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Chip R
03-26-2008, 09:31 PM
Here is the Reds Hot Stove League show report for 3-26-08. Jeff and Thom were the hosts for an abbreviated show tonight because of the Reds pre-game show.

Thom asked Jeff what is the deal with all the players still left in camp. Jeff said he could understand if it were just a couple or three players left but there are still at least 14-15 extra players left in camp. Jeff said that is ridiculous. He believes by now they should, for the most part, be going with the guys who are going to be on the roster. He said whomever the CF is has to be able to communicate with Jr. He said everybody's playing in different positions and Patterson's out there one day, Freel the next and Ol' Gil the next. Jeff said that if Kepp is the SS he's going to be wanting to work with Brandon every day to get their timing down but that isn't happening. He said the 1st baseman - be it Votto or Hatteberg - would like to take throws from the guys that are going to be the regular IFers. Jeff said in order to be a great ballclub and to get off to a great start you need to be playing with the guys who are playing every day. He said Ross is a prime example of someone who hasn't worked with the starters yet. Jeff said the Reds are in flux now and that isn't how you want to start the season.

After commercial, Thom asked Jeff about the rotation. He said that Belisle threw 55 pitches in a simulated game today and to him that means there is no way he'll be in the Opening Day rotation. Jeff agreed. Thom said that Fogg is the 5th starter and Belisle is on the DL but no one has made that decision. Thom said that in the bullpen they have Cordero, Weathers and Burton and after that there's Affeldt, Bray, Brower, Capellan, Coffey, Stanton, Mercker and Lincoln. Thom asked when are the Reds going to make a decision on who stays and who goes. Jeff said he would hope that decision will be made sooner than later (No kidding, Jeff. The season starts Monday) He said if you're not going to take certain players north and they don't have options, you look around to see if there is any interest in them but eventually you have to make a decision on them and when you do there are going to be other teams looking to pick up these guys. Anyone who has had a good spring training
isn't going to want to go to AAA and are going to want to hook up with a big league team.

The first caller wanted to know who's on first (No, it wasn't the late Lou Costello) Jeff sais that he thinks it's going to be Votto because although he's had a slow spring, when he was up last year he faced teams who were in the playoff hunt, with the exception of the Giants, and hit well. Over the last 3-4 games he's hit the ball hard and had great ABs and is very balanced up there. The caller said he's a big Hatteberg fan and why shouldn't he start. Jeff said he's had probably the best spring of anyone but Votto is the future and has tremendous power to all fields which is an asset in GAB. Hatteberg is a great hitter but doesn't have as much power as Votto. He thinks Votto can carry this club in tough times

After commercial, the next caller asked about the CF battle and whether there will be a trade and whether there should be a trade. Thom said they know Freel can play a lot of different positions and if Jr. and/or Dunn need a night off against a tough lefty, you could have an OF of Freel, Hopper and Patterson. (Shivers should go up the spine of every Reds fan at the thought of that OF. Especially since Patterson can't hit lefties.) Thom asked Jeff if he thinks there will be a trade involving those guys. Jeff said he doesn't know if there will be one right away but perhaps down the line when everything works out. Jeff said Freel's the wild card since he can play in the IF too. He said there's no one else that can do that if EE starts off slow or gets hurt or if anyone else gets hurt. Freel can step into the lineup and give a team energy. (Freel's important for that sort of thing since they outlawed greenies)

The next caller asked what is the problem with Homer. Jeff said it's not just the fact he's not finding the strike zone. Jeff feels he's confused right now with pitch selection. Jeff said he has a great fastball, has a lot of intestinal fortitude, is a great competitor and has a lot of ingredients you can't teach a guy. But he has to become confident in a secondary pitch he can throw for a strike. Jeff said that Homer's big curve isn't going to be called a strike at this level. If he can shorten that up and throw it for strikes, we'll see Homer a lot up here. Thom said don't get impatient with Homer because he's only 21. Jeff agreed. Thom said give him some time and some guys take a little longer to develop than others. Thom said he'll get more chances.

Thus endeth the last Reds Hot Stove League show report for this off season. I'd like to thank everyone for reading the reports and for the nice things you've said. I've enjoyed doing it and it's been a lot of fun and I hope you have been enlightened and entertained. The Sean Casey Meter didn't really work out but you can't blame a guy for trying. So, until November, so let it be written. So let it be done.

Kc61
03-26-2008, 09:48 PM
Thank you.

