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Is GAB Worth Talking About?
April 16, 2003

The balls have been flying out of Cincinnati this year, but unfortunately for Reds' fans, the opposition has been doing the damage.  Some will blame the pitching while others may blame the new park.  Keep an eye on the scores at Cincinnati's new Great American Ballpark.  Reds' opponents have averaged 7.9 runs per game at the GAB.  Proving it's still too early to designate the GAB a hitter's park, opponents in Coors Field are only averaging 5.3 runs.

So why should you start your players when they visit Cincinnati's new field?  If the park doesn't help you, the Reds' pitchers will.  While we can't call the GAB a hitter's park, we can certainly call the Reds' pitching a hitter's staff.  Let's take a look:

- Ryan Dempster:  No longer a pitcher with potential, Dempster turns 26 this year and is below .500 in win percentage.  Yes, he was stuck with Florida for some miserable seasons, but the losses can't be blamed on a lack of his team's hitting.  In 867 career innings, Dempster has an ERA of 4.83 and an astronomical WHIP of 1.54.  These are numbers you want your hitters to face.

- Jimmy Haynes:  This guy is with his 4th team and for good reason.  Debuting in '95, Haynes has never done anything well except eat up innings.  That's great if you don't mind losing, but a 5.30 ERA with a 1.61 WHIP won't get it done in this league.  Stock the lineup against him.

- Danny Graves:  Pitching since '96, Graves started only 4 games before this season.  A converted closer, Graves does have the talent but is still an experiment entering the rotation.  His career stats are impressive (3.57 ERA, 1.36 WHIP) but he has yet to prove that he can log 200 innings and still post those stats.  Don't stock up on him but there's no need to avoid him either.

- Jimmy Anderson:  25-43, 5.24 ERA, 1.57 WHIP for his career.  Load up against him.

- Paul Wilson:  Early arm surgery thrust Wilson's career immediately into mediocrity.  His 20-37 record is due to a career mostly with the sorry Devil Rays, but the 4.78 ERA and 1.44 WHIP don't help matters.  Fear not Paul Wilson.

In short, the Reds staff possesses not a single member you would want your fantasy hitters to avoid.  Combined with the possibility of the GAB being hitter friendly, you should put your marginal hitters in your starting lineup when they visit Cincy.

FYI:  Reds upcoming home games
4/22 - 4/24 vs. LA
4/25 - 4/27 vs. SD
5/5 - 5/8 vs. STL
5/9 - 5/11 vs. MIL