Gaining Ground for Guthrie?


Jeremy Guthrie is possibly on the Reds radar if you take this pair of tweets by Danny Knobler of CBS Sports from yesterday.

That was followed by this…

Hmm…someone wants Yonder? Anyway…

While Kerry advised us that Guthrie could be an eventual option for the Reds starting rotation, he voiced the one main concern we both have in making this deal.

"He’s another “fly-ball” pitcher, so fears about bringing him to GABP are rational."

But let’s look at Guthrie and what he could potentiall bring to the table for the Reds…

So far this season, Guthrie is 2-8 with a very respectable 3.56 ERA and 1.176 WHIP. This season, Guthrie has apparently corrected a bit of an issue concerning walks as well. But add this to Guthrie’s surface numbers: The O’s provide Guthrie only 3.23 per game in which he starts. Balitmore has failed to score 4 or more runs in 4 of his 14 starts. In those four games, though, the O’s are 3-1 and Guthrie has provided a quality start in 3 of those outgins.

I’ll touch again on the penchant Guthrie has for delivering the home run ball. In 2009, he led the American League in surrendering 35 taters. So far this season in 91 innings, he’s permitted 12. With the ability for GABP to provide a few knocks, this doesn’t appear to be the best of situations for either Guthrie or the Reds.

And then there’s this thing about losses. I know there is not as much stock put into a win-loss record as there once was, but it does deserve a bit of attention. Guthrie has not had a winning season since 2007 when he went 7-5. Since then, he lost 12 in ’08, 17 in ’09 (led the AL), 14 last season to go along with the 8 L’s here in 2011. One thing that doesn’t necessarily get reflected in all the digging into stats is that losing can create issues with confidence. I’m thinking the 32-year-old Guthrie is doing all right in that area considering lack of run support his offense provides him. It’s still a concern.

Maybe the ol’ “change of environment” will be the case if (I said, if) a deal is to go through.

Another minor issue is that Guthrie had to leave his last start after pitching 5 stellar innings of one-hit ball against the Blue Jays with discomfort in his back. After an MRI revealed nothing of a serious matter, Guthrie will make his scheduled start tonight against the Pirates. In fact, the Reds will most likely see Guthrie when they visit Camden Yards this weekend.

A couple of positives relating to Guthrie. One is that he has cured a bit of wildness over the past couple of seasons. His SO/BB ratio since 2009 (his 17 loss season) has risen from 1.83 that season to 2.38 last year and it currently rests at 3.47 for 2011. Easy to see why that’s been the case as his BB/9 has decreased and his K/9 has increased over the same timeframe.

The contract status for Guthrie is that he is currently on a one-year deal for $5.75 million. For 2012, he is arbitration eligible and will not be a free agent until 2013.

Personally, I don’t this working out. With Guthrie’s HR woes and GABP being another form of a launching pad, it is not a good mix for the Reds or Guthrie.