As I sit and ponder how the Reds are going to recover from the loss of Arthur Rhodes this upcoming season I think about who is going to get the tough outs late in the game out of the bullpen after our starting pitcher has departed. One guy who I think is going to loom large is Jose Arredondo.
This deal didn’t get much attention initially because Arredondo was set to miss all of 2010 with Tommy John surgery. But when the Reds made this move I made a note to myself that they were squirreling away a very quality young bullpen arm for the future.
Arredondo will only be 26 this upcoming season, and there isn’t a lot of mileage on his arm. I expect him to return to his lights out form around mid-season for the Reds–and if they need to get off of Francisco Cordero for any reason I think that Arredondo (and not Jared Burton like some have speculated) would get a crack at the closer’s role with the Reds.
I’ve been wrong before (cough, Wilkin Castillo), but I think the Reds know something we don’t in letting Arthur Rhodes go so casually. One of those things they know is they are holding a high face card in Arredondo and everyone is kind of forgetting about it. This is one of the most important guys to keep an eye on this spring on the entire pitching staff.
If we’re not as good as we were last season, this is going to be one of the reasons why. How many big outs in critical situations did Arthur Rhodes provide us with? I hope he taught up enough of the young pitchers in the Reds bullpen before he left; because he will be sorely missed. This was the one off-season move that I was fearing wouldn’t get done. And it didn’t.
I don’t know who replaces Rhodes–he can’t really be replaced with anyone in a Reds uniform at this point. But I know I really enjoyed watching him come in and dominate hitters with his slide piece. It didn’t matter if it was a righty or lefty. He didn’t care. Like Marty Brenneman said, “Arthur Rhodes did what Arthur Rhodes does”.
He was a bad man. And I will miss you dearly Arthur Rhodes.
So last night we’re waiting out a 2-hour rain delay (a first in my life) and we’re in the Diamond Club watching ‘The Homestand: Milwaukee Brewers’ and the story of the 1990 Reds, and in comes Arthur Rhodes.
There were about 5 ladies in the Diamond Seats last night who happened to be the Reds team charter flight attendants. These ladies are like the players mothers away from home, as it was described to me.
Also noted, Brandon Phillips is a little prankster. You see that door that Rhodes is headed out of at :25 into the video? That’s the tunnel back to the team clubhouse. Brandon Phillips continued to crack open that ‘emergency exit’ during the entire rain delay and just peek through barely. A few times he’d open it up completely and everyone would yell “what’s up B-Phil” and he’d open it a little more and smile. Overall, our boy is about 28 going on five and you have to love him for it.
Rob Neyer gives us his ‘Hidden All-Stars’ “Reds: Arthur Rhodes. Yes, another reliever. So sue us. If Tim Wakefield can get an All-Star nod (last year) for being an effective 42-year-old knuckleballer, why can’t Rhodes get some love as a 40-year-old lights-out reliever with a 0.28 ERA. I’m not usually a big fan of Lifetime Achievement Awards, but he’s got a 1.79 ERA over these past three seasons, and what’s wrong with having somebody in the bullpen to face those tough American League lefties like Justin Morneau, Robinson Cano or Josh Hamilton.” [ESPN SweetSpot]
It would not be morally right if I continued to own and operate this blog, root for the Cincinnati Reds (and who’s kidding–‘root’ should have just as easily said ‘live and die with’) each night and not mention two guys who have done more for this team then anyone this year. As long as both of these guys are All-Stars, you will not hear me complain.
While Jay Bruce is my favorite Reds player to watch for various reasons, it’s Arthur Rhodes and Scott Rolen whom are responsible for this baseball revival in the Queen City this year.
Let it be said, let it be known, and let it be written that for nearly one half of a season these men who are 35 and 40 years old respectively have gone out and brought it every night. At a level above their primes.
I expected it from Rhodes. Rhodes I knew was nasty when we signed him. He’s the best left-handed reliever in the game right now, bar none. He’s allowed one run in 28 innings pitched. He’s thrown up 26 consecutive scoreless innings pitched. He’s on pace for enough innings to make anyone’s arm fall off. Somehow, he defies nature and science by performing at this level in a 40 year old body.
I’ve long said it. Arthur Rhodes is a bad man. Know it. Own it. Truer words have never been written on the pages of this blog.
When Arthur Rhodes retires or is no longer a Red, I’ll cope with it and then I’ll wipe up the tears and do some type of a tribute post. Right now, I just want to say thank you for being such a bad ass on a nightly basis on my favorite sports team. It’s beyond a joy to watch you slowly walk to the mound, pick up the ball, and see the fear in the eyes of all those whom you face on the opposition.
As for Scott Rolen, I didn’t know we acquired the Scott Rolen from 10 years ago. If the season ends today, Scott Rolen gets MVP votes. If he stays healthy, he’ll hit 30 home runs and drive in around 100 in the middle of a Cincinnati line up that needed a run producer so desperately.
It goes without saying that the guy is just a tough out who always gives a professional at-bat. But Rolen’s value goes beyond anything that shows up in the box score. He’s a leader. I don’t have the statistic on hand but since he has joined the Reds and when he’s in the lineup, they’re a remarkable .600 or something clip.
I’ve read the quotes by Johnny Gomes and Brandon Phillips as well as others. They don’t want to let this guy down. They’re afraid to disappoint their father. Scott Rolen is a bad ass, and he takes that persona on down on the hot corner each night. He’s tough, he’s healthy, and he’s making it a nightly affair to kick ass and take names, never leaving the lights on when the job is finished.
I love Arthur Rhodes and Scott Rolen. This is one thing I’m pretty sure stands for now but will never quite be again. We need to win right now because of these guys. The contributions they’ve made rubbing off on these younger players will have a ripple effect beyond 2010’s pennant race.