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jojo
07-08-2008, 05:43 PM
Given some recent threads, I figured what the heck...... :cool:


Debate/discuss?

Will M
07-08-2008, 05:48 PM
Given some recent threads, I figured what the heck...... :cool:


Debate/discuss?

totally agree. the reds can afford one weak glove but we have subpar defenders everywhere. that is why we are 2nd worst in the league defensively.

Griffey goes soon & whoever replaces him will be an upgrade. Hopefully it is a good glove in CF with Bruce moving to RF thus upgrading two positions.

Phillips is awesome at 2B.

Our catchers, Votto, Kep/Hairston, EE & Dunn are all poor defenders where they are. I am not sure what the answers are but I hope Walt does.

RedsManRick
07-08-2008, 05:55 PM
http://www.redszone.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1687806&postcount=44

RedsManRick
07-08-2008, 05:55 PM
Regarding our defense, the easiest way to think of it is that the Reds defense allows 1 batted ball per game to become a hit that the average team would turn in to an out and 2 fewer than good defensive teams. Divy it up where you will, but that's the net effect.

And given that our pitching allows .39 more runs per game than average, you can fairly say that we have a league average pitching staff and a league worst defense. Our run prevention deficit relative to average falls at the feet of our defense, pun intended.

http://www.redszone.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1687806&postcount=44

OnBaseMachine
07-08-2008, 05:57 PM
The key is building a strong defense up the middle (C, SS, 2B, CF) and going from there. I'd like to see a young SS like Chin-lung Hu acquired to fill the whole at SS. What do the successful Reds teams of the past all have in common? Strong defense up the middle.

1999 Reds: 2B Pokey Reese, SS Barry Larkin, CF Mike Cameron...Eddie Taubensee was weak behind the plate but they could afford it with all the other strong defenders.

1995: 2B Bret Boone, SS Barry Larkin, CF Darren Lewis, C Benito Santiago

1990: 2B Mariano Duncan, SS Barry Larkin, CF Eric Davis, C Joe Oliver

I'd like to see a Homer Bailey for Taylor Teagarden deal to shore up the catcher position. Someone like Chin-lung Hu would be nice at SS, or they could always sign Orlando Hudson or Mark Ellis and shift Phillips to SS.

dougdirt
07-08-2008, 05:57 PM
Above average defenders - Brandon Phillips and Corey Patterson.

Average defenders - Joey Votto/Jay Bruce

Below average defenders - Everyone else. Griffey, Dunn, EE, Catchers, Kepp, Hairston.

Yeah, we need better defense.

Jpup
07-08-2008, 05:59 PM
I am of the notion that Edwin is, at least, average at third and improving.

OnBaseMachine
07-08-2008, 05:59 PM
Above average defenders - Brandon Phillips and Corey Patterson.

Average defenders - Joey Votto/Jay Bruce

Below average defenders - Everyone else. Griffey, Dunn, EE, Catchers, Kepp, Hairston.

Yeah, we need better defense.

I think Bruce will be a well above average defender in right field.

dougdirt
07-08-2008, 06:01 PM
I think Bruce will be a well above average defender in right field.

I agree... but I expect him to play a lot more CF than RF the rest of this season, so I put him in the average camp for now.

Highlifeman21
07-08-2008, 06:10 PM
The key is building a strong defense up the middle (C, SS, 2B, CF) and going from there. I'd like to see a young SS like Chin-lung Hu acquired to fill the whole at SS. What do the successful Reds teams of the past all have in common? Strong defense up the middle.

1999 Reds: 2B Pokey Reese, SS Barry Larkin, CF Mike Cameron...Eddie Taubensee was weak behind the plate but they could afford it with all the other strong defenders.

1995: 2B Bret Boone, SS Barry Larkin, CF Darren Lewis, C Benito Santiago

1990: 2B Mariano Duncan, SS Barry Larkin, CF Eric Davis, C Joe Oliver

I'd like to see a Homer Bailey for Taylor Teagarden deal to shore up the catcher position. Someone like Chin-lung Hu would be nice at SS, or they could always sign Orlando Hudson or Mark Ellis and shift Phillips to SS.


The O-Dog and B-Phil as a double play combo? Be still my beating heart!

The O-Dog is the gold standard for NL 2B, and I would bet a large sum of money that B-Phil would be the gold standard for NL SS. Both have ridiculous range, soft hands, and great instincts. Those two would be worth the price of admission alone!

Now the mystery remains if B-Phil and O-Dog could both consistently OPS North of .775, or else their exceptional gloves go to waste and they become offensive voids.

As for C, I'd like to see the Reds make a run for any of the Rangers' catchers, Laird being the lowest on my wish list, with Salty and Teagarden essentially being neck and neck at the top. Send Homer Bailey back to his homestate, and see which C we can get in return. Toss in Stubbs too. He played his college ball as a Longhorn.

Rojo
07-08-2008, 06:18 PM
The key is building a strong defense up the middle (C, SS, 2B, CF) and going from there. I'd like to see a young SS like Chin-lung Hu acquired to fill the whole at SS.

I thought he was on first base.

Kc61
07-08-2008, 06:22 PM
Above average defenders - Brandon Phillips and Corey Patterson.

Average defenders - Joey Votto/Jay Bruce

Below average defenders - Everyone else. Griffey, Dunn, EE, Catchers, Kepp, Hairston.

Yeah, we need better defense.

I like Bruce and Votto too, but Joey is a below average defender at this point -- too many errors -- and Bruce is nothing special in center. He'd be better in right.

