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View Full Version : Left Field: Hopper, Dickerson...Owings?



Caveat Emperor
12-28-2008, 05:02 AM
Walt is now on record as saying the plan for LF is:


"At the present it’s Dickerson and Hopper and whatever else we end up doing."

If those are the only in-house options on the table right now, and assuming for the moment that nothing else gets done via trade, I humbly submit the name Micah Owings for consideration in LF.

So far, as a hitter, he's posted the following lines (albeit with limited 126 PAs):

'07 -- .333 / .349 / .683
'08 -- .304 / .361 / .411

His minors numbers (again, with only 64 total PAs over 4 years) weren't all that bad either: .359 / .373 / .500. Plus, in college, he was a monster at the dish -- his senior year at Tulane, he posted a .355 / .470 / .719 line, with 18 HRs.

Maybe his good hitting as a major leaguer is the product of limited exposure, but there's clearly a skill set there with the bat. I'll take that potential over Norris Hopper any day of the week.

JaxRed
12-28-2008, 09:03 AM
Lower economic teams like the Reds have to be more creative and flexible in order to compete. So I'm all for giving Owens signficantly more playing time (in addition to pitching). May not work out, but at least you tried. If it does work you add a lot of flexibility to the roster.

RedEye
12-28-2008, 09:04 AM
Under the circumstances, I think I could live with Owings and Dickerson splitting time in LF.

blumj
12-28-2008, 09:12 AM
It certainly makes sense to try if he can either be as good a hitter, or better, than he is a pitcher, or if the team just needs it more. Also, assuming he isn't an unbearable liability defensively, not that I could tell you what "unbearable" would be in LF.

GAC
12-28-2008, 11:38 AM
There is, IMO, a big question mark in Dickerson. First it's his endurance (durability). Secondly, he was benefited by an unreal .410 BABIP, so his numbers are bound to come down as the book on him develops and fewer of those hits fall in and his high strikeout rate catches up with him.

mth123
12-28-2008, 11:54 AM
There is, IMO, a big question mark in Dickerson. First it's his endurance (durability). Secondly, he was benefited by an unreal .410 BABIP, so his numbers are bound to come down as the book on him develops and fewer of those hits fall in and his high strikeout rate catches up with him.

GAC,

Nobody who supports Dickerson expects a repeat of what he did with the Reds in 2008. But his minor league numbers the last three years suggest double digit HR, a .350+ OBP and lots of speed and defense. Unless the acquisition was a big upgrade from that, why not just give him a shot. Taveras' upside is not as good as Dickerson's probable performance (not his 2008 Reds performance, but his probable projections). With so many other holes on this team, why not settle for Dickerson in CF and focus on filling other needs. Now they really haven't improved any position but have less money and one less roster spot to play with. Its like Signing Mike Stanton.

Ltlabner
12-28-2008, 02:16 PM
I vote for a .40S&W slug to my head instead.

flyer85
12-28-2008, 02:20 PM
could be Hairston according to Walt

KronoRed
12-28-2008, 02:21 PM
could be Hairston according to Walt

Win Now!:D

fearofpopvol1
12-28-2008, 02:31 PM
None of the above

HokieRed
12-28-2008, 05:13 PM
Edmonds-Owings.

GAC
12-29-2008, 05:17 AM
GAC,

Nobody who supports Dickerson expects a repeat of what he did with the Reds in 2008. But his minor league numbers the last three years suggest double digit HR, a .350+ OBP and lots of speed and defense. Unless the acquisition was a big upgrade from that, why not just give him a shot. Taveras' upside is not as good as Dickerson's probable performance (not his 2008 Reds performance, but his probable projections). With so many other holes on this team, why not settle for Dickerson in CF and focus on filling other needs.

Maybe I'm missing something here, but I though Dickerson is already being given that starting shot in '09? The acquisition of Taveras doesn't affect that. Up until the Taveras move, what was our starting OF? You had Bruce, Dickerson, and ????

Freel is gone (good riddance), and Hopper and Hairston are hanging around somewhere in the ozone (another good riddance from me). Where are our OFers on this roster?

Again - I'm not a fan of Taveras. So don't interpret it as a defense of this acquistion. But prior to this move, WHO was our three starting OFers? We can sit around and bounce all these other various scenarios around about moving so-and-so here, and shuffling various players around that are on this roster (EE, Votto, etc.), but IMO, I don't think that is very realistic approach.

I like Chris Dickerson, but lets be honest here.... minor league performance does not translate into major league success. And while this kid did well last season in the second half, it was only for 31 games. Very small window.

Dickerson was brought up because they were out of outfielders, not because they thought he was a big prospect. And he did great, but itís 100 ABs at the end of the season, which means nothing. But players typically don't typically show that much improvement at the major-league level. Particularly not ones that get stuck in the minors until age 26. Most likely, Dickerson just got hot. He could be a sleeper, but we don't really know. And the kid does have an injury history. He suffered a stress fracture to the left ankle in September, and just had surgery to remove a piece of bone. Dusty mentioned Dickersonís injury history recently as a reason heís leery of putting him in CF.

But based on his performance, he should enter spring training with a starting job to lose.

With Dickerson, Taveras, and if they can possibly re-sign Hairston.... could they be setting up a platoon situation between the three in the OF? We know this now enables them to move Bruce to RF (where he belongs).

It's not a pretty scenario. I'm not going into this season with very much optimism. We may improve our defense; but this offense will be terrible if no further additions are made. No matter how improved our pitching may be in '09, it will not be able to offset (runs allowed) when it comes to this offense (runs scored).

mth123
12-29-2008, 06:16 AM
Maybe I'm missing something here, but I though Dickerson is already being given that starting shot in '09? The acquisition of Taveras doesn't affect that. Up until the Taveras move, what was our starting OF? You had Bruce, Dickerson, and ????

