it is enlightening. There are people that post on here that Ithink go way over the line with the numbers but that is just an opinion. I have loved the game for about 50 years and to be student of the game I must be willing to learn something new and thanks to the contributors and the people who post i get that oppertunity. I like trying to extend Leake because he may be “affordable” where IMO Cueto is not. The question with Leake is two fold is the price to high and do we have 4 or more prospects ready to come to the majors in 16?

  8. Jeremy Forbes

    Mike Leake now leads the NL in innings pitched with 43.2 (Cueto is 2nd with 43) and has a 2.47 ERA. For a bit of icing on that cake, he’s 4th in WHIP.

    It’s been great to watch him continue to grow and get better as a pitcher over the last couple of years. He’s been around so long it’s hard to remember at times that he’s just now entering his age 27 season.

    • mtkal

      I say extend him. There’s no guarantee that ALL those hot shot pitchers we have in the minors will pan out.
      Of course I still think if we could find a way to extend Cueto as well we’re just within a hitter and a couple good bull pen pitchers for contending with this group for a few more years and maybe even. . . well who knows? I know I’m decidedly in the minority on that anyway.

      • gerald

        I think your chances are as good that way as rebuild with unproven young talent

      • charlottencredsfan

        It would be great to run the numbers as a start to see what s even possible. Hearts are going to ache when those guys leave. I guess I’ll change when to if.☺
        You are in the majority of people who would like them to stay. It is always about the cost.

    • charlottencredsfan

      +1. Great point on the IP.

    • lwblogger2

      My dad said last night that Leake reminded him more and more of Oswalt. I reminded him about Oswalt’s much better fastball and his excellent curve. My dad then went on to explain it was more about how Leake approached hitters and about his delivery and command. So, I watched a little more closely and could see a little of what he was talking about.

  9. mtkal

    FWIW: Just my take on watching the Votto ejection. It looked like to me Votto was upset at himself either for missing the strike three pitch or for swinging at it in the first place, and that’s why he fired the helmet. It looked like he actually turned and told the pitcher and/or ump that that was the case before he left the field not knowing he was tossed.
    I think he felt the ump should have shown restraint because he wasn’t mad at the ump.

    The announcers weren’t sure and I’m not either, but I thought ejection for a helmet throw was at the umps discretion with the fine being mandatory. Either way he obviously shouldn’t have bumped the umpire. Other than that I didn’t mind the fire from Joey.

    • lwblogger2

      The issue is that he bumped the ump. Ejections happen and sometimes it’s worth getting thrown out of a game. The bump will result in a suspension and that’s where Joey let himself and the team down. Votto knows it and is probably annoyed with himself for doing it.

    • Shchi Cossack

      Joey’s frustatration has been building lately. As good (borderline great) a start as Votto has had for the 2015 season, he has recently come up short in some high-leverage, critical situations, combined with multiple, horrendous strike calls by incompetent home plate umpires. That’s not meant as criticism, just observation from the Old Cossack’s recliner. The most recent time was the 1st inning of last night’s game. With runners at 2nd & 3rd and no outs after a successful double steal, Votto squibed a weak grounder back to the pitcher and the Reds failed to score that inning. That set Votto’s pop-off valve teetering and the strike out in the 3rd inning combined with the ‘curious’ ejection call(?) was more than suffucient to blow that pop-off valve.

      I didn’t mind Votto going off on the umpire, just like I didn’t mind Mesoraco going off on the home plate umpire for the umpire’s incompetence. I do object to the manager in both instances not stepping up to defend and protect their players rather than directing criticism back on the players after-the-fact.

  10. mtkal

    Was that quote about Brandon Phillips’ OBP dated 5/7 on 5/6 just because the assumption was that most people would see it on the 7th? Of course it’s the 7th now so it’s a moot point, but I read it on the 6th. Just curious. Some day maybe I’ll get a life and stop pondering such things.

  11. ohiojimw

    The Reds are 8-8 on the road. At the end of this road trip ~25% of their road schedule for the season will be behind them. If they can split the 4 remaining games on the trip and come home at 10-10 on the road and a game over .500, I think it would be a mistake to consider all lost for the season.

    If the Reds stay on even keel and pick up some games to .500 when the weight of the schedule is at home, I believe it is a mistake to write off playing for a WC spot because teams don’t choose when they will contend, events largely do.

    A legitimate run even for a WC is preferable to selling short for pie in the sky next year or the year after or the year after that because like tomorrow, next year and the year after never come.

    Grab what’s there and ride where it takes you.

    • lwblogger2

      Agree. As long as they stay above water and in the hunt.

    • Big56dog

      “mistake to consider all lost for the season”; Reds got themselves a winning streak over someone besides the Brewers. Things are good. See how you feel the next time you lose 2 in a row. “Firesales, Fire Price, Fire Jockety, DFA Gregg, Byrd, and Badeslop, trade Cueto for some AA prospects who might get a Sept call-up in 2017, cats and dogs living together… ” comments will run rampant

  12. JMO

    The Reds should have extended Leake already. GG defense, speed, best hitting SP in the league, athletic, competitive, blue collar work ethic, etc Very very durable. Reds absolutely need to extend him.

    • gerald

      Agree no injury history and cheaper proven option

    • GreatRedLegsFan

      I hope the catch that fly before it’s too late and it’s never too late to rectify after Homer’s bad contract.

    • lwblogger2

      Have you seen Bumgarner swing the bat? Leake can hit but he’s one of a handful of good hitting pitchers in the NL.

    • VaRedsFan

      He is most of those things. Actually, not a very good hitter

    • Tom Reed

      I’ve never understood the hesitancy to extend Leake plus the talk of trading him. Pitchers take a while to mature even when they’re in the big leagues. Leake has grown into a solid pitcher and can be the foundation of a good young Reds starting pitching staff.

    • jdx19

      Defense doesn’t matter much for a pitcher because they don’t get a lot of chances, speed doesn’t matter for Leake because he doesn’t get on base much (hasn’t walked since 2013, has a 45% strike out rate 2014-2015).

