Table of Contents

Monday, October 30, 2006

Details on the new CBA

Maury Brown has authored a series of articles here, there, and everywhere about the new Collective Bargaining Agreement which has been agreed upon, though not yet ratified, by both Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players' Association. While this has been said everywhere, it is remarkable how well the two sides worked together this go-around. No strike dates, no combative press conferences, no nastiness of any kind that we got to see. It may be impossible to stress how important it was to baseball's continued growth that there was no hint of a public dispute between the millionaires and billionaires.

First, for a general overview of the new agreement, I'll refer you to Brown's article at his new (free) Biz of Baseball website. He breaks it down into a number of categories. I want to give a brief comment on each component of the CBA, so I'll follow his lead below:

Revenue Sharing
Brown has an analysis of this online today for Baseball Prospectus subscribers. I admit that I don't really understand it all... but the main result of this process, as I understand it, is that revenue sharing has been adjusted to increase the incentives for teams to increase their revenue. Teams with increasing revenue over the 5-year period of this new agreement will be able to keep a larger amount of their new revenue than they would have under the previous agreement. And the best way to increase revenues is to increase the on-field team performance; therefore, the expectation is that this adjustment will mean that teams will invest more into player contracts and player development, rather than their owners' pockets.

For a team on the rise like the Cincinnati Reds (they have to be on the rise, don't they?), this could mean very good things through 2011. Of course, the flip side of all of this is that if you lose revenue over the five-year agreement, you're going to be feeling that revenue loss more than you would have in the prior agreement. So the Reds just need to make sure they keep gaining revenue. So win, dammit.

Competitive Balance Tax
I always thought that this tax was the limit to revenue sharing in baseball, but I apparently was wrong. The news here is that the threshold for when teams must pay this tax increases substantially over the next five years, moving from $136.5 million this year to $148 million in '07, and increases 5% each year to $178 million in 2011 when the agreement expires. That's a pretty hefty increase. Of course, the Yankee's end-of-year player payroll was an estimated $199 million, so maybe that doesn't matter, as it still will impact the worst offenders of payroll disparity. And that's all this tax is really designed to do.

Minimum Salary
Minimum salary for MLB players increases from the current $327,000 this year to $390,000, and gets a cost of living increase each year thereafter. That moves the marginal MLB team payroll (the minimum possible MLB payroll for a 25-man team) up from $8,175,000 to $9,750,000 next year. That's a $1.575 million increase, which more or less hits all teams across the board. Not a huge spike--I think that the Reds may have spent that much on players that they released this year--but small market teams who must rely on developing players for payroll reasons will feel this hike the most.

Draft Pick Compensation
Unlike prior reports, draft pick compensation for lost free agents has not been abolished, though it has been restricted. The number of type-A free agents that exist in the majors is decreased from 30% to 20%, Type-B free agents are no longer as costly (in terms of pick compensation) to sign, and Type-C free agents no longer entail compensation. The purpose of all of these adjustments seems to be to give incentives to teams to sign free agents--or not to let free agents leave in the first place. Nevertheless, I think the summed effect here is that small-market teams lose out on a valuable resource.

Amateur Draft
On the upside, there is apparently an improvement in the amateur draft system. The date by which a non-college senior must sign with the team that drafted them is moved up to August 15th of the prior year. Apparently this takes a big bite out of the bargaining power that these players can put on teams in terms of salary bonuses, based on this quote by badforthegame Scott Boras:
"On the draft side, high school players, particularly those who cannot attend college, are left with very little leverage."
Why this is, I'm not sure. Maybe someone can explain it to me? I haven't been able to find anything more detailed on this issue. I'll post more on this when Maury Brown does (I hope) his detailed analysis on this issue at BP later this week.

Free Agents
The various deadlines that restricted how long a team could negotiate with a free agent who had been on their team the previous year have been eliminated. I see this as a very good thing for small-market teams. Previously, if a team didn't arrive at an agreement with a player by January 8th, they could not field that player until mid-May of that year. While those rules were in place to avoid unfair bargaining practices, this allows additional flexibility for small market teams that are actively weighing their options near the end of the offseason.

