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MWM
04-02-2008, 08:47 PM
Yes, I know it's early and I'm not calling for him to be benched. But how long do you stick with Ed E at 3B if he continues to struggle with his throws? Two throwing errors in two game, and both have been costly.

I've always been a fan of EE and I think he could be a superb defensive player as his mistakes are mistly throwing and his range is fantastic. He makes a lot of plays only a handful of other players could make. And iIt's not all that uncommon for young players to struggle throwing so I have hope that he'll figure it out. But given this is year #3 with him struggling with the throws, at what point do you end the experiment?

WMR
04-02-2008, 08:49 PM
You've gotta stick with him for the time being. If this team is going to have any hope of success this season, he's gotta be a productive member of this squad.

reds44
04-02-2008, 08:50 PM
He gets more than 2 games, that is for sure.

paintmered
04-02-2008, 08:51 PM
Can we wait more than 2 games before we tar and feather him?

RedsManRick
04-02-2008, 08:53 PM
A year. Seriously. Let the guy breathe a little bit. Breathing down his neck is no way to help him get past a case of the yips. Maybe he's carrying his struggles to the field and to the plate because he's constantly worried about his job security. The guy is 24. If you want to ease him back a little, have him serve as the RH 1B platoon and put Keppinger at 3B vL when Gonzo gets back.

pedro
04-02-2008, 08:54 PM
Can we wait more than 2 games before we tar and feather him?

It's not like he hasn't made more throwing errors than any other 3rd baseman in the game over the last three years or anything.

And that's w/out even playing full seasons.

At this rate he may well end up being Dunn's replacement in LF.

That is if he hits.

HokieRed
04-02-2008, 08:56 PM
I've been a big supporter of Edwin's and thought he'd have a real breakout this year. But early returns do not look good. The answer to "how long" may be until Adam Rosales, whom I also really like, is ready to go. We can suffer with him at the plate for a while but the defensive lapses are just not tolerable. I'm a bit surprised actually as it seemed he made so much defensive progress in the second half of last year. Let's hope it's just a temporary case of the jitters and that it'll straighten out.

deltachi8
04-02-2008, 08:59 PM
You make a judgment after this season, july at earliest. I think the Reds need to give him time to find out if he can live up to his potential - and they have time to do that this year.

pedro
04-02-2008, 09:00 PM
The big question is:

Who will RZ blame it on if he struggles again?

KronoRed
04-02-2008, 09:00 PM
You have to stick with him for awhile because his bat is key to this team having right handed power.

KronoRed
04-02-2008, 09:01 PM
The big question is:

Who will RZ blame it on if he struggles again?

Adam Dunn of course

deltachi8
04-02-2008, 09:05 PM
Adam Dunn of course

ain't that the truth

klw
04-02-2008, 09:05 PM
This thread reminds me of the early game a year or two back when Dunn made what seemd like 5 errors against the Cubs. Not sure if he homered that game too.

flyer85
04-02-2008, 09:06 PM
quite a while because the options are not good unless you want 3 sub 300 OBPs out there almost everyday

MWM
04-02-2008, 09:06 PM
I knew some would respond with the "wait more than two games" comment. That's why I was clear in my first sentence that I don't think it should happen now. But, oh well...

No one suggested doing it now, or tomorrow, or next week, or next month. It's simple question. It's been a pattern now for three years, so the question isn't should it be now, it's HOW LONG?

Normally, I'd agree with Rick. Let's give the guy a full season without being jerked around. But with this team having a realistic shot of at least being in the race, can they really afford to do that. If this was last year, or any of the past few seasons, I still say wait a year. But I'm starting to think that you give him a month. If he continues to struggle this badly throwing the ball to first, I think they've got no choice but to look at other options.

Big Klu
04-02-2008, 09:06 PM
The big question is:

Who will RZ blame it on if he struggles again?


Adam Dunn of course

Or Marty Brennaman.

pedro
04-02-2008, 09:08 PM
I'd stick with him for at least the first half of the year.

If he hits.

But if he struggles at bat and in the field then I'd be tempted to give the job to someone else.

guttle11
04-02-2008, 09:08 PM
Until you find a replacement that can field better and hit at least as well. You can't replace him with Castro, that's for sure.

deltachi8
04-02-2008, 09:10 PM
Until you find a replacement that can field better and hit at least as well. You can't replace him with Castro, that's for sure.

why not? he has hands of gold or silver or some kind of precious metal, doesn't he?

KoryMac5
04-02-2008, 09:11 PM
You stay with EE, I think once warmer weather hits he will start to heat up . Dusty doesn't like to lose but as a former player I think he understands slow starters.

KronoRed
04-02-2008, 09:11 PM
why not? he has hands of gold or solver or some kind of precious metal, doesn't he?

Lead?

Big Klu
04-02-2008, 09:16 PM
Lead?

Manganese. :D

OnBaseMachine
04-02-2008, 09:18 PM
I give him until June or July and it he's steal struggling with his throws and his bat, then I give the job to Adam Rosales.

cincrazy
04-02-2008, 09:19 PM
I told a buddy of mine last week that Edwin will be out of the every day 3rd base spot by June. AGon is going to come back and he's going to be in the lineup with that salary, and Kepp is going to hit WAY too much for him to be on the bench.

Edwin is going to be fighting for his life to keep that job before long.

redsrule2500
04-02-2008, 09:23 PM
about an hour more?

RedFanAlways1966
04-02-2008, 09:25 PM
Hard to accept the errors. But not the only problem thus far. Tough pitching faced and the lack of hits for most players show it. The first error didn't lose the game (see 3 hits for team). A couple of big ($$) LH sticks yet to do anything against RH pitching. Bullpen that has yet to pitch a game w/out allowing a run.

Hope EE doesn't start pressing and feel the need to make up for it by doing too much. Bad throws, yes. Too early to make rash decisions, yes. Relax.

