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View Full Version : C. Trent's spring training thoughts



BRM
03-17-2008, 03:12 PM
I've got to say, Homer Bailey has had the most disappointing spring. It will be very interesting to see how he reacts in Louisville. The problem is he can dominate Class AAA hitters with his pure stuff, but not big league hitters. One opposing hitter said of Bailey's fastball -- (making a motion of a straight fastball) "give me that (stuff) in June."

* Jay Bruce has his spot in minor league camp ready, and he'll likely be there soon. I've been told by people in the organization that he's expected in minor league camp any day now. Thing is, he's played well with the big league squad, but he hasn't had one of those springs that has made the decision a no-brainer. The quad injury sure didn't help.

* Perhaps you haven't noticed, but Juan Castro has had a nice spring with the bat. We all know what he can do with the glove, but he can contribute in other ways. The biggest question, though, is his arm. He underwent Tommy John surgery and has been limited in his play, not being able to go back-to-back days. I wouldn't be shocked to see him in the Opening Day lineup at short. I know most have Jeff Keppinger penciled in with Gonzo out, but Castro is a possibility, especially with the off day on Tuesday.

* Guys with unimpressive springs I'm not worried about -- Adam Dunn, Brandon Phillips, Edwin Encarnacion. I really think this is Encarnacion's break-through year.

* The rotation looks like Harang, Arroyo, Cueto, Volquez and Fogg. Affeldt will help the bullpen, Belisle could be in long relief.

* Bill Bray looks really good. If Bray has the type of season he's capable of having, "the trade" could be ruled a Reds win this year. Daryl Thompson looks pretty darn good.

* A quiet spring from Todd Coffey, which, well, is interesting. Last year there was a lot of talk about Coffey and potentially being a closer. Not so much this year after a bad, bad 2007. Saw an interesting stat in the Hardball Times Season Preview by blogger Justin Inaz of On Baseball & The Reds (http://jinaz-reds.blogspot.com/) -- Coffey's strikeout rate increased last season, as did his groundball rate (57 percent of balls in play were grounders), but he gave up 12 homers in 57 innings -- for a 25 percent run-to-fly ball ratio. Just odd.

* Still not sure about Scott Hatteberg's role. Joey Votto has really struggled, while Hatteberg has just raked. He's a pro and could be traded, but right now, if there's any question about Votto, I think they'll keep Hatte around.

* Mike Stanton will be on the Opening Day roster. Deal with it. If he gets rocked early, there will be a decision needed to be made. But that decision won't be made until May.

* There seems to be a few too many quality utility players. We'll see what happens there with Keppinger, Freel, Cabrera, Andy Phillips and Andy Green. Keppinger and Freel certainly have the inside track because of their track record.

* Although I paused with the signing of Corey Patterson (who will be your starting center fielder on Opening Day) and Jerry Hairston, I still like the hiring of Dusty Baker as the Reds manager. Stat guys will complain about all sorts of stuff with Dusty -- but the most important part of a manager's job is managing people over 162 games -- that's why they're called a manager and not a coach. It's a different job than a 16-game regular season. I know he "ruined" Kerry Wood and Mark Prior -- did he "ruin" Carlos Zambrano too? Zambrano threw just as many pitches. Seriously, the moment Kerry Wood came to the big leagues, you heard he had the mechanics just asking for a breakdown.

Puffy
03-17-2008, 03:49 PM
Once again - I think Belisle is going to be miscast. Yes he can give you innings and yes he can dazzle you for 3 or four innings at a time, but he has always lost it all for periods even in a game where he looked brilliant.

With his arm I would use him as a setup guy. Let him come in and dial it up to 95. Forget about this long relief stuff, just use him one inning a time.

red-in-la
03-17-2008, 04:10 PM
It just kills me with the level of talent this spring, that two guys who should be home watching will use up roster spots.....I am speaking of Castro and Stanton. Castro is a no hit, no range backup infielder with now, a bad arm.....come on.

I watched Mercker pitch and he was great (for one inning). If Affedlt and Bray are going to the pen then the third guy should be Mercker.

That leaves 3 spots on the right side and I think we all agree that they have to be Cordero, Weathers and Burton. I think having a 4th guy is another waste of a roster spot......although it may be necessary to carry Belisle there.

So, what to do with Coffey?

Given his ability to play several infield postions, I see no issue in keeping Ryan Freel along with the platoon of Patterson and Hopper in CF.

And why isn't Keppinger playing everyday? Is he hurt?

redsmetz
03-17-2008, 04:16 PM
And why isn't Keppinger playing everyday? Is he hurt?

I think it's because with two weeks left in Spring Training and lots of questions to be answered, they're looking at the end of roster guys. I think Keppinger's on the club and so they're looking at others presently.

Ltlabner
03-17-2008, 04:16 PM
but the most important part of a manager's job is managing people over 162 games

Absoulty crazy talk there.

Wonder why he's so convinced Castro has the SS job over Kepp?

pedro
03-17-2008, 04:19 PM
I think it's because with two weeks left in Spring Training and lots of questions to be answered, they're looking at the end of roster guys. I think Keppinger's on the club and so they're looking at others presently.

