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TheNext44
08-21-2009, 07:35 PM
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If it's Dusty Baker's call, Brandon Phillips won't be moved to shortstop.


“No,” Baker said. “Not he’s the caliber of Joe Morgan, but that be like moving an All-Star second baseman to shortstop. You try to develop a shortstop and leave that strong position alone.”


“That shortstop is a lot of work. You probably work as hard at shortstop . . . probably only the catcher is involved in more plays – cutoffs and relays. That’s why I admire the offensive players like Cal Ripken Jr. That’s double duty. To me, that’s like Willie Mays playing an excellent center field and batting third. You’re carry most of the offensive weight and most of the defensive weight.”


“If (Phillips) played short, how much would that affect his offense? Most of the time, you move a guy off of short. Very rarely do you move someone to shortstop.”


I competely disagree. I think Phillips is the best choice to play short.

So I asked Baker who is going to be the shortstop next season?


“That’s our job,” Baker said. “That’s why (Paul) Janish is getting a good look now.”


What does he think Janish can do offensively?

“I’d like to hit him .250, especially if you can get some offense around him,” Baker said. “But the shortstop position has changes and evolved over the years. It was a defense position. Look at Ozzie (Smith) when he came up. Ozzie learned how to hit.”


Dave Concepcion and Larry Bowa also made to big leagues by virtue if their gloves.


“Those guys were on some high-octane offensive clubs that could carry them,” Baker said. “Then Cal Ripken, ARod and (Derek)Jeter came along. I think we’re coming to new era where you’re going to see baseball like it used to be because we’re more into the non-steroid era.”

BRM
08-21-2009, 07:39 PM
“I’d like to hit him .250, especially if you can get some offense around him,” Baker said.

I'd like for Laynce Nix to hit 40 bombs too but it's highly unlikely.

Jpup
08-21-2009, 07:40 PM
I agree with Dusty on this one. I couldn't imagine anything good coming from moving Phillips to shortstop. I would guess that Brandon would rather cash his checks playing second base.

Highlifeman21
08-21-2009, 07:41 PM
So much for the losing stops now.

Can't wait to see our Opening Day SS for 2010.

BRM
08-21-2009, 07:42 PM
Can't wait to see our Opening Day SS for 2010.

I don't expect much honestly. If it's not Janish, it will be some other team's version of Janish that Walt will acquire this winter.

Highlifeman21
08-21-2009, 07:43 PM
I don't expect much honestly. If it's not Janish, it will be some other team's version of Janish that Walt will acquire this winter.

I fear you're right.

I also fear how much we'll pay in FA for someone Janish-esque, or what we'll give up to another team to acquire someone Janish-esque.

OnBaseMachine
08-21-2009, 08:01 PM
Paul Janish is not an everyday shortstop. He would be lucky to OPS .550 over a full season.

Tom Servo
08-21-2009, 08:04 PM
For the offense starved Reds a defensive minded SS is really not the best route. Moving BP to SS and opening up 2B where we are more likely to find someone who can hit (maybe even Frazier) would be a boost. If we could get a JJ Hardy or someone at SS, sure. But as stated, Janish or a Janish-type doesn't work as an everyday player.

GAC
08-21-2009, 08:09 PM
Take a look at Concepcion's career offensive numbers. Not really that impressive....

A career .679 OPS ... .322 OB% + .357 SLG%

So Davey made more of a positive contribution with his glove then his bat. And a team can "absorb" that lack in offense by building the supporting cast around him. Yeah, I'd love to have a "Larkin" at SS. But when that is not available I'd still settle for a solid glove guy at SS, with an average bat.

I agree with Baker in not wanting to move BP. Why mess with a good thing? And I use to think otherwise. I disagree with him though if he thinks playing Janish, even though he has gotten very limited playing time, can learn how to hit at the ML level. Don't see it happening.

But we could possibly even "absorb" Janish's lack if they'd have sound, contributing, impact players elsewhere. But they haven't done so to date.

Raisor
08-21-2009, 08:17 PM
Take a look at Concepcion's career offensive numbers. Not really that impressive....

A career .679 OPS ... .322 OB% + .357 SLG%



Davy in his "impact years"

From 1973 to 1981 Davey had an OPS+ >100 six times out of nine years.

It's a different time, though SS seems to to be coming back around.

mth123
08-21-2009, 08:53 PM
Take a look at Concepcion's career offensive numbers. Not really that impressive....

A career .679 OPS ... .322 OB% + .357 SLG%

So Davey made more of a positive contribution with his glove then his bat. And a team can "absorb" that lack in offense by building the supporting cast around him. Yeah, I'd love to have a "Larkin" at SS. But when that is not available I'd still settle for a solid glove guy at SS, with an average bat.

I agree with Baker in not wanting to move BP. Why mess with a good thing? And I use to think otherwise. I disagree with him though if he thinks playing Janish, even though he has gotten very limited playing time, can learn how to hit at the ML level. Don't see it happening.

But we could possibly even "absorb" Janish's lack if they'd have sound, contributing, impact players elsewhere. But they haven't done so to date.


So, all that we need is three hall of famers and an all-time hit leader and we'll have a "supporting cast" to carry Janish as the SS.;)

For the record, I don't move Phillips unless a better than average player for 2B is brought in. Otherwise, I'd focus on finding a SS who can play the position and get on base at a .340 plus rate.

kpresidente
08-21-2009, 08:58 PM
This is why the Reds will never build a winner. There is no formula to team building. You don't say things like "You should move guys off shortstop, not to shortstop," as if the position exists in a vacuum, seperate from the rest of the roster. It's all about opportunity. We need better players and and we need them cheap. If the available player at the right price plays second base, you bring him in and move Phillips to short. If he plays short, great, you don't have to move Phillips. These guys gotta stop thinking like they have the luxury of devising such picky formulas.

Spring~Fields
08-21-2009, 09:04 PM
I agree with Baker in not wanting to move BP. Why mess with a good thing? And I use to think otherwise. I disagree with him though if he thinks playing Janish, even though he has gotten very limited playing time, can learn how to hit at the ML level. Don't see it happening.

But we could possibly even "absorb" Janish's lack if they'd have sound, contributing, impact players elsewhere. But they haven't done so to date.

:help:
What “good thing”? have you been watching the same team I have for the past nine seasons. Since when did nine seasons of below .500 qualify as having anything good about it? :yikes:

Obviously Walt Jocketty is just a suite with a prestigious title, and Mr. Baker is running the show along with Big Bob Castellini, the king of rutabagas.

:lastyear:

The following makes a whole lot more sense to me now. Aggressive swinging on offense, bad base running gaffes, players that have been brought into the organization to play, pitching lapses, batters regressing, beyond ridiculous lineups. Game after game.

All that which the fans, the media and the broadcasters scratch there heads about, ramble, babble, and rant about, is making a whole lot more sense now.



I guess you were right about your favorite manager. :bowrofl::bowrofl::bowrofl::bowrofl:

RedLegSuperStar
08-21-2009, 09:05 PM
I don't expect much honestly. If it's not Janish, it will be some other team's version of Janish that Walt will acquire this winter.

Travis Wood for scrub SS?

There is a reason why this team is fairing the way they are and not putting the best lineup on the field on a nightly basis is one reason. Phillips actually stated he would move over and play SS. Mr Hustle came out and actually said he would move to the left side and be the SS. I cant see Brandon being a failure over there.. just doesn't seem like him. Frazier would get my vote at 2nd because of his bat potential and I think Francisco could be an option in LF. Fans will come see a line-up of:

Stubbs - CF
Frazier - 2B (Going against the SS rule)
Votto - 1B
Francisco - LF
Rolen - 3B
Bruce - RF
Phillips - SS
Hanigan - C

Dusty needs to worry about pitch counts and putting out a lineup who can score runs. He fails in both departments up to this point if you ask me. He should be managing for his job..

HokieRed
08-21-2009, 09:06 PM
What if you bring in a second baseman, then discover Phillips can't really play the position very well? It's not a simple move from second to short. All the angles look different, the footwork is different, the throwing is different. How many years now has Phillips been making those relatively short throws from second? You can't just undo that muscle memory overnight and have him start throwing the ball farther--on some plays as much as twice as far. I'm entirely with Dusty on this one. You keep Phillips where he's a Gold Glove guy and look for a SS. They're not going to use Janish next year but he's the guy currently at the top of the pecking order. There's no way Dusty can come out and say: "Yeah we're going to look for a guy but it's certainly not going to be Janish because he can't hit a lick." Would you, or anybody else, play for a manager like that?

savafan
08-21-2009, 09:09 PM
Is Baker so myopic that he doesn't know Phillips is a shortstop who was moved to 2nd base because he was blocked by Omar Vizquel?

Spring~Fields
08-21-2009, 09:13 PM
Take a look at Concepcion's career offensive numbers. Not really that impressive....

A career .679 OPS ... .322 OB% + .357 SLG%

So Davey made more of a positive contribution with his glove then his bat. And a team can "absorb" that lack in offense by building the supporting cast around him. Yeah, I'd love to have a "Larkin" at SS. But when that is not available I'd still settle for a solid glove guy at SS, with an average bat.

I agree with Baker in not wanting to move BP. Why mess with a good thing? And I use to think otherwise. I disagree with him though if he thinks playing Janish, even though he has gotten very limited playing time, can learn how to hit at the ML level. Don't see it happening.

But we could possibly even "absorb" Janish's lack if they'd have sound, contributing, impact players elsewhere. But they haven't done so to date.

Look for the GM to trade prospects for some shortstop type below the Gonzo and maybe above the Janish skills levels. You will find him batting second next year.

Reds4Life
08-21-2009, 09:22 PM
With any luck, Dusty won't be the manager next year so he won't have to worry about where Phillips plays.

Won't happen, but one can hope.

Tornon
08-21-2009, 09:28 PM
If Brandon Phillips moved to SS, he would have to hit 2nd. And everybody knows he's our #4 hitter, dude

GAC
08-21-2009, 09:55 PM
So, all that we need is three hall of famers and an all-time hit leader and we'll have a "supporting cast" to carry Janish as the SS.;)

The Cards are most likely going to win the division this year and make a post-season appearance with how many HOFers, other then Pujols, on the current roster? ;)

mth123
08-21-2009, 09:57 PM
The Cards are most likely going to win the division this year and make a post-season appearance with how many HOFers, other then Pujols, on the current roster? ;)

Just a jab at how you refer to Rose, Morgan, Bench and Perez as Concepcion's "supporting cast."

GAC
08-21-2009, 10:00 PM
:help:
What “good thing”? have you been watching the same team I have for the past nine seasons. Since when did nine seasons of below .500 qualify as having anything good about it? :yikes:

I was specifically referring to BP's GG play at 2B. Not the team's performance overall. ;)

We really have no idea what kind of SS Phillips would turn out to be. Would he prove capable? Would it be a risky move? Just because he's a GG 2Bman dos not necessarily translate so if moved to SS. SS is a more demanding position. And if it has an adverse effect on Phillips, and even screws him up, then where has that gotten you?

WMR
08-21-2009, 10:05 PM
How did Phillips work his way through the minor leagues as a SS? I'm amazed that the complexity and difficulty of the position didn't prematurely end his career before it began.

Once again, Dusty keeps his rigid thinking neat and tidy inside his little world of fail.

By this time next season, the Reds will be far out of it again and we'll finally get to see that beautiful thread title, 'Dusty Baker Fired.'

redsfandan
08-21-2009, 10:05 PM
I would've been surprised if they HAD been open to a switch.

Highlifeman21
08-21-2009, 10:06 PM
The Dusty's shown that he's against winning since he's been in Cincinnati, so The Dusty saying that he's against moving BP to SS is just par for the course.

GAC
08-21-2009, 10:08 PM
Just a jab at how you refer to Rose, Morgan, Bench and Perez as Concepcion's "supporting cast."

I know. But don't forget Griffey, Geronimo, and Foster.

My point is.... you can "absorb" some weakness in an area like SS if he is contributing in one vital area, such as defense, and you have quality players around him. It doesn't have to be a Rose, Bench, and Morgan per say.

Baseball is a team sport still. ;)

WMR
08-21-2009, 10:10 PM
I know. But don't forget Griffey, Geronimo, and Foster.

My point is.... you can "absorb" some weakness in an area like SS if he is contributing in one vital area, such as defense, and you have quality players around him. It doesn't have to be a Rose, Bench, and Morgan per say.

Baseball is a team sport still. ;)

The Reds would need significant upgrades at a number of positions before they could even begin to contemplate carrying a Janish type stick at SS.

Of course, that's not to imply that they won't end up doing that or something very similar anyway, just like they did this season. And it will fail, again.

WMR
08-21-2009, 10:13 PM
If I was Brandon Phillips I'd be using every available media opportunity to lobby for the job.

If he slugs like he does now but as a SS, he's setting himself up for a MONSTER deal in a couple years.

mth123
08-21-2009, 10:18 PM
The following may all be my misunderstanding what I heard long ago or me "misremembering" it, but, one thing I keep thinking about was an interview I heard with Ronnie Oester in the late 90's. IIRC, the subject was Pokey Reese and how Oester was against the idea of moving Reese to 2B. Oester himself was a defensive wiz at SS during his minor league career and moved to 2B in the majors since SS was occupied. When Reese came along, Oester talked about how too much time at 2B "shortened" his own arm and eventually made the move back to SS out of the question and was cautioning against moving Reese and making SS a non-option for him. I really don't know how true Oester's remarks were, but I think of them when the subject of Phillips to SS comes up. If there is truth to Oester's remarks (and assuming I understood and remember them correctly), maybe the Phillips to SS ship has already sailed.

Anyone else on here ever remember this subject or Oester possibly making similar remarks?

Falls City Beer
08-21-2009, 10:24 PM
If I was Brandon Phillips I'd be using every available media opportunity to lobby for the job.

If he slugs like he does now but as a SS, he's setting himself up for a MONSTER deal in a couple years.

He's not that big of a slugger. But I do think he'd get paid better at SS, even if he wasn't that great defensively.

