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Mainspark
09-30-2006, 01:33 AM
REDS NOTES
LaRue wants out if he can't start

By Hal McCoy

PITTSBURGH — Jason LaRue wants it known, "I'm no cancer in the clubhouse, not a complainer, and I never have been," and proves it by saying, "David Ross has had a great year."

But — there is always a but — if the Cincinnati Reds believe that Ross is the No. 1 catcher for 2007 and LaRue is backup, LaRue prefers a trade to a team where he can be No. 1.

"I don't know what they're thinking, but if I'm not No. 1 then I would prefer they move me," he said. "Actually, for what they are paying me ($9.1 million for this year and next), it makes no business sense if I'm not No. 1.

"I'm not a backup catcher, never have been," he said. "I played all last season with a broken wrist (hairline fracture) and had the best year of my career."

LaRue injured his knee in spring training and it required surgery. Ross grabbed the chance during LaRue's absence and ran with it. Seeing that, LaRue probably tried to come back too soon and his season never got off the ground.

"Maybe I came back too soon, but as hard-headed as I am, if I think I can catch and help the team, I'm going to be out there," he said. "Right now, the ball is in their court as to what they want to do with me. It is their decision. I have no plans to go spring training as the backup catcher. There is no sense keeping me if that's the plan. If that's the plan, trade me, absolutely, no doubt."

LaRue spent most of the season hitting in the low-rent .170 district, but has hit safely in six of his last seven games (.316) with three homers. But he only starts when Aaron Harang pitches (every fifth day) and has caught 31 of Harang's last 32 starts.

Patrick Bateman
09-30-2006, 01:37 AM
Sounds fair.

WMR
09-30-2006, 01:59 AM
Hey LARUE: HIT THE BALL

TeamBoone
09-30-2006, 02:03 AM
Hey LARUE: HIT THE BALL

He has been.

kheidg-
09-30-2006, 02:15 AM
Personally, I'd like to see them trade Ross and keep LaRue. Ross has had a great year, but I've always prefered LaRue/Valentin combination. Plus, his value has never been higher.

reds44
09-30-2006, 02:27 AM
Personally, I'd like to see them trade Ross and keep LaRue. Ross has had a great year, but I've always prefered LaRue/Valentin combination. Plus, his value has never been higher.
Depends what kind of market there is for Ross. If we can get something decent for him, then I agree.

If LaRue is the starting catcher next year, it is one less thing I have to worry about. He'll be fine.

Cedric
09-30-2006, 02:28 AM
Larue is 32. I doubt he has much left in the tank.

I'm extremely skeptical about David Ross next year, but I'm doubtful Larue has anything left in the tank.

Doc. Scott
09-30-2006, 03:07 AM
Agreed on trading Ross while his value is high. A solid starting pitching prospect or future bullpen hammer might be had for David if the deal and time are right.

jimbo
09-30-2006, 03:37 AM
Start him or trade him?

Trade him!

Caveat Emperor
09-30-2006, 03:42 AM
Agreed on trading Ross while his value is high. A solid starting pitching prospect or future bullpen hammer might be had for David if the deal and time are right.

I don't think the market is that high for David Ross. If I can sit here at on a laptop and deduce he's just as likely to regress back to a judy hitting/mediocre defense platooner as he is to replicate his season from this past year, then you can bet every GM in baseball has the same thought.

Ross's value was high when he was in the middle of a solid campaign and hitting well when a GM could ride the wave out and pick up some runs out of it. Now that the season is done, so is the market for him unless he comes out swinging again, IMO.

WVRedsFan
09-30-2006, 03:52 AM
Jason is the victim of being injured and another player getting hot. It happens all the time. If Ross goes back to career numbers and we trade Larue, that means we only have Javier to fall back on (something I don't look forward to). My choice would be to trade Ross on the basis that he will not have another year like 2006.

