Coming into the 2012 season hardly anyone had heard of Pedro Diaz. He was coming off of a season in the Dominican Summer League where he showed iffy control, but posted a strong ERA and limited hits working out of the bullpen as an 18-year-old. There was some buzz about him in spring training though as he showed off a strong arm.

The Reds assigned Diaz to the Arizona League Reds, where he would spend his entire 2012 season. He was in a new role as he was being used as a reliever. His first start of the year came on June 20th and he gave up 1 run on 3 hits in 3 innings without a walk and with 3 strikeouts. The next start was not so good as he again lasted three innings, but he gave up 11 hits and 7 runs without a walk and with 3 strikeouts. In his final start of the month he rebounded very well as he allowed just 1 hit in 5 innings without a walk and with 6 strikeouts. He finished the month with a 6.55 ERA and 1.36 WHIP in 11 innings without giving up a walk and striking out 12 batters.

July was a strong month for the right hander. On the 6th he made his first start of the month and gave up his first home run of the season in a start where he allowed just one run in 3.2 innings pitched. He combined for 6.2 innings over his next two starts with just one earned run, 3 walks and 11 strikeouts.  In his final two starts of the month he allowed 5 earned runs in 7 innings without a walk and 5 strikeouts. Overall Diaz finished the month with 17.1 innings pitched, a 3.64 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 4 walks and 17 strikeouts.

August was a step backward, perhaps due to some tiring as he pitched that deep into the season for the first time as a starter (let’s remember that he also pitched in extended spring training, so it wasn’t as if he just threw 28 innings and was tiring). His first two starts were good from an ERA standpoint, allowing just two runs in 7.2 combined innings, but he walked 5 batters and struck out just four. He had only four walks on the year entering the month. Over his next two starts he threw just 3.1 innings while giving up 11 runs on 11 hits and 4 walks with just two strikeouts.  He would rebound well over the next two starts, allowing just  1 run over 6.1 innings with a walk and 8 strikeouts. He would finish August with a 7.27 ERA and 2.14 WHIP in 17.1 innings with 10 walks and 14 strikeouts.

1 6 0 45.2 60 3 14 43 5.72 1.62 6.5% 20.1% 3.1

Overall Thoughts

Pedro Diaz had an interesting season. When he was bad, he was really bad. He gave up 29 earned runs all season and 18 of those runs came in 6.1 innings over three games (ERA of 25.59). His ERA in the rest of his games? 2.52. As a 19-year-old, some ups and downs are to be expected, but his were pretty dramatic. His overall numbers don’t look good on the surface. Diaz did post good peripherals though and his stuff is strong. He posted a .373 BABIP against in 2012 and that should be expected to regress more towards .300 for 2013. Diaz is a big time arm, but he needs to work on being more consistent as well as working deeper into games if he is going to remain a starting pitcher.

36 Responses

  1. The Duke

    I hate that there is so little information about extended spring training. There are so many guys I am real interested to see how they are progressing and I have tonwwit until late June to find out. Diaz, Travieso, Romano, Perez the younger, Costante, Kivel, and that is just pitchers. Will Mason Felt be healthy enough to play this year?

    It’s hard to make much of an informed opinion on Diaz because I don’t know much. We can’t even listen to AZL games. How fast is his fastball, how is his change up, what off speed does he throw, how are his mechanics, etc?

    • Doug Gray

      Yeah, it really does stink. We need someone to move to Arizona. Any takers?

      I am hopeful t0 be able to make it to Arizona this year, but it won’t be until July.

      • jim t

        Doug, I’m going the end of March and Permentantly next year. I’ll volunteer.

  2. Herbie

    Good article, I like hearing about unheralded guys that I’m not familiar with. His K and BB rates are definitely strong, but what’s his main setback? Mental? Flat pitches? Even if you regress his BABIP to .300 he still carries a 1.4 WHIP, so there’s more than just bad luck at play I’d think. It is a small sample size though.

