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Cyclone792
05-17-2006, 08:20 PM
I've been rather amazed by the lack of notice and caring that people have given to the glaring black hole we've had sitting in the #7 slot in our lineup nearly every game for the past month.

Coming into tonight's game, Brandon Phillips has posted an outstanding OPS of .479 for the entire month of May. That's around 50 plate appearances and Phillips has given us production not much better than what we'd expect from a pitcher. To say that's absolutely terrible is being about as nice I as can be.

Here's what Phillips has done for us on the season:


BA OBP SLG PA/BB HCPA% PCPA%

Phillips .288 .325 .432 20.17 30.6% 31.4%

HCPA% is the percentage of all PAs that end in a hitter's count, and PCPA% is the percentage of all the PAs that end in a pitcher's count.

What do we have here? Well, based solely on the strength of seven games, an overall tolerable batting line. However, Phillips has shown absolutely zero ability to control the strike zone this season as evidenced by the fact that he's had more plate appearances in pitcher's counts than hitting counts. He's also averaging just over 20 plate appearances per every walk drawn.

Folks, that's hard to do. That's Tony Womack territory for plate discipline.

Take out those seven games where Phillips was the epitomy of a blind squirrel finding a nut, and his batting line on the season is .225/.278/.263. That's good for a .541 OPS in roughly 90 plate appearances. Again, similar to his May OPS, outside of the week where Phillips won the Player of the Week Award, his batting prowess resembles that of your ordinary decent hitting major league pitcher.

Just in case people have forgotten, here's Phillips' career major league numbers:


BA OBP SLG PA/BB HCPA% PCPA%

Phillips .223 .262 .335 23.32 27.6% 35.2%

Phillips' career minor league rate stats are .273/.334/.415, good for a career minor league OPS of .749. Even in the minor leagues where he should be walking regularly, he only drew a walk once for every 13.5 plate appearances. His plate discipline down in the farm was nothing special, and his overall hitting production in the minor leagues was also nothing special.

I know Phillips will not turn 25 until next month, but nothing in his history suggests that he will ever be a remotely decent hitter. He's simply just a terrible hitter with about as little plate discipline as any hitter can ever possibly have. Quite frankly, I'd highly recommend the Reds move him over to shortstop to see if we can grab as much value as possible out of his glove. At least as a shortstop as a guy with the potential to save a few runs defensively, his bat becomes much more tolerable. However, even his defensive work remains up in the air; while he's put up an above average zone rating, Baseball Prospectus has already credited him with -4 fielding runs above average at second base this season.

In the batter's box, if Brandon Phillips is the answer to anything, I don't want to know the question. And sadly, don't anyone think for one second that Jerry Narron won't be tempted to bat such a prolific out-making machine as high in the order as leadoff or second. There no better way to kill potential rallies than batting an out-prone hitter immediately in front of your big boppers.

Learn the strike zone and take a walk occasionally, Brandon, it won't harm you to do so.

Falls City Beer
05-17-2006, 08:35 PM
I've been rather amazed by the lack of notice and caring that people have given to the glaring black hole we've had sitting in the #7 slot in our lineup nearly every game for the past month.

Coming into tonight's game, Brandon Phillips has posted an outstanding OPS of .479 for the entire month of May. That's around 50 plate appearances and Phillips has given us production not much better than what we'd expect from a pitcher. To say that's absolutely terrible is being about as nice I as can be.

Here's what Phillips has done for us on the season:


BA OBP SLG PA/BB HCPA% PCPA%

Phillips .288 .325 .432 20.17 30.6% 31.4%

HCPA% is the percentage of all PAs that end in a hitter's count, and PCPA% is the percentage of all the PAs that end in a pitcher's count.

What do we have here? Well, based solely on the strength of seven games, an overall tolerable batting line. However, Phillips has shown absolutely zero ability to control the strike zone this season as evidenced by the fact that he's had more plate appearances in pitcher's counts than hitting counts. He's also averaging just over 20 plate appearances per every walk drawn.

Folks, that's hard to do. That's Tony Womack territory for plate discipline.

Take out those seven games where Phillips was the epitomy of a blind squirrel finding a nut, and his batting line on the season is .225/.278/.263. That's good for a .541 OPS in roughly 90 plate appearances. Again, similar to his May OPS, outside of the week where Phillips won the Player of the Week Award, his batting prowess resembles that of your ordinary decent hitting major league pitcher.

Just in case people have forgotten, here's Phillips' career major league numbers:


BA OBP SLG PA/BB HCPA% PCPA%

Phillips .223 .262 .335 23.32 27.6% 35.2%

Phillips' career minor league rate stats are .273/.334/.415, good for a career minor league OPS of .749. Even in the minor leagues where he should be walking regularly, he only drew a walk once for every 13.5 plate appearances. His plate discipline down in the farm was nothing special, and his overall hitting production in the minor leagues was also nothing special.

I know Phillips will not turn 25 until next month, but nothing in his history suggests that he will ever be a remotely decent hitter. He's simply just a terrible hitter with about as little plate discipline as any hitter can ever possibly have. Quite frankly, I'd highly recommend the Reds move him over to shortstop to see if we can grab as much value as possible out of his glove. At least as a shortstop as a guy with the potential to save a few runs defensively, his bat becomes much more tolerable. However, even his defensive work remains up in the air; while he's put up an above average zone rating, Baseball Prospectus has already credited him with -4 fielding runs above average at second base this season.

In the batter's box, if Brandon Phillips is the answer to anything, I don't want to know the question. And sadly, don't anyone think for one second that Jerry Narron won't be tempted to bat such a prolific out-making machine as high in the order as leadoff or second. There no better way to kill potential rallies than batting an out-prone hitter immediately in front of your big boppers.


I've been saying it for weeks, but no sooner was my derision out of my mouth, the peanut gallery bashed me over the head with their "refusal to take a walk/scrapadelic" stick.

He's awful--everything in his past except for a couple of stints in the minors suggested he would be atrocious. And he is. I'd just as soon have Castro; they are one and the same thing.

But thanks for articulating more clearly what his numbers were screaming before.

Mario-Rijo
05-17-2006, 08:40 PM
He's got to have some more time before he becomes the reason we are losing! Frankly I have seen a ton of the balls he has put into play were absolute lasers that happened to be right at someone. I don't really care if he is getting walks or not he is not striking out a ton and he is putting the ball in play. He is also not swinging at crap a majority of the time, although he has swung at a few sliders in the dirt as of late. He does alot right in my mind and if he doesn't take another walk the rest of the year it won't bother me a bit. There has been All-Stars in this league that all they do is play spectacular defense and are only ok with the stick, on this team I'll take it because at least he's doing something right. Now if at the All-Star break he is still hitting like this well then I might panic, but not right now!

Aronchis
05-17-2006, 08:41 PM
As I said, the Phillips boom is over. He needs to return to the bench.

BuckeyeRedleg
05-17-2006, 08:51 PM
He looks absolutely clueless at the plate right now. Downright sloppy. I now can see the Pokey Reese comparison.

reds44
05-17-2006, 08:55 PM
He looks absolutely clueless at the plate right now. Downright sloppy. I now can see the Pokey Reese comparison.
Besides Felipe, who on this team doesn't?

BuckeyeRedleg
05-17-2006, 08:58 PM
Besides Felipe, who on this team doesn't?

All, but none of the others remind me of Pokey Reese.

Regardless, Phillips has looked pretty bad for a lot longer than the rest of the team's recent slump.

dougdirt
05-17-2006, 09:00 PM
Besides Felipe, who on this team doesn't?
Aaron Harang!

BigRed
05-17-2006, 09:11 PM
Do you want Womack back? The whole team is slumping. Let's not panic. He's not as good as he was during his tear and is not as bad as he looks now. He is somewhere in the middle, but still our best option at 2B.

kyle1976
05-17-2006, 09:20 PM
Do you want Womack back? The whole team is slumping. Let's not panic. He's not as good as he was during his tear and is not as bad as he looks now. He is somewhere in the middle, but still our best option at 2B.

Aurilia is a much better option at second base, when he is healthy of course.

pedro
05-17-2006, 09:26 PM
I think the Reds shoudl stick with him.

But I do agree he needs to sit a little more frequently and Chambliss needs to be on his case.

reds44
05-17-2006, 09:30 PM
Aurilia is a much better option at second base, when he is healthy of course.
When this team is right it needs BP's D more then RA's O.

KronoRed
05-17-2006, 09:30 PM
I think he'll get hot now and then, an Boone like guy.

kbrake
05-17-2006, 09:56 PM
Rather have Castro? Thats a joke, Phillips is 25 and while I never believed he was going to hit at the pace he did the first week or so he is whole hell of alot better an option at 2nd then Womack, Castro, or Aurilia. He can play defense, and as it has been said the whole team looks like crap at the dish. I would not have a problem Narron giving him a few more days off but I think he will be alright.

Cyclone792
05-17-2006, 10:01 PM
Do you want Womack back? The whole team is slumping. Let's not panic. He's not as good as he was during his tear and is not as bad as he looks now. He is somewhere in the middle, but still our best option at 2B.

Let me be clear about one thing: there's not one ounce of panic in my post. Absolutely zero.

Brandon Phillips is what he is, and what he is is an awful hitter with the capability to put together a rare hot streak, which has been plainly clear by analyzing his entire professional baseball career. Outside of his white hot week in which he won an award for, he's been awful with the bat in a Reds uniform. Illustrating that point isn't panic; it's pointing out facts that Brandon Phillips is what he is.

Ryan Freel's career on-base percentage is 106 points higher than Brandon Phillips' putrid OBP of .262, Ryan Freel plays an adequate enough second base, and unlike Brandon Phillips, Ryan Freel is an optimal hitter in the leadoff slot. I won't deny that Phillips is probably the best defensive shortstop on our roster, however, unless he's actually playing shortstop, then he's not able to provide the team with the asset of being a good glove at short.

In 2005, the average MLB second baseman had an OPS 28 points higher than the average MLB shortstop. I can tolerate Phillips at the plate quite a bit more if he's playing shortstop than if he's playing second base. Putting him at second base just creates a bigger black hole in the lineup. Additionally, if Phillips is at shortstop instead of second base, his glove provides a little bit more value.

And no, Womack should have never even put on a Reds uniform.

The Baumer
05-17-2006, 10:29 PM
What I hate the most about that Phillips kid is his defense; that is why I've chosen to completely ignore that aspect of his game.

Nugget
05-17-2006, 10:33 PM
Whilst I agree with your analysis cyclone and your conclusions I think that maybe the thread title could be changed. BP's problem at the plate is not so much an ineptitude but indiscipline. I think he said during his hot streak that he was going to swing away because he is so hot. That means Chambliss should be taking the kid aside and saying look you have talent a pretty good glove but if you want to stay in the show have a bit more discipline at the plate.

Johnny Footstool
05-17-2006, 10:33 PM
Phillips can absolutely crush fastballs. The problem is, he is easily fooled by sliders away and will hack at them every time. The rest of the league figured that out, so now it's up to Phillips to adjust, if he can.

saboforthird
05-17-2006, 10:36 PM
Phillips is just going through the motions, like any other great or horrible hitter does. ;)

oneupper
05-17-2006, 10:36 PM
Olmedo is a viable option at 2B. He has a glove and seems to have improved his hitting over the last year.

reds44
05-17-2006, 10:38 PM
Are he and Bergolla the exact same player?

Redmachine2003
05-17-2006, 10:39 PM
Phillips is not the only one who can't hit his way out of a box right now. Pretty much the whole line up has sucked of late. The only difference is that EE and Phillips has cooled off alot and noone else is picking up the slack. They pretty much carried this team for a while and now they both are pressing, swing at pitched they were taking and missing the pitches they where hitting.

Cyclone792
05-17-2006, 10:46 PM
Phillips can absolutely crush fastballs. The problem is, he is easily fooled by sliders away and will hack at them every time. The rest of the league figured that out, so now it's up to Phillips to adjust, if he can.

Johnny nailed it here, and this is a major reason why I believe the comparisons to Felipe Lopez don't really fly.

Before Lopez took off in 2005, he still had a MLB PA/BB rate of 11.65. That's not great, but it's still pretty good for a young up-and-coming hitter. He worked the count fairly well, did a better job of laying off bad pitches while he waited for his pitch and took more walks. It's not a secret that hitters who control the strike zone put themselves in a position to develop and succeed much more often than hitters that can't control the zone. Even though Lopez looked awful in most of his MLB plate appearances prior to 2005, he was laying the foundation to give him a decent chance to ultimately breakout.

With Phillips having a career MLB PA/BB of over 23, his plate discipline is far worse than Felipe's ever was. Phillips is just lacking the ability to control the strike zone anywhere near the level Lopez could, and it drastically lowers his chances of ever breaking out and hitting successfully like Lopez has done.

Redsfaithful
05-17-2006, 11:08 PM
which has been plainly clear by analyzing his entire professional baseball career

The kid was an absolute stud through the AA level. He's also put up fairly decent numbers in AAA, with some nice power. Yeah, he's been pretty bad at the major league level, but he was a top prospect at one time because of his performance, not just because of his supposed tools.

