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View Full Version : Anyone concerned with 3B?



Brutus
10-12-2010, 07:03 PM
Both next year and beyond?

I believe Scott Rolen, when healthy, can continue to be a productive hitter in the Reds' lineup. However, based on the last 6-8 weeks of this season, it's going to be obvious the Reds should not expect that to be true in more than 80-100 games next season. I imagine 2012 will be much worse.

So my question: what do the Reds plan for 3B? Juan Francisco is neither qualified defensively or remotely ready offensively. His power is legit, but his lack of discipline and the huge holes in his swing make it unlikely he's anywhere near being more than Edwin Encarnacion redux.

Is Todd Frasier the long-term solution? He showed improvements last year, but right now I'm personally having a hard time projecting him as a ceiling much higher than league average. If he reaches that plateau, I'd be more than happy with him being transitioned into the starting role over the next 2 years. But if that's his ceiling (and maybe I'm undervaluing him), is that realistic to expect?

This current team, for this past year, was a good group and one that was good enough to do what it did. I fear the Reds taking too much a hands-off approach thinking lightning will strike twice next season, leaving too many holes to repeat this year's performance.

I hope the Reds are aggressive seeking a LF upgrade and, if Frasier or someone else won't be counted on to produce next year, a 3B replacement. Maybe Miguel Cairo is the answer, I don't know. He had a great season, though late down the stretch I thought he fell back to earth a bit. Because of his defense, I can at least live with Janish at SS. But LF and 3B concern me.

westofyou
10-12-2010, 07:06 PM
The Reds have been having 3rd sacker issues forever, it's the most transient position in team history. They'll stick with Rolen is my guess and look for a BU with a Counsell like background to spell him.

Tom Servo
10-12-2010, 07:06 PM
I think we definitely could use a bench bat who could play 3B, but beyond that I'm not too concerned with the position. I do think Frazier could be an answer but he still needs some more AAA at-bats.

edabbs44
10-12-2010, 07:24 PM
I wonder if Rolen's decline was more his numbers evening out rather than him giving us major cause for concern. Would you sign up for his overall numbers for next year?

The Operator
10-12-2010, 07:27 PM
If The Reds are adding payroll this offseason as savafan suggests, I'd make a run at Cliff Lee and then empty the farm for Ryan Zimmerman.

Let me dream, people.

Brutus
10-12-2010, 07:37 PM
I wonder if Rolen's decline was more his numbers evening out rather than him giving us major cause for concern. Would you sign up for his overall numbers for next year?

I'd most definitely take those numbers, though I'll be surprised if he repeats them in the aggregate next season. I'm thrilled to death he did it this year, but I'm not sure it will get that far. I'm most concerned with the number of games he's likely to be feeling good enough to produce consistently.

I'm sure regression played a part, but there's no doubt that late in the year, he simply wasn't catching up to fastballs the way he was earlier. And it got him cheating on fastballs, exposing him further to offspeed stuff.

His slugging went from .540 before the break down to .420 after. His K% went from 15% to 17%, which isn't precipitous, but yet noteworthy. Needless to say, though, 17 homers before the ASB to just 3 after is a pretty significant differential.

And not included in those post-ASB numbers are the fact he struck out 8 times in 11 postseason at-bats.

I'm not writing him off as a non-factor in 2011, but I think the Reds need to be tremendously prepared for about 150-200 plate appearances or more covered by someone other than Rolen at the 3B position--and preferably by someone producing at better than replacement value.

Captain Hook
10-12-2010, 08:52 PM
Despite wearing down Rolen stayed healthy for the most part.It's possible that he could be even healthier next year considering he had no major setbacks and now has all winter to rest up.Hopefully he knows what his problem was this season and takes a different approach this offseason to make sure his now older body stays a little stronger in 2011.

Yeah, I concerned though.

Will M
10-12-2010, 09:35 PM
Yes.

The team needs someone who can play 3B 40-80 games next year.

Frazier may be a major league player at 3B/OF at some point but I'd expect 1/2 a year at AAA since he only played well there in the 2nd half.

