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HumnHilghtFreel
04-20-2008, 02:45 AM
Then I'm assuming that means he's going to be in the lineup just about every day. I'm ALL for that.

Now, when Alex Gonzalez gets back, I'm assuming that he's going to be finding some playing time. The original idea kicked around was that when he gets back, Kepp would split time between SS and 1B against lefties. If Votto is hitting lefty pitching though, that means Kepp is out of the lineup.

I'm a big proponent of keeping Kepp's bat in the lineup as much as possible, so where then do you put him at that point? Do you take away AB's from Edwin, sit Votto even if he's hitting well, or straight platoon him with Gonzo at short?

Maybe I'm overreacting a bit to a situation that may not even arise, and it's down the line a bit, but I think it could end up being an interesting situation. I think his bat is a big enough asset that it could be a problem if he isn't in the lineup often enough.

WMR
04-20-2008, 03:06 AM
If I was in charge, it'd be Gonzo on the bench. Votto and EE are much more important to this team's success than finding a place for Kepp outside of SS that would likely force Votto or EE to the bench.

redsrule2500
04-20-2008, 03:10 AM
Gonzo at third? I like him more than EE at this point.

Jpup
04-20-2008, 05:20 AM
Alex Gonzalez may not be back before June. I wouldn't worry about it much right now. Jeff Keppinger will be in the lineup everyday for the rest of the year unless something very strange happens. Dusty loves him, the fans love him, he's Krivsky's pick up, & he's probably the best hitter on the team right now. Why would anyone consider messing with him?

icehole3
04-20-2008, 07:51 AM
call me crazy, but I think before the season is done Votto will be carrying this team...call me crazy I dont care.

http://www.sternfannetwork.com/forum/images/smilies/Crazy/crazy.gif

jojo
04-20-2008, 10:03 AM
Votto will always have platoon splits and he's probably always going to be a below average defender. These things don't disappear when the big promotion happens and he looks to really be an average to a little above average overall as a major leaguer.

None of that suggests he's not a better option than Hatteberg though (it's kind of an argument for Votto actually).

Frankly, I'd just stick EE in the lineup and forget about him so since Votto has no real platoon partner, that notion probably applies to him in spades.

RedlegJake
04-20-2008, 10:20 AM
I disagree with jojo completely. Votto will be an above average hitter. Average fielder? Probably but he CAN get better defensively. Guys get better defensively much more often than they do offensively. He's pretty athletic and I see no reason to think his D won't improve. As for his splits -Joey doesn't have to hit lefties as well as righties -just good enough to be as good or better than most platoon partners would be. Platooning has one flaw. It means sitting for days on end, especially for the RH partner but it disrupts the flow for both players. Platoons often end up getting less from both players, imo. I do like the semi-platoon. When you have a RH bat that hits a particular lefty well, or when your lefty like Votto is in a bit of an overall slump, a day off against a lefty might be in order. I just dislike - well its a lefty time to sit Votto and play someone else.
If the Reds think that's all the better Votto is then trade him and get a regular 1st baseman. Votto will hit lefties reasonably well (ala Dunn) or he'll eventually lose his job. So far he's showing he isn't lost when a lefty is on the mound. Quite the opposite.

mbgrayson
04-20-2008, 11:16 AM
Interesting note on Votto almost three weeks in: he has no walks so far. Zero. This is after Dusty said in spring training "On Votto: “He needs to swing some more. I talked to him about that. Strikeouts aren't the only criteria. I'd like to see him more aggressive.”

Well his batting average and slugging look good. But do we really want to continue to have his avg.=his obp.? He needs to develop and refine his batting eye. He is being more aggressive. In last year's late season call up, he was seeing 3.81 pitches per plate appearance. This year so far, that is down to 3.28 pitches per plate appearance. Last year he walked 5 times in 89 appearances, this year 0 times in 43 appearances. Full splits are HERE (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/stats?playerId=28670).

