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Tom Servo
10-01-2007, 05:35 PM
The general consensus among Reds fans is that while David Ross plays some fine defense his bat only hurts the Reds, while Javy Valentin can hit alright but can't field to save his life. So if you're Wayne Krivsky what do you do about our catchers in the offseason? Do you stick with what we have, trade for someone, or sign one of the many catchers available?

Here is the list of catchers available in free agency:

Brad Ausmus
Michael Barrett
Ramon Castro
Jason Kendall
Paul Lo Duca
Jorge Posada
Jose Molina
Ivan Rodriguez - $13MM club option for '08
Yorvit Torrealba

flyer85
10-01-2007, 05:38 PM
I'd prefer a deal with the Mariners to get Clement. He is stuck behind Johjima.

RedsManRick
10-01-2007, 05:57 PM
Ross's offensive problems were more attributable to bad luck and regression to the mean (of his true ability) than any real decline in ability.

In 2007, he had a ridiculous .230 BABIP despite a very reasonable 18.5 LD% (an improvement over 2006's 16.8%). No more player with more than 200 PA (Ross had 348) was worse. The lowest BABIP among qualified hitters was Ray Durham at .244.

If we bump up that .230 BABIP to a more reasonable .280, he's suddenly hitting .235/.305/.450 or so. Still not great, but a .750 OPS from a plus defending catcher is an asset. His 2006 HR/FB rate of 23.9% is wholly unsustainable and the drop of HR can account for the drop in BA in to the .230s from 2006's .255. Ross is basically Jason LaRue v2.0 with a touch more power right down to the late start of his career, good arm, low batting averages, etc.

So long as he's cheap he's worth keeping around and is a decent primary catcher. Spending money on anybody on the list besides Posada and possibly Barrett (neither of whom is stellar defensively) would represent a waste of money.

oneupper
10-01-2007, 06:03 PM
Ross did have a .761 OPS vs. Lefties (.248/.291/.470).
As a platoon player, he may not hurt too much.

LincolnparkRed
10-01-2007, 06:41 PM
What do you think Posada would fetch? And would the Yankees let him walk?

Reds1
10-01-2007, 06:58 PM
Face it! Catching is not a big offensive position and you will get some HRs from him while you get great defense. Javy can be a plug against rightys and both can stay fresh platooning. For the money hang with them and just get some pitching. None of those names impress me and the ones that do are too expensive.

jojo
10-01-2007, 07:02 PM
I'd prefer a deal with the Mariners to get Clement. He is stuck behind Johjima.

Clement isn't necesarily blocked at all. They Ms are considering him at DH or first base as well. It's not a sure thing that he'll be a major league catcher.

That said, what would the Reds give up to get him?

Team Clark
10-01-2007, 07:23 PM
The Mike Lavalliere, Don Slaught platoon worked pretty good.

KronoRed
10-01-2007, 08:26 PM
What do you think Posada would fetch? And would the Yankees let him walk?

He's in the wrong age bracket for a catcher.

flyer85
10-02-2007, 10:29 AM
Clement isn't necesarily blocked at all. They Ms are considering him at DH or first base as well. It's not a sure thing that he'll be a major league catcher.not sure his bat plays very well as a DH or a 1B ... but then again its Bavasi and the Mariners, they can't help themselves. They traded away Soriano for Ramirez last year so I would certainly talk to them.

NJReds
10-02-2007, 10:32 AM
Posada's going to back up the brinks truck and I'm sure the Yankees will meet his price. But he's in a good spot in the AL. He can DH once in a while, and NY finally got a decent backup.

LoDuca's getting some age, but he's solid. I actually like Castro, his backup. I think he'll get a starting shot somewhere.

Ltlabner
10-02-2007, 10:33 AM
If we bump up that .230 BABIP to a more reasonable .280, he's suddenly hitting .235/.305/.450 or so. Still not great, but a .750 OPS from a plus defending catcher is an asset. His 2006 HR/FB rate of 23.9% is wholly unsustainable and the drop of HR can account for the drop in BA in to the .230s from 2006's .255. Ross is basically Jason LaRue v2.0 with a touch more power right down to the late start of his career, good arm, low batting averages, etc..

Good post.

Couple this with the main focus of time and money expenditures starts and ends with the mound.....I'd say give Ross another year.

Falls City Beer
10-02-2007, 12:27 PM
Someone explain Ross being a "plus defender."

Falls City Beer
10-02-2007, 12:35 PM
Question for those who have seen Jay Bruce play the outfield: how capable is he of playing CF?

flyer85
10-02-2007, 12:44 PM
Question for those who have seen Jay Bruce play the outfield: how capable is he of playing CF?I am sure he can "play it". In playing CF there is no real substitute for speed and I have never heard anyone categorize him as a burner. All the stuff I read about him suggested he would be a RF at the major league level due to average speed.

Having said that GABP is certainly not a CF but I don't think he would be any better in CF than Hamilton. It seems to me that for Bruce to be in the Reds OF starting next season someone has to be leaving.

RedsManRick
10-02-2007, 01:01 PM
Someone explain Ross being a "plus defender."

Well, only Molina (54%), Mauer (53%), and Johjima (47%) threw out a greater percentage of runners than Ross (39%).

I'm not sure the best way to judge non-throwing defense. I'm definitely not a fan of C-ERA.

His FPCT was above average. His Range Factor was average (and above each of the 3 with better CS%).

