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View Full Version : Can the Reds compete for a playoff spot in 2009?



OnBaseMachine
08-03-2008, 01:35 AM
Call me an optimist but I think they can with a few solid moves by Walt Jocketty. You may look at this curent team now and say heck no, they're no where near close to competing but I disagree. Aaron Harang has had a down season thanks to a forearm injury that seems to be getting better. Bronson Arroyo has had an awful season though he hasn't pitched as bad as his ERA suggests. Johnny Cueto has had his ups and downs. The defense has been in the bottom two all season in defensive efficiency. The offense has been pretty bad. Nearly everything that could go wrong has and yet the team record isn't a total disaster. The funny thing is, they are 27-28 against teams above .500 and a lowly 24-32 vs teams .500 or below. That gives me some hope.

Here's why I think they can compete next season:

Aaron Harang has been one of the best pitchers in the league since since 2005 and I fully expect him to get back to that level next season. Bronson Arroyo's ERA is ugly but he's also been a bit unlucky. His strong K/9 rate this season gives me hope that he can return to his 2006-2007 form. Edinson Volquez has developed into one of the best pitchers in baseball...every time he takes the mound I feel like he's capable of throwing shutout ball. Johnny Cueto has flashed brilliance at times, but like every rookie he has struggled mightily at times. I think with a year of experience under his belt he'll be ready to be an above average starter next season. That is four good starters right there. This is where Walt Jocketty steps in. The fifth starter spot is a big black hole right now. Josh Fogg isn't the man for the job and Homer isn't ready yet. Daryl Thompson has the stuff to fill the role but I'm not sure he's quite ready yet. Jocketty needs to acquire a decent fifth starter to fill out the rotation.

The bullpen is actually in good shape going forward IMO. Cordero has been a bit disappointing in the save department but his other numbers are actually pretty good except for the walk rate, which is a bit high for him. I think he'll be OK. Jared Burton has developed into one of the better setup men in baseball. Mike Lincoln is a solid guy to have in the pen. Josh Roenicke is ready to take over for Weathers. I like Bill Bray but I'd like to see Jocketty bring in another lefty to push Bray into the second lefty role. Damaso Marte would look nice in a Reds uni. Relief pitchers are a huge strength of the Reds farm system right now so the future of the pen looks good to me.

The offense and defense is the main weakness of this ballclub right now IMO. The offense could get better as Bruce and Votto will have a year under their belts. Dunn will most likely be back. Finding a leadoff hitter who can get on base and better lineup construction will get this offense back to above average IMO. Batting Griffey third and Phillips fourth has hurt, along with having terrible OBP's in the first and second slots. My recommendation is moving Brandon Phillips to SS to strengthen the middle infield defense and finding a catcher and center fielder through free agency or a trade. Walt usually does a pretty good job of finding hitters off the scraps.

A rotation of Volquez/Harang/Cueto/Arroyo/new acquisition led by a bullpen of Cordero/Burton/Bray/Roenicke is a strong pitching staff IMO and is good enough to reach the playoffs. Add in better defense in RF/SS/C and the pitching staff automatically gets better. Proper lineup construction and an offense led by Bruce, Dunn, and Votto could be solid enough to score enough runs for the pitching staff. Again, I may be an optimist but I don't think this team is as far off as some think.

Now let me have it.

Benihana
08-03-2008, 01:50 AM
I agree completely. Assuming Dunn is re-signed and Walt can find a CF who can bat leadoff, I see no reason why this team wouldn't be strongly in contention next season. While I agree with most of your suggestions, I'm not sure that Thompson can't handle the #5 spot. FWIW, I would be trying to pick up Rich Hill right now on the cheap.

As for the second lefty in the pen, I wouldn't be shocked to see Pelland or Maloney (as a swing man) in that role. I would rather see Walt dedicate all the savings this off-season to re-signing Adam Dunn to a 3 (or 4) year deal and signing a CF who can leadoff and be a real catalyst. As far as candidates go, I would guess Carl Crawford will get his option picked up. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Reds take on Juan Pierre or Andruw Jones, as long as they could be had for SIGNIFICANTLY less than they are making currently.