Far East
03-26-2008, 09:53 PM
Long time reader; first time thanker.
Thank you.

remdog
03-26-2008, 09:57 PM
"Hatteberg is a great hitter..."

G-r-e-a-t. Possibly the most over used word on any and every sports forum. :rolleyes:

Rem

PS: Thanks Chip. That was great. :)

Highlifeman21
03-26-2008, 10:00 PM
Sean Casey Meter = 1.

And I literally said "You've gotta be f-ing kidding me" when I read
Thom said they know Freel can play a lot of different positions and if Jr. and/or Dunn need a night off against a tough lefty, you could have an OF of Freel, Hopper and Patterson. . I mean really...

I guess Dusty and Wayne want to keep the fans and players guessing up until Opening Day as to the personnel on the 25 man roster?

OnBaseMachine
03-26-2008, 10:04 PM
.
I guess Dusty and Wayne want to keep the fans and players guessing up until Opening Day as to the personnel on the 25 man roster?

The tractor-trailer carrying the Reds players personal belongings leaves for Cincinnati tomorrow so the Reds have got to make the final cuts either tonight or tomorrow morning. If not, the Reds are going to have a few ticked off players who get cut while their personal belongings are on their way to Cincy.

gm
03-26-2008, 10:06 PM
The big question is: was Stanton's stuff loaded on the truck that left Sarasota for Cincy today?

Highlifeman21
03-26-2008, 10:11 PM
The tractor-trailer carrying the Reds players personal belongings leaves for Cincinnati tomorrow so the Reds have got to make the final cuts either tonight or tomorrow morning. If not, the Reds are going to have a few ticked off players who get cut while their personal belongings are on their way to Cincy.

Why does the thought of the Reds using a tractor-trailer to haul a bunch equipment back to Cincinnati sound so low rent?

I would think the Reds would have a charter jet for the team, and put the equipment on the same method of transportation.

No offense to truckers and tractor-trailers, but if that's how the Reds are hauling stuff back to Cincinnati, it just really makes us sound like a 2nd rate organization, at best.

Raisor
03-26-2008, 10:11 PM
Freel, Hopper, Patterson in the same lineup at the same time.

SWEET FANCY MOSES!

Now THAT's a scrappy lineup.

Highlifeman21
03-26-2008, 10:16 PM
Freel, Hopper, Patterson in the same lineup at the same time.

SWEET FANCY MOSES!

Now THAT's a scrappy lineup.

The scariest lineup we could see from the Reds this year....

CF Patterson
RF Freel
LF Hopper
2B B. Phillips
3B EE
1B Keppinger
SS Castro
C Valentin

*BaseClogger*
03-26-2008, 10:18 PM
The scariest lineup we could see from the Reds this year....

CF Patterson
RF Freel
LF Hopper
2B B. Phillips
3B EE
1B Keppinger
SS Castro
C Valentin

Bako at catcher

membengal
03-26-2008, 10:25 PM
As always, chip, much thanks from a grateful reader.

Highlifeman21
03-26-2008, 10:25 PM
Bako at catcher

I'd take Bako over Valentin, but IMO they are equally bad.

David Ross looks like Mike Piazza compared to those two.

OnBaseMachine
03-26-2008, 10:29 PM
Why does the thought of the Reds using a tractor-trailer to haul a bunch equipment back to Cincinnati sound so low rent?

I would think the Reds would have a charter jet for the team, and put the equipment on the same method of transportation.

No offense to truckers and tractor-trailers, but if that's how the Reds are hauling stuff back to Cincinnati, it just really makes us sound like a 2nd rate organization, at best.

I'm pretty sure that's how every organization does it. I remember hearing on ESPN that the Red Sox took their belongings down via a tractor-trailer. My guess is every organization does it that way.

Highlifeman21
03-26-2008, 10:32 PM
I'm pretty sure that's how every organization does it. I remember hearing on ESPN that the Red Sox took their belongings down via a tractor-trailer. My guess is every organization does it that way.

Every trucker's dream.... plenty of time on Interstates 75 or 95.

OldXOhio
03-26-2008, 10:51 PM
Thom said they know Freel can play a lot of different positions and if Jr. and/or Dunn need a night off against a tough lefty, you could have an OF of Freel, Hopper and Patterson.

Is it bad for your enamel if you throw up in your mouth three times in one sentence?