IMO Francisco is not the answer & will never be. I just don't think he can hit at the major league level. He has no plate discipline at all.

I would prefer a better player than Cairo. If Bob goes 'cheap' then Cairo at close to league minimum plus Frazier at some point may be what we get but I'd like to aim higher.

Reds Fanatic
10-12-2010, 10:00 PM
He has recurring back problems and his numbers in the 2nd half I think were due to his back and shoulder problems. He really had trouble catching up with fastballs as the year went on. Rolen will still be the main 3B next year but they are going to have to rest him more to keep him in better shape throughout the year. I would think Rolen may give you 100 to 110 games but then you will need a good backup for 50 to 60 games to keep Rolen in good shape all year.

NJReds
10-12-2010, 10:02 PM
I think we definitely could use a bench bat who could play 3B, but beyond that I'm not too concerned with the position. I do think Frazier could be an answer but he still needs some more AAA at-bats.

It's one of the reasons I like Uribe (from SF ... Type B FA). He can spell Rolen at 3B and also play SS.

Redsfan320
10-12-2010, 10:42 PM
The Reds have been having 3rd sacker issues forever, it's the most transient position in team history.

Isn't 3B kinda like this across MLB. IE, fewer HOF 3B than any other position?

320

George Anderson
10-12-2010, 11:04 PM
Isn't 3B kinda like this across MLB. IE, fewer HOF 3B than any other position?

320

If you exclude managers who once played there and Negro League greats, there are only 12 from the major leagues: Frank "Home Run" Baker, Wade Boggs, George Brett, Jimmy Collins, George Kell, Freddie Lindstrom, Eddie Mathews, Paul Molitor, Cal Ripken Jr., Brooks Robinson, Mike Schmidt and Pie Traynor. Even so, Molitor played many games as a designated hitter, and Ripken played most of his career at shortstop

westofyou
10-12-2010, 11:51 PM
Isn't 3B kinda like this across MLB. IE, fewer HOF 3B than any other position?

320

Not talking HOF level play, just the fact that they have never found a big star there since they began.

They are the only team in original MLB whose leader in games played at the position is from the 19th century, (and a LH thrower to boot) the only original MLB team who doesn't have 3rd basemen who played a 1000 games for them.

Their list is this



CINCINNATI REDS
CAREER
3B

GAMES G
1 Hick Carpenter 890
2 Heine Groh 883
3 Chris Sabo 792
4 Tony Perez 760
5 Grady Hatton 729
6 Arlie Latham 680
7 Harry Steinfeldt 637
8 Pete Rose 629
9 Aaron Boone 625
10 Charlie Irwin 603

Groh is the best by far, Sabo might be the teams 1st steroids guy, Perez is known as 1st basemen, Lathem is a 19th century guy known more as a St. Louis player (sound familiar?) Steinfeldt is a trivia answer on another team, Rose played twice as many games as an OF, a 3rd more as a 1st basemen and an equal amount as 2nd basemen, Irwin also played in the 19th century!

If you pare out the 19th century the Reds 3rd sacker with the most games is Babe Pinella a guy more known as an umpire whose final game was as the plate umpire for Larsen's perfect game.

The Reds had 32 guys with 100 games (or better) At 3RD From 1954 To 2004, in that same time they had 14 SS with 26% of the games being played by McMillian, Cardenes, Conception and Larkin.

It their Bermuda Triangle.

fearofpopvol1
10-12-2010, 11:52 PM
I think having him bat 4th should be off the table next year.

Francisco isn't the answer I don't think. I'd rather see Todd Frazier called up and have him in there when Rolen needs days off.

Griffey012
10-12-2010, 11:56 PM
I don't see why everyone is giving up so quickly on Juan. Obviously the organization thinks highly of him to have him around on the playoff roster as a bat off the bench. He has less than 100 AB's in the bigs. He has shown tremendous power all through the minors, sure he isn't going to put up a .400 OBP and probably not a .350 OBP. But if he can't get his SLG close to where it was in the minors he would be more than an adequate fill in part time for Rolen.

Between Juan and Todd Frazier, we will be fine.

