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OnBaseMachine
03-29-2008, 08:50 PM
Man am I going to be ticked when I get to the ballpark on Monday and see Hatteberg's name in the starting lineup.

Patterson to open season in center
But manager Baker doesn't know who's on first in that game
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Non-roster invitee Corey Patterson will get the start in center field for Monday's Opening Day game in Cincinnati.

With Jolbert Cabrera reassigned to Minor League camp on Saturday and top prospect Jay Bruce sent to Triple-A Louisville last week, manager Dusty Baker confirmed after Saturday's game that Patterson will start.

A late-camp addition, Patterson signed a Minor League contract with the Reds on March 3. The 28-year-old has played eight seasons in the Majors and had a solid spring, batting .293.

Baker also said that outfielder Ryan Freel, who left Wednesday's game with the flu, will stay in Sarasota on Sunday to get a few more at-bats.

Freel, who has struggled with injuries, is out of options, and if Patterson continues to play well, the Reds could look into trading or releasing the outfielder.

Norris Hopper, who recently rejoined the team after a death in the family, will also stay behind on Sunday. Hopper started in Saturday's Grapefruit League finale and showed no signs of rust, going 2-for-2. Baker said that it was a precautionary move, and added that both players are expected to join the team in Cincinnati on Monday.

It remains unclear as to when pitcher Matt Belisle will rejoin the team. After the right-hander injured his right forearm throwing changeups, Baker said that Belisle's rehab tenure will be about "starting midway" and building back his endurance and pitch count. Belisle will throw in Minor League games on Monday, then again on April 5 and April 10, with nothing finalized beyond that.

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."

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080329&content_id=2465355&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

reds44
03-29-2008, 09:19 PM
Freel for Edwin Jackson and then release Mike Lincoln.

It won't happen, and a lot of people I'm sure disagree with me.

Stormy
03-29-2008, 09:41 PM
With the advent of 2 young flamethrowers in the rotation, the existence of improved depth on the bench, and the addition of some bullpen upgrades, I would think I could feel comfortable projecting major improvement for this club. However, I simply can't get past my suspicion that Dusty Baker is going to unwittingly sabotage this team at every turn. It will be death by paper cuts, most likely: a few lineup construction errors here, a couple of prospects mishandled there, a young arm pushed too far once too often etc...

I feel like with good health, improved performance from the back 3/5 of the rotation, and proper personnel utilization, that this could be an 86+ win team right in the thick of the NL Central race. I'm hoping for good strategic management from Dusty, to complement his formidable leadership and motivational skills, but some early red flags already have me feeling uneasy.

We probably would have been better off trading Votto+ another 'plus' prospect for Volquez, giving us a Hamilton, Bruce, Griffey OF with Dunn at 1B. Because, now our porous OF defense, and LF/RF statues are being used to justify flushing 400+ABs to a dud like Patterson (and Votto may end up being in and out of the lineup anyway). This may not be the same lineup we saw torching teams late last summer.

Spitball
03-29-2008, 09:43 PM
Freel for Edwin Jackson and then release Mike Lincoln.

It won't happen, and a lot of people I'm sure disagree with me.

I hope the Reds stay far away from pitchers like Jackson. His WHIP has consistently been around 1.75 no matter what role he has filled as a major leaguer. He is still young, but unless his command significantly improves, I don't think he is long for the major leagues.

Highlifeman21
03-29-2008, 09:52 PM
Non-roster invitee Corey Patterson will get the start in center field for Monday's Opening Day game in Cincinnati.

In other news, water is wet, the Sun will continue to rise in the East, and Harang will start on Opening Day.

Are any of us shocked that Patterson will be our Opening Day CF? It almost seemed to be a given once he came into camp.

KronoRed
03-29-2008, 10:23 PM
Are any of us shocked that Patterson will be our Opening Day CF? It almost seemed to be a given once he came into camp.
He had the job the day he arrived, the worst of it is he'll be leading off.

Red in Chicago
03-29-2008, 10:42 PM
dusty and corey...i'm so excited:rolleyes:

redsrule2500
03-29-2008, 11:08 PM
THIS is what pisses me off, not Hatte!

Patterson should in no way be starting CF IMO......

*BaseClogger*
03-30-2008, 12:10 AM
THIS is what pisses me off, not Hatte!

Patterson should in no way be starting CF IMO......

