Job Posting: 8th Inning Guy/Shut Down Left Hander Needed


Throughout the 2010 season there were a few constants, Joey Votto would work the pitcher, the Reds would never give up and Arthur Rhodes would throw strikes.

He would not only throw strikes, but he’d work the strike zone, leave runners on base and constantly stymie lefties in their quest to take down the Reds on a nightly basis.
So, the question becomes, now that Rhodes is gone, who is going to fill the vacancy? A variety of staff names come to mind including Bill Bray, Aroldis Chapman and possibly, even Danny Herrera.

So, if we look at this as a typical job posting, as we are all too familiar with these days, what are some requirements that we would like the incumbent to possess?

The most important is the ability to remain level headed on the mound. Normally this comes with experience, but either end of the career spectrum would be acceptable. Either young and ambitious or a veteran who’s done it all before. If the latter is what we require more, filling the role from inside the organization is not going to happen. Bill Bray is the eldest in the group at 27 and with four years of major league pitching experience, he doesn’t exactly qualify as a “veteran” – he’s more of a middle of the road guy at this point. At times, though, we did see his bull-headish nature coming through in the way that he fought most batters, but like a majority of young guys, once he gets behind in an inning – odds are that he’s going to stay behind in that inning. We often saw him getting beat around by a couple of batters and simply falling apart.

The same happened with Chapman. If he walked the lead-off hitter, heads up, it was going to be a long inning. Every pitcher is different in how they develop in the process of their career, so hopefully, he’s able to get his mind caught up with his arm. If it happens this year (don’t hold your breath), this is going to be a year we are all talking about for a long time. If not, we’re going to see flashes of brilliance and the decisions that Dusty Baker makes will have more of an impact than just letting Chapman loose on the league.

On the other hand, Herrera had the most resilience of any left-handed reliever in the Reds’ bullpen. Many times, he’d get a runner on base and fight his way back to either leave him stranded or force a double play. There were even more times, though, that if he got into trouble, he was pulled for a situational match-up.

So, if any of these three are up to the task, I think they should apply. If not, let’s hope Walt Jocketty has a personal favor to call in with a crafty lefty or even a wily veteran…