HokieRed
08-21-2009, 10:38 PM
The following may all be my misunderstanding what I heard long ago or me "misremembering" it, but, one thing I keep thinking about was an interview I heard with Ronnie Oester in the late 90's. IIRC, the subject was Pokey Reese and how Oester was against the idea of moving Reese to 2B. Oester himself was a defensive wiz at SS during his minor league career and moved to 2B in the majors since SS was occupied. When Reese came along, Oester talked about how too much time at 2B "shortened" his own arm and eventually made the move back to SS out of the question and was cautioning against moving Reese and making SS a non-option for him. I really don't know how true Oester's remarks were, but I think of them when the subject of Phillips to SS comes up. If there is truth to Oester's remarks (and assuming I understood and remember them correctly), maybe the Phillips to SS ship has already sailed.

Anyone else on here ever remember this subject or Oester possibly making similar remarks?

The point about arm is key. There is muscle memory; the throws are all different. The point is not that Brandon didn't once play SS and now can't. It's about how well he'll play it and whether it's worth turning a GG 2b into an average SS, assuming he's that, and then going out and filling 2b with somebody who's not going to be as good defensively as BP. Move of BP to SS probably means weakening defense at 2 positions. This is not an argument for letting Paul Janish or anybody currently in the org. fill the position; it's an argument for going out and getting an SS.

Spring~Fields
08-21-2009, 10:38 PM
I was specifically referring to BP's GG play at 2B. Not the team's performance overall. ;)

We really have no idea what kind of SS Phillips would turn out to be. Would he prove capable? Would it be a risky move? Just because he's a GG 2Bman dos not necessarily translate so if moved to SS. SS is a more demanding position. And if it has an adverse effect on Phillips, and even screws him up, then where has that gotten you?

Might have helped to find out in a season with nothing to lose. Might have helped with asset allocation or player decisions over the winter. If they had some kind of idea what Phillips could or could not do.

mth123
08-21-2009, 10:41 PM
The point about arm is key. There is muscle memory; the throws are all different. The point is not that Brandon didn't once play SS and now can't. It's about how well he'll play it and whether it's worth turning a GG 2b into an average SS, assuming he's that, and then going out and filling 2b with somebody who's not going to be as good defensively as BP. Move of BP to SS probably means weakening defense at 2 positions. This is not an argument for letting Paul Janish or anybody currently in the org. fill the position; it's an argument for going out and getting an SS.

I agree, My preference is getting a SS and leaving Phillips at 2B.

WebScorpion
08-21-2009, 10:45 PM
I'm actually going to agree with Dusty on this one...I wouldn't move a superior fielder to another position, I'd find another superior fielder to fill the hole. Build a team kind of like a puzzle, except many of the pieces are missing a few corners so take the ones that fill the space most closely. This team is supposed to be built on pitching and defense, so catcher, second base, shortstop, and center field must have superior defenders. With Stubbs, Phillips, and Hanigan, we are three quarters of the way there...why mess with that? Plug in the piece that fits the best (Janish) and continue searching for one that fits better...who knows? The piece might grow into its new position. You want offense? Votto, Rolen, Bruce, and get me a left fielder who can rake...get me a George Foster...a Ted Williams... a Barry Bonds... a Stan Musial... a Manny Ramirez. Sure, I'd love to have a guy like
Larkin or A-Rod at SS, but if I can't get one yet I'll fill it with a defense-FIRST SS, and get offense where it's more readily available. Maybe our 2010 lineup looks like this:

Stubbs CF
Votto LF
Rolen 3B
Alonso 1B
Phillips 2B
Bruce RF
Janish SS
Hanigan C
P

If that group can remain on the field together, I think they'll generate plenty of offense. I don't mind moving a good defensive first baseman to left field to be a sub-par defender because neither position is a premium defensive position...that's why moving Rose to 3rd to get Foster in the lineup worked. I never heard anyone ask to move Morgan to SS because Dave Concepcion couldn't hit. Again, we have three fourths of our defense up the middle solved, don't mess with those three, just keep looking for the 4th.

GAC
08-21-2009, 11:00 PM
How did Phillips work his way through the minor leagues as a SS? I'm amazed that the complexity and difficulty of the position didn't prematurely end his career before it began.

Cleveland's farm system is, and has been, far superior to Cincy's. In the Cleveland organization, Phillips was a SS from 1999 to 2002. He was not a fulltime 2B until 2003 with the Indians, and later at AAA Buffalo after he flopped offensively in the majors. In 2004 he split time evenly between SS and 2B at AAA. In 2005 he was a full-time SS in AAA. Omar Vizquel was the Cleveland SS through the 2004 season, and Johnny Peralta took over full-time in 2005. So basically Phillips had 5.5 years of professional experience at SS and 1.5 years of professional experience at 2B when he came to the Reds, and some pretty good SS talent in front of him in Cleveland.

The Indian organization, for whatever reasons, jerked Phillips around pretty good because of his inconsistent play, until they used up all the options on him and had to do something or lose him. And that is where Krivsky and Reds swoped in.

Now was Phillips inconsistent play due to his lack of maturity or the Indians's lack of patience with him? Probably both.

But he has thrived since coming to Cincy and playing 2B.


By this time next season, the Reds will be far out of it again and we'll finally get to see that beautiful thread title, 'Dusty Baker Fired.'

2010 is the last year of his contract. We can only hope. :cool:

GAC
08-21-2009, 11:02 PM
Might have helped to find out in a season with nothing to lose. Might have helped with asset allocation or player decisions over the winter. If they had some kind of idea what Phillips could or could not do.

We KNOW what he can do..... play one helluva 2B. :p:

kpresidente
08-21-2009, 11:06 PM
Transition from 2nd to short is simply not that difficult, especially for somebody like Phillips who played almost as many games at SS as he has 2B. Even if he had to learn the footwork, it's not hard. This muscle memory stuff is a reach.

TheNext44
08-21-2009, 11:10 PM
I don't understand why the Reds don't bring Phillips to the instructional league in the offseason and see if he can handle it. If he can't, find a SS, if he can, find a 2B. What is hurt by trying it for a month?

RedsManRick
08-22-2009, 12:30 AM
I would love to get or develop a true SS who is a good fielder and better than replacement offensively. But I don't see that guy in the system or in our price range in FA. Short of a trade for that guy, Phillips at SS and the best guy from the system at 2B is probably the best option.

fearofpopvol1
08-22-2009, 01:25 AM
Does nobody have faith in Cozart? Who won't be ready in time for opening day next year, but could be late next year or for '11.

redsfandan
08-22-2009, 01:35 AM
I'm actually going to agree with Dusty on this one...I wouldn't move a superior fielder to another position, I'd find another superior fielder to fill the hole. Build a team kind of like a puzzle, except many of the pieces are missing a few corners so take the ones that fill the space most closely. This team is supposed to be built on pitching and defense, so catcher, second base, shortstop, and center field must have superior defenders. With Stubbs, Phillips, and Hanigan, we are three quarters of the way there...why mess with that? Plug in the piece that fits the best (Janish) and continue searching for one that fits better...who knows? The piece might grow into its new position. You want offense? Votto, Rolen, Bruce, and get me a left fielder who can rake...get me a George Foster...a Ted Williams... a Barry Bonds... a Stan Musial... a Manny Ramirez. Sure, I'd love to have a guy like
Larkin or A-Rod at SS, but if I can't get one yet I'll fill it with a defense-FIRST SS, and get offense where it's more readily available. Maybe our 2010 lineup looks like this:

Stubbs CF
Votto LF
Rolen 3B
Alonso 1B
Phillips 2B
Bruce RF
Janish SS
Hanigan C
P

If that group can remain on the field together, I think they'll generate plenty of offense. I don't mind moving a good defensive first baseman to left field to be a sub-par defender because neither position is a premium defensive position...that's why moving Rose to 3rd to get Foster in the lineup worked. I never heard anyone ask to move Morgan to SS because Dave Concepcion couldn't hit. Again, we have three fourths of our defense up the middle solved, don't mess with those three, just keep looking for the 4th.
I like the middle of that lineup but we'd have no power from half of the lineup so I don't think 'plenty' of offense would happen.

I would've loved for the Reds to give BP some time at short if, for no other reason, we could at least put this to rest once and for all.

RedRoser
08-22-2009, 04:20 AM
One more thing to disagree with DB on. Really wish we weren't going to see him manage this team for another year.

Jpup
08-22-2009, 09:57 AM
One more thing to disagree with DB on. Really wish we weren't going to see him manage this team for another year.

Probably won't.

edabbs44
08-22-2009, 10:31 AM
The following may all be my misunderstanding what I heard long ago or me "misremembering" it, but, one thing I keep thinking about was an interview I heard with Ronnie Oester in the late 90's. IIRC, the subject was Pokey Reese and how Oester was against the idea of moving Reese to 2B. Oester himself was a defensive wiz at SS during his minor league career and moved to 2B in the majors since SS was occupied. When Reese came along, Oester talked about how too much time at 2B "shortened" his own arm and eventually made the move back to SS out of the question and was cautioning against moving Reese and making SS a non-option for him. I really don't know how true Oester's remarks were, but I think of them when the subject of Phillips to SS comes up. If there is truth to Oester's remarks (and assuming I understood and remember them correctly), maybe the Phillips to SS ship has already sailed.

Anyone else on here ever remember this subject or Oester possibly making similar remarks?

I brought this up a few weeks ago saying that it would be a disaster if he hurt his arm after moving to SS since his arm wasn't used to it.

It would probably make more sense to let him gradually make the move in ST vs doing it now.

traderumor
08-22-2009, 10:44 AM
I am sure I am a bad person for saying this, but Dusty is asking the types of questions regarding this proposed move that need to be asked. This is the major leagues, and for fans starving to see a major league product on the field, I'm not sure why they are promoting so hard such a bush league move.

BP is a plus defender where he is. The only reason he gets knocks is because he is a #6 hitter who is asked to be a middle of the order linch pin because he is on a bad team. Stick him at 2b, hit him 6th, and put the focus on finding more bats at positions up for grabs, such as SS, LF, and C. Or deal him as a part of a series of moves to upgrade multiple positions.

RedEye
08-22-2009, 10:58 AM
BP is a plus defender where he is. The only reason he gets knocks is because he is a #6 hitter who is asked to be a middle of the order linch pin because he is on a bad team. Stick him at 2b, hit him 6th, and put the focus on finding more bats at positions up for grabs, such as SS, LF, and C. Or deal him as a part of a series of moves to upgrade multiple positions.

I agree with you in theory, but I'm not sure there is a better SS to be found out there right now. Given the current situation, I think putting BP at SS is something that merits being experimented with for a few months while the team is out of contention. As RMR pointed out earlier, BP + a 2B TBA is probably the best combo of offense/defense the Reds can hope for in 2010.

RANDY IN INDY
08-22-2009, 11:10 AM
I am sure I am a bad person for saying this, but Dusty is asking the types of questions regarding this proposed move that need to be asked. This is the major leagues, and for fans starving to see a major league product on the field, I'm not sure why they are promoting so hard such a bush league move.

BP is a plus defender where he is. The only reason he gets knocks is because he is a #6 hitter who is asked to be a middle of the order linch pin because he is on a bad team. Stick him at 2b, hit him 6th, and put the focus on finding more bats at positions up for grabs, such as SS, LF, and C. Or deal him as a part of a series of moves to upgrade multiple positions.

Nice post.

WMR
08-22-2009, 11:15 AM
Is Baker so myopic that he doesn't know Phillips is a shortstop ?

Yes. Yes he is that myopic.

I'd love to read the plan on how the Reds are going to magically add all these players to all these different positions when they're likely already at or very near their payroll threshold.

Phillips is without a doubt our current best option at SS within the organization. Finding yourself a second baseman who can be league average would be a much more realistic goal than expecting this braintrust to find any good answers from the outside at SS. And that 2nd baseman is very possibly within the organization as well. Now that laundry list of needed players isn't quite so daunting, is it?

BCubb2003
08-22-2009, 11:16 AM
I usually think we fans are much too cavalier about moving players around, and I understand the coaches' reluctance to do so, but this particular case has me thinking it would be easier for Phillips to play short than for Janish to learn to hit.

GAC
08-22-2009, 11:23 AM
I am sure I am a bad person for saying this, but Dusty is asking the types of questions regarding this proposed move that need to be asked. This is the major leagues, and for fans starving to see a major league product on the field, I'm not sure why they are promoting so hard such a bush league move.

BP is a plus defender where he is. The only reason he gets knocks is because he is a #6 hitter who is asked to be a middle of the order linch pin because he is on a bad team. Stick him at 2b, hit him 6th, and put the focus on finding more bats at positions up for grabs, such as SS, LF, and C. Or deal him as a part of a series of moves to upgrade multiple positions.

Good post tr.

Address the other more glaring problems and issues on this team, instead of playing musical chairs with your GG 2bman.

It's not like in '75 when Sparky moved Rose to 3B to give more playing time to guys like Foster and Driessen.

Here's a good article (quite humorous) on that.....

http://reds.enquirer.com/bigred/bigred2.html

1975: The Year the Lineup was Set

The Big Red Machine had been years in the making. But in early May 1975, manager Sparky Anderson made two moves that solidified the lineup of Rose, Griffey, Morgan, Bench, Perez, Foster, Concepcion and Geronimo. It began the run to back-to-back World Championships.

BY JOHN ERARDI
& GREG RHODES
From "The Big Red Dynasty"
c. 1997, Road West Publishing

Ask any Reds fan to name the outfield of the 1975-76 Reds, and the names roll off the tongue like the ABC's: George Foster in left, Cesar Geronimo in center, Ken Griffey in right.

But on Opening Day1975, all that Reds manager Sparky Anderson knew for sure about his outfield was that Pete Rose was in left.

Third base was an even bigger mystery.

John Vukovich, the slick-fielding, weak-hitting veteran acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers during the offseason, had won the third base job in spring training. But Anderson said he expected to play "several people" there before the season was over.

Anderson also had to figure out how to use Danny Driessen. Sparky anticipated using him at first base to give Perez an occasional rest -- and maybe playing him some in the outfield.

But Anderson had four legitimate outfield candidates -- Cesar Geronimo, George Foster, Ken Griffey and Merv Rettenmund -- and only two open outfield positions.

"I'm going to platoon Geronimo and Foster in center and Rettenmund and Griffey in right," announced Sparky.