    • Doug Gray

      I don’t know that a 1.4 WHIP is bad for a new starter in rookie ball, particularly in a hitter friendly league. The league BABIP was .334. The ball simply flies out there.

      • Doug Gray

        Most people don’t in the rookie leagues. You have plenty of guys playing out of position and then plenty of guys who have the tools to play somewhere, but the skills don’t quite match the tools yet.

  3. chi redsfan

    thoughts on apparent signing of Miquel Olivo. Dont really get it, hopefully filler but they already AAA fills so am a bit concerned that this might portend something with Meso.

    • Alan Horn

      Not only Mesoraco, but it looks like they are going to bring Rolen back also. It doesn’t bode well for Frazier or Mesoraco. If they put Olivo at AAA and only bring him up if Mesoroco falters, then I am ok with it. I see no reason whatsoever to bring Rolen back. Frazier and Mesoraco need to be given a fair shot(Mesoraco playing close to half the time).

      • Doug Gray

        I am with you on this. I want no part of Rolen, mainly because I don’t believe Dusty will be able to let Frazier go through a slump more than a few days before inserting Rolen into the line up on a semi-regular basis.

        Olivio has a career OBP of .275. That is all I need to know about him to know that he shouldn’t be playing in the Major Leagues.

      • Foxbud

        I see this as Jocketty being dead serious about winning this year. Injuries will not be an excuse if he can build depth now. Even if people like Galarraga and Olivo have opt out clauses, Jocketty has protected himself from an early year ending injury at two positions, three if you bring Rolen back.

        It is easier to build that depth now rather than have someone hold you hostage in April or May or even later in the year for a part you need because you didn’t foresee an injury.

      • Alan Horn

        If Rolen comes back, he will play if he can walk on the field. It puts too much unnecessary pressure on Frazier. I predict Rolen will hurt the team more than he helps. A player has to know when it is time to hang his career up. As good a moves as Walt has made, this isn’t one of them. Frazier has to know he can have a slump and not go to the bench.

      • mace

        I get the Dusty factor, but I just don’t believe this is true. The comments from Jocketty were to the effect that they’re discussing Rolen’s role. I suspect that they’re offering him something like the Dodgers did–a backup at third and first–and trying to negotiate it on that basis. Dusty has already remarked that Frazier has earned his shot. I wouldn’t expect Rolen to play more than 50 or 60 games, barring injury. That would be a very nice role for him . . . although I don’t know whose roster spot gets taken away.

      • Doug Gray

        Rolen shouldn’t play 50-60 games on this team though. That is 50-60 games from players that are just flat out better than he is.

      • Doug Gray

        As long as Olivo is the #4 catcher, sure. But he had better be behind Hanigan, Mesoraco and Miller on the depth chart.

  4. DaveCT

    Way off topic, but I was thinking how the Bruce/Choo/Ludwick outfield plays next to O’Neill/Davis/Daniels and/or Griffey/Geronimo/Foster. Perhaps … Bruce/Davis/Foster?

    • Stock

      Might date me but what about Carbo/Tolan/Rose?

      Carbo .310/.454/.551/1.004
      Tolan .316/.384/.475/0.860
      Rose .316/.385/.470/0.855

  5. Ed from P-cola

    Just noticed Wahoos have been assigned Loek Van Mil, pitcher 7′-1″. Looks like alot of time in the minors for his career. Do you know much about him or just an extra arm for the org.

    • Doug Gray

      He can throw hard, but there is a reason he is nearly (or maybe just turned) 28 and has a handful of innings in AAA. With that said, he can probably help out the Blue Wahoos quite a bit. As far as the Reds though, he is just minor league depth if I would have to guess.

