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View Full Version : Thoughts After 20 Games



TheBigLebowski
04-28-2009, 11:01 PM
I think the 20 game mark is a good time to assess things. It's still very early but most observers can see certain things about a team after 20 games.

It always makes me laugh when people jump all over critics of managers and GM's. "Leave it to the baseball people, the ones who are getting paid millions of dollars. We're just fans - they know what they're doing." It's simply amazing to me how many times the fans - the laypeople - seem to be the ones who actually know what the hell is going on. WE seemed to know that we needed a RH bat this off-season and there were plenty available. Plenty. What's more, with the economy being down & all, these RH bats were taking a lot less money than they normally would, and we could have taken on a younger RH OF and signed him long-term for what would essentially be considered a huge bargain in 2-3 years, once the economy is fixed (and we all know it will be). We all assumed that with the departure of KGJ and Dunn and their contracts that we would certainly be big players on the free agent market. Nope. We get Willy Tavares, Laynce Nix, Arthur Rhodes and Ramon Hernandez via trade, and we re-sign Harriston.

The fans also knew Mike Stinkin' Lincoln was garbage, but that memo never made it to Walt Jocketty; thus, he gets guaranteed money to stink for 2 years. My only hope is that they see it was a mistake, recognize the fact that it's now a sunk cost, cry "mea culpa" and send him down or DFA him.

Alex Gonzalez is playing pretty good defense but he's lost at the plate. He'll get a little better but I really don't see the guy breaking the .230 mark over the long haul. Paul Janish probably won't do much better. Most will say he is Gonzo's equal with the glove but I don't agree. Gonzo's getting the money so I guess we just have to hope he finds his stroke.

I was really impressed by EdE's early plate discipline and OBP. However, sans the granny in Milwuakee, he hadn't had any hits to speak of. We all know that increased plate discipline will eventually lead to seeing better pitches, which will lead to more hits. Unfortunately, EdE got impatient with his new approach, began hacking away and now is not only not getting on base, he's not seeing anything to hit. He's on the DL now with an injury that I believe is just a smokescreen. Maybe the downtime will be good. I do think he'll return to his career norms but, for those of us who were predicting that this would be his "Aramis Ramirez" year, the early returns are disappointing. His defense is still lousy as well.

Brandon Phillips will get going. I'm not really worried about him, except for the fact that he's hitting into even more Phillips's that normal, and that's bad when we, the fanbase, has already named the play after him, so it's not as if the double-play is a rarity when he comes to the plate. I am encouraged that Dusty has occasionally moved him out of the cleanup spot. He has no business there, especially right now.

Gotta say I'm pretty satisfied with the catching situation, aka "Hernandigan." Good defense, production at the plate (Hernandez has started to hit), good handling of pitchers. Not a lot to gripe about there, especially when we're accustomed to carrying 3 thoroughly useless catchers at one time. Breath of fresh air, mi amigos.

Chris Dickerson doesn't look like a league-average player to me. Athletically, he's gifted off the charts but he makes a lot of basic mistakes in the OF, which offset his occasional fantastic plays. He has a horrible tendency to expand his strike zone (free swinger) and he doesn't hit for a ton of power. Maybe there really was a reason why he spent such a long time in the minors.

It may not be the majority or accepted opinion but I like Harriston a lot. He's versatile, he can run, and I think he is the hitter we saw last year, for the most part. I think his BA will rise as he gets more plate appearances. He's patient, he hits to all fields and he's fast. Of course, he is also very injury prone. Still, for what it cost, it was a good signing.

Votto is having his coming-out party this year and will be recognized as one of the best hitters in the NL by the time the year is done. He's all over it. Of course, we need to figure out of his future is in LF, clearing the way for Alonso in 2010 or if he's a 1B, which leaves us with some obvious questions about Alonso.

Bruce is about to really turn it on as well. You can't help but be excited at the prospect of having those two guys in the middle of our order for 10 years.

Laynce Nix looks like a nice pickup. I think that he'd have a very nice season if he got the at-bats.

So far, you gotta admit Willy Tavares has been pretty good. He's not swinging wildly at the plate, often working counts very deep and taking a few walks. He's hitting the ball pretty hard and would have stolen a lot more bases if he'd have been given the green light. His defense in center has been good. Still think we overpaid and, let's not forget, many people were happy to have Corey Patterson at this point last year, but the early returns are encouraging.

