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OnBaseMachine
09-30-2007, 02:43 PM
Notes: Bruce wants more than award
Minor League Player of Year wants to play in big leagues
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- Sunday had to have been a big tease for Jay Bruce.

Bruce, the Reds' top outfield prospect, was on the field for pregame ceremonies to receive his award as the Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year. He got to mingle in the home clubhouse and visited with familiar faces he knows on the team.

But there was no locker or uniform waiting with his name on it. And there was no chance Bruce would make a big league debut against the Cubs, not even with Reds outfielders dropping like flies with injuries in recent weeks. The club already decided not to make the 20-year-old a September callup at the beginning of the month and stuck with that choice.

Did Bruce wish he could suit up and play?

"Absolutely. Who doesn't?" Bruce said. "It's a lot different, too. The first time I was here, I really didn't know a lot of the guys. I was kind of star struck and everything. Now I know a majority of the people in here and have some sort of relationship with them, so I care a lot more about watching them play, watching them do well and succeed. I'm just ready to get up here and help the team out. Hopefully it's in the near future."

The Reds' first-round Draft pick (12th overall) in 2005, Bruce advanced all the way from from Class A Sarasota to Triple-A Louisville this season. The lefty slugger batted .319 with 26 homers and 89 RBIs overall, with his 80 extra-base hits and 306 total bases ranked second among all Minor Leaguers.

In a year where fellow 2005 first-rounders Justin Upton (Arizona, first overall) and Cameron Maybin (Detroit, 10th overall) made it to the Majors, Bruce would have to wait.

At the time September callup decisions were made, Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn and Josh Hamilton were all healthy, and general manager Wayne Krivsky said there wouldn't be enough at-bats for Bruce, who accepted the front-office decision. He was asked if he was disappointed.

"I don't know if 'disappointed' was the word," Bruce said. "I definitely wish I got called up, but I understood the situation with the outfielders and everything. You can't take anything away from anything those guys have done this year. They definitely earned their spots here."

Instead, Bruce is gearing up to play for Team USA in a World Cup tournament at Taiwan from Nov. 6-18. After that, all he knows is that he will be invited to the big league camp as a non-roster player. He plans to battle for a spot on the team.

"Whether or not I have chance to make the team, that's not going to even come into a factor," Bruce said. "I think that will play itself out, to be honest -- with the all the guys and situations. We'll have to wait and see."

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070930&content_id=2241075&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

HokieRed
09-30-2007, 05:41 PM
I guess I don't understand the situation with the outfielders. We spent a whole lot of Sept. with Jason Ellison and Buck Coats playing--neither of whom, I hope, will be back with the organization next year. Is there some reason that time couldn't have been going to Jay Bruce and Chris Dickerson?

dougdirt
09-30-2007, 05:42 PM
I guess I don't understand the situation with the outfielders. We spent a whole lot of Sept. with Jason Ellison and Buck Coats playing--neither of whom, I hope, will be back with the organization next year. Is there some reason that time couldn't have been going to Jay Bruce and Chris Dickerson?

Well I don't think that was the plan, but about half way thrugh the month, our starteers began dropping like flies.

GoReds33
09-30-2007, 07:26 PM
I guess I don't understand the situation with the outfielders. We spent a whole lot of Sept. with Jason Ellison and Buck Coats playing--neither of whom, I hope, will be back with the organization next year. Is there some reason that time couldn't have been going to Jay Bruce and Chris Dickerson?I like Coats as an extra outfielder. He adds depth to the organization. I about died the day that we got Ellison. He shouldn't have ever been picked up. Coats, however does have some potential. I like his arm, and he seems to hit pretty well.:)

cumberlandreds
09-30-2007, 08:41 PM
In a time that was without arbitration and free agency you would have seen Jay Bruce with the Reds in September. But that time was over 30 years ago and a time we will never see again. The ole arb clock is what drives an organization, more than anything, as when they bring up their top prospects. That just the cruel reality of baseball business.

cincinnati chili
09-30-2007, 09:51 PM
In a time that was without arbitration and free agency you would have seen Jay Bruce with the Reds in September. But that time was over 30 years ago and a time we will never see again. The ole arb clock is what drives an organization, more than anything, as when they bring up their top prospects. That just the cruel reality of baseball business.

I completely agree with this. But unless the Reds think there's a chance that Bruce won't make the team out of spring training (or unless they think he's going to get sent back down to the minors sometime after he gets called up), then it wouldn't have affected either his arbitration or free agency timing if they called him up this September.