WVRedsFan
08-03-2008, 02:03 AM
I used to be an optimist, but that was a long time ago, and I see so many weaknesses that it looks hopeless.

Aaron Harang has been one of the best pitchers in the league since since 2005 and I fully expect him to get back to that level next season. Bronson Arroyo's ERA is ugly but he's also been a bit unlucky. His strong K/9 rate this season gives me hope that he can return to his 2006-2007 form. Edinson Volquez has developed into one of the best pitchers in baseball...every time he takes the mound I feel like he's capable of throwing shutout ball. Johnny Cueto has flashed brilliance at times, but like every rookie he has struggled mightily at times. I think with a year of experience under his belt he'll be ready to be an above average starter next season. That is four good starters right there. This is where Walt Jocketty steps in. The fifth starter spot is a big black hole right now. Josh Fogg isn't the man for the job and Homer isn't ready yet. Daryl Thompson has the stuff to fill the role but I'm not sure he's quite ready yet. Jocketty needs to acquire a decent fifth starter to fill out the rotation.
Totally agree, Obtaining a fifth starter is very important, but Harang is a question mark since his forearm problems and the overwork he has had to endure is troublesome at best. If he does not come back to form, we are hurting. Arroyo is on and off. Counting on him is foolish, but he's probably league average.


The bullpen is actually in good shape going forward IMO. Cordero has been a bit disappointing in the save department but his other numbers are actually pretty good except for the walk rate, which is a bit high for him. I think he'll be OK. Jared Burton has developed into one of the better setup men in baseball. Mike Lincoln is a solid guy to have in the pen. Josh Roenicke is ready to take over for Weathers. I like Bill Bray but I'd like to see Jocketty bring in another lefty to push Bray into the second lefty role. Damaso Marte would look nice in a Reds uni. Relief pitchers are a huge strength of the Reds farm system right now so the future of the pen looks good to me.
Cordero is reverting back to thw way he pitched in Texas and I see nothing to point to him what he did last year. Lots of questions here. Burton has been brilliant, but will he come back strong? Bray, regardless of what everyone on this board thinks, is suspect. He can blow up at any time with his straight fastball and tendency to leave it up in the zone. Lincoln is just Lincoln--not good or bad, but pretty bad. We need help here, especially if Weathers is not offered a contract, which I doubt he will be. Majewski should be let go, but if he returns, you have more kerosene for the fire.


The offense and defense is the main weakness of this ballclub right now IMO. The offense could get better as Bruce and Votto will have a year under their belts.
Remember, these guys are young and the sophomore slump might put them off track, but given current performance, this is a strong point.


Dunn will most likely be back.
I would hope so, but I get the feeling he will not. I think he will be gone next year, given comments by Jocketty and others.


Finding a leadoff hitter who can get on base and better lineup construction will get this offense back to above average IMO. Batting Griffey third and Phillips fourth has hurt, along with having terrible OBP's in the first and second slots. My recommendation is moving Brandon Phillips to SS to strengthen the middle infield defense and finding a catcher and center fielder through free agency or a trade. Walt usually does a pretty good job of finding hitters off the scraps.
Now you get to the crux of the problem. If a leadoff hitter can be found, this is a plus, but where do you play him? With Votto, Phillips, and Encarnacion already in the infield, and Gonzo supposedly coming back at short, no infielders need apply. It would have to be one of the outfield acquisitions, and that's a tough deal. My hope is they trade Gonzo or Encarnacion, but that might not happen. Tough job, Walt.

Phillips will not be moved to short ever. First off, he's established at second and secondly, no one in the organization is receptive to that. Finding a center fielder is easier said than done as is a good catcher. I do agree that Jocketty needs to work his magic to find both, but that's already many positions to find just to make us competitive? That's a job, my friend.


