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redsfan4445
07-22-2007, 07:09 PM
just a hunch.. and this comment by Pete
"Pete on Keppinger: "Iím going to find playing time for him as much as possible."
I seea twins trade coming. Edwin and Conine for?? Nathen and a another bullpen prospect??
maybe . dont know.. just have that feeling

Always Red
07-22-2007, 07:47 PM
just a hunch.. and this comment by Pete
"Pete on Keppinger: "Iím going to find playing time for him as much as possible."
I seea twins trade coming. Edwin and Conine for?? Nathen and a another bullpen prospect??
maybe . dont know.. just have that feeling

Kepp looks good; they need to find a way to keep his bat in the game.

EE and Conine for Nathan and another pitching prospect? That sounds good to me. EE needs a change of scenery, IMO. His bat doesn't even closely resemble what it did last year. Maybe his little tussle with Narron scarred him? Who knows? If so, he's too fragile? Maybe, maybe not.

I have enjoyed watching Conine play this year. I know he can be a valuable RH hitter off the bench for a team in the chase. I'll always think of him as a Marlin, but I think he and Hatte did a very nice job in the 1B platoon this year.

If they trade Conine, might as well trade Hatte too (RP's, PLEASE!), and bring Votto up. They can platoon Kepp there with Votto at 1B, unless they unload EE, too.

I have no clue if Kepp can play 3B everyday, does anyone know??

camisadelgolf
07-22-2007, 07:53 PM
Defensively, I get the impression that Keppinger = Rich Aurilia.

KronoRed
07-22-2007, 07:54 PM
Nope, and hitching a wagon to him there with no other option would be foolish, 27 and team number 4, I can't imagine EE has that much trade value considering this season, he's more likely to be used as a throw in.

Keep em both.

RedsManRick
07-22-2007, 07:54 PM
EE has been trading line drives and grounders for fly balls, but meanwhile his HR/FB is half of what it was last year. He's not striking out more, he's not walking less, he's just hitting harmless fly balls.

I don't know what it is, but from my very amatuer eye, it looks like he's trying to do too much and is getting popped up a lot. Given his decent approach, I'd love to see him batting 2nd so he doesn't feel like he needs to drive guys in. Just seems like he's trying to make up lost ground with each at bat and ironically sliding more in the process.

I imagine his value is down a bit right now. I would be looking to get him 225+ PA the rest of the season and let him work through this. Keppinger isn't Rich Aurilia, he's Todd Walker.

Always Red
07-22-2007, 08:07 PM
Keppinger isn't Rich Aurilia, he's Todd Walker.

Good call, that seems about right.

Marc D
07-22-2007, 08:41 PM
Trading EE now accomplishes 3 things imo.

1) Selling at a low
2) Giving up on a young,cheap player way too early
3) Trading away a MLB caliber player with zero organizational depth behind him

EE doesn't seem to have the value to fetch a replacement for himself and legit pitching help. Thats about the only return that makes sense to me so I'm not big on the idea of shipping him off.

If a trade comes along that satisfies the 3B hole left by his departure and adds another piece, then by all means have at it. I'm not attached to any of these guys.

redsmetz
07-22-2007, 08:48 PM
I'm not sure I'd read Pete McK's comments into moving EE. He's said that about a number of players - he appears to have the philosophy (perhaps correct) that you need to keep your bench players fresh some occasional play. Again, I think that is probably a good approach. I concur with Marc D that we'd be making a mistake letting Eddie go. I think he's just on an "ebb" year.

Krusty
07-22-2007, 09:01 PM
Trading EE now accomplishes 3 things imo.

1) Selling at a low
2) Giving up on a young,cheap player way too early
3) Trading away a MLB caliber player with zero organizational depth behind him

EE doesn't seem to have the value to fetch a replacement for himself and legit pitching help. Thats about the only return that makes sense to me so I'm not big on the idea of shipping him off.

The only way I see EE being traded is if another trade is made to bring in a third baseman like the Diamondbacks Mark Reynolds.

If a trade comes along that satisfies the 3B hole left by his departure and adds another piece, then by all means have at it. I'm not attached to any of these guys.

Krusty
07-22-2007, 09:03 PM
The only way you trade EE is if you get a third baseman in return like the Diamondbacks' Matt Reynolds.

If you trade EE to the Twins for pitching, then maybe you send Dunn to the Snakes for Reynolds, Pena and Gonzalez, I could see it happening.

Ltlabner
07-22-2007, 09:12 PM
Was going to do a seperate thread on Keppinger after hearing him being lauded from the broadcast booth today. Was currious if it was just post homer hype or maybe he had something to offer the team. They (Marty IIRC) suggested Kepp could offer serious competition for the 3B position if given enough time. I don't make up the news, I just report it.

Here's his batting line from BP...


Year Tm Lg PA OBP SLG EqA VORP
2004 ALT 2A 346 .387 .413 .262 16.1
2004 BIN 2A 54 .426 .468 .288 3.9
2004 NOR 3A 24 .458 .368 .306 1.4
2004 NYN MJ 123 .317 .379 .244 2.2
2005 NOR 3A 278 .377 .455 .290 25.4
2006 NOR 3A 366 .353 .359 .253 12.5
2006 OMA 3A 142 .407 .465 .291 13.4
2006 KCA MJ 67 .323 .400 .259 0.0

2007 Projected 499 .355 .398 .259 17.0


Assuming (a really big assumption) the PECOTA projection is dead on, his minor league performance translates to MLB success and, of course, he actually got that many PA's here's how Kepp would rank compared to other current 3B (with at least 200 PA and are around the same VORP level). In other words, it would place Kepp somewhere around the 8th to 13th highest VORP compared to other third basemen in MLB.


# YEAR NAME PA EqA OBP SLG VORP RAR RAP
8. 2007 Troy Glaus 292 .304 .384 .520 21.9 22.7 12.2
9. 2007 Chone Figgins 293 .276 .370 .409 17.8 13.7 2.7
10. 2007 Casey Blake 418 .273 .349 .466 17.2 18.7 1.7
11. 2007 Adrian Beltre 347 .278 .326 .478 17.0 17.7 4
12. 2007 Mike Lamb 232 .297 .385 .502 16.5 16.2 6.3
13. 2007 Melvin Mora 338 .271 .334 .453 13.1 14.5 1

BTW, Edwin is currently ranked 21st compared to all other MLB third basemen. Of course, his VORP is likely to rise if he gets out of this sophmore slump.

Is Kepp the 3b of the future? Hard to say, but right now, he's a much better bench option than Castro. Seems like he'd be a good bench/role player with a possibility to break out given some playing time. Again, much better upside than Castro, not that is saying much.

But trading EE now with an eye to using Kepp based on 20 some odd PA's would be foolhardy at best.

Always Red
07-22-2007, 09:48 PM
But trading EE now with an eye to using Kepp based on 20 some odd PA's would be foolhardy at best.

Good work, abner. :thumbup:

I agree that we have no idea if Kepp can play 3B or not at this point.

All we can say at this point is that he's a better utility IF than Juan Castro, that's for sure.

But is EE can bring a closer, wouldn't you at least consider it?

flyer85
07-22-2007, 09:59 PM
I have no clue if Kepp can play 3B everyday,unlikely to OPS enough to be the everyday 3B. Might be a different story at 2B.

CTA513
07-22-2007, 10:06 PM
Keppinger can still get a good amount of at bats with out having to trade Encarnacion.

flyer85
07-22-2007, 10:07 PM
Keppinger can still get a good amount of at bats with out having to trade Encarnacion.he certainly is a better answer as a utility player than Castro.

TOBTTReds
07-22-2007, 10:18 PM
unlikely to OPS enough to be the everyday 3B. Might be a different story at 2B.

