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View Full Version : 2007 In The Books.. 2008 In Our Minds



RedLegSuperStar
09-30-2007, 11:55 PM
Reds didn't meet expectations of many this year but have plenty to build on for next year. Some things to look at:

Manager:

Pete Mackanin (41-39) had the team playing good when he took over until the injuries plagued the team. Which when you don't have Griffey, Dunn, Hamilton, Hatteberg, and Gonzalez in your line-up at some point in the game.. the offense is going to suffer. Encarnacion, Phillips, Dunn, Valentin, Keppinger, and Hopper all played well under Mackanin. But when it's all said and done.. is 2 games over .500 enough to sell the Organizaton? Fans? Community?

Some I know have said give Mackanin a one year contract. Some say go outside the organization and interview a top tier manager. I got to be honest.. Castellini said when asked how he'd be involved in the managerial search, "Very involved," he responded. "If we don't get this thing worked out, I'm liable to fire myself someday." And we all know that when Bob took over the team he said he wanted to be a "Winner."

Mackanin has done a good job with what has been placed before him.. but this team needs a big name and needs to try everything to get that big name.

Reds Whose Contracts Are Up:

Eric Milton
Mark Bellhorn
Javy Valentin (Team Option)
Adam Dunn (Team Option)
Scott Hatteberg (Team Option)
Eddie Guardado (Team Option)

Dunn's option should be picked up ($2.5 million dollar raise from 2007). Javy made a case for himself towards the end of the year to return.. but his defensiveness is something that should be considered. Hatteberg's injury and emergence of Votto and Cantu probably didn't help him. I just don't see a spot for him even though his option is for $1.85 million. Guardado I wouldn't mind brought back under a minor league contract. I believe he still has work to do. As for Milton and Bellhorn.. I just don't think they fit in.


Arbitration Eligible:

Matt Belisle
Jorge Cantu
Jason Ellison
Gary Majewski
Brandon Phillips
Kirk Saarloos

I got to think they offer arbitration to Belisle, Cantu, Majewski, and Phillips. I'd also like to see a long term contract worked out for Phillips. Saarloos and Ellison should be no brainers and declined arbitration.

Future:

Joey Votto made a case for himself as the everyday 1st baseman and hushed a lot of critics and doubters about his transformation from the minors to the bigs. He has pop and can hit for average not to mention is his defense at first with his slick fielding and his arm. Homer Bailey didn't hurt his chances of making the rotation with his 3 starts after coming back from a groin injury. I got to think the Reds will look at the following for a shot to make the team out of spring training:

Chris Dickerson OF
Richie Gardner SP
Matt Maloney SP
Tyler Pelland RP
Paul Janish SS
Jay Bruce OF
Johnny Cueto SP
Alexander Smit SP
Alvin Colina C

Team Needs:

The Reds are solid in the infield and the outfield is pretty much set. An upgrade at catcher could be looked at. Pitching should be the focus of the off-season. Whether it be through trade or free agency.. this team needs pitching. The rotation has Harang and Arroyo. Belisle and Bailey are on the bubble. I would look for 2 starters and let Bailey, Belisle, and the new pair battle it out for the 3 remaining slots. I've said it before and will continue to say it.. but I believe Belisle would be best suited as a long reliever. Belise though did show good strides in the rotation and does deserve a shot to join Harang and Arroyo. Tom Shern would also be a guy who is deserving of a chance to make the rotation.

Relief help is going to be a must as this team has lacked consistency from the bullpen. Burton and Weathers are penciled in for the 8th and 9th. Between starters and then it's anyones guess. Bray has to return to the Bray who was lights out when he returned from injury and not the Bray we seen towards the end of the season. Majewski has got to be healthy and prove he can retire batters. Coffey and Stanton much like Majewski have got to be able to get batters out more frequently. Stanton needs to return to his career average and not repeat his '07 performance. Do the Reds look within the organization for the help in guys like McBeth, Salmon, Coutlangus, or Gosling or do they try to acquire/sign a bullpen arm? Whatever the case focus on pitching will need to be addressed if this team wants to compete.

The bench as it stands is shaping up to look nice with the play of both Keppinger and Hopper. Cantu should be a lock for a back up infielder (1st and 2nd) and add's a solid bat to the bench. The injured Freel and Castro are signed for next season. This team probably won't go with three catchers.. or at least I hope not.. so the back up whoever that may be would have a spot on the bench. I'd think Keppinger, Hopper, and Cantu deserve spots.

