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View Full Version : Official Keppinger LF platoon thread



UPRedsFan
01-25-2009, 02:51 PM
I've mentioned this a couple times. I want to see how many agree with the idea. Maybe we can get someone's attention.

here's the argument...

Everyone acknowledges Keppinger dropped off last year and probably due to his knee injury. But in that drop of year consider that he hit .360 and had a
.900 OPS against left handed pitching! How can you leave that bat on the bench against lefties???

This is a perfect platoon option in left field. Dickerson seems to struggle against the southpaws but I wouldn't be surprised to see him get to .850 or
.900 against right handers. I believe Keppenger can provide adequate defense in left. No worse than Dunn, and maybe a shade better if he works at it.

This saves Hairston for the old Freel role.

Who's with me on Keppinger/Dickerson in LF

redsfandan
01-25-2009, 03:12 PM
I like Kepp but I still prefer him (and Hairston) as multi-position backups. If Kepp is in left who will we have to backup the infielders besides Hairston? Richar? Rosales? If Gonzalez is healthy than Janish can stay in AAA. So who? Whether it's Kepp or Gomes to platoon with Dickerson in left we could be ok there but, imo, if Kepp isn't a backup to the if/of the bench may not be as strong.

TheNext44
01-25-2009, 04:12 PM
I like Kepp but I still prefer him (and Hairston) as multi-position backups. If Kepp is in left who will we have to backup the infielders besides Hairston? Richar? Rosales? If Gonzalez is healthy than Janish can stay in AAA. So who? Whether it's Kepp or Gomes to platoon with Dickerson in left we could be ok there but, imo, if Kepp isn't a backup to the if/of the bench may not be as strong.

I agree, Kepp is hurt here by his versatility. Most likely, Gomes will platoon with Dickerson in left, since that is all he can play defensively. Gomes, if healthy should hit a ton of homers in GABP, so it's not like the Reds lose a lot there with him over Kepp.
And those splits make Kepp a great weapon off the bench if they want to bring in a lefty.

But that is a great idea, platooning Kepp would be a great way to capitalize on his strengths.

schmidty622
01-25-2009, 04:21 PM
Is there an unofficial Kepp LF Platoon thread that I haven't seen?

Kingspoint
01-25-2009, 09:53 PM
How about a platoon where Taveras splits his time with someone?

Slyder
01-25-2009, 10:18 PM
Any platoon that finds Tavares on the bench every game is good in my eyes. Unfortunately he's being paid (like Hernandez) to start so the guys who are cheap and might actually become something get pushed aside.

UPRedsFan
01-26-2009, 11:07 AM
I like Kepp but I still prefer him (and Hairston) as multi-position backups. If Kepp is in left who will we have to backup the infielders besides Hairston? Richar? Rosales? If Gonzalez is healthy than Janish can stay in AAA. So who? Whether it's Kepp or Gomes to platoon with Dickerson in left we could be ok there but, imo, if Kepp isn't a backup to the if/of the bench may not be as strong.

I don't understand this line of thinking. If Kepp is in left and we need an emergency infielder, you just move Kepp where needed and put Dickerson or Hairston in the game in left. Why keep his bat out of the lineup against LHP just because you might need a backup infielder???

Bumstead
01-26-2009, 11:14 AM
While Gomes may be a useful player and a sometimes platoon player against lefties, I'm not sure what leads one to believe that he will 'hit a ton of HR's at GABP'...Even if he happened to hit 20 Hr's (which isn't a 'ton' in my opinion), based on his career numbers his batting average would kill us (if you take out the one year he hit over .244). Let's just hope either we sign someone real late cheap or that Dickerson plays well enough to be out there most of the time. Gomes will hopefully be useful as an occassional starter and pinch hitter but to have great expectations for him to be anymore than that doesn't make much sense to me anyway.

Maybe Dorn comes up sometime early to platoon. I would be more optimistic in his abilities.

Bum

BLEEDS
01-26-2009, 11:18 AM
How about a platoon where Taveras splits his time with someone?


How about we go "Platoon" on him, and find a Barnes for his Elias?

PEACE

-BLEEDS

UPRedsFan
01-26-2009, 11:26 AM
Just for comparison...

In 2008 Keppinger had a higher batting average and OBP against LHP than both EE and BP. As you would predict, he slugs less but still a .900 OPS!

Kepp .360 avg .412 OBP .489 slugging

BPhil .296 avg .358 OBP .586 slugging

Edwin .292 avg .398 OBP .507 slugging

Kepp is hands down the right guy in the lineup against lefties. In my mind, Gomes would have to take it from him with outstanding performance.

PedroBourbon
01-26-2009, 01:47 PM
You guys in central KY probably already have seen this, but one of the local sports news people (Mary Jo Perino, WLEX 18) calls Kepp "the only man my husband would leave me for."