Of course, Ross may have found himself, but shedding that $9.1 million contract might prove to be very difficult. Whoever offered or what arbitration group gave Larue (I can't remember) should be shot at sunrise in full view of the total of Reds fans. There may be no takers.

WMR
09-30-2006, 04:09 AM
He has been.

Excuse me: CONSISTENTLY.

KronoRed
09-30-2006, 04:13 AM
Trade em all.

WMR
09-30-2006, 04:14 AM
Trade em all.

Let Bud sort 'em out???

Looking for the God equivalency here and I'm strugglin', Krono!

I know it ain't Krivsky! ;)

Ron Madden
09-30-2006, 06:20 AM
Jason LaRue is not nor ever will be Johnny Bench. He does have value and has been underrated by Reds Fans.

Much of it has to do with the way the media presents Jason to the fanbase.

With all due respect to the two "Hall Of Famers" Marty and Hal.

Most of this fanbase has taken evey word spoken by Marty, or written by Hal as absolute truth the facts be damned.

Marty and Hal have opinions just like we all do here at RedsZone. The sad part is those opinions are accepted as fact by 95% of Reds Fans just because Marty or Hal said so, with no discussion, no debate.

Debate is just one of the great things about baseball, we can learn from discussion. I've learned more from members of RedsZone than I ever have from Marty or Hal.

oneupper
09-30-2006, 08:26 AM
The LaRue/Valentin combo worked well in 2005. However, IIRC LaRue wasn't very happy with that either.

His 2005 numbers benefitted from the platoon, his 2006 numbers suffered from the lack of PT. A full-season LaRue is probably somewhere between.
That's still not great.

Ross will regress offensively, no doubt. But looking at the way Ross hits LHP, a Ross/Valentin combo, with them splitting time about evenly (or even Javy with more time), could be huge in 2007.

The final decision, however, may ride on how the pitchers (mainly Harang and Arroyo) feel about pitching to these catchers. Ross handled Arroyo and LaRue was assigned to Harang. If Arroyo or Harang feel very strongly about "their" catchers (or not), it could influence a GM decision in some unforseen way.

Heath
09-30-2006, 08:52 AM
I wish Miguel Perez could hit.

Then, its all good.

Edskin
09-30-2006, 09:41 AM
Yeah, with everything else we need to become real contenders, I'm VERY concerned about Jason Larue and his feelings. Yeah, right. See ya.

cReds1
09-30-2006, 09:45 AM
He has been.

Yea, that .194 batting average is really showing it.

cReds1
09-30-2006, 09:47 AM
REDS NOTES
LaRue wants out if he can't start

By Hal McCoy

PITTSBURGH — Jason LaRue wants it known, "I'm no cancer in the clubhouse, not a complainer, and I never have been," and proves it by saying, "David Ross has had a great year."

But — there is always a but — if the Cincinnati Reds believe that Ross is the No. 1 catcher for 2007 and LaRue is backup, LaRue prefers a trade to a team where he can be No. 1.

"I don't know what they're thinking, but if I'm not No. 1 then I would prefer they move me," he said. "Actually, for what they are paying me ($9.1 million for this year and next), it makes no business sense if I'm not No. 1.

"I'm not a backup catcher, never have been," he said. "I played all last season with a broken wrist (hairline fracture) and had the best year of my career."

LaRue injured his knee in spring training and it required surgery. Ross grabbed the chance during LaRue's absence and ran with it. Seeing that, LaRue probably tried to come back too soon and his season never got off the ground.

"Maybe I came back too soon, but as hard-headed as I am, if I think I can catch and help the team, I'm going to be out there," he said. "Right now, the ball is in their court as to what they want to do with me. It is their decision. I have no plans to go spring training as the backup catcher. There is no sense keeping me if that's the plan. If that's the plan, trade me, absolutely, no doubt."

LaRue spent most of the season hitting in the low-rent .170 district, but has hit safely in six of his last seven games (.316) with three homers. But he only starts when Aaron Harang pitches (every fifth day) and has caught 31 of Harang's last 32 starts.

