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Cyclone792
05-28-2008, 01:00 AM
The rain held off and a couple buddies and I were fortunate enough to see one heck of a game tonight in Jay Bruce's debut. We were down there in Section 143 (Moon Deck), Row E, which is the 5th row close to being directly behind Brandon Phillips.

Here's a few observations from Bruce, plus other tidbits:

1) For those fortunate enough to see any Dayton Dragons games with Bruce, you'll be delighted to know that he's a bit different ballplayer now than he was in Dayton, namely his hitting ... and this is a good thing. What I saw in Dayton was a very nice prospect who had the complete tools package, yet it was stilll raw in some sense.

He was one of the best - if not the best - Low-A player in the game two years ago, but Low-A is a long way from the Majors. What I saw tonight has been nothing short of an unbelievable explosion in hitting development considering it's been roughly 20 months since I saw him in Dayton. His swing is much more refined and powerful now than two years ago, much more refined. We knew he had the talent, that's why he was drafted when he was, but Bruce appears to be one of the rare cases where he's successfully milking every ounce of talent he has into his game. And to make the refinements and develop the way he has in less than two years is nothing short of remarkable.

2) The sound of the ball off Bruce's bat is unique and unlike most sounds you'll hear. It's a sound that's impossible to describe; you'll just know it when you hear it if you're down at the game. Dunn's bat makes a similar sound when he runs into one, like he did tonight again, but Bruce's bat has that sound nearly every time he made contact tonight. He hit one of the hardest foul balls I've ever seen in one of his early plate appearances. The double he hit to right went from Bruce's bat to the wall in a snap; Xavier Nady acted like he was chasing something he hadn't ever chased before when he tried to turn around and make a play on it. I'm an outfielder myself and knew Bruce's double was going off the wall as soon as he hit it. I just didn't think it would hit the wall that fast and that hard. Even Bruce's singles to left just had that sound.

It's easy to understand how he's been able to hit for such a high average last season and this season; when you're hitting the ball as hard as he can hit them, the defense has much less time to react and make a play.

3) It was difficult to get a read on Bruce's fielding since he really didn't have any playable balls hit his way. He played a regular depth outfield for most hitters just like most center fielders. He was amped up early in the game, though, chasing foul balls hit behind the dugouts for three or four steps before realizing they were foul. By comparison, Griffey doesn't even flinch on foul balls unless they're down the right field line.

Bruce did break back two steps on a short pop fly to shallow center that Hairston caught (Bruce wouldn't have caught it anyway on a perfect break). Bay's double to deep center was a smash that nobody was going to catch unless they were originally positioned deep. Bruce did make a very nice effort backing Griffey up on a ball hit to Griffey's right. Don't ever say the kid doesn't have good speed; he can move across the outfield (and the bases) faster than many people give him credit for.

4) I've seen two players in my life who have re-defined the definition of an absolute bomb for a home run: Barry Bonds and Adam Dunn. Dunn has hit two balls in two weeks that soared well over my head in the Sun/Moon Deck, balls that I knew were well over my head as soon as he made contact.

5) Want to watch poetry in action? Sit in the moon deck directly behind Brandon Phillips and watch him play second base. On grounders hit to his left, he takes a full step in that direction while the batter is swinging. On grounders hit to his right, he takes a full step in that direction while the batter is swinging. No other infielder is moving as early as Phillips, not even close. Compare that to other infielders I've seen, such as Felipe Lopez, who wouldn't even budge until a ground ball was past the pitcher's mound.

If you pay close enough attention and enjoy the details of watching the outfielders (and some infielders, depending on the angle) adjust and react defensively on a pitch-by-pitch basis, then the outfield is a wonderful vantage point to catch a game. Last year I sat in the left field terrace seats for a few games and watched Adam Dunn - yes, Adam Dunn - directing, positioning and coaching Josh Hamilton defensively. Tonight I saw the beauty of Brandon Phillips' jumps on ground balls at second base. These are details that you'll never see on television; it's a whole different and unique aspect of the game that's a complete joy to see.

Caseyfan21
05-28-2008, 01:06 AM
If you pay close enough attention and enjoy the details of watching the outfielders (and some infielders, depending on the angle) adjust and react defensively on a pitch-by-pitch basis, then the outfield is a wonderful vantage point to catch a game. Last year I sat in the left field terrace seats for a few games and watched Adam Dunn - yes, Adam Dunn - directing, positioning and coaching Josh Hamilton defensively. Tonight I saw the beauty of Brandon Phillips' jumps on ground balls at second base. These are details that you'll never see on television; it's a whole different and unique aspect of the game that's a complete joy to see.

