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redsfan30
02-23-2007, 04:10 PM
02/23/2007 2:30 PM ET
Notes: Reds tinker with 11-man staff
Narron may use fewer than 12 pitchers this season
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The question was about depth and versatility on his bench. The answer offered up a bit of intrigue regarding the pitching staff.
Reds manager Jerry Narron was asked if having several players able to play multiple positions was helpful. This was the answer:

"It helps a great deal and it may even help at some point that we can go with 11 pitchers instead of 12," Narron said. "I know that everybody thinks we're going to carry 12, and it probably looks that way. But if we can keep as many versatile guys as we can, maybe we can possibly go to 11."

There are 29 pitchers in Reds camp, and precious few open jobs on the staff. Narron realized he might have spoiled breakfast for some of them.

"If you write that, there could be some very nervous pitchers," Narron said.

It'd seem more plausible that carrying versatile bench players would allow a manager to carry an extra pitcher. But during a season, it's no secret that Narron likes to twist and manipulate his 25-man roster more than a bendy-straw in a cup of chocolate milk.

Reserve players know they'll have to keep more than one type of glove in their locker and multiple positions on his resume.

"We want to keep as many guys as versatile as possible," Narron said.

Ryan Freel, Juan Castro and Mark Bellhorn can play at least four positions. In the outfield, Freel, Chris Denorfia, Bubba Crosby, Norris Hopper and Josh Hamilton can play all three spots. Jeff Conine can play both corner spots.

How many pitchers are carried will depend a lot on whether the Reds keep Hamilton, a Rule 5 Draft pick and long shot in camp. Hamilton, who is trying to come back from an almost four-year layoff, must stay on the 25-man roster all season.

Another factor is if the Reds opt to carry three catchers and take veteran Chad Moeller north.
My first thought without really letting the info in this article sink in was Josh Hamilton is making this team no matter what he does this spring.

flyer85
02-23-2007, 04:12 PM
I see it more as a way to carry that 3rd catcher. Bring on that Moeller fella, he be real goooood.

M2
02-23-2007, 04:16 PM
I'm all for an 11-man staff. I'd prefer 10, but 11 would at least be a step in the right direction. Rarely can you find a seventh reliever who's anything but a disaster. I'd much rather see the team carry an extra player.

Ltlabner
02-23-2007, 04:20 PM
I'm all for an 11-man staff. I'd prefer 10, but 11 would at least be a step in the right direction. Rarely can you find a seventh reliever who's anything but a disaster. I'd much rather see the team carry an extra player.

Just off the top of my head, if they went with the 11 man staff, wouldn't that allow them to carry Hamilton + an additional bench guy? This is in contrast to a 12 man staff and only Hamilton. As much as it would be a feal good story, I just don't think they should count on Hamilton for much.

And as far as Moeller goes......BARF. I can't want to hear the posturing to explain that move if he were to come north.

KronoRed
02-23-2007, 04:22 PM
11 pitchers and 2 catchers, and a real bench would be nice :)

Chip R
02-23-2007, 04:26 PM
Yeah, thta'll last till March 4th when Jerry runs out of pitchers.

Danny Serafini
02-23-2007, 04:29 PM
I just can't see only 11 pitchers. The bullpen has been overworked with 7 relievers, can you imagine how burned out they'd be with only 6?

Heath
02-23-2007, 04:32 PM
12 pitchers and 2 catchers and Josh Hamilton.

I agree with M2 - that seventh bullpen guy sucks eggs. But, it's nice to throw the sucky guy out there when Lohse and Milton get tagged like deers on the first day of gun season.

flyer85
02-23-2007, 04:38 PM
I agree with M2 - that seventh bullpen guy sucks eggs. If you look at the Reds candidates there is a chance the #7 guy could be as good as the #1 guy in the pen(whoever that may be).

chicoruiz
02-23-2007, 04:41 PM
Hmmm...could this mean that we see Hamilton on the mound at some point in a take-one-for-the-team situation?

M2
02-23-2007, 04:42 PM
Just off the top of my head, if they went with the 11 man staff, wouldn't that allow them to carry Hamilton + an additional bench guy? This is in contrast to a 12 man staff and only Hamilton. As much as it would be a feal good story, I just don't think they should count on Hamilton for much.

And as far as Moeller goes......BARF. I can't want to hear the posturing to explain that move if he were to come north.

Well, obviously I'd like the extra player to be better than a third catcher or a non-entity. It would be nice if a guy like Hopper could play his way into the mix.