While his walk rate is sub-optimal, I'm of the opinion that a guy who OPS's .925 in Triple-A will make the team out of spring training next year. Given that, I think he would have benifited from the experience of seeing some major league arms this September.

dougdirt
09-30-2007, 09:56 PM
I completely agree with this. But unless the Reds think there's a chance that Bruce won't make the team out of spring training (or unless they think he's going to get sent back down to the minors sometime after he gets called up), then it wouldn't have affected either his arbitration or free agency timing if they called him up this September.

While his walk rate is sub-optimal, I'm of the opinion that a guy who OPS's .925 in Triple-A will make the team out of spring training next year. Given that, I think he would have benifited from the experience of seeing some major league arms this September.

Well unless something happens with Hamilton, Griffey or Dunn, I don't think there is room for him on the team. They won't sit him on the bench, so unless a move is made, I fully expect Bruce to start in Louisville.

HokieRed
09-30-2007, 10:33 PM
Have to say I think the kid will deserve to be on the team coming out of spring training, and it's past time on this club that people get rewarded for productivity. If the only way for him to start in the outfield is for there to be a trade of Griffey, Dunn, or Hamilton, I hope they make a deal. If there is no deal, or actually even if there is one, I don't see Buck Coats as having any role on this ballclub. Bruce, Dunn, Griffey, Hamilton, Hopper, Freel, Dickerson would all have to be ahead of him, and Keppinger and Votto can also play the outfield.

M2
10-01-2007, 12:30 AM
Well unless something happens with Hamilton, Griffey or Dunn, I don't think there is room for him on the team. They won't sit him on the bench, so unless a move is made, I fully expect Bruce to start in Louisville.

Mentioned this on the ORG, but I imagine Bruce's agent calls a host of folks from the Reds organization every single day, putting pressure on the team to make sure Jay breaks camp with the big league club.

Expect to hear regular pronouncements from Bruce about how his mindset this offseason is to prepare himself to be an everyday player with the Reds and expect to hear a lot of columnists arguing that the Reds have to make room for the kid.

AmarilloRed
10-01-2007, 12:45 AM
Would Jay Bruce be OK being a reserve outfielder in 2008? Both Hamilton and Griffey have the potential to be frequently injured, and he could end up getting a lot of ABs in 2008. He may not be a starting outfielder in 2008, but he could get ready to be one in 2009. There is staill a remote possibility we could see Griffey traded in the off-season to make room for Bruce. It will be interesting to see how he does in spring training.

dougdirt
10-01-2007, 08:39 AM
I don't think the Reds would not have him getting every day at bats somewhere. If that means Louisville, that is where he will be.

M2
10-01-2007, 10:47 AM
From Lonnie Wheeler today:

"What we did learn, at least ... that Jay Bruce ought to be here;"

fearofpopvol1
10-01-2007, 12:26 PM
I'd love to see the Reds more Griffey before the start of next season, but I'm not sure it's feasible.

Jim
10-01-2007, 01:58 PM
I'd love to see the Reds more Griffey before the start of next season, but I'm not sure it's feasible.

Assuming that the Reds keep Dunn, moving Grif is the only way we'll see Bruce in a Reds uniform next season. Based on the way he kept up with the guys at AAA, I think he'll put on a good show in ST.

OnBaseMachine
10-01-2007, 07:58 PM
Minors' top player eager for spring
Bruce, in town, hopes the next time is to stay
BY JOHN FAY | JFAY@ENQUIRER.COM

Jay Bruce was talking to the media when Jeff Keppinger snuck up behind him and whispered: "You got a uniform?"

"No," Bruce said.

"Want me to get you one?" Keppinger asked.

You could have probably taken up a collection among Reds fans to buy Bruce one if it meant him starting the season finale Sunday.

But Bruce's presence in Cincinnati was purely ceremonial. He was in town to accept Baseball America's Minor League Player of the Year award.

Bruce, a 20-year-old outfielder, would have liked a September call-up.

"Absolutely," Bruce said. "Who doesn't?"

The Reds clubhouse was full of players Bruce played with in Louisville, nearly all of whom he outplayed.

"The first time I came up here, I was kind of star-struck a little bit," Bruce said. "Now, I know the majority of people in here. I've got some sort of relationship with them. I care a lot more about watching them play, seeing them succeed, up here and help the team out."

