Five Cincinnati Reds’ Relievers That Will Catch Your Attention in 2013
The 2012 Cincinnati Reds had the best bullpen the National League had to offer. They were first in saves (56), ERA (2.65), allowed the lowest number of home runs (33) which is not an easy thing to do at Great American Ball Park, had the lowest batting average against them, allowed the fewest earned runs (128) and gave up the fewest number of hits (349).
This is what a bullpen is supposed to look like. When you had as successful a season as the Reds did last season, the key thing to having a great team is your bullpen. Sure, you can have a big line up that produces a ton of runs like the Reds had last season and also have a great starting rotation, but the thing that gets the job done when it’s late in the game is your bullpen.
The Reds were also blessed with three guys last year who were considered by many fans as the “Nasty Boys Part II.” With Sean Marshall, Jonathon Broxton and Aroldis Chapman for the seventh, eighth and ninth innings, the Reds could easily count on the game being shortened and the chances of the opposing team’s chance of winning quickly diminishing once these three took the mound.
But now that Chapman is most likely set for the starting rotation, everyone in the Reds’ bullpen will certainly have a new role that is placed upon them.
This list contains some, but not all pitchers, who could pay some serious dividends in the Reds having the best bullpen two years in a row. I left a few obvious people who are going to have an impact in the bullpen, and put it some you may not have thought about.
Of course, as always, you encouraged to have your own ideas in the comments below.
Jonathan Broxton leads off at the number five spot on this list. Broxton was a the setup man for Aroldis Chapman last season and was a key role in the Reds' bullpen last season. Now that he is back into his usual spot as closer, Broxton is looking to be the go-to guy when the Reds need to preserve a victory.
Although it's not expected for him to make the Reds' opening day roster, J.J. Hoover is someone who the Reds might look upon this season if someone were to go down with an injury. Hoover surprised many Reds' fans last season when he made his debut. In his lone season, Hoover was 1-0 with a 2.05 ERA, one save and struck out 31 batters in 30.2 innings pitched. Although he wasn't called upon much, Hoover definitely made a very good impression and will likely see some time this upcoming season.
Jose Arredondo checks in at number three on the list. Arredondo had a very productive 2012 season with the Reds in a relief role. He was very tough on right-handed hitters and even helped Baker by getting left-handed hitters out equally as well. Arredondo might be expected to help make up for the lost spot Chapman left behind in the bullpen by becoming that seventh inning man, assuming Marshall takes over the setup role.
Alfredo Simon was considered an unsung hero last year for the Reds. In his first season as a Red, Simon quickly gained the trust from Baker as being a guy to rely on if the game got out of hand early for the Reds. He gained enough respect to have Baker switch his roles from being a mop-up guy to becoming a guy the Reds could rely on when the game got into the late stages, or a starter struggled to get out of the fifth inning or even earlier. Simon was a nice addition to the Reds and fans should look for him to most likely be about the same role he had last season--the bridge man to the set-up and closer guy.
Logan Ondrusek checks in at the number one spot on this list. Not because he is the most interesting person to watch this season, but because of what the Reds could do with him. Ondrusek was used mostly as a pitcher to bridge the gap between the set-up and closer. But now that Chapman is seemingly leaning towards becoming a starter, look for Ondrusek to be a go-to guy during the seventh, possibly, eighth inning to get to Broxton.