PDA

View Full Version : The Not Being Negative Thread



membengal
12-29-2008, 11:37 AM
We have a Taveras, whether we wanted it or not, now what?

It appears the Reds have this off-season:

1. Addressed the pen
2. At least treaded water at Catcher, although I think they will be improved there
3. Added the CF/lead-off hitter they apparently thought they needed

How to maximize their chances of being competitive given the market and what Jocketty is professing to want this team to be?

A few thoughts:

1. Taveras' whole game is speed. Nothing else. Just speed. Unfortunately, the Reds have brought a guy who can't slug to a park that requires slugging. What to do? This was touched on in the Taveras thread by mth, I believe, but worth a longer look. Given that bloop hits will be fewer for Taveras in the much tighter GABP dimensions as opposed to Coors dimensions, in order to maximize what he does, I think they need to figure out what to do about the infield. In the olden days of yore, when Astroturf roamed the land, guys like Tavares would carve out extra hits with so-called "baltimore chops" and grounders that would find holes in the infield as nothing slowed them down. Should the Reds look into shaving the grass real low on the infield? Maybe not water it is as much? Would doing that help to maximize what Tavares does?

2. If the Reds WERE to do that, they would need markedly better defense at SS than they currently have. Unless Alex G really can come back and be what he was, the Tavares signing puts a permium on them acquiring a SS who can pick it and hit it. Time to re-knock on the Braves' door re: Escobar?

3. If this is to be a "pitching and defense" team, then they need more pitching too. Spend the money on a Sheets, say. Take a chance at putting another hoss into the rotation.

4. At some point the LF hole will be filled. Let's hope that is at least an .825 OPS type bat. And he better be able to field, even though it is not a defensive position, since this team will be living on defense.

If they make those kinds of changes, it would help, I think. If they are really going to embrace the Tavares, there have to be moves that accompany it that make sense.

A lot of the frustration that many of us have with the organzation is that it is hard to discern a plan, and if there is one, understanding the approach to putting the plan into place.

It would appear Walt thinks he has addressd up-the-middle issues with Ramon H and Willy T. If so, he needs to finish that off and deal with the gaping hole at SS. And he needs to do what he can to make GABP a little more friendly to a team with less of a pure SLG approach. That would be my hope for the remainder of the off-season. Maximize the return on Tavares, whatever that may be, configure the team to truly be "pitching and defense" if that is the approach, and give it a shot. What I don't want is them to go halfway on the approach. Commit to it and make it work, if that's the plan. Show a greater organizational commitment to it. And let the fans know for certain that is the approach.

westofyou
12-29-2008, 11:38 AM
the Reds have brought a guy who can't slug to a park that requires slugging. Actually the park doesn't require slugging it enhances slugging.

membengal
12-29-2008, 11:41 AM
It does for guys who can slug. Which is not Tavares. And that is not a slam on him, it is just not part of his game. He needs to be able to get on base a ton with balls in play, and I don't think the park suits his game in that respect. Which is why I am wondering about shaving the infield grass.

bucksfan2
12-29-2008, 11:42 AM
It does for guys who can slug. Which is not Tavares. And that is not a slam on him, it is just not part of his game. He needs to be able to get on base a ton with balls in play, and I don't think the park suits his game in that respect. Which is why I am wondering about shaving the infield grass.

So the only way to score runs at GABP is by slugging?

membengal
12-29-2008, 11:43 AM
At this point, it is far easier to score runs at GABP with that approach. Thick infield grass, not a ton of room in the OF for bloops to fall in, etc. Which is why I am asking about whether they should shave the infield down, and make it easier for guys like Tavares to scratch out hits. If indeed that would make it easier.

membengal
12-29-2008, 11:47 AM
mth in post #511 on the Tavares thread wrote:


Just saw this. Small ball teams usually were successful on turf with concrete IF, high bounces and fast rollers that get into the OF. The slow track approach can work until its adjusted to. Guys like Taveras don't hit the ball hard enough to deter teams from taking the slow roller away by simply playing in closer. The fast track, OTOH, does not allow the team to play deeper, because the speedy player will beat the longer throw. If they want to take advantage of this style, low grass and a hard surface is the way to go.

