Glancing at the Fight for the NL Central, Part 3: Bullpens

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CIN 3.48 3.76 3.89 .214 .269 1.214 9.46 3.71 2.55 27%

Jul 16, 2013; Flushing, NY, USA; Chapman throws a pitch in the 7th inning in the 2013 All Star Game at Citi Field. (Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports)

Most conversations about the Reds bullpen begin by mentioning Aroldis Chapman. His has seen a rise in his hit and walk rates this season and a slight decline in his strikeout rate as compared to 2012. Still, batters are only hitting .175 against him (.139 for lefties with 5 hits in 40 PA, all singles). His struggles have come mostly on the road where opposing batters are hitting .288 against him. That BAA at GABP would be .090.

Can’t talk about the Reds bullpen and not mention the absences of Sean Marshall and Jonathan Broxton. Not having the 7th and 8th inning guys have certainly put this team in a bind. In their absences, Reds manager Dusty Baker has elected to go primarily with Sam LeCure and Alfredo Simon in those situations.

For LeCure, it takes him out of that pitch-me-whenever-you-need-me role. He had been that guy called upon to retire a batter or even two if the Reds drastically needed it. With LeCure as the 7th or 8th inning guy, Baker doesn’t have that luxury, that security blanket.

In using Simon as either the 7th or 8th inning guy, Baker doesn’t have a pitcher that can spin multiple innings to save the pen as a whole.

The last few games, Simon has pitched the 7th while LeCure has manned the 8th, when necessary.

Free agent signee and lefty Manny Parra struggled out of the gate, but has performed well since returning from the DL. He got beat up a couple of times upon his return, but he’s been virtually untouchable since June 8, the last time he was credited with allowing a run. He’s also been able to harness his control a bit more.

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