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Kc61
03-21-2010, 09:22 PM
Outfield. There is debate about Dickerson and Stubbs and Gomes, but all should make the team. The battle for the final outfield spot seems to be between Nix and Balentien. Nix hit a big home run today. Balentien is out of options. Tough one.

Infield. Looks to me like Janish is a lock for one of the two reserve spots. The last spot could be Miles, Sutton, or Cairo. I could see any of them making it.

Fifth Starter. My guess is it's between Chapman and Owings. If Chapman continues his great spring, he'll get it. Otherwise, I see Owings as the default winner. I see Lehr and Wells at AAA, unless there's an injury.

Final Bullpen Spots. Cordero, Rhodes, Massett, Herrera seem like locks. The remaining three spots? Burton, Maloney, Owings, Lincoln, Fisher, Ondrusek all seem in the running for the last three spots. I think the first three, Burton, Maloney, and Owings are the most likely - with Fisher hurt, Ondrusek a rookie, and Lincoln possibly losing out.

I don't see Francisco or Frazier or Heisey or Leake or Wood making the team out of spring training.

Other views now that Reds are well into spring training?

TheNext44
03-21-2010, 09:50 PM
Not sure this is how the Reds are thinking, but I would rather the battle in LF be between Gomes and Balentien, with the loser getting traded.

I like both, but I think that Balentien, even with Gomes' improved defense, should provide similar production overall, and has a much brighter future. Whoever loses should be able to get some good prospects in a trade.

And Lincoln will be on the opening day roster. No matter how he performs in Spring Training.

Kc61
03-21-2010, 09:56 PM
And Lincoln will be on the opening day roster. No matter how he performs in Spring Training.

I could see Lincoln being traded to a team needing bullpen depth, with the Reds paying half the salary or more. I don't think he's a lock. They've cut salaried guys before.

I think Gomes is a lock to be on the team. As between Balentien or Nix, whomever doesn't make it could go in a trade. I could see either being dealt for a minor leaguer.

VR
03-21-2010, 09:58 PM
Perhaps a mystery injury to start the year between Nix, Balentien, Gomes?

marcshoe
03-21-2010, 09:59 PM
I don't see Nix as anything better than replacement level for now or the future an wouldn't take a chance on losing Wlad just to keep him. Or maybe I'm just freaked out by the shape of his head and wish he would at least grow some hair; I don't know.

I'm not too bothered by the Gomes/Wlad redundancy, what with Bruce and Dickerson both batting left, not to mention Votto. It does seem a bit strange for the team to be so righty-heavy, though. And personally, I'd love to see Francisco make enough progress to be in the picture before long. In spite of his obvious weaknesses, I think he might eventually turn into a stud.

mth123
03-21-2010, 09:59 PM
Outfield. There is debate about Dickerson and Stubbs and Gomes, but all should make the team. The battle for the final outfield spot seems to be between Nix and Balentien. Nix hit a big home run today. Balentien is out of options. Tough one.

Infield. Looks to me like Janish is a lock for one of the two reserve spots. The last spot could be Miles, Sutton, or Cairo. I could see any of them making it.

Fifth Starter. My guess is it's between Chapman and Owings. If Chapman continues his great spring, he'll get it. Otherwise, I see Owings as the default winner. I see Lehr and Wells at AAA, unless there's an injury.

Final Bullpen Spots. Cordero, Rhodes, Massett, Herrera seem like locks. The remaining three spots? Burton, Maloney, Owings, Lincoln, Fisher, Ondrusek all seem in the running for the last three spots. I think the first three, Burton, Maloney, and Owings are the most likely - with Fisher hurt, Ondrusek a rookie, and Lincoln possibly losing out.

I don't see Francisco or Frazier or Leake or Wood making the team out of spring training.

Other views now that Reds are well into spring training?

Pretty much agree. I don't think its so clear that there will only be 5 OF. I could see them keeping both Nix and Balentien and letting Janish be the only IF reserve. If some one gets hurt they can call some one up quickly. Having a legit back-up for every spot seems less important than having guys who can fill roles in game situations. The team needs bats on the bench that can win a game with one swing and Nix and Balentien qualify. If they need a guy to bunt or PR they can use guys like Cueto or Arroyo. Owings as a bench bat may also play into it.

