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View Full Version : Are the Reds better off without Griffey?



jamess697
09-05-2006, 07:55 AM
After seeing Griffey get hurt in last nights game, it got me wondering if the Reds lineup is better off without Griffey in it (right now). He is killing us in center, and he is only hitting around .240-.250. This is killing us in the middle of the lineup. However I like Griffey and this isn't just a Griffey bashing, but is Deno better in the lineup, with Freel in center. Would you trade defense for a home run every 20 at bats. Just Asking?

RANDY IN INDY
09-05-2006, 07:59 AM
Denorfia better in the lineup than Griffey? I have seen very little to make me believe that Denorfia is anything but a fourth outfielder at best.

RedFanAlways1966
09-05-2006, 08:10 AM
Griffey to a corner OF spot is the best scenario IMO. His bat is still better in the lineup than any other non-starting option they have today. A down year at the plate (although one that would make many a-man a millionaire in MLB) for Junior. Will it continue? I don't know, but I am also not the type to throw a guy on the trash-heap b/c of one down year. He is still 2nd on the team in HRs despite missing about 30 games.

Make no mistake that opposing managers and pitchers still fear the Griffey bat. They know what it is capable of doing. He will never be the Griffey that gave life to a town called Seattle, but he is still a dangerous bat.

BTW... a nice way to ask this question. Others on this site could learn a thing or two about tact from your thread-opener. There is a right way and a wrong way to ask questions on all topics. Thanks for using some class in asking your question. :thumbup:

Always Red
09-05-2006, 08:23 AM
Freel made 2 excellent catches in CF after the Griffey injury; one coming in on a line drive, and one over his head (that at first he misjudged); I don't think Junior gets either one of those balls.

I don't think that there's any question that the Reds are a better team with Freel or Denorfia in CF rather than Junior- defensively.

The absence of Kearns, especially, makes Griffey's bat all the more important. Neither Freel nor Deno can go on the hot streaks that Junior can still generate.

Junior's not the ballplayer he once was, but he's still a vital part of this team's offense. The Reds need him now more than ever.

What was once, just in spring training a strength of this team (the OF) is now, in fact, one of this teams weaknesses.

RBA
09-05-2006, 08:30 AM
Yup, Wayne pretty much did away with our great outfield offensively. Jr's bat needs to be in there. He needs to move to a corner position and put Freel in Center.

Denorfia is no way MLB ready offensively and his defense is not as was once as advertised on RedsZone by some Redszone experts. He's a 4th outfileder at best.

I think someone sold Wayne on Denorfia before the Kearns trade. Who ever that scout was needs to go into remedial scout training.

RANDY IN INDY
09-05-2006, 08:33 AM
Agree that Griffey needs to go to a corner OF position. Freel has made some wonderful plays in centerfield. I like him there. Denorfia as a starter? I must be missing something.

BuckWoody
09-05-2006, 08:53 AM
I was pretty fired up early in the season about Denorfia's ability as well, having chugged a couple glasses of the RedsZone kool-aid. He just doesn't look ready yet and at 26 I sure hope he doesn't turn into another AAAA player a la Brandon Larson.

I think overall the Reds are better with Jr. in the lineup.

REDREAD
09-05-2006, 08:54 AM
Definitely not better off. The offense will struggle even more without Jr in it.

Always Red
09-05-2006, 09:00 AM
I agree totally re: Denorfia. I drank that same kool-aid!

He's the MVP of the International League (and spring training), yet every time he's up here he looks totally overmatched. I also think Freel is better defensively, not just for Freel's acrobatic catches, but for getting to the ball in a timely manner. To me, Deno often sports the "deer in the headlights" look.

I hope he can get it together during the offseason, because he's our best bet for a 4th outfielder next year. I've not given up on him yet, but the clock is ticking...

Redhook
09-05-2006, 09:17 AM
Unless we pick up a big bopper in the offseason we desperately need Griffey's bat in the lineup. He's still very capable of hitting 30 homers and 100 RBI, if healthy of course. Without a doubt, he'll be our right fielder next year. And I'm happy about that.

