PDA

View Full Version : The Memorial Day Evaluation Point



mth123
05-26-2008, 04:28 AM
Generally, Memorial Day seems to be a traditional "its not early anymore" point in a baseball season. Its a point where teams start to take significant action to make changes to the team that it started the season with. The Reds seem to be on this page with the recent promotions and changes in the minor league system. Changes I hope to see:

1. Jay Bruce needs to be on the team and in the line-up. The super two thing should no longer be a consideration and there simply are no more excuses after a 2-5 road trip. The only debate left is over whether he should play CF or RF. He'd be a huge upgrade at either spot....

2. ... I've seen enough of Ken Griffey Jr with a glove on his hand. IMO, on a team with a number of poor defenders, Griffey is by far the poorest of them all. Give me Bruce in RF and hope the team can eek out something close to league average in CF with Freel/Patterson/Hairston etc. The offensive bar is set lower in CF and Patterson is a plus defender. I like the idea of saving Bruce's legs by not making him run between Dunn and Griffey everyday. With Bruce in RF, the CF should be able to cheat a little toward Left Center and the overall defense should be vastly improved.

3. Matt Belisle needs to be removed from the rotation. I was one of the people who posted that he should be handed a spot and really thought that he would build on last season. I really thought that his jump to 170+ innings in 2007 after a couple seasons of much smaller loads was a transition year and that the results would improve with that under his belt. I'm now convinced that those who said he was not a good pitcher were right and I was wrong about this one. With Lehr gone, I give Matt Maloney a try in the 5 spot for now...

4. ...Sign Freddy Garcia. This is an impact pitcher who is on the market. Unlike the other injured free agent busts out there, Garcia is coming off TJ and not a shoulder problem. He should come back as good as ever. He'd upgrade the second half rotation, a two year deal would provide a plus starter for 2009. I'd want an option for 2010 as well. It wouldn't cost any talent. Its time for the losing to stop, right?This is wrong see below

5. Put Dusty on a leash. Management needs to step in and order some stupidity to stop....

6. ...Hire an in game tactician to be a bench coach. Let Dusty handle the egos and he surely has a large voice, but he needs to be relieved of any responsibility for making decisions as the situation evolves. Fire the coach of your choosing to make room.

7. Get a Catcher. The clock has struck midnight on Bako's Cinderella start and David Ross is to catching what Juan Castro was to IF play the last couple years. A defense first player who actually can't play defense very well. Ross is a guy I'd like to see removed immediately.

8. Implement a platoon system that is based on defensive needs (as opposed to RH/LH offensive match-ups based on the opposing starter). The Reds are a team with too many guys who are offense oriented (Freel, Hairston, Keppinger) but probably not good enough offensively to be worth a poor glove all the time (like say Dunn is). The Reds also have a couple guys who are plus defenders but iffy with the bat (Patterson, Janish). The team needs to find balance. The Reds have three fairly extreme fly ball starters in Harang, Arroyo and Cueto. When they are on the mound the team needs Patterson in CF (with Bruce in RF). Volquez, Belisle and until this year Fogg were more ground ball guys. When they pitch, Janish should play SS IMO. I think its obvious that the Reds need a lead-off guy who can get on base without completely killing the defense and switching these guys in and out seems to be the best plan. When the fly ball guys are on the mound, play Keppinger (Hairston for now) at SS and let him lead-off. Patterson plays CF and bats 7th. When the ground ball guys are out there, Jansih plays SS and hits 7th with Freel (or Hairston) in CF in the lead-off spot. I think there is something to the RH/LH match-ups, but finding an offense/defense balance is more important at this point. With this plan filling the number 1 and 7 spots, the five core guys (Dunn, Bruce, EdE, Votto and Phillips) can bat 2 - 6. The catcher, of course, should always hit 8th on this team. I think this coupled with subbing Bruce for Griffey should greatly improve the team defense without completely conceding the offense. Until more two way players are acquired, its the best hope IMO.

9. Sign Adam Dunn. This offense would be absolutely awful without him.

Edit: Garcia did have shoulder surgery. I stand Corrected by GAC below. No interest in guys with shoulder trouble.

GAC
05-26-2008, 08:29 AM
I like some of your suggestions. You would think that an owner who is so passionate about winning and wants the losing to stop NOW (unless Walt has privately convinced him that this season is probably a bust) would push for some immediate changes to fulfill that objective.

For a guy who comes from a pretty successful baseball program and claims to be a knowledgeable and "hands on" type of guy, he can't be oblivious to some of the crap that is going on. It has to be frustrating to him.



