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Ltlabner
05-29-2006, 02:37 PM
I think all three catchers bring something to the table and have their own strengths and weaknesses. All the statistics used are from ESPN and are lifetime numbers only. Stats are current as of yesterday.

LaRue: $3.9m/yr with 7 yrs experience. Defensivley, he's got a FPCT of .990, 67PB and 230 SBA against him. PB as a percentage of games is 10.5%. His CS% is .395. He's commited 40 errors on 638 games. Errors as a percentage of games is 6.3%.

Valentine: $1.15m/yr with 7 yrs experience. Defensivley he's got a FPCT of .992, 19 PB and 134 SBA against him. PB as a percentage of games is 6%. His CS% is .330. He's commited 15 errors in 315 games. Errors as a percentage of games is 4.8%.

Ross: $500K/yr with 4 yrs experiene. Defensivley. he's got a FPCT of .989 , 12PB and 66SBA against him. PB as a percentage of games is 7%. His CS% is .371. He's commited 11 errors in 168 games. Errors as a percentage of games is 6.5%.

From a defensive standpoint, Valentine has the best FPCT, lowest PB as percentage of games played, and errors as a percentage of games played. However, he has the lowest CS% while LaRue is highest. With the exception of PB as a percentage of games (LaRue highest) all the numbers are pretty much in the same range.

Offensive numbers:

LaRue: .242BA, .325OBP, .419SLG and .744OPS. In 2103 AB he's hit 79HR and 509H. He struck out 612 times or 29% of AB's.

Ross: .225BA, .296OBP, .429SLG and 1.008OPS. In 471AB he's hit 23HR and 106H. He struck out 146times or 31% of AB's.

Valentine: .241BA, .302BP, .394SLG and .696OPS. In 1022AB he's hit 32 HR and 246H. He struck out 187 times or 18% of AB's.

Offensively, Ross has the higest OPS and SLG, however he's K'd 31% of his ABs. LaRue K's 29% of the time which isn't much better. Javi only K's 18% of the time. LaRue has hit the most HR and hits, but Javi isn't far behind him in hits.

LaRue's biggest black-mark is his price tag. He brings experence to the table, however, there are plenty of other vets on the team. Then again, he has power but does that offset his high PB rate? Ross is cheep but K's alot. He has a great OPS and has hit 9 fewer HR in 551 less AB's than Javi so he's got some power. His errors as a percent of games is as high as LaRue. Javi is realitivley low cost at $1.15m/yr has 7 years of experience (same as LaRue) so he can bring the "experience" to the table for what that is worth. What he lacks in power he makes up in hits and OPB. Defensivley he is strong, with the exception of his throwing arm.

I'll take a look at the combinations of LaRue/Valentine, LaRue/Ross and Valentine/Ross but this post is already too long.

Food for thought and hopefully serrrious debate.

Patrick Bateman
05-29-2006, 03:13 PM
I have no problem dealing LaRue since he should have a fair bit of value to a team in need of a catcher. If we could get 1-2 good arms for him I may have to do it. The pitching would be have way more value to us.

redsfanmia
05-29-2006, 03:40 PM
I have no problem dealing LaRue since he should have a fair bit of value to a team in need of a catcher. If we could get 1-2 good arms for him I may have to do it. The pitching would be have way more value to us.
I wonder just what LaRue's value actually is? I think its not as high as most redszoners think.

KronoRed
05-29-2006, 03:42 PM
LaRue and Ross

KronoRed
05-29-2006, 03:42 PM
I wonder just what LaRue's value actually is? I think its not as high as most redszoners think.
He's untradeable while he's struggling

VI_RedsFan
05-29-2006, 05:18 PM
I would like to package LaRue and Freel for a couple pitchers (starter and reliever). The Rockies would be a nice trading partner. Aaron Cook and Jeff Francis would be nice starters to target. I think that Valentin and Ross would make be a nice R/L catching tandem.

Patrick Bateman
05-29-2006, 05:22 PM
He's untradeable while he's struggling

He can surely be traded for value. 1 bad month does not override a career of success.

pedro
05-29-2006, 06:04 PM
Larue's, or any of the Reds catchers trade value IMO is pretty dependent on whether a contending team ends up with serious catching problems at the deadline.

