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Monday, November 27, 2017

Sunday Notes: Dick Williams is Bullish on Cincinnati Pitching | FanGraphs Baseball

David Laurila’s Sunday Notes, one day late.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 27, 2017 at 02:44 PM | 13 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: notes

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: November 27, 2017 at 10:11 PM (#5581837)
Cincy ... last in NL in pitcher WAA (-15!), last in RA/G and ERA, tied 14th in ERA+, gave up the most HR and BB while being 14th in K/BB.

That's just 2017. IN 2016 it was 14th in WAA, 13th in RA/G, t14th in ERA, last in ERA+, last in HR, last in BB, last in K/BB. In 2015, they were at least 12th in pretty much everything. They had well above-average pitching in 2013 and won the WC ... so naturally they fired Baker and replaced him with the pitching coach and the pitching performance has nosedived.
   2. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: November 28, 2017 at 08:56 AM (#5581877)
Cincy ... last in NL in pitcher WAA (-15!), last in RA/G and ERA, tied 14th in ERA+, gave up the most HR and BB while being 14th in K/BB.

That's just 2017. IN 2016 it was 14th in WAA, 13th in RA/G, t14th in ERA, last in ERA+, last in HR, last in BB, last in K/BB.


I feel like this somehow understates how awful the pitching has been. They weren't just last in HR, they lapped the field. They set the all-time HR allowed record in 2016 and nearly topped it last season. In the last two years they've allowed 506 HR compared to a NL average of 385. Philly is a distant second with 434. GABP is a HR-friendly park but enough already. The Reds have also been dead last by FIP, the only staff to allow over a 5.00 FIP in each of the past two years. They were partially bailed out by a good defense last season.

In that context, it shows either incredible patience or laziness that they extended Bryan Price for another year. The emergence of a few starters towards the end of the year probably saved his job. Luis Castillo in particular was electric. Tyler Mahle, Sal Romano, and Robert Stephenson will all hopefully be part of the next great rotation. Plus the return of Desclafani, Brandon Finnegan, and god forbid a partial season of cromulence from Homer Bailey will help. IF they can keep most of the young guys healthy and on the right track (and of course a lot of teams can say that), you can start to see some of Williams' optimism.
   3. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: November 28, 2017 at 09:50 AM (#5581893)
They had well above-average pitching in 2013 and won the WC ... so naturally they fired Baker and replaced him with the pitching coach and the pitching performance has nosedived....

In that context, it shows either incredible patience or laziness that they extended Bryan Price for another year.
I'm by no means a Bryan Price apologist, but this is patently unfair.

Homer Bailey, $20M man - didn't pitch until June, then pitched poorly - about as poorly and as much as he's pitched the 2 previous years.
Assumed ace Anthony DeSclafani - didn't pitch all year.
Assumed solid starter Brandon Finnegan - Hurt after 1st start, totaled 13 IP.
Scott Feldman, brought in after the injuries started piling up - pitched 7.2 innings after the ASG. Before his injury, he had a solid 3.94 ERA in 102.2 IP.

The 2017 ZiPS projection used a starting rotation of DeSclafani, Bailey, Finnegan, Feldman, and Stephenson; they combined for just 54 starts. Feldman (who, again, pitched just 7.2 innings after the ASG) lead the team with 122.1 IP.

   4. Spahn Insane Posted: November 28, 2017 at 10:30 AM (#5581909)
Assumed ace Anthony DeSclafani

This strikes me as much of the problem.
   5. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: November 28, 2017 at 11:05 AM (#5581920)
Assumed ace Anthony DeSclafani

This strikes me as much of the problem.
1) As a 26 year old in '16, DeSclafani was worth 2 WAA in just 123 IP (3.0 bWAR).
2) It was certainly imagined that Bailey or Stephenson would've been that guy, but Bailey sucks when he pitches and Stephenson never progressed in the minors like it was imagined he would.
3) Still not something that's Price's fault. He doesn't make the roster.
   6. SoSH U at work Posted: November 28, 2017 at 11:25 AM (#5581926)
but Bailey sucks when he pitches


Which is really bad timing on his part.
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 28, 2017 at 11:43 AM (#5581940)
3) Still not something that's Price's fault. He doesn't make the roster.

But, if all his major league pitchers get hurt/suck, that has to reflect badly on a guy who was a pitching coach until recently.
   8. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 28, 2017 at 11:55 AM (#5581948)
My first thought when reading this headline was, "Wait, isn't Dick Williams dead?"

How did I miss that there is another Dick Williams who is GM of the Reds, and is anyone else baffled that there is someone, apparently in his 40s, who still goes by "Dick"?? Has this been discussed before?
   9. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: November 28, 2017 at 12:40 PM (#5581987)
But, if all his major league pitchers get hurt/suck, that has to reflect badly on a guy who was a pitching coach until recently.
Bailey's had a checkered career - he has just 1124 IP in 11 seasons, for a total of 6 bWAR. And his best stretch was the last 2 seasons Price was PC and 1st he was MGR - 562 IP, 7.0 bWAR.

I would also argue that Stephenson quit progressing after Price was moved to the MGR role.

As I said, I'm not an apologist by any means (the continued insistence on batting Billy Hamilton 1st is inexcusable). But I think the team just got caught in '17 with a bunch of bad luck on the mound.
   10. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: November 28, 2017 at 12:40 PM (#5581988)
I'm by no means a Bryan Price apologist, but this is patently unfair.

Comparing the 2012-2013 staff to the current one is unfair. Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake ain't walking through that door. But the pitching has been so historically terrible that any other manager could have overseen it. It's hard not to wonder whether Bud Black or literally anyone else could have done better.

How did I miss that there is another Dick Williams who is GM of the Reds, and is anyone else baffled that there is someone, apparently in his 40s, who still goes by "Dick"??

Right? I'm around his age and don't know of anyone who's willingly gone by "Dick." It still seems strange to say.

   11. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 28, 2017 at 12:42 PM (#5581991)
Right? I'm around his age and don't know of anyone who's willingly gone by "Dick." It still seems strange to say.


Why did they do so in the previous generations? Is the anatomical reference really a new thing?
   12. G. Bostock Posted: November 28, 2017 at 01:31 PM (#5582048)
is anyone else baffled that there is someone, apparently in his 40s, who still goes by "Dick"

These are the Cincinnati Reds, where culturally it is still 1964.
   13. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: November 28, 2017 at 03:19 PM (#5582176)
They had well above-average pitching in 2013 and won the WC ... so naturally they fired Baker and replaced him with the pitching coach and the pitching performance has nosedived.
It should also be noted that '13 featured:

Mat Latos' last good, full season. He never again crossed 117 IP, and had just one season above average (barely, 0.1 runs) the rest of his career. He was traded during the '14 off-season.
Homer Bailey's last good, full season. He never again crossed 150 IP, and had just one season above average (barely, 0.1 runs) the rest of his career so far.
Tony Cingrani's last season as a decent starter. He's been exactly replacement level since the end of '13.
Bronson Arroyo's last season as an effective pitcher (202 IP, 2.5 bWAR) as a 36 year old.
Mike Leake's best season.
A third of a season of prime Jonny Cueto

In the bullpen:
Year 2 of the temporary magic that was Alfredo Simon ('12-'14 in Cinci: 1.7 WAA, 4.1 WAR. Rest of career (6 seasons): -6.9 WAA).
Aroldis Chapman
JJ Hoover's best season
Sam LeCure's best (and last good) season
Manny Parra's last good season

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