If my wife broadcast my man love to most of the state, let's just say it wouldn't be pretty. ;)

CesarGeronimo
01-26-2009, 01:52 PM
I agree with you that Kepp should be in the lineup against lefties. His career numbers in 300 plate appearances against lefthanders:

.351 BA, .403 OBP, .515 SLG, .918 OPS

Here are Jonny Gomes career numbers in 489 plate appearances against lefthanders, which are also quite good:

.266 BA. .369 OBP, .510 SLG, .879 OPS

Although last year, Gomes fell to this against lefties:

.182 BA, .281 OBP, .424 SLG, .705 OPS

Chris Sabowned
01-26-2009, 03:37 PM
Looks like Gomes will get the platoon opportunity first according to Baker, but I'm sure Kepp will get his fair share of at bats and if he returns to 2007 form he'll get playing time somewhere.

CesarGeronimo
01-26-2009, 03:46 PM
Yeah, Chris, I think Gomes and Hairston will both see plenty of LF time long before Kepp would (who's never played much outfield, but I bet he'd be better than Gomes defensively).

Are you an OU student, by the way? I'm an OU grad and remain a big fan of the Bobcats and Athens.

Chris Sabowned
01-26-2009, 07:13 PM
I am an OU student. I was just at the Reds Caravan in Athens last friday in fact.

CesarGeronimo
01-26-2009, 08:20 PM
Cool, Chris, I saw the Reds Caravan stop in Bloomington. I remember the good old days at OU watching some Reds games in the afternoon at The Pub or Tony's when I should have been studying.

Kingspoint
01-26-2009, 08:25 PM
How about we go "Platoon" on him, and find a Barnes for his Elias?

PEACE

-BLEEDS

Works for me. Best-case scenario is that Gomes never sees a ML at-bat as a RED.

BLEEDS
01-26-2009, 08:29 PM
I am an OU student. I was just at the Reds Caravan in Athens last friday in fact.

You might want to use some of your OSU learning to spell-check your sig! :cool:

PEACE

-BLEEDS

CesarGeronimo
01-26-2009, 08:38 PM
You might want to use some of your OSU learning to spell-check your sig! :cool:

PEACE

-BLEEDS

OSU learning? That's an oxymoron. I believe we were talking about OU (the proud drunkards down in Athens). It's not ALWAYS about the Buckeyes. :cool:

RED VAN HOT
01-27-2009, 12:24 AM
I would be reluctant to play Keppinger in LF. He is slower than Gomes (or Dunn for that matter). Speed is likely to come into play in the outfield where it can make the difference in holding down the number of extra base hits. Also, where would he bat? If the Reds are going to play a speed game, it does not work to bat him first or second. I think he ends up 7th or 8th.

I like the utility role. For the occasional start, I like him better at third. Good hands and quickness matter more than speed there. IMO, his OBP and ability to make contact make him very valuable as a pinch hitter.

thatcoolguy_22
01-27-2009, 08:16 AM
The RH platoon partner of Dickerson will have minimal impact on the squad.

Gomes is a statue standing on one of those moving walkways at an airport, only he wears a glove. He totes an amazing -36.7 UZR/150 for his career in LF. Not to mention Marcels has him projected at .742 OPS. Color me unimpressed.

Hairston could be decent as a RH platoon partner as long as his 2008 numbers do not plummet back to his career norms (I'm not holding my breath). LF appears to be his best position, with a +16.2 UZR/150. However Marcel has him projected at a .715 OPS.

Keppinger has played a total of 3 games and 19.1 innings in the OF in his entire major league career. Marcel projects him at a .726 OPS. What makes anyone really think he will be much better than the other 2 for RH/LF?

Last 3 years vs LHP

Gomes
.368 OBP .527 SLG .895 OPS

Hairston
.310 OBP .349 SLG .659 OPS

Keppinger
.402 OBP .502 SLG .904 OPS


Last year Hairston had a career year with the stick but does anyone think he can repeat his .871 OPS? I don't. His glove is leaps and bounds beyond the other 2 options though. Gomes is coming off a off year where he OPS .666. Throw in his middle school level of defense and you see why he was only invited to spring training with a minor league deal. Keppinger is a wild card. We have nothing to prove that he either can or can not play LF or if last year was just a product of his knee injury or if 2007 was just a fluke year.

I hope Dickerson comes out crushing every pitch in the zone again and makes this whole debate moot. We were spoiled by watching a bad LF (still better than Gomes) crush baseballs for almost a decade. Now were going to watch a bunch of AAAA players try to act like major leaguers. Unless of course Dickerson holds his own, Hairston proves that his numbers in 07 were not a product of only half a season worth of ABs, or Gomes figures out how to hit again.