A rotation of Volquez/Harang/Cueto/Arroyo/new acquisition led by a bullpen of Cordero/Burton/Bray/Roenicke is a strong pitching staff IMO and is good enough to reach the playoffs. Add in better defense in RF/SS/C and the pitching staff automatically gets better.
What about third? EddieE already has the worst fielding percentage in the division and the most errors. Shouldn't that be a place for improvement? He also has the most errors among Central Division third baseman. That should be a place of concern despite his 20 HR's.


Proper lineup construction and an offense led by Bruce, Dunn, and Votto could be solid enough to score enough runs for the pitching staff. Again, I may be an optimist but I don't think this team is as far off as some think.

Now let me have it.

I hope you're right, but I fear you are wrong. Until the defencies of this team are addressed, including team defense, starting pitching, and players to be found in the outfield, shortstop, and catcher, we have a problem. Add to that the fodder we have on the bench and I wouldn't want to be Walt Jocketty. It's a big job. And since Jocketty is pushing 60, I hope he's up to the task.

OnBaseMachine
08-03-2008, 02:11 AM
Cordero is reverting back to thw way he pitched in Texas and I see nothing to point to him what he did last year. Lots of questions here. Burton has been brilliant, but will he come back strong? Bray, regardless of what everyone on this board thinks, is suspect. He can blow up at any time with his straight fastball and tendency to leave it up in the zone. Lincoln is just Lincoln--not good or bad, but pretty bad. We need help here, especially if Weathers is not offered a contract, which I doubt he will be. Majewski should be let go, but if he returns, you have more kerosene for the fire.

Cordero has a 3.35 ERA, 9.68 K/9, and a .680 OPS against. Those are all very good numbers. He's struggled in the save department but his other numbers are very good. I have no reason to believe he won't bounce back next season. As for Lincoln, he's been far from bad. He's got a 3.29 ERA in 52 innings with a strong 14 BB/45 K ratio and a .631 OPS against. He's not a relief ace by any means but I don't mind him him in the bullpen.




What about third? EddieE already has the worst fielding percentage in the division and the most errors. Shouldn't that be a place for improvement? He also has the most errors among Central Division third baseman. That should be a place of concern despite his 20 HR's.


Eddie's defensive is still concerning but I'm hoping with another year of experience he'll improve. If not, he'll likely be traded and replaced with Todd Frazier at some point.

WVRedsFan
08-03-2008, 02:24 AM
Cordero has a 3.35 ERA, 9.68 K/9, and a .680 OPS against. Those are all very good numbers. He's struggled in the save department but his other numbers are very good. I have no reason to believe he won't bounce back next season. As for Lincoln, he's been far from bad. He's got a 3.29 ERA in 52 innings with a strong 14 BB/45 K ratio and a .631 OPS against. He's not a relief ace by any means but I don't mind him him in the bullpen.
As FCB said, ERA is not a good statistic to measure a reliever, especially a closer by. The thing to look at is hits allowed and walks. In both categories, Codero has some improvement to do. He's walked more batters than he did all of last season and if you look at his last few appearances, he's allowing far more hits than before. It's a concern. I don't mind Lincoln in the bullpen either, but we are far from saying this is playoff caliber.


Eddie's defensive is still concerning but I'm hoping with another year of experience he'll improve. If not, he'll likely be traded and replaced with Todd Frazier at some point.
I've hoped for improvement for the last two years, and if anything he has regressed. I don't think it's physical, but mental. I hear no one works harder at improving, but still he doesn't. This is a position that needs to be addressed and I believe Jocketty will be looking at it hard.

I see so many places where this team just does not measure up. Hopefully Jocketty can work his magic, but until the mental part of the game can be harnassed, we still fail to be a contender.

OnBaseMachine
08-03-2008, 02:52 AM
As FCB said, ERA is not a good statistic to measure a reliever, especially a closer by. The thing to look at is hits allowed and walks. In both categories, Codero has some improvement to do. He's walked more batters than he did all of last season and if you look at his last few appearances, he's allowing far more hits than before. It's a concern. I don't mind Lincoln in the bullpen either, but we are far from saying this is playoff caliber.