Freel is gone (good riddance), and Hopper and Hairston are hanging around somewhere in the ozone (another good riddance from me). Where are our OFers on this roster?

Again - I'm not a fan of Taveras. So don't interpret it as a defense of this acquistion. But prior to this move, WHO was our three starting OFers? We can sit around and bounce all these other various scenarios around about moving so-and-so here, and shuffling various players around that are on this roster (EE, Votto, etc.), but IMO, I don't think that is very realistic approach.

I like Chris Dickerson, but lets be honest here.... minor league performance does not translate into major league success. And while this kid did well last season in the second half, it was only for 31 games. Very small window.

Dickerson was brought up because they were out of outfielders, not because they thought he was a big prospect. And he did great, but itís 100 ABs at the end of the season, which means nothing. But players typically don't typically show that much improvement at the major-league level. Particularly not ones that get stuck in the minors until age 26. Most likely, Dickerson just got hot. He could be a sleeper, but we don't really know. And the kid does have an injury history. He suffered a stress fracture to the left ankle in September, and just had surgery to remove a piece of bone. Dusty mentioned Dickersonís injury history recently as a reason heís leery of putting him in CF.

But based on his performance, he should enter spring training with a starting job to lose.

With Dickerson, Taveras, and if they can possibly re-sign Hairston.... could they be setting up a platoon situation between the three in the OF? We know this now enables them to move Bruce to RF (where he belongs).

It's not a pretty scenario. I'm not going into this season with very much optimism. We may improve our defense; but this offense will be terrible if no further additions are made. No matter how improved our pitching may be in '09, it will not be able to offset (runs allowed) when it comes to this offense (runs scored).

No. Taveras was brought in to be the starter. Walt's quote was that with Bruce and Taveras the team had 2 of its OF spots filled and they are still looking for a LF. So they chose Taveras guaranteed suck over Dickerson's or some other unproven option's potential suck. They also wasted enough resources signing Taveras that they have less to spend on whoever that LF acquisition will be. It probably means a lesser player for that spot than they could have gotten.

The guy is coming off a horrible season and it got him a 2 year deal where the GM named him the CF and lead-off hitter. If his rotten 2008 season gets him that, how bad will he have to be before the team moves on? Evidently if he's awful like he was in 2008, its good enough to get a 2 year deal as the starter. He is a replacement level player and there are guys like him available routinely. The Reds could plunk any number of AAAA guys from any number of minor league systems if they are just looking for a body to play the OF. If they are going to name a starter and give a two yer deal it should be somebody better than that. If he was just a body to round out the roster it wouldn't be so bad. This team chose to give him a 2 year deal that will provide him 650 or so PA in 2009. Its a poor choice. Norris Hopper is exactly the same player as Willie Taveras (except Hopper can hit the ball hard once in a while).

SteelSD
12-29-2008, 07:56 AM
Win Now!:D

If Jerry Hairston is the option, I can guarantee five things happen by mid-June:

1. Walt Jocketty begins a press conference with the words, "Well...wha' happen was...." He'll then go on to explain that all is well and that the lack of Runs thus far is a direct result of not making enough outs to this point in the season and he pledges to get the team OBP below .290 by the trade deadline. To follow up, he acquires Tony Womack, Adam Everett, and trades for Juan Pierre. The latter deal is seen as a huge win on the mlb.com message boards because Jocketty got the Dodgers to throw in a million dollars. However, they enter their second month of blaming the Reds' offensive woes on the 1B coach, who does not run to his position. Jay Bruce becomes quite confused when he's replaced by Pierre in RF and sent to AAA due to his IsoD being too high.

2. Jamie Quirk assures Jocketty that everything will be ok as soon as he can finish his second year of trying to "fix" Willy Taveras approach even though the approach has never changed. The "fix" finally takes in mid-September when Taveras perfects the art of placing the ball exactly two inches in front of home plate by bunting in every plate appearance. Unfortunately, this drops his BUH% to 0.00% until the last day of the season when the Pirates decide to play the final Inning with only their Pitcher taking the field.

3. Dusty Baker swears up and down that this is NOT "his team". He then calls Kerry Wood to ask him if he's signed anywhere yet, but doesn't know that his calls to Wood have since been forwarded to Mark Prior, who's now having them forwarded back to Baker. A thrilling 10-minute conversation of "Well, who's THIS?!?" ensues.

4. Bob Castellini "clarifies" to the media that his threat to eliminate his own position didn't specifically reference him. He then announces via press conference that he has recently hired and fired someone named G. Stretches Himself just to demonstrate that he actually did just fire "Himself". Unaware of the former employees full name, Castellini notices that the reporters are all chuckling. When he asks an intern who suggested the Reds hire Mr. Stretches Himself, he's handed a piece of paper. The three words written on it are "Adam from Milwaukee".

5. After each failed Sacrifice, Hit-and-Run, and Stolen Base, Marty Brennaman loudly exclaims "And this one belongs to the Reds!". He doesn't notice that his son hasn't spoken on-air for nearly a month. Jeff Brantley now attends games wearing only a cowboy hat and chaps, and spends most of his time muttering "...not clutch...not...clutch..." in the background.

;)

Mario-Rijo
12-29-2008, 07:59 AM
I like Chris Dickerson, but lets be honest here.... minor league performance does not translate into major league success. And while this kid did well last season in the second half, it was only for 31 games. Very small window.

