But with all the hype of whether or not Aroldis Chapman is going to the starting rotation, how Shin-Soo Choo will perform and if the starting rotation can build off what they did last season, there is a guy that receives little to no credit on the job that he does in the situations that he is put in.
His name? Sam LeCure.
Imagine that you go into your job, and the person or persons you work with has completely screwed up the entire project that you were working on. They have called on you to fix the situation before you can even think about going into the board meeting to present it, and you try to correct the situation before it gets worse. This is essentially what LeCure does.
If the starting pitcher that night can’t get out of an inning in the early stages of the game or has even, heaven forbid, gets injured, it’s LeCure’s job to come in and clean up the damage that had been made – and he does so in very fine fashion.
Last season, LeCure was 3-3 with a 3.14 ERA in 57.1 innings pitched. On top of that, he also struck out 61 batters and walked only 23 of them. He does something more than what the Reds can ask him to do – fill the void between the seventh, eighth and ninth-inning guys.
Being the long relief guy sure doesn’t sound like much fun, but it’s something that LeCure has perfected during his time as a Red.
LeCure doesn’t necessarily have the stuff as a guy who can go deep into games as a starting pitcher. He doesn’t have a blazing fastball, and his curveball and change-up aren’t the type of pitches that separate him from the rest of the pack. But the Reds and LeCure have figured out a spot for him in the bullpen, and he continually gets guys out.
LeCure isn’t the type of pitcher either to whine and complain about not getting a big contract. He simply comes in, gets guys out and walks back to the dugout. That is why he is an unsung hero of the Reds’ bullpen.
Follow Brad Stiene on Twitter, @bs_rant1