I think they're trying to see if Castro's arm will hold up so they will know whether or not he can fill in until Gonzalez comes back.

I have a feeling that Castro is going to have a "relapse" of arm trouble just about the time Gonzalez comes back allowing him to be stashed for emergencies on the DL.

top6
03-17-2008, 04:19 PM
I think the manager's most important job on this team is making sure Juan Castro never starts. Notably, all Reds managers appear to fail at this job.

Chip R
03-17-2008, 04:20 PM
Absoulty crazy talk there.

Wonder why he's so convinced Castro has the SS job over Kepp?


You really can't blame Castro but it's like he has cast some kind of spell over people that make them think he's better than he is both offensively and defensively.

Steve4192
03-17-2008, 04:26 PM
You really can't blame Castro but it's like he has cast some kind of spell over people that make them think he's better than he is both offensively and defensively.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrzMhU_4m-g

I tried to embed and failed miserably.

princeton
03-17-2008, 04:28 PM
You really can't blame Castro but it's like he has cast some kind of spell over people that make them think he's better than he is both offensively and defensively.

it happens on Redszone, too.

I remember a wonderful thread a few years back in which it was said by nearly all posters that Juan Castro was a great hitter (he was above .300 at the time)

just the other day, someone posted that Paul Janish was clearly a worse hitter than Juan Castro, which is like being colder than absolute zero.

Steve4192
03-17-2008, 04:30 PM
just the other day, someone posted that Paul Janish was clearly a worse hitter than Juan Castro, which is like being colder than absolute zero.

I am 100% certain that I am a worse hitter than Juan Castro.

I am fairly certain that Janish is a worse hitter than Castro too.

It's all about degrees of suck.

Chip R
03-17-2008, 04:33 PM
it happens on Redszone, too.

I remember a wonderful thread a few years back in which it was said by nearly all posters that Juan Castro was a great hitter (he was above .300 at the time)

just the other day, someone posted that Paul Janish was clearly a worse hitter than Juan Castro, which is like being colder than absolute zero.


But we are heavily influenced by the media. Goebbels said something to the effect that if you repeat a lie often enough people will believe it's true. We are inundated by George, Chris, Marty, Joe (God rest his soul), Thom, Jeff, et. al. saying how good he is and we hear that often enough, we tend to give credence to it - especially when he does get the occasional hit. Most people know he's not good but unfortunately it's not the people who count.

princeton
03-17-2008, 04:38 PM
I am 100% certain that I am a worse hitter than Juan Castro.

I honestly doubt that. Juan is the speed of light of suckitude. He cannot be exceeded.

Blitz Dorsey
03-17-2008, 04:41 PM
* Perhaps you haven't noticed, but Juan Castro has had a nice spring with the bat. We all know what he can do with the glove, but he can contribute in other ways. The biggest question, though, is his arm. He underwent Tommy John surgery and has been limited in his play, not being able to go back-to-back days. I wouldn't be shocked to see him in the Opening Day lineup at short. I know most have Jeff Keppinger penciled in with Gonzo out, but Castro is a possibility, especially with the off day on Tuesday.

Uh, Trent, perhaps you haven't noticed, but it's spring training. Much to George Grande's possible chagrin, I'm quite convinced Juan Castro didn't suddenly become a good hitter this offseason. He didn't even become an average hitter. He's a bad hitter, period. Doesn't matter one bit what his '08 spring training stats look like, he's a bad hitter. I had to chuckle at C. Trent's idea that Castro's arm is his biggest question mark. He might have a weak throwing arm, but he will always be a bad hitter when the games start to count. If Castro is in there instead of Keppinger (and Castro's arm problem just makes it even more of a no-brainer) then I might have to start agreeing with some of the Dusty bashers out there. So far I like Dusty quite a bit. Starting a scrub like Castro over Keppinger would change things in a hurry. But as long as he doesn't pitch hit Castro for Dunn...

mbgrayson
03-17-2008, 08:12 PM
Uh, Trent, perhaps you haven't noticed, but it's spring training. Much to George Grande's possible chagrin, I'm quite convinced Juan Castro didn't suddenly become a good hitter this offseason. ...

And Castro hasn't been THAT good even for spring training. He is currently batting .280 with a .280 slugging percentage. He has 7 singles in 25 at bats. With three walks, his OBP is .379. But this is CLASSIC small sample size. Also, many of his ABs are late innings, against minor league opposition pitching at this point. He still will be WAY below replacement value as a hitter. OPS is .659.

Keppinger this spring is hitting .361 with a .389 slugging. He has an OPS of .754, also a small sample size. Still, he hits way better than Mr. Castro.

If Castro wins the starting job, I will be angry.

Hoosier Red
03-17-2008, 08:44 PM
And Castro hasn't been THAT good even for spring training. He is currently batting .280 with a .280 slugging percentage. He has 7 singles in 25 at bats. With three walks, his OBP is .379. But this is CLASSIC small sample size. Also, many of his ABs are late innings, against minor league opposition pitching at this point. He still will be WAY below replacement value as a hitter. OPS is .659.

Keppinger this spring is hitting .361 with a .389 slugging. He has an OPS of .754, also a small sample size. Still, he hits way better than Mr. Castro.

