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RedlegJake
04-06-2008, 04:43 PM
I love the way he's handled the pitchers so far. Didn't try to force another batter out of Edinson and soon after a few posters began mentioning that EV was starting to miss and lose some movement he took him out. Didn't over extend Johnny in his first start. Rests his bullpen and seems to know how to leverage them - something that Narron drove me crazy over.

The double switch for Dunn was something I think we'll either get use to or get used to cussing about because he seems to love the double switches. But you know what? I'd rather see the bench get PT as replacements rather than Narron's habit of Sunday's off and whole games played with 2 or 3 subs to get them their PT.

The offense is sputtering for sure but the Reds are scratching things out and pitching well. They look different even when they make an error - not collapsing.

Dusty also likes the sacrifice, evidently. I won't ever agree with everything any manager does, though, and the only call for a sac that I definitely wouldn't have made was EE's.

Another thing - he speaks Spanish and seems to have a rapport with Cueto and Volquez and THAT may be the best thing about Dusty this year. For me I am liking the Dusty era a lot so far.

redsfan4445
04-06-2008, 04:52 PM
i like how he has run the team.. the players will dictate themselves who performs..I am sure Fogg saw how well Beisle pitched last night and will have to step it up.. :)

WVRedsFan
04-06-2008, 05:43 PM
The "Sunday Special" was always something I hated. When I saw today's lineup without Castro, Freel and Hopper, I breathed a sigh of relief. That may be the difference between a seasoned major league manager and the Narrons, Mileys, and Boones of the world. Others will point how everyone does it, but I find it a slap in the face of the fans, many of whom cannot go to games during the week.

Anyway, it's been a successful first week for Dusty. Other than his stange double switching habit (and taking out Dunn twice), I've not had much to question. At 4-2 in a week I expected to go no better than 2-4, I find it really nice to have Dusty around.

RedsManRick
04-06-2008, 05:46 PM
I'll never stop complaining about Corey Patterson at the top of the lineup (who has perfectly demonstrated why his offensive game is more valuable in the 7 hole), but I very much appreciate that he took both young pitchers out of the game before 100 pitches when they could have gone longer. I like that he doesn't micromanage the pen unnecessarily.

For me, the next test is how he handles the slow starts of Dunn, Votto, and EE. Does he keep with them and let them come around, or does he start playing around with starts and lineup order?

edabbs44
04-06-2008, 05:47 PM
The "Sunday Special" was always something I hated. When I saw today's lineup without Castro, Freel and Hopper, I breathed a sigh of relief. That may be the difference between a seasoned major league manager and the Narrons, Mileys, and Boones of the world. Others will point how everyone does it, but I find it a slap in the face of the fans, many of whom cannot go to games during the week.

Anyway, it's been a successful first week for Dusty. Other than his stange double switching habit (and taking out Dunn twice), I've not had much to question. At 4-2 in a week I expected to go no better than 2-4, I find it really nice to have Dusty around.

I mentioned this in the game thread but aren't most "Sunday special" lineups due to the fact that the team might be traveling later that day? Tomorrow's game is kind of like a Sunday as it is the last game of the series. I expect to see that kind of lineup in there tomorrow, espeicaly since they are facing a very tough LHP.

Caveat Emperor
04-06-2008, 05:49 PM
Either he's learned from his mistakes re: Wood & Prior or someone above him is handing down edicts on how to handle the young pitching.

Either way, I'm very pleased with the handling of the staff.

mbgrayson
04-06-2008, 06:52 PM
I am also pleasantly surprised by Dusty keeping JC and EV under 100 pitches. I like how he has stabilized the lineup, except for 1B.

I also like his attitude, and how well the players seem to like him. I agree that Patterson should play CF at this point, at least until Jay Bruce warms up.

Best of all, I like how little we have seem of Juan Castro. If Castro is released when AGon comes back, I will be thrilled.

KoryMac5
04-06-2008, 07:25 PM
I have been feeling pretty good about Dusty thus far. I like the way he sets roles for every player. Narron, Miley, and Boone all would juggle lineups and relievers every other day. Dusty has set roles and I think this gives players some added confidence. I am not happy about the 1st base platoon though, but I blame the FO for that mess.

Always Red
04-06-2008, 07:37 PM
So far, so good. Dusty, as a veteran manager, understands a lot of the nuances of job, and he's been a breath of fresh air as compared to what we've had here of late in that regard.

