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Ltlabner
06-18-2006, 01:31 PM
The defense is horrible and obviously needs to be addressed. How is it best addressed?

1) Mandatory drills and extra infield practice?
2) Narron continuing to scream about defense?
3) Sitting guys who make mental/defensive mistakes?
4) Send a guy down to AAA to "make a statement" ?
5) Trade away the weaknesses?
6) ?????

How do you improve this weakness?

BTW: Pitching is the main problem, obviously, but since there are many other threads about pitching, I thought I'd throw this one out there.

Spitball
06-18-2006, 02:29 PM
I like #1, maybe #5 (depends on the return), and perhaps #6 (????).

Numbers 2, 3, and 4 might work on mental mistakes, they make the physical errors worse.

Marc D
06-18-2006, 02:33 PM
You either move around some of the current parts (JR, Dunn, FeLo, Phillips) or you get new players.


The only one I see hope for improvement with defensively is EE. The rest, what you see is what you get.

flyer85
06-18-2006, 02:40 PM
I'd say giving up 20 runs in 2 games is a problem

Spitball
06-18-2006, 02:46 PM
I hate to mention the name, but I believe Juan Castro was intended to be a statement from the front office as much as he was brought in to improve the defense. "Play better defense or we'll replace you with someone who will."

Wade Boggs was not a good third baseman when he arrived in Boston, but he spent hours working on his defense until he was a good third baseman. Certain players could use extra work on their fielding.

Ltlabner
06-18-2006, 02:51 PM
Marty and Joe were just talking about how Harrang sucked at hitting when he first game over from the AL. He worked on hitting and spent many hours taking batting practice and while he's no slugger, he is hitting .226 with 1 RBI. Not too shabby for a pitcher.

The point of the story is, that with lots and lots of practice these guys can improve. Question is, are they putting in the time to get that practice?

Marc D
06-18-2006, 02:55 PM
I don't think all the practice in the world will improve their range and in the case of FeLo and JR thats the main problem.

If you want a better D with the current pieces its been said on here a million times. Denofria in CF, JR in LF, Dunn to 1B and swap Felo and Phillips.

If you want anything better than that its new player time.

Spitball
06-18-2006, 04:15 PM
I don't think all the practice in the world will improve their range and in the case of FeLo and JR thats the main problem.

I disagree...The main problem is not range, it is all the mental errors. This team is amazing.

Marc D
06-18-2006, 04:52 PM
I disagree...The main problem is not range, it is all the mental errors. This team is amazing.

Well then its like we said in the game thread. Either the coaches can't get the point across or the players won't listen. We've had 3 managers so far this decade and its been pretty much the same slop on the field that whole time.

I say burn it down to the foundation and get some new building material.

KronoRed
06-18-2006, 04:58 PM
Fines for errors?

Obviously the current coaching isn't working

Mario-Rijo
06-19-2006, 06:59 PM
Originally posted by Spitball I disagree...The main problem is not range, it is all the mental errors. This team is amazing.

And I must disagree with you on this point as I think mainly w/ Felo his lack of range actually contributes to his mental mistakes. Anyone who has watched a great SS can tell you when they field a ball it's as if they have forever to plant and throw. When you lack range you have no extra time, because you used it all getting to the ball, so now you must rush everything and that leads to mental mistakes. What interests me though is that at times he will seemingly show great range which tells me something completely different about FeLo, his instincts are bad or he doesn't trust his instincts and therefore disregards them.

However something that I have noticed is that many of these guys (mainly FeLo) seem to be out of position. That is a coaching flaw or the pitchers are not hitting their spots and due to that we don't know where the ball is going. The starters have not been too bad at this but the relievers are not very good at this White & Yan mainly. I would keep on eye on how many errors/mental mistakes are due to a pitcher not hitting his spots.

The Defensive issues:
EE- His are due to bad form more than anything (dropping his arm down into a sidearm motion), which can be corrected. Once he gets it right (throw the ball overhand) he will be very good over there.

Dunn- Seems to be one of these guys who when he makes an error it has to do w/ 1 of 3 things. Out of position, lack of full concentration or lack of great foot speed. Bottom line he eventually will be a 1st bagger or a DH in his career. So he better play some 1st in the offseason this year or get use to the idea of DHing in Detroit or the like. In the meantime he needs to have better focus and be in better position.

Felipe- We have went over this many times. My thing is that he is both lacking range and confidence because of it. Also his make-up is such that in tight moments he presses thus causing more blunders. His make-up and confidence can actually improve but not likely at SS. Eventual 2Bman wherever he plays.

Griffey?- Not an error maker or a person who makes mental errors. He is what he is and I can live with him and his lack of range in CF (this year) as long as in key moments he goes and gets the ball. In other words in my eyes he still has good range, when he wants too but most times he chooses not too use it. If we are up 4 or more or down 4 or more he can coast all day and not dive for would-be singles and such. But there will be times that he needs to give his teammates his all.

1B- Richie & Mr. Hat only have 5 errors between them at 1st but neother of them look to be as tall as their respective Bio's state 6'1". And Javy is 5'10" (which incidentally cost us a game, thanks JN). Most of the big errors have been balls thrown to 1st, where you at Casey 6'4"?

The good defenders. Kearns, Ross and Phillips. No issues at all with these guys, except that when one of them leave the game or are not in the lineup we go from 30% sound to 20% or 10%. In fact I would like to know what the breakdown was early in the season w/o these 3? Anybody know how to get that stat, perhaps it's not a big enough sample size anyhow.

pedro
06-19-2006, 08:10 PM
Switch Lopez and Phillips, move KG to LF, Dunn to first and use Freel or Denofria in CF.