Overall Themes
The overarching theme here is that that MLB expects player salaries, payrolls, and overall revenues to continue to increase. Baseball has a lot of cash right now, which is generally a good thing as it allows the industry as a whole to be generous and help pull up its weaker members (small market teams) with revenue sharing. I do have concerns that this could set a precedent that may be difficult to overcome in 2011, especially if baseball is unable to keep up the growth it's currently seeing. But the years under the previous agreement saw a U.S. economy that has been shaky to say the least, and have featured performance-enhancing drug scandals that raise questions about the legitimacy of on-field performance. And yet, baseball's business has been booming despite it all. Hopefully this will continue, and this new agreement will work to the Reds' advantage as they push forward under new management.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Thoughts on the series

This year's World Series was a strange one....and ultimately not a very good one. I say that not because the Tigers lost or because the Cardinals won, but just because it wasn't very compelling. Part of the problem was that the Cardinals, who, according to a variety of stats employed by Nate Silver, are statistically the worst World Series Champions of all time--just edging out the '87 Twins. They absolutely have some genuine stars -- any team with Albert Pujols, Chris Carpenter, Scott Rolen, and (even though he's declining fast) Jim Edmonds is definitely one that I could get interested in. But the rest of their team really underperformed this year...or just wasn't good to begin with. And I prefer to watch good teams in the World Series, not sub-par teams who use starting pitchers with 5+ ERA's in three of the five series games.

But the thing that bothered me more about this series was that the losing team, Detroit, played miserably. I'm not just talking about the 5-game offensive slump of all Tiger hitters not named Inge or Casey. Their defense, which had been so noticeably brilliant in the first two postseason series, not to mention the regular season, was plagued by an unbelievable series of screw-ups. All told, they made 8 errors in 5 games. I'm not one to get too caught up in errors as the end-all in defensive stats, but that's absurd for a team that led the majors in run prevention. And it's not something you expect to see from a league champion. There were other problems as well. Granderson falling down in the outfield allowing a double...Zumaya throwing to third (and throwing it away) instead of starting a 1-6-3 double play...Tigers pitchers not being able to find the strike zone...

It just wasn't good baseball. It'd be one thing to have a hard-fought series in which the underdog over-performs by outplaying the better team to win. But in this case, the Tigers just imploded, and the Cards managed to play decent enough baseball to win.

There are a few things that I'm happy about. Pujols got a ring, so no one will be able to bring that up against him when we elect him to Cooperstown in ~15 years. Sean Casey got to play in the World Series at least this once, and did himself proud. And, of course, the Yankees were no where to be seen. But I'll definitely be hoping for something more enjoyable next year -- and maybe, just maybe, that'll include the Reds!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Wow - The Kid Molina Delivers

Watching the game tonight. I've been pretty apathetic about this series, as I don't really like the Mets by general principle, and the Cardinals are in the post-season only because they were the least bad team in the NL Central. But this has been a heck of a battle all night, and has been a lot of fun to watch. One of the players I like the most on these teams is that kid Molina, just because I've always enjoyed watching superb defensive catchers. So it was pretty fun to see him swing big in the top of the 9th.

'Course, valentin just got on base to lead off the bottom of the 9th via a bloop single. I almost hope they tie it up just to keep this game going. :)

Hmm... base hit by Chavez. That one still wasn't hit that well.. But Floyd is a scary hitter in this situation. They're talking a bunt, but I can't imagine that would be the play at this point. I mean, you need two runs, how can you waste the out with a power hitter at-bat? Even if he is injured. Whew, first pitch he was going for the jack. Definitely not a bunt. :)

Floyd's gone. Double play gets them out of it now... Though that's a tall order with Reyes at the plate.

Line drive to center field for the second out. Still isn't over, as LoDuca's a quality hitter, and Wainwright is proving hittable tonight.

3-1 count....Oh my, bases loaded with the walk, and Carlos Beltran is up. At the least, New York won't be able to say that they didn't have a shot.

Strike one down the middle...Strike two fouled off the foot...Takes the strike!

