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View Full Version : How can they justify sitting Hatte?



redsrule2500
03-29-2008, 06:07 PM
He was our best hitter last year, and freaking owned spring training. I would be royally pissed if I was Scott!

bucksfan2
03-29-2008, 06:10 PM
He is almost 40, in the twilight of his career and there is a younger, more talented player who is waiting in the wings. Good for Hatty but he had to know the situation coming into this year. Making a cool 2M for sitting the bench isn't a bad gig.

OnBaseMachine
03-29-2008, 06:11 PM
He is almost 40, in the twilight of his career and there is a younger, more talented player who is waiting in the wings. Good for Hatty but he had to know the situation coming into this year. Making a cool 2M for sitting the bench isn't a bad gig.

Agreed.

Plus Hatteberg was not the Reds bets hitter last year. Dunn, Hamilton, Keppinger, and Griffey all had better seasons with the bat. And in a very small sample size Votto was better. Joey Votto needs to be the starting first baseman or else we'll be going through this same discussion next season.

redsrule2500
03-29-2008, 06:22 PM
Agreed.

Plus Hatteberg was not the Reds bets hitter last year. Dunn, Hamilton, Keppinger, and Griffey all had better seasons with the bat. And in a very small sample size Votto was better. Joey Votto needs to be the starting first baseman or else we'll be going through this same discussion next season.

He was the most consistant, with the highest batting average.

I dunno, I just don't like it personally.

Patrick Bateman
03-29-2008, 06:22 PM
1. He's not part of the future

2. We have a young guy who is

3. He's not that good. He's done a hell of a job as a Red, but he is what he is. A platoon first basemen that represents little value as a full time player.

Raisor
03-29-2008, 06:27 PM
He was the most consistant, with the highest batting average.



batting average? Really?

RedsManRick
03-29-2008, 06:31 PM
This might sound a bit obvious, but you don't play guys based on what they did last year, you play them based on what they are likely to do this year.

Hatteberg had a nice year in 2007. That doesn't make him the better option for 2008.

WMR
03-29-2008, 06:35 PM
Thank God the Reds are going to go with Votto. Shows me they're at least trying to do the right things.

red-in-la
03-29-2008, 06:36 PM
I really hope Baker agrees with you guys......is it written somewhere that Votto will start at 1B on Monday?

Screwball
03-29-2008, 06:38 PM
I really hope Baker agrees with you guys......is it written somewhere that Votto will start at 1B on Monday?

Fay says as much in his blog:



Here's the roster:

Starting lineup:
Corey Patterson CF
Jeff Keppinger SS
Ken Griffey Jr. RF
Brandon Phillips 2B
Adam Dunn LF
Edwin Encarnacion 3B
Joey Votto 1B
Paul Bako/Javy Valentin C

Bench
Ryan Freel INF/OF
Juan Castro INF
Scott Hatteberg 1B
Norris Hopper OF

Far East
03-29-2008, 06:43 PM
Dusty has used Votto late in ST as a pinch hitter and as a DH -- where he sits on the bench and enters the game similar to what a PH does.

So, the manager is probably confident that either Votto or Hatte can be successful coming off the bench late.

Furthermore, most pinch-hitting is done for the #9 slot in the order, much more rarely one position player for another; so the "platoon" might work even though neither first baseman bats right-handed.

reds44
03-29-2008, 06:49 PM
I think you'll see alot of both of them while Votto goes through his normal early season struggles, but once Votto turns it on he'll be the everyday 1st baseman.

red-in-la
03-29-2008, 07:01 PM
Fay says as much in his blog:

I am not sure that I take that so seriously. Fay said it was his guess.....and he has missed on many occassions in the past.

BoydsOfSummer
03-29-2008, 07:36 PM
Flip Votto and Patty, please. Thank you.

jmcclain19
03-29-2008, 07:42 PM
I like Hatteberg quite a bit. I have gained a huge amount of respect for him as a ballplayer during his time with the Reds. He's what I always wished Sean Casey would have turned into. A gap hitter who has a high OBP to make up for his power shortcomings. He's helped out the Reds tremendously in the last two seasons.

