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RedsManRick
11-17-2006, 06:15 PM
In 2006, the Reds scored 749 runs, good for 9th in the NL. We no longer are the offensive powerhouse we were a few years back. Now there's talk of adding in Alex Gonzalez, a move likely to prevent some runs and cost a few offensively. But where is the offense headed in 2007. As we've established else where, the single common stat which most strongly correlates to runs scored is OPS. With that in mind, let's take a very quick, rudimentary look at the OPS of our contributors in an attempt to gauge if/how we might improve next year.

Below is a list of all Reds with >100 AB last year, sorted by OPS.



Player AB OPS
Dave Ross 247 .932
Rich Aurilia 440 .867
Adam Dunn 561 .855
Austin Kearns 325 .843
Edwin Encarnacion 406 .832
Scott Hatteberg 456 .825
Ken Griffey 428 .802
Ryan Freel 454 .762
Javier Valentin 186 .754
Brandon Phillips 536 .751
Felipe Lopez 343 .749
Chris Denorfia 106 .724
Jason LaRue 191 .663
Royce Clayton 149 .619


So let's see. Our best OPS came from a part time catcher who isn't likely to hit that well again. Our 2nd best OPS came from a part time IF who we're going to lose in FA. Our 4th best OPS came from a guy who was traded away. Our 6th best OPS came from a veteran 1B not like to hit that well again. We have room for improvement from the guy at #3 (Dunn) and #5 (EE) and possibly #7 (Junior). Freel and Phillips are likely in line with what we can expect in '07.

What's my point? Well, given the changes we've seen to date, our offense does not profile to score 750 runs again. At a minimum, we'll need major improvements from Dunn, EE, and Junior. We've lost a number of bigger contributors and can't expect repeat performances at 1B and C (.796 collective OPS). We don't have an OF to replace Kearns' production and our likely middle infield replacement will not be able to match the .750+ we got from Aurilia, Clayton, and Lopez combined.

I'm not going to make an predictions per se', only state that we're one bad transaction or injury away from having a REALLY bad offense. Dunn can't be traded without getting a hitter in return and if I were Krivsky, I'd look at flipping Freel for Marcus Giles (Braves want a leadoff hitter and a left fielder). I know we need starting pitching, everybody does. But if WK focuses only on the run prevention side of the equation, I think we're going to be in trouble.

Kc61
11-17-2006, 06:24 PM
Rick, if you have great pitching, great offense, and great defense you are the '27 Yankees (or the '76 Reds, more appropriately). Ultimately, I agree that you need balance, but the Reds have many, many holes to fill. You have to start somewhere.

Krivsky apparently wants to start on the defensive side, which is ok with me. To me, the hardest part is getting the quality pitching.

This may mean an offensive struggle for awhile. Ultimately, you can fill that need with short term deals. Look at the Blue Jays acquisition of Frank Thomas today. Great deal. Only two years of risk for a guy who, if healthy, will give you a lot of offense. I liken this to the Reds' Kevin Mitchell/Dave Parker/Ron Gant acquisitions. They got a lot of mileage from those guys who were older or injured but could just plain hit.

It is hard to believe that the 2007 Reds will be completely re-made to cover all ills. The question is really where the front office will start.

Cyclone792
11-17-2006, 07:52 PM
Rick, if you have great pitching, great offense, and great defense you are the '27 Yankees (or the '76 Reds, more appropriately). Ultimately, I agree that you need balance, but the Reds have many, many holes to fill. You have to start somewhere.

Problem is the Reds were already well beyond somewhere and blew it badly.

In 2005, the team scored 820 runs, and with that type of offense a team can allow 725 runs and still project to that magical .556 pythag winning percentage. When that 820 runs scored figure drops all the way down to 749 in just one season, then that run prevention goal drops all the way down to 662 runs just to reach that magical .556 pythag winning percentage. That 662 runs is a long way from where we're at now.

Now some offense was going to have to be sacrificed in order to make gains in run prevention; this is known. But a 71 run drop in one season is beyond alarming. If this offense drops into the 700 run range, the pitching and defense is going to have be not just above average, not just good, but absolutely spectacular just to get the team to 90 wins. Rick is correct that this offense is merely one trade/injury away from being miserable, and if the offense is miserable, good pitching/defense just won't cut it.


