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princeton
03-06-2008, 10:22 AM
maybe this post should go into the "move Bruce out of CF ASAP" thread, but that thread seems to have turned...

the Reds face a most interesting decision this spring: should Jay Bruce stay in CF?

I really think that this SHOULD come down to whether Bruce looks like he can be an above average CFer. You should always do what's best for your top young players, and worry about the other players next.

however, there are several other top young players that actually affect the decision: Adam Dunn, Drew Stubbs, and a large set of young pitchers who seem capable of getting strikeouts.

will Dunn sign? If so, then maybe you need a rangier CFer than Bruce

is Stubbs a player? If so, then maybe they use other bodies to keep CF warm for him, while having Bruce learn RF ASAP.


do you want to keep Jr happy by not having Bruce learn RF while he's still around? I wouldn't consider the wants/needs of an old player myself, but the Reds have bent over backwards to keep Jr happy in the past.

the other part of the question concerns the pitching. We have pitchers that might actually strike out batters coming up in the organization. Are they for real? such guys would need less OF defense. or will we continue to rely on pitchers that really should have Tris Speaker in CF?

I figure that this debate rages internally, and we picked up a little bit of the conversation when Dusty was commenting on Bruce's achy legs. Whether that's a fair point or not, such issues really should be raised now because informed decisions have to be made, and flanked by Dunn and Jr, the Cincy CFer WILL have to run a lot this year, no question about it.

I'm intrigued by Bruce as a CFer, because typically it's much easier to find LFers and RFers than offensively dominant CFers. Dusty is probably less enamored as he needs to manage for this season, in which he understandably needs a bunny in center.

but the big question is-- what will Wayne do?

IslandRed
03-06-2008, 10:58 AM
Good post. There's no question that Bruce is the best bat available to play CF. It's purely a matter of whether they think his defense is up to being the everyday CF. Given the degree of difficulty of playing between Dunn and Griffey, the incremental gain from having a premium flychaser out there as opposed to an average one is huge.

With Corey Patterson, squint hard enough and you can sort of see Cesar Geronimo. That kind of player has a lot of value to certain kinds of teams. Are the 2008 Reds one of them? Not sure.

REDREAD
03-06-2008, 11:06 AM
The reality is that if Bruce plays in the majors this year, most of the time will be CF.
He can play LF or RF to give Dunn/Jr a break occasionally.

In theory, one could bench Jr and give Bruce the RF job.. but that's not going to happen.
And I don't think it should. Whether people want to acknowledge it or not, we need Jr's bat
in the lineup.

This is going to be another rebuilding year. It's ok if Bruce plays a less than stellar CF.
It's also ok if Bruce spends the entire year in AAA (That might actually be what's best for the
longterm future of both Bruce and the Reds).. Bruce whizzed through the minors. There was another
thread where someone (maybe it was Dusty) talked about how Patterson was rushed, and ultimately it
wasn't good for him. A year (or half year) at AAA certainly isn't going to hurt him.

What's Wayne thinking? My guess is Bruce at AAA, and Patterson/Hopper in CF. Freel is the backup plan.

princeton
03-06-2008, 11:11 AM
unlike your one-year guess, Reds FO will determine where it thinks team will be in 2-3 years and begin to implement.

we're not a rent-to-rent organization any longer.

Chip R
03-06-2008, 11:13 AM
do you want to keep Jr happy by not having Bruce learn RF while he's still around? I wouldn't consider the wants/needs of an old player myself, but the Reds have bent over backwards to keep Jr happy in the past.



I like Jr. but I'm not going to worry about keeping him happy this year. The Reds are almost assuredly not going to pick up his option for next season so he'll be a free agent. If he's shopping himself to other teams, I think he's going to want to look as attractive as possible to them and that means gritting his teeth and being happy here no matter what slights - real or imaginary - he suffers this year.

I think a question that doesn't get raised on here is what happens if, God forbid, Dunn is out for a significant amount of time. Do the Reds put Bruce in LF and keep Jr. in RF or do they dare to have Jr. play LF. It's not just necessarily about attitude either. On sunny days, LF is the sun field for the early part of night games in the mid summer. Plus the ball sometimes takes funny bounces off the scoreboard. Do you really want Jr. out there in LF learning on the job or would you put an eager beaver like Bruce there whose athletic ability could overcome those problems?

M2
03-06-2008, 11:18 AM
Jay Bruce was always a RF who might be able to play CF in his youth if the situation demands it.

The reality is his time as a major league CF was going to be limited to 2008 because starting in 2009 he'll be the starting the RF. So the question becomes, is Jay Bruce in CF (as opposed to Corey Patterson) going to be the difference in winning a division?

I don't pretend to have that answer at the moment (maybe by the end of the month, but right now I'm not sure what the roster, lineup, rotation and bullpen are going to look like).

Long term, Bruce in RF next to a legit CF makes a ton of baseball sense. That's the end state and if Jr. gets one of his month-long injuries, he could find himself Pipped.

Island Red, nice comparison between Patterson and Geronimo, and I don't know if the 2008 Reds are that kind of team either.

princeton
03-06-2008, 11:37 AM
Jay Bruce was always a RF who might be able to play CF in his youth if the situation demands it.

he's in his youth and the situation exists this year and possibly beyond-- unless some things get addressed soon.