      Leake’s value is that he is turning out to be a good pitcher. The other stuff is a bonus. Leake shouldn’t make $1 more on the contract because of his hitting, because frankly, he’s really not that good of a hitter, and saying “good hitting pitcher” is becoming increasingly meaningless because pitchers as a group have been on a steady decline for many, many years.

  13. Whodeythinkgonnabeatthemredlegs

    Big time reader, first ever comment. Wanted to say how much I appreciate the time and effort for the articles, as well as the debates/discussions in the comments. It has made me a more educated fan and I thank everyone for that.

    Nights like tonight, especially while living in Pittsburgh (and living through the infamous “Cueeeettttooo” wildcard game), are what make this game fun. BP hustling from first to third on a ground out, Byrd staying hot, and of course Leake throwing a gem are all reasons we keep tuning in a getting our hopes up, even if they are too high. I know you all have been discussing the many, many possibilities this team could take to improve itself down the road, and while I am not at all opposed to that, I do appreciate the good times this team can bring and I hope everyone else can too. At the end of the day, that’s what we’re all here for. I love this site for the optimism I can find, merited or not, and am looking forward to keeping it going.

    • jdx19

      Ditto what LW said. Hope to see more from you!

  14. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I can’t help think it’s borderline tragic if they extended Homer after just one good season and one decent season and don’t extend Leake when Leake has had just as good if not better numbers as well as more versatile than Homer is as well as apparently less prone to injury than Homer.

    • charlottencredsfan

      What I’d like to see is the Homer contract put to bed. It happened, no turning back and it doesn’t mater even a little bit what anyone thinks about it. So here we are, what to do?

      After we add up all the money that is committed in salaries for 2016, etc., we will have an estimated number(s) to work with. It would be fantastic to have a post where we can all debate what to do with that budget. A real work through.

      Harping on Homer and BP’s “existing” contracts, bad signings where we still have money.committed, etc. are sidetracks and remove focus from the purpose of the discussion. Hey, I’d like to keep ML too, is it feasible is the question.

      Just a recommendation

      • lwblogger2

        If BP has a good season, I don’t think anyone will be complaining about his $$. Unfortunately, Homer is injured so will not have the opportunity to silence the “lousy contract” talk.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        As well as, Charlotte, if you are going to talk about what kind of money we are spending and going to look to put out, you have to talk about Bailey’s contract as well as what Leake would command. Just consider, if Homer got that kind of money, just think of what Leake would get. Homer’s contract is $20+ million per. Not begrudging Homer at all; if someone was stupid enough to pay him that, go for it. But, then, I would have to think Leake would be worth $22-25 million per. Seriously, a more versatile performer, similar pitching numbers, and a history of little if no injury. I don’t see us affording that. Which then means, going into next season, we would have Homer “on the shelf”, with DeSc, Lorenzen, and name your poison for the last 2, one more to take Homer’s games while he still comes back.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Please get the facts right. Homer’s contract isn’t worth $20+ million per. The AAV is $19 million. That’s information you could find with a ten-second Google search.

      • charlottencredsfan

        The conversation just collapses.. Forget all existing contracts for a minute. They are signed and sealed.

        How can we afford JC &/or ML? What are the trade offs? Leake will not get Bailey money, IMO. But I don’t know, so all we can do is estimate it on the comps. Bailey is just one among many. Personally, I don’t see how we afford either, let alone both, but to go through the exercise wouldn’t hurt. You know, you buy a Porsche and you have to live in a smaller house.

        $1 is not the same thing for the Dodgers and Yankees as it is to the Reds. That dollar is probably more like $2 in value to the Reds. $20M a year is 10% of the Yankee budget, 17% for the Reds. All this needs to be kept in mind. I really don’t think we can pay face value for the more expensive players but I could be wrong. Maybe afford it but would it be a wise investment?

      • charlottencredsfan

        LW, I had a comma in there somewhere. Lord knows I don’t want to rehash the BP & HB contracts discussion.☺

      • Jeremy Conley

        And while technically, Bailey’s deal was a 6-year/$105M deal, that’s actually misleading. Really, he was about to get $10M in arb, and they gave it to him. So take off that 10 and one year. That leaves 5 years and $95M, but then there’s also a $5M buy out if they don’t pick up the option year at the end, which takes it to $100M at a minimum. The option year is for $25M. So really the Reds signed him to a 5 year extension at $20M per, starting after his last arb year, with an option for a 6th extension year at another $20M

        (That’s taking $5M off the last option year and moving it to the first 5 years. Point being it’s either 5 years $100M or 6 years $120M, after his first arb year.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Actually, Steve M. $19.333 million. Please get the math straight.

        When I first reported it, when it first came out, last 5 years, $21.3 million per. Pardon me for stating it so many times I’ve become lazy. Still a stupid contract.

    • Jeremy Conley

      They can be put to be when the GM that made those deals is gone. While they are still hurting the team and the guy that did them is still around, I think fans are going to talk about them.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Here I would expect better though. Everyone’s mind is made up if you’re not, raise your hand – we’ll get to you. It diverts a lot of great debate. Lightening rod. Maybe like an argument with your wife, certain things said just ruin a thoughtful discussion. That’s just my opinion, but I’m tuning it out.

    • jdx19

      (Steve S. Please note this is not personally directed at you).

      Ok, I’m tired of all this ignorance about Bailey’s contract and his skill level relative to the league. The idea that he’s paid like an “ace” or a #1 is wrong. Go look at contracts. There is no ‘opinion.’ It’s wrong.

      The idea that he wasn’t good enough to deserve such a contract, one that a #2ish or perhaps even #3 pitcher would get is complete hogwash.

      Consider the following: There are 15 teams in the NL and each one has a #1 and a #2 starter. So, that is 30 pitchers, right? Ok, then to be considered a real #2 pitcher, you might want Homer to be in the Top 30 in the league in all the relevent categories, right? From 2011-2013 (the years that matter, because of the contract):

      Wins: 20th
      Games Started: 14th
      Innings Pitched: 14th
      K/9: 25th
      BB/9: 18th
      FIP: 30th
      xFIP: 25th
      WAR: 15th

      Ther eis no logical way to argue Homer was not deserving of a contract meant for a #2-type starting pitcher at the time he signed it. No one can predict future injury.