Ltlabner
02-23-2007, 04:44 PM
Well, obviously I'd like the extra player to be better than a third catcher or a non-entity. It would be nice if a guy like Hopper could play his way into the mix.

I know Hopper's numbers are nothing special, but I liked what I saw of him last year. Maybe he can figure out a way to be a usefull utility outfield/PH guy?

RedFanAlways1966
02-23-2007, 04:50 PM
REDS
Year: Starters % IP ; Bullpen % IP
2003: 61.0% ; 39.0%
2004: 62.7% ; 37.3%
2005: 64.1% ; 35.9%
2006: 67.5% ; 32.5%

12th man in the bullpen? Perhaps if the above-trend continues it can allow for one less man in the bullpen and an extra bat (one that preferably can hit) on the bench. Helps having inning eaters like Arroyo & Harang.

pedro
02-23-2007, 04:52 PM
I see it more as a way to carry that 3rd catcher. Bring on that Moeller fella, he be real goooood.

I don't think so. I think Chad's gonna see a lot of Louisville this summer.

M2
02-23-2007, 05:08 PM
I know Hopper's numbers are nothing special, but I liked what I saw of him last year. Maybe he can figure out a way to be a usefull utility outfield/PH guy?

If he can hit .280+, figure out how to take a walk every now and then, hold his own in the field and provide some working speed on the bases, he'd be a useful fellow on the bench.

Highlifeman21
02-23-2007, 05:26 PM
If he can hit .280+, figure out how to take a walk every now and then, hold his own in the field and provide some working speed on the bases, he'd be a useful fellow on the bench.

At most, Hopper could only be a pinch runner or our 6th OF on the depth chart, assuming Hamilton makes the team.

I don't see Hopper having a future with the Reds.

Maybe once Ryan Freel is traded, or this organization entirely gives up on Chris Denorfia and ships him somewhere, only then will Norris Hopper have any value for us.

M2
02-23-2007, 05:29 PM
At most, Hopper could only be a pinch runner or our 6th OF on the depth chart, assuming Hamilton makes the team.

I don't see Hopper having a future with the Reds.

Maybe once Ryan Freel is traded, or this organization entirely gives up on Chris Denorfia and ships him somewhere, only then will Norris Hopper have any value for us.

I'm not saying he will do the things I described above. I'm just saying that he'd be useful if he could.

redsmetz
02-23-2007, 05:56 PM
I'm all for an 11-man staff. I'd prefer 10, but 11 would at least be a step in the right direction. Rarely can you find a seventh reliever who's anything but a disaster. I'd much rather see the team carry an extra player.

Weren't there some games last year, particularly when we had so many players who were day to day, where the lack of an extra bench guy was problematic?

Cyclone792
02-23-2007, 06:02 PM
This makes me wonder if Majewski and/or Ramirez may start the season on the DL. Saarloos in the 5th rotation slot, then a main core bullpen of Stanton, Weathers, Coffey, Bray, and Cormier with Belisle being the spot-starter/long reliever out of the pen.

PuffyPig
02-23-2007, 07:52 PM
If he can hit .280+, figure out how to take a walk every now and then, hold his own in the field and provide some working speed on the bases, he'd be a useful fellow on the bench.


If he could do all those things, he'd probably wouldn't be a career minor leaguer.

M2
02-23-2007, 08:00 PM
If he could do all those things, he'd probably wouldn't be a career minor leaguer.

Everyone's a career minor leaguer until they're not anymore.

Eric_Davis
02-23-2007, 08:17 PM
REDS are considering a lot of things.

RANDY IN INDY
02-24-2007, 08:50 AM
Everyone's a career minor leaguer until they're not anymore.

:beerme: You got a little "Yogi" in you, M2?:laugh:

lollipopcurve
02-24-2007, 10:30 AM
I think 11 pitchers can work, though my guess is there will have to be a pretty active shuttle between Louisville and Cincy as bullpen guys wear down and go on the DL. I wouldn't mind seeing guys like Salmon, Coutlangus and Medlock,to name just three, get cameos over the course of the year.

