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M2
04-17-2007, 01:15 PM
Good news:

Adam Dunn - .354/.415/.646
Josh Hamilton - .278/.409/.833
DER - .699 (only 23rd in MLB, but still better overall than it's been in years)
Team ERA - 3.32
Matt Belisle - 2-0, 1.50

Bad news:

Offense outside of Dunn and Hamilton - .212/.296/.286
Cleanup hitters - .535 OPS
Catchers - .306 OPS
Aaron Harang - 5.40 ERA, 1.68 WHIP

BRM
04-17-2007, 01:17 PM
Team slugging outside of Dunn and Hamilton is .286? :eek: I knew it was bad but I didn't realize it was that bad.

The catchers have been brutally bad. Good thing we have three of them to stink it up.

Benihana
04-17-2007, 01:31 PM
I'm not too worried about Harang. Look at the other divisional aces- Zambrano's been worse. Carpenter's on the DL. Clemens is retired. Etiher Edwin or Griff needs to step up if no one else (Phillips, Freel, etc.) is going to hit. I had Edwin slated for big things this year.

Also, while Gonzalez is out I really wish they'd play BP at SS and Freel at 2B rather than starting Castro

coachw513
04-17-2007, 02:06 PM
Good news:

Adam Dunn - .354/.415/.646
Josh Hamilton - .278/.409/.833
DER - .699 (only 23rd in MLB, but still better overall than it's been in years)
Team ERA - 3.32
Matt Belisle - 2-0, 1.50

Bad news:

Offense outside of Dunn and Hamilton - .212/.296/.286
Cleanup hitters - .535 OPS
Catchers - .306 OPS
Aaron Harang - 5.40 ERA, 1.68 WHIP

Gosh, some of those offensive numbers are...well....offensive :eek:

I'm surprised by the defensive numbers...outside of last night's bobble by KGJ and the Ross mess up on the bunt the 1st week of the season do I remember a defensive lapse coming back to hurt us...we are so much more consistent defensively...

Caveat Emperor
04-17-2007, 02:11 PM
Also, while Gonzalez is out I really wish they'd play BP at SS and Freel at 2B rather than starting Castro

The way BP and Freel have been "hitting" (and oh do I ever use that in the loosest sense of the word), there is almost no drop off in production with Castro in their.

This team WILL flounder unless a couple of the following guys find their bats: Griffey, Phillips, Encarnacion, and Ross. Each one has looked awful this far. Griffey has zero bat speed and no power, Encarnacion and Phillips both look like they've forgotten entirely what the words "Plate Discipline" mean, and I don't think Dave Ross has met a high fastball he isn't willing to swing through.

Its REALLY scary to think this offense is, basically, running on Adam Dunn and a Rule V guy.

Ltlabner
04-17-2007, 02:23 PM
I think I am most shocked at EE's struggles at the plate. Talk about Sophmore Blues. He looked so comfortable last year that I took it for granted he would continue on the same pace this year. I'm not worried about him at all, but yikes. That kid is struggling.

Harrang is concering too, but not to the point of worry. Definatley something to keep an eye on however.

dfs
04-17-2007, 02:51 PM
I think I am most shocked at EE's struggles at the plate. Talk about Sophmore Blues. He looked so comfortable last year that I took it for granted he would continue on the same pace this year. I'm not worried about him at all, but yikes. That kid is struggling.

From a talent evaluation standpoint I agree there is nothing to be concerned about. Edwin is going to be fine.

From a fans perspective, I'm really worried. Edwin has never been a favorite of our current manager. He's already benched him in about as public a way as possible. The front office has made it pretty plain that they intend to essentially give some of Edwin's playing time to Hamilton via the proxy of Ryan Freel. I think he rides the pine a bit for Freel, the team struggles against lefties and he gets the blame, a couple of unkind things happen with the press and Edwin gets Tomkoed for whatever they can get for him.

That would be unfortunate, but he's not Wayne's guy and Narron doesn't seem to look kindly at him either.

Ltlabner
04-17-2007, 02:56 PM
That would be unfortunate, but he's not Wayne's guy and Narron doesn't seem to look kindly at him either.

I don't think Wayne plays too much of the "my guys vs someone else guys" game. He's DFA plenty of the guys he's personally brought to town. Heck, he even sent Majic down to AAA despite Majic being part of Wayne's biggest deal to date. He's given contract extentions to BA, AD, RF and JV, none of whom were "his guys".