Bruce, the club's first-round pick in the 2005 draft, is pretty media-savvy for a young guy. He was careful not to cause any controversy by making a stink about not getting the call to the bigs.

"I don't know if disappointed is the right word," he said. "I definitely wish I was up here. I understood the situation with the outfield. Those guys have earned their spots. I'm looking forward to being here when I get the chance. I've got to take care of my part of the game. The front office will make their decision. I'll be fine with it either way."

Bruce had a remarkable year. He started in Single-A Sarasota and rose to Triple-A Louisville.

He had no trouble adjusting at the two higher levels. He combined to hit .319 with 46 doubles, eight triples, 26 home runs and 89 RBI.

"I think when it comes to being promoted, it has a lot to do with the front office," he said. "I just have to go out and do what I can do. I didn't really surprise myself this year as far as performance. I think I can do pretty well at this game for a long time. If you're going to have that attitude - every day thinking you're one of the best players on the field. If you don't do that, you're going to struggle."

The plan was for Bruce to spend one week with Louisville. He was supposed to be there only until Dewayne Wise got healthy. But Wise's hamstring never completely healed and Bruce kept hitting.

"When I first got there, I thought: I'm going to be there a week and have to go back," Bruce said. "Then after a couple of days, I said, 'I can't control that. I'm going to do what I can to make it as hard on them as I can.' "

Bruce is the first player in the Reds organization to win Baseball America's top award.

"When you get an award like that, it's surprising because of the talent in the minor leagues," Bruce said, "all the guys that got to the big leagues this year. That makes it more of an honor. It's crazy. I would never imagine winning this award."

Bruce is going to play for Team USA in the World Federation Cup Nov. 3-18, a qualifying tournament for the Beijing Olympics.

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/AB/20071001/SPT04/710010342/

icehole3
10-02-2007, 09:08 AM
hearing him before the game sunday he sounds so young, I agree with Doug unless there's a opening he should be in AAA all 2008.

HokieRed
10-02-2007, 01:11 PM
It's the mark of good organizations that they make opportunities for their best players. If Bruce is ready to hit in the major leagues next year, that's where he should be. This is the most important reason to trade Griffey and perhaps to not exercise Dunn's option--that is, having guys in place for long contracts and for big bucks reduces organizational flexibility. You start looking at why we can't do certain things instead of why we can do whatever makes the most sense and will help the organization win. All I hope is that the three guys in the outfield on opening day are the three best major league players. If Bruce is one of those, he should be there, IMHO.

Will M
10-02-2007, 09:33 PM
Reds 2008 OF should be Dunn in LF, Hamilton in CF & Bruce in RF.

Griffey should be dealt this winter.
Get a list of teams he will accept a trade to.
Shop him and take the best offer.
Then put Bruce in RF.

The Reds haven't had a winning record in years.
Why do they insist on keeping Griffey?
So he can hit #600 as a Red?
Who really gives a you know what about this milestone?

If Castellini/Krivsky keep Bruce in AAA next year just to keep Griffey it will be a shame.

dougdirt
10-02-2007, 09:36 PM
Reds 2008 OF should be Dunn in LF, Hamilton in CF & Bruce in RF.

Griffey should be dealt this winter.
Get a list of teams he will accept a trade to.
Shop him and take the best offer.
Then put Bruce in RF.

The Reds haven't had a winning record in years.
Why do they insist on keeping Griffey?
So he can hit #600 as a Red?
Who really gives a you know what about this milestone?

If Castellini/Krivsky keep Bruce in AAA next year just to keep Griffey it will be a shame.

Not exactly. First off, Bruce should be in CF over Hamilton if they are sharing the outfield.

Secondly, if the Reds can't get any type of value for Griffey, then it makes no sense to trade a productive player for next to nothing, especially if you can't get someone to take on the contract.

Will M
10-02-2007, 09:40 PM
Not exactly. First off, Bruce should be in CF over Hamilton if they are sharing the outfield.

Secondly, if the Reds can't get any type of value for Griffey, then it makes no sense to trade a productive player for next to nothing, especially if you can't get someone to take on the contract.

Why would you think the Reds can't get value for Junior?
He played 144 games last year, hit 30 homers & OPSed .869.
And he only has one more year ( with an option ) on his contract.
PLENTY of teams would trade value for him.

dougdirt
10-02-2007, 09:46 PM
He is aging, coming off an injury, on the books for 12.5 million dollars, has constant injury problems and I believe a 4.5 million dollar buyout on his option year if it is not picked up. Toss in the fact he controls where he goes, and the number of teams that could actually make a trade for him is probably no more than 6.... and are those teams willing to trade for him? Then you have to ask, are they willing to make a deal worth it to the Reds?

