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camisadelgolf
08-27-2010, 10:44 AM
Overall, it looks like the 2010 Mudcats will be better than 2009 team, but I wouldn't get my hopes up too high. The AA team is certainly the most difficult team to predict, but they're probably only a couple minor league free agents away from being one of the better teams in the league.

Projected starting lineup:
CF Felix Perez
3B Alex Buchholz
2B Cody Puckett
1B Neftali Soto
RF Kyle Day
C Yasmani Grandal
LF Josh Fellhauer
SS Miguel Rojas

Bench:
C Kevin Coddington
IF Jose Castro
IF Carlos Mendez
OF Justin Reed

Starting rotation:
Matt Fairel
Scott Carroll
Jordan Hotchkiss
Travis Webb
Dallas Buck/Mark Serrano

Bullpen:
Brad Boxberger
Derrik Lutz
Drew Bowman
Scott Gaffney
Curtis Partch
Nick Christiani
Justin Freeman
Aguido Gonzalez
Chase Ware
Donnie Joseph
Jeff Jeffords

Catcher: Could we see Grandal in AA so soon? To be honest, I doubt it, but it wouldn't be a complete shock. If it happens, Kevin Coddington would become the backup catcher and Neftali Soto the third catcher. Another scenario I can envision is Chris Denove (or an acquisition similar to Brandon Yarbrough) splitting time with Coddington.

First base: The Neftali Soto project at catcher isn't officially over, but if he's going to spell Grandal or Coddington, Carlos Mendez would handle first base on the days Soto is catching. Then again, the organization might prefer Eric Eymann (who may leave as a six-year MLFA) or Mike Costanzo. Another possibility is that Chris Richburg could earn a quick promotion.

Second base: Cody Puckett deserves to get all the consideration here, but he might be moved to a corner position or stuck in Lynchburg if Chris Valaika doesn't make the Major League squad out of spring training. That's because it would most likely result in Jake Kahaulelio repeating AA. Jose Castro may stick around as depth.

Third base: Alex Buchholz is the favorite, but he could always stay down in Lynchburg or move to the middle infield. If that happens, the job belongs to Eymann, Costanzo, or Mendez, but there's a good chance none of them will be around next year. There are decent odds that Shane Carlson and/or Jose Gualdron could come up to take over Jose Castro's role.

Shortstop: I expect Miguel Rojas to be the starting shortstop, but if Cozart isn't playing in Cincinnati, that could push Negron back to Carolina. Unless you count Negron, the only other threat to take away playing time from Rojas is Alex Buchholz.

Outfield: If Dave Sappelt somehow makes the Reds' roster (and it's a possibility now that Dickerson has been traded), we could see Felix Perez replace him in AAA, which would mean that Cody Puckett might have to go to left field (and Fellhauer to center) in order for the Mudcats to field their best possible lineup. I expect a Luis Terrero-type to be signed in the off-season, but if Denis Phipps proves he can hit Southern League pitching, he might push Kyle Day over to left field or serve as Louisville's utility outfielder. I can't emphasize enough how think the organization's mid-minors are in regards to outfielders.

Starting rotation: Matt Fairel, Scott Carroll, and Jordan Hotchkiss are probably safe bets for the rotation. Mark Serrano hasn't been lights-out in Lynchburg, but he should be good enough to get AA hitters out. Dallas Buck is always a question mark due to injuries, so if he isn't ready to go, Curtis Partch could take his place. Daryl Thompson would be an upgrade over either pitcher, but I suspect he'll leave as a free agent.

Bullpen: James Avery, Federico Baez, Tom Cochran, Gilbert De La Vara, Jesus Delgado, Scott Gaffney, Jerry Gil, Daniel Guerrero, Ruben Medina, Zach Ward, Abe Woody . . . Any of those guys could come back to Carolina, but all of them are candidates to hang up the spikes. Scott Gaffney, Aguido Gonzalez, Derrik Lutz, and Mace Thurman will all need to prove they're healthy to be considered for spots. The good news is that Donnie Joseph, Chase Ware, and Nick Christiani will make a great trio for the back of the bullpen. That leaves Justin Freeman, who has been nothing short of solid, and Drew Bowman, who has big trouble finding the plate. Also, the AAA team will be so stacked with left-handers (Aroldis Chapman, Daniel Ray Herrera, Jeremy Horst, Ben Jukich, Joe Krebs, Matt Maloney, Lee Tabor, Phil Valiquette, Travis Wood) that someone might be held back. Whatever happens, the Carolina pitching should be improved.

muddie
08-27-2010, 12:18 PM
Assuming I'm not missing something contract wise, and I haven't missed his name above, where would you put Travis Webb? I would definitely put him ahead of Serrano to begin the season.

I think the organization needs to take a really good look at what they're going to do with Boxberger and how far they're willing to go with him in the pen. Early on, this doesn't look like a good idea.