Pythag Chart
Runs Scored/Allowed for 90 wins

Scored Allowed
825 730
800 707
775 685
750 663
725 641
700 619
675 597

If Krivsky could have kept this offense in the 775-800 run range while improving the pitching and defense, then he doesn't have so far to go in run prevention ... just down to ~700 runs, and while it's difficult to achieve it isn't totally impossible.

But if he slices the offense apart down to the 700 run range, which somehow seems plausible after less than a year on the job, then he has to cut the run prevention all the way down to 620 runs. That is just about impossible.

BTW, Rick, use [ C O D E ] [/ C O D E ] tags for easy charts. Type up the chart in Notepad exactly how you want it to appear the post, slap those tags around all the data, paste into the post and you're good to go.

George Foster
11-18-2006, 12:54 AM
I'm extreamly concerned about the offense next year. If it does not improve, I'm afraid of a lot of wasted pitching performances. 7innings, 3 runs or less.

WVRedsFan
11-18-2006, 01:45 AM
I'm not going to make an predictions per se', only state that we're one bad transaction or injury away from having a REALLY bad offense. Dunn can't be traded without getting a hitter in return and if I were Krivsky, I'd look at flipping Freel for Marcus Giles (Braves want a leadoff hitter and a left fielder). I know we need starting pitching, everybody does. But if WK focuses only on the run prevention side of the equation, I think we're going to be in trouble.

You're preaching to the choir with me, Rick. I was criticized earlier today on these boards for dissing Krivsky, but moves he has made have severely de-graded the offense without significant improvement in the pitching. We now have Arroyo and maybe a couple of others, but nothing close to making up for the offensive losses of Pena, Kearns, and Lopez. So where do we go from here?

Cyclones (and your) statistics tell a big story. The Reds had a team capable of scoring bunches of runs without good pitching and defense. What do you do, or rather what do you not do? Krivsky's methods seems to be to improve defense and pitching, and yet he acauires David Ross, a defensive mediocrity, Juan Castro, who only is a defensive specialist only by reputation, and relieved himself of a bunch of offense. The theory here is probably we will score more runs than we need without that offense if we make good plays and allow less runs. Makes sense with the one exception of where we play 81 games--Great American Ballpark. No matter how good our pitching is at home, runs will be scored at GAB. Knowing this, you must continue to have players who can make the runs come -- as in years past, in bunches. It's not happening as we saw in the last half of the season.

I will yield to those who adore Wayne and think he has some master plan, and I hope he does and if so I'll eat large amounts of crow with a big smile on my face, but I think the method is wrong and maybe impossible. If we cannot afford to get in the FA market (which i assume we cannot) for pitching, you have to grow it on the farm. In the meantime, you just have to score a bunch of runs. We obviously are not doing that with our present team, so we lose a lot. It seems simple to me, but when your starter has just allowed three in the top of the first, you're going to need some runs to catch up and be successful. No offense = a long time before success. Of course, as I always know, I could be wrong. Maybe there is a master plan and I hope so. Notice I made no mention of The Trade...directly. :D

GAC
11-18-2006, 06:45 AM
In 2006, the Reds scored 749 runs, good for 9th in the NL. We no longer are the offensive powerhouse we were a few years back. Now there's talk of adding in Alex Gonzalez, a move likely to prevent some runs and cost a few offensively.

Offensively, at SS, I see it as a trade-off with only a slight loss compared to what we had in there.

Defensively - it's a huge plus.

When it comes to runs allowed, besides pitching obviously, how much of an "effect" is a solid defense (especially in the middle)?


So let's see. Our best OPS came from a part time catcher who isn't likely to hit that well again.

Our 6th best OPS came from a veteran 1B not like to hit that well again.

How do we know that? I like projections, but they are not written in stone.

Hatte last year.... .289 BA .389 OB% .436 SLG% .825 OPS

Career.... .271 BA .360 OB% .407 SLG% .767 OPS

If he can put up numbers somewhere even in the middle of his career output and what he did last year - considering the money we are paying him - I'll take it.


Our 4th best OPS came from a guy who was traded away.....We don't have an OF to replace Kearns' production

The only ingredient in the trade I hated.... losing Kearns. A solid defensive player too. My personal opinion though is that there was something more going on with Kearns as to why Krivsky was so ready to ship him out. But I would have rather seen a Freel or Deno go, rather then Ears.

