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Screwball
03-10-2008, 12:25 PM
From C. Trent's blog:



Looking ahead, looking back
Monday 03-10-2008 10:15am ET
SARASOTA -- Two weeks into spring training games and we're about to get to the place where we can start making some (albeit guarded) decisions about the 2008 Reds.

Here's some of the things I've seen so far:

*Most impressive player: RHP Johnny Cueto. I've said it before, I'll say it again -- put him in the rotation. Let him take some lumps, the kid can handle it. While there will be some lumps, he'll learn from them and be ready. He's also got the kind of stuff that makes you think a no-hitter is possible almost every outing.

*Least impressive player: RHP Sergio Valenzuela was the Reds' surprise Rule V pick in December. After last season's Rule V bonanza, the law of averages comes back to get Wayne Krivsky. Valenzuela has looked out of his league even against minor league hitters at the end of games. Rule V picks are a gamble, and you never expect to win every hand at the table. Time to fold this hand.

* Most encouraging sign: Any step Jay Bruce takes. Bruce has an easy swing and all the tools in the world. After the hiccup with a quad issue, Bruce is going to be given a lot of chances to show his ability on the field. Still, expect him to start the season in Louisville.

* Most discouraging sign: 1. Corey Patterson. 2. Jerry Hairston. 3. Is Neifi next? Even the most ardent Dusty Baker backers winced at the Patterson and Hairston signings, thinking there may just be something to the incessant Cub whining about Baker and his penchant for retreads over young players. Expect "I told you sos" from the Windy City when Patterson's your Opening Day lead-off hitter and centerfielder. If Bruce isn't in Cincinnati by June 1, you can give up and say, they're right.

* Biggest mystery: Homer Bailey. Last year Homer was the savior. He's still No. 9 on Baseball America's Top 100 Prospect list, but he's not been lights-out in spring. Opposing hitters report a straight fastball, which means outfielders watching the ball go into the stands at Great American Small Park.

* Trade bait? As a veteran and a starter last season, Scott Hatteberg's supposed to be done with his spring training games in the fifth inning this early in the season. Instead, he's gotten some ninth-inning at-bats (albeit as a DH) when he should already be out on the golf course. With Joey Votto playing well enough and having nothing left to prove, Wayne Krivsky may see if he can parlay Hatteberg (who hit .310 last season and was signed to a reasonable one-year, $1.65 million deal) into a pitching prospect.

* And you are? Ryan Freel's been quiet. On the field and off. He could be feeling the pressure of looking in center -- where he was the Opening Day starter in 2007 -- and seeing Jay Bruce, Norris Hopper and Corey Patterson. He looks at the infield and sees anchors at second and third base, and Jeff Keppinger in his role as backup everywhere in the infield, and trying to figure out where he fits in. A two-year, $7 million extension through 2009 makes him tougher to trade, but a few injuries here and there and Farney and Freel may be in a different uniform come March 31.

* Poised to break out: Edwin Encarnacion should put up 30 homers at Great American Ball Park this year and for the foreseeable future. Encarnacion has had a slow spring, but at this point of his career, it's not something to get too worried about.

* What about Junior? There's no overriding Ken Griffey Jr. storyline this spring -- and nobody is happier about that than Ken Griffey Jr. He's healthy, he's in right field and he's happy. That's about all you can ask for. Griffey's looked fine so far and even had an opposite field rocket of a home run in his second spring training game. Expect No. 600 sometime in early May.

* And Dunn? Dunn seems more relaxed than ever, which isn't to say he's nonchalant, but more like he's not feeling any pressure. That's shown in his swing, hitting the ball where it's pitched with men on base. He's gone the other way for RBI singles more than once already this spring.

* Who starts at short? Jeff Keppinger. Keppinger isn't going to be the everyday shortstop -- if Alex Gonzalez's knee injury is more serious, the Reds will explore their options, but Keppinger can man the position weeks at a time. He should get 400 at-bats this season, and if he does, you know he'll give about 390 quality at-bats. Keppinger also solves Baker's search for a No. 2 hitter.

* Who's on first? It looks like it'll be Votto -- the question is Hatteberg. If Krivsky can trade Hatteberg, expect a number of others to serve as Votto's backup or part of a platoon, which leads to the next question.