You're right that Patterson is good, but he is now a full fledged backup.

IMO, Phillips is a plus defender and the rest of the starting team is average or below.

Still, the Reds have made far fewer errors of late and as a unit are playing improved defense.

Will M
07-08-2008, 06:25 PM
Kep and Hairston are natural 2B. Of course we have Phillips here.
When at SS Kep and Hairston are below average.
Kep has looked ok at 3B.

EE would play better at 1B but his bat would not.

Can Votto play 1B? Nine errors at 1B. Wow!

Could be that the only way to build a good defensive team is to move some folks at let loose some folks.

ie
C - new
1B - EE or new
2B - Phillips
SS - new
3B - Kep
LF - Dunn or Votto hide here
CF - new
RF - Bruce

That is a whole lotta new faces if the Reds are going from awful to good on defense. It is tough to build a good defense with Phillips at 2B, Bruce in RF and a bunch of defensive hacks.

Will M
07-08-2008, 06:26 PM
[QUOTE=Kc61;1687848]IMO, Phillips is a plus defender and the rest of the starting team is average or below.

[QUOTE]

yep. Phillips grades an A+. Bruce in RF grades a B ( in CF a C ).
All the other starters are below average at their current positions.

wheels
07-08-2008, 06:28 PM
I really think step one is getting Phillips to move over to short.

Have someone in the front office put together a compilation video of past great Reds shortstops, intermixed with Brandon Phillips highlights.

"We think the next great Reds shortstop is you, Brandon. You down?"

I'll bet he'd bite.

RedsBaron
07-08-2008, 06:36 PM
The key is building a strong defense up the middle (C, SS, 2B, CF) and going from there. I'd like to see a young SS like Chin-lung Hu acquired to fill the whole at SS. What do the successful Reds teams of the past all have in common? Strong defense up the middle.

1999 Reds: 2B Pokey Reese, SS Barry Larkin, CF Mike Cameron...Eddie Taubensee was weak behind the plate but they could afford it with all the other strong defenders.

1995: 2B Bret Boone, SS Barry Larkin, CF Darren Lewis, C Benito Santiago

1990: 2B Mariano Duncan, SS Barry Larkin, CF Eric Davis, C Joe Oliver

I'd like to see a Homer Bailey for Taylor Teagarden deal to shore up the catcher position. Someone like Chin-lung Hu would be nice at SS, or they could always sign Orlando Hudson or Mark Ellis and shift Phillips to SS.

The 1974-77 Reds had decent defense up the middle, as the Bench-Morgan-Concepcion-Geronimo quartet all won Gold Gloves four straight years.

jojo
07-08-2008, 06:48 PM
IMO, Phillips is a plus defender and the rest of the starting team is average or below.


yep. Phillips grades an A+. Bruce in RF grades a B ( in CF a C ).
All the other starters are below average at their current positions.

I think Bruce in right field has the potential to be Kearns' defensive equal (maybe better) and that is saying ALOT.

I actually think Votto has the chance to be a something like plus defender too (which is a lot more optimistic than my position on his defense has been)....

OnBaseMachine
07-08-2008, 06:59 PM
The 1974-77 Reds had decent defense up the middle, as the Bench-Morgan-Concepcion-Geronimo quartet all won Gold Gloves four straight years.

Yeah, they weren't too bad either. ;)

dougdirt
07-08-2008, 07:02 PM
I like Bruce and Votto too, but Joey is a below average defender at this point -- too many errors -- and Bruce is nothing special in center. He'd be better in right.

You're right that Patterson is good, but he is now a full fledged backup.

IMO, Phillips is a plus defender and the rest of the starting team is average or below.

Still, the Reds have made far fewer errors of late and as a unit are playing improved defense.

Votto to me is well above average on balls that he gets to not on the bag. Range wise/glove wise off the bag, he is well above the norm. When he had to make a throw and catch stuff on the bag, he is a bit below average. All in all, that puts him as average to me.

Spring~Fields
07-08-2008, 07:33 PM
Above average defenders - Brandon Phillips and Corey Patterson.

Average defenders - Joey Votto/Jay Bruce

Below average defenders - Everyone else. Griffey, Dunn, EE, Catchers, Kepp, Hairston.

Yeah, we need better defense.

You summarized that nicely. Don't forget to check the archives on your out. :D

Patrick Bateman
07-08-2008, 07:47 PM
I actually think Votto has the chance to be a something like plus defender too (which is a lot more optimistic than my position on his defense has been)....

I agree with this. Coming through the minors there were more negative reports on his fielding than anything. He's still quite raw there IMO, but he has showed a lot of range at the position. The type of range I've really only seen in guys like Pujols and Lee recently. He gets to a lot fo balls, and can make the tough plays. It's really the fundamental type plays he struggles with, which I expect will go away with age. I'm very high on his abilities, in that he can be a really atheletic first basemen.

OnBaseMachine
07-09-2008, 10:14 PM
This thread title couldn't be any more correct. This may be the worst defensive team I have ever seen. Poor Johnny Cueto. He pitched an excellent game tonight and should have left the game with only one run allowed in seven innings but instead if ended up being five runs (four earned) in 6.2 innings thanks to awful, awful defense. Jeff Keppinger botched a groundball that allowed an unearned run to score. Then in the 7th inning in a 2-1 game Cueto has two outs and a runner on third with Fukudome up. Fukudome hits a flyball to the warning track in LF and Dunn badly misplays it which scores a run and allows the inning to continue. Lee singled in a run and that was it for Cueto. With a major league caliber defense behind Cueto then it's a 1-1 game in the 8th inning.