The Reds were dumb to give you that amount and now I am sure they will trade you. A starter? I have questioned that since you have been here. Good Luck with whomever you land with. You will need it!

RANDY IN INDY
09-30-2006, 09:52 AM
Somebody has to go, and it might as well be Larue and that hideous contract, if it can be moved.

RFS62
09-30-2006, 09:54 AM
Somebody has to go, and it might as well be Larue and that hideous contract, if it can be moved.


I don't see any way to move him without eating a big chunk of that contract.

DanO. The gift that keeps on giving.

Heath
09-30-2006, 09:57 AM
DanO. The gift that keeps on giving.

I thought that diaherra was the gift that keeps on giving :confused:

traderumor
09-30-2006, 10:28 AM
LaRue was given the contract and it was considered fair by many, many people. Of course, he had not busted up his knee in ST and David Ross had not hit the waiver wire yet. A positive note is that LaRue is an example that is a change from years past, when a guy would be playing because of his contract. Ross got hot and they kept on playing him and let the money sit. A welcome change.

RANDY IN INDY
09-30-2006, 10:30 AM
It was just as bad a contract when it was given as it is now. Didn't like it then. Don't like it now.

Nine times worse than another contract that is being bantered about for an aging catcher.

StillFunkyB
09-30-2006, 10:32 AM
I thought that diaherra was the gift that keeps on giving :confused:

diarrhea > DanO

Strikes Out Looking
09-30-2006, 11:20 AM
Ross has hit better this year than LaRue, but has tailed off considerably in the end.

LaRue seems to have the ability to catch the ball on plays to the plate, which is something Ross seems to be lacking.

I'd trade Ross in the off-season (maybe as a package for a starting pitcher), keep LaRue and hope that in 2008 there is a new starting catcher for the Reds.

Spring~Fields
09-30-2006, 11:24 AM
Trade em all.

:thumbup:

Crosley68
09-30-2006, 11:27 AM
I think his comment was fair and probably the same thing the Reds are thinking. He seems to be hitting the ball much better in the past month and if we have to trade Ross due to value issues, I think the position can still be a "plus" with Jason and Javy next year.

Joseph
09-30-2006, 11:34 AM
Somebody has to go, and it might as well be Larue and that hideous contract, if it can be moved.

Is any GM in his right mind going to give the Reds a solid player or prospect AND take the contract?

Absolutely not.

So one way or another, the Reds are going to be paying LaRue next season.

Spring~Fields
09-30-2006, 11:55 AM
I would like to see an analysis by the resident analyst Steel and Cyclone regarding the catchers Ross vs. Larue, and the combinations of the three.

Considering RS, RA and run differential when either is playing or any combination of the three, along with something that supports that one or the other handles the pitchers and defense better before concluding that one or the other needs to be traded. I only know that one seems to hit better than the other and that one seems to catch better than the other, but which catcher truly serves this team best? I don‘t know.

MartyFan
09-30-2006, 12:54 PM
Was it DanO or Special K who gave him the contract?

TeamBoone
09-30-2006, 01:09 PM
Dan O'Brien, last year.

Ltlabner
09-30-2006, 01:27 PM
Debate is just one of the great things about baseball, we can learn from discussion. I've learned more from members of RedsZone than I ever have from Marty or Hal. Well done working a Marty and Hal rant into a Jason LaRue thread!


A positive note is that LaRue is an example that is a change from years past, when a guy would be playing because of his contract. Ross got hot and they kept on playing him and let the money sit. A welcome change.

Yea, they went the the younger, hotter bat instead of worrying about the money issues. Defintaltey a refreshing change over how DanO would have likely played it.



Is any GM in his right mind going to give the Reds a solid player or prospect AND take the contract?

Absolutely not.

So one way or another, the Reds are going to be paying LaRue next season.