That being said - it's time for the Reds to look to the future, and that future includes Joey Votto - a player who is younger, more talented and has a higher ceiling than that of Hatteberg.

Far East
03-29-2008, 07:45 PM
Sunday lineup against opposition's southpaw:

OF-FREEL
OF-HOPPER
OF-GRIFFEY/DUNN
2B-PHILLIPS
3B-ENCARNACION
SS-KEPPINGER
1B-CASTRO
C-ROSS

coachw513
03-29-2008, 08:04 PM
From Reds.com:


Baker also declined to finalize who will be the Reds' first baseman on Opening Day.

At this point, veteran Scott Hatteberg figures to get the edge over prospect Joey Votto.

Hatteberg had his option picked up last season and is signed through 2008. Votto spent last season in Louisville before coming up to play 24 games with the Reds.

This spring, Hatteberg hit .386, in contrast to Votto's .206, a statistic too glaring for Baker to ignore.

"We're trying to give him [Votto] an opportunity to win the job ... but we still don't know. [We're] still in an earn-it, prove-it job," Baker said.

Hatteberg furthered his case on Saturday, going 3-for-3 with two RBIs off the bench in the Reds' Spring Training finale. Votto, who got the start, was 1-for-2.

Although Votto has slumped at the plate this spring, the 24-year-old does present significant advantages over Hatteberg, who is 38.

"Joey brings speed. He can throw; he draws walks; he can steal you a base," Baker said. "It's hard to say who's officially starting [at] first base."

Doesn't sound like Votto's in stone at the moment...

GAC
03-29-2008, 08:13 PM
Hatteberg not only strengthens our bench, but is a capable and knowledgable tutor for the young Votto.

Baker has to exercise some level of patience with Votto. And that is the question many, including myself, have about Baker and his handling of young ballplayers. We'll see.

reds44
03-29-2008, 08:20 PM
Votto's not on the team to sit on the bench. Even if he's not a starter from day 1, he is going to get plenty of chances to earn a starting spot. Hatteberg isn't awful either, it's not like they are starting Juan Castro over Votto or something.

It's really not that big of a deal.

KronoRed
03-29-2008, 09:25 PM
If Votto isn't starting why not send him down to get consistent playing time and carry someone who is used to bench duty.

LINEDRIVER
03-29-2008, 09:33 PM
I like knowing that on most days, Hatteberg & Valentin are available to come off the bench in the late innings with a runner or two on base.

RedsManRick
03-29-2008, 10:20 PM
I'm sure Votto is going to earn the job from a pinch hitting role. Sigh.

dfs
03-29-2008, 10:53 PM
Thank God the Reds are going to go with Votto. Shows me they're at least trying to do the right things.
Lets talk in May.

redsrule2500
03-29-2008, 11:05 PM
I'm sure Votto is going to earn the job from a pinch hitting role. Sigh.

I think that's the biggest mistake...he needs to be playing SOMEWHERE.

RedsManRick
03-29-2008, 11:24 PM
Votto's not on the team to sit on the bench. Even if he's not a starter from day 1, he is going to get plenty of chances to earn a starting spot. Hatteberg isn't awful either, it's not like they are starting Juan Castro over Votto or something.

It's really not that big of a deal.

I'm sure Votto will develop as a major leaguer quite well watching Scott Hattberg hit... It's not really the cost of having Hatteberg over Votto in the lineup from a 2008 run scoring perspective -- it's possible that that's a wash, more or less, especially at GABP. It's more the cost of burning Votto's cheap service time as an apprentice.

*BaseClogger*
03-29-2008, 11:26 PM
I'm sure Votto will develop as a major leaguer quite well watching Scott Hattberg hit... It's not really the cost of having Hatteberg over Votto in the lineup from a 2008 run scoring perspective -- it's possible that that's a wash, more or less, especially at GABP. It's more the cost of burning Votto's cheap service time as an apprentice.

If the playing time is about 50/50, with Votto taking over once he has proven he's the "real deal", what is the harm? Every game he's not starting at 1B he will either pinch-hit or give Dunn a day off in LF...

Spitball
03-29-2008, 11:46 PM
Lets talk in May.