It's sad that we may be pinning our hopes on guys like Freel and/or Deno.


We have room for improvement from the guy at #3 (Dunn) and #5 (EE)

If Dunn "recovers" (for lack of a better word), and EE, who plays everyday continues to mature, then as far as run production, I think that will help. And I don't believe that is an impossibility.

The loss of Aurilia is going to hurt this team if not replaced.

I thoroughly agree with your overall assessment.

If the Reds are not going to seriously address their pitching (runs allowed), then they have to address the run production.

It's as simple as that... yet two very expensive items on the FA market.

What this team really needs is a solid shakeup and reorganization over the next year or two. You need the Milton and Jr contracts gone; but you have to basically "hold on" till they are (07 and 08 respectfully).

Until then, this FO could do alot to improve the defense ALONE by moving Jr to LF, Deno to CF, and Dunn to 1B.

You then go out and find you a "stopgap" RFer, or a platoon situation with Freel for a couple years while continuing to hope that Bruce is the real deal.

And that is another thing one has to consider when looking at all of this.... are young kids like Bailey, Votto, Bruce the real deal, and do any deals/acquisitions need to be made with that in mind?

But the bottom line is folks.... this is not a quick fix. Not with what they inherited. Now some may say that is excuse making for this current FO. That bothers me very little.

No.... it's reality.

The only thing I am concerned about are the hard decisions/choices that this FO has to make.... and will they do them? ;)

RedsBaron
11-18-2006, 07:48 AM
Right now the Reds have two hitters (Dunn and Encarnacion) who may reasonably be projected to be above average offensive performers next season, along with Phillips who possibly could be an offensive plus. They then have Griffey and Freel, who will probably have their moments, but probably not on a full time basis. The rest of the offense projects to be below average in 2007.
Can the Reds win with that offense--sure, if they have the 1965 Dodgers pitching staff.

membengal
11-18-2006, 08:24 AM
If by "not a quick fix" that is somehow supposed to encapsulate Krivsky's ripping apart of the one thing this team did well to try and address the others, thereby making all three parts sub-standard, I agree with you, gac.

I am with cyclone and others, the rate at which Krivsky has dismantled the one thing this team was decent at is alarming as hell. The return on that dismantling is either unknown, to be charitable, or, if you look at the early returns, hugely disheartening.

As it stands now, the Reds project to be sub-standard both on the mound and at the plate, and, at BEST, average, defensively. That's moving the team in the wrong direction. Kriv's moves this off-season had better be stunners, because he's trending the wrong way. And, no, Alex Gonzalez for $15 million over three years ain't gonna stop that trend or stem the bleeding...

oneupper
11-18-2006, 08:47 AM
Team OPS

2004 .749
2005 .785
2006 .768

While I agree that the offense is in for trouble in 2007, I doubt even taking back "the trade" could have helped.

The offense overachieved in 2005, most notably Griffey (whose production may not return) and the catching and shortstop positions.

Give Dunn and Griffey back their 2005 numbers and you wouldn't have to worry about losing Kearns.

Alex Gonzalez at SS isn't going to move your team OPS much.

Ltlabner
11-18-2006, 10:11 AM
I will yield to those who adore Wayne and think he has some master plan, and I hope he does and if so I'll eat large amounts of crow with a big smile on my face, but I think the method is wrong and maybe impossible. If we cannot afford to get in the FA market (which i assume we cannot) for pitching, you have to grow it on the farm. In the meantime, you just have to score a bunch of runs. We obviously are not doing that with our present team, so we lose a lot. It seems simple to me, but when your starter has just allowed three in the top of the first, you're going to need some runs to catch up and be successful. No offense = a long time before success. Of course, as I always know, I could be wrong. Maybe there is a master plan and I hope so. Notice I made no mention of The Trade...directly. :D

Yea..yea...yea. Some of us "adore" Krivski and think he does no wrong. What's that called....tinman? Uh....sandman?...no.....something like that. Taxman? Oh well.....

You do raise a good point about the farm system. Had we been stocking it with real pitching tallent since the late 1990's we would have some solid pitching to go with our stellar offense. Guess what...we didn't and now we have to live with it. Frankly we'd have to go out in the current FA market and buy at least 2 more starters to go with AH and BA and another "closer" type for the bullpen to acheive the solid staff that we'd be comfortable with, IMO.