This is my thought. We would really be sacrificing a power position to put an unknown minor league vet there. Also, we have an OPS guy in a non-OPS position with Phillips, if we put a weaker hitter at 3rd, we aren't taking advantage of our unique, and good 2B. Kepp would be a good starter for a team that could afford that offense at 3rd base, not the Reds though.

redsmetz
07-22-2007, 10:22 PM
In some ways, does he free us up to move Freel, particularly if Hamilton pans out and gets back healthy? I don't know if he has Freel's speed, but he clearly would be the same type super-sub Ryan was.

jojo
07-22-2007, 10:28 PM
Was going to do a seperate thread on Keppinger after hearing him being lauded from the broadcast booth today. Was currious if it was just post homer hype or maybe he had something to offer the team. They (Marty IIRC) suggested Kepp could offer serious competition for the 3B position if given enough time. I don't make up the news, I just report it.

Here's his batting line from BP...


Year Tm Lg PA OBP SLG EqA VORP
2004 ALT 2A 346 .387 .413 .262 16.1
2004 BIN 2A 54 .426 .468 .288 3.9
2004 NOR 3A 24 .458 .368 .306 1.4
2004 NYN MJ 123 .317 .379 .244 2.2
2005 NOR 3A 278 .377 .455 .290 25.4
2006 NOR 3A 366 .353 .359 .253 12.5
2006 OMA 3A 142 .407 .465 .291 13.4
2006 KCA MJ 67 .323 .400 .259 0.0

2007 Projected 499 .355 .398 .259 17.0


Assuming (a really big assumption) the PECOTA projection is dead on, his minor league performance translates to MLB success and, of course, he actually got that many PA's here's how Kepp would rank compared to other current 3B (with at least 200 PA and are around the same VORP level). In other words, it would place Kepp somewhere around the 8th to 13th highest VORP compared to other third basemen in MLB.


# YEAR NAME PA EqA OBP SLG VORP RAR RAP
8. 2007 Troy Glaus 292 .304 .384 .520 21.9 22.7 12.2
9. 2007 Chone Figgins 293 .276 .370 .409 17.8 13.7 2.7
10. 2007 Casey Blake 418 .273 .349 .466 17.2 18.7 1.7
11. 2007 Adrian Beltre 347 .278 .326 .478 17.0 17.7 4
12. 2007 Mike Lamb 232 .297 .385 .502 16.5 16.2 6.3
13. 2007 Melvin Mora 338 .271 .334 .453 13.1 14.5 1

BTW, Edwin is currently ranked 21st compared to all other MLB third basemen. Of course, his VORP is likely to rise if he gets out of this sophmore slump.

Is Kepp the 3b of the future? Hard to say, but right now, he's a much better bench option than Castro. Seems like he'd be a good bench/role player with a possibility to break out given some playing time. Again, much better upside than Castro, not that is saying much.

But trading EE now with an eye to using Kepp based on 20 some odd PA's would be foolhardy at best.

Keppinger's VORP was projected assuming he was a second baseman. If his performance was projected as a thirdbaseman, his VORP would be considerably lower.

Concerning the question of whether Keppy is the thirdbaseman of the future, it's hard to imagine Keppinger as an everyday third baseman. Neither his bat nor his glove are good enough for the Reds to hang their hat on him as a long term solution.

In my mind, there is no way Keppinger makes EE expendible.

Ltlabner
07-22-2007, 10:32 PM
Keppinger's VORP was projected assuming he was a second baseman. If his performance was projected as a thirdbaseman, his VORP would be considerably lower.

Whoops. You are correct. Missed that.

Doesn't change the outcome, however. He's a far better bench/role player option than Castro, et al. Starting player at 3b? Likely a big strech.

jojo
07-22-2007, 10:35 PM
Whoops. You are correct. Missed that.

Doesn't change the outcome, however. He's a far better bench/role player option than Castro, et al. Starting player at 3b? Likely a big strech.

I absolutely agree about Keppinger's role as a benchplayer. I think he'd be pretty useful.

MartyFan
07-22-2007, 11:39 PM
I'm not sure I'd read Pete McK's comments into moving EE. He's said that about a number of players - he appears to have the philosophy (perhaps correct) that you need to keep your bench players fresh some occasional play. Again, I think that is probably a good approach. I concur with Marc D that we'd be making a mistake letting Eddie go. I think he's just on an "ebb" year.

That's what I read it as too.

Of course if the Reds do trade EE, I think it would be best for him...If he can gain us a couple of AAA types then I am great with that.

Conine for Nathan? I like it a lot but does Conine have that sort of value?

I also like the idea of perhaps moving Hatte and keeping Conine to platoon with Votto.

coachw513
07-23-2007, 12:44 AM
Trading EE now accomplishes 3 things imo.

1) Selling at a low

3) Trading away a MLB caliber player with zero organizational depth behind him



Bingo...it's economics 101...why barter something that won't give you value on the dollar???...and don't sell off assets that you cannot in turn replace...

Unfortunately as I've stated earlier, EE might not fill the role necessary as the future Reds are constructed simply because of his splits against LH pitchers...our 3B of the future must be able to mash against lefties to balance out Hamilton, Votto and Bruce...to date, he simply hasn't done that:

TOTAL
Split Avg G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K OBP Slg OPS GDP TB AB/HR AB/K

vs. Left .236 146 271 33 64 17 1 9 40 42 55 .350 .406 .756 3 110 30.1 4.9
vs. Right .271 256 634 87 172 43 1 21 101 46 139 .336 .442 .778 17 280 30.2 4.6

If the career numbers are indicative of EE's future, I don't know if the Reds can keep him in lieu of making transactions which would bring a "LH crushing" 3B...

As for Keppinger, I pray we don't miscast him as we have Freel...the guy's a wonderful utility infielder and as such he'd be a valuable commodity off the bench and starting a couple times a week...a major upgrade, but unless he becomes a legit ML leadoff hitter (an ongoing concern of our future lineup IMHO), you can't project him as a starting 3B, can you??

Sea Ray
07-23-2007, 01:24 AM
Whether Kepp is a starting 3B has little to do with the rest of the league at 3B. It boils down to Kepp vs EE. Those are the only options currently available to this team. If EE continues as the 21st best 3rd baseman then he sets a low hurdle for Kepp to achieve. The only reason this is even a discussion is because of EE's "sophomore slump" as it was named earlier.

It'd be great if EE comes around as we'd all hope but if he continues to slump I agree with Mackanin's mantra that "if you're not getting the job done we'll play someone else".

sonny
07-23-2007, 05:30 AM
It would be extemely foolish to give up on EE this early. I really like Keppinger, but there must be a reason he's hasn't stuck onto a Major League roster. Unless we have some other studs waiting in the wings, we should not give up Edwin.

Now, Edwin for Johan, Morneau and Cuddyer? Now yer talkin' turkey!

bucksfan2
07-23-2007, 10:32 AM
I like Keppinger and think that he helps out this club. He is a contact hitter and the reds do not have one of those on this club. This is a guy who is not going to swing and miss much and I can see him as an ideal #2 hitter on this club. I think he is going to have around a .280 average with an obp in the .320-.330 range but will offer the manager a lot of options when he is at bat. Right now the reds dont hit and run much, they dont hit behind runners, they dont move players up a base with productive outs. As much as I like Edwin they need someone who is going to bring a little different approach to the plate other the swing from you heels approach.

jojo
07-23-2007, 10:35 AM
Whether Kepp is a starting 3B has little to do with the rest of the league at 3B. It boils down to Kepp vs EE. Those are the only options currently available to this team. If EE continues as the 21st best 3rd baseman then he sets a low hurdle for Kepp to achieve. The only reason this is even a discussion is because of EE's "sophomore slump" as it was named earlier.

It'd be great if EE comes around as we'd all hope but if he continues to slump I agree with Mackanin's mantra that "if you're not getting the job done we'll play someone else".

Well then for me the issue is still pretty easy. EE has a much higher ceiling both offensively and defensively.

RedsManRick
07-23-2007, 11:34 AM
If there's anybody whom Keppinger makes expendable it's Alex Gonzalez and his contract.

NJReds
07-23-2007, 11:43 AM
I don't know why the rush to make guys that help strengthen the bench into a starting role. Same with Freel. Some guys excel as pinch hitters and utility roles. I'd like to see one less catcher and have some real pinch hitters/utility guys on the bench.