Dickerson was brought up because they were out of outfielders, not because they thought he was a big prospect. And he did great, but it’s 100 ABs at the end of the season, which means nothing. But players typically don't typically show that much improvement at the major-league level. Particularly not ones that get stuck in the minors until age 26. Most likely, Dickerson just got hot. He could be a sleeper, but we don't really know. And the kid does have an injury history. He suffered a stress fracture to the left ankle in September, and just had surgery to remove a piece of bone. Dusty mentioned Dickerson’s injury history recently as a reason he’s leery of putting him in CF.

But based on his performance, he should enter spring training with a starting job to lose.

With Dickerson, Taveras, and if they can possibly re-sign Hairston.... could they be setting up a platoon situation between the three in the OF? We know this now enables them to move Bruce to RF (where he belongs).

It's not a pretty scenario. I'm not going into this season with very much optimism. We may improve our defense; but this offense will be terrible if no further additions are made. No matter how improved our pitching may be in '09, it will not be able to offset (runs allowed) when it comes to this offense (runs scored).

I think this is pertinent to your feelings on Dickerson he like very few seemingly managed to actually make a positive change in his swing to make more contact. This and not just getting hot or lucky seems to be why he improved last season (in AAA). Although I am not necc. arguing your main point I think Dickerson maybe is an ok starter in the majors.

Thanks to Cam for finding this.


I managed to magically come across the article (thank you again to the person responsible), so I'll go ahead and sum it up.

Jason Grey said that one of the things he wanted to figure out when he scouted the Reds this year was how much he believed in Chris Dickerson. He had seen him in last year's Arizona Fall League, and he wanted to know if there had been improvements since then. In the AFL, Grey had graded Dickerson as a 45 on the 20-80 scouting scale, which translates to a backup outfielder. This was based almost purely on Dickerson's raw athletic skills. Partly due to the high number of strikeouts, Grey was skeptical of Dickerson's ability to break out into an everyday left fielder. The big problem was that Dickerson's bat didn't stay in the zone very long at all. He would often 'hitch out', which made it difficult for Dickerson to make consistent contact, and therefore, his power couldn't develop as much as it should have. After watching Dickerson in September, Grey said that Dickerson's swing appeared to be smoother, cleaner, and more consistent.

When Dickerson was asked about it, he said that he didn't feel the difference was night and day--just that he figured out how to keep the bat all the way through the zone so that if he's late to getting to the ball, he won't miss the ball and possibly hit a line drive to the opposite field.

After the AFL, Dickerson put in a lot of time and effort to remaking his swing. Grey says that Dickerson is hitching out noticeably less, but it took time for Dickerson to get adjusted to his new swing because he struggled initially in AAA. Dickerson said that he did a lot of drills to correct his path to the baseball and work on his muscle memory. He also said that the most effective drill was the high-tee drill, in which he sets the ball up on the tee as high as it will go and work on hitting high line drives. He said it even helped with handling pitches inside because he's not hooking them nor getting on top of them as much anymore, and as a result, he's seeing more backspin on the balls he hits.

Because of Dickerson's progress, he seems to be seeing a lot more breaking balls. Grey used Brandon Webb as an example, who refused to throw a fastball to Dickerson. Grey said that Dickerson will still rack up plenty of strikeouts, but it's not a big problem as long as he can compensate for it in other areas. Because of Dickerson's improvements, Grey upgraded Dickerson's rating to a 50, which is a starting outfielder.

Dickerson noted that pitchers are trying to get him to chase balls out of his zone, but he said that he's going to stick with his approach and try not to get teased.

Grey once claimed that you can never really count on players just for being good athletes. For example, there are a lot of players like Charlton Jimerson and Reggie Abercrombie, but every once in a while there's a Fred Lewis, a player who eventually sees things start to click, even if it takes a while to happen. He thinks that might be what's happening in Dickerson's case, which would make him an intriguing option for fantasy baseball.

GAC
12-29-2008, 08:31 AM
No. Taveras was brought in to be the starter. Walt's quote was that with Bruce and Taveras the team had 2 of its OF spots filled and they are still looking for a LF.

Which shows they aren't ga-ga over simply handing Dickerson the starting job in LF. And I don't blame them, and again, I don't say that to justify the Taveras signing. It could be that Dickerson may be better suited for LF if he shows promise in ST.

When I look at the available OF FAs, it goes from the high-priced, high tier players (like a Manny, etc), straigh down to the dregs. I don't see any solid "in-between" OFers really available.

It's a two year deal. Not the end of the world.

But the bottomline is.... this organization does not have any "at the ready" players (outfielders) in the system right now other then Drew Stubbs.

So what were the Reds (Jocketty) suppose to do, looking at the OF dilema they are facing, if not sign a Taveras?

What is the solution for the OF after a Jay Bruce? Not pretty.


So they chose Taveras guaranteed suck over Dickerson's or some other unproven option's potential suck.

They are both still on the roster and coming to ST. Dickerson is not going anywhere. You make it sound like he has been discarded. Again, he appears to be the front runner for the LF job if no other acquistion is made. And I'll tell ya.... Jocketty is going to have one tough job finding that RH'd OFer for left field because they aren't there unless Mr WIN NOW makes the decision to spend the money.

And one of my "knocks" on Jocketty has always been that situations have to be just right for him to prosper. He has always been a GM that was very apt at the trading deadline of swoping in and snagging players, like a Rolen and others, because their host team either had to deal them or lose them. He was always able to take advantage of those scenarios. He is not in that kind of situation right now.

Several were worried that he'd trade away some of our top prospects in order to win now. He has refused to do that. So he really then has no trading chips with other teams that demand some of those players in return for any trade scenario. He's not like a Billy Beane that gets a lot fo promising prospects either when he trades away established players.