That means the team needs a stellar IF defense to prevent the opposition from beating them at their own game. The Reds have no such defense.

I think that is well worth a further discussion, and part of what prompted this thread.

chicoruiz
12-29-2008, 11:48 AM
Wouldn't tall infield grass make it easier for a speed guy like Taveras to bunt for a base hit?

westofyou
12-29-2008, 11:48 AM
Which is why I am wondering about shaving the infield grass.
Goes both ways, the Reds have a ?? at SS and EE who is erratic so that side of teh IF will probably be long, it drags the bunts of Taveras down (and be sure, that's what he's know for, not gap grounders) it also means that Phillips would probably bunt more. The other side of the IF I keep short Votto and Phillips can cover that better than the other side.

Ltlabner
12-29-2008, 11:50 AM
Goes both ways, the Reds have a ?? at SS and EE who is erratic so that side of teh IF will probably be long, it drags the bunts of Taveras down (and be sure, that's what he's know for, not gap grounders) it also means that Phillips would probably bunt more. The other side of the IF I keep short Votto and Phillips can cover that better than the other side.

What sort of differential in height are we talking about here to achieve this effect?

If one side is cut to 1/4" while the other is 3" deep it's going to look kind of stupid isn't it?

And does MLB have any rules about grass depth, not watering, etc?

membengal
12-29-2008, 11:52 AM
Right, woy, which is why I think a premium ought to be put on acquiring a SS who can really pick it. Not sure what to do about EE.

I am trying to figure out what the Reds might consider to maximize "pitching and defense" or "small ball" or whatever the term is that applies. I am not wedded to home runs and walks as a means of acquiring runs, if another approach works just as well, fine by me. Is the park and team as currently configured conducive to that? I don't think so, but know that the Reds are not moving the fences back or widening the alleys, so I wonder again about the IF grass, and what would be best. Even on short grass, good bunters can lay one down and get on.

membengal
12-29-2008, 11:53 AM
Wouldn't tall infield grass make it easier for a speed guy like Taveras to bunt for a base hit?

I just don't think he will get enough bunt hits down to make that a real consideration. If he is a good enough bunter, he can lay one down and get plenty of hits with short IF grass. And short IF grass would perhaps help him slap the occasional ground ball through the hole as well.

Again, part of this thread is me asking the best way to configure the park to fit Walt's apparent conception of how to build a winner. And what else should be acquired to fit that vision.

westofyou
12-29-2008, 11:57 AM
What sort of differential in height are we talking about here to achieve this effect?

If one side is cut to 1/4" while the other is 3" deep it's going to look kind of stupid isn't it?

And does MLB have any rules about grass depth, not watering, etc?

This depends on the type of grass, Bermuda is tall and others are short and interlocked, and it can be cut in the way that makes an inch differential not noticeable.

As for rules there are no out in the front rules that govern the maintenance of the terrain. But you can do all sorts of stuff to the dirt and the grass as far as firmness of the basepaths. The other team can complain, and the ump can try and make you fix it, but it's YOUR field, so there are tricks. I think this is some of what we'll see.

Shorter grass in the gaps of the OF, it will aid the speed of the Reds hitters who have limited power but wheels and the better OF speed will be able to handle it the other way. The grass while termed as the longest in the league a few years back will probably be cut a tad shorter, look for the base paths to be a bit harder and the spot in front of home to be deader and have thicker grass closer in front of the plate and more on the third base side to slow down Taveras hits.

That's what sort of small ball movement I expect to see, as with prior Baker teams there will be more movement on the pitch and a little more hit and runs than the prior Reds teams. I expect to see an emphasis on taking the extra base and on getting good secondary leads. The Reds are going to need to take extra bases and not give them away if they have both Phillips and Taveras as the speed answer to the Votto/Bruce/EE power approach.