Arthur Rhodes has been an absolute Godsend. MVP of the team other than Joey Votto. Great signing.

Cordero, other than last night's outing (one in which I think we all feared bad things - the closer in a non-save situation) has been nails. Still not worth the money IMO but he may change my mind if he performs to this level all season long.

The offense as a whole is what we feared it would be - painfully average or, perhaps even simply bad. We need to make a trade or find someone out there on the FA wire (I can't think of anyone, BTW) who can help. It's frustrating to watch. 2 games into this homestand and we've scored 4 runs. In 20 games, we've scored 73, which averages out to 3.65 per game. That ain't gonna cut it and we all know it. Even though we're still not getting diddly from Gonzo/EdE/Phillips and we know we will eventually get more, it still doesn't make this offense any good.

Pitching and defense? Hmm...with ya on the pitching aspect, for the most part...bullpen sans Stinkin' has been excellent (Burton will be fine, btw). Cueto looks like a better pitcher this year and Harang is rounding back into form. Arroyo is what Arroyo is - a 4.50 guy who gives you innings and keeps you in ballgames, a good middle-of-the-rotation guy. I think Owings is going to be one of the better #5 starters in the league. Volquez is worrisome but I have to believe he'll get it together soon. But the defense? Ugly. BP, Gonzo, Chilly Willy and Hernandigan are strong up the middle but the corners are just putrid.

I have to say that I'm pretty happy with the job Dusty's done so far. Our batters are showing patience, working counts, drawing walks, etc. He's shown a willingness to move BP from the cleanup spot. I think he's managed the staff well and, other than his proclivity to put Lincoln in games in which the outcome is even slightly in doubt, he's managed the bullpen well. I just wish he'd take more advantage of our team speed. With guys like Tavares, Harriston, Dickerson, Phillips, etc, we should have a lot more stolen bases than we do.

I do think we can make a run at this thing but we need a bat. Soon. Yesterday. All I really want is for us to be in this thing for the entire season.

RedLakerFan24
04-28-2009, 11:17 PM
we need a LF with some POP

ChatterRed
04-29-2009, 12:49 AM
It always makes me laugh when people jump all over critics of managers and GM's. "Leave it to the baseball people, the ones who are getting paid millions of dollars. We're just fans - they know what they're doing." It's simply amazing to me how many times the fans - the laypeople - seem to be the ones who actually know what the hell is going on. WE seemed to know that we needed a RH bat this off-season and there were plenty available. Plenty. What's more, with the economy being down & all, these RH bats were taking a lot less money than they normally would, and we could have taken on a younger RH OF and signed him long-term for what would essentially be considered a huge bargain in 2-3 years, once the economy is fixed (and we all know it will be). We all assumed that with the departure of KGJ and Dunn and their contracts that we would certainly be big players on the free agent market. Nope. We get Willy Tavares, Laynce Nix, Arthur Rhodes and Ramon Hernandez via trade, and we re-sign Harriston.


I agree with most of what you said, but highlighted the best part. I am very disappointed in management's inability to get what this team needed most. Especially when they stated it was the biggest need, and THEN THEY DON'T FILL IT?

It's going to turn this promising season into another mediocre season, and COMPLETELY WASTE one of the best Reds pitching staffs which we haven't seen in a very, very, very long time.

What a shame.

Slyder
04-29-2009, 01:36 AM
I really wish there was some way to go back and give this pitching staff to the team when they were scoring runs by the bushels we could have something very special.

corwinator3407
04-29-2009, 01:49 AM
Mike Lincoln has shown me absolutely nothing, and I don't see him around much longer. And I'm excited to see if Rosales can do anything while EE gets healthy.

Eric_the_Red
04-29-2009, 06:42 AM
If fine and dandy to say we needed a RH power bat, but would someone please show me the moves you would've made to do so? Don't forget to take whatever salary you give to that FA bat away from the current team. I think doing this will have many of you with rosters featuring Dickerson as the team's starting CF.

Please show your work. ;)

BEETTLEBUG
04-29-2009, 07:49 AM
Lincoln will be around for awhile he is owed this year and next.Sorry

Griffey012
04-29-2009, 08:49 AM
Lincoln will be around for awhile he is owed this year and next.Sorry

Mike Stanton and Rheal Chormier say hi.

BigJohn
04-29-2009, 09:12 AM
Lincoln makes me wanna puke!