CougarQuest
06-19-2006, 09:21 PM
How do you improve the defense?

Two words:
Public Floggings

RedsMan3203
06-19-2006, 11:04 PM
You'd see a worlds differnce in the D if you just switch Phillips and Lopez.

Castro came up with a couple huge plays late in the game tonight...

KronoRed
06-20-2006, 01:30 AM
Switch Lopez and Phillips, move KG to LF, Dunn to first and use Freel or Denofria in CF.
People were saying in the offseason that most of those should have been done.

Sadly I doubt any of them come to fruition

WVRedsFan
06-20-2006, 03:28 AM
The defense is horrible and obviously needs to be addressed. How is it best addressed?

1) Mandatory drills and extra infield practice?
2) Narron continuing to scream about defense?
3) Sitting guys who make mental/defensive mistakes?
4) Send a guy down to AAA to "make a statement" ?
5) Trade away the weaknesses?
6) ?????

How do you improve this weakness?

BTW: Pitching is the main problem, obviously, but since there are many other threads about pitching, I thought I'd throw this one out there.

As my father used to say...some of us have it and some of us don't. They can have all the drills they want. Jerry can holler and scream until he loses his voice. We can sit Dunn, EdE, Lopez, and Valentin until we get shut out ten out of ten. We can trade away the same three and the Hat, but the fact still remains.

Defense will never be this bunch's strong suit. Look at the alternatives and then make a decision. It ain't easy, is it?

And I'll remind you. Deno is not your savior.

Guacarock
06-20-2006, 05:51 AM
Here's a quick breakdown of what we ought to do, by position, to improve our defense in '07.

C: In an ideal world, keep Ross and Larue. In the real world, Ross and Larue are like oil and water. Larue won't accept being 1B to Ross' 1A. And management won't want to shell out $5 million-plus to a 1B catcher. So, practically speaking, our best bet is to keep offense-sparkplug Ross as our 1A catcher, backed by Valentin or a vet/novice catcher with plus defensive skills.

1B: Either Hatteberg or Aurilia should be retained as a steady understudy, but not the two of them as a platoon tandem. Together, they are OK defensively, OK on offense. Adequacy across the board is better than having a gaping hole at the position, but it's also just adequacy, nothing special. To improve here, we need a more athletic 1B who can carry his weight on offense, while also fielding the position more naturally than either Aurilia or Hatteberg. For us, that means swooping up more of the errant throws airmailed from SS and 3B. Dunn could be the answer, maybe Votto, maybe a pickup like Shealy or Kotchman.

2B: Phillips is just fine here. If we want to stretch him out and experiment with him as a solution at SS, then we'll have to go back to the drawing board to find another player or tandem of players to handle 2B. We do still have plenty of reasonably acceptable 2B options with Lopez, Freel, Castro, Aurilia, Olmedo and Bergolla in the fold, even without acquiring fresh talent.

SS: Is Lopez a long-term answer here? It's looking less likely. Limited range is a nagging concern, especially for a SS on a team where few of the pitchers are KO machines and where most of them are eminently hittable. If Lopez is willing to switch places with Phillips and we're sure Phillips can work the same magic at SS as he does manning 2B, then everything's hunky-dory. But if Lopez will balk or squawk about making a switch, or we have doubts about Phillips at SS, then we absolutely have to acquire a rangier SS, even one that can't hit who automatically gets inserted No. 8 in the lineup. Freel, Castro, Aurilia, Olmedo and Bergolla might be passable or plausible options at 2B, but not really at SS.

3B: I'm willing to give Encarnacion a bye for now. He has some glaring defensive issues, but he's young, he's still learning, he can improve, and this is a corner position, after all, where offense ought to matter as much in the greater scheme of things as defense. Encarnacion is rangy, so he gets to balls that Aurilia or Freel never would. If he muffs a few of them or throws them away, that's an aggravation, but it would be less a problem if we had a rangier SS or a more naturally fielding 1B.

RF: Defense is not an issue with Kearns patrolling the territory. He has speed, range, a strong arm, good instincts. If we absolutely have to flip him for pitching, which could happen, then we have to hope Denorfia can plug the gap.

CF: Junior is a natural CF. But he's also a natural CF past his prime. Range is the question mark here, not instincts. Unlike Lopez, Junior has proven himself as a defensive whiz in CF, but he's slowing down, and his body can't go everywhere his mind wants him to be. Flank him with Kearns in RF, Denorfia in LF, and we'll have the territory covered. Or move Junior to LF, Dunn to 1B and place Denorfia in CF. Either solution can work just fine in '07. But leaving Griffey-Dunn side by side is asking for trouble, at least on defense.

LF: See CF comments above. We can succeed with either Griffey or Dunn in LF next season, but if we are serious about improving our defense, we don't want to go into the season with the two of them riding shotgun for each other.

That's it. We have a clear imbalance to address. We are shy on defense on key posts up the middle, as well as generally lapse on the left side of the field. We have to address those deficiencies to improve. But it's going to be extremely tricky, as it involves three of the players -- Junior, Dunn and Lopez -- who make our offense tick and as explosive as it is.

My hunch. We won't see all three of them back in '07. Who leaves, who stays will tell us a lot about Krivsky. Our new GM has exhibited a golden touch. He has earned a deserved honeymoon period from the fans.

But soon enough, the rubber will meet the skidmarks. Can he convince any of the Reds superstars to transfer to new positions to better serve the needs of the team, if not their own personal preferences? And if that doesn't come to pass, will he make the right decisions on who should go and what they should fetch in return? Interesting times ahead.