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View Full Version : Who advances to the bigs in '09?



Kc61
09-06-2008, 11:26 AM
First, there are the guys already getting a look-see. Dickerson has a good chance. Wilkin Castillo good chance as a 25th man type. Ramon Ramirez will likely compete for a long relief spot, maybe with Nick Massett. Hanigan should be with the Reds. Rosales (now back at AAA) would seem a possibility to ride the interstate between AAA and Cincy next year.

Next, the guys at AAA. Main area is bullpen. Herrera and Pelland from left side; Roenicke and Fisher from the right side. I doubt that most will be at Louisville next year. One or more may be traded. One or more may be Reds, or at least will get a real shot in the spring.

Homer or Maloney? I don't see either of them starting out with the Reds out of spring training next year. (Maybe Homer breaks through next year and comes up when a starter is injured or struggles.)

Micah Owings -- expect him to compete for a long relief or fifth starter spot with the Reds. Massett, Ramirez, Owings gives the Reds some new depth in that area.

AAA position players. IMO Janish will either be on the Reds' bench next year or gone. I've been a big supporter, I'd like to see him on the Reds' bench as a defensive utility guy.

Danny Richar? My guess is he gets a spring look-see and could hang on, but only with a great spring.

Stubbs? Probably starts at AAA next year. Cumberland? AAA to begin.

AA players? I don't think any have serious chances to make the Red since the team has aggressively moved them up to AAA if near ready. If Valaika or Turner move to AAA and do well, either could be an early call up.

camisadelgolf
09-06-2008, 11:34 AM
I think you pretty much covered. Someone could always come along and shock some people, but that's the key word. I'd be shocked if, say, Ben Jukich, Sam LeCure, Shaun Cumberland, Craig Tatum, Robert Manuel, etc. forced his way onto the roster. Stranger things have happened, though.

OnBaseMachine
09-06-2008, 12:24 PM
I look for both Josh Roenicke and Carlos Fisher to be apart of the Reds 25-man roster coming out of spring training.

kpresidente
09-06-2008, 12:59 PM
Rosales is a possibility, especially if Freel is traded. I also like that you mention Richar. He's ML ready, so if he had a good spring he could make the club. It helps that he bats left-handed.

mth123
09-06-2008, 01:33 PM
I think a lot depends on who the Reds acquire from outside. Assuming no acquisitions, the pitching staff would have some new faces:

Harang, Arroyo, Cueto, Volquez, Owings, Masset, Fisher, Herrera, Roenicke, Bray, Burton and Cordero.

My hope is the Reds bring in one more mid-rotation starter and the quartet of Masset, Owings, Fisher and Roenicke probably are fighting for 3 spots with Ramirez also in the mix. Herrera probably makes it as the second lefty in the pen with Bray, with Pelland and maybe Viola eventually pushing for a spot. If they all have good springs, Bray shouldn't be a lock IMO but he will be I'd guess.

Of the position players, acquisitions and Alex Gonzalez health will impact who makes it. Assuming no acquistions and Gonzalez is healthy then

Hanigan, Castillo, Votto, Phillips, Gonzalez, Encarnacion, Keppinger, Bruce, Freel and Dickerson look like locks. Hopper is probably a lock as well, but I'd bet he could be sent down if the Reds acquire a RH bat for LF and Freel stays healthy. The last two spots probably go to Rosales and Richar.

Realistically, the Reds will probably acquire one corner bat, a SS and a C. That would probably push Rosales off the team. There will probably be some one on the DL saving two of Hopper, Castillo and Richar, I'd guess Hopper stays, Richar stays and Castillo goes down. If the team needs more LH hitting on the bench Hopper could go down and both Richar and Castillo could stay.

SMcGavin
09-06-2008, 01:44 PM
From the relievers, I'd put Roenicke and Herrera in the bullpen to start the year. Carlos Fisher has a chance too but I like him a little less than those two. I think the Reds could build a good bullpen competely in-house without spending any FA dollars, which certainly is a nice change.

mth123
09-06-2008, 01:58 PM
From the relievers, I'd put Roenicke and Herrera in the bullpen to start the year. Carlos Fisher has a chance too but I like him a little less than those two. I think the Reds could build a good bullpen competely in-house without spending any FA dollars, which certainly is a nice change.

Agree and Zack Stewart and even Mace Thurman could be in the picture by the end of 2009. Lots of starters who may fill pen roles as well (Bailey shouldn't be one of them IMO) Ramirez, Maloney and Lecure may all wind up as relief pitchers. Robert Manuel, Pedro Viola, Ty Pelland and Sean Watson are in the mix before the '09 season ends as well.

Affeldt, Weathers, Fogg, Lincoln, Majewski, Belisle and Coffey probably have no place. Add the savings from Kent Mercker's retirement and Mike Stanton's buy out that comes off the books and that is about $12 Million in payroll freed up for other uses.

ChatterRed
09-06-2008, 03:44 PM
I'd like to see more of Ramirez this September to see if he's ready for the #5 starter slot.

redhawk61
09-06-2008, 04:41 PM
I am going to say both Valaika and Ivan De Jesus get their shot late next year to be the middle IF of the future (http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?n=Ivan%20De%20Jesus&pos=SS&sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=474443, as some might know I am quite fond of him:thumbup:) De Jesus is blocked by Furcal(who I see back in LA) and Hu. Walt deals a quality piece or two who aren't vital to our success and recieve De Jesus. He and Valaika get to work with one another through most of next year at developling a dynamic middle infield duo to turn DP's like no other, then BP is dealt for a nice stable of prospects and the Ivan and Chris dream team beings.
:pray: Someone please tell me my dream has a chance :pray:

Kc61
09-06-2008, 05:37 PM
I'd like to see more of Ramirez this September to see if he's ready for the #5 starter slot.