I'm with you. How can this be an issue at this point?

Kc61
03-29-2008, 11:46 PM
Isn't the opening day pitcher a former Cy Young winner, Brandon Webb, followed by Dan Haren? If I were the Reds manager I would start Hatteberg for those games over Votto. I probably would also sit Votto against the lefty on Thursday. I'd given him a couple of starts in the Philly series next weekend.

*BaseClogger*
03-29-2008, 11:50 PM
Isn't the opening day pitcher a former Cy Young winner, Brandon Webb, followed by Dan Haren? If I were the Reds manager I would start Hatteberg for those games over Votto. I probably would also sit Votto against the lefty on Thursday. I'd given him a couple of starts in the Philly series next weekend.

...against Cole Hamels!? :eek:

...or even worse... a soft-tossing lefty... Jamie Moyer!? :eek:

Cedric
03-30-2008, 12:06 AM
I'm sure Votto is going to earn the job from a pinch hitting role. Sigh.

I realize your role is to be a muckraker. But what's up with complaining about the Reds organization on Votto? The guy is being given every chance to win the job and most likely will win it. Do you want them to publicly beat Hatteberg or something? I'm actually happy that Dusty and Wayne don't seem that worried about Votto this spring. Dusty has even mentioned that Votto usually starts slow and he's not that worried.

I don't get the hand wringing on this situation.

RedsManRick
03-30-2008, 12:41 AM
I realize your role is to be a muckraker. But what's up with complaining about the Reds organization on Votto? The guy is being given every chance to win the job and most likely will win it. Do you want them to publicly beat Hatteberg or something? I'm actually happy that Dusty and Wayne don't seem that worried about Votto this spring. Dusty has even mentioned that Votto usually starts slow and he's not that worried.

I don't get the hand wringing on this situation.

My role is a muckraker? I wasn't aware...

Anyways, I don't want our best young talent languishing on the bench. They should be playing every day so that they can develop their skills and ultimately perform. If Votto isn't ready to start in the majors, he should at least be getting regular at bats in the minors.

Players should not have to win jobs in Spring Training, period, unless there is some scouting concern -- a mechanical flaw or return from injury that is being watched. It's an insufficient sample in incredibly variable circumstances such that it's a very poor judge of how the player will perform in the majors. If Votto was good enough to start over Hatteberg last September (and acquitted himself quite well I might add), what has changed since then?

My problem is less with the specific decision of starting Hatteberg than it is an indication of the underlying thought process. I simply don't see what purpose is being served. If Votto isn't ready, how will having him back up Hatteberg make him ready? Are pinch hitting appearances and spot starts going to increase his ability such that at some point he will surpass Hatteberg?

Cedric
03-30-2008, 12:55 AM
My role is a muckraker? I wasn't aware...

Anyways, I don't want our best young talent languishing on the bench. They should be playing every day so that they can develop their skills and ultimately perform. If Votto isn't ready to start in the majors, he should at least be getting regular at bats in the minors.

Players should not have to win jobs in Spring Training, period, unless there is some scouting concern -- a mechanical flaw or return from injury that is being watched. It's an insufficient sample in incredibly variable circumstances such that it's a very poor judge of how the player will perform in the majors. If Votto was good enough to start over Hatteberg last September (and acquitted himself quite well I might add), what has changed since then?

My problem is less with the specific decision of starting Hatteberg than it is an indication of the underlying thought process. I simply don't see what purpose is being served. If Votto isn't ready, how will having him back up Hatteberg make him ready? Are pinch hitting appearances and spot starts going to increase his ability such that at some point he will surpass Hatteberg?

I was really just joking about the Upton Sinclair quote in your sig line.

Highlifeman21
03-30-2008, 02:05 PM
Last time I checked, Votto and Hatteberg are both LHB, so what's wrong with The Dusty riding the hot hand?

Right now, Hatteberg's the hot hand.

Down the road, I'm sure Votto will be the hot hand.





Now if this was a question of Freel or Hopper starting over Dunn or Griffey on a regular basis, then I'd say there might be cause for alarm.

Far East
03-30-2008, 02:57 PM
If Votto was good enough to start over Hatteberg last September (and acquitted himself quite well I might add), what has changed since then?

