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Spring~Fields
05-18-2008, 07:21 AM
Reds By The Numbers
Numbers say Dunn, Griffey should go
BY JOHN ERARDI

Seven straight losing seasons and a bad start have made Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn lightning rods with Reds fans, most of whom want them gone - regardless of what can be had in return. The numbers so far are with the fans.

Here is how the Reds position players rank in OPS (on base percentage plus slugging percentage) among the position players of the 16 teams in the National League:

C - 6th (Paul Bako will revert to the back of his bubblegum card soon enough; for now, he's Ernie Lombardi).


1B - 6th (Lower than we'd have thought, but Albert Pujols, Lance Berkman and Derrek Lee are a tough crowd).

2B - 6th (Brandon Phillips still isn't good at getting on base, but he can really slug it).

SS - 5th (Oh, are the Reds ever going to miss Jeff Keppinger ).

3B - 6th (Edwin Encarnacion still has the most upside of any Reds hitter).

LF - 9th (Earlier this week, Dunn got some talk-show points for hitting a sacrifice-fly on a pitch outside the zone, but it's going to take a lot more than that).

CF - 8th (Thanks to Ryan Freel ).

RF - 14th (Ken Griffey Jr. figures to move up in the rankings - he always "comes around" - but FIRST let him get hot, THEN move him into the 3-hole).

Pinch-hitters - 12th.

Not just cattle need range: Last year, Griffey Jr. got to nine FEWER fly-ball outs than the average major league right-fielder based on his chances. This year, he's already about five below average (second-worst among all MLB right fielders) and there's still three-fourths of the season to go.

Dunn's range is improving, 1.5 fewer fly-ball outs; making him 20th of 28 left fielders with more than 150 innings; last year, he got to 15 fewer fly balls than his fellow left fielders.

SO, WHAT TO DO

The Reds should be entertaining all offers for Griffey - even before he hits his 600th home run. With Jay Bruce tearing up Triple-A, the Reds have plenty of firepower to replace Griffey. It will be bittersweet to see him hit "600" elsewhere, but turning around this franchise will take some tough decisions from management. What better time to start making them than now?

CALLING BRANCH RICKEY

Reds management lacks the requisite ruthlessness to deal aging veterans to make room for younger players. Take a page from former Reds general manager Bob Howsam who was all for putting fans in the seats, but knew the best way to draw is through winning - and traded Tony Perez, 36, after the Reds title in 1976 to make room for Dan Driessen.

DUNN OR PHILLIPS?

With men on base, Dunn has 22 fewer plate appearances than Phillips, is hitting 86 points lower, slugging 52 points lower, and has the same number of HRs (3) - yet has 1 more RBI in those situations ... Is Dunn a witch?

SPEAKING OF BRUCE

Jay Bruce still isn't close to the on-base average of plus-65 points over batting average the Reds want ... but he's edging up.

With his .366 batting average, .398 on-base average and .662 slugging percentage, Bruce will be here within a few weeks, when he won't trigger an early arbitration date and cost the Reds millions more.

Still, there there isn't a "Bruce" alive or dead - not Lenny, not Willis and not Hornsby (unless it's Rogers) - who can put this moribund Reds offense over the top. The Reds are 12th in the NL in runs scored.

PUT PHILLIPS AT SS

The numbers don't support concerns that the Reds would be weakened at shortstop AND second base by moving Phillips. In the minors he played 356 games at SS (.950 fielding percentage), compared to Jerry Hairston's 34 (.921) - and Hairston doesn't have a shortstop's arm. Going into this season, Phillips had played five big league games at SS, Hairston six. Why are the Reds using a lesser fielder at arguably the most important defensive position?

The average 2B who moves to SS makes about six fewer plays per year than the average SS. But Phillips made about 15 MORE plays last year than the average 2B (among the NL's best), so at worst he figures to be average at SS. The Reds need the offense with Phillips at SS and Freel at 2B, when he's not in the outfield.