It's not all small ball, but it's not going to be the station to station stuff we've being watching the last 8 years either.

membengal
12-29-2008, 12:00 PM
What sort of differential in height are we talking about here to achieve this effect?

If one side is cut to 1/4" while the other is 3" deep it's going to look kind of stupid isn't it?

And does MLB have any rules about grass depth, not watering, etc?

I echo ltl's questions. It's an intersting thought WOY, and would cover some of the issues with Tavares. It also would give Bruce and Votto a faster track to pull balls though, and Phillips covers oodles of ground. Is that kind of approach okay under the rulebook?

ETA: Oops, just saw WOY's post, thanks for the thoughts.

Ltlabner
12-29-2008, 12:00 PM
So the only way to score runs at GABP is by slugging?

Goodness no.

But a non "slugging" team requires players that can actually get singles, doubles and triples on a regular basis to make it work. A little speed doesn't hurt. The team, as it stands today, has two things going against it. Being OBP challenged (the consistency part) and a ballpark that suppresses doubles and triples (the extra base hit part). They have more speed than we've seen in the past few years but they have to use it wisely. Willy T and BPhill haven't always been successful in making their speed useful.

westofyou
12-29-2008, 12:00 PM
http://www.actasports.com/sow.php?id=163

Who were baseball's best bunters in 2007?

March 20, 2008

Each year we award baseball's best bunter with the Flat Bat Award. It's another one of those cyberspace awards—no real trophy or anything. Nevertheless, it does recognize a skill that seems to have become a lost art.

First, we look at bunters who are most prolific and most effective at sacrificing for runners on the bases. Second, we look at the best bunters when trying for a hit.

Here are the best at the sacrifice (listed in order of the most sacrifices):

2007

When bunting for a hit, the leaders are (listed in order of most bunt hits):

Willy Taveras Rockies 37 for 52 .712
Norris Hopper Reds 18 for 26 .692
Juan Pierre Dodgers 17 for 46 .370
Luis Castillo Twins-Mets 13 for 21 .619
Corey Patterson Orioles 12 for 24 .500
Gerald Laird Rangers 10 for 20 .500
Jose Reyes Mets 10 for 25 .400

The best bunters hit well over .500 when bunting (the 29 players with 5 or more bunt hits in 2007 batted a collective .545 when bunting).

The Flat Bat Award winner for 2007 (for the third year in a row): Willy Taveras. He led the majors in bunt hits with 37 and a spectacular .712 batting average when bunting for a hit.

Here are the winners since 2004:
Flat Bat Award Winners
2007 Willy Taveras
2006 Willy Taveras
2005 Willy Taveras
2004 Royce Clayton

membengal
12-29-2008, 12:03 PM
Woy wrote:


Shorter grass in the gaps of the OF, it will aid the speed of the Reds hitters who have limited power but wheels and the better OF speed will be able to handle it the other way. The grass while termed as the longest in the league a few years back will probably be cut a tad shorter, look for the base paths to be a bit harder and the spot in front of home to be deader and have thicker grass closer in front of the plate and more on the third base side to slow down Taveras hits.

I like this. I hope that is the kind of ballpark grooming they do to maximize this sort of approach.

Along with making other moves.

Ltlabner
12-29-2008, 12:05 PM
Shorter grass in the gaps of the OF, it will aid the speed of the Reds hitters who have limited power but wheels and the better OF speed will be able to handle it the other way. The grass while termed as the longest in the league a few years back will probably be cut a tad shorter, look for the base paths to be a bit harder and the spot in front of home to be deader and have thicker grass closer in front of the plate and more on the third base side to slow down Taveras hits.


Good stuff. Thanks.

It'd be fascinating to know all the little tricks teams use in their stadiums to get advantages. I'm sure there's a million little things they do that you'd never really notice if you weren't in the know.

mbgrayson
12-29-2008, 12:06 PM
So the only way to score runs at GABP is by slugging?

No, slugging is just the more efficient way to score in GABP. The park effects show that other things, like non-HR extra base hits, are at or below league average due to the dimensions of the park.

