This move kind of surprised me for multiple reasons. It wasn’t that there was a deal, it was the length. First, I asked myself this question: The Reds gave a guy that didn’t even make their postseason roster last year a two-year deal? And then I looked at some numbers. I wasn’t a big fan of what I discovered.
In his three seasons, Ondrusek’s BB/9 has increased (3.1 for 2010, 4.1 for 2011, 5.1 for 2012). Same for his H/9 (7.5 for ’10, 8.1 for ’11, 8.4 for ’12). His SO/BB ratio has decreased (1.95 for ’10, 1.46 for ’11, 1.26 for ’12). The vast majority of his numbers over his first three seasons have that trend, the wrong direction trend.
The big positive with Ondrusek is that he improved the rate in which he allowed inherited runners to score. For his career, Ondrusek’s rate sits at 20%. Last season, only 4 of 42 inherited runners scored.
It’s not that Ondrusek hasn’t performed well overall. He has. He’s experienced extended periods of time where he is absolutely un-hittable. During those times, it’s arguable that he is the best pitcher in the ‘pen when he’s in that groove. Then we have those funks he’s experienced (like last August) especially over the past two seasons where a segment of the Reds fanbase may cringe when he’s put into a mid-to-high leverage situations.
Although, when you think about it, this does kind of fit the m.o. of the front office. We saw similar deals (maybe not dollars-wise) with Nick Masset and Jose Arredondo: two-year deals for young, bullpen arms. Ones that have proven some merit to the team.
With the deal, the Reds now have six players that have filed for arbitration. I would look for others to agree to deals within the next few days.