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TeamBoone
02-26-2006, 06:06 PM
Sunday, February 26, 2006
Roster tough to predict this year
BY JOHN FAY | ENQUIRER STAFF WRITER

SARASOTA, Fla. - The last couple years, it was possible to pick 23 or 24 roster spots for the Reds at this point in spring training.

All you had to do was look at who had options and who had a major-league contract, and you could come up with 10 or 11 pitchers and 12 or 13 position players with a good degree of certainty.

It's not so easy this year.

Part of it is that general manager Wayne Krivsky's signees - Scott Hatteberg, Tuffy Rhodes, Michael Gosling and Quinton McCracken - were added to an already full spring training roster.

Hatteberg and Gosling are on the 40-man. McCracken spent all of last year in the big leagues. And Rhodes hit 360 home runs over the past 10 years in Japan. These aren't guys brought in to play at Triple-A.

"You always want competition," Krivsky said. "We've got a lot of options in the bullpen, the rotation, the infield and the bench."

The options could lead to some very difficult choices in late March.

The Reds will start to sort things out this week when the games begin. They have an exhibition game with the Kia Tigers of Korea Tuesday and an intrasquad game Wednesday. They start the exhibition schedule Thursday against Detroit in Lakeland.

The roster is a little bloated mainly because Krivsky was hired so late. You have a combination of Krivsky's guys and former GM Dan O'Brien's guys. Interim GM Brad Kullman even got into the act, signing relief pitcher Rick White to a big-league contract.

Not everyone is going to get a fair shot.

"If you're on the bubble, every day you go out there could be big for you," Reds manager Jerry Narron said.

But players on the fringe of the roster will have to earn jobs.

"We're not going to have guys make the team by default," Narron said. "I'm all for guys earning their way on."

It wasn't like that under O'Brien or the GM who preceded him, Jim Bowden. Bowden kept Wily Mo Peņa on the roster in 2003 even though he was far from ready for the big leagues. Peņa ended up hitting .218 in 165 at-bats that year - severely hurting his development as a player.

O'Brien put Anderson Machado on the roster last July after he hit .139 on a rehab assignment. Both decisions were made because the players were out of options.

Krivsky put Luke Hudson and Jung Keun Bong on waivers to get players he wanted on the roster. He didn't lose either player, but he showed no reluctance to take the risk.

So beginning today, a lot of players are going to take a long ride on the bubble.

Just look at the bullpen: White, Mike Burns and Chris Hammond were added to the 40-man roster. Add them to holdovers Matt Belisle, Todd Coffey, Kent Mercker, Brian Shackelford, Allan Simpson, Jason Standridge, Ryan Wagner and David Weathers. You also have three non-roster pitchers - Hudson, Jimmy Journell and Tommy Phelps - who got significant big-league time last season.

That's 14 guys vying for seven spots.

The bullpen isn't the only place were there will be tough calls.

The depth chart at second base is about six deep.

Whom are you going to pick for a left-handed bat off the bench? Rhodes with his 360 homers in Japan? Or Jacob Cruz, who led the National League in pinch-hits?

It could make for a very interesting spring.

"I hope so," Narron said.

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060226/COL09/602260395/1071/SPT04

forfreelin04
02-26-2006, 06:24 PM
Did I miss something? I thought Rick White was signed too?

Nugget
02-26-2006, 07:13 PM
Yep - its there.


Interim GM Brad Kullman even got into the act, signing relief pitcher Rick White to a big-league contract.


Just look at the bullpen: White, Mike Burns and Chris Hammond were added to the 40-man roster. Add them to holdovers Matt Belisle, Todd Coffey, Kent Mercker, Brian Shackelford, Allan Simpson, Jason Standridge, Ryan Wagner and David Weathers. You also have three non-roster pitchers - Hudson, Jimmy Journell and Tommy Phelps - who got significant big-league time last season.

That's 14 guys vying for seven spots.

forfreelin04
02-26-2006, 07:42 PM
Yep - its there.

Thanks Nug...I'm posting in between breaks in political science so my brain is fried!!!!

TeamBoone
02-27-2006, 12:10 AM
02/26/2006 9:00 PM ET

The 25th man? The fight for the final roster spots is shaping up to be tough, with a lot of veterans vying to land a job. Quinton McCracken, Tuffy Rhodes, Jacob Cruz and Frank Menechino are all non-roster players in the mix.

"There are a lot guys for that last spot or last two spots," Reds manager Jerry Narron said on Sunday. "It might be two [spots] for three [players] or one spot for three guys or four guys. We don't know right now. All of them bring something. That's what makes it interesting."

McCracken is a switch-hitter who can play all three outfield positions and be used in multiple situations as a pinch-hitter. Rhodes collected 360 home runs in 10 seasons in Japan and might provide power from the left side of the plate. Menechino plays three infield positions and has a reputation for his hustling and strong work ethic.