Deno. Hmmmm, what to say. I like the way he plays, but I really don't envision him being an everyday outfielder. He just doesn't have much to offer offensively. I really believe, and I've said this earlier, that he needs to change his batting stance to have a chance. He needs to put his hands farther back and up higher to be in a better position to drive the ball. IMO, he has to do too much before he swings to get in a good hitting position. I could be wrong, but to me he looks like he has almost no chance to hit the ball out of the infield with that batting stance.

redsmetz
09-05-2006, 09:34 AM
I'm hoping that in the offseason, management can talk with Griffey about sliding over to a corner. I would not be surprised to see Freel dealt in the offseason either with the Reds perhaps looking at bringing in another Center fielder. I've said all along that Denorfia would be a good filler or maybe even a trading chip.

RBA
09-05-2006, 09:49 AM
I'm thinking the Reds might attempt to move Aurillia to third and Encarncionn to the OF starting in spring training. It's a move that I don't like, but for some reason I think the Reds would try.

Far East
09-05-2006, 09:54 AM
My wife in not a baseball fan, but she began to watch a few innings here and there since the last Cardinals' series, because my sons and I were so excited about the division race at that time. Here are a few of her observations; I'm trying to recall them as close to verbatum as I can.

1. Why don't they make Griffey use his whole body to swing like that guy (Hatteberg) does? Bend his knees a little bit instead of standing so straight and just swinging with his arms.

2. I don't like to watch him (Dunn) bat; I've never seen him hit one yet (She did not get to see Adam's recent 4 hit game). He just swings for homeruns, doesn't he? Don't the coaches tell him anything?

3. His (Griffey's) uniform is so neat and fits him so perfectly; he never gets dirty.

4. That one (Freel) has a crazy look in his eye. He's crazy!

5. He looks scared (upon seeing a close up of Aurilia's face at bat).

6. Now that's the kinda guy who should be in THE center (while watching Freel chase one down in CF).

I swear, she doesn't even know what RedsZone is, but when she has spoken I could have sworn that she was repeating lines from this board. She has not heard this stuff from me (because I'd have been telling her about Junior's sweet swing and Dunn's OBP) -- or anyone else as far as I know.

The only player I have ever talked to her about was Freel, and that was only when I could get her to stop a minute to come watch a replay (or my tape) of one of his wall collisions.

Help me interpret this. Mrs. Far East knows less about the sport than almost anyone I know. For example, she invariably comments that, "They should take that pitcher out," when any guy on the mound gives up a couple of hits in the inning, no matter what the score or situation or inning or whether it be starter or reliever.

Could even so casual an observer of the game be so insightful about those 6 items listed above, especially about the two centerfielders? Or should those of us who agree with her be just categorized as hardly more than casual observers ourselves? As Bob Boone would say, "Everyone knows a little bit about the game."

Jim
09-05-2006, 09:56 AM
Junior will probably stay in CF and keep it warm for Bruce. I still like Junior in CF more than what other teams offer in CF. Being in Chicago, I've seen the White Sox struggle with their CF options... Podsednik and Anderson... both are good defensively, but can't seem to figure out which end of the bat to hold.

mbgrayson
09-05-2006, 09:59 AM
"Deno..... I like the way he plays, but I really don't envision him being an everyday outfielder. He just doesn't have much to offer offensively."

How could we ever win with an outfielder who only hits .349, with 7 HRs, an OBP of .409, and .484 slugging??

For the record, our leftfielder in 1972, when we went to the world series, hit .307, with 6 HRs, an OBP of .382, and .417 slugging. (Pete Rose).

In 1975/76, we had this guy in the outfield that hit .257/.307, 6/2 HRs, an OBP of .327/.382, and .363/.414 slugging. (Geronimo!)

In 1990, we had a guy in the outfield that hit .276, 5 HRs, an OBP of .327, and a .381 slugging. (Hatcher).

We did alright those years as I remember. Although Chris Denorfia has struggled at times, I just wonder what happens if he gets an every day shot at an outfield position. He is a plus fielder, and hits very well for high average and great OBP.

Everyone calling Chris Denorfia an "AAAA" guy is wrong at this point. He needs more time and MLB at-bats to see how he does. Every hitter can slump, and needs time to make adjustments to a higher level. Lets be patient and give this guy a chance. There is a reason he has been a .310+ hitter for 2 years at Louisville with a .400 OBP. Lets see how he does....Not everyone has to hit 20+ HRs....we need on base guys 'setting the table'.

