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View Full Version : who is on the 2011 Reds bench?



Will M
12-28-2010, 02:26 PM
I am curious as to what others think about the bench next year. Below are my thoughts.

I expect the team to go with 13 position players & 12 pitchers.
That is a five man bench. Three spots would seem to be taken.
1) Hanigan (or Hernandez)
2) Cairo
3) Heisey (or Gomes)
4) We should have more than one guy on the roster who can play SS. Cairo has basically been a 1B/3B guy the last couple of years. He has logged a tiny amount of time at 2B recently. He hasn't played SS since 2007.
So I think a 2nd true shortstop will be on the 25 man. It may be Cozart. If Walt thinks he needs more seasoning he may try to bring in a very cheap veteran for competition. I'd of course love for the team to swing a deal for say Stephen Drew & use Janish as the backup. I am not holding my breath.
5) Last spot. The Reds are rumored to be in the hunt for a LH hitting outfielder which I think will be the 5th bench guy. I suspect it will be a cheap guy like Podsednik, Nix, Fred Lewis, Jim Edmonds, etc.

That will leave the following guys in AAA: Corky Miller, Devin Mesaraco, Yonder Alonso, Chris Valaika, Juan Francisco, Todd Frazier, Dave Sappelt & Danny Dorn.

Possibilities which would open up a bench spot.
A) They could use Cairo as an emergency left fielder & go with only 4 outfielders (Bruce/Stubbs/Gomes/Heisey). Or the Reds could sign a guy like Fred Lewis or Jim Edmonds & use him in LF and also as a backup CF/RF. That would allow the team to trade Heisey if they wanted to upgrade a poisition. (Or allow them to trade Gomes).
B) they could start Cozart at AAA & use Cairo as a backup shortstop.

Here is what I would do:
There are questions about whether Francisco can succeed in the majors (both offensively and defensively). If the Reds development people think he can then I would have him on the team. Why? Well a couple of reasons. The raw power is real. 18 home runs in 329 PAs at AAA. Plus IMO the team is terribly right handed & could use both Francisco as well as a left handed hitting outfielder. I'd play him at 3B for ~50 games, mostly vs RHP. The other games he could pinch hit. I'd also get him a 1B mitt and let him backup Votto. He could also DH in interleague play. That would hopefully get him ~300-350 PAs. Now, whose spot would he take? I'd get a LH hitting outfielder & move Heisey or Gomes. I've said before that these two guys, while different players, have very overlapping skill sets for the 2011 team. Basically they both play LF vs a left handed starter. Heisey's ability to play CF & RF won't come into play much as I don't expect Stubbs or Bruce to need much rest. Personally I still don't get bringing Gomes back other than it was cheap. That being said he is under contract. I think an AL team needing help at DH would happily trade for him. They do exist. The Red Sox's David Ortiz had a .599 ops vs LHP last year. The team could move Gomes & go with a Fred Lewis/ Heisey platoon in LF and use them at the top of the order. If somehow 2 guys go down in one game Cairo or Francisco could play an emergency left field.

GADawg
12-28-2010, 02:54 PM
every year I try to figure this out and every year I get surprised by the final roster that goes north(or east I guess these days)....the bullpen always surprises me and the bench as well to a lesser degree.

I think your numbers are correct and there's no way around them. Hanigan, Cairo, and Heisey are givens as you said. I'll be shocked if Francisco isn't on the roster and that would only leave 1 spot. I really liked what I saw out of Valaika last season but as you said someone needs to be able to play short. i still think there will be some player movement we aren't expecting and all of this will change.

RedsManRick
12-28-2010, 03:07 PM
I think that last spot comes down to either the LH leadoff guy (Podsednik or possibly Damon if he's still standing after the DH musical chairs game is over) or Fransisco. I'd love to see Dorn get a chance, but the Reds clearly don't value him as much as Fransisco. Given that Fransisco has the added benefit of being able to back-up 3B, I think he's pretty much a lock if they don't sign anybody.