The Rotation is less certain. I think Lehr just may sneak in while the Reds give Chapman some time to ripen.

The pen may end up as Cordero, Masset, Rhodes. Burton, Herrera, Owings and Maloney.

The real question is whether or not the team is willing to cut loose of Miles and Lincoln given the dollars.

I still think there could be a minor trade or two to influence things. Maybe not to add anyone, but possibly to thin the ranks and get talent for A+ or AA where it looks a little thin right now.

Kc61
03-21-2010, 10:08 PM
Pretty much agree. I don't think its so clear that there will only be 5 OF. I could see them keeping both Nix and Balentien and letting Janish be the only IF reserve. If some one gets hurt they can call some one up quickly. Having a legit back-up for every spot seems less important than having guys who can fill roles in game situations. The team needs bats on the bench that can win a game with one swing and Nix and Balentien qualify. If they need a guy to bunt or PR they can use guys like Cueto or Arroyo. Owings as a bench bat may also play into it.

.

You could be right. Certainly on a talent level the outfield depth seems stronger than the infield so i could see six outfielders.

Except that none of the outfielders seems to play any infield positions, maybe not even first base. So I'm kind of skeptical they will go that route. Maybe Nix played some first base, but not a particularly versatile bunch in the outfield.

One additional possibility - trade an outfielder for a good utility infielder.

Who knows? Just interesting speculation that should clear up in a week or two.

thatcoolguy_22
03-22-2010, 10:43 AM
What about a darkhorse like Wood taking the #5? I would prefer seeing him throw more so than Owings. Plus that keeps the arbitration clock from starting on Chapman.

nate
03-22-2010, 10:46 AM
Not sure this is how the Reds are thinking, but I would rather the battle in LF be between Gomes and Balentien, with the loser getting traded.

I like both, but I think that Balentien, even with Gomes' improved defense, should provide similar production overall, and has a much brighter future. Whoever loses should be able to get some good prospects in a trade.

Yes.


And Lincoln will be on the opening day roster. No matter how he performs in Spring Training.

Eee, by gum.

Kc61
03-22-2010, 11:40 AM
What about a darkhorse like Wood taking the #5? I would prefer seeing him throw more so than Owings. Plus that keeps the arbitration clock from starting on Chapman.

Who knows, but I kind of doubt Wood and Leake are really serious candidates for the fifth starter spot. Wood only had 48 AAA innings last year. Leake is right out of the draft.

My guess is the Reds want a long look at these guys. They have a lot of pitching decisions to make with the Arroyo/Harang contracts up. But I think that look will be in spring training.

IMO, the fifth starter will be Chapman or Owings. If not, Wells or Lehr initially.

bucksfan2
03-22-2010, 01:37 PM
There really shouldn't be much of a debate for the 5th OF position. Nix is what he is. I don't think he will ever be anything more than a fringe OF who arrives in camp on minor league contracts. I doubt that the Reds would have much of a problem sending him down to AAA.

Balentine on the other hand has potential to become an above average player. I doubt he will ever reach that level, but his upside, along with his lack of options, is a prime reason to keep him.

I think Janish will make the team as well as one other utility players. I think it should come down to Miles or Sutton. Both can play OF in a pinch. I think Sutton has more of an upside, but Miles has more of a track record, along with a major league contract.

I like Owings as a starter if he can stick. His peak value is as a starter, as long as he can have some success. I agree with Kc61 in that I don't think Leake or Wood were ever really considered as legit options. I also think Chapman will start the season off in the minors. So I think it boils down to Maloney, Lehr, Wells, and Owings. If all four are similar I go with Owings.

OnBaseMachine
03-22-2010, 01:50 PM
I'd keep Balentien around. He's still young at 25 and has some upside. He's a solid defender on the outfield corners and he has plenty of power in his bat. I've said it before, his skillset reminds me a bit of Nelson Cruz. I'd hate to see the Reds cut him loose this spring only to see him sign elsewhere and develop into a Cruz-like player. I like Laynce Nix, but if the final outfield spot comes down to Balentien or Nix, give me Balentien.

