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View Full Version : Would Phillips to SS fix the Reds defense?



Will M
04-25-2008, 03:40 PM
Right now the Reds have four defensive issues:
1. RF - Griffey is basically a DH. Bruce will take over soon pushing Jr to LF or to the AL. Bruce should be a plus defender in RF.
2. LF - All teams try to slip a bat here. If the Reds have Griffey or Dunn or EE in left it isn't a big deal IF the other 7 positions are good defensively.
3. SS - Kep just doesn't have the range to be a strong defensive SS
4. 3B - EE's throws continue to be an issue. Some think he will improve. I don't and think he belongs in LF.

Since Phillips came to the Reds Krivsky has resisted playing him at SS.
I don't believe I have ever heard a good explanation for this.
Phillips has the range, arm & athleticism to play SS and played here in the minors. Flipping Kep & Phillips would improve the defense assuming Phillips can play SS as well as 2B. It would also leave 3B open for a guy with power - either EE if he can improve his D, Rosales or an acquisition.

The 2009 Reds could look like this:
1B Votto (L)
2B Kep
SS Phillips
3B EE
LF Dunn or Jr (L)
CF ?
RF Bruce (L)
C ?

OR

1B Votto (L)
2B Kep
SS Phillips
3B Rosales or acquisition
LF EE
CF ?
RF Bruce (L)
C ?

Thoughts?

PuffyPig
04-25-2008, 03:53 PM
If they thought Phillips to SS would solve any problems he would have been there some years back.

Will M
04-25-2008, 03:59 PM
If they thought Phillips to SS would solve any problems he would have been there some years back.

'They' are gone. Both Krivsky and Narron are no longer with the Reds.

Highlifeman21
04-25-2008, 04:17 PM
'They' are gone. Both Krivsky and Narron are no longer with the Reds.

What's wrong with Keppinger @ SS?

Granted, he's no Gold Glover, and he has the range of Derek Jeter, but IMO he's working better for us than Alex Gonzalez.

dougdirt
04-25-2008, 04:21 PM
What's wrong with Keppinger @ SS?

Granted, he's no Gold Glover, and he has the range of Derek Jeter, but IMO he's working better for us than Alex Gonzalez.

You said it yourself, he has the range of Derek Jeter. That is the thing wrong with him.

PuffyPig
04-25-2008, 04:29 PM
If they thought that Philiips to SS would solve our defensive problems, he would already be there.

They include Dusty Baker.

Phillips is a premier fielding secondbaseman.

You move him to SS and Keppinger to second, we are likely weak at both.

SunDeck
04-25-2008, 07:13 PM
I think Phillips could be a serviceable SS. But he's one of the best defensive second baseman in the game right now. I'd rather keep him there and have Keppinger as SS for now.

But they do need a longer term defensive solution at SS than Gonzalez.

redsrule2500
04-25-2008, 07:36 PM
The Reds need to just flip phillips and keppinger. Why dont they? What the crap...?

pedro
04-25-2008, 07:49 PM
I think it's more important to have the better range player at 2nd being that EE has pretty good range at 3rd.

PuffyPig
04-25-2008, 07:58 PM
The Reds need to just flip phillips and keppinger. Why dont they? What the crap...?

Becasue it would weaken he defense.

HokieRed
04-25-2008, 08:22 PM
Another issue--can Jay Bruce play CF? Is he going to be your center-fielder or your right fielder? The lineup I'd like to see, the sooner the better, would have Jay Bruce in RF, EE in LF, someone currently not on the roster in CF. Late this year would be a good time to experiment with a Kepp-Phillips switch. If that works, then you're closer to a solution than previously. If it does not, then a further question is whether Kepp hits enough to play 3rd. I suspect the Kepp-Phillips switch will not work and if you really value defense, you will have to play Kepp at third or use him as a super sub. One way to go would be to put him at 3rd, play AGon, and look for a significant offensive upgrade behind the plate. I'm also assuming that the new CF will be a significant offensive upgrade from what we have.

RedlegJake
04-25-2008, 08:41 PM
Beating this drum again...Phillips is a good 2B, Kepp an adequate SS. Switch them and you're very likely to have 2 just adequate players. I think it'd be a slight drop in overall defense. A sure handed range limited shortstop who hits, works. Look at Jeter. Look at Ripken. SS/2B is NOT the Reds problem. You're trying to fix what ain't broke.