RedsManRick
04-02-2008, 09:30 PM
oops... not the game thread

RedsManRick
04-02-2008, 09:32 PM
oops... not the game thread... part 2

Heath
04-02-2008, 09:40 PM
I figure Ryan Freel gets the 3b tomorrow, Hopper in RF, Castro SS.

Scrappy.

pedro
04-02-2008, 09:43 PM
I figure Ryan Freel gets the 3b tomorrow, Hopper in RF, Castro SS.

Scrappy.

country kepp ain't sittin.

HumnHilghtFreel
04-02-2008, 09:45 PM
I just hope he gets out of this funk. When he's down on himself on defense, it seems to really effect his hitting. When he's not hitting, it seems to effect his defense. I hope he can get it together because he has all the potential, it's just frustrating to watch him go through these spells.

Heath
04-02-2008, 09:53 PM
Did he have a break from baseball at all? Didn't he play Fall AND Winter League ball?

RFS62
04-02-2008, 09:58 PM
Well, I say we give him one more day.

PuffyPig
04-02-2008, 10:27 PM
Next question.....

reds44
04-02-2008, 10:28 PM
Start Freel!

Chip R
04-02-2008, 10:28 PM
Little bit longer now?

Bob Borkowski
04-02-2008, 10:28 PM
...or maybe just one more AB, RFS.;)

MartyFan
04-02-2008, 10:28 PM
I'd give it a couple weeks...if he is still making bonehead throws then I'd shift Kep over with Gonzo at SS or let Freel field some.

jojo
04-02-2008, 10:30 PM
Trade EE for pitching, pitching, pitching, pitching, pitching....

EE's trade value will never be higher than this evening.... :cool:

OnBaseMachine
04-02-2008, 10:33 PM
I've been one of his Edwin's biggest fans since the day the Reds acquired him. I've supported him through thick and thin but tonight I finally got frustrated with after his poor throw to home...And then he proceeded to remind me why I am one of his biggest fans. He's a great guy, he deserved that. Hopefully that homerun gives him confidence and propels him to a big breakout season like I have predicted for him. The only thing keeping him from being a top notch defensive 3B is proper footwork. He's got awesome range over there. Hopefully with more coaching he'll correct his throwing problems.

Cedric
04-02-2008, 10:38 PM
This was by far the best thing that could happen to this ballclub. Both Jeff Keppinger and Edwin Encarnacion are showing why they must play everyday. If Edwin didn't hit that homer tonight you are probably seeing Freel start tomorrow and maybe Friday if he runs into a hit or two. The big blast today will hopefully force Dusty's hand and not make Edwin the scapegoat for the team and the player moved when AGon is healthy.

flyer85
04-02-2008, 10:41 PM
The Reds need EE to play well and hit. Without that this team has no chance.

fearofpopvol1
04-02-2008, 10:42 PM
I was as happy as anyone else with his walkoff homer. The guy can flat out hit with runners in RISP. However, he really does need to figure out his throws though. I assume it's going to be addressed and he'll likely get a pass after winning the game.

Reds Nd2
04-02-2008, 10:46 PM
I'd say that the Reds should stick with him untill they have a better option at 3B. Right now, IMHO, they don't.

HokieRed
04-02-2008, 10:49 PM
I'm back to predicting a breakout for Edwin. Let's hope this really helps him put his struggles behind him.

Matt700wlw
04-02-2008, 10:49 PM
I guess he should start tomorrow, ;) but he better not have any errant throws...:nono:

Cyclone792
04-02-2008, 10:52 PM
Yes, I know it's early and I'm not calling for him to be benched. But how long do you stick with Ed E at 3B if he continues to struggle with his throws? Two throwing errors in two game, and both have been costly.

I've always been a fan of EE and I think he could be a superb defensive player as his mistakes are mistly throwing and his range is fantastic. He makes a lot of plays only a handful of other players could make. And iIt's not all that uncommon for young players to struggle throwing so I have hope that he'll figure it out. But given this is year #3 with him struggling with the throws, at what point do you end the experiment?

Given numerous factors, namely ... his age, new manager, new coaches, etc., I give Encarnacion the full year and then re-evaluate the situation in the offseason.

For one, I think a midseason position change would be extremely risky (more on a position change in a bit). I also think benching him and/or attempting to trade him during a rough patch may hinder both his future development and his trade value a bit.

One thing I try to remember when evaluating Encarnacion is that he just did turn 25 a few months back, and he's still fairly young in the grand scheme of things. It gets said plenty, but I do think 2008 will be a sort of telling year for Encarnacion. He never has been particulaly adept at cutting down errors, not even in the minors, but he showed some nice improvement late last season. I expect there to be more growing pains, but I'm interested to see if there's more prolonged improvement as the months go on this season. Eventually though it either will or will not click, and if it doesn't then the Reds have a decision to make in either dealing him or thinking about a position change.

Now on to a position change, and this gets tricky. I don't particularly want Encarnacion playing first base, mostly because 1) while I think his bat will turn out fairly nice, I don't think it will be great enough to provide solid value at first base, 2) I'm not sure he's a big enough target (Votto is a few inches taller), and 3) I just don't want Votto going to the outfield to make room for Encarnacion.

That leaves the outfield ...

I'd be interested in hearing what some scouts and/or coaches think about Encarnacion's actual defensive abilities in the outfield. I've never seen him play one inning in the outfield so I really have no idea what kind of defender he could be. He's obviously very athletic, and while he's not extremely fast he's also not terribly slow. Could Encarnacion actually handle center field, and could he be at least an average center field defender? It's an interesting question that I do not know the answer too. My guess is he probably wouldn't be an ideal choice for center field, but that's not much more than a guess. I'm hoping the Reds lock Dunn up long-term, which rules left field out. And if Encarnacion can't handle center, then that leaves right field ...

Who knows, if (or when, as I hope) the Reds buy out Griffey's contract and cut ties, Encarnacion could be an interesting choice to replace Griffey in right with Bruce going to center. But any type of serious position change like that should be considered in the offseason. As much as Encarnacion plays fall and winter league baseball in the Caribbean, the Reds could have a good idea before spring training even starts if Encarnacion could handle the outfield adequately.