We really have to stop thinking in terms of number five starters. As Harang showed this year, anyone can wind up being a number five in a given year. You can't count on everyone having a good year.

Having a "planned number five" means that you are four deep in starting pitching. With injury, bad years, etc., not a great plan.

I want the Reds next year to have Harang, Arroyo, Cueto, Volquez, and another good starter. One of them will wind up being a number five either by injury, bad performance, bad luck, whatever.

Then a couple of guys like Ramirez, Massett, perhaps Owings, can be long-middle relievers who can start. One of them, perhaps, is at AAA with Bailey as further backups.

That's depth at starter which is what this team needs. No matter what other teams do, the Reds have a proven inability to get by on even four "good" starters.

mth123
09-06-2008, 06:37 PM
We really have to stop thinking in terms of number five starters. As Harang showed this year, anyone can wind up being a number five in a given year. You can't count on everyone having a good year.

Having a "planned number five" means that you are four deep in starting pitching. With injury, bad years, etc., not a great plan.

I want the Reds next year to have Harang, Arroyo, Cueto, Volquez, and another good starter. One of them will wind up being a number five either by injury, bad performance, bad luck, whatever.

Then a couple of guys like Ramirez, Massett, perhaps Owings, can be long-middle relievers who can start. One of them, perhaps, is at AAA with Bailey as further backups.

That's depth at starter which is what this team needs. No matter what other teams do, the Reds have a proven inability to get by on even four "good" starters.

KC, were on the same page lately. :thumbup:

Betterread
09-06-2008, 07:21 PM
We really have to stop thinking in terms of number five starters. As Harang showed this year, anyone can wind up being a number five in a given year. You can't count on everyone having a good year.

Having a "planned number five" means that you are four deep in starting pitching. With injury, bad years, etc., not a great plan.


I don't understand your point. If Harang is part of the four deep then he's not a #5. As you said, the Reds have four legitimate starters. That's a good situation. Unless you're saying that what you want is more than 4 legitimate starters. Everyone knows that 5 or 6 is greater than 4. However, many teams wish they were in that position of having 4 starters. The fact that the Reds did not win was not due to poor starting pitching.

SMcGavin
09-06-2008, 07:42 PM
I don't understand your point. If Harang is part of the four deep then he's not a #5. As you said, the Reds have four legitimate starters. That's a good situation. Unless you're saying that what you want is more than 4 legitimate starters. Everyone knows that 5 or 6 is greater than 4. However, many teams wish they were in that position of having 4 starters. The fact that the Reds did not win was not due to poor starting pitching.

Actually, it was. The NL average for starting pitchers is 4.43 ERA, and the Reds have gotten a 5.07 ERA from their starters. I'm of the opinion a lot of that is due to bad luck and a rotating stable of ridiculously awful fifth starters, but a big (perhaps the biggest) reason the Reds are bad this season is that they've gotten poor results from the SPs.

mth123
09-06-2008, 07:50 PM
Actually, it was. The NL average for starting pitchers is 4.43 ERA, and the Reds have gotten a 5.07 ERA from their starters. I'm of the opinion a lot of that is due to bad luck and a rotating stable of ridiculously awful fifth starters, but a big (perhaps the biggest) reason the Reds are bad this season is that they've gotten poor results from the SPs.

...Fueled largely by one of the worst defensive team performances in memory. Even the guys who are supposed to be the improvements (I'm talking about you Mr. Bruce) look pretty bad.

SMcGavin
09-06-2008, 08:26 PM
...Fueled largely by one of the worst defensive team performances in memory. Even the guys who are supposed to be the improvements (I'm talking about you Mr. Bruce) look pretty bad.

Defense is the difference between 4.43 and 5.07?

Kc61
09-06-2008, 08:48 PM
I don't understand your point. If Harang is part of the four deep then he's not a #5. As you said, the Reds have four legitimate starters. That's a good situation. Unless you're saying that what you want is more than 4 legitimate starters. Everyone knows that 5 or 6 is greater than 4. However, many teams wish they were in that position of having 4 starters. The fact that the Reds did not win was not due to poor starting pitching.

I don't really care what other teams have. What the Reds have in the rotation hasn't worked for years and, unfortunately, didn't work in 2008.

Why? Lack of depth.

Four legitimate starters is only a good situation if they are backed up by three additional capable starters. Guys who you can use if somebody does poorly, gets hurt, has a bad year. One in the rotation, one in long relief, one (or even two) more at AAA.

This year is a perfect example. On paper, Arroyo, Harang, Volquez, Cueto looks good. Let's just fill it out with Belisle, or Fogg, or somebody. Doesn't matter, few teams have good fifth starters.

That logic leads to disaster. Why? Harang is 4-15. Arroyo just got below 5.00. Cueto has been a good rookie but doesn't have winning numbers. Only Volquez has really held up his end all year.

And what's in reserve? Belisle. Fogg. An unready Bailey. Not enough.

Planning for four good starters without high level depth doesn't work because the four guys will almost always have a weak link or two in a particular year.

Getting another starter should be a priority for the Reds. Harang, Arroyo, Cueto and Volquez sound good, but to get them all going well together is a real challenge and the team needs depth in this critical area.

mth123
09-06-2008, 09:21 PM
Defense is the difference between 4.43 and 5.07?

A lot of extra baserunners and a lot of extra wear and tear. I think defense has destroyed this staff.

Kc61
09-06-2008, 09:26 PM
A lot of extra baserunners and a lot of extra wear and tear. I think defense has destroyed this staff.

The poor defense hasn't helped, but the pitchers helped do themselves in.

Arroyo has allowed 25 homers. Cueto 27 homers. Harang 31 homers.

Volquez has the same defense and has done much better.

The team needs to continue to improve its pitching. They have four good starters but only one had a really good season in 2008.

mth123
09-06-2008, 09:40 PM
The poor defense hasn't helped, but the pitchers helped do themselves in.