DropDocK
05-29-2006, 06:20 PM
I like Ross/Valentine. They will keep Ross around to catch all of Arroyos' wins. ;)

Valentine and LaRue are interchangeable, imo, cept for the price tag. I'd take Javy's bat over LaRue's any day.

Marc D
05-29-2006, 06:23 PM
Assuming a willing trading partner I trade LaRue.

He has the highest trade value and the other 2 give you a platoon of comparable production for significantly less $$.

redsfan4445
05-29-2006, 06:27 PM
Keep Ross/Valntine and the Reds will have to package LaRue with a prospect to get us a decent arm for the bullpen..

VI_RedsFan
05-29-2006, 06:51 PM
OK, how's this trade with the Rockies:

Reds trade C Jason LaRue to the Rockies for SP Aaron Cook

then, what do you think of this one with the Cubbies:

Reds trade SP Josh Hall/SP Robert Manuel to the Cubs for Scott Williamson

Ltlabner
05-29-2006, 10:27 PM
Because of Ross's overall lack of playing time it's somewhat difficult to make usefull comparisons of the combinations of LaRue/Valentine, LaRue/Ross and Valentine/Ross.

Of the three options, LaRue/Ross would provide the most number of total hits (615), highers OPS (1.752) and SLG (.848) percentages. That combo would also hit the most number of HR (102). Unfortunatley, it also provides the highest number of strike outs (758), pass balls (79), and errors as a percentage of games played (12.8%).

None of these numbers reflect my opinions of what I'd like to see happen but hopefully are food for good debate.

tripleaaaron
05-29-2006, 10:28 PM
Def. trade Larue, although his value is not that high, Ross and Valentine are the better option anyway. Ross is the best defensive option we have at that position, and as i have said before that is what we need in order to continue to improve our rotation or just to keep them performing as they currently are. and then we can keep valentine for matchups/ LH off the bench. In a hitter friendly ballpark we need all the "pitcher friendly" opportunities we can get (worded funny but, couldn't quite put the words on paper). What I'm trying to say is that anything we can do to keep the pitchers heads on the level will improve our chances to win, more so than a slightly above average hitting catcher (if Larue even is). Ross, even though younger has also shown a great maturity and understanding of the game. (ie bunt on Sunday, would Larue have done that?) Trade Larue for bullpen help, or prospects that could get us bullpen help, or just as a matter to get his 3.9 mil off the budget for possible acquisition of bullpen help. It will help the team in the long run no matter, Defense wins championships and the Catcher position is perhaps the most important defensive position if for the only reason that it has the most direct effect on pitchers performance, and on a team with no true aces, we need all the help we can get.

Krusty
05-29-2006, 10:32 PM
How about LaRue to the Rockies for RHP Jason Jennings?

I doubt very much the Rockies would part with either Cook or Francis.

captainmorgan07
05-29-2006, 10:52 PM
ross and valentin ship larue away

Newman4
05-29-2006, 10:58 PM
How about LaRue to the Rockies for RHP Jason Jennings?

I doubt very much the Rockies would part with either Cook or Francis.

No on Jennings. However, how about Byung-Hyun Kim for Larue? Kim was pretty much lights out as a reliever until someone pulled a Danny Graves and thought he should start. Add in AA Tulsa LHP Josh Newman and you got a deal.:)

KoryMac5
05-29-2006, 11:50 PM
It seems as if the Reds are always late on making trades. The market for both Larue and Freel has pretty much diminished from last year when both players were peaking same can be said for Valentine. If somebody does bit it will more than likely be for Valentine do to the fact that he comes cheaper. I personally like Ross and the way he handles some of the pitching staff. It's too bad we couldn't merge all three of them together they each do certain things very well. To me Valentine is the man to go.

Joseph
05-30-2006, 12:01 AM
I'd keep LaRue and Ross.

LaRue is 75+/- ABs into the season, still plenty of time for him to turn it around, and there is no reason to expect him not to do so.

Ron Madden
05-30-2006, 12:08 AM
I'd keep LaRue and Ross.

LaRue is 75+/- ABs into the season, still plenty of time for him to turn it around, and there is no reason to expect him not to do so.

I agree Joseph, :thumbup: I also believe Valintin should have been dealt over the off season.

Highlifeman21
05-30-2006, 12:35 AM
Keep Ross

Get rid of the other two, we can find another back up catcher. WK found Ross, he can find Ross again.

savafan
05-30-2006, 12:39 AM
Isn't Larue typically a slow starter? That said, I think his salary will scare a lot of teams off.