In fact, the tables were kind of turned on him in the sense that a player like Dunn was going to leave (thanks to tighwad Bob C), and he either had to deal him or lose him. And what did he get in return? A minor league pitcher named Dallas Buck and two other players to be named later (one is Owns), plus cash. And for Jr, he got Masset (possiblities there) and Richar (ho-hum).


They also wasted enough resources signing Taveras that they have less to spend on whoever that LF acquisition will be. It probably means a lesser player for that spot than they could have gotten.

We don't know that because we don't know what Taveras was signed for. If they signed this guy for 2 yrs @ 3 mil/year that hasn't hamstrung this organization or broke the bank.

Here's ESPN's FA tracker list....

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/features/freeagents?season=2008

You show me the LFer they are possibly looking at, or should be going for? Again... take into consideration tightwad Bob C.


Its a poor choice. Norris Hopper is exactly the same player as Willie Taveras (except Hopper can hit the ball hard once in a while).

Oh c'mon! Taveras is not Norris Hopper, and even a stats comparison disputes that. That is an exaggeration on your part.

GAC
12-29-2008, 08:48 AM
I think this is pertinent to your feelings on Dickerson he like very few seemingly managed to actually make a positive change in his swing to make more contact. This and not just getting hot or lucky seems to be why he improved last season (in AAA). Although I am not necc. arguing your main point I think Dickerson maybe is an ok starter in the majors.

Thanks to Cam for finding this.

And that may all be true Mario. I'm certainly not disputing that, or saying Dickerson doesn't have potential or an upside. But there is still uncertainty there with Dickerson. Most ballplayers have shown something more by age 26.

But some seem to think that the addition of Taveras spells doom for Chris. Have those people seen our lack in the OFing dept? Dickerson ain't going anywhere, and I bet he gets more then his far share of playing time in '09.

Chris should be the front runner going into ST for the LF job. If an acquistion isn't made -and it's going to be hard - who is going to compete with him for that OF spot? Freel is gone, and so possibly is Hopper and Hairston. There is no one else.

I believe Hairston's agent realizes the Red's quandry with the OF, and is holding out hoping the Reds (Jocketty) will fold out of desperation and the need.

But even if we somehow sign Hairston, I believe we are going to see a platooning situation, due to these guys "versatility" in LF/CF.

But, hypothetically speaking, if we didn't sign a Taveras, and somehow Dickerson is really struggling come the end of June, then what do we do? What are our options? Especially even with a brittle Hairston on the roster.

I've never seen the Red's OF so lean and lacking.

flyer85
12-29-2008, 08:50 AM
the kind of stuff going on with the Reds is what happens when you try to win now and build for the future ... you do neither. They should just let the young guys play and let somebody else fish the turds out of the toilet.

mth123
12-29-2008, 12:14 PM
Which shows they aren't ga-ga over simply handing Dickerson the starting job in LF. And I don't blame them, and again, I don't say that to justify the Taveras signing. It could be that Dickerson may be better suited for LF if he shows promise in ST.

When I look at the available OF FAs, it goes from the high-priced, high tier players (like a Manny, etc), straigh down to the dregs. I don't see any solid "in-between" OFers really available.

It's a two year deal. Not the end of the world.

But the bottomline is.... this organization does not have any "at the ready" players (outfielders) in the system right now other then Drew Stubbs.

So what were the Reds (Jocketty) suppose to do, looking at the OF dilema they are facing, if not sign a Taveras?

What is the solution for the OF after a Jay Bruce? Not pretty.



They are both still on the roster and coming to ST. Dickerson is not going anywhere. You make it sound like he has been discarded. Again, he appears to be the front runner for the LF job if no other acquistion is made. And I'll tell ya.... Jocketty is going to have one tough job finding that RH'd OFer for left field because they aren't there unless Mr WIN NOW makes the decision to spend the money.

And one of my "knocks" on Jocketty has always been that situations have to be just right for him to prosper. He has always been a GM that was very apt at the trading deadline of swoping in and snagging players, like a Rolen and others, because their host team either had to deal them or lose them. He was always able to take advantage of those scenarios. He is not in that kind of situation right now.

Several were worried that he'd trade away some of our top prospects in order to win now. He has refused to do that. So he really then has no trading chips with other teams that demand some of those players in return for any trade scenario. He's not like a Billy Beane that gets a lot fo promising prospects either when he trades away established players.

In fact, the tables were kind of turned on him in the sense that a player like Dunn was going to leave (thanks to tighwad Bob C), and he either had to deal him or lose him. And what did he get in return? A minor league pitcher named Dallas Buck and two other players to be named later (one is Owns), plus cash. And for Jr, he got Masset (possiblities there) and Richar (ho-hum).



We don't know that because we don't know what Taveras was signed for. If they signed this guy for 2 yrs @ 3 mil/year that hasn't hamstrung this organization or broke the bank.

Here's ESPN's FA tracker list....

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/features/freeagents?season=2008

You show me the LFer they are possibly looking at, or should be going for? Again... take into consideration tightwad Bob C.



Oh c'mon! Taveras is not Norris Hopper, and even a stats comparison disputes that. That is an exaggeration on your part.

No. Taveras is Norris Hopper w/o Dunn/Griffey/Kearns/Pena in front of him when he was yonger. They both suck. Personally, I think Dickerson would be a mediocrity in CF, of course that makes CF down the list of needs right now and puts him way ahead of Willie Taveras. The choice should have been pass on Taveras and keep the options open. Doing nothing is preferable. Just about any AAAA player would be preferable. If Spring Training rolls around and the team needs bodies, get Taveras or his ilk at that point. Guys out of options and placed on waivers are just as good a solution. The difference is they aren't locked in for 2 years and don't require above minimum money to detract from any other acquisitions.