I am the biggest Dunn fan you will find but I think it's time improve the defense. He and Griffey are killing the team defensively along with Kepp/Hairston at SS.

Will M
07-09-2008, 11:04 PM
This thread title couldn't be any more correct. This may be the worst defensive team I have ever seen. Poor Johnny Cueto. He pitched an excellent game tonight and should have left the game with only one run allowed in seven innings but instead if ended up being five runs (four earned) in 6.2 innings thanks to awful, awful defense. Jeff Keppinger botched a groundball that allowed an unearned run to score. Then in the 7th inning in a 2-1 game Cueto has two outs and a runner on third with Fukudome up. Fukudome hits a flyball to the warning track in LF and Dunn badly misplays it which scores a run and allows the inning to continue. Lee singled in a run and that was it for Cueto. With a major league caliber defense behind Cueto then it's a 1-1 game in the 8th inning.

I am the biggest Dunn fan you will find but I think it's time improve the defense. He and Griffey are killing the team defensively along with Kepp/Hairston at SS.

Tonights game was painful to watch.

I'd like to see a team with A/B defenders at C-2B-SS-CF and at least average defenders elsewhere.

I don't care who we get to pitch and hit. The Reds defense gives away way too many runs.

nate
07-10-2008, 07:47 AM
I'd like to see a team with A/B defenders at C-2B-SS-CF and at least average defenders elsewhere.

I agree, but we do have 1.5 out of 4.


I don't care who we get to pitch and hit.

You will. It's hard to defend against the longball.

lollipopcurve
07-10-2008, 08:00 AM
I don't think Phillips could play short the way people imagine he could. Brandon's kind of a long strider -- faster than he is quick -- and he doesn't have particularly quick hands on the transfer. All this plays fine at second, but at SS, where you have less time, he'd be exposed. And that's to say nothing of his throwing -- who knows how accurate he's be over there.

I'm for staying in-house with the young guys. First Janish, then, if he continues to look passable over there, Valaika.

Spring~Fields
07-10-2008, 08:14 AM
This thread title couldn't be any more correct. This may be the worst defensive team I have ever seen. Poor Johnny Cueto. He pitched an excellent game tonight and should have left the game with only one run allowed in seven innings but instead if ended up being five runs (four earned) in 6.2 innings thanks to awful, awful defense. Jeff Keppinger botched a groundball that allowed an unearned run to score. Then in the 7th inning in a 2-1 game Cueto has two outs and a runner on third with Fukudome up. Fukudome hits a flyball to the warning track in LF and Dunn badly misplays it which scores a run and allows the inning to continue. Lee singled in a run and that was it for Cueto. With a major league caliber defense behind Cueto then it's a 1-1 game in the 8th inning.

I am the biggest Dunn fan you will find but I think it's time improve the defense. He and Griffey are killing the team defensively along with Kepp/Hairston at SS.

:clap::clap::clap::clap: :lastyear:

jojo
07-10-2008, 08:21 AM
I don't think Phillips could play short the way people imagine he could. Brandon's kind of a long strider -- faster than he is quick -- and he doesn't have particularly quick hands on the transfer. All this plays fine at second, but at SS, where you have less time, he'd be exposed. And that's to say nothing of his throwing -- who knows how accurate he's be over there.

I'm for staying in-house with the young guys. First Janish, then, if he continues to look passable over there, Valaika.

I agree that Phillips likely wouldn't be a plus defender at short. He might be an average one though and his bat would make him a plus shortstop overall.

I think the motivation is that this off season, it's easier to find a replacement that wouldn't effect defense at second (maybe even improving it) and while moving Phillips to short would hurt his defensive value, it would still represent an upgrade over the Reds current situation.

The middle infield as a whole would theoretically by much improved.

Such an plan would cost a lot of money however. That said, some have asked how do the Reds replace Dunn if they let him go? This is one hypothetical where they could effect their run differential positively with the money they'd otherwise spend on Dunn as the middle infield might be 10 to 15 runs better defensively and the second baseman would be an offensive positive (i.e Hudson or Ellis).

lollipopcurve
07-10-2008, 08:41 AM
Such an plan would cost a lot of money however. That said, some have asked how do the Reds replace Dunn if they let him go? This is one hypothetical where they could effect their run differential positively with the money they'd otherwise spend on Dunn as the middle infield might be 10 to 15 runs better defensively and the second baseman would be an offensive positive (i.e Hudson or Ellis).

I think signing Hudson or Ellis -- both of whom are likely going to decline both offensively and defensively over the course of their contract -- would be a big mistake. Valaika is going to be a plus bat. The question is, can he play an average SS? (If not, I think his bat will play at 3B). As I said, I'm fine with giving Janish a run out there for awhile -- you know the defense will be good, if not great, and I like what he brings in terms of being a young homegrown player with above-average baseball IQ.

Spring~Fields
07-10-2008, 08:50 AM
I think signing Hudson or Ellis -- both of whom are likely going to decline both offensively and defensively over the course of their contract -- would be a big mistake. Valaika is going to be a plus bat. The question is, can he play an average SS? (If not, I think his bat will play at 3B). As I said, I'm fine with giving Janish a run out there for awhile -- you know the defense will be good, if not great, and I like what he brings in terms of being a young homegrown player with above-average baseball IQ.


Well the Reds might be comfortable with Gonzalez, Hairston and Keppinger filling that role as the continued alternative in the future, they are relatively cheap compared to free agents aren’t they?

IslandRed
07-10-2008, 10:22 AM
I am of the notion that Edwin is, at least, average at third and improving.