RedFanAlways1966
05-17-2006, 11:10 PM
The kid was an absolute stud through the AA level. He's also put up fairly decent numbers in AAA, with some nice power. Yeah, he's been pretty bad at the major league level, but he was a top prospect at one time because of his performance, not just because of his supposed tools.

Sounds like that could describe a guy that was going to be the REDS next 3rd baseman not long ago...

Falls City Beer
05-17-2006, 11:20 PM
Sounds like that could describe a guy that was going to be the REDS next 3rd baseman not long ago...


"Bin" followed by "go." Moving turd.

Cyclone792
05-17-2006, 11:32 PM
The kid was an absolute stud through the AA level. He's also put up fairly decent numbers in AAA, with some nice power. Yeah, he's been pretty bad at the major league level, but he was a top prospect at one time because of his performance, not just because of his supposed tools.

Well ...

In early 2001, Phillips played for Jupiter in the high-A Florida State League. I'll give him credit as he knew what a walk was at that time, drawing the base on balls 38 times in ~235 plate appearances.

Then he gets promoted to Harrisburg in the AA Eastern League in midseason. He suddenly forgets how to walk, drawing the base on balls only 12 times in ~280 plate appearances. Mr. Swing at Everything was born and ready to hack.

I'm not sure if Harrisburg has made any recent park changes, but I do know that from 2003-2005 they played in a hitter's park with a run factor of 1.06 and a home run factor of 1.14. Additionally, the Eastern League has been a slight hitter's league as well, and doesn't benefit pitchers like the Southern league does at the same level. When put into context for his park and league, suddenly that ~.825 OPS in his time in AA doesn't look as hot.

In AAA, his highest OPS was .774, which is most definitely unimpressive.

TOBTTReds
05-18-2006, 12:02 AM
Falls City, I still disagree with what you said before about him being trash and worthless, and shouldn't be in the major leagues, and everything else.

The guy is a stud fielder, and like someone else mentioned, when this team is right, we need his D more than we need Richie's O, or anyone elses. He has gotten that "homer happy" swing. He is pulling off and trying to take everything to left, I really hope someone is noticing this, like Chambliss.

RFS62
05-18-2006, 12:28 AM
He either learns how to make adjustments or he doesn't. Now that he's been around the league, the pitchers have found the holes in his stroke.

The bars are full of guys who can't make adjustments.

Superdude
05-18-2006, 12:32 AM
I wouldn't call Phillips a horrible hitter, at least not yet. His plate discipline is bad, but he seems to put the ball in play quite a bit and has some pop. With his defense, if he can put up a decent average with 15 homers a year, I'll accept a .320OBP.

Johnny Footstool
05-18-2006, 01:11 AM
I wouldn't call Phillips a horrible hitter, at least not yet. His plate discipline is bad, but he seems to put the ball in play quite a bit and has some pop. With his defense, if he can put up a decent average with 15 homers a year, I'll accept a .320OBP.

An OPB of .320 is ridiculously low. Pokey Reese low. Rey Ordonez low. And Phillips' glove isn't on their level.

penantboundreds
05-18-2006, 02:39 AM
phillips glove is tremendous, he saves runs flat out...he also has a pretty nice swing --> im guessing he is stuck on the mlb roster and thats why we have him (no options) but if we could throw him to AAA and tell him he wont be brought up until he proves he knows the strike zone he could be a phenom...he may not break out until hes 28-30 but with his glove and tools people will keep giving him chances, and soon enough he'll figure out he isnt vlad guerrero and will put it together...just my guess

pedro
05-18-2006, 02:41 AM
If he can play SS and OPS 740 then he'd be worth something for a few years.

Topcat
05-18-2006, 03:48 AM
I've been saying it for weeks, but no sooner was my derision out of my mouth, the peanut gallery bashed me over the head with their "refusal to take a walk/scrapadelic" stick.

He's awful--everything in his past except for a couple of stints in the minors suggested he would be atrocious. And he is. I'd just as soon have Castro; they are one and the same thing.

But thanks for articulating more clearly what his numbers were screaming before.


Falls for the first time ever I am giving you some ammo to rub me in about at the end of this season ok? If phillips maintains his playing time for the whole season I am putting him down for ..270 ba 14 hr's and 62 rbi's. Plus with his glove, face it thats a damn good 2baseman. The guy has never before had the oppurtunity that exists with this team. I feel he is going to be a very good player at his position and this is the bait I offer you ok ? If your wrong All is ak is any Louisville Cardinall pics etc you can send me, if I am wrong name what you want from Canada of course within reason and it will be yours:thumbup:

REDREAD
05-18-2006, 08:26 AM
Well, IMO, Phillips is still a project worth investing in. I think most of the people on board realized that he wasn't going to continue to have a season like the "Player of the Week" season he had.

I'll pull out a frequently used arguement here. We aren't going to contend this year, so why not give some playing time to a kid that might help us in the future? Maybe the kid will never figure out how to hit a slider (that's a risk). On a team like the Reds though (no prospects close to ML ready), he's worth a shot.

The Larson comparison isn't quite right because Larson was a horrible glove. Larson couldn't do anything to help you win. At least Phillips improves the defense. As far as Freel goes, he's going to get plenty of time as a supersub. I also have a feeling that Freel is a short timer around here, even though he did recently sign a 2 year deal.

TC81190
05-18-2006, 09:20 AM
Freel can't hit. He can't do it. He can't get it out of the infield.

End.

lollipopcurve
05-18-2006, 10:16 AM
Phillips will be fine, in my opinion. Saying that "he is what he is" supposes he doesn't have the ability to adjust nor the aptitude to learn. I don't think you can assume those things, especially about a kid who has been ballyhooed, rushed, traded twice, and has switched positions.

It's going to take him a while to settle down, feel comfortable and gain consistency. At the very least, he'll be cheap and provide good defense in the middle of the field for a few years. His offensive ceiling remains high, at least in my view.

RedsBuck36
05-18-2006, 10:27 AM
According to last nights lineup before Hatteburgs illness, BP would've been in the 2 hole behind Lopez and in front of Griffey, a perfect spot for him IMO. He's going to get more fastballs with Lopez on base and Griffey,Dunn, Kearns behind him and he's definitely a fastball hitter. Like some of you have said previously if Chambliss gets on him regarding his strike zone I think we could have something going at the top of our order. Also on nights that Freel plays second or outfield our lineup wouldnt change that much. My two cents anyway during this horrific slump.

Caveat Emperor
05-18-2006, 10:37 AM
In the batter's box, if Brandon Phillips is the answer to anything, I don't want to know the question. And sadly, don't anyone think for one second that Jerry Narron won't be tempted to bat such a prolific out-making machine as high in the order as leadoff or second. There no better way to kill potential rallies than batting an out-prone hitter immediately in front of your big boppers.

Learn the strike zone and take a walk occasionally, Brandon, it won't harm you to do so.

The question is: how does a team on budgetary constraints and with not even a bit of positional talent at the minor league level get better?

Brandon Phillips has a lot of learning to do at the plate, but he's a better 2B option (at this point) than Bergolla (who would be a true offensive black hole) or anyone else that's immediately available to play at the ML level. The Reds got him for nothing in a season that's going to go nowhere, so as far as I can see there's no harm in allowing him to see pitching, work with Chambliss, and hopefully get sorted out.

Falls City Beer
05-18-2006, 10:41 AM
The question is: how does a team on budgetary constraints and with not even a bit of positional talent at the minor league level get better?

Brandon Phillips has a lot of learning to do at the plate, but he's a better 2B option (at this point) than Bergolla (who would be a true offensive black hole) or anyone else that's immediately available to play at the ML level. The Reds got him for nothing in a season that's going to go nowhere, so as far as I can see there's no harm in allowing him to see pitching, work with Chambliss, and hopefully get sorted out.

That's fine. But there's no sense in not being clear-eyed about what his past tells us and what his current plate approach continues to tell us.

The hallmarks of change in an approach like Phillips's should be readily apparent if they come.

deltachi8
05-18-2006, 10:46 AM
If he can play SS and OPS 740 then he'd be worth something for a few years.

He can play SS and play it better than FeLo. I am with ya here, if he can OPS at that rate and bring a plus glove to SS, then moved FeLo to 2b (where he is better) and you have improved your defense without a scarafice of great degree on offense.

Cyclone792
05-18-2006, 10:51 AM
Phillips will be fine, in my opinion. Saying that "he is what he is" supposes he doesn't have the ability to adjust nor the aptitude to learn. I don't think you can assume those things, especially about a kid who has been ballyhooed, rushed, traded twice, and has switched positions.

It's going to take him a while to settle down, feel comfortable and gain consistency. At the very least, he'll be cheap and provide good defense in the middle of the field for a few years. His offensive ceiling remains high, at least in my view.

I'm not assuming anything. I've looked at his entire professional career, majors and minors, and it shouldn't take six years to settle down, feel comfortable, gain consistency and learn the strike zone. Claiming upside and potential is all well and good, but there comes a point when one must ask "Can he hit?" Looking at his entire career, it's readily apparent that he simply can't hit, and it's a compelling reason for explaining why he's been traded.

Phillips hit .256/.326/.409 last season in AAA. Hardly impressive numbers for a guy that turned 24 in June of that season and is supposed to have major upside. If he can hit, then why has he never hit in his entire career? When I look at Phillips' performace over the past three weeks, I see an on-base percentage under .300 with exactly three extra basehits. I don't see why people are surprised about Phillips recent struggles given his career track record. Rather than call it struggling, it seems clear that Brandon Phillips is the guy we've seen in the last few weeks.

Again, I'm not at all opposed to moving Phillips to shortstop where we can gain as much positive run value out his glove as possible. If he's in the lineup, it should be for his glove only, except the Reds haven't quite figured out that starting him at shortstop and pledging to keep him buried in the bottom of the lineup is how to gain as much positive run value out of him as possible.

lollipopcurve
05-18-2006, 10:59 AM
the Reds haven't quite figured out that starting him at shortstop

Not sure I understand this completely. How would moving him to SS, and Felipe to 2nd, presumably, help the team at this point? Do you know Phillips will provide the defense at SS as he does at 2nd? Do you know Felipe will defend well at 2nd?

Seems to me that with two young guys like this you let them settle in at one spot. To pull a switcheroo at this point might be too distracting for both of them. Far better, if you're going to make that move, to do it from the beginning of ST.


If he can hit, then why has he never hit in his entire career?

I believe if you look at some of his minor league numbers you'll find some seasons in which he hit well.

Time will tell.

Cyclone792
05-18-2006, 11:16 AM
The question is: how does a team on budgetary constraints and with not even a bit of positional talent at the minor league level get better?

Brandon Phillips has a lot of learning to do at the plate, but he's a better 2B option (at this point) than Bergolla (who would be a true offensive black hole) or anyone else that's immediately available to play at the ML level. The Reds got him for nothing in a season that's going to go nowhere, so as far as I can see there's no harm in allowing him to see pitching, work with Chambliss, and hopefully get sorted out.

I'm not opposed to giving Phillips a shot to play shortstop, because if he provides a solid glove there, then I'm much more tolerant of his bat. The average ML SS had a .719 OPS in 2005. Put Phillips at shortstop, let him help us with his glove, and I can learn to live with him. But at second base where the league average OPS pushes .750, I quickly lose patience with his inability to help the team offensively. His plate discipline is worse than Wily Mo Pena's, and that's hard to accomplish.

I looked at Phillips' BABIP about two weeks ago, and I noticed it was about .360. I didn't post it, but I told myself when that BABIP drops (and it was only a matter of time), his OBP will be atrocious. Sure enough, his BABIP has normalized to just under .310, and his OBP has sunk to .315. With a normalized BABIP, his OBP will be about 25 points lower than the league average second baseman, and he's yet to prove that he can carry a slugging percentage above that of a league average second baseman to offset the abysmal OBP.

Quite frankly, if Phillips is a .270/.310/.400 hitter at second base, and even that batting line may be a stretch, he better be Bill Mazeroski with the glove, otherwise I want no part of him. Whatever upside he has, I don't see it close to happening if he doesn't figure out the strike zone.

Cyclone792
05-18-2006, 11:19 AM
Not sure I understand this completely. How would moving him to SS, and Felipe to 2nd, presumably, help the team at this point? Do you know Phillips will provide the defense at SS as he does at 2nd? Do you know Felipe will defend well at 2nd?

Seems to me that with two young guys like this you let them settle in at one spot. To pull a switcheroo at this point might be too distracting for both of them. Far better, if you're going to make that move, to do it from the beginning of ST.

Felipe Lopez was among the worst defensive shortstops in the league last season. Move him to second base where he can at least not provide negative value defensively, and our middle defense improves. I'm confident that Phillips at SS and Lopez at 2B would provide more positive run value defensively than the way we're currently seeing now.


I believe if you look at some of his minor league numbers you'll find some seasons in which he hit well.

Time will tell.

I looked at those seasons in which he didn't hit poorly, and they occurred in hitting parks in hitting leagues.

Color me unimpressed.

registerthis
05-18-2006, 11:27 AM
Freel can't hit. He can't do it. He can't get it out of the infield.

End.

He's getting on base at a .370 clip. How he does it doesn't concern me greatly.

End.

