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Phhhl
11-20-2010, 01:18 AM
I find it extremely hard to believe Yonder Alonso is signifigantly worse than Gomes defensively. And, even if he is signifigantly worse, I have to believe what he can contribute as a left field platoon partner for Johnny in 2011 is worth the difference. Do not forget, this team happily suffered Adam Dunn's left field carnival act for 6.5 years. More than a leadoff hitter, the Reds desperately need a left handed hitter to share that position with Gomes in 2011. Forgive me, but I HAVE to see with my own two eyes how bad Yonder Alonso is as a left fielder before trusting the opinion of our scouts. His bat hitting behind Votto could be the difference between a second consecutive division title and an alcohol-soaked sob story by our front office.

Walt has already forwarded the concept that this team is not going to address left field, or a power hitter to protect the 2010 MVP externally. Ok, that's fine, but just know that this offense is not going to function well with every pitcher in the league issuing a free pass to Joey Votto three times a night next year. Rolen can probably contribute good defense and solid ab's moving forward, when he plays. But, he is no longer a viable cleanup hitter. Bruce may or may not be taking the next step based on his last 150 ab's of the season, but what if he levels off next year? The Reds cannot consider his development as anything more than a luxury and expect to win. It has been popular to suggest that the Cincinnati Reds have been MORE than 1 or 2 players away from winning a World Championship for the last 20 years. Well, that is no longer the case. This team is THAT close.

If the club cannot acquire "that player" externally because of budget restraints, as it would have you believe, it is up to the organization to create the formula from within. I believe Alonso is the guy, as improbable as some would have us believe, that could make that leap possible. I have absolutely no problem with this guy learning to play left field in a straight platoon with Johnny Gomes in 2011, protecting Votto 2/3rds of the time in a lineup that is particularly vulnerable despite its' gaudy 2010 numbers.

That is, if we can't just sign Jason Werth and fuggetaboutit!

mth123
11-20-2010, 03:28 AM
To me its telling that late last season when the Reds were down to 2 healthy OF, neither Alonso nor Francisco got a look out there. The Reds used Cairo and dealt for Bloomquist, but Alonso and Francisco didn't even get a sniff. I think it tells even more that Alonso isn't playing somewhere trying to hone his OF skill. Time to deal him for somebody who can play out there. Tampa Bay needs him and Matt Joyce would look great in the role you describe and fits the budget..

Ga_Red
11-20-2010, 03:36 AM
I didn't see YA at all during 2010 season,
But in 2009 I wondered if he'd ever make
it big at the major league level with his
very long swing. Has it improved? Is
it even a matter of concern to the
development gurus?

GAC
11-20-2010, 05:39 AM
He only played LF 17 games at the AAA level (Louisville) last year, so I think that is a pretty small window to make any type of valued observation as to how well he'd do, even at the ML level. To say that he couldn't do any worse then Gomes is still taking a huge risk IMO.

If the Reds are serious about converting this kid to LF then they need to insert him there at Louisville and see how he does for an extended period of time. Not experiment at the ML level.

GADawg
11-20-2010, 08:34 AM
you mentioned Werth and I would bet that he'd be the perfect candidate for a RZ witch hunt every 2 weeks. He seems to be one of those guys that will carry a team for a week or so and then dissappear for 2 weeks. I only watch the Phils on occasion so it's just the impression I got but still for the money he doesn't excite me all that much. Crawford does excite me for any amount of money....not my money of course.

I(heart)Freel
11-20-2010, 10:32 AM
If a splashy trade doesn't make it happen, the Reds will take a chance on some FA left-handed outfielder who inexplicably is still available late in the off-season. That will be your platoon partner for Gomes.

Not saying Alonso shouldn't be tried more in left in AAA. He should. It makes him that much more of a trading chip if he has more than one position. Still, it's unrealistic to think of Alonso as anything other than a first bagger.

mace
11-20-2010, 11:23 AM
I didn't see YA at all during 2010 season,
But in 2009 I wondered if he'd ever make
it big at the major league level with his
very long swing. Has it improved? Is
it even a matter of concern to the
development gurus?

In the short time he was with the Reds, I had the very same reaction. When I noted it here, a few people said that it was too small a sample to judge his swing, that he may have been overdoing it trying to make an impression.

traderumor
11-20-2010, 12:57 PM
Maybe Austin Kearns can play 3B, too. ;)

1B is the last position of hope as defensive skills decline or are lacking. I also saw the hazing pictures, and Alonso has a body that says 1B is prob the only fit.

corkedbat
11-20-2010, 01:30 PM
He only played LF 17 games at the AAA level (Louisville) last year, so I think that is a pretty small window to make any type of valued observation as to how well he'd do, even at the ML level. To say that he couldn't do any worse then Gomes is still taking a huge risk IMO.

If the Reds are serious about converting this kid to LF then they need to insert him there at Louisville and see how he does for an extended period of time. Not experiment at the ML level.