I think that the FO feels the need to determine if the "might" is a "can" or "cannot" so that it can begin to plan accordingly.

M2
03-06-2008, 12:01 PM
he's in his youth and the situation exists this year and possibly beyond-- unless some things get addressed soon.

I think that the FO feels the need to determine if the "might" is a "can" or "cannot" so that it can begin to plan accordingly.

We just saw those things get addressed in the form of Corey Patterson. He's probably not a long-term solution, but I'd say he's a fairly clear signal that the Reds are interested in true CFs. As a corollary, I'm guessing the Reds are interested in a true RF as well.

The larger question from my perspective is, if they get those two things in place, will they be open to a statue in LF?

lollipopcurve
03-06-2008, 12:12 PM
Long term, Bruce in RF next to a legit CF makes a ton of baseball sense. That's the end state and if Jr. gets one of his month-long injuries, he could find himself Pipped.

Bruce has filled out quite a bit in the last year or so. Since he's still only 20/21, expect that to continue, making the move to a corner look better and better. Since it seems obvious Griffey will not be here next year, it's logical to groom Bruce for RF now since he says he doesn't feel as comfortable there as in CF. Stick him in RF in Louisville, and let Dickerson patrol CF. Meanwhile, Patterson + whoever can platoon in CF while they get a better read on Stubbs and Dickerson.

Nugget
03-06-2008, 12:15 PM
As capable as Jay Bruce is I think at this stage Junior has a better bat - if you look at how Junior is at this stage of the spring it has been much better than any other spring in recent times for the REDS.

Hitting home runs this early has never been one of the things and it must be also one of the first springs where he hasn't arrived from a winter of rehabbing.

pahster
03-06-2008, 12:48 PM
As capable as Jay Bruce is I think at this stage Junior has a better bat - if you look at how Junior is at this stage of the spring it has been much better than any other spring in recent times for the REDS.


I think it's awfully dangerous to draw conclusions from 6 at bats in spring training.

Kc61
03-06-2008, 12:57 PM
I think Bruce's biggest problems this year are Dunn and Griffey.

If the Reds had corners who could cover ground, Bruce might have a shot at center.

With the current corners, I think the Reds will opt for defensive oriented center fielders.

princeton
03-06-2008, 01:02 PM
I think Bruce's biggest problems this year are Dunn and Griffey.

If the Reds had corners who could cover ground, Bruce might have a shot at center.

With the current corners, I think the Reds will opt for defensive oriented center fielders.

of course. But--long term?

Nugget
03-06-2008, 01:03 PM
I think it's awfully dangerous to draw conclusions from 6 at bats in spring training.

I wasn't comparing their springs but saying that Junior still has a better bat than most out there. And that Junior has arrived at spring this year in much better condition and frame of mind than any other spring in recent REDS history.

red-in-la
03-06-2008, 01:04 PM
Is there anything that suggests that Patterson is a good defensive CF? Seems to me that he has never been anywhere near a gold glove discussion.

If Bruce is a 5 tool can't miss, why is there any question?

If compared to Freel or Hopper, Bruce apparently cannot be much worse. I already know that Freel is an awful defensice CF because I have watched him play there a great deal over the last few seasons. You guys claim Hopper is worse, I don't see that at all, but if you are right, then Hopper is simply awfuler.

So why this sudden ongoing line about getting Bruce out of CF?

M2
03-06-2008, 01:06 PM
of course. But--long term?

Yeah, long term. Seems to me that's exactly what they just sorted out. Jay Bruce is going to be a RF, someone rangier will be in CF. More baseball, less softball.

dougdirt
03-06-2008, 01:06 PM
Is there anything that suggests that Patterson is a good defensive CF? Seems to me that he has never been anywhere near a gold glove discussion.

And Derek Jeter has three of them. Gold Gloves mean nothing when it comes to actual fielding ability.

Also, 2006 Patterson was rated the highest +/- guy in The Fielding Bible in CF. Being that he is 28, I imagine he hasn't fallen off a cliff.

M2
03-06-2008, 01:09 PM
Is there anything that suggests that Patterson is a good defensive CF? Seems to me that he has never been anywhere near a gold glove discussion.

That's because he hasn't hit much (which has affected his playing time and overall notoriety). Yet in terms of defense, Patterson is top flight. That and speed are the two parts of his game that have always been major league. In fact, I consider Patterson a vastly underrated CF who'd swiftly get into GG consideration if he ever had a good full season at the plate.

Chip R
03-06-2008, 01:17 PM
I see Bruce as a CF the same way Kearns was a CF. A few years ago when Jr. was hurt he moved over there for a time and did an adequate job. He wasn't Andruw Jones out there but he did all right. Bruce has got youth on his side and it would be OK if he played in CF for a few years before moving to a corner. Eventually you'd like to get someone in there with better wheels but Bruce would be fine for the time being.

princeton
03-06-2008, 01:17 PM
Seems to me that's exactly what they just sorted out. Jay Bruce is going to be a RF, someone rangier will be in CF. More baseball, less softball.


Corey Patterson's minor league contract sorted everything out?