I agree that ERA isn't a good statistic to judge a pitcher by, but his other numbers are solid. His OPS against is very good as is his K/9. The walks are a bit concerning but everything else is alright.

Caveat Emperor
08-03-2008, 04:50 AM
Can they? Sure anything is possible.

Will they? Not unless Walt does some serious work in the offseason to shore up the rotation and increase run production. The run-differential numbers simply aren't kind when it comes to assessing the ability of the Reds to transform this team in 1 year.

KronoRed
08-03-2008, 12:42 PM
The moves they need to make are the type GM's are lucky to pull off once every 2 or 3 years, to ask Walty to pull off 4 of them in one season is asking too much.

Falls City Beer
08-03-2008, 12:44 PM
The moves they need to make are the type GM's are lucky to pull off once every 2 or 3 years, to ask Walty to pull off 4 of them in one season is asking too much.

I think this is right.

They got the right man for the job, but this going to take--at minimum--two seasons and a healthy dose of luck.

Start on defense this offseason, and work up from there.

Will M
08-03-2008, 12:58 PM
ONLY if certain moves are made. we are missing a catcher who can catch, a shortstop with range, a 3rd baseman who can play some element of defense, a speedy centerfielder, a 5th starter & a leftfielder. ouch. IMO this team is going NOWHERE unless the defense improves dramatically. Moving Jr is not the solution, it is just step #1 of the solution.

1. catcher - is going to have to come via trade. None of our catchers can catch & Hanigan seems like a backup.
2. imo i would like to see Phillips at SS the rest of the way. for 2009 we could have Orlando Hudson, Marc Ellis, Kep, Hairston, Richar, Valaika at 2B but none of these is a SS. The free agent market is weak for SS. Gonzo's D was overrated.
3. EE needs to go. If we don't sign Dunn he could play LF. Hopefully we sign Dunn and EE can be trade bait. 3B comes via trade. I could see a healthy Gonzo getting some ABs here vs LHP but I think the Reds need a better option.
4. A fifth starter can hopefully be found via Maloney, Thompson or a cheapo free agent.
5. Dunn will hopefully be signed or failing this Tex or Burrel.

fearofpopvol1
08-03-2008, 01:05 PM
Not without a LOT of work in the offseason. There are a lot of holes to fix and it may be hard (if not impossible) to fix them all in an offseason.

cumberlandreds
08-03-2008, 05:26 PM
No they won't contend. They need a catcher,SS and CF. That's THE three key positions in the field. You don't normally acquire all three in an off season. If they get one of those I would be happy. That's not to mention they still need a lot of help in the bullpen.

SMcGavin
08-03-2008, 05:35 PM
Yes, I think they can compete in 2009.

WVRedsFan
08-03-2008, 05:36 PM
My guess is they're counting on Gonzo to fill the shortstop position (which is foolish, to say the least). That means they need a catcher and a center fielder. Of course I contend that they cannot win without a reliable 3rd sacker and another starter. Wow, to restate my position makes it sound worse. I quit.

redsmetz
08-03-2008, 06:44 PM
My guess is they're counting on Gonzo to fill the shortstop position (which is foolish, to say the least). That means they need a catcher and a center fielder. Of course I contend that they cannot win without a reliable 3rd sacker and another starter. Wow, to restate my position makes it sound worse. I quit.

I certainly think the plan had been to have Gonzo available the three years of the contract, although it would not have surprised me to see him moved during this off season. Now, of course, due to the circumstances of the last two season, I don't see that happening; although it's not out of the realm of possibility. I still believe it was a reasonable move when we signed him. Clearly between the situation with his son last season and the injury this year, it hasn't worked at all. I suspect that is why the unnamed FO person was saying they didn't see the spot as a priority right now. On one hand, I'd put it third on the list of C, CF and SS. The other two are most urgent, but if someone should come along that makes short a better spot for us, we should take it.