Narron, on the other hand, doesn't seem to be a big fan of EE. That said, he was awarded the starting role despite all of his issues last year.

gonelong
04-17-2007, 03:09 PM
Narron, on the other hand, doesn't seem to be a big fan of EE. That said, he was awarded the starting role despite all of his issues last year.

I really wish we could find someone with the inside scoop on that situation.

It seems like Narron is harassing the kid for no apparent reason, but that doesn't compute real well as Narron doesn't seem to have the MO towards anyone else.

GL

membengal
04-17-2007, 03:10 PM
Given how dreckful the offense has been, and how slow Harang is out of the gate, I am still pretty pleased at where they find themselves...

cincy09
04-17-2007, 03:15 PM
Given how dreckful the offense has been, and how slow Harang is out of the gate, I am still pretty pleased at where they find themselves...

It could certainly be a lot worse!

Falls City Beer
04-17-2007, 03:15 PM
The offense will only improve as the weather warms. The pitching?

Outside of Harang, you're probably looking at their very best.

Let's hope it sticks around.

Heath
04-17-2007, 04:54 PM
Shoot me here - please.....

Why do I have in the back of my mind that EdE's gonna get railed out of town and the kid's gonna go bonkers.

As far as the rest of the players, it was reported that Ross & Phillips were career-year types and three catchers were not going to help an sagging bench.

When Jeff Conine has a third-baseman's glove, just in case, does not speak well of the Reds fortunates.

However, except for Coffey's outing yesterday, how about that bullpen? Wonder if the New York Times can use the words dynamic again?? :eek:

Thanks for the stats M2 - good work.

BRM
04-17-2007, 05:01 PM
Why do I have in the back of my mind that EdE's gonna get railed out of town and the kid's gonna go bonkers.


I don't know why but I've always thought that too. I can't imagine why they'd send him out but I've had a sinking feeling for quite awhile that EE's time in Cincinnati will probably be short lived.

Johnny Footstool
04-17-2007, 05:23 PM
Edwin will be a scapegoat until he starts hitting, but as long as he's cheap, he's not going anywhere.

M2
04-17-2007, 05:28 PM
Given how dreckful the offense has been, and how slow Harang is out of the gate, I am still pretty pleased at where they find themselves...

Me too. I'm actually of the opinion that this team needs to spin its wheels a bit for the first two months of the season and then kick into gear if it really wants to contend, so, for me, this start is just about perfect.

BRM
04-17-2007, 05:30 PM
Edwin will be a scapegoat until he starts hitting, but as long as he's cheap, he's not going anywhere.

That's why my fear is irrational. He's cheap and has loads of potential. It would make no sense to send him packing (unless it's for a huge haul). Oh well, maybe I just need another beer.

Falls City Beer
04-17-2007, 05:31 PM
Me too. I'm actually of the opinion that this team needs to spin its wheels a bit for the first two months of the season and then kick into gear if it really wants to contend, so, for me, this start is just about perfect.

Well, then you're looking for a good but underachieving team. I think this team is mediocre as constituted while playing mediocre ball.

The pythag swing has begun. And the team's hope hinges on the health of Matt Belisle's back.

That's a pretty feeble fulcrum.

M2
04-17-2007, 05:55 PM
Well, then you're looking for a good but underachieving team. I think this team is mediocre as constituted while playing mediocre ball.

The pythag swing has begun. And the team's hope hinges on the health of Matt Belisle's back.

That's a pretty feeble fulcrum.

My only point on not bursting out of the gates is this team isn't ready made and it can't afford to think like it is. There's going to have to be some shuffling and a good amount of luck (Belisle and Hobbs for instance). Find a catcher, have a kid like Salmon or Medlock step up, cut the cord on a veteran player or two who isn't getting the job done and maybe something jells around Memorial Day.

Too often this team jumps out like a springbok in front of a pack of wild dogs, completely self-satisfied with its initial burst and ignorant to the fact that the dogs are still hunting it in force.

If the 2007 Reds are going to be something, it's going to come in the form of a team that cuts its deadweight and then mixes some unexpected success with the remaining working parts.

I agree the Reds look like a mediocre team at the moment. I'm certainly not forecasting big things for them this season. All I'm saying is that the path to success this season starts with using the first two months of the season to assess the club.