Don't count out Logan Ondrusek for the final bullpen spot. He's having a very nice spring (5.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB/6 K) after having a very good season season in the minor leagues last year. I would hope if the final spot comes down to Mike Lincoln or someone more deserving like Ondrusek they could go with the more deserving player instead of handing Lincoln a roster spot because of his contract.

RANDY IN INDY
03-22-2010, 02:04 PM
I say Leake and Wood go to the minors, but one may get a quick call if there is an injury.

TheNext44
03-22-2010, 02:11 PM
Based on Baker's comments below, I think the odds of Leake being the Reds #5 starter once the season starts have greatly increased. In fact, I think he's in the lead right now.



"I've seen tremendous control of the strike zone, he recognizes at a younger age than anyone I've seen of what a batter's trying to do."

Leake, like Chapman, has no minor league experience. He pitched in the Arizona Fall League, but has yet to make an official professional start. That won't hurt him in the decision-making process, Baker said.

"If anyone can do it, I think a pitcher can do it easier than a hitter," Baker said. "I've seen tremendous control of the strike zone, he recognizes at a younger age than anyone I've seen of what a batter's trying to do?"

http://cnati.com/spring-training-2010/fifth-starter-spot-still-up-for-grabs-001589/

bucksfan2
03-22-2010, 02:20 PM
Based on Baker's comments below, I think the odds of Leake being the Reds #5 starter once the season starts have greatly increased. In fact, I think he's in the lead right now.



http://cnati.com/spring-training-2010/fifth-starter-spot-still-up-for-grabs-001589/

I take all of Dusty's comments with a grain of salt. He is very good at verbally building his players confidence. I would chalk it down as that more than anything.

I think it would be a mistake to have Leake start the season with the Reds. I would give him at least 10 starts in AA before I made any decision.

TRF
03-22-2010, 02:39 PM
Here is what I think. Dusty isn't 100% sold on Bailey and Cueto, and he's unsure if Harang returns to his 2006-2007 form. He doesn't want scouting reports on Chapman, Leake, Maloney and Wood. He wants his eyes on them. Not to see mechanics, but to see maturation, poise etc. He knows he's going to have someone from this group on the hill for him this year, and he wants a preview.

I think the #5 starter is either Maloney or Owings, with no shot for Leake or Wood. Chapman's time will come too, but I think he, and his new catcher Castillo are slated for AAA.

Kc61
03-22-2010, 02:51 PM
One thing that could happen is a trade, or even two. Reds have an overflow of outfielders and perhaps some pitchers who don't fit GABP very well. Maybe Maloney, who is a fly ball pitcher.

Reds have needs. I would like them to add a good innings eating reliever. They could use a backup infielder who can hit. They lack left handed hitting.

So, one answer to the puzzle is to ship some guys elsewhere and get some needed pieces in return.

lollipopcurve
03-22-2010, 02:57 PM
One thing that could happen is a trade, or even two. Reds have an overflow of outfielders and perhaps some pitchers who don't fit GABP very well. Maybe Maloney, who is a fly ball pitcher.

Reds have needs. I would like them to add a good innings eating reliever. They could use a backup infielder who can hit. They lack left handed hitting.

So, one answer to the puzzle is to ship some guys elsewhere and get some needed pieces in return.

Absolutely. My theory is that Wlad was showcased to the A's yesterday while the A's gave the Reds a look at Eric Patterson.

RED VAN HOT
03-22-2010, 03:26 PM
I have read the comments by Dusty concerning moving Maloney to the pen. Still, I am surprised by the short look Maloney received as a starter. Outside of a disastrous two thirds inning on March 9, he has pitched as well (6.1 IP, 6H, 1R) as the other contenders for the fifth spot. I may be cherry picking the stats somewhat, but it seems like a quick hook for a guy who came into camp as the odds on favorite.