If Castro wins the starting job, I will be angry.

Not to pick nits, but I haven't seen many games where Juan Castro has come in as a sub. Generally he's started all the games he has played.
Jose Castro came in as a sub a lot early on.


But yes, if Castro gets the nod over Keppinger, I will be most unhappy.

KronoRed
03-17-2008, 09:05 PM
I predict a lot of unhappy posters when Castro is introduced opening day as your SS ;)

Screwball
03-17-2008, 11:20 PM
The rotation looks like Harang, Arroyo, Cueto, Volquez and Fogg. Affeldt will help the bullpen, Belisle could be in long relief.


I'm sorry, but this really bothers me. By all objective measures, Belisle actually pitched like a competent Major Leaguer last year while, by the same objective accounts, Josh Fogg was nothing short of awful last year (as he has been throughout his career). There really is no good reason why Fogg should be getting the nod over Belisle for a rotation gig. Well, not if the Reds actually intend to field the best rotation, anyway.

I think that this year the team's greatest weapon can and will be its starting rotation (how ridiculous does that sound for a Reds fan?). I can only hope they don't make one of its components a certain liability vs. a potential strength.

Wheelhouse
03-17-2008, 11:42 PM
My feeling: Dusty will take Krivsky to the mat on Castro AND Stanton. I don't think either of them will be on the roster. The "new" Reds "going in the right direction" could very quickly become "the same old cheapskates who make bad decisions" around baseball, especially with the reach Dusty has into the game. There will be a meeting where Dusty will say, "This is what you call wanting to win?"

puca
03-18-2008, 12:08 AM
I'm sorry, but this really bothers me. By all objective measures, Belisle actually pitched like a competent Major Leaguer last year while, by the same objective accounts, Josh Fogg was nothing short of awful last year (as he has been throughout his career). There really is no good reason why Fogg should be getting the nod over Belisle for a rotation gig. Well, not if the Reds actually intend to field the best rotation, anyway.

I think that this year the team's greatest weapon can and will be its starting rotation (how ridiculous does that sound for a Reds fan?). I can only hope they don't make one of its components a certain liability vs. a potential strength.


I agree about Fogg and posted something similar on another thread. Josh Fogg is and always has been an awful pitcher. At age 30+ there is little to no hope that he will suddenly become anything different.

Fogg has posted worse career numbers than Matt Belisle while pitching in friendlier environments with better defensive teams behind him. He is on the wrong side of 30 and averaged only 5 2/3 IP per start for his career.

puca
03-18-2008, 12:10 AM
My feeling: Dusty will take Krivsky to the mat on Castro AND Stanton. I don't think either of them will be on the roster. The "new" Reds "going in the right direction" could very quickly become "the same old cheapskates who make bad decisions" around baseball, especially with the reach Dusty has into the game. There will be a meeting where Dusty will say, "This is what you call wanting to win?"

Castro has this team all but made. He is the starting shortstop and 2nd place batter. It will remain that way until Gonzalez returns.

fearofpopvol1
03-18-2008, 12:14 AM
My feeling: Dusty will take Krivsky to the mat on Castro AND Stanton. I don't think either of them will be on the roster. The "new" Reds "going in the right direction" could very quickly become "the same old cheapskates who make bad decisions" around baseball, especially with the reach Dusty has into the game. There will be a meeting where Dusty will say, "This is what you call wanting to win?"

You're awfully optimistic. Especially with Gonzo on the DL regarding Castro. Stanton...there's a possibility, but I think his salary is too expensive to just cut ties. We can hope though.

red-in-la
03-18-2008, 12:23 AM
I agree about Fogg and posted something similar on another thread. Josh Fogg is and always has been an awful pitcher. At age 30+ there is little to no hope that he will suddenly become anything different.

Fogg has posted worse career numbers than Matt Belisle while pitching in friendlier environments with better defensive teams behind him. He is on the wrong side of 30 and averaged only 5 2/3 IP per start for his career.

I am not sure what stats are considered OK right now, but at the worst, Fogg and Belisle were just about the same.

Belisle: 8-9 5.32 ERA
Fogg: 10-9 4.94 ERA

Both allow significantly more than one hit per inning, both allow lots of HR's and both walk a lot of guys and don't have great strike out rates.

So I am not sure how you can make the statement that Fogg was awful while Belisle was OK.

The only opinion I have about one over the other is that Fogg seemed to surprise people last year in being better than most thought he would while Belisle frustrated more than a few. But mostly, I lean a bit towards Fogg right now just based on ST. Belisle knows he is competing for a spot but he doesn't seem to show it.

Screwball
03-18-2008, 01:03 AM
I am not sure what stats are considered OK right now, but at the worst, Fogg and Belisle were just about the same.

Belisle: 8-9 5.32 ERA
Fogg: 10-9 4.94 ERA

Both allow significantly more than one hit per inning, both allow lots of HR's and both walk a lot of guys and don't have great strike out rates.

So I am not sure how you can make the statement that Fogg was awful while Belisle was OK.