      Please, everyone, just stop with the Homer contract bashing, for all our mental sanity. It was a fine contract when it was offered and signed. End of story.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Sorry Mike Leake, we can’t discuss a new contract because we are stiil figuring out the Bailey deal.☺

      • jdx19

        I’m not the one who keeps bringing it up… I apologize for not being able to ignore it, as I wish I could.

      • charlottencredsfan

        People can discuss it until the cows come home and I can just by-pass. Seems to be a top 5 topic.☺

      • Jeremy Conley

        It’s not the end of story (and I hate posts that try to end the discussion).

        The reason it isn’t the end of the story is that you’re looking at Homer’s best years rather than his whole career, and you’re not considering his age and possible decline.

        Should Homer have been paid well for 2012 and 2013? Absolutely, he was very good those two years. But that’s not what the Reds were paying for. They were paying for his next 6 and maybe 7 years after that.

        So the question shouldn’t have been, how good has this guy been in 2012 and 2013? The question should have been, how good do with think this guy will be going forward unitl he’s 33 or 34. To get a sense of that, you can’t just look at his peak, you have to look at his injury history. Oh look, Bailey spend tons of time on the DL prior to 2012. That probably means he’s not going to age that well.

        The fact that Bailey needs TJ isn’t the reason that this contract is bad, though it certainly doesn’t help. The reason it’s bad is that expecting a player to repeat their two best seasons 5 more times as they get older doesn’t make sense. That’s what the Reds did. They thought his peak was him just getting warmed up. They were wrong.

      • jdx19

        I don’t make the rules, Jeremy. Teams have been giving out contracts based on past performance since…well, whenever they started doing free agent stuff.

        I never said it’s right. I’m trying to say that Homer’s stats in the 3 years before the contract, which are more relevant than the ones 4-5 years before the contract, were good enough to warrant the contract he was given by faulty GMs.

        If the argument is teams are stupid and shouldn’t reward players for past performance then I’m totally fine with that, and I agree.

        Reality is that teams gives out contracts based on past performance. And in this reality, Homer’s contract was fine. Not good. Fine.

      • jdx19

        And to reply to your very last statement. Yes, I agree. They were wrong. 100% agree. No way to have known that. And I think 549 innings is a reasonable size of innings to make decisions on. I stand by 2011-2013 as a reasonable sample for making decisions (based on current team norms. Yes, I wish teams were future looking. Most are not).

      • Steve Mancuso

        He didn’t really spend “tons of time” on the DL prior to 2012. He never failed to make at least 20 starts in a season for the organization. You understand the importance of baselines. Do you have the baseline for the amount of time the average pitcher spends on the DL during that age range? Isn’t that the relevant comparison for the Reds? I’m not sure how you can simply ignore that he had pitched over 200 innings three of the previous five years, including the two previous ones and concluded “he’s not going to age well.” In fact, at the time, everyone remarked that he had proven to be extremely durable.

        The Reds were only adding five guaranteed years, not six or seven. The contract was for six years, but it covered his ARB3 season. It’s unlikely the Reds will pick up his option in 2020 at age 34. If the Reds do pick it up, that means they think he could be a 2.5 WAR pitcher that season. Unlikely, but if they think that, it means he’s been pitching pretty well.

      • Jeremy Conley

        Steve, I really don’t get your use of minor league innings. I think it’s pretty disingenuous, and obviously used to support a player you have a lot of positive bias towards.

        Bailey’s MAJOR LEAGUE inning totals:

        45, 36, 113, 109, 132, 208, 209, 145. I don’t recall anyone saying that Bailey was a particularly durable, let alone “everyone”. He pitched his first 5 years without pitching 140 innings. He was injured most of those years. That is not normal and certainly not durable.

      • Steve Mancuso

        What’s wrong with using minor league innings when the issue is health? It’s a lot more misleading to say he was DL prone when he was fully healthy and pitching in the minor leagues. I notice you didn’t address the baseline issue.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Durability – safer option

        Durability –

        Took about ten seconds to find those.

        It’s easy to second guess with perfect 20/20 vision aided by hindsight. When Bailey signed his deal, he was coming off two consecutive years of 200+ innings and no missed starts. That’s durability, especially compared to the baseline of his peers.

      • Jeremy Conley

        JDX19: Not all teams give money for past performance. The Cardinals let Pujols, the greatest player their team had had in a generation, walk because they didn’t want to pay him for his past performance. The Angels did, and now they are suffering.

        Good teams make good decisions. When the Reds make an error in judgement, I don’t think you can just throw up your hands and say, all teams do it.

      • Steve Mancuso

        The Cardinals were offering Pujols a gigantic contract, it just wasn’t the insane one the Angels were. So it’s more accurate to describe them as less crazy than the Angels. It’s not right to say they were willing to just let him walk. If he had signed the Cardinals offer, it would still be considered a terrible deal, just for six more years, not eight.

      • Steve Mancuso

        “Thursday, Albert Pujols signed a 10-year, $254 million offer with the Los Angeles Angels that contained no deferred money, as well as a 10-year personal services contract following that deal. The Cardinals’ last offer to Pujols was for 10 years and $210 million, with $30 million deferred.”

        Even worse than I remembered. Not as bad as the Angels, but still a terrible overpay based on the past.

      • Jeremy Conley

        Ok, so it turns out that Bailey just wasn’t very good for his first years, and maybe I just assumed he was hurt when he was bad. Here’s his DL history.

        05/24/2010 CIN Placed On 15-Day DL – (Right shoulder inflammation)
        03/30/2011 CIN Placed On 15-Day DL – (Right shoulder impingement)
        05/28/2011 CIN Placed On 15-Day DL – (Right shoulder sprain)

        Two good years. Get’s 5 year extension.