Couldn't agree more with those thoughts. The Sun/Moon deck is my favorite place to watch a game.

dougdirt
05-28-2008, 01:07 AM
Cyclone, you were pretty close to me. I was in 141, row D almost directly behind Griffey. I have been saying that the ball just makes a different sound when Bruce hits the ball for a few years now. I told everyone in my section to listen for it before he came up to the plate. Its the main reason I knew he was special the first time I saw him play.

PS: Who said he can't take a walk?

OnBaseMachine
05-28-2008, 01:14 AM
Awesome analysis Cyclone. Thank you very much for the report. You guys who were able to make it to the game are very, very lucky. ;) It looked like a special night to be at the ballpark.

dougdirt
05-28-2008, 01:19 AM
Awesome analysis Cyclone. Thank you very much for the report. You guys who were able to make it to the game are very, very lucky. ;) It looked like a special night to be at the ballpark.

It was a great game to be at.... even though I went off on some guys further up in my section who were being obnoxious. Adam Dunn's HR, yeah I called that one, then pointed at it as it flew way over my head. I love the Reds, but its extra special when we win with what happened tonight.

Cyclone792
05-28-2008, 01:42 AM
Awesome analysis Cyclone. Thank you very much for the report. You guys who were able to make it to the game are very, very lucky. ;) It looked like a special night to be at the ballpark.

It was a very fun game once it reached the bottom of the 5th inning and once my aggravation from Cueto's five inning pitch count wore off a bit. If there was one thing I saw that made me unhappy, that was it. But what are we going to do, right?

Here's McCoy's description of Bruce's double: "A run-scoring double that nearly put a canon-sized hole in the right field wall after nearly decapitating the right fielder." It's fittingly accurate, I'd say.

And another tidbit on Bruce's double: Once Xavier Nady figured out where he was in right field and scooped the ball up off the wall, my eyes immediately flashed toward the infield. Where was Jay Bruce? Already more than halfway to the second base bag and so well ahead of the throw that Nady knew he had no play on Bruce as soon as he released his throw. The first thing that popped in my mind was wondering how Bruce had already gotten that far on the bases given how hard he hit that ball off the wall. I didn't see his break out of the box, but my guess is he was out of the box in a flash and had the wheels quickly churning all the way to second.

OnBaseMachine
05-28-2008, 02:12 AM
As hard as that ball was hit, I honestly didn't think Bruce had a chance at a double. I was shocked to see the throw come home and Bruce already standing on second base. So much for him not having great speed.

HumnHilghtFreel
05-28-2008, 02:20 AM
I mentioned the sound of his bat meeting ball in the game thread.

When he hit that double, my first thought was "Holy crap!" I thought for sure he had hit it out just off the sound it made. It's something I noticed last year with Hamilton as well. Just kind of leaves you in awe. I'd love to watch him take some batting practice because of that.

I'm definitely going to enjoy watching Mr. Bruce for years to come.

reds44
05-28-2008, 02:23 AM
The sound of the bat on the double is just amazing.

jmcclain19
05-28-2008, 02:35 AM
I think people will be surprised by Bruce's batting eye.

It's not his fault he was hitting nearly .400 in AAA. When the baseball looks like a beach ball and you're knocking the tar out of it - there is no reason to let those marginal ones go.

OnBaseMachine
05-28-2008, 02:38 AM
I think people will be surprised by Bruce's batting eye.

It's not his fault he was hitting nearly .400 in AAA. When the baseball looks like a beach ball and you're knocking the tar out of it - there is no reason to let those marginal ones go.

Exactly. I've been saying the same thing for quite a while. I only saw him a handful of times before tonight but in those few times very rarely did he chase a bad ball.

BCubb2003
05-28-2008, 02:49 AM
If Jay Bruce had faced Johnny Cueto in their debuts, who would have won?

RedsManRick
05-28-2008, 03:44 AM
Were either of you (Doug, Jason) close enough to see his halo?

dougdirt
05-28-2008, 03:51 AM
Were either of you (Doug, Jason) close enough to see his halo?

I wasn't, but I can say that I believe his feet never touched the ground during the game. :cool:

redsmetz
05-28-2008, 06:23 AM
A few thoughts viz Cyclone's excellent analysis:

The sound of the bat - I remember in Ken Burns' series on Basebal, Buck O'Neil mentioned three batters who had a unique sound of the ball coming off the bat; that he'd heard in his career: Babe Ruth, Josh Gibson and Bo Jackson. That would be great company to be among.