Arroyo has allowed 25 homers. Cueto 27 homers. Harang 31 homers.

Volquez has the same defense and has done much better.

The team needs to continue to improve its pitching. They have four good starters but only one had a really good season in 2008.

Agreed, but I don't think anything happens in a vacuum. Volquez is a ground ball guy and the poor defense impacts him in a different way. The fly ball guys are going to give up some homers, but they do more damage when the routine flies fall in for base hits when outs should be recorded. The wear and tear has an effect on the subsequent pitches and guys make more mistakes in long innings especially when they are most likely frustrated when they know they should be in the dugout. This season was probably the worst OF defense I've ever seen with Griffey in particular being the worst defender I can ever recall seeing at any position. The catching has been putrid and three of the 4 infielders have been totally inadequate. Its a sad state of affairs when 75% of the infield defense is awful and that is the defense's strong suit.

I just don't think we can porject this year's horrible results to the future given the extreme circumstances that this defense has created. For the record, I think the team needs to add another middle of the rotation starter, but the other guys won't be this bad if they can get a reasonable chance at batted balls becoming outs at a more normal rate.

Kc61
09-06-2008, 11:14 PM
Agreed, but I don't think anything happens in a vacuum. Volquez is a ground ball guy and the poor defense impacts him in a different way. The fly ball guys are going to give up some homers, but they do more damage when the routine flies fall in for base hits when outs should be recorded. The wear and tear has an effect on the subsequent pitches and guys make more mistakes in long innings especially when they are most likely frustrated when they know they should be in the dugout. This season was probably the worst OF defense I've ever seen with Griffey in particular being the worst defender I can ever recall seeing at any position. The catching has been putrid and three of the 4 infielders have been totally inadequate. Its a sad state of affairs when 75% of the infield defense is awful and that is the defense's strong suit.

I just don't think we can porject this year's horrible results to the future given the extreme circumstances that this defense has created. For the record, I think the team needs to add another middle of the rotation starter, but the other guys won't be this bad if they can get a reasonable chance at batted balls becoming outs at a more normal rate.


I agree entirely. But also keep in mind that beyond the "big four" the Reds have very little in the way of solid starting pitching. This was true last year as well, when only Harang and Arroyo (half season) pitched consistently well. Guys like Milton/Dumatrait/Livingston/Shearn/Fogg/Belisle/and yes, Bailey have started a lot of games in the last two years.

So improve the defense, for sure, but folks shouldn't think this team is set in the starting pitching department. Another ground ball type should round out this rotation, again somebody with a good track record. With Ramon R and Massett as swing men in the pen, and with Bailey and others getting ready at AAA.

Mario-Rijo
09-07-2008, 03:58 AM
I agree entirely. But also keep in mind that beyond the "big four" the Reds have very little in the way of solid starting pitching. This was true last year as well, when only Harang and Arroyo (half season) pitched consistently well. Guys like Milton/Dumatrait/Livingston/Shearn/Fogg/Belisle/and yes, Bailey have started a lot of games in the last two years.

So improve the defense, for sure, but folks shouldn't think this team is set in the starting pitching department. Another ground ball type should round out this rotation, again somebody with a good track record. With Ramon R and Massett as swing men in the pen, and with Bailey and others getting ready at AAA.

So I assume you think that Owings, Bailey, Thompson, Maloney, Ramirez have little chance of contributing next year, is that so? I can certainly see adding 1 more experienced arm however I cannot imagine that we won't be able to get 1 of those guys to man 1 spot in the rotation. I think we already have our starting 5 set at least in the minds of the F.O., just a hunch but what I expect assuming Owings isn't damaged goods. These 5 and in that order most likely. However I wouldn't mind seeing a guy like Randy Wolf brought in to A.) give us a LHSP and B.) a quality guy who can be easily moved if need be.

Harang
Volquez
Arroyo
Cueto
Owings

With the other aforementioned chomping at the bit at AAA to steal a job that's a minimum of 8 maybe 9 deep. With a solid Vet like Wolf we are talking 10 deep and think all 10 can give us some quality innings, some more than others obviously.

Anyhow I expect Cumberland, Stubbs, Dorn to compete for a possible 5th OF type out of ST with Cumberland the frontrunner in my eyes, unless Freel is that 5th guy but being used again as IF/OF.

I'm not quite sure which veteran bullpen guys return but I am expecting both Weathers and Lincoln (not as sure about Affledt) to have an offer of some sort and Lincoln being in the fight for last spot or 2 with the likes of Ramirez, Roenicke, Fisher, Geronimo. I like Ramirez as that long man so I expect he has a better than avg shot as the last guy so Lincoln against the youth w/ Geronimo with the early look IMO.

On the IF Rosales and Janish have outside chances to make it. I don't foresee Wilkin Castillo up at all next year except for on a 2 way tram all season in case of injuries to a catcher.

So that's Bailey, Thompson, Maloney, Ramirez, Owings (if he doesn't make the club initially) Stubbs, Cumberland, Dorn, Roenicke, Herrera, Fisher, Geronimo, Rosales, Janish, Richar, Castillo with a fairly reasonable chance of making it up at some point for who knows how much time.

And these guys who have a shot albeit remote at making it next year if nothing more than cameos or september call ups. Valaika, Henry, Alonso, Tatum, Gutierrez, Viola, Frazier. That's about it in a nutshell. I would say Tyler Pelland but I think he is let go in the offseason, just a hunch. I also expect a few others I have mentioned here to be moved but who knows which ones so I just listed everyone who has any shot.

Kc61
09-07-2008, 09:16 AM
[QUOTE=Mario-Rijo;1735833]So I assume you think that Owings, Bailey, Thompson, Maloney, Ramirez have little chance of contributing next year, is that so? I can certainly see adding 1 more experienced arm however I cannot imagine that we won't be able to get 1 of those guys to man 1 spot in the rotation. I think we already have our starting 5 set at least in the minds of the F.O., just a hunch but what I expect assuming Owings isn't damaged goods. These 5 and in that order most likely. However I wouldn't mind seeing a guy like Randy Wolf brought in to A.) give us a LHSP and B.) a quality guy who can be easily moved if need be.

Harang
Volquez
Arroyo
Cueto
Owings

QUOTE]

I absolutely think that this is insufficient. There is nobody in the minor leagues, including Owings, who should be a front line starter next year -- unless the Reds intend another "building" year. The Reds absolutely need another solid experienced starting pitcher.

Owings has a 5.93 ERA with the DBacks in 104 innings this year. If you count on him, don't you risk a 6 plus ERA at GABP? How does that help?

Maloney, Bailey and Thompson haven't shown readiness to be a regular Reds starter right out of spring training. Ramirez has exceeded expectations but I wouldn't plan on him pitching every fifth day for six or seven major league innings. Long man in the pen, sure.

Even Johnny Cueto is no sureshot for next year. He's shown flashes of excellence this year and should eventually be fine, but he gives up a lot of long balls and hasn't had winning numbers this season.

Reds lack starters with ground ball tendencies. If I were them, I would spend for a guy like Derrick Lowe, who (I've heard) will be a free agent and may be at a point where he would be happy with the Reds if they give him a good contract. Then let the kids earn their way into the rotation over time.

Every rotation spot accounts for about 30 starts a year. You can't just say, oh, it's a fifth starter, we'll get those games from somebody. This kind of plan has failed for the Reds for years.

Betterread
09-07-2008, 10:22 AM
Actually, it was. The NL average for starting pitchers is 4.43 ERA, and the Reds have gotten a 5.07 ERA from their starters. I'm of the opinion a lot of that is due to bad luck and a rotating stable of ridiculously awful fifth starters, but a big (perhaps the biggest) reason the Reds are bad this season is that they've gotten poor results from the SPs.

Thank you for supplying the numbers, which don't surprise me. I still think the starting pitching was OK this year (not above average, but an improvement over recent years) with 2 young arms revealing ML ability and health for 4 starters. Really, only Harang has had a disappointing campaign (I think this is about what you'll get from Arroyo - maybe slightly better numbers but he makes every start and can sometimes really impress). I definitely think the SP stats were damaged by the putrid #5 spot - I think the overall data on the starters is compromised by that spot.

Betterread
09-07-2008, 10:27 AM
I don't really care what other teams have. What the Reds have in the rotation hasn't worked for years and, unfortunately, didn't work in 2008.

Why? Lack of depth.

Four legitimate starters is only a good situation if they are backed up by three additional capable starters. Guys who you can use if somebody does poorly, gets hurt, has a bad year. One in the rotation, one in long relief, one (or even two) more at AAA.



On paper we have that right now. Owings was a #5 starter for a very good team for about 2 years, then there's still hope for Bailey and Thompson's talent to emerge in some acceptable performance. The issue is that that they are not proven starters - they could fail and no-one would be amazed. But the candidates for the 5 spot are there.

SMcGavin
09-07-2008, 11:12 AM
I definitely think the SP stats were damaged by the putrid #5 spot - I think the overall data on the starters is compromised by that spot.

Yeah, there is no denying that. When the average is 5.07, and the top four guys went like this:

Volquez 3.12 (29 GS)
Cueto 4.77 (28 GS)
Arroyo 4.84 (30 GS)
Harang 5.24 (25 GS)

Obviously something there is weird. And here it is:
Fogg 8.23 (14 GS)
Bailey 7.93 (8 GS)
Belisle 7.28 (6 GS)
Thompson 6.91 (3 GS)

That's 31 starts with a collective ERA upwards of 7.50. I don't really need to state how bad that is.

So I agree with what KC is saying, I would try to add another average pitcher this offseason. Even though I still like Matt Maloney a lot, I would rather have him in AAA for depth than to count on him from day one. Somebody will get hurt next season, you need more than five pitchers who can get the job done.

Highlifeman21
09-07-2008, 12:53 PM
Defense is the difference between 4.43 and 5.07?

Lack of talent is the difference between 4.43 and 5.07.

Defense is the scapegoat.

OnBaseMachine
09-07-2008, 01:03 PM
That 5.07 ERA can improve quickly. All it will take is Aaron Harang getting healthy and returning to form (and I think he will) and Johnny Cueto continuing to get better. Add in a new ace in Edinson Volquez and a solid innings eater like Arroyo and you have a very good 1-4 rotation. Now just add a decent fifth starter (Micah Owings?) and you have yourself one of the better rotations in the league IMO.

mth123
09-07-2008, 01:15 PM
That 5.07 ERA can improve quickly. All it will take is Aaron Harang getting healthy and returning to form (and I think he will) and Johnny Cueto continuing to get better. Add in a new ace in Edinson Volquez and a solid innings eater like Arroyo and you have a very good 1-4 rotation. Now just add a decent fifth starter (Micah Owings?) and you have yourself one of the better rotations in the league IMO.

Yep.

mth123
09-07-2008, 01:53 PM
Lack of talent is the difference between 4.43 and 5.07.

Defense is the scapegoat.

If you think defense is a scapegoat then you haven't been watching and your viewpoint is suffering from a lack of information. We've had a season where nearly every routine medium depth fly ball to RF through July (Griffey) was a single (where the large majority are outs on other teams), a clanky glove in LF (Dunn, who I think is awesome but truth is truth), a rookie OF phenom who provided a clanky glove in CF and lately RF (Bruce who should get better and be part of the fix), a collection of catchers who can't catch (Ross), can't throw (Bako) or both (Javy), a SS spot manned by guys who give up hits on ground balls to the OF that the vast majority of teams turn into outs (Kepp, Cabrera, Hairston), a 3B (EdE) whose range is suspect and makes every throw an adventure and a 1B (Votto) who does his infieldmates no favors when the throws are a little off line and also went through a stretch where he botched a lot of other plays as well. When this team put its "best line-up" on the field 7 of the 8 positions were manned by guys who are below average at best, awful more accurately and the RF and C spots have IMO easily been the worst in baseball defensively (and haven't improved as much as they should since Bruce took over).

This is a defense that created a ton of opportunities for the opposition and magnified the damage when pitchers did make a mistake. The top 4 have good K rates, reasonable control and if batted balls were turned into outs at a reasonable clip, the HR problems would be less damaging. Add that getting these guys in the dugout when they should be and having them throw less extended innings and the HR rates may (can't say will 'cause its speculation) improve as well.

The defense on this team is absolutely atrocious. If the team played on a bigger stage, it's defense would be a national laughingstock. About the only thing missing is "Marvelous Marv" Throneberry and "Hot Rod" Kanehl.

OnBaseMachine
09-07-2008, 01:58 PM
Excellent post mth. I agree that Bruce will be fine. He's made some errors but overall I've been impressed with his defense. He's got a chance to be a plus defender in right field someday IMO.

Kc61
09-07-2008, 03:47 PM
That 5.07 ERA can improve quickly. All it will take is Aaron Harang getting healthy and returning to form (and I think he will) and Johnny Cueto continuing to get better. Add in a new ace in Edinson Volquez and a solid innings eater like Arroyo and you have a very good 1-4 rotation. Now just add a decent fifth starter (Micah Owings?) and you have yourself one of the better rotations in the league IMO.

Disagree rather strongly.

Hoping that pitchers dramatically improve is simply a recipe for disaster.

Harang, Cueto and Arroyo have been circa 5 ERA pitchers this year. Owings has been just under a 6 ERA pitcher this year. Anyone who expects this to suddenly turn around is just hoping.

One of them may do much better. But another may do much worse. You cannot bank next year on hoped-for turnarounds by so many pitchers.

And the notion that a supposedly "decent" fifth starter is sufficient has been disproven by the Reds time after time because borderline to poor starting pitchers, with a couple of bad breaks, often wind up with ERAs in the 6s and 7s.

More good starting depth. Critical for 2009.

OnBaseMachine
09-07-2008, 03:49 PM
Sorry, but one bad year from Harang doesn't outweigh his whole career. I'm pretty confident he'll return to form next season. The Reds do need to acquire another solid starter though to further strengthen the rotation.

SMcGavin
09-07-2008, 04:09 PM
Harang, Cueto and Arroyo have been circa 5 ERA pitchers this year. Owings has been just under a 6 ERA pitcher this year. Anyone who expects this to suddenly turn around is just hoping.


Current ERA is a pretty bad predictor of future ERA. You look at the four guys we have and see:

Volquez 3.96 xFIP
Harang 4.30 xFIP
Arroyo 4.36 xFIP
Cueto 4.49 xFIP

Plus Cueto and Volquez are in their first full seasons as MLB starters, so some improvement should be expected there. The four guys that we have are pretty good, even though the 2008 ERAs don't show it. I still would like to add one more good starter. But it's not simply "hope" to forecast a turnaround from Arroyo/Harang in 08, it's an informed analysis of the seasons they are having and their past history.

SMcGavin
09-07-2008, 04:13 PM
FWIW I don't think Micah Owings is the answer to the 5th starter question. He's a nice guy to have as depth but I don't want him the rotation to start the season. I don't think Owings give you anything better than Maloney (except of course a great bat).

OnBaseMachine
09-07-2008, 04:40 PM
I like Micah Owings more than some on here. He's never going to be an ace but I like his chances of settling in as a solid back end starter. His minor league numbers compare favorably to Aaron Harang's, and he had a solid rookie season last year. As a rookie he posted a 4.30 ERA in 152.2 innings, with a .761 OPS against, and a 6.25 K/9. Not overwhelming numbers but I think we'd all be pleased with those type of numbers from our number four or five starter.

SMcGavin
09-07-2008, 05:08 PM
I like Micah Owings more than some on here. He's never going to be an ace but I like his chances of settling in as a solid back end starter. His minor league numbers compare favorably to Aaron Harang's, and he had a solid rookie season last year. As a rookie he posted a 4.30 ERA in 152.2 innings, with a .761 OPS against, and a 6.25 K/9. Not overwhelming numbers but I think we'd all be pleased with those type of numbers from our number four or five starter.

The strikeouts are alright, but he's pretty wild and definitely a flyball pitcher (even more than Cueto). If he pitched a full season here I don't think he'd keep the ERA under 5.00. He's still relatively young so we could see an improvement, but it's not something I really want to bank on.

OnBaseMachine
09-07-2008, 05:15 PM
IIRC the Arizona ballpark is homerun friendly too so there shouldn't be too much of a difference between the BOB and GABP.

Highlifeman21
09-07-2008, 05:27 PM
If you think defense is a scapegoat then you haven't been watching and your viewpoint is suffering from a lack of information. We've had a season where nearly every routine medium depth fly ball to RF through July (Griffey) was a single (where the large majority are outs on other teams), a clanky glove in LF (Dunn, who I think is awesome but truth is truth), a rookie OF phenom who provided a clanky glove in CF and lately RF (Bruce who should get better and be part of the fix), a collection of catchers who can't catch (Ross), can't throw (Bako) or both (Javy), a SS spot manned by guys who give up hits on ground balls to the OF that the vast majority of teams turn into outs (Kepp, Cabrera, Hairston), a 3B (EdE) whose range is suspect and makes every throw an adventure and a 1B (Votto) who does his infieldmates no favors when the throws are a little off line and also went through a stretch where he botched a lot of other plays as well. When this team put its "best line-up" on the field 7 of the 8 positions were manned by guys who are below average at best, awful more accurately and the RF and C spots have IMO easily been the worst in baseball defensively (and haven't improved as much as they should since Bruce took over).

This is a defense that created a ton of opportunities for the opposition and magnified the damage when pitchers did make a mistake. The top 4 have good K rates, reasonable control and if batted balls were turned into outs at a reasonable clip, the HR problems would be less damaging. Add that getting these guys in the dugout when they should be and having them throw less extended innings and the HR rates may (can't say will 'cause its speculation) improve as well.

The defense on this team is absolutely atrocious. If the team played on a bigger stage, it's defense would be a national laughingstock. About the only thing missing is "Marvelous Marv" Throneberry and "Hot Rod" Kanehl.

IMO 1/4 to 1/3 of a run of ERA could be attributed to shoddy D, but anything more than 1/3 of a run is a talent issue. .64 is the difference between 5.07 and 4.43, so that tells me it's a combination of shoddy D and lack of talent.

Guys like Fogg, Majewski, Bailey, Belisle, Coffey, and Thompson predictably contributed to the wrong side of a 5 ERA. That sensational 6 combined to give up 170 ER over 215.2 IP. That means between the 6 of them, they gave us an ERA over 7 (7.09) in over 200 IP. Awesome. Factor in an off year of Aaron Harang, 5.24 ERA in 149.1 IP prior to today's start, and we get the full picture as to why our ERA is on the wrong side of 5.

Fogg, Bailey, Belisle and Thompson tell me 1 thing: the 5 spot in the rotation was a black hole of suck.

Taking those 4 out of the SP ERA, while looking at Harang, Volquez, Cueto and Arroyo, we get an ERA of 4.47, which is very respectable considering the off year of Harang.

So, if Harang, Volquez, Cueto and Arroyo can combine for a SP ERA of 4.47, that tells me they either pitched well in spite of the D, or the D didn't factor in as much as you want to think.

The sensational 6 were sensationally sucky, regardless of the D. Again, that's a talent issue, not a D issue.

I agree that the D isn't great and needs to be addressed, but it doesn't single-handedly explain that .64 difference in ERA between 5.07 and 4.43. IMO, lack of talent is a better explanation.

camisadelgolf
09-07-2008, 05:45 PM
I agree that talent is the bigger issue, but if you can find one pitcher to pitch 150+ innings with a less-than-5.00 ERA, you won't be needing the services of Majewski, Coffey, Fogg, Belisle, etc.

If Micah Owings can be that person, and I think he can, the Reds will have a very good rotation, and as a result, the bullpen will be improved, too, due to being more rested and the crappier relievers being needed less.

mth123
09-07-2008, 05:47 PM
IMO 1/4 to 1/3 of a run of ERA could be attributed to shoddy D, but anything more than 1/3 of a run is a talent issue. .64 is the difference between 5.07 and 4.43, so that tells me it's a combination of shoddy D and lack of talent.

Guys like Fogg, Majewski, Bailey, Belisle, Coffey, and Thompson predictably contributed to the wrong side of a 5 ERA. That sensational 6 combined to give up 170 ER over 215.2 IP. That means between the 6 of them, they gave us an ERA over 7 (7.09) in over 200 IP. Awesome. Factor in an off year of Aaron Harang, 5.24 ERA in 149.1 IP prior to today's start, and we get the full picture as to why our ERA is on the wrong side of 5.

Fogg, Bailey, Belisle and Thompson tell me 1 thing: the 5 spot in the rotation was a black hole of suck.

Taking those 4 out of the SP ERA, while looking at Harang, Volquez, Cueto and Arroyo, we get an ERA of 4.47, which is very respectable considering the off year of Harang.

So, if Harang, Volquez, Cueto and Arroyo can combine for a SP ERA of 4.47, that tells me they either pitched well in spite of the D, or the D didn't factor in as much as you want to think.

The sensational 6 were sensationally sucky, regardless of the D. Again, that's a talent issue, not a D issue.

I agree that the D isn't great and needs to be addressed, but it doesn't single-handedly explain that .64 difference in ERA between 5.07 and 4.43. IMO, lack of talent is a better explanation.

I think we agree then. I'm arguing that the front 4 are good enough and that the team needs another pitcher who can go 180+ innings of league average to join. That will probably be a $10 Million per year man at this point. That 5th starter is the major reason for the difference that can't be attributed to defense. If Harang can make a comeback and the type of guy I'm talking about is acquired, I think the team will better that 4.43 in 2009. Owings, Masset, and whoever isn't dealt of Bailey, Ramirez, Thompson, Maloney, Lecure and Jukich serve as depth in long relief or AAA.

Some of those kids have some value and should be dealt to address SS (now the biggest most glaring problem on the team IMO) and C as well as that 5th arm. Adding a SS who can actually play SS will help all these guys. Dickerson and an improved Bruce in CF and RF should correct a lot of issues in comparison to 2008 as well. That alone may shave a baserunner or two per game.

kpresidente
09-07-2008, 05:50 PM
Current ERA is a pretty bad predictor of future ERA. You look at the four guys we have and see:

Volquez 3.96 xFIP
Harang 4.30 xFIP
Arroyo 4.36 xFIP
Cueto 4.49 xFIP

Plus Cueto and Volquez are in their first full seasons as MLB starters, so some improvement should be expected there. The four guys that we have are pretty good, even though the 2008 ERAs don't show it. I still would like to add one more good starter. But it's not simply "hope" to forecast a turnaround from Arroyo/Harang in 08, it's an informed analysis of the seasons they are having and their past history.

FIP tends to reward bad pitchers and punish good pitchers.

There's no way Volquez has only pitched 1/3 of a run better than Harang this year. They pitch in front of the same defense, after all.