RedsManRick
05-18-2006, 11:33 AM
With Aurilia on the DL, Phillips is the only other SS on the roster. Not that I want to see FeLo take a day off, but it wouldn't hurt to get Phillips some action over there. Can somebody post a component analysis of FeLo's defense? Is his erratic arm the only issue? I.E. Would he be a plus defender at 2B leading to better defense from him, or is it just a function of letting Phillips handle the more important of the two?

lollipopcurve
05-18-2006, 11:34 AM
I looked at those seasons in which he didn't hit poorly, and they occurred in hitting parks in hitting leagues.

Really?

Age 20, high A: 404 OBP, 832 OPS for Jupiter in the Florida State League (230 PA, promoted)
Age 21, AA: 380 OBP, 886 OPS for Harrisburg in the Eastern League (260 PA, promoted)

How is it you are unimpressed by those numbers?

The Florida State League is a pitcher's league, not a hitter's league. Not sure about the Eastern League (except I do know it's colder than the other AA leagues).

At the very least, they seem to indicate he has flashed the ability to control the strike zone. And, your earlier contention that his inability to hit was probable cause for his being traded twice is nonsense. He was traded in the midst of his best offensive season.

IslandRed
05-18-2006, 11:54 AM
I think Cyclone and lollipopcurve are both right, to an extent... Phillips was one of the most coveted prospects in baseball when traded to the Indians. He, not Sizemore or Lee, was supposed to be the best prospect in the deal.

Nonetheless, that was four years ago, and for the last three Phillips hasn't hit that well. There are theories as to why, but expecting him to snap out of it and start raking consistently would have to be classified as a hope, not a plan.

On the subject of defense, he was a shortstop, and a pretty good one. It's my understanding that he was bounced to second not because of an inability to play short but because he was blocked in Cleveland, first by Vizquel and then after being passed on the prospect trail by Peralta. To the extent the visual test matters, he looks like he'd have better range than Lopez.

Cyclone792
05-18-2006, 11:59 AM
Really?

Age 20, high A: 404 OBP, 832 OPS for Jupiter in the Florida State League (230 PA, promoted)
Age 21, AA: 380 OBP, 886 OPS for Harrisburg in the Eastern League (260 PA, promoted)

How is it you are unimpressed by those numbers?

The Florida State League is a pitcher's league, not a hitter's league. Not sure about the Eastern League (except I do know it's colder than the other AA leagues).

At the very least, they seem to indicate he has flashed the ability to control the strike zone. And, your earlier contention that his inability to hit was probable cause for his being traded twice is nonsense. He was traded in the midst of his best offensive season.

Scroll up to post #27 in this very same thread.

lollipopcurve
05-18-2006, 12:10 PM
Scroll up to post #27 in this very same thread.

OK, but you forget to mention there that the FSL is a pitcher's league, and, as I just discovered, Jupiter is an extreme pitcher's park.

Phillips was very good offensively at a young age. He was rushed -- and, in his case, being challenged by rapid promotion did not work. Whether he'll recover to be an above-average offensive middle infielder remains open to conjecture, the way I see it.

Does the fact that Phillips is 8-for-8 in steal attempts affect your evaluation of him as an offensive player, Cyclone? Isn't there some kind of speed-adjusted stat for offensive production?

Cyclone792
05-18-2006, 12:25 PM
OK, but you forget to mention there that the FSL is a pitcher's league, and, as I just discovered, Jupiter is an extreme pitcher's park.

Right, he walked a lot. He was a good offensive player in 55 games in 2001 in High-A, and the reason he was a good offensive player is because he was showing an ability to control the strike zone.

He gets promoted to AA, and despite going to a hitter's park in a hitters league, his plate discipline disappears and his offensive performance begins to slide down the drain. That's a red flag if ever there was one.


Does the fact that Phillips is 8-for-8 in steal attempts affect your evaluation of him as an offensive player, Cyclone? Isn't there some kind of speed-adjusted stat for offensive production?

A pleasant small bonus to add in, but nothing to get overly excited about or look for as an attempt to justify his performance offensively. If his on-base percentage is awful, and there's certainly no reason to think it won't be, then that greatly reduces the amount of plus performance he can give us by swiping a few bags.

lollipopcurve
05-18-2006, 12:50 PM
He gets promoted to AA, and despite going to a hitter's park in a hitters league, his plate discipline disappears and his offensive performance begins to slide down the drain. That's a red flag if ever there was one.

I think you'd have flashed the red flag a little early.

2001: Phillips, age 20/21 is promoted to AA at midseason. OBP drops from .404 to .330 something. Offensive production slips a lot, but he's very young and the pitching is much tougher than he's been seeing. They say high A to AA is perhaps the biggest jump in the minors. Wouldn't one expect a drop in production?

2002: Phillips returns to AA and manages a .380 OBP and .886 OPS in 260 PA. How does that constitute down-the-drain offensive performance? Is it possible he had learned something and made some adjustments to a higher level of competition? Would you have still been waving the red flag?

Your assessment of Phillips' minor league performance has holes in it, I think, Cyclone. You may be seeing only what you want to see. Phillips is no guarantee, but I think he has a good chance. You don't, clearly, but I think you are overlooking certain aspects of his performance -- or at least way overstating, if not misrepresenting, the park factors thing (Harrisburg is pretty much a wash vs all other AA parks, and, as I said, his good year at Jupiter was in an extreme pitchers park). And the park factor in Harrisburg seems to be your only explanation for why we should ignore what he did in 2001-2002.

Like I said, time will tell.

Cyclone792
05-18-2006, 01:11 PM
I think you'd have flashed the red flag a little early.

2001: Phillips, age 20/21 is promoted to AA at midseason. OBP drops from .404 to .330 something. Offensive production slips a lot, but he's very young and the pitching is much tougher than he's been seeing. They say high A to AA is perhaps the biggest jump in the minors. Wouldn't one expect a drop in production?

2002: Phillips returns to AA and manages a .380 OBP and .886 OPS in 260 PA. How does that constitute down-the-drain offensive performance? Is it possible he had learned something and made some adjustments to a higher level of competition? Would you have still been waving the red flag?

Your assessment of Phillips' minor league performance has holes in it, I think, Cyclone. You may be seeing only what you want to see. Phillips is no guarantee, but I think he has a good chance. You don't, clearly, but I think you are overlooking certain aspects of his performance -- or at least way overstating, if not misrepresenting, the park factors thing (Harrisburg is pretty much a wash vs all other AA parks, and, as I said, his good year at Jupiter was in an extreme pitchers park). And the park factor in Harrisburg seems to be your only explanation for why we should ignore what he did in 2001-2002.

Like I said, time will tell.

Hardly. He hit a wall, greatly slowed his development and what we see now isn't far off from what to expect. His plate discipline dropped considerably once he reached AA, and it dropped again considerably when he reached the majors. It's amazing the profound effect plate discipline, control of the strike zone and walks has on offensive ability, and Brandon Phillips struggles mightily in all of the above. I just can't get excited for a player that forgets what the strike zone is once he reaches AA, and even now almost at the age of 25 still doesn't have a clue in the majors.

As for 2002, don't let the mirage confuse you. His BABIP was .350 during his AA time in 2002, and even for AA that's remarkably high, but not likely to remain a constant. And guess what, he gets promoted to AAA, his BABIP drops to a much more realistic .313, which causes his BA to suddenly drop to .283 and his OBP plummets to .321.

It looks like you've gotten mesmerized by the ugly shadow known as an unrealisticly high BABIP. Hello abberation, and hence the importance of looking at why a player performed how they did, just as we look at how a player performed.

FWIW, the 2003-2005 weighted park factors in Harrisburg are 106 for runs and 114 for home runs. The only reason the run factor is 106 is because it cut down on doubles a bit, but regardless, it's still a hitter's park. I don't know if they've made modifications since Phillips played there in 2001-2002, but if not, then he clearly played in a hitter's park.

REDREAD
05-18-2006, 01:18 PM
I'm not opposed to giving Phillips a shot to play shortstop, because if he provides a solid glove there, then I'm much more tolerant of his bat. The average ML SS had a .719 OPS in 2005. Put Phillips at shortstop, let him help us with his glove, and I can learn to live with him. But at second base where the league average OPS pushes .750, I quickly lose patience with his inability to help the team offensively. His plate discipline is worse than Wily Mo Pena's, and that's hard to accomplish.
.

I don't understand one thing.. The status quo is Felipe at SS and Phillips at 2b. Why would you switch those two guys simply because Felipe has a better bat? (That's what your arguement boils down to, a comparison of Felipe and Phillips vs the average offense from those positions) Both bats are still going to be in the lineup, so changing positions won't help.

I don't think the there's a net improvement in defense by switching the two guys. If anything, it will get worse as they adjust to their new positions. Remember how Aaron Boone's hitting got screwed up by moving to 2b? Do you want to take that chance with Felipe? Felipe is comfortable now, leave him alone.

If Phillips improves with the bat, he'll be a long term solution. If not, he'll be relegated to a utility player until he gets two expensive. No need to switch positions to find out if Phillips is a keeper.

Cyclone792
05-18-2006, 01:30 PM
I don't understand one thing.. The status quo is Felipe at SS and Phillips at 2b. Why would you switch those two guys simply because Felipe has a better bat? (That's what your arguement boils down to, a comparison of Felipe and Phillips vs the average offense from those positions) Both bats are still going to be in the lineup, so changing positions won't help.

Because Felipe Lopez is so incredibly poor defensively at shortstop. He has -35 lifetime fielding runs above average, was at -16 last season and is already -3 this season, according to BP's metric. Gassko's fielding system awarded him -23 runs above average last season, and Pinto's PMR had him 4th worst among all MLB shortstops last season.

Unfortunately, Felipe Lopez really is that bad defensively at shortstop.

Assume Brandon Phillips gives us 10 fielding runs above average at second base. We're still at a net -10 runs between the two positions. Swap the players, and if Lopez is average at second base while Phillips is average at shortstop (which I think is very possible), then we're at 0 runs between the two positions, a net gain of 10 runs.

Cyclone792
05-18-2006, 04:19 PM
With Aurilia on the DL, Phillips is the only other SS on the roster. Not that I want to see FeLo take a day off, but it wouldn't hurt to get Phillips some action over there. Can somebody post a component analysis of FeLo's defense? Is his erratic arm the only issue? I.E. Would he be a plus defender at 2B leading to better defense from him, or is it just a function of letting Phillips handle the more important of the two?

I missed this earlier, Rick, but my take on Lopez's defense:

According to Pinto's PMR, Lopez in 2005 was at circa -20 runs above average defensively.
According to Gassko's fielding system at Hardball Times, Lopez in 2005 was awarded -23 runs above average.
According to BP's fielding runs above average, Lopez in 2005 was at -19 runs above average.
According to The Fielder's Bible, Lopez ranked 25th out of 30 shortstops.
According to defensive win shares, Lopez in 2005 had 2.6 defensive win shares, good for 29th among shortstops.

I've posted this before in other threads a few weeks/months ago, but it bears repeating. Defensive metrics are far from perfect right now, and I'm not sure what Lopez's UZR was last season, but when five defensive metrics pretty much claim that he's a very poor defensive shortstop, I'm inclined to believe they're on to something.

FWIW, I'm no scout, but for a few games this season I have sat behind the plate near the scout seats shaded off to the right side of the plate, and those seats give me a perfect view of the line ground balls take to shortstop. Lopez's first step is slow, and it appears that he has problems reading the ball off the bat. By the time he figures out the line of the ball, he's already lost a half step. Then once he's on his way to a grounder, it almost looks like he has lead shoes on while trying to move out there, which seems odd since he's a quick enough baserunner to enjoy the success he's had stealing bases.

Unfortunately, when you're watching TV, you won't see any of that. You'll just see a ground ball hit to the right side, and by the time the camera angle flips over, you see it bounding past a reaching Lopez. But when I'm down there at the game, I've witnessed more than a few groundballs that he should have had based on positioning and the ball's velocity. There's nothing to do except just sit there and shake my head in disbelief when he's unable to get there to even have a chance to pick it.

It's one of those things, IMO, that what I visually see backs the stats up, and likewise the stats backup what I visually see, if that makes any sense.

There's really no doubt in my mind that Phillips would be a better defensive shortstop than Lopez, perhaps a vastly better defensive shortstop. If Lopez is moved to second base, he's got the arm strength that he could at least play a bit deeper to account for some of the lost range. While Lopez is a poor defensive shortstop, I'm pretty confident he wouldn't cost us runs out at second base.

KronoRed
05-18-2006, 04:37 PM
I don't understand one thing.. The status quo is Felipe at SS and Phillips at 2b.

Like Cyclone said, Lopez isn't that great defensively at SS, also..I'd want them moved just because status quo is Dan O speak :devil:

TC81190
05-18-2006, 05:17 PM
He's getting on base at a .370 clip. How he does it doesn't concern me greatly.

End.

I'd definitely like him to not hit 225.

Cedric
05-18-2006, 05:31 PM
I missed this earlier, Rick, but my take on Lopez's defense:

According to Pinto's PMR, Lopez in 2005 was at circa -20 runs above average defensively.
According to Gassko's fielding system at Hardball Times, Lopez in 2005 was awarded -23 runs above average.
According to BP's fielding runs above average, Lopez in 2005 was at -19 runs above average.
According to The Fielder's Bible, Lopez ranked 25th out of 30 shortstops.
According to defensive win shares, Lopez in 2005 had 2.6 defensive win shares, good for 29th among shortstops.