Unfortunatley, I agree with you Joseph. Unless the exact right situation occurs we are likely stuck with him just as we are Milton.

guttle11
09-30-2006, 01:27 PM
I certainly have some doubts about Ross next year, but I have no doubts that LaRue is making WAY too much money to be on this team at all. Trade him. Even if you have to pick up half his salary you can use the $ saved to get a good reliever.

VR
09-30-2006, 01:38 PM
Here's what I like

Month by month OPS by Ross
1067
906
1081
1032
951
683

That 683 is second among 'regulars' in September, behind Rich.

westofyou
09-30-2006, 01:49 PM
David might be having a Chris Bando year but he also won't demand much jack compared to LaRue, but LaRue is getting up in years catcher wise.

But this year hasn't worn him down so that's a plus.

I'd look for a contract swap with a pitcher if I was GM... bad contract for bad contract maybe, or a portion of the LaRue contract is covered by the Reds (say 2 million)

BTW if you want to see what a real "attitude" issue does to a clubhouse follow the link

http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/mets/ny-spmnotes304913005sep30,0,3582744.story

johngalt
09-30-2006, 02:39 PM
I love how LaRue says he's not about causing problems, he's all about the team, etc. and then goes running his mouth to Hal McCoy with his "start me or trade me" demand.

Is it a fair request? Yeah, I suppose so. I can see where he's coming from. But there's no need to broadcast that to the papers. All you have to do is sit down with Krivsky and Narron. No one else needs to even know you made the request.

Team Clark
09-30-2006, 02:46 PM
I love how LaRue says he's not about causing problems, he's all about the team, etc. and then goes running his mouth to Hal McCoy with his "start me or trade me" demand.

Is it a fair request? Yeah, I suppose so. I can see where he's coming from. But there's no need to broadcast that to the papers. All you have to do is sit down with Krivsky and Narron. No one else needs to even know you made the request.

That's very true. I too was taken back. Knowing Jason, I can only imagine how difficult this season has been. Jason is not a back up type catcher. He has to play everyday. He may not put up the absolute best numbers but he has to catch 115+ games. I give credit to Narron on how he handled all 3 catchers. I believe he was able to get the best out of all three. I really did not forsee a scenario where all 3 would be on the roster the entire season.

Team Clark
09-30-2006, 02:49 PM
BTW if you want to see what a real "attitude" issue does to a clubhouse follow the link

http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/mets/ny-spmnotes304913005sep30,0,3582744.story

I've been around a similar sceanrio (Delmon Young) and it is VERY distracting. Fortunately, there are a lot of vets that can teach this kid some tough love. I even liked the part where Orlando Hernandez "shooed" the reporters away. In house issue. There is no worse place to be a man on an island than in a professional sports locker room.

jimbo
09-30-2006, 03:03 PM
I love how LaRue says he's not about causing problems, he's all about the team, etc. and then goes running his mouth to Hal McCoy with his "start me or trade me" demand.

Is it a fair request? Yeah, I suppose so. I can see where he's coming from. But there's no need to broadcast that to the papers. All you have to do is sit down with Krivsky and Narron. No one else needs to even know you made the request.


I can't see where he is coming from. He claims he is all about team, but it almost sounds as if he expected the team to start him even though it was better for the "team" that Ross start because of the season he was having. That doesn't sound like a team player at all.

If he wanted to run his mouth to the media about not starting, he should have at least waited until after the season is over. His team IS still in playoff contention.

johngalt
09-30-2006, 04:00 PM
I can't see where he is coming from. He claims he is all about team, but it almost sounds as if he expected the team to start him even though it was better for the "team" that Ross start because of the season he was having. That doesn't sound like a team player at all.

If he wanted to run his mouth to the media about not starting, he should have at least waited until after the season is over. His team IS still in playoff contention.

Right. The only thing I meant was I can understand if he wants to be in a place/position where can be the starter because he still believes he has it in him. I can certainly understand any player wanting that and wanting to prove they can still be an everyday player.

Personally, I don't think he can and I don't think he should be blabbing all this to the media the final weekend of the season, especially with the team still in contention.