Highlifeman21
09-07-2008, 07:53 PM
I think we agree then. I'm arguing that the front 4 are good enough and that the team needs another pitcher who can go 180+ innings of league average to join. That will probably be a $10 Million per year man at this point. That 5th starter is the major reason for the difference that can't be attributed to defense. If Harang can make a comeback and the type of guy I'm talking about is acquired, I think the team will better that 4.43 in 2009. Owings, Masset, and whoever isn't dealt of Bailey, Ramirez, Thompson, Maloney, Lecure and Jukich serve as depth in long relief or AAA.

Some of those kids have some value and should be dealt to address SS (now the biggest most glaring problem on the team IMO) and C as well as that 5th arm. Adding a SS who can actually play SS will help all these guys. Dickerson and an improved Bruce in CF and RF should correct a lot of issues in comparison to 2008 as well. That alone may shave a baserunner or two per game.

If we're spending $10 Mil a year for another 180 IP league average arm, I'd rather that money be spent on either a massive upgrade to SS or C. I can live with our merry go round of suck in the 5 spot of the rotation if we're getting a legitimate SS or C, something we more desperately need than a 5th SP, IMO.

If we really wanna help this ballclub defensively for 2009, make Janish the everyday SS, plug Bruce into RF and then figure if Stubbs goes in LF or CF and have Dickerson play the other. That means we upgrade C, and possibly 3B, and stomach the offensive void that will be Janish and Stubbs while enjoying their excellent defense. Give our arms a drastically better D, and I honestly believe we'd see that 1/4 to 1/3 of a run drop in ERA as a staff.

mth123
09-07-2008, 08:28 PM
If we're spending $10 Mil a year for another 180 IP league average arm, I'd rather that money be spent on either a massive upgrade to SS or C. I can live with our merry go round of suck in the 5 spot of the rotation if we're getting a legitimate SS or C, something we more desperately need than a 5th SP, IMO.

If we really wanna help this ballclub defensively for 2009, make Janish the everyday SS, plug Bruce into RF and then figure if Stubbs goes in LF or CF and have Dickerson play the other. That means we upgrade C, and possibly 3B, and stomach the offensive void that will be Janish and Stubbs while enjoying their excellent defense. Give our arms a drastically better D, and I honestly believe we'd see that 1/4 to 1/3 of a run drop in ERA as a staff.


I'd rather deal some combination of Bailey, Maloney, Stubbs, Valaika and FRancisco with some other stuff to address SS and C with guys who can be building blocks. Probably complimentary players and not main guys (like Bruce or Votto) but building blocks none the less. Janish doesn't cut it. In the OF, I'd go with Votto in LF. It would upgrade the defense in the IF and put him where he can do the least damage. Get a stopgap for 1B. The good thing is even cheap mediocrities at 1B can add something to the offense.

Betterread
09-07-2008, 08:32 PM
If we really wanna help this ballclub defensively for 2009, make Janish the everyday SS, plug Bruce into RF and then figure if Stubbs goes in LF or CF and have Dickerson play the other. That means we upgrade C, and possibly 3B, and stomach the offensive void that will be Janish and Stubbs while enjoying their excellent defense. Give our arms a drastically better D, and I honestly believe we'd see that 1/4 to 1/3 of a run drop in ERA as a staff.

Thanks for bringing the topic back to who will be promoted. I see Stubbs starting his ML career (provided he is in good health) in CF but can play in RF too. Dickerson can play CF to spell Stubbs. I see Dorn getting some time in LF to spell Jay Bruce, who should be playing LF.
After that pathetic throw in the 7th inning today, I'm sick of seeing Bruce in RF. He needed to nail that guy, but he couldn't. He can't play there right now. He is not playing ML average defense. I'm willing to give him time to receive some instruction but someone better tell this kid that the Larry Walker comparisons have ended because of things like his poor defense.

OnBaseMachine
09-07-2008, 09:04 PM
Thanks for bringing the topic back to who will be promoted. I see Stubbs starting his ML career (provided he is in good health) in CF but can play in RF too. Dickerson can play CF to spell Stubbs. I see Dorn getting some time in LF to spell Jay Bruce, who should be playing LF.
After that pathetic throw in the 7th inning today, I'm sick of seeing Bruce in RF. He needed to nail that guy, but he couldn't. He can't play there right now. He is not playing ML average defense. I'm willing to give him time to receive some instruction but someone better tell this kid that the Larry Walker comparisons have ended because of things like his poor defense.

He's 21 years old. And his defense has been far from pathetic. He's made some excellent plays while messing up some easier ones. It happens with young players.

dougdirt
09-07-2008, 09:21 PM
Thanks for bringing the topic back to who will be promoted. I see Stubbs starting his ML career (provided he is in good health) in CF but can play in RF too. Dickerson can play CF to spell Stubbs. I see Dorn getting some time in LF to spell Jay Bruce, who should be playing LF.
After that pathetic throw in the 7th inning today, I'm sick of seeing Bruce in RF. He needed to nail that guy, but he couldn't. He can't play there right now. He is not playing ML average defense. I'm willing to give him time to receive some instruction but someone better tell this kid that the Larry Walker comparisons have ended because of things like his poor defense.

Did you see Larry Walker play when he was 21?

gedred69
09-07-2008, 09:57 PM
Did you see Larry Walker play when he was 21?

I agree in that Bruce will turn out to be a monster to the agony of every other team in the Central division. I also am continually amazed that so few fail to recognize the potential of Dorn, as a bona-fide contender for an OF position. He's a
.270+, 30-35 Hr type, who is a much better fielder than Dunn ever showed. Let's not be in such a hurry to sign big name FAs, whose presence would stymie the "long range plan", of developing from within the organization.

kpresidente
09-07-2008, 10:42 PM
I agree in that Bruce will turn out to be a monster to the agony of every other team in the Central division. I also am continually amazed that so few fail to recognize the potential of Dorn, as a bona-fide contender for an OF position. He's a
.270+, 30-35 Hr type, who is a much better fielder than Dunn ever showed. Let's not be in such a hurry to sign big name FAs, whose presence would stymie the "long range plan", of developing from within the organization.