Wow. So the 2006 Cardinals, the worst team they've fielded in the last three years, is going to the World Series. They beat an all-pitching, no offense team in San Diego, and they beat an all offense and relief, no-starting pitching team in New York. But my prediction is that Detroit is going to clean their clocks. Detroit has three starters that are on par with Carpenter, an unbelievable bullpen, and plenty of sock in their lineup. The Cards can only get lucky for so long.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Tigers take the first two

I'm really enjoying this Athletics/Tigers series. Two fun, exciting, young teams with a mix of still-good/excellent veterans thrown in to balance them out. A few random thoughts:
  • I'm in awe of the Tigers pitching staff. Can you imagine having three guys--Verlander/Rodney/Zumaya--that can all throw 100 mph, along with plus offspeed/breaking pitches? Plus two "other" young starters like Nate Robertson and Jeremy Bonderman to go along with those guys? And that's not even including Kenny Rogers' excellent season. ... And there's there's that kid they drafted this June, Andrew Miller, who might turn out to be the best of all of them when he arrives either next year or the year after. Amazing. And very scary for the AL Central. I just hope that they can all stay healthy, because they've got the makings of an Atlanta Braves-style dynasty right now.
  • Todd Jones is still a solid and dependable pitcher, but you have to think that using him in the closing role instead of Zumaya is going to bite Leyland sometime during the playoffs. When Thomas came up tonight, I really thought that the A's were going to pull off the two-out rally. Of course, I will say, in Leyland's defense, that the ability to bring in Zumaya any time during the 7th-8th innings is quite a luxury, as you can get him in there during the game-critical situations when your other pitchers are in trouble. Then you can just turn it over to Jones to start and finish the 9th. I argued the same thing about the Reds' Coffey/Weathers combination in May of this year--and in many ways, Coffey carried the Reds' pitching staff through the first two months of the season when used in this role. I hope Coffey can rediscover something this offseason and come back strong for us again this year. His September was good, at least.
  • Milton Bradley had a heck of a night. I've always liked the kid, and I hope performing well on this kind of stage helps him gain the confidence to get past some of his chronic emotional issues. He's always had the talent to be an excellent ballplayer. He strikes me as the kind of guy that could peak a few years later than others due to all of his talent/injuries/issues, so his best years may still be ahead of him.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Cory Lidle's plane crashes in New York

Reports from New York indicate that Cory Lidle's small 4-seat plane crashed into an apartment building this afternoon. Four were confirmed dead, though no specific word has been given about Lidle's well being...though it doesn't look good.

Lidle pitched for the Reds during the first half of 2004. He wasn't great -- 5.32 ERA over 24 starts -- but he did eat 149 innings for a miserable Reds team that season. His trade to the Phillies that year brought Elizardo Ramirez to the Reds, along with Javon Moran and Joe Wilson.

Thoughts go out to Lidle's family.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Payroll efficiency - how should you invest your money?

Maury Brown has an excellent article up today at Baseball Prospectus (subscription) investigating team efficiency in terms of payroll dollars per win in 2006. He compared each team's marginal payroll (2006 opening day payroll minus the hypothetical payroll of a 25-man team all making the league-minimum $327,000/yr) to each team's marginal wins (wins above an 0.300 winning percentage, which is supposed to be replacement-level team performance). As you might expect given their relatively low $61 million opening-day payroll, the Reds did pretty well according to this rubric (4th in the NL, 9th overall).

The best teams overall were Florida (at a ridiculous $200k/marginal win), followed by Minnesota, Colorado, and Oakland, all of which were in the $1.1 to $1.2 million/marginal win range that seems to set apart the most efficient ballclubs from the rest of us. After those four teams, there's a substantial jump up to San Diego at 1.5 million/marginal win. The Cubs were by far the most inefficient team in the major leagues, winning only 66 games despite a $94 million payroll (an atrocious $4.9 million/marginal win). The Yankees were second worst--they won 97 games (tied for most in majors), but spent $195 million to do it ($3.8 million/marginal win). The highest payroll in the top-10 overall most efficient teams belonged to the Detroit Tigers, who had an $83 million payroll this year, but won 95 games for a cost/marginal win of $1.6 million.

So, was there a formula about how to build an efficient ballclub in 2006? To take a quick'n'dirty stab at this question, I compared the contributions of team offense (runs scored) and team defense (runs allowed) to their cost/marginal win totals. Here are the results:
There is no clear relationship between runs scored and payroll efficiency as measured by cost/marginal win. However, you see a different story when it comes to runs allowed -- the most efficient teams tend to be those teams that allow the fewest runs. This effect is significant (t=2.30, P = 0.029), though it should be emphasized that the relationship is not very strong and leaves a lot of unexplained variation (R2 = 0.16).

These results -- despite admittedly being a bit superficial -- do indicate that efficient teams tend to be those with good pitching and defense, and that offense has next to no effect on payroll efficiency (or, to put it another way, efficient teams have offenses that differ little from those of inefficient teams). Taken a step further, the suggestion is that the most efficient use of payroll is to invest in your pitching.