The Reds could not afford another sluggish start in 1975. Six of their first 10 games were against the Dodgers. When the Reds swept LA in three one-run games in the opening series in Cincinnati, exhilaration was in the air.

But on a West Coast swing, the Reds lost two of three to San Diego and four straight to LA. In two of the Dodger losses, the Reds had Rose on third with the go-ahead run late in the game with nobody out.

Both times Morgan, Bench, and Perez failed to deliver.

"A half-million dollars worth of talent," said Rose, "and they don't get me in." In the third game of the LA series, with the bases loaded in the second inning and Vukovich due up, Anderson pinch-hit Driessen.

Vukovich, whose parents were in the stands, exploded. All the way from the dugout runway to the clubhouse, his rage carried him from lightbulb to lightbulb like a giant firefly in a horror flick. He burst every bulb -- and wanted more. Pop! . . . pop! . . . pop! . . . pop! If Vuke could only hit a baseball as square.

After the game, Anderson made his case.

"Simple," said Sparky. "Who's my better hitter -- Vukovich or Driessen?" Anderson had said in spring training that his priority for third base was defense. But when it came time to practice what he preached, Anderson got no father than an evolutionist with the Book of Genesis.

Sparky needed something that worked.

The Reds were already four games behind LA, the defending National League Champions.

"If we don't win this year," thought Sparky, "I don't know if I have a long-term future here. It could be lights out. The party's going to be over if we don't get going." Over the next two weeks, Anderson started utility men Darrel Chaney and Doug Flynn at third base. Then, on Friday night, May 2, Anderson had an idea. He was watching Rose take groundballs at first base. Pete was breaking in a new softball glove for his daughter, Fawn.

"Peter Edward!" yelled Anderson, leaning on the short fence separating the dugout from the field. "I wish you were playing over there." "Over where?" "Third base." "You serious?" "Yup." "Well, if you don't think it'll hurt the team, I'll try it," said Rose.

"Tomorrow too soon?" asked Anderson.

"That's OK," said Rose. "But how about having 'Sugar Bear' (coach George Scherger) out here by 10 o'clock tomorrow morning hitting me ground balls from home plate, so I can see them coming off the bat?" "You got it," said Anderson.

Anderson didn't have to secure anybody's permission to move Rose to third -- not even that of Reds general manager Bob Howsam. But Chief Bender, the Reds player personnel director, was around before Saturday's game, so Anderson told him of the move.

"Bob's in Arizona," Bender said.

"Chief, I'm gonna tell you something," responded Sparky. "It doesn't matter where Bob is. You know we haven't won yet -- '70, '72, '73 -- and we're starting off slow now. I look at it this way: it's me or nothing right now. I'm gonna play Pete at third." Anderson told Reds play-by-play broadcaster Marty Brennaman the same thing. Brennaman didn't believe Rose was going to play third -- until Sparky showed him the lineup card.

Brennaman will never forget Rose's first chance.

"The first batter up -- Ralph Garr -- hit an absolute screamer to Pete's glove side. Pete breaks to his left, stumbles, fields the ball, recovers and gets up and throws him out. He looked like a monkey playing with a football. It was incredible." The next day, Bender's phone rang. It was Howsam.

"I looked at paper this morning," began Howsam, "and the boxscore said 'Pete Rose -- third base.' That's a mistake, right?" "No, Bob. Sparky put him at third base." "Oh my god," said Howsam.

Meanwhile, Rose's teammates were all over him.

"You need a bulletproof vest!" Perez chirped.

"You can't run, you can't throw and you can't catch," Morgan cackled.

"I'll be an All-Star at third base!" Rose shot back.

Moving Rose to third served a dual purpose for Anderson. It allowed him to give more playing time to George Foster and Danny Driessen, both promising young hitters.

Foster was philosophical about his time on the bench.

"I've seen more major league games than anyone else alive," he told the beat writers. "Why, I even know some of the players personally." On the night Pete opened at third, Anderson started an outfield of Driessen in left, Geronimo in center, and Foster in right. But Driessen stumbled in May and June, hitting just .232, while Foster had a productive two months, hitting 10 home runs and driving in 24 runs. By late May, he was the regular starting left fielder.

The other significant lineup shuffle in early May involved the batting order. Anderson had opened the season with Morgan batting second, a postion he had occupied since coming to the Reds in 1972. But on April 18, Sparky dropped Morgan to third and began batting Concepcion second.

Then, a week after Rose started at third base, Anderson moved Griffey into the second slot.

"Griffey is the key to our lineup," said Sparky. "If he hits .285, we can keep Joe at third." The move with Griffey to get Morgan into the three hole was lost in the uproar over Rose's switch to third base. But Griffey quickly began to flourish in the two hole; he had great speed and could handle the bat.

Sparky couldn't figure out why the engine wouldn't fire. The Reds had a new third baseman, a left fielder with pop, a happy second baseman with RBI opportunities in the three hole and a fleet-footed outfielder in the two hole.

But the Reds kept losing.

They were in the midst of a 6-7 stretch and continued to drop in the standings. When they lost three in a row on an East Coast trip, Sparky called a clubhouse meeting in Philadelphia.

He had always made sparing use of such sessions.

"I'd nail them (the players) just to keep the social atmosphere right," recalled Sparky. "Pete would always have a saying. He'd say, 'Skip, we might need a meeting; why don't you just start yelling at me.' And I'd say, 'That's a good idea!' " "Relax!" Sparky told the team in Philly. "Quit swinging for the fences. And Pete . . . knock off all the needling! That goes for the rest of you guys, too. When guys are struggling, lay off them!" The club lost four more to fall to 18-19.

When Morgan got spiked in the shin in Montreal, and Bench caught the flu, it looked like the bottom might fall out.

But Morgan had other ideas.

The next day, with 14 fresh stitches in his leg, he burst through the clubhouse door.

"I'm playing!" he yelled, dead serious. "So, screw you Perez! Screw you Bench! And screw you, too, Rose!" Morgan saw Anderson watching.

Perfect.

"And that goes for you, too!" Morgan yelled at Anderson.

There was dead silence in the clubhouse for a moment . . . and Anderson burst out laughing. The players all joined in.

"We need to rip," Morgan would later explain. "I don't know. Maybe it makes us play harder or maybe it just makes us forget. We're not like the other teams. We can rip each other when we are going bad. We needed to get loose, to forget." But it took an additional clubhouse incident that same day to really loosen things up. Bench, complaining of the flu, was in the trainer's room. He had taken himself out of the starting lineup.

In fact, Bench and Reds' play-by-play announcer Marty Brennaman had been out the night before, inspecting the Montreal entertainment establishments.

Bench had a bad case of the "day-after." Brennaman was fine.

"I woke up feeling like a million dollars," he recalled. "I'm not hung over. So I get to the ballpark, and I couldn't wait to tell Sparky what I had done and who I had done it with. Before we start the pregame show I say to Sparky, 'I went out with Bench last night and we had the damndest time.' "

"Is that right?" responded Anderson.

Brennaman was green, but not from being hungover. He was only in his second year as a major league broadcaster. He didn't realize he had violated Bench's confidence. He didn't know that Bench was sleeping off "the flu" in the trainer's room.

Which is where Anderson headed with a temperature of his own.

"I don't give a damn if your fever is 201 -- you're gonna catch!" Anderson fired at Bench. "If we play 30 innings you're gonna catch 'em all!" Sparky then went on a general tirade, touring the clubhouse, yelling at every one . . . and at no one.

He had his lightning rod now.

"We got too many guys that don't want part of the action!" hollered Anderson. "If Cinderella's slippers fit, you put them on! If they don't, get the the hell out of our way, because we are gonna win and we will go right over the top of you guys that don't wanna play!" That night, the Reds team ended their losing streak, beating the Expos 5-3 in extra innings -- on a Bench home run.

They went on a 41-9 streak, roaring from 5 1/2 games back of the Dodgers to 12 1/2 games in front. By the All-Star break, the Western Division race was over.

Epilogue: Griffey hit .305. Morgan became the No. 1 offensive player in baseball and was named MVP. George Foster hit .300 with 23 HR and 78 RBI in only 463 at-bats. Rose hit .317 and played well at third. Despite all the razzing, he made only 13 errors.

The Reds won 108 games, the third highest in National League history; 28 of those games were in the last at-bat. They won the division by 20 games, the largest in the major leagues since 1906. The Reds beat the Pirates in the NLCS and the Boston Red Sox in the World Series. It was the franchise's first World Championship in 35 years.

WMR
08-22-2009, 11:25 AM
There's a more glaring problem on this team than finding a credible shortstop? :eek:

I'd say it's at the very least tied for #1 biggest problem along with the starting pitching.

Caseyfan21
08-22-2009, 11:27 AM
The only way I move BP to short is if I can get a legit 2B via trade or free agency. Someone like Orlando Hudson just to throw a name out there. Otherwise, if it's a prospect or someone we're hoping "rebounds" you can find someone just as easily at SS and leave 2B as a strength.

Caseyfan21
08-22-2009, 11:30 AM
Does nobody have faith in Cozart? Who won't be ready in time for opening day next year, but could be late next year or for '11.

I don't follow the minor league players as much as I should, but I saw this kid in spring training and he impressed the heck out of me. IIRC, he had 2 hits in the major league game and just looked like he knew what he was doing with the bat. I'm basing my opinion on one game, but I think he would at least warrant being given a shot sometime in the near future.

GAC
08-22-2009, 11:32 AM
There's a more glaring problem on this team than finding a credible shortstop? :eek:

It's a problem for a lot of teams.

Look who just re-acquired AGon? :p:

WMR
08-22-2009, 11:40 AM
It's a problem for a lot of teams.

Look who just re-acquired AGon? :p:

:lol: I'm convinced that there's more to that story than we know. Likely involving Hank Steinbrenner and his secret mind control ray gun that he used on Theo. :D

However, that also reinforces my point concerning the difficulty of finding a credible SS in this market. And the Reds have a kid who came up as a SS on their roster. Take away Pedroia from the Sawks and sub in Phillips and I bet I know what THAT organization would have done to fix THEIR problem at SS.

Finding a league average second sacker is several orders of magnitude easier than rustling up a shortstop.

RedRoser
08-22-2009, 12:43 PM
Not sure if we should move Phillips or not, but pretty sure we should "move" Dusty.

traderumor
08-22-2009, 01:13 PM
Yes. Yes he is that myopic.

I'd love to read the plan on how the Reds are going to magically add all these players to all these different positions when they're likely already at or very near their payroll threshold.

Phillips is without a doubt our current best option at SS within the organization. Finding yourself a second baseman who can be league average would be a much more realistic goal than expecting this braintrust to find any good answers from the outside at SS. And that 2nd baseman is very possibly within the organization as well. Now that laundry list of needed players isn't quite so daunting, is it?How many games have you seen BP play at SS? I'm taking a wild guess it is as many as I have, which is none. If you have seen him play the position several times in his minor league years, my apologies, but I'm guessing most are going on "well, he played SS in the minors." A lot of guys start out as SS in the minors, then are moved to other positions because their glove or arm is not gonna cut it. Dusty also asked the question I did, which is it might affect his stick, then you're right back at "well, Janish could have done that, with better D." This just smells too much of Kearns to 3b, WMP to 3b (hee hee, imagine that knowing what we know now) and making Graves a starter---a major league franchise making desperate moves in the name of cheapness and/or incompetence. Go find a major league SS and pay him, or find the bats to cover Janish, whose D I love.

RedEye
08-22-2009, 02:00 PM
How many games have you seen BP play at SS? I'm taking a wild guess it is as many as I have, which is none. If you have seen him play the position several times in his minor league years, my apologies, but I'm guessing most are going on "well, he played SS in the minors." A lot of guys start out as SS in the minors, then are moved to other positions because their glove or arm is not gonna cut it. Dusty also asked the question I did, which is it might affect his stick, then you're right back at "well, Janish could have done that, with better D." This just smells too much of Kearns to 3b, WMP to 3b (hee hee, imagine that knowing what we know now) and making Graves a starter---a major league franchise making desperate moves in the name of cheapness and/or incompetence. Go find a major league SS and pay him, or find the bats to cover Janish, whose D I love.

Except that moving an OF to the IF is a much more dramatic shift than moving an excellent 2B to SS, IMO. The idea that it might "affect his stick" is just that--an idea--and not a reason until it is proven to be the case. Fact remains that both of the optons you list (getting another SS or "covering" Janish's paltry .550 OPS) are much more difficult and expensive to do. No one is saying Phillips to short is a best-case scenario here. What we're saying is that it is a logical, cost-saving measure that any smart club would try for a few months.

traderumor
08-22-2009, 02:48 PM
Except that moving an OF to the IF is a much more dramatic shift than moving an excellent 2B to SS, IMO. The idea that it might "affect his stick" is just that--an idea--and not a reason until it is proven to be the case. Fact remains that both of the optons you list (getting another SS or "covering" Janish's paltry .550 OPS) are much more difficult and expensive to do. No one is saying Phillips to short is a best-case scenario here. What we're saying is that it is a logical, cost-saving measure that any smart club would try for a few months.Ironically, I would say BP to SS is an idea and is just that--an idea. Fortunately, there are identifiable factors to make an informed decision here and hopefully the Reds do not resort to "what the heck, lets give it a shot."

Spring~Fields
08-22-2009, 03:00 PM
It's a problem for a lot of teams.

Look who just re-acquired AGon? :p:

By no fault of their own, what if, what if the Reds cannot find a good shortstop available with some offensive numbers in the short time frame of the offseason between 2009 and 2010? Or just a good shortstop even without good offense?

Spring~Fields
08-22-2009, 03:01 PM
Ironically, I would say BP to SS is an idea and is just that--an idea. Fortunately, there are identifiable factors to make an informed decision here and hopefully the Reds do not resort to "what the heck, lets give it a shot."

I thought that was what they were doing the past nine seasons, isn't it? :)

GAC
08-22-2009, 03:13 PM
A lot of guys start out as SS in the minors, then are moved to other positions because their glove or arm is not gonna cut it.

True. Frazier was a SS his entire college career. But where is he playing now after the Reds drafted him? OF. Why? Because while he is a pretty good athlete, scouts say he doesn't have what it takes to play shortstop. Are the scouts wrong?