With that said.. trades will be made and free agents will come and players will be released.

Here is to hope for a contender in 2008! :beerme:

RedLegSuperStar
10-02-2007, 04:46 PM
What is the biggest piece of the Reds puzzle to contend in 2008?

Rotation? Health? Manager/Management? Bullpen?

Kc61
10-02-2007, 04:58 PM
If the Reds offer arbitration to Majewski, well. . . .

pedro
10-02-2007, 05:01 PM
If the Reds offer arbitration to Majewski, well. . . .

It may be a way of recouping some cash as I'm pretty sure he might end up owing the reds money.

BRM
10-02-2007, 05:02 PM
It may be a way of recouping some cash as I'm pretty sure he might end up owing the reds money.

The Reds probably wish it worked that way.

RedsManRick
10-02-2007, 05:36 PM
In terms of reasonable expectations, the three top things required in my opinion are:

1. Bullpen stability and the elimination of sub-replacement produciton. While many people are arguing for the addition of a bullpen ace, I don't think that's really feasible, or really even necessary. This team could prevent an additional 40+ runs simply by getting a 4.50 ERA from the 188 relief innings given to Stanton, Coffey, Saarloos, Majewski, Bray, and Guardado in 2006. This quintet combined combined for a collective 6.34 ERA. You don't need to add Joe Nathan to make that happen. Though perhaps overly optmistic, improvements by Bray, Coffey, and Coutlangus and the hopefully deserved promotions of 2 guys from the young crew of Pelland, Viola, McBeth, Roenicke, Guevara, and Asadoorian could go quite a long ways in 2008. There's just no reason to live with poor relief from veterans. If we do pursue the FA market, I would focus on Luis Vizcaino, David Riskie (if his option isn't exercised), or Octavio Dotel, though I would pass due to their likely salary demands.

2. 1 reliable mid-rotation starter. Few teams have any semblance of a reliable 5th man, so I won't expect that. I think Belisle is fine at the back of the rotation as a #4 guy, though certainly not ideal. I'm not sure he can be signficantly improved upon without significant cost and risk in FA or trade. His .331 BABIP will hopefully come down, brining his ERA below 5.00. If anything, I pursue an underutilized young guy like Aaron Heilman and/or keep my fingers crossed regarding our existing young guns Bailey and Cueto.

3. OF Health - we need 3 healthy productive OF to keep the offense afloat. I like the potential of the 3 young IF and I accept what we're likely to get from Gonzalez. However, the step down from Dunn/Hamilton/Junior to guys like Hopper, Freel, and Coats is immense. Just look at the Cubs series if you have any questions about that. Hopefully, in the case of an injury, Bruce can replace the production we had been receiving.

Regarding the manager, what would a "big name" manager do that any other manager could not? What we he bring to the table that would result in more wins?

nate
10-02-2007, 05:53 PM
Good write-up!


Mackanin has done a good job with what has been placed before him.. but this team needs a big name and needs to try everything to get that big name.


This I don't agree with. I think they should get the manager that can get the best performance out of the team, regardless of his name recognition.

I honestly don't feel the manager has significant (say, 15-20 games either way) influence in the team's record over the course of a season.

redsmetz
10-02-2007, 08:14 PM
This I don't agree with. I think they should get the manager that can get the best performance out of the team, regardless of his name recognition.

I honestly don't feel the manager has significant (say, 15-20 games either way) influence in the team's record over the course of a season.

I agree with you. I just don't buy that a "big name" manager necessarily is all it shakes up to be. There are plenty of times in baseball history that a newcomer or little traveled manager comes on the scene and does quite well. Despite the Mets' meltdown, Willie Randolph has done a very good job as a first-time manager.

I'm all for a good, thorough search, but I won't be disappointed if Mack's the choice (I'm not saying that's a given either).

pedro
10-02-2007, 08:16 PM
I think they should trade for Jarrod Saltalamacchia and make him the player manager. His name is real big.

KronoRed
10-02-2007, 09:23 PM
What is the biggest piece of the Reds puzzle to contend in 2008?

Rotation? Health? Manager/Management? Bullpen?

Rotation and pen, everything else is a distant 3rd

reds44
10-02-2007, 10:28 PM
For the offense, it's really a matter of finding spots for people to play.

