Tag: Arthur Rhodes

Texas Rangers’ Player Power Ranking: Gentry To Hamilton, Part 2 of 3

This is part two of a three part series where I am ranking the top 30 major league players on the Texas Rangers roster. In part one I covered players 30-21, which was mainly players on the fringe of the 25 man roster and younger players who will contribute at some point during the season. The players ranked 11-20 are not quite core players, but they are more so components of the Rangers. Every team has a few stars at the top of the roster and average players that fill out the bottom of the roster, but its the middle section of a team that puts a team over the top. The Rangers have a more talent than most in this area, let’s take a look. 

Begin Slideshow

MLB Free Agency: Rafael Soriano and the Top 15 Specialty Relievers Available

After Carl Crawford’s surprise signing by the Boston Red Sox, MLB’s free agent pool is slowly starting to dwindle down.

Cliff Lee is still out there for the New York Yankees’ or Texas Rangers’ taking, but there aren’t a whole lot of other marquee names left.

As for free agent relievers, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim—not to be confused with all of the other Los Angeles residing in MLB—scooped up Scott Downs, the Philadelphia Phillies re-signed Jose Contreras, Joaquin Benoit went to the Detriot Tigers, and the Bronx Bombers kept Mariano Rivera.

Still there’s a solid group of relievers left for any teams trying to shore up their bullpens this offseason.

Here’s a list of the top 15 specialty relievers still available.

Begin Slideshow

Francisco Cordero: Five Options the Cincinnati Reds Have to Replace Him

Francisco Cordero is tied with Heath Bell for second in the major leagues in saves.

He is 24 for 30 (80%) for the season. His career save percentage is 81.5%. His save percentage with the Reds 85.8%.

Here are some more stats to chew on.

Of the 15 pitchers with 20 or more saves, Cordero is worst in the league in WHIP (1.55), ERA (4.20), and third worst in batting average against (.263).

The Reds pay Cordero a lot of money, so continuing to run him out there for every save will likely be the choice.

Here are five other in-house choices.

Begin Slideshow

MLB: How To Bring Yonder Alonso (and Arthur Rhodes) To Baltimore Orioles

I don’t know if you’ve heard…but Joey Votto is apparently the hottest thing to hit Cincinnati since the Big Red Machine. He’s 26, coming into his prime, a recently-named All-Star, and he is the leader of the Red’s playoff-bound (hopefully) 2010 squad.

So, now the question becomes…what does Cincinnati do with Yonder Alonso?

For those of you not familiar with the name, Alonso was Cincinnati’s 2008 first-round pick, out of the University of Miami, where he cranked out 52 home runs in only three years. The Reds tabbed Alonso before Votto was a known quantity, and he was expected to develop into their future first-baseman. 

Little did the Reds know Votto would put up back-to-back stellar seasons, entrenching himself at first.

So what do the Reds do with Alonso?

A position change could be in order. He doesn’t have the footwork or arm strength to play third, and shortstop or second is out. The Reds, once upon a time, had plans to move him behind the plate, but anyone who’s anyone knows that chance is beyond very unlikely.

That leaves the outfield, more specifically leftfield. Jay Bruce hasn’t exactly set the world afire, a la Jason Heyward, but he is the future there, no doubt. In center the Reds have speedy Drew Stubbs, who offers a little bit of everything, including pretty solid defense.

Leftfield is a bit more wide open. Right now the Reds are perfectly content with the play of incumbent Jonny Gomes, who appears to be quite a good player when healthy. This season Gomes is hitting .279 with 10 homers and 56 RBI, four off the team-leading pace of Votto.

Long-term at the position the Reds have several intriguing options, starting with Chris Heisey. Heisey is an infielder by trade, but with no real space to play there, he could also be in the mix for a long-term position change. As could the heralded Todd Frazier. Add in true outfielders Jose Duran and Yorman Rodriguez.

That leaves the Reds with two options: deal Votto, or deal Alonso.

You can’t deal a guy who just won the last vote by the fans, so that really leaves only one true choice.

Adios Alonso!

So who’s the best suitor for young Yonder? 

You would have had to say the Rangers before today’s deal for Justin Smoak, but now that they’re out, you have to consider any other team that has decent pitching that the Reds might be interested in.

Granted, the Reds rotation isn’t a total mess. Mike Leake and Johnny Cueto have been superb, while Bronson Arroyo has been his typical self. Travis Wood and Matt Maloney offer some decent upside as well.