I am quite sure that he is exquisitely sensitive to pitch counts by now. He's not deaf, dumb and blind, and I am sure he is very cognizant of the abuse that has been heaped upon him for abusing young pitching arms in the past (for right or wrong).

It really should not make any difference, but Dusty played the game, on a pretty high level. Players respect that, and will bust their gut trying to earn respect from a guy who has been there and done that. Obviously, they should do that for any manager, but some guys just naturally get more respect and effort than others do. I have a sneaking suspicion that all of the guys in that Reds clubhouse just KNOW that Dusty Baker has their back, and they will run through a brick wall to please him (or as Pete Rose said much more eloquently- "I'd run through hell in a gasoline suit.... ).

fearofpopvol1
04-06-2008, 08:00 PM
I've been very apprehensive about Dusty since he was signed. It is still early, but I really can't fault his decisions thus far (except Patterson at the top of the lineup).

I know it's probably obvious, but Dusty is clearly an upgrade over the last few managers.

redsmetz
04-06-2008, 08:09 PM
I've been very apprehensive about Dusty since he was signed. It is still early, but I really can't fault his decisions thus far (except Patterson at the top of the lineup).

I know it's probably obvious, but Dusty is clearly an upgrade over the last few managers.

Okay, I'm starting to get worried with this love fest - are the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse just around the corner? :)

Cyclone792
04-06-2008, 08:09 PM
Either he's learned from his mistakes re: Wood & Prior or someone above him is handing down edicts on how to handle the young pitching.

Either way, I'm very pleased with the handling of the staff.

Yup, hopefully it's one of those two and not choice C) small sample size. ;)

By far my biggest worry with Dusty was how he was going to handle the pitching staff. If he runs his pitchers in the ground, then he deserves criticism. If he handles the pitching staff well, then he deserves praise. It's only six games in, but he's handled the pitching staff very well during these first six games and deserves praise in that regard. I'm very thrilled with how he's handled the pitchers, and I hope it continues through the rest of the season.

I wish Votto would be playing a bit more, despite his struggles, and I wish Patterson wasn't leading off, despite his early success. But to me those are much smaller issues than handling the pitching staff.

Put everything together, and I have to say Dusty's done a good job so far. I'm happy as hell I can say that too.

Kudos, Dusty. Keep up the good work (seriously, dude, please keep it up!). :thumbup:

Highlifeman21
04-06-2008, 08:17 PM
I just hope that we see multiple starts by Volquez and Cueto under 100 pitches. I'm happy that they were both under 100 for their first starts, but let's start a streak.

I'm sure I won't get used to his double-switching, and I'm definitely sure I won't get used to him asking guys to bunt that have zero business attempting a bunt.

I'm anxious and nervous to see how this season unfolds under The Dusty's command.

Sea Ray
04-06-2008, 09:11 PM
I am quite sure that he is exquisitely sensitive to pitch counts by now. He's not deaf, dumb and blind, and I am sure he is very cognizant of the abuse that has been heaped upon him for abusing young pitching arms in the past (for right or wrong).


I think you're right. Notice how in the post game comments he mentioned at least once that he was concerned about the number of pitches Volquez was throwing.

I think we can all put to rest the concerns about overvaluing Juan Castro. I wish I had a dollar for every post on RZ claiming that Dusty was going to start Castro after A-Gon's injury. All it took was a Grapefruit League starting lineup with Castro's name in it and the boo's just poured throughout this site.

As fans it's our prerogative to evaluate managers but so far I've been pleasantly surprised in how he's handled this team in many areas.

savafan
04-06-2008, 09:17 PM
Dusty has won everywhere he's been. There has to be a reason for that.

Caveat Emperor
04-06-2008, 09:54 PM
Dusty has won everywhere he's been. There has to be a reason for that.

He keeps stumbling into towns with two really good, young starting pitchers? ;)

RedsManRick
04-06-2008, 10:16 PM
Dusty has won everywhere he's been. There has to be a reason for that.

Well, except for being under .500 as a Cubs manager. But everywhere else...

The jury is obviously out, but no amount of lineup order hijinks are as important as handling the pitching well. If he does the latter, I promise to stop whining (fine, whine less) about the former.

redsmetz
04-06-2008, 10:27 PM
I think you're right. Notice how in the post game comments he mentioned at least once that he was concerned about the number of pitches Volquez was throwing.