I am, reluctantly, coming to the opposite conclusion. He has some natural range and will make a flashy play now and then. But I just haven't seen progress, and this great range we keep talking about rarely shows up in any of the advanced defensive metrics out there. I know fielding is not yet an exact sabermetric science but when pretty much every system gives the same answer (in Encarnacion's case: thumbs down) and neither their answers or my eyes is telling me he's getting better, then maybe he's not. As with so many other things on this team, "best we've got" and "good" are not the same thing.


I really think step one is getting Phillips to move over to short.

As I've posted before, I disagree; I'm not sure how the team defense greatly improves by taking the one unquestioned excellent defender and putting him at a position where he'd be pretty average. Keppinger would be a decent 2B, better than he is a shortstop, but it's a net wash. It's like trading an A and a D for a B- and a C. I'd rather keep the A and try to do something about the D.

Raisor
07-10-2008, 11:53 AM
ok, lets improve the defense.

The offense is teh suck too.

Let's improve the offense.

How are the Reds going to do both?

blumj
07-10-2008, 12:29 PM
I am, reluctantly, coming to the opposite conclusion. He has some natural range and will make a flashy play now and then. But I just haven't seen progress, and this great range we keep talking about rarely shows up in any of the advanced defensive metrics out there. I know fielding is not yet an exact sabermetric science but when pretty much every system gives the same answer (in Encarnacion's case: thumbs down) and neither their answers or my eyes is telling me he's getting better, then maybe he's not. As with so many other things on this team, "best we've got" and "good" are not the same thing.



As I've posted before, I disagree; I'm not sure how the team defense greatly improves by taking the one unquestioned excellent defender and putting him at a position where he'd be pretty average. Keppinger would be a decent 2B, better than he is a shortstop, but it's a net wash. It's like trading an A and a D for a B- and a C. I'd rather keep the A and try to do something about the D.

I wouldn't think it works that way. Theoretically, I'd generally rather have average players at 2 positions than a below average player at either, particularly the more important one. Practically, though, I don't think moving Phillips to SS is realistic at this point.

Mainly, though, if the Reds want a better defense, they're going to have to find some more players who can contribute both offensively and defensively, at whatever positions they can get them. You can't always be choosing between "offense guy" and "defense guy" for 5 or 6 different positions every game and expect to get away with it.

IslandRed
07-10-2008, 01:09 PM
I wouldn't think it works that way. Theoretically, I'd generally rather have average players at 2 positions than a below average player at either, particularly the more important one. Practically, though, I don't think moving Phillips to SS is realistic at this point.

I'm thinking long-term here, 2009+, so I'm not assuming the solutions are limited to the players on hand. If we're talking about a team overhaul anyway, why lock ourselves into "average at both" now when we could turn middle-infield defense into a plus by leaving Phillips where he is and getting a real shortstop? Maybe it doesn't work out so neatly, but it's what Jocketty's strategic plan should be, in my opinion.


Mainly, though, if the Reds want a better defense, they're going to have to find some more players who can contribute both offensively and defensively, at whatever positions they can get them. You can't always be choosing between "offense guy" and "defense guy" for 5 or 6 different positions every game and expect to get away with it.

True (and that was the point Raisor was making). It boils down to "get better ballplayers," which is considerably easier said than done.

Will M
07-10-2008, 01:11 PM
ok, lets improve the defense.

The offense is teh suck too.

Let's improve the offense.

How are the Reds going to do both?

1. Move Votto off first. If Dunn will resign at a reasonable price Votto is dealt. Otherwise Votto is our one weak glove in LF.

Sign Teixeira for $$$. This would be a HUGE move for the Reds. Good glove. Good bat. Switch hitter. Improve multiple problems in one move.

2. Leave Phillips at 2B.

3. Trade EE. Kep plays 3B.

4. Shortstop - I am not sure here. Obviously Janish's bat was awful. We owe Gonzo for 2009 and I have no idea what he can do. Furcal is a free agent but just underwent back surgery. Ouch!

5. LF is Dunn or Votto.

6. RF is Bruce

7. CF - A tough spot. I'd try to pry Aaron Rowland from the Giants. The Giants need to rebuild and may also look to reduce payroll. Cameron is a free agent with an OPS > 800. I am not sure how good his defense is these days.

8. Catcher - Need a trade here. One of Texas's catcher or Bengie Molina would be a defensive & offensive upgrade. EE could be the bait.

2009:
3B Kep
RF Bruce
1B Teixeira
LF Votto or Dunn
CF Rowland
2B Phillips
C Molina
SS Gonzo

Just a fantasy but a much better team defensively than the 2008 version.
Rowland, Molina & Gonzo are also better offensively than their replacements ( Jr, Ross & EE ).

Will M
07-10-2008, 01:12 PM
I am, reluctantly, coming to the opposite conclusion. He has some natural range and will make a flashy play now and then. But I just haven't seen progress, and this great range we keep talking about rarely shows up in any of the advanced defensive metrics out there. I know fielding is not yet an exact sabermetric science but when pretty much every system gives the same answer (in Encarnacion's case: thumbs down) and neither their answers or my eyes is telling me he's getting better, then maybe he's not. As with so many other things on this team, "best we've got" and "good" are not the same thing.



I agree here. I am not a fan of EE and would like to see him moved for a catcher or centerfielder.

