Cincinnati Reds in 2017 – Dr. Lorenzen or Mr. Simon?

Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cincinnati Reds had a pair of seasons in 2016.

The Cincinnati Reds will have to see which team comes out of spring training next year.  In 2016 the first half was the half of Alfredo Simon.  Not so much in the sense that he had a great half, but in the sense that he was emblematic of the Reds’ situation.

In the first half of the season Simon went 2-7 with a 9.45 ERA while starting eleven games.  Brandon Finnegan somehow started 18 games in the first half, but Simon’s number was good for fourth on the team.  A pitcher with an ERA over 9 had the fourth most starts in first half.

There’s more than just Simon, too.  Planned closer, J.J. Hoover, pitched in 18 games before being optioned out, allowing 28 earned runs in 18 innings of work.

More from Reds News

Thankfully, Tony Cingrani was 10 of 15 in save opportunities in relief of Hoover.  Granted, 2 out of 3 is usually what an average set-up man does.  On the other hand, not counting Cingrani, Cincinnati was just 4 of 16 in save opportunities.

This Jeckyll and Hyde story extended beyond the pitching staff as well.  Remember Joey Votto’s first half?  Votto batted .252, while striking out 88 times.

Those aren’t awful numbers, but those aren’t Votto numbers.  By the second half Votto had his MVP numbers.  He even batted over .400.

Then Dr. Lorenzen and Senor Iglesias came in to save the day.

No, Michael Lorenzen isn’t a doctor and Raisel Iglesias is just a good pitcher.  What they did, though, was to breath fresh life into a quickly dying team.  They resuscitated a nearly moribund franchise.

Iglesias led the pitching staff in ERA of the pitchers with over 35 innings.  He also went 6 of 8 in save opportunities.  This was done while striking out more than a batter per inning.  His new sidekick was almost as impressive.

More from Blog Red Machine

For his part, Lorenzen was second on the team in ERA among pitchers with over 35 innings.  He was second to Blake Wood in holds in the second half by one.

He came this close to striking out a batter per inning.  Lorenzen did his best to be a 1-2 punch with Iglesias.

The question is which team show up in 2017?  Will the team that was so short on starting pitching that it had to start long reliever Simon 11 times in the first half show up?

Or will the team that was so deep that it could move its opening day starter into the closer role show up?

Next: The Reds should be relegated to Triple-A

Want your voice heard? Join the Blog Red Machine team!

Write for us!

There are variations that are in between these two, but these are the big two.  The Cincinnati Reds have to hope that they can afford to have Dr. Lorenzen in the bullpen next year.  Otherwise, Mr. Simon may come a calling.