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Reds Acquire Kirk Saarloos

I personally didn't deem this one worthy of a post, but what the hell.  The Reds acquired 27 year-old groundballer Kirk Saarloos for minor leaguer David Shafer.  Saarloos will battle Matt Belisle and Homer Bailey for the fifth starter job.  Bailey should prevent Saarloos from getting more than ten starts in '07.

Shafer's work at Double A equates to a tolerable relief performance in the bigs (something like a 3.50 ERA and 1.35 WHIP with a strong groundball rate).

Jim Callis of Baseball America offers his take on Saarloos and Shafer.

The weird thing is that I already had a category for Saarloos on this site.  He was rumored in a Milton Bradley trade a year ago.


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i don't know why this wouldn't be worthy of a post, i think putting saarloos in the NL where he gets a ton of starts against those weaker teams he returns to 05 form at worst with a 4.00-4.30. I think this is a great move for the reds and he is more along the lines of their 3rd best starter. I don't think you can call him a 3 starter because he won't put up anywhere near 200 innings, but he deserves every chance to do it over some of those other names, plus he's valuable because he can keep it on the ground in that park

Saarloos bailed the A's out more than once but I wont miss him. Some games he just gets rocked and leaves the team with no chance. He hit 159.2IP in 27 starts in 05 for the A's so who knows about reaching 190-200. He is very versatile though, he jumped from bullpen to rotation more than once last year. I've met him a few times, nice guy.

I am interested to see what this guy has. His number while not flashy seem pretty consistent. I feel this might have been a good move by the Red simply because it gives them a little bit more pitching depth. I don't want Bailey to start the season with the team so maybe this will give Saaroos a good chance to at least show the Reds what he has in the 1st half of the season. If he flops at starting maybe we toss him into the mix in the bullpen. I do question if he is a speed pitcher or a junk ball pitcher? What does his fastball top at? Any A' Fans with more info on this guy please post.


Saarloos tops out at 86-87. His stuff involves Slow, Slower, Slowest. He relies heavily on the sinker & change of speeds. He'll mix in a slide piece every once in a while.

Against patient teams, he gets shelled. Against overly aggressive teams, he does well. He had 12K's in 5 innings vs. the Indians last season (Hafner was out of the lineup). Saarloos' owns Richie Sexson and the Mariners.

Don't be surprised to see him get yanked after 0.2IP, 6 Hits, 2 Walks...but, he can also mix in a complete game, 10-Hit shutout.

Great Guy in the Clubhouse. Very versatile, as well. He was a closer in college (Long Beach St., I believe).

Any word on this Shafer kid? I heard he had 22 straight saves last season, until he got hurt.

Jay - Saarloos is a sinkerballer specialist that is a classic swingman/6th starter. He doesn't throw any harder than about 86mph, he induces a lot of groundballs and he walks more guys than he strikes out.

He's a battler though, and is 100% effective about 50% of the time, so he's a decent 5th starter that will give you a chance to win during about half of his starts. He will do well in the NL, facing generally weaker lineups, and could be a Godsend in the Great American Launching Pad in Cincy, since he can keep the ball in the park.

He's got about $1.2 million coming to him this year in his first year of salary arbitration (so he's relatively low-risk) and he'll be under club control through 2009.

So not a lot of upside, but he'll do well as a 5th/spot starter for you guys. As was mentioned above, he's also a really good guy and definately a positive clubhouse personality.

Hope that's enough for you. Now, can you give me some insider info on Shafer?

From Jim Callis at BA:

Shafer, a 24-year-old righty, went in the 31st round in 2001 and signed as a draft-and-follow out of Central Arizona JC the following spring. He has an average fastball (88-92 mph) and slider, and he commands both pitches well. He spent 2006 as the closer at Double-A Chattanooga, going 1-2, 2.36 with 26 saves in 44 appearances. He had a 52-16 K-BB ratio and held hitters to a .204 average with two homers. He projects as a sixth/seventh-inning reliever in the majors.

Isn't Central Arizona JC the same school Rich Harden went to? If so, I'm sure the A's are pretty familiar with his stuff. They must have been following for quite a while now.

I've watched Saarloos for two years, he sits on 88 tops with the fastball. If he's very well rested he'll throw 89 <---rare.

Him getting rocked or not isn't as much patient/free swinging teams as it is when his Sinker just isn't working right. He'd really be an entirely different pitcher if he could ever get consistant with his Slider, when his slider is working is when he has his best games. When it's just his sinker/change-up, good luck...

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