Rojo
07-10-2008, 01:49 PM
I am, reluctantly, coming to the opposite conclusion. He has some natural range and will make a flashy play now and then. But I just haven't seen progress, and this great range we keep talking about rarely shows up in any of the advanced defensive metrics out there. I know fielding is not yet an exact sabermetric science but when pretty much every system gives the same answer (in Encarnacion's case: thumbs down) and neither their answers or my eyes is telling me he's getting better, then maybe he's not. As with so many other things on this team, "best we've got" and "good" are not the same thing.

As I've posted before, I disagree; I'm not sure how the team defense greatly improves by taking the one unquestioned excellent defender and putting him at a position where he'd be pretty average. Keppinger would be a decent 2B, better than he is a shortstop, but it's a net wash. It's like trading an A and a D for a B- and a C. I'd rather keep the A and try to do something about the D.

Man, you nailed it. I say let's stop letting offense (or rather positional archetypes) drive the defense.

Kepp seems like he has a steady-eddy glove and accurate arm but lacks range. That plays better at third and I could live with a Joe Randa/Kevin Seitzer/Brook Jacoby type who makes the plays.

You could construct a decision tree with EdE -- is he improving defensively, if not, will he hit enough for first or left field, if not, what will he fetch, etc... But you don't wait to answer this before bringing in a shortstop glove.

_Sir_Charles_
07-10-2008, 02:30 PM
Improving the defense is all fine and good, but if you do that at the expense of hitting...I'll pass. So that means Janish is a late inning defensive replacement, not a solution.

In terms of Votto...I say we keep him right where he is. At least for the time being. We've got Yonder (hopefully) on the horizon and he's said to be strictly a firstbaseman. If he gets to the Reds, THEN they can determine if Votto needs to be moved to LF. But moving Edwin to first and Votto to left simply moves 2 players out of position. Moving current players around on the diamond is NOT the solution. Playing them CONSISTANTLY at the same spot is "part" of the solution though. Hairston should be in centerfield until we find another dependable outfielder. We need his bat in the lineup and he's simply horrible at short. Keppinger, while far from great at Short, is very steady and dependable. Yes, I know he made an error last night. But overall, he's better there than Hairston and like Jerry...we need his bat in the lineup (regardless of his current slump).

The real solution is replacing Dunn & Griffey with solid defensive/offensive replacements. Yes, Bruce can replace Griff in right if you guys insist and have Jerry pick up Center for the time being. But the Dunn/Griffey experiment should be considered over....just like this season. So, since it's pretty obvious that this season is done...let's look towards next season. What do we do to fix things?

1. Move Bruce to rightfield permanently. Slumps aside, he's solid defensively, he's got a great arm, great speed and great instincts. His bat is far from a liability.

2. For now, move Hairston into the CF slot full-time. Freel is an insurance-policy nightmare waiting to happen. Patterson's bat is just not acceptable regardless of his defensive prowess. Dickerson should be brought up THIS YEAR and given some playing time fairly regularly. Not to see his glove-work, but rather how his bat stacks up against big-league pitching. So he can fill in at any of the OF positions. If his bat does transfer well to the majors...look to deal Hairston and move Dickerson into the full-time CF slot next season...but keep your options open for better replacements.

3. Look to move Dunn this season. From the press it looks unlikely to happen. Fine, take the draft picks at the end of the season. However, get some of his possible replacements up here pronto. Todd Frazier looks to be switched to a corner OF position it seems. Shawn Cumberland has progressed very well too. We've got several possibilities coming up through the minors, so a short-term FA rental might be a very good solution. He's have to possess average to above average glove-work and not be a black hole at the plate. There are some definite possibilities out there in the FA market this coming year. Milton Bradley pops to mind initially.

4. Trade, release or mercifully shoot at least one of the current 3-headed catching monstrosity we currently have. At LEAST one. I think Bako seems to be the most well-rounded of the 3 and would make a decent back-up. Trading for a catcher seems to be the best solution, but every team is looking to do the same thing. Texas seems to be the best trading partner with Laird, Salty & Teagarden as possible targets. However, Texas isn't stupid, they know that everyone want's their catchers...the price will be steep. We might be better off seeing what we've got in-house before mortgaging the farm on Texas' throwaways. Hannigan has been producing solidly all season at Louisville. Mesoraco is still several years away (if ever) so Hannigan seems to be a nice stopgap at least. Get him up here NOW. Colina & Tatum could also be solutions if Hannigan isn't. It's time to cut bait with Ross/Javy.

5. 3rd base is loaded down in the minors. Absolutely loaded. We've got Todd Frazier, Juan Fransisco, Adam Rosales, Brandon Waring, Eric Eymann and Neftali Soto all projecting to the majors. I'd say the writing is on the wall for Edwin Encarnacion. He either needs to step it up THIS year, or we do one of two things...deal him, or move him to another position. In terms of another position, 2 spots come to mind. 1B & LF. 1B in my mind is a bad idea. Because in order to do that you have to also move Joey Votto. Having 2 players learn new postions is NOT a good idea, especially when you're wanting to improve defensively. That leaves LF. Well, I guess this all depends on how he takes to the OF. He's got excellent speed, fast reactions, and he's got a cannon for an arm. However, that arm is erratic...but Dunn's isn't off the charts either. So, how does Edwin's bat play in LF? Again, that depends upon how he shows up (or doesn't show up) the rest of this year. But either way, I'd say his days at third are pretty much done.