The only real poison has been Aaron Harang, whose impressive strikeout to walk ratio is more than somewhat negated by his 6.73 ERA. 

There’s still some decent pitching out there, and it seems one of the most intriguing arms resides in Baltimore in Jeremy Guthrie.

Guthrie has been particularly ugly as of late, but he is a pretty good innings eater and a solid number three or four guy in a rotation like Cincinnati’s.

So, what could the O’s package with Guthrie to bring Alonso to Baltimore?

For starters, some utility infield help could help get a deal done. Ty Wiggington would be a welcomed addition to any team. He can play every infield position but shortstop, and could probably play the outfield corners if a team needed him to.

Guthrie, Wiggington and what else?

Brandon Snyder has long been compared to Sean Casey, a first-baseman who can hit for a high-average with decent but not great pop. Toss him in.

The Reds would probably still want more for Alonso, and the O’s shouldn’t skimp here, as Alonso could be the guy to hold down first base for the next decade for them.

That said, toss in a mid-level arm, maybe Ryan Berry, or even Brett Jacobson, the reliever the O’s acquired last year for Aubrey Huff.

That should be enough to get the deal done.

And if the Reds want to try to even it out, I would gladly welcome Arthur Rhodes and his 87-year old self back to Baltimore.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Three Cheers for Arthur Rhodes and the Cincinnati Reds

In the collective trash heap that thus far is the 2010 Cincinnati Reds bullpen, one man stands tall and proud.

Seeing big number 53 jog in from the bullpen, the rare bird in Major League Baseball who was born in the 1960s and is still playing, is a comforting sign for Reds fans.  

Some men bust out of that bullpen gate and get to the pitchers mound like their pants are on fire. Rhodes has a slow, methodical gait, and with his age, one might think he is blazing the trail of a tired man, perhaps too worn out to do the job.

However, make no mistake about it.  This man knows EXACTLY what he’s doing.  He’s all business.  He’ll leave the theatrics and fist pumping to the younger generation.  He’s oblivious to the hype, to the pressure and to the outside temperature—he wears long sleeves every game, no matter how hot it is outside.

As he warms up, there are usually a bevy of things going on at a Major League Baseball stadium at any given time.  I’ll let the other fans try to get on “kiss cam,” or catch the t-shirts they like to launch into the stands.  Me?  When I’m at Great American Ballpark, I’m staring at one of the LED boards that flashes Rhodes’ microscopic ERA, which currently stands at 0.32 in 28 innings pitched.

It really is quite amazing to see the numbers he posts, and to see them drop, drop, drop…..at the passing of each outing.

One man has touched him up this year.  Jeff Baker of the Chicago Cubs handed Rhodes a loss on April 10th when he homered off the southpaw.  That’s it, nothing else.

Is there an element of luck involved in it?  Sure there is—he has escaped bases loaded situations, and he has had to rely on his defense to make great plays to save disaster.

I’d like to think that the great ones create their own luck, however.

With all this said, I think there is a fair chance that all of this ends poorly for Rhodes.  He can’t continue to hold the opposition scoreless forever.  Maybe his age catches up eventually, his little bit of great luck runs dry, his current minor injuries worsen, or his high usage patterns leave him fatigued for the stretch run.

As baseball fans, we can often times be “prisoners of the moment,” and when someone falters, forget all the wonderful things they have done.  Rhodes doesn’t deserve that fate, on the day where his probable struggles occur.  

Until the unfairness begins, he’s a freak of nature old guy who will simply just go out there and methodically kick your butt.  

And even when he allows a run and/or falls into a slump?  I’ll always remember him for pitching his absolute heart our for us, and remain confidence that his guts and guile will get him back on the right path again.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Cincinnati Reds Lose Second Straight To Giants on Matt Cain’s Shututout

The San Franisco Giants are exploiting the Reds vulnerability, the bullpen.

For the second straight night the Reds were either ahead or behind by one when the starter turned the keys to the car over to the bullpen. Mistake!  Don’t turn a close game over to this bullpen, it will be hazardous to your health.

On Monday it was Bobby Shantz look-alike Danny Ray Herrera getting roughed up and absorbing the loss. Johnny Cueto had not pitched up to his potential, but a rally had just put the Reds on top 5-4.

Last night rookie Sam LeCure was trailing Matt Cain and the Giants only 1-0 when he was lifted after six strong quality innings.

Logan Ondrusek and Sir Arthur Rhodes pitched scoreless ball before T-Pick handed the ball over to Nick Masset, who will soon be graduating from the Coco Cordero Academy of Late Inning Disasters. Now I know why Rolaids is the sponsor of the reliever’s award in MLB.