        08/16/2014 CIN Placed On 15-Day DL – (Strained right flexor tendon)
        04/05/2015 CIN Placed On 15-Day DL – (Recovery from right elbow surgery)
        04/27/2015 CIN Placed On 15-Day DL – (Torn UCL, right elbow – out for season)

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        JDX, “I don’t make the rules, Jeremy”

        It sounds like you just tried to, JDX, picking only 2 seasons.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Steve M. “He never failed to make at least 20 starts in a season for the organization.”

        In 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2015, all fewer than 20 starts. Three of the other seasons, 20, 22, and 23 starts. Assuming 33 starts per season, that’s 1/3 of the games he missing. That’s not a lot? That’s a low standard. Just saying. . .

      • Steve Mancuso

        I feel like I’m spending half my day correcting basic factual mistakes you are making that with just basic research skills and effort you wouldn’t make. I take it we have the salary AAV straightened out. Now for Homer’s innings pitched for the organization:

        2007 – 24 starts
        2008 – 27 starts
        2010 – 23 starts
        2015 – well you got me there, that’s this year, which isn’t relevant to your claim

        You know that minor league starts are “for the organization” right? You can only judge whether it’s low if you compare it to other pitchers or the average pitcher, which you haven’t done. Pitchers miss time. They get hurt. Homer had pitched over 200 innings in his two years prior to the contract and in 2009.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Exactly correct, Jeremy, on the minor league totals. For, why would he be optioned back down in the first place. Obviously, he couldn’t perform up here.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Exactly correct, Jeremy, on the dollars, also. Tom Brady deserves to be paid $20+ million per since Peyton’s being paid that much. Brady’s contract? $8 million.

        People seem to not consider, again, all the other figures. I can even agree that Homer deserves that kind of money. But, should we be paying it? No freakin’ way. At the time, we had Leake as a capable #3 man. We had Simon and Cingrani for #4 and 5 guys; as long as we go 500 in their starts, we’d take that in a minute. Did we need Bailey? Nope.

        And, now, we just outbid ourselves on a better player in Leake, as well. So, next year, we are staring right in the face with Bailey as #1 (where we would/should have been considering him when he signed that contract in the first place; your own stats showed he’s not a #1 pitcher), DeSc and Lorenzen for #2 and 3, then pick your poison for #4 and 5, much less the #6 guy to pitch while Homer’s still on the mend.

        All the more stupid that contract looks.

      • Steve Mancuso

        More factual mistakes. Leake wasn’t a capable #3 in 2013. He was a #5 pitcher. Simon hadn’t started a single game for the Reds. Cingrani had pitched but then he busted in 2014, so how reliable was that opinion of yours that “we’d take that in a minute.”

        Your Cingrani comment exposes the obvious weakness of your durability argument. 2013 was the first time he had ever made even 15 starts for the Reds, but you’re all “did we need Bailey? Nope” and “we’d take that in a minute” meanwhile, Homer had thrown 200 innings and 30+ starts three times and never fewer than 20 starts/year. Something looks more stupid alright, but it isn’t Bailey’s contract.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Are you saying the Reds should have extended Mat Latos instead of Homer?

        Are you saying the Reds should have considered Johnny Cueto more durable than Bailey when he had been on the DL three times in 2013 and walked off the mound in Game One in 2012?

        You need to look at the context at the time, which you aren’t.

      • jdx19

        Jeremy. I meant the deals that ARE made are based on past performance. The Pujols deal wasn’t made. So it’s not in the sample I’m referring to.

        Whether or not the deal should have been made at all isn’t what I thought we were arguing. I thought the topic was if the deal was too rich, too long, or something along those lines.

      • jdx19

        Steve S. We didn’t “have” Simon at the beginning of 2014. The Reds didn’t know his prowess, so making Homer’s contract decision based on having Simon likely never even crossed their minds, nor should it have. An average, journeyman reliever is what Simon was before his season last year.

        I’m sure it was just an oversight, but comments like this lead me to believe sometimes folks make their posts and form their opinions based on things they know NOW, not things they knew in Feb of 2014 when Bailey signed the contract.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        But, then, when you consider through his career, he’s been a DL waiting to happen as well as options, all the more stupid of a contract to offer based off one good season and one decent season. Especially when considering that outdoes us for Leake as well, a pitcher with just as good numbers as well as much more versatility, I don’t think he’s ever been optioned and with little if any history of injury.

        Pick out just two seasons, I could make several thousand players into Hall of Famers. But, in fact, they aren’t anywhere near Hall of Famers. Pay that kind of money for only two seasons productive seasons? That’s a low standard.

      • jdx19

        “That kind of money.” They paid #2 money for a guy who performed over the previous three seasons (2011, 2012, 2013) like a #2 guy. That was the entire reason of my longer post above.

  15. GreatRedLegsFan

    After all Reds are just half game behind the Cubs and 2nd place. A new line-up wouldn’t hurt with Philips, Votto, Frazier, Byrd, Bruce, Peña, Cozart & Hamilton. Also, it’d be wise to rethink the Marquis experiment before it’s too late.

    • Big56dog

      Be careful, I got blasted for suggesting BP in lead off on the other thread. But I am not sure I get the Marquis comments. He is supposed to be the 5th starter and he has been adequate despite 1 poor outing. Had not seen him pitch outside of the Braves game, but seem to see what other posted. Keeps the ball down with good movement. When is it going to be too late? and who are the alternatives? they need 3 more arms in the bullpen before they start finding a replacement for their now 4th starter. Need to find a fifth starter as Lorenzen not going to throw more than 150 innings if that.

      • lwblogger2

        Just a guess but I’m thinking that Lorenzen will go to the pen and Iglesias will end up in the rotation when Lorenzen gets close to his innings limit. Who knows what the Reds are planning though.

        As for Marquis, I really, really hated picking him up and then putting him in the rotation. Personally, I think he’s going to falter. That said, I think the Reds need to give him a lot of rope at this point. He’s had a couple decent outings. I wouldn’t let him go until he has a few lousy outings in a row or a stretch where he’s bad a lot more often than good.