Can we do that in todays market? I don't know. If you move shrewdly it's probably likely as the other teams are bashing each other the obvious targets you might be able to sneek in some unexpected choices.

I don't agree with the "no offsense = long time before success". Bailey and Votto are estimated to be 1 year away. Jay Bruce...somewhere after that. Understandably, they may flame out well before joinging the starting lineup so you don't sit around until they show up, but at the same time, do we go hog wild this year knowing they are possibilities? I'd say you make some solid incremental improvements and avoid the temptation to go nuts in this bizzare FA market. (That's not to say if a great trade/FA signing came along that would boost the team in one area or another that I wouldn't jump all over it).

I'm not advocating we "give up" on this year but I'd rather Krivsky makes some shrewd understated moves this year as building blocks towards next. We've waded through horrible teams, some with stellar offesenses, for many years so I don't think the hyper focus on offsense has really gotten us anywhere, has it?

westofyou
11-18-2006, 10:29 AM
I will yield to those who adore Wayne and think he has some master plan, and I hope he does and if so I'll eat large amounts of crow with a big smile on my face, but I think the method is wrong and maybe impossible.

Bill Mcketchie says Hi.

Walter Alston says Hello.

Billy Beane sez 'ello.

Pitching and Defense is as much a part of the game as hitting.

You'd think that 6 straight sub .500 seasons with nothing but hitting might make some thirst for a little of the rest of the game?

membengal
11-18-2006, 11:38 AM
I was kinda hoping to maintain the offensive excellence while addressing the other parts. Didn't realize you couldn't have both. The things you learn as you go along...

Ltlabner
11-18-2006, 12:03 PM
Pitching and Defense is as much a part of the game as hitting.

You'd think that 6 straight sub .500 seasons with nothing but hitting might make some thirst for a little of the rest of the game?

Sums up excalty how I feal. And I'm paitent and reasonable enough to understand that changing that up doesn't happen overnight. How much time am I willing to give Krivsky? Honeslty, I don't know. But I know it takes more than the time he has been given thus far.


I was kinda hoping to maintain the offensive excellence while addressing the other parts. Didn't realize you couldn't have both. The things you learn as you go along...

Ok, so we keep AK and Lopez, the two "cornerstones" of our offence (which ignores that Lopez's OPS came in behind Brandon Philips, Ryan Freel and Javy Valentine). The big gripe has been those were are two big trading chips. Well, if we keep them, then how do you acquire the big name pitching and defense we'd like to see. Besides just spending cash, which might get you one big name in this market, how do you propose we get the pitching and defense to go with our "offsensive excellence" ? You can't have your cake and eat it too. (and I'm not just talking "the trade" here. Pretend it never happened. Now how do you keep those two guys and get what you want now? We don't have any other trading chips remember.)

And everybody likes to skip over the fact that Jr was injured. Dunn really fell apart the last two months. EE got all the playing time at the end of the year and did nothing with it. Freel started playing nearly every day and disapeared. LaRue was on vacation the entire year. All of those contributed to the slumping offense as much as the trade did.

GAC
11-18-2006, 12:06 PM
Pitching and Defense is as much a part of the game as hitting.

You'd think that 6 straight sub .500 seasons with nothing but hitting might make some thirst for a little of the rest of the game?

Amen! Preach it brother!

I sometimes get the feeling on here that the philosophy is the Air Coryell approach. :lol:

membengal
11-18-2006, 12:12 PM
No, the honest question, smiley's be darned, is why you can't have both, and why one must be dismantled in the pursuit of the other...

GAC
11-18-2006, 12:20 PM
Sums up excalty how I feal. And I'm paitent and reasonable enough to understand that changing that up doesn't happen overnight. How much time am I willing to give Krivsky? Honeslty, I don't know. But I know it takes more than the time he has been given thus far.

You sure have to give him longer then 10 months. ;)



Ok, so we keep AK and Lopez, the two "cornerstones" of our offence (which ignores that Lopez's OPS came in behind Brandon Philips, Ryan Freel and Javy Valentine).

http://www.ntd.org/pix/shhhhhh%20copy.jpg

:lol:

I actually lament the loss of Kearns. That was the only aspect of the trade I didn't like. You want both offense and defense? He gave it to you in RF.

