Tuesday, March 21

Reds Theoretically Get Better: Right.

So, we started off with this guy, right? Since then, Wily Mo Pena was traded from the Reds for Bronson Arroyo (or, if you're Tim McCarver, Brandon Arojo). While on the surface this means that we won't have to hear McCarver butcher his name any more - 'cause let's be honest, the Reds aren't sniffing Saturday games on FOX - what does this mean practically?

Well, the Reds have said that Arroyo won't be the #1 guy, which is smart of them. Seriously. He doesn't have the stuff to really project as more than a back-end rotation guy, certainly serviceable, and in some cases good, in the 4 or 5 spot, depending on the ballpark. So where's the problem? He's a fly ball pitcher. He averages 1.15 fly balls per grounder, and remember how bad that outfield defense was? Yup, this is exciting. On top of that, he gave up about 1 HR a game back in Boston, and Great American Ballpark isn't exactly the best place for pitchers to begin with; we could be looking at a regular Joe Meatballer down the line (worst case scenario) He doesn't strike out a lot of people (4.5 K/9), but hey, he's pretty cheap, right? Still, it's always nice to trade away young talent for a 5.00 ERA.

As for Wily Mo ... yikes. Good hitter, again, but horrid fielder, which could very well be painful in Boston, as you need to be good with the glove to get any time in right. I thought that the Red Sox could use a little more power in their lineup beyond Manny and Ortiz, and this'll do it some days. They'll find ways to get his bat in the lineup, and most importantly for them, they have a cheap option if they want to get rid of Trot Nixon and/or let him walk after this season.

My favorite part of this, though, has been the quotes from the Reds on this. Check Wayne Krivitsy:

He said Pena, long considered a talent that was ready to blossom, would fit in nicely to hitter-friendly Fenway Park, where he'll probably play a platoon role.

So you knew you had a guy ready to break out, and yet you trade him right before this is going to happen on your team? Nice! He's not done yet, though:
Adding the 29-year-old Arroyo makes the Reds stronger, because a Major League team never has too much pitching, Krivsky said.
Does he think he's the Oakland A's or something? By my count, he has 1 1/2 pitchers now (Harang is 3/4, Arroyo is 3/4, Claussen is 1/2, Milton is -1/2), so if he wants a 5-deep rotation, he's only 3 clones of Johan Santana away at this point.

So you'd think the only good part of this would be that Freel finally gets a chance to play, right?

In trading Pena, Narron will get a more settled situation in left field and at first base. He said Adam Dunn will move to left, and Scott Hatteberg will pick up at-bats at first base.

Maybe Freel and Chris Burke can join the All-Screwed-Over-By-Management All-Stars. Oh yeah, and Womack still has the inside track on second base, no matter what was the case this time last week. But it's not all bad - you got Dave "I hit .217" Ross!