Regarding SS, there are basically no upgrades out there.

Jerry Hairston Jr, 34, 1.9 WAR
O-Cab, 36, 1.3 WAR
Edgar Renteria, 35, 1.3 WAR
Cesar Izturis, 30, -0.3 WAR

The first 3 guys would each be fine for a few million bucks, but don't add much other than another body to take some of the 700 PA and 1450 defensive innings. Janish is right there at the same basic level of performance. I personally like Janish more than any of those 3, but don't think there's a big difference between any combination of those 4.

I like the possibility of Cozart, but he hasn't exactly forced his way in to the picture. Nor has Chris Valaika. Expecting anything more than replacement level seems like a bad idea. If you go with one of those guys as the backup and Janish really struggles, can you live with that guy as a starter? I think we know the answer. So I'm betting that we end up signing one of Hairston, OCab or Renteria.

mth123
12-28-2010, 06:09 PM
Heisey, Hanigan, Cairo, Cozart and Francisco. That leaves just 4 OF and no obvious LH counterpart for Gomes, but Francisco should probably get two starts each week at 3B and Cairo becomes a supersub who has to play the OF as well as the IF.

If they sign a LH Hitting OF, I'd still keep Francisco and send Cozart down. It does leave them w/o a back-up at SS, but when one is needed Cairo can play for a few innings or a game. If Janish gets banged up and multiple starts are required, then call up Cozat and send Francisco down. They thing is they need somebody to play 3B twice per week. The back-up at SS is just in case. It would be nice if they could get a guy who can play SS, 3B and the OF who hits lefty. Felo anybody???

Scrap Irony
12-28-2010, 09:36 PM
I'm guessing there are five spots as well, and three of them belong to Heisey, Cairo, and Hanigan. I think the fourth and fifth spots will be Francisco and the best spring between Valaika and Frazier.

Personally, I'd go with 11 pitchers and add a LH bat to platoon with Gomes (paging Fred Lewis) or deal for a bopper in LF (ahem-- Beltran) and have Gomes PH and spot start as the fourth OF (moving into the starting LF spot, with Beltran in CF or RF when one of the young guns sits).

HokieRed
12-28-2010, 11:02 PM
What's Edmonds' status? Has there been any mention of negotiations with him, by us or any other team? I'm still hopeful he's the other half of the LF combo.

PuffyPig
12-28-2010, 11:06 PM
It would be nice if they could get a guy who can play SS, 3B and the OF who hits lefty. Felo anybody???

Good thought, other than FeLo can't play SS, 3B, OF or hit lefties. Or righties.

I'm convinced that FeLo playing for the Cards is the singular reason we won the division last year. Even more than Votto.

The Cards eventually felt Feliz was an upgrade.

Nuff said.

Big Klu
12-28-2010, 11:32 PM
What's Edmonds' status? Has there been any mention of negotiations with him, by us or any other team? I'm still hopeful he's the other half of the LF combo.

+1

corkedbat
12-29-2010, 12:11 AM
If the go with a 12-man pitching staff
Two Locks:
1. IF Cairo
2. CA Hanigan/Hernadez

A second backup IF who can play SS:
3. Cozart, Valaika, Negron or someone they add between now and ST

2 OFers (Primary left and right-handed PHers)
4. OF Heisey (if not dealt)
5. OF A lefthanded hitter certain to be added by ST (hopefully capable of playing CF also) - probably someone to split time with Gomes in LF

If they go with an 11-man staff (doubtful)
6. UT Franciso or Frazier

- If they feel comfortable with Cairo playing SS in a pinch they might go with Francisco as the second reserve IF, but that would take some stones
- At the very minimum, they will add a LH OF bat (possibly two) before ST.
- If they were to somehow add a fulltme LFer, chances are Heisey is in the deal and Gomes is the righty on the bench.
- It may not be a starter, but I would be quite surprised if they don't add another SS to the bench mix.
- I'd gladly bring Edmonds back if he waivers on retirement

marcshoe
12-29-2010, 12:17 AM
I think Todd Frazier might be the surprise guy who plays himself onto the roster. I don't predict it happening, but I'd love to see him play well enough to push out Gomes.
'course many are saying the same thing about Heisey.

