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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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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Bullpen musings

Francisco Cordero, David Weathers, Mike Stanton and Jeremy Affeldt are the locks to make the bullpen.

In the case of Stanton and Affeldt, their $3 million salaries have a lot to do with it. But that’s the way baseball works.

I still think Jared Burton makes it, despite a rough spring.

That’s five.

Here’s my depth chart for the remaining relievers in camp:
1. Todd Coffey
2. Bill Bray
3. Kent Mercker
4. Mike Lincoln
5. Jim Brower
6. Jose Capellan.

Brower and Capellan have no shot. It’s too close to call among the other four.

Lincoln’s an interesting guy. He’s throwing 94 after two “Tommy John” surgeries and three years off. But he had a bad outing Saturday (1 IP, 3 hits, 2 runs). Each outing is big for the bubble guys now.

Coffey, by the way, has given up one hit and struck out six in 6 2/3 innings this spring.


at 4:26 PM Blogger REddlegg in Colorado said...

Wow,Coffey looks serious about getting back to his old form from 06'.If my memory serves me right,fans were calling for Coffey to be the closer in 06' & Weathers to be the set up man.Results & non-results speak volumes.

Funny how things change so quickly.

looks like Huggie in WVU is about to send Duke & Coach K. home early.Good!!!

at 4:42 PM Blogger docproc said...

In a year when we're ready to go with some young guys in the rotation (Cueto, Volquez), I wish we could do the same in the bullpen with guys like McBeth and Roenicke.

Don't jump on me--I understand the contracts of Stanton and Affeldt, and I realize that McBeth underperformed and Roenicke needs seasoning. I'm just saying that new blood in the rotation makes me want new blood in the 'pen.

at 4:43 PM Blogger Joe said...

I am glad to see Bailey getting more time to mature and develop, in more than one way, in AAA. I sure hope if Coffey makes the team, he has given up trying to impress us with his track skills. Running to the mound sure seemed to fire up the first hitter or two he faced, who always seemed to fare very well against him. Stanton's pursuit of a record does not impress me either. Thankfully, it appears the Reds have some depth in both starting and bull pen pitchers this year.

at 5:00 PM Blogger Greg said...

I would like to see Bray. I always felt he would be a great contributer but just been unlucky with injuries. He had a good spring and his last name isn't Coffey.

Yeah, Coffey had a good spring but so did the Reds last year and that didn't add up to much. Send the youngster.

at 5:19 PM Blogger R said...

No Lincoln. That's like a Bowden re-tread. Coffey and Bray. That's seven.

at 5:41 PM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

yeah a couple of weeks in meaningless spring training games will resurrect Coffeys career

they are doing work on GABP

go Reds

at 5:52 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

Coffey has really focused on correcting this off season.

I am amazed at how many people wanted to run him out of town.

81 games in 06. Bet Dusty remembers what he do

at 6:00 PM Blogger BubbaFan said...

I am in Sarasota. I was at yesterday's game (read all about it here.) Didn't go today, because of the weather and the distance.

I would like to see one of the Triple-A spring training games. Is there a schedule? I'd like to know when they're playing at home at least.

at 7:33 PM Blogger REddlegg in Colorado said...

if ST is so meaningless,then why did J.Hamilton make the team in 07'.I know he was a Rule 5,so he had to make the 25 man roster or the franchise would have returned him & pay whatever amount was required,but that does not guarantee you spot on any team.His play in ST earned him a spot on the roster,that's the point of ST.It's competion.Have you ever tried out for a team?It's nerve racking,stressful, & highly competive.Some buckle under the pressure,while others flourish.

Results speak Volumes,If there was no ST to see what the whole picture(All levels of competion) looks like then what do you got?

Nothing,that is what you get.Because then you never know.

I agree with you about ST #'s can be misleading,SANTOS was a perfect example.But without out ST,would we have ever known about Pete Rose & Josh Hamilton?You see where I'm going with this.

Construction @GABP.Hopefully making the park more of a pitchers park.(LOL)

at 8:20 PM OpenID greggers05 said...


Check out this vintage article from SI's archives bout Nuxie. It was really enjoyable to read.



at 9:19 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Greg: Thanks for the link. I remember that story. Nuxy disputed Colby cheese cracker thing. Said if I did that I'd weigh 300.

I miss the man. I would to chat him up about Johnny Cueto.

at 9:20 PM Blogger Dave from Louisville said...

