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View Full Version : Can Griffey play 1B?



Dunner44
03-06-2007, 08:46 PM
If this is completely unfounded, call me out right now, but...

If I recall correctly, last year when everyone was clamoring for Griffey to be moved to RF or 1B to save his legs, there was talk that Griffey (maybe from his camp) that he couldn't do it becuase the movement required at 1B would mess up his titanium hammy. I've seen several people talk about "put Griffey at First" so far this spring, but I (perhaps mistakenly) thought that was a dead topic.

I'm all for moving Griff to RF. He'll do better on D there, and if it means getting Denorfia, Freel or Hamilton in the lineup, it means better defense in center as well. (Fun fact - Freel was 5th in the NL with 12 OF assists behind Soriano (22), Hawpe (16) and Francoeur/Beltran (13) ). But I'm pretty sure the door on 1B is shut.

Degenerate39
03-06-2007, 08:50 PM
If he can play first I'd love to see him there. Then Deno and Freel could play the outfield. And everyones happy.

Strikes Out Looking
03-06-2007, 08:54 PM
At this rate, I'd be happy to see him playing anywhere in the field. But I'm not sure he would be that good defensively at 1b--it's a lot different than the OF and he's never played there.

jojo
03-06-2007, 09:20 PM
If a guy can't play first base because of physical reasons, there really isn't a position on the field he can play.

Also, according to the defensive spectrum, there is no reason in the world to think that a centerfielder wouldn't be able to play first base.

flyer85
03-06-2007, 09:47 PM
As far as I can tell he can only play CF.

Shaknb8k
03-06-2007, 10:03 PM
I think with out a doubt with a little work he would be a very good first basemen. But the real question is Would Griffey play 1B? It seems like its going to take an act from congress to get him to move to RF so 1B is out of the question.

KronoRed
03-06-2007, 10:41 PM
Seems like it'll be a miracle if the Reds move him to RF, 1B will never happen.

Redlegs82
03-06-2007, 11:27 PM
I think he'd rather finish his career as a DH in the AL than play 1B.

Dracodave
03-06-2007, 11:28 PM
I think he'd rather finish his career as a DH in the AL than play 1B.

Isn't that what Mike P is doing for Oakland?

Roy Tucker
03-06-2007, 11:29 PM
I cringe to think of him making the stretch at 1B with his tweaky hammies.

Nugget
03-06-2007, 11:44 PM
Dunner44 the issue with Griffey playing 1B is not whether he can or is willing but the excuse that if he plays 1B he has less chance of being injured.

That being said the issue with Junior's hamstring injury is that overstretching is what will exacerbate problems. Both CF and RF are more explosion type positions which means that the way you can injure the hamstring is from going from rest to action in short spaces of time. There are ways he can protect the leg by making sure he is warm and not being too explosive out of the blocks. The issue with 1B is that when he needs to stretch of the bag whether that will inhibit his ability to play 1B. Its not going to be any easier on his legs.

M2
03-07-2007, 01:39 AM
I've ripped quads and hammies. It happens when you're running, not when you're stretching.

And if stretching would cause Jr. to pop a hamstring then forget about asking him to sprint around the OF.

geniusMoment
03-07-2007, 03:15 AM
I'd rather have Votto at first than Griffey. Griffey is gone after next year, if I were the Reds I wouldn't offer him any extension. I like an outfield of Bruce, Hamilton and Dunn. And an infield of Votto, Encarnacion, Phillips and Janish doesn't sound too bad. If our prospects develop like I think they will we will have one hell of a team without needing to trade for anyone.

jojo
03-07-2007, 07:21 AM
Dunner44 the issue with Griffey playing 1B is not whether he can or is willing but the excuse that if he plays 1B he has less chance of being injured.

That being said the issue with Junior's hamstring injury is that overstretching is what will exacerbate problems. Both CF and RF are more explosion type positions which means that the way you can injure the hamstring is from going from rest to action in short spaces of time. There are ways he can protect the leg by making sure he is warm and not being too explosive out of the blocks. The issue with 1B is that when he needs to stretch of the bag whether that will inhibit his ability to play 1B. Its not going to be any easier on his legs.