TRF
03-22-2010, 03:28 PM
I have read the comments by Dusty concerning moving Maloney to the pen. Still, I am surprised by the short look Maloney received as a starter. Outside of a disastrous two thirds inning on March 9, he has pitched as well (6.1 IP, 6H, 1R) as the other contenders for the fifth spot. I may be cherry picking the stats somewhat, but it seems like a quick hook for a guy who came into camp as the odds on favorite.

That stems from Maloney saying he'd go to the pen to make the team.

Guacarock
03-22-2010, 03:35 PM
Absolutely. My theory is that Wlad was showcased to the A's yesterday while the A's gave the Reds a look at Eric Patterson.

You never know, but I have to think if the Reds were showcasing Balentien, they would have played him in the outfield instead of having him DH. The A's did have Patterson (Corey's younger brother) play both CF and 2B and lead off, while the Reds led off with Dickerson.

Hmmm...perhaps you're getting warm with your theorizing, but a different Reds outfielder was being showcased. You know, the fellow who squawked earlier this spring about getting the shaft from the brass.

TRF
03-22-2010, 03:42 PM
I have read CD's comments about CF over and over, and I have yet to see where he is calling out Dusty or Walt. It seems to me he's talking about the press anointing Stubbs as the everyday CF. I think he wants them to know he's a candidate too.

Guacarock
03-22-2010, 07:39 PM
Take Heisey, Frazier and Cozart out of the running. Fay is reporting that Heisey got optioned to Louisville, with Frazier and Cozart reassigned to the Bats. That leaves 40 contenders for the 25-man roster.

mth123
03-22-2010, 07:45 PM
Take Heisey, Frazier and Cozart out of the running. Fay is reporting that Heisey got optioned to Louisville, with Frazier and Cozart reassigned to the Bats. That leaves 40 contenders for the 25-man roster.

I think that 40 includes Volquez, so its really 39 if anyone cares.

Guacarock
03-22-2010, 09:39 PM
OK, I'll take Kc61's original challenge. My fearless (actually fairly conventional) Opening Day roster predictions:

Position Players: Hernandez, Votto, Phillips, Cabrera, Rolen, Gomes, Stubbs, Bruce
Bench: Hanigan, Janish, Sutton, Dickerson, Balentien
Rotation: Harang, Bailey, Cueto, Arroyo, Owings
Bullpen: Maloney, Herrera, Lincoln, Burton, Rhodes, Masset, Cordero

The only modest surprise here: Sutton, leaving Miles off the roster. Unless he can get uncorked over the next two weeks, I see Miles going on the DL to start the season, joining Bray, Fisher and Volquez for extended spring training. The Reds won't cut Miles, but need him to get into a groove, both on the field and at the plate.

Also, there's a chance that Jocketty could work a late-spring trade, changing the mix of players on the roster. If he's not going to start, Maloney could be trade bait. If so, Lehr might sneak onto the roster.

backbencher
03-22-2010, 10:14 PM
I like both, but I think that Balentien, even with Gomes' improved defense, should provide similar production overall, and has a much brighter future. Whoever loses should be able to get some good prospects in a trade.

Neither Gomes nor Balentien would net a thing in a trade. No one buys what they can get for free.

_Sir_Charles_
03-22-2010, 10:51 PM
You know, I don't even think the Reds are even LOOKING at Owings as a starter. I'm convinced that they made up their minds on him last season. He's a long reliever and he'll be a good one. I may have missed it, but I have yet to see Micah even mentioned by Walt or Dusty with the word "starter" connected to it. He'll make the club for sure, but it's in the pen.

I also think too much is being read into that Maloney to the pen comment. I think he and Lehr are still the odds on favorites for the 5th slot.

Chapman, Leake & Wood are all getting extended looks, but I think that's simply because they have the most upside of the kids and Dusty/Walt want a good long look at them in person and not just the scout's write-ups. With this much competition for one spot, the Reds are going to give those 3 young arms more of an extended time to sort out who's the real deal. They'll go to the minors...for most of the season if not ALL of the season. The only way I see any of them coming up (other than late season callups) is if an injury happens or if one of them simply DOMINATES and forces a move.