Strikes Out Looking
08-03-2008, 10:42 PM
If they play defense and hack like they did this weekend in D.C., they'll be looking up at Pittsburgh and Houston for a very long time.

Caveat Emperor
08-03-2008, 11:31 PM
If they play defense and hack like they did this weekend in D.C., they'll be looking up at Pittsburgh and Houston for a very long time.

It doesn't help when two of your top 4 hitters (Phillips and Keppinger) in the batting order are out-machines against RHP and you're facing a righty.

Ltlabner
08-04-2008, 10:27 AM
If they can replace the heaping helpings of suckness on the roster with even average production, and the youngsters continue to develop there's a chance they could be in "contention" (you can argue if fighting over 3rd place counts as contention).

However, that means we need a CF, C, SS and several pitching arms. And resign Dunn. And Harrang returns to health. And Arroyo takes some of the valleys out of his peak and valley approach to pitching. And no injuries. And Dusty is kidnapped.

Thats a pretty tall order. Don't see it happening.

BRM
08-04-2008, 11:12 AM
"Heaping helpings of suckness"? Nice one, Ltlabner. ;)

WebScorpion
08-04-2008, 11:25 AM
If they suck like this the rest of the year, the #1 draft pick might be able to help them get there. ;)

princeton
08-04-2008, 12:16 PM
compete?

it's a Dunn deal

Gonzalez will be very rested.

Spring~Fields
08-04-2008, 04:18 PM
Call me an optimist but I think they can with a few solid moves by Walt Jocketty. You may look at this curent team now and say heck no, they're no where near close to competing but I disagree. Aaron Harang has had a down season thanks to a forearm injury that seems to be getting better. Bronson Arroyo has had an awful season though he hasn't pitched as bad as his ERA suggests. Johnny Cueto has had his ups and downs. The defense has been in the bottom two all season in defensive efficiency. The offense has been pretty bad. Nearly everything that could go wrong has and yet the team record isn't a total disaster. The funny thing is, they are 27-28 against teams above .500 and a lowly 24-32 vs teams .500 or below. That gives me some hope.

Here's why I think they can compete next season:

Aaron Harang has been one of the best pitchers in the league since since 2005 and I fully expect him to get back to that level next season. Bronson Arroyo's ERA is ugly but he's also been a bit unlucky. His strong K/9 rate this season gives me hope that he can return to his 2006-2007 form. Edinson Volquez has developed into one of the best pitchers in baseball...every time he takes the mound I feel like he's capable of throwing shutout ball. Johnny Cueto has flashed brilliance at times, but like every rookie he has struggled mightily at times. I think with a year of experience under his belt he'll be ready to be an above average starter next season. That is four good starters right there. This is where Walt Jocketty steps in. The fifth starter spot is a big black hole right now. Josh Fogg isn't the man for the job and Homer isn't ready yet. Daryl Thompson has the stuff to fill the role but I'm not sure he's quite ready yet. Jocketty needs to acquire a decent fifth starter to fill out the rotation.

The bullpen is actually in good shape going forward IMO. Cordero has been a bit disappointing in the save department but his other numbers are actually pretty good except for the walk rate, which is a bit high for him. I think he'll be OK. Jared Burton has developed into one of the better setup men in baseball. Mike Lincoln is a solid guy to have in the pen. Josh Roenicke is ready to take over for Weathers. I like Bill Bray but I'd like to see Jocketty bring in another lefty to push Bray into the second lefty role. Damaso Marte would look nice in a Reds uni. Relief pitchers are a huge strength of the Reds farm system right now so the future of the pen looks good to me.

The offense and defense is the main weakness of this ballclub right now IMO. The offense could get better as Bruce and Votto will have a year under their belts. Dunn will most likely be back. Finding a leadoff hitter who can get on base and better lineup construction will get this offense back to above average IMO. Batting Griffey third and Phillips fourth has hurt, along with having terrible OBP's in the first and second slots. My recommendation is moving Brandon Phillips to SS to strengthen the middle infield defense and finding a catcher and center fielder through free agency or a trade. Walt usually does a pretty good job of finding hitters off the scraps.

