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View Full Version : What position should the Reds upgrade?



*BaseClogger*
06-04-2009, 06:02 PM
There are a lot of threads on RedsZone right now devoted to conversation about which position the Reds should improve to get them into the playoff picture. Is Matt Holliday the answer in left field? Should the Reds target an infielder like Tejada or DeRosa? Or should they just get the bat with the biggest impact? So this thread is devoted to determining which positions have actually been a strength for the Reds so far in 2009, and which project to stay that way from here out.

In attempt to determine which positions the Reds can choose to improve offensively, here is a list of the team's sOPS+ by position to date (OPS+ also normalized by position):


C: 117
1B: 121
2B: 138
3B: 67
SS: 100
LF: 71
CF: 74
RF: 100

Catcher has been a position of strength for the first time in years.

First base was another huge asset for the club before Votto went down. Now there is uncertainty at the position.

Second base has been the team's best position offensively, and is a strength defensively too.

Third base has been a swirling black hole of suckitude, both offensively and defensively.

Shortstop has been surprisingly solid. Alex Gonzalez has been decent enough defensively and Jerry Hairston has been good enough offensively there to make the position average with the stick.

Left field has sucked, but that should improve as the Nix/Gomes platoon gets all of the ABs.

Center field doesn't look good offensively, but the Reds are committed to defense-first at that position and Taveras/Dickerson along with all of those guys down on the farm all play great defense.

Right field has been just fine, and it's Jay Bruce's position for the next decade.

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Clearly, catcher, second base, and right field are set. I would venture a guess that center field won't be changed either, for a myriad of reasons: the Reds are committed to a defense-first center fielder, the farm system is loaded at that position, and a lack of difference makers on the market.

Personally, I would leave left field alone too. I just feel that unless a superstar like Lance Berkman is brought in--and he probably can't play left field anyways--there won't be a big enough upgrade over the current platoon. And just like center field, I don't think the Reds will trade for a shortstop. They have a lot of money invested in Alex Gonzalez, and have offense-first and defensve-first options available in Jerry Hairston and Paul Janish, respectively.

That leaves two positions, first base and third base. Why haven't I eliminated first base yet? Well, I don't know what the Reds know. And if Joey Votto isn't going to be available for a lengthy amount of time, then the Reds need to address that position. And I have the perfect solution; I would get Edwin Encarnacion some playing time over on the other side of the infield. Third base has been terrible, and we all know Edwin isn't a fit defensively there. Why not move him to first base with Votto out indefinitely? My trade targets would be top third baseman like Adrian Beltre, or possibly a first baseman such as Aubrey Huff.

What do you think?

westofyou
06-04-2009, 06:14 PM
Fanbase would be a great start.

Brutus
06-04-2009, 06:21 PM
Fanbase would be a great start.

Como?

deltachi8
06-04-2009, 06:22 PM
Pitching.

Bumstead
06-04-2009, 06:24 PM
haha...very nice. The Reds are having their best season in years and everyone wants to fix it...I think if the Reds could land a LF (a 1-year type player) that could hit toward the middle of the lineup without trading a top 5 prospect, it would be a worthwhile thing to do. Hopefully EDE is coming back in the not too distant future to help solve the low production at 1B.

Overall though, I think the team is doing great. They have really competed well even when their better offensive players haven't been playing. Solid pitching top to bottom really makes a difference!

Bum

Homer Bailey
06-04-2009, 06:29 PM
haha...very nice. The Reds are having their best season in years and everyone wants to fix it

Umm.... Do you think this team has no room for improvement? Best season in years? In 2006 weren't we like 36-24 at one point?



...I think if the Reds could land a LF (a 1-year type player) that could hit toward the middle of the lineup without trading a top 5 prospect, it would be a worthwhile thing to do.

Getting an upgrade over Gomes/Nix is going to take a top 5 prospect IMO.


Hopefully EDE is coming back in the not too distant future to help solve the low production at 1B.

EE at 1B??

Scrap Irony
06-04-2009, 06:32 PM
Can Aubrey Huff still play 3B effectively? He did very well last season statistically but only played a handful of games at the hot corner. If he can indeed play 3B passably, he'd be my top choice after a huge bat like Berkman.

Rojo
06-04-2009, 06:49 PM
A number of CF candidates. I think Votto will be fine (and there's Alonso in the wings). Gomes and Nix are doing nicely now and LF is never that hard to fill.

I'm not a fan of this team for no reason, so I say shortstop.

PuffyPig
06-04-2009, 06:57 PM
If Votto is going to be out for a significant period, I wouldn't make any "rental" type moves. Any trade would have to benefit us long term.