I've posted this before in other threads a few weeks/months ago, but it bears repeating. Defensive metrics are far from perfect right now, and I'm not sure what Lopez's UZR was last season, but when five defensive metrics pretty much claim that he's a very poor defensive shortstop, I'm inclined to believe they're on to something.

FWIW, I'm no scout, but for a few games this season I have sat behind the plate near the scout seats shaded off to the right side of the plate, and those seats give me a perfect view of the line ground balls take to shortstop. Lopez's first step is slow, and it appears that he has problems reading the ball off the bat. By the time he figures out the line of the ball, he's already lost a half step. Then once he's on his way to a grounder, it almost looks like he has lead shoes on while trying to move out there, which seems odd since he's a quick enough baserunner to enjoy the success he's had stealing bases.

Unfortunately, when you're watching TV, you won't see any of that. You'll just see a ground ball hit to the right side, and by the time the camera angle flips over, you see it bounding past a reaching Lopez. But when I'm down there at the game, I've witnessed more than a few groundballs that he should have had based on positioning and the ball's velocity. There's nothing to do except just sit there and shake my head in disbelief when he's unable to get there to even have a chance to pick it.

It's one of those things, IMO, that what I visually see backs the stats up, and likewise the stats backup what I visually see, if that makes any sense.

There's really no doubt in my mind that Phillips would be a better defensive shortstop than Lopez, perhaps a vastly better defensive shortstop. If Lopez is moved to second base, he's got the arm strength that he could at least play a bit deeper to account for some of the lost range. While Lopez is a poor defensive shortstop, I'm pretty confident he wouldn't cost us runs out at second base.

I've never found a fielding metric that even remotely works.

I've been looking at the Probabilistic Model of Range and while it does have a park affect, it doesn't independantly treat each characteristic of the ballpark. Which metric do you prefer?

Cyclone792
05-18-2006, 05:43 PM
I've never found a fielding metric that even remotely works.

I've been looking at the Probabilistic Model of Range and while it does have a park affect, it doesn't independantly treat each characteristic of the ballpark. Which metric do you prefer?

UZR, but unfortunately that's no longer readily accessible.

Without UZR, I'm left to look at an array of metrics and attempt to come up with some sort of likely conclusion based off what each of the metrics lists. If all those metrics disagree, then I look to see why they might be disagreeing. If they all agree, as in the case with Lopez, then I feel as though we have a firm grasp on the defensive abilities of the player in question.

BuckeyeRedleg
05-18-2006, 06:56 PM
It does make sense to ultimately move Phillips to SS and Lopez to 2B.

...and eventually Dunn to 1B.

Highlifeman21
05-18-2006, 07:01 PM
Do you want Womack back? The whole team is slumping. Let's not panic. He's not as good as he was during his tear and is not as bad as he looks now. He is somewhere in the middle, but still our best option at 2B.


He's our best defensive option at SS, but remains to be a waste of range at 2B. It is Pokey Reese revisited. "Let's take a guy with good to great range at SS and put him at 2B." That logic continues to defy me.

I hate to say it, but until we plug Phillips in as our everday SS defensively and Lopez at 2B everyday, we're not going to maximize the DP combo production.

Highlifeman21
05-18-2006, 07:27 PM
I missed this earlier, Rick, but my take on Lopez's defense:

According to Pinto's PMR, Lopez in 2005 was at circa -20 runs above average defensively.
According to Gassko's fielding system at Hardball Times, Lopez in 2005 was awarded -23 runs above average.
According to BP's fielding runs above average, Lopez in 2005 was at -19 runs above average.
According to The Fielder's Bible, Lopez ranked 25th out of 30 shortstops.
According to defensive win shares, Lopez in 2005 had 2.6 defensive win shares, good for 29th among shortstops.

I've posted this before in other threads a few weeks/months ago, but it bears repeating. Defensive metrics are far from perfect right now, and I'm not sure what Lopez's UZR was last season, but when five defensive metrics pretty much claim that he's a very poor defensive shortstop, I'm inclined to believe they're on to something.

FWIW, I'm no scout, but for a few games this season I have sat behind the plate near the scout seats shaded off to the right side of the plate, and those seats give me a perfect view of the line ground balls take to shortstop. Lopez's first step is slow, and it appears that he has problems reading the ball off the bat. By the time he figures out the line of the ball, he's already lost a half step. Then once he's on his way to a grounder, it almost looks like he has lead shoes on while trying to move out there, which seems odd since he's a quick enough baserunner to enjoy the success he's had stealing bases.

Unfortunately, when you're watching TV, you won't see any of that. You'll just see a ground ball hit to the right side, and by the time the camera angle flips over, you see it bounding past a reaching Lopez. But when I'm down there at the game, I've witnessed more than a few groundballs that he should have had based on positioning and the ball's velocity. There's nothing to do except just sit there and shake my head in disbelief when he's unable to get there to even have a chance to pick it.

It's one of those things, IMO, that what I visually see backs the stats up, and likewise the stats backup what I visually see, if that makes any sense.

There's really no doubt in my mind that Phillips would be a better defensive shortstop than Lopez, perhaps a vastly better defensive shortstop. If Lopez is moved to second base, he's got the arm strength that he could at least play a bit deeper to account for some of the lost range. While Lopez is a poor defensive shortstop, I'm pretty confident he wouldn't cost us runs out at second base.

FWIW, Lopez is slow for a middle infielder. His SB success this season stems from actually being a smart baserunner, as opposed to using speed. Reggie Taylor was one of the fastest men ever to play in the majors, but lacked SB ability b/c he wasn't smart. He couldn't read pitchers, couldn't time a jump, had lackluster fundamentals at best, but could make up for some of that with blazing speed. If Reggie Taylor had the baserunning intelligence of Felipe Lopez, then Taylor's worth would have skyrocketed, as he would be a Podsednik style basestealer who has the duo of speed and intelligence.

I give Lopez credit, he's getting great leads, great jumps, reading pitchers well, all the while compensating for his lead feet. I wonder why he can't translate reading SB scenarios into reading balls off a bat. Until he does so to improve defensively, he's a dish best served at 2B.

Redmachine2003
05-19-2006, 10:08 PM
FWIW, Lopez is slow for a middle infielder. His SB success this season stems from actually being a smart baserunner, as opposed to using speed. Reggie Taylor was one of the fastest men ever to play in the majors, but lacked SB ability b/c he wasn't smart. He couldn't read pitchers, couldn't time a jump, had lackluster fundamentals at best, but could make up for some of that with blazing speed. If Reggie Taylor had the baserunning intelligence of Felipe Lopez, then Taylor's worth would have skyrocketed, as he would be a Podsednik style basestealer who has the duo of speed and intelligence.

I give Lopez credit, he's getting great leads, great jumps, reading pitchers well, all the while compensating for his lead feet. I wonder why he can't translate reading SB scenarios into reading balls off a bat. Until he does so to improve defensively, he's a dish best served at 2B.
I agree Lopez is so slow I could have beaten him around the bases on that in the park homer. Come on the guy has decent speed he may just lack that quick first step like Freel has.

reds44
05-19-2006, 10:12 PM
FWIW, Lopez is slow for a middle infielder. His SB success this season stems from actually being a smart baserunner, as opposed to using speed. Reggie Taylor was one of the fastest men ever to play in the majors, but lacked SB ability b/c he wasn't smart. He couldn't read pitchers, couldn't time a jump, had lackluster fundamentals at best, but could make up for some of that with blazing speed. If Reggie Taylor had the baserunning intelligence of Felipe Lopez, then Taylor's worth would have skyrocketed, as he would be a Podsednik style basestealer who has the duo of speed and intelligence.

I give Lopez credit, he's getting great leads, great jumps, reading pitchers well, all the while compensating for his lead feet. I wonder why he can't translate reading SB scenarios into reading balls off a bat. Until he does so to improve defensively, he's a dish best served at 2B.
Lopez is slow?

You're kidding right?

registerthis
05-19-2006, 10:43 PM
Well, Phillips has more RBI than Dunn at this point.

Awful hitter or not, I'll take that kind of production from the 7 spot, thank you very much.

reds44
05-19-2006, 10:54 PM
Well, Phillips has more RBI than Dunn at this point.

Awful hitter or not, I'll take that kind of production from the 7 spot, thank you very much.
Very good point.

Highlifeman21
05-20-2006, 12:03 AM
Lopez is slow?

You're kidding right?


Dead serious. Lopez is slow, by basestealing and fielding standards. He's a smart basestealer, not a fast one. Big difference.

reds44
05-20-2006, 12:05 AM
Dead serious. Lopez is slow, by basestealing and fielding standards. He's a smart basestealer, not a fast one. Big difference.
Felipe Lopez is fast.

He isn't Joey Gathright fast or Juan Pierre fast, but he is fast.

penantboundreds
05-20-2006, 12:13 AM
ive seen some dumb arguments here lately...lopez is slow? he may get bad reactions off the bat or something?? but he has good hands a strong arm and has decent to above average range...get real he is slow

dougdirt
05-20-2006, 12:31 AM
ive seen some dumb arguments here lately...lopez is slow? he may get bad reactions off the bat or something?? but he has good hands a strong arm and has decent to above average range...get real he is slow
Come on now, Lopez has below average range....nowhere close to decent to above average range. As for his speed, I am not commenting, but his range is below average.

reds44
05-20-2006, 12:34 AM
Come on now, Lopez has below average range....nowhere close to decent to above average range. As for his speed, I am not commenting, but his range is below average.
Yeah I have tried to pull out the Felipe has good range thing and I am immediately might by abunch of stats that say otherwise. However just because he has bad range as a SS doesn't make him slow. The man is pretty fast.

kyle1976
05-20-2006, 01:27 AM
If Lopez is slow then I'm 12 feet tall. This may be the dumbest argument I've seen on here. Give me a break, he has 16 stolen bases.

Reds1
05-20-2006, 01:47 AM
Come on now, Lopez has below average range....nowhere close to decent to above average range. As for his speed, I am not commenting, but his range is below average.

Did you see the play he made tonight. Lopez has range. Best in the league probably night, but below ave. I think not. It was the play of the game. Can't see Larkin even making that play. You don't get 18 SB and lead league being slow so I won't even go there. Heck, I think he was even safe on one of the times they called him out.

Back to the topic of hand Phillips has been awesome at the plate. He hit into some tough luck, but the guy produces case in point tonight a bases loaded triple and a nice sac fly I think on a 2 strike curve ball. What a nice pick up there. Not bad from your 9th hitter in the line up.

Caveat Emperor
05-20-2006, 01:48 AM
If Lopez is slow then I'm 12 feet tall. This may be the dumbest argument I've seen on here. Give me a break, he has 16 stolen bases.

Good coaching on how to read pitchers movements and selectively stealing against catchers that lack big-time arms can make average to middling speed look all-world on the basepathes.

kyle1976
05-20-2006, 01:54 AM
Good coaching on how to read pitchers movements and selectively stealing against catchers that lack big-time arms can make average to middling speed look all-world on the basepathes.

Lopez is leading the league with 16 bags, and he's only been caught once on a questionable call. He's not slow. Not even close. Is he fast? Who cares. He's fast enough to be very effecient and that's what matters.

reds44
05-20-2006, 01:57 AM
Did you see the play he made tonight. Lopez has range. Best in the league probably night, but below ave. I think not. It was the play of the game. Can't see Larkin even making that play. You don't get 18 SB and lead league being slow so I won't even go there. Heck, I think he was even safe on one of the times they called him out.

Back to the topic of hand Phillips has been awesome at the plate. He hit into some tough luck, but the guy produces case in point tonight a bases loaded triple and a nice sac fly I think on a 2 strike curve ball. What a nice pick up there. Not bad from your 9th hitter in the line up.
Just because you make a diving play doesn't mean you have range. Again he isn't slow, he has very good speed, but he probably isn't top 15 in baseball speed.

reds44
05-20-2006, 01:58 AM
Lopez is leading the league with 16 bags, and he's only been caught once on a questionable call. He's not slow. Not even close. Is he fast? Who cares. He's fast enough to be very effecient and that's what matters.
Yep exactly. He has very good speed and it allows him to do things alot of other people can't.

Highlifeman21
05-20-2006, 02:33 AM
Good coaching on how to read pitchers movements and selectively stealing against catchers that lack big-time arms can make average to middling speed look all-world on the basepathes.


Thank you for making my point. I'm glad someone can relate to what I've been saying.

Prior to this season, Lopez had 33 career SB in 55 career attempts. 60% success rate is just screaming fast, lemme tell ya. This year he's 16 for 18, and last year he was 15 for 22, so what does that trend tell me?

He's getting smarter about stealing bases. He's making less outs while trying to steal.

What does it not tell me? That he's blessed with all-world speed. If he was or is as fast as some of you are trying to make him, then 33 out of 55 prior to this year means he's an absolutely dumb basestealer, getting bad jumps, bad leads, things of that nature, and letting his speed make up for it.

Again, not the case. In fact, the opposite. He's just being smart about when and where and whom is involved on his SB attempts.