I gleaned this (below) from an article on Frazier.....http://www.redreporter.com/2009/2/12/756529/should-todd-frazier-be-the

In John Sickels's Baseball Prospect Book, he says this of Frazier:

The main question for Frazier is defense. He is a reliable shortstop in terms of avoiding mistakes, posting a solid .981 fielding percentage at the position last year, but scouts say his range is below average and that he's better suited for third base or the outfield at higher levels.

This is how Frazier stacks up against other shortstops in the Reds system:


Player Games Fielding PCT Range Factor Chance Outs TotalZone Rate TZ Runs
Paul Janish 381 .970 4.53 1251 859 .687 18
Chris Valaika 316 .953 4.15 997 652 .654 -6
Todd Frazier 115 .958 4.64 346 249 .720 16
Jose Castro 277 .948 4.36 887 598 .674 8
Zach Cozart 147 .971 4.36 430 296 .688 14


When I look at these numbers, the one question that pops up is, have the Reds given up on Frazier at shortstop too quickly? I'm not saying these numbers should trump what the scouts say, but they sure seem to conflict with it. It seems odd to me that Chris Valaika has never played anywhere but shortstop, even though scouts have doubts about him there as well, but Frazier was tried out in a variety of positions last year. Since it looks like Frazier has the better bat and potentially the better glove at short, doesn't it stand to reason that he would be the one getting the reps at short and Valaika would be trying to find a position?

With Juan Francisco and Neftali Soto also playing third base, and one of Yonder Alonso and Joey Votto as the likely long-term solution in LF, would it really hurt the Reds to keep trying Frazier at shortstop? Wouldn't his bat look even better at short than on a corner? He wouldn't have to play great defense even, as long as he is hitting.

I'm sure the Reds have probably already made up their mind about this, but I hope they take a chance to look at some numbers before going strictly by the word of the scouts. It appears that, despite the perception of lack of range, Frazier does have some decent range at the position. At least enough, it seems, to let his bat play there for a few years, don't you think?

RedEye
08-22-2009, 03:13 PM
Ironically, I would say BP to SS is an idea and is just that--an idea. Fortunately, there are identifiable factors to make an informed decision here and hopefully the Reds do not resort to "what the heck, lets give it a shot."

It's actually an idea worth pursuing because it doesn't cost anything and is a position Phillips has spent a reasonable amount of time playing in the past. If the position move does "affect his stick" or it doesn't work out for the best in other ways, they can always move him back to 2B in due course, and then they'll know they have to pursue other options. It's not "what the heck", it's strategic planning and using available resources before overpaying for a free agent as they have in the past.

WMR
08-22-2009, 03:14 PM
It's actually an idea worth pursuing because it doesn't cost anything and is a position Phillips has spent a reasonable amount of time playing in the past. If the position move does "affect his stick" or it doesn't work out for the best in other ways, they can always move him back to 2B in due course, and then they'll know they have to pursue other options. It's not "what the heck", it's strategic planning and using available resources.

:thumbup:

Positions: 2B-692, SS-577, DH-1, 3B-1

Scrap Irony
08-22-2009, 03:42 PM
Baker's not the man for this job. And it's not that Phillips is a poor choice for SS or a great one. It's that he refuses to think outside the box. In fact, he may not be able to think outside the box. In his world, the world he seems unable to break out of, up the middle athletes are weak hitters with good gloves and corner outfielders are big boppers who swing an aggressive bat.

You see it in his lineups (though, admittedly, lineups mean very, very little in the grand scheme of things). Speed hits first and smart middle infielders hit second. Virtually no imagination. Very little belief in patience and obp. Lack of imagination.

He can't see the forest for the trees.

RedsManRick
08-22-2009, 04:07 PM
Baker's not the man for this job. And it's not that Phillips is a poor choice for SS or a great one. It's that he refuses to think outside the box. In fact, he may not be able to think outside the box. In his world, the world he seems unable to break out of, up the middle athletes are weak hitters with good gloves and corner outfielders are big boppers who swing an aggressive bat.

You see it in his lineups (though, admittedly, lineups mean very, very little in the grand scheme of things). Speed hits first and smart middle infielders hit second. Virtually no imagination. Very little belief in patience and obp. Lack of imagination.

He can't see the forest for the trees.

It's not that he can't see the forest. It's that he feels like he knows the trees so well, and he's so comfortable talking about them, that he has no interest in considering the possibility that the forest might exist. And when he's forced to talk about the forest, he is only willing to suggest that if you pay attention to the forest, you fail to understand the important complexities of each tree.

_Sir_Charles_
08-22-2009, 05:10 PM
I understand that people are frustrated with our lack of a above average SS these days. But I have yet to understand the desire to move Phillips to short as if that solves the problem. Yes, Brandon is an elite defender at second. Moving him to short lessens his "elite" status. At least in the short term. He "may" re-learn the position and become an elite defender at short. The key word being "may". Second base IS different from short. But just for argument's sake, lets say that he could make the transition smoothly and his offense/defense don't drop off at all. How is it solving our problems exactly? Do we have an above average 2B ready to replace Brandon? No. Do we have prospects who "could" replace him? Maybe. But those same prospects (Valiaka, Frazier, etc) have also had time at short. I think it would be more efficient to let the prospects come up and fill the vacancy rather than have 2 players shoved into 'learning curve' positions. Sorry, I just don't see how it REALLY helps us.

RedsManRick
08-22-2009, 05:14 PM
I understand that people are frustrated with our lack of a above average SS these days. But I have yet to understand the desire to move Phillips to short as if that solves the problem. Yes, Brandon is an elite defender at second. Moving him to short lessens his "elite" status. At least in the short term. He "may" re-learn the position and become an elite defender at short. The key word being "may". Second base IS different from short. But just for argument's sake, lets say that he could make the transition smoothly and his offense/defense don't drop off at all. How is it solving our problems exactly? Do we have an above average 2B ready to replace Brandon? No. Do we have prospects who "could" replace him? Maybe. But those same prospects (Valiaka, Frazier, etc) have also had time at short. I think it would be more efficient to let the prospects come up and fill the vacancy rather than have 2 players shoved into 'learning curve' positions. Sorry, I just don't see how it REALLY helps us.

Phillips' value doesn't really change by moving him to SS. His defense will be worse, relative to his peers, but his bat will be better, relative to his peers. However, moving him to SS isn't about him. It's about finding a spot for another player who we potentially already have, but who isn't capable of playing SS.

Maybe Phillips doesn't adjust well to SS. Maybe it's not a good idea. But there is absolutely nothing to lose by trying it for the next 6 weeks and just seeing how it goes. The Reds are like a person without a job who refuses to send out resumes because they aren't for the job of his dreams. The downside of trying is zero. The upside is pretty nice.

dougdirt
08-22-2009, 05:18 PM
Maybe Phillips doesn't adjust well to SS. Maybe it's not a good idea. But there is absolutely nothing to lose by trying it for the next 6 weeks and just seeing how it goes. The Reds are like a person without a job who refuses to send out resumes because they aren't for the job of his dreams. The downside of trying is zero. The upside is pretty nice.

I would disagree that there is nothing to lose. How is Phillips going to feel if someone tells him he has to go back to 2B because he wasn't good enough, but he felt he was good enough? How is he going to relate to the guy that does play SS? How is he going to act i the clubhouse? We know BP has an ego the size of the Pacific Ocean. I don't know if I want to go down that road just in case. I would play it on the safe side and just keep my above average second baseman right where he is.

Scrap Irony
08-22-2009, 05:37 PM
Quality 2B are much easier to find than are quality SS. The Reds have a pretty decent prospect for 2B who's likely to OPS in the 800 range with an average glove.

But the kid can't play SS. At least according to the scouts. (The numbers do tell a different story, to be fair.) He does, according to both numbers and scouts, catch the ball well, position himself well, and take advantage of his high baseball IQ. At SS, that's not enough, but, at second, it can make him an All Star.

And what does it cost, really? Phillips has the chops, the experience, and the willingness to switch. If he struggles at short, it only really hurts Frazier as a major leaguer. (And if Frazier does hit enough to justify his major league spot, he has other position he can play-- experience at third, LF, and 1B.)

In short, you plug two holes with one defensive switch. Akin to the Rose switch, you get a good young hitter into the lineup and improve the team. You replace a putrid bat with at least a league average one. (And, I'm willing to bet, one that could OPS+ at around 105-110.)

Or you could go down the safe side and have a middle IF like now.

It costs nothing to try.

membengal
08-22-2009, 05:40 PM
I linger here to note, again, that the Cardinals sure don't seem to worry about such things. Players move positions on that team all the time.

I don't get the hand-wringing over this idea. Other than that this is a small-minded franchise that is doing real well at engendering small-minded thinking in its front office and its fanbase.

So, job well done to the Reds on that one, I guess...

ETA: Scrap all over why this is a no-brainer. And has been throughout this thread, along with others.

_Sir_Charles_
08-22-2009, 05:49 PM
Phillips' value doesn't really change by moving him to SS. His defense will be worse, relative to his peers, but his bat will be better, relative to his peers. However, moving him to SS isn't about him. It's about finding a spot for another player who we potentially already have, but who isn't capable of playing SS.

Maybe Phillips doesn't adjust well to SS. Maybe it's not a good idea. But there is absolutely nothing to lose by trying it for the next 6 weeks and just seeing how it goes. The Reds are like a person without a job who refuses to send out resumes because they aren't for the job of his dreams. The downside of trying is zero. The upside is pretty nice.

A few things....moving to a new position will quite often affect a player at the plate as well. But lets just say that it doesn't affect his bat. Who's our new 2B? Frazier? Valiaka? Are we saying that those guys get moved off of short because of their defense? If so, this is what I see happening.

SS: A defense with Janish / D offense with Janish
2B: A defense with Phillips / B offense with Phillips

SS: C defense with Phillips / B offense with Phillips
2B: C defense with Frazier or Valiaka / C offense with Frazier or Valiaka

SS: C defense with Frazier or Valiaka / C offense with Frazier or Valiaka
2B: A defense with Phillips / B offense with Phillips

I don't see a remarkable improvement in any of these scenerios over another. I'm sure many could/would quibble over the grades and such, but when you look at the 2 positions combined I just don't see a marked improvement by moving Phillips to short. Mainly because we just don't know enough about Frazier & Valiaka's ability in regards to the bigs. It's a crapshoot IMO, and one that's just as likely to backfire as it is to work out. Letting one of the kids work through the kinks at short has fewer possible pitfalls to it from what I can tell.

With a gold glover at third and a gold glover at second, couldn't we afford to have an average defender at short? That makes me think Frazier/Valiaka would be better choices. At least until someone like Cozart is ready for the big stage.

This is all ignoring the FA market of course.

membengal
08-22-2009, 05:50 PM
Hello.

Reds fan here.

Seen the Reds record recently?

Again, what's to lose from a six-week trial?

_Sir_Charles_
08-22-2009, 05:57 PM
I get that Mem. But on the flip side...what's to GAIN from a six-week trial?

Let's flip that around and what's to lose from a six-week trial of Frazier or Valiaka at short? Or a six-week trial of Janish at short? See if his glove can carry the weight.

Both arguments are valid...my question is this. Which option messes with more variables?

Bringing up a kid to learn the bigs AND moving Phillips to a new position.
OR
Bringing up a kid to learn the bigs

Raisor
08-22-2009, 06:00 PM
I get that Mem. But on the flip side...what's to GAIN from a six-week trial?



a quality shortstop?

Scrap Irony
08-22-2009, 06:01 PM
Frazier doesn't play SS anymore, Sir Charles, and hasn't since the last couple months of last season. He now plays 2B, but has also played a bit at 3B and some LF. Valaika plays SS and 2B, but Rick Sweet, his AAA manager, doesn't believe he's a SS.

And putting either of them at short would weaken the defense all around, something Jocketty usually isn't a favor of.

_Sir_Charles_
08-22-2009, 06:11 PM
Fair enough. But if their defense isn't good enough for short, then it's most likely no better than average at best for second. If defense is your concern, then let Janish grow into the position until Cozart is ready. If offense is your concern, then sacrifice some defense and let Frazier/Valiaka take the reins until Cozart is ready.

Moving Brandon to short...sure, it "could" improve our defense at short...but who really knows. But we DO know that it'll diminish our defense and offense at second, right? At best, it's a wash. At worst...*shudders*

I just don't see an upside here with moving Brandon. If healthy, an infield with Rolen at third and Phillips at second could easily absorb an average defender at short as long as their bat is sound.

_Sir_Charles_
08-22-2009, 06:13 PM
a quality shortstop?

And a sub-par second baseman? Big picture, people. Moving Brandon doesn't just affect one position.

Ltlabner
08-22-2009, 06:20 PM
Leave it to the Reds to be so flat-earth in their thinking.

It's 6 weeks that could lead to a relatively easy solution to a serious problem.

Nah....just keep ramming your head into the wall because of fear or some whacked out notion from Baker.

Raisor
08-22-2009, 06:20 PM
And a sub-par second baseman? Big picture, people. Moving Brandon doesn't just affect one position.

as others have said, it's easier to find a 2b.

Scrap Irony
08-22-2009, 06:23 PM
Fair enough. But if their defense isn't good enough for short, then it's most likely no better than average at best for second.

Not true. Good defensive 2B like Ryne Sandberg (who Frazier profiles to be similar to, IMO) work to make themselves good 2B. They have fewer athletic tools, but higher baseball IQs than most SS and can get by with that. Can indeed thrive.

Frazier has the tools to be at least an average 2B defensively. He's smart and athletic enough.

traderumor
08-22-2009, 07:16 PM
I still haven't seen the proponents of the idea say "yea, I saw BP play SS in the minors and he was above average at the position. Of course that was then..." We know what he can do at 2b. This 6 week trial, Danny Graves to starter, what could it hurt, its worth a try. Dang flat earthers anyways.

nate
08-22-2009, 07:38 PM
I get that Mem. But on the flip side...what's to GAIN from a six-week trial?

The ability to see if we can fix a major hole with a more common, less expensive patch.