EASY DOES IT, BIG FELLA

Phillips THINKS he can hit anything, but the numbers say no. He swings at 33 percent of the pitches he sees that are out of the strike zone. That's the 13th highest rate in the bigs.

Swinging at pitches out of the zone isn't all bad. But No. 1 bad-baller Vlad Guerrero makes contact on 66 percent of those pitches; Phillips makes contact on 47.

Even a bad-ball hitter has to be realistic about just how bad a ball he can put a crushing on.

FLY INTO THE DANGER ZONE

Johnny Cueto is getting killed on pitches up in the zone - hitters have a .667 slugging percentage against him there (compared to a .394 slugging percentage down). We agree with Dusty Baker that Cueto should let the catcher call the game and focus on putting his stuff where not even the best big leaguers can hit it.

KEEP HOPE ALIVE

Did you know that even though Bronson Arroyo 's ERA is 6.08, his strikeout rate (8 K's per nine innings) is well above his career norms (6.2/9)? His ground ball rate is almost exactly where it was last year. His walk rate is up a bit this year, but not enough to explain his struggles.

So what gives? This year, batters have a .342 adjusted batting average against Arroyo on balls in play, compared to a .285 average the previous three years. And why are hitters batting 57 points higher? Probably just bad luck. Pitchers have very little control over batting average on balls in play. Hang with Arroyo; he'll turn it around.

Redhook
05-18-2008, 07:40 AM
Thanks for posting. Once again, Erardi does a great job.

I just have to wonder how much better this team would be if Bruce was playing RF all year long instead of JR. Or, how much better they'd be if JR was batting 6th where he belongs right now. Would they be over .500 with either?

Spring~Fields
05-18-2008, 09:09 AM
Thanks for posting. Once again, Erardi does a great job.

I just have to wonder how much better this team would be if Bruce was playing RF all year long instead of JR. Or, how much better they'd be if JR was batting 6th where he belongs right now. Would they be over .500 with either?

I wonder the same things or similiar type ponderings. I do think that Bruce could have helped the team by playing center offensively and defensively, and by taking up some playing time in left and right during players days off etc. until management makes their Griffey decisions. I don't think that Bruce would have caused much damage in CF and that he would have gained valuable experience that would pay dividends next year. I am all for Griffey sitting against left handed pitching, batting down in the order over hitting in the three or two slot and having additional days off to rest at his age, it would not be good if he were to suffer another injury at this stage in his career from stressing his body too much or a mishap in the outfield.

*BaseClogger*
05-18-2008, 10:32 AM
At this point, Bruce is three to five wins better than Griffey IMO...

Redhook
05-18-2008, 11:50 AM
Additionally, how much of a draw is JR anymore? Does the average fan still want to pay money to see him? I'm guessing many do, but it has to be fading fast. And by looking at the Reds attendance figures the Reds need something shiny and new to draw some interest. Personally, I wouldn't pay to watch JR anymore, but as soon as Bruce gets called up I'll be going straight down to the ballpark. I can't wait to him in a Reds uni.

mth123
05-18-2008, 11:51 AM
At this point, Bruce is three to five wins better than Griffey IMO...

Plus the indirect effect that he'll have on the entire staff not being overworked by the automatic single playing RF.

MWM
05-18-2008, 12:00 PM
With men on base, Dunn has 22 fewer plate appearances than Phillips, is hitting 86 points lower, slugging 52 points lower, and has the same number of HRs (3) - yet has 1 more RBI in those situations ... Is Dunn a witch?


That's got to be a misprint. there's just no way that could ever happen. :D

BCubb2003
05-18-2008, 12:04 PM
So why are the Reds going all SABR on Jay Bruce, even with a stat like OBP/BA, when they haven't shown an inclination to do so before?

dougdirt
05-18-2008, 12:05 PM
I just wanted to point out one reason, not just the walks, that Bruce's OBP is closer to his AVG..... Marty Brennamen is excited, Bruce had 5 sac flies this year. Those aren't at bats, but are plate appearances, so it draws his two numbers closer. Without them, it puts his numbers 12 points further apart.

mth123
05-18-2008, 12:06 PM
So why are the Reds going all SABR on Jay Bruce, even with a stat like OBP/BA, when they haven't shown an inclination to do so before?

