Walt Jocketty, the General Manager of the Cincinnati Reds, has made some very clever, mostly under the radar moves this summer. One was the pick up of Jonathan Broxton (of whom I wrote yesterday), one is the pick up of Xavier Paul (very solid in the field and at the plate) and, finally, the pick up of JJ Hoover from the Atlanta Braves back in June.
JJ Hoover has had two extended stays with the Reds this season. On both occasions, Hoover has been a valuable member of the vaunted Reds’ bullpen. Overall, Hoover has appeared in 23 games and worked 26 innings. His record stands at 1-0, with 1 save and an ERA of 2.08. The 6’3″, 230lbs. power pitching righthander mostly worked in mop up duty during his first go around. However, it is during his second go that is really making him a prominent figure in the pen.
Since coming back to the Reds and pitching his first inning on August 23, JJ Hoover has been outstanding. During that span, which is 6 games and 8 innings, Hoover has not allowed a single earned run, only 4 hits (3 of those were in one game), has 9 strikeouts with only 2 base-on-balls. It was during that span that Hoover picked up his lone save (a one run victory last night against the Pittsburgh Pirates). That win completed the series sweep of the Pirates and was probably the death blow for any hope of them making the playoffs.
JJ Hoover is young, strong, seemingly unflappable and clearly learning quickly how to be a relief pitcher in the MLB level. The trade for him has been genius for the Reds and shows they have the right man making those decisions for them.
It is important to recall that all the Reds really gave up was Juan Francisco, a streaky third baseman that wasn’t working out for the Reds.
I say, banner move, Mr. Jocketty. Let’s keep seeing JJ Hoover on that mound.