The fact of the matter is that Lopez, for the sake of argument, has average speed at best. Off the top of my head, I would say he's at best, 3rd fastest on the team behind Freel and Phillips, but I think that's being very very generous. EE could probably beat him in a race, McCracken could probably beat him, Bergolla could probably beat him, Olmedo I definitely think could beat him, and I'd be very interested to see what Denorfia could do against him. Now that I've rattled off those names, I would probably go:

1. Phillips
2. Freel
3. McCracken
4. Olmedo
5. EE
6. Denorfia
7. Lopez
8. Bergolla

So, for what I think could be the 7th fastest guy on our 40 man roster, sure, Lopez is fast.

It's VERY clear, Lopez isn't in the top 15 of fastest guys in the game, b/c he's easily not in the top 50, and might not even be in the top 100. Bottomline, he's just not that fast.


While Lopez has had some SB success this season, let's please not confuse 16 SB as a barometer for overall footspeed. I firmly believe it's his overall lack of footspeed that leads to that below average fielding range. There EASILY has to be some correlation there.

Cyclone792
05-20-2006, 02:36 AM
ive seen some dumb arguments here lately...lopez is slow? he may get bad reactions off the bat or something?? but he has good hands a strong arm and has decent to above average range...get real he is slow

Lopez gets an awful jump on the ball off the bat. It's plainly visible by watching his immediate reaction to balls hit his way. I watched Barry Larkin when he was an all-world defensive shortstop, and even later in his career when he was still a darn solid defensive shortstop. Barry Larkin could get a jump on the ball unlike many others; Felipe Lopez doesn't come close. There's a difference, and it's not difficult to observe.

It would seem prudent to me that if Felipe Lopez had above average range that he wouldn't be third last in all of baseball this season in Qualifed Zone Rating. The stat's definition is pretty darn clear: The percentage of balls fielded by a player in his typical defensive "zone," as measured by STATS, Inc..

According to Qualified Zone Rating, Felipe Lopez has turned 78.3 percent of all balls hit within his zone into outs. The average is around 85 percent, and the current league leader is Adam Everett at 91.9 percent. Over the course of a season, it wouldn't surprise me if Felipe Lopez allows 40 balls to get past him that an otherwise average shortstop would have made the play on. That's 40 outs not made by Felipe Lopez. Outs that turn into hits because of his inability to adequately field his position.

I'll phrase it another way. Think of a shortstop with average range making ~30 additional errors per year on balls he fielded. What are errors? Simply outs not made on balls in play that should have been outs; outs that turn into hits because of a fielding mistake. That's basically the equivalent of what Lopez's lack of range costs us. And people wonder why our team defensive efficiency rating is so poor.

If Felipe Lopez was an above average defensive shortstop, it would show up somewhere in quantifiable measures. I really wish he was a very fine defensive shortstop, but none of the evidence I've ever seen suggests he's above average.


Did you see the play he made tonight. Lopez has range. Best in the league probably night, but below ave. I think not. It was the play of the game. Can't see Larkin even making that play. You don't get 18 SB and lead league being slow so I won't even go there. Heck, I think he was even safe on one of the times they called him out.

Hmmm ... now Felipe Lopez is making plays that Barry Larkin apparently couldn't make. I've now heard it all when people are beginning to claim that Felipe Lopez may be a better defensive shortstop than Barry Larkin ever was.


Back to the topic of hand Phillips has been awesome at the plate. He hit into some tough luck, but the guy produces case in point tonight a bases loaded triple and a nice sac fly I think on a 2 strike curve ball. What a nice pick up there. Not bad from your 9th hitter in the line up.

Brandon Phillips has a batting average on balls in play that's league average. That must be some tough luck to be right on the league average mark for batting average on balls in play. It makes me wonder what kind of luck half the league's hitters have who are below the league average. Impossible luck, maybe? I don't know.

Brandon Phillips had a great triple tonight. He got a great pitch to hit, he recognized it and he drove the ball into the gap. It's exactly what he needs to be doing more often than he's ever done in his career to be a productive hitter.

Since I originally created this thread, Brandon Phillips has had nine plate appearances (eight at bats), making eight outs, acquiring three bases and having one "productive out" in those plate appearances. That's not what I want from a hitter. Instead, I'd much prefer nine plate appearances with only five or six outs made and four bases acquired per the eight at bats. That's a much better ratio to put up over a full season of plate appearances and at bats.

People need to be concentrating on the ratio of outs made and bases acquired throughout his plate appearances and at bats instead of the random good luck of having men on base when all his bases were acquired. Given time, that sample size of being lucky by acquiring bases with men on base evens out.

The fewer outs he makes and the more bases he acquires per plate appearance and at bat total, the more runs he ultimately drives in. That's a common theme for all hitters. It should be such a simple concept, but why doesn't it make sense to people?

Reds1
05-20-2006, 10:16 AM
Just because you make a diving play doesn't mean you have range. Again he isn't slow, he has very good speed, but he probably isn't top 15 in baseball speed.


If you make that play and saw it you have good range. He has a fantastic arm which helps him get guys like that play. Why could you say he has bad range. I don't understand.

Reds1
05-20-2006, 10:18 AM
Lopez gets an awful jump on the ball off the bat. It's plainly visible by watching his immediate reaction to balls hit his way. I watched Barry Larkin when he was an all-world defensive shortstop, and even later in his career when he was still a darn solid defensive shortstop. Barry Larkin could get a jump on the ball unlike many others; Felipe Lopez doesn't come close. There's a difference, and it's not difficult to observe.

It would seem prudent to me that if Felipe Lopez had above average range that he wouldn't be third last in all of baseball this season in Qualifed Zone Rating. The stat's definition is pretty darn clear: The percentage of balls fielded by a player in his typical defensive "zone," as measured by STATS, Inc..

According to Qualified Zone Rating, Felipe Lopez has turned 78.3 percent of all balls hit within his zone into outs. The average is around 85 percent, and the current league leader is Adam Everett at 91.9 percent. Over the course of a season, it wouldn't surprise me if Felipe Lopez allows 40 balls to get past him that an otherwise average shortstop would have made the play on. That's 40 outs not made by Felipe Lopez. Outs that turn into hits because of his inability to adequately field his position.

I'll phrase it another way. Think of a shortstop with average range making ~30 additional errors per year on balls he fielded. What are errors? Simply outs not made on balls in play that should have been outs; outs that turn into hits because of a fielding mistake. That's basically the equivalent of what Lopez's lack of range costs us. And people wonder why our team defensive efficiency rating is so poor.

If Felipe Lopez was an above average defensive shortstop, it would show up somewhere in quantifiable measures. I really wish he was a very fine defensive shortstop, but none of the evidence I've ever seen suggests he's above average.



Hmmm ... now Felipe Lopez is making plays that Barry Larkin apparently couldn't make. I've now heard it all when people are beginning to claim that Felipe Lopez may be a better defensive shortstop than Barry Larkin ever was.



Brandon Phillips has a batting average on balls in play that's league average. That must be some tough luck to be right on the league average mark for batting average on balls in play. It makes me wonder what kind of luck half the league's hitters have who are below the league average. Impossible luck, maybe? I don't know.

Brandon Phillips had a great triple tonight. He got a great pitch to hit, he recognized it and he drove the ball into the gap. It's exactly what he needs to be doing more often than he's ever done in his career to be a productive hitter.

Since I originally created this thread, Brandon Phillips has had nine plate appearances (eight at bats), making eight outs, acquiring three bases and having one "productive out" in those plate appearances. That's not what I want from a hitter. Instead, I'd much prefer nine plate appearances with only five or six outs made and four bases acquired per the eight at bats. That's a much better ratio to put up over a full season of plate appearances and at bats.

People need to be concentrating on the ratio of outs made and bases acquired throughout his plate appearances and at bats instead of the random good luck of having men on base when all his bases were acquired. Given time, that sample size of being lucky by acquiring bases with men on base evens out.

The fewer outs he makes and the more bases he acquires per plate appearance and at bat total, the more runs he ultimately drives in. That's a common theme for all hitters. It should be such a simple concept, but why doesn't it make sense to people?

Remember Phillips is a 7, 8, 9 hole hitter. We are getting great prodution. No one is sure how he will be. Players actually do get better as they age. He's done fantastic for us so far.

As far is Lopez. No, I think he's just as good as Lark getting to balls, but not at the consistancy throwing, etc. ONce he gets that I think he will be as good as Lark. I just hope he can be the offensive player larkin was.

Sorry, I don't have time to reply to your post. I'm just not sure how accurate those ratios are. I'd need to see some evidence on this.

Redmachine2003
05-20-2006, 10:39 AM
Lopez tore up his leg a few years ago and they thought he might be done when he first did it. He is not just getting smarter but he is getting his legs back under him and a little faster.

Reds Nd2
05-21-2006, 12:05 AM
FWIW, Lopez is slow for a middle infielder.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?context=6&category=true

Speed Score (SPD) is one of five primary production metrics used by PECOTA in identifying a hitter's comparables. It is based in principle on the Bill James speed score and includes five components: Stolen base percentage, stolen base attempts as a percentage of opportunities, triples, double plays grounded into as a percentage of opportunities, and runs scored as a percentage of times on base.

Beginning in 2006, BP has developed a proprietary version of Speed Score that takes better advantage of play-by-play data and ensures that equal weight is given to the five components. In the BP formulation of Speed Score, an average rating is exactly 5.0. The highest and lowest possible scores are 10.0 and 0.0, respectively, but in practice most players fall within the boundary between 7.0 (very fast) and 3.0 (very slow).

This particular metric leaves alot to be desired, (the handedness of the batter and his watch times from the batters box to first base for instance) but it is somewhat available and I like the fact that they incorporate triples since that's more of an indication of speed rather than extra power. Baseball Prospectus doesn't have Speed Score as an updated and sortable stat. I used 2006 players at each position with a minimum of 77 AB's, then I used their Speed Score from their 2005 season as opposed to using PECOTA's projections for 2006. Below are the respective '05 SPD averages for each position and the SPD averages for middle infielders compared to Felipe Lopez. Below that are three of the top '05 burners and their OBP at each position. Draw your own conclusions here, but while speed may be nice, you can't steal 1B.


SS AVG - 6.2
2B AVG - 5.4
MI AVG - 5.6
Felipe Lopez - 6.4


Position '05 SPD '05 OBP '06 OBP
2B
Hector Luna - 8.0 .340 .378
Kaz Matsui - 6.9 .295 .276
Tie:Chase Utley/Marcus Giles - 6.3 .376/.362 .379/.331

SS
Jose Reyes - 8.7 .299 .325
Jimmy Rollins - 8.0 .337 .300
Rafeal Furcal - 7.9 .345 .333

Felipe Lopez - 6.4 .350 .379

reds44
05-21-2006, 12:09 AM
BP is now hitting .293 and leads the team in RBIs with 30.

I realize this thread was made before this hot streak, but I'm not going to complain about his offense.

TeamBoone
05-21-2006, 12:39 AM
BP is now hitting .293 and leads the team in RBIs with 30.

I realize this thread was made before this hot streak, but I'm not going to complain about his offense.

And that's exactly why people shouldn't go off the deep end every time someone struggles. It happens. It's not the end of the world like a lot of people would like you to think.

No one, I mean NO ONE, can be perfect every single day... especially when playing the game of baseball.

reds44
05-21-2006, 12:56 AM
He is also 4th on the team in slg% among players who have played in at least 30 games.

Highlifeman21
05-21-2006, 01:03 AM
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?context=6&category=true

Speed Score (SPD) is one of five primary production metrics used by PECOTA in identifying a hitter's comparables. It is based in principle on the Bill James speed score and includes five components: Stolen base percentage, stolen base attempts as a percentage of opportunities, triples, double plays grounded into as a percentage of opportunities, and runs scored as a percentage of times on base.

Beginning in 2006, BP has developed a proprietary version of Speed Score that takes better advantage of play-by-play data and ensures that equal weight is given to the five components. In the BP formulation of Speed Score, an average rating is exactly 5.0. The highest and lowest possible scores are 10.0 and 0.0, respectively, but in practice most players fall within the boundary between 7.0 (very fast) and 3.0 (very slow).

This particular metric leaves alot to be desired, (the handedness of the batter and his watch times from the batters box to first base for instance) but it is somewhat available and I like the fact that they incorporate triples since that's more of an indication of speed rather than extra power. Baseball Prospectus doesn't have Speed Score as an updated and sortable stat. I used 2006 players at each position with a minimum of 77 AB's, then I used their Speed Score from their 2005 season as opposed to using PECOTA's projections for 2006. Below are the respective '05 SPD averages for each position and the SPD averages for middle infielders compared to Felipe Lopez. Below that are three of the top '05 burners and their OBP at each position. Draw your own conclusions here, but while speed may be nice, you can't steal 1B.