First off, as has been mentioned ad nauseum, throw W-L record out; it's a terrible way to gauge a pitcher's performance as there are waaaaaay too many extraneous variables to make it an accurate predictor of future performance. While ERA holds more substance, there are also several factors out of the pitcher's control that play on that as well (defense, ballpark [may or may not be an advantage for Belisle], luck [e.g. BABIP, HR/FB%]). However, I tend to gravitate towards the stats that show me what the pitcher is truly in charge of -- namely, K/9, BB/9, K/BB, HR/9 (to an extent), FIP, and xFIP.

Of the six I just listed, Belisle substantially beat Fogg on five of them last year. Fogg had him beat on HR rate (1.25 vs. 1.32), but it could be due to a more beneficial HR/FB % (10.1% vs. 12.3%).

Basically, I think most (if not all) of us here would find it reprehensible if, in hindsight, Harang had been stashed in the bullpen his second year in favor of Johnny Lunchpail. I'm not saying Belisle will turn into Harang v. 2, but IMO he's earned the chance to prove that theory right or wrong. At the very least he has more upside than Josh freaking Fogg.

Wheelhouse
03-18-2008, 01:58 AM
Castro has this team all but made. He is the starting shortstop and 2nd place batter. It will remain that way until Gonzalez returns.

I still think Dusty will make the case that Castro has lost a half step and is still injured. He will start the season on the DL to get fully back in shape--I bet Green makes it. Apparently Castro can't play two day in a row. Stanton given his performance this spring is another matter... but he don't have a lot of rope, especially with Roenicke in the wings...

Cedric
03-18-2008, 02:34 AM
Once again - I think Belisle is going to be miscast. Yes he can give you innings and yes he can dazzle you for 3 or four innings at a time, but he has always lost it all for periods even in a game where he looked brilliant.

With his arm I would use him as a setup guy. Let him come in and dial it up to 95. Forget about this long relief stuff, just use him one inning a time.

Damn straight. All the numbers point to one inning pitcher with Belisle.

Ron Madden
03-18-2008, 03:09 AM
I am not sure what stats are considered OK right now, but at the worst, Fogg and Belisle were just about the same.

Belisle: 8-9 5.32 ERA
Fogg: 10-9 4.94 ERA

Both allow significantly more than one hit per inning, both allow lots of HR's and both walk a lot of guys and don't have great strike out rates.

So I am not sure how you can make the statement that Fogg was awful while Belisle was OK.

The only opinion I have about one over the other is that Fogg seemed to surprise people last year in being better than most thought he would while Belisle frustrated more than a few. But mostly, I lean a bit towards Fogg right now just based on ST. Belisle knows he is competing for a spot but he doesn't seem to show it.


Matt Belisle has more upside than Josh Fogg.

The Reds stretched Matts arm out for the first time in 2007. The results may not have been spectacular, but they were very encouraging.


We know what twe can most likey expect from Josh Fogg, Matt Belisle still offers some hope.

:)

red-in-la
03-18-2008, 04:39 AM
First off, as has been mentioned ad nauseum, throw W-L record out; it's a terrible way to gauge a pitcher's performance as there are waaaaaay too many extraneous variables to make it an accurate predictor of future performance. While ERA holds more substance, there are also several factors out of the pitcher's control that play on that as well (defense, ballpark [may or may not be an advantage for Belisle], luck [e.g. BABIP, HR/FB%]). However, I tend to gravitate towards the stats that show me what the pitcher is truly in charge of -- namely, K/9, BB/9, K/BB, HR/9 (to an extent), FIP, and xFIP.

Of the six I just listed, Belisle substantially beat Fogg on five of them last year. Fogg had him beat on HR rate (1.25 vs. 1.32), but it could be due to a more beneficial HR/FB % (10.1% vs. 12.3%).

Basically, I think most (if not all) of us here would find it reprehensible if, in hindsight, Harang had been stashed in the bullpen his second year in favor of Johnny Lunchpail. I'm not saying Belisle will turn into Harang v. 2, but IMO he's earned the chance to prove that theory right or wrong. At the very least he has more upside than Josh freaking Fogg.

How did baseball survive for the first 120 years? :rolleyes:

puca
03-18-2008, 07:30 AM
How did baseball survive for the first 120 years? :rolleyes:

by evolving

puca
03-18-2008, 07:35 AM
I am not sure what stats are considered OK right now, but at the worst, Fogg and Belisle were just about the same.

Belisle: 8-9 5.32 ERA
Fogg: 10-9 4.94 ERA

Both allow significantly more than one hit per inning, both allow lots of HR's and both walk a lot of guys and don't have great strike out rates.

So I am not sure how you can make the statement that Fogg was awful while Belisle was OK.


The only opinion I have about one over the other is that Fogg seemed to surprise people last year in being better than most thought he would while Belisle frustrated more than a few. But mostly, I lean a bit towards Fogg right now just based on ST. Belisle knows he is competing for a spot but he doesn't seem to show it.

I never made the case you claim.

Fogg is at least as awful as Belisle without the potential to get better.

pahster
03-18-2008, 07:44 AM
Both allow significantly more than one hit per inning, both allow lots of HR's and both walk a lot of guys and don't have great strike out rates.