I know Rhodes can’t pitch every inning of relief for this sorry bullpen. But I am reasonably sure that he has more in his tank than to pitch to one or two batters at a time.

Look at Masset’s record for a moment if you will. He has given up 35 hits and 16 walks in only 25 innings, meaning his WHIP is over 2.  That should raise an eyebrow or two. If anybody is deficient in ciphering statistics, that means that in every inning Masset pitches, he is likely to give up at least one hit and a walk, or two hits, or two walks. That is no good.

In all fairness it would not have mattered if the relievers all pitched 1-2-3 innings, the Reds would have still lost, falling victim to the seven hit, 3-0 shutout performance of Cain. Brandon Phillips had three hits and Scott rolen added a couple, but for all intents and purposes the Reds weren’t on the job offensively.

While on the subject of Phillips let me work him him over for a moment. He is far too aggressive on the bases to suit me. I mean, if you like potential rally killers, then you love him, but i don’t.

He has only been successful on eight of his 14 attempts at swiping bases. That is not good. Does he have a perpetual green light or what?

Phillips is beginning to have a reputation that is less than good, when it comes to his sportsmanship, or lack thereof. In the weekend series with the Washington Nationals he had a couple of mishaps. On a play, running from second to third, he unnecessarily pushed shortstop Ian Desmond out of the way, compelling the umpire to rule obstruction on Desmond and rule Phillips safe at third.

The other instance came on Saturday night while he was on third base. Scott Rolen hit a ball to Desmond who threw to the plate as Phillips had headed home. A collision at the plate ensued and the ball was separated from catcher Will Nieves.

I am certainly not opposed to hard playing and train wrecks at home. What Phillips did after the play was what turned me on him. He stepped on the plate, thumped his chest King Kong style, and then did his best Hulk performance on his way to the dugout. The play was old school, the after-play antics was either New Age or Bush League.

Neives could have received a concussion from that impact. Personally, I was surprised Neives didn’t rise up and chase him down. Retaliation did come in the form of an “errant” pitch by reliever Miguel Batista which hit Phillips and promptly got tossed by Joe West.

Enough on Phillips, now where was I? Cain’s performance last night was fantastic and I don’t even like him. But serious ups to him.

Another round of props goes to the Los Angeles Dodgers for making it two in a row over the Cardinals, keeping the Reds deadlocked in a first place tie. That is a very good place to be, especially considering how badly the team has played.

Tonight the Reds will send Aaron Harang (4-5) against Jonathan Sanchez (4-4). The Giants lead the four game series 2-0.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Arthur Rhodes: Best Setup Man in Majors

It has been 22 years since Arthur Rhodes made his first pitch in professional baseball for Bluefield of the Appalachian League in 1988. Now at the age of 40, the Texas native is the leading setup man in Major League Baseball.

He has allowed only one run in 23 relief appearances in 2010 for a 1-1 record and a 0.42 ERA. He has not allowed a run since his second appearance of the season on April 10 against the Cubs.

Rhodes issued his first walk since May 8 last night when he walked two Cardinals. He has allowed only nine hits in his 21 innings and has posted a 0.69 WHIP, and opponents are hitting only .130 against Rhodes.

For the first 13 years of his major league career, Rhodes pitched nine years for the Orioles and four years for the Mariners.

Since leaving the Mariners he has pitched for the A’s, Indians, Phillies, a second stint with the Mariners, Marlins, and Reds. He missed the entire 2007 season due to Tommy John surgery.

Rhodes has been stingy when it comes to allowing home runs and has allowed only eight home runs since 2004.

He pitched very well for both the Orioles and Mariners in back-to-back seasons. He compiled a 19-4 record for the Orioles over the 1996 and 1997 seasons. Later he would post an 18-4 record over the 2001 and 2002 seasons for the Mariners.

When Rhodes played his first season for the Orioles he only earned $100,000, and in his sixth season with the Orioles he was only earning $300,000. Today a first-year player earns over $400,000, but Rhodes didn’t earn that much till his seventh season, when he earned $1.6 million.

The Reds are currently one game ahead of the Cardinals in the NL Central race, and Rhodes has been a big part of their success.


Around the Diamond

The Braves extended their winning streak to seven games after defeating the Phillies again last night.

While the Braves have the longest winning streak in the majors, the Diamondbacks have the longest losing streak with nine consecutive losses. A.J. Hinch, who took over the managerial reins for the Diamondbacks last season, may be replaced since the team has been 78-108 with him at the helm, and he has shown no sign of being able to turn the team around.