KoryMac5
03-06-2008, 01:20 PM
Bruce has to be unbelievable in order to get a spot in Dusty's outfield. In my opinion the mysterious quad injury that has kept him out of valuable spring training AB's can't be helping change Dusty"s mind. As far as JR goes you continue to start him in RF until he proves once and for all that his bat is no longer functional in this lineup. Doing anything else hurts his trade value and further ruins his chances of being traded at the break. No way the Reds hold on to him if they can get a prospect in return. I think the biggest question we have in this OF is why hasn't Adam Dunn been signed to a long term deal. Why trade Hamilton if you weren't going to sign Dunn long term. Who plays left next season?

Patrick Bateman
03-06-2008, 01:20 PM
That's because he hasn't hit much (which has affected his playing time and overall notoriety). Yet in terms of defense, Patterson is top flight. That and speed are the two parts of his game that have always been major league. In fact, I consider Patterson a vastly underrated CF who'd swiftly get into GG consideration if he ever had a good full season at the plate.

Definitely. That was one of the main factors why Baseball America had him ranked as the top prospect in baseball (funnily enough one spot ahead of one Josh Hamilton). That always seemed like a crazy ranking because of Patterson's poor plate approach, but it atests to the kind of skills that Patterson has always had.

One factor I like about Patterson is that his biggest strength as far as hitting skills goes is that he has pretty decent power which should play very well in GABP. If he were to get a full season's worth of at-bats here, I bet Patterson could hit 25 homers. Of course, those homers would be really hollow considering the rest of his problems, but I see this is a good fit for him.

I do consider fielding to be the biggest current problem the Reds have. I think with a halfway decent fielding club the pitching staff could actually be fairly respectable. So in that respect I like the thought of Patterson in CF vs. righties, at least over a Freel/Hopper combo. Getting an elite fielding CF has been one of my top priorities over the last year, so I'm glad that Patterson is in the fold, even if he does represent everything I hate in a hitter.

Falls City Beer
03-06-2008, 01:26 PM
I simply don't understand why folks are complaining about a serious defense upgrade in CF.

TRF
03-06-2008, 01:30 PM
Corey Patterson's minor league contract sorted everything out?

sadly, I think it did. Louisville is going to have one helluva team. At least for a few months. I don't think Patterson could hit enough to justify a spot as a starter no matter how good his glove is. I'll admit I could be wrong, but I don't THINK I am.

This could be a sort of breakout year for Jr, and I'll bring up something we really have never discussed. Jr. will hit #600 this year. He's had three relatively healthy seasons in a row, playing in over 100 games in each of those three seasons. And he has a club option. On top of that, he's hitting very well this spring. He's still a cash cow for the Reds in that people still pay to see Jr. play. He'll pass Mays next year If he plays in 2009. RCast has stated his preference for tradition. He may pick up Jr.'s option over Krivsky's possible objection, especially if the other CF options (not counting Bruce) live down to expectations (Freel - brittle, Hopper - one trick pony, Patterson - can't hit). Also, Baker may make it known he wants the Reds to keep Jr. too.

I can actually see the Reds picking up Jr.'s 2009 option in the hopes that Stubbs or Dorn are ready in late 2009 or 2010. Dorn is closer but is clearly a corner OF. Stubbs may have the D right now, but the bat is a long ways off. FA is a possibility, but who will be available?

And that's a pretty big decision too.

Chip R
03-06-2008, 01:38 PM
I simply don't understand why folks are complaining about a serious defense upgrade in CF.


Who, Patterson?

dougdirt
03-06-2008, 01:43 PM
I simply don't understand why folks are complaining about a serious defense upgrade in CF.

I think there is a big worry that Patterson gets to bat leadoff and it will negate his defensive upgrade. If Patterson can play CF and bat 6th or 7th I will have no issue, but if Patterson plays CF and bats 1 or 2, I have a serious problem with it.

Falls City Beer
03-06-2008, 01:47 PM
Who, Patterson?

Yeah. I'd say he plays D even better than Cameron at this point in Cameron's career.

TRF
03-06-2008, 01:49 PM
I think there is a big worry that Patterson gets to bat leadoff and it will negate his defensive upgrade. If Patterson can play CF and bat 6th or 7th I will have no issue, but if Patterson plays CF and bats 1 or 2, I have a serious problem with it.

ditto. in fact i'd say 7th only.

princeton
03-06-2008, 01:51 PM
I simply don't understand why folks are complaining about a serious defense upgrade in CF.

no complaints. It was a great fit and it would make sense to go Dunn/Patterson/Bruce next year.

but Patterson and especially Dunn are not signed for next year. Reds could also opt to go in a very different direction.

Patrick Bateman
03-06-2008, 01:53 PM
I think there is a big worry that Patterson gets to bat leadoff and it will negate his defensive upgrade. If Patterson can play CF and bat 6th or 7th I will have no issue, but if Patterson plays CF and bats 1 or 2, I have a serious problem with it.

That's really more of a 'Dusty' issue. Let's face, whether Patterson is here or not, Baker is going to make some very weird and unfavourable line-up cards that are going to make many pull their hair out. And for the most part whoever ends up in CF is going to bat lead-off, so that shouldn't stop the Reds from picking up an elite defender.

Falls City Beer
03-06-2008, 01:54 PM
no complaints. It was a great fit and it would make sense to go Dunn/Patterson/Bruce next year.

but Patterson and especially Dunn are not signed for next year. Reds could also opt to go in a very different direction.