I think we can all put to rest the concerns about overvaluing Juan Castro. I wish I had a dollar for every post on RZ claiming that Dusty was going to start Castro after A-Gon's injury. All it took was a Grapefruit League starting lineup with Castro's name in it and the boo's just poured throughout this site.

As fans it's our prerogative to evaluate managers but so far I've been pleasantly surprised in how he's handled this team in many areas.

The playing time that Castro got today was a fitting amount - late in a game of one we're well in control of, switching out pitchers - Castro in at 2nd base. That's why you have bench guys for that sort of flexibility.

redsrule2500
04-06-2008, 10:57 PM
Well, except for being under .500 as a Cubs manager. But everywhere else...

The jury is obviously out, but no amount of lineup order hijinks are as important as handling the pitching well. If he does the latter, I promise to stop whining (fine, whine less) about the former.

He DID win in Chicago though, just not overall. Which does worry me...he's given a big market team with a huge payroll and lots of talent and couldn't produce a constant winner. Now he's supposed to succeed in Cincy? Worrisome.

WVRedsFan
04-07-2008, 12:00 AM
The playing time that Castro got today was a fitting amount - late in a game of one we're well in control of, switching out pitchers - Castro in at 2nd base. That's why you have bench guys for that sort of flexibility.

Absolutely.

The main difference I see in Dusty over the Boone/Miley/Narron set is how he uses his players. He has pretty much a set lineup. You don't see a different lineup every day. There might be a Votto or Hatteberg or a Freel for Patterson lineup, but that's all. There were times over the past few years that it was an event to see what the lineup was. Right or wrong, it's consistant and that's important to continuity.

I also like the way he doesn't have a set bullpen order. Narron used to drive me batty with the same pitchers coming in at the same time. Dusty's all over the place on that, but I notice he doesn't wear any one pitcher out. Today's game as a for instance: No Cordero. He used Coffey instead and that was smart. He's mixed it up pretty good.

I'll be waiting with baited breath for tomorrow's llineup. If we see a Sunday Special, I'll be very disappointed.

SteelSD
04-07-2008, 12:35 AM
The main difference I see in Dusty over the Boone/Miley/Narron set is how he uses his players. He has pretty much a set lineup. You don't see a different lineup every day.

Yeah, that lineup starts out with a player who projects a very poor OBP and has the most productive hitter batting fifth, but at least it's consistent.


I also like the way he doesn't have a set bullpen order. Narron used to drive me batty with the same pitchers coming in at the same time. Dusty's all over the place on that, but I notice he doesn't wear any one pitcher out. Today's game as a for instance: No Cordero. He used Coffey instead and that was smart. He's mixed it up pretty good.

Baker's already used an awful double-switch in order to get two Innings out of a pitcher (Burton) who'd never pitched two consecutive MLB Innings prior to this year. Today, Baker properly used a double-switch to allow Burton to get more than one Out and then, with an 8-1 lead, double-switched Burton out of the game. Baker has mixed things up, but there's little rhyme or reason to any of it. He just loves the fact that he can double-switch.

Don't even get me started on how failed Sac Bunt attempts have produced positive results for the Reds so far. That's just grand irony.

The fact that Cordero didn't enter the game today had nothing to do with trying to limit Cordero's workload. It had everything to do with the fact that there was no Save situation present. I honestly have no idea why we give Baker credit for not using the Closer when he wasn't needed.

Big Klu
04-07-2008, 01:01 AM
Baker's already used an awful double-switch in order to get two Innings out of a pitcher (Burton) who'd never pitched two consecutive MLB Innings prior to this year. Today, Baker properly used a double-switch to allow Burton to get more than one Out and then, with an 8-1 lead, double-switched Burton out of the game. Baker has mixed things up, but there's little rhyme or reason to any of it. He just loves the fact that he can double-switch.

Baker did not double-switch Burton out of the game. He lifted Burton for pinch-hitter Norris Hopper, and then left Hopper in the game as a defensive replacement for Dunn. I'm not saying that I agree or disagree with that move (personally, I would have let Burton hit for himself), but to say that Dusty double-switched Burton out of the game is not accurate.