Patterson can start in CF if Bruce is not ready, IMO. He is a good enough fit to hit #7 in the order (swap him and Votto). In other words, I put none of the blame for this current situation on Krivsky's shoulders, unless he likes the idea of Patterson leading off too...

reds44
03-30-2008, 12:11 AM
Patterson can start in CF if Bruce is not ready, IMO. He is a good enough fit to hit #7 in the order (swap him and Votto). In other words, I put none of the blame for this current situation on Krivsky's shoulders, unless he likes the idea of Patterson leading off too...
That is basically how I feel. I have very little problem with Patterson starting in CF, the problem is that he is leading off.

*BaseClogger*
03-30-2008, 12:12 AM
Freel for Edwin Jackson and then release Mike Lincoln.

It won't happen, and a lot of people I'm sure disagree with me.

I'd love to see Edwin Jackson as the long reliever, especially if it gets rid of Freel's contract. I think Jackson could be at least as successful as Mike Lincoln, with more upside. I know he has sucked, but my hopes are that the move out of the AL and into the bullpen can help him out. Unfortunately, I don't think the Rays are looking for an OF anymore...

RedlegJake
03-30-2008, 12:22 AM
That is basically how I feel. I have very little problem with Patterson starting in CF, the problem is that he is leading off.

Absolutely agree. Patterson isn't a bad CFer, just a bad leadoff hitter and you can't blame the player if the manager misuses him. Lay that at Dusty's feet. Patterson has about the same tools and is a similar hitter to Phillips, little more speed, little less power. Dusty loves em both, free swinging never walk toolsy players. Both have their value, but it ain't leading off and hitting cleanup.

KronoRed
03-30-2008, 05:54 AM
Indeed right now if Patterson is playing bat him low where his tons of outs won't be that big a deal and his occasional pop will be a pleasant addition.

edabbs44
03-30-2008, 09:17 AM
"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.

Didn't Dusty talk about Votto's slow start history a week or so ago?

Matt700wlw
03-30-2008, 03:37 PM
He had the job the day he arrived, the worst of it is he'll be leading off.

That .299 career OBP won't be clogging many bases...

KronoRed
03-30-2008, 03:50 PM
That .299 career OBP won't be clogging many bases...

Dusty Ball.

Matt700wlw
03-30-2008, 03:50 PM
Fay...

Workouts notes

Dusty Baker said he has a lineup, but it hasn't been posted yet. It sounds like Scott Hatteberg will start at first.

"(The starting first baseman) is whoever's playing that day. Joey Votto has a great upside," Baker said. "But Hatteberg had a great spring. We'll go with matchups. (The seven spot) is an important spot in the lineup. Adam Dunn had an OK spring. Edwin (Encarnacion) struggled."

David Ross wasn't happy to start the year on the DL.

"I didn't expect him to be," Baker said.

Baker was concerned about Ross at the plate.

"Hitting is repetitions," Baker said. "We want him to get off to good start and not repeat last year. If you struggle that creeps into your mind and the fans' minds."

--No moves as far as opening spots on the 40-man. Those might not be announced until tomorrow.

--Looks like the Reds will work out. The rain has let up.

--Johnny Cueto will start Thursday. The Reds can't announced it until he's put on the roster.

--Edinson Volquez and Josh Fogg are throwing in minor league games today. Ryan Freel and Norris Hopper also stayed back to get some at-bats.

Highlifeman21
03-30-2008, 03:51 PM
Dusty Ball.

Better than Narron Ball.

vaticanplum
03-30-2008, 04:04 PM
It sounds like Scott Hatteberg will start at first.

Hatteberg did earn the 1B job over Votto in spring training as far as I'm concerned. And Opening Day is one of the few days in Cincinnati that might rattle players' nerves anymore. It's not a bad idea to start Hatteberg over Votto tomorrow, especially given the disparity in their hitting this spring. Veteran presence is grossly overplayed, but that doesn't mean there aren't occasions where it actually does help a bit.

It's a long season. Hatteberg will slump and Votto will have some impressive workouts soon enough; we should consider ourselves lucky to have options there. Now, if Baker continues to play Hatteberg when it's clear he's not the best option -- which I do not put past Baker to do, at all -- then I think we have a right to be up in arms. But I personally don't have a problem with this tomorrow.

As for Patterson, I'm with reds44 -- I consider himself as decent a CF option as we have right now. Batting him leadoff is another story.

edabbs44
03-30-2008, 04:14 PM
"(The starting first baseman) is whoever's playing that day. Joey Votto has a great upside," Baker said. "But Hatteberg had a great spring. We'll go with matchups. (The seven spot) is an important spot in the lineup. Adam Dunn had an OK spring. Edwin (Encarnacion) struggled."