Dunn's a problem from a contract standpoint, but we knew that.

Griffey's been the problem for years, and again we've known that.

Patterson represents a solution that can be implemented where another (Bruce for Griffey) can't be for another year. I suspect a deal for Dunn will be hammered out during the season, particularly if Dusty likes his personality.

Patrick Bateman
03-06-2008, 01:54 PM
Yeah. I'd say he plays D even better than Cameron at this point in Cameron's career.

I don't think there's much of a question there. Cameron obviously is many years older, so it's hardly shocking to see him start losing his legs a bit. CF is a young guy's position, and as good as Cameron is out there, he aint young anymore.

M2
03-06-2008, 02:02 PM
Corey Patterson's minor league contract sorted everything out?

Everything's a big subject, but I think it's sorted out the long-term question you're asking.

The Reds are clearly looking for defense in CF. I think we're all aware that if Patterson shows something with the bat he'll be the CF. And if the team is looking for glovesier CF when Jay Bruce is 21 then that pretty much tells you what they're thinking for when he gets older.

Mind you, Bruce was always a RF, profiled as a RF before he got drafted and still does. He can be a GG RF or an all right CF. As it happens, the Reds will have a RF opening in 2009 (or sooner dependent on the health of one Ken Griffey Jr.).

Seems to me the next big decision is, with the defensive shape of CF and RF currently envisioned (quality CF, Bruce in RF) what does that mean for LF? Does that enable the team to keep Dunn out there or will it want a LF with some defensive skills?

Chip R
03-06-2008, 02:25 PM
Yeah. I'd say he plays D even better than Cameron at this point in Cameron's career.


I don't think anyone's complaining about his defense. Doug said it best, people are worried that he's going to be leading off with that poor OBP. I wouldn't have a problem with him if he batted 8th, like the aforementioned Cesar Geronimo, but if he's hitting leadoff and he's not getting on base, there's a problem.

princeton
03-06-2008, 02:59 PM
I speak from total blindness, never having seen Bruce play the field. I have always assumed a RFer, and Stubbs' draft reinforced that. But I'm unconvinced that the Reds have decided. I think that there's still a debate raging. Dusty may have his own opinion, and certainly his counts, but part of his opinion stems from the fact that the current team dictates certain alignments. But the current team won't be the team for long.

RF is certainly the easy choice given the health/contract of its current resident. But the Reds, lately, have seemed like a team that requires a guy to play his way off of a position, and I remember Dale Murphy and Cal Ripken never quite playing their way off positions that they supposedly outgrew.

M2
03-06-2008, 03:14 PM
I think that there's still a debate raging.

Based on what? As you mentioned the Stubbs pick pretty much tipped the organization's thinking on this matter. Now Patterson's around to address the issue in immediate fashion. Krivsky comes from an organization steeped in Kirby Puckett and Torii Hunter. You can bet your bottom dollar he values CF defense.

As for what happens if Dunn, Jr. and Patterson are all gone next year, my guess is the plan would be to find a CF and LF and let Bruce set up shop for the next decade in RF.

Obviously different faces and injuries can push a kid like Bruce into CF on a temporary basis (Frank Robinson got a healthy dose of CF in 1957 and 1958 before Vada Pinson arrived), but I don't think the Reds could be more obvious about telegraphing what they want (though I suspect Jr. has yet to get the message - ask not for whom the Bruce tolls).

princeton
03-06-2008, 03:20 PM
Based on what?

for a RFer, he plays an awful lot of CF.

maybe that changes at Louisville. And certainly I see him in RF for long stretches this season. But they're still looking, IMO. If Dunn goes and if Stubbs continues to struggle-- two fairly likely events-- things could be different for Bruce.

jojo
03-06-2008, 03:35 PM
And Derek Jeter has three of them. Gold Gloves mean nothing when it comes to actual fielding ability.

Also, 2006 Patterson was rated the highest +/- guy in The Fielding Bible in CF. Being that he is 28, I imagine he hasn't fallen off a cliff.

But for 2005 he was rated as +4 and for 2007 he was rated as +2 by Dewan's system with his defensive innings being roughly similar for all three seasons. Likewise UZR and PMR suggest he was average in '05 and '07 while being better in '06. I think his '06 has to be viewed with skepticism regarding what to expect from Patterson's glove going forward.

Patterson is probably a safe bet to be somewhere between a neutral defender to a +.5 win defender (+5 runs) if playing a whole season in CF.

That's probably more a perception of a defensive upgrade than a real difference maker given the in house options. I think Patterson probably has more defensive upside than Bruce/Freel/Hopper in the sense a +10 run season is within the realm of possibility but in my mind, the question that might be asked would be, "is the perception of his defense (or the potential upside) worth the penalty of his bat?".

If the decision is between Patterson/Freel/Hopper, I'd say yes. If Bruce is added to the mix (and this assumes the only way Bruce will get playing time this season is via CF or an unfortunate injury to Jr), then I'd say probably not.

Given Bruce's offensive upside, playing Patterson over Bruce could hurt.

M2
03-06-2008, 03:37 PM
for a RFer, he plays an awful lot of CF.

maybe that changes at Louisville. And certainly I see him in RF for long stretches this season. But they're still looking, IMO. If Dunn goes and if Stubbs continues to struggle-- two fairly likely events-- things could be different for Bruce.