* Three catchers? Really? Again, it could happen, especially if Krivsky finds a taker for Hatteberg. If they do go with three catchers, expect Javier Valentin to be used more as a pinch hitter who can catch. He'll be the switch hitter of the bench. Also, both Valentin and Paul Bako have played first base in spring games. Starter David Ross has been slowed by a sore back, so it's unsure if he'll be ready.

* Will Mike Stanton be on the Opening Day roster? Yes. His contract is too big and his track record is too good for him not to get a shot to prove himself during the regular season. If he has a disastrous April and one more bad outing in May, he could be jettisoned, but not before that.

* What about Gary Majewski? Majewski has a live arm, experience and options. That makes him valuable. He may start the season in Louisville, but he'll be back with the Reds this season.

* What's the rotation? What is it going to be our what should it be? Well, here's my rotation if I'm filling it out -- Harang, Arroyo, Cueto, Fogg, Affeldt -- and it may end up being that way, just in a different order.

* Is the bullpen better? In a word, yes. In another word, much.

* Is it enough? Honestly, it looks like the team is still a 78-win, third-place team. But, just a bit of overachieving and in this division, it's playoff time. But I'm certainly not putting down a deposit on World Series tickets quite yet.


http://1530homer.com/pages/ctrent.html

Will M
03-10-2008, 12:31 PM
From C. Trent's blog:

3 catchers? Moving Hat and using Javy as a left PH is fine IF the
3rd catcher is an improvement over Ross. ie a trade for Ramon Hernandez or one of the Ms catchers or one of the Pirates catchers. If the 3 catchers are Ross-Bako-Javy then OMG!

It wouldn't suprise me if both Hat and Freel are traded before opening day.

flyer85
03-10-2008, 12:36 PM
Least impressive player: RHP Sergio Valenzuela was the Reds' surprise Rule V pick in December. After last season's Rule V bonanza, the law of averages comes back to get Wayne Krivsky. Valenzuela has looked out of his league even against minor league hitters at the end of games. Rule V picks are a gamble, and you never expect to win every hand at the table. Time to fold this hand.too bad he couldn't live up to his minor league numbers. :ughmamoru

princeton
03-10-2008, 12:44 PM
did he just write that bullpen is much better, but also that Majewski will be back with the Reds this season?

bullpen or whatever

Puffy
03-10-2008, 12:52 PM
From C. Trent's blog:

* What's the rotation? What is it going to be our what should it be? Well, here's my rotation if I'm filling it out -- Harang, Arroyo, Cueto, Fogg, Affeldt -- and it may end up being that way, just in a different order.




What - no mention of Belisle by someone who's spent the past two and a half weeks watching all things Red? You mean, maybe, just maybe, Belisle isn't the next Aaron Harang like so many on this board have been postulating all winter? Shocking.

Highlifeman21
03-10-2008, 12:54 PM
So by C. Trent's math, 2.5% of Keppinger's ABs will be less than quality?

Screwball
03-10-2008, 12:59 PM
What - no mention of Belisle by someone who's spent the past two and a half weeks watching all things Red? You mean, maybe, just maybe, Belisle isn't the next Aaron Harang like so many on this board have been postulating all winter? Shocking.

Well, it's tough to flat out disagree with him because, as you mentioned, he's there with the team and I'm not. But I just don't see why Belisle should be relegated from the rotation in favor of an Affeldt or Fogg, and I don't think the Reds will go that path either.

I'd be interested to hear his rationale for the decision.

princeton
03-10-2008, 01:00 PM
What - no mention of Belisle by someone who's spent the past two and a half weeks watching all things Red? You mean, maybe, just maybe, Belisle isn't the next Aaron Harang like so many on this board have been postulating all winter? Shocking.


I'd like Cueto in bullpen to bring him along slowly, but if they understandably can't stomach the rotation without him, then bullpen goes to Belisle or Affeldt. I doubt that Fogg could be an effective short reliever. Of those two, if they really prefer a lefty in rotation then Belisle gets pen. Could go the other way, though.

Volquez or Bailey could probably beat out Affeldt, moving him to bullpen as well. Might not happen by opening day though.