Here's my two cents: I've played centerfield, then moved to the corner and finally went to first base and I too have hamstring issues. While, obviously not a worldclass athlete on par with Griffey and granted my hammy isn't stapled to my bone etc, IMHO, first base should not be an issue with the hammy (I used to stretch halfway to the pitcher....the running joke was the shortstop could simply drop the ball in my glove)... Concerning hamstring injuries, I personally think accelerating is ALOT worse than a controlled stretch from first with the most dangerous moment being when the athlete tries to punch it into the next gear while accelerating or suddenly has to slam on the brakes... Even if the stretch represented a problem, a controlled/limited stretch at first would be magnitudes of order more desireable than the demands that playing the outfield place on the hammy....

There's a reason Griffey doesn't sprint out grounders.....the reward doesn't come close to the risk involved....

redsmetz
03-07-2007, 07:25 AM
At this rate, I'd be happy to see him playing anywhere in the field. But I'm not sure he would be that good defensively at 1b--it's a lot different than the OF and he's never played there.

According to baseball-reference.com, he's played two games at first base - once in 1993 and again in 1998. Of course, that's virtually never.

RFS62
03-07-2007, 07:32 AM
I've ripped quads and hammies. It happens when you're running, not when you're stretching.

And if stretching would cause Jr. to pop a hamstring then forget about asking him to sprint around the OF.



Seems like I remember Harmon Killebrew pulling a hammy stretching at first base.

The stretching scares me too. All those screws holding him together, seems like it would increase his risk.

I've also heard it argued that it's harder on the legs to play a corner outfield position because of the hard stops you have when you're running out of room at the wall. In centerfield, you generally get to run your sprints out.

Chip R
03-07-2007, 08:04 AM
I'd rather have Votto at first than Griffey. Griffey is gone after next year, if I were the Reds I wouldn't offer him any extension. I like an outfield of Bruce, Hamilton and Dunn. And an infield of Votto, Encarnacion, Phillips and Janish doesn't sound too bad. If our prospects develop like I think they will we will have one hell of a team without needing to trade for anyone.


I think this is what a lot of people forget when they talk about moving Jr. to 1st. What do you do with Votto? Do you keep him in AAA until 2009 and potentially miss out on 2 years of production from him? He's a left handed hitter too so forget about a platoon.

I wonder if Jr. is milking this hand injury a little bit so he won't have the opportunity to play RF. Awful hard to put him in RF to start the season when he hasn't had the chance to play there in the spring.

RANDY IN INDY
03-07-2007, 08:06 AM
Seems like I remember Harmon Killebrew pulling a hammy stretching at first base.

The stretching scares me too. All those screws holding him together, seems like it would increase his risk.

I've also heard it argued that it's harder on the legs to play a corner outfield position because of the hard stops you have when you're running out of room at the wall. In centerfield, you generally get to run your sprints out.

Totally agree with that.

Ltlabner
03-07-2007, 08:26 AM
I wonder if Jr. is milking this hand injury a little bit so he won't have the opportunity to play RF. Awful hard to put him in RF to start the season when he hasn't had the chance to play there in the spring.

I was thinking of it the other way Chip. Since there are so many folks to audition for the outfield this year, he's got no real reason to rush back. He can let the kids play and have their moment in the sun while he conditions himself as he pleases. It's not like he doesn't know what he has to do to get ready for a season. And it's also not like he's rushed to get back from the past few injuries either.

jojo
03-07-2007, 08:59 AM
What do you do with Votto?

I think there is a reasonable case to be made still for moving Griffey.

It's not a forgone conclusion that Votto will be ready this season or really before the middle of '08. In '09, Griffey can (WILL) be bought out.

Griffey at first could give Votto extra wiggle room to improve his defense this season which seems to be the biggest reason the organisation believes he's not ready yet. Potentially, firstbase could allow Griffey to have a resurgence year with the bat. That of course would be huge for the Reds this year and probably would make it easier to trade him this off season to an AL team that needs a DH and would be willing to to both pay him in '08 and pick up his '09 option (which surely would be enough to get Jr thinking about allowing a trade). If Seattle was willing to trade young talent AND pick up Vidro's contract in order to upgrade DH, there is likely some team who would consider a resurgent Griffey-especially if the Reds kicked in some money.

LINEDRIVER
03-07-2007, 09:12 AM
Seems like I remember Harmon Killebrew pulling a hammy stretching at first base.

The stretching scares me too. All those screws holding him together, seems like it would increase his risk.