Griffey
Dunn
Hamilton
Bruce
Hopper
Edwin
Votto
Phillips
Gonzalez
Keppinger
Cantu

That's 11 guys right there. I think Keppinger, Hopper, and Cantu give one of the strongest benches you will find in the NL. When you figure that Hopper and Keppinger both hit over .300 in a good amount of ABs last year, and Hopper can play all 3 outfield positions and Keppinger can play anywhere in the infield adequatley along with LF, it's just a really good bench. I think the Reds should let Votto try vs. LHP at first, and even if that goes bad you have Cantu to platoon with him.

In the outfield, where does Josh Hamilton play and can he stay healthy? I don't think you can expect Hamilton to play in CF and stay healthy. Even if he is only playing against RHP, I do not think he take the wear and tear on his legs. Ideally with his arm, he is a right fielder. However, you have Griffey in RF. Do you try to move him? Dunn should be the LF, but you still have Bruce on the brink. Can he play CF everyday? You have 4 lefties for 3 (and maybe 2) outfield spots, with none of them being bench guys. Somebody has to be moved.

In the infield, I think you are pretty set. Gonzalez provided some nice pop, and I think some of his defensive lapses can be attributed to his mind being with his child. Phillips is a lock at 2B, but is he a 2 hitter, 3 hitter, 4 hitter, or 5 hitter? Edwin is a lock after his strong second half, and Votto is penciled in as well.

This team still lacks a leadoff hitter, and you could still use a right handed bat. Somebody has to be moved, and I think Griffey would make the most sense (trade him for pitching) when you consider the youth on the team. I just don't know if the Reds will be willing to pull the trigger on a deal.

LincolnparkRed
10-03-2007, 11:27 AM
For the offense, it's really a matter of finding spots for people to play.
one of them being bench guys. Somebody has to be moved.



In the outfield, where does Josh Hamilton play and can he stay healthy? I don't think you can expect Hamilton to play in CF and stay healthy. Even if he is only playing against RHP, I do not think he take the wear and tear on his legs. Ideally with his arm, he is a right fielder. However, you have Griffey in RF. Do you try to move him? Dunn should be the LF, but you still have Bruce on the brink. Can he play CF everyday? You have 4 lefties for 3 (and maybe 2) outfield spots, with none of them being bench guys. Somebody has to be moved.




I think the real question is how high are the ceilings of Bruce and Hamilton and which one is more likely to reach theirs?Remember that Hamilton was our 5th outfielder when the season began, so that might temper how you view Jay Bruce. From your listing, there is no Freel and I think that is the right move no matter what. Hamilton only playing 90 games worries me a little.

coachw513
10-03-2007, 05:14 PM
As for Milton and Bellhorn.. I just don't think they fit in.


No finer example of understatement has ever been written :D

Well-thought out post :beerme:

My Top 10 Questions:
1. Who's the outfield?? Dunn's option??...Griffey stay or trade??...Hamilton to fetch pitching???...Is Bruce ready, really ready??...you have to believe that 1 of the 4 will not be with the club in April...

2. Can we find 1 #3 starter??...one guy to slot in this role acquired via trade in the offseason...surround him with Harang, Arroyo, Bailey and Belisle...who would be deemed expendable??...

3. Real relief??...Identify the pretenders from the real thing...fix this singular disaster area and win 10 more games next year

4. Which young stars are better as bait??...do we give in and move Votto, Encarnacion, Phillips or Hamilton for front-line pitching or are all of these guys cornerstone pieces??

5. Waste managment??...no more need for the likes of Stanton, Castro, Freel, Ellison, Coats, Saarloos, Dumatrait...our bench could be pretty outstanding (Cantu, Keppinger, Valentin, Hopper, Hatteburg), wouldn't it??

6. Are Hatteburg and Guardado $$ well-spent??...I'd re-up Hatte and I'd bring back EveryDay Eddie for a discount (if he's not interested, sayonara)...but each could have value IMHO

7. Can a team compete with Ross/Valentin as the catchers??...didn't it seem under Mackanin that this position wasn't really a sore spot (not that it shined, mind you)??

8. Does Gonzo really make the difference in our defense that tangibly showed up this season???...will he be better next year???...is he a value??

9. Someone has to bat leadoff, don't they??...If it's not Hamilton, who will it be???...does this issue force some unorthodox roster moves/trades, etc??...

10. Can Krivsky "win" the big moves this offseason??...trumps every other question hands down...guy is a master of the little acquisition, but IMHO this offseason and the choices that follow will dictate the future of this organization for the better part of the decade...