Check out this site for interesting info on park dimensions and weather: http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2008/12/17/695875/what-factors-have-an-effec

flyer85
12-29-2008, 12:08 PM
1. Addressed the pen.:confused:

Hard to see how subtracting Affeldt and adding Rhodes addressed the pen.

membengal
12-29-2008, 12:10 PM
Good stuff, mb. And, in the spirit of this being a not-being-negative thread, an example of how we can look at data and ask how best to utilize what Taveras does well in light of what we know about GABP. I like WOY's suggestions for grooming, particularly in light of the bunt hit data. Also the shaving the grass down the in the gaps makes a ton of sense. And also why I hope the eventual LF can cover some ground, more than you would usually require from that position.

I still would like to see SS addressed for this approach to have its best chance to work, and another hoss for the starting staff. In a dream world, acquire Beltre from Seattle and move EE to LF, too.

membengal
12-29-2008, 12:11 PM
:confused:

Hard to see how subtracting Affeldt and adding Rhodes addressed the pen.

I'm not being negative in this thread, flyer. Whether it was my ideal or not, the Reds feel they have addressed the pen. Re-signed Lincoln and Weathers, added Rhodes.

flyer85
12-29-2008, 12:12 PM
I do like the Reds starting rotation ... at least in comparison to any version dating back to the early to mid 90s. Seems like they have 4 solid starters and options for a 5th starter.

The only hands down improvement over last is catcher, simply because Hernandez/Hanigan has to be better than Bako.

membengal
12-29-2008, 12:13 PM
I do like the Reds starting rotation ... at least in comparison to any version dating back to the early to mid 90s. Seems like they have 4 solid starters and options for a 5th starter.

I do too, but in light of the premium apparently being placed on their pitching given the potential difficulty in replacing the lost runs from last years roster, I would like them to spend some of the promised coin on another quality starter at this point.

WebScorpion
12-29-2008, 12:17 PM
:confused:

Hard to see how subtracting Affeldt and adding Rhodes addressed the pen.
Was the bullpen a problem? I thought it was the one part of the team that performed well in 2008...maybe it was just me? :dunno:

membengal
12-29-2008, 12:20 PM
Was the bullpen a problem? I thought it was the one part of the team that performed well in 2008...maybe it was just me? :dunno:

I thought it did too. And they addressed it by re-signing Lincoln and Weathers, and acquiring Rhodes after losing Affeldt. That is what I, at least, meant by "addressed the pen".

flyer85
12-29-2008, 12:32 PM
I thought it did too. And they addressed it by re-signing Lincoln and Weathers, and acquiring Rhodes after losing Affeldt. That is what I, at least, meant by "addressed the pen".
one thing to consider about bullpen performance is that for most relievers their performance from year to year is highly volatile except for the few that are truly stud pitchers.

Jpup
12-29-2008, 12:32 PM
I actually like the Reds bully. It's the best part of the team...by far.

Falls City Beer
12-29-2008, 12:35 PM
If SLG is the secret to success in GAB, it certainly makes you wonder why 4/5th of the rotation are either extreme or slight flyball pitchers. Not a GB pitcher in the bunch.

Jpup
12-29-2008, 12:35 PM
If SLG is the secret to success in GAB, it certainly makes you wonder why 4/5th of the rotation are either extreme or slight flyball pitchers. Not a GB pitcher in the bunch.

wrong thread. ;)

Falls City Beer
12-29-2008, 12:36 PM
The only hands down improvement over last is catcher, simply because Hernandez/Hanigan has to be better than Bako.

Bruce over Griffey is a tectonic improvement. Per dollar paid, innings played on defense, Ken Griffey Jr. was just about the worst player in all of baseball last year.

membengal
12-29-2008, 12:39 PM
If SLG is the secret to success in GAB, it certainly makes you wonder why 4/5th of the rotation are either extreme or slight flyball pitchers. Not a GB pitcher in the bunch.

