After posting the results of the Reds bullpen using the Quality Relief formula, I received an astute question from BRM reader beeker asking if I could break down the Reds relief performance when under pressure. How do these pitchers perform when runners are on base? I love provocative questions and this is very apropos to the original discussion. Let’s take a look behind the curtain and examine in a bit more detail just how each member of the Reds bullpen performed.
The first thing I found is that Dusty Baker trusts very few people with inherited runners. Bill Bray, led the way, having been given the ball 37 times with runners in scoring position. He inherited 54 runners and allowed 14 to score. In 4 appearances he allowed no runs but recorded no outs. He had 8 outings that inherited runners scored. In the ultimate challenge, Bray came to the mound 4 times with bases loaded allowing 3 runs to score.
Logan Ondrusek had the second most appearances with inherited runners tallying 18. He was faced with 32 base runners and allowed 8 to score. Bases loaded situations were a challenge for Logan, in the 3 chances he had 5 runners crossed the plate. I think it is safe to guess this was not Dusty was looking for.
Nick Masset appeared in 16 games with 26 inherited runners and allowed 10 to score. Dusty gave him just 2 opportunities with bases loaded and unfortunately 4 of the runners scored. Nick has promise but he must fulfill it in 2012. Another season like this one could spell the end of his Reds career.
This is probably the last season we will see Aroldis Chapman in a relief roll as he works to build his stamina in hopes of bolstering the Reds rotation long term. Thirteen times he entered the game with 19 runners on the bases. Chapman seems to focus well when he enters the game in this situation allowing just 3 runners to score. He only faced one bases loaded situation but kept anyone from scoring. In all he finished the season as the best pitcher on the Reds in pressure situations.
Sam LeCure entered 10 games with 21 inherited runners allowing just 4 to score. Sam faced 4 games where he entered with bases loaded and allowed no runs to score. Unfortunately he fell apart in the second inning of two of those four outings allowing 6 runs.
Jose Arredondo entered 8 games with 13 inherited runners and allowed 5 of them to score. Not a spectacular result but it could have been worse. He never was given the ball with the bases loaded.
The rest of the bullpen had mixed success. One interesting note is that Francisco Cordero only entered the game once with 2 runners on, they both scored. Apparently he prefers to clean his own messes as opposed to anyone else’s.
My evaluation of these results is that the Reds need bullpen help. Chapman is leaving for the rotation, Cordero hasn’t had his contract renewed yet, LeCure is the long reliever. And the rest of the bullpen lack consistent effectiveness. Help must be on the way or this team will continue to be challenged in close games. It is time for Walt Jocketty to look for an answer to this question. The clock is ticking toward Spring Training 2012.
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