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View Full Version : Freel as "utility" man



Kc61
02-20-2006, 08:11 PM
Everything I read says that Freel could be the second baseman but is more valuable in a "utility" role. What exactly does that mean?

Freel is by far the Reds' best leadoff hitter. He needs to play most days. The team can't put him in the lineup only when someone is hurt or needs a rest.

Freel's best defensive position is the outfield, but those slots are taken, at least for now. Second base is the only regular position for him. Rest him occasionally, let him play outfield on occasion, but don't sit him waiting for something to open up.

Let someone else be the "utility" man.

M2
02-20-2006, 08:13 PM
Everything I read says that Freel could be the second baseman but is more valuable in a "utility" role. What exactly does that mean?

Freel is by far the Reds' best leadoff hitter. He needs to play most days. The team can't put him in the lineup only when someone is hurt or needs a rest.

Freel's best defensive position is the outfield, but those slots are taken, at least for now. Second base is the only regular position for him. Rest him occasionally, let him play outfield on occasion, but don't sit him waiting for something to open up.

Let someone else be the "utility" man.

Agreed 100%

Puffy
02-20-2006, 08:38 PM
absolutely.

KronoRed
02-20-2006, 10:21 PM
:clap:

This "he's too valuable to be a starter" crap gets on my nerves, maybe he will wear himself out, but till he does he should be at 2nd as the starter, no platoon.

Gainesville Red
02-20-2006, 10:27 PM
Telling a ballplayer he's too valuable to be a starter is like telling a swimsuit model she looks too good to photograph.

TOBTTReds
02-20-2006, 10:54 PM
Telling a ballplayer he's too valuable to be a starter is like telling a swimsuit model she looks too good to photograph.

And that just wouldn't be right.

Newport Red
02-20-2006, 11:13 PM
Freel is a butcher at 3rd, quite pedestrian at 2nd. Wait until they trade an outfielder and put him anywhere with alot of grass.

marcshoe
02-20-2006, 11:33 PM
Freel is...quite pedestrian at 2nd.

Isn't walking a lot a good thing? :p:

Betterread
02-20-2006, 11:42 PM
Freel is a butcher at 3rd, quite pedestrian at 2nd. Wait until they trade an outfielder and put him anywhere with alot of grass.

I agree. Freel is an offensive player who lacks the necessary fielding ability to play one position consistently. He's still very valuable to the team as a temporary backup and fill-in.

M2
02-21-2006, 12:11 AM
I agree. Freel is an offensive player who lacks the necessary fielding ability to play one position consistently. He's still very valuable to the team as a temporary backup and fill-in.

That might mean something except the Reds only have defensive liabilities at 2B. When the options are Rich Aurilia and Tony Womack, Ryan Freel becomes a real easy option.

Kc61
02-21-2006, 12:28 AM
If Freel doesn't play every day, who is the lead off hitter on this team?

Also, look at Freel's numbers, particularly OBP? Don't you feel he is too good offensively to leave on the bench?

cincinnati chili
02-21-2006, 12:32 AM
Am I completely nuts to thinik that outfield isn't necessarily Freel's best position? I admit to a limited "sample size" the last couple years due to school, but I've seen him break the wrong way on balls and take circuitous routes to others.

From what I've seen (which I'm open to debunking with hard numbers), I'd certainly rather see him at 2B than CF.

I agree he's the most logical "leadoff guy" and I'd rather see him in the lineup than the characters we have at 2B. I'd take my chances with a non-prototypical leadoff hitter, however, if it means that a healthy and rested Dunn/Pena/Kearns/Griffey has to take a seat just so that our best leadoff hitter (freel) gets to play..

Ron Madden
02-21-2006, 02:58 AM
Dunn, Pena, Kearns and Griiffey can all play if Freel started @ 2b and hits lead off. :)

RedsManRick
02-21-2006, 10:41 AM
I don't think he gets particularly good reads anywhere. But in CF you can make up reads with great speed moreso than anywhere else on the diamond. It's the same reason why it's where Pena is most effective right now. What I don't get, is that if we're gonna have a 2B with a sub .700 OPS, why not at least make it Olmedo or Bergolla and improve our defense?

As we've already established, scoring runs isn't the issue, so keeping Freel in the lineup, while nice, isn't really necessary from an offensive perspective. But substituting Womack for him, who's not much of a defensive upgrade and a major offensive downgrade just doesn't make any sense at all.

KronoRed
02-21-2006, 12:28 PM
Dunn, Pena, Kearns and Griiffey can all play if Freel started @ 2b and hits lead off. :)
Whoa now..we need to get Womack and Aurilia in there too ;)

BRM
02-21-2006, 12:33 PM
But substituting Womack for him, who's not much of a defensive upgrade and a major offensive downgrade just doesn't make any sense at all.

I'm curious, of the three candidates for 2B (Woe-mack, Aurilia, Freel), which is the best defender? I know none of them play defense particularly well but who's the best of the bunch defensively? Does Freel's range make him the best or does Aurilia's "steadiness" put him at the top of the list?

WebScorpion
02-21-2006, 03:27 PM
Is it not also possible that Freel's defense will improve with more reps at one position? After all, practice makes perfect...or so I've heard. ;)

Matt700wlw
02-21-2006, 03:34 PM
I love having Freel in the lineup, but unfortunately the only downside is that he is subject to injury just because of how hard he plays. He can't play every day, or he's going to kill himself (or little old ladies in the front row).

I expect a lot of playing time though, maybe not a lot of consecutive days, but it will be in different positions so other guys can get rest.