KronoRed
04-17-2007, 06:12 PM
I don't know why but I've always thought that too. I can't imagine why they'd send him out but I've had a sinking feeling for quite awhile that EE's time in Cincinnati will probably be short lived.

It would be sad that the Reds would be the short sighted and ship him off for temporary help.

Of course it would not surprise me at all, Red fans seem to be extremely impatient with young hitters

Marc D
04-17-2007, 06:27 PM
It would be sad that the Reds would be the short sighted and ship him off for temporary help.

Of course it would not surprise me at all, Red fans seem to be extremely impatient with young hitters


Other than Carls meltdown with Larkin, I don't think fans have that kind of voice in the matter. If we did Milton would have been gone 6 months into his stay.

membengal
04-17-2007, 07:23 PM
Me too. I'm actually of the opinion that this team needs to spin its wheels a bit for the first two months of the season and then kick into gear if it really wants to contend, so, for me, this start is just about perfect.

Exactly. Get their feet under them, get a sense for who they are and what they can be. Begin to work Hamilton into the line-up consistently. See if Jr. can find any shred of power after the wrist. See if Lohse is on a contract drive. See if Belisle is over the back. Generally take the team for a test drive.

Then, see if WK can make some moves in May-July that are the opposite of last year's mid-season shenanigans...maybe that deal was his mulligan and he will be flush on his follow-through from now on.

Chip R
04-17-2007, 07:45 PM
Is EE going to be arb eligible after this year?

Redsland
04-17-2007, 08:00 PM
Is EE going to be arb eligible after this year?
Unlikely. At the beginning of this season, he had one year and 85 days of service time.

Chip R
04-17-2007, 08:23 PM
Unlikely. At the beginning of this season, he had one year and 85 days of service time.


So he wouldn't be a Super 2?

MWM
04-17-2007, 09:02 PM
I know it's still early and Dunn is hitting the ball well right now, but is anyone else worried about his walks? He's walked in only 3 games out of 11 this year for 5 total walks. Yes, it's early, but he's been in very few 3 ball counts thus far. I'm not overly concerned yet, but it's something I'll be keeping an eye on.

Cyclone792
04-17-2007, 09:52 PM
I know it's still early and Dunn is hitting the ball well right now, but is anyone else worried about his walks? He's walked in only 3 games out of 11 this year for 5 total walks. Yes, it's early, but he's been in very few 3 ball counts thus far. I'm not overly concerned yet, but it's something I'll be keeping an eye on.

I'm somewhat concerned about his walk total too, because if that dips then he'll eventually start making more outs than he has in the past. You're also exactly right about his lack of three ball counts and hitting counts overall. As you said, it's still very early, but here's his hitting count data for the season so far ...

Dunn Career: 44.8 percent of PAs in hitting counts
Dunn 2007: 26.4 percent of PAs in hitting counts

MLB average: 35.3 percent of PAs in hitting counts

It's still early, but hopefully Dunn gets his hitting count plate appearances back up to that 44-45 percent level he's been at through his career.

Dunn's ground ball and fly ball rates have been interesting too. His ground ball rate is way up from previous seasons, and his fly ball rate is way down. In his previous five seasons, Dunn's ground ball rates have averaged near th 33 percent mark. This season it's 45.7 percent. His fly ball rates in previous seasons have been around 47 percent, but so far this season he has a fly ball rate of 34.3 percent.

Redsland
04-17-2007, 09:55 PM
So he wouldn't be a Super 2?
It's possible, but he'd have to be in the top 17% of players with between two and three years of service time. If he sticks all year, he'll have less than 2.5 years total (a season is 182 days of service time, IIRC).

I confess don't know how much service time a typical Super 2 has, but it seems unlikely to me that 2.5 years would typically put someone in the top 17% of tweeners.

GAC
04-17-2007, 10:02 PM
I've seen far worse Aprils out of this team. I'm not too worried, at this early stage, about the offense. Been very pleased with the pitching overall. Just hope the pitching holds up when the offense does come around.

This could very well be the worse (weakest) division in MLB. It could very well be up for grabs. So we got that going for us.

IslandRed
04-18-2007, 12:18 PM
I'm somewhat concerned about his walk total too, because if that dips then he'll eventually start making more outs than he has in the past. You're also exactly right about his lack of three ball counts and hitting counts overall. As you said, it's still very early, but here's his hitting count data for the season so far ...