KronoRed
05-30-2006, 01:25 AM
Don't forget, WayneO likes 3 catchers ;)

Ron Madden
05-30-2006, 01:37 AM
Isn't Larue typically a slow starter? That said, I think his salary will scare a lot of teams off.

LaRue is a slow starter and a lot of fans agree with you about Jasons salary.

The truth is LaRue is being paid the going rate for catchers.

tripleaaaron
05-30-2006, 02:03 AM
I'd keep LaRue and Ross.

LaRue is 75+/- ABs into the season, still plenty of time for him to turn it around, and there is no reason to expect him not to do so.

Turn it around to do what, hit .250+? Who cares. We need defense and Ross appears to be our catcher for years to come, get him more PT, even if he only hits .240 that is only the difference of what 10 or so hits? And he plays small ball alot better, which is what we need. With that said, Ross is out-hitting Jason Larue ACROSS THE BOARD so far this season, w/ 18 less AB, and the fact that he is better behind the plate, move Larue FOR ANYTHING, the cut in cap space is worth it alone

tripleaaaron
05-30-2006, 02:03 AM
I'd keep LaRue and Ross.

LaRue is 75+/- ABs into the season, still plenty of time for him to turn it around, and there is no reason to expect him not to do so.

Turn it around to do what, hit .250+? Who cares. We need defense and Ross appears to be our catcher for years to come, get him more PT, even if he only hits .240 that is only the difference of what 10 or so hits? And he plays small ball alot better, which is what we need. With that said, Ross is out-hitting Jason Larue ACROSS THE BOARD so far this season, w/ 18 less AB, and the fact that he is better behind the plate, move Larue FOR ANYTHING, the cut in cap space is worth it alone

tripleaaaron
05-30-2006, 02:03 AM
I'd keep LaRue and Ross.

LaRue is 75+/- ABs into the season, still plenty of time for him to turn it around, and there is no reason to expect him not to do so.

Turn it around to do what, hit .250+? Who cares. We need defense and Ross appears to be our catcher for years to come, get him more PT, even if he only hits .240 that is only the difference of what 10 or so hits? And he plays small ball alot better, which is what we need. With that said, Ross is out-hitting Jason Larue ACROSS THE BOARD so far this season, w/ 18 less AB, and the fact that he is better behind the plate, move Larue FOR ANYTHING, the cut in cap space is worth it alone

tripleaaaron
05-30-2006, 02:04 AM
sorry, didn't mean to post it 3 times, don't know what happened

savafan
05-30-2006, 02:07 AM
sorry, didn't mean to post it 3 times, don't know what happened


Well, you are tripleaaaron. ;)

tripleaaaron
05-30-2006, 02:24 AM
ha, good point maybe that should be my trademark, then again that would be pretty annoying so maybe not

Red Heeler
05-30-2006, 10:37 AM
The Rockies have the biggest need at catcher of any contender right now. Larue or Valentine for AAA 1B Ryan Shealy and AA C Chris Iannetta would work for me. The Reds might have to kick in a prospect to get the Rockies to bite, but it would deal from strength and shore up two positions in the near future for the Reds.

dabvu2498
05-30-2006, 10:48 AM
The Rockies have the biggest need at catcher of any contender right now. Larue or Valentine for AAA 1B Ryan Shealy and AA C Chris Iannetta would work for me. The Reds might have to kick in a prospect to get the Rockies to bite, but it would deal from strength and shore up two positions in the near future for the Reds.
Not a bad idea at all. I'd guess the Rocks would want us to kick in a few bucks to help pay Jason for the rest of the year though. I still might do it.

BRM
05-30-2006, 12:22 PM
The Rockies have the biggest need at catcher of any contender right now. Larue or Valentine for AAA 1B Ryan Shealy and AA C Chris Iannetta would work for me. The Reds might have to kick in a prospect to get the Rockies to bite, but it would deal from strength and shore up two positions in the near future for the Reds.

Closser is their savior.

Guacarock
05-30-2006, 12:27 PM
Ross looks like a keeper, so that probably means Larue is the odd man out. You don't want to pay $3.9 million this year, and over $5 million in '07 for a guy who might ride the pines, or grouse because he was splitting a lot of time with a "journeyman."