6. Shortstop is a very critical position. Keppinger & Hairston have both done the best they can at that slot IMO. I don't see either of them doing BETTER than what they have already. But is that good enough? I don't think so. For now, Keppinger is the better of the two options there because he's the better of the two defensively. But neither are long-terms solutions there because they're both sub-par glovemen. Moving Phillips doesn't solve the problem either. It just creates another hole at 2nd. So, let's look in-house. Paul Janish could easily fill the void as defensive replacement. But a starter...I don't see it. Chris Valaika is going to be a stud I believe. But he's not ready yet. Next year...possibly. So for now, I'd stay the course and give the job to Keppinger full time but have Janish up here for late inning defensive replacement. The other option is to fill this spot via free agency. Come 2009, these guys become available....
Orlando Cabrera (34)
David Eckstein (34)
Adam Everett (32)
Rafael Furcal (31)
Cristian Guzman (31)
Cesar Izturis (29)
Felipe Lopez (29)
Edgar Renteria (33) - $11MM club option for '09 with a $3MM buyout
Juan Uribe (30)
That's a solid group to choose from. But with LF/CF as possible voids to fill we might be better served to wait things out with Kepp until Valaika is ready for the show.

So, overall, I'd want to fix things with in-house talent but to dump the excess baggage. A f.a. fix for LF or SS would be my first order of business in the off-season. And getting the bats moving up the ladder in the minors ASAP. Let Dunn & Griffey both go and get the youth movement started THIS season. If that means benching griff & dunn...so be it. I'm sure I overlooked something...but my fingers are cramping up. :O)

jojo
07-10-2008, 03:20 PM
ok, lets improve the defense.

The offense is teh suck too.

Let's improve the offense.

How are the Reds going to do both?

I understand your point, and it's a valid one.

I think it starts with the Reds signing a Cameron for $5M and a club option for '09 rather than signing a Patterson for $3M when given the opportunity to make such choices....

In other words, it might mean stretching the FO's abilities a bit.... :cool:

jojo
07-10-2008, 04:54 PM
I think signing Hudson or Ellis -- both of whom are likely going to decline both offensive and defensively over the course of their contract -- would be a big mistake.

I agree about the likelihood contracts to either would be overpays carrying significant risk on the back side. Thats really one of the reasons I generally argue against making big forays into the free agent market. Such logic has underpinned my argument against resigning Dunn (it's a little deeper than that but really my Dunn argument would be filed under the same category).

It all depends upon the contract though and there is a potential that Ellis won't be as expensive or require as long of a commitment as Hudson. If Ellis could be had for something no longer than 3 years, I'd pause and consider the notion I guess.


Valaika is going to be a plus bat. The question is, can he play an average SS? (If not, I think his bat will play at 3B). As I said, I'm fine with giving Janish a run out there for awhile -- you know the defense will be good, if not great, and I like what he brings in terms of being a young homegrown player with above-average baseball IQ.

Just to be clear, I think the the Reds should move Phillips off of second only if they can replace him with a defensive equivalent or better barring the acquisition of a H. Ramirez type bat at second that is so out of this world that his defensive deficiencies can be forgiven. So really I'm not a big advocate of the idea, I'm just suggesting there are scenarios where the Reds might better themselves by such a move.

As to the idea of staying "in house", IMHO, the Reds really don't have an in house answer for their middle infield at least certainly they don't have an immediate one. Janish is a good defensive shortstop but it's uncertain if his glove is good enough to carry his bat as a regular (I personally don't think it is). If Janish is the best answer (i.e. going all out for leather at short), then I'm in favor of really doing it right and trying to get a guy like Hu. Frazier won't be playing a middle infield position if he makes the bigs. The Reds really shouldn't count on Valaika as he's basically a low ceiling guy who'd be a defensive compromise at second if his bat eventually becomes good enough to play in the bigs (I'm not confident his bat will become good enough for third). In my mind, Valaika may never get regular major league at bats.

Anyway, that's kind of a smattering if not disjointed array of my thoughts on this issue.

RedsManRick
07-10-2008, 05:02 PM
Jojo (and others), do you really think Hu is enough of an upgrade over Janish to merit trading away some asset(s) to get him:

Hu: 24, .299/.345/.424 in 2113 Minor League AB, .176/.228/.272 in 136 Major League AB
Janish: 25, .265/.354/.385 in 1554 Minor League AB, .188/.278/.203 in 64 Major League AB

To my untrained eye, it looks like Hu trades some walks for singles and that's about it. Neither look likely to be much more than 2nd division starters or 1st division backups. I'd rather have Hu, but I'm not sure I'd pay anything for the .5 win at best upgrade.

jojo
07-10-2008, 05:13 PM
Jojo (and others), do you really think Hu is enough of an upgrade over Janish to merit trading away some asset(s) to get him:

Hu: 24, .299/.345/.424 in 2113 Minor League AB, .176/.228/.272 in 136 Major League AB
Janish: 25, .265/.354/.385 in 1554 Minor League AB, .188/.278/.203 in 64 Major League AB

To my untrained eye, it looks like Hu trades some walks for singles and that's about it. Neither look likely to be much more than 2nd division starters or 1st division backups. I'd rather have Hu, but I'm not sure I'd pay anything for the .5 win at best upgrade.

Hey, if Hu is an offensive upgrade too, then ya, even better. I'm arguing for Hu as a significant defensive upgrade (he's that good with the leather).

As always, it depends upon the cost.

membengal
07-10-2008, 05:14 PM
BP was somewhat optimistic in terms of some offensive upside for Hu, although after seeing him this year, I am not sure I share their optimism.

*BaseClogger*
07-10-2008, 05:42 PM
A run scored is a run prevented...

_Sir_Charles_
07-10-2008, 05:49 PM
A run scored is a run prevented...