  6. Jim Delaney

    I like the signing of Olivo, the Reds system is very thin at catcher at the higher levels. Signing Olivo gives you another experienced catcher at AAA to work with legit prospect pitchers. Also, having Olivo and Miller gives you insurance in case Hanigan or Mesoraco have any injuries during the season. The Reds are built to win NOW, having depth at AAA is important.
    As for Rolen, I understand the concern about Frazier playing time but I am for bringing him back if he will accept being mainly a late game defensive replacement and pinch hitter. Last year the Reds lost games due to not having competent major leaguers on the bench, I think Rolen in a limited role can be very helpful. Also, Rolen is a very savvy veteran that will help in the clubhouse and he wants to win.
    I am still hopeful Walt can find another left handed reliever to bring in on minor league deal to have ready in case of injury for the bullpen.
    Outside of Votto and the bullpen arms at beginning of season the REDS were healthy last year.

  7. Krozley

    If they bring Rolen back, Paul would probably be the odd man out. Frazier would move all around and play some outfield. Donald played a handful of games in the outfield last year as well so they could tell themselves they could get by without Paul. Rolen has never played an inning in the field at any other position than third, so he offers no flexibility. I’m not sold on Paul, but I’d rather have him than Rolen.

  8. Jim Delaney

    Reds signed Manny Parra, like the signing, another Left hander who can pitch out of the bullpen. This really makes it look like Jocketty and brass want Chapman starting. Love it! Parra is a little intriguing maybe Bryan Price, Ted Power, Mario Soto can work with him. He might have some upside. Getting excited, today’s moves shows the organization is going to go hard after it this year.

    • Terry M

      I always thought he had a real good arm. Couple of weeks ago and I looked at his stats. He always seemed to more hits than innings pitched stood out to me. I still think it is a good sign…

    • Doug Gray

      I like Parra. His walk rate needs to come down some, but a big ground ball pitcher with our infield defense? Sounds like a solid guy to have.

      Edit: Solid guy to have in the system. I wouldn’t lean on him much unless he can drastically lower his walk rate.

  9. MK

    Parra is the extra lefty they needed in the pen. Be interesting to see what happens to the bullpen now. Need seven from: Parra, Marshall, Ondrusek, Hoover, Arredondo, Broxton, Leake, LeCure, Masset(probably DL) and Simon.

    I think Olivio fills the Navarro role of 2012 as he starts in AAA and is there in a pinch or if Mez falters in the role again.

    My opinion Donald has a tough time making the team with Izturis in the mix.

    • Norwood Nate

      My first thought when I saw we signed Parra was what it was going to do to the BP. Broxton, Marhsall, and LeCure have all earned spots and have proven to be good in high leverage situations. Simon is out of options and pitched pretty well last year as a long guy. I believe Arredondo is out of options as well. Add the LOOGY Parra to the mix and there is one spot up for Hoover, Ondrusek or Masset. And that’s without factoring in either Leake or Chapman in the pen part of the season.

      Masset can (and likely) start off on the DL. But that only buys so much time. Hoover is better than all of the other options outside of Brox/Marshall/(maybe)LeCure but actually has options and may not make the cut. I’m not sure if Ondrusek can be sent down still or not. Either way there is a lot to be sorted out in ST.

      Personally I’d like to see the Reds go with Broxton, Marshall, Hoover, LeCure, Parra, Arredondo, and Simon. When Masset gets healthy and proves he can pitch back close to where he was, then replace Arredondo with him.

  10. Doug Gray

    I am still fine tuning some things on the website. Please let me know if you see something that seems “off”. Let me know which web browser you are using as well. Thanks.

    • Doug Gray

      Thanks Terry. I am still working on some tweaks here and there, mostly to try and fix the way that Internet Explorer reads the data. I HATE Internet Explorer. So, so much.

  11. Alan Horn

    I and most here where I work prefer Firefox. We have to support both. Some apps don’t work well with either.

    • Doug Gray

      It seems I got everything working correctly in all browsers that I tested (IE/Firefox[my preference], Chrome and several mobile platform browsers).