Cruz had a club-record 20 pinch-hits for Cincinnati last season and can play the outfield and first base. He also has the advantage of having been in the organization for the previous three seasons. But his chances were hurt when the Reds signed left-handed-hitting first baseman Scott Hatteberg to a big-league contract just before camp opened.

Narron said McCracken, Rhodes, Cruz and Menechino all will start in Tuesday's exhibition game against Kia, the Korean professional team. More outfield opportunities will be created this spring because Ken Griffey Jr. and Wily Mo Pena are leaving camp to play in the World Baseball Classic.

"I'm going to try with all of them to give every chance in the world to make this club," Narron said. "And I'm also going to give them every chance in the world if they don't, to get enough playing time so other clubs can see them. They're all big-league players. They can all contribute to Major League clubs."

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20060226&content_id=1324303&vkey=spt2006news&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

KronoRed
02-27-2006, 03:01 AM
The only guarantees are Womack and Aurilia ;)

Redsland
02-27-2006, 11:45 AM
Looks like Denorfia is out of the running. And Olmedo is getting scant attention, as well.

BRM
02-27-2006, 12:09 PM
Looks like Denorfia is out of the running. And Olmedo is getting scant attention, as well.

Denorfia and Olmedo are losing out to the likes of Womack, Aurilia, Cruz, McCracken...It's good to see a club bury it's youngsters.

Heath
02-27-2006, 12:19 PM
Boy I was hoping for a competitive team in Louisville. :rolleyes:

KronoRed
02-27-2006, 01:05 PM
Looks like Denorfia is out of the running. And Olmedo is getting scant attention, as well.
It reeks to high heaven if those guys are out before a bat has even been swung down there.

BRM
02-27-2006, 01:09 PM
It reeks to high heaven if those guys are out before a bat has even been swung down there.

I'll be shocked if Olmedo makes the team. I'd say Denorfia still has an outside shot at making the big league club.

flyer85
02-27-2006, 01:12 PM
Denorfia and Olmedo are losing out to the likes of Womack, Aurilia, Cruz, McCracken...It's good to see a club bury it's youngsters.... especially with such talented veterans.

RedsManRick
02-27-2006, 01:26 PM
As much as I like Denorfia's potential, he is probably better off putting up big numbers and playing everyday in Louisville than rotting away as our 5th OF. In a full year at AAA, he could go .315/.400/.530 with 20-25 homers and 15 SB. Of course, he could also regress and cement the perception that's he a backup, but that's no worse than if he got 80-100 at bats here and put up similar numbers as he did last year. I just hope that if one of the big 4 isn't dealt, that we move him while he still has value.

Brady Clark was pigeonhold as a reserve OF simply because he couldn't get him at bats in Cincy and jerked him around. It really curbed his value. What did we get for him? He was part of a package for Shawn Estes...

TeamBoone
02-27-2006, 01:32 PM
Monday, February 27, 2006
Veterans will get chance
Competition stiff for positions on bench
BY JOHN FAY | ENQUIRER STAFF WRITER

SARASOTA, Fla. - Reds manager Jerry Narron tends to be all-inclusive when he talks about who will earn the final positions on the roster.

"That last spot for position players is going to be interesting," he said. "There might be two spots for three guys. All of them bring something."

Leading contenders for those spots are:

Quinton McCracken, a switch-hitter who can play all three outfield positions. "He's a guy that gives us a chance to play situational baseball," Narron said.

Frank Menechino, an infielder who hits right-handed. "You know you're going to get a full effort from him every time out," Narron said. "He knows how to play the game."

Jacob Cruz, a first-baseman/outfielder: "His 20 pinch hits last year were huge," Narron said. "He knows his role. He knows how to prepare. You're going to get a great at-bat every time."

Tuffy Rhodes, a left-handed hitting outfielder who hit 360 home runs over 10 years in Japan. "He can play all three outfield positions," Narron said. "He has a chance to hit one out when you send him up there."

All four will be in the lineup Tuesday when the Reds play the Kia Tigers of Korea in an exhibition game.

"I'm going to try with all of them to give them every chance in the world to make the club," he said. "And, if they don't, get them enough playing time for other clubs to see them."

Because Ken Griffey Jr. and Wily Mo Peña are playing in the World Baseball Classic, the Reds will have more opportunities for outfielders in early exhibition games.

"That's one good thing about it," Narron said.

Narron won't be able to keep everyone happy once the season starts as far as playing time is concerned, but he thinks the veterans will make the Reds a better club.

"I know when you have veteran guys and they accept roles - they might not be in everyday roles - they're going to help you a great deal," he said, "(because) there's some point in the season where they're going to play on an everyday basis."

NARRON ON KEARNS: Narron was pleased with the shape Austin Kearns reported in. Kearns came in at 235 pounds - 15 under what he played at last year.

"I look for him to have a big year for us," Narron said. "He's a very good right fielder. He's a very good baserunner. He's not going to make very many mistakes.

"I think a lot people in baseball feel that way. Every time a trade comes up, he's the guy they want."