I also like Chris Denorfia's hustle and hard work. While I wish Junior a speedy recovery, I'll be rooting for Deno.

Always Red
09-05-2006, 10:00 AM
I'm thinking the Reds might attempt to move Aurillia to third and Encarncionn to the OF starting in spring training. It's a move that I don't like, but for some reason I think the Reds would try.

I wouldn't mind that move, actually. It all depends on if EE can play the OF or not, does anyone know? Tracking down flyballs or line drives hit at you is much, much different than playing 3B. I'm not sure RA is an everyday 3B, but he sure has hit like one this year.

I think EE's played nicely in the field of late: great play yesterday on a ball down the line. I don't care if he plays 3B, 1B or OF, to be honest with you, as long as he's hitting 3rd, 4th or 5th. With a young guys, it's often better to put him in one spot and keep him there, so he can get comfortable, which is why I think they left Phillips at 2B all year instead of swapping him over to SS.

In my eyes, Encarnacion's the building block of this team.

RA I like better platooning at 1B and 2B. In fact, I'd like him and Freel both to function in that way, with each of them playing about 75% of the time. Rich has had a great year, but I'm not sure if he can play every single day anymore and be effective. But I've been wrong before!;)

Highlifeman21
09-05-2006, 10:07 AM
Defensively we're better without him in CF. A corner OF spot, or maybe even 1B would help justify playing Griffey everyday.

This has been a down year, offensively, for Griffey. Tragically, I don't think any of us can expect a huge rebound to next year. He's on the decline side of his career. As much as we don't want to admit it, Griffey's talents/abilities are quickly dissolving before all of our collective eyes.

Is Denorfia an everyday answer? Defensively yes, offensively only if we want to watch him lead the league in groundouts to SS.

Is Freel an everyday OF answer? Again, defensively yes, but Freel is a dish best served in his super backup role, playing 3-4 days per week, but no more.

I guess we all wait for Jay Bruce now.

Cyclone792
09-05-2006, 10:37 AM
Denorfia is no way MLB ready offensively and his defense is not as was once as advertised on RedsZone by some Redszone experts. He's a 4th outfileder at best.

I think someone sold Wayne on Denorfia before the Kearns trade. Who ever that scout was needs to go into remedial scout training.

I'm not sure you and I are watching the same Chris Denorfia.

The Chris Denorfia I see has excellent instincts of the ball immediately as it comes off the bat, which enables him to get a remarkable jump on the ball in his first few steps and locate the spot on the field where the ball will eventually land. The Chris Denorfia I see also has incredible top flight speed in the outfield and outstanding closing speed to get to that spot on the field where the ball will land.

That is a prototypical center fielder who could put up a zone rating factor in the 0.890 to 0.910 range and save us 10-15 runs per 162 games over the average defensive center fielder.

The center fielder we currently trot out there on a nightly basis has no legs, a slow first step, slow top speed and slow closing speed. Over 162 games, he'll put up a zone rating of about 0.820, which is worst for all qualified center fielders, and he will allow 20 more runs per 162 games than an average center fielder would allow.

That's a 30-35 run swing defensively alone with Denorfia vs. Griffey in center field. That is astronomical, and it's real.

If Chris Denorfia already has a 30-35 run advantage on Griffey with his glove, then he doesn't have to be anywhere near the offensive performer that Griffey is to match the future Hall of Famer's current production level.

People also forget that the average MLB center fielder posts only ~.750 OPS (~.330 OBP and ~.420 SLG). If Chris Denorfia puts up even a .720 OPS, once adding in his defensive contributions, his overall contributions will be no worse than average for a major league center fielder. If Denorfia puts up a .750 OPS, he'd be an overall above average major league center fielder.

Average to above average production at a league minimum salary; that's a formula that can be crucial to assisting teams in winning games.

Always Red
09-05-2006, 10:50 AM
^ great post, Cyclone.

It's not that I'm lazy, but I don't know how to do it- can you use those same numbers and compare Freel to Denorfia, both in RF and CF. Whom should be in CF? whom in RF?

In your opinion, should they both be in the lineup together at the same time, on a full time basis? thanks in advance!

RedsManRick
09-05-2006, 10:55 AM
That's a 30-35 run swing defensively alone with Denorfia vs. Griffey in center field. That is astronomical, and it's real.

