December 23, 2011

Reds Confirm Worst-kept Secret Of Off-season

Today, the Cincinnati Reds confirmed what the rest of the baseball world knew days ago: they’d traded for reliever Sean Marshall from the Chicago Cubs.

CINCINNATI – Cincinnati Reds President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Walt Jocketty today announced the acquisition of LHP Sean Marshall from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for LHP Travis Wood, OF Dave Sappelt and minor league IF Ronald Torreyes.

Marshall, 29, last season for the Cubs posted a 2.26 ERA and 5 saves in 78 relief appearances, tied for fifth-most in the Major Leagues. He established a single-season franchise record with 34 holds while holding opponents scoreless in 65 of his 78 games.

“Sean has been one of the best and most durable relievers in baseball the last couple of seasons,” Jocketty said. “He will be a solid addition to what we think already is a strong bullpen.”

Also in 2011, Marshall allowed just 1 home run in 75.2 innings, the fourth-best ratio among all Major League relievers. His 0.89 ERA in his final 33 appearances of the season was the second-best in the majors over that span to Jose Valverde’s 0.88 ERA. Marshall’s 4.65 strikeouts-per-walks ratio led all relievers who threw at least 75.0 innings.

Over the last 2 seasons, Marshall ranks second among all Major League pitchers with 158 appearances. Among among all big league relievers the last 2 years, he ranks second with a 2.45 ERA and fifth with 150.1 innings pitched and 169 strikeouts. Marshall has posted a sterling 2.67 ERA in 233 career relief appearances.

Last season Wood went 6-6 with a 4.84 ERA in 18 starts and 4 relief appearances for the Reds and 2-3 with a 5.33 ERA in 10 starts for Class AAA Louisville. Sappelt spent most of the season with the Bats but hit .243 in 38 appearances for the Reds. Torreyes hit .356 in 67 games for Class A Dayton.

So the Reds now have a seriously useful piece in their 2012 bullpen. The price was steep, but there can be no doubt that the team is serious about contending next year.

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