Taveras is on a short list of guys who are the worst type of player. They are guys who don't get on base and have no power but somehow they are tagged as good players because they can run. Lots of guys can run. I want baseball players who can run. Taveras does not qualify IMO.

You want names, if you accept Dickerson in CF and don't lock yourself into a CF/Lead-Off hitter which should be way down the priority lst, there are lots of names:

Current Free Agents

Big names (probably too pricey and are for sure now that resources have been diverted to Willie T.): Pat Burrell, Bobby Abreu, Milton Bradley, Adam Dunn, Ty Wigginton (not a big name, but probably too pricey)

Faded Names that could play LF for affordable dollars and maybe add something: Jim Edmonds, Garrett Anderson

Scrap Heap guys that would be preferable at scrap heap prices: Eric Hinske, Kevin Millar, Johnny Gomes, Emil Brown, Gabe Kapler, Mark Kotsay, Jerry Hairston JR, Moises Alou.

Guys I'd stay away from or only offer minor league deals to: Willie Taveras (No better than Hopper), Joey Gathright (No better than Hopper), Ken Griffey JR (unless he'd play 1B only and be a LHPH), Cliff Floyd (defensive and health issues), Rocco Baldelli (Health Issues), Willie Bloomquist (No better than Hopper), Reggie Abercrombie (No better than Hopper), Scott Podsednik (The Worst Player in MLB), Luis Gonzalez (Done), Barry Bonds (Done), Sammy Sosa (Done), Jay Payton (maybe on a minor league deal - he's better than Willie T.), Craig Monroe (see Jay Payton), Chris Burke (I'd take him on a minor league deal and would prefer him to Willie T.)

Guys who may be available in trade or at the end of Spring Training: Jermaine Dye (probably too much in dollars and talent, but the price may fall), Reggie Willits (would be a good fit), Eric Byrnes (AZ wants to move his contract and while he's not my first choice he's way better than Willie T.), Yankee Surplus guys (Nady, Swisher, Matsui, Damon - all better than Willie T and worth some bucks and talent),Jason Repko (Out of Options warm body with upside and an example of why its too early to panic and sign a guy like Willie T for 2 years), Delwyn Young (has big offensive potential and fills the "add a body to the roster" criteria that the defenders of this move are spouting), Giants Surplus (Schierholtz, Winn, Lewis for 2 spots and they are looking to add a bopper so maybe only one spot), Rangers surplus (Frank Catalonotto, Marlon Byrd, David Murphy, Brandon Boggs for 1 spot)....

Will M
12-29-2008, 09:11 PM
IMO Taveras has two things going for him that Hopper does not:

1. he will be fully healthy 4/1/09

2. he can actually play centerfield

TRF
12-29-2008, 10:02 PM
If Jerry Hairston is the option, I can guarantee five things happen by mid-June:

1. Walt Jocketty begins a press conference with the words, "Well...wha' happen was...." He'll then go on to explain that all is well and that the lack of Runs thus far is a direct result of not making enough outs to this point in the season and he pledges to get the team OBP below .290 by the trade deadline. To follow up, he acquires Tony Womack, Adam Everett, and trades for Juan Pierre. The latter deal is seen as a huge win on the mlb.com message boards because Jocketty got the Dodgers to throw in a million dollars. However, they enter their second month of blaming the Reds' offensive woes on the 1B coach, who does not run to his position. Jay Bruce becomes quite confused when he's replaced by Pierre in RF and sent to AAA due to his IsoD being too high.

2. Jamie Quirk assures Jocketty that everything will be ok as soon as he can finish his second year of trying to "fix" Willy Taveras approach even though the approach has never changed. The "fix" finally takes in mid-September when Taveras perfects the art of placing the ball exactly two inches in front of home plate by bunting in every plate appearance. Unfortunately, this drops his BUH% to 0.00% until the last day of the season when the Pirates decide to play the final Inning with only their Pitcher taking the field.

3. Dusty Baker swears up and down that this is NOT "his team". He then calls Kerry Wood to ask him if he's signed anywhere yet, but doesn't know that his calls to Wood have since been forwarded to Mark Prior, who's now having them forwarded back to Baker. A thrilling 10-minute conversation of "Well, who's THIS?!?" ensues.

4. Bob Castellini "clarifies" to the media that his threat to eliminate his own position didn't specifically reference him. He then announces via press conference that he has recently hired and fired someone named G. Stretches Himself just to demonstrate that he actually did just fire "Himself". Unaware of the former employees full name, Castellini notices that the reporters are all chuckling. When he asks an intern who suggested the Reds hire Mr. Stretches Himself, he's handed a piece of paper. The three words written on it are "Adam from Milwaukee".

5. After each failed Sacrifice, Hit-and-Run, and Stolen Base, Marty Brennaman loudly exclaims "And this one belongs to the Reds!". He doesn't notice that his son hasn't spoken on-air for nearly a month. Jeff Brantley now attends games wearing only a cowboy hat and chaps, and spends most of his time muttering "...not clutch...not...clutch..." in the background.

;)

epic win.

seriously, i'm in tears.

REDREAD
12-29-2008, 11:27 PM
But, hypothetically speaking, if we didn't sign a Taveras, and somehow Dickerson is really struggling come the end of June, then what do we do? What are our options? Especially even with a brittle Hairston on the roster.
.


Exactly right. Walt was being pragmatic. It's the end of December and he hasn't been able to make the type of trade/signing he's really wanted (he tried for Crisp, Dye, and who knows what else). It's getting kind of late, and he doesn't have enough bodies to man the OF. So it makes a lot of sense to sign a guy like Tavaras. Like I said, it's more about risk management than trying to improve the run differential. You can't start the season with an OF of Hopper/Bruce/Dickerson and cross your fingers. That would be stupidity. Also, you can't wait until spring training to fill two OF roster spots.