I could stand Brodie Greene at short as well.

lollipopcurve
08-27-2010, 12:28 PM
I think the organization needs to take a really good look at what they're going to do with Boxberger and how far they're willing to go with him in the pen. Early on, this doesn't look like a good idea.

I can't believe he won't go back to starting. I think they've said as much -- the move to the BP is to keep his innings down, right?

mace
08-27-2010, 12:33 PM
Man, you had a lot to deal with there. Among the many names to consider were quite a few that I suspect will no longer be with the organization--the likes of Castro, Gualdron, Bowman, Baez, Medina, Woody, Reed, Lutz, Gaffney, Partch, Guerrero, Ward . . . Not that all those guys will be gone, but I'd be surprised if several weren't.

It'd be nice if Serrano could regain his prospect status. And Buck, of course. Wouldn't you imagine that Boxberger would be returned to the rotation to start the season? Meanwhile, I'm not sure what the logjam will look like at Louisville, but I'd half-expect Carroll to get a shot there. (Although you've probably already done those calculations.)

Thanks.

camisadelgolf
08-27-2010, 12:40 PM
Assuming I'm not missing something contract wise, and I haven't missed his name above, where would you put Travis Webb? I would definitely put him ahead of Serrano to begin the season.

I think the organization needs to take a really good look at what they're going to do with Boxberger and how far they're willing to go with him in the pen. Early on, this doesn't look like a good idea.

I could stand Brodie Greene at short as well.
Whoops. Yeah, I just forgot to copy-and-paste his name. Travis Webb would likely get the nod in the rotation, but his limited success combined with being left-handed might push him to the bullpen at some point.

mace
08-27-2010, 01:02 PM
I wonder if Tom Cochran is getting short-shrifted here. Somehow, I don't see him in the bullpen. He's probably not considered a prospect, but he has pitched well enough to be rewarded somehow. Think he gets a shot at Louisville in a Justin Lehr kind of role? Or is it back to Carolina? Or back to the independent leagues?

camisadelgolf
08-27-2010, 01:06 PM
I wonder if Tom Cochran is getting short-shrifted here. Somehow, I don't see him in the bullpen. He's probably not considered a prospect, but he has pitched well enough to be rewarded somehow. Think he gets a shot at Louisville in a Justin Lehr kind of role? Or is it back to Carolina? Or back to the independent leagues?
If I were the Reds, I'd ask him to come back as a starter in AA. If he's not interested, I'd ask him if he'd have interest in the Louisville bullpen. If neither of those interest him, I'd let him walk.

cinreds21
08-27-2010, 01:46 PM
Pretty good list. Luttz won't be ready until June at the earliest. Phipps is a free agent, same with Woody, and maybe Castro, not sure.

I don't know too much about Lynchburg, but from what I've looked at (just stats) everything looks good and about right. I heard that Costanzo is interested in signing back, so that might factor in, in Carolina or Louisville. Also they are likely (from what I've heard) to sign some minor league Free Agents.

mac624
08-27-2010, 03:54 PM
I'd be shocked if Perez is still in AA to start next season. He could very well be the 5th OF in Cincy, but more than likely he'll be at Louisville.

camisadelgolf
08-27-2010, 04:05 PM
I'd be shocked if Perez is still in AA to start next season. He could very well be the 5th OF in Cincy, but more than likely he'll be at Louisville.
He's raw, and I'm sure the Reds want him getting plenty of at-bats. If Sappelt is in Cincinnati, it paves the way for Perez to be the everyday center fielder in Louisville. Otherwise, he would likely need to play a corner outfield spot to be promoted.

muddie
08-27-2010, 04:12 PM
I'd be shocked if Perez is still in AA to start next season. He could very well be the 5th OF in Cincy, but more than likely he'll be at Louisville.

Perez has a lot to prove at AA, seriously. I would imagine he will be in Carolina to start next season.

Brutus
08-27-2010, 04:27 PM
Perez has a lot to prove at AA, seriously. I would imagine he will be in Carolina to start next season.

I agree with mac. I'll be shocked if Perez isn't at least in AAA. If Perez starts in Carolina, I'd imagine it will be for only a few weeks.

muddie
08-27-2010, 07:46 PM
I agree with mac. I'll be shocked if Perez isn't at least in AAA. If Perez starts in Carolina, I'd imagine it will be for only a few weeks.

I'm a Felix Perez fan but...

since arriving in Carolina he has struck out 19 times and walked 4 times.

His OBP% is .321 and his SLG% is .340. In Lynchburg the kid hit .338. At Carolina Perez has hit .258 to date. He hasn't even found a permanent spot in the batting order yet.