That's the point for me though GAC. If the team thought it was a tenable option, the move would already be well underway.

I'm not as sold as others on Alonso yet. Yeah, I know he can hit and had an impressive 2nd have OBP. I'm not completely sold yet on his power though or his ability against LH starters. Sounds to me a lot like a young Sean Casey and that is a comparison that doesn't fill me with warm fuzzies.

I personally think this team got the lesser of several 1B candidates that came out around when Yonder did. Personally, if there are any takers out there, I would build a deal around Alonso and deal him. The team may not be so ready to do so though.

I a feeling that this Winter may go along way in telling the club whether they are going to have to start considering a deal for Votto down the road and thinking about his eventual replacement @ 1B and in the middle of the order. Do they hold onto Yonder because of that contingency?

Right now, YA is arguably the organization's top offensive corner prospect. I'm not so sure if that's because he's that good though, or if it's just a function of Francisco's plate approach and this organization's general neglect of all-around corner hitter's with power potential in recent drafts (and other talent acquisition avenues).

Mario-Rijo
11-20-2010, 06:58 PM
In the short time he was with the Reds, I had the very same reaction. When I noted it here, a few people said that it was too small a sample to judge his swing, that he may have been overdoing it trying to make an impression.

I concur his swing is too long. I recall Doug saying he hadn't seen that out of him previously which eased some concerns about it a bit. Though here we now have someone else state he was doing it the prior year, not good. I only saw him play at Miami and it wasn't noticeable there but we are talking about a completely different level for him now. But too small a sample for a swing, nonsense.

PuffyPig
11-20-2010, 08:27 PM
I find it extremely hard to believe Yonder Alonso is signifigantly worse than Gomes defensively.

Why, there are plenty of players who simply cannot play OF, and it wouldn't surpise me if Alonso is one of them.

Just becuase Gomes is one of the worse "regular" fielding LF's in baseball, doesn't mean that the gap between him and a player who really never plays the position ( likely for a reason) isn't huge.

I actually find is exceedingly easy to imagine that Alonso is signifigantly worse.

Spitball
11-20-2010, 09:11 PM
In his short stay in Cincinnati, people thought Paul Konerko's swing was long and slow. Swings are hard to judge. Especially young power swings that are often fed a steady diet of breaking balls and off speed offerings.

I believe the Reds need to gamble with Alonso and hold onto him at this point. Let him get more at bats at the triple A level and hope he establishes himself as a can't miss, ready for the big leagues prospect. At this point, he has not quite achieved that status. If he can establish his potential in the minors, trade him for a glaring need come July.

Besides, and I doubt anyone wants to think about this, he gives the Reds some negotiating leverage when dealing with Joey Votto's agent. He also provides some insurance in case the Reds decide Votto will price himself out of Cincinnati.

Scrap Irony
11-21-2010, 10:00 AM
Votto won't price himself out of Cincinnati for another two years. If Alonso is still a question mark at that time, he's not the answer for anything.

1B are fairly easy to find for every other team in baseball. IF Votto decides to leave, you could get one from the minors (converted OF) or 1B.

traderumor
11-21-2010, 01:38 PM
Alonso is clearly an example of trading from a position of depth to fill in a current weakness. Plus, there is some who take the position that prospects are currently overvalued. Here is an opportunity to cash one of those in and take advantage of a market inefficiency. Package him up with a nice pretty bow. Maybe he's a pot sweetener to get someone to take on Coco's salary. But I'm not crazy about the plug-n-play LFer idea. If he hasn't logged significant innings there in the minors, there is probably a nice, common sense reason for it.

Spitball
11-23-2010, 10:59 PM
1B are fairly easy to find for every other team in baseball. IF Votto decides to leave, you could get one from the minors (converted OF) or 1B.

At one time, I would have agreed. First base was easy to to fill with a passable bat. Now, I'm not so sure. The NL MVP for the last several years has been from first base. This year three of the top four were first basemen. Plus, I can look at nearly twenty years of Hal Morris and Sean Casey producing mediocre power from the position, and I see a different perspective of the position.

If Alonso with his limited minor league success at this point can bring a difference maker, I say go for it. I doubt he brings that return at this point...so I believe they are wise to hold onto the guy.

Btw, which outfielder from the minors do you see converting to acceptable first base numbers?

Hoosier Red
11-24-2010, 05:33 PM
I agree with Spitball, of the 8 playoff teams, the lowest OPS+ was 102 for the starting 1st baseman and the average of all eight was 124. While it's true that you can pretty much get anyone to play first base, it seems like having "just anyone" and an "elite level" first baseman may be the difference between playoffs and not. (For my survey I used Cuddyer for the Twins because he logged the most at bats, and Moreland for the Rangers because Smoak was traded away.)

Player OPS
Pena 102
Texeira 125
Cuddyer 104
Moreland 123
Howard 128
Votto 174
Glauss 102
Huff 138
Average 124.5