Have to make up excuses for bowing to#600 and Dusty's buddy in CF. Its convenient when it fits the agenda. Maybe the Reds brass post at Redszone.

Crosley68
05-18-2008, 12:36 PM
Pure and simple....Reds are avoiding early arbitration for Bruce. Sad but true.

dougdirt
05-18-2008, 12:43 PM
Pure and simple....Reds are avoiding early arbitration for Bruce. Sad but true.

They have avoided arbitration already, they are trying to avoid him becoming a Super 2.

RedlegJake
05-18-2008, 12:51 PM
Dunn in left, Patterson in CF and Bruce in right, Votto at first, Freel at 2nd, Phillips at SS, EE at third and Bako catching. Hairston IF/OF sub and Janish IF sub, Andy Phillips 1B sub, Hopper OF sub, Ross C sub. Junior, Valentin and Hatteberg gone.

Dunn in left, Bruce in CF, Junior in RF, Votto at first, Freel at 2nd, Phillips at SS, EE at third and Bako catching. Hairston IF/OF sub and Janish IF sub, Andy Phillips 1B sub, Patterson OF sub, Ross C sub. Hopper, Valentin and Hatteberg gone.

Either way OBP improves, Power improves, defense improves, speed improves, bench improves. In the second case Junior can sit more often and Bruce can take RF with CP in CF. Either way Hairston can sub out Freel at 2B every few games, Janish can slide into SS late and Phillips move back to 2nd and Phillips gives you a RH bat to sub w/Votto against tough lefties or to PH.

The one thing that is certain is that this team can be improved immediately if the FO wants to make some tough decisions. They can get Bruce up with plenty of playing time. They can get a RH bat for the bench from Louisville in Phillips. Even if they can't move Junior they can still make moves that get better fitting players on the team.

If ruthlessness is what you want to call it then it's ruthless but if Cast sincerely wants to win Valentin and Hatteberg go away - PTBNL or DFA. Jay Bruce in the OF and Andy Phillips on the bench improve this team -and I think by a fairly large measure.

Then carry the same thinking to pitching and move Fogg, slot Belisle to the pen as long reliever and spot starter, and bring up Bailey for the 5 spot. Or Lehr if you really want Bailey at AAA for awhile longer.

DFA Mike Lincoln and see if Maj has turned it around. I'm tempted to say Roenicke but I don't think he's really ready yet. Ruthless? Heck yes, I'd go through Fogg, Belisle, Adkins, Lincoln, Majewski, Coffey, and others and trade or cut the ones that don't fit/aren't improving/aren't part of tomorrow's team and find an appropriate role for the ones remaining.

I'm not talking trades or deals here, at least any that bring substantial return, just things that can be done now, right now, that would improve this team from the players it has right now. THEN, with the deadwood cleared away they begin looking outside the organization for trades and moves to really improve.

Chip R
05-18-2008, 12:52 PM
Is Dunn a witch?



One way to find out is to see if he floats. ;)

membengal
05-18-2008, 12:56 PM
John Erardi is a light summer morning breeze as you sit out on your porch and contemplate a day of doing nothing.

Very refreshing.

PuffyPig
05-18-2008, 12:58 PM
They have avoided arbitration already, they are trying to avoid him becoming a Super 2.


A super 2 means early arbitration.

By having him in the minors for even 1 day, they have added an extra year to his FA.

Unless they want him available for arbitration a year early, he needs to be in the minors a little longer.