WVRedsFan
03-10-2008, 01:02 PM
did he just write that bullpen is much better, but also that Majewski will be back with the Reds this season?

bullpen or whatever

Contradiction of terms. I've seen all those live arms come and go so much over the years and most of them do not pan out. It's time for the Reds to cut bait on Mr. Majik.

Chip R
03-10-2008, 01:08 PM
did he just write that bullpen is much better, but also that Majewski will be back with the Reds this season?

bullpen or whatever


He also said he may start the season in LOU which would make the bullpen in Cincinnati better.

BRM
03-10-2008, 01:25 PM
Opposing hitters report a straight fastball, which means outfielders watching the ball go into the stands at Great American Small Park.

Has this been a common theme with Bailey? It seems like I've read that before with regards to his fastball.

princeton
03-10-2008, 01:37 PM
Has this been a common theme with Bailey? It seems like I've read that before with regards to his fastball.

we have kids whose main selling point is not a skill, but age. With Majewski, main selling point is not a skill, but options.

TRF
03-10-2008, 01:39 PM
What - no mention of Belisle by someone who's spent the past two and a half weeks watching all things Red? You mean, maybe, just maybe, Belisle isn't the next Aaron Harang like so many on this board have been postulating all winter? Shocking.

This is the same guy that say Majewski has a live arm, and has value.

I like his writing too, but that don't mean he's perfect.

red-in-la
03-10-2008, 01:41 PM
too bad he couldn't live up to his minor league numbers. :ughmamoru

Would you say he was dominant?

:eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

fearofpopvol1
03-10-2008, 02:32 PM
He has been with the team (and is privy to a lot more information than the rest of us), but that doesn't mean he's the GM or the manager. He's mostly making predictions at this point and I think he'd tell you the same thing if you asked. I wouldn't get too worked up about what he's saying because while I think some of what he said will stick, I think some things will not.

dougdirt
03-10-2008, 03:04 PM
Has this been a common theme with Bailey? It seems like I've read that before with regards to his fastball.

Not really, no. It will be interesting to watch tonight and see how it looks.

Falls City Beer
03-10-2008, 03:25 PM
Has this been a common theme with Bailey? It seems like I've read that before with regards to his fastball.

I've said it since the first start I saw him make; and I was roundly told to "**** *** X ∞"

flyer85
03-10-2008, 03:28 PM
I've said it since the first start I saw him make; and I was roundly told to "**** ***."probably had nothing to do with Bailey's start. :evil:

Sorry, I shall bang my head on the keyboard until forgiven.

hny vfgdrtviokl nsdefrc

Falls City Beer
03-10-2008, 03:39 PM
probably had nothing to do with Bailey's start. :evil:

Sorry, I shall bang my head on the keyboard until forgiven.

hny vfgdrtviokl nsdefrc

I'd have no problem if it was aimed at my personality--but my baseball judgment: tsk, tsk. :nono:

remdog
03-10-2008, 04:35 PM
Well, that was a fun read. I know that Trent's there and I'm not so I appreciate the info even though much of the piece is opinion. And, the opinion is the fun part so that's OK.

But, other than verbage, how do John Fay (who gets knocked routinely around here) and Trent differ? They both offer observations---many of which will be correct and many of which will be off base. (famous shrug) Still a nice read, either way, IMO.

Rem

BRM
03-10-2008, 04:39 PM
I've said it since the first start I saw him make; and I was roundly told to "**** *** X ∞"

Negative comments directed towards Bailey are typically met with much angst around here. The kid has become quite the lightning rod for discussion.

flyer85
03-10-2008, 04:40 PM
Negative comments directed towards Bailey are typically met with much angst around here. by some. His AAA numbers from last season indicate he is not ready for prime time yet and he hasn't taken that leap forward in the spring that would say that he is.

BRM
03-10-2008, 04:42 PM
by some

Good point. I shouldn't generalize like that.

TRF
03-10-2008, 04:44 PM
Well, that was a fun read. I know that Trent's there and I'm not so I appreciate the info even though much of the piece is opinion. And, the opinion is the fun part so that's OK.

But, other than verbage, how do John Fay (who gets knocked routinely around here) and Trent differ? They both offer observations---many of which will be correct and many of which will be off base. (famous shrug) Still a nice read, either way, IMO.

