Doesn’t it seem like every year (at least since 2000 – the last year where the Reds finished better than .500) the team has one reliever who gets absolutely lit up for about the first month of the season before he gets sent down or put on the DL or DFA’d. Logan Ondrusek is looking more and more like this year’s Josias Manzanillo (my personal favorite). Remember Manzanillo? That dude threw batting practice in his brief stint as a Red.
I know there are people who will say why not Masset but Masset’s proven he’s got set-up guy and probably even closer-caliber stuff and I for one am giving him an off-to-a-rough-start-of-the-season pass. Ondrusek’s a rookie; I don’t doubt that he has very good stuff and he had a very solid spring but he’s struggling badly. His ERA is 11.25.
Anyway, a look back …
2009: Mike Lincoln. 8.22 ERA in 23 innings. His ERA at the end of April was 15.12.
2008: Todd Coffey. Coffey sported an 8.00 ERA through 8 appearances in April, and it was only down to 6.46 by the end of the month before he landed on the DL.
2007: Gary Majewski. OK, it didn’t happen in April because he was hurt or in Louisville but Majewski was AWFUL for the Reds in June. Through his first 10 appearances with the Reds in 2007, Majewski’s ERA was 15.88.
2006: Tough pick here. Mike Burns had an 8.78 ERA in 11 relief appearances before he was sent to the Red Sox. Brian Shackelford’s ERA was 7.71 at the end of May. Rick White’s ERA was 6.26 when he was dealt.
2005: Ben Weber. 8.03 ERA in 10 appearances. Honorable mention: Joe Valentine. whose ERA was 9.53 when he went on the DL May 3. Valentine allowed 2 or more earned runs in three of his last four relief appearances before going on the DL.
2004: Brian Reith. This was reliever Brian Reith, three years after he went 0-7 in 8 starts in 2001. Reliever didn’t fare much better, posting a 7.27 ERA in 22 appearances before a mid-June departure. And before you point out that Mike Matthews didn’t have great numbers either, he was actually pretty solid that year with the exception of a 14-4 loss to the Pirates June 27 in which he allowed 8 earned runs in 2/3 of an inning.
2003: This was the Manzanillo year. 15 earned runs – including 7 home runs! – in 10 2/3 innings to start the season. He was gone by April 19. He somehow managed to give up 2 home runs in each of three different appearances. Phenomenal.
2002: Jim Brower’s ERA was 5.87 at the end of April.
2001: No really futile starts to the season to speak of among the bullpen; Frankie Rodriguez had an 11.42 ERA in 7 relief appearances, but that was in July.