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IslandRed
08-08-2007, 10:40 AM
Stepping away from the bullpen deck-chair shuffling and the uproar over Krivsky's inability to articulate a relatively simple concept like "don't manage every game like it's the seventh game of the World Series," there are some defensive questions that need to be answered before settling on the roster makeup of the 2008 Reds. Here's a few I thought of; feel free to add yours.

1. Are they comfortable with Edwin Encarnacion now?

Out of every batch of rangy, toolsy third basemen, some of them develop the reliability to stay at the position for years and some never do. He's young, but not exceptionally young, and if they're not yet convinced he can handle it long-term they won't spend too much more time waiting. It doesn't help that his offensive game regressed this season, although I'd predict a bounceback in '08.

2a. Can Josh Hamilton stick in center field?
2b. Who's the better center fielder, Hamilton or Jay Bruce?

As long as Griffey and Dunn are around, Hamilton will be in center just because. If one of them leaves, though, the Reds have to decide whether Hamilton will stay in CF or move to a corner, and adjust accordingly. Furthermore, if Bruce continues his meteoric rise, the CF might be him. While most people expect that he will eventually end up in RF, most reports I've read say Bruce plays a decent CF for now, and if he pushes his way into the Cincinnati lineup alongside Hamilton, it's worth wondering who stays in center and who moves to a corner.

3. Where's Joey Votto going to play?

I'm more comfortable thinking this question is answered than some people; based on an interview he gave this year, he said the time he's been given cross-training in left field is not because they don't think he can play first base, but because they know he can. Hope he's right.

4. Is Jeff Keppinger serviceable at shortstop?

I know he'd never really played the position as a pro until this year, bouncing between 2B and 3B. But since Gonzalez and Phillips don't require defensive caddies, if the front office saw enough to believe Keppinger can be a not-disastrous short-term fill-in at SS, it would be a big boost to the bench not to have to carry a no-hit glove guy all year.

Others?

WVRedsFan
08-08-2007, 10:51 AM
Stepping away from the bullpen deck-chair shuffling and the uproar over Krivsky's inability to articulate a relatively simple concept like "don't manage every game like it's the seventh game of the World Series," there are some defensive questions that need to be answered before settling on the roster makeup of the 2008 Reds. Here's a few I thought of; feel free to add yours.

1. Are they comfortable with Edwin Encarnacion now?

Who knows? He seems to be playing more and doing well (hit the snot out of the ball last night and played flawless defense) under Pete M. I still think he's gone for the right deal.


2a. Can Josh Hamilton stick in center field?
2b. Who's the better center fielder, Hamilton or Jay Bruce?

Hamilton's the real deal, so he gets the edge if he can stay healthy. Bruce is probably better, but the way this organization works, we won't see him until 2010 at the earliest! :D


3. Where's Joey Votto going to play?

Given how things have gone, he might be at shortstop, but I'd say 1st base platoon with whatever scrap Krivsky can dig up this winter.


4. Is Jeff Keppinger serviceable at shortstop?

Yes and no. So far when playing there, he doesn't seem to have the range of a Gonzo or (gasp) Larkin, but he gets the job done and hits 100 points better than Gonzo. I like to think of Kepp as Ryan Freel's replacement. Sturdier and more dependable, move him around and let him get his AB's in.

Redsland
08-08-2007, 10:56 AM
I like to think of Kepp as Ryan Freel's replacement.
The only problem with that is the fact that Freel is already under contract for 08 and 09.

Down year. Injury. Not an easy guy to trade at the moment.

redsmetz
08-08-2007, 11:00 AM
Viz. Votto and Keppinger - I'd like to think that part of our bench next year will be Keppinger and also Hatteberg (NOT in a platoon). I agree WVARedsFan about Keppinger being in the old Freel role. I think Gonzalez is the shortstop in the near term until either someone else is ready, acquired and then he's moved out of the organization (or his contract expires).

WVRedsFan
08-08-2007, 11:05 AM
The only problem with that is the fact that Freel is already under contract for 08 and 09.

Down year. Injury. Not an easy guy to trade at the moment.

A guy can hope, can't he? :evil:

westofyou
08-08-2007, 11:42 AM
2a. Can Josh Hamilton stick in center field?

He'd be way better in RF, much better.

jojo
08-08-2007, 12:44 PM
Basically '08 looks to be one big compromise which isn't going to be good defensively no matter how you cut it.

Looking ahead to '09, I would think a more ideal outfield defensively might be:

LF: Hamilton;
CF: Stubbs;
RF: Bruce;

Hamilton has got a gun but IMHO, the impact of an arm is often overvalued. Range is much more important in my book and I think Josh is a step down in the range department compared to Stubbs and Bruce.

Red Leader
08-08-2007, 12:47 PM
Basically '08 looks to be one big compromise which isn't going to be good defensively no matter how you cut it.

Looking ahead to '09, I would think a more ideal outfield defensively might be:

LF: Hamilton;
CF: Stubbs;
RF: Bruce;

Hamilton has got a gun but IMHO, the impact of an arm is often overvalued. Range is much more important in my book and I think Josh is a step down in the range department compared to Stubbs and Bruce.

I like Drew Stubbs, really I do, but I can't see him being major league ready in '09. He's still struggling with Low A pitching this year. That means you're pretty much expecting him to pull a Jay Bruce next year and advance 3 levels. I just don't see it. Defensively, he can hang, but offensively, that's asking a lot.

jojo
08-08-2007, 12:48 PM
I like Drew Stubbs, really I do, but I can't see him being major league ready in '09. He's still struggling with Low A pitching this year. That means you're pretty much expecting him to pull a Jay Bruce next year and advance 3 levels. I just don't see it. Defensively, he can hang, but offensively, that's asking a lot.