      • jdx19

        Sounds reasonable!

        I tend to agree about Marquis… if he goes all year, I think he’ll have ERA/FIP in the 5.00s with below-average peripherals.

      • Big56dog

        My response was to “rethink the Marquis experiment ” comment, Reds put Lorenzen and Iglesias in the pen and they would be the best righties and your point is they can both satisfy the 5th man which is reasonable. Just curious who is Marquis’ replacement? Reds absolutely need him to sustain this level just so they can concentrate on improving a horrid bullpen. Has a 4.57 Career ERA no reason he cannot get close to that, hopefully closer to 4.00 as hope is all they have since Bailey’s injury put a big dent in the rotation despite some pleasant back end surprises

      • lwblogger2

        I hope you’re right. If Marquis blows up, then I think the next guy up would be Iglesias, but he may be on an inning limit. That would mean that you probably don’t want him and Lorenzen in the rotation at the same time. So, guy for the job would probably be Dylan Axelrod. He’s nothing spectacular though and likely not much better than Marquis. At the beginning of the season though, I would have said that I’d rather see Axelrod in the rotation than Marquis.

  16. Dayton Ducks

    Just out of curiosity, does anyone know what’s behind the bad blood between Votto and Cole? I didn’t see the game and I couldn’t tell from the clip why he appeared to be yelling something in Cole’s direction after the strikeout.

    • Matt WI

      I don’t know about history there. Listening to the radio, Votto was peeved about the first called strike in that at-bat, and then it sounded like Cole played the “what, my pitches aren’t good enough for you?” card. He was staring down Votto, Votto was staring down him, but it all seemed to be a triangle between the ump, Votto, and Cole.Brantley said at one point he lip read something like “you just pitch, I’ll hit.”

      Maybe someone who saw it on tv has a different take.

      • vegastypo

        I just didn’t think the strike call was so bad as to get all bent out of shape over. Not sure if Cole was thinking the same thing.

      • jdx19

        I think it was a culmination. Votto was the recipient of called strike Sunday in Atlanta that was one of the worst I’ve ever seen. Then this one tonight set him off. At least that’s my guess.

        Steve M. posted a PITCHfx plot of the ATL pitch in a previous thread and it was like 9 inches out of the zone. The one last night was 6ish inches out, accoring to PFX.

      • Jeremy Conley

        Here’s what I saw: Votto slammed his helmet walking up the line. Yelled something at himself. Cole thought he yelled it at him, said something to Votto. Votto yelled at him “don’t worry about me, you just pitch, I’ll hit.” And that was it. I guess that’s when the ump tossed him, but you couldn’t see the ump do it, even on replay.

        It was one of the worst ejections I’ve ever seen. Obviously the reaction is totally on Votto, and he never should have flown off the handle like he did. But the ump has to take his share of the blame.

  17. vegastypo

    I’ve always heard that umpires will let players beef a little bit until a few magic words start to come out, especially magic words that are preceded or followed by the word “you.” …. But if an umpire feels like he is being shown up by a player throwing equipment around, that can do the trick too.

    It’s obviously been a few years ago, but Zach Greinke got thrown out of a game in the first inning when he was covering first base on a grounder and the runner was called safe. Greinke, who later was saying he was angry at himself for getting to the base a shade late, slammed the ball into the ground, and Sam Holbrook ejected him, Holbrook told Greinke that throwing the ball like that “looked bad” on a close play, which sounded like the ump thought he was being shown up, even if that wasn’t the intent.

    What confuses me about last night: What kind of an ejection is it if the player can’t even tell he has been ejected. Did the ump give an ejection signal to Votto after his back was turned and he was already going to first base?

    Side note: Kelch on the TV broadcast said something like, “Try as he might, Price wasn’t able to keep Joey away from the umpire.” I think he could have tried a little harder.

    • lwblogger2

      It depends on the umpire too. We knew who we could press a little on calls and who just wasn’t going to have it. There were also umpires who would give you a little warning before tossing you “You’re gonna make me run ya.” and then others that would seem fine and next thing you know, you’re done for the day. Also, as these guys are human, sometimes a normally fairly mild-mannered umpire will be having a crap day on a personal level, and you end up getting tossed for something that may not have gotten you tossed with that guy before.

  18. Eric the Red

    1) I wonder if there’s a backstory between Votto and the umpires. He’s simply not getting the calls a vet/former MVP/one of the best OBP guys in history should be getting. Quite the opposite, in fact.

    2) That was a ridiculous ejection. Votto had his back turned away from the ump, for goodness sake. Pitchers and batters jaw at each other all the time in far more menacing situations without anyone getting tossed. This is yet another awful umpiring crew.

    3) The Cubs are starting to Cub, and don’t have the pitching to compete this year. The Pirates are starting to look snakebit. An improved Padres team and a surprising Mets team mean that a Wildcard may yet come from the Central. Why not us?

    • vegastypo

      Regarding No. 1, I wondered during last season whether all this talk of Joey supposedly not wanting to hit, begging to take a walk instead, has affected a few umpires. I was hoping his hot start would start to wash away that nonsense.

      • IndyRedMan

        I don’t think its just Joey? I think umps just call more borderline strikes in todays game. What is Bruce 6’3″ or so? They call strikes on him all the time that are at his shins. That’s a big factor imo why offense has been down so much. I had season tickets for the Rangers in the 90s and it would be 8-7 in the 7th inning and we’d be so sweaty and tired after 3.5 hours that we’d have to go. The umps squeezed the zone if anything back then….other than Eric Gregg.

      • Jeremy Conley

        I agree, the balls and strikes do seem to be getting worse. I think the pitch/fx data is messing with them in some way. Like they are overthinking it or something because they are worried about getting punished.

    • jdx19

      Curious why you say the Cubs are starting to Cub. They ran up against a red-hot, lucky-streaking Cardinals team. They played fine in all the games, thus far.

