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John Fay
John Fay has been the Reds beat writer for the Enquirer since 2001. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles for the Enquirer: backup Reds writer, UC beat writer, backup Bengals writer and as a general assignment reporter. He is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of Elder High School and the University of Dayton.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Stating v. relief for the young arms

There's no question that Johnny Cueto, Edinson Volquez and Homer Baiely have three of the best arms in camp. They're being prepared as starters. So, if they don't make the rotation, do they start the year in the minors?

“Not necessarily," Dusty Baker said. "I come from the Dodger way. With young guys, the next best thing is long relief. It’s in between starting and relieving. It’s probably the less pressure on the staff because most of the time you’re coming in when you’re behind. We did it with Dave Burba in San Francisco, and he ended up winning nine, 10 games.

"Throw up zeros, so the offense can come back. You can’t let add on or trade runs. That’s where that guy is really important. If you’re not going to come back (and win games), you’re not going to win the pennant or the wild card. You need a guy who allows you to come back.”

Nolan Ryan, Johan Santana, Pedro Martinez, Don Gullett and Roy Oswalt are among the dominant starters who began their careers in the bullpen.

"A lot of young guys start out in long relief," Baker said. "If a guy’s not going to start, that’s the next best thing.”

This will make for interesting decisions at the end. The Reds owe Mike Stanton and Todd Coffey a lot of money. They're going to have to pay them regardless of whether they're on the team or not. Sounds like Baker would like to go with 11 or 12 best arms.


at 11:52 AM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

Baker is sounding like he gained some valuable experience.. nice to see that. I agree. Put em in long relief and extend their innings

be back soon I have to drop Julie off at the hospital..I have 4 wheel drive she does not.she gets nervous in bad weather..yeah we have an inch of snow on the ground..too funny

at 11:53 AM Blogger Sultan of Swaff said...

And if Fogg, Belisle, and Affeldt are in the rotation, we'll be needing a lot of long relief. Just sayin'........

at 11:53 AM Blogger cincikid said...

I like that way of thinking. But with the money that is owed on previous bad decisions or bad timing (in Coffey's case) lets see Baker put Bob C.'s money where Bakers mouth is. But it sure sounds good to me.

at 11:57 AM Blogger Aaron said...

I really don't want Affeldt in the rotation unless he dazzles us this spring. He belongs int he bullpen just like last year. He did well in that role. I know all pitchers crave to start or close ball games, but middle relievers are valuable as well and can be the difference makers. Fogg beat some good pitchers down the stretch for the Rockies last season and I think he can be decent if held to a strict pitch count (apparently he tires fast). I'd like AT LEAST one of Volquez, Bailey, Cueto to be in the rotation along with Belisle. Eventually Fogg gets replaced by one of the younger arms and moved to long relief.

at 12:11 PM Blogger Brandon said...

I still think Belisle is going to have a decent year this year.

at 12:13 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, your blog looks allot like what Hal McCoy just posted. Why is that?

at 12:17 PM Anonymous MONEY MIKE said...

Anon 12:13-

The similarties are likely due to the fact that this was not a one-on-one interview, but rather a group interview and reporters derive similar stories from limited information.

at 12:18 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keppinger over Gonzo, Age is catching up to Gonzo, Gonzo doesn't have the range that he used to have, defensively. Don't get me wrong, his defense is still good. It is just, his career is going down hill from here and Keppinger is on his way up the hill. Also, he is cheaper than Gonzo, about 3 mill less a year. And he could lead off with his batting abilities.


at 12:23 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

What Baker said about keeping the best makes a lot of sense. Afraid it won't happen though unless Jocketty over-rides the K-man.

By the way the fake Jack from Blue Ash posts are getting very old.

at 12:28 PM Blogger SportsMania said...

I like Baker's thinking on this one. Middle relief is a great way for some of these young guns to pick up some major league experience.

One word of caution, you have to make sure you are getting them some work. Which with our starting five, probably won't be a problem. Harang is the only one capable of throwing a complete game.

I'm not a big Stanton fan, especially at his age. But I have heard that Coffey is back in shape and he is still pretty young, so I'd like to keep him on the roster.

at 12:31 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

MONEY MIKE, perhaps but go read both and notice similar sentence structure and opinions. Almost like it was a Reds press release. Ive noticed this too during the season on Reds insider notes. My point is that one looks for direct insight from a columnist...that is what journalism is about. Regergitation of anothers writing is call plagerism.

at 12:34 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

um...find a hobby...

at 12:35 PM Anonymous Z in Oxford said...

How many different ways, exactly, do you expect the reporters to "spin" that story? The topic was pretty clear, Dusty gave a few quotes, and Hal and John spit it back out to us..

at 12:36 PM Blogger jdeezman said...

Hey anonymous at 12:13 & 12:31, unless you're a lwayer for Hal McCoy and you're wanting to file a lawsuit for copyright infringement or something akin to that... drop it already ok?

This is a baseball blog and Mr. Fay posted Cincinnati Reds baseball info.

Start the stupid crap elsewhere, like with someone else who might give a damn whether it's plagiarized or not.

at 12:38 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks John, This eases my mind somewhat. I have been concerned over Dusty's open-mindedness towards keeping the youngsters. His past comments led me to think he was still stuck in his old way of thinking...vets, vets, vets.
TimW in SC

at 12:45 PM Blogger John Fay said...

The beat writers meet with Dusty Baker as a group every day. The stuff he said about the young pitchers was the most intersting thing he said.

The quotes are the same.

at 12:45 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

cheviot just got back dude..its me.. just a kinder version. I told John Fay I would behave and focus on baseball..so that I am. Julie has been hanging out with me and enjoying this blog. She is an avid Reds fan

at 12:53 PM Anonymous Bob Loblaw said...

I have always been a proponent of easing young starters into the majors by using them in long relief. I think it's a low risk move, it cuts down on the innings of the young guys(which will make a huge difference down the stretch)and if one of the other starters pitches poorly you can just swap them out. Great idea.

at 1:06 PM Blogger FSAMAAA said...

I think Harang, Arroyo and Volquez are in the rotation April 1.

The next two spots are belong to Belisle and Bailey. I am hoping they do not stumble this spring. Fogg and possibly Cuerto will be there if one of them stumbles.

Cuerto will really have to impress to be with the big club prior to June 1. I am sure management feels no need to start the arbitration clock unless absolutely necessary.

at 1:15 PM Anonymous Bob Loblaw said...

Mike Stanton is horse fodder. I pray he doesn't take up a roster spot.

at 2:13 PM Blogger RotoJeff said...

I love the idea of Bailey in the bullpen, even more so than Cueto. Earl Weaver used to do this with starting pitching prospects all the time, and so did Larry Dierker (not just Oswalt, but also Mike Hampton, Shane Reynolds and Scott Elarton - remember, he was pretty damn good before he blew out his shoulder.). More recently, Chad Billingsley was developed like that by the Dodgers, perhaps not on purpose, but I think it's a fantastic idea.

at 3:57 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its time for Cluless to admit a major blunder!! Maja-mistake gives up 6 runs today !! Cut him now, fire W.K.for his incompetence and move on with W.J.!!Cluless is such a misfit he still sticks to his arrogant belief in some of these players he brought in.....WAKE UP CINCY FIRE KRIVSKY----- Reds Fan In FT. Thomas

at 8:03 PM Anonymous NVreds said...


get one of those fancy orange things next to your name so we know its you

this is blunt sounding but not meant to be negative: we dont care about julie, we do not want to know about her life, or you life, we want to know your opinions on the reds, she could post stuff ifshe wants that would be great, but we aren't interested in hearing about her from you, I'm sorry

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