Honorable Mention: Bronson Arroyo
Tough year. After five consecutive years of being Cincinnati's most reliable pitcher, Bronson Arroyo hit the wall in a very unfortunate way in 2011, although in typical Arroyo fashion, he tried to power his way through the wall. Falling just one inning shy of 200 (the first time he failed to hit the mark as a Redleg), Arroyo still managed to lead the league in home runs and earned runs surrendered.
The negativity of last year is fresh and overpowering, so let's lay out a rather stunning positive. Did you know that Arroyo ranks 6th in franchise history for strikeout-to-walk ratio? And that he actually improved this metric in 2011, despite striking out just 108? Quite frankly, it's Arroyo's outstanding control that allows him to stay employed, although even in past successful years he's teetered on the edge of anti-glory. In allowing more than 2 homers per 9 innings pitched during the '11 season, the cliff was no longer theoretical.
Arroyo suffered through mono and back pain this year, so there remains a plausible alibi. If it's injury and illness that's causing the long-ball fever, the numbers may very well fall in line. Cut the home run rate to his historical averages, and the ERA gets close-ish to normal. Getting a little more granular, a typical Arroyo year would see 26 dingers instead of 46...the difference would create about a 2.5 win upgrade. Maybe next year. Hopefully next year.
For his efforts, Arroyo creeped from #113 to #111 on the all-time list.