9. Sign Adam Dunn. This offense would be absolutely awful without him.

As far I'm concerned. This has to be their #1 priority. What's the holdup? I'd love to be a "fly on the wall" listening to any possible reasoning as to why they are stalling/holding back on this decision? From what I understand, at least I haven't heard any rumors of any, they haven't even had any talks with Adam or his agent.


Jay Bruce needs to be on the team and in the line-up. The super two thing should no longer be a consideration and there simply are no more excuses after a 2-5 road trip. The only debate left is over whether he should play CF or RF. He'd be a huge upgrade at either spot....2. ...

I've seen enough of Ken Griffey Jr with a glove on his hand. IMO, on a team with a number of poor defenders, Griffey is by far the poorest of them all. Give me Bruce in RF and hope the team can eek out something close to league average in CF with Freel/Patterson/Hairston etc.

Again, from the reports (rumors) I have read, it seems this FO sees Bruce as their future RFer. And I can only surmise that there are two obstacles as to why he is not up here....

#1 - Ken Griffey Jr
#2 - Dusty Baker

Dusty is playing Jr out of respect. He is going out of his way to defend/protect Jr simply because of who Jr is (not his current performance).

This FO is AFRAID to confront, and address, this situation because of the stature of the player it involves AND possibly alienating their manager who may have very strong feelings in this area of Jr (see above).

They know, and see exactly what we are observing with Jr. They know he's basically washed up. But maybe Walt has had that private talk with Bob and told him that even while bringing up Bruce may improve this team to a degree, there are still too many other issues with this team, and this season is basically a wash. So why possibly risk peeing off and alienating a large contingent of their fan base who still hold a fondness for Jr regardless, as well as Dusty Baker, when they have possibly come to the realization that dumping him isn't going to put us over the top in '08? They are going to "ride the storm out", continue to trot him out there in his quest for the holy grail (#600), and then let him fade into the sunset at season's end on Jr's terms.

Now I would have no problem at all if they wanted to bring Bruce up to play the remainder of the season in CF while DFAing Patterson. If they are going to entertain bringing Jay up then they have to create that roster spot opening. And since it ain't going to be Jr, then Patterson (or somebody) has to go.


3. Matt Belisle needs to be removed from the rotation. With Lehr gone, I give Matt Maloney a try in the 5 spot for now...

I agree there. The Belisle experiment needs to end. He may have all the tools; but it seems he doesn't have the mental fortitude (confidence). He is starting to remind me of Chris Reitsma.


4. ...Sign Freddy Garcia. This is an impact pitcher who is on the market. Unlike the other injured free agent busts out there, Garcia is coming off TJ and not a shoulder problem. He should come back as good as ever. He'd upgrade the second half rotation

I don't know about that. And from the scouting reports I have read, he is still rehabbing that shoulder. And while HE hopes to be able to come back by mid-season, most say this year is a wash for him. Similar example? Mark Mulder.

Several teams have looked at Garcia yet made no moves to try and sign him. Why? They don't know when he'll be ready, how much money he'll want, or how effective he'll be. Very risky IMO. But I doubt he could be any type of a factor for anyone in '08 due to rehab time and building arm strength.



5. Put Dusty on a leash. Management needs to step in and order some stupidity to stop....

They knew this guy's managerial record. They interviewed him and have to know what his philosophy (approach) is to the game other then he hates to lose. ;)

I don't know what Jocketty's perception is of Baker. But if he is possibly wanting to find a way to rid himself of him at some point, and get out from that contract, then putting him on a leash may infuriate Dusty enough - as it would any manager - that he quits. They then wouldn't be under obligation to that 10 mil contract right?

Then you'd have to find a replacement. Or do you promote Speier on an interim basis?

But you're now back to square one.


6. ...Hire an in game tactician to be a bench coach. Let Dusty handle the egos and he surely has a large voice, but he needs to be relieved of any responsibility for making decisions as the situation evolves. Fire the coach of your choosing to make room.

If that is not Dusty's approach to the game then it ain't going to happen. They hired him to be the manager.


7. Get a Catcher. The clock has struck midnight on Bako's Cinderella start and David Ross is to catching what Juan Castro was to IF play the last couple years. A defense first player who actually can't play defense very well. Ross is a guy I'd like to see removed immediately.

Easier said then done. What options are out there since a lot of teams are having the same problem with this position and utilizing some sort of platoon situation.