SS AVG - 6.2
2B AVG - 5.4
MI AVG - 5.6
Felipe Lopez - 6.4


Position '05 SPD '05 OBP '06 OBP
2B
Hector Luna - 8.0 .340 .378
Kaz Matsui - 6.9 .295 .276
Tie:Chase Utley/Marcus Giles - 6.3 .376/.362 .379/.331

SS
Jose Reyes - 8.7 .299 .325
Jimmy Rollins - 8.0 .337 .300
Rafeal Furcal - 7.9 .345 .333

Felipe Lopez - 6.4 .350 .379


Ok, so that tells me that Lopez is on par with Chase Utley. Living in Philly, I've seen plenty of Chase Utley, and I know he's not fast. Furcal, Rollins, Reyes, Luna, all blazing fast. Lopez, not so much. I hate to say it, but respectively you've proven my point. Lopez isn't fast, compared to what fast is, aka Furcal, Rollins, Reyes, Luna.

I wouldn't say Lopez was a 3 on that scale by any means, but with what you showed me, it seems to be about what I thought: middle of the pack at best, and using some baserunning intelligence to enhance his lack of overall speed.

SteelSD
05-21-2006, 01:49 AM
And that's exactly why people shouldn't go off the deep end every time someone struggles. It happens. It's not the end of the world like a lot of people would like you to think.

No one, I mean NO ONE, can be perfect every single day... especially when playing the game of baseball.

I'm actually kind of enthused that Phillips' numbers did regress to the mean because now they're not completely out of line with the kind of ceiling we might see for him at his age. That should allow folks to be more patient with him as we go along this season.

Unfortunately, Eddie E. is next on the regression to the mean list and I'd be astounded (in the thrilled kind of way) if he finished the season somewhere near the .830 OPS mark.

The mean is a taskmaster. Sometimes harsh. Sometimes gentle. Players may either snap back to reality quickly (Brandon Phillips) or ease there over time both positively (Larue) and negatively (Encarnacion, Arroyo).

The secret is to keep ones wits about them while it's happening because baseball is a game always in flux. And every time I see a middle infielder with an OPS above .900 for a couple weeks, I remind myself that even Juan Castro can do that over 75-odd At Bats. But the mean won't allow it over the long haul.

Right now Brandon Phillips leads all NL qualified Second Basemen in Zone Rating (.870 ZR). His EQA coming into tonight was .261. His Runs Above Position entering the game was +1.0. I'll take slumps from a good-fielding middle infielder all day long if he can still produce something resembling league average offensive numbers.

Can Phillips continue to post that lofty Zone Rating? I don't see why not considering that he's also posted as many Errors (3) as the top three MLB ZR Second Basemen (Polanco, Grudz, Mark Ellis) combined. That's big to me because Errors tend to have a significant impact on ZR.

BTW, that's not a 2006 leaderboard rife with small sample size overachievers either. Ellis, Grudz, and Polanco ranked 1st, 3rd, and 4th in MLB 2B Zone Rating in 2005. And if Phillips can post anything close to Grudz 2005 offensive numbers (.334 OBP/.407 SLG), I'd be happy as all get out if he can also keep his ZR at the .870 level.

The interesting thing is that while other folks seem to be watching Phillips' offense, I'm looking at his defense because that's going to be the make-or-break for him considering that he should be able to match a .730-.741 OPS (albeit SLG-driven). And I can't possibly see myself having an issue with that as long as his defense holds up.

Cedric
05-21-2006, 01:56 AM
I'm actually kind of enthused that Phillips' numbers did regress to the mean because now they're not completely out of line with the kind of ceiling we might see for him at his age. That should allow folks to be more patient with him as we go along this season.

Unfortunately, Eddie E. is next on the regression to the mean list and I'd be astounded (in the thrilled kind of way) if he finished the season somewhere near the .830 OPS mark.

The mean is a taskmaster. Sometimes harsh. Sometimes gentle. Players may either snap back to reality quickly (Brandon Phillips) or ease there over time both positively (Larue) and negatively (Encarnacion, Arroyo).

The secret is to keep ones wits about them while it's happening because baseball is a game always in flux. And every time I see a middle infielder with an OPS above .900 for a couple weeks, I remind myself that even Juan Castro can do that over 75-odd At Bats. But the mean won't allow it over the long haul.

Right now Brandon Phillips leads all NL qualified Second Basemen in Zone Rating (.870 ZR). His EQA coming into tonight was .261. His Runs Above Position entering the game was +1.0. I'll take slumps from a good-fielding middle infielder all day long if he can still produce something resembling league average offensive numbers.

Can Phillips continue to post that lofty Zone Rating? I don't see why not considering that he's also posted as many Errors (3) as the top three MLB ZR Second Basemen (Polanco, Grudz, Mark Ellis) combined. That's big to me because Errors tend to have a significant impact on ZR.

BTW, that's not a 2006 leaderboard rife with small sample size overachievers either. Ellis, Grudz, and Polanco ranked 1st, 3rd, and 4th in MLB 2B Zone Rating in 2005. And if Phillips can post anything close to Grudz 2005 offensive numbers (.334 OBP/.407 SLG), I'd be happy as all get out if he can also keep his ZR at the .870 level.

The interesting thing is that while other folks seem to be watching Phillips' offense, I'm looking at his defense because that's going to be the make-or-break for him considering that he should be able to match a .730-.741 OPS (albeit SLG-driven). And I can't possibly see myself having an issue with that as long as his defense holds up.

I agree. I almost asked Cyclone earlier what was so unimpressive about a .744 ops from a MI on a club like the Reds. Brandon Phillips at that clip is an incredible steal for Krivsky for nothing.

Cyclone792
05-21-2006, 02:21 AM
I agree. I almost asked Cyclone earlier what was so unimpressive about a .744 ops from a MI on a club like the Reds. Brandon Phillips at that clip is an incredible steal for Krivsky for nothing.

If Phillips can OPS .750 for an entire season, I'll have no problems with him considering his defense. I do think it would benefit the Reds vastly to swap Phillips and Lopez on the diamond defensively, but it appears that it's not going to happen, at least this season.

When I originally posted this thread, my worries were about his massive trend downward. For a period of three weeks, he had an OBP below .300 and mixed in only three extra base hits. Given his history in both the majors and minors, my concern was that the downward trend would continue dropping his OPS well below the .750 mark. If his OBP drops to around the .300 mark, it's pretty difficult to slug .450, and that OPS might trend a bit too close to that .700 or below level.

Even after the past couple games, I'm still concerned about that. While his slugging percentage has gone up quite a bit thanks to a home run and a triple, his on-base percentage has still dropped four points since my original post. It's a tall order to ask a player to be continually productive given the lack of plate discipline and walks that Phillips has shown us in his major league career. It is possible, but still rare and difficult. Unless he improves his plate discipline, I still think it's going to eventually catch up to him, and it's going to take more than just a handful of good games to prove that it won't catch up to him.

GAC
05-21-2006, 07:29 AM
The Indians put alot of pressure on 21 yr old Phillips in handing him the 2B job and touting him as the next superstar prospect. They then shuffled him back and forth until they lost all options on him.

I think this is a kid with an upside, and I'm hoping Chambliss can help him.

But Ryan Freel at 2B over Phillips???

No way!

Freel's INF "D" is erratic and suspect. He doesn't even come close to BP's range.

If you are gonna play this young INF of EE, Lopez, and Phillips, then you better learn to show some patience and endure the errors for now.

And Ryan Freel's offense, as hot as he was in April (like Phillips) has also cooled.

In his "hot" April, where Freel had a .434 OB% (no way he could maintain that), he had a .329 SLG% = .763 OPS

In May, he has a .255 OB% .245 SLG% = .500 OPS. .679 OPS overall.

The SLG% is what bothers me with Freel. You're gonna get a HR around every 120 AB's.

With Phillips, it's around evey 30.

Freel's #P/PA is 4.11
Phillip's #P/PA is 3.47

I will admit that BP's BB/PA is horrific.

But when I see the option being suggested of Freel - I'd show more patience with this young kid (lets not pull a Cleveland), and hope Chambliss can help him. He is worth that investment IMO.

Team Clark
05-21-2006, 01:36 PM
The Indians put alot of pressure on 21 yr old Phillips in handing him the 2B job and touting him as the next superstar prospect. They then shuffled him back and forth until they lost all options on him.

I think this is a kid with an upside, and I'm hoping Chambliss can help him.

But Ryan Freel at 2B over Phillips???

No way!

Freel's INF "D" is erratic and suspect. He doesn't even come close to BP's range.

If you are gonna play this young INF of EE, Lopez, and Phillips, then you better learn to show some patience and endure the errors for now.

And Ryan Freel's offense, as hot as he was in April (like Phillips) has also cooled.

In his "hot" April, where Freel had a .434 OB% (no way he could maintain that), he had a .329 SLG% = .763 OPS

In May, he has a .255 OB% .245 SLG% = .500 OPS. .679 OPS overall.

The SLG% is what bothers me with Freel. You're gonna get a HR around every 120 AB's.

With Phillips, it's around evey 30.

Freel's #P/PA is 4.11
Phillip's #P/PA is 3.47

I will admit that BP's BB/PA is horrific.

But when I see the option being suggested of Freel - I'd show more patience with this young kid (lets not pull a Cleveland), and hope Chambliss can help him. He is worth that investment IMO.


Couldn't agree more. A guy goes in a mini-slump and he's garbage? Phillips has been a steal and more importantly he will get BETTER the more he plays. You can not make a whole lot of adjustments from te bench.

I LOVE Ryan Freel but he's not an every day player. He's a Chris Stynes type player. Albeit Freel is faster and better defensivley than Stynes. 100-110 games per year with great versatility. Freel is like Basketball's 6th man. He makes everyone else around him better by keeping those guys fresh without sacrificing a lot of productivity. When he gets hot he hits at a .370 clip and he should play 5 days a week until he cools off. Freel will be fine. He's proven he can hit and what he can do.

I don't get all this ragging on Lopez. He most assuredly is not slow. He's fast and he's quick. He's not top 5 fast but he's plenty fast for this team. Yes, he made a bad play last night. He was indecisive and it cost him.

People forget that it took Larkin 3 to 4 years to really get settled in at SS. If you run into him ask him. He'll tell you. Early in his career he repeatedly overran balls. He threw erratically forcing Rose to put Stillwell in at SS and talk of moving Larkin to 2B. Many fans do not know that Larkin was supposed to be in the trade to KC not Stillwell. The Royals did not want him in the deal and insisted in Stillwell. Thank you KC!!!

Larkin did not get settled in until Ozzie Smith counseled him on the nuances of his footwork, setting up the play as it happens and getting a feel for each ballpark. Lark also credited Tony Fernandez for helping him at an All Star game. Lark told me once that he would meet up with Ozzie when the Reds played the Cards and they would go out to SS 5 hours before game time to talk about how to play SS. Can you imagine those conversations? Larkin has faith in Lopez and so do I.

TeamBoone
05-21-2006, 02:00 PM
Speaking of Barry Larkin, I've not heard anything about him this year. Is he still on the Nationals' staff? Or what?

Mario-Rijo
05-21-2006, 03:54 PM
Originally posted by Cyclone792

If Phillips can OPS .750 for an entire season, I'll have no problems with him considering his defense. I do think it would benefit the Reds vastly to swap Phillips and Lopez on the diamond defensively, but it appears that it's not going to happen, at least this season.

When I originally posted this thread, my worries were about his massive trend downward. For a period of three weeks, he had an OBP below .300 and mixed in only three extra base hits. Given his history in both the majors and minors, my concern was that the downward trend would continue dropping his OPS well below the .750 mark. If his OBP drops to around the .300 mark, it's pretty difficult to slug .450, and that OPS might trend a bit too close to that .700 or below level.

Even after the past couple games, I'm still concerned about that. While his slugging percentage has gone up quite a bit thanks to a home run and a triple, his on-base percentage has still dropped four points since my original post. It's a tall order to ask a player to be continually productive given the lack of plate discipline and walks that Phillips has shown us in his major league career. It is possible, but still rare and difficult. Unless he improves his plate discipline, I still think it's going to eventually catch up to him, and it's going to take more than just a handful of good games to prove that it won't catch up to him.


Cyclone I respect your opinion as a poster you are intelligent, elequent and usually right on the money. And even on this argument you may be right on the money, but it's way too soon to have this discussion and be correct in your assumption. It's an assumption based in some factual evidence no question, but it's still an assumption all the same. He may or may not continue said trend that he has carried with him throughout the minors and into the bigs.

However the one thing that I have over you (because it's apparent I don't write as well) is age and experience and with that I have seen a lot of baseball players come and go. I will agree that at this point he has yet to "figure it all out" and still has plenty to learn.

I disagree that he lacks plate discipline (completely), that too me sounds like he is up there swinging at everything in every part of the zone. Now his plate discipline could improve as he has a tendency to swing at sliders/slurves away (usually between the knee and waist) and sliders/cutters in and below the knee. He doesn't swing at many pitches up, or way low and out over the plate splitters/curves. If he can start to recognize that slider early on or at least assume in certain situations that he is going to get it assuming the pitcher has something like it in his arsenal then lay off of it, he will become one of the toughest outs on the team.

My gut tells me he could go either way, but my eye says he has a better than average chance of getting there. He has all the tool's physically and he also seems to have a pretty good mental makeup (not a thinker out there but reacts as he should far more often than not), with I might add a noticeable hunger to be exceptional in all that he does. He probably needs to control his emotions a bit better, as it tends to get him out of his game.