But Kearns hasn't put up good offensive numbers the last two years.

"I think it's a big year for him," Narron said. "He's got to establish himself as an everyday player who can stay healthy. I think he realizes that by the shape he came in."

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060227/SPT04/602270370/1071

KronoRed
02-27-2006, 01:35 PM
"He's a guy that gives us a chance to play situational baseball,"
"You know you're going to get a full effort from him every time out,"
"He knows how to play the game."
"He knows his role. He knows how to prepare. You're going to get a great at-bat every time."
"He has a chance to hit one out when you send him up there."

It's like he has a book on this.

flyer85
02-27-2006, 01:38 PM
Frank Menechino, an infielder who hits right-handed. "You know you're going to get a full effort from him every time out," Narron said. "He knows how to play the game."there's another one of them guys. If Jerry is not careful he will end up with an entire roster of guys who "know how to play the game."

flyer85
02-27-2006, 01:39 PM
Jerry really did a bang up job and working in all those cliches in a few short comments.

RedsManRick
02-27-2006, 01:39 PM
Somebody needs to tell Jerry that knowing how to play and being able to do it well are two very different things. Johnny Bench and Tony Perez know how to play the game, but I don't think we'll be looking to get them back on the field anytime soon.

BRM
02-27-2006, 01:44 PM
"I know when you have veteran guys and they accept roles - they might not be in everyday roles - they're going to help you a great deal," he said, "(because) there's some point in the season where they're going to play on an everyday basis."

If any of the four guys mentioned in the article (McCracken, Menechino, Cruz, Rhodes) are playing on an everyday basis, the Reds will be in SERIOUS trouble.

By the way, I used to play softball with McCracken's cousin.

flyer85
02-27-2006, 01:47 PM
Somebody needs to tell Jerry that knowing how to play "knowing how to play the game" is a euphemism for saying that the player doesn't have any discernable set of skills to justify his existence on a major league team.

TeamBoone
02-27-2006, 02:02 PM
02-27-2006
Battle for final roster spot could be heated
By Marc Lancaster / Post staff reporter

SARASOTA, Fla. - The so-called 25th man on the roster doesn't draw much attention during the season, serving mostly as a pinch-hitter or occasional defensive replacement.

But with most of the starting jobs already set in Reds camp, the competition for the final seat on the bench figures to be one of the more intense races of the spring.

"That last spot for the position players is going to be interesting to see who gets it," manager Jerry Narron said Sunday.

The stakes were raised when Wayne Krivsky took over as general manager just before spring training and embarked on a quick run of veteran signings, bringing in Scott Hatteberg, Quinton McCracken and Tuffy Rhodes. They joined players already in the fold, such as Jacob Cruz and Frank Menechino in line for what appears to be one vacant job.

The Reds plan to start the season with 12 pitchers, leaving 13 openings for position players. Eight of those will go to starters, with a job or two still up for grabs, leaving the usual five men on the bench.

One of them will be Javier Valentin, the backup catcher. Assuming Ryan Freel maintains his super-utility role and doesn't get the starting job at second base, he'll be part of the ever-rotating bench. Hatteberg also is essentially locked in, holding a major league contract and serving as a backup first baseman and left-handed pinch-hitter.

For the sake of argument, assume that Edwin Encarnacion holds onto the third base job and either Rich Aurilia or Tony Womack is the starter at second. Whichever veteran isn't starting probably will remain on the club as a reserve.

That leaves one spot to fill, with four seasoned pros - McCracken, Rhodes, Cruz and Menechino - fighting it out. Narron said he plans on starting all four of those players in Tuesday's exhibition game against a Korean professional team. That probably will be just the start of a series of auditions that could down to the final week of camp.

"I'm going to try, with all of them, to give them every chance in the world to be able to make this club," said Narron. "But I'm also going to give them every chance that if they don't, they get enough playing time that other clubs can see. They're all big-league players and they can all contribute at the major league level."

Based on the makeup of the projected bench, an outfielder would seem to have the edge in winning the final spot. Both McCracken and Rhodes have told Narron they can play all three outfield positions, and each has his own attributes. McCracken is a more versatile switch-hitter, while Rhodes is a left-handed power bat. Cruz also could play a corner outfield spot in an emergency, but he was used almost exclusively as a pinch-hitter the last two seasons.

Everything could change if the Reds decide to trade one of their outfielders, perhaps moving Adam Dunn back to left field and making Hatteberg the starter at first base.


http://news.cincypost.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060227/SPT05/602270335/1027

flyer85
02-27-2006, 02:07 PM
Everything could change if the Reds decide to trade one of their outfielders, perhaps moving Adam Dunn back to left field and making Hatteberg the starter at first base.
Making Hatteberg a starter would be a really bad decision. If you were looking at the Reds moves since last off-season and rumors of playing time for certain individuals in isolation, it would lead one to the conclusion that the Reds have made an intentional effort to see how many runs less they can score in 2006 than they did in 2005.