Despite having the best lefty bullpen combination in the majors last season, the Reds still might go get another lefty.
That isn't too surprising. Chapman is supposed to be graduating to the starting rotation. On top of that, they've shed a lot of southpaws in a short amount of time.
Jeremy Horst went to Philly in the pointless trade for Wilson Valdez. He would've made a lot of sense as second-fiddle to Sean Marshall this season. Donnie Joseph went to KC at the deadline for Jonathan Broxton. Billy Bray was non-tendered and picked up by Nationals - which also means The Trade is dead. Or Long Live the Trade.
Lefty specialists aren't that hard to find. There are usually plenty to choose from, at any given time. In fact, there might be a righty on the team right now who would make a good lefty specialist. Arredondo, Hoover and LeCure all had good numbers against lefties last season.
Assuming they go the more conventional route and stock two lefties in the bullpen, here's who's left and maybe worth considering. The Brewers just snatched up two of the better lefty free agent relievers still available - Gonzalez and Gorzelanny.
Pedro Feliciano (35). Feliciano led the league in appearances from 2008-2010, but has been dogged by shoulder issues that have kept from throwing a pitch in two seasons. If he's healthy, he can miss bats, with a K-rate above 8.0 five seasons running before his injury. He held left-handed batters to a .211/.297/.276 line in 2010.
J.P. Howell (28). Howell, like Feliciano, is being targeted by the Nats. A former first round pick (2004, Royals), Howell is from the ever-growing Tampa Bay bullpen diaspora.
Rich Hill (32). Hill is another injury-loving lefty. His splits aren't as favorable against lefties as Howell or Feliciano, but was very good in 20 innings for the Red Sox last season after returning from an elbow injury.
There's no reason to think any of these players are available, but it's also trut that Walt's MO has been targeting the off-the-radar player.
Matt Reynolds (28), Rockies . A good candidate for a post-Coors bump, Reynolds had a nice-sounding 8.2/2 K:BB rate last season and was really only dinged by lefty-handed hitters in the slugging department. He's not an overpowering pitcher, touching low-low 90s with his fastball. Might be homer-prone at GABP, even as a LOOGy.
Wesley Wright (27), Astros. Wright has three years of team control on a team with ETA of competitiveness that's probably beyond that - especially as a new arrival to the AL. Wright is a hardcore LOOGy, with staggering platoon splits. His fastball only sits a notch below 91, but he struck out a batter an inning last season.
Matt Thornton (36), White Sox. Thornton is owed $5.5M this season and seems to be on the downslide from his dominant peak, but he also has the talent to make the Reds' pen as good as it was last season at a time when they can justify spending more on extra wins.
So, I guess someone should call Arthur Rhodes and see if how his fascitis is doing.