I wouldn't ask him to develop....I'd tell him too..... :cool:

KronoRed
08-08-2007, 01:08 PM
He might not want to ;)

EE has become a pretty good 3B, they would be wise to just let him be unless they get knocked over with an offer, extremely unlikely.

Hamilton and Bruce would both probably be ok in CF, a rangy speedster would be nice but I don't see one arriving anytime soon.

I'm sure Votto will be fine, whenever he actually arrives

Not sold on Kep being a starter just yet, but he looks good on the bench compared to Castro :D

Big Klu
08-08-2007, 01:13 PM
I also look for Encarnacion to have a good year next season. I know he is a little younger than Chris Sabo was in his first two years, but I can see some parallels. Sabo was Rookie Of The Year in 1988, and then had a subpar sophomore season in 1989--bad enough that they considered giving the 3B job to non-roster invitee Chris Brown prior to the 1990 season. But they stuck with Sabo, and he responded with a big 1990 season.

Josh Hamilton will play somewhere. I'm not concerned about where he plays--I feel confident that he can handle any of the three OF positions. I'm a little concerned with his durability, but I remain optimistic.

I'm not worried about the time Joey Votto spent in LF at Louisville, and I don't think it alters his future. It was simply an opportunity to add some defensive versatility to his resume, so that they can get his bat into the lineup sooner. Lee May played some LF when he was a rookie, too. It didn't stunt his growth as a player.

I think Jeff Keppinger can fill in for the short term at SS. He reminds me of Jeff Branson, Wayne Krenchicki, and Mark Lewis. He isn't going to be anything special with the glove, but he isn't going to hurt the club defensively, either. And he can hit! However, if Alex Gonzalez were to be out for a long period of time, then the Reds would want to find a better gloveman to play SS--either on a regular basis, or as a defensive caddy for Keppinger.

dougdirt
08-08-2007, 01:21 PM
1. Are they comfortable with Edwin Encarnacion now?

Out of every batch of rangy, toolsy third basemen, some of them develop the reliability to stay at the position for years and some never do. He's young, but not exceptionally young, and if they're not yet convinced he can handle it long-term they won't spend too much more time waiting. It doesn't help that his offensive game regressed this season, although I'd predict a bounceback in '08.

I am willing to let him stay. I love his potential. I have no idea what the Reds think though.


2a. Can Josh Hamilton stick in center field?
2b. Who's the better center fielder, Hamilton or Jay Bruce?

Can Hamilton stick in CF? Yes, he can. He is a little below average though, and I would give Bruce a shot there when he is called up until he proves he is worse than Hamilton.



3. Where's Joey Votto going to play?

First base. The question I have is will it be in a Reds uniform?



4. Is Jeff Keppinger serviceable at shortstop?
No. Even when he was in the minor leagues he played EVERYWHERE, but shortstop. So no, I have no faith in him playing there on even a semi-consistant basis.

dfs
08-08-2007, 02:26 PM
1. Are they comfortable with Edwin Encarnacion now?


And I'm stopped at the second word of the first question.

Who is "they?"

Mac isn't gonna be back at the helm.

I don't know if any of the current crop of coaches will be here next year.

I've been a Krivsky apologist, but the time has come where I have to question his judgment. The whole "win-now" thing while keeping Coffey and Stanton on the roster has pushed me over the edge. I have to honestly wonder if he's gonna be here or if he is already handcuffed and a lame duck.

dfs
08-08-2007, 02:28 PM
1. Are they comfortable with Edwin Encarnacion now?
2a. Can Josh Hamilton stick in center field?
2b. Who's the better center fielder, Hamilton or Jay Bruce?
3. Where's Joey Votto going to play?
4. Is Jeff Keppinger serviceable at shortstop?

1. Sure.
2. I think both Josh and Jay belong in a corner. I don't know if they'll get there, but that's where they belong.
3 first.
4....if you were content with Rich Aurilia as your defensive shortstop, you'll love Keppinger there. As a two week fill in for a last plus club, he's fine.

KronoRed
08-08-2007, 04:12 PM
Who was content with Rich at SS other then Narron? ;)

BRM
08-08-2007, 04:23 PM
Who was content with Rich at SS other then Narron? ;)

I think a lot of people were when the alternative was Royce Clayton.

Ltlabner
08-08-2007, 05:15 PM
They ought to let Edwin play every game the rest of the year, and then make some decisions regarding 2008. Perhaps set some sort of time table (internally, not communicated to him) along the lines of assuming he's healthy 3b is his to lose until July31st 2008. If he continues to strugle then 2006 was a flash in the pan. I *think* he'll get it all together or at least continue to show signs of improvement (considering his young age) so by that time it will be obvious he's going to stick.

I prefer Hamilton in RF and Bruce in CF. Hamilton has the tallent. Can he stay healthy? I have a suspicion that after all those years of abuse a non-conditioning we aren't going to see 150 games per year of Hamilton...ever. Hope I'm wrong.

Gonzo at SS. Kepp as fill in infielder.

IslandRed
08-09-2007, 08:47 AM
And I'm stopped at the second word of the first question.

Who is "they?"

The generic front office "they." Just thinking ahead to offseason roster construction.