TeamBoone
09-30-2006, 06:58 PM
At least he waited until the end of the season instead of letting it become a distraction earlier.

I don't see how anyone can not understand how he feels.

Matt700wlw
09-30-2006, 06:59 PM
Ok...

works for me.

Always Red
09-30-2006, 07:55 PM
I don't really have a problem with this, either.

Whoever is worth more on the open market, Ross or LaRue, should be traded.

If Ross stays, I like his bat, and hope he can do it again, but the Reds will need a back-up catcher with a better glove than Valentin.

Matt700wlw
09-30-2006, 08:04 PM
Decision making time...

Trade Ross (career .217 hitter) while his value and keep LaRue, which you know what you're going to get...or ride the Ross train and try to get someone to take LaRue and (some or all) his salary.

Glad I don't get paid to make that decision :D

Highlifeman21
09-30-2006, 08:08 PM
LaRue is declining due to age. He's 32, obviously not getting younger, and we won't see him return to his 2005 and prior form.

Ross is the much cheaper option. While we don't know what we'll get 2007 and going forward, we can accept his salary and proceed.

We should have traded LaRue during the season.

Matt700wlw
09-30-2006, 08:14 PM
LaRue is declining due to age. He's 32, obviously not getting younger, and we won't see him return to his 2005 and prior form.

Ross is the much cheaper option. While we don't know what we'll get 2007 and going forward, we can accept his salary and proceed.

We should have traded LaRue during the season.

They should have let him walk before that.

Thanks, Dan. :thumbup:

Heath
09-30-2006, 08:30 PM
diarrhea > DanO

thanks for update - my "GI" comment got me negged.

:D

Kc61
09-30-2006, 08:56 PM
Decision making time...

Trade Ross (career .217 hitter) while his value and keep LaRue, which you know what you're going to get...or ride the Ross train and try to get someone to take LaRue and (some or all) his salary.

Glad I don't get paid to make that decision :D


You could handle that decision, Matt. I don't think it's really close. Reds will move Larue for whatever they can get. All the great fortune tellers are saying Ross will collapse next year. Reds, thankfully, don't operate on speculation.

Only way I see Ross going is if necessary in some blockbuster involving Dunn or Griffey for some major guys. But my strong feeling is David will be back and Jason will not.

Ross is younger, hit for good power this year, and makes less money. (I know, Reds will have to pay some of Larue's deal in a trade.) If Larue was in the plan, he would have played much more in the second half. He's served his time with the Reds, but I think the new regime wants to go in a different direction.

Matt700wlw
09-30-2006, 09:22 PM
You could handle that decision, Matt.


Not without a paycheck :D

Topcat
09-30-2006, 09:23 PM
You could handle that decision, Matt. I don't think it's really close. Reds will move Larue for whatever they can get. All the great fortune tellers are saying Ross will collapse next year. Reds, thankfully, don't operate on speculation.

Only way I see Ross going is if necessary in some blockbuster involving Dunn or Griffey for some major guys. But my strong feeling is David will be back and Jason will not.

Ross is younger, hit for good power this year, and makes less money. (I know, Reds will have to pay some of Larue's deal in a trade.) If Larue was in the plan, he would have played much more in the second half. He's served his time with the Reds, but I think the new regime wants to go in a different direction.



Ross sure tattoed Dontrelle the other night? Is Dontrelle considered a good pitcher or was Ross just lucky 2 times in a row?

RFS62
09-30-2006, 09:30 PM
Ross got tired after catching a lot more innings than he's used to.

Catching is a grind, even splitting it three ways like the Reds have done this year.

Gallen5862
09-30-2006, 09:31 PM
I would keep Ross and trade Larue. I think Ross still has more upside than Larue does now.

WMR
09-30-2006, 09:47 PM
LaRue's passive aggressive "'I'm not complaining'-complaining" is really irksome.