I am afraid that we may be seeing a Dusty 'hack away and don't walk' approach.

HumnHilghtFreel
04-20-2008, 11:31 AM
Interesting note on Votto almost three weeks in: he has no walks so far. Zero. This is after Dusty said in spring training "On Votto: “He needs to swing some more. I talked to him about that. Strikeouts aren't the only criteria. I'd like to see him more aggressive.”

Well his batting average and slugging look good. But do we really want to continue to have his avg.=obp.? He needs to develop and refine his batting eye. He is being more aggressive. In last year's late season call up, he was seeing 3.81 pitches per plate appearance. This year so far, that is down to 3.28 pitches per plate appearance. Last year he walked 5 times in 89 appearances, this year 0 times in 43 appearances. Full splits are HERE (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/stats?playerId=28670).

I am afraid that we may be seeing a Dusty 'hack away and don't walk' approach.

I agree this may have a lot to do with the pre-season quotes from Dusty saying he wanted him to be more aggressive at the plate. His isoOBP through the minors does nothing but suggest he had a much more patient approach at the plate.

jojo
04-20-2008, 11:54 AM
I disagree with jojo completely. Votto will be an above average hitter. Average fielder? Probably but he CAN get better defensively. Guys get better defensively much more often than they do offensively. He's pretty athletic and I see no reason to think his D won't improve.

The NL average firstbaseman did this in '07: .284/.365/.481 OPS: .846. It's asking a lot for a guy to be significantly better than that with his platoon splits. Ryan Howard has platoon splits but he's mauled right handers to a degree that Votto has never consistently equaled. Also Votto is breaking into the league at an age where defensive skills already begin peaking. Sure he can work hard and get better (hats off to Hatteberg), but there's clearly a ceiling on the amount of improvement that is realistic. His defense will probably always be a drag on his productivity.

Average to a little above average as a major league first baseman is neither a pejorative nor a particularly conservative forecast for a guy like Votto given his skill sets and age.


Platoons often end up getting less from both players, imo.

Hatteberg/Aurilia say hello! :cool:


I do like the semi-platoon. When you have a RH bat that hits a particular lefty well, or when your lefty like Votto is in a bit of an overall slump, a day off against a lefty might be in order. I just dislike - well its a lefty time to sit Votto and play someone else.

Personally I dislike using small sample size splits to justify a move. Platoon splits are generally supported by rock-solid samples. They're real. Hitting 7 for 16 against a particular lefty isn't informative as it appears.


If the Reds think that's all the better Votto is then trade him and get a regular 1st baseman. Votto will hit lefties reasonably well (ala Dunn) or he'll eventually lose his job. So far he's showing he isn't lost when a lefty is on the mound. Quite the opposite.

I haven't argued Votto should be platooned (actually I argued the opposite abive) but rather his platoon splits will be a drag on his production.

Controlling an average to slightly above league average player for 6 years is an extremely valuable thing. Frankly, I think Votto might be one of the top four major league hitters on the Reds (Dunn, Votto, Bruce, Jr) depending upon how Jr handles his age this season. He's just not going to be a superstar IMHO. That said, penciling in a guy and not worrying about it for several years is a great thing.

Chip R
04-20-2008, 12:27 PM
Votto sounds like a smart guy. Perhaps he was thinking that once he established himself as the regular every day 1st baseman doing it the "Dusty Way", that he could go back to his former approach.

Far East
04-20-2008, 12:43 PM
Chip has a solution:
http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=67393
OF: Dunn, Phillips, Griffey
IF: Encarnacion, Gonzalez, Keppinger, Votto

mbgrayson
04-20-2008, 01:08 PM
I agree this may have a lot to do with the pre-season quotes from Dusty saying he wanted him to be more aggressive at the plate. His isoOBP through the minors does nothing but suggest he had a much more patient approach at the plate.