A. September stats are pretty much on a par with ST stats.

B. Wasn't Hatteberg hurt and never saw any action after Votto's first call-up game in September?

C. I like them both; they both deserve to play, just for different reasons.

edabbs44
03-30-2008, 03:12 PM
Cincy should be more worried about getting Votto experience in the big leagues than getting Hatteberg time in the lineup right now. Votto is part of the future of this organization. Hatteberg is not.

Ho hum. I saw this coming a mile away when his option was picked up and I hated it for that reason. Hopefully Votto keeps his head in the game, but I wouldn't be shocked if he starts dropping hints to the press.

Cedric
03-30-2008, 03:15 PM
Cincy should be more worried about getting Votto experience in the big leagues than getting Hatteberg time in the lineup right now. Votto is part of the future of this organization. Hatteberg is not.

Ho hum. I saw this coming a mile away when his option was picked up and I hated it for that reason. Hopefully Votto keeps his head in the game, but I wouldn't be shocked if he starts dropping hints to the press.

I would be shocked. No offense but sometimes I wonder if you are living on a different world than the rest of us. You are so negative you now think Joey f'n Votto is a big enough star to start dropping negative hints? Tomorrow is opening day, try and have some fun with that. That possible?

Spring~Fields
03-30-2008, 03:22 PM
Since Votto struggled it seems reasonable to start Hatteberg, and also seems reasonable to let Votto start in AAA for a few weeks to get his game togther instead of wasting on the bench.

The excuse or reasons that they used for Bruce they could use for Votto with his slow spring.

Caveat Emperor
03-30-2008, 03:23 PM
Do you want them to publicly beat Hatteberg or something?

No.

I want to see this team get rid of this senseless mentality that you have to knock the champ out in order to 'win' a starting role.

You play the best talent on a daily basis. Period. Right now, the better talent is Joey Votto.

Raisor
03-30-2008, 03:25 PM
Last time I checked, Votto and Hatteberg are both LHB, so what's wrong with The Dusty riding the hot hand?

Right now, Hatteberg's the hot hand.



Hasn't Votto been hot the last week or so?

edabbs44
03-30-2008, 03:28 PM
I would be shocked. No offense but sometimes I wonder if you are living on a different world than the rest of us. You are so negative you now think Joey f'n Votto is a big enough star to start dropping negative hints? Tomorrow is opening day, try and have some fun with that. That possible?

I think the vast majority on this board was for picking up Hatteberg's option at the time since he would be beneficial as a LHPH and spot starter. I thought it would open the door for controversy and just provide an opportunity not to let Votto win the job while tying up a roster spot with similar characteristics to Votto. I was pronounced negative at that time as well, but I guess there was some validity to what I thought.

Another example: Mercker was signed, I voiced my displeasure. I was called negative. It was only a "courtesy call", they shouted. "Let him have one last spring with the boys", they pleaded. I was "negative" because I seem to blow every transaction out of proportion, no matter how meaningless. I think my worries have been proven to be valid. Kent Mercker, Cincinnati reliever. Yippee.

I agree with you that I have been pretty negative over the past couple of years. I think that is quite obvious. But would you agree that I have been pretty accurate in many of my thoughts, worries and predictions?

vaticanplum
03-30-2008, 03:32 PM
No.

I want to see this team get rid of this senseless mentality that you have to knock the champ out in order to 'win' a starting role.

You play the best talent on a daily basis. Period. Right now, the better talent is Joey Votto.

I don't completely agree. Talent slumps too. It's quite a basic rule of sports that everybody wins his job in spring training. Is that completely realistic, if Aaron harang has a bad spring are they going to bench him? Of course not. But it's not a bad idea to have every single one of your athletes play like they have a job to "win".

I've said this elsewhere and others have too, but it's a long season. Hatteberg penciled in tomorrow means that they think he'll do a better job tomorrow. All bets are off on Wednesday. Or they should be.

Highlifeman21
03-30-2008, 03:35 PM
Hasn't Votto been hot the last week or so?

I hadn't paid attention, honestly.

I thought Hatteberg had the better overall Spring.