Will M
10-02-2007, 09:54 PM
He is aging, coming off an injury, on the books for 12.5 million dollars, has constant injury problems and I believe a 4.5 million dollar buyout on his option year if it is not picked up. Toss in the fact he controls where he goes, and the number of teams that could actually make a trade for him is probably no more than 6.... and are those teams willing to trade for him? Then you have to ask, are they willing to make a deal worth it to the Reds?

His 'season ending' injury was only season ending because it occurred so late in the year.
His 2006 & 2007 seasons have been quite productive.

12.5M is chickenfeed in today's baseball.
Even if he gets hurt the team trading for him will only pay 17M ( 12.5M plus the buyout ).
This is a risk teams like the Yanks & Red Sox are more than willing to take for a guy who hit 30 homers last year.
If A-Rod opts out of his contract the Yanks would LOVE to get Junior to help the team and quite the media critics.

Maybe we just disagree on Junior's value but I think he can be moved and we can get real value for him.

Blue
10-02-2007, 09:59 PM
Plus $6.5 million of next years salary is deferred and paid in installments through 2024. Makes the contract a little easier to swallow, IMO.

dougdirt
10-02-2007, 10:05 PM
His 'season ending' injury was only season ending because it occurred so late in the year.
His 2006 & 2007 seasons have been quite productive.

12.5M is chickenfeed in today's baseball.
Even if he gets hurt the team trading for him will only pay 17M ( 12.5M plus the buyout ).
This is a risk teams like the Yanks & Red Sox are more than willing to take for a guy who hit 30 homers last year.
If A-Rod opts out of his contract the Yanks would LOVE to get Junior to help the team and quite the media critics.

Maybe we just disagree on Junior's value but I think he can be moved and we can get real value for him.

ONLY 17 Million dollars for 1 season is chickenfeed? Wow.

I love Griffey and I guarentee you there is no bigger Ken Griffey Jr fan on this message board than me. The Yankees could be a team Griffey would have interest from, but would he go there? He hated how they treated his father when he played there, and at least a while ago he stated he wouldn't go there.

dthomas24
10-02-2007, 10:16 PM
Why do they insist on keeping Griffey?
So he can hit #600 as a Red?
Who really gives a you know what about this milestone?

Absolutely Bob Cast. cares about this!!!! I agree with you Will M but I see him as a Red to begin 2008 if for no other reason than #600.

RFS62
10-02-2007, 10:59 PM
At this stage in his career, he has to be in a place where he gets regular at bats. Lots of them.

If the Reds don't clear the logjam in the outfield this offseason, it will be better for Bruce to be in AAA playing everyday.

HokieRed
10-02-2007, 11:57 PM
It will not be better for the organization in the long run if the best outfielders do not play.

RFS62
10-03-2007, 09:04 AM
It will not be better for the organization in the long run if the best outfielders do not play.


It's not that simple. It's asset management.

You have to get the most for the surplus assets you have before you move him up. We can't afford to waste any assets at this point.

If the Reds deem him ready, clear the way. Otherwise, let him continue to develop. You can't bring him up just for the sake of bringing him up. He has to get at bats, regular at bats.

Will M
10-03-2007, 12:25 PM
Absolutely Bob Cast. cares about this!!!! I agree with you Will M but I see him as a Red to begin 2008 if for no other reason than #600.

:thumbdown

You may be right.

However the Reds have so few trading chips other than Griffey or Dunn that I don't see major improvements coming without a trade.
Trading Votto, Bruce or Hamilton makes no sense. These guys are good and cheap, very important for a small market team.
Keeping both Dunn and Griffey around to start 2008 is a mistake IMO. We have a logjam and we have needs ( pitching ).
Trading Griffey for the best return and starting Bruce all season is the best plan IMO.