A rotation of Volquez/Harang/Cueto/Arroyo/new acquisition led by a bullpen of Cordero/Burton/Bray/Roenicke is a strong pitching staff IMO and is good enough to reach the playoffs. Add in better defense in RF/SS/C and the pitching staff automatically gets better. Proper lineup construction and an offense led by Bruce, Dunn, and Votto could be solid enough to score enough runs for the pitching staff. Again, I may be an optimist but I don't think this team is as far off as some think.

Now let me have it.


Compete ? Contend ?

What do we know ?

We know:

I. ) Don’t ask Walt Jocketty to do the job or the project without giving him all of the tools to work with, without the complete and proper funding from the full support of the ownership and investors like they have done in the past with Bowden, Kullman, O’Brien and Krivsky.

II.) If the investors cannot afford the game of baseball at the professional level and the entertainment industry, then they need to get out and to go back to what they know best vegetables and bananas.
(And fans stop implying if not expressly stating that businessmen care more about winning baseball games than making a return on their investments and money, that is not even rational or logical, let alone realistic.)

1. ) Lessons from the present and the past should have taught us by now that the “we can get by with“, or the “maybe they or it will work out” type of thinking will not deliver the results that are needed.

2.) Regardless of what we think about the current pitching, bad, good or indifferent, we know the pitching would have and would be better, with better defense and offensive run support.

3.) We know that with a better defense that the runs scored/runs allowed differential would be reduced with a better defense.

4.) We know that it is necessary for the defensive player to also be able to provide offense.

5.) To ignore the above has shown itself to be a continuation of previous mistakes in thinking.
5a.) Cheap filler and fodder is inferior and inadequate in the face of the direct competition from within the division.

Cincinnati’s defense is the worst in their division.
That means that some of our favorite players are just not very good.
What we feel doesn’t matter, what we know does matter.
The defense needs to be dealt with.

Jocketty teams have had good catchers, centerfielders, shortstops, third basemen and adequate first and second basemen. I have to assume he will repeat his past if he has the tools at hand.

Contend or compete, see the Reds defense in comparison here:
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/stats/aggregate?statType=fielding&group=8

Do you want to judge pitching by hits and walks allowed vs ERA then accept the fact that the Reds need better starting and relief pitching, not only as an improvement over the Reds past, but more importantly in comparison to the direct competition from their competitors in their division. This dismissing or going into denial about the competitors needs to stop, they are real and they are beating the Reds every season, the Reds either do a better job than they are or forget the annual winning team confab until they do.

See the pitching as it is here.
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/stats/aggregate?sort=hits&split=0&group=8&season=2008&seasonType=2&statType=pitching&type=reg

Fogg, Belisle, Coffey, Majewski, Bailey types, the major leagues is not the place for them to practice pitching. Major league baseball requires the pitcher to have already acquired the necessary skills through their little league, high school/college, A, AA, AAA experiences. If they can’t give the Reds the type of innings that the Red’s need, or the situational pitching then the Reds don’t need them. If other teams don’t want them, then the Reds don’t need them.

Looking for a number five will not work, looking for and obtaining another number one, two or three will, while making an Arroyo the Reds number five. Can’t afford expensive pitching or the risk? Then the Reds won’t be contending.

There is no cheap pitching in major league baseball, even bad pitching is expensive, either way through money or performance there is a significant cost, get past that, and either or both develop it in the minor league system or be willing to buy it or trade for it on the market.

Bullpen, there are several options on the free agent market, and that is what Jocketty was brought in for, to either buy it or trade for it.

Don’t make Jocketty go dumpster diving like Bowden, O’Brien and Krivsky had to, history and the win loss column has strongly suggested that does not work.

Chicago, Houston, St. Louis, and Milwaukee will not wait until the Reds owners figure that out.