Chris Denorfia. He's real and he's spectacular......

Agreed 100% Cyclone. Not everybody can be a star. But if you can get average to above average production from a major league minumum salary, while simultaneously solving a growing problem with another player, you'd be stupid not to do it.

There's abo****ely nothing wrong with a plus defender who's average offensively for his position. Of course, we'll never know what Deno can do offensively if he doesn't get a chance to play regularly.

Given that scenario, do you think a Freel/Aurilia platoon at 2B makes sense?

Cyclone792
09-05-2006, 11:20 AM
^ great post, Cyclone.

It's not that I'm lazy, but I don't know how to do it- can you use those same numbers and compare Freel to Denorfia, both in RF and CF. Whom should be in CF? whom in RF?

In your opinion, should they both be in the lineup together at the same time, on a full time basis? thanks in advance!

If Griffey is injured, the team is slightly better off with Denorfia starting in center field and Freel in right field. Freel is a good defensive player, but Denorfia is a little better. Both have excellent top speed and excellent closing speed, but Denorfia is a bit better at reading the ball off the bat and getting a great jump. Neither player has a great arm, but I believe Freel's is a bit better so it makes even more sense to keep him in right and start Denorfia in center when Griffey's out. Either way it's not a major difference, but I think we're slightly better with Denorfia in center and Freel in right.

When Griffey is healthy and in the lineup, it gets a bit tricky with what I'd suggest. Brandon Phillips would be at shortstop every day (he should be there every day regardless, but that's another topic), and Griffey would be in right field every day. I would then institute a type of rotation system between 1B, 2B and CF with Hatteberg, Aurilia, Freel and Denorfia. This is how I would chart each player/position with their respective percentage of playing time at each position:

1B: Hatteberg 75 percent/Aurilia 25 percent
2B: Aurilia 50 percent/Freel 50 percent
CF: Denorfia 75 percent/Freel 25 percent

The net result is each of the four players mentioned would be playing roughly 75 percent of the time, which is still significant playing time. It would also allow Narron to take full advantage of platoons (i.e. bench Hatteberg against most lefties and start all three of the righties) as it's been quite obvious that both Hatteberg and Aurilia have greatly benefitted with their rate stats by platooning. Other side benefits include keeping Royce Clayton out of the lineup and allowing Freel to have days off. If Freel had one or two games off per week it would also render the entire debate on "is Freel an every day player?" to be rather moot.

BTW, Rick, this is also pretty much my answer to your question with the Aurilia/Freel platoon at 2B. ;)

RedsManRick
09-05-2006, 11:32 AM
Here's another one for you Jason, on days when Freel is not starting, do you lead off with Deno? When they're both in the lineup, I think it's fairly obvious that Freel is at the top and Deno bats 7th or 8th given the level of offensive performance we're expecting from Deno. However, with Freel out, do you put Deno at the the top, or move Phillips up?

RBA
09-05-2006, 11:43 AM
Well, I can only see what I have observed on MLB.tv with Denorfia. I know the few times I have seen him, he has misplayed a few balls hit to his position into extra bases. But if the numbers do prove he is an above average, than I stand corrected.

How is his arm?

Always Red
09-05-2006, 11:46 AM
RBA, I've noticed the same about Deno; he seems very tentative to me sometimes, but then again I do not see him play all of the time. I'm glad the numbers show me that I am wrong!

I also like the platoon idea; Freel especially will benefit from that in the long run, I think.

Thanks again to Cyclone:)

Cyclone792
09-05-2006, 11:49 AM
Here's another one for you Jason, on days when Freel is not starting, do you lead off with Deno? When they're both in the lineup, I think it's fairly obvious that Freel is at the top and Deno bats 7th or 8th given the level of offensive performance we're expecting from Deno. However, with Freel out, do you put Deno at the the top, or move Phillips up?

Reluctantly, I'd lead off with Phillips in those games, though luckily it wouldn't be too often. Phillips' plate discipline has improved somewhat this season so I don't think he'd kill us leading off for a handful of games, provided he avoids one of his catastrophic slumps.

I'd prefer to allow Denorfia to get acclimated to big league pitching right now while at the bottom of the lineup. Once he's able to get regular playing time and regular plate appearances, I certainly think he has the OBP potential to possibly bat at the top of the order.