And I might say the same thing even if Votto is back after his DL stint on time.

nate
06-04-2009, 07:27 PM
haha...very nice. The Reds are having their best season in years and everyone wants to fix it...I think if the Reds could land a LF (a 1-year type player) that could hit toward the middle of the lineup without trading a top 5 prospect, it would be a worthwhile thing to do. Hopefully EDE is coming back in the not too distant future to help solve the low production at 1B.

Overall though, I think the team is doing great. They have really competed well even when their better offensive players haven't been playing. Solid pitching top to bottom really makes a difference!

Bum

They are doing better than any other Reds team this century. However:

1. That's a pretty low bar to step over.

2. As well as they've been doing, they're still in first, let alone running away with the division.

3. The teams near them will be improving their rosters.

*BaseClogger*
06-04-2009, 11:41 PM
Can Aubrey Huff still play 3B effectively? He did very well last season statistically but only played a handful of games at the hot corner. If he can indeed play 3B passably, he'd be my top choice after a huge bat like Berkman.

He's probably no better than EE defensively, but he could play 1B while Votto is still out. He also has experience in LF...

cincrazy
06-04-2009, 11:49 PM
There are a lot of threads on RedsZone right now devoted to conversation about which position the Reds should improve to get them into the playoff picture. Is Matt Holliday the answer in left field? Should the Reds target an infielder like Tejada or DeRosa? Or should they just get the bat with the biggest impact? So this thread is devoted to determining which positions have actually been a strength for the Reds so far in 2009, and which project to stay that way from here out.

In attempt to determine which positions the Reds can choose to improve offensively, here is a list of the team's sOPS+ by position to date (OPS+ also normalized by position):


C: 117
1B: 121
2B: 138
3B: 67
SS: 100
LF: 71
CF: 74
RF: 100

Catcher has been a position of strength for the first time in years.

First base was another huge asset for the club before Votto went down. Now there is uncertainty at the position.

Second base has been the team's best position offensively, and is a strength defensively too.

Third base has been a swirling black hole of suckitude, both offensively and defensively.

Shortstop has been surprisingly solid. Alex Gonzalez has been decent enough defensively and Jerry Hairston has been good enough offensively there to make the position average with the stick.

Left field has sucked, but that should improve as the Nix/Gomes platoon gets all of the ABs.

Center field doesn't look good offensively, but the Reds are committed to defense-first at that position and Taveras/Dickerson along with all of those guys down on the farm all play great defense.

Right field has been just fine, and it's Jay Bruce's position for the next decade.

----------

Clearly, catcher, second base, and right field are set. I would venture a guess that center field won't be changed either, for a myriad of reasons: the Reds are committed to a defense-first center fielder, the farm system is loaded at that position, and a lack of difference makers on the market.

Personally, I would leave left field alone too. I just feel that unless a superstar like Lance Berkman is brought in--and he probably can't play left field anyways--there won't be a big enough upgrade over the current platoon. And just like center field, I don't think the Reds will trade for a shortstop. They have a lot of money invested in Alex Gonzalez, and have offense-first and defensve-first options available in Jerry Hairston and Paul Janish, respectively.

That leaves two positions, first base and third base. Why haven't I eliminated first base yet? Well, I don't know what the Reds know. And if Joey Votto isn't going to be available for a lengthy amount of time, then the Reds need to address that position. And I have the perfect solution; I would get Edwin Encarnacion some playing time over on the other side of the infield. Third base has been terrible, and we all know Edwin isn't a fit defensively there. Why not move him to first base with Votto out indefinitely? My trade targets would be top third baseman like Adrian Beltre, or possibly a first baseman such as Aubrey Huff.

What do you think?

I always scoffed at the notion of Edwin being moved from 3B, I didn't think it would solve anything. But I just read a book on the Dodgers, and there was a passage in there that talked about Tommy Lasorda moving Pedro Guerrero from 3B to the outfield, and from there Guerrero took off offensively. He was DREADFUL at 3B defensively, but once he was moved, he thrived. I wonder if the same couldn't be said of EE. Might be worth a shot.

cincrazy
06-04-2009, 11:51 PM
Umm.... Do you think this team has no room for improvement? Best season in years? In 2006 weren't we like 36-24 at one point?




Getting an upgrade over Gomes/Nix is going to take a top 5 prospect IMO.



EE at 1B??

We were 28-19 I think in 2006... but it was smoke and mirrors. I really think this team is legit if it could be completely healthy, and if Walt added some pieces.

Mario-Rijo
06-05-2009, 12:01 AM
I always scoffed at the notion of Edwin being moved from 3B, I didn't think it would solve anything. But I just read a book on the Dodgers, and there was a passage in there that talked about Tommy Lasorda moving Pedro Guerrero from 3B to the outfield, and from there Guerrero took off offensively. He was DREADFUL at 3B defensively, but once he was moved, he thrived. I wonder if the same couldn't be said of EE. Might be worth a shot.