6.) It is a mistake to let one’s comfort zone or a love for an individual player, to influence or dictate the moves or decisions, just as much as allowing the fear of risk or loss to rule one’s thinking.

If Votto, EE, Dunn or one of the catchers cannot field their positions, then you have already hired the right man to find replacements for them, then trust Jocketty to be able to find upgrades for any, any player that is currently with the Reds, trust Jocketty to improve or to overcome those deficiencies by obtaining other talent that can field and produce runs. If Jocketty and his staff cannot be trusted, then why are they here? Has he all of a sudden forgotten what he knew when he was with St. Louis?

See the fielding culprits here
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/teams/fielding?team=cin&cat=errors&season=2008&seasonType=2

7.) To ignore Edwin Encarncion, Joey Votto, Adam Dunn, the shortstop and catching position with the defensive weaknesses for whatever reasoning is a mistake. Player types such as Gonzalez, Freel, Hopper, Hairston, Janish or a Cabrera are not the answer. Injuries or personal problems causing them to become unreliable, offensive and defensive lapses along with dollars on the DL are to be avoided. Jocketty will not overlook the problems that these players have exhibited.

8.) To ignore that the team has centerfielders in Corey Patterson and a backup Dickerson can be a mistake. Corey Patterson and his fielding has not been a problem, a manager that insisted in a fixated and obsessed manner in batting him leadoff has been the problem. Patterson has a history of being able to produce with a bat, batting down in the order.

3 year historical facts, ie stats.
Batting #1 .212 .256 .338 .594
Batting #6 .303 .335 .426 .761
Batting #7 .272 .320 .475 .795
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/splits?playerId=4239&type=batting3

Unless the general manager can truly find a better option in centerfield. That is if the owners will fund it, you want better numbers in CF then have faith in Jocketty to find it, and make sure that Castellini will pay for it. Otherwise, the general manager needs to “deal with it” and to correct his field manager on the issues of the use of Corey Patterson. Just because a CF appears next to your name, does not mean that you should be getting more PA/AB than other batters who can get on base at a higher percentage of time, place Patterson in the order where history has shown that he is a better performer, and don’t ignore it on some if come or maybe thinking.

9.) The lead off batter is a bit of a myth, they only lead off in the first inning, then it becomes random or an inconsistent pattern of who will lead off in the following innings. The first four spots in the order get the most PA/AB, those spots have to have players who can command a higher OBP and SLG. The general manager must “deal with it”, make his field manager grasp and understand that simple fact and act on it with what he has to work with. CF, SS, Respect, and something that bats right handed is not a prerequisite for a batting order. The ability to get on base a higher percentage of time and to drive in those are.

A.) The team has a lead off batter that needs work on plate discipline and some serious instructions from the field “boss”, Baker, about how he will approach his AB. Phillips can bunt, can hit to all fields, can hit for the single, double and the homerun, and has the speed to beat out infield grounders or to steal a base. Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn or a future mature Jay Bruce, Phillips is not, get him out of the cleanup spot and stop enabling or feeding his weaknesses at the plate. Baker with his age and experience should be able to get into Phillips head and be able to make a positive improvement to help Phillips become better. Persuade Phillips to focus on his OBP instead of HR and SB numbers and maybe the “C” and the positive attention that he desires might come, once he has earned it.

The team has one player that exhibit’s the skills of a good shortstop and that is Phillips, the team also has several second basemen in Cabrera, Hairston, Keppinger, Gonzalez and Freel if one just wants a player that can get in the way of a base hit. If the team wants a good shortstop in a market that has limited shortstops and a good second basemen then the Reds need to go after Orlando Hudson a gold glover that can hit, or Mark Ellis and move Phillips to short now to prepare him for next season.
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/splits?playerId=5086&type=batting3
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/splits?playerId=5029&type=batting3


Dickerson for the price would be an adequate backup in center, left or right. The injury prone Hairston and Freel or Hopper a one dimensional offensively challenged player, are not wise options if we listen to what history has taught us regardless of our feelings. “Well they are cheap filler and fodder”, is not a good enough rationalization or generalization to build a winning team, those are cop outs for a lack of a better answer and a real solution.