I was thinking just the opposite last year and this spring. For a guy whose most immediate path to the majors is CF, he plays an awful lot of RF.

Anyway, no matter what scenario you want to concoct, the Patterson signing makes it fairly obvious what the club wants in CF - a true CF.

I don't think that means Bruce will never play CF. For instance, he could go bonkers this spring and the club would have little choice but to play him in CF. Or in a future year the club might not be able to find a suitable natural CF. Yet it seems to me there's zero question about where the team's preference lies.

princeton
03-06-2008, 03:43 PM
no matter what scenario you want to concoct, the Patterson signing makes it fairly obvious what the club wants in CF - a true CF.

if they wanted one so badly, why didn't they sign Patterson months earlier?

I've no doubt that it was seen as a need (numerous waiver claims were also for so-so CFers) but getting a bunny didn't seem to be a huge priority-- much to my surprise, frankly.

I'm hoping that Patterson shows them just how necessary he is, but I'm not convinced that the FO will agree when it's time to re-up him

Will M
03-06-2008, 04:13 PM
1. Sign Dunn to a LTC. Put the truly plus defensive centerfielder ( Patterson ) in CF. Let Griffey hit #600 as a Red ( it seems like this is a big deal to some people ) then move him to an AL team. Call up Bruce from AAA at this point and place him in RF.

2. Dunn-Bruce-Griffey defensively is F-C-F

Dunn-Patterson-Bruce defensively is F-B/A-B

3. Last year in 613 ABs Griffey produced 141 runs in a hitters park.
Last year in 482 ABs Patterson produced 102 runs in a fairly neutral park ( note this projects to ~129 runs in 613 ABs ).

With the BIG defensive upgrades by adding Patterson in CF, moving Bruce to RF & moving Jr to the AL I would expect to save some runs. How many I don't know but 12 doesn't seem like a stretch.

4. IMO the Reds could really be a better overall team with Junior gone and Patterson in CF. Blasphemy I know but I think it may be true.

Jpup
03-06-2008, 04:14 PM
I simply don't understand why folks are complaining about a serious defense upgrade in CF.

because it leaves Jay Bruce in Louisville. For me, at least, the disdain of the Corey Patterson signing has nothing to do with Patterson. I didn't like the idea of Norris Hopper playing there either.

M2
03-06-2008, 04:32 PM
if they wanted one so badly, why didn't they sign Patterson months earlier?

I've no doubt that it was seen as a need (numerous waiver claims were also for so-so CFers) but getting a bunny didn't seem to be a huge priority-- much to my surprise, frankly.

I'm hoping that Patterson shows them just how necessary he is, but I'm not convinced that the FO will agree when it's time to re-up him

Just because they played the market correctly doesn't mean it wasn't a priority. They got arguably the best defensive CF on the market for peanuts (some might argue for Aaron Rowand, but I'd posit that whatever difference is there isn't worth $12M).

jojo
03-06-2008, 04:33 PM
because it leaves Jay Bruce in Louisville. For me, at least, the disdain of the Corey Patterson signing has nothing to do with Patterson. I didn't like the idea of Norris Hopper playing there either.

I think that's it in a nutshell plus the magnitude of the defensive upgrade represented by Patterson is a question IMHO.

15fan
03-06-2008, 04:46 PM
Does Bruce have to be either a CF or a RF in 2008, or can he be both? Must they be mutually exclusive?

I say, it all comes down to...the bullpen.

Start the game with Bruce in CF and JR in RF. Play the bats.

If the Reds get an early lead and have reliable arms in the bullpen, then Junior comes out late in the game. Patterson moves into CF for his glove (as part of a double switch to negate his anemic bat), and Bruce slides over to RF.

If the Reds are down, or if the bullpen does nothing but pour gas on fires, then you keep Junior in RF for his bat.

REDREAD
03-06-2008, 05:19 PM
unlike your one-year guess, Reds FO will determine where it thinks team will be in 2-3 years and begin to implement.

we're not a rent-to-rent organization any longer.

Not so sure that the new boss is that much different than the old boss.

The song remains the same. Patch up with affordable veterans while selling fans that there's a calvary down at the farm.

Hasn't Bruce spent a lot of time in the minors at CF? Or am I wrong? The Reds should've had plenty of time to evaluate whether he's adequate enough or not.

Regardless, the needs of the team today always outweigh the plans for a prospect. That's why Homer was rushed up last year.
If the Reds have a hole in CF and Bruce is the best alternative, he'll get plugged in there regardless of whether he's better suited for RF or not. There's many examples of this.

REDREAD
03-06-2008, 05:22 PM
I think it's awfully dangerous to draw conclusions from 6 at bats in spring training.

Likewise, it's dangerous to fall in love with Bill James' projections, Pecota, etc.

I'd be willing to bet that Jr outhits Bruce this year (assuming both get a reasonable amount of at bats).

REDREAD
03-06-2008, 05:31 PM
if they wanted one so badly, why didn't they sign Patterson months earlier?


They were waiting for his price to drop. I think there's a mini-collusion going on this season after last season's free spending.

Guys like Affeldt, Fogg, Lofton, Patterson, Lohse, etc are all being stone walled by the owners until they are forced to take a lowball offer.