I'm not seeing a justification for Perez starting in Louisville next year. His BA has dropped at each level this year, which is totally reasonable but still has to be considered in such a short span of time. The kid has moved up three levels to date. I think Perez should start in Carolina next year barring a winter showing that is over the top. If he starts in Louisville there is probably more going on than this guys performance alone.

Brutus
08-27-2010, 08:33 PM
I'm a Felix Perez fan but...

since arriving in Carolina he has struck out 19 times and walked 4 times.

His OBP% is .321 and his SLG% is .340. In Lynchburg the kid hit .338. At Carolina Perez has hit .258 to date. He hasn't even found a permanent spot in the batting order yet.

I'm not seeing a justification for Perez starting in Louisville next year. His BA has dropped at each level this year, which is totally reasonable but still has to be considered in such a short span of time. The kid has moved up three levels to date. I think Perez should start in Carolina next year barring a winter showing that is over the top. If he starts in Louisville there is probably more going on than this guys performance alone.

The Reds signed him to be a quick mover, though. Based on performance, I agree he's probably not ready to be bumped up. But given his age and reputation, I think the Reds are going to try to fast track him.

muddie
08-27-2010, 08:42 PM
The Reds signed him to be a quick mover, though. Based on performance, I agree he's probably not ready to be bumped up. But given his age and reputation, I think the Reds are going to try to fast track him.



Like I said, I'm a fan of the kid. Hope he can keep up with the promotions.

JaxRed
08-27-2010, 09:43 PM
I'm with Muddie. So the 2 guys who have watched Perez think he will be back in AA.

Brutus
08-28-2010, 01:27 AM
I'm with Muddie. So the 2 guys who have watched Perez think he will be back in AA.

It's not about what you think, I think or muddie thinks. It's about what the club thinks. And the crux of my position doesn't rely on whether or not Perez is ready, but whether or not the club intends to fast track him.

alexad
08-29-2010, 02:45 PM
This is awesome info. Thanks. I need to start paying more attention to the lower levels of this organization.

mdccclxix
06-08-2011, 11:54 PM
I thought I'd bump this thread and dust if off for the purposes of the regular season as well. camisadelgolf did a great job, per usual, of putting together some scenarios for this year's Mudcats. It's worth checking back out.

To say the least, the Mudcats have disappointed, especially from the mound. I'm not going to do a full review, but I did want to highlight a few of the holes the Mudcats have, by the numbers, and anticipate when some more of camisadel's predictions will come true.

Coddington: .216 / .283 / .261 in just over 100 pa's
McMurray: .179 / .236 / .209 in 73 pa's

This catching tandem is really struggling at the plate, but has done a decent job of holding runners (35%). It will be interesting to see the pace Grandal starts to move through the ranks, as the Mudcats could use a lift.

mdccclxix
06-09-2011, 12:02 AM
In LF the Mudcats are running David Cook out and he's keeping the spot warm by going .254 / .374 / .373. At 29 years old, you have to root for the guy, but I'm wondering if the Reds think Fellhauer might be ready to try the next level. He's hitting .322 / .384 / .435 in Bakersfield, and not a young guy guy himself either at 23. I'm intrigued by his bounce back year so far.

camisadelgolf
06-09-2011, 01:13 AM
It's amazing how bad Carolina has been this year. The Mudcats are easily the oldest team in the league, and despite having the advantage of experience, they're still not getting things done. The offense has been bad, which is no surprise when you consider they've been counting on little-to-zero production from catcher, shortstop, and right field on a daily basis. That's also not to mention all the time that Neftali Soto missed. But at least their offense isn't the worst. The pitching, however, is a completely different story. Check out this line:

W L W-L% ERA G GS GF SV IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP WP BF WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
11 32 0.256 6.58 147 44 28 2 340.7 430 274 249 41 171 7 263 32 13 1617 1.764 11.4 1.1 4.5 6.9 1.54
You see how terrible that is? That has accounted for 71% of the Mudcats' pitching this year.

Here is the 29% of pitching that has done well (or at least reasonably well):
Jose Arredondo is in Cincinnati following his rehab assignment.
Daryl Thompson, Nick Christiani, and Matt Klinker are all in Louisville.
Ruben Medina is in Bakersfield for some strange reason.
Jason Braun is in Dayton after he pitched just one game when Carolina was shorthanded.
Brad Boxberger has been amazing.

In other words, unless you count the recently-signed Tim Hamulack, the only bright spot on the pitching staff is Brad Boxberger. Everyone is else is terrible or playing for a different team right now. Wow.

mdccclxix
06-09-2011, 01:23 AM
You have to think it got the attention of the FO, hence the pitcher's draft this year. When you look at A and A+, there really isn't that much help for AA this year...or I hate to say even next. Perhaps we'll see some of the ERA's in the 4's in Bakersfield drop into the 3's in AA. There are some intriguing K rates in A+, but lot's of guys giving up high WHIP.

mdccclxix
06-09-2011, 01:28 AM
It does look like some more arms could move up from Bakersfield and get filled in from the staff in Dayton. There's that. Keep the chain moving.

muddie
06-09-2011, 11:55 AM
In other words, unless you count the recently-signed Tim Hamulack, the only bright spot on the pitching staff is Brad Boxberger. Everyone is else is terrible or playing for a different team right now. Wow.


