A week and a half later on Aug. Vote for Pedro!
Consider the situation Villarreal walked intoon Aug. 26: David Holmberg was lit up by the Dodgers like an evergreen conifer on Christmas, giving up seven runs and six hits over 3.2 innings. the White Sox (0.2 innings, four hits, three runs), June 28 against the Mets (2.2 innings, four hits, four runs), and Aug. In any case, in a second straight lost season for the Reds, Villarreals success as the Reds Garbage Man is a needed positive story.
However, Villarreal does have his limitations. When one considers that a very smallamount of pro ball players advance to the major leagues, and that an even smaller amount of those chosen few locate something resembling stability in the bigs, I can proclaim with utmost confidence that in the grand scheme of the entire pro baseball universe, Pedro Villarreal is agood baseball player.
Or how about after Keyvius Sampson made a mess of things (3.1 innings, nine hits, four runs) on Aug. 2, Villarreal held the Pirates without a hit over three frames.
On the surface, labeling Pedro Villarreal a garbage man is patently unfair. 29 in Milwaukee (0.2 innings, four hits, two runs).
Then there is the case of Villarreal tossing 4.1 inningsof two-hit, no-run ball in the second game of a doubleheader on July 22 vs. After Yasiel Puig parked a two-run shot off Holmberg with two outs in the fourth inning, Villarreal entered. Sure, there have been some rough outings for Villarreal, like May 9 in Chicago vs. (Villarreal pitched later that day.)Perhaps Villarreal has been hardened by being recalled/sent down to Triple-A Louisville 10 times since March 30 (and on 19 occasions since the start of the 2013 season). the Cubs. 19, Villarreal stepped in with 2.2 scoreless frames opposite the Royals, an outing that featured Villarreals high-wire escape of a one-out, bases-loaded situation in the fourth inning without surrendering a run.
But in 2015, Villarreal has been an undeniable asset to the Reds which is especially refreshing when you consider thatVillarreals spring training was a bit undoneafter he lost the nail on his right ring finger aftergetting the finger caught between a bullpen door and bullpen pole. Villarreal, after all, is a professional baseball player with 65.1 innings pitched in the best baseball league in the world. For his career, Villarreals fastball averages 92.1 mph which happens to be the exact speed of the average major-league fastball in 2015 and, other than his slider, Villarreals secondary offerings are below ordinary.Heck, when compared to other National League pitchers,Villarreals 2015 numbers are justthat: ordinary.
VillarrealNL AverageStrikeouts per 9 innings4.77.8Walks per 9 innings2.32.9ERA+113101FIP4.523.88
But you know what, Villarreal has embraced a job that few others would: being the Reds Garbage Man. He retired Adrian Gonzalez to end the frame, and proceeded to deliver 3.1 innings of scoreless baseball, allowing the Reds to mount a mini-comeback and creep to within 6-3 before falling 7-4.. So, consider this column a Vote for Pedro and a pat on the back forembracing a role that is the opposite of glamorous.
How about when Villarreal garnered his first career win on June 25 by pitching the final two inningsof a 13-inning victory in Pittsburgh? Remember whenVillarreal was thrust into a June 15 contest in Detroit after Jon Moscot dislocated his shoulder? Villarreal allowed one hit and an unearned run over 3.1 innings