LINEDRIVER
03-26-2008, 11:16 PM
Seems to me that loading/unloading equipment on/off a truck would be the way to go. The truck can be driven from one loading dock at one ballpark to a loading dock at the next ballpark,

It beats loading everything into the truck, unloading the truck at the airport, loading the truck again after the plane reaches it's destination, and then unloading the truck again when the truck gets to the ballpark.

MartyFan
03-26-2008, 11:27 PM
Just tossing this one out there...but Could the Reds management already know what they are doing with their players but are intentionally not making those moves to keep their competition off balance?

1) I don't know what sense that would make
2) Does it make any sense?

Raisor
03-26-2008, 11:29 PM
Just tossing this one out there...but Could the Reds management already know what they are doing with their players but are intentionally not making those moves to keep their competition off balance?

1) I don't know what sense that would make
2) Does it make any sense?

I'm not sure how much sense that makes with just a couple days left.

Reds Nd2
03-27-2008, 12:10 AM
I'm not sure how much sense that makes with just a couple days left.

29 other teams have already made their final cuts then?

Reds Nd2
03-27-2008, 12:12 AM
And Chip,

Muchas Gracias.

Reds1
03-27-2008, 12:47 AM
The only reason I can think they are waiting so late is that they truly have a bunch of guys they don't want to lose - so the later they wait the less time someone can actually plan to pick up a guy. Sounds good. I was thinking a trade was in the works, but Reds brass by tomorrow morning there needs to be some serious cuts. :)

Thanks Chip

Chip R
03-27-2008, 12:52 AM
Could it be that they are going to cut a bunch of guys at one time around the same time other teams are making their final cuts? Now I don't know when that is going to be but I bet any major league executive on the baseball side worth his salt knows when teams cut their players. That way when other GMs are looking at the waiver wire, there are so many names that they will gloss over most of those names and those guys you want to keep can be sent down to AAA. Other than that, I got nothing. :dunno:

camisadelgolf
03-27-2008, 01:08 AM
Maybe the Reds have a few different offers on the table, and they don't want to send anyone down until they know who they will need to replace.

remdog
03-27-2008, 01:30 AM
All of the speculation about who/why/where/when is interesting but the bottom line is that we're talking about (primarily) the 25th guy on the roster, maybe #24 also in the extreme.

Unless you're in the hunt for the division title, player #25, and even #24, are going to have only a very marginal effect on where you finish. The major question for me is do you keep someone that you think will help you win the whole thing or do you keep a guy that you think will give you a better shot next year?

As to where I think the Reds will finish this year, there's another thread on that. I just think that the 1-23 or 24 players are going to be the deciding factor unless the season comes down to the last day and a playoff berth is on the line. So, in that respect, a loss in April is just as consequential as a loss in September.

Choose your goal and make your picks accordingly. Hopefully, you'll make wise choices.

Rem

Reds1
03-27-2008, 01:37 AM
To some extent I agree with rem, but I'm not sure waiting until the end is good for the players. I mean we may not have seen the openday line up yet. They mix and match daily. Is it even important they play and know. I really don't know. I just don't recall waiting this late in years past. I mean we all can guess and probably get 23 or 24 right. I guess it's just all good fun and hopefully it will work out, but it does seem different, but then again different is good. We aren't winning doing it the other ways.

RedlegJake
03-27-2008, 02:03 AM
On the trucking thing...I worked for an airlines in KC and had to load team equipment on charters more than once. No way in the world you'd get all the ST equipment on a plane. The regular trip equipment barely fits with the players loaded at athletic team weight allowances. Every charter I ever worked had the weight maxed out to the last pound. In ST these guys have personal clothing, apt furnishings (not furniture but DVDs, TVs, Video games, bath and hygiene stuff, plus exercise and training stuff and gear they leave behind on road trips. Every team uses trucks for ST travel back to home to start the season. You can bet the plane will still be loaded to the gills.

Ron Madden
03-27-2008, 03:54 AM
Chip,

I try to listen to the HSL whenever possible, I never miss an oportunity to read your reports, You do a fantastic job and I am very thankful.

:thumbup:

flyer85
03-27-2008, 06:31 AM
the only reason I can see for all the players is that WK is trying to trade several players and he is trying to conceal his plans(as always).

icehole3
03-27-2008, 07:44 AM
The scariest lineup we could see from the Reds this year....