You do realize that Belisle only walked 2.18 per 9 last year and is sitting at 2.6/9 for his career, right? He most certainly doesn't walk a lot of guys.

redsrule2500
03-18-2008, 08:59 AM
I never made the case you claim.

Fogg is at least as awful as Belisle without the potential to get better.

Do you actually believe Belisle to be "awful"??????

puca
03-18-2008, 11:26 AM
Do you actually believe Belisle to be "awful"??????

I believe he had an awful 2007 season.

Kc61
03-18-2008, 11:33 AM
Let's assume --

Belisle and Fogg both make the Reds, and

Only one of them has a starting spot.

Isn't part of the answer which is able to pitch relief? We know that Belisle can pitch relief. He did it for two years as a Red. Fogg hasn't pitched relief for many years. So I see the Reds using Fogg as the fifth starter and Belisle as long reliever, initially.

I also think it is possible the Reds will cut Fogg to save some dollars; or that Belisle will be traded as part of a package for Blanton.

Joseph
03-18-2008, 11:42 AM
I believe he had an awful 2007 season.


Here's a snippet of an article posted in full here. This is really the main Belisle part.

http://freemeeting.1.baseball.sportsline.com/news/10702288

A pair of Reds hurlers, Bronson Arroyo and Matt Belisle, provide a good example of how similarly skilled pitchers can wind up with different ERAs due to Strand Rate. Both Arroyo and Belisle posted nearly identical WHIPs and home run rates in 2007. Yet despite allowing baserunners and dingers at a similar rate, Belisle's ERA was more than a run higher. Belisle is certainly responsible for letting some of his own runners score, but he was also a victim of the Reds' notoriously leaky bullpen, which compiled an NL-worst 5.10 ERA.


Player Wins ERA WHIP HR/9 Strand %
Bronson Arroyo 9 4.23 1.40 1.2 73 %
Matt Belisle 8 5.32 1.44 1.3 66 %

Now I'm not a big stat head, but Bronson is a 'lock' at #2, and Belisle is not a lock. I admit he's had a pathetic Spring, but are SOME of his peripherals not in line with our #2s last year when he was awful?

Was Arroyo awful too? Maybe you think he was.

I know we can dig up some other numbers that paint a different picture, thats how stats work, we can find something that says Harang is Sandy Koufax, and that Belisle's numbers aren't far off Harangs at this stage in his career ergo Belisle is the next Sandy Koufax.

We all know thats not true.

Question is, do we take known evil in Fogg, or roll the dice in the hope that Belisle is league average or better this season as a #5?

puca
03-18-2008, 11:46 AM
Here's a snippet of an article posted in full here. This is really the main Belisle part.

http://freemeeting.1.baseball.sportsline.com/news/10702288

A pair of Reds hurlers, Bronson Arroyo and Matt Belisle, provide a good example of how similarly skilled pitchers can wind up with different ERAs due to Strand Rate. Both Arroyo and Belisle posted nearly identical WHIPs and home run rates in 2007. Yet despite allowing baserunners and dingers at a similar rate, Belisle's ERA was more than a run higher. Belisle is certainly responsible for letting some of his own runners score, but he was also a victim of the Reds' notoriously leaky bullpen, which compiled an NL-worst 5.10 ERA.


Player Wins ERA WHIP HR/9 Strand %
Bronson Arroyo 9 4.23 1.40 1.2 73 %
Matt Belisle 8 5.32 1.44 1.3 66 %

Now I'm not a big stat head, but Bronson is a 'lock' at #2, and Belisle is not a lock. I admit he's had a pathetic Spring, but are SOME of his peripherals not in line with our #2s last year when he was awful?

Was Arroyo awful too? Maybe you think he was.

I know we can dig up some other numbers that paint a different picture, thats how stats work, we can find something that says Harang is Sandy Koufax, and that Belisle's numbers aren't far off Harangs at this stage in his career ergo Belisle is the next Sandy Koufax.

We all know thats not true.

Question is, do we take known evil in Fogg, or roll the dice in the hope that Belisle is league average or better this season as a #5?

I vote Belisle 100 times out of 100, but that doesn't mean I think Belisle was good in 2007. A 1.4 WHIP is not good no matter how you slice it.

It is a good point about the bullpen. I would be interested to find out how many of Matt's runs scored after he left the game. That is another thing Fogg had going for him - a better bullpen to bail him out.

RedsManRick
03-18-2008, 11:57 AM
How did baseball survive for the first 120 years? :rolleyes:

By getting a monopoly exemption from congress such that even the poorly run teams got to stay in business. Somebody has to win the games... Given 30 poorly run teams, you'd still have a champ. That sort of an environment where people show up in large degree regardless of the product doesn't exactly encourage investment and innovation. If baseball teams were subject to standard market forces, where you have to compete to succeed or you go out of business, you would've seen executive leadership take to analytical methods much more quickly.

bucksfan2
03-18-2008, 12:07 PM
This entire offseason there have been comparisions between Belisle and Arroyo. Many people who are high on Belisle said that he was a victim of bad luck. I can buy that over a handful of starts but over the course of 30 starts that shouldn't make that much of a difference. There is also a train of thought that "You make your own luck". Maybe batters got better swings against Belisle than Arroyo. I just find it hard to believe that you would on a guy last year who didn't pitch all that well and his defense has been he pitched into some bad luck.

