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View Full Version : I know it's only about 40 games in, but...



Highlifeman21
05-14-2008, 12:17 AM
I'm really jealous of Tampa Bay Rays fans.

I find myself watching this exciting, young team as much as I can. I wish we had the same plethora of young, MLB ready talent that is the Rays roster.

Bob Borkowski
05-14-2008, 12:25 AM
Those fans have certainly paid their dues.

Highlifeman21
05-14-2008, 12:57 AM
Those fans have certainly paid their dues.

Haven't we paid a similar price since 1999?

Screwball
05-14-2008, 01:12 AM
See, it pays to kick Beelzebub to the curb. ;)

And yes, I think we have paid a similar price, if not a steeper one. Sure Tampa fielded worse teams than the Reds in the past several years, but we sure didn't win anything more thanks to being marginally better than awful. However, the Rays have a boatload of talent to show for those years thanks to the draft picks, while the Reds have a couple of gems but not to the extent that the Rays have.

Also, it's kind of scary to think that Tampa has the first overall pick in this year's draft too. If they spend just a little bit of money, they could be very good for a long time.

OnBaseMachine
05-14-2008, 01:21 AM
The Rays are going to be very good for a long time. With all that young talent on the major league roster and plenty more in the minors, plus a beautiful new stadium that will be built on the waterfront, Rays fans have plenty of things to be excited about. They most likely won't top the Red Sox for the division this but don't be surprised to see them win 87-90 games and compete for a wildcard spot.

While our Reds don't have quite as much young talent as the Rays (who does besides maybe the DBacks), we do have our fair share of young talent. It's hard to find two young pitchers in the game with the stuff and upside of Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez. Homer Bailey is pitching well in AAA and has a chance at being a top-of-rotation starter for a long time. Daryl Thompson is dominating AA hitters and establishing himself as one of the top pitching prospects in the game and could possibly see some time in the majors in September. Josh Roenicke is another guy who we should see in Cincy sometime this summer to give the Reds another power arm out of the back of the bullpen.

Edwin Encarnacion and Joey Votto are developing into great hitters right before our eyes. Brandon Phillips is still young and looking like a perennial 25/25 candidate with an occasional 30/30 season. Jay Bruce is the best prospect in baseball and projects to be one of the best hitters in baseball for a long time. Todd Frazier is a very polished prospect who should reach the majors quickly, possibly as soon as 2009. I've seen him compared to Kevin Youkilis but with more athleticism.

The Rays have a bright future but so do our Reds, IMO. Basically what the Reds need is a young catcher, a stud defensive center fielder who can hit a little, and maybe a shortstop. That's what Jocketty should be targeting if/when he deals Griffey/Dunn/Arroyo.

Caveat Emperor
05-14-2008, 01:57 AM
I find myself watching this exciting, young team as much as I can. I wish we had the same plethora of young, MLB ready talent that is the Rays roster.

Kinda makes you wonder what Victor Zambrano is up to these days.

Dom Heffner
05-14-2008, 05:00 AM
I don't know about that beautiful stadium on the waterfront.

Nothing like the outdoors here in Tampa in August. :)

klw
05-14-2008, 07:20 AM
How many Rays fans are there? Will this be like Atlanta circa 1991?

blumj
05-14-2008, 08:31 AM
Their defense has gone from being a complete disaster to exceptional in one offseason. Bartlett at SS and Iwamura moving to 2B with the addition of Longoria makes a huge difference, and Upton really belongs in CF. Navarro even seems to have learned how to catch. They could probably do better in RF, but that's nitpicky. And, as a result, some of the same pitchers who struggled for them last season aren't anymore. Funny how that works, isn't it?

Falls City Beer
05-14-2008, 08:43 AM
While they are an exciting team and a nice change to the fabric of the AL East this year, I'd caution against assuming the organization can spin this talent into a consistent winner. Accumulating talent is one thing; building a dynasty is entirely another. They can be perfectly distinct tasks.

coachw513
05-14-2008, 08:43 AM
I don't know about that beautiful stadium on the waterfront.

Nothing like the outdoors here in Tampa in August. :)

You mean, not 78 with a light breeze and no humidity...shocking :eek:

Good for the Rays...although it's still really unsettling to watch their home highlights against virtually anyone (though especially against the Sox and Yankees) and watch the crowd responding to visitor plays...it's eerie how many opponent fans are right near the field and in camera sight every day down there...

