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View Full Version : Replacement value and Willy Tavares



big boy
09-17-2009, 10:23 AM
Yet another interesting Posnanski article found here (http://joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/2009/09/15/almost-impossible-to-believe/).

Here are the Reds comments:



7. Stick with a player who offers a skill that the team overvalues. You might put this under “improper evaluation” but I think there is something else here. Willy Taveras is probably the worst every day player in baseball. And yet he’s leading off for the Cincinnati Reds. How do you explain that? Are the Reds TRYING to lose? No, I don’t think so. I think it’s just: Willy Taveras is fast. And Dusty Baker worships speed … even if it doesn’t get the team anything. Some people fall in love with a player’s arm. Some fall in love with power. Many love speed. Sure, this goes to evaluation, but I think it’s even more specific than that.

By Baseball Prospectus’ count, there are 38 players in baseball with 300-plus plate appearances who are performing below replacement level.

– Cincinnati: Ramon Hernandez, Jay Bruce, Wily Tavarez.

In summary, the Reds could have found plenty of minor leaguers or free agents who could perform better than those three.

terminator
09-17-2009, 11:38 AM
Not to mention our Gonzo/Janish combo this year which would make a fourth position on that list. Oh and the EE/Rosales combo which would have been a fifth entry, but for Rolen.

That said, the only one I can really fault the Reds/Dusty for playing is Taveras. Bruce has potential and needs to develop (and has defense and power to help offset his current shortcomings). And as for Ramon . . . I didn't understand why he was on that list -- his hitting stats exceed the replacement player and he and Hanigan made a decent combo this year.

Red in Atl
09-17-2009, 12:55 PM
Yes I think Ramon was fine, even worth another year. He's certainly better than Corky or Tatum. And he did a hell of a job for us earlier in the year on a bum knee. I also like his leadership/veteran pressence on this young team.

Willy has to go no matter what. Worst player in baseball. Has no room on this 40 man roster. Holds back the development of other players. Can't hit. Can't get on base. I mean he may be one of the worst FA signings ever. Cut your loses. Looking at him on the roster will just compound the mistake. Do the right thing Walt!

roby
09-17-2009, 02:57 PM
Yes I think Ramon was fine, even worth another year. He's certainly better than Corky or Tatum. And he did a hell of a job for us earlier in the year on a bum knee. I also like his leadership/veteran pressence on this young team.

Willy has to go no matter what. Worst player in baseball. Has no room on this 40 man roster. Holds back the development of other players. Can't hit. Can't get on base. I mean he may be one of the worst FA signings ever. Cut your loses. Looking at him on the roster will just compound the mistake. Do the right thing Walt!

Preach on, brother!

Kingspoint
09-17-2009, 06:19 PM
Not to mention our Gonzo/Janish combo this year which would make a fourth position on that list. Oh and the EE/Rosales combo which would have been a fifth entry, but for Rolen.

That said, the only one I can really fault the Reds/Dusty for playing is Taveras. Bruce has potential and needs to develop (and has defense and power to help offset his current shortcomings). And as for Ramon . . . I didn't understand why he was on that list -- his hitting stats exceed the replacement player and he and Hanigan made a decent combo this year.
Yes, yes, and yes.

The thing about Taveras, is it set up everything so that it would fail. He was a poor CenterFielder to begin with, so defensively, the team suffered, the pitchers suffered, etc.

Because he led off, Dickerson couldn't lead off. Because he played Center Field, Dickerson couldn't play Center Field. That left Gomes on the bench instead of getting his bat in the lineup (then there was the stupid Scott Hairston signing, one of Baker's ex-Cubs, which kept Dickerson on the bench, too.).

So, instead of having a guy who gets on base better than most any other on the team leading off, there was an automatic out up there. Votto, Phillips, Gomes, and Hernandez were EXCELLENT!!!! all season long at hitting with runners in scoring position. They were clutch all year. They just didn't have enough guys on base so that the team could score runs. The REDS were always playing from behind because they couldn't score in the 1st and 3rd/4th innnings as much as the other team because of Taveras/Hairston taking the place of Dickerson/Gomes.