Heath
03-18-2008, 12:18 PM
There was something about Belisle and relieving, something about that he can't warm-up fast enough.

Chip R
03-18-2008, 12:25 PM
There was something about Belisle and relieving, something about that he can't warm-up fast enough.


Tell him that in every game Fogg pitches to warm up beginning in the 1st inning. ;)

RedsManRick
03-18-2008, 12:26 PM
I wonder how often last year Belisle left the game with men on base versus between innings compared to Arroyo. If he's handing runners off the soft underbelly of the Reds middle relief whereas Arroyo is allowed to get out of his own jams, perhaps that's the source for the strand rate differences and thus the earned runs difference.

redsmetz
03-18-2008, 12:49 PM
Since the thread is about Spring Training thoughts, I thought I'd mention something that occurred to me this morning. Three players who we most likely are showcasing for possible trades (Hatteberg, Freel and Stanton) are having decent springs.

Now, I'm not saying that will necessarily translate into trades, but it's good all three are playing well - it helps their value to some degree.

Raisor
03-18-2008, 12:54 PM
I still think Dusty will make the case that Castro has lost a half step and is still injured. He will start the season on the DL to get fully back in shape--I bet Green makes it. Apparently Castro can't play two day in a row. Stanton given his performance this spring is another matter... but he don't have a lot of rope, especially with Roenicke in the wings...

Castro is, historicly, exactly the kind of player Dusty has not only wanted on his roster, but played.

I'm not convinced that he won't be on the roster even after Gonzo gets back.

Screwball
03-18-2008, 12:55 PM
More from Trent:



Storylines
* Every start is crucial for Josh Fogg and Matt Belisle now. Fogg dominated the Pirates in Bradenton last Friday and a repeat of that performance will be key in giving him the nod over Matt Belisle for what increasingly appears to be the final spot in the rotation.

* Jerry Gil is back. The versatile Gil caught manager Dusty Baker's eye early in the spring and after a quad injury set him back, Gil has played well in his return. He starts today at shortstop, perhaps Baker is looking to see if Gil could play there in Alex Gonzalez's absence. It's Gil's first start of the spring, having hit safely in 4 of his 6 appearances. He's played SS, 3B, LF, CF and RF.

* Joey Votto has struggled this spring. In his one plate appearance on Monday, he laid down a sacrifice bunt. He needs to get going if he's to make the Opening Day roster.

* Norris Hopper is getting what could be a big start in center. Since Corey Patterson started playing last week, the former Cub has hit safely in 5 of his 6 games. Hopper has hit in 9 of 11 games this spring. Ryan Freel has also stepped up with the competition for the starting spot in center, leading the club with 14 hits this spring.

A look at Fogg
Fogg is 109 with a 2.08 ERA this spring. He pitched 5 scoreless innings last Friday at Pittsburgh, giving up just three hits and striking out 3. On March 9 at Tampa Bay, Fogg surrendered 2 runs and 5 hits in 3 innings, gave up a run and two hits on March 4 against the Indians and pitched two scoreless innings against the Twins on Feb. 28.

What's next?
Wednesday is the only off day of the spring. Expect cuts either Wednesday or before Thursday night's game at Minnesota. There are currently 50 on the roster -- that should be down to 35ish by Tuesday. The biggest cuts could be Homer Bailey and Jay Bruce. Bruce may stick around a little longer, but maybe not too much. Decision will have to be made soon on guys like Andy Green, Andy Phillips and Jolbert Cabrera.

TRF
03-18-2008, 12:58 PM
There was something about Belisle and relieving, something about that he can't warm-up fast enough.

That was Luke Hudson.

KronoRed
03-18-2008, 02:52 PM
Castro is, historicly, exactly the kind of player Dusty has not only wanted on his roster, but played.

I'm not convinced that he won't be on the roster even after Gonzo gets back.

We will need a back up SS.

MississippiRed
03-18-2008, 05:20 PM
There was something about Belisle and relieving, something about that he can't warm-up fast enough.

I think the deal with Belisle is that his back does better when he is on a regular schedule of pitching. In 2006 he had back troubles from the bullpen. Isn't that correct?

IslandRed
03-18-2008, 05:55 PM
We will need a back up SS.

I just don't see Castro being kept over Keppinger, and that's the choice that will be made, presuming Gonzalez will displace Kepp from the starting lineup when he returns. Castro's "value" is as a late-innings defensive caddy, and with Phillips, Gonzalez and a stabilized Encarnacion, there's no one to caddy for. The infield utility guy needs to be the spot-starter type, not the defensive-replacement type, and Keppinger's bat makes him much better suited for that.

pedro
03-18-2008, 06:02 PM
Everyone wants to piss all over Dusty for playing Neifi Perez but it's not like he had a lot of options at SS.

Dude played Aurilia all those years in SF so it's not like he won't play a SS who can hit because he's not the best fielder.

mth123
03-18-2008, 08:22 PM
I think the deal with Belisle is that his back does better when he is on a regular schedule of pitching. In 2006 he had back troubles from the bullpen. Isn't that correct?