I like the look of this bench:

RH
Freel/Denorfia
Conine
Castro
Hopper

LH
Valentin
Hamilton
Bellhorn

Hamilton must be kept if a trade with TB can't be worked out, so long as he continues to show skills and a level head. He can pinch run and provide OF defense at the very least. Then, next year, he can play every day in the minors as he continues his road back. I like Bellhorn as a LH option at 2B and 3B and LH bat off the bench with power. Hopper I like more than most folks, and he'd be another speed option off the bench.
However, I would not be surprised to see an OF traded for pitching (Deno or Freel, most likely) opening a spot for that 3rd catcher (ugh).

mth123
02-24-2007, 12:34 PM
I think 11 pitchers can work, though my guess is there will have to be a pretty active shuttle between Louisville and Cincy as bullpen guys wear down and go on the DL. I wouldn't mind seeing guys like Salmon, Coutlangus and Medlock,to name just three, get cameos over the course of the year.

I like the look of this bench:

RH
Freel/Denorfia
Conine
Castro
Hopper

LH
Valentin
Hamilton
Bellhorn

Hamilton must be kept if a trade with TB can't be worked out, so long as he continues to show skills and a level head. He can pinch run and provide OF defense at the very least. Then, next year, he can play every day in the minors as he continues his road back. I like Bellhorn as a LH option at 2B and 3B and LH bat off the bench with power. Hopper I like more than most folks, and he'd be another speed option off the bench.
However, I would not be surprised to see an OF traded for pitching (Deno or Freel, most likely) opening a spot for that 3rd catcher (ugh).

Isn't this still too many? If you have 11 pitchers and 8 starters then only 6 bench players can be on the team. Assuming one of Freel or Deno starts, you have 7. I think you'd need to lose Hopper.

Personally, I think the reds have a roster glut in all areas and the final cuts will most likely result in lost players of some type. Now none of the players or pitchers that could be exposed are world beaters, but if a Bellhorn or Hopper needs to be sacrificed to stop a Ramirez or Belisle from being exposed, then I'd rather go with 12 pitchers.

The problem is too many pitchers who we'd like to lose are locks due to bad contracts. If keeping 11 pitchers means Cormier, Weathers, Milton, Lohse and Saarloos are fair game to be cut ahead of Belisle, Ramirez and Salmon then I guess I'd be for it. I don't want to lose a young pitcher who may be a cheap back of the rotation or middle inning guy in the contending time frame of 2009 or so, for the sake of keeping Mark Bellhorn or Norris Hopper around.

lollipopcurve
02-24-2007, 04:31 PM
Isn't this still too many? If you have 11 pitchers and 8 starters then only 6 bench players can be on the team. Assuming one of Freel or Deno starts, you have 7. I think you'd need to lose Hopper.

Aw shucks.

I guess that's where the trade of Freel for a pitcher comes in...

mth123
02-24-2007, 05:09 PM
Aw shucks.

I guess that's where the trade of Freel for a pitcher comes in...

I'm for that if its an upgrade.

DannyB
02-25-2007, 03:07 PM
I dont know.......
14 position players
How many different lineups could that make?

hebroncougar
02-25-2007, 03:12 PM
With the age and potential injury to some of the bullpen guys they may carry, this worries me. I'd much, much rather see 12 pitchers, 2 catchers.

Caveat Emperor
02-25-2007, 03:42 PM
I see it more as a way to carry that 3rd catcher. Bring on that Moeller fella, he be real goooood.

Moeller on the team is less an acknowladgement of his worth to the Reds relative to other players and more an admission that, in situations where Hatteberg starts, Valentin is really the only legitimate LH bat off the bench for this team. That fact is especially true if they carry Josh Hamilton over someone like Mark Bellhorn, since Hamilton will almost certainly struggle at the plate as Rule V holder. In that case, Valentin is needed for pinch hitting spots as opposed to backup catching insurance.

If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say the bench will be: Denorfia, Valentin, Moeller, Castro, Conine and Bellhorn or Hamilton. I'd put nearly every dollar I own on the Reds taking 3 catchers north again this year.

LawFive
02-25-2007, 03:50 PM
I like the look of this bench:

RH
Freel/Denorfia
Conine
Castro
Hopper

LH
Valentin
Hamilton
Bellhorn



I like this, even leaving off Hopper for the numbers to work out. You have a lefty and righty hitter on the bench for both the INF and OF, a little pop in Valentin and Conine, and speed with Freel on days he's not starting.

LincolnparkRed
02-25-2007, 05:23 PM
I dont know.......
14 position players
How many different lineups could that make?

That's my fear:

Coming to a Sunday near you.

Freel CF
Hopper RF
Hamilton LF
Castro SS
Encarncion 3B
Hatteberg 1B
Moeller C
Phillips 2B

How's that offense lookin??