In his defense, though, the Diamondbacks have been without the services of Brandon Webb, 2006 Cy Young winner and the runner-up in 2007 and 2008, since he has thrown only four innings since 2008.

The Rangers moved into a one percentage point lead over the A’s yesterday. The Red Sox are only a half game behind the third-place Blue Jays in the AL East.

Javier Vazquez won his fourth game of the 2010 season last night. He didn’t win his fourth game till May 20 in 2009, so he has to be hoping he can put together another 10-3 record in the second half to make up for his dismal start in 2010. However, his ERA was 3.58 at this time last season but is currently 6.06.

Trevor Hoffman allowed three runs in the seventh inning to the Marlins when he allowed three hits and two walks, as the Marlins broke a 3-3 tie to take a 6-3 lead and eventually defeated the Brewers 6-4. It was the third time in his last seven appearances that Hoffman gave up three runs.

Hoffman has allowed 22 runs and 25 hits in 17 innings while striking out 10 and walking 10. Two years ago he had a strikeout to walk ratio of 46-9 in 54 innings but has walked 10 already this season in 37 fewer innings. He is proving not only that he cannot close games, but also that he cannot hold a lead if he enters the game before the ninth inning.

The Brewers are in a quandary since they would probably like to release him now but would like to pay him as little of the $7.5 million owed as possible depending on whether he has a guaranteed contract. One thing for sure is that it is very unlikely he will garner his 600th save since he still needs four more. I can’t see any team wanting his services since he has a 2.06 WHIP.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Francisco Cordero Will Be All That Keeps the Reds From Winning a Pennant

The Cincinnati Reds have a very good baseball team. That isn’t opinion, it is fact.

Coming into Atlanta on Wednesday they had won nine of their last 10 games, were seven games above .500 and in first place of the National League’s Central Division.

The starting pitching had been superb, the hitting was outstanding and their defense was second to none.

The Braves slowed their roll on Wednesday night with a walk-off win in the ninth inning, 5-4.  The Reds had tied it in the ninth inning on a solo HR by rookie Chris Heisey off Braves closer Billy Wagner. It looked like another come-from-behind victory was imminent.

With two men on and one out, Wagner settled down and struck out Scott Rolen and Jay Bruce to end the rally.

Today, the Reds were ahead 8-0 thanks in part to a grand-slam home run by Joey Votto and a two run double by outfielder Laynce Nix.

They held a 9-3 lead from the fifth inning and into the bottom of the ninth. Arthur Rhodes relieved Nick Masset with the bases loaded, three already in and nobody out.

He struck out rookie phenom Jason Heyward swinging, and was promptly replaced by the save-whore himself, Coco Cordero. The game wasn’t televised and I was getting updates on my Palm Pixi.

I knew it was going to end badly when the change was made. Cordero is the most unreliable closer, to make so much money, I have ever witnessed.

There was no reason to call him in with a 9-3 lead so T-Pick waited until the Braves got within “save range” and brought Coco in to face pinch-hitter Brooks Conrad.

Let the record show that Masset got nobody out in the ninth and Rhodes struck out the only batter he faced.

After five pitches, Conrad put Cordero’s offering into the left field seats with an assist from the glove of Nix. Not only did Cordero blow his third save attempt, he was saddled with the loss.

Cordero cannot just save a game and let everybody go home happy. He has to set a stage, walk two or three, give up a hit or two and possibly a run or two before being handed a save.

Only five times in his 22 games this season has he managed to work a perfect inning. Keep in mind, when he comes in the game is on the line 99 percent of the time.

I never will understand the love everyone has for the closer. Pitch the man with the hot hand. The man who has already worked up a sweat, had the butterflies chased from his stomach and pitched admirably.

I can see relieving another if he has pitched poorly or if a situation actually called for it, but not just to let a blowfish come in and ruin the momentum of the entire squad.

I may be alone on this ship, but if I am, I am. Coco Cordero is the most overpaid person in baseball, with apologies to Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez.

If Cincinnati expects to seriously contend for the Central Division crown, they must either get rid of Coco or at least use him in a different role and make Arthur Rhodes the closer.

 NOTE TO EDITOR:  I have seen lately that most article titles are being changed, many times to a negative effect. Please do not alter the title. If it sucks the way it is, let’s ride it out. Thanks

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Copyright © 1996-2010 Kuzul. All rights reserved.
iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress