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OnBaseMachine
09-04-2008, 11:13 AM
Reds notebook
Gonzalez still in picture for Reds; Shortstop plans to play winter ball

By John Fay jfay@enquirer.com September 4, 2008

Shortstop Alex Gonzalez was in the Reds' team picture Wednesday.

Years from now, people trying to match the stats to the faces might be confused, because Gonzalez hasn't played an inning this year.

He's been on the disabled list since spring training with a compression fracture in his left knee. He had surgery to repair the fracture July 7.

He hasn't begun to run or do baseball activities yet.

But his knee is completely pain-free.

"I'll start doing weights soon," he said. "Nothing major."

The plan is for him to be running by November.

"I'll hit a little then," he said. "If I'm 100 percent, I'll play some winter ball."

He said he'd probably play in the lower level of winter ball and be used only as a designated hitter to get some at-bats - sort of a winter rehab assignment.

"If I'm ready, I'll jump to the big team (in winter ball)," he said. "That's my plan for right now."

His health is one of the major issues for the Reds in the offseason. Gonzalez is due to make $5.375 million next year in the final year of his three-year contract.

He's probably Plan A at shortstop.

Jeff Keppinger, who filled in so well last year and early this year, has struggled since returning from a knee injury of his own.

Keppinger's on-base (.312) and slugging (.347) percentages are below what Gonzalez put up last year (.325, .468).

http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080904/SPT04/809040356/1071

Chip R
09-04-2008, 11:16 AM
Keppinger's on-base (.312) and slugging (.347) percentages are below what Gonzalez put up last year (.325, .468).




Ouch.

flyer85
09-04-2008, 11:22 AM
He's probably Plan A at shortstop.
another reminder on how short the organization is on overall talent.

redsfan30
09-04-2008, 11:34 AM
I knew Keppinger was struggling, but wow...didn't think it was that bad.

Crosley68
09-04-2008, 01:05 PM
I have no problem with AGon being Plan A for next year if healthy. Last years numbers (almost .800 ops) with IMO above average defense at SS would be dandy.

flyer85
09-04-2008, 01:06 PM
I have no problem with AGon being Plan A for next year if healthy. Last years numbers (almost .800 ops) with IMO above average defense at SS would be dandy.except his defense was not above average by any measure.

Matt700wlw
09-04-2008, 01:13 PM
He should be allowed to be in the mix...but 2 years older and 2 years away from baseball....

Roy Tucker
09-04-2008, 01:22 PM
Reds notebook
Gonzalez still in picture for Reds; Shortstop plans to play winter ball

By John Fay jfay@enquirer.com September 4, 2008

Shortstop Alex Gonzalez was in the Reds' team picture Wednesday.

Years from now, people trying to match the stats to the faces might be confused, because Gonzalez hasn't played an inning this year.

He's been on the disabled list since spring training with a compression fracture in his left knee. He had surgery to repair the fracture July 7.

He hasn't begun to run or do baseball activities yet.

But his knee is completely pain-free.

"I'll start doing weights soon," he said. "Nothing major."

The plan is for him to be running by November.

"I'll hit a little then," he said. "If I'm 100 percent, I'll play some winter ball."

He said he'd probably play in the lower level of winter ball and be used only as a designated hitter to get some at-bats - sort of a winter rehab assignment.

"If I'm ready, I'll jump to the big team (in winter ball)," he said. "That's my plan for right now."

His health is one of the major issues for the Reds in the offseason. Gonzalez is due to make $5.375 million next year in the final year of his three-year contract.

He's probably Plan A at shortstop.

Jeff Keppinger, who filled in so well last year and early this year, has struggled since returning from a knee injury of his own.

Keppinger's on-base (.312) and slugging (.347) percentages are below what Gonzalez put up last year (.325, .468).

http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080904/SPT04/809040356/1071

In none of this did they mention the year 2009. Gonzalez doesn't sound like someone who is pushing it at all. Frankly my dear, I don't think he gives a darn.

If I'm WJ, I'm lining up a new starting SS not named Keppinger or Hairston.

KronoRed
09-04-2008, 01:30 PM
Ouch.

Bench player, at least we learned it before giving him a long term deal like Mr.Farney.

OnBaseMachine
09-04-2008, 01:33 PM
If I'm WJ, I'm lining up a new starting SS not named Keppinger or Hairston.

Agreed. I'm hoping they go outside the organization. Chin-lung Hu is who I would be looking at.

Danny Serafini
09-04-2008, 01:50 PM
In none of this did they mention the year 2009. Gonzalez doesn't sound like someone who is pushing it at all. Frankly my dear, I don't think he gives a darn.

I seriously doubt he's talking about winter ball 2010. I really think you're making something out of nothing there.

RedsManRick
09-04-2008, 01:51 PM
The Gonzalez situation reveals one of Jocketty's key challenges; there simply aren't that many holes to be filled. It's counter-intuitive, but because we've got "decent" talent at so many spots, any improvement is going to have to come not just from adding good talent where we've got nothing, but from improvement over what we've already got. Now, a good deal of that could come from the young guys, namely Bruce, Votto, and EE and from the return to effectiveness of Harang and Arroyo. But it's going to take more than just adding a catcher and a LF.

Crosley68
09-04-2008, 02:14 PM
except his defense was not above average by any measure.

Well, I was originally speaking from only observation, but since you said "by any measure" I thought I would look for one. Zone rating has him in the upper half of both the NL and MLB in 2007 of all SS playing in at least 100 games.

Certainly you could argue that either way as ZR is flawed as is all other defensive measurements, but there seems to be a difference in opinion and fact that discredits a "not by any measure" statement.

GAC
09-04-2008, 02:46 PM
Bench player, at least we learned it before giving him a long term deal like Mr.Farney.

Hairston is looking over his shoulder though at a more solid deal since he is arb eligible. Wanna bet Dusty wants it? ;)

GAC
09-04-2008, 02:54 PM
Well, I was originally speaking from only observation, but since you said "by any measure" I thought I would look for one. Zone rating has him in the upper half of both the NL and MLB in 2007 of all SS playing in at least 100 games.

Certainly you could argue that either way as ZR is flawed as is all other defensive measurements, but there seems to be a difference in opinion and fact that discredits a "not by any measure" statement.

I agree. Most defensive matrix are very subjective and incomplete. IMO, the bottom line is that we have to pay Gonzo regardless, and I'd prefer Gonzo at SS over Keppinger. Even for only the '09 season. Maybe platooning both of them in '09 we can get a league average SS. ;)

But it is a position we are going to have to address. And one also has to consider what does the market look like this off-season at that position?

It's real easy for some to say that we need to go out and get a SS. Easier said then done. ;)

HokieRed
09-04-2008, 03:06 PM
If it's Gonzalez or Keppinger, it has to be Gonzalez. IMO, Keppinger has demonstrated he's not only not a starting SS but not a regular, period. He's a useful reserve and that's valuable. If Gonzalez cannot go, I hope we see an experiment of moving BP or a trade of BP (if necessary, together with somebody else) for a SS. With both Valaika and Richar, I think we've got a lot better chance to get a 2b who is better offensively than Keppinger and a better combination of defenders. Frankly I look for BP to be traded, as he's the best value we have that can be reasonably replaced from the farm system.

KronoRed
09-04-2008, 04:03 PM
Hairston is looking over his shoulder though at a more solid deal since he is arb eligible. Wanna bet Dusty wants it? ;)

I bet Dusty wants Corey back as well :D

Highlifeman21
09-04-2008, 04:42 PM
I bet Dusty wants Corey back as well :D

I assumed that was a given....

He'll need a CF and a leadoff hitter next year after all, since they'll probably send Dickerson back down to AAA.

Why they'd send Dickerson back down is beyond me, but I definitely see it happening.

KronoRed
09-04-2008, 04:58 PM
Why they'd send Dickerson back down is beyond me, but I definitely see it happening.

He strikes out too much :D

Highlifeman21
09-04-2008, 06:49 PM
He strikes out too much :D

So does Bruce.

Will he be the next young Red out of town, to continue the trend of Kearns and Dunn?

Roy Tucker
09-04-2008, 08:21 PM
I seriously doubt he's talking about winter ball 2010. I really think you're making something out of nothing there.

Yeah, I was being facetious about the year part.

But I don't get the idea that Gonzalez has a burning desire to return to the Reds. He came to ST this year with a knee injury and it seemed like he had had it for a while. And then his recovery has been very slow. I won't be surprised if we come to ST 2009 and his knee is still a problem.

From what we've seen this year, the Reds can't have too many shortstops.

All subjective opinion.

redsmetz
09-04-2008, 09:05 PM
I agree. Most defensive matrix are very subjective and incomplete. IMO, the bottom line is that we have to pay Gonzo regardless, and I'd prefer Gonzo at SS over Keppinger. Even for only the '09 season. Maybe platooning both of them in '09 we can get a league average SS. ;)

But it is a position we are going to have to address. And one also has to consider what does the market look like this off-season at that position?

It's real easy for some to say that we need to go out and get a SS. Easier said then done. ;)

Your last point is so true. In fact, I think that's why we got Gonzalez in the first place with a three year deal that would eliminate a position of need until we either developed someone better or could acquire someone better (either by trade or free agency). The fly in the ointment was the personal problems last year (and an injury) and the further injury this year. We really have not seen the Alex Gonzalez management had hoped for except for a very limited time.

If healthy, I'm fine with him fielding the position unless someone better becomes available.

GAC
09-05-2008, 06:24 AM
So does Bruce.

Will he be the next young Red out of town, to continue the trend of Kearns and Dunn?

Scary thought isn't it? :p:

That is one of my concerns about Baker.

Maybe I'm wrong, and if so then someone can correct me; but In his 10 seasons with the Giants, Baker did not develop a single everyday player? Unless one wants to count Aurilia.

Now he says the rap against him, when it comes to young players, asinine.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=crasnick_jerry&id=3428763

And to those that may contend that Baker was oblivious to the surplus of young talent when he signed a three-year deal in October, guess again...

"Heck yeah, that was one of the things that sold me," Baker said. "It was one of the things that sold me [with the Cubs]. Before I go someplace, I ask somebody to research for me what they got coming."


Enter a Hank Aaron reference....


"When I came up to the big leagues, I had Hank Aaron not only telling me what to do, but showing me what to do, and that was a blessing," Baker said. "I always yearned for a team full of young kids so I could teach them how to play."

And I think that is a valid concern when it comes to our young ballplayers... WHO is teaching them? And WHAT path is he directing them on?

With our limited options in '08 Baker hasn't been able to do too much other then giving the 1B job over to Votto, which I give him credit for.

He's shown patience with EE at 3B, but again, what other options did he have?

Baker seems to really emphasize the "little things". He strains for them while at times ignoring stats.

Let me reference a couple paragraphs from a blog on Baker and managing in general, and I'd like to know what people think about what the writer states concerning what level a manager does/does not make a difference as far as their influence/impact.

Are people getting all worked up over Baker over nothing?

http://jinaz-reds.blogspot.com/2007/10/dusty-baker.html

- In 2005, under Baker's leadership, batters hitting first in his lineups had the worst OBP (0.299) of any slot in their batting order aside from the pitcher's slot.

Prominent leadoff hitters that year included Jerry Hairston (0.336 OBP), Corey Patterson (0.254 OBP), Neifi Perez (0.298 OBP), Matt Lawton (0.289 OBP), and Jose Macias (0.274 OBP).

Look, I don't think a manager makes all that much difference in the long run. I think they're important in terms of maintaining order and a sense of confidence in the clubhouse. I think they're probably important in terms of how they manage their pitching staff's workload, especially in the bullpen. But I think that variance in manager skill, especially in terms of in-game strategy and lineup construction--the two most visible things a manager does--is rather small. It's not that managers can't make a difference in these areas. Rather, I think that most managers just do the same things that all the other ones do, which means that it doesn't matter much who you plug in at the helm as long as they have the confidence of their players.

On some level, the manager must matter, right? So looking at the things I know about Dusty Baker right now...well...I'm not super excited about this move. In fact, he seems to be exactly the sort of manager I was hoping the Reds wouldn't hire, i.e. someone who is apparently completely blind to anything that has been discovered about baseball since 1970. I mean, shoot, even Jerry Narron understood something about on base percentage in the leadoff spot.