2009 will be a long season :(

flash
01-27-2009, 08:54 AM
I can't believe anyone actually thinks Gomes should be on the team. The guy strikes out more than he gets on base which is big time bad. His range factor also indicates that he is mediocre at best as an outfielder. He does have a little speed although I doubt he is faster than either Hopper or Dickerson. I really think he will have a hard time just beating out Stubbs, Henry, Dorn and whoever else is competing for a spot in the Bats outfield.

Going solely on stats, it is Bruce that needs to be sat against left handers. I know some say that the only way he will learn to hit them will be to hit against them. Well, if he shows he is learning this spring then great, if not, well he can learn on his own time, not on the clock. Platoon him with Keppinger.

UPRedsFan
01-27-2009, 12:01 PM
I would be reluctant to play Keppinger in LF. He is slower than Gomes (or Dunn for that matter). Speed is likely to come into play in the outfield where it can make the difference in holding down the number of extra base hits. Also, where would he bat? If the Reds are going to play a speed game, it does not work to bat him first or second. I think he ends up 7th or 8th.

I like the utility role. For the occasional start, I like him better at third. Good hands and quickness matter more than speed there. IMO, his OBP and ability to make contact make him very valuable as a pinch hitter.

You would sit the 3rd best option on the team against left handers so you can use him as a pinch hitter? Outside of BP and EE, no one produces better against lefties. If offense is a concern, we need Kepp in there every time against left handed pitching. He can hold his own on defense.

thatcoolguy_22
01-27-2009, 01:04 PM
He can hold his own on defense.

a loose phrase (and meaningless) considering how it has been proven over and over again by using modern defensive statistics that he can't. At least not at an average level.

UPRedsFan
01-27-2009, 06:30 PM
a loose phrase (and meaningless) considering how it has been proven over and over again by using modern defensive statistics that he can't. At least not at an average level.

No, no, I mean he can hold his own on defense in left field. And by hold his own, I mean we won't see a difference from what Dunn gave last year.

gedred69
01-28-2009, 12:25 AM
Dorn gets an early call up to face RH pitching. 400+ ABs=25-30Hrs. Fill in the blank against LH if you want, but he even gets on base decently against LHers. You can look it up.

Captain Hook
01-28-2009, 01:02 AM
I can't believe anyone actually thinks Gomes should be on the team. The guy strikes out more than he gets on base which is big time bad. His range factor also indicates that he is mediocre at best as an outfielder. He does have a little speed although I doubt he is faster than either Hopper or Dickerson. I really think he will have a hard time just beating out Stubbs, Henry, Dorn and whoever else is competing for a spot in the Bats outfield.

Going solely on stats, it is Bruce that needs to be sat against left handers. I know some say that the only way he will learn to hit them will be to hit against them. Well, if he shows he is learning this spring then great, if not, well he can learn on his own time, not on the clock. Platoon him with Keppinger.

Bruce is one of the many guys on the team that can really improve on what he did last year.The Reds are using this theory to explain how they score more runs.Considering last years terrible season,the lost of Dunn and the fact that they have not added a serious run producer they have to say something. In Bruce's case I agree.At his age and the fact that he hit lefties just fine in the minors I don't see why you don't at least give him this season to prove he can do it.IMO Jay will have a great season and could possibly be our best RF since Paul O'Neil.

RED VAN HOT
01-28-2009, 01:14 AM
You would sit the 3rd best option on the team against left handers so you can use him as a pinch hitter? Outside of BP and EE, no one produces better against lefties. If offense is a concern, we need Kepp in there every time against left handed pitching. He can hold his own on defense.

Yes, I would. I will attempt to make my case by comparing Kepp's stats to Gomes, Dunn, and Taveras. Gomes and Dunn have power but, many K's. Taveras, like Kepp, has minimal HR power. Taveras, however, does have speed. Besides BA and OBP, I computed the freguency of certain outcomes as a percent of plate appearances. The stats are career, no splits.

Name BA OBP PA HR% 2B% SB% R% GDP%
Kepp .287 .338 941 1.38 4.68 0.74 11.05 3.51
Gomes .235 .329 1415 4.66 4.24 2.12 13.14 1.06
Dunn .247 .381 4668 5.96 4.31 1.26 14.97 1.22
WT .283 .331 2089 0.34 2.87 8.09 14.12 0.72

I want to focus on R%. This is the percentage of plate appearances that the hitter eventually scores a run. Note that Keppinger is the lowest. Dunn is the highest, but we would expect a high number because of the high OBP and HR%. Gomes's HR% and OBP are lower than Dunn's and so is his R%. Gomes beat Kepp in HR% but not OBP. Yet, Gomes is subtantially higher in R% than Keppinger. So it appears that power makes a big difference in R%.