Not true. Votto had significant plate discipline in the minors.
2005 Sarasota; Avg= .256 OBP=.330 with 52 BBs.
2006 Chatanooga; Avg=.319 OBP=.408 with 78 BBs.
2007 Louisviile; Avg=.294 OBP=.381 with 70 walks.

A significant part of Votto's value was his high OBP, which was partly driven by walks. That simply must be maintained for him to be an average or better firstbaseman. It is worth noting that Ryan Howard, in addition to all the HRs, had 107 walks last year. Pujols had 99 walks. Berkman had 84. Lee had 71.

OnBaseMachine
04-20-2008, 01:25 PM
Votto is only going to continue getting better IMO. Growing up in Canada, Votto didn't play as much baseball as kids from the United States and Dominican Republic. I still think his best days are ahead of him. I think he'll hit lefties just well enough and crush right handers OPS around the .880-.900 mark each year. He's got some power in that bat and playing half his games in the GABP, he may eventually become a 30-35 homerun guy. This year alone I think he'll give up 22-25 homeruns and 30 doubles if he's given 500 atbats. And his defense is already better than Hatteberg's IMO.

HumnHilghtFreel
04-20-2008, 02:23 PM
Not true. Votto had significant plate discipline in the minors.
2005 Sarasota; Avg= .256 OBP=.330 with 52 BBs.
2006 Chatanooga; Avg=.319 OBP=.408 with 78 BBs.
2007 Louisviile; Avg=.294 OBP=.381 with 70 walks.

A significant part of Votto's value was his high OBP, which was partly driven by walks. That simply must be maintained for him to be an average or better firstbaseman. It is worth noting that Ryan Howard, in addition to all the HRs, had 107 walks last year. Pujols had 99 walks. Berkman had 84. Lee had 71.

I think you misread what I said, I agree with what you're saying

mbgrayson
04-20-2008, 02:52 PM
I think you misread what I said, I agree with what you're saying

My bad. I see what you meant now....

Jpup
04-20-2008, 06:06 PM
JoJo, you keep insisting that Votto's defense isn't very good. Have you actually watched the kid play? He's very good at 1st IMO. I would put him near the leaders in the NL.

HumnHilghtFreel
04-20-2008, 06:08 PM
JoJo, you keep insisting that Votto's defense isn't very good. Have you actually watched the kid play? He's very good at 1st IMO. I would put him near the leaders in the NL.

I'd have to agree. Even going back to last year.

It's a very small sample, obviously, but the kid has shown some real flashes of GREAT defense.

He's shown some range on diving stops, has made great throws and even better picks. He just seems to have very good instincts around the bag.

jojo
04-20-2008, 06:19 PM
JoJo, you keep insisting that Votto's defense isn't very good. Have you actually watched the kid play? He's very good at 1st IMO. I would put him near the leaders in the NL.

Yes I have.

OnBaseMachine
04-20-2008, 06:28 PM
I'd have to agree. Even going back to last year.

It's a very small sample, obviously, but the kid has shown some real flashes of GREAT defense.

He's shown some range on diving stops, has made great throws and even better picks. He just seems to have very good instincts around the bag.

Yep. Votto is very underrated defensively on here.

jojo
04-20-2008, 06:31 PM
I'd have to agree. Even going back to last year.

It's a very small sample, obviously, but the kid has shown some real flashes of GREAT defense.

He's shown some range on diving stops, has made great throws and even better picks. He just seems to have very good instincts around the bag.

Sounds like someone describing...........EE. Just saying'.....

HumnHilghtFreel
04-20-2008, 06:40 PM
Sounds like someone describing...........EE. Just saying'.....

As far as the wording I used, I suppose.

Since you have watched him though, what exactly is it that you don't like? And I realize it's very early in his career, but he's been nothing but impressive with the leather thus far.

dfs
04-20-2008, 06:41 PM
Then I'm assuming that means he's going to be in the lineup just about every day. I'm ALL for that.

