View Full Version : Could the Reds be better off with fringe guys?

Captain Hook
02-25-2009, 12:30 AM
This off season was filled with rumors hinting that the Reds could be on the verge off signing or trading for a big name to play Left Field and bat in the middle of the lineup.While there were some interesting names that came up I for one think that there was no one mentioned that would make the team anymore of a contender then they already are.

It is very possible and even likely that the team can get decent production out of who ever is playing LF.People here in the redszone are great with stats and I have seen enough to believe that some form of a platoon would work out great. There are a lot of options now because we didn't go out and get a guy that would have to play every day.A guy that is too old or that strikes out too much or that plays horrible defense but still a guy that would play this entire season just because of who he is.

If this team is going to compete it will because of great pitching and the young guys(Bruce,Voto,Edwin and Phillips)getting the job done.If things work out well and the team is close there should be many teams that are sellers come July.Maybe then would be a better time to find the perfect fit for LF.Who knows, maybe by then we will have other needs and who ever is playing LF is doing just fine.

I think Dickerson/Gomes platoon is the favorite but look forward to the competition beginning.

02-25-2009, 01:00 AM
If this team is going to compete it will because of great pitching and the young guys(Bruce,Voto,Edwin and Phillips)getting the job done.

This is the most underrated truth about the Reds. Being a mid-market team, their only real chance of competing is for everything to go according to plan. They can't afford to mis-spend money on big name free-agents like Milton and Cordero, or have any key players injured, like Jr. or Gonzo. Unlike the Yankees and Red Sox, they can't afford to bring in top replacements for guys who fail.

So, basically, the best plan is to build as solid a team as you can with the resources you have and pray everything works out. Then if you are in contention, go for the gold near the trading deadline. If you have a solid plan in place every year, most of the time you will compete and every now and then, you'll go far. If you try to "win it all" every year, you get 10 years of below .500 ball.

Ghosts of 1990
02-25-2009, 01:22 AM
I just feel like if we're calling Alex Gonzalez a key player, therein lies the problem.

Captain Hook
02-25-2009, 02:05 AM
I just feel like if we're calling Alex Gonzalez a key player, therein lies the problem.

Thats a completely different story.While he might now be a fringe guy his contract is far from fringe.I imagine its hard for a team like the reds to pay Gonzo(4.625 mil) and not take the chance that he comes back.There are some options there as well though.It is possible that Kepp and Harrison Jr. could have learned a little from last years experience at SS and improve their defense some.I think that last season was the only major time that either spent playing the position.

I maintain that it is all about pitching and the young guys.

02-25-2009, 09:35 AM
I think Dickerson will do all right in left field. He easily could be a 20-20 guy with a .290 plus BA which is fine with me.

02-25-2009, 10:26 AM
I think the Reds have alot of options, and the purpose of this season is to sort it all out, and see which cream rises to the top.

With a little luck, they contend, and things happen ahead of schedule.

02-25-2009, 01:26 PM
I think we base alot on the loss of Dunn/Jr which is natural.
However and this is all the "if" game, but last season we started with Hatt at 1st base.
So "if" Votto puts up similar or better numbers and Bruce makes a good size leap then we will still be getting good production from 2 spots in lineup.
So then it may come to ..."if" BP has a season simliar to 07 and if EE hits like he did in last half of 07.
That would be a decent while maybe not overpowering 3-6 in the lineup.
Course there are several "if's" there !

02-25-2009, 01:44 PM
I'm convinced there's a good platoon option in LF that will produce acceptable numbers.

Whether it's...

Dickerson/Votto with Kepp at 1B against LHP (my favorite option)
or Dickerson/Taveras with Hairston in left (my 2nd favorite option)

There are options for year round competition. Dusty can play the hot bat. You know there will be streaks where Kepp has to be in there because of how he's swinging or Hairston will go on another tear. I think when all is said and done we'll look at the LF slot and see an .800+ OPS for the year.

02-25-2009, 02:31 PM
Could the Reds be better off with fringe guys?

Answer: No.


02-25-2009, 03:01 PM
Interesting discussion. I still think it starts and stops with pitching, and that's what makes me excited about this year's team. If Griffey and Dunn were still here, I would STILL think that guys like Votto and Bruce are the keys to our offense. We know what seasoned vets like Grif, Dunner, Abreu, Garrett Anderson, etc. can do--not all that much more than a young guy or a "fringe" player (true, no fringe player gives 40 HR, but most dont strike out 200 times either).

Why overpay for veterans when your best chance of winning is to hope guys you already have can carry the team.

Lets look at the Rays' lineup last year. Big HR guys were Carlos Pena (32) and Evan Longoria (27). No one else had more than 20. Carl Crawford and Pena were the only two "big names" in their lineup. BJ Upton was a huge contributor but he was only 23, and I would place him in the same category as our highly touted young guys with lots of star potential. Here is the rest of their lineup:

Dioner Navarro (actually had a great year, but Hernandez could do the same)
Akinori Iwamura
Jason Bartlett
Gabe Gross
Cliff Floyd
Eric Hinske

I mean, these guys are the definition of "fringe." Not one player on the team hit .300 and the only starter over 30 years old was Floyd (Pena was 30). Why did they win? They played well together for one, but more importantly because they had an awesome pitching staff. They had 4 pitchers who ate at least 180 innings and a fifth at 152. Three of their starters, Shields, Garza, and Kazmir, had ERAs south of 4.00. Sonnanstine and Edwin Jackson dazzled at times, too. Throw David Price in there at the end of the season and you have some excellent pitching.

There is no reason the Reds staff this year can't duplicate that kind of success, but there are some huge IFs. Harang must regain form. Bailey or Owings would have to really break out. And Cueto and Volquez would have to avoid too many growing pains. I think it can definitely happen. The point is, the question of fringe players becomes moot if our pitching lives up to its potential and we avoid injuries.

Short answer to the question: Yes.

Captain Hook
02-28-2009, 03:57 AM
This subject is the key to the entire season.I'm surprised that more people are not disputing this possibility considering the negativity that so often runs rampant here in the Redzone.Maybe it is possible that others are starting to have some hope for 09.