Votto will get more PAs that Hatteberg in 2008, so I'm not concerned about Opening Day.

edabbs44
03-30-2008, 03:47 PM
Votto will get more PAs that Hatteberg in 2008, so I'm not concerned about Opening Day.

That is far from a certainty.

Patrick Bateman
03-30-2008, 04:04 PM
Another example: Mercker was signed, I voiced my displeasure. I was called negative. It was only a "courtesy call", they shouted. "Let him have one last spring with the boys", they pleaded. I was "negative" because I seem to blow every transaction out of proportion, no matter how meaningless. I think my worries have been proven to be valid. Kent Mercker, Cincinnati reliever. Yippee.


You do realize if it wasn't Merker on the team, then it would almost certainly be Stanton replacing him?

Bray isn't on the team because of a perceieved problem with Bray... I sincerely doubt that Merker is fooling anyone into thinking he's a relief ace. You crap on nothing signings, but if it wasn't Merker, it would be Stanton, or some other run of the mill replacement level garbage.

RE: Hatteberg, I agree that I would rather having th young guy begin his career as a starter. But at the same time, if Votto does start to hit, you gotta think Baker will hand him the job. Baker has shown that he is high on Votto. So if he is as good as we think, Votto will get the nod sooner rather than later.

If he never does start hitting, having Hatt wont be a problem.

edabbs44
03-30-2008, 04:13 PM
You do realize if it wasn't Merker on the team, then it would almost certainly be Stanton replacing him?

Or they could have acquired a good relief pitcher this winter to take Stanton's spot.

And before everyone asks "Well who would you have acquired?" and then nitpick me to death on any name I bring up, I have no idea who I would have acquired. I have no idea who was available through trade. I do know that I wouldn't have signed Stanton or Mercker.

reds44
03-30-2008, 04:14 PM
Or they could have acquired a good relief pitcher this winter to take Stanton's spot.

And before everyone asks "Well who would you have acquired?" and then nitpick me to death on any name I bring up, I have no idea who I would have acquired. I have no idea who was available through trade. I do know that I wouldn't have signed Stanton or Mercker.
Well who would you have acquired?

:D

Patrick Bateman
03-30-2008, 04:17 PM
Or they could have acquired a good relief pitcher this winter to take Stanton's spot.

And before everyone asks "Well who would you have acquired?" and then nitpick me to death on any name I bring up, I have no idea who I would have acquired. I have no idea who was available through trade. I do know that I wouldn't have signed Stanton or Mercker.

Look it's just not that easy. Of course we'd all love to get a better reliever. You honestly think the Reds bypassed better players because they had Kent Merker in the fold on a minor league contract?

Merker is whoever takes his spot is your run of the mill reliever that is available for nothing. I'd assume if better players were available for decent rates than those guys would be here. But in a market where guys like Jeremy Affeldt come at perceived discount rates of 3M, it's not that easy. I don't know who was available for acceptable offers either, but I do know that it's a lot easier said than done, otherwise Krivsky wouldn't continously fail so badly at the process.

edabbs44
03-30-2008, 04:20 PM
Look it's just not that easy. Of course we'd all love to get a better reliever. You honestly think the Reds bypassed better players because they had Kent Merker in the fold on a minor league contract?

Merker is whoever takes his spot is your run of the mill reliever that is available for nothing. I'd assume if better players were available for decent rates than those guys would be here. But in a market where guys like Jeremy Affeldt come at perceived discount rates of 3M, it's not that easy. I don't know who was available for acceptable offers either, but I do know that it's a lot easier said than done, otherwise Krivsky wouldn't continously fail so badly at the process.

No matter how it happened, the bottom line is that Kent Mercker is on the OD roster.

I can't believe that those words were just typed by my fingers.

GAC
03-30-2008, 08:16 PM
I think the vast majority on this board was for picking up Hatteberg's option at the time since he would be beneficial as a LHPH and spot starter. I thought it would open the door for controversy and just provide an opportunity not to let Votto win the job while tying up a roster spot with similar characteristics to Votto. I was pronounced negative at that time as well, but I guess there was some validity to what I thought.