My vote goes for carrying 12 pitchers, and having Coffey and Bray in the final 2 spots.

Ours pitching staff looking a whole lot better than anytime in the past 5 years. Hat tip to Krivsky, for getting some quality arms.

Reds have a freaking OF factory, think about all the OFs we have traded in the past few years for quality pitching, Pena, Kearns, Denorfia, Hamilton, Guillen.....and we are still trying to trade one.

at 9:53 PM Blogger BATSFAN said...

The Bats have 15 pitchers listed and more are coming and like no players, whats going on?

at 9:54 PM Blogger mpiepmeier said...

I think Bailey going to Louisville will prove to be a necessary and great move in several months. It is tough for someone as young as he is not to believe all you read about yourself. His attitude has reflected that. In the meantime some lesser knowns have blown by him and he has learned that what you do from 60'6" is what matters, and he hasn't done it as well as them. He needs to be hungry, and if going back to AAA doesn't make him hungry for the show, nothing will. He either proves he belongs, which I think he does and will prove, or he is another great potential but not enough between the ears to make it happen.

at 10:19 PM Blogger PresidentJohnAllenJr. said...

A trade will happen before opening day. The Reds needs some roster spots. I don't know who is leaving but Patterson, Cueto, Mercker, Green, Hairston, Phillips or Bako will have to be added to the roster.
Any comments?

at 10:25 PM Blogger VTRedsFan said...

Reds rotation should be Harang, then Cueto, Arroyo, Volquez and Fogg...BAM!

at 10:28 PM Blogger VTRedsFan said...

Reds rotation SHOULD BE: Harang, then Cueto, Arroyo, Volquez, Fogg...BAM!

at 11:07 PM Blogger outtatown tim said...

I still think Mercker makes the team --- as insurance against a Stanton implosion again. Bray has options .... send him down and see what happens with the old guys. If and when either Stanton/Mercker falters, they can be dumped and Bray brought up instead

at 11:52 PM Blogger Arden Dulou said...

I have to agree about Mercker. Bring him up and when/if either of the two older lefties fail, Bray is up for good.

Fogg- #5 unless Volquez or Cueto start off rough.

When Coffey plays as well as he is now in pressure regular season situations, then I will believe he returned to his '06 form. The Reds need him to pitch well again so they aren't forced to bring up another rookie pitcher.

at 4:52 AM Blogger REddlegg in Colorado said...

Great article on Nuxie.That's what you call a ballplayer.

Good lookin Greg.

at 7:48 AM Blogger Ken said...


I saw on the Reds.com site this morning where they took down the pictures of Dunn, Griffey, Arroyo, and Harang from the top of the page. Did they just take them off because they were redesigning the site and they don't think those pictures are needed(which is why i think they did it), or did they take them down because a big trade is in the works? ;) Have you heard anything? just trying to have some fun. :)

at 7:49 AM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

redlegs..if you read my earlier post i said that ST was the opportunity for a couple of players on the bubble to shine. Occasionally, a player like Josh Hamilton will come along and make the team because of his effort in spring training. Occasionally and infrequently.. Conversely,The Powers That Be have 98% of the roster determined before spring training begins

Coffey had a good spring..does not mean a thing

Whatever you and I have tried out for at an amateur level does not compare to what a professional experiences. This aint knothole baseball dude..please

GABP is a great park..fan friendly..all hitters from all teams are treated equally

at 12:26 PM Blogger Lets Talk Reds Blogger said...


Does this send Belisle down to AAA?

at 12:39 PM Blogger Stuart David said...

John, et als.,

I live in New Jersey, 45 minutes wes tof Yankee stadium. I have been a Red fan my whole life, which has been fairly rough when I constantly read about the hudreds of millions that my local teams pay in salary. Moreover, 7 straight losing seasons do not help. But this is where I have a hard time with management. Our payroll may not be $200 million, but it is over $50 million, which is big business as far as business go. Therefore, if our "best team" means cutting Stanton and Affeldt along with a few million in dumped salary, I say so be it. We need to put the BEST PLAYERS on the field. We are already at a disadvantage (playing in a so-called small market with limited funds), so we need to take ADVANTAGE of the talent we have available. This means fielding a team that includes players better than Stanton and Affeldt. Your thoughts?

A loyal east coast fan.

Stuart David

at 12:45 PM Blogger Longtime Reds Fan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

at 12:58 PM Blogger Longtime Reds Fan said...