Spring~Fields
05-18-2008, 01:17 PM
Dunn in left, Patterson in CF and Bruce in right, Votto at first, Freel at 2nd, Phillips at SS, EE at third and Bako catching. Hairston IF/OF sub and Janish IF sub, Andy Phillips 1B sub, Hopper OF sub, Ross C sub. Junior, Valentin and Hatteberg gone.

Dunn in left, Bruce in CF, Junior in RF, Votto at first, Freel at 2nd, Phillips at SS, EE at third and Bako catching. Hairston IF/OF sub and Janish IF sub, Andy Phillips 1B sub, Patterson OF sub, Ross C sub. Hopper, Valentin and Hatteberg gone.

Either way OBP improves, Power improves, defense improves, speed improves, bench improves. In the second case Junior can sit more often and Bruce can take RF with CP in CF. Either way Hairston can sub out Freel at 2B every few games, Janish can slide into SS late and Phillips move back to 2nd and Phillips gives you a RH bat to sub w/Votto against tough lefties or to PH.

The one thing that is certain is that this team can be improved immediately if the FO wants to make some tough decisions. They can get Bruce up with plenty of playing time. They can get a RH bat for the bench from Louisville in Phillips. Even if they can't move Junior they can still make moves that get better fitting players on the team.

If ruthlessness is what you want to call it then it's ruthless but if Cast sincerely wants to win Valentin and Hatteberg go away - PTBNL or DFA. Jay Bruce in the OF and Andy Phillips on the bench improve this team -and I think by a fairly large measure.

Then carry the same thinking to pitching and move Fogg, slot Belisle to the pen as long reliever and spot starter, and bring up Bailey for the 5 spot. Or Lehr if you really want Bailey at AAA for awhile longer.

DFA Mike Lincoln and see if Maj has turned it around. I'm tempted to say Roenicke but I don't think he's really ready yet. Ruthless? Heck yes, I'd go through Fogg, Belisle, Adkins, Lincoln, Majewski, Coffey, and others and trade or cut the ones that don't fit/aren't improving/aren't part of tomorrow's team and find an appropriate role for the ones remaining.

I'm not talking trades or deals here, at least any that bring substantial return, just things that can be done now, right now, that would improve this team from the players it has right now. THEN, with the deadwood cleared away they begin looking outside the organization for trades and moves to really improve.

Nice work.

Let's do it and make the rest of the season actually entertaining.

Raisor
05-18-2008, 01:24 PM
One way to find out is to see if he floats. ;)

You could build a bridge out of him

Chip R
05-18-2008, 01:29 PM
You could build a bridge out of him


But can you not also build bridges out of stone?

Raisor
05-18-2008, 01:34 PM
But can you not also build bridges out of stone?

oh

Chip R
05-18-2008, 01:40 PM
oh


Does wood sink in water?

Raisor
05-18-2008, 01:43 PM
Does wood sink in water?

No! We'll throw Dunn into the pond!

MWM
05-18-2008, 01:43 PM
But can you not also build bridges out of stone?

or peaches....

Chip R
05-18-2008, 01:47 PM
No! We'll throw Dunn into the pond!


No, what else floats in water?

Raisor
05-18-2008, 01:49 PM
No, what else floats in water?

apples! little small rocks! cider! Cider!



A DUCK!

Chip R
05-18-2008, 01:53 PM
A DUCK!

Exactly! So logically...

Raisor
05-18-2008, 01:54 PM
Exactly! So logically...

So...if Dunn weighs the same as a duck...he's made of wood.

Chip R
05-18-2008, 01:55 PM
So...if Dunn weighs the same as a duck...he's made of wood.


And therefore...

Raisor
05-18-2008, 01:56 PM
And therefore...

You know, you aren't setting a good example for a moderator.

And therefore....A WITCH!!!!

Chip R
05-18-2008, 02:01 PM
You know, you aren't setting a good example for a moderator.

And therefore....A WITCH!!!!


We're just scientifically proving that Dunn is a witch. You know, he turned me into a newt.

