Red o' the Week - Where great bullpen performances aren't always a good thing

Ondruoverworkedsek (Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE)

Zack Cozart is the very first recipient of the Red Reporter Red of the Week Trophy, a hallowed tradition recognizing Excellence in Small Sample Sizes sponsored by Big Red. Cozy ran away with the voting last week, garnering 61% of the vote. Nice work, rook.

Unfortunately, this past week. The collective efforts of the Reds offense over the past week is probably best summed up by their second baseman, Brandon Phillips. BP sat the bench last week with a sore hamstring and only got six PAs. Luckily for the Reds, the bullpen came up huge, answering the bell for three separate extra-inning games in four days. Three of these noble yeomen are recognized this week with nominations.

Aroldis Chapman

The only holdover from last week's poll, Chapman pitched five innings with10 strikeouts and two hits allowed in three appearances. And most importantly, he still hasn't given up a walk. I get that he's not in the rotation right now and that the Reds aren't going to jerk everyone around and change course so early in the season just to accommodate me. I get that. I get it. I do. But also, #LetHimStart.

Sam LeCure

Five innings pitched over three appearances, six strikeouts, and only one earned run allowed. It was hard to #beeasy this week for the Reds most moustachioed bullpener, but Yosemite Sam was down with the program and took the ball when asked.

Logan Ondrusek

3.2 innings over four appearances, with four strikeouts and nothing but goose eggs when it counted. Long Logan was unavoidable this week, and not just because he's a big fella. The Reds were 2-4 over the last week, but if it weren't for these tough guys answering the bell time and again it could easily have been worse.

Bronson Arroyo

Goodroyo showed up in Washington on Friday night, gutsing and guiling the Nationals over 7.1 innings of shutout baseball, giving up just three hits while striking out four for a gamescore of 75. This was a vintage Bro-Yo performance, and would have been cause for considerable celebration had the offense mustered more than one measly run for him.

Joey Votto

The new contract extension indentures him as the Atlas of the franchise, as this team will go only as far as he can carry them. The Reds have strapped their wagon to his broad shoulders and it is expected that he will be the anchor of the lineup. Plus a bunch of other overwrought metaphors. But if the next 12 years go anything like the last week, I will seriously bug out. Votto was a destroyer of baseballs, posting a 1.041 OPS with three doubles and seven walks over the six game stretch.

But that was pretty much it for offense, as the rest of the team was awfultaxaudits at the plate. So yeah, your nominees this week are almost all pitchers. And relievers at that. While I like these guys in the 'pen, I don't want to get in the habit of having half the bullpen earn nominations for this respected, venerated, and much-ballyhooed award. It reflects poorly on the rest of the team. Vote 'em up.

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