TRF
02-21-2006, 04:23 PM
I love having Freel in the lineup, but unfortunately the only downside is that he is subject to injury just because of how hard he plays. He can't play every day, or he's going to kill himself (or little old ladies in the front row).

I expect a lot of playing time though, maybe not a lot of consecutive days, but it will be in different positions so other guys can get rest.

I think the problem has been he isn't used to playing everyday, not how hard he plays. If given the chance to play everyday means the Reds risk losing him to the DL at some point, well then they lose him to the DL. And if his OBP is .380 at the time, I'll likley yell some profanities. But I want that .380 in there every day, 4 AB's a day.

Kc61
02-21-2006, 06:57 PM
I love having Freel in the lineup, but unfortunately the only downside is that he is subject to injury just because of how hard he plays. He can't play every day, or he's going to kill himself (or little old ladies in the front row).

I expect a lot of playing time though, maybe not a lot of consecutive days, but it will be in different positions so other guys can get rest.

Matt, I guess you point out the problem and the reason I started this thread. I know Freel gets injured and you probably can only count on 350-400 at bats, depending on the particular season. But how does he get that much playing time if he has no position?

I don't mind him switching positions when there is a need, but I contend that it is insufficient for Freel to play "once in a while" when someone needs a rest or is hurt. The Reds are a better team when Freel in in the lineup, and he has to be there most days.

Which raises the question whether the Reds would be better off -- even offensively -- trading an outfielder. Opening an outfield slot for Freel would reduce the team's power but might create a more balanced lineup, with more speed and a better OBP. Not advocating this, but it is a thought, particularly if pitching would come in the trade.

M2
02-21-2006, 07:06 PM
I don't mind him switching positions when there is a need, but I contend that it is insufficient for Freel to play "once in a while" when someone needs a rest or is hurt. The Reds are a better team when Freel in in the lineup, and he has to be there most days.

You're absolutely right. Freel's good enough to play every day. He happens to be versatile too. The problem folks run into when they assume he'll just fill in at random positions during the season is that it's a prescription for not playing him enough.

What his versatility should mean is that he fills in as the regular wherever you've got your biggest hole. That's 2B this year. That would be taking advantage of the guy's versatility rather than burying him for it.

4256 Hits
02-21-2006, 09:31 PM
I love having Freel in the lineup, but unfortunately the only downside is that he is subject to injury just because of how hard he plays. He can't play every day, or he's going to kill himself (or little old ladies in the front row).



The reason he can't play everyday is because his body is fragile not because he plays hard. There are plenty of players that play as hard as Freel does and can play everyday most notable in Reds history is Rose.

On this team he should be playing 2nd base everyday, but he is not that good defensively there. As for playing the OF he is average at best with a weak arm. But lacks the slugging that I want from an outfielder.

He is a two skill player: high OBP (which is a very valuable skill) and speed.

KronoRed
02-21-2006, 10:20 PM
2 things we lack.

Play him as much as possible, if he breaks..then we put someone else in.

SteelSD
02-22-2006, 01:37 AM
The reason he can't play everyday is because his body is fragile not because he plays hard. There are plenty of players that play as hard as Freel does and can play everyday most notable in Reds history is Rose.

On this team he should be playing 2nd base everyday, but he is not that good defensively there. As for playing the OF he is average at best with a weak arm. But lacks the slugging that I want from an outfielder.

He is a two skill player: high OBP (which is a very valuable skill) and speed.

Not sure that it's a fragile body as much as it is that Freel has to exert more energy than your average player in order to play at a high level. I'd say that he has to exert more energy than even a high-energy guy like Pete Rose who, while constantly focused, could turn it on and off when he needed to.

He's got to be high energy, high exertion all the time. Rose was the baseball version of a pit bull. High energy exerted when needed. Freel is a rat terrier. High energy exerted all the time.

Rose growled and struck when he saw an intruder. Freel yips and is constantly darting around the house. That's the difference.

Ron Madden
02-22-2006, 02:30 AM
There is no other way around FACT.

Fact is Freel is the best choice to hit lead off of all the players on the current roster.

I'll take his obp and 2b defense over Womack or Aurillia any day.

At the end of the day none of the three will ever win a Gold Glove.

Ryan Freel will score more runs than Aurilia or Womack.
I could live with that.

Unlike most fans I'd rather take my chances with William Bergolia than Tony or Ritchie. Untill than start Ryan Freel.

TRF
02-22-2006, 09:19 AM
Not sure that it's a fragile body as much as it is that Freel has to exert more energy than your average player in order to play at a high level. I'd say that he has to exert more energy than even a high-energy guy like Pete Rose who, while constantly focused, could turn it on and off when he needed to.

He's got to be high energy, high exertion all the time. Rose was the baseball version of a pit bull. High energy exerted when needed. Freel is a rat terrier. High energy exerted all the time.

Rose growled and struck when he saw an intruder. Freel yips and is constantly darting around the house. That's the difference.

so.. Freel needs to be neutered?

Chip R
02-22-2006, 09:20 AM
2 things we lack.

Play him as much as possible, if he breaks..then we put someone else in.

I agree 100%. I don't want to hear this party line bullcrap about him being so fragile and versatile that you can't play him every day. I get the fragile thing. Eric Davis was about as fragile as they came and they didn't sit him on the bench cause he might get hurt. As for the versatility factor, if he's in the game already, there's no earthly reason he can't switch from 2nd to another position whether it be LF, CF or 3B.