Btw, this isn't my personal preference...I'd prefer we give it to Leake. But that's not going to happen IMO. A late ST trade would NOT surprise me though. One of the Maloney, Lincoln, Wells, Lehr group could easily be dealt to improve our lower minor league depth.

Guacarock
03-22-2010, 11:34 PM
Chapman, Leake & Wood are all getting extended looks, but I think that's simply because they have the most upside of the kids and Dusty/Walt want a good long look at them in person and not just the scout's write-ups. With this much competition for one spot, the Reds are going to give those 3 young arms more of an extended time to sort out who's the real deal. They'll go to the minors...for most of the season if not ALL of the season. The only way I see any of them coming up (other than late season callups) is if an injury happens or if one of them simply DOMINATES and forces a move.

I agree with your assessment here, but I can see one other scenario whereby Chapman, Leake or Wood get called up sooner in the season. If the Reds clearly fall out of contention by June or July, Arroyo and Harang will be shopped around to the possible playoff-bound teams. If one or both of these veteran pitchers are dealt, then Chapman, Leake or Wood likely will be summoned to replace them in the rotation. The Reds could also have Volquez back by then, but might want to use him in the bullpen until they're confident he has successfully rehabbed.

Guacarock
03-22-2010, 11:55 PM
In addition to Harang and Arroyo, Phillips strikes me as another Red who might be dealt if the team falls out of contention early in 2010. And even if he's retained for this full season, his looming $11.188 million salary in 2011 would make him prime trade bait over the winter.

Consider how many potential 2B candidates the Reds are currently stockpiling: Miles, Janish, Sutton, Cairo, Burke, Valaika and Frazier. Five are still in camp, getting a close look-see. That's a big logjam if the battle is solely to select a utility infielder, but the intense tryouts this spring could possibly be an audition for something bigger down the road.

Kc61
03-26-2010, 08:52 AM
Are most teams still at 40 players in camp? Maybe I'm wrong, but Reds always seem late to cut down in camp.

Seems about time to decide on some of these spots.

mth123
03-26-2010, 07:50 PM
Are most teams still at 40 players in camp? Maybe I'm wrong, but Reds always seem late to cut down in camp.

Seems about time to decide on some of these spots.

Agree its time for some cuts. I count 8 fringe vets left (Lehr, Wells, Cairo, Burke, Miles, Miller, Lincoln, Nix) I'm guessing the team is letting some hang around to try and impress somebody else even though they long ago decided most have no shot at the roster. Add guys like Chapman and Fisher who've been injured and are probably going down to help them continue getting ready and guys like Castillo who may just be hanging around to get to know Chapman so he can catch him in AAA and there are probably a lot less than 40 with real shots at the roster.

Ron Madden
03-27-2010, 03:16 AM
I know that part of a GM's job is to provide the Field Manager with the players he wants but in this case I hope and pray Walt's better judgement prevails.

I honestly don't think Dusty is a very good judge of talent.

Spring~Fields
03-28-2010, 07:12 PM
Spring training preparation progress
OBP SLG OPS
Aaron Miles
.185 .160 .345
Brandon Phillips
.244 .229 .472
Chris Burke
.286 .294 .580
Orlando Cabrera
.295 .243 .539
Miguel Cairo
.294 .367 .661
Drew Sutton
.379 .360 .739
Jay Bruce
.286 .475 .761 :eek:
Jay Bruce Spring 09
.348 .483 .832 :eek:
Scott Rolen
.381 .382 .763
Chris Dickerson
.356 .452 .808
Layne Nix
.267 .621 .887
Wladimir Balentien
.351 .543 .894
Joey Votto
.385 .512 .896
Ryan Hanigan
.364 .571 .935
Juan Francisco
.389 .588 .977
Ramon Hernandez
.481 .500 .981
Johnny Gomes
.340 .705 1.045
Drew Stubbs
.349 .750 1.099
Paul Janish
.385 .739 1.124
Does not include today's game