This week the Cardinals signed Dennys Reyes, netting the Twins a sandwich pick as compensation. Nobody was that high on Reyes while he was with the Twins, but here’s Neyer’s take on the Cards’ new acquisition:
if you’re going to have [a LOOGY], you could hardly do better than paying $3 million for two years of a LOOGY with a 2.14 ERA over his past 126 innings. There have been some real bargains on the market this winter, and congrats to the Cardinals for finally jumping on one of them.Yup, now that Reyes has escaped from Minnesota, he’s a valuable player to have on the team!
FanGraphs had a slightly more analytical take:
Reyes’ raw numbers should improve in St. Louis as long as LaRussa avoids the pitfalls of Ron Gardenhire’s usage: right-handers. Reyes was used nearly 50% of the time against righties in 2006, 41% in 2007, and 46% in 2008.Hmm, if we were apprehensive when Reyes entered the game, it was only because it was Gardy’s fault! As much as I’d like to believe that … in truth, Gardy is responsible to lowering Reyes’ number and percentage of righties-faced to the lowest levels in his career.
He was something of a victim of his own initial success, here; in 1999, his first full season with the Reds, he dispatched hitters indiscriminately, and faced fifty more right-handers. By 2001, even though he was now allowing a classically specialist .276/.378/.454 line against right-handed hitters, he was facing a righty two-thirds of the time. In 2005, his one year with the Padres, he allowed a .354 batting average against righties (.222 v. His Own Kind) and was dumped at mid-season.So Gardy actually saved Reyes’ career, and is largely responsible for the praise Reyes is getting now that he’s going to a team that Red Sox Nation ESPN is actually aware of.
As a rule I’m against pigeon-holing pitchers too early. They should be seen as starters until it’s patently obvious that they’re not, and they should face all kinds of hitters until the point is proven that they can’t. But when Reyes was released by the Padres that July he’d made 344 appearances and was pushing thirty. In every year but two he’d shown a pronounced inability to retire right-handed batters, but it took until 2006, a year he began in the minor leagues, for somebody to limit his exposure to them. In 2006 he faced just two more righties than lefties; in 2007, twenty more left-handers; in 2008, fourteen.
So good luck to the Big Sweat, and thanks for the draft pick. I’m certain the fear I felt when he struggled to climb the mound will be replaced by another reliever who gets consistent work despite demonstrating a complete inability to get guys out. That’s how Gardy works the pen.5 comments