Regarding Adam Dunn; he comes off as so laidback and sometimes taciturn, but every time I see something like what you reported, I realize how a savvy a ball player he is and hope we can tie him up for several more years.

Hal McCoy must have the same editor John Fay has. A "canon-sized hole in the right field wall"? I believe Hal's looking for the word "cannon". Had a reader made that mistake, Hal would ride it mercilessly.

Is it true that someone saw Jay Bruce leap the Carew Tower in a single bound?

And, finally, is reaching base in your first five plate appearances in your ML debut a record? It's got to be close to it. Holy Cow!

redsmetz
05-28-2008, 06:36 AM
The conclusion of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's story on last night's game:


On the other side, all the buzz was about Bruce, Cincinnati's 21-year-old outfielder rated by some as the best prospect in baseball and making his major league debut. He did not disappoint, reaching base all five times up with an RBI double off Marino Salas in the seventh, two prior singles and two walks.

Jpup
05-28-2008, 07:51 AM
And, finally, is reaching base in your first five plate appearances in your ML debut a record? It's got to be close to it. Holy Cow!

Kaz Matsui in 2004.

cumberlandreds
05-28-2008, 08:10 AM
Great analysis,Cyclone! What a debut by Bruce! Not much more can be said than "Welcome to the Big Leagues!" This has renewed my enthusiasim for the season. It's going to be fun to watch the young guys develop. From Bruce,Votto and Janish to the pitchers,Volquez,Cueto and hopefully a couple more from AAA(Maloney and Bailey?). The season began again last night and I think it will be a pretty good last 2/3 of a season.

Jpup
05-28-2008, 08:15 AM
I just got done watching the game about an hour ago and it was amazing. He's ready as much as any hitter I've seen. I know it's one game, but WOW!

Adam Dunn is a monster as well. It's time to lock him up, but Walt said he doesn't discuss contracts during the season because it's a distraction. He said those numbers are going to be very hard to replace. It sounds like Dunn is out after the season or before. It's going to be a sad, sad day if that day comes.

bucksfan2
05-28-2008, 09:33 AM
Thoughts from last nights game.

-I sit about 15 rows up from where the reds run out of the dugout. Before the pregame introductions to take the field Jr had Bruce start to run out and then stop because nothing was going on. Jr. couldn't stop laughing.

-I was impressed with his eye. He took a lot of pitches.

-I hope he continues to use the whole field. His single to the LF may just prove that he can hit righties and lefties.

-Quite an impressive stat line for a rookie debut.

redsmetz
05-28-2008, 09:44 AM
I just got done watching the game about an hour ago and it was amazing. He's ready as much as any hitter I've seen. I know it's one game, but WOW!

Adam Dunn is a monster as well. It's time to lock him up, but Walt said he doesn't discuss contracts during the season because it's a distraction. He said those numbers are going to be very hard to replace. It sounds like Dunn is out after the season or before. It's going to be a sad, sad day if that day comes.

Is that something Jockety has said since taking the helm or is that something from his time in St. Louis?

redsmetz
05-28-2008, 09:46 AM
Kaz Matsui in 2004.

So is Matsui the record holder (now tied with Bruce)? Looks like Matsui's streak ending in his first AB in the next game (a strikeout).

membengal
05-28-2008, 09:47 AM
It was a very fun game once it reached the bottom of the 5th inning and once my aggravation from Cueto's five inning pitch count wore off a bit. If there was one thing I saw that made me unhappy, that was it. But what are we going to do, right?

Here's McCoy's description of Bruce's double: "A run-scoring double that nearly put a canon-sized hole in the right field wall after nearly decapitating the right fielder." It's fittingly accurate, I'd say.

And another tidbit on Bruce's double: Once Xavier Nady figured out where he was in right field and scooped the ball up off the wall, my eyes immediately flashed toward the infield. Where was Jay Bruce? Already more than halfway to the second base bag and so well ahead of the throw that Nady knew he had no play on Bruce as soon as he released his throw. The first thing that popped in my mind was wondering how Bruce had already gotten that far on the bases given how hard he hit that ball off the wall. I didn't see his break out of the box, but my guess is he was out of the box in a flash and had the wheels quickly churning all the way to second.

Re: the bolded question:

Get a RF who can catch normal shallow fly balls? At least 20-30 pitches in Cueto's night were completely unncessary thanks to poor fielding behind him, Jr. in RF a huge part of that.

Cyclone792
05-28-2008, 10:13 AM
Re: the bolded question:

Get a RF who can catch normal shallow fly balls? At least 20-30 pitches in Cueto's night were completely unncessary thanks to poor fielding behind him, Jr. in RF a huge part of that.