8. Implement a platoon system that is based on defensive needs (as opposed to RH/LH offensive match-ups based on the opposing starter). The Reds are a team with too many guys who are offense oriented (Freel, Hairston, Keppinger) but probably not good enough offensively to be worth a poor glove all the time (like say Dunn is). The Reds also have a couple guys who are plus defenders but iffy with the bat (Patterson, Janish). The team needs to find balance.

They need to find stability. Walt needs to define these players for what they are.... role/utility players. Nothing more. And go out and fill those "holes" with everyday players who will provide that stability/consistency.

For example (just throwing this out) - If they feel they need a SS, then go out in the off-season (you're going to have a lot of payroll freed up) and get one who meets that need. Jocketty is suppose to be the one who can find (and sign) that "Scott Rolen".

mth123
05-26-2008, 09:03 AM
4. ...Sign Freddy Garcia. This is an impact pitcher who is on the market. Unlike the other injured free agent busts out there, Garcia is coming off TJ and not a shoulder problem. He should come back as good as ever. He'd upgrade the second half rotation, a two year deal would provide a plus starter for 2009. I'd want an option for 2010 as well. It wouldn't cost any talent. Its time for the losing to stop, rightEdit: Garcia did have shoulder surgery. I stand Corrected by GAC below. No interest in guys with shoulder trouble.

Garcia had shoulder surgery. I think I had him confused with some one else. I have no interest in a guy with shoulder troubles. I stand corrected. Thanks for pointing it out GAC.

mth123
05-26-2008, 09:12 AM
I like some of your suggestions. You would think that an owner who is so passionate about winning and wants the losing to stop NOW (unless Walt has privately convinced him that this season is probably a bust) would push for some immediate changes to fulfill that objective.

For a guy who comes from a pretty successful baseball program and claims to be a knowledgeable and "hands on" type of guy, he can't be oblivious to some of the crap that is going on. It has to be frustrating to him.



As far I'm concerned. This has to be their #1 priority. What's the holdup? I'd love to be a "fly on the wall" listening to any possible reasoning as to why they are stalling/holding back on this decision? From what I understand, at least I haven't heard any rumors of any, they haven't even had any talks with Adam or his agent.



Again, from the reports (rumors) I have read, it seems this FO sees Bruce as their future RFer. And I can only surmise that there are two obstacles as to why he is not up here....

#1 - Ken Griffey Jr
#2 - Dusty Baker

Dusty is playing Jr out of respect. He is going out of his way to defend/protect Jr simply because of who Jr is (not his current performance).

This FO is AFRAID to confront, and address, this situation because of the stature of the player it involves AND possibly alienating their manager who may have very strong feelings in this area of Jr (see above).

They know, and see exactly what we are observing with Jr. They know he's basically washed up. But maybe Walt has had that private talk with Bob and told him that even while bringing up Bruce may improve this team to a degree, there are still too many other issues with this team, and this season is basically a wash. So why possibly risk peeing off and alienating a large contingent of their fan base who still hold a fondness for Jr regardless, as well as Dusty Baker, when they have possibly come to the realization that dumping him isn't going to put us over the top in '08? They are going to "ride the storm out", continue to trot him out there in his quest for the holy grail (#600), and then let him fade into the sunset at season's end on Jr's terms.

Now I would have no problem at all if they wanted to bring Bruce up to play the remainder of the season in CF while DFAing Patterson. If they are going to entertain bringing Jay up then they have to create that roster spot opening. And since it ain't going to be Jr, then Patterson (or somebody) has to go.



I agree there. The Belisle experiment needs to end. He may have all the tools; but it seems he doesn't have the mental fortitude (confidence). He is starting to remind me of Chris Reitsma.



I don't know about that. And from the scouting reports I have read, he is still rehabbing that shoulder. And while HE hopes to be able to come back by mid-season, most say this year is a wash for him. Similar example? Mark Mulder.

Several teams have looked at Garcia yet made no moves to try and sign him. Why? They don't know when he'll be ready, how much money he'll want, or how effective he'll be. Very risky IMO. But I doubt he could be any type of a factor for anyone in '08 due to rehab time and building arm strength.




They knew this guy's managerial record. They interviewed him and have to know what his philosophy (approach) is to the game other then he hates to lose. ;)

I don't know what Jocketty's perception is of Baker. But if he is possibly wanting to find a way to rid himself of him at some point, and get out from that contract, then putting him on a leash may infuriate Dusty enough - as it would any manager - that he quits. They then wouldn't be under obligation to that 10 mil contract right?

Then you'd have to find a replacement. Or do you promote Speier on an interim basis?

But you're now back to square one.