Caveat Emperor
04-02-2008, 10:53 PM
A walk-off HR doesn't change the fact that his defense at third has been, and continues to be, sporadic at best. The plays he botches are, largely, routine plays. Two days have produced two very routine throwing errors. Tonight's error was completely inexcusable and almost cost the team dearly.

Whatever is wrong with the kid isn't new -- he's been screwing this kind of thing up off and on for the last two years now -- and it doesn't seem to be going away. That is a problem, no matter how hot his bat gets.

westofyou
04-02-2008, 10:55 PM
EE is this generations Tony Perez at third.... so far.

Prove me wrong please.

RFS62
04-02-2008, 10:56 PM
EE is this generations Tony Perez at third.... so far.

Prove me wrong please.


Maybe... but I doubt he's moving to first. More like left field if he can hit.

jojo
04-02-2008, 10:57 PM
Stick him in the lineup and forget about him.

flyer85
04-02-2008, 10:58 PM
this team needs EE to do well at 3rd, there really aren't other viable options

westofyou
04-02-2008, 10:58 PM
Maybe... but I doubt he's moving to first. More like left field if he can hit.

Yep, but he better call Mayflower...because he is looking like he's gonna move at this rate.

Caveat Emperor
04-02-2008, 10:59 PM
Maybe... but I doubt he's moving to first. More like left field if he can hit.

EE/Votto platoon at 1st, Kepp @ 3rd.

I've heard worse ideas.

Cyclone792
04-02-2008, 11:07 PM
Maybe... but I doubt he's moving to first. More like left field if he can hit.

Yea but then the question becomes what are you going to do with Dunn?

The vibe I'm getting is Dunn's going to be back; Bob will make sure of it. Krivsky could fully support bringing Dunn back, or it could be a Dusty Baker situation where Bob steps in and instructs the organization to get something done with Dunn, regardless of where Krivsky stands on the issue.

And if Dunn's here, Encarnacion isn't playing left field for the Reds. Neither is Joey Votto for that matter too, which rules out first base for Encarnacion.

That leaves center field or right field.

flyer85
04-02-2008, 11:07 PM
Reds offense is not going to survive 3 sub 300 OBPs in the lineup if Kepp moves off SS ... just ask the 2007 Stros. 3 #8 hitters will sink the lineup. This team has to have EE succeed at 3rd and Keppinger at SS. Either that or they find a way to solve the CF and C problems.

SteelSD
04-02-2008, 11:15 PM
Certainly, we need to give Encarnacion more time at 3B. He's young, obviously. His issues are throws, obviously. That being said, Encarnacion's Error rates last year weren't extreme. The guy made fewer Errors per Inning than guys named Adrian Beltre, David Wright, Ryan Zimmerman, and Miguel Cabrera.

Encarnacion makes up for some of that with range, but throwing Errors are the epitome of emotional loss for fans because we consider the play, prior to the throw, to be a sure out. Yet, it's not, never has been, and never will be. Per Inning in 2007, Encarnacion actually produced as many throwing Errors as Garrett Atkins, and fewer than Miguel Cabrera, David Wright, Alex Gordon, Adrian Beltre, and Ryan Zimmerman. Encarnacion produced 8 throwing Errors in 2007. Sure, it's rough to have 25% of that in two games in 2008, but that's how the game works sometimes.

So why, after two games during 2008 are we asking this question? And please note that prior to Encarnacion's ascension to the Show, I was the guy who figured that his best future position might just be Left Field due to his Error rate at the minor league level. But some very smart people convinced me otherwise and Encarnacion himself has demonstrated that he has the ability to improve. After two games, I'm simply not willing to backtrack on that idea. That's not to say that a poor 2008 defensively might not result in a postional move or even trade, but the Reds would be foolish not to continue to run him out to 3B for the rest of the season.

Reds Nd2
04-02-2008, 11:18 PM
However, he really does need to figure out his throws though.

I really don't mean to offend anyone with this post, but this is the type of question/statement that I'd really like to see the "baseball guys" comment on. To my totally untrained eye, EzE was throwing to homeplate tonight with a sidearm throw, when it should have been an overhanded throw, IMO. Aren't sidearmed throws likely to tail away from the receiver? EzE has reportedly been taking extra fielding practice, so what is really the problem with his throws?

Cedric
04-02-2008, 11:22 PM
I really don't mean to offend anyone with this post, but this is the type of question/statement that I'd really like to see the "baseball guys" comment on. To my totally untrained eye, EzE was throwing to homeplate tonight with a sidearm throw, when it should have been an overhanded throw, IMO. Aren't sidearmed throws likely to tail away from the receiver? EzE has reportedly been taking extra fielding practice, so what is really the problem with his throws?

Haren was running inside the line like he's supposed to. It forced Edwin to change his arm angle and the ball tailed like you said. That's something that shouldn't happen, EVER. Edwin was either being a little lazy or he just is mentally scared with the baseball in his hand. The problems that Edwin have on defense are completely with his footwork. If he slides towards Keppinger and throws at a better angle it's an easy out. He works way too hard to not do that in the games. I think it's a confidence issue.

Caveat Emperor
04-02-2008, 11:22 PM
Encarnacion makes up for some of that with range, but throwing Errors are the epitome of emotional loss for fans because we consider the play, prior to the throw, to be a sure out. Yet, it's not, never has been, and never will be.

There are "throwing errors" and then there are "throwing errors."

You're right to say there is no such thing as a sure out, but I think you have to concede that not all errors are created equal in so much as what they reveal about the player and his ability to reliably produce a "sure" out.

flyer85
04-02-2008, 11:24 PM
seeing as WW fielded the ball going slightly to his left he would have had to spin toward the 3rd base line to get his front shoulder closed so he could throw overhand.

Chip R
04-02-2008, 11:24 PM
I really don't mean to offend anyone with this post, but this is the type of question/statement that I'd really like to see the "baseball guys" comment on. To my totally untrained eye, EzE was throwing to homeplate tonight with a sidearm throw, when it should have been an overhanded throw, IMO. Aren't sidearmed throws likely to tail away from the receiver? EzE has reportedly been taking extra fielding practice, so what is really the problem with his throws?