What's worse, is that everyone here at REDSZONE stated this before the season even began. It's amazing that a guy like Baker gets credit from anybody. It just goes to show you how little people who follow baseball on a daily basis know about the game, such as the San Francisco Chronicle's beat writer for the Giants from when Baker was there.

nemesis
09-17-2009, 06:27 PM
This of course is not counting Dusty's huge miscue of keeping McDonald over Gomes to start the year. Then keeping Gomes on the bench for the first month for the most part because of Willy blocking Dickerson and playing Dickerson over Gomes. Poor lineup construction hinders this team more so than lack of talent at times... Gomes didn't hit his first HR of the season until June 20th... Almost halfway thru the season...

Kingspoint
09-17-2009, 07:39 PM
This of course is not counting Dusty's huge miscue of keeping McDonald over Gomes to start the year. Then keeping Gomes on the bench for the first month for the most part because of Willy blocking Dickerson and playing Dickerson over Gomes. Poor lineup construction hinders this team more so than lack of talent at times... Gomes didn't hit his first HR of the season until June 20th... Almost halfway thru the season...

I completely forgot about that.

You can't say that there wasn't enough talent on this team to where they could have been contenders at the end of June had Baker not been the manager. Then from that point they could have gone any direction.

For once, I'd like to have a decent Manager running this team.

Fire Baker!

Hire Sweet!

Look at what Sciocia does every year with the Angels. A Manager does make a difference in both directions.

defender
09-17-2009, 08:09 PM
I don't thiink replacement player math add up, because there are not an unlimited number of MiLBers that can play at that level. Especially at premium defesnive postitions. Tavares has value above ML minimum, and the Reds should be no able to trade him without eating too much of his salary.

CesarGeronimo
09-17-2009, 08:20 PM
I couldn't agree more with you guys.

Joe Posnanski, by the way, is one of the best sportswriters in the country. It doesn't take a Posnanski to figure out why Dusty kept the worst everyday starter in baseball in the leadoff spot, but it's still good to read him validating what so many here have been saying for months.

Captain Hook
09-17-2009, 08:32 PM
I don't thiink replacement player math add up, because there are not an unlimited number of MiLBers that can play at that level. Especially at premium defesnive postitions. Tavares has value above ML minimum, and the Reds should be no able to trade him without eating too much of his salary.

It would be a miracle if the Reds were able to trade Tavares.The reality is that he will either be on the team next year or we will be paying him to play for someone else.I'd be ok with the second option however the first is more likely.:thumbdown

CesarGeronimo
09-17-2009, 09:01 PM
I agree that Willy will probably be back with the Reds next year. But the people responsible for bringing him to Cincy - those in management who advocated signing him - should be gone. This was not an acceptable mistake to make given Willy's track record and the certainty that Dusty Baker would start him in center field and bat him leadoff.

The fact that Willy started over better players and batted leadoff was never what bothered me the most. What really bothered me was that the Reds were a stupid enough organization to sign Willy and have him bat leadoff, demonstrating that they're still stupid enough to keep making ridiculous personnel moves in the months and years ahead. They need to get rid of the people who make a decision like this. Or, at the least, they need to make a serious review of the decision making process that led to signing Willy and come up with a plan for how they will avoid making such obviously flawed decisions in the future. I'm not talking about signing players who turn out not to be as good as hoped. I'm talking about signing players who've already proven that they're not good. In this case, they need to decide that they're going to look beyond old-school stats like batting average. They need to recognize how badly they screwed up by grabbing a guy with close to the worst OBP in baseball to be their leadoff hitter, and make damn sure they never make a mistake like that again.

LouisvilleCARDS
09-17-2009, 09:20 PM
If someone offered to pay $2 mil of Taveras salary next year and a very low PTBNL type guy in the offseason, would anyone else take that deal in a heartbeat? Not that it would ever happen, but I would do it ASAP.

Slyder
09-17-2009, 09:38 PM
If someone offered to pay $2 mil of Taveras salary next year and a very low PTBNL type guy in the offseason, would anyone else take that deal in a heartbeat? Not that it would ever happen, but I would do it ASAP.

I would. Get the toys that gets Baker in trouble out of town so he cant "play" with them. Wells and McDonald would be the next two out of town. There is NO reason for McDonald to start over ANYONE for ANY reason and Baker continually benches Wlad and Gomes (both under 30) anytime he's been on the big club. McDonald's proven he cant hit at the major league pitching and shouldnt see but maybe 2-3 abs a week as a ph.

Captain Hook
09-17-2009, 09:41 PM
If someone offered to pay $2 mil of Taveras salary next year and a very low PTBNL type guy in the offseason, would anyone else take that deal in a heartbeat? Not that it would ever happen, but I would do it ASAP.