EE should start everyday for the rest of the season so the Reds go into the offseason knowing exactly what they have.

SteelSD
07-23-2007, 11:55 AM
The presence of a Jeff Keppinger doesn't make Encarnacion expendable in any way, shape, or form. We see plenty of guys like Keppinger cycle in and out of the Show every year. The guy toils in the minors until he's age-prime, shows his face, hits a little bit, demonstrates that he can at least stand at more than one position, and the announcing crew and Joe Average fan goes ga-ga over him even though all but a small handful of Jeff Keppingers ever turn out to be more than fringe utility types.

If you're really lucky, you get a Ryan Freel to hold an open slot for a higher ceiling player for a couple seasons and who can fill in when needed. That being said, the speed game of a Ryan Freel plays much much better than Keppinger's does and the presence of a Freel doesn't make a higher-ceiling player "expendable" either, especially considering that even the "good" Ryan Freels of the world have offensive games that generally ride a fine line between decent and terrible. Triple ditto for Norris-freakin'-Hopper.

Having a Jeff Keppinger isn't a problem (especially if he's replacing a Juan Castro) until either the Manager or GM gets the bright idea that he needs to consistently make room for him in the starting lineup at the expense of a young player who really needs the At-Bats- particularly during a lost season. Jeff Keppingers are part of the game, for sure. But you don't plan around them if you think you got a keeper. You rightly stash them on the bench and thank your stars that you got a bench slot cost savings for most likely a couple seasons. Then you go about the business of actually making the team better.

IslandRed
07-23-2007, 12:44 PM
If there's anybody whom Keppinger makes expendable it's Alex Gonzalez and his contract.

Keppinger's not a shortstop. You can count on your hands the number of games he's played there above A-ball. That's probably why he has trouble sticking in the majors even though he can hit -- having a backup infielder who can't handle short, but doesn't hit enough to play first, makes roster construction more difficult.

flyer85
07-23-2007, 12:45 PM
Keppinger's not a shortstop.... but Phillips certainly could be, it's where he has played the majority of his minor league career.

IslandRed
07-23-2007, 01:07 PM
... but Phillips certainly could be, it's where he has played the majority of his minor league career.

All things considered, I'd still prefer Gonzalez-Phillips to Phillips-Keppinger as a DP combo, even conceding the advantage to the latter pair in cost and OBP. I'm still a bit old-school when it comes to key defensive positions. I'm not Alex Gonzalez' biggest fan but he's on the Things That Could Be Better list, not the Things That Must Be Fixed list.

westofyou
07-23-2007, 01:11 PM
... but Phillips certainly could be, it's where he has played the majority of his minor league career.

Yep.. but even BP noted two or three years ago that he was hardly as stud there.

It's hardy a stretch to note it even today.

Yet daily it's bandied about as if the idea was never thought of.

jojo
07-23-2007, 01:14 PM
... but Phillips certainly could be, it's where he has played the majority of his minor league career.

But PBP metrics seem to suggest that Phillips is basically a league average defensive second baseman. I think it might assume to much to suggest Phillips could be a major league quality shortstop.

flyer85
07-23-2007, 01:24 PM
I think it might assume to much to suggest Phillips could be a major league quality shortstop.Just pointed out the possibility. As we have seen Gonzo is nothing special as a SS, slightly above average at best.

RedsManRick
07-23-2007, 01:33 PM
If I thought Alex Gonzalez was still a top flight defensive SS, I'd be a bit happier with his contract. It's one thing to give good money to a great defensive player. It's another to give good money to a guy with a great reputation that doesn't play as well in reality.

I know the classic defensive metrics are not that great, but they're available.

12 SS in the NL qualify:
Fielding %: 12th
Range Factor: 7th
Zone Rating: 7th

I don't know how he rates on other systems, but it's certainly not good here. A .251/.297/.444 line in GABP does not impress me.

I'd much rather have Phillips at SS, Keppinger at 2B and his $5.5M invested in pitching, or keeping Adam Dunn around.

pedro
07-23-2007, 01:47 PM
... but Phillips certainly could be, it's where he has played the majority of his minor league career.


Baseball Prospectus 2003 details Phillips' switch to second base for the Indians:

The Indians sent Phillips to the Arizona Fall League to keep working on becoming a second baseman because Omar [Vizquel]'s under contract for another two years. There's no reason to believe Phillips can't make the switch. It may even be for the best, since he's never been an outstanding defensive shortstop, although he has the arm for the position. However, because of his stick he's rightly regarded as one of the top infield prospects in baseball. If he doesn't stick at short, his value will go down a little, but the difference between a decent shortstop with a great stick and a good defensive second baseman with a good stick isn't that huge.

VR
07-23-2007, 02:02 PM
The presence of a Jeff Keppinger doesn't make Encarnacion expendable in any way, shape, or form. We see plenty of guys like Keppinger cycle in and out of the Show every year. The guy toils in the minors until he's age-prime, shows his face, hits a little bit, demonstrates that he can at least stand at more than one position, and the announcing crew and Joe Average fan goes ga-ga over him even though all but a small handful of Jeff Keppingers ever turn out to be more than fringe utility types.



And there you have it. Nicely stated.

After an April with about 3 DP's...they are fourth in DP's turned...and 2nd in the league since June 1 in fielding %.

As expected, it would seem the Gonzo/ Phillips combination is realizing it's potential after some growing pains?

Gonzo hasn't been spectacular...but again, I'm giving the guy a pass on his expectations while he is struggling with his son's health.


An above average SS with some pop batting 8th seems to be a decent fit for this team.

IslandRed
07-23-2007, 02:29 PM
I'd much rather have Phillips at SS, Keppinger at 2B and his $5.5M invested in pitching, or keeping Adam Dunn around.

If you want to replace Gonzalez, fine, but let's go get another shortstop, then. Think about it... after all the years of slamming square pegs into round holes, we finally have, in Phillips, a player who is providing above-average offense at his optimal (and important) defensive position. Can't we leave well enough alone for once?

jojo
07-23-2007, 02:38 PM
If I thought Alex Gonzalez was still a top flight defensive SS, I'd be a bit happier with his contract. It's one thing to give good money to a great defensive player. It's another to give good money to a guy with a great reputation that doesn't play as well in reality.

I know the classic defensive metrics are not that great, but they're available.

12 SS in the NL qualify:
Fielding %: 12th
Range Factor: 7th
Zone Rating: 7th

I don't know how he rates on other systems, but it's certainly not good here. A .251/.297/.444 line in GABP does not impress me.

I'd much rather have Phillips at SS, Keppinger at 2B and his $5.5M invested in pitching, or keeping Adam Dunn around.

While disappointing defensively, I'm not ready to accept that Gonzo is a league average SS defensively yet. I think this season, we've seen a guy with his head elsewhere.

Sea Ray
07-23-2007, 11:30 PM
unlikely to OPS enough to be the everyday 3B. Might be a different story at 2B.

I see no reason why he can't be a Bill Mueller at 3B. Mueller's numbers were very similar at age 27. I'm not saying it's time to punt EE but if a team offers us decent pitching for him I'd consider it.

Right now I think the Reds are playing it right. Ride Kepp while he's hot and force them to play him. Let EE win his spot back just like Kepp forced his way into the lineup.

I don't like playing guys based upon "ceilings". I play them based on production and Kepp is producing now.

jojo
07-23-2007, 11:51 PM
I don't like playing guys based upon "ceilings". I play them based on production and Kepp is producing now.

Ceilings are more important than what can you do right now when your team is playing for next year....

Mario-Rijo
07-24-2007, 12:08 AM
But PBP metrics seem to suggest that Phillips is basically a league average defensive second baseman. I think it might assume to much to suggest Phillips could be a major league quality shortstop.

You may very well be correct about the possible switch to SS. But no metric can tell me that he is league avg, that is just bologna. The guy has better than avg range, arm and avg to above instincts and glove. If that's what the PBP metrics are telling you, toss 'em out the window it's not right.

dougdirt
07-24-2007, 12:10 AM
But PBP metrics seem to suggest that Phillips is basically a league average defensive second baseman. I think it might assume to much to suggest Phillips could be a major league quality shortstop.