Votto, Bruce, Dorn and Alonso. That's a lot of lefties in the middle of the line-up, three of which have real problems with LH pitching. Better than a lot of righties, though.

Betterread
09-07-2008, 10:43 PM
He's 21 years old. And his defense has been far from pathetic. He's made some excellent plays while messing up some easier ones. It happens with young players.
I said the throw was pathetic. It was weak and off-line. He definitely didn't display a top scouting grade arm on that throw. Has he shown a good arm in another key situation? Tell me what game and I'll gladly view the video to hopefully erase today's awful image from my mind.

dougdirt
09-07-2008, 10:43 PM
Votto, Bruce, Dorn and Alonso. That's a lot of lefties in the middle of the line-up. Three of which have real problems with LH pitching. Better than a lot of righties, though.

The lefty/righty thing gets overplayed WAY too much. If you have 4 lefties that can hit lefties, who cares if you have 4 lefties? Its when you get 4 guys that hit like Chris Dickerson against lefties that it becomes a problem.

dougdirt
09-07-2008, 10:45 PM
I said the throw was pathetic. It was weak and off-line. He definitely didn't display a top scouting grade arm on that throw. Has he shown a good arm in another key situation? Tell me what game and I'll gladly view the video to hopefully erase today's awful image from my mind.
Yes, he has. I don't know the exact game, but he has multiple times this year.

kpresidente
09-07-2008, 10:46 PM
The lefty/righty thing gets overplayed WAY too much. If you have 4 lefties that can hit lefties, who cares if you have 4 lefties? Its when you get 4 guys that hit like Chris Dickerson against lefties that it becomes a problem.

Yeah, but Votto's the only one that can hit lefties.

dougdirt
09-07-2008, 10:50 PM
Yeah, but Votto's the only one that can hit lefties.

I really don't think Bruce will have a problem with lefties in a year or two. He never really struggled with them in the minor leagues. Dorn won't play against lefties, so that one shouldn't matter.

OnBaseMachine
09-08-2008, 11:08 AM
I said the throw was pathetic. It was weak and off-line. He definitely didn't display a top scouting grade arm on that throw. Has he shown a good arm in another key situation? Tell me what game and I'll gladly view the video to hopefully erase today's awful image from my mind.

So his arm is bad because of one throw? He's already got six outfield assists in three+ months since getting called up. You want video? Go back and watch the August 6th game against the Brewers. That's the game where Bruce made a leaping catch against the foul wall in right field and threw Bill Hall out at first base. A few innings later he threw Prince Fielder out at home from fairly deep right field. Dude has a cannon for an arm. Anyone who says his arm isn't good hasn't been paying much attention.

RedsManRick
09-08-2008, 11:39 AM
I said the throw was pathetic. It was weak and off-line. He definitely didn't display a top scouting grade arm on that throw. Has he shown a good arm in another key situation? Tell me what game and I'll gladly view the video to hopefully erase today's awful image from my mind.

I've not seen enough to draw any final conclusions, but from the 8-10 throws I have seen, Bruce's arm doesn't impress me in terms of strength nor accuracy.

OF assists are more about the difference between the perception of your arm and it's ability. When you are new to the league (or the position), you often get many good opportunities to throw out runners because the coaches don't yet know any better.

Junior has more RF assists this year than Ichiro. Assists are about as useful a metric as fielding percentage.

OnBaseMachine
09-08-2008, 11:51 AM
For those who are unimpressed with Bruce's arm strength, I recommend you going back and watching video of that August 6th game against the Brewers. He threw a bullet from 20-25 feet in front of the warning track on a straight line to nail Prince Fielder at the plate. That's one of the better throws I've seen an outfielder make in a long time.

Mario-Rijo
09-08-2008, 07:34 PM
For those who are unimpressed with Bruce's arm strength, I recommend you going back and watching video of that August 6th game against the Brewers. He threw a bullet from 20-25 feet in front of the warning track on a straight line to nail Prince Fielder at the plate. That's one of the better throws I've seen an outfielder make in a long time.

You and I usually don't disagree much but I have to here. Josh Hamilton has a cannon, imo Bruce has a slightly above average arm, a tad bit better than Griffey the '08 version. I didn't see the Fielder play but it was Prince Fielder and although he runs ok for as big as he is he still isn't real fast.

OnBaseMachine
09-08-2008, 08:11 PM
You and I usually don't disagree much but I have to here. Josh Hamilton has a cannon, imo Bruce has a slightly above average arm, a tad bit better than Griffey the '08 version. I didn't see the Fielder play but it was Prince Fielder and although he runs ok for as big as he is he still isn't real fast.

It doesn't matter who is running, you've gotta have some amazing arm strength when you're standing 20-25 feet in front of the warning track and throw a ball on a straight line to home.

Mario-Rijo
09-08-2008, 08:31 PM
*edited*

OnBaseMachine
09-08-2008, 08:35 PM
The Jay Bruce I've seen has a great arm. Not a Josh Hamilton arm but a great arm nonetheless.

camisadelgolf
09-09-2008, 05:55 AM
The Jay Bruce I've seen has a great arm. Not a Josh Hamilton arm but a great arm nonetheless.

Kc61
09-09-2008, 10:00 AM
Mr. Castillo, acquired from Arizona, helped his cause to replace Valentin next year as the third catcher. In Castillo's case, he also plays other positions pretty well, switch hitter. Seems like an excellent pick up in the Dunn deal given his versatility.