RedEye
08-22-2009, 08:23 PM
I still haven't seen the proponents of the idea say "yea, I saw BP play SS in the minors and he was above average at the position. Of course that was then..." We know what he can do at 2b. This 6 week trial, Danny Graves to starter, what could it hurt, its worth a try. Dang flat earthers anyways.

Do you seriously think the two are comparable? IMO, switching the roles of a pitcher like that is way more of a gamble than having a guy who has already played a position for over 500 games try it one more time. I mean, seriously.

GAC
08-22-2009, 08:41 PM
Frazier doesn't play SS anymore, Sir Charles, and hasn't since the last couple months of last season. He now plays 2B, but has also played a bit at 3B and some LF.

He's played more then a bit at 3B and some LF. He has spent a vast majority of his time in LF, and played a small bit at 2B.

http://www.nj.com/sports/index.ssf/2009/07/from_toms_river_to_carolina_to.html

Frazier rattled off the dizzying number of position changes with speed and accuracy.

"Played shortstop all season in Montana," he said. "Shortstop in Dayton. The last four or five days, I played a little left field, first base and third base. In Sarasota, they bounced me around a couple games in left, a couple games at third, a couple games at short, a couple games at first. This year, mainly left field. A little bit of first. And only a couple games at third. No games at shortstop anymore."


Frazier, who plays for the Reds’ Double-A affiliate Carolina Mudcats, was chosen as the starting left fielder for the North Division team in the July 13 contest. An everyday starter for the Mudcats, Frazier has primarily played left field, while also seeing time at first base and third base.

http://scarletknights.com/baseball/news/release.asp?prID=7912

Now the Reds just recently started playing Todd at 2B (which started all these BP to SS rumors). And that's fine.

He was drafted by the Reds two short years ago in 2007. The kid just got promoted to AA Carolina THIS YEAR. And now everyone, including Fay, say the kid is ready to be called up.

So we're gonna call up a AA player with very minimal experience playing 2B, let alone at facing ML level pitching, to supplant a GG 2Bman whom we want to experiment with at SS.

I understand these are desperate times.... but Wow!

Scrap Irony
08-22-2009, 09:08 PM
He's played more then a bit at 3B and some LF. He has spent a vast majority of his time in LF, and played a small bit at 2B.

Semantics with the way I wrote it, really. This has little to do with anything.


So we're gonna call up a AA player with very minimal experience playing 2B, let alone at facing ML level pitching, to supplant a GG 2Bman whom we want to experiment with at SS.

I understand these are desperate times.... but Wow

Switching from SS to any other position is easy (with the exception of catcher, obviously). Frazier's learning the turn now in AAA (the only halfway difficult thing about 2B), and has the rest of this season, the winter, and Spring Training to learn it better.

And, yeah, this is an experiment. It may not work. But it fixes a couple problems and makes the team better-- by about 150 points of OPS, IMO-- where it counts, with very little risk.

I don't get the reluctance to try it, honestly. What can it hurt?

Phillips? Not really. If he can play SS, he becomes a highly sought after free agent after 2011. If he can't play it, he moves back to 2B. Not only that, he instantly becomes one of the top three SS offensively in the league and much more likely to be not only an All Star but the face of the franchise.

Frazier? Again, not really. He plays up the defensive spectrum and becomes a near perennial All Star candidate (if his bat is for real) at 2B. Those same offensive numbers, meanwhile, make him a league average bat (or less so) in LF.

It's also the best choice financially, especially for a team that apparently needs to pinch a few pennies.

Worst case scenario, aside from an injury, is Phillips struggles as a SS and has to move back and Frazier proves incapable of playing 2B. It's pretty simple, then, to move Phillips back and Janish in. Or am I missing something?

RedEye
08-22-2009, 09:11 PM
So we're gonna call up a AA player with very minimal experience playing 2B, let alone at facing ML level pitching, to supplant a GG 2Bman whom we want to experiment with at SS.

I understand these are desperate times.... but Wow!

IMO, Frazier is but one of many options for 2B in said Phillips-to-SS experiment. I think a lot of us on this side would like to see Todd rise to the occasion, but I also think most of us expect Walt to have to search for a trade or sign a FA 2B to complement Phillips at short. The idea behind all of this being that 2B, as a less primary defensive position, is easier to fill with cheap, league-average talent. SS, on the other hand, well... we know what happened the last time a Reds GM "went out and got one."

membengal
08-22-2009, 09:12 PM
Semantics with the way I wrote it, really. This has little to do with anything.



Switching from SS to any other position is easy (with the exception of catcher, obviously). Frazier's learning the turn now in AAA (the only halfway difficult thing about 2B), and has the rest of this season, the winter, and Spring Training to learn it better.

And, yeah, this is an experiment. It may not work. But it fixes a couple problems and makes the team better-- by about 150 points of OPS, IMO-- where it counts, with very little risk.

I don't get the reluctance to try it, honestly. What can it hurt?

Phillips? Not really. If he can play SS, he becomes a highly sought after free agent after 2011. If he can't play it, he moves back to 2B. Not only that, he instantly becomes one of the top three SS offensively in the league and much more likely to be not only an All Star but the face of the franchise.

Frazier? Again, not really. He plays up the defensive spectrum and becomes a near perennial All Star candidate (if his bat is for real) at 2B. Those same offensive numbers, meanwhile, make him a league average bat (or less so) in LF.

It's also the best choice financially, especially for a team that apparently needs to pinch a few pennies.

Worst case scenario, aside from an injury, is Phillips struggles as a SS and has to move back and Frazier proves incapable of playing 2B. It's pretty simple, then, to move Phillips back and Janish in. Or am I missing something?


Nope, you are all over it.

There just are not any good reasons to not give this a shot.

And, again, an organization like the Cardinals does this stuff without blinking.

traderumor
08-22-2009, 09:39 PM
Do you seriously think the two are comparable? IMO, switching the roles of a pitcher like that is way more of a gamble than having a guy who has already played a position for over 500 games try it one more time. I mean, [I]seriously[/]I assume that you are in the "no, I have not seen him play one of those 500+ games at SS" so I'm really not sure what gives you the ability to consider it such a no brainer. As for the comparability, the Reds have a history of trying these lame-brained, cheapskate position or role switches as I've mentioned before to try to cover their ineptitude at solving problems. The oversimplication of this idea is stunning. Especially when folks are tired of the Reds trying to get by instead of making legitimate, fortune changing moves. This idea is a lateral move, at best. I'm looking for moves that make the team better. This smells of "moves that identify losing organizations."

BTW, membengal, the Cards have not to date had a position change up to SS, their moves, save for Shumaker are from greater to lesser.

membengal
08-22-2009, 10:19 PM
"save for shumacher"

yes, that.

And trying Ankiel as a regular player.

And moving Pujols around the diamond as it suited them throughout this decade. Why, Pujols has even played some 2b for St. Louis. Then again, he's not selfish. And St. Louis is willing to work at filling holes, even if unconventional...

The Cardinals have no problems thinking outside the box on such moves.

The Reds? Not so much. And the Reds lose, and lose, and lose.

Scrap Irony
08-22-2009, 10:27 PM
This idea is a lateral move, at best. I'm looking for moves that make the team better. This smells of "moves that identify losing organizations.

How is it a lateral move if Frazier OPSes 800 or so at 2B along with Phillips at SS? Defensively, Phillips should be about the same as AGon and certainly not as poor as Keppinger in 2008. Is that for sure? Of course not.

But you could say that about any move, couldn't you?

And, you're right, the Reds do have a history of moving players-- like Rose from OF to 3B. How'd that work out?

But that's ancient history, right? Tampa Bay did it last year with Iwamura to 2B from 3B (to get Longoria into the lineup). That worked out pretty well. Boston moved Pokey back to SS from 2B so they could win the World Series. Florida moved Cantu up from a 1B to a 3B. Clint Barmes has moved from 2B to SS and back again, depending on injuries and done just fine. Just up the road, the Indians moved Asdrubal Cabrera from 2B to SS, not to mention Schumaker in St. Louis.

But hey, only bad teams looking from losing organizations make these moves, right?

traderumor
08-22-2009, 11:30 PM
"save for shumacher"

yes, that.

And trying Ankiel as a regular player.

And moving Pujols around the diamond as it suited them throughout this decade. Why, Pujols has even played some 2b for St. Louis. Then again, he's not selfish. And St. Louis is willing to work at filling holes, even if unconventional...

The Cardinals have no problems thinking outside the box on such moves.

The Reds? Not so much. And the Reds lose, and lose, and lose.But not SS, correct? I shudder to see how Albert played 2b, except I know that it was likely how he played 3b and LF, which was tremendously awful. To his credit, he worked his butt off and found a position. Still, in none of those are we talking about moving someone from a position that they are excellent to the toughest position on the diamond. And Shumaker's 2b performance has been poor.

It is also quite a stretch to say that the Cards are winning because they have moved Shumaker to 2b, which is basically the only major such move they have made since Pujols moved into 1b and that the Reds are losing because they have not been shifting their players around to different positions defensively. Fine if you think its worth a shot, but at least keep it real.

traderumor
08-22-2009, 11:33 PM
How is it a lateral move if Frazier OPSes 800 or so at 2B along with Phillips at SS? Defensively, Phillips should be about the same as AGon and certainly not as poor as Keppinger in 2008. Is that for sure? Of course not.

But you could say that about any move, couldn't you?

And, you're right, the Reds do have a history of moving players-- like Rose from OF to 3B. How'd that work out?

But that's ancient history, right? Tampa Bay did it last year with Iwamura to 2B from 3B (to get Longoria into the lineup). That worked out pretty well. Boston moved Pokey back to SS from 2B so they could win the World Series. Florida moved Cantu up from a 1B to a 3B. Clint Barmes has moved from 2B to SS and back again, depending on injuries and done just fine. Just up the road, the Indians moved Asdrubal Cabrera from 2B to SS, not to mention Schumaker in St. Louis.

But hey, only bad teams looking from losing organizations make these moves, right?Both are some pretty big freaking ifs. I'd prefer another direction, seen quite enough of these type of shenanigans. Shoot for fielding a real team and this is a non-issue.

BTW, Cabrera's predominant position in his minor league career was SS and recently, not somewhere he hasn't played in five or so years.

RedEye
08-22-2009, 11:41 PM
I assume that you are in the "no, I have not seen him play one of those 500+ games at SS" so I'm really not sure what gives you the ability to consider it such a no brainer. As for the comparability, the Reds have a history of trying these lame-brained, cheapskate position or role switches as I've mentioned before to try to cover their ineptitude at solving problems. The oversimplication of this idea is stunning. Especially when folks are tired of the Reds trying to get by instead of making legitimate, fortune changing moves. This idea is a lateral move, at best. I'm looking for moves that make the team better. This smells of "moves that identify losing organizations."


I'm not sure why seeing Phillips play a game of SS would make me more qualified to argue this point. All I'm saying is that the guy has played SS at the AAA and ML level before, was considered a plus defender there at one point of his career, and probably could give the position a good try again. Heck, the only reason he got shifted to 2B in the first place was because he was playing behind Vizquel and Peralta in Cleveland and then came to a Reds team that already had their last brilliant SS acquisition signed, sealed and delivered. We all know how that turned out.

Do I know 100% that Phillips at SS will work? Of course not, no one could. But I think you are exaggerating to call the suggestion "lame-brained" or "oversimplified." I'm also pretty sure that it is exactly the type of flexible, creative thinking that this team needs to start embracing if it is even going to have a fighting chance to make its $70-ish million dollar payroll competitive with their current outstanding commitments in 2010.

In an ideal world, I'd be right with you; I'd love to see BP stay at 2B and Walt go out and acquire a great SS to complement him. However, over the past few seasons I've become skeptical about 1) the availability of those types of players and 2) the Reds ability to acquire those players even if they are available. In the current state of the Reds, the move of Phillips to SS is the type of strategic play that sets up better allocation of dollars elsewhere. They should seriously consider it (and I think, at least given Dusty publicly coming out against it, that they have).

traderumor
08-22-2009, 11:59 PM
I'm not sure why seeing Phillips play a game of SS would make me more qualified to argue this point. All I'm saying is that the guy has played SS at the AAA and ML level before, was considered a plus defender there at one point of his career, and probably could give the position a good try again. Heck, the only reason he got shifted to 2B in the first place was because he was playing behind Vizquel and Peralta in Cleveland and then came to a Reds team that already had their last brilliant SS acquisition signed, sealed and delivered. We all know how that turned out.

Do I know 100% that Phillips at SS will work? Of course not, no one could. But I think you are exaggerating to call the suggestion "lame-brained" or "oversimplified." I'm also pretty sure that it is exactly the type of flexible, creative thinking that this team needs to start embracing if it is even going to have a fighting chance to make its $70-ish million dollar payroll competitive with their current outstanding commitments in 2010.

In an ideal world, I'd be right with you; I'd love to see BP stay at 2B and Walt go out and acquire a great SS to complement him. However, over the past few seasons I've become skeptical about 1) the availability of those types of players and 2) the Reds ability to acquire those players even if they are available. In the current state of the Reds, the move of Phillips to SS is the type of strategic play that sets up better allocation of dollars elsewhere. They should seriously consider it (and I think, at least given Dusty publicly coming out against it, that they have).It isn't a matter of being 100% sure, that is a strawman. It is a matter of measuring probability of failure/wasting everyone's time vs. success of the idea. Obviously, I think there is a high probability of the former being true.

BTW, it should be obvious why it is important whether or not you have seen BP play SS professionally. I am assuming this has not been tried for a reason since it has come up every year that we've had him. Now, there is the remote possibility that the Reds have just been hard-headed about it, but I'm guessing it is because he cannot play everyday SS at major league caliber. Especially since I have yet to see someone argue that he is all that at SS and they just can't believe the Reds don't see it.

GAC
08-23-2009, 08:19 AM
I don't get the reluctance to try it, honestly. What can it hurt?

It's not that I am vehemently set against it Scrappy. I don't know if you had the chance to view the article I referenced back on page 7, which mentioned Sickels's Baseball Prospect book, so I'll reference it again here.

But why have the Reds determined that SS is not the position for Frazier? Because some scouts says so?