I am still a little worried about a bullpen that has Stanton and Coffey in it. But with Cordero a real closer in the back makes you worry less. With Harang, Arroyo and the youg guns going into the sixth and the seventh means less Stanton and Coffey. Now lets chat a second about the cather issues. John have the Reds looked into or inquired about Jeff Clement out in Seattle he is ready and is behind a couple of people out there. I can see sending Freel and Belisle for him or even Hatteberg. What do you think?

at 1:13 PM Blogger outtatown tim said...

While Affeldt may not have cut it as a starter, based on his numbers from last year in Colorado's pen and the numbers of players in the Reds pen, he probably is one of best players the Reds have for the bullpen. He at least has earned the spot.

at 1:35 PM Blogger Stan said...

Anyone know what happened to Cueto today. Five runs and 3 walk and lasted only 0.2 innings.

Hope he's alright.

at 5:20 PM Blogger tom dunne said...

"Therefore, if our "best team" means cutting Stanton and Affeldt along with a few million in dumped salary, I say so be it."


"This means fielding a team that includes players better than Stanton and Affeldt. Your thoughts?"

Stanton I get, but what's your problem with Affeldt? He pitched 59 innings of relief last year with a 3.51 ERA. He ended his season with three shutout innings in the World Series. Over his career as a reliever, he's got an ERA of 4.21; that's not amazing, but it's certainly no reason to cut him loose.

at 8:18 PM Blogger Stuart David said...

"Therefore, if our "best team" means cutting Stanton and Affeldt along with a few million in dumped salary, I say so be it."


"This means fielding a team that includes players better than Stanton and Affeldt. Your thoughts?"

Stanton I get, but what's your problem with Affeldt? He pitched 59 innings of relief last year with a 3.51 ERA. He ended his season with three shutout innings in the World Series. Over his career as a reliever, he's got an ERA of 4.21; that's not amazing, but it's certainly no reason to cut him loose.

4:20 PM

Do not misunderstand me. If Affeldt can produce numbers like last year, then great. In fact his post season experience provides our "kids" a value that connot be calulated by numbers alone. However, if he is blowing leads, or his ERA is above 4.0, AND someone like Roanicke is blowing away hitters in the minors, then I believe our best approach would be to cut a million dollar player. We cannot expect to compete if we keep players becuase of thier salaries. We should field the best 25 players period.

at 1:32 AM Blogger cleatson said...

In the current situation of the bullpen with Burton struggling and the four lefty candidates either pitching well or with sizable contracts, I would consider making a little unorthodox move. I would keep the four lefties to start the year. All four have shown at some point in the past that they can get LH and RH batters out. The Reds could take the first month or so of the season to test and see who is able to do it this year in real games.

Then whoever doesn't pan out among the four, the Reds could release or reassign to AAA (i.e. Bray has options???), At that point, they could bring up either Burton or Roenicke or another RH who is putting it together in AAA.

At this point my pen to start the year would be:

RHs: Cordero, Weathers, Coffey

LHs: Bray, Merker, Stanton, Affelt.

at 10:23 AM OpenID gdk26 said...

I am not sure how many of you have actually seen the candidates for the bullpen throw this spring but I am surprised Brower is not getting more of a look. You can talk about his spring numbers (high era) but when you factor in the low innings and some tough defensive plays (ie a botched double play yesterday and a flyball that Dunn has to catch), his stuff seems better than the other candidates.

at 12:13 PM Blogger 24/7 said...

Merker has looked really good, so I'm okay with 4 lefties. Burton is really putting himself in the same situation he was in last year. Remember early last season Jerry was hiding him down there in the pen because he couldn't find the zone with a digital compass and the exact coordinates? Last week I said he should make it anyway, but if he's pitching this bad, it's hard to bring him north out of respect to all of the competitors down there like Merker, Coffey and Bray. We know Cordero, Weathers, Affeldt and Stanton are in. I'd like to see Bray, Coffey and Merker to round it out. It's never a bad thing to have four lefties you want on your pitching staff, even if none of them start.

at 1:43 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

I agree 24/7. Coffey has been our best reliever this spring, and was our best reliever in 2006.

Why anyone would want a rookie reliever who has not even gone through AAA to make this team is beyond me.
Great to have our depth developing at AAA. They will be needed, and Burton could use a dose of AAA himself.
WHEN they do come back and win the job, it is because they are better, and better is better.

hate the cubs

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