      • Eric the Red

        I watched them turn a grounder to short into a guy coming all the way around to score the other day. Yesterday, they had multiple errors and a couple of plays that should have been errors. In one inning, they had their pitcher drop a routine feed from the first baseman, then Molina had a simple single to right that was misplayed so badly the guy from 1st scored and Molina ended up at 2nd. That’s just from watching them a bit. Oh, and blowing leads the way they did in the first two games against St. Louis is partly testament to the Cardinals and partly the Cubs Cubbing.

  19. Matt WI

    Leake has been so good. I have to own that back a few years ago when it *seemed* that Chapman was going into the rotation and he would have taken Leake’s spot, I got a bit soured on Leake just because I wanted Chapman so badly. He has been very good and exceeded expectations.

    Does anyone else remember when Leake first came up, there were some furious debates here at RLN about Leake vs. Strasburg? He’s holding up ok in that argument.

    • IndyRedMan

      I hope Lorenzen can hit like Leake. That is a 11% advantage for the Reds if they have 9 hitters in the lineup against 8.

      • jdx19

        Leake isn’t a good hitter. He’s a good “hitter for a pitcher,” at times. Can’t really count him as a real hitter.

        My new barometer is if you strike out more than Javier Baez, you can’t be a good hitter! 😉

    • jdx19

      Strasburg missed a lot of time due to TJ, but while healthy he’s been on of the best 5 pitchers in the NL his entire career. I love Leake, but there’s no way you pick him over Strasburg (before the Strasburg shoulder injury Tuesday, that is).

      • charlottencredsfan

        All true expect the top 5 part.☺ Argument for the ages, that one.

        What about Leake vs. Strasburg, $ per WAR?

      • jdx19

        Leake: $1.42M per WAR
        Strasburg: $1.05M per WAR

      • jdx19

        2012-2015 (3+ years, because I did say “when healthy”) NL Pitchers min. 350 IP.

        WAR: 5th
        FIP: 5th
        xFIP: 2nd
        K/9: 1st

        Maybe you argue Top 10, I dunno. Either way, was just trying to say Leake is not Strasburg.

      • charlottencredsfan

        I’ll just put it this way, if you say,”Char, pick any 5 starters you want”, Stras isn’t one of them. In a meeting and can’t detail it. Nutshell version.☺

      • jdx19

        That’s certainly fine! Folks value different qualities in a pitcher. And I know you watch a ton of baseball, so I wouldn’t be as short-sighted as saying you haven’t seen him pitch enough. I’m sure you’ve seen him quite a bit.

      • Matt WI

        I didn’t mean to imply Leake is equal to Strasburg, nobody could/should argue that. Just saying Leake is much better pitcher than a lot of people expected, and, quite, frankly, his durability is worth something.

    • Redgoggles

      The other debate at one point was Leake vs. Travis Wood. Looks like the Reds made the right call on that one, Sean Marshall’s shoulder be darned.

  20. jdx19

    Certainly not trying to damper the glow of Mike Leake’s gem last night, but a day after Nick’s great article about BABIP, we should all keep in mind that Mike Leake is currently sporting a .185 BABIP against. That’s 5th lowest in MLB. This is manifest as a 3.74 xFIP, as compared to a 2.47 ERA.

    Leake’s good, don’t get me wrong. But we should all keep in mind he’s had some amount of good fortune in the early going.

    • Jeremy Conley

      That’s a good point. Leake has been very good, but mostly he just looks like the same good pitcher he’s been the last 4 years.

  21. WillV11

    I know Joey Votto getting ejected and bumping the umpire is the last thing this team needs, but the fact that Votto is actually showing emotions on the field is worth the negatives. Votto hasn’t shown this kind of passion about his overall play in years. He is the best position player on the team and him showing that kind of emotion over a third inning strike out can hopefully inspire others to play with heart. There are times when the Reds look like they could be the NL Central champs and there are times where we look like the Brewers just playing for a pay check. I hope Votto doesn’t get suspended, but I love that passion finally showing up in the clubhouse!

    • Matt WI

      I don’t know. One man’s passion is another man’s ill advised temper tantrum. I know Joey “cares” because he hits the ball like a mad scientist. I don’t care if he emotes about it.

    • Matt WI

      I’ve used this example before, but people used to crucify Edwin Encarnacion for not emoting. He turned out pretty ok.

      • IndyRedMan

        Edwin Scissorhands didn’t turn out ok for us? Another example of Dusty the hitting guru couldn’t help them hit with us. He started ok but did nothing but go downhill as a Red

      • Matt WI

        My point is that Edwin has been a very good baseball player, especially since he’s been with Toronto. However, there were a lot of Reds fans that seemed to connect his emotional state with his talent level, which is a terrible, no good, horrible way to evaluate someone. The fact he succeeded elsewhere is a better indicator that the Reds failed him than the fact that he didn’t yell enough is.

    • IndyRedMan

      I remember a game from 3-4 years ago where Joey got tossed in the 1st in Wrigley and the Reds preceeded to hit 7 HRs…Stubbs hit 3 and even Corky Miller put one out on Waveland. That was a fun game!!

  22. Frogger

    I liked what I saw from Joey last night. Yes, he made a mistake, but it’s an exuberance to succeed. I know we are stat junkies on here, but this kind of passion is a good sign either way. Likely this just shows us how driven Joey is and his expectations to succeed. That coming from this type of player will help this team. The ump made a bad call. The last year Joey was tossed he won an MVP. The guy is motivated. This team wants any chance for Oct. ball they need this attitude. Call bad umps out if they are screwing you over. You see Maddon out there doing it. Votto is at his level. When he casts the spotlight everyone will see. Screw Cole too. We’ve watched him show up hitters and get emotional on the mound. Much rather have his type of performance than a player yucking it up with a broadcaster who has to remind him a game is in progress. What was that about?

    • jdx19

      I didn’t have a problem with Phillips messing with Jim Day last night. He stopped and walked away on the 2nd pitch of the inning< i think. Before the ball was put into play.