The consensus seems to be that it's his footwork that's the problem. He doesn't seem to be pointing his feet in the direction of where the ball's supposed to go.

Cedric
04-02-2008, 11:24 PM
Certainly, we need to give Encarnacion more time at 3B. He's young, obviously. His issues are throws, obviously. That being said, Encarnacion's Error rates last year weren't extreme. The guy made fewer Errors per Inning than guys named Adrian Beltre, David Wright, Ryan Zimmerman, and Miguel Cabrera.

Encarnacion makes up for some of that with range, but throwing Errors are the epitome of emotional loss for fans because we consider the play, prior to the throw, to be a sure out. Yet, it's not, never has been, and never will be. Per Inning in 2007, Encarnacion actually produced as many throwing Errors as Garrett Atkins, and fewer than Miguel Cabrera, David Wright, Alex Gordon, Adrian Beltre, and Ryan Zimmerman. Encarnacion produced 8 throwing Errors in 2007. Sure, it's rough to have 25% of that in two games in 2008, but that's how the game works sometimes.

So why, after two games during 2008 are we asking this question? And please note that prior to Encarnacion's ascension to the Show, I was the guy who figured that his best future position might just be Left Field due to his Error rate at the minor league level. But some very smart people convinced me otherwise and Encarnacion himself has demonstrated that he has the ability to improve. After two games, I'm simply not willing to backtrack on that idea. That's not to say that a poor 2008 defensively might not result in a postional move or even trade, but the Reds would be foolish not to continue to run him out to 3B for the rest of the season.

Good post. It's easy watching Edwin to realize that his issues on defense are strictly footwork/mental issues. Edwin has problems when he gets lazy or gets in a hurry and drops down on his throws. The base ball is always going to tail if you don't slide your feet and throw with authority. Brandon Phillips is the only guy in this infield that has the ability and natural instincts to throw the ball from any angle. Plus he's much closer to 1b obviously.

BuckeyeRedleg
04-02-2008, 11:25 PM
Serious question. How many runs (defensively) would Ryan Freel even save playing 3B over EE.

Second question. Would his bat even come close to making up for it?

I think not.

RFS62
04-02-2008, 11:26 PM
Haren was running inside the line like he's supposed to. It forced Edwin to change his arm angle and the ball tailed like you said. That's something that shouldn't happen, EVER. Edwin was either being a little lazy or he just is mentally scared with the baseball in his hand. The problems that Edwin have on defense are completely with his footwork. If he slides towards Keppinger and throws at a better angle it's an easy out. He works way too hard to not do that in the games. I think it's a confidence issue.


Yeah, so do I. And it manifests itself in lack of focus from time to time.

Caveat Emperor
04-02-2008, 11:26 PM
seeing as WW fielded the ball going slightly to his left he would have had to spin toward the 3rd base line to get his front shoulder closed so he could throw overhand.

Didn't know we'd signed him -- I have to think his range might be limited these days:

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/players/pics/walt_weiss_autograph.jpg

Cedric
04-02-2008, 11:26 PM
The consensus seems to be that it's his footwork that's the problem. He doesn't seem to be pointing his feet in the direction of where the ball's supposed to go.

Do you just want me to post for you Chip? :)

HumnHilghtFreel
04-02-2008, 11:27 PM
Edwin was either being a little lazy or he just is mentally scared with the baseball in his hand.

I think he definitely has a little bit of a problem in his head. It was a tough play and by no means a sure thing, but on the play where Upton legged it out, it looked like he was thinking about making the play before he threw the ball and hesitated just a bit. I don't have video evidence to support it, but it seems to be something he does very frequently when making throwing errors.

Cedric
04-02-2008, 11:28 PM
seeing as WW fielded the ball going slightly to his left he would have had to spin toward the 3rd base line to get his front shoulder closed so he could throw overhand.

The issue isn't throwing the ball overhand. The issue is that Edwin should have shifted his body so that his throw was from a higher angle, not completely overhand. If he shifts his body and points his shoulders to home plate the ball will tail considerably less. It's something that Joe Crede in Chicago does better than anyone I have ever seen.

RedlegJake
04-02-2008, 11:33 PM
EE is not the problem. He'll get over this. Seems to me he tends to get a streak of these throwing errors going then settles down for a long spell before it comes up again. If his bat comes along I can live with it. Catching is another thing. With Ross the catching is adequate. Without him the Reds may have the worst catching tandem in baseball.

M2
04-02-2008, 11:52 PM
Great story arc for EdE in today's game. Yet, even with the homer, I'd give Freel the start tomorrow.

I think it's important to send the message that the team has high expectations. I'd have him available to PH and possibly play if moves need to be made later in the game, but I think the error still merits a day on the pine.

WMR
04-02-2008, 11:58 PM
Great story arc for EdE in today's game. Yet, even with the homer, I'd give Freel the start tomorrow.

I think it's important to send the message that the team has high expectations. I'd have him available to PH and possibly play if moves need to be made later in the game, but I think the error still merits a day on the pine.

I gotta disagree. It's all about confidence for Edwin. This could be the play that catapults him into a "comfort status" that keeps him going for a month or two.

reds44
04-02-2008, 11:59 PM
I gotta disagree. It's all about confidence for Edwin. This could be the play that catapults him into a "comfort status" that keeps him going for a month or two.
Yeah Edwin seems like one of those guys that needs a hug more than a kick in the rear.

fearofpopvol1
04-03-2008, 12:02 AM
I really don't mean to offend anyone with this post, but this is the type of question/statement that I'd really like to see the "baseball guys" comment on. To my totally untrained eye, EzE was throwing to homeplate tonight with a sidearm throw, when it should have been an overhanded throw, IMO. Aren't sidearmed throws likely to tail away from the receiver? EzE has reportedly been taking extra fielding practice, so what is really the problem with his throws?