I suggest you go over and take a look at what Justin did on JinAz on the Reds for his defensive data. It suggests that BP is actually the third best defensive 2B in baseball.
http://jinaz-reds.blogspot.com/2007/07/mlb-first-half-2007-defensive-ratings.html

coachw513
07-24-2007, 12:24 AM
I suggest you go over and take a look at what Justin did on JinAz on the Reds for his defensive data. It suggests that BP is actually the third best defensive 2B in baseball.
http://jinaz-reds.blogspot.com/2007/07/mlb-first-half-2007-defensive-ratings.html

Great link...thanks...

I'm clearly a novice at all the defensive stats, but I'm glad "my eyes" are supported by this data...I also am bemused at the notion of Brandon Phillips being at best average at 2B :confused:

(I hope a stats-newbie can state his case effectively)
Current NL ranks at 2B:
Fielding % 1st
Double Plays started 1st
Double plays turned 1st
Revised zone Rating 2nd (Utley)
Balls out of zone 4th

And I don't pretend to really understand Baseball Prospectus' defensive stuff, but as a comparison to Utley and Hudson for starters, here's the numbers for Fielding Rate, Rate Above Replacment and Above Average (Rate 2 for league adjustment/normalization)

Rate RAR RAA Rate2 RAR2 RAA2
Phillips 115 29 14 118 35 17
Utley 101 16 1 103 21 3
Hudson 106 20 5 108 25 7

To piggyback what someone else has pointed out, why would we change one of the good things we've got???...Phillips is a rare above-average power/runproducing, above average defensive 2B who is hopefully only beginning to tap into his potential...

SteelSD
07-24-2007, 01:12 AM
I see no reason why he can't be a Bill Mueller at 3B. Mueller's numbers were very similar at age 27. I'm not saying it's time to punt EE but if a team offers us decent pitching for him I'd consider it.

Right now I think the Reds are playing it right. Ride Kepp while he's hot and force them to play him. Let EE win his spot back just like Kepp forced his way into the lineup.

I don't like playing guys based upon "ceilings". I play them based on production and Kepp is producing now.

Keppinger isn't "producing now". He came into the last game against the Marlins with a line of .238 BA/.333 OBP/.333 SLG (.666 SLG). He left that game with an OPS of .991 and he was 1-for-5 in tonight's game.

Holding back more projectible players like Encarnacion based on single-game performance is pure folly. Don't even get me started on why Jeff Keppinger isn't Bill Mueller.

WVRedsFan
07-24-2007, 01:24 AM
Keppinger isn't "producing now". He came into the last game against the Marlins with a line of .238 BA/.333 OBP/.333 SLG (.666 SLG). He left that game with an OPS of .991 and he was 1-for-5 in tonight's game.

Holding back more projectible players like Encarnacion based on single-game performance is pure folly. Don't even get me started on why Jeff Keppinger isn't Bill Mueller.

Exactly. Leaving Edwin on the bench while playing Keppinger is typical of the management style we've had here in Cincinnati for so long. From the GM on down, scrappiness and perceived hustle mean more than results. Narron and now Mac are benching the potentially (you say that because he doesn't play anytime he doesn't have a big game--an excuse for benching him) awesome Encarnacion for a banjo-hitting career minor leaguer and for what? So he can go 3-4 (all singles -- I know he hit a HR the other night, but that's rare), score no runs and bat none in? I imagine Wayne and Mac would like 8 of him. We wouldn't score any runs, but our batting average would be .300 as a team and we'd look lively.

Boggles my mind.

Patrick Bateman
07-24-2007, 01:25 AM
I like Keppinger in that he can get on base enough to be a useful spare part IMO. A guy that can pinch hit, take the occassional start and not be overmatched. A nice guy to have around.

But he's not starter material. He doesn't have the power to stick at 3rd, and his fielding makes him a liability at 2nd. He's a tweener. Not a guy that should be in the line-up for long periods of time.

Encarnacion has definitely struggled to date, and has me questioning his long term ability, but he has not had enough time to prove whether that is true. He has lots of ability and needs to get consistent playing time to see if he can live up to his potential. In a lost season, it is 100% inexcusable not to be starting him 14 games out 15. The Reds are at the point where they need to know if they can count on EE as the franchise 3rd basemen. The only way to find this out is to play him all the time. Playing utility players over him with the hope that they catch lightning in a bottle is a poor strategy in the longterm (when it really matters) and also in the short term where EE will likely outplay Keppinger anyways (not that it matters a whole lot right now anyways).

EE has been jerked around enough. I find it sickening when players with little talent are played over him all the time. There's no chance of success with that strategy. The bottom line is that EE needs to play everyday for the rest of the year, because there is not one single option on the team that has a shot at being a successful major league 3rd basemen in the future. I really don't care how much he struggles. He's young, and he needs the chance to succeed, rather than in a position where he is constantly jerked around and mismanaged.

WVRedsFan
07-24-2007, 01:32 AM
EE has been jerked around enough. I find it sickening when players with little talent are played over him all the time. There's no chance of success with that strategy. The bottom line is that EE needs to play everyday for the rest of the year, because there is not one single option on the team that has a shot at being a successful major league 3rd basemen in the future. I really don't care how much he struggles. He's young, and he needs the chance to succeed, rather than in a position where he is constantly jerked around and mismanaged.

AK, you said it better than me and definitely more articulate. This present FO and field management values the utility player more than any I've ever seen. I think it has a lot to do with perceived hustle and batting average, not OBP. It's a flawed philosophy that has yielded us two losing seasons under this administration and what now totals 7 seasons with less than .500 baseball. I imagine it has a lot to do with being cheap, but it also reeks of unrealistic baseball knowledge. Good post.

Patrick Bateman
07-24-2007, 01:33 AM
Thanks!

Ron Madden
07-24-2007, 04:06 AM
If somehow and somewhere both EE and Kepp both got a chance to play everyday, there is no doubt in my mind EE would have a better career.

Kepp should be seen as a replacement for Castro not Edwin.

(JMHO) ;)

Ltlabner
07-24-2007, 07:46 AM
Exactly. Leaving Edwin on the bench while playing Keppinger is typical of the management style we've had here in Cincinnati for so long. From the GM on down, scrappiness and perceived hustle mean more than results. Narron and now Mac are benching the potentially (you say that because he doesn't play anytime he doesn't have a big game--an excuse for benching him) awesome Encarnacion for a banjo-hitting career minor leaguer and for what? So he can go 3-4 (all singles -- I know he hit a HR the other night, but that's rare), score no runs and bat none in? I imagine Wayne and Mac would like 8 of him. We wouldn't score any runs, but our batting average would be .300 as a team and we'd look lively.

Boggles my mind.

WVRedsFan, haven't you complained regularly that all the Reds can do is hit homers? Now there's a guy who hits singles and that's no good either?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not not campaigning for Kepp to take over Edwins job (I see Kepp is more of the reserve infielder, bench player that Castro was supposed to be). I'm just currious about your ire with "all singles" when you also have ire against "all homers".

Not jumping your case, just currious.

redsrule2500
07-24-2007, 09:26 AM
I kinda hope so. He's not our future 3-Bman.

osuceltic
07-24-2007, 09:47 AM
I don't think anyone is saying Keppinger is the long-term answer at third base. But I think there are a lot of people -- me included -- who aren't convinced Encarnacion is either. His supporters keep talking about his potential, but I think he has regressed this season. He has become a dead pull hitter who can be pitched to effectively. He isn't making adjustments. He's not hitting the ball hard consistently. And he remains a below average defensive player. When a guy isn't good defensively, isn't hitting for a high average, isn't hitting for power and doesn't run well, he doesn't give you much. And when the team is counting on him as the right-handed pop in the middle of the lineup, that's a huge problem.

Do I think Keppinger is the long-term answer at third base? No way. But if we could trade Encarnacion for an upgrade somewhere (pitching!), I'd be just fine with Keppinger filling that spot until we find the long-term guy.