I would assume the Reds' answer to this is that power arms with high Ks help to neutralize their flyball tendencies. Generally.

And, yes, Bruce over Jr. is a massive step in the right direction for this club in 2009.

Any other thoughts from anyone on the best way to configure this club for Walt's apparent vision? Who to acquire to fill the defense/pitching model? What to do to the park?

Falls City Beer
12-29-2008, 12:42 PM
Any other thoughts from anyone on the best way to configure this club for Walt's apparent vision? Who to acquire to fill the defense/pitching model? What to do to the park?

Trade Harang and Arroyo for great defenders with high upside bats. Go out and get Jamie Moyer-types for half Harang's/Arroyo's salary and get the same results as Harang/Arroyo with a few less Ks. I think the Reds are overpaying two flyball pitchers in this park. Seduced by strikeouts, as it were.

I'd rather spend $7 million a season on Looper and have a good defender than have one less good defender and pay Arroyo $12 million.

flyer85
12-29-2008, 12:47 PM
I would assume the Reds' answer to this is that power arms with high Ks help to neutralize their flyball tendencies. Generally.

And, yes, Bruce over Jr. is a massive step in the right direction for this club in 2009.

Any other thoughts from anyone on the best way to configure this club for Walt's apparent vision? Who to acquire to fill the defense/pitching model? What to do to the park?the Reds are currently a flyball high K staff. Improving the OF defense is a bigger priority than the infield defense. Bruce is an improvement over Jr, Taveras is a dropoff from Patterson and LF will be an improvement over Dunn.

The proper way to configure your staff and defense for GABP would seem to be groundball pitchers combined with good infield defense. Since the Reds obviously don't have a ground ball staff spending a lot of effort to improve the infield defense would be spitting into the wind.

I don't think the configuration of GABP is going to change.

OnBaseMachine
12-29-2008, 12:52 PM
Not only is Aaron Harang severely underrated around the league, he's underrated on here too.

Falls City Beer
12-29-2008, 12:53 PM
Not only is Aaron Harang severely underrated around the league, but he's underrated on here too.

He'd be great in Safeco.

Harang for Beltre?

flyer85
12-29-2008, 12:54 PM
Trade Harang and Arroyo for great defenders with high upside bats. Go out and get Jamie Moyer-types for half Harang's/Arroyo's salary and get the same results as Harang/Arroyo with a few less Ks. take more cojones to make those kind of moves then than GMs not named Beane actually have. As you have pointed out Harang and Arroyo would be a lot more valuable in a lot of ballparks not named GABP. If Walt really wanted to turn the franchise around that is the place to start. However, to do it takes a really big pair and the brains to make it work.

OnBaseMachine
12-29-2008, 12:54 PM
He'd be great in Safeco.

Harang for Beltre?

He's great in Cincy too.

Harang for one year of Beltre? Nah.

Falls City Beer
12-29-2008, 12:55 PM
take more cojones to make those kind of moves then than GMs not named Beane actually have. As you have pointed out Harang and Arroyo would be a lot more valuable in a lot of ballparks not named GABP. If Walt really wanted to turn the franchise around that is the place to start. However, to do it takes a really big pair and the brains to make it work.

You're right. I think Walt is going to nibble the edges and wait for the "mighty" farm to do its work.

flyer85
12-29-2008, 12:58 PM
He'd be great in Safeco.

Harang for Beltre?I'd call up the Nats and ask about Zimmerman and Dukes.

Falls City Beer
12-29-2008, 01:00 PM
I'd call up the Nats and ask about Zimmerman and Dukes.

Since Jimbo wasn't the one to acquire Harang, I doubt he'll be much interested in him.

membengal
12-29-2008, 01:04 PM
the Reds are currently a flyball high K staff. Improving the OF defense is a bigger priority than the infield defense. Bruce is an improvement over Jr, Taveras is a dropoff from Patterson and LF will be an improvement over Dunn.