Speed also seems to make a difference. Taveras has an anemic HR bat and is just ahead of Gomes in OBP. Yet, his R% is close to Dunn's. I conclude that speed and the high SB% percent allows him to compensate for the absence of HR's.

Finally, the GDP% (Grounded into DP) is very telling. Again, Keppinger is surprisingly high. Kepp is an excellent hitter who will produce singles, doubles, a lot of walks and few strikeouts. He does not however, score many runs and is prone to taking his team out of an inning by hitting into a double play. IIRC, he has also hit at the top of the order on many occasions. If he starts, where does he bat? I think you want speed at the top of the order and power in the middle. He might be ideally suited to bat eighth.

On the defensive side it is difficult to compare across positions. I have no stats that would indicate Kepp would perform any worse than Gomes in LF. I am relying primarily on speed comparisons, although admittedly there are other skills instrumental to getting to more balls in play.

UPRedsFan
01-28-2009, 11:26 AM
Please recalculate Kepp's percentages to show what he does against left handed pitching. I'm sure you'll find it's much higher and he is by far the best option. Aainst left handed pitching his OBP is not .338. It's over .400!

flash
01-28-2009, 03:22 PM
Bruce is one of the many guys on the team that can really improve on what he did last year.The Reds are using this theory to explain how they score more runs.Considering last years terrible season,the lost of Dunn and the fact that they have not added a serious run producer they have to say something. In Bruce's case I agree.At his age and the fact that he hit lefties just fine in the minors I don't see why you don't at least give him this season to prove he can do it.IMO Jay will have a great season and could possibly be our best RF since Paul O'Neil.

I don't really thin Bruce should platoon with Keppinger, but if you do give Bruce a day off which the Reds should do it should be against lefties when you could plug in Keppinger.

As far as Gomes is concerned (I can't believe I am actually talking seriously about this guy.) The guy strikes out more than he gets on base. As far as the runs percentage is concerned a lot of that depends on the guys who bat behind you. A player rarely drives in runs with walks. The fault that Keppinger didn't score was not his fault. Someone should had drove him in. (Dunn, Griffey, Phillips.) Taveras was followed in the line-up by Holiday so it isn't all speed either. Gomes had one decent season, and it was only decent. Dickerson can put up his numbers. Lastly it fuigures you will hit into DP's when you actually hit the ball which is something Gomes has difficulty doing.

thatcoolguy_22
01-28-2009, 04:12 PM
Please recalculate Kepp's percentages to show what he does against left handed pitching. I'm sure you'll find it's much higher and he is by far the best option. Aainst left handed pitching his OBP is not .338. It's over .400!

see post #21 in this thread

RED VAN HOT
01-28-2009, 10:58 PM
Please recalculate Kepp's percentages to show what he does against left handed pitching. I'm sure you'll find it's much higher and he is by far the best option. Aainst left handed pitching his OBP is not .338. It's over .400!

OK.
My purpose in posting these stats was to make a case that offensively a player should have either speed or power to be an effective starter. Your point is well taken, nevertheless. I recomputed for LH hitting only. This time I focused on the other three leading contenders for the LF RH hitting platoon, Gomes, Hairston, and Hopper. I also added RBI% to get a better indication of how well a player produces runs. Runs scored off LHP makes little sense as a statistic because of pitching changes after the runner reaches base. In order to approximate this, I made the assumption that once a player reaches base, it is equally easy to score against RHP and LHP. I computed the runs % by apportioning the total runs scored in accordance with how many times the player reached base against RHP and LHP. Thus, the R% reflects the approximate percent of the time a player scores after reaching base as a RH hitter. Here is what I computed.

Name OBP BA HR% 2B% SB% R% RBI% GDP%
Kepp .403 .351 2.53 5.67 0.33 12.67 11.67 2.00
Gomes .369 .266 5.11 4.09 1.84 14.11 12.47 1.23
JHJ .323 .267 1.17 5.10 4.14 11.89 7.96 2.65
Hoppy .406 .367 0.57 4.00 4.00 14.29 4.00 2.29

As you suggest the numbers are much better for Keppinger when the data are limited to PA's against LHP. Kepp shows more power and grounds into DPs less often. Gomes, however, still gets the nod by virtue of both better power and speed.

Interestingly, Hairston hits better against RHP than LHP. Offensively, he should be the third choice. IMO, his defense is better than any of the others, so there is a tradeoff. Aside from JHJ, however, the sample sizes for plate appearances are very small.

Jerome
01-29-2009, 01:43 AM
A healthy Kepp needs ABs for this team. Before the patella incident (God that sounds painful) Kepp was on his way to having another great year (.320 BA in 147 ABs). Healty Kepp = .315 BA. Put him in left. Put him at short. Hell, put him at catch.