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Monday, June 19, 2006

White out, Standridge promoted

After more than two months of ineffectiveness, Rick White was designated for assignment. As a veteran, he should have the right to refuse assignment to the minor leagues, which I figure he will. So this is probably the last we'll see of Rick White in a Reds' uniform.

In his stead, the Reds have promoted 27-year old Jason Standridge. Standridge is a guy who has had good success in AAA, but has yet to do anything terribly positive in the major leagues. Stats:

2003/TB-AAA 60.0 5.6 4.2 0.75 0.285 4.50 4.45 5.65 -0.3 --
2003/TB 35.1 5.1 4.1 1.79 0.267 6.37 6.02 6.17 -1.4 47%
2004/TB-AA 10.0 7.2 3.6 0.90 0.353 3.60 4.10 --- --- ---
2004/TB-AAA 119.1 5.7 3.3 0.53 0.287 3.85 3.80 4.63 11.5 --
2004/TB 10.0 6.3 3.6 4.50 0.281 9.00 9.50 9.00 -3.2 50%
2005/TEX-AAA 76.0 5.6 4.3 0.36 0.307 4.50 3.90 4.76 1.1 58%
2005/CIN-AAA 1.2 30.0 7.5 0.00 1.154 16.20 -0.97 --- --- ---
2005/TEX 2.1 8.6 4.3 0.00 0.619 11.57 2.72 --- --- ---
2005/CIN 31.0 4.9 4.6 0.87 0.315 4.06 4.91 5.06 4.9 52%
Standridge has played for an insane number of clubs over the past three years, and has been bouncing between AAA and the majors every year. In AAA, he's been a guy with extremely low HR-allowed rates, but also extremely high walk rates and only average strikeout rates. In two 30-something inning stints in the major leagues in '03 and '05, Standridge has shown below-average strikeout rates and well above average walk rates. Hr-rates have been less stable, which is not surprising given the relatively low inning totals he's achieved so far. If anything, so far he's been average in that category.

I'm honestly not sure what to expect from him. The only time he's shown even average walk rates was in his 100+ inning stint in AAA, but if anything that looks like an abberation. I don't see him as being much of an upgrade over White. But at least he has a chance to be an improvement, and at 27 is at the time in his career where he should start peaking. We'll see.

There have also been a number of other transactions over the past month that I haven't had a chance to note. Most importantly, Joe Mays appears to be our #5 starter now after Claussen's latest meltdown vs. the White Sox over the weekend. Look for my initial take on Mays here. Needless to say, I don't see much help coming from him--his strong '01 season seems to be the result of a great deal of good fortune (0.243 BABIP). I hope I'm wrong. I also hope that whatever is wrong with Claussen is fixed before season's end. I still have high hopes for him in our rotation.

Mike Burns has also returned to the bullpen (and promptly given up lots of runs), Ray Olmedo has bounced up and down, as has Justin Germano. The Reds also signed their first-round draft selection, Drew Stubbs, to a contract and have him at rookie-league Billings ready to start the season.

Basically, the Reds are at the point where they have to be willing to try anything with their bullpen. Coffey, Weathers, and Hammond have been pretty solid (though only Coffey has been outstanding), Mercker has been pretty hit and miss, and everyone else has been miserable. I do hope that when Belisle returns from the DL that he'll be given a chance at a more important role. But I don't see much help coming from inside the Reds' system at this point, which means a trade may be necessary to get some decent bullpen help. Fortunately, we're nearing the time of the year when the bad clubs start to sell off their spare parts, and bullpen help can be had. Unfortunately, we also don't want to give up too much of our already-thin farm system, so we'll have to see what we can get.