VR
10-13-2010, 12:15 AM
I don't see why everyone is giving up so quickly on Juan. Obviously the organization thinks highly of him to have him around on the playoff roster as a bat off the bench. He has less than 100 AB's in the bigs. He has shown tremendous power all through the minors, sure he isn't going to put up a .400 OBP and probably not a .350 OBP. But if he can't get his SLG close to where it was in the minors he would be more than an adequate fill in part time for Rolen.

Between Juan and Todd Frazier, we will be fine.

Personally, I think he swing is too unorthodox for the bigs. In a regular role, with intense scouting, it will be exposed over the long haul.

mth123
10-13-2010, 07:31 AM
The back gets a lot of discussion, but my understanding is that its the shoulder that causes the loss of power and that its a chronic thing that will never fully recover. Rolen's power in the first half was a real surprise since the shoulder, by his own admission, ended his days as a power threat. I'm guessing we'll see the second half Rolen from here forward and that's OK. He's still a pretty good player. He's just not likely a guy for the middle of the order. He will still need a lot of rest because of the back I'd guess, but its not like 3B will be a weakness. Ideally, they acquire a LH Bat who can caddy Rolen, give Phillips a rest and hopefully play some SS when Cozart and Janish don't look like a good choice against a tough righty.

For me the issue isn't 3B as much as it is the middle of the order. Rolen and Gomes were weaknesses in the second half in the 4 and 5 holes but Rolen will still be an asset in the line-up somewhere less crucial. Bruce can fill one of those middle spots, the other needs to come from outside as either a replacement for Gomes or at least a platoon partner for him.

dfs
10-13-2010, 10:02 AM
Personally, I think he swing is too unorthodox for the bigs. In a regular role, with intense scouting, it will be exposed over the long haul.

But don't ALL young players go through that? I mean....either you adjust or you go home. That's the truism of a rookie.

If you have Francisco around to caddy for Rolen, Give Votto a day to rest now and then and fill out part of the left field job.....It seems to me you find out real quick if the guy belongs on a major league roster. Like Bruce a couple of years ago, he isn't gonna learn anything in the minors.

corkedbat
10-13-2010, 01:08 PM
I don't see why everyone is giving up so quickly on Juan. Obviously the organization thinks highly of him to have him around on the playoff roster as a bat off the bench. He has less than 100 AB's in the bigs. He has shown tremendous power all through the minors, sure he isn't going to put up a .400 OBP and probably not a .350 OBP. But if he can't get his SLG close to where it was in the minors he would be more than an adequate fill in part time for Rolen.

Between Juan and Todd Frazier, we will be fine.

One of the reasons Walt sent EE packing for Rolen was to shore up the D at third base. Not sure Jocketty would like to take that big step backwards. I believe his pitch selection issues may be exposed by major league pitching in an extended trial.

Chip R
10-13-2010, 01:20 PM
One of the reasons Walt sent EE packing for Rolen was to shore up the D at third base. Not sure Jocketty would like to take that big step backwards. I believe his pitch selection issues may be exposed by major league pitching in an extended trial.


I think defense, rather than pitch selection, will be Francisco's problem. Plenty of guys have had nice major league careers with poor pitch selection. Francisco's got the power to make up for that. Whether he will or not, I can't say. Perhaps he's better suited as a trade piece rather than the 3B of the future. But 3B is a tough spot to fill as WOY stated earlier.

SirFelixCat
10-13-2010, 03:04 PM
Seriously concerned. Rolen wasn't the same in the 2nd half and I do think, as others have said that that is due to health issues.

That said, I have no idea what they do to shore that up. They need to have a backup plan going into the season. I do wonder if Frazier is it. I do know that JF isn't the answer (and that's due to his defense, not offense).

fearofpopvol1
10-13-2010, 05:08 PM
I don't see why everyone is giving up so quickly on Juan. Obviously the organization thinks highly of him to have him around on the playoff roster as a bat off the bench. He has less than 100 AB's in the bigs. He has shown tremendous power all through the minors, sure he isn't going to put up a .400 OBP and probably not a .350 OBP. But if he can't get his SLG close to where it was in the minors he would be more than an adequate fill in part time for Rolen.

