Hoover in big struggle
It’s no secret that some Reds fans have a big target of angst and dismay focused on reliever J.J. Hoover right now (just look at my Twitter timeline for proof). The numbers certainly support their displeasure.
In seven appearances, totaling 5 1/3 innings, Hoover has a 13.50 ERA with eight earned runs and seven hits allowed. The most troubling number is the eight walks, including three in Monday’s 6-5 walk-off loss to the Pirates. Walks were an issue when he was not sharp at Spring Training as well. He had seven walks in eight innings and a 5.63 ERA.
Hoover struggled at the beginning of 2013, also, but was able to turn it around. He lost his first five decisions to begin the season 0-5 and then won his last five. The first three of Hoover’s losses came within the first 10 games of the season, including two in extra innings but walks weren’t as big of a factor even though his slider was not working well. He had five walks and 13 strikeouts (and three homers allowed) over his 12 2/3 innings in April a year ago.
Many forget now that Hoover finished 5-5 with a 2.86 ERA and led the pitching staff with 69 appearances. He walked 26 and struck out 67 in 66 innings.
Now the question is, can he turn it around once again?