TheBigLebowski
04-29-2009, 09:12 AM
If fine and dandy to say we needed a RH power bat, but would someone please show me the moves you would've made to do so? Don't forget to take whatever salary you give to that FA bat away from the current team. I think doing this will have many of you with rosters featuring Dickerson as the team's starting CF.

Please show your work. ;)


Pretty simple, really. You don't re-sign Lincoln, possibly not even Harriston, whom I do like. You don't give Willy Tavares 5 mil. You use that money and maybe a little bit extra (even though that's already what - 8/9 mil?) to sign or trade for a RH power bat. Bruce played a little CF last year. Yeah, we'd sacrifice a bit of defense but, as we've seen thus far, this team isn't strong defensively anyway.

Eric_the_Red
04-29-2009, 09:18 AM
Pretty simple, really. You don't re-sign Lincoln, possibly not even Harriston, whom I do like. You don't give Willy Tavares 5 mil. You use that money and maybe a little bit extra (even though that's already what - 8/9 mil?) to sign or trade for a RH power bat. Bruce played a little CF last year. Yeah, we'd sacrifice a bit of defense but, as we've seen thus far, this team isn't strong defensively anyway.

Okay, so on the back of the player's jersey does it say "Power Bat"? Which player that was a free agent last year would you have signed and for how much?

And who takes the place of Lincoln, Hairston, & Taveras on the roster?

I would suggest that spending the amount that would be required for a player the caliber that you seem to want would lead to holes elsewhere on the team. Didn't the organization already try the "pay for star sluggers and fill in with scrubs" philosophy for the last decade or so? I don't remember that working out too well.

BEETTLEBUG
04-29-2009, 09:35 AM
Maloney for Lincoln,Bankston for Hairston,& FA Power bat for Taveras

RedLegsToday
04-29-2009, 09:45 AM
Through April 28:

Reds LFers - .192/.284/.321/.605 OPS w/9bb, 20k and 4 errors
Adam Dunn - .328/.488/.656/1.144 OPS (leading league) w/20bb (leading league), 13k and 1 error

BEETTLEBUG
04-29-2009, 09:54 AM
I know I know but they didn't want Dunn

ChatterRed
04-29-2009, 10:03 AM
I think it's pretty well known that the Reds could have had Jermaine Dye from the WhiSox........but the Reds ownership wouldn't pull the trigger due to the increase in salary.

Where would this team be with Dye's bat in the 4 hole right now?

20 games
.301 average
5 HR's
12 rbi
.342 OBP
.876 OPS

bounty37h
04-29-2009, 10:11 AM
My most receent thought is someone needs to sneak down to GABP at lunch and burn that sucker down so we have to play on the road the rest of the year-we cant seem to win in that place!

mivers176
04-29-2009, 11:21 AM
Concering the RH power bat - can anyone explain why we got Cantu from TB (which i absolutely loved when they did it) and then didnt keep him around at all? He did okay when given the opportunity and now he's raking in Florida - i just feel he was a PERFECT fit for the Reds, CHEAP and could hit for decent average and 25-30 dingers.

I could only imagine our lineup with him somewhere in the 4-6 spot!!

RedLakerFan24
04-29-2009, 12:35 PM
Yeah i loved Cantu i was so dissapointed when we released him i was pissed, he is one of my fav players, I wanted Holliday or Jermaine but the front office wouldnt do it, We need someone in that 4 spot because phillips is not a 4 hitter

BigJohn
04-29-2009, 12:40 PM
Brag on Dunn all you want he still has a .188 RISP

krm1580
04-29-2009, 12:47 PM
My thoughts after 20 games are pretty much a mixed bag. With that 10 straight road game stretch in there, if you would have told me before the season started they would be 10-10 I probably I would have taken it.

The problem for me is the 10 wins have for the most part been squeakers while the 10 losses for the most part have been blowouts giving the perception that this team is not as good as its record and things probably could be worse.

The flip side is half the starting 8 is hitting below .200, which I will go out on a limb and say probably will not continue, and they have not been burried yet so there is some reason to be optimistic.

Realistically I thought this team would be in the 78-80 win area with a decent shot at the playoffs in 2010 and I think that will still be the case.