Wayne was probably looking for a CF from the moment he traded Josh (maybe sooner). He knew prices would drop if they waited.. again because it's a mini-collusion year this year.
Plus, Wayne probably figured that since this was a rebuilding year that if he missed out on Fogg/Lofton/Patterson/etc it's not a huge deal.. It's not as if any of those guys is the missing piece to a pennant.

Falls City Beer
03-06-2008, 05:46 PM
because it leaves Jay Bruce in Louisville. For me, at least, the disdain of the Corey Patterson signing has nothing to do with Patterson. I didn't like the idea of Norris Hopper playing there either.

I think there is great wisdom in Dusty not wanting Bruce in CF. Jay's a big guy at a young age, and with Dunn and Griffey flanking him, he will be running around like a madman to get to balls. I don't want that Billion Dollar Baby mashing up his pins like that. I want him to be downright Manny Ramirez-esque out there. That bat's too important.

Highlifeman21
03-06-2008, 05:54 PM
I think there is great wisdom in Dusty not wanting Bruce in CF. Jay's a big guy at a young age, and with Dunn and Griffey flanking him, he will be running around like a madman to get to balls. I don't want that Billion Dollar Baby mashing up his pins like that. I want him to be downright Manny Ramirez-esque out there. That bat's too important.

But how would Bruce look in dreadlocks?

Falls City Beer
03-06-2008, 05:56 PM
But how would Bruce look in dreadlocks?

Yeah, "Brucey being Brucey" sounds more like a prison film than a slogan.

Highlifeman21
03-06-2008, 05:59 PM
Yeah, "Brucey being Brucey" sounds more like a prison film than a slogan.

Leave it to the Reds to let that slogan find its way onto multiple billboards.

Which makes me wonder if/when the Queen City will have Jay Bruce billboards.

pahster
03-06-2008, 06:15 PM
Likewise, it's dangerous to fall in love with Bill James' projections, Pecota, etc.

I'd be willing to bet that Jr outhits Bruce this year (assuming both get a reasonable amount of at bats).

I haven't, I was merely pointing out that deciding that Junior is primed for a great season based only on the six at bats he'd had at the time was a fairly tenuous argument.

I actually think PECOTA's projections for Bruce are fairly realistic. James', on the other hand...well, I'm not sure what he was on when he came up with them. Not that I'd be upset were Bruce to actually play that well.

mth123
03-06-2008, 11:20 PM
1. Sign Dunn to a LTC. Put the truly plus defensive centerfielder ( Patterson ) in CF. Let Griffey hit #600 as a Red ( it seems like this is a big deal to some people ) then move him to an AL team. Call up Bruce from AAA at this point and place him in RF.

2. Dunn-Bruce-Griffey defensively is F-C-F

Dunn-Patterson-Bruce defensively is F-B/A-B

3. Last year in 613 ABs Griffey produced 141 runs in a hitters park.
Last year in 482 ABs Patterson produced 102 runs in a fairly neutral park ( note this projects to ~129 runs in 613 ABs ).

With the BIG defensive upgrades by adding Patterson in CF, moving Bruce to RF & moving Jr to the AL I would expect to save some runs. How many I don't know but 12 doesn't seem like a stretch.

4. IMO the Reds could really be a better overall team with Junior gone and Patterson in CF. Blasphemy I know but I think it may be true.

I agree with every word of this post. I just think that waiting for #600 is not necessary.

Jpup
03-07-2008, 02:51 AM
I think there is great wisdom in Dusty not wanting Bruce in CF. Jay's a big guy at a young age, and with Dunn and Griffey flanking him, he will be running around like a madman to get to balls. I don't want that Billion Dollar Baby mashing up his pins like that. I want him to be downright Manny Ramirez-esque out there. That bat's too important.

Isn't winning more important or does that matter? I think Jay Bruce makes the Reds a better team.

Cedric
03-07-2008, 03:35 AM
But for 2005 he was rated as +4 and for 2007 he was rated as +2 by Dewan's system with his defensive innings being roughly similar for all three seasons. Likewise UZR and PMR suggest he was average in '05 and '07 while being better in '06. I think his '06 has to be viewed with skepticism regarding what to expect from Patterson's glove going forward.

Patterson is probably a safe bet to be somewhere between a neutral defender to a +.5 win defender (+5 runs) if playing a whole season in CF.

That's probably more a perception of a defensive upgrade than a real difference maker given the in house options. I think Patterson probably has more defensive upside than Bruce/Freel/Hopper in the sense a +10 run season is within the realm of possibility but in my mind, the question that might be asked would be, "is the perception of his defense (or the potential upside) worth the penalty of his bat?".

If the decision is between Patterson/Freel/Hopper, I'd say yes. If Bruce is added to the mix (and this assumes the only way Bruce will get playing time this season is via CF or an unfortunate injury to Jr), then I'd say probably not.

Given Bruce's offensive upside, playing Patterson over Bruce could hurt.

You trust all those metrics for defensive value? I sure as hell don't. You strike me as a guy that isn't willing to trust anyone's eye, much less some random guy on Redszone. That said, most of us have watched Patterson play CF a ton in Chicago and to say he's barely an upgrade over Bruce or Freel/Hopper clashes with my eyes and the scouts view. He has great speed and I've seen him get great jumps at GABP and he always struck me as a GG caliber CF. I've said it probably a million times here and I'll probably say it a million more. I don't trust defensive metrics enough to apply them into discussion and consider it black and white. There is a ton of gray area in defense rating scales, IMO.

jojo
03-07-2008, 08:51 AM
You trust all those metrics for defensive value? I sure as hell don't.