Cyclone792
09-05-2006, 11:58 AM
Well, I can only see what I have observed on MLB.tv with Denorfia. I know the few times I have seen him, he has misplayed a few balls hit to his position into extra bases. But if the numbers do prove he is an above average, than I stand corrected.

How is his arm?

Denorfia's had trouble with some balls in the corner, but that will tend to happen to a guy who is both a natural center fielder (less reps with balls in the corner when he's playing center field in the minor leagues) and who is also very new to every big league park he's playing in.

His arm is average at best, perhaps even below average. As a right fielder, Denorfia has incredible range and will run down a ton of balls, but he really is misplaced being in right field. If the Reds are going to maximize his skill set, they need to insert him in center field.

Puffy
09-05-2006, 12:12 PM
If Griffey is injured, the team is slightly better off with Denorfia starting in center field and Freel in right field. Freel is a good defensive player, but Denorfia is a little better. Both have excellent top speed and excellent closing speed, but Denorfia is a bit better at reading the ball off the bat and getting a great jump. Neither player has a great arm, but I believe Freel's is a bit better so it makes even more sense to keep him in right and start Denorfia in center when Griffey's out. Either way it's not a major difference, but I think we're slightly better with Denorfia in center and Freel in right.

When Griffey is healthy and in the lineup, it gets a bit tricky with what I'd suggest. Brandon Phillips would be at shortstop every day (he should be there every day regardless, but that's another topic), and Griffey would be in right field every day. I would then institute a type of rotation system between 1B, 2B and CF with Hatteberg, Aurilia, Freel and Denorfia. This is how I would chart each player/position with their respective percentage of playing time at each position:

1B: Hatteberg 75 percent/Aurilia 25 percent
2B: Aurilia 50 percent/Freel 50 percent
CF: Denorfia 75 percent/Freel 25 percent

The net result is each of the four players mentioned would be playing roughly 75 percent of the time, which is still significant playing time. It would also allow Narron to take full advantage of platoons (i.e. bench Hatteberg against most lefties and start all three of the righties) as it's been quite obvious that both Hatteberg and Aurilia have greatly benefitted with their rate stats by platooning. Other side benefits include keeping Royce Clayton out of the lineup and allowing Freel to have days off. If Freel had one or two games off per week it would also render the entire debate on "is Freel an every day player?" to be rather moot.

BTW, Rick, this is also pretty much my answer to your question with the Aurilia/Freel platoon at 2B. ;)

Yup. Nice post Cyclone. Just one question - how did you break into my computer to cut and paste that from my litany of brilliant thoughts?

Should I change my password so you quit hacking into my computer and passing off my thoughts as your own?

Cyclone792
09-05-2006, 12:18 PM
Yup. Nice post Cyclone. Just one question - how did you break into my computer to cut and paste that from my litany of brilliant thoughts?

Should I change my password so you quit hacking into my computer and passing off my thoughts as your own?

I just keep typing in the names of random hot females for your password, aka Puffy's Hot Babe of the Day, and it doesn't take long for me to find a match.

:D

RANDY IN INDY
09-05-2006, 02:00 PM
Well, I can only see what I have observed on MLB.tv with Denorfia. I know the few times I have seen him, he has misplayed a few balls hit to his position into extra bases. But if the numbers do prove he is an above average, than I stand corrected.

How is his arm?

I don't see it either, RBA, but this time, I'm going to defer to the numbers and hope what I am seeing is wrong.

flyer85
09-05-2006, 02:18 PM
Reds have nobody to replace Jrs bat(even though it isn't great anymore). It is now a lineup even more susceptible to RHP, if that is possible.

I would move Denorfia into the #2 spot and move everyone else down one spot.

Cooper
09-05-2006, 02:36 PM
Left handers batting 2nd have a pretty nice advantage with a runner on 1st....seems like they should take advantage of that i.e. Hatt or Dunn.

ITHIKABAND
09-05-2006, 02:36 PM
Defensively The Reds are much better with Freel in centerfield and Denorfia in right but we'll have to see If Denorfia can get hot with his bat to say the same about them offensively

mth123
09-05-2006, 07:13 PM
I want Griffey out of CF so bad i can taste it. But I don't think they are a better team with him out of the line-up.