Lopez? Blah!

But I really think that there was something else going on with Kearns, and it was the reason why WK was so ready to ship him out.


And everybody likes to skip over the fact that Jr was injured. Dunn really fell apart the last two months. EE got all the playing time at the end of the year and did nothing with it. Freel started playing nearly every day and disapeared. LaRue was on vacation the entire year. All of those contributed to the slumping offense as much as the trade did.

It's a fact our run production dropped, as compared to pre-AS and post-AS. How much of it was due to the loss of the "two" or several key players tanking it or being hurt in the 2nd half? - I don't know.

WK has to make some sort of move (trade or FA) to replace the RP we lost from Aurilia, as well as Kearns.

That is not an insurmountable, nor impossible task.

He is not going to find a closer in the FA market. He might be able to find a 2nd tier pitcher.

He needs, IMO, a RP OFer IMO. I'm just not sold on Freel.

mth123
11-18-2006, 12:40 PM
I actually lament the loss of Kearns. That was the only aspect of the trade I didn't like. You want both offense and defense? He gave it to you in RF.


I actually think the trade of Kearns was for up the middle defense as well. I really believe that WK made the trade with the intention of gaining improved defense at SS with Clayton and improved CF by making room for Griffey in RF and installing Deno in CF. He even said something to the effect that is was Deno's time.

We all know he was wrong in his evaluation of Clayton and I really believe Griffey spoiled the plan by refusing to move. (I have no evidence, its just the only thing that makes sense.) W/O improved defense the trade was left in the hands of an injured Majik (another miscalculation by WK IMO) and a still wet behind the ears Bray.

I still think Bray has some promise for the future and Majik has some value, but this trade was an absolute stinker in almost every area including:

- misreading Clayton's ability
- misreading Griffey's desires
- misreading Maj's medical report
- misreading Bray's readiness

The trade of Kearns and Lopez was not the wrong idea. The guys they got back were the real problem. These should have been separate deals and if better talent were procured the huge holes the team now faces wouldn't be as numerous or as cavernous. Krivsky and staff should have done a little more homework and if they would have they would have passed on the deal.

And yes, I was ok with it at the time and this is somewhat hindsight, but last summer I (and many of us I suspect) had an inherent assumption that Krivsky did do his homework before pulling the trigger.

GAC
11-18-2006, 01:57 PM
We all know he was wrong in his evaluation of Clayton and I really believe Griffey spoiled the plan by refusing to move.

I think pitching (relief) was WK's main objective. Clayton was thrown in as fodder since we were giving up a SS. He was trying to fix (or prop up) a bullpen that was killing any hope we may have had.

I stated long before this trade ever went down that due to the market tightness he should have waited till the off-season.

And Jr stated publically this past summer that no one ever has addressed him with the issue of moving.

That is the "mistake" this FO has made. Sitting down with Jr, and in a diplomatic and respectful way (because of what he has accomplished/contributed to the game), make him understand that his moving is for the good of the team.

And if he rejects it then.... then you still move him. What is he going to do? Ask for a trade? Retire? ;)


I still think Bray has some promise for the future and Majik has some value

Young arms. I do too. Still hopeful for the Balfour pickup too.

mth123
11-18-2006, 02:32 PM
Still hopeful for the Balfour pickup too.

I thought he was a minor league FA and no longer Red's property. If I'm not mistaken, this guy had surgery on his Rotator Cuff and Labrum. No one, to my knowledge, has ever come back from that double whammy.

westofyou
11-18-2006, 02:37 PM
I thought he was a minor league FA and no longer Red's property. If I'm not mistaken, this guy had surgery on his Rotator Cuff and Labrum. No one, to my knowledge, has ever come back from that double whammy.
He's a Brewer now.

mth123
11-18-2006, 02:43 PM
He's a Brewer now.

Thanks. I thought he was gone. Just couldn't remember where. DanO got him.

GAC
11-18-2006, 03:11 PM
Oh well... who wants a pitcher whose last name is so close to Ball Four! :lol:

Of course we're pinning our future hopes on a young arm named Homer. ;)

Matt700wlw
11-18-2006, 05:46 PM
Oh well... who wants a pitcher whose last name is so close to Ball Four! :lol:

Of course we're pinning our future hopes on a young arm named Homer. ;)

Let's change his name to "strike out"