There was only one ball that landed in front of Griffey last night that I thought a better right fielder may have caught, and by may have caught I mean it still would have taken a very nice play.

Cueto gave up nine line drives last night; that's an absurd amount of hard hit balls. All the balls that landed in front of Griffey last night were stung, fast sinking liners, and those are the hardest balls to catch running in. Those balls just aren't in the air long enough to grab. They may have looked bad on television, but when you're 100 feet behind the play it's a completely different point of view.

If Austin Kearns was out there, for example, there was one ball I think he'd have had a shot grabbing down at his ankles running in. The rest would have fallen in front of him too. Good, bad, or indifferent defense ... you can't do much to defend the line drive.

blumj
05-28-2008, 10:22 AM
There was only one ball that landed in front of Griffey last night that I thought a better right fielder may have caught, and by may have caught I mean it still would have taken a very nice play.

Cueto gave up nine line drives last night; that's an absurd amount of hard hit balls. All the balls that landed in front of Griffey last night were stung, fast sinking liners, and those are the hardest balls to catch running in. Those balls just aren't in the air long enough to grab. They may have looked bad on television, but when you're 100 feet behind the play it's a completely different point of view.

If Austin Kearns was out there, for example, there was one ball I think he'd have had a shot grabbing down at his ankles running in. The rest would have fallen in front of him too. Good, bad, or indifferent defense ... you can't do much to defend the line drive.
Does it seem like Cueto gets ahead of batters in the count, then he throws nothing but pitches that aren't even close to being strikes until the count's full?

Tom Servo
05-28-2008, 10:23 AM
If Jay Bruce had faced Johnny Cueto in their debuts, who would have won?
The universe would have collapsed upon itself.

membengal
05-28-2008, 10:29 AM
There was only one ball that landed in front of Griffey last night that I thought a better right fielder may have caught, and by may have caught I mean it still would have taken a very nice play.

Cueto gave up nine line drives last night; that's an absurd amount of hard hit balls. All the balls that landed in front of Griffey last night were stung, fast sinking liners, and those are the hardest balls to catch running in. Those balls just aren't in the air long enough to grab. They may have looked bad on television, but when you're 100 feet behind the play it's a completely different point of view.

If Austin Kearns was out there, for example, there was one ball I think he'd have had a shot grabbing down at his ankles running in. The rest would have fallen in front of him too. Good, bad, or indifferent defense ... you can't do much to defend the line drive.

I am not defending the line drives he gave up in general. Too many hard hit balls off of too many mistake pitches for it to be a good outing.

But, BUT, from EE at 3b, to the 1st inning oopsie at 1b, to, I am sorry, there were TWO balls to RF that a normal rf gets to, too many innings were extended last night. It is simply ridiculous that this staff has to make as many extra pitches on a regular basis as it does.

Getting Jr. out of RF, if this team wants to be better, is imperative.

As for the bolded part, Cyclone, respectfully, bunk. Jr. is playing a deeper RF than normal because he can't move. Balls are falling in front of him that normal a RF would get to easily because they would actually be playing where they should be and the balls would be caught. Period. This isn't a defense of Cueto, but rather a defense of the entire pitching staff. RF defense is a HUGE issue for this team right now. Has been all year.

Chip R
05-28-2008, 10:31 AM
If Jay Bruce had faced Johnny Cueto in their debuts, who would have won?


Ditka.

REDREAD
05-28-2008, 10:44 AM
Adam Dunn is a monster as well. It's time to lock him up, but Walt said he doesn't discuss contracts during the season because it's a distraction. He said those numbers are going to be very hard to replace. It sounds like Dunn is out after the season or before. It's going to be a sad, sad day if that day comes.

I'm wondering if Walt has ever extended anyone's contract during the season in StL.

Sadly, I kind of agree with your prediction. If I had to bet, I'd say that this is probably our last season of Dunn. I don't agree with it, but I see it happening.

bucksfan2
05-28-2008, 10:48 AM
There was only one ball that landed in front of Griffey last night that I thought a better right fielder may have caught, and by may have caught I mean it still would have taken a very nice play.

Cueto gave up nine line drives last night; that's an absurd amount of hard hit balls. All the balls that landed in front of Griffey last night were stung, fast sinking liners, and those are the hardest balls to catch running in. Those balls just aren't in the air long enough to grab. They may have looked bad on television, but when you're 100 feet behind the play it's a completely different point of view.

If Austin Kearns was out there, for example, there was one ball I think he'd have had a shot grabbing down at his ankles running in. The rest would have fallen in front of him too. Good, bad, or indifferent defense ... you can't do much to defend the line drive.

