Hal McCoy gives us a closer look at the late Frank Pastore. The right-hander's career path was a familiar one. Pastore unexpectedly made the big league team for the Reds in 1979. He pitched 95.1 innings of replacement baseball, mainly in relief. Fortunately, he found success in his sophomore year. Pastore threw 184.2 innings of 3.27 ERA (111 ERA+) ball with a record of 13 wins and seven losses. His peripherals were above-average and he was only 22 years old. However, that was the high point of his career. Pastore was up and down with the Reds after that season until the team released him in the spring of 1986. The Minnesota Twins signed him shortly thereafter. He pitched pretty well that season: 107 ERA+ in 49.1 innings, mainly in relief. For whatever reason, the Twins released him after the season. Pastore appeared in a few minor league games for the Rangers in 1987, but retired early in the year.
McCoy succeeds in painting a clearer picture of the pitcher's personality. The former Red's passion for pitching mechanics earned him the nickname "Mr. Good Wrench" among teammates. The late Pastore was also a great admirer of Tom Seaver. Pastore meticulously studied "Terrific" Tom's mechanics in an effort to replicate his success. For a brief moment, Pastore was able to experience that type of accomplishment. On Opening Day in 1980, Pastore filled in for a sick Tom Seaver. Pastore hurled a three-hit shutout that he parlayed into a fine season. There is also a humorous story about a conversation between Pastore and former Reds skipper John McNamara. Finally, McCoy recounts the pitcher's life after baseball, including his successful career as radio show host.
As suspected, John Fay reports that Walt Jocketty is just about finished making moves this offseason. Jocketty mentioned that the Scott Rolen situation is still unchanged and unresolved. I am still not sure that Scott Rolen, caddy, fits in with the team as constructed. Jack Hannahan should be able to provide similar production given Rolen's struggles with injury. The Reds did re-sign longtime organizational catcher and all-around badass, Corky Miller. Jocketty also denied any interest in Freddy Garcia.
In addition, he said that the Reds have no plans to use lefty Tony Cingrani as a reliever in the event that the team cannot find another left-handed reliever. Another southpaw for the bullpen would be nice, but this team is already very good on paper. I would think the Reds could pick up some lottery tickets in the spring or acquire a useful lefty at the trade deadline.
Cliff Eastham looks at the differences in size between the two teams. The average Red in 2012 was two inches taller and thirty-four pounds heavier than his counterpart in 1961. That is no real surprise, but we have become so accustomed to 260 linebackers and six-foot-five point guards that the 1961 Reds seem like a team of high schoolers in comparison. Just among the people I have met from Red Reporter, I am far from the tallest member. However, I would have been above-average on the 1961 team. In addition, I outweigh every starting position player except for Gordy Coleman (and I have been that big in the past). Frank Robinson, giant that he seemed, weighed "only" 183 pounds. I think one possibility is that player's sizes might be underreported in the past or more exaggerated today. For example, Eastham says that Ted Kluszewski was listed at 225 pounds. If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you. I wonder if a team simply would not report a player as weighing 250 pounds at that point in time.
The reported terms are four years and $52 million. If you believe in DIPS theory (and by extension Fangraphs' WAR), then Edwin Jackson could be a slight bargain at that price. Even by a runs-based approach (such as Baseball-Reference's), the deal is still a fair one. Thus, I think that the Cubs made a good move here. I continue to miss Jim Hendry.
Xeifrank (saber types really dig aliases) posted a series of intriguing articles over the past couple of weeks. There are five articles in total. All of them are worth reading, but I have only linked to the fifth installment. If you are interested in lineup construction, then you will probably enjoy the series. I have seen Xeifrank in the comments section at The Book Blog and at his other site, Dodger Sims. He does good work. This particular series has drawn praise from Tango Tiger and Lee Panas (Tiger Tales).