Hey Dusty, since they are both lefties would you care to comment on what type of matchups you expect to use both of them in?

So upsetting.

Caveat Emperor
03-30-2008, 04:29 PM
Hatteberg did earn the 1B job over Votto in spring training as far as I'm concerned. And Opening Day is one of the few days in Cincinnati that might rattle players' nerves anymore. It's not a bad idea to start Hatteberg over Votto tomorrow, especially given the disparity in their hitting this spring. Veteran presence is grossly overplayed, but that doesn't mean there aren't occasions where it actually does help a bit.

I'd be fine with that logic if you could guarantee me that Hatteberg sits the remaining 161 games.

Unfortunately, that isn't going to be the case and we all know it.

vaticanplum
03-30-2008, 04:35 PM
I'd be fine with that logic if you could guarantee me that Hatteberg sits the remaining 161 games.

Unfortunately, that isn't going to be the case and we all know it.

I will guarantee that he sits somewhere between 81 and 161 games :)

wheels
03-30-2008, 06:59 PM
At least it's Hatteberg playing over Votto, and not Andy Phillips or some other type of crud.

Hatteberg is going to be an asset in two capacities this season. Not only will he suffice as a starter until Dusty figures out that Votto can actually hit, but I can't wait to see him come up as a PH in a close and late situation. He'll give pitchers fits.

Count me as someone who is glad Hatteberg is a member of that club.

Chip R
03-30-2008, 07:08 PM
At least it's Hatteberg playing over Votto, and not Andy Phillips or some other type of crud.

Hatteberg is going to be an asset in two capacities this season. Not only will he suffice as a starter until Dusty figures out that Votto can actually hit, but I can't wait to see him come up as a PH in a close and late situation. He'll give pitchers fits.

Count me as someone who is glad Hatteberg is a member of that club.


I love Hatteberg as a pinch hitter but when is Dusty going to realize that? How's Votto going to show Dusty he can hit if he's on the bench most of the time?

Kc61
03-30-2008, 07:16 PM
In all the Patterson posts, there is very little mention of defense. The Reds have two slow corner outfielders. They need a fast centerfielder. Patterson is that.

As for Patterson hitting leadoff, it is not optimal. But there is no great choice for leadoff in this lineup.

As for Hatteberg/Votto, I support the decision to start Hatteberg, so long as the plan is to ease Votto into the position. Let Votto play some times at first, some times in outfield, put him in on double switches, pinch hitting, let him get his feet wet for a couple of months.

As for the fact that Votto and Hatte are both lefties and can't platoon, well that's not anyone's fault. It just is. It's not optimal. But I think it can work out for a few months when Votto is, hopefully, installed at first.

Falls City Beer
03-30-2008, 07:34 PM
I'm not worried at all about the Hatteberg/Votto situation: if Votto's any good he'll rake in the opportunities he gets, which will force Dusty's hand. Similarly, if Hatteberg is done, as many suspect, it won't be long before that's obvious. It's not like Hatteberg's Tony Batista or anything.

RFS62
03-30-2008, 07:47 PM
Mr. Hat's trade value is probably not going to get much higher while he's a Red. Maybe if he rakes a couple of months, he will still be as valuable.

Could be that showcasing him while he's hot is another angle. He did win the job this spring, though.

Highlifeman21
03-30-2008, 07:49 PM
Mr. Hat's trade value is probably not going to get much higher while he's a Red. Maybe if he rakes a couple of months, he will still be as valuable.

Could be that showcasing him while he's hot is another angle. He did win the job this spring, though.

And it could also be Dusty's way of paying tribute to a vet, in a manner of speaking.

There's no harm in Hatteberg getting the start on Opening Day.

There will be 161 other opportunities for Votto to start.

KronoRed
03-30-2008, 07:59 PM
Better than Narron Ball.

We'll see ;)

GAC
03-30-2008, 08:07 PM
People said Scott Hatteberg was done going into last season. In 116 games he batted .310, .394 OB%, .474 SLG%, .864 OPS.

This year in ST..... .386 BA .462 OB% .526 SLG% .988 OPS

Votto in ST..... .206 BA .296 OB% .333 SLG% .629 OPS

And this is against ST pitching too. So while a hitter's numbers, like Hatteberg's, may be inflated, it still raises valid questions then as to why Votto struggled so badly against it. I have a hard time accepting - "he's a slow starter".