Even though he has 5 ML seasons under his belt he only has about a season's worth of AB's so he is bound to improve that part of his game if he works at it and I have yet to see anything to indicate that he won't. Again you may end up being right, but it's just too soon to tell.

Cyclone792
05-21-2006, 04:44 PM
Mario, good post, and I understand where you're coming from. Steel made an excellent post earlier about the defensive value Phillips has provided, and I've been a huge proponent of moving Phillips to shortstop where he could provide an incredible amount of defensive value. If we can save 10 more runs on the season defensively by swapping Phillips and Lopez, then the organization really needs to take a serious look at making that swap a reality.

That said, offensively, I think the root of this is actually a sort of "stats vs. scouts" debate, and I'm pretty sure people know which side of the ledge I stand in that one. Phillips is a guy scouts love; they love his tools, they see upside and potential and they really believe he can put it all together. He is a remarkable defensive middle infielder, and he has shown that he can be a valuable asset as a basestealing threat ... when he's able to get on base.

But it seems to me that people are still far too much in love with the potential, upside and scouting viewpoint that Phillips is a guy that's suddenly just going to put it together. This is his eighth professional season in baseball, and what I'm trying to articulate is if this is a guy that's going to put it all together offensively, it would sure be nice to see some statistical evidence in a history that has nearly 4,000 plate appearances combined in the majors and minors.

Now, IMO, if he does put it all together, how will it happen? Plate discipline. That is why he has to develop his plate discipline to have a chance to put it together, and this is why I've been stressing that Phillips needs to get himself in better batting counts and take more walks.

Allow me to illustrate this importance:

SEASON
1960-2005
OBA <= .330
SLG >= .440
WALKS <= 30
Min. 550 PA

RCAP YEAR RCAP OBA SLG BB
1 Robin Yount 1980 46 .321 .519 26
2 Terry Kennedy 1982 30 .328 .486 26
3 Matt Williams 1993 27 .325 .561 27
4 Benito Santiago 1987 20 .324 .467 16
T5 Lou Brock 1967 17 .327 .472 24
T5 Willie Davis 1972 17 .317 .441 27
T5 Juan Samuel 1984 17 .307 .442 28
8 Al Oliver 1973 16 .316 .463 22
9 Kelly Gruber 1989 15 .328 .448 30
10 Frank White 1982 13 .318 .469 16
T11 Garry Maddox 1977 11 .323 .448 24
T11 Willie Davis 1973 11 .320 .444 29
T11 Buddy Bell 1979 11 .327 .451 30
T11 Chris Chambliss 1976 11 .323 .441 27
T15 Raul Mondesi 1998 10 .316 .497 30
T15 Tony Armas 1980 10 .310 .500 29
17 Andre Dawson 1978 8 .299 .442 30
T18 Andre Dawson 1992 7 .316 .456 30
T18 Andre Dawson 1979 7 .309 .468 27
T18 Cecil Cooper 1977 7 .326 .463 28
T21 Jim Rice 1976 5 .315 .482 28
T21 Joe Pepitone 1966 5 .290 .463 29
T21 Jorge Cantu 2005 5 .311 .497 19
T24 Felipe Alou 1963 4 .319 .474 27
T24 George Bell 1984 4 .326 .498 24
T24 Al Oliver 1971 4 .317 .446 27
T24 Vada Pinson 1967 4 .318 .454 26
T28 Marquis Grissom 2003 3 .322 .468 20
T28 Dan Meyer 1979 3 .317 .459 29
30 Juan Samuel 1986 2 .302 .448 26
31 Joe Pepitone 1963 1 .304 .448 23
32 Vinny Castilla 2003 0 .310 .461 26
T33 Mike Marshall 1988 -1 .314 .445 24
T33 Robinson Cano 2005 -1 .320 .458 16
T35 Al Oliver 1975 -2 .309 .454 25
T35 Dave Parker 1980 -2 .327 .458 25
T37 Ernie Banks 1967 -3 .310 .455 27
T37 Garret Anderson 2001 -3 .314 .478 27
T37 George Foster 1984 -3 .311 .443 30
40 Vernon Wells 2002 -4 .305 .457 27
T41 Andre Dawson 1985 -5 .295 .444 29
T41 Torii Hunter 2001 -5 .306 .479 29
T43 Lee May 1974 -6 .294 .444 17
T43 Andre Dawson 1991 -6 .302 .488 22
T43 Garret Anderson 2000 -6 .307 .519 24
T46 Garret Anderson 1998 -7 .325 .455 29
T46 Bill Buckner 1985 -7 .325 .447 30
T46 Butch Hobson 1979 -7 .298 .496 30
T49 Ernie Banks 1968 -8 .287 .469 27
T49 Darryl Motley 1984 -8 .319 .441 28
51 Vada Pinson 1970 -9 .319 .481 28
52 Roman Mejias 1962 -10 .326 .445 30
T53 Greg Colbrunn 1995 -11 .311 .453 22
T53 Ernie Banks 1962 -11 .306 .503 30
T53 Deivi Cruz 2000 -11 .318 .449 13
56 Gene Freese 1961 -13 .307 .466 27
57 Cecil Cooper 1985 -15 .322 .456 30
T58 Butch Hobson 1977 -21 .300 .489 27
T58 Jacque Jones 2000 -21 .319 .463 26
T58 Shea Hillenbrand 2003 -21 .314 .468 24
61 Joe Carter 1987 -22 .304 .480 27
62 Tony Batista 2004 -24 .272 .455 26
63 Ellis Valentine 1979 -25 .303 .454 22
64 Tony Armas 1983 -27 .254 .453 29
With OBPs below .330 and a walk total of 30 or less in 550 plate appearances, slugging percentages at a clip of .440 or higher is rare. And within that group, only half of those players produced offense at a high enough clip to be average for their position. What usually happens is players either start drawing more walks and their overall production takes off, or they never improve their plate discipline and generally are unable to repeat their success over multiple seasons.

This is precisely why I want to see Phillips get himself into better batting counts and take more walks. If he's able to learn more plate discipline, he'll get himself into better batting counts, and that will have a dramatic positive effect on his slugging percentage. Likewise, he'll also start taking more walks, and that will have a dramatic positive effect on his on-base percentage.

I want to see Phillips develop into a very productive player as much as any Reds fan out there, but I can't sit back and just accept that he has a good chance of developing with the poor plate discipline he's shown so far throughout his career. If he improves his plate discipline, a very productive player will be born. If he fails to improve his plate discipline, then it will be his glove that will be the primary asset to his overall value to the team, and we'll be left sitting here having to take whatever offense he does provide as an small added bonus.

buckeyenut
05-21-2006, 10:15 PM
The nice thing is he is on the right team and has the right hitting coach to improve his plate discipline over time. We just have to be patient. Check back end of next season and lets see where he is at.

Falls City Beer
05-21-2006, 10:25 PM
Mario, good post, and I understand where you're coming from. Steel made an excellent post earlier about the defensive value Phillips has provided, and I've been a huge proponent of moving Phillips to shortstop where he could provide an incredible amount of defensive value. If we can save 10 more runs on the season defensively by swapping Phillips and Lopez, then the organization really needs to take a serious look at making that swap a reality.

That said, offensively, I think the root of this is actually a sort of "stats vs. scouts" debate, and I'm pretty sure people know which side of the ledge I stand in that one. Phillips is a guy scouts love; they love his tools, they see upside and potential and they really believe he can put it all together. He is a remarkable defensive middle infielder, and he has shown that he can be a valuable asset as a basestealing threat ... when he's able to get on base.

But it seems to me that people are still far too much in love with the potential, upside and scouting viewpoint that Phillips is a guy that's suddenly just going to put it together. This is his eighth professional season in baseball, and what I'm trying to articulate is if this is a guy that's going to put it all together offensively, it would sure be nice to see some statistical evidence in a history that has nearly 4,000 plate appearances combined in the majors and minors.

Now, IMO, if he does put it all together, how will it happen? Plate discipline. That is why he has to develop his plate discipline to have a chance to put it together, and this is why I've been stressing that Phillips needs to get himself in better batting counts and take more walks.

Allow me to illustrate this importance:

SEASON
1960-2005
OBA <= .330
SLG >= .440
WALKS <= 30
Min. 550 PA

RCAP YEAR RCAP OBA SLG BB
1 Robin Yount 1980 46 .321 .519 26
2 Terry Kennedy 1982 30 .328 .486 26
3 Matt Williams 1993 27 .325 .561 27
4 Benito Santiago 1987 20 .324 .467 16
T5 Lou Brock 1967 17 .327 .472 24
T5 Willie Davis 1972 17 .317 .441 27
T5 Juan Samuel 1984 17 .307 .442 28
8 Al Oliver 1973 16 .316 .463 22
9 Kelly Gruber 1989 15 .328 .448 30
10 Frank White 1982 13 .318 .469 16
T11 Garry Maddox 1977 11 .323 .448 24
T11 Willie Davis 1973 11 .320 .444 29
T11 Buddy Bell 1979 11 .327 .451 30
T11 Chris Chambliss 1976 11 .323 .441 27
T15 Raul Mondesi 1998 10 .316 .497 30
T15 Tony Armas 1980 10 .310 .500 29
17 Andre Dawson 1978 8 .299 .442 30
T18 Andre Dawson 1992 7 .316 .456 30
T18 Andre Dawson 1979 7 .309 .468 27
T18 Cecil Cooper 1977 7 .326 .463 28
T21 Jim Rice 1976 5 .315 .482 28
T21 Joe Pepitone 1966 5 .290 .463 29
T21 Jorge Cantu 2005 5 .311 .497 19
T24 Felipe Alou 1963 4 .319 .474 27
T24 George Bell 1984 4 .326 .498 24
T24 Al Oliver 1971 4 .317 .446 27
T24 Vada Pinson 1967 4 .318 .454 26
T28 Marquis Grissom 2003 3 .322 .468 20
T28 Dan Meyer 1979 3 .317 .459 29
30 Juan Samuel 1986 2 .302 .448 26
31 Joe Pepitone 1963 1 .304 .448 23
32 Vinny Castilla 2003 0 .310 .461 26
T33 Mike Marshall 1988 -1 .314 .445 24
T33 Robinson Cano 2005 -1 .320 .458 16
T35 Al Oliver 1975 -2 .309 .454 25
T35 Dave Parker 1980 -2 .327 .458 25
T37 Ernie Banks 1967 -3 .310 .455 27
T37 Garret Anderson 2001 -3 .314 .478 27
T37 George Foster 1984 -3 .311 .443 30
40 Vernon Wells 2002 -4 .305 .457 27
T41 Andre Dawson 1985 -5 .295 .444 29
T41 Torii Hunter 2001 -5 .306 .479 29
T43 Lee May 1974 -6 .294 .444 17
T43 Andre Dawson 1991 -6 .302 .488 22
T43 Garret Anderson 2000 -6 .307 .519 24
T46 Garret Anderson 1998 -7 .325 .455 29
T46 Bill Buckner 1985 -7 .325 .447 30
T46 Butch Hobson 1979 -7 .298 .496 30
T49 Ernie Banks 1968 -8 .287 .469 27
T49 Darryl Motley 1984 -8 .319 .441 28
51 Vada Pinson 1970 -9 .319 .481 28
52 Roman Mejias 1962 -10 .326 .445 30
T53 Greg Colbrunn 1995 -11 .311 .453 22
T53 Ernie Banks 1962 -11 .306 .503 30
T53 Deivi Cruz 2000 -11 .318 .449 13
56 Gene Freese 1961 -13 .307 .466 27
57 Cecil Cooper 1985 -15 .322 .456 30
T58 Butch Hobson 1977 -21 .300 .489 27
T58 Jacque Jones 2000 -21 .319 .463 26
T58 Shea Hillenbrand 2003 -21 .314 .468 24
61 Joe Carter 1987 -22 .304 .480 27
62 Tony Batista 2004 -24 .272 .455 26
63 Ellis Valentine 1979 -25 .303 .454 22
64 Tony Armas 1983 -27 .254 .453 29
With OBPs below .330 and a walk total of 30 or less in 550 plate appearances, slugging percentages at a clip of .440 or higher is rare. And within that group, only half of those players produced offense at a high enough clip to be average for their position. What usually happens is players either start drawing more walks and their overall production takes off, or they never improve their plate discipline and generally are unable to repeat their success over multiple seasons.

This is precisely why I want to see Phillips get himself into better batting counts and take more walks. If he's able to learn more plate discipline, he'll get himself into better batting counts, and that will have a dramatic positive effect on his slugging percentage. Likewise, he'll also start taking more walks, and that will have a dramatic positive effect on his on-base percentage.

I want to see Phillips develop into a very productive player as much as any Reds fan out there, but I can't sit back and just accept that he has a good chance of developing with the poor plate discipline he's shown so far throughout his career. If he improves his plate discipline, a very productive player will be born. If he fails to improve his plate discipline, then it will be his glove that will be the primary asset to his overall value to the team, and we'll be left sitting here having to take whatever offense he does provide as an small added bonus.


Very sensibly stated. The only reason I would care about Phillips' presence in the lineup, however, is if it's at the expense of Freel. As long as that's not going to happen, I'm fine with him hitting in the eight hole. An offense like the Reds can probably sustain one offensive black hole like Phillips in the lineup.