We can't have BOTH? :O)

RedsManRick
07-10-2008, 05:57 PM
Hey, if Hu is an offensive upgrade too, then ya, even better. I'm arguing for Hu as a significant defensive upgrade (he's that good with the leather).

As always, it depends upon the cost.

I thought Janish was already an 'A' defender. I didn't realize Hu was that much better.

Spring~Fields
07-10-2008, 06:00 PM
ok, lets improve the defense.

The offense is teh suck too.

Let's improve the offense.

How are the Reds going to do both?

Get better players as they can or opportunity presents itself? :)
I dunnoo :dunno: I struggle with that question myself.

jojo
07-10-2008, 06:22 PM
I thought Janish was already an 'A' defender. I didn't realize Hu was that much better.

It's a subjective opinion and I've only seen a smattering of Hu and Janish at the major league level, but Hu is really, really good defensively. Plus, though Janish is a legitimate major league defender, Hu has a much greater chance of actually becoming a regular shortstop.

Raisor
07-10-2008, 06:29 PM
Over the last three years, the average NL playoff team scored 778 runs and allowed 714.

This season, the Reds are on pace for 696-797.

Assuming Dunn and Junior are gone next season, the Reds are going to need to find somewhere around 300 of run differential.

Walt has his work cut out for him.

RedsManRick
07-10-2008, 06:48 PM
Over the last three years, the average NL playoff team scored 778 runs and allowed 714.

This season, the Reds are on pace for 696-797.

Assuming Dunn and Junior are gone next season, the Reds are going to need to find somewhere around 300 of run differential.

Walt has his work cut out for him.

300? A swing of 200 puts us playoff worthy.

Don't forget, if you replace Dunn and Junior with replacement level defense (aka average), you actually pick up about 30-40 runs. Dunn is on pace to be about 50 runs above replacement offensively, Junior something like 15. That comes out to a net of 30 to 40 differential loss.

Obviously Walt still has his work cut out for him, but the swing is on the order of 150 runs with Dunn and Junior gone, not 300.

I've said it all along, the Reds will need to improve the talent level of the organization in order to compete. But if the talent we have (Cueto, Bailey, Bruce, Votto, EE in particular) don't improve, there's no way we can acquire enough in trades or FA to make up the difference.

Raisor
07-10-2008, 07:11 PM
300? A swing of 200 puts us playoff worthy.

Don't forget, if you replace Dunn and Junior with replacement level defense (aka average), you actually pick up about 30-40 runs. Dunn is on pace to be about 50 runs above replacement offensively, Junior something like 15. That comes out to a net of 30 to 40 differential loss.

Obviously Walt still has his work cut out for him, but the swing is on the order of 150 runs with Dunn and Junior gone, not 300.





Kind of missing my point. Until you've added those replacement level folks, you're starting at 300-ish runs.

With Dunn and Junior on the team, Reds are on pace to be -165 differential from the average NL playoff team. Dunn and Junior are on pace to create about 175 runs. Thats about 340 runs at a starting point. If you want to charge Dunn and Junior with 40 runs on the RA side, ok, that gets you to -300 runs as a starting point.

They're going to have to find those runs someplace.

RedsManRick
07-10-2008, 07:24 PM
Kind of missing my point. Until you've added those replacement level folks, you're starting at 300-ish runs.

With Dunn and Junior on the team, Reds are on pace to be -165 differential from the average NL playoff team. Dunn and Junior are on pace to create about 175 runs. Thats about 340 runs at a starting point. If you want to charge Dunn and Junior with 40 runs on the RA side, ok, that gets you to -300 runs as a starting point.

They're going to have to find those runs someplace.

But you're missing the point about replacement level. You don't have to add them - they're already there. Starting from zero ignores the reality that the Reds willhave players playing LF and RF next year, those players will produce an above zero amount of runs, and that Jocketty doesn't really need to do anything to get them.

It would be like calculating the distance from the Earth to the moon and starting your calculation from the Earth's core (on a different scale, proportionally of course). It just doesn't make sense. You start part of the way there by default.

You can put anybody in there, at no additional cost or effort, and recoup a significant portion of that 175. Take Ryan Freel and Chris Dickerson, for example. On an absolute measure, they would create something like 80-100 runs. That doesn't require any action on Jocketty's part.

Merely acquiring a replacement level player for LF and RF is not hard, in fact it has to be considered the default starting point. It accounts for a large portion of that 175 runs created above 0. It's that additional 75 runs above replacement that requires Jocketty's skill and that gives us a base of -200 to work from.

Raisor
07-10-2008, 07:31 PM
We're on the same page, just different paragraphs.

RedsManRick
07-10-2008, 07:32 PM
We're on the same page, just different paragraphs.

Heh. Fair enough. No need to agree violently.

In any event, Jocketty has alot of work to do. I would suggest that at minimum, half of that improved differential is going to need to come from player development. There's no way we can afford 200 runs worth in the market.

jojo
07-10-2008, 08:44 PM
Kind of missing my point. Until you've added those replacement level folks, you're starting at 300-ish runs.

With Dunn and Junior on the team, Reds are on pace to be -165 differential from the average NL playoff team. Dunn and Junior are on pace to create about 175 runs. Thats about 340 runs at a starting point. If you want to charge Dunn and Junior with 40 runs on the RA side, ok, that gets you to -300 runs as a starting point.

They're going to have to find those runs someplace.

Alright, bare with me cuz this is a little complicated and comes with caveats.

Dunn is actually on a pace to have a VORP of 42 and Jr is on pace for a VORP of 6.6 (based upon their VORP rate-i.e. VORPr) assuming they each played 162 games which probably isn't true.