Were you at the game?

I was and there didn't seem like too many hard hit balls against Cueto. The one Bay hit was a shot and I forget who hit the ball off the RF wall but other than that there were not too many rockets. I think Patterson may have gotten to the Bay ball and there were two balls that hit in front of Jr that a good RF gets too. He was hurt in the first inning by the Votto error and he was also hurt but Jr's lack of range out in RF.

membengal
05-28-2008, 10:54 AM
I will go one step further (and I am NOT a Patterson fan):

This team would be at its best with Patteron in CF and Bruce in RF. Bat Patterson ninth. Play a little leather. See to it that, on the rare occasions Patterson gets on, he is doing so in front of the top of the line-up. Think outside the box. Emphasize defense. Hide weakenesses as much as possible.

Cyclone792
05-28-2008, 10:54 AM
I am not defending the line drives he gave up in general. Too many hard hit balls off of too many mistake pitches for it to be a good outing.

But, BUT, from EE at 3b, to the 1st inning oopsie at 1b, to, I am sorry, there were TWO balls to RF that a normal rf gets to, too many innings were extended last night. It is simply ridiculous that this staff has to make as many extra pitches on a regular basis as it does.

Getting Jr. out of RF, if this team wants to be better, is imperative.

I'm not disagreeing with you that Griffey's defense is a problem.

But I'm telling you that a normal right fielder is not catching those hard hit, sinking line drives that you're referring to last night. You want to put Ichiro in right field? Go ahead, and he'll catch those. But your typical major league right fielder isn't making those plays either.


As for the bolded part, Cyclone, respectfully, bunk. Jr. is playing a deeper RF than normal because he can't move. Balls are falling in front of him that normal a RF would get to easily because they would actually be playing where they should be and the balls would be caught. Period.

That must be why Griffey and all the visiting RFers are standing on the same worn out patch of grass for two-thirds of the lineup.

Apparently they're playing out of position. All of'em.

membengal
05-28-2008, 10:57 AM
The others are getting to balls Jr. is not. From whatever worn piece of grass you note. No question about it. If they have a pulse. Jr. doesn't catch Snell's hit. But the two before that? NOT hard hit. NOT rapidly sinking. Balls that ought to be caught. Whether it is Belisle, or Cueto, or Koufax, or Cy Young on the mound.

I am with West of You, who has been gently reminding of the value of defense for awhile now. We need us some of that. Getting Jr. out of RF would be a huge step forward. It is past time.

I will give Jr.'s deep OF positioning this...it let him field that ball off the wall and throw out (was it Paulino?) at 2b last night. That was nice. And, a fortunate play because of where he has to position himself nowadays.

Again, this is NOT a defense of Cueto. But I really do think people (not you) generally don't understand just how horriffic his work in RF is. And it is next to impossible to quantify what that costs this team, I suspect, in terms of outs, and extra pitches, and all. But I have no doubt that it is signficant compared to what other teams get from their corner defense in RF.

Heck, RF is a hugely important defensive position. We all know that. The Reds, I think, have by far the worst RFer in terms of defense in baseball. That is a massive problem.

Cyclone792
05-28-2008, 10:59 AM
Were you at the game?

I was and there didn't seem like too many hard hit balls against Cueto. The one Bay hit was a shot and I forget who hit the ball off the RF wall but other than that there were not too many rockets. I think Patterson may have gotten to the Bay ball and there were two balls that hit in front of Jr that a good RF gets too. He was hurt in the first inning by the Votto error and he was also hurt but Jr's lack of range out in RF.

Yes, I was at the game.

20 balls in play off Cueto: 8 ground balls, 3 fly balls, 9 line drives.

Xavier Nady had as much chance to catch Jay Bruce's double as Corey Patterson would have had catching Jason Bay's double, in other words ... no chance.

You guys are having unrealistic expectations if you think those balls should have been caught. I didn't know the standard was suddenly Rickey Henderson in left, Willie Mays in center, and Roberto Clemente in right.

pahster
05-28-2008, 11:02 AM
I'm wondering if Walt has ever extended anyone's contract during the season in StL.


I'm pretty sure that he has.

membengal
05-28-2008, 11:03 AM
I personally am NOT talking about Bay's double. That was a bad pitch in a bad location. A bad mistake from a rookie. Just an awful pitch.

Again, I am NOT trying to say Cueto had a particularly good night. He didn't. Then again, it is the kind of night I expect from him more often than not. He has been exactly what I hoped he would be, a league average guy at the back of the rotation. For a rookie, I am actually pretty thrilled about that.