Raisor
05-18-2008, 02:03 PM
We're just scientifically proving that Dunn is a witch. You know, he turned me into a newt.

A newt?

Chip R
05-18-2008, 02:04 PM
A newt?


I got better.

BCubb2003
05-18-2008, 02:28 PM
I got better.

Did you have to sacrifice a fly?

SteelSD
05-19-2008, 12:44 AM
I just wanted to point out one reason, not just the walks, that Bruce's OBP is closer to his AVG..... Marty Brennamen is excited, Bruce had 5 sac flies this year. Those aren't at bats, but are plate appearances, so it draws his two numbers closer. Without them, it puts his numbers 12 points further apart.

Unfortunately, that has nothing to do with Bruce's plate discipline and the AB suppression factor of those five Outs would leave Bruce's IsoD at a paltry .042.

I really like Bruce's tools, but if we expect him to perform as anything like his current iteration once he hits the show for the first time, we'd be crazy IMHO. His current BA (.359) doesn't project to be sustainable, and his low IsoD doesnt' project very well. He's "succeeding poorly".

And for folks who get grumpy about offensive player K rates, Bruce is currently striking out once every 4.10 AB in AAA. For his MilB career, it's been one K every 3.96 AB. Adam Dunn's rate this year is once every 3.74 AB. Projecting that over 650 PA, it means that folk may have to stomach 150+ K's per season from Bruce at the MLB level, at least at first, and likely for quite a while.

Everyone get ready, because Bruce will be here soon. He could be great. But he also could be something different that what Reds fans expect.

NDRed
05-19-2008, 01:19 AM
Unfortunately, that has nothing to do with Bruce's plate discipline and the AB suppression factor of those five Outs would leave Bruce's IsoD at a paltry .042.

I really like Bruce's tools, but if we expect him to perform as anything like his current iteration once he hits the show for the first time, we'd be crazy IMHO. His current BA (.359) doesn't project to be sustainable, and his low IsoD doesnt' project very well. He's "succeeding poorly".

And for folks who get grumpy about offensive player K rates, Bruce is currently striking out once every 4.10 AB in AAA. For his MilB career, it's been one K every 3.96 AB. Adam Dunn's rate this year is once every 3.74 AB. Projecting that over 650 PA, it means that folk may have to stomach 150+ K's per season from Bruce at the MLB level, at least at first, and likely for quite a while.

Everyone get ready, because Bruce will be here soon. He could be great. But he also could be something different that what Reds fans expect.

You're no fun.

dougdirt
05-19-2008, 01:29 AM
Unfortunately, that has nothing to do with Bruce's plate discipline and the AB suppression factor of those five Outs would leave Bruce's IsoD at a paltry .042.
Sure, but it has absolutely nothing to do anything I typed. The Reds want his OBP-AVG to be closer to 60-70. I simply made the point that his 5 sac flies are keeping those current numbers about 12 points lower than his walk rate would suggest given he wasn't on pace for 18 sac flies this year.



I really like Bruce's tools, but if we expect him to perform as anything like his current iteration once he hits the show for the first time, we'd be crazy IMHO. His current BA (.359) doesn't project to be sustainable, and his low IsoD doesnt' project very well. He's "succeeding poorly".
I don't think anyone expects him to hit .360+ or slug .660+.



And for folks who get grumpy about offensive player K rates, Bruce is currently striking out once every 4.10 AB in AAA. For his MilB career, it's been one K every 3.96 AB. Adam Dunn's rate this year is once every 3.74 AB. Projecting that over 650 PA, it means that folk may have to stomach 150+ K's per season from Bruce at the MLB level, at least at first, and likely for quite a while.
Jay is striking out less per PA this year than he has in his career. Granted I don't care much about a batters strikeout rate, but just wanted to point that out.

Ron Madden
05-19-2008, 01:58 AM
I can see it now.

It won't take long for Marty to start grumbling about Bruces K rate.