Totally agree with others who said this is a matter that should be handled in the GM's office, not in the press when the season's not even over yet.

Not even this article, per se, but his conduct and comments throughout the season.

RANDY IN INDY
09-30-2006, 09:59 PM
:beerme:
LaRue's passive aggressive "'I'm not complaining'-complaining" is really irksome.

Totally agree with others who said this is a matter that should be handled in the GM's office, not in the press when the season's not even over yet.

Not even this article, per se, but his conduct and comments throughout the season.

Cyclone792
09-30-2006, 10:00 PM
David Ross
AVG OBP SLG PA/BB PA/K

Thru 2005 .217 .288 .406 13.36 3.54
Pre-ASB 2006 .311 .384 .681 8.69 4.48
Post-ASB 2006 .205 .322 .500 7.84 3.55

2005 MLB Average Catcher .253 .313 .390

David Ross does two things pretty well, especially for a catcher, and that's take walks and hit home runs. Even the David Ross we've seen prior to 2006 and after the 2006 ASB will take walks and hit home runs so it's likely that the real David Ross will take a decent number of walks and hit a decent number of home runs.

However, the David Ross people fell in love with is the David Ross that not only took walks and hit home runs, but also hit for a high batting average and didn't strike out as often. That's the David Ross we've only seen during a three month stretch early this season. It's not the David Ross we've seen any other time during his career, and thus, not likely to be the real David Ross to expect going forward into 2007.

Who is the real David Ross? Well, it's likely that the real David Ross can be summed up offensively as the following:

Take a good number of walks for a catcher.
Hit a good number of home runs for a catcher.
Have a poor batting average, even for a catcher.
Will strike out a ton.

David Ross actually strikes out as often as Adam Dunn does. The only difference is David Ross has never played every day, and without the high total volume of strikeouts resulting from playing every day, people don't realize that he'll strike out as often as Adam Dunn does. Ross also has a history of hitting for a poor batting average, a batting average that's significantly worse than Adam Dunn's. Of course, Ross does two things pretty well that Adam Dunn does very well, and that is take walks and hit home runs.

Essentially what I'm saying is the real David Ross is most likely a poor man's Adam Dunn. Both hit for low batting averages, and Ross will probably hit for a worse batting average. Both strike out a ton. Both take walks (Dunn will take many, many more) and both will hit home runs (Dunn will hit more).

Do I think the real David Ross going forward in 2007 can outhit the average MLB catcher? Yes, via walks and home runs. Do I think people will accept his likely level of production? No. If David Ross is kept, people will have to wrap themselves around the fact that there is far more to a player's offensive game than simply batting average and strikeouts. Otherwise, there's a good chance the torches and pitchforks crowd will be gunning down David Ross next season.

What to do with David Ross depends entirely on his perceived trade value compared to the value of Jason LaRue at LaRue's salary. If another general manager will fall for the complete 2006 David Ross (i.e. the .941 OPS Ross) and fail in an attempt to determine who the real David Ross is, then I look to move him and opt to keep LaRue. That's basically a fancy way of stating that if Ross' trade value is greater than his actual value, I'd make an attempt to move him. I'm not saying it's impossible for Ross to put up a .941 OPS or similar next season, but I am saying that I don't think it's at all likely.

If every other general manager is able to piece together who the real David Ross likely is, then his trade value may not be greater than his actual value, and thus it may work out better for the Reds to keep him and move LaRue's salary.

I'm a person who is not really worried about Jason LaRue. LaRue was above average offensively as a catcher in 2004 and 2005, and I'm not seeing much other than horrific luck for his bad play in 2006. If he maintains his ball in play rates and walk rate, I believe there's a good chance for him to come back in 2007 provided he has a decent amount of playing time.

George Foster
09-30-2006, 10:25 PM
Jason is the victim of being injured and another player getting hot. It happens all the time. If Ross goes back to career numbers and we trade Larue, that means we only have Javier to fall back on (something I don't look forward to). My choice would be to trade Ross on the basis that he will not have another year like 2006.