Folks have mentioned Colorado as a possible destination. Here are two others: Los Angeles Angels and Philadelphia.

Angels have more hot, young prospects than they could ever use. Would like to acquire the discontented 1B Kotchman after he gets off the DL from mono. He should come cheaply with the Angels anointing Morales as their next 1B. Especially after Kotchman has been burning bridges, mouthing off about the team's handling of him this spring.

As for Philadelphia, its contract with Lieberthal runs out after this season. They have C prospect Carlos Ruiz supposedly ready to step forward. Ruiz has torn up minor league pitching, but he tanked during his recent callup with Lieberthal on the DL. So I could see the Phillies acquiring Larue for a year to transition between Lieberthal and Ruiz. After paying Lieberthal over $7 million, Larue's salary, even above $5 million, would look palatable to the Phillies.

Now, onto Valentin. I would be inclined to keep him around for a period of time after trading Larue -- just to make sure Ross can perform on a more daily basis. However, if a team offered a decent reliever for Valentin, the temptation would certainly be there to approve the deal. Still, $1 million is OK for a bench player, especially a catcher who can also play a little 1B and pinch-hit. The fact that Valentin is a switch-hitter isn't of much value. He's really only able to hit from the left, although Ross being a righty means they could complement each other.

Highlifeman21
05-30-2006, 01:02 PM
Ross looks like a keeper, so that probably means Larue is the odd man out. You don't want to pay $3.9 million this year, and over $5 million in '07 for a guy who might ride the pines, or grouse because he was splitting a lot of time with a "journeyman."

Folks have mentioned Colorado as a possible destination. Here are two others: Los Angeles Angels and Philadelphia.

Angels have more hot, young prospects than they could ever use. Would like to acquire the discontented 1B Kotchman after he gets off the DL from mono. He should come cheaply with the Angels anointing Morales as their next 1B. Especially after Kotchman has been burning bridges, mouthing off about the team's handling of him this spring.

As for Philadelphia, its contract with Lieberthal runs out after this season. They have C prospect Carlos Ruiz supposedly ready to step forward. Ruiz has torn up minor league pitching, but he tanked during his recent callup with Lieberthal on the DL. So I could see the Phillies acquiring Larue for a year to transition between Lieberthal and Ruiz. After paying Lieberthal over $7 million, Larue's salary, even above $5 million, would look palatable to the Phillies.

Now, onto Valentin. I would be inclined to keep him around for a period of time after trading Larue -- just to make sure Ross can perform on a more daily basis. However, if a team offered a decent reliever for Valentin, the temptation would certainly be there to approve the deal. Still, $1 million is OK for a bench player, especially a catcher who can also play a little 1B and pinch-hit. The fact that Valentin is a switch-hitter isn't of much value. He's really only able to hit from the left, although Ross being a righty means they could complement each other.


Two words: Sal Fasano.

Philly has no pressing need for a catcher.

Honestly, whoever wants to pick up the majority of LaRue's tab, I think moving his contract alone is a mini-Casey situation revisited, and we could use the money more wisely elsewhere for the future.

Guacarock
05-30-2006, 02:00 PM
Two words: Sal Fasano.

Philly has no pressing need for a catcher.

Honestly, whoever wants to pick up the majority of LaRue's tab, I think moving his contract alone is a mini-Casey situation revisited, and we could use the money more wisely elsewhere for the future.

You're right in one respect. I'm sure the Phillies want to use Fasano as the transitional partner with Ruiz in '07.

But Fasano is no offensive dynamo, and so far Ruiz has looked a little unsteady himself at the ML level.

After Lieberthal, Daulton, Boone, Burgess, et. al, the Phillies fans have come to expect catchers who don't just field the position, but also wield some batting power.

If Fasano keeps plodding along like he has this season, and Ruiz looks overmatched again in September, I can still see Philadelphia taking a flyer on Larue over the winter. Of course, if some other team wants to trade for Jason before then, you do it. As you pointed out, his contract -- while perfectly reasonable in relationship to his ML experience and skillset -- does make him a bit tricky to move.

Red Heeler
05-30-2006, 02:28 PM
Two words: Sal Fasano.

Philly has no pressing need for a catcher.

Honestly, whoever wants to pick up the majority of LaRue's tab, I think moving his contract alone is a mini-Casey situation revisited, and we could use the money more wisely elsewhere for the future.