I think so he isn't out there playing stress free, it's like he's walking on eggshells at this point. Who knows if it would help or not, I doubt we ever see it though at least as a Red.

tripleaaaron
06-05-2009, 12:13 AM
haha...very nice. The Reds are having their best season in years and everyone wants to fix it...I think if the Reds could land a LF (a 1-year type player) that could hit toward the middle of the lineup without trading a top 5 prospect, it would be a worthwhile thing to do. Hopefully EDE is coming back in the not too distant future to help solve the low production at 1B.

There is always time for evaluation and a desire to improve. If the Reds sat on their hands we would rip them to shreds. As for LF there is only a handful of players that will be available who is a clear-cut improvement over the current platoon and we won't come away from the table without giving up a top 5 prospect; there will be far too many interested to deflate the value that low. I think EE could come back and give us a big boost, I wish it could be at 1B (or if you're not set on Nix/Gomes, maybe LF) while Votto is out, but now is not the time to teach him a new position (unless he has a really long rehab stint).

He's probably no better than EE defensively, but he could play 1B while Votto is still out. He also has experience in LF...

I like the thought of adding Huff and don't think it will take all that much. Huff is notoriously a 2nd half star and could give this lineup some needed pop and could fill in at our 3 weakest positions (sans Votto) 3B, 1B and LF. Huff's ability to play 1B would also keep the Catcher position from regressing as Hernandez would return to everyday duty and Wilkin Castillo would take his rightful place in the Minors. Huff could be the best fit for the current organization as his production and positioning will assuredly help the team without too much cost. Adrian Beltre would also be a good target (if his down production deflates his cost) as he should receive a big boost from GABP as well as a change of scenery.

mth123
06-05-2009, 06:22 AM
This team is flawed and needs some help at some key spots, but if the Reds really want to go for it this year, I'd be looking at trying to acquire Jake Peavey. I know nobody wants to think the Reds could make that type of deal, but this team has some depth in its minor league system and can make a pretty competitive offer that won't wreck the team.

I think the Pads would listen to a deal involving say Bailey, Owings, Stubbs and Roenicke. Peavey has a big contract, but the 2009 portion isn't so huge that the Reds couldn't absorb it for the rest of the year. It gets bigger in later years, but the team could look to move Arroyo after the season and guys like Weathers and Gonzalez will be coming off the books in 2010 to make room in the budget.

Getting Peavey to agree is probably more difficult than getting the Pads to accept a package of prospects that won't kill the team or the organization. The Reds are in the NL and at least reasonably close to Alabama where Peavey is from. Hopefully Peavey can see that this team could be in it all year with him at the top of the staff with Cueto, Harang, Volquez and Arroyo and wouldn't find a deal to Cincy too offensive.

Bumstead
06-05-2009, 09:04 AM
Umm.... Do you think this team has no room for improvement? Best season in years? In 2006 weren't we like 36-24 at one point?




Getting an upgrade over Gomes/Nix is going to take a top 5 prospect IMO.



EE at 1B??

Ah...found the critic...sorry for my typo :rolleyes:...EDE at 3B is what I meant obviously. In 2006, the Reds finished 80-82 (you know the saying: it's not where you start, it's where you _______; you can fill in the blank I'm sure); the current Reds team has far superior pitching. The offense is weaker, but pitching can do wonders for a W-L record. Right now, today, looking the platoon in LF, I guess you are correct; but, once normalcy (maybe spelled wrong, maybe not a word) sets in, it probably wouldn't take a top 5 prospect to upgrade LF. It might really only take Dickerson to be honest. Of course, if Dickerson needs to play play CF then that is a moot point. The Reds have to decide if they really have a shot this year and if the price they would have to pay is worth giving up one of their good young talents. They really have a shot right now of building a longer-term contender, but to do so it might mean winning 85 games this year and coming up short.

Personally, as a fan of 30+ years, I can wait another year for the Reds to build this thing up internally and then add players when they are really ready to compete. Of course if Votto and EDE (who plays 3B) come back soon then maybe this is the year; especially if the Chubs continue to underachieve (which I love since I work in Chicago).

Bum

princeton
06-05-2009, 10:11 AM
shortstop is key for the Reds.

traderumor
06-05-2009, 10:34 AM
Better baseball players are needed at several positions. SS, 3B, LF, CF and C. What we have there now is barely league average talent.

The rotation always has room for upgrade.

I would really like to see a power arm in the bullpen to follow Herrera. Herrera, Massett/Rhodes, Cordero is close, but Dusty will run Weathers out there in the 8th until he gets shelled a couple of times. But the bullpen is probably my lowest priority right now. I think we could be successful with what is in there now plus what is ready in the minors.