Of course, Ross may have found himself, but shedding that $9.1 million contract might prove to be very difficult. Whoever offered or what arbitration group gave Larue (I can't remember) should be shot at sunrise in full view of the total of Reds fans. There may be no takers.

This argument that Ross got hot does not hold water. Your hot for a week or maybe a month. He has been VERY consistant all year, and came up with a lot more key hits in late innings than some on the team that make a lot more money.

Patrick Bateman
09-30-2006, 10:56 PM
This argument that Ross got hot does not hold water. Your hot for a week or maybe a month. He has been VERY consistant all year, and came up with a lot more key hits in late innings than some on the team that make a lot more money.

It sure does:

OPS pre-all star: 1.065
OPS post all-star: .812

That's good for a 253 difference. That's not consistent. In fact it's not even close.

Based on Ross' career numbers, it's the 2nd half Ross you can expect (and that is pretty good for a catcher, similar to LaRue).

LoganBuck
09-30-2006, 11:18 PM
If you believe what was reported in mid September during a broadcast by one of the writers Ross has been playing with a bad foot/heel/ankle thingy. At one point they thought about putting him on the DL. It wasn't really necessary because why would they want to go without 3 catchers? The injury started bugging him around the last 10 days of August. Can we do a stat split of Ross before August 20th and after?

4256 Hits
10-01-2006, 12:11 AM
One thing to keep in mind if the Reds want to improve there D then having Ross as the starting catcher is not the thing they should do. The only catcher I can remember the Reds having that was worse defensive catcher than Ross was Eddie Taubasee.

I don't believe that any of the Reds catchers have much trade value but if any of them can bring back anything that will help the team next year they should make the trade.

Kc61
10-01-2006, 12:27 AM
It sure does:

OPS pre-all star: 1.065
OPS post all-star: .812

That's good for a 253 difference. That's not consistent. In fact it's not even close.

Based on Ross' career numbers, it's the 2nd half Ross you can expect (and that is pretty good for a catcher, similar to LaRue).

Ross' second half .812 OPS is still higher than Larue's OPS for any year. Larue's highest OPS was .806 last year. Larue's career OPS is .740.

I think Ross is a better hitter. Larue is a better fielder.

dfs
10-01-2006, 12:55 AM
Assuming the reds are going to keep both Aurillia and Freel in utility roles (which is a pretty big assumption) I think the reds can live with three catchers. It keeps them very well insulated against injury. Having a third catcher on the bench allows them to use Ross/Valentine as a pinch hitter and they would have some value in that role. That's 10 million dollars, 3 roster spots for your catcher and a pinch hitting slots. That's not extraordinarily bad.

WMR
10-01-2006, 12:57 AM
But LaRue is basically saying flat-out that if he's not designated the starter, he is going to be a problem...

How do you keep him without giving Ross a chance to repeat his 2006 successes?

I think LaRue has got to be moved.

WVPacman
10-01-2006, 01:20 AM
Keep Larue?? come om people the guy has flat out stunk it up this year.To let Ross go would be stupid and would show me that this organzation still is happy with just a average team.If you want to be a winner in this league then you have to keep the best players you have to stay just as good or be even better than the year before.Im sorry bt Larue just isn't a player that should stay here b/c he did'nt do nothing this year and quiet frankly he has been slacking in the last few years.

jnwohio
10-01-2006, 01:58 AM
I think LaRue had previously come very close to saying the same things he is quoted as saying directly in the McCoy piece. I remember an earlier article where he went on about the money he signed for was "starter's money" and another point where he was quoted as saying he signed to be the starter. He did not seem to grasp that the man who signed hin to the contract had been canned.

I think it is important to remember that a catcher's defense and his ability and skill as a receiver/ handler of pitchers are not exactly the same thing. Narron has never seemed to like LaRue as a receiver. One of the first things he did when he became manager was to start giving Valentin more PT. And early on when they picked up Ross, Narron (and Krivsky) both talked about him in terms of him being a good receiver. My take on this is that neither of them wanted LaRue behind the plate calling the pitches and handling the pitchers.