Between Juan and Todd Frazier, we will be fine.

His defense is very suspect. I think if he was a solid defender, you'd see more people willing to jump on the bandwagon. Still, he does strike out a lot and takes fewer walks than most would like to see. At a minimum, the guy is a big question mark.

Griffey012
10-13-2010, 05:33 PM
One of the reasons Walt sent EE packing for Rolen was to shore up the D at third base. Not sure Jocketty would like to take that big step backwards. I believe his pitch selection issues may be exposed by major league pitching in an extended trial.

I am not vowing for Juan as the full time 3rd baseman, simply to spell Rolen probably twice a week, 3 times at most. We were pretty successful with Miguel Cairo doing that this season, gettinga .763 ops with alright defense. Juan has the potential to give us better offense with a drop in defense.

I feel his shortcomings are alleviated a bit with it only being a part time role. I wouldn't condone him as the full time 3rd baseman.

From what I have seen this season of Juan at the plate, he didn't look overmatched and showed relatively decent pitch selection...it seemed he was typically taking good hacks, just barely off the pitches.

VR
10-13-2010, 06:56 PM
But don't ALL young players go through that? I mean....either you adjust or you go home. That's the truism of a rookie.

If you have Francisco around to caddy for Rolen, Give Votto a day to rest now and then and fill out part of the left field job.....It seems to me you find out real quick if the guy belongs on a major league roster. Like Bruce a couple of years ago, he isn't gonna learn anything in the minors.

Right. So before he gets exposed in the majors, use his for trade bait to someone who is in love w/ his minor league power #'s....and batting practice lore.

Brutus
10-13-2010, 07:09 PM
Right. So before he gets exposed in the majors, use his for trade bait to someone who is in love w/ his minor league power #'s....and batting practice lore.

Unfortunately, Jim Bowden ain't around anymore :)

Griffey012
10-13-2010, 07:14 PM
Personally, I think he swing is too unorthodox for the bigs. In a regular role, with intense scouting, it will be exposed over the long haul.

There a ton of major league players past and present that say Hello. Having holes in his swing is one thing, but because he has an unorthodox swing is no reason to justify that he won't hit MLB pitching.

muddie
10-13-2010, 07:17 PM
I guess I need a life. I'm sitting out on the deck playing around with the old guitar and the whole time I'm thinking about third base and exactly, precisiely, what this thread is discussing. I come in and check the latest and here it is!

I am concerned about Rolen. He fell of the table the last few weeks of the season. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe he got as many hits as errors committed in the playoffs, one. And...I think he struck out seven or eight times in the three games. Rolen was one of the few seasoned guys on the team at this point in the season. I'm a big Rolen fan so don't misinterpret this as a slam against the guy. He tanked, period.

I don't have much confidence in Franciso at this point, fielding or batting. He has improved with his glove but I don't see him as an everyday third baseman. He's all or nothing at the plate and that isn't good enough at this level with a team like the Reds. He is anyhting but consistent, hitting or fielding.

Good thread and discussion by the way.

VR
10-13-2010, 08:32 PM
There a ton of major league players past and present that say Hello. Having holes in his swing is one thing, but because he has an unorthodox swing is no reason to justify that he won't hit MLB pitching.

Certainly doesn't justify, but certainly a concern. The good news....major league scouting and intelligence will sort it out soon enough.....I'd just rather see him traded for something of value while his perceived value is high.....becuase Rolen is under contract for two more years.

M2
10-14-2010, 09:56 PM
I know Scott Rolen won't last forever, but he was 5th among all regular 3Bs in OPS this season. Even if he slumps a bit the Reds still would have a top 10 3B.

Everybody on the team should have a capable backup, but my suggestion is enjoy Rolen for however long he lasts. The Reds have got a HOF quality player on the hot corner. The last time you could say that it was 1978.

RFS62
10-14-2010, 10:37 PM
I know Scott Rolen won't last forever, but he was 5th among all regular 3Bs in OPS this season. Even if he slumps a bit the Reds still would have a top 10 3B.