      • Frogger

        Maybe, but it’s an intense game against a rival. After what we saw in the 3rd inning it seemed out of place.

      • jdx19

        You’re right. It did seem out of place.

  23. Jeremy Conley

    Steve: the above thread was getting too confusing.

    You seem to have taken real offense that I didn’t do detailed comparison research for a comment, and I’m sorry I didn’t have time to do that in my breaks from work.

    I corrected myself about his time on the DL. I thought I remembered him on the DL before 2010, but it turns out he was just bad. So sure, count those innings in the minors if you want. In 2010 and 2011 he had 3 separate right shoulder injuries. That seems like a warning sign to me. If he pitched in the minor leagues in those years I don’t think you should count it, because they were on rehab assignments, and there’s no knowing whether he was truly ready to pitch in the majors just because he threw a few in AA.

    The MLBTR article you linked to notes that “he’s demonstrated some durability.” You use that to support your statement that “In fact, at the time, everyone remarked that he had proven to be extremely durable.” C’mon now. Those two statements are worlds apart. The guy pitched two good years. He’d had a history of injuries to his throwing arm. No one is saying he was set to explode, but no one was saying he’s a horse either.

    It’s not that fun of a topic to discuss with you because you come across as so angry about it. Calling everyone out for factual mistakes that everyone makes on comments to a blog. You think it was a great deal, that’s fine. I think there is plenty of evidence to suggest that it wasn’t that good of a deal at the time, (I certainly hated it from day 1), and who is looking more right? At this point its hard for me to understand how you can act like anyone who doesn’t think the Bailey deal was great is an idiot.

    • Steve Mancuso

      I’ve never said the Bailey deal was great. It was market value for a #2/#3 pitcher and that’s who Homer Bailey certainly, beyond question had proven he was. The Reds had to make a decision on him at a time when Cueto had been injured a lot with his new pitching motion and when the Reds thought Mat Latos was a pinhead. Bailey was coming off two seasons of 200+ innings (a relatively rare feat, still no discussion of baselines from you). He was no longer “bad” to use your word (I’d prefer to describe him as a pretty normal 21 and 22 year old pitcher who was rushed to the major leagues).

      I’ve stepped into this thread because of the simple, basic factual mistakes that are getting repeated as though they are truths, when they’re wrong in my opinion. If you want to be the guy who stands up and says “I told you so” go for it. But when you base that on the claim that Homer had been a chronically injured pitcher (a characterization which you now admit was wrong) or like other people saying he was paid like an ace or $21+ million, that’s questionable.

      Finally, I’d appreciate it if you would refrain from analyzing me or discussing my emotional state. Do you see anyone else on the board discussing or analyzing anyone else personally? For one thing, it’s against the site guidelines. You’ve never met me and have no way to judge my tone accurately online. So you obviously have no way to know if I’ve taken “real offense” or am “angry” do you? For the record, I haven’t and I’m not. Why would I?

      I suspect you’re doing it as a cheap rhetorical tactic to get me to back down. Because if you really wanted to express these helpful personal insights, you have my email address. Yet you chose to discuss your perception of my anger and offense in public. Stick to Homer Bailey, please.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Homer had 417 IP in 2012 and 2013. Only 11 pitchers in the major leagues (or about one for every third team) had accomplished that. That’s pretty strong demonstration of durability compared to the set of major league pitchers. The others in the NL were Kershaw, Wainwright (coming off TJS, by the way), Hamels, Lee and Mat Latos.

      • Jeremy Conley

        How can I discuss baselines without doing the research? It’s not an easy question to answer but you keep throwing it at me as if there’s some way for me to just magically come up with the number.

        What I saw was Homer Bailey having significant throwing arm injuries two years and a row that kept his innings and effectiveness down. Then he had two good years in a row, which were great. For those two years, Bailey was really good, and pitched a lot. The Reds chose see those as his new normal, and pay him market value for it, expecting him to keep that level of performance for 6 more years.

        All I have said is that he doesn’t seem like he was a guy poised to have a lot of success going forward. The injury history was a red flag to me, as a fan, without having the numbers to say whether the time he spend on the DL was abnormal. Some pitchers go on the DL because they pull a hamstring running, or because they break an ankle, or get hit by a pitch. I don’t worry about those types of injuries nearly as much as right shoulder injuries for a RH starting pitcher.

        There is no publicly available data that could say with certainty whether Bailey was a bigger risk for decline when he signed than average. So, without data, we have to use our best educated guesses. Mine would be that he didn’t seem like a guy who was going to age well. Here are my reasons:

        1. He was throwing extremely hard at a very young age. Guys who throw real hard early, and guys who come up to the majors early, seem to burn out early.

        2. He struggled with multiple offspeed pitches, and tried a ton of different ones. Breaking balls and splitters often are the hardest on a pitcher’s arm. The fact that Bailey did not naturally find one that he felt comfortable with for a long time worried me. It meant he was trying different pitches and different grips and different motions that weren’t necessarily working with his body.

        3. He had multiple right arm injuries. Obviously, not good.

        That was before the contract. Since then he has had two more right arm injuries, both requiring surgery. When he comes back, he will be 30, having spent time in the big leagues for 9 years.

      • Jeremy Conley

        I guess, to me, I think durability is about doing it year after year, Bronson style, and less about who can put up the most innings in two years. From 2010 through 2014 Leake has put up 892 innings, Cueto has thrown 863, and Bailey 804. That means Bailey has averaged 161 IP over those 5 years, spending time on the DL in three of them.

        It’s too bad that the Reds chose to look at only the two that he stayed healthy in when evaluating him. After this year Bailey will have put up 818 over 6 years, having spent time on the DL in four of them. That’s an average of 136. I guess durability is all in the years that you choose to look at.

      • Jeremy Conley

        Fair enough. I was in no way trying to be cheap, or to back you down. What I was actually trying to do was let you know that, you know, we’re on the same team here, and I thought the tone you were taking seemed harsh. But I will refrain from making those kinds of comments.