I believe the exception to this statement is Travis Webb. Webb has been a pretty reliable arm over the past six weeks or so. He's been very good since coming out of the rotation.

billy bob
06-09-2011, 12:25 PM
Oh yes there are some good arms in low A and high A that is better than what you now have in AA that could/would help AA but for some reason guys have not been moved. I think over the next couple days that will change... even starting today we will see some movement happening like Gerson and Lotzkar.

camisadelgolf
06-09-2011, 01:45 PM
I believe the exception to this statement is Travis Webb. Webb has been a pretty reliable arm over the past six weeks or so. He's been very good since coming out of the rotation.
That's a fair point, but his overall numbers are still bad. It's still pathetic when he, James Avery, and Kyle McCulloch are the second-to-fourth best pitchers on the squad. But hey, at least Klinker's coming back.

muddie
06-09-2011, 05:52 PM
Matt Klinker has posted that he is starting tomorrow night. This will mean Tabor will miss his turn and may very well be headed back to the pen.

bowles8
06-11-2011, 12:57 PM
Any inkling on when Grandal may be promoted to Carolina?

muddie
06-11-2011, 02:09 PM
I'm going to be very interested in seeing what moves lie ahead that are geared toward making this team competitive enough for a second half run. As a fan that pulls for this team win or lose, I will be the first to say this team is a wreck. I honestly don't know that there are enough buttons to push and switches to pulll to make this team competitive this year.

Klinker pitched a pretty solid five innings last night and lost 2-0 in a rain shortened evening. The team only managed four hits, one of them being his. Barring wholesale changes, which I don't see happening, I can't see Carolina being much different the second half.

camisadelgolf
06-22-2011, 04:27 PM
The Mudcats have been a disaster this year, and supposedly, improving them has been a priority. Are the Reds actually doing so? Well, if you ask me, the lineup is actually starting to look somewhat decent.
CF Berry (free agent)
2B Rodriguez (promotion)
DH Costanzo
1B Soto (back from the dl)
C Grandal (promotion)
LF Puckett
RF Cook
3B Campbell (promotion)
SS Rojas

The bench isn't bad at all with James Skelton (free agent), Jose Castro, Denis Phipps, and Felix Perez available. However, the rotation looks mediocre at best despite being a big a step up from when it featured Dallas Buck and Travis Webb.
#1 Matt Klinker (demotion)
#2 James Avery
#3 Tim Gustafson (free agent)
#4 Pedro Villarreal (promotion)
#5 Kyle McCulloch (trade)

The bullpen took a big hit when Nick Christiani got promoted, but Webb's move to the bullpen has been a success, Donnie Joseph has bounced back nicely, and Tim Hamulack is off to a good start. Now if only they could get another right-hander to start producing . . .

CL Brad Boxberger
RHP James Adkins (free agent)
RHP Justin Freeman
RHP Jason Braun (temporary filler)
LHP Donnie Joseph
LHP Tim Hamulack (free agent)
LHP Travis Webb

The good news for the bullpen--and possibly the rotation--is that Travis Wood and Aroldis Chapman are back in Louisville, so we could see two guys get demoted. The leading candidates are Brandon Hynick, Steven Jackson, and Chris Mobley, who have all spent time in AA earlier this year. That means Jason Braun will be sent back down to Dayton or Arizona, but who else is going? Will we see someone released this week?

Anyway, to sum that up, I'd say the team looks improved in every area. Is it enough to keep them competitive in the second half? I have my doubts, but I don't see any way things could be as bad as they were in the first half.

Another thing to keep in mind is that we could see Matt Fairel and Jordan Hotchkiss back later this year, which could be a big boost for the pitching staff. We could also see some worthwhile promotions from Bakersfield from the likes of Clay Shunick, Mark Serrano, and Mace Thurman. In other words, there is some hope for optimism in Zebulon.

cinreds21
06-22-2011, 04:32 PM
I wouldn't be surprised if someone was released.

camisadelgolf
06-22-2011, 04:53 PM
I wouldn't be surprised if someone was released.
I'm expecting it to happen this week. It's hard to single anyone out, though, since about five guys are all so similar in terms of likelihood.

bubbachunk
06-22-2011, 05:15 PM
They just became much more interesting with the addition of Grandal

cinreds21
06-22-2011, 07:51 PM
I'm expecting it to happen this week. It's hard to single anyone out, though, since about five guys are all so similar in terms of likelihood.

Yea. I have an idea (just my own thinking) but I'm not 100 percent sure.