This is how Frazier stacks up against other shortstops in the Reds system:


Player Games Fielding PCT Range Factor Chance Outs TotalZone Rate TZ Runs
Paul Janish 381 .970 4.53 1251 859 .687 18
Chris Valaika 316 .953 4.15 997 652 .654 -6
Todd Frazier 115 .958 4.64 346 249 .720 16
Jose Castro 277 .948 4.36 887 598 .674 8
Zach Cozart 147 .971 4.36 430 296 .688 14

When I look at these numbers, the one question that pops up is, have the Reds given up on Frazier at shortstop too quickly? I'm not saying these numbers should trump what the scouts say, but they sure seem to conflict with it.

It seems odd to me that Chris Valaika has never played anywhere but shortstop, even though scouts have doubts about him there as well, but Frazier was tried out in a variety of positions last year. Since it looks like Frazier has the better bat and potentially the better glove at short, doesn't it stand to reason that he would be the one getting the reps at short and Valaika would be trying to find a position?

So why not give Frazier the shot at SS, and leave Phillips at 2B? And as you, and several other's aptly mention - if it doesn't work out, then no great loss or gamble.


Florida moved Cantu up from a 1B to a 3B.

Because they badly needed a 3Bman. The guy is a butcher at 3B.

RedEye
08-23-2009, 10:21 AM
It isn't a matter of being 100% sure, that is a strawman. It is a matter of measuring probability of failure/wasting everyone's time vs. success of the idea. Obviously, I think there is a high probability of the former being true.

BTW, it should be obvious why it is important whether or not you have seen BP play SS professionally. I am assuming this has not been tried for a reason since it has come up every year that we've had him. Now, there is the remote possibility that the Reds have just been hard-headed about it, but I'm guessing it is because he cannot play everyday SS at major league caliber. Especially since I have yet to see someone argue that he is all that at SS and they just can't believe the Reds don't see it.

FYI, when I wrote "100% sure", it was a manner of speaking (er... writing), not a strawman as you accuse (unless you took it literally, which it wasn't meant to be).

Anyway, I suppose where we disagree is that you think trying Phillips at SS would be a "waste of time", while I think it would be a waste of time and (more importantly) money not to. The Reds have more time than they have money at this point.

As far as I know, Phillips profiled as a plus defensive SS when he was a prospect. I think the reason it hasn't been tried since is because he was stuck behind Vizquel and then Peralta (and his own offensive ineptitude) in Cleveland and then behind A-Gon when he arrived in Cincy. His move to 2B was more out of circumstance than necessity, and I have yet to hear anyone talk about how he can't play SS--only about how he is a GG 2B and "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Frankly, neither side in this argument has a smoking gun to prove that Phillips can or cannot play shortstop. We just don't know the answer. I, for one, think it's worth trying to find out the answer during the last 40 games of a season that is already lost. Brandon is a big boy. He can handle it. And, even if the possibility of it succeeding is "remote" as you say (which I don't think it is), the potential return (capable SS) on investment ($0) is so huge that it should be a no brainer.

GADawg
08-23-2009, 11:47 AM
For the offense starved Reds a defensive minded SS is really not the best route. Moving BP to SS and opening up 2B where we are more likely to find someone who can hit (maybe even Frazier) would be a boost. If we could get a JJ Hardy or someone at SS, sure. But as stated, Janish or a Janish-type doesn't work as an everyday player.

so far I've only read this thread to this point so someone has surely since pointed this out but it's ironic that "we're" now offensively starved and can't afford a strictly defensive ss whereas this past offseason defense at ss was gonna send us to the promised land(as well as 10 or 12 other key components).

The way this season has gone it wouldn't have mattered either way I'm afraid....fortunately we DID end up with Drew Sutton

alexad
08-23-2009, 12:15 PM
Take a look at Concepcion's career offensive numbers. Not really that impressive....

A career .679 OPS ... .322 OB% + .357 SLG%

So Davey made more of a positive contribution with his glove then his bat. And a team can "absorb" that lack in offense by building the supporting cast around him. Yeah, I'd love to have a "Larkin" at SS. But when that is not available I'd still settle for a solid glove guy at SS, with an average bat.

I agree with Baker in not wanting to move BP. Why mess with a good thing? And I use to think otherwise. I disagree with him though if he thinks playing Janish, even though he has gotten very limited playing time, can learn how to hit at the ML level. Don't see it happening.

But we could possibly even "absorb" Janish's lack if they'd have sound, contributing, impact players elsewhere. But they haven't done so to date.

Look at what Dave C had around him. BATS and more BATS. We have nothing that even looks like bats and more bats on this team. We need offense OFFENSE OFFENSE!!

osuceltic
08-23-2009, 12:37 PM
I'm not sure why seeing Phillips play a game of SS would make me more qualified to argue this point. All I'm saying is that the guy has played SS at the AAA and ML level before, was considered a plus defender there at one point of his career, and probably could give the position a good try again.

He has played 19 major league innings there. Out of 5,904 innings. His last significant playing time at shortstop was 2005 in Buffalo, when he made 21 errors in 111 games and had a .958 fielding percentage.

Despite their lack of success at it this year, the Reds seem committed to building a good defensive team -- not moving guys around like it's some kind of fantasy team in an effort to get their best OPSes in the lineup. Moving Phillips to SS most likely weakens the infield defense at two spots. I'd much rather go into the winter knowing I have 1B, 2B and 3B covered with legitimate major league players at those positions, with GG-caliber guys at 2B and 3B, and go about my business of finding a SS. For all the "moving Phillips is a no-brainer" talk, the aforementioned scenario seems like much more of a no-brainer to me.

I'm still stunned that all of this started with a decent prospect at AA moving to 2B. And that's really what he is -- a decent prospect. We're going way overboard when we're saying Todd Frazier profiles like Ryne Sandberg. I know we're hopeless homers around here, but come on ...

RedEye
08-23-2009, 12:58 PM
He has played 19 major league innings there. Out of 5,904 innings. His last significant playing time at shortstop was 2005 in Buffalo, when he made 21 errors in 111 games and had a .958 fielding percentage.

I'm not sure I think errors or fielding percentage during one minor league season are an accurate measure of his defensive value. But okay.


Despite their lack of success at it this year, the Reds seem committed to building a good defensive team -- not moving guys around like it's some kind of fantasy team in an effort to get their best OPSes in the lineup. Moving Phillips to SS most likely weakens the infield defense at two spots.

Shouldn't getting the best OPSes in the lineup be a goal of all ML teams these days? Isn't that supposed to be the best way to score runs? IMO the Reds would do well to think about stuff like this when they try to reconstruct this team. I'd actually be greatly encouraged if I knew that the term OPS crossed Walt or Dusty's lips once in awhile.

IMO, the real fantasy that is operating on this board right now is that the Reds are somehow going to find a credible SS in the off-season. I'm still confused about who the anti-BP-to-SS camp envisions the team finding to play there for 2010. If I had any confidence that they could land a Yunel Escobar or the like, I probably wouldn't be touting the Phillips switch either--but I have no such thing. Even JJ Hardy, who has been rumored lately in these parts, strikes me as an unlikely solution since his bat has been anything but stable for the Brewers and he is rather expensive on top of that.


I'd much rather go into the winter knowing I have 1B, 2B and 3B covered with legitimate major league players at those positions, with GG-caliber guys at 2B and 3B, and go about my business of finding a SS. For all the "moving Phillips is a no-brainer" talk, the aforementioned scenario seems like much more of a no-brainer to me.

But you can! By playing Phillips at SS a bit, the Reds don't lose anything! They can still go into the winter knowing they have a 1B, 2B and 3B. Not only that, they may also know that the 2B in question could play SS if needed. Or maybe they'll know he can't. Either way, nothing will have changed. And if he does, perchance, look like the answer, then Walt has more flexibility to look for either a 2B or a SS depending on what comes up.


I'm still stunned that all of this started with a decent prospect at AA moving to 2B. And that's really what he is -- a decent prospect. We're going way overboard when we're saying Todd Frazier profiles like Ryne Sandberg. I know we're hopeless homers around here, but come on ...


I think the Sandberg comparison was a little wild, too. But that's not the main point. The argument is that Frazier, along with a lot of players, would be one option to play 2B in 2010 if (and only if) Phillips succeeds in making the transition to SS. And, as many have pointed out, the pool of 2B tends to be deeper and cheaper than the pool of SS.

Okay, I think I've made my argument clear at this point. I'll stop repeating myself.

Spring~Fields
08-23-2009, 01:38 PM
Shouldn't getting the best OPSes in the lineup be a goal of all ML teams these days? Isn't that supposed to be the best way to score runs? IMO the Reds would do well to think about stuff like this when they try to reconstruct this team. I'd actually be greatly encouraged if I knew that the term OPS crossed Walt or Dusty's lips once in awhile.

IMO, the real fantasy that is operating on this board right now is that the Reds are somehow going to find a credible SS in the off-season. I'm still confused about who the anti-BP-to-SS camp envisions the team finding to play there for 2010.

Very perceptive. Good points.

IslandRed
08-23-2009, 01:54 PM
Shouldn't getting the best OPSes in the lineup be a goal of all ML teams these days?

Yes, but not the only goal. The real goal is to get the best players in the lineup, and defense (at the spot you're intending to play them) matters in that.

Now, I wouldn't have any objection if they gave it a try, but it's clear to me that Phillips' optimal position is second base and I'm a fan of playing the best players at their best spots.

RedEye
08-23-2009, 04:03 PM
Yes, but not the only goal. The real goal is to get the best players in the lineup, and defense (at the spot you're intending to play them) matters in that.

Now, I wouldn't have any objection if they gave it a try, but it's clear to me that Phillips' optimal position is second base and I'm a fan of playing the best players at their best spots.

Yes, of course you play the best overall players. I agree. Here's the thing though: even if Phillips is slightly less good at SS than he is at 2B (and this wouldn't surprise anyone since it is a harder defensive position) he's probably still much better as an overall player and value than any SS they are going to be able find on the off-season scrap heap. That is, I'm willing to bet that for 2010, Phillips at SS + TBD at 2B is likely to be a better and cheaper combination than TBD at SS + Phillips at 2B.

GAC
08-23-2009, 08:47 PM
Look at what Dave C had around him. BATS and more BATS. We have nothing that even looks like bats and more bats on this team. We need offense OFFENSE OFFENSE!!

True. And I already made that point that Davey had offense around him. My other point was - if a "balanced" SS can't be found who gives you both O and D - and they are hard to find - then you settle for the glove guy at SS, but "absorb" or compensate for that lack in O with sound offensive players around him. You can make it work.

And it doesn't have to be HOFers, as was the case with the BRM.

Scrap Irony
08-23-2009, 08:52 PM
And we have sound offensive players where exactly on this team? I count Votto and perhaps Rolen. Maybe Bruce comes around.

Sound offensive players cost money and the Reds don't have that cash, at least according to Fay.

Meanwhile, the erstwhile move of Phillips to SS would not cost a penny, but would, in theory, at least, provide another league average bat or so.

RedEye
08-23-2009, 09:24 PM
And we have sound offensive players where exactly on this team? I count Votto and perhaps Rolen. Maybe Bruce comes around.

Sound offensive players cost money and the Reds don't have that cash, at least according to Fay.

Meanwhile, the erstwhile move of Phillips to SS would not cost a penny, but would, in theory, at least, provide another league average bat or so.

Exactamundo!

traderumor
08-23-2009, 09:28 PM
And we have sound offensive players where exactly on this team? I count Votto and perhaps Rolen. Maybe Bruce comes around.

Sound offensive players cost money and the Reds don't have that cash, at least according to Fay.

Meanwhile, the erstwhile move of Phillips to SS would not cost a penny, but would, in theory, at least, provide another league average bat or so.And leave 2b to fill with a rookie. Great plan!

Scrap Irony
08-23-2009, 09:46 PM
A rookie with an 858 career minor league OPS.

jojo
08-23-2009, 10:03 PM
A rookie with an 858 career minor league OPS.

Adam Rosales has an 855 career minor league OPS.

RedEye
08-23-2009, 10:19 PM
And leave 2b to fill with a rookie. Great plan!

I don't think Frazier is necessarily the answer at 2B if Phillips moves. He's one possible answer, yes, but not the only one.

Caveat Emperor
08-24-2009, 02:02 AM
Adam Rosales has an 855 career minor league OPS.

True. Why promote anyone? If Adam Rosales can't make it, no one will.

WVRedsFan
08-24-2009, 03:23 AM
So, all that we need is three hall of famers and an all-time hit leader and we'll have a "supporting cast" to carry Janish as the SS.;)

For the record, I don't move Phillips unless a better than average player for 2B is brought in. Otherwise, I'd focus on finding a SS who can play the position and get on base at a .340 plus rate.

BINGO! You an afford a Janish at shortsop (well, let's be serious--no one can afford a .207 shorstop) if you have a supporting cast around him. I looked at today's lineup and saw Rosales (well, yestersay), Stubbs, and the new catcher in or around .100-.210. You cannot win like that no matter who is pitching. Yes, find that shortstop, let Brandon play second, but improve the outfield, which might be the worst one I've ever seen in nearly 50 years watching Reds baseball. And like OBM says, Janish is not the answer. And neither is Stubbs. Minor leage statistics are fool's gold as we've seen over and over. Why do we not get the point?

traderumor
08-24-2009, 10:35 AM
True. Why promote anyone? If Adam Rosales can't make it, no one will.I think you get the point. Counting on Frazier as a part of the grand plan to move Phillips to SS seems like something the Reds would do in line with their perpetual losing streak of the decade, but not sure why it is becoming the majority view that it is something the Reds should do, all things considered.

BRM
08-24-2009, 10:41 AM
How is counting on Frazier a worse option than counting on Janish? Personally I would hope the Reds are looking outside the organization either way they go. If BP stays at 2B, go find a SS. If he moves to SS, go find a 2B. There are no internal options for either position for next season. 2011 maybe, but not 2010.

traderumor
08-24-2009, 10:47 AM
How is counting on Frazier a worse option than counting on Janish? Personally I would hope the Reds are looking outside the organization either way they go. If BP stays at 2B, go find a SS. If he moves to SS, go find a 2B. There are no internal options for either position for next season. 2011 maybe, but not 2010.Because we at least know Janish can pick it at SS. Of course, Dusty batting him 2nd is insane, regardless of it being The Louisville, but that is neither here nor there. I want them to be a good team, which I think involves finding a SS, not rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

membengal
08-24-2009, 10:49 AM
I'm sorry. Why is Todd Frazier the only option for a potential 2b hole?