To investigate this further, I pulled team WPA (Win Probability Added) totals for each major league team from This allowed me to break down, within each team, the relative contributions of hitting, starting pitching, and relief pitching to a team's cost/marginal win ratio. Once again, hitting showed absolutely no relationship (P=0.99, R2 = 0.00), but there was a bit more to the relationships between starting or relieving and cost/marginal win:
While there appears to be a slight effect on the bullpen, it is nonsignificant (t = -0.72, P = 0.48, R2 = 0.02). The stronger effect is among the starters. Efficient teams in 2006 were those teams that had the best starting pitchers, as measured by their contributions to team's wins through WPA. The effect was significant (t = -2.8, P = 0.008), and explained a reasonable, though still fairly small, amount of the variation in cost/margin win (R2 = 0.22).

The conclusion from this quick study seems to be that teams should invest in starting pitching above all else. Nevertheless, I'll throw out a substantial caveat: many of the most efficient teams got excellent performances from very young, very cheap starting pitchers. The Marlins' staff (Willis [4.3m], Olsen [327k], Johnson[327k]) is a prime example, as is the Twins' (Santana [8.7m], Lariano [327k], Bonser [327k]) and the Athletics (Zito [7.9m], Haren [550k], potentially Harden in the playoffs [1.3m]).

So it's not necessarily the case that efficient teams are investing their money in their starters. Instead, they could be developing young starters -- and that the presence of good, young starters has such a large effect on winning that it drives the effects we're seeing with the payroll efficiency numbers. To really tease this apart, I'm going to need to do some additional work -- in a future post, I will try to revisit this by investigating actual payroll distribution (starters vs. bullpen vs. hitters) and seeing how those payroll decisions influence overall payroll efficiency.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Tigers kick Yankee butt

The Reds have not been in the playoffs since 1995. In contrast, the Yankees have been there every year since 1995. This has really altered my approach to the offseason. There is no team in sports that I hate more than the Yankees. I hate everything they stand for. I hate their money, I hate their attitude, I hate the media's focus on them, I hate their effect on the game, I hate their success, and I hate their fans. So each year, whenever the Yankees get close to elimination, I find myself unable to think about anything else.

So tonight, instead of watching one of the two National League playoff games (I'm a National League baseball fan, through and through -- DH is boring), and instead of working on my upcoming season Reds stat recap, I'm sitting here glued to every pitch of the Yankees/Tigers game. Thus far, Jeremy Bonderman has thrown 6 shutout innings and the Tigers are ahead 8-0. I can't step away -- I'm so freaking excited!

I wouldn't put anything by that Yankees lineup -- it's the best lineup I've ever seen -- but you have to like the Tigers chances right now, as they are the best run-prevention team in the majors.

Some running impressions (I'm watching on Tivo tonight, so please, no spoilers):
  • I love that Andy Van Slyke and Don Slaught are coaches for Jim Leyland's Tigers. It really speaks to Leyland's history as a major league manager. I don't always agree with his decisions, but there's no question he's been at the helm of some very appealing teams over the years.
  • Sean Casey has been reminding me of his old (good) self tonight, especially with that rip down the right field line.
  • I love watching teams that can play genuine defense. The Tigers just look so solid, with great range in the outfield and good action in the infield. Craig Monroe has made one good, and one freaking amazing catch tonight. Nice to have a left fielder who can go get 'em like that. The Padres have something similar with Dave Roberts in left.
  • Bonderman seems to be inducing a lot of ground balls, which has resulted in a lot of chances for double plays -- although the balls have been hit so softly that they haven't been able to turn them.
  • I had hoped to see Zumaya tonight -- is he the hardest thrower of all time? -- but I'll just have to make sure I see another Tiger game during the playoffs.
  • After a bit of a last-minute rally at the hands of Posada, the Yankees are finished for the year. I'm officially happy with the 2006 playoffs. And the Tigers, with their young starters and impressive bullpen, look like a pretty darn good playoff ballclub.
  • Congrats to Marc Lancaster, a Detroit native, for finally getting to see his team performing and winning in the playoffs. Hope they win it.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

September/October Reds Review

Final 2006 Record and Stats
Overall Record: 80-82 (.494; 3.5 games behind the Cardinals, 2 games behind the Astros)
Series Record: 23-18-11
Pythagorean Record: 76-86 (0.469)
Runs Scored: 749 (4.6 r/g; 9th in the league)
Runs Allowed: 801 (4.9 r/g; 10th in the league)