  24. CBD

    The Homer deal, in terms of dollars, was maybe slightly high when you look at the entire scope of the deal. However, we have no insight into the negotiations and what was/was not left on or taken off the table. Ultimately the Reds wanted to resign Homer and I think most of us agree that it was a good idea to do so. Getting into the dollar amounts is tricky because as I said, few know the insides of the negotiations.

    Unfortunately, through no fault of the Reds or Homer, the deal will probably end up being a bad one for the Reds. Who could have foreseen the injuries? In any case, that is professional baseball.

  25. IndyRedMan

    The thing I remember about Homer was all the hype of how he was throwing 97 in the 7th inning in Louisville or wherever before he came up? He’s def a power pitcher but it seems like he sat at about 93-94 most of the time….plus his breaking stuff was esp shaky early on…like a lot of young guys. I thought Jocketty paid him for the 2 no-no’s rather than a great track record. Lorenzen has better stuff than Homer did at that age with 20% of the hype. I guess that’s not Homer’s fault so much as Reds fans watching the Eric Milton’s and Paul Wilson’s for way too long. The hype and the contract aren’t on him.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Homer did have a fastball velocity of 94.3 mph last year. That was ninth best in the major leagues.

  26. Jeremy Conley

    As requested, here are some baseline numbers for pitchers hitting the DL. I looked at the data for the last 5 years, 2010 through 2014. It should be noted that this is a rough cut analysis. There aren’t any easy ways to look at players injuries except at a very detailed level (individual players) or at a very high level. This is the latter.

    Over the last 5 years, teams have used a total of 3328 pitchers, for an average of about 665 per year, or 22 per team. Since most teams carry 12 pitchers, that means that whether due to injury or ineffectiveness, on average a team will use 10 extra pitchers.

    In the last 5 years, 1187 of those pitchers have made trips to the DL. That is 35.6% of the total pitchers, so you could say that a pitcher has about a 36% chance of going on the DL in a given year. The average stay on the DL for a pitcher over the last 5 years has been 65 days. The expected value then would be 36% * 65 days = 23.5 days. (Days are measured by calendar days, so 183 in the season, not in terms of games, or 162. 23.5 days is equivalent to about 21 games in the season).

    So that’s the conclusion. For any given year, a team should budget 23.5 days on the DL for each of their pitchers. Clearly, a guy that has previous injuries is more likely to have more, a guy who has been healthy is likely to have less. This wouldn’t be very accurate for any given player, but probably more accurate for a team as a whole.

    As for Homer, he spent 83 days on the DL in 2010, and 122 days on the DL in 2011. He stayed off of the DL the next two years, at which point the Reds gave him a contract. His combined 205 days on the DL in those years gave him an average of 51 days on the DL per year in the 4 years prior to being given the contract, and so it is fair to say, at a very high level:

    Homer Bailey was more hurt than the average pitcher for the 4 years prior to getting his contract.

    • Steve Mancuso

      How did Homer spend 122 days on the DL in 2011 when he made 22 starts and pitched the entire months of May, July, August and September? Looks like the number ought to be closer to 60 days or fewer.

      It’s good to see data, thanks. If the 2011 number really is 60 instead of 122, that makes about 140 days dating back to 2010. Of course, he didn’t spend any time on the DL in 2009, so it’s also 140 days dating back to 2009 (that was easy math). 140 days divided by five years is 28 days per year, pretty close to league average.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Looks like Homer was on the DL 65 days in 2011, not 122 days. He was on the DL at the start of the season until May 5. Then he went back on from May 27 to June 26. That’s 65 days.

      • Jeremy Conley

        Yeah, you’re right, it looks like there’s something funky going on with the data I got from baseball heat maps. There’s some double counting or something, which means that while the data I posted is probably not that far off, it’s clearly not totally accurate. Maybe I’ll try to clean it up and remove the double counting if I can and do a full post on average DL stints for position players and pitchers.

      • Jeremy Conley

        Not sure about that. I’ll have to go back and check again. Like I said, I was trying to put something together pretty quickly.

        But also, it’s only 4 years, so if it’s 145 total over 4 years, that would be about 36 days or so.

      • Steve Mancuso

        My point was that 4 years is an arbitrary choice – and the one that looks worst for Bailey. If you had chosen a 1 year (0 DL), 2 year (0 DL), 3 year (27 days DL) or 5 year (29 days DL) time horizon, your argument falls flat. It’s only the 4-year horizon that sort of makes your case. Whether you chose 4 years deliberately or not, at least recognize the arbitrariness and that other time frames are more flattering. And more recent years should carry more weight.

      • Jeremy Conley

        It wasn’t arbitrary, there was a purpose. You can say that there are other ways you could have done it, but it wasn’t arbitrary.

        The reason was that 2010 was the first year that he was a full-time pitcher in the big leagues. He only pitched a few months in 2007, spending most of the year at AAA. In 2008 he was optioned out of spring training, got called up, and then got sent down again after going 0–3 with an 8.76 ERA in three starts. In 2009, he again failed to make the major league team out of spring training. He eventually got called up, and in the second half of that season he finally started to get it together.

        I didn’t look include earlier years because he was up and down to the minor leagues and that just adds another element that doesn’t seem comparable in the analysis, when looking at other big league pitchers. If he couldn’t pitch a full year in the bigs, I have trouble giving him credit for a full year in the bigs, which is what I would be doing by counting those. Was Bailey injured in 2008? His fastball velo sure makes it look that way, but the Reds didn’t DL him, they just sent him down.

        I think it’s fair to say that Homer’s big league career really started in 2010, because that’s the first year he broke camp with the Reds, and the first year he didn’t spend a lot of time in the minors. That’s why I think that looking at those 4 years makes sense.

      • Jeremy Conley

        Also note that every time frame except directly after his two healthy years shows that he was on the DL more than average. With this type of analysis, over many years, even if he was 8 days per year more than average, that still adds up. Sure it’s better than 34, or 50, or whatever it’s going to be after this year, but it’s not as good as average.

        That’s what you asked for, a baseline.