I was one of those for picking up Hatte's option. It still makes perfect sense since looking at his career numbers, and more importantly, his performance in a Red's uni. And whether it's he, or Votto, spending time on the bench, it still strengthens our bench IMO.

And lets say they didn't sign Hatte, and gave the job to Votto, who then continues to struggle badly. Then what do you do? What do you have to fall back on? Keeping Hatte at 1.65/yr is very, very reasonable, and makes sense. Do you think he could also be helpful in mentoring Votto at 1B?

I really could care less about any controversy. Let people make it what they may. They always find something to be negative/critical about. People keep talking about the "demise" of Hatte because of his age. They kept saying the same thing about Weathers too. And these "old guys" keep proving them wrong.

You want controversy? Lets talk Castro taking a roster spot - but not Scott Hatteberg. ;)

redsmetz
03-30-2008, 08:21 PM
No matter how it happened, the bottom line is that Kent Mercker is on the OD roster.

I can't believe that those words were just typed by my fingers.

Try type this, just for the joy of it: Mike Stanton isn't on the Opening Day roster. There, that wasn't so bad, was it?

edabbs44
03-30-2008, 08:27 PM
And lets say they didn't sign Hatte, and gave the job to Votto, who then continues to struggle badly. Then what do you do? What do you have to fall back on? Keeping Hatte at 1.65/yr is very, very reasonable, and makes sense. Do you think he could also be helpful in mentoring Votto at 1B?

In a pure baseball sense (and in a vacuum), I agree with you. Picking up Hatte's option made sense.

There are 2 reasons, however, where I think it didn't.

1) Roster makeup. You have Votto. He hits from the left side. So does Hatte. This discussion has been played out so I won't go through it, but having 2 LH 1st baseman doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

2) Sometimes you have to take a chance. Cutting Hatteberg and handing the job to Votto could have been viewed as a risk. But the risk would have been somewhat mitigated by the fact that Votto performed well in September. Also, what if Cincy used that money to sign someone like Ensberg to be the platoon partner? Now you are looking at Votto/Ensberg versus Hatteberg/Votto. Thoughts on that?

Hatteberg was the safe play, the one that is going to return even money. Less downside but limited upside. This team needs more upside.

edabbs44
03-30-2008, 08:28 PM
Try type this, just for the joy of it: Mike Stanton isn't on the Opening Day roster. There, that wasn't so bad, was it?

Mike Stanton isn't on the Opening Day roster.

Not bad at all. :)

mth123
03-30-2008, 08:30 PM
Mike Stanton isn't on the opening day roster.:)

Wow. It works. I think all of redszone should partake. Its like a party.

OnBaseMachine
03-31-2008, 10:56 PM
Man was I ticked when Hatteberg started over Votto today. This is why I wish the Reds would have traded Hatteberg over the offseason, because the Reds are content with him just being a pinch-hitter. Joey Votto needs to be the starter or else we're going to go through this again next season. Votto is ready - he provides everything that Hatteberg does - htis for average, works the count and takes walks, and hit for more power than Hatteberg. Hopefully Dusty will soon realize this and make Votto the everyday first baseman.

flyer85
03-31-2008, 11:07 PM
Today was a great example of how spring training means nothing. Jr who was awesome all spring looked completely lost, hot Hatty was cold while EE worked a couple of walks.

*BaseClogger*
03-31-2008, 11:18 PM
Today was a great example of how spring training means nothing. Jr who was awesome all spring looked completely lost, hot Hatty was cold while EE worked a couple of walks.

I'm still concerned about Burton, but spring hasn't been the only sign/reason...

RedlegJake
04-01-2008, 03:27 AM
A. Mercker wouldn't be on the roster if Bray could stay healthy. When he is full strength my guess is Merck is gone, especially if he has a rough outing or two. My gripe is that Cout could've held that spot and the Reds would have a guy that might help in the future which Merck decidedly won't (and without sacrificing much if anything this year). The Mercker/Bray/Coutlangus thing is a head scratcher.

B. Hatte starting some April games doesn't bother me because Votto wouldn't play much in the minors in April anyway. Once we get into May and JV is on the bench more than not then it becomes an issue.