BTW, Dickerson is only 4 months younger than Tavaras, but already has 4 years experience. So Tavaras is "going with youth" just as much as Dickerson is.

Signing Tavaras doesn't waste a roster spot at all. Even if Walt somehow manages to acquire 2 more OF, Hopper can be cut or optioned, and the team will only have 5 OF (including Dickerson).

REDREAD
12-29-2008, 11:29 PM
They should just let the young guys play and let somebody else fish the turds out of the toilet.


Tavaras is just as young as Dickerson is, and is younger than Hopper.

All the OF are a roll of the dice next year, including Bruce.

remdog
12-29-2008, 11:38 PM
No. Taveras is Norris Hopper w/o Dunn/Griffey/Kearns/Pena in front of him when he was yonger. They both suck. Personally, I think Dickerson would be a mediocrity in CF, of course that makes CF down the list of needs right now and puts him way ahead of Willie Taveras. The choice should have been pass on Taveras and keep the options open. Doing nothing is preferable. Just about any AAAA player would be preferable. If Spring Training rolls around and the team needs bodies, get Taveras or his ilk at that point. Guys out of options and placed on waivers are just as good a solution. The difference is they aren't locked in for 2 years and don't require above minimum money to detract from any other acquisitions.

Taveras is on a short list of guys who are the worst type of player. They are guys who don't get on base and have no power but somehow they are tagged as good players because they can run. Lots of guys can run. I want baseball players who can run. Taveras does not qualify IMO.

You want names, if you accept Dickerson in CF and don't lock yourself into a CF/Lead-Off hitter which should be way down the priority lst, there are lots of names:

Current Free Agents

Big names (probably too pricey and are for sure now that resources have been diverted to Willie T.): Pat Burrell, Bobby Abreu, Milton Bradley, Adam Dunn, Ty Wigginton (not a big name, but probably too pricey)

Faded Names that could play LF for affordable dollars and maybe add something: Jim Edmonds, Garrett Anderson

Scrap Heap guys that would be preferable at scrap heap prices: Eric Hinske, Kevin Millar, Johnny Gomes, Emil Brown, Gabe Kapler, Mark Kotsay, Jerry Hairston JR, Moises Alou.

Guys I'd stay away from or only offer minor league deals to: Willie Taveras (No better than Hopper), Joey Gathright (No better than Hopper), Ken Griffey JR (unless he'd play 1B only and be a LHPH), Cliff Floyd (defensive and health issues), Rocco Baldelli (Health Issues), Willie Bloomquist (No better than Hopper), Reggie Abercrombie (No better than Hopper), Scott Podsednik (The Worst Player in MLB), Luis Gonzalez (Done), Barry Bonds (Done), Sammy Sosa (Done), Jay Payton (maybe on a minor league deal - he's better than Willie T.), Craig Monroe (see Jay Payton), Chris Burke (I'd take him on a minor league deal and would prefer him to Willie T.)

Guys who may be available in trade or at the end of Spring Training: Jermaine Dye (probably too much in dollars and talent, but the price may fall), Reggie Willits (would be a good fit), Eric Byrnes (AZ wants to move his contract and while he's not my first choice he's way better than Willie T.), Yankee Surplus guys (Nady, Swisher, Matsui, Damon - all better than Willie T and worth some bucks and talent),Jason Repko (Out of Options warm body with upside and an example of why its too early to panic and sign a guy like Willie T for 2 years), Delwyn Young (has big offensive potential and fills the "add a body to the roster" criteria that the defenders of this move are spouting), Giants Surplus (Schierholtz, Winn, Lewis for 2 spots and they are looking to add a bopper so maybe only one spot), Rangers surplus (Frank Catalonotto, Marlon Byrd, David Murphy, Brandon Boggs for 1 spot)....

Terrific post! :thumbup: :thumbup:

Rem

Chip R
12-30-2008, 01:26 AM
Y'all are going to like Owings much better as a pitcher who can hit than a hitter who can pitch.

WVRedsFan
12-30-2008, 02:00 AM
Tavaras is just as young as Dickerson is, and is younger than Hopper.

All the OF are a roll of the dice next year, including Bruce.

Food for thought. And your comment about Bruce is very true. We haven't seen enough of him to annoint him as a star yet.


Y'all are going to like Owings much better as a pitcher who can hit than a hitter who can pitch.

Well put. Owings will either be a pitcher or out of baseball. Yes, he can hit--for a pitcher, but the crap shoot he is reaks of typical Reds. Give up your 100 RBI man for salary flexibility. And then don't replace him. Yet. I hope that happens soon. If not....Uh Oh.

SMcGavin
12-30-2008, 02:39 AM
Yes, he can hit--for a pitcher

Have to disagree here. Owings has a career .907 OPS. That's not good hitting "for a pitcher", that's good hitting for a DH. Is that his true skill level, probably not, but his 1.189 OPS during his senior year of college makes it clear he swings a pretty good bat. If he'd have never stepped on the mound in his life, I bet he'd still have been drafted in the first 5-6 rounds of the MLB draft.

In 100% seriousness, I'd rank the hitting ability of the Reds current outfield options like this:

1. Bruce
2. Dickerson
3. Owings
4. Taveras
5. Hopper

Obviously I hope the Reds go find a LF who's a better hitter than Micah Owings. But right now I don't think they don't have one.

mth123
12-30-2008, 04:05 AM
IMO Taveras has two things going for him that Hopper does not:

1. he will be fully healthy 4/1/09

2. he can actually play centerfield

1. Agree but is this not true of Hopper? I'd like a little info there.

2. I question whether he really can any better than Hopper.

IMO, Taveras has one advantage and that is his strong throwing arm.