The fact that Larue's salary might benefit the Reds more if spent in other areas should not enter the discussion. Sure, to date he has not been productive, but his 2006 is a tiny sample size compared to his career. Over his career, he is an above average offensive catcher who is excellent in some areas defensively and weaker in other areas. In other words, on the field, he has positive value. His salary is middle of the road for veteran starting catchers. So, you have a player who has positive value on the field at market value. That type of player should be traded for value, not at a discount to shed salary.

BTW, I could have replaced "Larue" with "Casey" , and it would have applied.

registerthis
05-30-2006, 02:35 PM
the cut in cap space is worth it alone

Huh?

Highlifeman21
05-30-2006, 03:17 PM
You're right in one respect. I'm sure the Phillies want to use Fasano as the transitional partner with Ruiz in '07.

But Fasano is no offensive dynamo, and so far Ruiz has looked a little unsteady himself at the ML level.

After Lieberthal, Daulton, Boone, Burgess, et. al, the Phillies fans have come to expect catchers who don't just field the position, but also wield some batting power.

If Fasano keeps plodding along like he has this season, and Ruiz looks overmatched again in September, I can still see Philadelphia taking a flyer on Larue over the winter. Of course, if some other team wants to trade for Jason before then, you do it. As you pointed out, his contract -- while perfectly reasonable in relationship to his ML experience and skillset -- does make him a bit tricky to move.

Word in the City of Brotherly Love is that the Broad Street Babies will resign Lieberthal, since he's the only thing remotely offensive since DD.

You're absolutely right that Phillies fans want a catcher who can handle the bat, but I don't view LaRue as an upgrade over Ruiz or Fasano, and from some reports on the local TV media, the only names tossed out that Philly might have interest are Navarro and Closser, neither of whom I see ending up here.

The Lieberthal injury has been a blessing as well as a curse for the Phils. They've been forced to try and imagine a long term situation without Lieberthal, and so far they haven't found the answer.

Z-Fly
05-30-2006, 03:23 PM
The fact that Larue's salary might benefit the Reds more if spent in other areas should not enter the discussion. Sure, to date he has not been productive, but his 2006 is a tiny sample size compared to his career. Over his career, he is an above average offensive catcher who is excellent in some areas defensively and weaker in other areas. In other words, on the field, he has positive value. His salary is middle of the road for veteran starting catchers. So, you have a player who has positive value on the field at market value. That type of player should be traded for value, not at a discount to shed salary.

BTW, I could have replaced "Larue" with "Casey" , and it would have applied.

That is a valid point, but what everyone else is trying to say is we have a cheaper replacement who is just as good. I still agree with the Casey trade. I do wish we could have got more in return. Maybe the market wasn't out their for Casey. At the time we had 4 spots for 5 players, because of his salary and production he was the odd man out.

Highlifeman21
05-30-2006, 03:24 PM
The fact that Larue's salary might benefit the Reds more if spent in other areas should not enter the discussion. Sure, to date he has not been productive, but his 2006 is a tiny sample size compared to his career. Over his career, he is an above average offensive catcher who is excellent in some areas defensively and weaker in other areas. In other words, on the field, he has positive value. His salary is middle of the road for veteran starting catchers. So, you have a player who has positive value on the field at market value. That type of player should be traded for value, not at a discount to shed salary.

BTW, I could have replaced "Larue" with "Casey" , and it would have applied.


Why shouldn't it? Ross is Arroyo's personal catcher, so LaRue's stuck splitting time with Valentin, who seems to have the latin connection with the Lizard and catches him regularly, so now roughly LaRue should start for the other 3 starters, yet he's not. I'm not comfortable paying LaRue his contract if at best, he's going to only start 60% of the time. Reduce his salary by 40%, and they he's a fiscally sound decision.

I'm comparing LaRue's salary to the rest of our roster, not the rest of the league. Based on what he's making, he's not producing for the price. This is Sean Casey all over again. We shed his contract, which allowed our organization to sign Dunn to a long term contract, which IMO was more important than retaining Casey for this season.

pedro
05-30-2006, 03:40 PM
I think the salary arguments were perhaps more valid during the previous ownership. I've seen no indication from the current ownership that they would let a few million dollars get in the way of acquiring the pieces necessary to win. The real problem is that it takes time to acquire those pieces when they aren't all immediately available.

