Alfredo Simon is 12-3, after getting the win last night in a 4-1 game against the Cubs in Cincinnati.
If it weren’t for Simon, the Reds wouldn’t be 2.5 games out of first place in the National League Central right now.
As we said, he’s 12-3, with a 2.70 ERA and 75 strikeouts to 28 BB. His STEAMER says he’ll finish the year at a paltry 16-9; which at this point would be a monumental disappointment. We’ll take the OVER or the ‘better’ on those figures. For you saber-statheads, his xFIP is 3.93 for the rest of the year, meaning the pitcher who once may have bayoneted the shit out of a man in his native country (ALLEGEDLY); is expected to be pretty average the rest of the way. That means little; because these same stats told us he would never be more than average to begin with.
His last outing was the most Big Pasta outing ever. He went 6.2 innings, allowed four hits, one earned run, and struck out eight. That’s pretty much Simon in a nutshell when he takes the mound this season. He’s a quality-start machine, seemingly never gets hit hard, uses his fielders, strikes out a few more than you thought he would, goes deep into the ballgame, gets his win and heads home.
He was incredibly effective in his long-relief role in years past, displaying a greater value if you watched him. He would come into a game and strike out five of six batters often times and not be touched in a game that was a runaway. You had to figure Bryan Price saw something in him that could be harnessed and shaped into more, but no one saw this coming.
At one moment in time, in a baseball season that could have easily been deemed meaningless for the Reds; an unlikely hero has emerged. Every fifth day when Alfredo Simon bounces the rosin bag on his palm and takes the pearl, I look forward to it. We want to give him his due – he’s been that exceptional that he deserves a post all to himself.