BEETTLEBUG
04-29-2009, 12:49 PM
Well then they should have given Gomes a better shot. He is cheap

RedLakerFan24
04-29-2009, 12:54 PM
If we get Matt Holliday or Jermaine Dye right now we will make the playoffs, we need someone to take the pressure of Phillips and Encarnacion, they seem to be trying to do too much

Bumstead
04-29-2009, 01:04 PM
Brag on Dunn all you want he still has a .188 RISP

Dunn is actually hitting .328 with RISP; you see, unlike anyone playing LF for the Reds or anyone in the middle of the Reds lineup (not named Votto or Bruce), Dunn is always in scoring position. 40 HR's, 100 RBI's every year and you still can't let it go...let it go.

As to the original post, the Reds are about what I expected; a .500 team with really good pitching and a weak offense. Unfortunately, some guys have started out slower than expected offensively. The Reds should battle for 2nd/3rd in the division all season.

Bum

Captain Hook
04-29-2009, 01:28 PM
I'm not to thrilled with how things have gone so far.IMO not much has gone right.Three regular guys batting below .200 and the starting pitching struggling somewhat would have led me to believe that a 10-10 record wouldn't be possible.The bullpen and Joey Votto have been very good.Cueto and Bruce has been good at times along with a few other guys doing just ok.

Maybe we were a little lucky to be at .500 but I would guess that this hasn't been the month where we saw the Reds play their best baseball.I would even go as far to say that it could end up being their worse.

So the hope is that the days of guys hitting below .200 and inconsistent pitching will end up passing and we will see the current team improve a little.If this does happen then come July it will make sense to make a move for the bat everyone wants.I just don't think that 1 guy can make a difference the way things are going now.

TheBigLebowski
04-29-2009, 01:36 PM
Okay, so on the back of the player's jersey does it say "Power Bat"? Which player that was a free agent last year would you have signed and for how much?

And who takes the place of Lincoln, Hairston, & Taveras on the roster?

I would suggest that spending the amount that would be required for a player the caliber that you seem to want would lead to holes elsewhere on the team. Didn't the organization already try the "pay for star sluggers and fill in with scrubs" philosophy for the last decade or so? I don't remember that working out too well.

So your argument is essentially that because there is no easy, obvious answer, there is no sense in trying to solve the problem. I get it...

Eric_the_Red
04-29-2009, 02:16 PM
So your argument is essentially that because there is no easy, obvious answer, there is no sense in trying to solve the problem. I get it...

No, my argument is that I put more validity into criticism if the critic can propose a viable alternate solution. Other than that it strikes me as lazy Monday morning quarterbacking.

I've read plenty of posts that say "we need a RH power bat" but haven't seen 1 scenario that would give the team that bat without weakening some other part of the team. It all tends to become annoying white noise after so long.

BigJohn
04-29-2009, 02:20 PM
Can you not read situational stats?

He is hitting 188 RISP 200 RISP/2outs and 242 with runners on. If he were with the reds he would have 40 walks already and great stats but no moved runners!

He is hitting 419 with no one on base, HMMMMMMM.

Bumstead
04-29-2009, 02:46 PM
Dude, relax. I'm just saying that Adam Dunn is in scoring position when he steps up to the plate. Certain Reds 'fans' will never appreciate him. It's fine, just let it go; he's not here anymore! :rolleyes:

The fact is he hit 40 HR's and drove in 100 runs every year and now we are looking for that player again...just so we could complain about him I'm sure.

Bum

RedLakerFan24
04-29-2009, 03:04 PM
i didnt like Dunn, whenever we needed him to drive runs when we needed him he always struck out, he use to get meaningless HR and RBI's, Votto is just the opposite of Dunn

freestyle55
04-29-2009, 03:10 PM
Can you not read situational stats?

He is hitting 188 RISP 200 RISP/2outs and 242 with runners on. If he were with the reds he would have 40 walks already and great stats but no moved runners!

He is hitting 419 with no one on base, HMMMMMMM.

He's OPS'ing over 1000 in that situation with 8 RBI's though in 16 at bats, 8 BB, only 2 K's...cherry picking a little?

freestyle55
04-29-2009, 03:14 PM
i didnt like Dunn, whenever we needed him to drive runs when we needed him he always struck out, he use to get meaningless HR and RBI's

Uhhh....FAIL.

He has been right with the other sluggers of his time on "non-meaningless" HR's throughout his career, he led the team in RBI's almost every year and converted them basically as well as the rest of the top sluggers in the league (less chances = less RBI's).