I know I was not the only one on here begging for them to move Phillips last off-season and sign Orlando Hudson, who ended up anchoring a really good Dodgers team instead.

Point is, it's easier to find 2b folk than SS folk.

And you know that, tr.

BRM
08-24-2009, 10:50 AM
Point is, it's easier to find 2b folk than SS folk.

This is the key point for me. Since they have to go outside the org to find another middle infielder, 2B is a much easier to place to look than SS.

Kc61
08-24-2009, 10:51 AM
I haven't read this whole thread but it seems all based on the idea that Frazier is ready to be a major league second baseman. He's been at AA all year, just started at AAA, and is new to second base.

I think moving Phillips to shortstop would be a mistake. It would likely weaken the infield defensively. He is now a second baseman, I think the time to make a shortstop has passed. Too late in the game to have him re-learn that position. Keep him where he has developed, second base.

Reds should acquire a shortstop. Or Reds should keep Janish at short but acquire a LF who can hit.

As for second base being easy to acquire, maybe, but all around good second basemen with a bat and glove are expensive. I would devote my dollars to the outfield -- which isn't exactly very good right now. The infield with Votto, Phillips, Rolen and even Janish is in far better shape.

Make Dickerson the prime CF against righty pitching and acquire a hitter for left field and the offense, with Rolen, will be improved. Even with a defensive oriented SS.

flyer85
08-24-2009, 11:00 AM
Or Reds should keep Janish at short but acquire a LF who can hit.seems to me the Reds need a LF, CF and RF that can hit.

Kc61
08-24-2009, 11:08 AM
seems to me the Reds need a LF, CF and RF that can hit.


I agree. But Bruce needs another chance next year. And I think Dickerson, if the primary CF, gets on base acceptably for that position.

That's why the focus on left.

BRM
08-24-2009, 11:12 AM
I agree. But Bruce needs another chance next year. And I think Dickerson, if the primary CF, gets on base acceptably for that position.

That's why the focus on left.

A lot of us here think that Dickerson is capable enough to get most of the starts in CF next year. Based mostly on his OBP and good defense. The Reds, however, don't seem to agree. I don't think they will go into 2010 with Dickerson penciled in as the primary centerfielder.

IslandRed
08-24-2009, 11:29 AM
Here's the thing though: even if Phillips is slightly less good at SS than he is at 2B (and this wouldn't surprise anyone since it is a harder defensive position) he's probably still much better as an overall player and value than any SS they are going to be able find on the off-season scrap heap. That is, I'm willing to bet that for 2010, Phillips at SS + TBD at 2B is likely to be a better and cheaper combination than TBD at SS + Phillips at 2B.

I think "significantly less good" is what we'd get, but that's just me.

Bottom line, as a second baseman, Phillips is an above-average player, the kind of guy that would be an asset to a good team. As a shortstop, I'd expect him to be merely an average player at best, defense considered. Considering how few real assets this team has right now, if we're going to downgrade one of them, it needs to be for the sake of someone genuinely good, not just Random TBD.

Kc61
08-24-2009, 11:39 AM
A lot of us here think that Dickerson is capable enough to get most of the starts in CF next year. Based mostly on his OBP and good defense. The Reds, however, don't seem to agree. I don't think they will go into 2010 with Dickerson penciled in as the primary centerfielder.

Yes, the Reds don't seem to see him as a primary CF. The Reds also point out, correctly, that Dickerson does tend to be somewhat injury prone. And for whatever reason, I don't think they feel he is a natural defensive centerfielder. They put him in the corners a lot.

However, of the available choices, certainly against righthanded pitching, I'd consider him the best for the position.

traderumor
08-24-2009, 12:03 PM
I'm sorry. Why is Todd Frazier the only option for a potential 2b hole?

I know I was not the only one on here begging for them to move Phillips last off-season and sign Orlando Hudson, who ended up anchoring a really good Dodgers team instead.

Point is, it's easier to find 2b folk than SS folk.

And you know that, tr.If it is easier to find 2b folk than SS folk, and Phillips is 2b folk, then how is making Phillips a SS folk "finding" anything? The reason I am against considering Phillips as finding SS folk is because he is not major league SS folk. Spinning wheels, got to go 'round.

BRM
08-24-2009, 12:09 PM
Yes, the Reds don't seem to see him as a primary CF. The Reds also point out, correctly, that Dickerson does tend to be somewhat injury prone. And for whatever reason, I don't think they feel he is a natural defensive centerfielder. They put him in the corners a lot.

However, of the available choices, certainly against righthanded pitching, I'd consider him the best for the position.

I agree with you. Against RHP, he's the best choice. I still doubt the Reds see it that way but you never know. I can see them going with Willy or Drew Stubbs next year with Dickerson being the 4th outfielder. I do think Walt will try to find someone to play LF. That someone may end up being Gomes with Nix or Dickerson acting as his platoon partner though.

RedEye
08-24-2009, 12:31 PM
I haven't read this whole thread but it seems all based on the idea that Frazier is ready to be a major league second baseman. He's been at AA all year, just started at AAA, and is new to second base.


Nope, it's not based on that. At all. Frazier is one option of many to play 2B. If he works out, great. If not, the Reds can look to sign/trade for another 2B, which will be easier than doing the same for a SS.

RedEye
08-24-2009, 12:33 PM
If it is easier to find 2b folk than SS folk, and Phillips is 2b folk, then how is making Phillips a SS folk "finding" anything? The reason I am against considering Phillips as finding SS folk is because he is not major league SS folk. Spinning wheels, got to go 'round.

You have about as much proof of that as we have that he is one. Neither camp will know the answer unless he is tried there.

traderumor
08-24-2009, 12:44 PM
You have about as much proof of that as we have that he is one. Neither camp will know the answer unless he is tried there.Not sure why "two major league teams had opportunities to make BP their SS and did not based on what they do already know" is not considered proof. I'm pretty sure MLB teams are not required to hold public tryouts in MLB games for their fans' benefit.

savafan
08-24-2009, 01:28 PM
But hey, only bad teams looking from losing organizations make these moves, right?

Yeah, like the Yankees moving the best offensive shortstop in the game to 3rd base.

jojo
08-24-2009, 01:36 PM
Yeah, like the Yankees moving the best offensive shortstop in the game to 3rd place.

But they had no choice because one of the worst defensive shortstops in the game had already called shotgun. :cool:

traderumor
08-24-2009, 01:39 PM
Yeah, like the Yankees moving the best offensive shortstop in the game to 3rd place.

more strawmen than an Iowa cornfield in this thread.

membengal
08-24-2009, 02:27 PM
Not sure why "two major league teams had opportunities to make BP their SS and did not based on what they do already know" is not considered proof. I'm pretty sure MLB teams are not required to hold public tryouts in MLB games for their fans' benefit.

What "two major league teams"?

The Indians? Phillips was blocked by Vizquel.

The Reds? That rather begs the question, doesn't it.

Point is, a prime opportunity to find out, one way or another (because you don't know anymore than those of us advocating a move know) if it would work or not.

Spring~Fields
08-24-2009, 02:40 PM
Yes, the Reds don't seem to see him as a primary CF. The Reds also point out, correctly, that Dickerson does tend to be somewhat injury prone. And for whatever reason, I don't think they feel he is a natural defensive centerfielder. They put him in the corners a lot.

However, of the available choices, certainly against righthanded pitching, I'd consider him the best for the position.

I can't disagree with you here, but I find it interesting how the Reds will seem to selectively ignore "injury prone" as in the thinking that might have been in getting a Rolen for example, then, they will have those "prone" type thoughts for a Dickerson. They seem to be inconsistent. Though both have had a history of injury.

traderumor
08-24-2009, 03:04 PM
What "two major league teams"?

The Indians? Phillips was blocked by Vizquel.

The Reds? That rather begs the question, doesn't it.

Point is, a prime opportunity to find out, one way or another (because you don't know anymore than those of us advocating a move know) if it would work or not.No, it does not beg the question. This has been a question since we've had him and the Reds, through various regimes, have nixed the idea. The chance was there before they signed AGon, and the great experiment was not undertaken. They have had chances to try this and have said no, pretty loudly. And it isn't like this is an org. that has not been willing to try grand experiments, as I pointed out earlier in the thread.

membengal
08-24-2009, 03:21 PM
What grand experiments has it tried since acquiring Phillips?

In the Krivsky/Jocketty years, how, exactly, have they pushed the envelope?

Please.

To give THIS organization, happily banking its ninth straight losing season, any kind of credit is asinine. They, at this point, have zero trust. And the general defense of the profound and prolonged incompetence is insulting. And laughable.

Ltlabner
08-24-2009, 04:06 PM
I love how trying something that may or may not result in a relatively easy fix to a major problem is now "rearranging the deck chairs".

There's a lot of examples of "rearranging the deck chairs" in this organizations recent past. Calling up the same mediocre player from Louisville for the 4th time would be an example. To suggest that this is another example is simply demonstrating a lack of understanding of the phrase.

RedEye
08-24-2009, 06:24 PM
Bottom line, as a second baseman, Phillips is an above-average player, the kind of guy that would be an asset to a good team. As a shortstop, I'd expect him to be merely an average player at best, defense considered. Considering how few real assets this team has right now, if we're going to downgrade one of them, it needs to be for the sake of someone genuinely good, not just Random TBD.

I beg to differ. Even with average D, Phillips would immediately vault to the top of the line of ML SS. And that would be a good deal given the current market value of that type of player. And if the Reds do go out and get them a SS, they aren't going to do much better than A-Gon with what we know about their finances. That makes the Phillips option look that much better, IMO.

RedEye
08-24-2009, 06:39 PM
Not sure why "two major league teams had opportunities to make BP their SS and did not based on what they do already know" is not considered proof.

Maybe b/c Cleveland already had two other good internal options at the time and didn't really know what they had in BP in the first place? And maybe b/c the second team in question here is the Reds, who have not shown one ounce of competence in player evaluation over the past few years, especially in terms of defense? As I recall, Dusty et al. were also against moving Griff out of CF for over a year. Not sure why that happened, but it sure doesn't inspire confidence in the franchise's ability to assess all the options.

jojo
08-24-2009, 06:52 PM
We've got almost 6000 defensive innings for Brandon at second base and a quick look at UZR and +/- suggests his true defensive skill lies somewhere between +5 and +10 runs in a full season.

Generally when second baseman move to short, they perform about 5 runs worse than they did at second.

So as a shortstop, one might predict Brandon to be a neutral to +5 defender.

He's basically a league average bat (wOBA=.330).

So over 600 PA's his bat would have zero value above major league average.

He'd get 20 runs for the difference between average and replacement over 600 PAs.

His glove would be either 0 of +5 runs.

He'd get +7.5 for playing defense at shortstop (positional adjustment).

So as a shortstop, his value might be projected to be 27.5 to 32.5 runs or a 2.8 to 3.3 win player. That's pretty much what he is now as a second baseman.

In other words, as Baker verbalized his argument, his case isn't a strong one as Phillips would project to be worth roughly the same whether he played short or second. It's just he'd take a hit defensively because he'd be compared to better defenders but he'd basically have similar value because while he'd take a hit with the glove, he'd be doing it at a harder position.

That said, the real comparison is between Phillips at second plus the guy the Reds get to play short versus Phillips at short and the guy the Reds would get to play second.

I think the best strategy for the Reds is to get two years of Hardy at short and keep Phillips at second. I think Hardy is likely the best shortstop option that's actually obtainable (he'd be better there than Phillips) and the combination of he and Phillips likely trumps whatever else the Reds would do by moving Phillips.

So ya, ultimately, I agree with Dusty on this one-keep Phillips at second and get a legitimate shortstop to team with him.

RedEye
08-24-2009, 07:11 PM
The real comparison is between Phillips at second plus the guy the Reds get to play short versus Phillips at short and the guy the Reds would get to play second.

I think the best strategy for the Reds is to get two years of Hardy at short and keep Phillips at second. I think Hardy is likely the best shortstop option that's actually obtainable and the combination of he and Phillips likely trumps whatever else the Reds would do by moving Phillips.

Great post, jojo. If the Reds can land Hardy, I have no problem leaving Phillips at 2B. I still think, however, it might be worth trying Phillips over there just in case they fall short of acquiring that level of player. They could do much worse than a neutral defender (and plus hitter) at SS. The other issue, of course, is cost. Whatever the stat value of two IF, a SS is usually going to cost more than a 2B. So I would argue that, all things considered (stats + $), BP is more valuable as a SS than as a 2B.

mth123
08-24-2009, 08:36 PM
We've got almost 6000 defensive innings for Brandon at second base and a quick look at UZR and +/- suggests his true defensive skill lies somewhere between +5 and +10 runs in a full season.

Generally when second baseman move to short, they perform about 5 runs worse than they did at second.

So as a shortstop, one might predict Brandon to be a neutral to +5 defender.

He's basically a league average bat (wOBA=.330).

So over 600 PA's his bat would have zero value above major league average.

He'd get 20 runs for the difference between average and replacement over 600 PAs.

His glove would be either 0 of +5 runs.

He'd get +7.5 for playing defense at shortstop (positional adjustment).

So as a shortstop, his value might be projected to be 27.5 to 32.5 runs or a 2.8 to 3.3 win player. That's pretty much what he is now as a second baseman.

In other words, as Baker verbalized his argument, his case isn't a strong one as Phillips would project to be worth roughly the same whether he played short or second. It's just he'd take a hit defensively because he'd be compared to better defenders but he'd basically have similar value because while he'd take a hit with the glove, he'd be doing it at a harder position.

That said, the real comparison is between Phillips at second plus the guy the Reds get to play short versus Phillips at short and the guy the Reds would get to play second.

I think the best strategy for the Reds is to get two years of Hardy at short and keep Phillips at second. I think Hardy is likely the best shortstop option that's actually obtainable (he'd be better there than Phillips) and the combination of he and Phillips likely trumps whatever else the Reds would do by moving Phillips.