The proper way to configure your staff and defense for GABP would seem to be groundball pitchers combined with good infield defense. Since the Reds obviously don't have a ground ball staff spending a lot of effort to improve the infield defense would be spitting into the wind.

I don't think the configuration of GABP is going to change.

Right, I agree the dimensions will not/cannot be changed. By "configure" I was referring more to the previous discussion on grass length in infield and alleys etc...

OnBaseMachine
12-29-2008, 01:04 PM
Acquiring Nick Swisher to play left field would really get me excited about the 2009 season. He's a plus defender in left field, gets on base at a good clip, and he's got 25-30 homer power. Hopefully Walt can swing a deal for him like he should have two months ago.

membengal
12-29-2008, 01:05 PM
Trade Harang and Arroyo for great defenders with high upside bats. Go out and get Jamie Moyer-types for half Harang's/Arroyo's salary and get the same results as Harang/Arroyo with a few less Ks. I think the Reds are overpaying two flyball pitchers in this park. Seduced by strikeouts, as it were.

I'd rather spend $7 million a season on Looper and have a good defender than have one less good defender and pay Arroyo $12 million.

I like the thought and its bold. I would look to backfill with a free agent like Sheets or Lowe to boot.

Falls City Beer
12-29-2008, 01:06 PM
I like the thought and its bold. I would look to backfill with a free agent like Sheets or Lowe to boot.

Lowe is going to be outrageously expensive. Particularly for his age.

membengal
12-29-2008, 01:15 PM
Yeah, well, if they can move Arroyo, that takes care of a part of the expense. I do think Lowe's stuff will "age" well, so it might be worth a shot. Plus, he fits the bill as a groundball guy. It would at least fit a "pitching and defense" plan on a makes sense level.

bucksfan2
12-29-2008, 01:43 PM
Goodness no.

But a non "slugging" team requires players that can actually get singles, doubles and triples on a regular basis to make it work. A little speed doesn't hurt. The team, as it stands today, has two things going against it. Being OBP challenged (the consistency part) and a ballpark that suppresses doubles and triples (the extra base hit part). They have more speed than we've seen in the past few years but they have to use it wisely. Willy T and BPhill haven't always been successful in making their speed useful.

For years the Reds built their offense around sluggers. Ever since Jr was traded for the Reds were a HR hitting team. Jr, Dunn, Kearns, and Wily Mo were all high slugging, low average guys. Guys who more of a station to station type baseball. The roster was built around a cornerstone of a slugging outfield. Its not really a knock on the players as much as it was on the front office's approach at building a baseball team.

I don't really have a problem with Phillips. He is obp challenged against right handers but he has very good pop in his bat for a second baseman. His defense is top notch and if used properly in the lineup is one of the top 2b in the game. In Willy T's first 3 years in the league he improved each season. Last year he fell off and had a poor season. If he can rebound to his 06-07 form then he may be a steal. If he can't then hopefully Jocketty can limit Dusty's use of him.

Too often I think small ball gets looped into the "get em on, get em over, get em in" philosophy. I don't think anyone wants a fast team that is lacking in baseball skills. But if small ball means more aggression on the base paths, putting runners in motion, making the defense move, etc, then I am all for it. But it is all predicated upon runners getting on base and big time production out of both Votto and Bruce.

Jpup
12-29-2008, 01:46 PM
For years the Reds built their offense around sluggers. Ever since Jr was traded for the Reds were a HR hitting team. Jr, Dunn, Kearns, and Wily Mo were all high slugging, low average guys. Guys who more of a station to station type baseball. The roster was built around a cornerstone of a slugging outfield. Its not really a knock on the players as much as it was on the front office's approach at building a baseball team.

I don't really have a problem with Phillips. He is obp challenged against right handers but he has very good pop in his bat for a second baseman. His defense is top notch and if used properly in the lineup is one of the top 2b in the game. In Willy T's first 3 years in the league he improved each season. Last year he fell off and had a poor season. If he can rebound to his 06-07 form then he may be a steal. If he can't then hopefully Jocketty can limit Dusty's use of him.