WVRedsFan
04-07-2008, 01:07 AM
Yeah, that lineup starts out with a player who projects a very poor OBP and has the most productive hitter batting fifth, but at least it's consistent.



Baker's already used an awful double-switch in order to get two Innings out of a pitcher (Burton) who'd never pitched two consecutive MLB Innings prior to this year. Today, Baker properly used a double-switch to allow Burton to get more than one Out and then, with an 8-1 lead, double-switched Burton out of the game. Baker has mixed things up, but there's little rhyme or reason to any of it. He just loves the fact that he can double-switch.

Don't even get me started on how failed Sac Bunt attempts have produced positive results for the Reds so far. That's just grand irony.

The fact that Cordero didn't enter the game today had nothing to do with trying to limit Cordero's workload. It had everything to do with the fact that there was no Save situation present. I honestly have no idea why we give Baker credit for not using the Closer when he wasn't needed.

Steel:

Don't get me wrong, I'm not sold yet, but you have to admit that it's not a "pull the slip out of the hat" when the lineup show up each game. I think that's good. As far as starting Patterson leadoff, I'm with you and have stated so. As for not using Cordero, think back to the times Narron used Weathers every freaking day and you'll get what I mean.

It's better. It's not perfect, but better. And it needs to get better still. Whether it will or not, we'll find out soon enough.

Jpup
04-07-2008, 01:52 AM
Okay, I'm starting to get worried with this love fest - are the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse just around the corner? :)

Winning does wonders.

I really think Dick Pole should be commended for his work as well. Every time he goes to the mound, the pitchers seem to calm down. He looks like a keeper. It's amazing what a guy can do with actual talent.

mth123
04-07-2008, 05:45 AM
Either he's learned from his mistakes re: Wood & Prior or someone above him is handing down edicts on how to handle the young pitching.

Either way, I'm very pleased with the handling of the staff.

Even old school knows that pitchers get a few starts in with warmer weather before you start pushing them too far. I don't think we can read anything into how Cueto and Volquez have been used so far. Cueto went 7 innings and Dusty went to his set-up man and his closer. The pitch count was probably more a result of Cueto's mastery than it was Dusty's thought process. I'd expect all the starters to be a little babied in the early season while the pen is fresh and the weather is cold.

Taking it easy on the starters early in the season is pretty old school and isn't a signed that Dusty has changed his ways. Lets see what happens in June.

lollipopcurve
04-07-2008, 09:36 AM
Baker's already used an awful double-switch in order to get two Innings out of a pitcher (Burton) who'd never pitched two consecutive MLB Innings prior to this year. Today, Baker properly used a double-switch to allow Burton to get more than one Out and then, with an 8-1 lead, double-switched Burton out of the game. Baker has mixed things up, but there's little rhyme or reason to any of it. He just loves the fact that he can double-switch.

Makes no sense to me. Burton pitched well in his 2-inning stint, so how can one criticize Baker's choice in that instance? So what if he'd never done it before? The guy spent a lot of time starting in the minors. Lincoln took the multi-inning duty yesterday and did a passable job. Seems to me Baker is taking a look at different guys in the multi-inning role -- good idea to have more than 1 guy who can do it. And yesterday he took a look at Affeldt/Burton as a L/R combo for tough innings where he'll play the matchups. Again, seems like a good idea to me to play the matchups. Having a clear-cut closer in Cordero stabilizes the back-end, so there's a bit more flexibility elsewhere -- and that's a good thing. Since bullpens shift from day to day -- some guys available, some guys not, some guys well-rested, some guys partially rested -- it helps to have guys who can do different things -- get one tough out or throw a couple innings. I think we'll see Coffey in both kinds of situations, too. The real question in the pen right now is David Weathers, I think. Will he be able to handle the 8th?

Now, if the issue is Dunn getting double-switched, maybe there's an argument to be made, I don't know. But as far as handling the pen goes, I think Baker has done a very nice job so far. (For example, I'm guessing Narron never, ever would have brought Lincoln in for Weathers the other night...)

Cooper
04-07-2008, 09:47 AM
I was worried that he would get out managed by the other manager and that really hasn't happened. He hasn't done everything like i wish he would, but he hasn't got out managed like Ray Knight used to get (about once a week).

He doesn't have to be the smartest manager in the world -he just has to be smarter than the other guy he is up against. He's so far done that.