Francisco's pretty intriguing as well. I think he'll rake in the majors, if he gets the chance.

TheNext44
12-29-2010, 01:42 AM
My view on bench players, especially the 25th men on the roster, is that there is so little difference between most candidates in terms of actual production that you might as well go with someone with intangibles like veteran leadership, clubhouse presences and the like.

mth123
12-29-2010, 04:01 AM
Good thought, other than FeLo can't play SS, 3B, OF or hit lefties. Or righties.

I'm convinced that FeLo playing for the Cards is the singular reason we won the division last year. Even more than Votto.

The Cards eventually felt Feliz was an upgrade.

Nuff said.

Agree, I don't really want Felo either, but it makes the point about finding a guy who fills the team's needs. I don't really see a player out there who fills the ideal bill. Its one of the reasons I didn't like re-upping Cairo. They really need 3 different guys - a lefty bat to platoon with Gomes, another lefty who can play 3B twice per week and a 3rd guy who can play SS with some decent level of defensive ability. If two spots go to Hanigan and Heisey, then having Cairo in the last spot precludes them from having one of those things.

I think the best thing the Reds could do would be to acquire some one who hits lefty and could play 3B a couple of times per week and get two or three other starts in LF to limit Gomes exposure. Kelly Johnson would be a pretty good fit, but he really doesn't have much time at 3B. The other possibility would be to find a lefty bat that can play SS and 3B, but those are pretty rare. Christian Guzman is a switch hitter who might qualify, but he's better as a RH bat than as a lefty and his defense at SS has been in decline. Given the cost, I'd probably pass. Reid Brignac would have been a perfect fit for the Reds, but he probably was never really available.

Will M
12-29-2010, 04:28 AM
Agree, I don't really want Felo either, but it makes the point about finding a guy who fills the team's needs. I don't really see a player out there who fills the ideal bill. Its one of the reasons I didn't like re-upping Cairo. They really need 3 different guys - a lefty bat to platoon with Gomes, another lefty who can play 3B twice per week and a 3rd guy who can play SS with some decent level of defensive ability. If two spots go to Hanigan and Heisey, then having Cairo in the last spot precludes them from having one of those things.

I think the best thing the Reds could do would be to acquire some one who hits lefty and could play 3B a couple of times per week and get two or three other starts in LF to limit Gomes exposure. Kelly Johnson would be a pretty good fit, but he really doesn't have much time at 3B. The other possibility would be to find a lefty bat that can play SS and 3B, but those are pretty rare. Christian Guzman is a switch hitter who might qualify, but he's better as a RH bat than as a lefty and his defense at SS has been in decline. Given the cost, I'd probably pass. Reid Brignac would have been a perfect fit for the Reds, but he probably was never really available.

I was pounding the drum for Kelly Johnson earlier this offseason. He'd look good in LF and hitting leadoff. He could also fill in at 2B. (IMO Brandon could use a bit more time off than he usually gets). I agree that it is unclear if he can play 3B. Its unclear to me what exactly the Diamondbacks are doing this offseason. I thought they were rebuilding but they seem to have spent a lot of cash on some generic players. If the Reds could actually get a Johnson with some spare parts I'd be quite happy. They could even pay his salary with the money left over after Rhodes signed with Texas.

One thing that myself and a lot of folks here see is that Gomes should not be in left field versus a right handed starter. Gomes's best role is as a DH versus a left handed starter. He is ok in left field versus a left handed starter due to his offensive production being very good. However he is below replacement anywhere on the diamond (even as a DH) versus a right handed starter.
IMO its critical that the team get a left handed bat that can play the outfield.

mth123
12-29-2010, 06:42 AM
I was pounding the drum for Kelly Johnson earlier this offseason. He'd look good in LF and hitting leadoff. He could also fill in at 2B. (IMO Brandon could use a bit more time off than he usually gets). I agree that it is unclear if he can play 3B. Its unclear to me what exactly the Diamondbacks are doing this offseason. I thought they were rebuilding but they seem to have spent a lot of cash on some generic players. If the Reds could actually get a Johnson with some spare parts I'd be quite happy. They could even pay his salary with the money left over after Rhodes signed with Texas.