Why do I get the feeling the Reds are like cooking a recipe??...there are times you know you love the ingredients, but the particular meal tastes like crap...how is it to like Votto, Phillips, EE, Kepp, Dunn, Bako (right now), Freel (used correctly), Harang, Volquez, Cueto, Arroyo (the "mets" version), Cordero, Burton, Affeldt, but to cringe every time the team plays...anyhow...

blumj
05-14-2008, 08:54 AM
You mean, not 78 with a light breeze and no humidity...shocking :eek:

Good for the Rays...although it's still really unsettling to watch their home highlights against virtually anyone (though especially against the Sox and Yankees) and watch the crowd responding to visitor plays...it's eerie how many opponent fans are right near the field and in camera sight every day down there...

Hopefully, the better they get, the more that will change, although the Yankees do have a large fan following in the area in their own right.

RedlegJake
05-14-2008, 10:24 AM
Why do I get the feeling the Reds are like cooking a recipe??...there are times you know you love the ingredients, but the particular meal tastes like crap...how is it to like Votto, Phillips, EE, Kepp, Dunn, Bako (right now), Freel (used correctly), Harang, Volquez, Cueto, Arroyo (the "mets" version), Cordero, Burton, Affeldt, but to cringe every time the team plays...anyhow...


Perfect analogy. The ingredients look okay on paper but the flavor is yuck when mixed together.

RedsManRick
05-14-2008, 11:01 AM
Why do I get the feeling the Reds are like cooking a recipe??...there are times you know you love the ingredients, but the particular meal tastes like crap...how is it to like Votto, Phillips, EE, Kepp, Dunn, Bako (right now), Freel (used correctly), Harang, Volquez, Cueto, Arroyo (the "mets" version), Cordero, Burton, Affeldt, but to cringe every time the team plays...anyhow...

If the ingredients are OK, maybe we should blame the Chef for not using them well....

Highlifeman21
05-14-2008, 11:39 AM
While they are an exciting team and a nice change to the fabric of the AL East this year, I'd caution against assuming the organization can spin this talent into a consistent winner. Accumulating talent is one thing; building a dynasty is entirely another. They can be perfectly distinct tasks.

So far they've done a good job at accumulating the talent, and now the mystery remains to see if they can consistently yield positive results.

They're definitely in a much better state of affairs than the Reds, that's for dang sure.

Falls City Beer
05-14-2008, 11:58 AM
So far they've done a good job at accumulating the talent, and now the mystery remains to see if they can consistently yield positive results.

They're definitely in a much better state of affairs than the Reds, that's for dang sure.

I think they're farther along on the arc of contention than the Reds, but I don't think for a second that it couldn't fall apart at any time.

Contention is a process, not a static conglomerate of skilled individuals.

Matt700wlw
05-14-2008, 12:33 PM
Here's some "on pace" numbers...

Phillips: .282, 29 hr's, 76 rbi, 25 sb's
Dunn: .203, 26 hr's, 82 rbi's, 142 k's, 120 walks
Encarnacion: .261, 33 hr's, 74 rbi's, 32 errors
Griffey: .250, 17 hr's, 76 rbi's
Bako: .303, 20 hr's, 69 rbi's
Freel: .307, 24 sb's

RedsManRick
05-14-2008, 12:47 PM
I think they're farther along on the arc of contention than the Reds, but I don't think for a second that it couldn't fall apart at any time.

Contention is a process, not a static conglomerate of skilled individuals.

Good point FCB. But even with Longoria in the majors, the Rays have the deepest, highest ceiling minor league system around -- and it's not really close.

It's not like they've lucked in to a good current team. They've built a great system from the bottom up and are very well positioned to maintain it.

DoogMinAmo
05-14-2008, 12:49 PM
Here's some "on pace" numbers...

Phillips: .282, 29 hr's, 76 rbi, 25 sb's
Dunn: .203, 26 hr's, 82 rbi's, 142 k's, 120 walks
Encarnacion: .261, 33 hr's, 74 rbi's, 32 errors
Griffey: .250, 17 hr's, 76 rbi's
Bako: .303, 20 hr's, 69 rbi's
Freel: .307, 24 sb's

Phillips seems about right.
Bako WILL fall, as will Freel, but by nowhere near as much.
EdE will get better as the weather warms.