Hopper's major advantage that trumps all the others IMO: He's already on the roster and did not require a 2 year commitment (and I think he still has an option left and can be sent to AAA).

Will M
12-30-2008, 07:15 AM
1. Agree but is this not true of Hopper? I'd like a little info there.

2. I question whether he really can any better than Hopper.

IMO, Taveras has one advantage and that is his strong throwing arm.

Hopper's major advantage that trumps all the others IMO: He's already on the roster and did not require a 2 year commitment (and I think he still has an option left and can be sent to AAA).

didn't Hopper have tommy john surgery last july? is he really going to be ready for opening day?

from what i have seen Hopper is not a very good defensive outfielder, especially in CF. he is tons better than Jr or Dunn but he is no Eric Davis in CF

mth123
12-30-2008, 07:51 AM
didn't Hopper have tommy john surgery last july? is he really going to be ready for opening day?

from what i have seen Hopper is not a very good defensive outfielder, especially in CF. he is tons better than Jr or Dunn but he is no Eric Davis in CF

I don't think Taveras is any better than average out there. His strong arm gives him the edge over Hopper on defense. Both guys depend on running to cover other problems.

Don't know about TJ for a position player. It doesn't take as long to come back for a guy making an occasinal throw from the OF as it does for a pitcher to throw 150 or so pitches (including warm-ups etc.) every 5th day with the intent on adding movement and getting hitters out. I'd guess he'd be available or he should have been DFA'd off of the 40 man roster to clear a spot.

gm
12-30-2008, 07:14 PM
What if...

What if Jock's plan is to shift EdE to LF and fill the hole at 3b with another player? Could we all be barking up the wrong tree?

Now, don't shoot me. I know that EdE would probably be brutal in LF. But who knows? Jock has solidified his up-the-middle defense (to his way of thinking, anyway) and since EdE is already "shakey" at the hot corner, how much worse could he damage the team's defense out in LF? (Another thing I've noticed re: EdE is that he wants to catch EVERY pop-up in the infield, and not just the ones on the left side of the diamond. Maybe he has a fly-ball-catching fetish that will only be fulfilled when he shifts to the OF?) And, let's face it, his poor throws from LF that miss the cut-off man won't hurt as badly as his wild throws that get by Votto, eh?

So...what's the FA market for 3rd basemen?...or do the powers-that-be want to see country Kepp get more PT? (Again, don't shoot me, I'm just trying to track with this brave new world of Red's management trying to sell us their dead-ball era wares)

Topcat
01-02-2009, 03:24 AM
Walt is now on record as saying the plan for LF is:



If those are the only in-house options on the table right now, and assuming for the moment that nothing else gets done via trade, I humbly submit the name Micah Owings for consideration in LF.

So far, as a hitter, he's posted the following lines (albeit with limited 126 PAs):

'07 -- .333 / .349 / .683
'08 -- .304 / .361 / .411

His minors numbers (again, with only 64 total PAs over 4 years) weren't all that bad either: .359 / .373 / .500. Plus, in college, he was a monster at the dish -- his senior year at Tulane, he posted a .355 / .470 / .719 line, with 18 HRs.

Maybe his good hitting as a major leaguer is the product of limited exposure, but there's clearly a skill set there with the bat. I'll take that potential over Norris Hopper any day of the week.

Go with Owings if that is the options for LF, you're gonna gamble go with the guy that has toe most upside.:beerme:

WebScorpion
01-02-2009, 11:34 AM
I'm sure Walt has a plan for landing a solid left fielder for the 2009 season. I'm also pretty certain the plan doesn't involve spilling th edetails to everyone on the planet before it comes to fruition. :p:

reds44
01-02-2009, 08:29 PM
A Dickerson-Owings platoon in LF certainly presents a lot of upside (and a lot of downside). I just can't see the Reds going into the season with Taveras in CF and Dickerson/Hopper/Owings in LF.

Taveras
Dickerson
Votto
Edwin
Bruce
Phillips
Hernandez
SS

Taveras
Phillips
Votto
EE
Bruce
Owings
Hernandez
SS

Highlifeman21
01-02-2009, 08:44 PM
A Dickerson-Owings platoon in LF certainly presents a lot of upside (and a lot of downside). I just can't see the Reds going into the season with Taveras in CF and Dickerson/Hopper/Owings in LF.

Taveras
Dickerson
Votto
Edwin
Bruce
Phillips
Hernandez
SS

Taveras
Phillips
Votto
EE
Bruce
Owings
Hernandez
SS

Sure, except Owings is a pitcher who can hit, not a hitter who can pitch.

While it might be a fun novelty to run Owings out to LF for a start or 2 a week aside from him pitching, I just don't think it's best for the Reds' long-term plans.

MartyFan
01-02-2009, 10:26 PM
Here's a question...I heard that the Dodgers are wanting to unload Andru Jones...he could for sure be had for next to nothing and the Dodgers would be likely to pick up a bulk of his contract...for sure he has lagged the past couple of years but with his history, is he a worthwhile limited risk to bing him to Cincy to play left field and be the power bat we are looking for?

Highlifeman21
01-02-2009, 10:31 PM
Here's a question...I heard that the Dodgers are wanting to unload Andru Jones...he could for sure be had for next to nothing and the Dodgers would be likely to pick up a bulk of his contract...for sure he has lagged the past couple of years but with his history, is he a worthwhile limited risk to bing him to Cincy to play left field and be the power bat we are looking for?