And please stop the arguments about Edwin not getting a fair chance. He's had more than a fair shot. He just hasn't performed as well as any of us would like. Doesn't mean he won't someday do it, but he hasn't yet -- and he had every opportunity. In fact, some of his best play has come immediately after being "jerked around" the last two years.

RANDY IN INDY
07-24-2007, 10:12 AM
I don't think anyone is saying Keppinger is the long-term answer at third base. But I think there are a lot of people -- me included -- who aren't convinced Encarnacion is either. His supporters keep talking about his potential, but I think he has regressed this season. He has become a dead pull hitter who can be pitched to effectively. He isn't making adjustments. He's not hitting the ball hard consistently. And he remains a below average defensive player. When a guy isn't good defensively, isn't hitting for a high average, isn't hitting for power and doesn't run well, he doesn't give you much. And when the team is counting on him as the right-handed pop in the middle of the lineup, that's a huge problem.

Do I think Keppinger is the long-term answer at third base? No way. But if we could trade Encarnacion for an upgrade somewhere (pitching!), I'd be just fine with Keppinger filling that spot until we find the long-term guy.

And please stop the arguments about Edwin not getting a fair chance. He's had more than a fair shot. He just hasn't performed as well as any of us would like. Doesn't mean he won't someday do it, but he hasn't yet -- and he had every opportunity. In fact, some of his best play has come immediately after being "jerked around" the last two years.

Excellent post!

SteelSD
07-24-2007, 10:28 AM
And please stop the arguments about Edwin not getting a fair chance. He's had more than a fair shot. He just hasn't performed as well as any of us would like. Doesn't mean he won't someday do it, but he hasn't yet -- and he had every opportunity. In fact, some of his best play has come immediately after being "jerked around" the last two years.

He hasn't performed? At age 23, Encarnacion posted a line of .276 BA/.359 OBP/.473 SLG (.832 OPS). If he'd have qualified for the batting title, that OPS would have ranked him 9th among MLB third basemen. While his bat has started slowly at age 24, we've seen significant defensive improvement this season and he now possesses the 8th highest Zone Rating in the Show at 3B.

The only real option for Encarnacion is to play him and allow him to continue his development because he is actually progressing defensively. The bat will come around as long as the Reds don't continue to allow lesser options to take away PA.

puca
07-24-2007, 10:39 AM
He hasn't performed? At age 23, Encarnacion posted a line of .276 BA/.359 OBP/.473 SLG (.832 OPS). If he'd have qualified for the batting title, that OPS would have ranked him 9th among MLB third basemen. While his bat has started slowly at age 24, we've seen significant defensive improvement this season and he now possesses the 8th highest Zone Rating in the Show at 3B.

The only real option for Encarnacion is to play him and allow him to continue his development because he is actually progressing defensively. The bat will come around as long as the Reds don't continue to allow lesser options to take away PA.

I agree completely. I was thinking of responding in kind.

This is another example of short-sighted thinking by the Reds. Unless of course EE has a serious attitude problem they are trying to 'tough-love' out of him. And since that has worked so well in the past......

Roy Tucker
07-24-2007, 10:40 AM
I like Keppinger in that he can get on base enough to be a useful spare part IMO. A guy that can pinch hit, take the occassional start and not be overmatched. A nice guy to have around.

But he's not starter material. He doesn't have the power to stick at 3rd, and his fielding makes him a liability at 2nd. He's a tweener. Not a guy that should be in the line-up for long periods of time.

Keppinger is the Norris Hopper of the infield.

Kc61
07-24-2007, 10:54 AM
If EE gets traded, it won't be to open third base for Keppinger, who looks like a good utility player. Yes, Keppinger could man third for awhile as a stopgap, but I'm sure the Reds don't see him as a permanent third baseman.

And before everyone says, how can we have a stopgap third baseman, how can we live with this -- consider that the team has had about 7 stopgap pitchers this year and we've seen the result of that.

nate
07-24-2007, 11:07 AM
If EE gets traded, it won't be to open third base for Keppinger, who looks like a good utility player. Yes, Keppinger could man third for awhile as a stopgap, but I'm sure the Reds don't see him as a permanent third baseman.

And before everyone says, how can we have a stopgap third baseman, how can we live with this -- consider that the team has had about 7 stopgap pitchers this year and we've seen the result of that.

And here's this year's 3rd base free agent class:

Tony Batista
Mark Bellhorn
Geoff Blum
Aaron Boone
Russell Branyan
Jeff Cirillo
Pedro Feliz
Alex S. Gonzalez
Tony Graffanino
Andy Green
Cesar Izturis
Corey Koskie
Mike Lowell
Lou Merloni
Bill Mueller
Abraham O. Nunez
Alex Rodriguez
Fernando Tatis

There doesn't look to be anyone younger, cheaper and more productive than EE on that list. I'd keep him and go hunting for pitching.

puca
07-24-2007, 11:12 AM
If EE gets traded, it won't be to open third base for Keppinger, who looks like a good utility player. Yes, Keppinger could man third for awhile as a stopgap, but I'm sure the Reds don't see him as a permanent third baseman.

And before everyone says, how can we have a stopgap third baseman, how can we live with this -- consider that the team has had about 7 stopgap pitchers this year and we've seen the result of that.

I would be okay with trading EE and going with a stop-gap thirdbaseman, if the Reds got something in return that significantly improved the team for next year and beyond. It strikes me that you will not get that kind of return from EE right now. Not with the way he has performed, not with the trade market as it stands and not with the fact that the Reds have been playing Keppinger over EE.

EE has improved remarkedly. Just not at the plate. He's still young enough and has the past performance to back up the belief that this is just a down year and that he will bounce back if given the chance. Unless some GM is falling over themselves to pay for the 2006 EE instead of the 2007 EE, run him out there everyday and see if he can turn it around.

puca
07-24-2007, 11:15 AM
And here's this year's 3rd base free agent class:

Tony Batista
Mark Bellhorn
Geoff Blum
Aaron Boone
Russell Branyan
Jeff Cirillo
Pedro Feliz
Alex S. Gonzalez
Tony Graffanino
Andy Green
Cesar Izturis
Corey Koskie
Mike Lowell
Lou Merloni
Bill Mueller
Abraham O. Nunez
Alex Rodriguez
Fernando Tatis

There doesn't look to be anyone younger, cheaper and more productive than EE on that list. I'd keep him and go hunting for pitching.


Ahh, it becomes clear now. They are obviously planning a run at ARod this offseason. ;)

osuceltic
07-24-2007, 11:16 AM
He hasn't performed? At age 23, Encarnacion posted a line of .276 BA/.359 OBP/.473 SLG (.832 OPS). If he'd have qualified for the batting title, that OPS would have ranked him 9th among MLB third basemen. While his bat has started slowly at age 24, we've seen significant defensive improvement this season and he now possesses the 8th highest Zone Rating in the Show at 3B.

The only real option for Encarnacion is to play him and allow him to continue his development because he is actually progressing defensively. The bat will come around as long as the Reds don't continue to allow lesser options to take away PA.

And at age 24, he's OPSing .707 and ranks 19th among MLB third basemen. And it hasn't been just a bad start. He's OPSing .559 for July. He's at .626 against lefties (a huge factor for this team).

As for his defensive improvement, no defensive stat is great, but he has a .949 fielding percentage, which ranks 18th in the majors. His range factor is 17th. Only seven third basemen have made more errors (and five of those players have significantly more total chances).

You say he's progressing defensively and I guess that's true -- from terrible to simply bad. You say the bat will come around, even though it's almost August and he's finishing up another terrible month. And you say the only option is to play him? That's not the only option by a long shot.

jojo
07-24-2007, 11:23 AM
I suggest you go over and take a look at what Justin did on JinAz on the Reds for his defensive data. It suggests that BP is actually the third best defensive 2B in baseball.
http://jinaz-reds.blogspot.com/2007/07/mlb-first-half-2007-defensive-ratings.html

Defense is best viewed through a survey of several metrics (while weighting them) to yield a consensus view if possible. The more metrics the better. I happen to like Justin's work alot in general and really like what he's done to the ZR data. I consider jinaz a must read. That said, the rankings referenced were based upon half a season of zone rating data. PBP metrics really should be weighted more heavily than ZR-based things (even Dewan would suggest his modified ZR data isn't as good as his PBP-based stuff).