The radio talkshow host and their callers will follow suit.

Everyone will concentrate on Jays strikeouts and ignore the things he does well. Kinda like Adam Dunn part two.

dougdirt
05-19-2008, 02:20 AM
I can see it now.

It won't take long for Marty to start grumbling about Bruces K rate.

The radio talkshow host and their callers will follow suit.

Everyone will concentrate on Jays strikeouts and ignore the things he does well. Kinda like Adam Dunn part two.

Well, kind of, but not really. Bruce will play defense, which Dunn doesn't. That will keep some people off his back even if he strikes out a ton. Bruce also will hit the other way, which will keep a few more people off his back. Bruce won't be the lightning rod that Dunn is for a lot of reasons, but mostly because he plays on both sides of the ball.

Spring~Fields
05-19-2008, 09:58 AM
Unfortunately, that has nothing to do with Bruce's plate discipline and the AB suppression factor of those five Outs would leave Bruce's IsoD at a paltry .042.

I really like Bruce's tools, but if we expect him to perform as anything like his current iteration once he hits the show for the first time, we'd be crazy IMHO. His current BA (.359) doesn't project to be sustainable, and his low IsoD doesnt' project very well. He's "succeeding poorly".

And for folks who get grumpy about offensive player K rates, Bruce is currently striking out once every 4.10 AB in AAA. For his MilB career, it's been one K every 3.96 AB. Adam Dunn's rate this year is once every 3.74 AB. Projecting that over 650 PA, it means that folk may have to stomach 150+ K's per season from Bruce at the MLB level, at least at first, and likely for quite a while.

Everyone get ready, because Bruce will be here soon. He could be great. But he also could be something different that what Reds fans expect.

I don't see how any of us could question what you have presented here.

Bruce projects to strikeout about a 143 times now at AAA for 600 AB, while his batting stats indicate that he hits .363 .392 .669 1.061. On Redszone a strikeout is considered just another out, and of course it is when considering data points, one out is one out.

One might prefer outs where contact outs are made over multiple strikeouts so that one can make some type of determination that the batter is seeing the ball well, that his hitting approach or mechanics are sound by the type of consistent contact that he might be exhibiting with an assumption that the player will eventually get his hits as long as the batter is making more consistent contact a higher percentage of times. Regardless of the thought though, an out is an out.

At his young age it looks like that Bruce will strikeout a lot yet still be very productive as a offensive producer.

Is there any conversion tables that can tell us what to anticipate from a given player batting w, x, y, z at AAA level, conversion tables that would indicate what type of batting ranges could be anticipated from that same batter at the major league level?

Sea Ray
05-19-2008, 11:31 AM
Unfortunately, that has nothing to do with Bruce's plate discipline and the AB suppression factor of those five Outs would leave Bruce's IsoD at a paltry .042.

I really like Bruce's tools, but if we expect him to perform as anything like his current iteration once he hits the show for the first time, we'd be crazy IMHO. His current BA (.359) doesn't project to be sustainable, and his low IsoD doesnt' project very well. He's "succeeding poorly".

And for folks who get grumpy about offensive player K rates, Bruce is currently striking out once every 4.10 AB in AAA. For his MilB career, it's been one K every 3.96 AB. Adam Dunn's rate this year is once every 3.74 AB. Projecting that over 650 PA, it means that folk may have to stomach 150+ K's per season from Bruce at the MLB level, at least at first, and likely for quite a while.

Everyone get ready, because Bruce will be here soon. He could be great. But he also could be something different that what Reds fans expect.

It will be interesting to see how Jay Bruce's major league career stacks up. Adam Dunn's strike outs went way up in the major leagues. He struck out once every 4.47 ABs in the minors whereas he's struck out once every 3.09 ABs in his 8 yr major league career His avg also dropped. He was a .300 hitter in the minors. His major league avg is sub .250.

Joseph
05-19-2008, 11:49 AM
Erardi is good.