If someone offered to pay for his plane ticket and along with bucket of balls it would be more then I'd expect.

malcontent
09-18-2009, 01:20 PM
I would. Get the toys that gets Baker in trouble out of town so he cant "play" with them.

But I'm sure you'll agree (and I borrowed your sig) that when all is said and done the most important thing is that Toothpick is gone.

If his undeniable ignorance, stubbornness and perverse desire to alienate the local fanbase will finally lead to his firing, and if Taveras provides the best means to that end, then we all need to embrace Willy.

In my mind the key questions are:

(1) how clueless is Castellini, especially given that he actually wanted Toothpick in the first place, and

(2) how spineless is Jocketty, who can't be that clueless, for not sitting Castellini down and explaining what should be obvious to a second-grader.

Just wanted to add that Taveras is currently dead last (266th) in the majors in SLG and OPS, and 260th in OBP. That's our leadoff man.

Slyder
09-18-2009, 01:24 PM
But I'm sure you'll agree (and I borrowed your sig) that when all is said and done the most important thing is that Toothpick has to go.

If his undeniable ignorance, stubbornness and perverse desire to alienate the local fanbase will finally lead to his firing, and if Taveras provides the best means to that end, then we all need to embrace Willy.

I based my post on the fact that this front office wouldnt be proactive enough to fire Duhhhsty during the offseason.

malcontent
09-18-2009, 01:45 PM
I based my post on the fact that this front office wouldnt be proactive enough to fire Duhhhsty during the offseason.
I agree, Slyder.

I'm just afraid that Castellini is clueless enough, and Jocketty spineless enough that any kind of good run next year could actually lead to the worst of all possible outcomes, an extension for Toothpick.

malcontent
09-18-2009, 03:38 PM
"Willy Taveras is probably the worst every day player in baseball. And yet he’s leading off for the Cincinnati Reds. How do you explain that? Are the Reds TRYING to lose?" (Joe Posnanski)

How often does a fan get to read this sort of thing about his team?

Are we blessed or what?

nemesis
09-18-2009, 03:42 PM
How often does a fan get to read this sort of thing about his team?

Are we blessed or what?

Hmmm... Blessed is not exxxactly the word I'd use...:cool:

malcontent
09-18-2009, 06:47 PM
Hmmm... Blessed is not exxxactly the word I'd use...:cool:
You're right about that.

:runawaycr

Kingspoint
09-18-2009, 08:20 PM
In my mind the key questions are:

(1) how clueless is Castellini, especially given that he actually wanted Toothpick in the first place, and

(2) how spineless is Jocketty, who can't be that clueless, for not sitting Castellini down and explaining what should be obvious to a second-grader.



That sums up the last two seasons for the Cincinnati Reds.

Every other post of every other thread is just watercooler talk.

Kingspoint
09-18-2009, 08:23 PM
I agree, Slyder.

I'm just afraid that Castellini is clueless enough, and Jocketty spineless enough that any kind of good run next year could actually lead to the worst of all possible outcomes, an extension for Toothpick.

That's frightening....to have the best years wasted of Votto, Bruce, Cueto, Bailey, Volquez, Phillips (some good years left), and a couple other names you can toss in there.

I hope something happens to Dusty that forces him to quit if Castellini won't fire him.

malcontent
09-19-2009, 04:26 PM
That's frightening....to have the best years wasted of Votto, Bruce, Cueto, Bailey, Volquez, Phillips (some good years left), and a couple other names you can toss in there.

I hope something happens to Dusty that forces him to quit if Castellini won't fire him.
When we're finally free of him, Kingspoint, I know I'll feel like I've got my team back.

I don't think I'm tempting the Fates when I say that whoever his replacement is has to be a huge improvement.

Captain Hook
09-19-2009, 04:41 PM
When we're finally free of him, Kingspoint, I know I'll feel like I've got my team back.

I don't think I'm tempting the Fates when I say that whoever his replacement is has to be a huge improvement.

If all that young talent pans out next year we'll probably do good enough to just miss the play offs but fool the front office just enough to get Dusty a 2 year extension.While I'll always root for the Reds to win that would make 2010 a larger disaster then any of the past few seasons.

malcontent
09-19-2009, 06:22 PM
If all that young talent pans out next year we'll probably do good enough to just miss the play offs but fool the front office just enough to get Dusty a 2 year extension.While I'll always root for the Reds to win that would make 2010 a larger disaster then any of the past few seasons.
Agreed, that's the worst-case scenario.