Sea Ray
04-07-2008, 10:06 AM
The fact that Cordero didn't enter the game today had nothing to do with trying to limit Cordero's workload. It had everything to do with the fact that there was no Save situation present. I honestly have no idea why we give Baker credit for not using the Closer when he wasn't needed.

I'll tell you why. Because recent managers have done so. MacKanin would use his closer in the 9th inning of any game the Reds were winning. It used to drive me nuts.

Cooper
04-07-2008, 10:08 AM
Couple more thoughts:

1. Reds pitchers lead the league in K's. 54 in 54 innings.
2. 3rd in BAA at .200.
3. Reds starters are averaging 10K's per 9inn.

Realize it is early, but those stats are really good to look at.

kheidg-
04-07-2008, 12:14 PM
Instead of the Sunday special it is now the Monday special.

Todays lineup is a doosy.

Castro batting 2nd playing SS. Freel, Castro, Hopper, Bako all in the same lineup.

Sea Ray
04-07-2008, 02:22 PM
Instead of the Sunday special it is now the Monday special.

Todays lineup is a doosy.

Castro batting 2nd playing SS. Freel, Castro, Hopper, Bako all in the same lineup.

I don't think it's so much the day of the week. Against a tough LHP you want to sit a couple lefties. I'm glad he didn't sit both Dunn and Jr. Unfortunately Castro is the only other SS we have. Bako is the only healthy catcher and you sure don't want Patterson in there vs a lefty starter. So when you break it down it does make sense.

membengal
04-07-2008, 02:39 PM
Agreed. Sitting lefties against Hamels made a ton of sense. I've got no issues with Dusty choosing to do that.

Jpup
04-07-2008, 02:55 PM
Agreed. Sitting lefties against Hamels made a ton of sense. I've got no issues with Dusty choosing to do that.

just as long as he doesn't sit Dunn. Dunn should play everyday unless he asks for a day off or he gets hurt. Jr. probably did not want the day off either, if I had to guess. I have never heard of Jr. wanting to not play.

Sea Ray
04-09-2008, 10:52 AM
I think Dusty has had a good start with the Reds but I really gotta question how he managed the 10th inning yesterday. I couldn't believe they didn't walk Kendall with a runner on 2nd and one out. Kendall is hitting .500 and always makes contact. What's the risk in walking him in that situation? It also sets up the DP. I strongly disagree with Dusty letting Kendall hit in that situation. Do any of you agree with Dusty's decision? Maybe I'm missing something.

RedsManRick
04-09-2008, 11:01 AM
I agree Sea Ray, but perhaps more directly to the point, why were we in the 10th inning of a game on the road and our best reliever was still in the pen? And once a guy reaches 2nd base, that calls for a strikeout pitcher. Where was Cordero? You can't save a game in the 11th that you lose in the 10th.

lollipopcurve
04-09-2008, 11:13 AM
What's the risk in walking him in that situation? It also sets up the DP. I strongly disagree with Dusty letting Kendall hit in that situation. Do any of you agree with Dusty's decision? Maybe I'm missing something.

I was more interested in seeing them walk Weeks to load the bases for Kapler. Kendall, despite his hot start, is a pretty weak hitter. He flared a ball to right that found a hole -- what can you do? But all Weeks needed to do was lift a ball to the OF or beat out a DP grounder -- the odds of him succeeding in that situation were outstanding. I really felt as if he should have been intentionally walked -- Kendall, not so much.

Sea Ray
04-09-2008, 11:45 AM
I was more interested in seeing them walk Weeks to load the bases for Kapler. Kendall, despite his hot start, is a pretty weak hitter. He flared a ball to right that found a hole -- what can you do? But all Weeks needed to do was lift a ball to the OF or beat out a DP grounder -- the odds of him succeeding in that situation were outstanding. I really felt as if he should have been intentionally walked -- Kendall, not so much.

The argument to walking Weeks is that it loads the bases and forces the pitcher to groove strikes. At that point the outfielders and corner infielders are still playing in. If you walk Kendall and pitch to Weeks you leave the fielders at normal depths and Weathers still has the luxury of losing Weeks to a walk or HBP.

I would call Kendall a slap hitter but not a weak hitter and that's the most dangerous in that situation. A slap hitter is more than likely going to move the runner to 3rd.