That's why Hatte got the nod for OD. He's earned it.

If one wants to argue that Votto is the "future" at 1B, then fine. But IMHO, saying that Hatteberg is finished is not proven by his numbers. And that does not mean that he is going to get the majority of the playing time at 1B. But even if he does, which is a strong possibility with Dusty Baker, we still have worse problems with guys like Castro taking a roster spot and Patterson batting leadoff.

Votto will get more then his share of opportunities in '08. But if he wants the job he has to also make the most of them too and show it.

He struggled during ST. Seeing that, and if you were the manager, would you then just hand him the 1B job under the guise of "he's the future". while ignoring what the other guy did?

wheels
03-30-2008, 08:16 PM
I love Hatteberg as a pinch hitter but when is Dusty going to realize that? How's Votto going to show Dusty he can hit if he's on the bench most of the time?

Because I believe he (Votto) will see more playing time than you think.

edabbs44
03-30-2008, 08:25 PM
Votto will get more then his share of opportunities in '08. But if he wants the job he has to also make the most of them too and show it.

He struggled during ST. Seeing that, and if you were the manager, would you then just hand him the 1B job under the guise of "he's the future". while ignoring what the other guy did?

Depends on what the honest goal of this season is.

If they actually think that they have a winner on their hands for this year, then they might have a case on handing the job to Hatteberg. But if this season is being viewed as a stepping stone towards the next stage of this franchise, then Votto should be there.

And if they give it to Hatteberg and he hits his typical .300-10-55 and they end up with 75 wins, then in the grand scheme was it really worth taking the experience away from Votto?

GAC
03-30-2008, 08:55 PM
And if they give it to Hatteberg and he hits his typical .300-10-55 and they end up with 75 wins, then in the grand scheme was it really worth taking the experience away from Votto?

But I think Votto will be getting more then his fair share of A/Bs.

SteelSD
03-30-2008, 10:07 PM
As for Patterson hitting leadoff, it is not optimal. But there is no great choice for leadoff in this lineup.

When you have a number of non-optimal choices, logic dictates that you use the best possible option. Corey Patterson is certainly not that.

Patterson is slotted at leadoff because he's the fastest guy on the team. That's the extent of the thought process.

*BaseClogger*
03-30-2008, 10:11 PM
When you have a number of non-optimal choices, logic dictates that you use the best possible option. Corey Patterson is certainly not that.

Patterson is slotted at leadoff because he's the fastest guy on the team. That's the extent of the thought process.

And because he plays CF... ;)

REDREAD
03-31-2008, 11:30 PM
We probably would have been better off trading Votto+ another 'plus' prospect for Volquez, giving us a Hamilton, Bruce, Griffey OF with Dunn at 1B. Because, now our porous OF defense, and LF/RF statues are being used to justify flushing 400+ABs to a dud like Patterson (and Votto may end up being in and out of the lineup anyway). This may not be the same lineup we saw torching teams late last summer.

I agree that it would've been nice to keep Hamilton.
However, I don't think Dusty will cost this team wins.
The team will struggle to stay around .500 primarily due to Wayne's idea of team construction.
The offense has been degraded again. 3/5 of the rotation is still questionable, although Ceuto and Volquez probably have a bright future, they will probably have losing records this season due to growing pains, the defense, and the offense.

After Phillips, Dunn, and Jr, the rest of the position players are very questionable. It's not really reasonable to expect big years out of EdE, Votto/Hat, and Patterson. Hopefully they will be close to league average. Catcher and SS are basically black holes that don't do anything particularly well.

IMO, this team will struggle, but it won't be because Dusty made goofs. It will be because Wayne did very little to improve the total talent of this team, outside of picking up Cordero. IMO, Hamilton for Volquez is a net loss (for this year at least, possibly longer).

Finally, in an ideal world, the team could move Jr or Dunn to 1b, but this isn't an ideal world. Neither would accept it graciously. It would probably drive Dunn out of town, since he's made it known he doesn't want to do it. That's part of the baggage of having Dunn.. he won't accept a move to 1b.

WVPacman
04-01-2008, 12:42 AM
I know freel is upset of Patterson starting but how is Hopper handling this decision.He really played good last year and imo is a better leadoff man for us.He finds ways of getting on base everytime.

If I was Hopper and Freel I would be upset as well b/c those two guys was our energy players.For Baker to bring Patterson here b/c he played for him before is wrong and it isn't right for freel and Hopper.