When a bunch of them seem to be saying the same thing, I'm inclined to listen more attentively.

BTW, suggesting it's legitimate to expect Patterson to be a +5 defender in CF is giving his abilities major props.


You strike me as a guy that isn't willing to trust anyone's eye, much less some random guy on Redszone.

I think the eye is very, very important. With defense though, it's pretty easy for the eye to skew the picture. Also, I didn't argue that Patterson was a pedestrian defender. I argued that he's a pedestrian offensive player (basically a weak bat with pronounced platoon splits who unfortunately also adds another lefty to the mix) whose glove isn't a big enough upgrade to make him a better option than Bruce in center field in '08.

Although Bruce ultimately projects as a RFer, scouting reports suggest it's likely he could be a neutral CFer in '08.

To me, it's somewhat analogous to the Astros asking themselves at the beginning of the '07 season, "who do we want to play centerfield this year- Hunter Pence or Corey Patterson?".

BTW, I view Redszone as a living, breathing baseball encyclopedia where everyone's unique perspectives combine to create a truly vibrant, unmatched community for Reds talk. The redszone archives are pure gold and to suggest that I've benefited from the opinions of others here is an understatement.

Falls City Beer
03-07-2008, 09:22 AM
Isn't winning more important or does that matter? I think Jay Bruce makes the Reds a better team.

Winning is important. But so is protecting the legs of the prospect the Reds punted two years of automatic contention for. If Bruce flops, then the Reds are in very, very serious trouble on the offensive front.

Falls City Beer
03-07-2008, 09:39 AM
I agree with every word of this post. I just think that waiting for #600 is not necessary.

This is going on year number 7 of my saying this: Griffey, even this late in his contract, is untradeable. As the market has tightened up over the last few years, he becomes less and less tradeable.

I'll stop short of hoping for injury, but next year can't get here soon enough. Griffey's a Red this year, and he will be the RF every day.

M2
03-07-2008, 10:15 AM
Griffey's a Red this year, and he will be the RF every day.

Until he gets injured.

GAC
03-07-2008, 10:25 AM
I think there is a big worry that Patterson gets to bat leadoff and it will negate his defensive upgrade. If Patterson can play CF and bat 6th or 7th I will have no issue, but if Patterson plays CF and bats 1 or 2, I have a serious problem with it.


That's really more of a 'Dusty' issue.

And Dusty has "experienced" the frustration of Patterson prior too, and been in his doghouse. So that might be a plus as far as managerial decisions.

doug brings up a valid point that came to me last night. It appears Patterson is a solid upgrade in CF defense. His offensive production is ho-hum.

I would hope a .298 lifetime OB% would keep this guy out of the top of the order. Especially a guy who averages only 29 BBs/season. Yikes!

But is the "trade-off" (his "D" in CF vs his lack at "O") worth it to the Reds? Will the rest of the Red's offense make up for that lack in run production?

Here is what we had in CF last year.....


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS

Hopper 121 307 51 101 14 2 0 14 20 33 14 6 .329 .371 .388 .759

Freel 75 277 44 68 13 3 3 16 18 47 15 8 .245 .308 .347 .655


Let's face, whether Patterson is here or not, Baker is going to make some very weird and unfavorable line-up cards that are going to make many pull their hair out.

So true. The game threads will be a blast!

paulrichjr
03-07-2008, 10:27 AM
They were waiting for his price to drop. I think there's a mini-collusion going on this season after last season's free spending.

Guys like Affeldt, Fogg, Lofton, Patterson, Lohse, etc are all being stone walled by the owners until they are forced to take a lowball offer.

Wayne was probably looking for a CF from the moment he traded Josh (maybe sooner). He knew prices would drop if they waited.. again because it's a mini-collusion year this year.
Plus, Wayne probably figured that since this was a rebuilding year that if he missed out on Fogg/Lofton/Patterson/etc it's not a huge deal.. It's not as if any of those guys is the missing piece to a pennant.

Mini-Collusion??? Isn't it possible that GMs are smarter today than they were 5 years ago. Yes last year was a little strange but only a select few teams (Cubs mostly) acted odd. Most teams did not participate in the drunken buying spree. Loshe was never worth 5 years at $10 million each. I might agree that he is worth more than 1 year at $3 million but everyone needs to remember that teams have probably noticed that Loshe was virtuallly given away by two teams in the past 2 years...That doesn't look good on a resume. I personally believe that the young GMs in baseball are wising up to paying middle talent - top talent prices.

princeton
03-07-2008, 10:39 AM
I personally believe that the young GMs in baseball are wising up to paying middle talent - top talent prices.


that's what they said during collusion

dabvu2498
03-07-2008, 10:46 AM
Here is what we had in CF last year.....


Where are Josh Hamilton's numbers? :D

BuckeyeRedleg
03-07-2008, 10:48 AM
1. Sign Dunn to a LTC. Put the truly plus defensive centerfielder ( Patterson ) in CF. Let Griffey hit #600 as a Red ( it seems like this is a big deal to some people ) then move him to an AL team. Call up Bruce from AAA at this point and place him in RF.