In 2006, UZR indicated Phillips was -6 while PMR suggested Phillips was +3. This season UZR suggests Phillips is +2 through the ASB. While ZR data suggesting Phillips is a top tier defender is interesting and should be considered when viewing Phillips, right now it seems much more likely that ZR paints an optimistic view of his defense. When you view Phillips through the eyes of several metrics, Phillips seems to be roughly league average or perhaps a tick above and that jives with my eyes.

jojo
07-24-2007, 11:28 AM
I don't think anyone is saying Keppinger is the long-term answer at third base. But I think there are a lot of people -- me included -- who aren't convinced Encarnacion is either.

This is a very fair point.

I think EE supporters generally fall into one of two categories. Either he's going to develop into something spectacular or he's the best option the Reds have so they should develop him.

Basically I see his ceiling as basically a league average thirdbaseman both bat and glovewise. That can be a valuable thing. I guess I fall into the category of not giving up on him yet because frankly I don't see a better answer within the system or really on the market.

SteelSD
07-24-2007, 11:38 AM
And at age 24, he's OPSing .707 and ranks 19th among MLB third basemen. And it hasn't been just a bad start. He's OPSing .559 for July. He's at .626 against lefties (a huge factor for this team).

As for his defensive improvement, no defensive stat is great, but he has a .949 fielding percentage, which ranks 18th in the majors. His range factor is 17th. Only seven third basemen have made more errors (and five of those players have significantly more total chances).

You say he's progressing defensively and I guess that's true -- from terrible to simply bad. You say the bat will come around, even though it's almost August and he's finishing up another terrible month. And you say the only option is to play him? That's not the only option by a long shot.

Oh sure. There's also the option of trading a talented 24-year old 3B at his low point while he's cheap and then using a fringe player like Keppinger to hold the fort while we wait for another young, talented 3B that currently isn't on the near-future horizon. Not much of a plan there.

I think it's almost unfortunate that Encarnacion performed well at the plate at age 23. Too often we anticipate only linear progression from a young player's offensive game and that just isn't always the case. The kid hit very well for his age over his first 450 PA. Now he's struggling over the next 300-odd PA while improving defensively (and he's better than you give him credit for) so it's time to say you've seen enough?

Nah.

NJReds
07-24-2007, 11:40 AM
Oh sure. There's also the option of trading a talented 24-year old 3B at his low point while he's cheap and then using a fringe player like Keppinger to hold the fort while we wait for another young, talented 3B that currently isn't on the near-future horizon. Not much of a plan there.

I think it's almost unfortunate that Encarnacion performed well at the plate at age 23. Too often we anticipate only linear progression from a young player's offensive game and that just isn't always the case. The kid hit very well for his age over his first 450 PA. Now he's struggling over the next 300-odd PA while improving defensively (and he's better than you give him credit for) so it's time to say you've seen enough?

Nah.

I totally agree with this. Keppinger is a backup level player that gives the Reds a good utility option. Unless there's another 3B around somewhere in the system, I think you have to play EE everyday for the rest of the year and monitor his progress. Giving him away now...and that's exactly what the Reds would be doing if they traded him...makes no sense.

SteelSD
07-24-2007, 11:44 AM
I think EE supporters generally fall into one of two categories. Either he's going to develop into something spectacular or he's the best option the Reds have so they should develop him.

Actually, I don't carry around illusions of Encarnacion being spectacular. I do, however, view him as a potentially above-average MLB 3B with both the bat and the glove (range in particular) on a consistent basis.

I'll trade anyone for the right return, but I don't see Encarnacion bringing the kind of return I'd need to punt his potential value while he's cheap.

Sea Ray
07-24-2007, 11:54 AM
Oh sure. There's also the option of trading a talented 24-year old 3B at his low point while he's cheap and then using a fringe player like Keppinger to hold the fort while we wait for another young, talented 3B that currently isn't on the near-future horizon. Not much of a plan there.

Now he's struggling over the next 300-odd PA while improving defensively (and he's better than you give him credit for) so it's time to say you've seen enough?

Nah.

Nobody's saying trade the guy for the sake of trading him. But he should not be an untouchable due to "high ceiling" either. I tend to agree that we wouldn't get much value for him in a trade so I'd hang onto him but if WK finds a GM that shares your glowing scouting report on this guy we'd get quite a bit for him.

He got off to a fast start last year and has struggled ever since. He's struggled for over a year now and I hope the light bulb goes on for him but I am realistic that he may turn into the next Willie Greene too.

jojo
07-24-2007, 12:07 PM
I'll trade anyone for the right return, but I don't see Encarnacion bringing the kind of return I'd need to punt his potential value while he's cheap.

I agree.

Just for context:

NL averages for 3b:
2006: .282/.354/.472
2007: .275/.342/.446

Here's EE:
2006: .276/.359/.473
2007: .260/.339/.368

Pecota predicts:
2008: .280/.355/.491
2009: .277/.356/.489
2010: .277/.355/.486
2011: .274/.349/.479

RANDY IN INDY
07-24-2007, 02:13 PM
Nobody's saying trade the guy for the sake of trading him. But he should not be an untouchable due to "high ceiling" either. I tend to agree that we wouldn't get much value for him in a trade so I'd hang onto him but if WK finds a GM that shares your glowing scouting report on this guy we'd get quite a bit for him.

He got off to a fast start last year and has struggled ever since. He's struggled for over a year now and I hope the light bulb goes on for him but I am realistic that he may turn into the next Willie Greene too.


:thumbup:

traderumor
07-24-2007, 02:51 PM
When Edwin was sent down, I agreed with that move. Now, to play Keppinger over EE, all things equal (no undisclosed minor injury), EE is being jerked around. A lot of guys struggle in their second years and then move on to have good, solid careers. EE is a good, cheap, young option at 3B and should be a building block of the future. Why not let him sort through a year of growing pains on a last place team going nowhere? Hit him 7th and leave him alone.

dabvu2498
07-24-2007, 03:06 PM
When Edwin was sent down, I agreed with that move. Now, to play Keppinger over EE, all things equal (no undisclosed minor injury), EE is being jerked around. A lot of guys struggle in their second years and then move on to have good, solid careers. EE is a good, cheap, young option at 3B and should be a building block of the future. Why not let him sort through a year of growing pains on a last place team going nowhere? Hit him 7th and leave him alone.

In June, EE sat one game (June 23 @ SEA). Had a nice month (.820 OPS). Sat again on July 5th. Has now sat 4 times since Pete Mac has been on the scene. Fact is, his season OPS has slid, more or less, slowly downward since the first week in June.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/gamelog?playerId=5904

Do you fix it by just letting him play everyday? Didn't really work for that midJune-early July timeframe?

I get the feeling that perhaps Pete Mac is dealing with some of the same issues that Narron had to deal with re: EE. Just my perception, but I think they've both had to remind the young man that a major league job is not a given just because they're sewing the name on the back of your jersey.

Hopefully it works, because I really like the "ceiling" the guy has. I just wonder if his mental game might be so manic-depressive that he doesn't reach that ceiling while still under the Reds' control.

traderumor
07-24-2007, 03:15 PM
In June, EE sat one game (June 23 @ SEA). Had a nice month (.820 OPS). Sat again on July 5th. Has now sat 4 times since Pete Mac has been on the scene. Fact is, his season OPS has slid, more or less, slowly downward since the first week in June.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/gamelog?playerId=5904

Do you fix it by just letting him play everyday? Didn't really work for that midJune-early July timeframe?

I get the feeling that perhaps Pete Mac is dealing with some of the same issues that Narron had to deal with re: EE. Just my perception, but I think they've both had to remind the young man that a major league job is not a given just because they're sewing the name on the back of your jersey.