Killebrew pulled a hammy in the 1968 All-Star Game and missed the remainder of the season. He came back to hit 40 HR's with 140 RBI's in 1969 and was named the AL's MVP.

M2
03-07-2007, 09:12 AM
Seems like I remember Harmon Killebrew pulling a hammy stretching at first base.

The stretching scares me too. All those screws holding him together, seems like it would increase his risk.

I've also heard it argued that it's harder on the legs to play a corner outfield position because of the hard stops you have when you're running out of room at the wall. In centerfield, you generally get to run your sprints out.

And I'm guessing Killebrew would have ripped that hammy faster and worse had he been attempting to sprint on it. I'm also guessing Killebrew didn't have a pregame stretching routine.

If screws are holding you together, then repeated 40-yard sprints are going to rattle you apart far worse than some stretching and bending and 1B. I've posted this before and it can't be stressed enough, the cumulative impact on your body of running 100 meters is like being hit by a loaded 18-wheeler going 50 MPH. That's the amount of force your body absorbs over that distance.

In fact, stretching and bending is what you do to get loose for sprinting. If you're worried about ripping a leg muscle when it gets cold and you have to stretch, then you should be mortified about getting cold and being asked to break into a dead sprint at a moment's notice.

Every possible fear you can have about straining your leg muscles should be exponentially greater if you're being asked repeatedly to run at top speed. You stretch the ever-loving hell out of your leg muscles when you're sprinting. You also weaken them by burning up your ATP stores, leaving your muscles, literally, gasping for oxygen.

I also don't buy into the notion that CF is easier on the body than the OF corners because it unquestionably requires more work and no matter where you play, you've got to stop when you reach the ball. In fact, with a slightly longer run you achieve faster speeds, making it harder to stop once you reach the ball.

What I'm driving at with all of this is if you can't handle the physical rigors of 1B, you don't belong within a country mile of CF. In fact, if you can't handle the physical rigors of 1B then it's time to find a DH job and pray you still can handle running the bases.

CaiGuy
03-07-2007, 09:16 AM
1st base is the easiest position to play, and the least physically demanding. There is absolutely no reason he couldn't play there, other than his own personal desire to play in the outfield.

BRM
03-07-2007, 09:20 AM
As far as I can tell he can only play CF.

That's certainly the way it appears. I guess we'll find out if he's versatile enough to play RF over the next couple of weeks.

Chip R
03-07-2007, 09:30 AM
I think there is a reasonable case to be made still for moving Griffey.

It's not a forgone conclusion that Votto will be ready this season or really before the middle of '08. In '09, Griffey can (WILL) be bought out.

Griffey at first could give Votto extra wiggle room to improve his defense this season which seems to be the biggest reason the organisation believes he's not ready yet. Potentially, firstbase could allow Griffey to have a resurgence year with the bat. That of course would be huge for the Reds this year and probably would make it easier to trade him this off season to an AL team that needs a DH and would be willing to to both pay him in '08 and pick up his '09 option (which surely would be enough to get Jr thinking about allowing a trade). If Seattle was willing to trade young talent AND pick up Vidro's contract in order to upgrade DH, there is likely some team who would consider a resurgent Griffey-especially if the Reds kicked in some money.


I think the Reds want to see Votto get at least part of a season in AAA before they promote him. Much like they handled EE. They also have Hatteberg under contract for the rest of the season. So there's no real rush this season to promote Votto. I think citing Votto's defense is not a valid excuse. I don't think he'd be any worse than Hatteberg. It'd be nice to have a Gold Glover at 1st but if the Reds were serious about having a great defensive player at 1st they would have signed Mienkievitch.

I also think it's possible that Jr.'s injury isn't fully healed or that he is actually experiencing some residual soreness. If that's true, how long is this soreness going to last? If it lasts into April, it may be better to put him on the DL rather than go day to day with him. He can stay in Florida and rehab where it's warm. However I think it's quite a coincidence that the Reds would like him to move to RF and he's unable to play there in the spring because of his injury. If he can't get the necessary reps in during ST, they aren't going to move him to RF when the season starts. That way Jr. doesn't look like a bad guy for not refusing to move.

I think it is possible Jr. could be traded but remember, he can veto any deal. I agree the Reds won't pick up his option. The question is do they re-sign him at a lower amount.