Now, when Alex Gonzalez gets back, I'm assuming

I think real life GM's and Managers make that decision...when Alex Gonsalez gets back. Things change. Guys get hurt. Gonzalez will go on rehap. Lot's can happen.

mbgrayson
04-20-2008, 06:43 PM
Sounds like someone describing...........EE. Just saying'.....

Like EE? Really???

No errors at 1st, last year or this. He also has a .923 ZoneRating this year so far.

Pujols in 2007 had a .912 ZR and 8 errors. Derrek Lee, your 2007 NL gold glove firstbaseman, had an .842 ZR and 7 errors...

jojo
04-20-2008, 07:23 PM
As far as the wording I used, I suppose.

Since you have watched him though, what exactly is it that you don't like? And I realize it's very early in his career, but he's been nothing but impressive with the leather thus far.

There is nothing about his footwork, glove work/hands, instincts, or overall arm that would be considered above average (though his arm is strong). He's learned a lot but is basically adequate given his bat.

Equating Votto's defensive ability to a Pujols/Helton makes it a tough conversation to entertain.

paulrichjr
04-21-2008, 01:48 PM
I didn't see this posted anywhere else so maybe this isn't a repeat...


http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=3354297&name=olney_buster


New routine for Votto
posted: Saturday, April 19, 2008 | Feedback | Print Entry

A baseball season began on March 31, and for the first time in his life, Joey Votto was not a part of it, immediately. He did not hit well in spring training, at a time when manager Dusty Baker was evaluating whether to install Votto as the full-time first baseman or split time between Votto and veteran Scott Hatteberg, and on Opening Day, it was Hatteberg who started.


Votto didn't start on April 3, either, or on April 5. Veteran players have learned how to cope with intermittent playing time, learned how to prepare. For Votto, who was accustomed to playing every day, this is new, and during the first few days of the season, he found himself drifting, uncertain of how to cope with a situation that was new to him. So he has developed a system: He pretends that he was starting every single game.



"I made a major point to get in and get all my video work done early," he said Friday. "I was really tempted to be lazy, but I kicked myself in the butt and [thought], stick to the same plan -- at least go into the game with the mindset that I was playing every day."




For example, on April 7, when the Reds were set to play the Phillies and left-hander Cole Hamels, Votto reviewed videotape to get a sense of Hamels, of what he throws and how he uses his repertoire, and through his batting practice, he swung the bat with Hamels in mind. And that day, Votto started the game on the bench.



"I've always been told that I've got to keep a routine," said Votto. "I found I played my best when I had the same routine every day."



On those days when Votto hasn't started, the odds are, of course, that he is unlikely to get an at-bat against the opposing starting pitcher. He has switched to the bench-player thought process, which is built around preparation for at-bats against relievers. Votto likes to find a place in the dugout away from players who talk a lot, to give himself the best chance to focus on the game, to mentally prepare, to consider what situations might eventually develop for him -- a double-switch, a pinch-hit appearance against a particular right-handed reliever, that kind of thing. He will sometimes retreat to the clubhouse to watch the game on television, to observe the opposing starting pitcher from the center field camera angle, to get himself as prepared as possible for the moment that he's suddenly standing at the plate. "I've always been told -- especially by Dusty -- that you have to be ready to be aggressive from Pitch One that you see," says Votto.



And in recent days, Votto's work seems to be paying off. He started the last four games at first base, collecting 5 hits in 13 at-bats, with a couple of homers and seven RBI. Baker has complimented Votto's work ethic in his conversations with reporters, but hasn't said anything to Votto. "He really cares about the team [at large], and his No. 1 concern is with getting us a lot of swings," said Votto.




The Reds are having some tough games lately -- that's six losses in seven games; Bronson Arroyo lost Friday, as Shannon Russell writes. There is word within this piece that Josh Fogg may be supplanted in the Cincinnati rotation by Matt Belisle.

membengal
04-23-2008, 08:07 AM
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