CF Patterson
RF Freel
LF Hopper
2B B. Phillips
3B EE
1B Keppinger
SS Castro
C Valentin

If I were to pitch in a major league game and folks I have a noodle arm but I do throw a mean knuckler, I would want to pitch against that lineup. I would just rare back and throw my 55 mph heater which would set up my knuckle slider which is my out pitch that I paint the corners with. Im like Rembrandt out there painting them corners.

http://www.sternfannetwork.com/forum/images/smilies/Animations/rofl.gif

princeton
03-27-2008, 09:25 AM
He said whomever the CF is has to be able to communicate with Jr.

"Hey Jr! am I supposed to get all of the balls not hit directly at you?"

Cyclone792
03-27-2008, 09:29 AM
The scariest lineup we could see from the Reds this year....

CF Patterson
RF Freel
LF Hopper
2B B. Phillips
3B EE
1B Keppinger
SS Castro
C Valentin

Add Tom Shearn in the pitching slot and you've got a classic mid September lineup. In fact, I'm taking the September 16th game against the Cards in GABP as the date where we'll see that lineup with Shearn on the mound.

I'm so pumped about that lineup that I might go down and stand in the rain today to ensure I land tickets.

redsrule2500
03-27-2008, 09:57 AM
The scariest lineup we could see from the Reds this year....

CF Patterson
RF Freel
LF Hopper
2B B. Phillips
3B EE
1B Keppinger
SS Castro
C Valentin

Eh, I think Ross at catcher would be a little scarier.

camisadelgolf
03-27-2008, 10:15 AM
My Reds anti-base-clogging, opening day lineup:

CF Corey Patterson
RF Norris Hopper
3B Jolbert Cabrera
LF Jerry Gil
1B Andy Phillips
2B Jerry Hairston
SS Juan Castro
C Paul Bako

cumberlandreds
03-27-2008, 10:35 AM
Thanks Chip for your work in providing these reports. They have both been informative and entertaining. You can't beat a combination like that!

Cyclone792
03-27-2008, 10:38 AM
By the way, Chip, I just realized that this is the last Hot Stove Report until November.

Thanks for another offseason of outstanding reports!

lollipopcurve
03-27-2008, 11:54 AM
My Reds anti-base-clogging, opening day lineup:

CF Corey Patterson
RF Norris Hopper
3B Jolbert Cabrera
LF Jerry Gil
1B Andy Phillips
2B Jerry Hairston
SS Juan Castro
C Paul Bako

Lifetime major league OBP:

Hopper .379
Freel .358

camisadelgolf
03-27-2008, 12:20 PM
For all intensive purposes, having a walk percentage of 5.27% is pathetic. That's Juan Castro's percentage. Sadly, he is a walk-taking machine compared to many other guys vying for spots on the team.

BB% Player
16.75 Adam Dunn
13.57 Joey Votto (minors)
12.78 Ken Griffey, Jr.
11.73 Scott Hatteberg
10.32 Ryan Freel
9.96 Andy Green
9.49 Dave Ross
8.97 Paul Bako
7.89 Jerry Hairston, Jr.
7.82 Javier Valentin
7.74 Jeff Keppinger
6.99 Norris Hopper
5.12 Alex Gonzalez
5.10 Brandon Phillips
4.79 Jolbert Cabrera
4.70 Corey Patterson
4.39 Andy Phillips
3.00 Jerry Gil (minors)

RedsManRick
03-27-2008, 12:25 PM
It's interesting to me how the Hopper/Freel conversation tends to go this spring. Nothing specfic to your post lollipop, just some observations. Some other numbers to consider as we try to project what those two are likely to do in 2008.

Lifetime major league plate appearances (2007):
Hopper: 385 (335)
Freel: 2,028 (304)

Lifetime major league BABIP (2007):
Hopper: .370 (.369)
Freel: .317 (.285)

Lifetime major league slash stats (PECOTA 2008 Weighted Mean Projection):
Hopper: .329/.371/.388 (.284/.330/.337)
Freel: .270/.358/.378 (.260/.333/.370)

Lifetime minor league slash stats
Hopper: .289/.343/.335
Freel: .269/.360/.397

It's quite possible Hopper continues his .370 BABIP ways, particularly in a straight platoon situation. I just find it odd that people put so much weight on 2007 and ignore the 3 years prior, both in favor of Hopper and against Freel. It's interesting how much faith people have in Hopper's ability to sustain his bunt-for-hit offensive numbers while so easily dismissing Freel, who is the superior defender at multiple positions and has a track record of success based on a non-gimmick game.

