Assigning the Blame, Round 2: J. J. Hoover

The Reds ran into another bump in the road last night at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. The Bucs, with A.J. Burnett looking like a right-handed Randy Johnson, jumped on the Reds early and held on to beat them 6-5.

It will not be difficult, a discerning eye is not required, to pinpoint the cause of this loss. After Mike Leake blew up in the first two innings, he calmed down and pitched pretty well through five.

The Good Guys, fueled by two long balls by Brandon Phillips, clawed their way back in and tied the game in the seventh inning. J.J. Hoover made his sixth appearance in 10 games. He had already been tagged with two of the Reds first four losses. Three pitches in and he tossed a gopher ball to Andrew McCutchen giving the Pirates the go-ahead, and what would be the winning run.

There are many questions one could ask about the lack of effectiveness of Hoover’s pitching early in this season. What is he still doing up here and Jose Arredondo is not even on the 40-man roster? He has pitched well in the past and had a good spring. Good on ya’ J.J. You let me down again. If there are still Hoover fans left after this, please feel free to chime in on me.

Let us get out the microscope and take a closer look.

J.J. Hoover

2013 6 5.2 8 5 5 3 4 7 0 3 2.12 7.94

Statistics extracted from

The first thing that catches my eye is the amount of home runs the man has set free. Three in less than six innings. That is unacceptable and I do not care who you are. He was called in to do a job, specifically hold the Bucs and Jonathan Broxton and Aroldis Chapman can finish them off. Now, he is culpable, literally responsible for three of the Reds five losses. Come on.

It is time to send Hoover down to Triple-A Louisville or even Double-A Pensacola to have some work done at somebody else’s expense. Alot of talk going on about bringing southpaw Tony Cingrani up. I don’t care for that move unless he is planned on becoming a long reliever. With the way the Reds’ starters have been the last few games, it would be nice to have a man who can go three or four good innings from the left side. Heck, either side for that matter.

Had Phillips not had such a good night before the ninth, he may have been held partly responsible for the loss. He whiffed to end the game leaving Shin-Soo Choo and Joey Votto on base. That is no good, but since he did bring in three runs earlier, he is exonerated.

Now, directly to Hoover, “I brought you in because I felt you would be able to hold back the tide while our offense continued to shake the cobwebs. You didn’t do it, you and your ERA of almost 8 are more than I can stand. J.J. you’re fired.”

That is what Trump would tell him. He does however need to be banished from the kingdom.

The recipient of the second “Assigning the Blame” is none other than James Allen (J.J.) Hoover.

J.J., the tribe has spoken, give the man your torch.

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Tags: J.J. Hoover

  • JD Rentz

    The finger is pointed at the wrong perpetrator in this crime. Mike Leake put the Reds in the hole with the five runs he allowed. The only way he got “relaxed” was after he put his team in a deficit. Credit the offense with saving his butt. JJ Hoover is being overworked at the expense of his talent and doesn’t deserve demotion as much as he does a little breather. Give a Tony Cingrani a spot start, what would be the harm? He certainly has to figure into the 2014 plans, so why not consider him sooner when Mike Leake came straight to the Majors without time in the Minors first. Leake has yet to show much consistency going on a season and a half now.

    • Cliff@RedsToTheBone

      You exonerated Leake yourself when you said, “Credit the offense with saving his butt”. At the end of the day, as we must look back in retrospect, Leake’s body of work left the Reds no worse for wear. Sure he gave up five runs, but the team came back to level the playing field, thereby negating Leake’s culpability in this crime. “Talent” would be a left handed complement at this time. If he is overworked, less than 6 IP in 10 games, then he needs to be rested. I see where Dusty used him again last night and he tacked another run onto Alfredo Simon. Then he used him for another inning instead of Broxton who hasn’t been used for nearly a week.

      No way Leake is responsible for the loss, but I certainly appreciate your opinion. Bringing up another starter this early only serves as a hoisting of the white flag signalling distress to the rest of the league.

      As a disclaimer, there is no question that Hoover is a talented pitcher, he needs some time away to cllear his head.

      • JD Rentz

        After watching what happened with Broxton yesterday after WAY TOO MUCH rest, I think general bullpen (mis)management is coming into question. Good grief. And, with Cueto going down, we’re getting Cingrani anyway by default. Welcome to a really short leash on 2013.