HokieRed
10-03-2007, 02:40 PM
RFS, you're just in danger of hiding costs, which are no less real just because you can't see them or they don't surface immediately. Over a longer term, there are certainly costs to the organization of sending the message that things other than productivity count. One cost is already evident; the Reds have gotten used to the idea of being pretty much second rate. What else can account for the choices of manager in recent years? Does a team that really believes it has a chance to win the world series hire inexperienced managers with no record of major league success?

dthomas24
10-05-2007, 10:30 PM
[QUOTE=Will M;1474993Keeping both Dunn and Griffey around to start 2008 is a mistake IMO. We have a logjam and we have needs ( pitching ).
Trading Griffey for the best return and starting Bruce all season is the best plan IMO.[/QUOTE]

I agree 100%, but I don't see it happening:(

Red Heeler
10-06-2007, 12:31 AM
Bruce can get plenty of AB's as a 4th OF. Dunn could use a couple of extra days off per year. Griffey needs lots of rest. Hamilton, between injury and rest, requires an understudy. Between starts, he becomes the first bat off the bench. I don't think that Jay is the kind of guy to get disgruntled about a reserve role in the Majors, so long as there is playing time available. OTOH, how is he going to feel about "playing every day" in Louisville while Norris Hopper is getting his AB's with the Reds?

Aronchis
10-06-2007, 03:47 AM
Bruce can get plenty of AB's as a 4th OF. Dunn could use a couple of extra days off per year. Griffey needs lots of rest. Hamilton, between injury and rest, requires an understudy. Between starts, he becomes the first bat off the bench. I don't think that Jay is the kind of guy to get disgruntled about a reserve role in the Majors, so long as there is playing time available. OTOH, how is he going to feel about "playing every day" in Louisville while Norris Hopper is getting his AB's with the Reds?

If Jay's on the major league team, he starts with no reservations. Hamilton would have to "settle" for backup duty for the year.

Red Heeler
10-06-2007, 10:12 AM
If Jay's on the major league team, he starts with no reservations. Hamilton would have to "settle" for backup duty for the year.

Jay Bruce had an OPS of .965, 1.057, and .925 at A, AA, and AAA respectively.

Josh Hamilton posted an OPS of .922 in the Major Leagues.

Both have similar physical tools. Why do you think that Jay automatically deserves to start over Josh?

Barring a trade, I would try to get them both around 400 ABs next year.

Aronchis
10-07-2007, 01:41 AM
Jay Bruce had an OPS of .965, 1.057, and .925 at A, AA, and AAA respectively.

Josh Hamilton posted an OPS of .922 in the Major Leagues.

Both have similar physical tools. Why do you think that Jay automatically deserves to start over Josh?

Barring a trade, I would try to get them both around 400 ABs next year.

Because that means Jay Bruce is ready to start right now and contribute at such a high rate at his age, he must start. Hamilton did that 922 OPS on limited playing time. He would have to wait untill Griffey is out of the picture.

Red Heeler
10-07-2007, 12:00 PM
Because that means Jay Bruce is ready to start right now and contribute at such a high rate at his age, he must start. Hamilton did that 922 OPS on limited playing time. He would have to wait untill Griffey is out of the picture.

Hamilton had 298 ABs of .922 OPS in the Majors. Bruce had 187 ABs of .925 OPS in AAA. Hamilton is already producing at a high rate in the Major Leagues. If we were talking about replacing an average ML OF with Bruce, then I would get behind starting him right away. As it stands, he is one of the four best OF in the Reds organization, so I want him in Cincinnati. He is so much better than the fifth best OF that I want him to get lots of ABs for Cincinnati. However, I cannot say that he will out produce any one of Dunn, Hamilton, or Griffey in 2008.

Hamilton, Freel, and Hopper combined for 882 ABs in 2007. Splitting those ABs between Hamilton and Bruce would give them each 441 ABs or about 2/3 of a starting role. That is 80 fewer ABs than Bruce had between A, AA, and AAA last year, more than enough to get him broken in to the Majors.

Hoosier Red
10-07-2007, 12:25 PM
To be fair Red Heeler, Josh did that mainly against RHP, where as Jay had no platoon working for him
While it definately would have made sense to get Josh some AB's against lefties, it really didn't happen until the end of the season just before he got hurt.

Really its nice to have both.

Red Heeler
10-07-2007, 11:08 PM
To be fair Red Heeler, Josh did that mainly against RHP, where as Jay had no platoon working for him
While it definately would have made sense to get Josh some AB's against lefties, it really didn't happen until the end of the season just before he got hurt.

Really its nice to have both.

Plate appearances would be the more accurate, but at-bats is more readily availabe. Josh had roughly 76% of his ABs against righties. Jay was at about 70%, so there is only a small difference there.

Don't get me wrong, I expect that Bruce will be the better player in the future. However, I do not expect him to significantly out produce Hamilton out of the gate in 2008. In that case, why not give both players a big chunk of opportunity next year?