Rem


First, Fay is an awful writer.
He lacks a real understanding of the game, though he isn't as bad as Doughtery.
He isn't snarky in a fun way.There is more to it than that, but there it is in a nutshell.

lollipopcurve
03-10-2008, 04:45 PM
Bailey's fastball is pretty straight. So is Schilling's. So was Browning's. If he gets a two-seamer, that will help.

Unassisted
03-10-2008, 04:51 PM
But, other than verbage, how do John Fay (who gets knocked routinely around here) and Trent differ? They both offer observations---many of which will be correct and many of which will be off base. (famous shrug) Still a nice read, either way, IMO.
C. Trent is 20-something, likes cool bands and leet speak. John Fay is 50-something, knows how important it is to be vested in the company retirement plan and apparently eschews the use of a spell-checker. Other than that, they both wear glasses, write about the Reds and use keyboards with QWERTY on the home row.

I'm closer to Fay's age than C. Trent's, but the spelling thing when he's unfiltered in his blog bothers me. Considering that he works with words for a living, his propensity to misspell words is like a backhoe operator having a propensity to nick water lines. The worst idiosyncrasy I can lay on C. Trent are his references to bands I've never heard of.

remdog
03-10-2008, 04:53 PM
First, Fay is an awful writer.
He lacks a real understanding of the game, though he isn't as bad as Doughtery.
He isn't snarky in a fun way.There is more to it than that, but there it is in a nutshell.

1.I would disagree that Fay is an awful writer just as I would disagree that Trent is a terrific writer.
2.And you think Trent does? :eek:
3.I prefer 'professional' to 'snarky'.

Different nuts for different folks. ;)

Rem

redsrule2500
03-10-2008, 04:58 PM
C. Trent is 20-something, likes cool bands and leet speak. John Fay is 50-something, knows how important it is to be vested in the company retirement plan and apparently eschews the use of a spell-checker. Other than that, they both wear glasses, write about the Reds and use keyboards with QWERTY on the home row.

I'm closer to Fay's age than C. Trent's, but the spelling thing when he's unfiltered in his blog bothers me. Considering that he works with words for a living, his propensity to misspell words is like a backhoe operator having a propensity to nick water lines. The worst idiosyncrasy I can lay on C. Trent are his references to bands I've never heard of.

Those are weird keyboards. My QWERTY is above the home row :eek: ;)

BUT: 78 Wins...booo :(

TRF
03-10-2008, 05:01 PM
1.I would disagree that Fay is an awful writer just as I would disagree that Trent is a terrific writer.
2.And you think Trent does? :eek:
3.I prefer 'professional' to 'snarky'.

Different nuts for different folks. ;)

Rem


Oh, Fay is awful. Lazy too. But I never said CTR was terrific, just that I enjoy his writing.
Yeah, more than Fay at least, though he wants Phillips in the three hole which boggles my mind. I think #5 would be better.
different strokes, but not using a spell check on a company sponsored blog site is lazy AND unprofessional. He also seems to carry vendetta's to print. Also unprofessional.

jojo
03-10-2008, 05:12 PM
Negative comments directed towards Bailey are typically met with much angst around here. The kid has become quite the lightning rod for discussion.

I'd say your avatar has three plus pitchers....

dougdirt
03-10-2008, 05:19 PM
Bailey's fastball is pretty straight. So is Schilling's. So was Browning's. If he gets a two-seamer, that will help.

He has one.

flyer85
03-10-2008, 05:21 PM
He has one.then he needs to get it working ...

KoryMac5
03-10-2008, 05:24 PM
Tonight may prove how straight that fastball is coming and going. Personally I would like to see him develop a nice splitter to go with his array of pitches, but lets work on what he has first.

Chip R
03-10-2008, 05:31 PM
Tonight may prove how straight that fastball is coming and going. Personally I would like to see him develop a nice splitter to go with his array of pitches, but lets work on what he has first.


I'd pass on that. Don't want him shredding that elbow.

dougdirt
03-10-2008, 05:37 PM
then he needs to get it working ...

What do you mean by 'get it working?

Its generally the fastball he throws in the 89-92 MPH range and that pitch has a decent amount of movement according to the pitch f/x system.

Falls City Beer
03-10-2008, 05:39 PM
Bailey's fastball is pretty straight. So is Schilling's. So was Browning's. If he gets a two-seamer, that will help.