September/October Record and Stats
Overall Record: 13-15 (0.464)
Series Record: 3-6-o
Pythagorean Record: 11-17
Runs Scored: 91 (3.3 r/g)
Runs Allowed: 114 (4.1 r/g)

Even though the Reds came up short, I had planned to make this an upbeat final monthly review. But after looking at these numbers, all I can do is ask "what could have been?" With only four more wins on the season, the Reds could have, at the minimum, forced the Cardinals to a single-game playoff for the division championship. It would have taken a 17-11 month, but the Reds had one element in line to accomplish just that: quality pitching. While the starting pitching after Arroyo and Harang was shaky, Wayne Krivsky's refurbished bullpen finally came through, with Schoeneweis, Weathers, Majewski, Belisle, Coffey, and Johnson all sporting ERA's below the 3.2 mark. Overall, the 4.1 runs allowed per game mark was easily the best of the season by the Reds' staff, more than 0.7 r/g better than the next best month (May, at 4.8 r/g allowed). If there was ever a time for the Reds' offense to take advantage of some solid pitching, this was the time.

But the offense, which had been the strength of the ballclub all season long, just vanished. Poof, and like that, it was gone. 3.3 runs per game was easily the worst total of the year, and was a full 1.4 r/g lower than the previous month of August -- which had already been a weak offensive month by the Reds' standards. And to further help illustrate how absolutely horrible 3.3 runs/g score is, the worst offensive ballclub in the major leagues in 2006, the Pittsburgh Pirates (691 runs scored), averaged 4.3 runs/g on the season. This is still a full run per game below that mark.

With a collapse this big, there's plenty of blame to go around. The following hitters had OPS's above 0.700 with 40 or more at bats:
Rich Aurilia
Chris Denorfia
Todd Hollandsworth
They were ok, or even reasonably good. But that leaves a lot of players who were not good.
Between 0.600 and 0.700 OPS:
David Ross
Ryan Freel
Below 0.600(!!):
Adam Dunn
Scott Hatteberg
Edwin Encarnacion
Brandon Phillips
Those latter four guys absolutely killed us this month, and are all guys that this team absolutely relied on all season long to be productive offensively. On top of that, Ken Griffey only had 15 plate appearances due to an injured big toe. It was an absolute meltdown. The problem was not that the Reds couldn't "manufacture" runs. It wasn't that they didn't execute good "situational hitting." It wasn't even that manager Jerry Narron made a series very questionable decisions during games. The problem with the Reds in September--and what ultimately cost them a winning season and a playoff berth--was that, with the notable exception of Rich Aurilia, all of their everyday starters just stopped hitting. Period.

That will be the most painful thing for me to think about during the offseason. The pitching was there for the Reds to win in September and be playing against the Padres right now. If the Reds would have scored 4.9 r/g, which is what they had averaged on the year prior to September, Pythagorean projections predict that the Reds would have gone 17-11 on the month--precisely what they needed in order to, at worst, force the Cardinals into a 163rd game single-game playoff. This team was capable of winning this year, but the offense -- not the pitching -- let them down. I never would have thought I'd be writing that in my final monthly review of the season.

Statistical Hitter of the Month: Rich Aurilia, 0.344 AVG, 0.385 OBP, 0.511 SLG, 4 HR, 5.5 VORP in September/October
Honorable Mentions: Chris Denorfia, Norris Hopper

In a month that all of the other Reds' starters were either hurt or massively under performing, Aurilia put a great cap on what was easily the second best season of his career. His final numbers on the season--0.300 AVG, 0.349 OBP, 0.518 SLG--are massively higher than I expected at the season's start, and he served as an anchor for the Reds all season long. At 35 years old, I'm honestly not sure what we can expect of him next year. But if he's amenable to it (and he should be), I'd be more than happy to have him back. At worst, he should be an above average offensive threat vs. lefthanders, and at best, he may be in line for another year like 2005. But in 2006, Rich Aurilia played four positions, led the team in VORP, and has a very legitimate argument to earn the Reds' MVP Award on the season. Amazing, and very well done.

Impact Hitter of the Month: Rich Aurilia, 9 runs scored, 17 RBI, 45% Win Probability Added in September/October
Runners up: Jason LaRue, Ken Griffey Jr.