As I think Chip stated, it's really his footwork that leads to the bad throws. If his footwork is off, his throws are off. After the ball is fielded, if the feet aren't planted properly, you're throw is going to be off. This has been his biggest knock. He's got good range, but his footwork needs to continue to improve. There have been plenty of "near errors" that aren't even refelected in the stats that either have been close calls or Hatteberg has previously saved EdE on.

Patrick Bateman
04-03-2008, 12:03 AM
Great story arc for EdE in today's game. Yet, even with the homer, I'd give Freel the start tomorrow.

I think it's important to send the message that the team has high expectations. I'd have him available to PH and possibly play if moves need to be made later in the game, but I think the error still merits a day on the pine.

That's an interesting stance... one that I was interested in hearing (once he hit the homer) after you brought up the idea during the game thread after the error.

I don't think I'd be that extreme, but it certainly would send quite a message considering the circumstances of EE's homer.

One thing is clear, a guy who does that proves he rules with an iron fist, and I'd think it would have every single player's attention in that clubhouse.

And I think your right... in that if you did believe in the benching before the homer, than you should stick with it after the heroics because the error and the homer have nothing to do with each other. If the error was a punishable offense, the homer should not change that, as it does nothing to resolve the issue at hand.

I wouldn't bench him because I don't think effort was the problem here, not like the Javier Valentin play. But I appreciate the notion of dealing with the problem areas even if said player redeems himself in other ways.

RedsManRick
04-03-2008, 01:09 AM
I don't bench a guy for making an error. If he does something stupid, doesn't hustle, etc. that merits a benching. And if the error was caused by something that a benching will help him correct, I could understand it. However, I'm wary of benching him just to send the message "don't commit an error or you're going to get benched."

fearofpopvol1
04-03-2008, 01:14 AM
I don't bench a guy for making an error. If he does something stupid, doesn't hustle, etc. that merits a benching. And if the error was caused by something that a benching will help him correct, I could understand it. However, I'm wary of benching him just to send the message "don't commit an error or you're going to get benched."

Even if it's 2 errors on back to back nights for basically the same thing? At what point do you say that you're hurting the team more than helping? Obviously, the walk-off tonight helped his cause, but how do you handle that?

osuceltic
04-03-2008, 07:09 AM
Yeah Edwin seems like one of those guys that needs a hug more than a kick in the rear.

Actually, the kicks in the rear seem to have worked the last couple of years. I think he's exactly the kind of guy that needs a kick in the rear sometimes.

RedFanAlways1966
04-03-2008, 07:19 AM
Obviously, the walk-off tonight helped his cause, but how do you handle that?

Tell the young man to relax and play baseball. Two throwing errors were made... neither cost the team the game (Brandon Webb, REDS get 3 hits). Talk to him. Try to make sure he is not dwelling on it. The best medicine IMO. Not a benching or a demotion.

nate
04-03-2008, 07:27 AM
Send him back out there to play. At the very least, he needs a half season's worth of evaluation to decide whether he should change position (the OF idea is interesting) or be traded.

One thing I'll say is that I feel that Dusty will handle this situation much better than his predescessor(s).

redsmetz
04-03-2008, 07:32 AM
Tell the young man to relax and play baseball. Two throwing errors were made... neither cost the team the game (Brandon Webb, REDS get 3 hits). Talk to him. Try to make sure he is not dwelling on it. The best medicine IMO. Not a benching or a demotion.

I found Dusty's comments interesting this morning, when he said he told Chris Speier he hoped he didn't get the bunt down. I immediately wondered why he put the bunt on in the first place (Marty & Chris were going on about this and Brand Phillips said it bluntly, "He can't bunt for "s**t" - the paper inserted "sqaut"). But then Baker said he didn't want him up there with added pressure ready to swing at anything. I know there are those who might deride that, but I think Dusty is going to be very good with these youngsters on our club.

oneupper
04-03-2008, 07:34 AM
Here's an opportunity for Baker to show his stuff as a "people" manager. If he really has those intangible skills, he'll know what's the right approach to dealing with EE's ups and downs and apply it.

EE's 2008 performance could possibly have a little "Dusty" in it.

blumj
04-03-2008, 07:38 AM
Here's an opportunity for Baker to show his stuff as a "people" manager. If he really has those intangible skills, he'll know what's the right approach to dealing with EE's ups and downs and apply it.

EE's 2008 perromance could possibly have a little "Dusty" in it.
Yes, this is why you hire a Dusty Baker. This is the exact kind of thing I'd think it would be easy to trust him with.

Heath
04-03-2008, 07:58 AM
I think Dusty was more pissed at the called third strike on Dunn in the 6th than EdE's throwing error.

The key to EdE's development is one voice. And that guy is Juan Castro. You folks can get the grill ready for a BBQ, but even though Castro is limited range and a horrible stick, he does have very fundamental footwork and a good throwing motion. Castro's making good money being the 3rd SS. Let him work with EdE.

The other factor of EdE, and I know personally that this would not fly with him, is that he doesn't play any winter ball any more. I know it means a lot to his country and home, but his hot winter is translating to a cool spring.

membengal
04-03-2008, 08:03 AM
At the least Dusty has the gravitas to back off the calls for EE's head from the booth and with fans.

And, I would stick with EE "for the foreseeable future". But it's nice to have the option of Kepp to 3b just in case.

jojo
04-03-2008, 08:22 AM
I think Dusty was more pissed at the called third strike on Dunn in the 6th than EdE's throwing error.

The key to EdE's development is one voice. And that guy is Juan Castro. You folks can get the grill ready for a BBQ, but even though Castro is limited range and a horrible stick, he does have very fundamental footwork and a good throwing motion. Castro's making good money being the 3rd SS. Let him work with EdE.

The other factor of EdE, and I know personally that this would not fly with him, is that he doesn't play any winter ball any more. I know it means a lot to his country and home, but his hot winter is translating to a cool spring.

I could see Castro making the ideal coach. He's got the reputation of an uber defender (though age has dented the reality) and he's by all accounts an absolutely golden human being and teammate.