Hopefully it works, because I really like the "ceiling" the guy has. I just wonder if his mental game might be so manic-depressive that he doesn't reach that ceiling while still under the Reds' control.

EE has performed at every level, including a fine rookie season. He gets the benefit of the doubt from me and I put him out there and let him work through figuring out how the league has adjusted. The "privilege" stuff is a good way for poorly run organizations to continue being poorly run.

dabvu2498
07-24-2007, 03:33 PM
EE has performed at every level, including a fine rookie season. He gets the benefit of the doubt from me and I put him out there and let him work through figuring out how the league has adjusted. The "privilege" stuff is a good way for poorly run organizations to continue being poorly run.

Here's the thing. You said you agreed with his demotion back in May... At that time, he was OPSing .588.

Now, since June 8th, he's OPSing .598.

So... what do you do to get him back on track?

traderumor
07-24-2007, 04:02 PM
Here's the thing. You said you agreed with his demotion back in May... At that time, he was OPSing .588.

Now, since June 8th, he's OPSing .598.

So... what do you do to get him back on track?

Based on results it seemed to be the right button to push at the time. Who knows if he is going to get "on track" this year. Now it is evident (whereas it was not necessarily in May, from a GM standpoint, not a fan standpoint where it is over after the first April slump) that the Reds are going nowhere. Maybe he will have sub-par numbers all year. If I'm sitting on a 24 year-old who has performed as he has thus far in his career, I continue to find ways to let him know that he is a part of the Reds future success. EE has game, he has proved that, and the Reds need to help him reach the next level instead of throwing up their hands and sticking "Mr. Reliable" flavor of the month out there.

The Reds are starting to do to EE what the Indians did to Brandon Phillips, which also means the Reds will probably dump him for a song one day and another organization will reap the benefits. It really seems silly with so much ability to have objective measures in which to build a team that GMs still find ways to make putting a ballclub on the field far too personal. I don't know what interpersonal issues are at play here, but that crap just really needs to stop at this level. Leave that stuff for HS coaches and administrators.

jojo
07-24-2007, 04:11 PM
Here's the thing. I'd stick EE at third and forget about him for the rest of the year. Maybe let Keppy have third against a tough lefty on the road. Otherwise, the strategy for EE should be maximus batticus IMHO.

dabvu2498
07-24-2007, 04:30 PM
Based on results it seemed to be the right button to push at the time. Who knows if he is going to get "on track" this year. Now it is evident (whereas it was not necessarily in May, from a GM standpoint, not a fan standpoint where it is over after the first April slump) that the Reds are going nowhere. Maybe he will have sub-par numbers all year. If I'm sitting on a 24 year-old who has performed as he has thus far in his career, I continue to find ways to let him know that he is a part of the Reds future success. EE has game, he has proved that, and the Reds need to help him reach the next level instead of throwing up their hands and sticking "Mr. Reliable" flavor of the month out there.

The Reds are starting to do to EE what the Indians did to Brandon Phillips, which also means the Reds will probably dump him for a song one day and another organization will reap the benefits. It really seems silly with so much ability to have objective measures in which to build a team that GMs still find ways to make putting a ballclub on the field far too personal. I don't know what interpersonal issues are at play here, but that crap just really needs to stop at this level. Leave that stuff for HS coaches and administrators.


Big difference between Phillips' 462 PAs for the Indians and EE's 1019 for the Reds.

And I really don't see this as personal. EE earned a position in 2005 based on his performance in the minors. Earned it in 2006 based on 2005. Lost it in 2007 based on performance. Got it back based on performance. Now, he's sitting a couple days based on performance. I don't have a problem with that.

If they trade him for a box of balls and a case of lineup cards, that would be bad.

bucksfan2
07-24-2007, 04:31 PM
Here's the thing. I'd stick EE at third and forget about him for the rest of the year. Maybe let Keppy have third against a tough lefty on the road. Otherwise, the strategy for EE should be maximus batticus IMHO.

Here is the thing. I think that too many people see a position and then think that certain stats are supposed to be produced at each position. They assume that 3b is a power position and therefore if you have a guy at 3b who isn't a power player he isn't good there. I would argue that the reds have an infielder putting up power numbers right now playing 2b. By the end of the year Phillips is going to have 30+ hrs and he is only improving. Therefore I don't think you need to hvae as much power coming out of the 3b position. The problem I see with the reds is that they strike out way too much. They have too many players who are non contact hitters in the lineup. What I did was add # of ab's to the # of walks to get a total amount of at bats. Then I divided it by # of K's to see in how many plate attempts a batter strikes out. Here goes
Dunn every 3.34
Ross every 3.23
Phillips every 5.95
Griffey every 6.68
Edwin every 5.62
Hamilton every 4.72
Freel every 6.57
Keppinger every 17

Granted Keppinger has a very small sample size but he has only struck out 2 times so far this year. The reds have a number of guys who are high strike out guys. At least Phillips and Hamilton are key core pieces that the reds are going to build around for the future. IMO Keppinger is ideal for the #2 slot and would bring the reds some value that they don not have at the current time. That is why I can forsee Edwin being traded as part of a package deal.

11larkin11
07-24-2007, 04:55 PM
Why does Kepp have to play 3B? If the Reds really like him, then do the obvious thing and put him at second, and Phillips at short. I am a fan of Kepp, but not as the everyday 3B. Maybe play him at first when you stick Votto in left, like everyone knows they will.

traderumor
07-24-2007, 05:08 PM
Big difference between Phillips' 462 PAs for the Indians and EE's 1019 for the Reds.

And I really don't see this as personal. EE earned a position in 2005 based on his performance in the minors. Earned it in 2006 based on 2005. Lost it in 2007 based on performance. Got it back based on performance. Now, he's sitting a couple days based on performance. I don't have a problem with that.

If they trade him for a box of balls and a case of lineup cards, that would be bad.It seems personal to me based on the yanking episode earlier in the year. The continued yanking in and out of the lineup throughout the year is more reason for that conjecture, which is admittedly all it is.

osuceltic
07-24-2007, 05:09 PM
Why does Kepp have to play 3B? If the Reds really like him, then do the obvious thing and put him at second, and Phillips at short. I am a fan of Kepp, but not as the everyday 3B. Maybe play him at first when you stick Votto in left, like everyone knows they will.

First, I feel completely certain that moving Phillips to short has been discussed and dismissed. They obviously feel he wouldn't be a great shortstop, and I tend to agree. He's an above-average defensive second baseman. He'd be below-average at short. Keppinger would be below-average at second. That's a bad way to build a team.

Second, why is Encarnacion a sacred cow? Everyone wants to bench/dump Gonzalez, but he's OPSing higher than Edwin, has twice as many HRs, and is a better defensive player at a more premium position. Does he have Encarnacion's upside? No. But just how much upside does Edwin have? He was solid last year (no more than that) and has regressed greatly this year.

Again ... no one is saying they should dump Encarnacion. We're just saying that if they can get a good deal for Edwin, we can live with Keppinger at third for a while.

dabvu2498
07-24-2007, 05:25 PM
It seems personal to me based on the yanking episode earlier in the year. The continued yanking in and out of the lineup throughout the year is more reason for that conjecture, which is admittedly all it is.

Yanking in and out of the lineup?

From his return to Louisville on May 22nd until July 13th, EE sat twice. Twice in 42 games. Sounds like consistent PT to me.

Did it work? For a while... then... not so much.


Like I said earlier, and this is just as much conjecture as your idea is, I get the impression that the kid needs to be reminded that the job is not necessarily his on a silver platter.

RANDY IN INDY
07-24-2007, 06:40 PM
From his return to Louisville on May 22nd until July 13th, EE sat twice. Twice in 42 games. Sounds like consistent PT to me.


Me too.

camisadelgolf
07-24-2007, 08:08 PM
I like Edwin, and I would love for him to stay, but if the Reds get a chance to package him with someone for a top-tier starter, then I'd be all for it. There will always be Joe Randa-types available for cheap.

jojo
07-24-2007, 09:48 PM
Here is the thing. I think that too many people see a position and then think that certain stats are supposed to be produced at each position. They assume that 3b is a power position and therefore if you have a guy at 3b who isn't a power player he isn't good there.