I'm all for trading Larue if it brings back the piece(s) the Reds need to win, but there is no reason IMO to shed his salary just "because".

registerthis
05-30-2006, 04:10 PM
That is a valid point, but what everyone else is trying to say is we have a cheaper replacement who is just as good.

I can't believe I'm reading phrases like "catcher of the future" and "just as good" applied to David Ross.

With Ross, you're talking about a player who has barely a full season's worth of ABs in five years of playing. His greatest amount of playing time, to date, occured in 2004 when he accumulated 165 ABs, a .170 BA, a .253 OBP, a .544 OPS, 5 HR and 15 RBI. He's had one year of part-time playing where his numbers have been respectable (2003), beyond that he's ventured between awful and non-existent. Defensively, he's thrown out a lower percentage of base stealers and has an identical fielding percentage to LaRue, in spite of a significantly fewer number of chances.

David Ross isn't the long term solution to anything, and if his previous 3 seasons are any indication he will never produce at a level eclipsing a part-time backup. Valentin isn't a full-time solution, either. Except for a solid second half in 2005, his career has been nothing but mediocre.

And LaRue is a far more productive catcher than many here seem to want to give him credit for. $4 million is absolutely in line with what a catcher at the level of laRue should be making.

Guacarock
05-30-2006, 06:00 PM
I can't believe I'm reading phrases like "catcher of the future" and "just as good" applied to David Ross.

With Ross, you're talking about a player who has barely a full season's worth of ABs in five years of playing. His greatest amount of playing time, to date, occured in 2004 when he accumulated 165 ABs, a .170 BA, a .253 OBP, a .544 OPS, 5 HR and 15 RBI. He's had one year of part-time playing where his numbers have been respectable (2003), beyond that he's ventured between awful and non-existent. Defensively, he's thrown out a lower percentage of base stealers and has an identical fielding percentage to LaRue, in spite of a significantly fewer number of chances.

David Ross isn't the long term solution to anything, and if his previous 3 seasons are any indication he will never produce at a level eclipsing a part-time backup. Valentin isn't a full-time solution, either. Except for a solid second half in 2005, his career has been nothing but mediocre.

And LaRue is a far more productive catcher than many here seem to want to give him credit for. $4 million is absolutely in line with what a catcher at the level of laRue should be making.

We won't know Ross' ceiling until we see a little more of him in action. He's certainly making a case for himself this season, not only with his bat, but also his smart game-calling and decent defense.

What you say about Larue is absolutely true of Jason in his prime, at his peak. But he's showing the inevitable signs of slippage. The wear and tear always hits catchers earlier than other players, and they decline at a more precipitous pace.

Always a slow starter on offense, Jason is getting a little more sluggish out of the chute every year. When was the last time he enjoyed a solid month of April or May?

He still has a strong arm for a catcher, and plus defensive skills. But if you look, you'll see cracks as well in his defensive armor. 2001 was the year when he put on a clinic with his ability to halt the opposition running game -- throwing out 42 of 69 basestealers for a .609 CS%. But by last year, his CS% had declined to .329, and basestealers were getting more brazen facing him -- 76 made steal attempts. He threw out 25, while 51 of them succeeded.

So, you'll get no argument from me that Larue, careerwise, is always likely to dwarf Ross. But will Larue run circles around Ross this season? I'm not so sure of that. And I suspect that whatever we see from Larue in '06, we'll see less of it in '07.

There are two risks we have to avoid here. One involves overinflating Ross' potential based on two months of production. The other risk involves assuming that the Larue we get in '06 or '07 is bound to match or come close to matching his career averages.

We just don't know which direction this worm will turn yet. Something tells me, though, that by the end of July or August, one of our catchers will go. Could be Valentin, could be Larue. Doubt Ross will be moved, unless he really takes a tumble from the production levels he's posted to date in '06.

registerthis
05-30-2006, 07:15 PM
We won't know Ross' ceiling until we see a little more of him in action. He's certainly making a case for himself this season, not only with his bat, but also his smart game-calling and decent defense.

I guess I just don't see much upside for a 29 year old catcher who has shown only the slightest hint that he has the capacity to put it all together. If he were 5 years younger, perhaps I would be more optimistic.


What you say about Larue is absolutely true of Jason in his prime, at his peak. But he's showing the inevitable signs of slippage. The wear and tear always hits catchers earlier than other players, and they decline at a more precipitous pace.