MikeS21
04-03-2008, 08:25 AM
I found Dusty's comments interesting this morning, when he said he told Chris Speier he hoped he didn't get the bunt down. I immediately wondered why he put the bunt on in the first place (Marty & Chris were going on about this and Brand Phillips said it bluntly, "He can't bunt for "s**t" - the paper inserted "sqaut"). But then Baker said he didn't want him up there with added pressure ready to swing at anything. I know there are those who might deride that, but I think Dusty is going to be very good with these youngsters on our club.
Sure, we all know that EE can't bunt, and you can be sure that the Diamondbacks knew it as well.

What I think Dusty was doing was introducing that element of doubt in the defense's mind. With two on and no outs, the D-Backs would have been defensively aligned for a double play. The intended result of the bunt was to create holes in the defense, by having defensive players running all over the place trying to cover bases and field a bunt. That leads to mental mistakes. The whole idea is, then, that EE could shoot a ground ball through a hole in the defense.

It wasn't enough just to "show" a bunt. EE had to actually had attempt it a couple of times in order to sell it.

Dusty's comments lead me to believe he really didn't want EE to lay down the bunt, as much as he wanted to mess with the defensive alignment. Of course, as EE proved, the best way to beat a defensive alignment is to put the ball over the head of the defenders.

The problem that I see with Dusty Baker's "mind games" strategy is that when they work (maybe 10% of the time) you look like a genius. But when the mind games don't work, you look like an idiot.

IslandRed
04-03-2008, 04:19 PM
So why, after two games during 2008 are we asking this question?

Think of it like this: You have a car that gave you a lot of trouble over the last few years. Lately, it's been running smoothly. Except you just heard a couple of clunks in rapid succession. It may turn out to be nothing, but you're going to be on edge about it for awhile.

Not much to disagree with in the rest of your post. This is a make-or-break year for Encarnacion's future at third base, IMHO. Young, rangy infielders make a bunch of errors working their way up to the big leagues. One guy will develop the consistency to be a viable long-term solution at his position, another won't, and it's often difficult to predict. But at a certain point the organization has to make the call on which one he is. At age 25, Encarnacion is no grizzled vet, but he's no pup either. It's about that time.

RedsManRick
04-03-2008, 04:26 PM
Even if it's 2 errors on back to back nights for basically the same thing? At what point do you say that you're hurting the team more than helping? Obviously, the walk-off tonight helped his cause, but how do you handle that?

That statement holds an assumption of continued failure at this pace. What's past is past; Benching him tomorrow doesn't take the errors back.

If you have reason to believe that he's going to continue to make errors at a historic pace, then clearly you need to sit him down and fix it. But for some reason, we tend chalk up defensive errors, like strikeouts, to a failure of character than needs to be punished. But why would we think that EE's errors in a 2 game sample are any more indicative of him failing apart defensively (thus requiring a correctional benching) than Adam Dunn's .143/.250/.143 with 3 Ks in 8 PA as indicative of his continued failure at the plate?

Yes, EE struggled in the field at times last year too. Player performance comes and goes in waves. Players will have streaks of good and bad games, both offensively and defensively. But unless some specfic scouting assessment tells you there's a particular problem to fix, and that a benching is required to fix it, you accept the functionally random clusters of success and failure and continue to run your best players out there every day.

princeton
04-03-2008, 04:35 PM
EdE could move over to first against lefties, putting Kepp or (drumroll) Adam Rosales at third.

I see that Rosales is playing third for Louisville today

Highlifeman21
04-03-2008, 04:35 PM
Serious question. How many runs (defensively) would Ryan Freel even save playing 3B over EE.

Second question. Would his bat even come close to making up for it?

I think not.

I have a feeling that Ryan Freel would cost the Reds more runs defensively playing 3B over EE.

And Freel's bat wouldn't even come close to EE's, as you stated.

GAC
04-03-2008, 04:40 PM
A year. Seriously. Let the guy breathe a little bit. Breathing down his neck is no way to help him get past a case of the yips. Maybe he's carrying his struggles to the field and to the plate because he's constantly worried about his job security. The guy is 24. If you want to ease him back a little, have him serve as the RH 1B platoon and put Keppinger at 3B vL when Gonzo gets back.

He should be worried about his job security.

The issue of his emotional volatility has been brought up before. One of the announcers mentioned during that AB last night too - that he gets into these type of emotional funks and gets down on himself.

It was said that after he hit that HR he ran hard around the bases and then flew into the dugout. True?

A talented kid; but if that's the case, then he's going to have trouble on a Dusty Baker managed team, and have a rough time at succeeding at the ML level IMO.

He has to pick it up THIS YEAR and show something. No more excuses. The job is his to lose. But if he is still struggling at the AS break, then they have to start look at other options.


The big question is:

Who will RZ blame it on if he struggles again?

:lol:

We're like that Mother at the playground that tells the other Moms to tell your kids to quit picking on my little boy.

IslandRed
04-03-2008, 04:54 PM
Just playing devil's advocate here, since I'm not of the mind that there's an emergency on hand:


But why would we think that EE's errors in a 2 game sample are any more indicative of him failing apart defensively (thus requiring a correctional benching) than Adam Dunn's .143/.250/.143 with 3 Ks in 8 PA as indicative of his continued failure at the plate?

Dunn's offensive track record is longer and more stable than Encarnacion's record of defense. Even if we assume both will regress to the mean -- when it comes to EE's defense, where is that, exactly?


Yes, EE struggled in the field at times last year too. Player performance comes and goes in waves. Players will have streaks of good and bad games, both offensively and defensively. But unless some specific scouting assessment tells you there's a particular problem to fix, and that a benching is required to fix it, you accept the functionally random clusters of success and failure and continue to run your best players out there every day.

The scouting problem seems obvious enough (poor footwork). Is a benching required to fix it? No. Stuff like that gets fixed between games. *If* he were to get benched, it won't be because they think the benching will help him fix it, IMHO. It will be to minimize the damage until he does fix it.