Correct.

BRM
03-19-2008, 09:24 AM
C. Trent makes his 25 man roster prediction.



Picking the Reds' 25-man roster

Starters (5)
Aaron Harang -- the ace
Bronson Arroyo -- the No. 2
Johnny Cueto -- the phenom
Edinson Volquez -- has shown in spring why the Reds traded for him
Josh Fogg -- a solid No. 5 starter last year for the NL Champs, should do the job for the Reds

Relievers (7)
Francisco Cordero -- the closer
David Weathers -- last year's closer will be the top set-up man
Jeremy Affeldt -- can go long and make spot starts
Bill Bray -- if the lefty can stay healthy, he could be one of the suprises of the season
Jared Burton -- he still has options, so any misstep could send him right back down. great arm, but still things he needs to work on
Mike Stanton -- at $3 million, he'll get a shot to show he can still pitch, but he'll have a short leash
Matt Belisle -- another long man with the ability to start

Catchers (3)
David Ross -- if he's healthy
Paul Bako -- yeah, you know
Javier Valentin -- don't think of him as a catcher, but a pinch hitter that can catch

Position players (10)
Scott Hatteberg -- the Reds will trade him if they get a good offer, if not, he's insurance against a slumping Joey Votto
Brandon Phillips -- can he repeat his 30/30 feat?
Jeff Keppinger -- can play anywhere in the infield and the corner outfield spots
Edwin Encarnacion -- still my pick for the break-out player of the season
Adam Dunn -- a contract year could mean big things for the big man
Corey Patterson -- has hit during the spring and looks like he's not trying ot hit for power
Ken Griffey Jr. -- 7 homers shy of 600
Norris Hopper -- a valuable backup in the outfield
Juan Castro -- still signed to a $1 million deal and a valuable defensive backup. The team will need to be convinced his arm can sustain back-to-back days of play at shortstop after undergoing "Tommy John" surgery last summer
Joey Votto -- can play left field in addition to first

puca
03-19-2008, 09:57 AM
Josh Fogg -- a solid No. 5 starter last year for the NL Champs, should do the job for the Reds


Solid is stretching it a bit. He has lived on the edge of the cliff his whole professional career. He is going to fall off that cliff, Jimmy Anderston style, in that ballpark with that defense behind him. I'd much rather have someone with more upside than a bad 5th starter. The good news is that he will have pitched himself out of the rotation by mid May. The bad news is that unless the kids pitch lights out, the damage done will be large.



Jeremy Affeldt -- can go long and make spot starts

Smoke and mirrors last year. Doubtful if he can sustain the success. Regretable signing.



Bill Bray -- if the lefty can stay healthy, he could be one of the suprises of the season

Really rooting for Bray. The Reds will need a decent bullpen lefty, and of those on this list he is the best (and IMO only) hope.



Jared Burton -- he still has options, so any misstep could send him right back down. great arm, but still things he needs to work on

The Reds absolutely need him to be the real deal.



Mike Stanton -- at $3 million, he'll get a shot to show he can still pitch, but he'll have a short leash

Waste of a roster spot. Should have been released last year.



Matt Belisle -- another long man with the ability to start

Will be starting by June. Hopefully he will be replacing Fogg and not one of the kids.



David Ross -- if he's healthy
Paul Bako -- yeah, you know
Javier Valentin -- don't think of him as a catcher, but a pinch hitter that can catch

Ugh. As a pinch hitter, Javier is a pretty good catcher.

Best I can say about Bako is that he would be a decent emergency catcher to stash at AAA.



Corey Patterson -- has hit during the spring and looks like he's not trying ot hit for power

Not a big fan, but you never know. Clearly the Reds don't think Bruce should be patrolling CF, at least between Griffey and Dunn.



Juan Castro -- still signed to a $1 million deal and a valuable defensive backup. The team will need to be convinced his arm can sustain back-to-back days of play at shortstop after undergoing "Tommy John" surgery last summer

I'm more concerned about the Reds being able to sustain back-to-back days of play by Castro.

RedlegJake
03-19-2008, 10:11 AM
If Votto doesn't start he should go to AAA - with the assurance he's back as soon as his bat heats up. Meanwhile keep dangling Hatteberg. Votto needs to play everyday and if that isn't in Cincy it should be in Louisville.

Patterson quit trying to hit for power a couple years ago -his strikeout numbers have declined each of the last 3 seasons - precipitously. Unfortunately he still doesn't walk, his OBP is just a tick above his BA and his slugging also dropped preciptiously. He makes a lot of contact now but not too much of it is gap power. Still he ius very talented and could be a solid contributor if he is used correctly in the lineup -say hitting 7th or 8th. Unfortunately I think Dusty sees him as a leadoff man, probably a worse miscasting than Castro in the 2 hole.
Freel takes Hopper's spot, imo, unless he can be traded.

Green is this spring's 'guy who did everything he should' but roster numbers just won't work for him.

flyer85
03-19-2008, 10:29 AM
Waste of a roster spot. Should have never been signed.fixed

dabvu2498
03-19-2008, 10:45 AM
Juan Castro -- a valuable defensive backup.