I just find it odd that people are willing to write off a catcher who's had an above-average career after only 75 ABs, while seemingly annointing Ross as the heir apparent. It doesn't make sense to me.

Jason LaRue, last year, was still among the top defensive catchers in the NL, and had the best offensive season of his career. Hardly what I would consider to be "slipping."

I do agree that catchers age faster than other players, and clearly the Reds need to be making plans for life without him. No argument there. But the answer isn't David Ross or Valentin, and I'm not prepared to write LaRue off yet, either.

Gainesville Red
05-30-2006, 07:23 PM
I say keep Ross so I can post Go Gators everytime he does something good.

How's that for an indepth, well thought out post?

TeamSelig
05-30-2006, 07:26 PM
I don't think we need a big time run producing Catcher. I'd trade whichever I can get the most value out of, which is more than likely Jason LaRue. It also frees up some salary room and that is very important IMO. LaRue is also getting up there in the age for a catcher.

Red Heeler
05-30-2006, 09:20 PM
Why shouldn't it? Ross is Arroyo's personal catcher, so LaRue's stuck splitting time with Valentin, who seems to have the latin connection with the Lizard and catches him regularly, so now roughly LaRue should start for the other 3 starters, yet he's not. I'm not comfortable paying LaRue his contract if at best, he's going to only start 60% of the time. Reduce his salary by 40%, and they he's a fiscally sound decision.

I'm comparing LaRue's salary to the rest of our roster, not the rest of the league. Based on what he's making, he's not producing for the price. This is Sean Casey all over again. We shed his contract, which allowed our organization to sign Dunn to a long term contract, which IMO was more important than retaining Casey for this season.

I OK with trading Larue, don't get me wrong. In fact, I would have looked to trade him and Valentine over the winter. However, the Reds should get a talent return that they like and count the cost savings as a bonus, not the other way around.

Highlifeman21
05-30-2006, 10:03 PM
I OK with trading Larue, don't get me wrong. In fact, I would have looked to trade him and Valentine over the winter. However, the Reds should get a talent return that they like and count the cost savings as a bonus, not the other way around.


I agree, I wouldn't move him as a salary dump, and I wouldn't move him just to move him. I think that we can get some value for him from the right team, but I don't know the name of that mystery team.

schroomytunes
05-30-2006, 11:25 PM
I would definitely try to move Larue first, then Valentin. Larue is getting up there in age and we definitely can go younger there. So I would like to see these moves made:

1)Reds Trade: Jason Larue to the Rockies for Ray King

2)Reds Trade: Javier Valentin to the Rockies for Ray King

TeamBoone
05-31-2006, 02:38 AM
LaRue is also getting up there in the age for a catcher.

IMHO, the age of LaRue vs Ross is pretty much a wash... Jason is only 3 years older, to the day. They have the same birthday!

And he's only one year older than Valentin. So if you're saying age is a factor, you may as well dump all three.

Jason was interviewed on the pregame show tonight (plus I read an article relating to this a couple weeks ago).

He's quite disappointed with the way the catching situation has shaken out this season. He didn't bad mouth anyone and was extremely serene during the interview but did say he signed on as the starting catcher and doesn't feel that is reflected in how little he's playing. He also said it's difficult for him to get in a groove because of it.

I tend to agree with him.

Newman4
05-31-2006, 10:50 AM
I prefer to keep Ross and Valentin for salary reasons, but it wouldn't break my heart if any of them were sent packing for pitching or prospects to be completely honest.

dabvu2498
05-31-2006, 10:55 AM
He's quite disappointed with the way the catching situation has shaken out this season. He didn't bad mouth anyone and was extremely serene during the interview but did say he signed on as the starting catcher and doesn't feel that is reflected in how little he's playing. He also said it's difficult for him to get in a groove because of it.

I saw that as well and thought that was a little out of character for him. I think Larue is pretty much of a class act and was surprised to hear him speak out at all. I guess when things are not going well (personally or team-wise) you're more likely to speak up.

In the same vein, when you're not going well (personally or team-wise) you're more likely to find your butt on the bench.

Guacarock
06-01-2006, 03:20 AM
IMHO, the age of LaRue vs Ross is pretty much a wash... Jason is only 3 years older, to the day. They have the same birthday!

And he's only one year older than Valentin. So if you're saying age is a factor, you may as well dump all three.