RedsManRick
04-03-2008, 04:57 PM
He should be worried about his job security.

The issue of his emotional volatility has been brought up before. One of the announcers mentioned during that AB last night too - that he gets into these type of emotional funks and gets down on himself.

So your solution is to add even more stress on him. Sounds to me like a kid who needs nurtured. This isn't the army, it's baseball. While ideally everybody turns in to a fully self-sufficient uberstar, some guys need a little reinforcement, especially young ones from other cultures. We gain nothing by ruling with an iron fist. That's not to say we should play him if his performance on the field doesn't merit it.

But we should be more interested in rehabilitation than punishment. If he needs to be bench to get his footwork figured out and to avoid a run of errors that would harm the team, by all means do it. But I think he has enough of a track record to suggest that he's not going to throw a ball away with enough frequency to make Ryan Freel or Juan Castro a better option.

GAC
04-03-2008, 06:20 PM
So your solution is to add even more stress on him. Sounds to me like a kid who needs nurtured.

It's not adding stress to have expectations of this kid. We've been "nurturing" this kid for almost 3 years. It's time for him to get off the breast milk. ;)

When Valentin didn't hustle the other day and Dusty said something to him, Javier received the criticism well. With EE, it seems he would go into an emotional tailspin in a similar situation.

There isn't any player in MLB, and especially on this roster, that if they don't perform/live up to expectations the "threat" is there that they'll lose their job to somebody else. Examples are abundant.


This isn't the army, it's baseball.

It's not nursery school either.


We gain nothing by ruling with an iron fist...... But we should be more interested in rehabilitation than punishment.

I didn't say anything about yielding an iron fist. If my employer invests the time and money to train me to do a specific job, meaning I still might make some mistakes along the way, at what point does the "nurturing" cease and I am then expected to perform that job at a satisfactory level? It's that employer's job, just like that manager, to observe and evaluate that employee (ballplayer). And If it turns into a consistent trend where they are not possibly getting it, and it's hurting the company (team), then is it ruling with an iron fist if they discipline them, or even have to replace them?

At what level does the nurturing stop with EE?

What happened to Brandon Larson? Not nurtured enough? Was it looked at as punishment when he didn't pan out and was given a short leash? He lost his job because they discovered he wasn't going to live up to expectations at the ML level. How about Felipe Lopez?


That's not to say we should play him if his performance on the field doesn't merit it. But we should be more interested in rehabilitation than punishment. If he needs to be bench to get his footwork figured out and to avoid a run of errors that would harm the team, by all means do it.

Remember two years ago when he had a inordinate amount of errors in the first two months of the season? He then sprained his ankle and was sent to a rehab assignment to Louisville. Then, when he wasn't called back immediately, EE started to grumble, and there were all types of accusations thrown at Narron that alluded to a "conspiracy" that Jerry didn't like EE and wanted him off the team.

The truth was though that the coaching staff was working on a daily basis, and very extensively, with EE on his footwork and throwing the ball. They were investing a lot of time with this kid.

Now, 2 years later, and at age 25, we still need to be nurturing him?

I'm not advocating dumping the kid. It's only been two games. But as far as I'm concerned, 2008 is the year he needs to step it up and show something.


But I think he has enough of a track record to suggest that he's not going to throw a ball away with enough frequency to make Ryan Freel or Juan Castro a better option.

I've not advocated that anywhere either. But as the season progresses, and if EE continues to struggle at 3B, then they can't just let it ride and hope he gets better after all we have invested in him up to this stage.

It just seems that it takes very little to upset this kid emotionally and put him into a funk. If he has some sort of an emotional issue with self confidence and assurance then that is a sad situation. So we need to add a psychologist to the coaching staff, and to ride the bench for certain players?

SteelSD
04-03-2008, 11:50 PM
He should be worried about his job security.

The issue of his emotional volatility has been brought up before. One of the announcers mentioned during that AB last night too - that he gets into these type of emotional funks and gets down on himself.

It was said that after he hit that HR he ran hard around the bases and then flew into the dugout. True?

A talented kid; but if that's the case, then he's going to have trouble on a Dusty Baker managed team, and have a rough time at succeeding at the ML level IMO.

He has to pick it up THIS YEAR and show something. No more excuses. The job is his to lose. But if he is still struggling at the AS break, then they have to start look at other options.

Encarnacion is 25 years old and he's been playing for a team where it's quite obvious that he shouldn't feel he has the 3B job just wrapped up. He was sent down last season due to impatience rather than for a real reason. His Spring Training numbers this year have been a public concern even though an established player wouldn't have anything to worry about.

The guy has received a bunch of negative feedback over the past couple of years, especially about his defense. Yet, he made dramatic improvements defensively last season. In 2006, he produced one Throwing Error every 58.18 Innings. In 2007, he produced on Throwing Error every 146 Innings. That's a decrease from one TE every 6.5 games to one every 16.2 games. Overall, his 2007 Error rate has nearly been cut in half (1 every 4.13 games in 2006 vs. 1 every 8.11 games in 2007).

Error rate and Fielding Percentage certainly aren't the end-all/be-all of fielding proficiency. Not even close. But if what we're grumpy about are the Errors, then why don't we recognize that Encarnacion is a player who significantly improved in that respect last season? The kid has talent. He had one wet baseball in his hands on Monday night and then threw away a ball he probably over-thought on Tuesday.

Big deal.

Cedric
04-04-2008, 12:01 AM
It's not adding stress to have expectations of this kid. We've been "nurturing" this kid for almost 3 years. It's time for him to get off the breast milk. ;)

When Valentin didn't hustle the other day and Dusty said something to him, Javier received the criticism well. With EE, it seems he would go into an emotional tailspin in a similar situation.

There isn't any player in MLB, and especially on this roster, that if they don't perform/live up to expectations the "threat" is there that they'll lose their job to somebody else. Examples are abundant.



It's not nursery school either.