But his night was made markedly MORE difficult by the usual extremely shaky defense behind him. And Jr.'s statue-esque efforts were, yet again, another huge part of that shakiness.

Screwball
05-28-2008, 11:10 AM
Wish I had seen this thread before posting in the game thread. Anyway...


The rain held off and a couple buddies and I were fortunate enough to see one heck of a game tonight in Jay Bruce's debut. We were down there in Section 143 (Moon Deck), Row E, which is the 5th row close to being directly behind Brandon Phillips.


Ha, me and my buddy were in section 143, row C, seats 19 and 20. What seats were you guys in?



2) The sound of the ball off Bruce's bat is unique and unlike most sounds you'll hear. It's a sound that's impossible to describe; you'll just know it when you hear it if you're down at the game.


Yep. Amazing how distinct the crack of Bruce's bat is. We likened it to a firecracker going off. Not even sure how accurate that is, but that's the best we could come up with.



3)
Bay's double to deep center was a smash that nobody was going to catch unless they were originally positioned deep. Bruce did make a very nice effort backing Griffey up on a ball hit to Griffey's right. Don't ever say the kid doesn't have good speed; he can move across the outfield (and the bases) faster than many people give him credit for.


I actually thought Patterson would've (or more likely might've) had a chance of catching that Bay double. A couple of the people around me were mentioning the same thing. Of course, it would've been an excellent defensive play, and it's not a knock on Bruce, just that I thought it was a play that could've been made by a more rangy CFer. But yeah, Bruce does have some wheels. Although he seems to have more of a quickness about him than blazing speed.



4) I've seen two players in my life who have re-defined the definition of an absolute bomb for a home run: Barry Bonds and Adam Dunn. Dunn has hit two balls in two weeks that soared well over my head in the Sun/Moon Deck, balls that I knew were well over my head as soon as he made contact.


Yeah, that thing was mauled. It looked like it was still climbing as it was approaching the right field wall. Too bad it was a soft, unclutch HR. Errr, wait a second...

Also, Gapper's funny. Him and Mr. Redlegs had me rollin'.

westofyou
05-28-2008, 11:23 AM
I didn't know the standard was suddenly Rickey Henderson in left, Willie Mays in center, and Roberto Clemente in right.

What else would you expect when you get a combination of, Henry Chadwick, FC Lane and Branch Rickey at the keyboard?

Cyclone792
05-28-2008, 11:29 AM
The others are getting to balls Jr. is not. From whatever worn piece of grass you note. No question about it. If they have a pulse. Jr. doesn't catch Snell's hit. But the two before that? NOT hard hit. NOT rapidly sinking. Balls that ought to be caught. Whether it is Belisle, or Cueto, or Koufax, or Cy Young on the mound.

mem, no offense, but I couldn't have had a better view of the trajectory and velocity of those balls if I was chasing them myself. Actually, given the angle I was at, I did have a better view of those balls from where I was at than if I was chasing them myself. Standing in right center to center is about as good as it gets with an angle on balls hit to right field.

I have said this countless times: Griffey's defense in right field is awful because he's painfully slow. It's costing the pitchers pitches, it's costing the team runs, and it's costing the team wins.

But you're unfairly shredding him on individual plays last night where he doesn't deserve to be shredded. Yes, the elite outfielders in the game track those balls down, and the above average outfielders (i.e. Kearns) give themselves a chance to make a very nice play. But the typical major league right fielder just isn't catching those balls in question. Not based on the hit type, velocity, and trajectory. It just isn't happening.

gm
05-28-2008, 11:31 AM
is reaching base in your first five plate appearances in your ML debut a record?

Does this 1.000 debut make Jay Bruce the new "Mr. Perfect"? He's got the right Red's uniform number

membengal
05-28-2008, 11:37 AM
What else would you expect when you get a combination of, Henry Chadwick, FC Lane and Branch Rickey at the keyboard?

Ouch, Woy. Why the snark? Was that directed at me? Sorry if I have offended you at some point in some way.

Guess I will withdraw from the conversation. My bad. Sorry I forgot my place. I apologize.

westofyou
05-28-2008, 11:50 AM
Ouch, Woy. Why the snark? Was that directed at me? Sorry if I have offended you at some point in some way.

Guess I will withdraw from the conversation. My bad. Sorry I forgot my place. I apologize.

Not directed at anyone, directed at the mindset that perfection is the baseline and everything else is crap, it's the Redszone credo.

As for the martyr bit, that's a tad dramatic for my taste, I don't dictate squat around here, my voting record for admission to this hallowed place [sic] attests to that.

vaticanplum
05-28-2008, 12:12 PM
Does it seem like Cueto gets ahead of batters in the count, then he throws nothing but pitches that aren't even close to being strikes until the count's full?