Jason was interviewed on the pregame show tonight (plus I read an article relating to this a couple weeks ago).

He's quite disappointed with the way the catching situation has shaken out this season. He didn't bad mouth anyone and was extremely serene during the interview but did say he signed on as the starting catcher and doesn't feel that is reflected in how little he's playing. He also said it's difficult for him to get in a groove because of it.

I tend to agree with him.

The myth: A lack of playing time is preventing Jason Larue from getting his groove back.

The reality: Despite batting .184, Larue has logged 64 plate appearances this May, essentially the same as the 69 plate appearances he received in May of 2005. So, contrary to what Larue is asserting, diminished playing time is not the root cause of his slump.

What could be? Let's run down the more likely causes.

1. A journeyman, David Ross, is making Larue feel uncomfortable, not only by hitting .300 with 4 HR and 12 RBI in 50 AB, but also by being the designated catcher of the Reds' flashy new SP Arroyo. What's more, management is giving Ross the opportunity, carrying him as a third catcher, even at the risk of sacrificing some flexibility and offense off the bench.

2. Sensing he was in a more competitive environment than in years past, perhaps Larue rushed back prematurely from the DL, before he was really healed or ready to face ML pitching.

3. Larue, if you examine the record, always performs below par in April and May, year in and year out. His slow start hasn't mattered much before now. No one really focused much attention on him because we have fallen out of contention by June 1 pretty much every year of late, and always could pinpoint greater scapegoats to blame than our catchers.

If you ask me, Larue should just buckle down, start producing and prove his worth. Either the new Krivsky front office will be forced to deem him a keeper, or else another team will get the idea they can steal him away from the Reds and use him as their frontline catcher.

Whining doesn't become a veteran player. Whether Larue is able to sustain or build upon his legacy, either as a Red or elsewhere, is something he'll need to take on himself and not leave up to third parties. He's been around the block long enough he shouldn't have to be coddled.

SteelSD
06-01-2006, 03:50 AM
The myth: A lack of playing time is preventing Jason Larue from getting his groove back.

The reality: Despite batting .184, Larue has logged 64 plate appearances this May, essentially the same as the 69 plate appearances he received in May of 2005. So, contrary to what Larue is asserting, diminished playing time is not the root cause of his slump.

And yet, when given regular playing time, Jason Larue has always produced.


If you ask me, Larue should just buckle down, start producing and prove his worth.

Which is, of course, all he's ever done.

Guacarock
06-01-2006, 04:58 AM
And yet, when given regular playing time, Jason Larue has always produced. Which is, of course, all he's ever done.

Don't get me wrong. I want Jason to succeed. His late uncle, Jay, was a longtime, personal crony. We spent many an idle evening relishing Jason's accomplishments and celebrating as Jason busted into the Reds' lineup and did exactly what you're saying, producing at each turn of the worm.

I hope he has it within himself to do it again. It would be doubly sweet if he does it wearing a Reds uniform and leading this team into the playoffs. It's clear we have some great players on this squad, but now we need one or two catalysts among those players to exert leadership and lift the team to a higher plateau.

If Jason's going to do it, his time is now, not only for himself but for the Reds. I'll always have an affinity to him, admire his ability and scrappy pride, and wish him well wherever he lands.

That said, the first box score I check out every morning will be the Reds. As much as I hope he's among the players I'm tracking, it has to be for merit, not just because of friendship, longevity or seniority.

Big Daddy P
06-01-2006, 05:36 PM
No player at any position deserves to play hitting below the mendoza line! Just pathetic that the Reds organization can produce no one who can hit!

Johnny Bench could put on the tools of ignorance right now as a senior citizen and hit more than .200!

Very sad....

tripleaaaron
06-02-2006, 03:12 AM
Huh?
didn't mean cap space, but payroll, I think you know what I mean

Ron Madden
06-02-2006, 04:39 AM
No player at any position deserves to play hitting below the mendoza line! Just pathetic that the Reds organization can produce no one who can hit!

Johnny Bench could put on the tools of ignorance right now as a senior citizen and hit more than .200!

Very sad....

Johnny Bench is in the HOF because he was head and shoulders above average.

I may be wrong but I don't see very many catchers in todays game that compare to Johnny Bench.

Compare LaRue to every other catcher over the past three seasons.It might show LaRue is under rated around here.

Yes, I would trade LaRue. I wouldn't just give him away though.