BRM
03-27-2008, 12:27 PM
Hopper hits the ball real hard in BP. That's the difference. ;)

Highlifeman21
03-27-2008, 01:49 PM
My Reds anti-base-clogging, opening day lineup:

CF Corey Patterson
RF Norris Hopper
3B Jolbert Cabrera
LF Jerry Gil
1B Andy Phillips
2B Jerry Hairston
SS Juan Castro
C Paul Bako

The Reds are in serious trouble if Cabrera, Phillips, Hairston and Bako all make the team.

lollipopcurve
03-27-2008, 02:11 PM
Freel, who is the superior defender at multiple positions and has a track record of success based on a non-gimmick game.

Hopper is a better OF than Freel, and Freel is terrible 2nd baseman. Hopper is also younger and cheaper.

Speed is not a "gimmick." The fact is, Hopper knows how to use his speed, Freel doesn't. Freel hits the ball is the air way too much. Question is, do you have more faith in Freel's ability to adapt -- putting the ball on the ground, bunting with some facility -- or in Hopper's ability to adapt and take more walks. I'll take the latter -- plus the superior defense and cheaper contract.

RedsManRick
03-27-2008, 02:22 PM
Hopper is a better OF than Freel, and Freel is terrible 2nd baseman. Hopper is also younger and cheaper.

Speed is not a "gimmick." The fact is, Hopper knows how to use his speed, Freel doesn't. Freel hits the ball is the air way too much. Question is, do you have more faith in Freel's ability to adapt -- putting the ball on the ground, bunting with some facility -- or in Hopper's ability to adapt and take more walks. I'll take the latter -- plus the superior defense and cheaper contract.

Speed itself is not a gimmick. Basing your entire offensive value around bunting for hits is. Hopper's problem isn't the lack of walks. It's that even knowing how to use his speed, he won't likely sustain a .370 BABIP. I'll concede a higher than average one, maybe even in the .340 range -- but not .370 again. Throw in the dearth of power, and you could very well see a "solid" .300/.340/.340 season from Hopper. A .680 OPS with no other source of value is not worth a roster spot. It would be one thing if he were a gold glove defender or a serious stolen base threat off the bench, but he's not. Consider that last year, his first one in the majors, he was better than he ever was in the minors, and you have a pretty solid case for serious regression.

And even given that Freel isn't a gold glover at 2B or 3B, it gives you an option you don't have with Hopper. Fielding wise in CF they're comparable, but Freel has the better arm. Unless you plan on getting somebody else to pick up the tab in a trade, the salaries simply aren't relevant. Freel is simply more useful.

lollipopcurve
03-27-2008, 02:30 PM
Speed itself is not a gimmick. Basing your entire offensive value around bunting for hits is. Hopper's problem isn't the lack of walks. It's that even knowing how to use his speed, he won't likely sustain a .370 BABIP.

It's not just bunts, it's infield hits -- based on his understanding that putting the ball on the ground is to his advantage -- something Freel has never really capitalized on. Also, you failed to acknowledge my point that Hopper may have the ability to increase his walk rate. You seem to assume that it's ALL in the numbers, with nary a consideration that players have the ability to adapt.

And I'll continue to disagree on the defensive side -- I think Hopper is far less mistake-prone in the OF and has the better arm.

camisadelgolf
03-27-2008, 02:31 PM
Norris Hopper can play second base if needed. He played there in 12 games between Louisville and Chattanooga in 2006. I'd imagine that Freel's infield defense is much better, though.

flyer85
03-27-2008, 02:33 PM
Norris Hopper can play second base if needed. He played there in 12 games between Louisville and Chattanooga in 2006. I'd imagine that Freel's infield defense is much better, though.I'd assume that when a guy with zero power gets moved off of an middle infield position there is a real good reason for it.

rotnoid
03-27-2008, 03:10 PM
Maybe the Reds have a few different offers on the table, and they don't want to send anyone down until they know who they will need to replace.

That makes sense if they're worried about burning options, but I'd be surprised if most of the guys in question don't have a least one left.

camisadelgolf
03-27-2008, 03:12 PM
That makes sense if they're worried about burning options, but I'd be surprised if most of the guys in question don't have a least one left.

The thing with options is that you try not to use them unless you need to. I was speaking more along the lines of respecting the players by trying not to inconvenience them in regards to travel.