I didn't say anything about yielding an iron fist. If my employer invests the time and money to train me to do a specific job, meaning I still might make some mistakes along the way, at what point does the "nurturing" cease and I am then expected to perform that job at a satisfactory level? It's that employer's job, just like that manager, to observe and evaluate that employee (ballplayer). And If it turns into a consistent trend where they are not possibly getting it, and it's hurting the company (team), then is it ruling with an iron fist if they discipline them, or even have to replace them?

At what level does the nurturing stop with EE?

What happened to Brandon Larson? Not nurtured enough? Was it looked at as punishment when he didn't pan out and was given a short leash? He lost his job because they discovered he wasn't going to live up to expectations at the ML level. How about Felipe Lopez?



Remember two years ago when he had a inordinate amount of errors in the first two months of the season? He then sprained his ankle and was sent to a rehab assignment to Louisville. Then, when he wasn't called back immediately, EE started to grumble, and there were all types of accusations thrown at Narron that alluded to a "conspiracy" that Jerry didn't like EE and wanted him off the team.

The truth was though that the coaching staff was working on a daily basis, and very extensively, with EE on his footwork and throwing the ball. They were investing a lot of time with this kid.

Now, 2 years later, and at age 25, we still need to be nurturing him?

I'm not advocating dumping the kid. It's only been two games. But as far as I'm concerned, 2008 is the year he needs to step it up and show something.



I've not advocated that anywhere either. But as the season progresses, and if EE continues to struggle at 3B, then they can't just let it ride and hope he gets better after all we have invested in him up to this stage.

It just seems that it takes very little to upset this kid emotionally and put him into a funk. If he has some sort of an emotional issue with self confidence and assurance then that is a sad situation. So we need to add a psychologist to the coaching staff, and to ride the bench for certain players?

Confidence is the most important thing for any athlete, doctor, teacher, whatever _____ job. It's even more important when that job is being watched by thousands daily and when your own announcer is calling you gutless in other words. I don't think showing the guy that he's not ever going to be yanked again is too much to ask. Without Edwin this team isn't going anywhere and that's reason enough for someone to tell Edwin just what I said.

This shouldn't be about Dusty showing who is boss, we all know that. This should be about trying to build the confidence of the best young hitter the Reds have. He's only struggling in the eyes of those that already have entrenched thoughts about him and hopefully that's only with fans/Brantley.

reds44
04-04-2008, 12:24 AM
Encarnacion's only two full season at the majors (and they really weren't even full seasons):

2006 (Age 23):
406 ABs
.276/.359/.473/.831
16 HRs
33 2Bs
1 3B
72 RBIs

2007 (Age 24):
502 ABs
.289/.356/.438/.794
14 HRs
25 2Bs
1 3B
76 RBIs

Somehow, because of his slow start last year people have labeled him a "slow starter". Everyone seems to forget he led the Reds in RBIs with around 30 in April in 2006. Was his defense awful in 2006? Yes it was, but in 2007 he commited 9 less errors in 44 MORE chances. Even with his struggles last year, he ended up leading the team in batting average. Everybody talks about how "unclutch" Griffey and more so Dunn are, and Edwin is a career .309 hitter with RISP.

Here we are with a 25 year old 3rd baseman already in his 3rd full season (parts of 4) in the majors with seeminly unlimited offensive potential and improving defense, and he just is continuously hated on. The bad rap that EE gets in this city really puzzles me.

WVRedsFan
04-04-2008, 12:46 AM
Here we are with a 25 year old 3rd baseman already in his 3rd full season (parts of 4) in the majors with seeminly unlimited offensive potential and improving defense, and he just is continuously hated on. The bad rap that EE gets in this city really puzzles me.
If you look at the rest of the Central Division, EE doesn't look too bad at all. In 2007, the starters looked like this:

PLAYER HR RBI AVG OBP
Hall, Mil 14 63 .254 .315
Ramirez, Chi 26 101 .310 .366
Wigginton, H 16 49 .284 .329
Bautista, Pit 15 63 .254 .335
Glaus, STL 20 62 .262 .361
EE, Cin 14 76 .289 .356

If you look, he's a little shy on HR's but he had the second most RBI's. His avereage is second best, once again to Ramirez and his OBP is third behind Ramirez and Glaus. Not bad and he didn't play a lot last year because Jerry Narron thought he had an "attitude problem."

Leave the kid alone and he'll be a star.

red-in-la
04-04-2008, 02:40 AM
I worry only a very little bit about EdwinE only on defense. The Reds should just let EE alone offensively. He appears to me to be a natural RBI guy...just has a knack for it.

Last season, EE showed that he can improve defensively, so I say just let it go for now. If he continues to struggle, next year, move Votto to LF and put EE at 1B permanently.

Ron Madden
04-04-2008, 03:16 AM
You have to stick with a kid as talented as Edwin.

Run him out there every day and leave him be, you will gain much more than you'll lose in the long run.

princeton
04-04-2008, 05:33 AM
I think that he's got the yips, and that he'll work through it defensively.

however, the team needs a righty first baseman, and he's a reasonable alternative on nights vs. a LHPer. This team is a kitten against lefties, but rich in 3rd basemen. Use one of 'em.

(BTW, didja see the night that Juan Francisco had last night? Whew!)

redsmetz
04-04-2008, 05:50 AM
I worry only a very little bit about EdwinE only on defense. The Reds should just let EE alone offensively. He appears to me to be a natural RBI guy...just has a knack for it.

Last season, EE showed that he can improve defensively, so I say just let it go for now. If he continues to struggle, next year, move Votto to LF and put EE at 1B permanently.

I wonder if he isn't like that Perez kid we had many years ago playing third base who ultimately moved to 1st base. Perez played 3rd from age 25 until age 28 in 1971 with 138 errors during that period (and made the All Star team every one of those seasons), then moved to first after May left with Denis Menke taking 3rd for two years and Dan Driessen and Johnny Bench getting the majority of the starts in 1974 (122/33 starts between the two of them - and they collectively played all 162 games with some time at 3rd base!).

I'm not advocating getting rid of Votto, but some fielding moves could be in either's future - or EE can improve at 3rd defensively.