Dunn Career: 44.8 percent of PAs in hitting counts
Dunn 2007: 26.4 percent of PAs in hitting counts

MLB average: 35.3 percent of PAs in hitting counts

It's still early, but hopefully Dunn gets his hitting count plate appearances back up to that 44-45 percent level he's been at through his career.


Good post. I think the situation will be self-correcting in some respects. Dunn has the reputation of a very patient hitter, and I think the book on him evolved from "don't challenge him" to "you can get away with challenging him early in the count." I wouldn't be surprised if part of his offseason work with Jacoby was preparing to hammer mistakes regardless of count, and he seems to be doing it pretty well. If that is what's happening in fact, pitchers will adjust and start pitching more carefully from 0-0, and the deeper counts will return.

IslandRed
04-18-2007, 12:53 PM
On the overall "state of the Reds so far" question, it's definitely a team that gives both optimists and pessimists plenty to work with. My optimistic side is a little ahead right now. Not saying I've agreed with every move made, mind you, and this isn't a great baseball team. In this division it doesn't have to be.

Setting aside the usual disclaimers about major injuries, outlier performances, etc., I think the two X-factors this season are Josh Hamilton and Matt Belisle. Hamilton, if he's for real, gives us power and defense in center and allows Freel to do his super-sub thing with its positive ripple effect on the whole bench. Belisle needs to hold down the #4. If those two things happen, then suddenly the rest of the list doesn't seem so unrealistic. I'm convinced Milton is on his last leash, and if he tanks sooner than later, we have a couple of short-term options and Bailey down the road. One of the catchers will probably hit, I just don't know which one. Stay in contention and a trade for a right-handed power bat comes into play. The bullpen isn't great but there are enough options where we won't have to live with any one gas can very long.

There are equally plausible scenarios for us taking a dive, but I prefer not to dwell on those.

REDREAD
04-18-2007, 01:10 PM
Unlikely. At the beginning of this season, he had one year and 85 days of service time.

85 days of service time is a half a year.. He might make it as a super-2 player. IIRC, they take all the 2-3 year players and the top 20% in service time are arb eligible.

I really don't know the historical service time of an average super 2 guy though.

REDREAD
04-18-2007, 01:13 PM
I think there's a 3rd X-factor in addition to Belisle and Hamilton.

The bullpen. It's been good so far, but will 2-3 guys step forward as solid relievers for the entire season? The pen is a blend of very old guys and very inexperienced guys. It's pretty unpredictable, IMO.

IslandRed
04-18-2007, 01:22 PM
I think there's a 3rd X-factor in addition to Belisle and Hamilton.

The bullpen. It's been good so far, but will 2-3 guys step forward as solid relievers for the entire season? The pen is a blend of very old guys and very inexperienced guys. It's pretty unpredictable, IMO.

I don't feel good about the bullpen in the sense that when we take a lead into the eighth, the game is as good as over. We don't have that. But what we have is some depth, a collection of arms that provide some insurance against the inherent volatility of bullpen guys. We still need it to come through, of course. I just don't see anything like last year, when the bullpen and the efforts to fix it wrote much of the season's story.

Caveat Emperor
04-18-2007, 02:36 PM
Dunn's ground ball and fly ball rates have been interesting too. His ground ball rate is way up from previous seasons, and his fly ball rate is way down.

His lack of 3-ball counts and his ground-ball rate increase isn't surprising to me at all. The knock on Dunn by his detractors has always been that he is too pitch-selective and he passes over pitches he COULD do something with in order to wait for a pitch he can drive.

If, as reports indicated, his approach at the plate has been changed by Jacoby to be more aggressive early in the count, it stands to reason that he'll see fewer pitches, fewer 3-ball counts, and move more towards where the league average is between fly balls and ground ball hits. Since hes no longer looking to drive the ball exclusively, you'll see more different types of plate outcomes than the traditional walk, fly out or home run for Dunn.

Whether thats a good thing or a bad thing -- we'll see how the numbers pan out.

Chip R
04-18-2007, 02:54 PM
His lack of 3-ball counts and his ground-ball rate increase isn't surprising to me at all. The knock on Dunn by his detractors has always been that he is too pitch-selective and he passes over pitches he COULD do something with in order to wait for a pitch he can drive.