The fact that your second baseman is swinging an above average bat for his position means you can carry a roughly league average thirdbaseman (i.e. like EE). It doesn't mean you can carry a below averge thirdbaseman (both offensively and defensively) because he doesn't strikeout as much as others on your roster.

Kc61
07-24-2007, 10:19 PM
The fact that your second baseman is swinging an above average bat for his position means you can carry a roughly league average thirdbaseman (i.e. like EE). It doesn't mean you can carry a below averge thirdbaseman (both offensively and defensively) because he doesn't strikeout as much as others on your roster.

This year, is EE a league average third baseman? I would doubt it, but I don't really know. His OPS was .707 entering tonight.

jojo
07-24-2007, 10:58 PM
This year, is EE a league average third baseman? I would doubt it, but I don't really know. His OPS was .707 entering tonight.

He's below average offensiely at this point in the season but there is little reason to believe he can't rebound and no reason to believe Keppinger would be better long term.

Is there a point to playing a short term solution this season?

Kc61
07-24-2007, 11:05 PM
He's below average offensiely at this point in the season but there is little reason to believe he can't rebound and no reason to believe Keppinger would be better long term.

Is there a point to playing a short term solution this season?

Reds want to see if Keppinger is a keeper, playing him at various positions. Tonight shortstop. No crime to give utility guys some playing time.

EE will get around 400 at bats, which is ok for age 24, particularly when you consider he was in the minor leagues for a couple of weeks.

EE hasn't exactly made himself indispensible on offense. Not saying he should be benched, but I don't think the Reds feel it is a tragedy for him to sit once in awhile. With all the talk about how unfairly EE has been treated, perhaps there should be more focus on why he doesn't hit for power anymore.
Six homers playing in this ballpark . . . .

SteelSD
07-25-2007, 12:35 AM
He's below average offensiely at this point in the season but there is little reason to believe he can't rebound and no reason to believe Keppinger would be better long term.

Is there a point to playing a short term solution this season?

Exactly.

Encarnacion gets off to a slow start and an impatient, losing franchise targets him as being the issue. He comes back, posts an OPS of .842 in May, an OPS of .820 in June, and hits a seasonal OPS on July 7th. He then proceeds to go 0-for-8 and then sits for two games. After that, he enters a period in which he goes 6-for-27 and he's on the bench again...during a lost season...for an impatient, losing franchise.

The Reds handling of Encarnacion thusfar has been awful. I liked how Mackanin handled the initial press conference, but he's putting together lineup cards I'd expect from a career minor league Manager. Norris Hopper in the 2-slot? Jeff Keppinger hitting right behind Dunn? Eww.

When you're hitting Jeff Keppinger behind Adam Dunn, you've got to be asking yourself what went wrong rather than desperately trying to figure out how that can possibly make anything right.

MartyFan
07-25-2007, 02:32 AM
If the Reds would trade EE, who plays third? Is Gonzo a potential there? If so, who goes to SS...does Lopez figure to be a better fielding SS and weak bat? does it help the Reds reduce the number of runs scored against the team with a better defense?

Can't Keppinger sort of take on the role of Freel without the potential of killing another player on the field?

I am not certain that EE is going to be a good MLB player here in Cincy...to borrow a phrase from Cowboy...He chokes...trade him while he is young enough to have value before he falls flatter here in cincy...clearly for whatever reason, at least here in Cincy, he is nothing better than a AAA pro.

Ron Madden
07-25-2007, 04:01 AM
Seems kinda funny to me, the very group of fans so eager to give up on EE are amoung the same group that constanly preaches "We Must Have Patience" for those responsible for the mismanagement of this Club.

:dunno: :explode:

The Baumer
07-25-2007, 04:32 AM
I'd like to take this moment to shift the focus from Edwin Encarnacion & the Cincinnati Reds to how wrong and/or crazy I think my fellow members of Redszone are. If possible I would also like to touch on how much "righter" I am than other, specific posters. I am going to grab a glass of heavy pulp OJ but when I return I will begin this new conversation.

Ron Madden
07-25-2007, 04:46 AM
I'd like to take this moment to shift the focus from Edwin Encarnacion & the Cincinnati Reds to how wrong and/or crazy I think my fellow members of Redszone are. If possible I would also like to touch on how much "righter" I am than other, specific posters. I am going to grab a glass of heavy pulp OJ but when I return I will begin this new conversation.

I don't mind being wrong and/or crazy. :laugh:

When the braintrust of my favorite team is more often than not wrong and/or crazy, I do kinda care a lil' bit about that. ;)

redsmetz
07-25-2007, 07:17 AM
Seems kinda funny to me, the very group of fans so eager to give up on EE are amoung the same group that constanly preaches "We Must Have Patience" for those responsible for the mismanagement of this Club.

:dunno: :explode:

I would among those who have preached patience with the management, but I wouldn't be among those soliciting moving Eddie. I said from the outset of this thread that I didn't read Pete McK's words as indicating that EE was on his way out. In fact, wouldn't it dampen the value of a player you want to trade by sitting him? I would think that would tell the world his price is down.

I don't know what the Reds' plans are for Eddie, but I would like to think that it's for the long term. As for Keppinger, I think, as many have noted, that his value lies in his versatility; as the Freel-like everyman, but moreso since he can play first also. If anything, it makes Freel available (if there's a market for him presently), although less so while Hamilton's out.

We'll see.

Chip R
07-25-2007, 10:35 AM
I would among those who have preached patience with the management, but I wouldn't be among those soliciting moving Eddie. I said from the outset of this thread that I didn't read Pete McK's words as indicating that EE was on his way out. In fact, wouldn't it dampen the value of a player you want to trade by sitting him? I would think that would tell the world his price is down.

I don't know what the Reds' plans are for Eddie, but I would like to think that it's for the long term. As for Keppinger, I think, as many have noted, that his value lies in his versatility; as the Freel-like everyman, but moreso since he can play first also. If anything, it makes Freel available (if there's a market for him presently), although less so while Hamilton's out.

We'll see.

I'd be fine with moving EE... if there is someone who can perform better than him offensively and defensively. Is Keppinger that guy? I don't think we can say for sure yet. But the Reds have had a history of a revolving door at 3B. Getting rid of a guy because he isn't Scott Rolen, David Wright or Ryan Zimmerman may be cutting off your nose to spite your face.

GAC
07-25-2007, 10:44 AM
There are only a few players on this team that I'd consider "untradeable"..... EE isn't one of them.

That doesn't mean I'd be pushing to trade him; but if someone offers up a deal that would improve this team, then you have to consider it.

Roy Tucker
07-25-2007, 10:56 AM
It's a fine line between being abusive to a young and developing player and that young player being treated as the anointed one who can do no wrong. The Reds have to be tolerant of young player mistakes but they also have to be wary of treating EE like a young prince.

Along that spectrum, the Reds have averaged slightly towards the abusive end for EE.

I don't know if the Reds manager/coaches talk to EE and let him know that he's getting close to the edge of being benched, but it seems that the benchings the Reds have done on EE have been rather abrupt and have left EE a bit bewildered.

puca
07-25-2007, 11:03 AM
There are only a few players on this team that I'd consider "untradeable"..... EE isn't one of them.

That doesn't mean I'd be pushing to trade him; but if someone offers up a deal that would improve this team, then you have to consider it.

There is no one on this team that I would consider 'untouchable'. Some would require a heck of a lot more in return than others, but if the price was right, I would trade anyone. Realistically though players like EE have much more potential value to the Reds than anything anyone is likely to offer in return.

nate
07-25-2007, 11:10 AM
There is no one on this team that I would consider 'untouchable'. Some would require a heck of a lot more in return than others, but if the price was right, I would trade anyone. Realistically though players like EE have much more potential value to the Reds than anything anyone is likely to offer in return.

That's kind of the problem the Reds have with all of their "chips".