Without looking at a history of his counts, that's exactly my impression too. I'm thinking (hoping?) that this is a youth/experience issue. Or maybe he's just preparing us for a lifetime of heart attacks a la El Duque.

He's got to get control of that though. I've said this before and I don't mean to be so simplistic but Cueto's build concerns me. If he doesn't get better control of his pitch count and efficiency, his body could break down that much faster.

Chip R
05-28-2008, 12:19 PM
He's got to get control of that though. I've said this before and I don't mean to be so simplistic but Cueto's build concerns me. If he doesn't get better control of his pitch count and efficiency, his body could break down that much faster.


That seems to be the conventional wisdom about short/small pitchers. OTOH, that's never really affected someone like Pedro until recently. Oswalt seems to be doing just fine too.

Team Clark
05-28-2008, 12:28 PM
The sound of the bat - I remember in Ken Burns' series on Basebal, Buck O'Neil mentioned three batters who had a unique sound of the ball coming off the bat; that he'd heard in his career: Babe Ruth, Josh Gibson and Bo Jackson. That would be great company to be among.

I would throw Carlos Delgado in there too. When he came up with the Jays I saw him take BP at the Skydome. Sounded like a tree was cracking in half. Frank Thomas comes to mind too.


Hal McCoy must have the same editor John Fay has. A "canon-sized hole in the right field wall"? I believe Hal's looking for the word "cannon". Had a reader made that mistake, Hal would ride it mercilessly.

True. I have always liked Hal. Helped me a lot through the Butcher years. :D Hal literally can barely see out of either eye. I just can't criticize the guy.


Is it true that someone saw Jay Bruce leap the Carew Tower in a single bound?

Yes. It is a pre game ritual. He starts his run up around Hyde Park and leaps over Carew Tower into his jock strap at home plate. :laugh:

redsmetz
05-28-2008, 12:43 PM
True. I have always liked Hal. Helped me a lot through the Butcher years. :D Hal literally can barely see out of either eye. I just can't criticize the guy.

Yes, point taken and that might well be it.




Yes. It is a pre game ritual. He starts his run up around Hyde Park and leaps over Carew Tower into his jock strap at home plate. :laugh:

To land at home plate, he'd have to have started his leap around Finneytown or Greenhills, unless he's doing a twist as he comes around the Tower. :)

Chip R
05-28-2008, 12:46 PM
To land at home plate, he'd have to have started his leap around Finneytown or Greenhills, unless he's doing a twist as he comes around the Tower. :)


What makes you think he can't do that. This is Jay Bruce we're talking about.

WVRed
05-28-2008, 12:46 PM
Jay Bruce at the plate reminds me a lot of Sean Casey back in 99, except with a lot more power. Similar batting stance and ability to spray the ball.

blumj
05-28-2008, 12:56 PM
That seems to be the conventional wisdom about short/small pitchers. OTOH, that's never really affected someone like Pedro until recently. Oswalt seems to be doing just fine too.
Pedro's been consistently plagued by injuries since he was 30 years old. Granted, Cueto's really young and unlikely to ever be expected to handle the kind of workload Pedro did in his late 20's, but you'd certainly prefer he have a longer, healthier career than Pedro has, from a relatively young age.

vaticanplum
05-28-2008, 01:12 PM
That seems to be the conventional wisdom about short/small pitchers. OTOH, that's never really affected someone like Pedro until recently. Oswalt seems to be doing just fine too.

You just named two of the best pitchers in baseball -- one of whom, as blumj pointed out, has been limited for quite a while. Arguably Pedro was allowed to remain as good as he's been because he's actually been pitching lightly for a few years now. There are exceptions to every rule, and I certainly hope that Cueto proves to be one of them, but there are a lot more small pitchers who get hurt than Pedro Martinezes or Roy Oswalts. In this case I think conventional wisdom exists for a reason.

I think this issue will be easily overcome if he does manage to pull his pitch count together though.

flyer85
05-28-2008, 01:18 PM
in the years I can remember two Reds have had the sound that is different when it comes off the bat, Dunn and Pena.

Chip R
05-28-2008, 01:32 PM
You just named two of the best pitchers in baseball -- one of whom, as blumj pointed out, has been limited for quite a while. Arguably Pedro was allowed to remain as good as he's been because he's actually been pitching lightly for a few years now. There are exceptions to every rule, and I certainly hope that Cueto proves to be one of them, but there are a lot more small pitchers who get hurt than Pedro Martinezes or Roy Oswalts. In this case I think conventional wisdom exists for a reason.