Everybody on the team should have a capable backup, but my suggestion is enjoy Rolen for however long he lasts. The Reds have got a HOF quality player on the hot corner. The last time you could say that it was 1978.



Yep. I'm thrilled we have Scott Rolen.

It will be a sad day for me the day he moves on.

mth123
10-14-2010, 11:04 PM
Ist Half Rolen ,290/.361/.548/.909 with a BABIP of .289 in 324 PA
2nd Half Rolen .277/.352/.420/.772 with a BABIP of .322 in 213 PA.

2nd Half Rolen got a lot of rest (111 fewer PAs than 1at half) and is still a good player, given his defense, even if that production drops a little more as the BABIP falls to normal, but a middle of the line-up presence he isn't. 2nd half Rolen looks a lot like the Rolen many expected and the hoped for step forward from Jay Bruce will simply offset that drop that is likely from Rolen in 2011.

I still like Rolen as a guy who can get on base and handle the bat in the 2 hole. Hitting in front of Votto would help and having some one else behind Votto would likely help as well.

VR
10-15-2010, 01:21 AM
2nd half Rolen had back and shoulder injuries. Get the guy healthy, and be prepared to DL him in July/ August if his aging body needs it.

I've never had the privelege of seeing consistent, ridiculous defense like Scotty. That alone is worth the 2 remaining years of his contract.

corkedbat
10-15-2010, 03:31 AM
If you find another meat of the order bat to go between Votto and Bruce and have the luxury of batting Rolen 6th, then you can rest him or DL not have to force that much pressure on his replacement (Francisco, Frazier or whoever).

I think Rolen still is an asset for thisteam if his health is shepherded wisely. I believe you must have an adequzte stand-i who is capable defensively and has some punch in his bat.

I'm more concerned about the position long term. I don't see an adequate replacement in the entire system (with the possible shift of Arias). That includes Francisco (not enough glove) and Frazier (not enough bat). I'd really like to see them spend a high pick or two on the position in the next couple of drafts and in non-1b power potential in general.

mth123
10-15-2010, 03:51 AM
2nd half Rolen had back and shoulder injuries. Get the guy healthy, and be prepared to DL him in July/ August if his aging body needs it.

I've never had the privelege of seeing consistent, ridiculous defense like Scotty. That alone is worth the 2 remaining years of his contract.

Rolen's shoulder injury is never going to heal. It was operated on in 2005 and again in 2007 and it's what hampered him in 2007, 2008 and 2009. He even stated in the first half that his shoulder was feeling better than it had in a while, but evidently it's back to being a problem. Not sure if an off-season of rest will get him back to his first half self, but judging by his previous years, I'm guessing not. The 2nd half guy is what has become the norm since 2007 and I'm skeptical of a repeat of first half Rolen, and in any case it should be viewed as a bonus if 1st half Rolen makes a return. The Reds should be looking toward 2011 as though Rolen is not a middle of the order presence and the team needs to be looking elsewhere.

Rolen is still an asset at 3B even if second half Rolen is all we get. He still provides fantastic defense, unquestioned leadership and gets on base. It simply is a matter of the Reds realizing that an upgrade in LF may be required to help take up the slack in the power department.

Ron Madden
10-15-2010, 05:07 AM
Rolen's shoulder injury is never going to heal. It was operated on in 2005 and again in 2007 and it's what hampered him in 2007, 2008 and 2009. He even stated in the first half that his shoulder was feeling better than it had in a while, but evidently it's back to being a problem. Not sure if an off-seaoson of rest will get him back to his first half self, but judging by his previous years, I'm guessing not. The 2nd half guy is what has become the norm since 2007 and I'm skeptical of a repeat of first half Rolen, and in any case it should be viewed as a bonus if 1st half Rolen makes a return. The Reds should be looking toward 2011 as though Rolen is not a middle of the order presence and the team needs to be looking elsewhere.

Rolen is still an asset at 3B even if second half Rolen is all we get. He still provides fantastic defense, unquestioned leadership and gets on base. It simply is a matter of the Reds realizing that an upgrade in LF may be required to help take up the slack in the power department.

This is pretty much my opinion in a nutshell.