Still singing the praises of C. Trent???

Jpup
03-19-2008, 11:06 AM
C. Trent is a good writer and I enjoy his stuff most of the time, but he has very little knowledge of players.

JUAN CASTRO IS HORRIBLE......

Why can't any of these media types speak for themselves? They all just copy the drivel the front office and manager gives them. How sad.

puca
03-19-2008, 11:18 AM
Still singing the praises of C. Trent???

Absolutely not!

When I disagree with someone, I immediately disregard everything they have to say. I have no use for people that don't see things exactly the way I do.

That is just the way I roll.

pedro
03-19-2008, 11:20 AM
yeah right, the Reds are going to carry 3 catchers and Juan Castro, that's some fine analysis Trent.

RedlegJake
03-19-2008, 11:21 AM
:rolleyes:
:cool:
:D


you forgot one of these, puca

BRM
03-19-2008, 11:23 AM
yeah right, the Reds are going to carry 3 catchers and Juan Castro, that's some fine analysis Trent.

You think it's not possible?

dabvu2498
03-19-2008, 11:26 AM
You think it's not possible?

The question then becomes... does Votto get sent down when AGon comes back? ;)

:D

BRM
03-19-2008, 11:29 AM
The question then becomes... does Votto get sent down when AGon comes back? ;)

:D

I can't believe they would carry 3 catchers and Castro either but I certainly wouldn't rule it out.

pedro
03-19-2008, 11:31 AM
You think it's not possible?

Yup. The Reds are not going to go into the season with only 4 OF's. That's just not going to happen.

dabvu2498
03-19-2008, 11:33 AM
Yup. The Reds are not going to go into the season with only 4 OF's. That's just not going to happen.

As Mr. Rosecrans says...



Joey Votto -- can play left field in addition to first

I think working for Clear Channel may be rubbing off on him.

Jpup
03-19-2008, 11:33 AM
Yup. The Reds are not going to go into the season with only 4 OF's. That's just not going to happen.

you are right. If they do, that means Castro is gone. Gil would have to be the backup SS and 5th OF.

David Ross will start on the DL unless he has some healing powers or gets some HGH.

puca
03-19-2008, 11:34 AM
:rolleyes:
:cool:
:D


you forgot one of these, puca

What? I was totally serious. ;)

Actually I thought the sarcasm was self-evident.

pedro
03-19-2008, 11:35 AM
As Mr. Rosecrans says...




I think working for Clear Channel may be rubbing off on him.



No kidding.

I thought the Reds only cared about defense?

Chip R
03-19-2008, 11:39 AM
Castro is solid like Jello is solid.

Kc61
03-19-2008, 11:47 AM
Affeldt averaged less than an inning per appearance last year. He is not a long man. If given longer stints, he will have a high ERA. He needs to be used in short relief. Not necessarily the late innings, but short stints.

I think Ross will be DL'd and the Reds will carry two catchers. With trade possibilities, unclear who will join Valentin. Don't think three catchers will happen, at least out of the box.

There have probably been 100,000 posts on RedsZone knocking Castro over the years. Frankly, I'm a little tired of reading them. The Reds shortstop, Gonzalez, is hurt. So they need two other middle infielders until Gonzo comes back. When he does, I'm sure Castro will conveniently be injured, go on the DL, and be standing by in case there is another injury. Most teams don't have A-Rod as their third string shortstop, so people should live with Castro for this purpose.

puca
03-19-2008, 12:06 PM
I'll say this much for Juan...he is one of the most prolific out-makers in the history of baseball.

Not everyone can say that.

Kc61
03-19-2008, 12:40 PM
I'll say this much for Juan...he is one of the most prolific out-makers in the history of baseball.

Not everyone can say that.

100,001 posts knocking Castro. And counting.

OnBaseMachine
03-19-2008, 12:40 PM
100,001

Is that the number of outs he's made the last five years?

puca
03-19-2008, 12:44 PM
100,001 posts knocking Castro. And counting.

I was simply stating a fact. I can't help it if the facts point out the obvious.

KronoRed
03-19-2008, 02:03 PM
Is that the number of outs he's made the last five years?

If we made one post per out the board would have crashed years ago.

M2
03-19-2008, 02:09 PM
100,001 posts knocking Castro. And counting.

Let me make #100,005, having had to watch Juan Castro play the bulk of his career is hands down the worst thing I've endured as a baseball fan. The thought of having to be further subjected to his craptastic game makes me want to punch holes in walls.

reds44
03-19-2008, 02:13 PM
So Trent has us carrying 3 catchers (one of which being Paul Bako) and Juan Castro. Just wow. I do not see how Ross doesn't start the year on the DL.

Chip R
03-19-2008, 02:19 PM
I do not see how Ross doesn't start the year on the DL.


Yeah. Him and Gonzo.

KronoRed
03-19-2008, 02:20 PM
So Trent has us carrying 3 catchers (one of which being Paul Bako) and Juan Castro. Just wow. I do not see how Ross doesn't start the year on the DL.

Anyone see a mean looking guy carrying a club toward Ross lately? ;)