If that is not Dusty's approach to the game then it ain't going to happen. They hired him to be the manager.



Easier said then done. What options are out there since a lot of teams are having the same problem with this position and utilizing some sort of platoon situation.



They need to find stability. Walt needs to define these players for what they are.... role/utility players. Nothing more. And go out and fill those "holes" with everyday players who will provide that stability/consistency.

For example (just throwing this out) - If they feel they need a SS, then go out in the off-season (you're going to have a lot of payroll freed up) and get one who meets that need. Jocketty is suppose to be the one who can find (and sign) that "Scott Rolen".


Your right about Garcia. I have no interest.

As far as catcher goes, no more Ross. Bring up Ryan Hanigan. Trade a minor leaguer or two fro some one else's bust. Play Bako. Pick up Brayan Pena on waivers. Just no more Ross. Please!!!!!

I agree on getting better guys in the off-season, but there are still 4 months to go in 2008. Something needs to be done about the top of the order and to improve the defense. Doing the offense defense platoon in CF and SS can address both problems and basing it upon the type of pitcher the Reds have on the mound is the best way to limit the defensive exposure and still have a competent guy at the top of the order.

I don't care if Baker or Junior have their feelings hurt. Baker was hired by a GM who is no longer here.

GAC
05-26-2008, 10:47 AM
I agree on getting better guys in the off-season, but there are still 4 months to go in 2008. Something needs to be done about the top of the order and to improve the defense.

Fully agree. You're preaching to the choir though. ;)

It was brought up on the other thread as to why Dusty would leave Patterson in CF, for his defense, yet play Hairston at SS (a very key position) over Janish, who has a far better glove?

The only explanation I can come up with is Dusty's love for the vet, and not trusting enough of the rookie. It's stupid logic; but the only thing I can come up with.

I've come to the conclusion that I am no longer going to try and analyze (figure out) Dusty's approach to the game.

I value my sanity far more. ;)

My opinion of this over-rated manager has not changed one bit. I hate the guy. I'd like to use stronger language but forum rules prevent me from doing so.

The problems that this team faces, as far as the team construction, is not Baker's fault (other then the Patterson acquisition).

He has to play the cards dealt him.

But for heavens sake! At least make an effort to arrange those cards in your hand to an extent where you can at least examine them and know how to best utilize and maximize/minimize what you have to play with!

This guy couldn't win a hand of Old Maid if Jethro Bodine was sitting across the table from him because at least Jethro can cipher!

He may have a will to win, but has no grasp of the rules and HOW TO WIN.

If he was holding a royal flush in his hand he won't know how or when to play them. He'd probably lay the cards and the table and yell "GIN!" :lol:

We, as Reds fans, are now getting a more close up and personal look at Dusty Baker now that he is OUR manager, and not the Giants or Cubs. We are able to put him under the microscope in order to dissect and analyze this guy to see if any of the rumors that abound on him are true (or not).

And we're looking under that microscope and going "EEEWWWWW!"

I (we) can only hope that this guy will continue to dig a hole so big that this management will have no other recourse but to fire this guy.

No, firing the guy will not fix the other issues that face this '08 team. But it's a start. Identify and address these issues one at a time.

It's the GM's job (Jocketty now) to analyze what we have - the pluses and the minuses - and fix this situation. And I believe he can start to fix it this year beginning at the trading deadline and progress through the off-season.

But if I was the GM, and I'm out there getting those other pieces of the puzzle to complement and improve on what we have, and I have a manager that has no clue whatsoever on how to put those pieces of the puzzle together?..... then he has to be history.



I don't care if Baker or Junior have their feelings hurt. Baker was hired by a GM who is no longer here.

True. But no one is going to convince me that Bob C wasn't involved in that hiring decision either. It was his 10 mil.

I gleaned this from an article I saved many months ago on the Baker hiring ("I've Gone To My Special Angry Place: The Dusty Baker Hire In Cincinnati) ....

http://www.sportsfrog.com/2007/10/ive_gone_to_my_special_angry_p.php

If Bob Castellini thought hiring a "name" would appease the masses, he miscalculated I think. The zealots at redszone.com, particularly on the Sons of Sam Hornish part of the board, are on meltdown (http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=62928&page=24). Me with them. A "name" wasn't what the Reds needed. A manager with a sense of how to develop and preserve pitching and who appreciates the need for patience at the plate and OBP was. The team doesn't appear to have gotten that. At all.

I will always be a Reds fan. Nothing will ever break that. But, damn. Why do they have to make it so hard?