The glaring problems are outfield defense, not enough hitting driven OBP, starters #4 & #5, and a bench without pop and redundant parts. EE at third doesn't really bother me - he is carrying a big stick and his D has steadied from the first dozen games.

The problems are not a single player here, or switching a position there.

Take out Arroyo's numbers and the rotation looks much better. I know you can't dismiss his numbers - what I'm pointing out is the miscalculation that assumed Harang AND Arroyo would be solid. Hence the Reds haven't added two good starters in Cueto and Volquez. They have only added one, since one of them has simply replaced the Arroyo of previous seasons.

Compare the numbers for Harang-Cueto and Volquez with the 1-2-3 on other teams and the Reds are looking good. Then compare the guys who have made the starts in spots 4 &5. Total collapse.

Right now the Reds are getting a chance to win in only 60% of their games. That doesn't mean they'll win those games, just that the starters will keep them in it. With some sloppy defense, dumb base running and offensive problems they've squandered some of those chances.

They've been given no chance at all in the other 40%. Horrible pitching and the same fundamental problems simply ends their chances before those games begin. Simply to be a .500 club right now they have to win 5 of the 6 games in every 10 that the front three start. That would be hard with a gold glove/silver bat squad behind them.

Adam Dunn said it best -it ain't early anymore. Nearly 1/6th of the season is done. Individual bats have heated up but the team's results are still bad. Pointing at BP or Adam or CP or any single player just won;t cut it. The Reds have solid looking players on paper, and just about any of them could fill a solid role on another team but as a whole they are unbalanced.

Always Red
04-25-2008, 09:23 PM
You said it yourself, he has the range of Derek Jeter. That is the thing wrong with him.

Can anyone here show us how many outs (and runs, and therefore games, if any) Keppinger is costing the Reds by playing SS?

No snark, serious question.

He gets everything in his range- very sure hands and accurate arm. BUT, you don't need to be a baseball scout to see that he doesn't have the range of Gonzo, or maybe even Lopez. How much does this really cost the Reds? I think it's a good question. Adam Everett is considered to be a heck of a defensive SS, but he can't hit, and the Asstro's finally gave up on him.

You know, the very first Gold Glove winner in the NL at SS was Cincinnati Red, Roy McMillan (he won 3 in a row). I realize the game is MUCH different now, and the athleticism is off the charts compared to the 1950's, but how would Kepp compare to Roy McMillan?

BTW, I think Kepp is the polar opposite of EE. EE has excellent range and can make some great plays- it's the routine plays that cause him to have brain cramps and make mistakes. Keppinger converts everything he can get to, but doesn't ever make the sensational play.

IslandRed
04-25-2008, 10:36 PM
Beating this drum again...Phillips is a good 2B, Kepp an adequate SS. Switch them and you're very likely to have 2 just adequate players.

I tend to agree. I understand that Keppinger would be better at 2B than he is at SS and Phillips would have a little better range at short than Kepp does. But Phillips would not be a plus shortstop, just an incremental upgrade, and Keppinger is not as good as Phillips at second, either. So we'd improve one, weaken the other and wind up about where we are, if not worse while they each got used to playing the new position full-time.

Mostly, when a player is an obvious plus at an important defensive position as Phillips is, I'm a big fan of leaving him there.

redsrule2500
04-26-2008, 01:37 AM
Becasue it would weaken he defense.

I don't see how, could you explain your point?

RedlegJake
04-26-2008, 05:01 AM
I don't see how, could you explain your point?

Simple. Phillips wouldn't make up the difference defensively at short that you'd lose with Kepp instead of BP at 2nd. Plus, EE's range at third helps Kepp a half step or so but wouldn't mean squat to Phillips. All in all it would be change for the sake of change, not for any real improvement.

SMcGavin
04-26-2008, 08:28 PM
Can anyone here show us how many outs (and runs, and therefore games, if any) Keppinger is costing the Reds by playing SS?

No snark, serious question.

I'm curious about this too, if anyone has some numbers it would interesting to see.

Always Red
04-27-2008, 12:33 AM
I'm curious about this too, if anyone has some numbers it would interesting to see.

No answers, yet.

RedlegJake
04-27-2008, 10:10 AM
The only way would be to take range factor, the number of balls hit outside Kepp's range that would be within another SS with better RF and figure that by a run value per added hit then divide by games played.

IMO, the figure would be very small. Kepp at SS is not hurting the Reds. Just my opinion but his offense couple with sure handedness of balls he does get to likely gives him plus value.