From Spring Training: Inconsistentcy of the Cincinnati Reds and Bronson Arroyo Notes

Currently the Cincinnati Reds sit 13 games back in the National League Central and 14 back in the NL Wild Card Race.  After entering the season with high hopes they have yet to seemingly bring consistent hitting, pitching, and fielding to the ballpark on a daily basis.Without looking at the statistics my eye test keeps pointing their inconsistency as the main culprit to the season.  At the end of the day many players look on a path to finish with pretty decent numbers as a whole.

Joey Votto through last night led the National League in OPS and Drew Stubbs has already passed the 30 stolen base plateau.  Brandon Phillips currently is hitting .293 with 70 RBI and 72 runs.  Jay Bruce has won a player of the month and another player of the week award while already amassing career highs in both home runs (27) and runs batted in (84).

The injury of Scott Rolen has put a hamper on their predicted output from third base and they have gotten little from shortstop in 2011.  Combined Reds shortstops are hitting .236 in 130 games.  But honestly coming into the year many did not expect great numbers from the duo of Janish and Renteria.  But with how good the rest of the lineup was expected to be, one weak spot would not be too large of a problem.  When a team losing problems seem bigger.  That happens in all sports.

Left field has had its issues as well (especially Alonso’s defense, but that’s a different story).  Their pitching has been pretty good too.  Johnny Cueto is having a Cy-Young type season, Homer Bailey, when healthy has been solid outside a few starts.  Mike Leake is having a good sophmore year.  Travis Wood and Edinson Volquez have both largely underachieved., specifically Volquez.  Volquez has spent a lot of time in, Louisville after being demoted this year.  With the Reds he was walking an alarming 7.1 batters per nine innings while only throwing a first pitch strike 53.5 percent of the time.

Dontrelle Willis seems to be resurrecting his career and until recently Bill Bray and Sam LeCure were dominate.  After Chapman came back up from the minors he has been lights out and he was before the demotion, outside right before being sent  down.  Francisco Cordero and Nick Masset have a 2.43 and 4.01 ERA each.  Both of these two have received great heat throughout the season, but Cordero has been pretty good and Masset has been respectable, especially considering how the rest of the bullpen has pitched.

Bronson Arroyo has struggled throughout 2011 but he seems to be turning it around of late.  (See at bottom for lots of Arroyo stuff.)

Too me it all comes down to consistency.  On paper they have the talent to compete against every team they take the field against.  With the struggling in left field this year, maybe the playing time the young guys have received will be a blessing in disguise for 2012.  Also Zack Cozart who made a good impression before going down with injury is supposed to be ready after surgery in the spring.  Every team has their own “if ands or buts” but many Reds fans will look back at this season and wonder how this team finished so far back in the playoff race.

Bronson Arroyo Notes:

Bronson Arroyo’s first 21 starts:
127.1ip (6ip/s) 152h 73k 30bb 30hr 3hbp 5.58era 554 batters faced .297avg .337obp .544slug .881ops .295BAbip 2,003         pitches (66% for strike) BBREF game score 44 8sb 3cs -1.676WPA (-0.08 WPA/s)

Arroyo’s last 5 starts:
34.0ip (6 2/3 ip/s) 30h 17k 9bb 4hr 2hbp 2.91era 138 batters faced .238avg .299obp .381slug .680ops .248BAbip 529             pitches (64% for strike) BBREF game score 56 1sb 1cs .473WPA (0.09 WPA/s)

Arroyo’s 26 starts so far in 2011 stats (Compare how much his last 5 starts have brought down his stats from where they were after 21 starts)
161.1ip (Almost 6 1/3 ip/s) 182h 90k 30bb 34hr 5hp 5.02era 692 batters faced .286avg .329obp .512slug .841ops                     .286BAbip 2,532 pitches (65% for strike) BBREF game score 47 9sb 4cs -1.203WPA (-0.05 WPA/s)

In his first 21 starts Arroyo was averaging 86.5mph on his 4-seam fastball.  In his last 5 starts he has averaged 87.5mph on his 4-seam fastball.  He has also thrown 4-seam fastballs 5.1% more often in his last 5 starts than what he did in his first 21 starts.


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Images Via Joe Lefkowitz’s PitchFx Tool
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