Cincinnati Reds Midseason Report Card

11 of 15

Relief Pitching

Aroldis Chapman could soon have fellow countryman Raisel Iglesias pitching next to him in the Reds bullpen. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

The Reds’ bullpen is a mixed bag.  If they’re winning a close game and can somehow make it to closer Aroldis Chapman, victory is a near certainty.   The freight-train lefty is striking out an unbelievable 18+ batters per nine innings and sports a WHIP of just 0.775.   He’s given up only one homer on the season and is generally emboldening his reputation as as Superman among relievers.

The middle innings are a different story, as it’s predominantly right-handed and has been inconsistent.  Erstwhile closer Jonathan Broxton has been really good, posting a 1.09 ERA in 33 innings of work,  and has picked up six saves on those occasions when Chapman is unavailable.  The supporting cast of Manny Parra, Sam LeCure, and J.J. Hoover have posted ERAs of 3.96, 3.48, and 4.95, respectively.  Those are pretty big numbers for relief specialists, especially for contenders who need to keep games close late.  Maybe most concerning is that Hoover has logged the most innings of all Reds’ relievers and allows nearly 1.5 base runners per inning on average.

There is definite room for improvement in the middle.

Grade : B