I don't like to give both awards to the same player in these reports, as I like to use them to highlight different contributions to the team each month. Unfortunately, no one else even showed up. Denorfia had a decent offensive month in part-time play, but he didn't come through in the big moments--especially early in the month--as evidenced by his -5.9% WPA. Anyone else who played well did so in a minimal number of appearances. Just a very disappointing month for this Reds' team. I honestly think they could stand to add some offense in the offseason, and that's sad given where we started the season. If only we still had Austin Kearns.

Statistical Pitcher of the Month: Bronson Arroyo, 51.3 IP, 2.45 ERA, 3.26 FIP, 0.35 HR/9, 13.0 VORP in September/October
Honorable Mentions: Aaron Harang, Todd Coffey

For the third time this season, Bronson Arroyo won my Statistical Pitcher award. He did it with a month that was remarkably similar to his month of May -- fairly average K and BB rates, but extremely low HR-allowed. I always tend to distrust very low HR-allowed numbers, especially for a guy who also had months when he allowed over 2 HR/9. But in Arroyo's case, given that his breaking ball is such a key component of his success, I think it's a meaningful thing to look at. When he's not throwing well, he tends to have trouble locating his breaking ball and tends to leave a fair number of them hanging in the middle of the zone. And they get hammered for long flies. But when he's throwing well, he's spotting it on the corners and able to throw it for strikes whenever he needs to.

I'll have more to say about Arroyo in a later post, but the guy had a remarkable season--possibly his career year, and quite possibly (likely?) the Reds' MVP. The Reds haven't had a 1-2 in their starting rotation like Arroyo and Harang (or is it Harang and Arroyo?) since the Rijo/Browning/Jackson days of that '90 team. I don't think we can expect Arroyo to be as good next year as he was this year, but he should be very dependable in our rotation. If we can get another cog in there on the level of an Arroyo, plus another hitter in our lineup, and at least one outstanding reliever... folks, I tell ya what, we'd have a legitimate playoff team here.

Impact Pitcher of the Month: David Weathers, 11 IP, 0.82 ERA, 2 Saves, 1 Hold in August
Honorable Mentions: Bronson Arroyo, Aaron Harang

For the second consecutive month, David Weathers was the cornerstone of the Reds' bullpen. Largely written off after a difficult first half, Weathers stepped up as Eddie Guardado and Gary Majewski stepped down. His ERA was spectacular, and by the end of the season he had regained his position as the team closer. All three of Weathers' peripherals slipped substantially during the month, but he was fortunate enough to be sufficiently hit-lucky (0.138 BABIP) to remain extraordinarily effective. Whatever the reason for his success, Weathers contributed the highest WPA on the team for the second consecutive month and is an easy pick for impact pitcher of the month.

Reds September/October Hitting Statistics
Adam Dunn 103 35.0% 19.4% 1.9% 2/100% 0.333 0.265 0.598 0.216 -2.4 -76.0%
Rich Aurilia 96 13.5% 6.3% 4.2% 2/100% 0.385 0.511 0.896 0.301 5.5 45.0%
Encarnacion 94 17.0% 10.6% 1.1% 5/100% 0.299 0.286 0.585 0.206 -5.1 -17.0%
Phillips 92 23.9% 5.4% 2.2% 3/100% 0.204 0.253 0.457 0.155 -7.7 -61.0%
Hatteberg 83 4.8% 18.1% 0.0% 1/100% 0.349 0.235 0.584 0.216 -6.3 -56.0%
Ryan Freel 61 26.2% 13.1% 1.6% 6/86% 0.311 0.302 0.613 0.215 -0.1 -23.0%
David Ross 61 36.1% 11.5% 4.9% 0/0% 0.281 0.389 0.670 0.224 -1.9 -52.0%
Chris Denorfia 59 18.6% 8.5% 1.7% 1/100% 0.407 0.463 0.870 0.299 --- -5.9%
46 21.7% 6.5% 2.2% 0/0% 0.326 0.465 0.791 0.263 1.4 -11.0%
Norris Hopper 42 9.5% 14.3% 2.4% 2/50% 0.442 0.472 0.914 0.317 3.6 10.0%
Royce Clayton
38 18.4% 10.5% 0.0% 1/50% 0.300 0.324 0.624 0.216 --- 3.0%
Valentin 27 11.1% 3.7% 7.4% 0/0% 0.519 0.808 1.327 0.436 --- 10.0%
Ray Olmedo 27 7.4% 7.4% 3.7% 0/0% 0.185 0.240 0.425 0.143 -3 12.0%
Juan Castro
25 16.0% 8.0% 0.0% 0/0% 0.360 0.391 0.751 0.260 -0.3 -32.0%
Jason LaRue 22 0.3 0.1 0.1 0/0% 0.409 0.700 1.109 0.359 --- 44.0%
Dewayne Wise 21 0.0 0.0 0.0 0/0% 0.238 0.333 0.571 0.190 --- -18.0%
Ken Griffey
15 0.1 0.1 0.1 0/0% 0.133 0.286 0.419 0.131 0.3 35.0%