Jones, however, is far from limited risk.

SteelSD
01-02-2009, 10:35 PM
Here's a question...I heard that the Dodgers are wanting to unload Andru Jones...he could for sure be had for next to nothing and the Dodgers would be likely to pick up a bulk of his contract...for sure he has lagged the past couple of years but with his history, is he a worthwhile limited risk to bing him to Cincy to play left field and be the power bat we are looking for?

No. Just no. The guy always swung completely from his heels and his bat has slowed down to the point where he's completely ineffectual at the plate. It's one thing if you're grabbing a short-term contract in order to prove to the baseball world that you can still be a high-value player. But all Jones has done is torpedo his value in the first year of that contract. There's very little "bounceback" potential here.

MartyFan
01-02-2009, 10:38 PM
Jones, however, is far from limited risk.

I just read that the Dodgers and Jones have agreed on a deal that pretty much ushers him out of LA with the option to sign with another team or be traded without losing any of his contract but not obligating his new team to pay the contract...to me, his history, his potential to return to his historic stats, his age, his contract situation and his current teams desire to see him gone make him a limited risk, no?

Highlifeman21
01-02-2009, 10:46 PM
I just read that the Dodgers and Jones have agreed on a deal that pretty much ushers him out of LA with the option to sign with another team or be traded without losing any of his contract but not obligating his new team to pay the contract...to me, his history, his potential to return to his historic stats, his age, his contract situation and his current teams desire to see him gone make him a limited risk, no?

How does he have potential to return to his historic stats? Consecutive years of suck (2007 & 2008), while progressing to the wrong side of 30 don't help his cause at all.

His contract situation and the Dodgers' desire to unload him are mutually exclusive in regards to risk. The risk lies with paying Andruw Jones money to play baseball. And it's not limited risk, it's significant risk, especially when your OPS plummets from .894 in 2006 to .724 in 2007 and then .505 in 2008 (although it was impressive that he actually had a higher OBP than SLG in 2008).

Andruw Jones is a guy you stay far far away from.

RedEye
01-02-2009, 10:54 PM
I'd almost rather the Reds sign Jim Edmonds than Andruw Jones. Almost. At least Grande would be happy.

TRF
01-02-2009, 11:05 PM
IF the Dodgers are eating his contract, AND the Reds would have to pay nothing over 1mil, I'm for giving him a look in ST. THAT's the kind of dumpster diving I can deal with.

Caveat Emperor
01-03-2009, 04:04 AM
Sure, except Owings is a pitcher who can hit, not a hitter who can pitch.

While it might be a fun novelty to run Owings out to LF for a start or 2 a week aside from him pitching, I just don't think it's best for the Reds' long-term plans.

In college, it was quite the opposite for him -- he was a prolific slugger who also happened to pitch every couple days.

And, really, I think the questions are larger about his arm and his pitching, at this point.

GAC
01-03-2009, 04:08 AM
In college, it was quite the opposite for him -- he was a prolific slugger who also happened to pitch every couple days.

And, really, I think the questions are larger about his arm and his pitching, at this point.

Yep. And if Ankiel can do it, then why not Owings? ;)

Highlifeman21
01-03-2009, 01:22 PM
In college, it was quite the opposite for him -- he was a prolific slugger who also happened to pitch every couple days.

And, really, I think the questions are larger about his arm and his pitching, at this point.

Unfortunately, he was the biggest piece that joined the Reds from the Dunn trade, so if he's meant to be a position player then I'm very disappointed.

However, if he's meant to shore up the back of our rotation, or solidify the pen, then I'm more encouraged by the move.

Regardless, I'm already convinced that The Dusty has no idea who Micah Owings is, what he can do, or how to use him...

Me? I just wanna see what the kid can do and how he can help the Reds, b/c wow do the Reds need help.

Boss-Hog
01-03-2009, 01:56 PM
Unfortunately, he was the biggest piece that joined the Reds from the Dunn trade, so if he's meant to be a position player then I'm very disappointed.

However, if he's meant to shore up the back of our rotation, or solidify the pen, then I'm more encouraged by the move.

Regardless, I'm already convinced that The Dusty has no idea who Micah Owings is, what he can do, or how to use him...

Me? I just wanna see what the kid can do and how he can help the Reds, b/c wow do the Reds need help.
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=280913129
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=280920117

I'm pretty sure he knows who he is and is aware of his hitting ability.

reds44
01-03-2009, 03:29 PM
"If anybody knows he can hit, they know he can hit."
What was that Dusty?

dsmith421
01-03-2009, 03:35 PM
What was that Dusty?

One of the goofiest things about Baker is that he can speak intelligently and cogently about all manner of subjects--wine, politics, etc.--in interviews, yet everything he says about baseball is a series of monosyllabic grunts or facile cliches with absolutely no internal consistency.

SMcGavin
01-03-2009, 05:34 PM
What was that Dusty?

The game was against the DBacks, Dusty is pointing out that "they" (the Diamondbacks) better than anyone should be aware of Owings' offensive prowess.

Dusty does say a lot of dumb stuff, but this time he was making sense.

Highlifeman21
01-03-2009, 09:16 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=280913129
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=280920117

I'm pretty sure he knows who he is and is aware of his hitting ability.

I don't think you picked up what I was puttin' down...

I'm not sure The Dusty will know how to use Micah Owings as a pitcher. He used him a couple times as a PH, and that was to be expected.

I'm also wondering if The Dusty might give Owings a start here and there in LF.

Since Owings was shut down for the year as a pitcher once we got him last year, I honestly don't think ST will be an ample evaluation period for The Dusty, since he had the Reds for last year and is on record saying he still doesn't know who or what he has on this squad...