This puts a fine point on the need to do something with Freel (trade), because the Reds are just pissing away talent with Freel on the bench and Phillips in the lineup. Turn Freel into a reliever, if you have to have your Christian Guzman/Juan Castro in the lineup.

reds44
05-21-2006, 10:27 PM
Very sensibly stated. The only reason I would care about Phillips' presence in the lineup, however, is if it's at the expense of Freel. As long as that's not going to happen, I'm fine with him hitting in the eight hole. An offense like the Reds can probably sustain one offensive black hole like Phillips in the lineup.

This puts a fine point on the need to do something with Freel (trade), because the Reds are just pissing away talent with Freel on the bench and Phillips in the lineup. Turn Freel into a reliever, if you have to have your Christian Guzman/Juan Castro in the lineup.
Bradon Phillips deserves to play over Ryan Freel RIGHT now. He plays twice the defense, and right now is playing twice the offense right now as well. Could that change? With out a doubt it could, but if ain't broke (which it isn't right now) then don't fix it.

registerthis
05-22-2006, 01:09 AM
An offense like the Reds can probably sustain one offensive black hole like Phillips in the lineup.

"Black hole" is an interesting term to use to describe the player currently leading the team in RBI.

penantboundreds
05-22-2006, 02:12 AM
Code:
Position '05 SPD '05 OBP '06 OBP
2B
Hector Luna - 8.0 .340 .378
Kaz Matsui - 6.9 .295 .276
Tie:Chase Utley/Marcus Giles - 6.3 .376/.362 .379/.331

SS
Jose Reyes - 8.7 .299 .325
Jimmy Rollins - 8.0 .337 .300
Rafeal Furcal - 7.9 .345 .333

Felipe Lopez - 6.4 .350 .379

this is saying that lopez is .1 faster than marcus giles

haha thats ludacris, dumb stat....im not saying you are dumb, im just not buying the stat....lopez is either fast or what i would call quick.

back to phillips though...he is strong and maybe he isnt getting as many hits as you want right now but ill tell you one thing, he is learning, he is getting better everyday at the plate....better at bats better patience etc etc..

Mario-Rijo
05-22-2006, 02:32 AM
Steel made an excellent post earlier about the defensive value Phillips has provided, and I've been a huge proponent of moving Phillips to shortstop where he could provide an incredible amount of defensive value. If we can save 10 more runs on the season defensively by swapping Phillips and Lopez, then the organization really needs to take a serious look at making that swap a reality.


Agreed Steel did make a very persuasive argument for anyone who wasn't already on that side of the fence. I concur 100% with the both of you that he at some point should be given an oppurtunity to play SS. I haven't seen enough of his arm to know for sure but that's why you try him out. Felipe still makes some real bonehead plays out there at times (Detroit Game 2 says hello) and I believe it's because he isn't completely comfortable there. It's almost as if he thinks too much while the play is happening, like the game doesn't come natural too him. While in reality he should be thinking about all the possibilities and have a set idea for every one of those possiblities ahead of time.

Take the previous play that I mentioned. In that situation you either go to 2nd or go to 1st depending on where the ball takes you there should be no indecision. He pumped as if he was going to 2nd, realized it was too late and then rushed the throw in a panic now of course there were 2 outs if it's not hit on the button and right to you the throw should always go to 1st. He had to come in and to his right which immediately should have told him forget 2nd, square up, set your feet and throw to 1st. He didn't square up or set his feet and his 1st reaction was towards 2nd.

It's all in his mind and I think it's because SS has gotten into his mind because he doesn't have the range, agility or apparently the marbles (either set). I think 2nd base is perfect for him because he has more time to set and throw thus less panic on routine plays = less erratic throws. And if he does have to go deep to his right it's not neccessarily expected that the play will be made as long as he does not throw it away. The guy only needed 1 out to end the threat. Here is his take.


"It got tangled," Lopez said. "I was in an awkward position trying to get rid of it. It was a tough play."

Yeah it got tangled alright, not the ball but his brain. Needless to say if Brandon has the arm for it (I think he may have the rest) and things go like I expect at 2B for FeLo we have magic because I think Brandon will eventually come around offensively and Lopey is an absolute hittin' machine now.

TOBTTReds
05-23-2006, 01:43 AM
Hopefully tonight helps him get back on track. 4 hits, 3 runs, 1 rbi, and a sweet grab deep to his left.

:wave: FCB...the black hole has emerged!

NastyBoy
05-23-2006, 02:54 AM
What is interesting is that this clueless kid leads the team in RBIs and BA... not that that matters... his OPS is a disgrace. He should not even be allowed to carry Joe Morgan's jock strap.

What a difference a game makes.

pedro
05-23-2006, 03:59 AM
I know one thing and that's the fact that it's one hell of a lot more interesting discussing the relative merits of Brandon Phillips than it is Tony Womack's and I am glad for that at the very least.

KronoRed
05-23-2006, 04:04 AM
What is interesting is that this clueless kid leads the team in RBIs and BA... not that that matters... his OPS is a disgrace. He should not even be allowed to carry Joe Morgan's jock strap.

An ops above .800 is not by anyone considered a disgrace.

NastyBoy
05-23-2006, 04:14 AM
An ops above .800 is not by anyone considered a disgrace.

You are correct... I guess we should not be comparing him to an MVP/HOF second baseman who had a career .800+ OPS.

PuffyPig
05-23-2006, 09:19 AM
A MI with speed, a flash glove and a .800+ OPS is an all star.

lollipopcurve
05-23-2006, 10:09 AM
This puts a fine point on the need to do something with Freel (trade), because the Reds are just pissing away talent with Freel on the bench and Phillips in the lineup. Turn Freel into a reliever, if you have to have your Christian Guzman/Juan Castro in the lineup.

Yeah, I'd lke to see Freel play better in order to up his trade value.

Phillips = Castro/Guzman? Not even close, according to what I've seen.

registerthis
05-23-2006, 10:35 AM
It's easy to forget that Phillips is only 24 years old (will turn 25 next month.) It seems like we've been hearing his name for years--and we have, since Cleveland promoted him in 2002. He's had only one legitimate season in the majors though, and although it was truly horrendous, he wouldn't be the first to start his career with a whimper and turn things around. As I recall, the guy immediately to his right on the infield did exactly that.

My only point is that an entire thread supposedly slamming the offensive capabilities of the player currently leading the team in RBI and BA, along with an 800+ OPS, seems very strange to me. Even if he regresses, and finishes the season with a .260-10-60 line, I'll consider that a great improvement over anything else the Reds could have put there, particularly considering the D Brandon brings to the table.

And to think that we got this guy for absolute peanuts, I don't see what the complaining is about.

RANDY IN INDY
05-23-2006, 10:38 AM
:beerme:
It's easy to forget that Phillips is only 24 years old (will turn 25 next month.) It seems like we've been hearing his name for years--and we have, since Cleveland promoted him in 2002. He's had only one legitimate season in the majors though, and although it was truly horrendous, he wouldn't be the first to start his career with a whimper and turn things around. As I recall, the guy immediately to his right on the infield did exactly that.

My only point is that an entire thread supposedly slamming the offensive capabilities of the player currently leading the team in RBI and BA, along with an 800+ OPS, seems very strange to me. Even if he regresses, and finishes the season with a .260-10-60 line, I'll consider that a great improvement over anything else the Reds could have put there, particularly considering the D Brandon brings to the table.

And to think that we got this guy for absolute peanuts, I don't see what the complaining is about.

CySeymour
05-23-2006, 10:40 AM
I know one thing and that's the fact that it's one hell of a lot more interesting discussing the relative merits of Brandon Phillips than it is Tony Womack's and I am glad for that at the very least.

:thumbup:

Cyclone792
05-23-2006, 10:43 AM
I said this in the ORG game thread last night, but I'll reiterate it here ...

Brandon Phillips wants to make sure that I'll have plenty to eat around my place with all the crow he's trying to serve up to me. I was very critical of Phillips' bat last week, and since then he's lit a fire at the plate ... and because I'm selfish, I'm going to take full credit for his past few hot games ;)

If it means this team winning on a consistent basis, I'll go on a full diet of crow for several weeks!

In all seriousness though, kudos to Phillips for the four hit game. With help from Chambliss, I really hope he's beginning to learn quite a bit more about plain ole hitting, and I hope he's beginning to show us what he's capable of on a consistent basis. I'm still very wary of his plate discipline and not sold that he'll come around fully with the stick, but he certainly could be doing much worse.

Additionally, the more I see of him in the field, the more I really do believe he's the best defensive middle infield option we've got. I'm pretty much of the opinion now that the team needs to stick him at shortstop where his glove can save even more runs than it can at second base, give Chambliss quite a bit of time to work with him and hopefully net ourselves an overall pretty solid player. If his recent offense proves to be a fluke, well hopefully his outstanding glove still allows him to be a positive contributor to the team.

In a way, I guess Phillips is sort of a microcosm of my opinion of the team as whole: unexpected success early, and while I'm still not yet sold, I'm loving it while it's here since I realize the situation could be much, much worse.

TeamBoone
05-23-2006, 10:47 AM
Actually, Phillips and Dunn are tied in RBI now... 31.

registerthis
05-23-2006, 10:49 AM
Additionally, the more I see of him in the field, the more I really do believe he's the best defensive middle infield option we've got. I'm pretty much of the opinion now that the team needs to stick him at shortstop where his glove can save even more runs than it can at second base, give Chambliss quite a bit of time to work with him and hopefully net ourselves an overall pretty solid player. If his recent offense proves to be a fluke, well hopefully his outstanding glove still allows him to be a positive contributor to the team.

I completely agree. Although I would be wary to flip-flop he and Lopez during the season, particularly at a time when both of them are swinging the bat so well. You like ot think that a player's offensive production has little-to-no bearing on how or where he is playing defense (think Soriano), but the margin for error on this team is so small I hate to do anything that might upset the balance at this point.

Next season, though (or later this year, if the bototm drops out) I'd love to see the Reds work Phillips at SS, Lopez at 2B, and Dunn at first. Along with EE, that'd be the best defensive infield the Reds could put on the field. And with Junior in left and Freel/Denofria in CF, the outfield defense gets that much better, too. Krivsky appears to have good baseball sense, so you have to imagine that he understands this. But perhaps I'm still suffering the aftershocks of the O'Brien era, because I'm still wary about it.

registerthis
05-23-2006, 10:50 AM
Actually, Phillips and Dunn are tied in RBI now... 31.

I didn't want to bring up the "D" word for fear that this thread would turn into another you-know-what.

TeamBoone
05-23-2006, 10:56 AM
I didn't want to bring up the "D" word for fear that this thread would turn into another you-know-what.

Ah, good point.

UPRedsFan
05-23-2006, 11:27 AM
Here's a thought... Maybe they want to keep Lopez at short to keep his trade value higher. They may consider potential moves in the off season if anyone comes knocking with strong pitching offers. Then they can move Phillips to short and figure out 2nd base again with Freel, et al.

Highlifeman21
05-23-2006, 11:57 AM
Here's a thought... Maybe they want to keep Lopez at short to keep his trade value higher. They may consider potential moves in the off season if anyone comes knocking with strong pitching offers. Then they can move Phillips to short and figure out 2nd base again with Freel, et al.


Offensively Lopez should have a high perceived trade value.

Defensively, Lopez has zero to negative trade value.

All being said, his defensive woes will undervalue him overall, regardless of how he's swinging the bat.

Move him to 2B, and his value is limitless, as his offensive production would dwarf whatever defensive stats he accrues at 2B.

KoryMac5
05-23-2006, 12:50 PM
The Reds have slowly built a solid core of young players on this team. Kearns, Dunn, Phillips, Lopez, and EE make the future very bright for us. With young players like Phillips though you have to be able to withstand a bad week or two because when he heats up he really can go on a tear. Many of us are very attached to veteran players on this board but it is time to set some of them free for pieces that can help this team mainly relief pitching.

KronoRed
05-23-2006, 05:00 PM
Actually, Phillips and Dunn are tied in RBI now... 31.
Even with Dunn slumping...WAIT..how can this be?!?!? ;)

BRM
05-23-2006, 05:00 PM
Even with Dunn slumping...WAIT..how can this be?!?!? ;)

He must have 31 solo HRs.

membengal
05-23-2006, 05:14 PM
For the record, if he wasn't slumping, and wasn't such a waste of flesh as a baseball player AND a human being, he would probably have, like, 5,000,000 RBI right now. Or, just a few behind Chuck Norris. In fairness though, Chuck hits 1.000 with RISP...

reds44
05-23-2006, 05:40 PM
For the record, if he wasn't slumping, and wasn't such a waste of flesh as a baseball player AND a human being, he would probably have, like, 5,000,000 RBI right now. Or, just a few behind Chuck Norris. In fairness though, Chuck hits 1.000 with RISP...
Please Chuck Norris hits 1.050 with RISP. They gave him the extra .50 points in fear of being roundhouse kicked.

KronoRed
05-23-2006, 06:41 PM
and that kick drives in more runs.

Just because.

NastyBoy
05-23-2006, 11:56 PM
Another good game tonight batting second. In the pregame with Marty, Narron described BP as "excited" about batting 2nd. If he continues as he has the last 2 games, he may have found himself a permanent spot in the batting order.