You have got to believe that Griffey and Dunn will improve.

All in all, I definitely expect more from this O, and I have a weird feeling the Fish might be getting a taste of it. If only Kep was still around...

Falls City Beer
05-14-2008, 12:52 PM
Good point FCB. But even with Longoria in the majors, the Rays have the deepest, highest ceiling minor league system around -- and it's not really close.

It's not like they've lucked in to a good current team. They've built a great system from the bottom up and are very well positioned to maintain it.

The same thing was true of the 90s Montreal Expos. They outpaced the universe in prospect production. But they never amounted to anything.

And I would say that to the extent that they've sucked they've benefitted by way of the draft for compensation. So that it is residue of years of poor planning by the organization. Yes, they've drafted smartly, and they appear to have a great development system in place. But that's a far cry from fielding an outstanding, consistently successful MLB team.

oregonred
05-14-2008, 01:40 PM
The same thing was true of the 90s Montreal Expos. They outpaced the universe in prospect production. But they never amounted to anything.

And I would say that to the extent that they've sucked they've benefitted by way of the draft for compensation. So that it is residue of years of poor planning by the organization. Yes, they've drafted smartly, and they appear to have a great development system in place. But that's a far cry from fielding an outstanding, consistently successful MLB team.

Interesting analogy. Being in the AL East is a nightmare, the Rays are basically relegated to annually competing for the WC Slot unless you consider them as possible competition for the 1 divisional title/decade the Red Sox/Yanks won't win from now until doomsday. They also better take advantage of their 2009-2011 window because revenue wise they just can't compete and a new stadium isn't really going to help much. The young talent will start to get expensive in a hurry with the arbitration system. For a host of reasons, summer baseball just doesn't seem to work in snowbird and transplanted Florida although I do believe it has a better chance of suceeding in Tampa/Orlando then South Florida.

Don't forget the Canadian Dollar enabling the Jays to again become a big spender, just another high revenue franchise the Rays have to contend with on an annual basis...

Highlifeman21
05-14-2008, 01:41 PM
The same thing was true of the 90s Montreal Expos. They outpaced the universe in prospect production. But they never amounted to anything.

And I would say that to the extent that they've sucked they've benefitted by way of the draft for compensation. So that it is residue of years of poor planning by the organization. Yes, they've drafted smartly, and they appear to have a great development system in place. But that's a far cry from fielding an outstanding, consistently successful MLB team.

IIRC, didn't Les Expos make horrible trades involving their prospects for overrated "proven" talent. Sizemore, Phillips and crew to the Tribe for Colon seems to ring a bell. I wanna say they traded Pedro Martinez for next to nothing, as well. I also wanna say that the Expos seemed to have everything figured out during the strike year, and then they were never the same again.

dabvu2498
05-14-2008, 01:50 PM
I wanna say they traded Pedro Martinez for next to nothing, as well.

Carl Pavano and Tony Armas, Jr. Which, in retrospect was ugly, but at the time, those two guys were young and highly thought of.

Pedro's future salary considerations limited the teams he could be traded to. In 97 he made ~$3M, by 99 it was over $11M.

Buckeye33
05-14-2008, 02:10 PM
Here's some "on pace" numbers...

Phillips: .282, 29 hr's, 76 rbi, 25 sb's
Dunn: .203, 26 hr's, 82 rbi's, 142 k's, 120 walks
Encarnacion: .261, 33 hr's, 74 rbi's, 32 errors
Griffey: .250, 17 hr's, 76 rbi's
Bako: .303, 20 hr's, 69 rbi's
Freel: .307, 24 sb's

I would make the Hamilton-Volquez every day of the week but I saw this and figured I'd throw Josh's "on pace" #s out there:

.301, 32 HRs, 172 RBI, 52 2B, 8 3B, 88 R, 64 BB

REDREAD
05-14-2008, 09:02 PM
If the ingredients are OK, maybe we should blame the Chef for not using them well....

The guy that made the grocery list (Wayne) didn't quite get everything that was needed to make the recipe. :) He also added a few ingredients that were not necessary.