Schilling's fastball once had nice movement. But more importantly, pinpoint accuracy.

And you saw what Browning's fastball did too often: ended up in the seats. But again, what kept Browning out of trouble was his control.

flyer85
03-10-2008, 05:43 PM
What do you mean by 'get it working?
last start GO/AO was 0/7. His sinker was OTL.

BRM
03-10-2008, 06:54 PM
Speaking of Bailey:


Dusty also said he thought Homer was throwing well and that Dick Pole told him this is the best he's seen Bailey throw since he'd been here. That'll certainly be tested with this Yankee lineup. "Homer's been throwing the ball well. He's throwing it real good. I'm seeing (improvement) in control, mechanics, demeanor. I haven't seen the tendancy to overthrow, which is usually the case."

Per C. Trent

Matt700wlw
03-10-2008, 07:04 PM
We'll see what he's made of tonight.

Aronchis
03-10-2008, 07:38 PM
Homer's "straight" fastball is a mirage. He doesn't get explosive action, it is very heavy instead.

Instead of balls flying out of GAB, it will plop into the SS's mitt. More likely somebody like Cueto will get creamed as his ball tends to jump off the opposing players bat, especially at lower velocities.

wheels
03-10-2008, 07:42 PM
We'll see what he's made of tonight.

Ehhh...Even if he gets pounded, I doubt we can draw many conclusions from tonight either way.

He's a step behind Cueto, but he's ridiculously young, and Cueto's ridiculously good.

Patience, and a good showing in AAA this season will do wonders for him.

He's not quite ready for prime time, and I'm totally fine with that.

He's gonna be a pretty decent little pitcher in a few years. Let him grow.

wheels
03-10-2008, 07:43 PM
Homer's "straight" fastball is a mirage. He doesn't get explosive action, it is very heavy instead.

Instead of balls flying out of GAB, it will plop into the SS's mitt. More likely somebody like Cueto will get creamed as his ball tends to jump off the opposing players bat, especially at lower velocities.


:lol::lol::laugh:

VR
03-10-2008, 07:47 PM
What - no mention of Belisle by someone who's spent the past two and a half weeks watching all things Red? You mean, maybe, just maybe, Belisle isn't the next Aaron Harang like so many on this board have been postulating all winter? Shocking.

I'm guessing he overlooked Belisle. Because Fogg and Affeldt together have less talent than Belisle.

reds44
03-10-2008, 07:48 PM
Homer's "straight" fastball is a mirage. He doesn't get explosive action, it is very heavy instead.

Instead of balls flying out of GAB, it will plop into the SS's mitt. More likely somebody like Cueto will get creamed as his ball tends to jump off the opposing players bat, especially at lower velocities.
:lol:

pedro
03-10-2008, 07:49 PM
Homer's "straight" fastball is a mirage. He doesn't get explosive action, it is very heavy instead.

Instead of balls flying out of GAB, it will plop into the SS's mitt. More likely somebody like Cueto will get creamed as his ball tends to jump off the opposing players bat, especially at lower velocities.

Talk about agenda driven posting.

paintmered
03-10-2008, 07:50 PM
Talk about agenda driven posting.

Uh huh. Let's not beat a player to death please (especially one who hasn't pitched a single inning of major league ball).

pedro
03-10-2008, 07:52 PM
FWIW, Bailey and Cueto gave up roughly the same number of HR/9 in the minors. Roughly .60, which is very good for both of them.

OnBaseMachine
03-10-2008, 07:57 PM
:lol::lol::laugh:

Same here. It is hilarious. I sense a little bit of a jealousy don't you? ;)

He ignores the fact that Cueto posted a very good H/9 rate in the minors.

dougdirt
03-10-2008, 08:02 PM
last start GO/AO was 0/7. His sinker was OTL.

And that was a big outlier. Bailey gets as many groundballs as he does everything else for his career.

Aronchis
03-11-2008, 12:09 AM
Talk about agenda driven posting.

It is, what it is. Homer's fastball is heavier than Volquez's who is a changeup first pitcher and considered to be more 'electric'.

Trouble controlling heavy fastball is why the Astros gave up on Schilling. Hopefully Homer gets it a little quicker.