Reds September/October Pitching Statistics
Arroyo 51.3 6.5 3.0 0.4 0.210 2.45 3.26 13.0 73.0%
Aaron Harang 47.0 7.9 0.8 1.5 0.254 3.83 3.92 10.8 63.0%
Matt Belisle 5.7 1.6 7.9 0.0 0.237 1.59 5.48 6.6 2.0%
Weathers 11.0 6.5 4.1 0.8 0.138 0.82 4.29 5.0 79.0%
8.0 9.0 4.5 0.0 0.238 0.00 2.70 4.7 34.0%
Todd Coffey 11.0 7.4 1.6 0.8 0.226 2.45 3.29 3.2 4.0%
Gary Majewski
5.7 3.2 1.6 0.0 0.373 1.59 3.02 2.7 -31.0%
Chris Michalak 14.0 3.9 4.5 1.3 0.308 3.86 5.70 1.2 -27.0%
Jason Johnson
8.7 4.1 0.0 1.0 0.312 3.12 3.77 0.8 -13.0%
Bill Bray
5.7 7.9 1.6 1.6 0.292 4.76 4.25 0.7 -8.0%
Sun-Woo Kim
6.7 5.4 0.0 4.0 0.199 5.40 7.83 0.5 0.0%
Rheal Cormier
3.0 3.0 3.0 0.0 0.385 6.00 3.53 -0.3 -16.0%
Ryan Franklin
7.7 9.4 4.7 1.2 0.317 4.70 4.37 -0.4 -19.0%
Eric Milton 11.3 4.8 1.6 2.4 0.301 5.56 6.12 -1.1 6.0%
Shackelford 2.3 15.7 7.8 3.9 0.508 11.57 7.98 -1.5 0.0%
Kyle Lohse
31 6.4 3.2 1.5 0.313 6.46 4.96 -3.0 -45.0%
Standridge 4.3 6.3 4.2 2.1 0.336 6.23 6.22 -3.2 -7.0%

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Reds hire Thom Brennaman

Per Marc, the Reds have hired Thom Brennaman, son of Reds' Hall of Fame announcer Marty Brennaman, to an interesting TV/Radio assignment beginning in the 2007 season. He was signed to a four-year contract. Due to Thom's commitments with the national Fox Sports telecasts, he won't be available for all games with the Reds -- it sounds like he'll be working ~50 radio broadcasts with his dad, and about 45 games in the Reds' television booth.

That he won't be working more than about 95 games is the one thing I'm not crazy about with this deal. I've said this before, but it bears repeating, as a lot of people in the blogosphere seem pretty down on Thom: I've watched him regularly in my 5+ years living here in Arizona as he does his Diamondbacks broadcasts. I feel very confident that Thom is going to be a tremendous addition to the Reds' broadcasting teams. He is articulate, engaging, very energetic, and has excellent knowledge of the history of the game. The thing I like the most about him is that he has the ability to make any player sound like an absolute stud, just by how he says his name. He isn't afraid to comment on poor play, but he's generally a guy who will promote a team's players and highlight their best qualities. I think he'll bring a lot of positivity to the booth. And remember, this is a guy who grew up around the Big Red Machine--he is a genuine Reds' fan.

Furthermore, there is definitely something to be said to bringing a nationally recognized TV announcer -- and a good one at that -- to a small market team like the Reds. Like a lot of things that have been done since Castellini's group took over, this move brings genuine credibility to this franchise.

And, of course, it should be a lot of fun to listen to Marty and Thom talk it up next year on the radio. I'm definitely going to tune in more often than I have this season, just to hear those guys. So bravo to the Reds in their first move of the offseason -- it was a good one.