So assuming no dramatic increase in production from either in the second half (a caveat that could be wrong), the Reds would need to replace roughly 50 runs above replacement of corner outfield offense by letting Jr and Dunn walk.

Remembering that a replacement level player is a neutral defender by definition, I think it's reasonable to suggest replacement level defenders would represent a 25 run upgrade defensively (this is erring on the side of Dunn and Jr IMHO as it's suggesting either might be a -12.5 run defender over 162 games).

So the Reds would lose 50 runs above replacement offensively but would gain 25 runs defensively by simply plugging in replacement level corner outfielders. In other words they'd need to find 25 runs above replacement between their two new corner outfielders to simply tread water. This is kinda suggesting Hopper/Freel/Bruce might only be 2.5 wins worse than Dunn/Bruce/Jr.

Basically Dunn is a 3 win player (42 VORP -12 defense=30 runs) and Jr is a swirling black hole (7 Vorp -12.5 defense= -5 runs).

Really, replacing Dunn's production isn't impossible because it'll be virtually impossible for the Reds not to upgrade rightfield this off season......

Take home: I think the proper way to look at the Reds outfield situation is that it isn't impossible to replace the production they'll lose by revamping their corner outfield but Dunn's departure will make it a daunting task to upgrade their offense overall.

I don't think that's semantics....

But then again, I think the above argument was both clear and concise..... :cool:

Really what the Reds need would be two exactly average corner outfielders (roughly a VORP of 20 and a neutral glove) and they'd be ahead of their current situation by maybe .5 to 1 win (5 to 10 runs) over 162 games. That would be something like adding the '07 version of Reggie Willits or the '08 version of Ben Francisco in left and the '07 Matt Murton or just a typical year from Randy Winn/Xavier Nady (both of whom would be upgrades over the mythical standard being applied here). Winn will probably be given away this off season and letting him walk after '09 would probably net one or even two draft picks assuming he signed on elsewhere. When thought about like this, Jocketty's task seems more doable especially conceding the notion that he knows what he's doing....

I'd just throw out there that Winn might represent a decent target for '09 if the Reds let Dunn walk. He'd probably be something close to an average offensive left fielder and possibly as much as a +5 to 10 defender there. Also he'd only be a 1 year commitment if the Reds could trade for him.

This was done hastily so please point out the holes in the logic where ever they may be....

oregonred
07-10-2008, 10:59 PM
RMR -- Assuming an average 2005-2007 full season from Harang and Arroyo along with a respectable 5th starter (say 5 ERA vs. the approx 8 ERA we've had the pleasure to witness this season). How much of the gap can that make up? I can't see the equation working without a net 75-100 runs from those three slots.

If Dunn is a three win player as noted above, that reinfoces the argument that a small/mid-market team would be insane to pay him anything more than 4/40 in the marketplace. Finding replacement level offensive production at LF, and in GABP ought to be the biggest no brainer and one of the easiest to check off on Jocketty's off-season docket.

Will M
07-14-2008, 10:15 PM
Get a team with A or B defenders up the middle and at least average defenders at 1B, 3B & RF. LF is the place to hide one weak defender.

Looking at what he have signed for 2009:

RF - Bruce ( Grade:B ). IMO Bruce is average in CF but a plus defender in RF.

CF - Acquisition. Dickerson is bench material. Freel is too.

LF - Votto ( the weak glove ). Votto has made some nice plays at 1B but nine errors in half a season won't cut it. Thats in the class of Carlos Delgado and Ryan Howard. ( Grade: incomplete )

1B - EE keeps 1B warm until Alonso arrives. I am not a fan of EE's defense at 3B. I know a lot of people say he'll get better but I don't see the improvement. He'll likely be ok at 1B. ( Grade: C )

2B - Phillips ( Grade:A )

SS - Acquisition. Janish can field but not hit. Gonzo was C- material in 2007 when healthy. Kep is not a plus defender here.

3B - Kep keeps position warm until one of our good 3B prospects rises for the minors. ( Grade: B )

C - Acquisition. Hanigan is likely backup material.

OnBaseMachine
07-14-2008, 10:35 PM
Keppinger is terrible at 3B. No thanks there. Keep EdE at 3B until Todd Frazier or Neftali Soto is ready.

Raisor
07-14-2008, 10:39 PM
You know what this team needs? More team speed.

Earl Weaver, what do you think?


"Team speed, for [expletive], you get [expletive] [expletive] fleas on the [expletive] bases, getting picked off trying to steal, getting thrown out, taking runs away from you. You get them big [expletive] who can hit the [expletive] ball out the ballpark and you can't make any [expletive] mistakes."

I'm not sure that Earl agrees with me.

Big Klu
07-15-2008, 12:38 AM
You know what this team needs? More team speed.

Earl Weaver, what do you think?



I'm not sure that Earl agrees with me.

But what Alice really wants to know is when is the best time to put in your tomato plants.

letsgojunior
07-15-2008, 01:21 AM
Kind of missing my point. Until you've added those replacement level folks, you're starting at 300-ish runs.

With Dunn and Junior on the team, Reds are on pace to be -165 differential from the average NL playoff team. Dunn and Junior are on pace to create about 175 runs. Thats about 340 runs at a starting point. If you want to charge Dunn and Junior with 40 runs on the RA side, ok, that gets you to -300 runs as a starting point.

They're going to have to find those runs someplace.

Agreed. I never thought I would find myself saying this, but I think the Reds' primary weakness is now the offense.