View Full Version : How 'bout that defense?

03-29-2009, 10:02 PM
The front office and Mr. Toothpick have talked about the dedication to speed and defense this offseason. Is it just me or have some Reds pitchers taken some lumps due to this improved defense? Arroyo was roughed up today due to misplays by Dickerson and Hairston. Harang gave up a few unearned runs to the Yanks on Friday because of a Phillips error. Now I'm not at all worried about BP's glove, that's really the only area I don't worry about him, but the SS position has looked shaky with Hairston in there. Kepp may not go north with the team and the Reds can't afford to play him at SS for any extended amount of time. Gonzo has proven that he can play more than 2-3 days in a row, and who knows how terrible his bat will be without having significant ABs in the last year and a half. Arroyo also seems concerned with Hernandez behind the plate and seems to be lobbying for Hanigan to be his personal catcher. So if the Reds are really going to bank on their defense, doesn't Janish have to make this team? He is the only thing besides a healthy Gonzo that has a big league SS glove. If Dusty would hit him 8th it could might even makes us a better team, with or without Gonzo. The Reds just can't afford to have a suspect defender at SS once again if they plan on being competitive.

03-29-2009, 10:28 PM
Shows, ---like Baker has said from the beginning of ST, how important it is to have Gonzo healthy. Looking like that may not happen. I agree on Janish, I watched him closely while I attended ST games, and he is truly masterful defensively. Too bad he can't hit. I suspect by no later than mid-season, Valaika will be the everyday SS. Not because of his defense (avg. at best), but because of his bat.

Ghosts of 1990
03-29-2009, 10:35 PM
What I see from afar is a team that doesn't hit nearly enough for whatever the reason. Seriously time to be concerned.

03-29-2009, 10:45 PM
Hairston at short is not going to work. He's been flat-out awful, so far. If Agon becomes AGone again, they will have to have Janish waiting in the wings. No choice, really.

I think Dickerson and the rest of the OF D will be OK. It won't be enough to offset our hitting deficiency, however. It'll take some excellent pitching to make us a .500 club.

03-30-2009, 01:02 AM
I'm really not that worried about Dickerson or the other outfielders, even though I don't think they are going to be great defensively they should be above average.

Honestly, SS scares me to death. I have no reason to believe that Gonzo will play more than 50 games, and I'm afraid that Dusty will play JHJ there way too much. I'm sure Valaika could be average or very close to it, and we know Janish would be very good. IMO, SS is the most important defensive position and right now the Reds have a hole. They have options, but I'm not confident in Dusty making the right decision. I have my fingers crossed that Walt has the power to veto the toothpick.

And I also agree about the offense... We are going to need career years from EE and Willy. I think there will be a few different series this year where we score less than 4 runs. IMO, if Joey and Jay are shut down or slump the Reds will have a tough time putting up crooked numbers.

03-30-2009, 09:33 AM
I agree 100%, just posted in the "my beliefs" thread the same sentiment.

(not to be a broken record, but):
WOW, how I wish we could have traded for a SS; unfortunately since we didn't get our Big Bopper in LF, having a no-stick glove there is a luxury we can't afford.
We could have went with Janish if we had a proven .850/.900 OPS in LF.
We should have went after a Cabrera or a Hudson who both have a bit of pop, but we know the deal...
Not really sure who we could go after in a trade for a SS in mid-May, but I think it's more likely we go until June/July and see how Agon progresses, but I think JHJ is unfortunately going to be Plan B at Short. UGH!

When your theme is "Defense and Speed" having the most important defensive position on the field be a pandora's box is NOT a good first - or last - question mark to have.
I know a lot of people give Agon flack - especially on the other side of the board - but he looked good in the few games he played this Spring, and he was a HUGE upgrade from what we had before he arrived here. Right now, there is a HUMONGOUS drop-off from him to plan B. Not good.



03-30-2009, 09:56 AM
What I see from afar is a team that doesn't hit nearly enough for whatever the reason. Seriously time to be concerned.

"Whatever the reason" = lowest team OPS in the league from what I see right now.

We were already OPS challenged, and what were our losses/acquisitions? The worst CF-er in the game as far as OPS is concerned, and he's batting leadoff.
We were told RH power LF-er was a priority - we got JHJ, Gomes (who I like part-time) and Hope Springs eternal Dickerson.
I've seen the stats and analysis that "project" that over 150 games the OF of Dunn/CP/Griffey is a win-share loss to Dickerson/WT/Bruce because of al the defense - but I think in this case the numbers lie (let alone the fact that neither of these guys, outside of Bruce and Dunn, maybe WT, can project to play 150 games at their respective positions).

The other thing I've never "bought into" was the whole "lineups don't matter" statistical analysis.
I personally don't see how giving WT 660 AB's at the top of the lineup versus maybe 550 in the #8/#9 hole wouldn't hamstring an offense over 150 games.

Here's something interesting to read if you're so inclined:

it starts off with the following:
First off, we need projected stats for '09. CHONE's numbers will work just fine here.

Player R150 AVG OBP SLG
Joey Votto 9 .285 .365 .494
Edwin Encarnacion 8 .281 .360 .485
Jay Bruce 4 .276 .334 .509
Ramon Hernandez -7 .266 .332 .435
Brandon Phillips -9 .271 .325 .455
Chris Dickerson -15 .238 .330 .419
Alex Gonzalez -17 .258 .312 .410
Willy Taveras -22 .273 .328 .341
Jonny Gomes 7 .255 .357 .507

(Only 3 of our regulars project to be above average? Cripes.)
That bolded part is pretty telling, especially when trying to figure out the whole "why can't this team score many runs" dilemma.

It's pretty sad, and unfortunately I don't see how 8 gold glovers would overcome what is probably looking to be in the 30's for OPS for this team.