Too often I think small ball gets looped into the "get em on, get em over, get em in" philosophy. I don't think anyone wants a fast team that is lacking in baseball skills. But if small ball means more aggression on the base paths, putting runners in motion, making the defense move, etc, then I am all for it. But it is all predicated upon runners getting on base and big time production out of both Votto and Bruce.

The problem with all those years was the Reds had no pitching. The hitting wasn't the problem. Now, it's pretty much the opposite.

westofyou
12-29-2008, 01:47 PM
For years the Reds built their offense around sluggers.

Since 1956 yep.

bucksfan2
12-29-2008, 02:42 PM
The problem with all those years was the Reds had no pitching. The hitting wasn't the problem. Now, it's pretty much the opposite.

Not really they chose to invest in bats instead of pitching. The pitching was poor because the Reds didn't plow enough of their resources into pitching.

Always Red
12-29-2008, 02:51 PM
The problem with all those years was the Reds had no pitching. The hitting wasn't the problem. Now, it's pretty much the opposite.

Except that the Reds finished 13th in the NL in pitching last year.

membengal
12-29-2008, 02:56 PM
Except that the Reds finished 13th in the NL in pitching last year.

That's why I propose adding one of the free agent stud pitchers to this roster. They are not near good enough there yet to make this approach work. So they should try and get better there.

Always Red
12-29-2008, 03:08 PM
That's why I propose adding one of the free agent stud pitchers to this roster. They are not near good enough there yet to make this approach work. So they should try and get better there.

I'd love to see them do that, too, and also adding an OPS+ bat in LF.

Not sure that either are in the budget that Walt has to work within, though. Haven't heard about any budget changes, but things can change in an economy like this. Cast always talks like the Reds are going to be players in free agency, and then are not, which is fine if you're looking to go young and rebuild from within. I wonder how season ticket sales are moving, as compared to last year?

This team needs either Homer or Owings to step up and do the job.

Jpup
12-29-2008, 03:34 PM
Except that the Reds finished 13th in the NL in pitching last year.

I said now. Harang will be better, Volquez should be about the same, Arroyo the same, and Cueto should improve. They also have better options for a 5th starter than 1 year ago.

I, also, would be greatly in favor of adding a Ben Sheets or Derek Lowe to the mix.

wheels
12-29-2008, 03:41 PM
Might as well load up on pitching, because adding a semi decent bat won't cure the home plate allergies sure to be affecting the club next season.

If they're serious about defense and pitching, stick Dickerson in left, bring up Drew Stubbs, and hire a couple more nasty arms. One for the pen, and one for the rotation. Then, go after Ronny Cedeno as a shortstop.

It's an offensive club BadFundamentals would drool over, and a pitching staff that could make the whole season somewhat less unbearable.

Always Red
12-29-2008, 04:50 PM
I said now. Harang will be better, Volquez should be about the same, Arroyo the same, and Cueto should improve. They also have better options for a 5th starter than 1 year ago.

I, also, would be greatly in favor of adding a Ben Sheets or Derek Lowe to the mix.

Same pitchers as last year, except Rhodes for Affeldt, and adding Owings, who essentially takes Belisle's spot.

All are a year older (or more experienced), of course, which should help Homer, Cueto and Owings. I also hope that Harang regains form, but who knows? Volquez pitched much better in the first half of the year than the 2nd half.

If you're saying that you hope this group pitches better than they did last year, well, I hope that they do, too.

Caveat Emperor
12-29-2008, 04:51 PM
Acquiring Nick Swisher to play left field would really get me excited about the 2009 season. He's a plus defender in left field, gets on base at a good clip, and he's got 25-30 homer power. Hopefully Walt can swing a deal for him like he should have two months ago.

Though, I imagine if Jocketty had any great interest in Swisher, he'd have attempted to acquire him before the Yankees had a chance.

SirFelixCat
12-29-2008, 05:43 PM
I've had Lowe on my wishlist all year. Unfortunately, it ain't gonna happen.

And Swisher would be great, agreed.