I agree he's no Johnny Bench back there. However, I'm not sure I've seen evidence that he's worse than average defensively and he has one of the best arms in the league. Outside of anecdote, do you have reason to think he's bad? Scouting report, some other metrics, etc.? I'm actually curious -- catching defense is even tougher than everybody else's to judge.

Bill
10-02-2007, 01:32 PM
I've already brought up Shoppach's name. I mentioned his strong arm, defensive play, power, walks. I failed to mentioned that he kills left handed pitching, a plus in the Reds lineup. He's more of a singles hitter against righties but that will improve with PT.

Falls City Beer
10-02-2007, 01:45 PM
Well, only Molina (54%), Mauer (53%), and Johjima (47%) threw out a greater percentage of runners than Ross (39%).

I'm not sure the best way to judge non-throwing defense. I'm definitely not a fan of C-ERA.

His FPCT was above average. His Range Factor was average (and above each of the 3 with better CS%).

I agree he's no Johnny Bench back there. However, I'm not sure I've seen evidence that he's worse than average defensively and he has one of the best arms in the league. Outside of anecdote, do you have reason to think he's bad? Scouting report, some other metrics, etc.? I'm actually curious -- catching defense is even tougher than everybody else's to judge.

He's slow. Lots of balls get past him, from both pitchers and fielders. His throwing arm may keep him "average," but instead of worrying about throwing guys out I'd like to get a good receiver and game caller, an all-around athletic guy behind the plate.

Ross is pure vanilla behind the plate. I'd like to see a genuine upgrade on defense from C and SS this offseason. It looks like we're stuck with Hamilton in CF for now, but I imagine his offense will more than compensate for what he lacks in defense.

registerthis
10-02-2007, 03:44 PM
Ross and Valentin are anything but exciting behind the plate, but the Reds have far greater holes to fill than the spot behind the plate. Ross is competent back there, and he has a little pop in his bat. It'd be nice to upgrade the position, but not at great cost and certainly not at the expense of pursuing a more suitable replacement for one of the other holes this team needs to fill.

RedsManRick
10-02-2007, 03:48 PM
He's slow. Lots of balls get past him, from both pitchers and fielders. His throwing arm may keep him "average," but instead of worrying about throwing guys out I'd like to get a good receiver and game caller, an all-around athletic guy behind the plate.

Ross is pure vanilla behind the plate. I'd like to see a genuine upgrade on defense from C and SS this offseason. It looks like we're stuck with Hamilton in CF for now, but I imagine his offense will more than compensate for what he lacks in defense.

Fair enough FCB. It's a position that could be improved. That said, in light of all the areas in which the Reds could improve, it ranks really freaking low, especially considering the dearth of better options.

The point I was trying to make is that Ross is not the problem he's made out to be. He had a poor offensive year that was largely due to bad luck and isn't a bad defensive catcher. He's no all-star, but he's not bad and he's cheap. I'm not sure I see better options out there when you factor in salary, etc.

OnBaseMachine
10-02-2007, 08:05 PM
I would like to see the Reds target a young catcher in the offseason. Bill and flyer already mentioned Shoppach and Jeff Clement and I would love to have one of those two guys. Jeff Mathis could be another option. He's struggled badly this year but I think he's worth taking a chance on. I would love to see Griffey approve a trade to the Angels for Santana, Mathis, and a relief prospect like Jose Arredondo or to the Mariners for Clement and a prospect.

Reds1
10-02-2007, 09:40 PM
Ross and Valentin are anything but exciting behind the plate, but the Reds have far greater holes to fill than the spot behind the plate. Ross is competent back there, and he has a little pop in his bat. It'd be nice to upgrade the position, but not at great cost and certainly not at the expense of pursuing a more suitable replacement for one of the other holes this team needs to fill.


I agree! Just don't think the UPGRADES are worth the cost. Ross is actually a plus defensive catcher. Again, catchers aren't generally known for offense. YOu just hope to get something out of the position and ROSS has pop and hopefully will split the difference of his last 2 seasons and Javy can hit .280 plus all year. I see no problem here. Fix pitching and be happy with what we have here. It's not that bad.

GAC
10-02-2007, 10:09 PM
Someone explain Ross being a "plus defender."

On the "Do We Really Consider Defense" thread

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1473219#post1473219

you stated this about catching and defense.....


I'd also like to say that as far as defensive positions and their importance, catcher, shortstop, and CF are the most crucial positions, and it just so happens that the Reds are anywhere from moderately weak to downright awful in each of those areas. I think an upgrade at just two of those positions would make a marked improvement in the overall RA picture--and for relatively cheap.

I think one of the reasons the Cards will finish ahead of the Reds in the standings (aside from their bullpen) is the presence of a guy like Yadier Molina behind the plate instead of Ross or Valentin. I'd say at this juncture Molina's defense is more valuable than even Rolen's.


And I posted these comparison numbers from '07....


Looking at it from solely a defensive perspective, I don't see any great disparity between the two. In fact, lookng at PO's, Ross has 80+ over Molina in less innings.

If you think Ross' defense is a liability or terrible, then you certainly can't put Molina's on the level of a Scott Rolen. Not comparing the numbers.


Inn PO A TE FE FPct DPS DPT
Molina 861 582 63 5 1 .991 7 3
Ross 837 662 50 7 0 .993 8 1

Now from a Win Shares perspective, Molina gets the nod....


Batting Fielding ExpWS WSP WSAB Total WS
Molina 10.0 5.3 13 .559 6 15
Ross 0.5 5.1 9 .296 -1 5

But what is dragging Ross' Total Win Shares down? His bat, not his defense.