So ya, ultimately, I agree with Dusty on this one-keep Phillips at second and get a legitimate shortstop to team with him.

Agree with this, but the Reds need to move some bucks for Hardy to be obtainable. He's an arb eligible guy who made $4.2 Million this year and even with his bad year he won't take a big cut. He'll be a guy making roughly Gonzalez money who, in 2009 at least, provided roughly Gonzalez production. I don't see this team doing what is necessary to acquire Hardy.

nate
08-24-2009, 10:20 PM
That said, the real comparison is between Phillips at second plus the guy the Reds get to play short versus Phillips at short and the guy the Reds would get to play second.

This.

RANDY IN INDY
08-25-2009, 10:15 AM
We've got almost 6000 defensive innings for Brandon at second base and a quick look at UZR and +/- suggests his true defensive skill lies somewhere between +5 and +10 runs in a full season.

Generally when second baseman move to short, they perform about 5 runs worse than they did at second.

So as a shortstop, one might predict Brandon to be a neutral to +5 defender.

He's basically a league average bat (wOBA=.330).

So over 600 PA's his bat would have zero value above major league average.

He'd get 20 runs for the difference between average and replacement over 600 PAs.

His glove would be either 0 of +5 runs.

He'd get +7.5 for playing defense at shortstop (positional adjustment).

So as a shortstop, his value might be projected to be 27.5 to 32.5 runs or a 2.8 to 3.3 win player. That's pretty much what he is now as a second baseman.

In other words, as Baker verbalized his argument, his case isn't a strong one as Phillips would project to be worth roughly the same whether he played short or second. It's just he'd take a hit defensively because he'd be compared to better defenders but he'd basically have similar value because while he'd take a hit with the glove, he'd be doing it at a harder position.

That said, the real comparison is between Phillips at second plus the guy the Reds get to play short versus Phillips at short and the guy the Reds would get to play second.

I think the best strategy for the Reds is to get two years of Hardy at short and keep Phillips at second. I think Hardy is likely the best shortstop option that's actually obtainable (he'd be better there than Phillips) and the combination of he and Phillips likely trumps whatever else the Reds would do by moving Phillips.

So ya, ultimately, I agree with Dusty on this one-keep Phillips at second and get a legitimate shortstop to team with him.

Good post. Agree.

RedEye
08-25-2009, 11:04 AM
After jojo's needed intervention in these proceedings, I have to agree that the best route this off-season would be for the Reds to pursue a legit SS to team with Phillips at 2B. Here's the thing though--that was always really my position. The argument about moving Phillips was already predicated on the idea that the Reds, of course, won't do what I want them to. I don't think they have the money or the wherewithal.

So, I'm still curious about something. For those who have said you agree with Dusty that Phillips should not move to SS, I have these likely scenario for you:

If the Reds do not succeed in landing a SS like JJ Hardy, do you still think Phillips should be left at 2B, or do you think the Reds should at least try to move him with the idea that it will eventually be easier to find a good replacement at 2B?

I'm thinking this scenario might be where many of us have common ground. But I'm not sure.

traderumor
08-25-2009, 11:18 AM
After jojo's needed intervention in these proceedings, I have to agree that the best route this off-season would be for the Reds to pursue a legit SS to team with Phillips at 2B. Here's the thing though--that was always really my position. The argument about moving Phillips was already predicated on the idea that the Reds, of course, won't do what I want them to. I don't think they have the money or the wherewithal.

So, I'm still curious about something. For those who have said you agree with Dusty that Phillips should not move to SS, I have these likely scenario for you:

If the Reds do not succeed in landing a SS like JJ Hardy, do you still think Phillips should be left at 2B, or do you think the Reds should at least try to move him with the idea that it will eventually be easier to find a good replacement at 2B?




I'm thinking this scenario might be where many of us have common ground. But I'm not sure.To the first part, like I've been saying all along and been getting shouted down and relegated to front office loving/idiot status. Interesting.

As far as names go, I like Hardy as a bounceback candidate, but boy, if his stick is gone, he will get raked over the coals in AGon fashion and the "shoulda tried BP there" cries will return. That is the direction I would like to see the Reds go. Of course, they will probably pick up another good glove/no stick SS like Ronnie Cedeno.

Trust me, I have as little confidence as you all that the Reds will find a productive solution to the SS need, but I think this thread is about what they should do, as in Plan A. I don't see BP being Plan A, as I've made clear (but apparently without the winsome argumentation of jojo, who quantified what apparently the Reds/Indians have seen).

jojo
08-25-2009, 11:53 AM
To me it comes down to this:

The Reds have what should be a pretty easily quantifiable potential solution at short in the "Hardy" option (assuming Hardy is available). This is a guy with enough of a track record for sabermetrics to credibly evaluate him. Then couple that with the eyes of scouts and there should be a pretty clear picture of what to expect from Hardy.

Available/obtainable solutions for second base? I'm not sure the same thing can be said about them...

That said, I'm operating under the assumption that it's pretty likely that Hardy can be at least a league average bat over the next two seasons (wOBA=.330). His excellent defense should remain a constant and if metrics like UZR are correct (roughly +10 defender), barring injury, it's not crazy to think that Hardy could be a 3 to 3.5 win player each of the next two years. That's just assuming a league average bat.

I'm not sure that the Reds could expect anything close to 6 to 7 wins out of the vacant spot assuming a non-Hardy fix.

lollipopcurve
08-25-2009, 12:49 PM
The Reds have what should be a pretty easily quantifiable potential solution at short in the "Hardy" option (assuming Hardy is available). This is a guy with enough of a track record for sabermetrics to credibly evaluate him. Then couple that with the eyes of scouts and there should be a pretty clear picture of what to expect from Hardy.

Available/obtainable solutions for second base? I'm not sure the same thing can be said about them...

That said, I'm operating under the assumption that it's pretty likely that Hardy can be at least a league average bat over the next two seasons (wOBA=.330). His excellent defense should remain a constant and if metrics like UZR are correct (roughly +10 defender), barring injury, it's not crazy to think that Hardy could be a 3 to 3.5 win player each of the next two years. That's just assuming a league average bat.

I'm not sure that the Reds could expect anything close to 6 to 7 wins out of the vacant spot assuming a non-Hardy fix.

Hardy is no doubt an interesting possibility. However, 2 huge unknowns have to be considered:

1. What's with the fall-off this season? It's been drastic. I don't think there is a reason to dismiss it outright as an anomaly.

2. Most important -- what would it cost to acquire him?

Hardy is a 1 or 2 year proposition, a short-timer. If he's denied free agency after 2009 by virtue of the Brewers sending him down on the last possible day, there would seem to be no way he'd sign an extension anywhere. So, why sacrifice significant talent for a guy like that? And he's going to make good money in 2009, too.

Some important questions about him that should give the Reds pause.

RedEye
08-25-2009, 03:05 PM
To the first part, like I've been saying all along and been getting shouted down and relegated to front office loving/idiot status. Interesting.

As far as names go, I like Hardy as a bounceback candidate, but boy, if his stick is gone, he will get raked over the coals in AGon fashion and the "shoulda tried BP there" cries will return. That is the direction I would like to see the Reds go. Of course, they will probably pick up another good glove/no stick SS like Ronnie Cedeno.

Trust me, I have as little confidence as you all that the Reds will find a productive solution to the SS need, but I think this thread is about what they should do, as in Plan A. I don't see BP being Plan A, as I've made clear (but apparently without the winsome argumentation of jojo, who quantified what apparently the Reds/Indians have seen).

I'd be fine if that were Plan A as well. Here's where I think we may still disagree--and where the shouting began (for which I apologize, BTW).

We do both like the Hardy option. But while I'd like them to pursue Hardy (or someone like him or better), I see no reason why they can't also experiment with Phillips at SS. This would be in preparation for what I see as the most likely outcome of said "efforts" to land Hardy or the like: Ronnie Cedeno.

To my mind:

Phillips 2B + Cedeno/Janish/TBA SS < League Average 2B + Phillips SS

I'm interested whether you would agree with the above "equation"--and whether jojo would as well. From what I can tell, his argument for keeping Phillips at 2B relies on the idea that the Reds can get a Hardy. And, if I understand him correctly, he thinks a Phillips move to SS should be in the works if this does not happen...

traderumor
08-25-2009, 05:13 PM
I'd be fine if that were Plan A as well. Here's where I think we may still disagree--and where the shouting began (for which I apologize, BTW).

We do both like the Hardy option. But while I'd like them to pursue Hardy (or someone like him or better), I see no reason why they can't also experiment with Phillips at SS. This would be in preparation for what I see as the most likely outcome of said "efforts" to land Hardy or the like: Ronnie Cedeno.

To my mind:

Phillips 2B + Cedeno/Janish/TBA SS < League Average 2B + Phillips SS

I'm interested whether you would agree with the above "equation"--and whether jojo would as well. From what I can tell, his argument for keeping Phillips at 2B relies on the idea that the Reds can get a Hardy. And, if I understand him correctly, he thinks a Phillips move to SS should be in the works if this does not happen...Apology graciously accepted, and I also used inflammatory words like "lame brained" to describe the merits of this idea, for which I also apologize for the back handed remark somewhere in this interesting discussion (group hug).

With that out of the way, it is clear the Reds need to upgrade at the SS position, whatever the makeup of that person is, such as avg. defender/plus stick (good luck on that one) or plus defender/avg. stick (the Hardy model). I think I'd even settle for avg. defender/avg. stick in the short term while at some point trying to draft my stud SS, which the Reds have been whiffing on since what, 1983 or so?

bucksfan2
08-25-2009, 05:25 PM
How many teams in baseball need to address the SS position?

The idea of moving Phillips to SS is intriguing, but I don't like it. Phillips has great athletic ability and has a great arm for the 2b position. But what does concern me with a move to SS is that Phillips often times gets lazy. His footwork gets lazy. When he fields a hard hit ball, he takes his time, and almost lackadaisically throws the ball to 1b. Playing 2b allows Phillips to do that but he would be unable to do so at SS.

Phillips has the raw tools to make the switch. He has good instincts, quick feet, and a strong arm. However, I just don't know how well his whole game would translate to SS. Would he be able to translate into an effective SS or would he be below average? A move of Phillips to SS would open up a less demanding position and allow the Reds to potentially add a better bat. But a lot of that would hinge on Phillips ability to play SS without struggling.

Scrap Irony
08-25-2009, 06:05 PM
Plan A, for all involved, I think, would be to add a JJ Hardy. However, I sincerely doubt the front office does that. This is why Phillips to short makes some sense.

SS Phillips + 2B options in the Cincinnati pipeline > 2B Phillips + SS options in the Cincinnati pipeline.

Not only that, SS FA are a weak lot, while 2B FA should prove better both with the leather and the bat. It's much more likely Jocketty finds a relative bargain at second than short. (If he has the go-ahead to actually use cash to find a free agent, that is.)

RedEye
08-25-2009, 06:25 PM
Phillips has the raw tools to make the switch. He has good instincts, quick feet, and a strong arm. However, I just don't know how well his whole game would translate to SS. Would he be able to translate into an effective SS or would he be below average? A move of Phillips to SS would open up a less demanding position and allow the Reds to potentially add a better bat. But a lot of that would hinge on Phillips ability to play SS without struggling.

Exactly. Which is why they should try it.

RedEye
08-25-2009, 06:30 PM
With that out of the way, it is clear the Reds need to upgrade at the SS position, whatever the makeup of that person is, such as avg. defender/plus stick (good luck on that one) or plus defender/avg. stick (the Hardy model). I think I'd even settle for avg. defender/avg. stick in the short term while at some point trying to draft my stud SS, which the Reds have been whiffing on since what, 1983 or so?

According to what I've read and what earlier posters have written in this thread, BP profiles as a neutral defender and a plus bat at SS. If all else fails (which it very likely will), would you settle for him? :)

traderumor
08-25-2009, 11:08 PM
According to what I've read and what earlier posters have written in this thread, BP profiles as a neutral defender and a plus bat at SS. If all else fails (which it very likely will), would you settle for him? :)That doesn't answer the 2b question left behind.

Highlifeman21
08-25-2009, 11:13 PM
That doesn't answer the 2b question left behind.

You're absolutely right that it doesn't, but I've read numerous posts by numerous people around these parts that we have a great farm system, and we're just crawling with guys that can play 2B and replace Phillips if Phillips slides over to SS.

I guess it all hinges on the definition of "replace".

Sure, we have guys that can stand out @ 2B and be a warm body playing the position, but I know we don't have anyone in the system that can give us the same caliber D as Phillips.

Offensively, who knows what these kids can do?

Seeing as the Reds plan(s) is "sit and wait", then I hope for the Reds' sake that their farm is as good as supposedly advertised.

If not, we're gonna continue to be in a world of hurt in regards to talent.

WMR
08-25-2009, 11:17 PM
What if folks KNEW that the Reds could acquire Orlando Hudson this off-season.

Would that change your feelings if you're against the idea?

Purely hypothetical.

Highlifeman21
08-25-2009, 11:58 PM
What if folks KNEW that the Reds could acquire Orlando Hudson this off-season.

Would that change your feelings if you're against the idea?

Purely hypothetical.

I was for signing Hudson last year as a FA, and moving Phillips to SS for 2009.

I continue to be all about signing Hudson as a FA and moving Phillips to SS.

RedEye
08-26-2009, 12:56 AM
You're absolutely right that it doesn't, but I've read numerous posts by numerous people around these parts that we have a great farm system, and we're just crawling with guys that can play 2B and replace Phillips if Phillips slides over to SS.


And the assumption would be that if the Reds can "go out and get a SS", that they could also "go out and get a 2B." The solution doesn't have to come from within--and generally speaking, 2B are easier to acquire than SS.

HokieRed
08-26-2009, 11:45 PM
Phillips now at .756 OPS for season. We've talked about his platoon splits before, his below .700 lifetime OPS vs. righties. Should we maybe be thinking about this move in another way--i.e. that Phillips' offense is really more in line with SS and/or that turning the focus of acquisition to 2b is really a lot more likely to produce significant additional offense?

Ron Madden
08-27-2009, 04:23 AM
I hope it doesn't happen but it wouldn't surprise me if the Reds went after a guy like Scutaro of Toronto, a vet in his mid thirties having a career year.