If, as reports indicated, his approach at the plate has been changed by Jacoby to be more aggressive early in the count, it stands to reason that he'll see fewer pitches, fewer 3-ball counts, and move more towards where the league average is between fly balls and ground ball hits. Since hes no longer looking to drive the ball exclusively, you'll see more different types of plate outcomes than the traditional walk, fly out or home run for Dunn.

Whether thats a good thing or a bad thing -- we'll see how the numbers pan out.


I think that's right. His marching orders are to put the ball in play more often. The desired result is to cut down on the strikeouts. But a side effect may be that walks will be cut down too. So he may hit a 3-2 pitch to 2nd rather than take it for a walk or a strikeout.

Ltlabner
04-18-2007, 04:35 PM
If, as reports indicated, his approach at the plate has been changed by Jacoby to be more aggressive early in the count, it stands to reason that he'll see fewer pitches, fewer 3-ball counts, and move more towards where the league average is between fly balls and ground ball hits. Since hes no longer looking to drive the ball exclusively, you'll see more different types of plate outcomes than the traditional walk, fly out or home run for Dunn..

Yet he still has 4 home runs. So the change in approach at the plate may result in more ground outs and less strike outs and walks but thus far doesn't seem to have robbed him of power (which was a big fear).

Admidtely it's a tiny sample size and way to early to tell, but at least for the early returns he's still able to hit the long ball. Now, replacing walks with ground outs, that's another issue totally.

REDREAD
04-18-2007, 04:48 PM
I don't feel good about the bullpen in the sense that when we take a lead into the eighth, the game is as good as over. We don't have that. But what we have is some depth, a collection of arms that provide some insurance against the inherent volatility of bullpen guys. We still need it to come through, of course. I just don't see anything like last year, when the bullpen and the efforts to fix it wrote much of the season's story.

I agree. The bullpen has a chance to be adequate this year. Probably a better chance than Belisle making it through the entire year pitching as he has so far.

But the pen also has a chance to collapse. If Weathers falters, there's no one to hand the closer role to. Santos has been solid so far, but will it continue? Likewise, Sarloos is off to a good start, but he might get pulled into the rotation at some point. I just see a lot of wildcards in the pen, although I agree they have a chance to be adequate this season.

texasdave
04-18-2007, 04:57 PM
Looking on the bright side even if the bullpen, as currently comprised, collapses, there are options in AAA such as Bray, Majewski, Salmon and Burton. The 2007 bullpen edition may turn out to be adequate in the long run, but IMO it should never plumb the depths of 2006.

Eric_Davis
04-18-2007, 05:09 PM
Thought this would be a great place to put this:

Going into Wednesday's outing with Harang pitching (4/18), here are the opposing OPS' of all the REDS' pitchers. Mike Stanton leads all National Leaguers who've thrown 4 or more innings, FWIW.

Stanton...........(.170)
Cormier............(.333)
Coutlangus.......(.535)
Weathers.........(.577)
Belisle.............(.588)
Arroyo.............(.636)
Lohse..............(.669)
Saarloos..........(.670)
Santos............(.722)
Milton.............(.827)
Harang............(.850)
Coffey.............(.882)
Burton............(1.000)

I couldn't find any stats on Stantos, though.

Team rankings through 4/18:

Cubs................(.638)
Padres..............(.639)
Cardinals...........(.646)
Mets................(.673)
REDS................(.685)
Pirates..............(.699)
Dodgers............(.700)
Astros..............(.705)
Braves..............(.706)
Giants...............(.720)
Rockies.............(.720)
Brewers............(.741)
Diamondbacks....(.763)
Nationals...........(.778)
Marlins..............(.786)
Phillies..............(.852)

Bring on the Phillies!!!

Redsland
04-18-2007, 05:21 PM
I couldn't find any stats on Stantos, though.
Santos.

(You have an extra "t.") :thumbup:

Eric_Davis
04-18-2007, 05:42 PM
Santos.

(You have an extra "t.") :thumbup:

It was referring to a joke from last night's game thread....couldn't resist. Thanks, though.

Redsland
04-18-2007, 05:48 PM
Ah.

:oops:

RedsManRick
04-18-2007, 05:58 PM
The question regarding Dunn's change in approach, as many of us have wondered, is the balance of "new" balls in play compared to the outcome he was getting before. Are those new balls in play more productive than the combination of walks and strikeouts he was getting before? Time will tell.

My fear has always been trading 4 walks and 6 strikeouts for 2 singles, 3 ground outs, 4 fly outs, and a double play.