Edwin Encarcion is not the answer at third base, he can scoop or field grounders and catch line drives, then he is either a first baseman or an outfielder. Move him to first and take away the majority of his throws, move him up in the batting order and surround him with better hitters and see if his bat becomes more consistent or trade him. Votto, if Dunn is going to leave needs practice in left or Votto needs to become a trading chip, baseball has a lot of first basemen that can hit for power, they are waiting in line in the minors to get a chance in the majors in various teams farm systems. Going cheap again? Gonzalez or Keppinger is your third baseman then, Hairston your second baseman and Phillips your shortstop with the injurious Freel as a backup and winning is not a priority.

Catcher, I have no clue, I am sure that Baker does, in a Bako or Barrett, just say no to Dusty’s whims of the Merckers, Pattersons, Bako’s and Hairstons of the Cubs world and that will be an upgrade by subtraction.
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/stats?playerId=3937
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/splits?playerId=3829&type=batting3

In the last two years with the Cubs Dusty and his ideas were not the answer if the results mean anything and they had deeper pockets and a higher payroll than the Reds, some might even argue better players.
2005
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/standings?date=20051004
2006
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/standings?date=20061010

Dunn, Votto, and Bruce alone are not enough to contend or to compete if one is speaking of a good winning team no more than a Larkin, Griffey and Casey were, or Griffey, Dunn team were. It needs to be a complete team, a team with supporting cast members surrounding the other quality players on this team of your choice, but without those quality supporting cast members, no the Reds will not contend. The Cubs, Cardinals, Brewers are and will be, and eventually the Astro’s will.

The Reds do not have in their minor league system players that are major league ready to the equivalent of a Jay Bruce or Joey Votto; and we have seen what the two rookies bring until they have more experience and have matured at the major league level, so the minor league players are some time off, if not years away, if they can make the leap to the major league level when their time comes. So Jocketty will have to either buy it or trade for it, for the Reds to compete let alone contend.

I believe that Chicago, St. Louis, and Milwaukee are a few years ahead of the Reds and that Houston will improve in getting players to go along with the ones that they have now and that this group of teams will compete and contend. It will take a lot more than discount hotdogs and tickets, covered with words from Castellini and Baker for the Reds to contend. I prefer Hudson, Tex and CC to words, can’t afford them, then why talk about it any further.

coachw513
08-04-2008, 05:23 PM
First, well constructed and thought out post...


I. ) Donít ask Walt Jocketty to do the job or the project without giving him all of the tools to work with, without the complete and proper funding from the full support of the ownership and investors like they have done in the past with Bowden, Kullman, OíBrien and Krivsky.

II.) If the investors cannot afford the game of baseball at the professional level and the entertainment industry, then they need to get out and to go back to what they know best vegetables and bananas.



Looking for a number five will not work, looking for and obtaining another number one, two or three will, while making an Arroyo the Reds number five. Canít afford expensive pitching or the risk? Then the Reds wonít be contending.
There is no cheap pitching in major league baseball, even bad pitching is expensive, either way through money or performance there is a significant cost


It will take a lot more than discount hotdogs and tickets, covered with words from Castellini and Baker for the Reds to contend. I prefer Hudson, Tex and CC to words, canít afford them, then why talk about it any further.

Dead on point...

Will M
08-04-2008, 06:07 PM
First, well constructed and thought out post...



Dead on point...

The free agent market doesn't always have what you need. For example there are no catchers or shortstops available who play top defense and can hit a little. What there seems to be this year is pitching. Lets say the Reds push hard for CC, Sheets or Burnett. Or even guys like Lowe or Moyer. That gives us a pretty sweet rotation. Then the Reds could trade guys like Homer, Thompson & Maloney for needs elsewhere ( C-SS-3B-CF ).