2. Dunn-Bruce-Griffey defensively is F-C-F

Dunn-Patterson-Bruce defensively is F-B/A-B

3. Last year in 613 ABs Griffey produced 141 runs in a hitters park.
Last year in 482 ABs Patterson produced 102 runs in a fairly neutral park ( note this projects to ~129 runs in 613 ABs ).

With the BIG defensive upgrades by adding Patterson in CF, moving Bruce to RF & moving Jr to the AL I would expect to save some runs. How many I don't know but 12 doesn't seem like a stretch.

4. IMO the Reds could really be a better overall team with Junior gone and Patterson in CF. Blasphemy I know but I think it may be true.


What he said.

pahster
03-07-2008, 11:11 AM
Anybody know how Patterson and Dickerson stack up to one another defensively?

jojo
03-07-2008, 11:20 AM
And Dusty has "experienced" the frustration of Patterson prior too, and been in his doghouse. So that might be a plus as far as managerial decisions.

doug brings up a valid point that came to me last night. It appears Patterson is a solid upgrade in CF defense. His offensive production is ho-hum.

I would hope a .298 lifetime OB% would keep this guy out of the top of the order. Especially a guy who averages only 29 BBs/season. Yikes!

But is the "trade-off" (his "D" in CF vs his lack at "O") worth it to the Reds? Will the rest of the Red's offense make up for that lack in run production?

Here is what we had in CF last year.....

This is what the Reds actually got out of centerfield in '07:


I GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF ROE GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip
+-+------------+----+-----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+----+----+---+----+---+---+---+---+---+----+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+------------+
JHamilton 279 245 76 13 2 15 38 28 4 52 4 0 2 2 6 .310 .387 .563 .950 .339 JHamilton
RFreel 225 205 45 8 2 2 11 13 0 39 6 1 0 5 3 .220 .286 .307 .593 .262 RFreel
NHopper 220 204 74 10 1 0 11 12 0 23 1 3 0 3 2 .363 .401 .422 .823 .409 NHopper

I understand why you left Josh's numbers out because he's not here any longer. However, dropping Josh from last year really isn't a good baseline for comparison for this year because the Reds have options like Bruce. Bruce projects to be roughly a neutral defender in CF in '08. An average of the big 5 projection systems available to the public suggests his bat might look like: .267/.325/.495, OPS: 820. He's almost all upside though and something like Pecota's 75th percentile certainly wouldn't be impossible (.276/.345/.532). For context, here is Patterson's Pecota weighted mean prediction: .268/.308/.403, OPS:.711. The difference between an OPS of 820 and one of 711 over 550 at bats is 20 runs (2 wins). Given Bruce's offensive upside it's pretty easy to imagine how that difference could get much bigger.

Now assume Bruce is roughly a neutral defender and Patterson is a +10 defender (which would be an optimistic assumption IMHO). If Pecota has nailed Patterson's bat, Bruce would have to perform somewhere between his 10th and 25th Pecota percentile for Patterson's defense to basically make the two approach the break even point.

That's not a slam on Patterson but rather it highlights how scary good Bruce is already and why some might be a little frustrated if Bruce starts the season in Louisville.

boognish
03-07-2008, 10:08 PM
Jojo: about how much would you expect moving to the easier league and a more favorable ballpark (partcularly for LH power) influence Patterson's projection? I think his 75th percentile projection is too rosy, especially considering Patterson's dismal/ghastly 2005 in the NL Central with Chicago: 40 RC in 481 PA, .215/.254/.348...

I don't think .270/.310/.425 is unrealistic, but as others have stated that line is much better suited to the bottom of the lineup.

Knd of thinking out loud in order to actually add to the discussion, what would others think Patterson have to exhibit for the Reds to offer him a contract for 2009?

jojo
03-07-2008, 10:40 PM
Jojo: about how much would you expect moving to the easier league and a more favorable ballpark (partcularly for LH power) influence Patterson's projection? I think his 75th percentile projection is too rosy, especially considering Patterson's dismal/ghastly 2005 in the NL Central with Chicago: 40 RC in 481 PA, .215/.254/.348...

I don't think .270/.310/.425 is unrealistic, but as others have stated that line is much better suited to the bottom of the lineup.

Knd of thinking out loud in order to actually add to the discussion, what would others think Patterson have to exhibit for the Reds to offer him a contract for 2009?

This was an average offensive NL CFer in '07: .273/.336/.426. If Patterson hits his 75th Pecota percentile (.284/.324/.435), they'd have a real nice player given he's also a plus defender and they'd be paying him peanuts to play a premium position.

If he can manage .270/.310/.425 given his defense, he's basically a league average CFer. Since the Reds may only have one outfielder returning in '09 (Bruce), I'd think he would have played well enough at that level to force the Reds hand but not good enough to make his cost prohibitive especially since he'll be forever measured against his "perceived" ceiling and defense is still undervalued on the free agent market.

Concerning the lineup, if Dusty bats him in the lead off spot, that should be on Dusty and shouldn't color valuation of Patterson.

GAC
03-08-2008, 02:07 AM
Where are Josh Hamilton's numbers? :D

I was coming from the position that Hamilton is not an option for us in CF in '08, whereas Freel, Hopper, and possibly Patterson are.