I think this issue will be easily overcome if he does manage to pull his pitch count together though.


And that's why I named them. They are glaring exceptions. About 10 years ago on another message board, I remember princeton saying something about that there were few right-handers under 6 feet who had won - I can't remember if it was 100 or 200 games - in their career. Pedro was within a few by then and Oswalt hadn't even made the bigs yet. But his point was - and is - a good one. Short RH pitchers are less likely to win a lot of games. Now there could be any number of reasons for that. It could be that when looking for big league pitchers who are right handed, the scouts tend to go after bigger guys so the smaller guys don't get that chance. Or it could be that smaller pitchers tend to break down more/easier than larger ones.

Yeah, hopefully he can manage that better. We still have to realize he's a rookie and he's not quite the finished product a lot thought he was in ST. I know he was pulled after 5 last night. What was his pitch count?

vaticanplum
05-28-2008, 01:35 PM
Yeah, hopefully he can manage that better. We still have to realize he's a rookie and he's not quite the finished product a lot thought he was in ST. I know he was pulled after 5 last night. What was his pitch count?

Seems to be some question on that...? Between 115 and 119. I don't have a problem with that pitch count. I'd just like him to work on keeping the individual batters' counts efficient. I'm sure he is.

fearofpopvol1
05-28-2008, 02:01 PM
I didn't go to the game last night, but what really impressed me was just how professional Bruce was. He was so calm and collected and didn't even appear to have the jitters. The 4 pitch walk to start the game was very telling about how he goes out and handles his business. How often do you see someone during their 1st major league at bat take a walk? If anything, you're trying to do whatever you can to get that hit or put the ball in play.

Jpup
05-28-2008, 02:32 PM
Is that something Jockety has said since taking the helm or is that something from his time in St. Louis?

on TV, last night.

redsmetz
05-28-2008, 02:56 PM
on TV, last night.

Let's hope Dunn is cool with waiting to discuss it. I'd rather tie him up, but we'll have to see. I've been impressed with how lowkey Dunn has been about it, but, then again, from his standpoint, his price will just keep going up as the year progresses.

Tommyjohn25
05-28-2008, 03:06 PM
On a side note, I loved it when Brantley said after the Bruce double, "I told you not to make him mad. He almost took him out of here. That'll teach that kid to throw him up and in, I bet he doesn't do it again."

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?mid=200805272783590

Good, good stuff from a pretty fantastic night to be a Reds fan.

M2
05-28-2008, 03:12 PM
Does this 1.000 debut make Jay Bruce the new "Mr. Perfect"? He's got the right Red's uniform number

Let's not get carried away here. His OPS is only 2.333 out of a possible 5.000. That's not even halfway to true perfection.

Raisor
05-28-2008, 03:13 PM
Let's not get carried away here. His OPS is only 2.333 out of a possible 5.000. That's not even halfway to true perfection.

Trade him for bats!

dougdirt
05-28-2008, 03:20 PM
Re: Griffey getting to the balls last night.

I was in 141, Row D. 4 Rows from the wall, directly behind Griffey. No one was catching any of those baseballs hit to him last night unless they were playing shallow against hitters they shouldn't have played shallow against. They were hard hit balls with little air under them. Cyclone is absolutely right. Griffey is a hindrance in RF, but last night his defense didn't hurt the team one bit.

Sea Ray
05-28-2008, 03:20 PM
PS: Who said he can't take a walk?

Do you think "the book" on Bruce at this point is don't throw him a strike 'cause he won't take a walk? My bet is he won't see many strikes until he shows the patience to lay off. I was thrilled to see him "adjust" to the scouting report in his first game.

Matt700wlw
05-28-2008, 04:23 PM
http://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-media/product-gallery/B000L6LC3W/ref=cm_ciu_pdp_images_1?ie=UTF8&index=1

Caveat Emperor
05-28-2008, 04:34 PM
Anything less than hitting for the cycle tonight will be a gigantic disappointment, apparently. ;)

Matt700wlw
05-28-2008, 04:37 PM
He better not make an out, or he may get sent back down for Corey Patterson ;)

RedsManRick
05-28-2008, 04:38 PM
Much has been made Bruce's low walk rate in AAA. I can't help but think that he didn't walk much because he didn't need to. He was getting good wood on the ball before he saw enough pitches to walk. I think in the majors his average is going to drop below .300, but his walk rate will somewhat offset that loss as he sees fewer pitches he wants to go chase.

Matt700wlw
05-28-2008, 04:45 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqW9x_cTybk