I think it is a sign of the massive dysfunction in the prior organization that DanO gave a huge contract to a man Narron already was well on the way into making a part time player (as the right handed hitting side of a platoon).

Had there been no Ross and no Larue injury, my guess is we would have seen the continuation of what started in 2005 and Valentin would have caught as much or more than LaRue in 2006. So I think Larue is history with the Reds. The question is how much of his salary they will be paying and how much of it can they "save" to spend on other players.

Chip R
10-01-2006, 02:23 AM
I think it is important to remember that a catcher's defense and his ability and skill as a receiver/ handler of pitchers are not exactly the same thing. Narron has never seemed to like LaRue as a receiver. One of the first things he did when he became manager was to start giving Valentin more PT. And early on when they picked up Ross, Narron (and Krivsky) both talked about him in terms of him being a good receiver. My take on this is that neither of them wanted LaRue behind the plate calling the pitches and handling the pitchers.



I don't know if they feel LaRue doesn't handle the pitching staff well. After all, they still let him catch Harang. Let's face it, you could have Ausmus or Matheny behind the plate with some of these pitchers and they would still have problems. There's an old saying, you can't make chicken salad out of chicken crap. Ross may have very well impressed Narron and Wayne with the way he calls a game but if he were hitting .180 coming out of the gate, LaRue would have got his starting gig back. Ross isn't all that defensively either. How many throws has he dropped at home? How does he do throwing out base runners?

jnwohio
10-01-2006, 02:44 AM
........ Ross may have very well impressed Narron and Wayne with the way he calls a game but if he were hitting .180 coming out of the gate, LaRue would have got his starting gig back. Ross isn't all that defensively either. How many throws has he dropped at home? How does he do throwing out base runners?


Agree on both points. That is why I said separate "receiving" from total defense. LaRue fields better, throws better (or at least doesn't make stupid errors thowing when he shouldn't) and covers the plate better.

I think Ross frames pitches much better than LaRue and in general works better with the umpire calling the balls and strikes (despite getting run in one game for arguing same). Not so much this year (because he did not play that much) but in the past if you just looked at some of the rotten called strikes LaRue seemed to regularly get against himself as a batter, you about knew he had some kind of problem ongoing with some of the umps.

GAC
10-01-2006, 07:20 AM
The point is - if LaRue has "drawn a line in the sand", then they need to move him. He says he has no intention of going into ST as the backup catcher? Guess what Jason?.... it's not your decision to make.

He says he's no cancer or complainer, yet complaining is what he is doing (and has done). And threatening to possibly be a cancer in that clubhouse could be next on list. Other then shutting up, that is the only alternative he has. Unless he decides to stay away. And I doubt he would do that because then he'd be in violation of his contract.

I really had no problem with Aurilia's complaining last year. I think the media really built that up alot more then it was. And it seems RA was right. And I really have no problem with a player, who thinks he can still contribute and play the game, voicing that.

The problem with Jason is - contract size, age, coupled with his performance in '06. It's easier to demand a trade then make one in those circumstances. ;)

I'd grant his wish though and get whatever I could for him just to be free of the money. And wish him the best of luck.

buckeyenut
10-01-2006, 09:43 AM
Based on Cyclone's excellent analysis, David Ross sounds very much like how I viewed LaRue prior to this year, low BA, ton of strikeouts, solid walk rate, good power, above average hitting catcher. Despite his struggles this year, I really haven't changed my opinion on how I see LaRue. Difference between LaRue and Ross in my mind is LaRue has a cannon for an arm and is probably better defensively than Ross.

Ross was red hot and LaRue was ice cold this year but I firmly believe next year they will be very similar offensively. So to me, it comes down to trade value, age, $$.

And Valentin never enters the discussion as anything more than a backup.