One thing that myself and a lot of folks here see is that Gomes should not be in left field versus a right handed starter. Gomes's best role is as a DH versus a left handed starter. He is ok in left field versus a left handed starter due to his offensive production being very good. However he is below replacement anywhere on the diamond (even as a DH) versus a right handed starter.
IMO its critical that the team get a left handed bat that can play the outfield.

Johnson is in his last year of Arb and will probably get in the $5 to $6 Million range. He made $2.35 in 2010 but had a really good year. AZ may not want to go to arb with him and I'm sure that they would happily deal him to get some help for the future. A good deal would be Gomes, Lecure, Valaika and Alonso for Johnson and Parra. Johnson is a perfect fit for the Reds in 2011 and its possible they could extend him for a couple years at a much lesser cost than Phillips option and play him at 2B in 2012. Parra was a top 100 prospect before getting called up for a part-time role at age 21. I think he may still be a decent Lead-off type OF and might make a decent platoon with Heisey or maybe Sappelt if not more. In 2011, Johnson could get 3 starts each week in LF and a couple at 3B with an occassional start at 2B when Phillips needs a day off. Parra and Heisey could split LF when Johnson isn't out there and caddy for Stubbs and Bruce the rest of the time. In 2012, Parra, Heisey and Sappelt should provide a fine set of internal options for the top of the order and LF. Johnson might be a cheaper option at 2B than Phillips option. To me its worth Alonso and some spare parts. Dealing Gomes makes the money work. Alonso would be a piece for the future in AZ while Lecure and Valaika would fill roles there. Valaika might be the 2B there with Johnson gone. Some might think its an overpayment for a year of Johnson and Parra, but I'd be willing to add a Jordan Smith or a Phil Valiquette to make that deal.

buckeyenut
12-29-2010, 10:14 AM
How about Gomes for Brandon Wood and a prospect? He seems like a great DH partner for Abreau in LF. another option would be Gomes to KC for Alex Gordon. Another flyer on a young kid that can play backup IF.

The other team I like sending Gomes to is Texas. They are clearly going for it and their depth chart on Yahoo has Chris Davis and Taylor Teagarden as their DH options. Both were awful and Gomes would look like a big upgrade. I'd ask for a guy like Sheppers, Font or Kiker from them, but know very little about their farm so would be open to options.

Oh, and I would offer Manny 1 year 5M and see if he wants to pump up his stats in a hitters paradise.

Ghosts of 1990
12-29-2010, 10:19 AM
I might be late to the party but what is the word on Jim Edmonds? Is he retired? Is he coming back? In purgatory and still deciding? Anyone heard? I don't know whether to retire him on MLB 11 the Show or let him keep playing. He's been productive in my season on the game, FWIW :p:.

Will M
12-31-2010, 04:42 AM
Fay recently posted that the Reds are looking to add a left handed hitting outfielder & a backup shortstop. Add that to the backup catcher, Cairo, Francisco & Heisey and I get six guys. If Walt is able to get the two additional guys he needs then I suspect there will be some fighting for spots this spring. if Francisco makes the team maybe its would seem to be at the expense of one of Gomes or Heisey and the team goes with four outfielders or maybe an 11 man pitching staff.

mth123
12-31-2010, 06:35 AM
Fay recently posted that the Reds are looking to add a left handed hitting outfielder & a backup shortstop. Add that to the backup catcher, Cairo, Francisco & Heisey and I get six guys. If Walt is able to get the two additional guys he needs then I suspect there will be some fighting for spots this spring. if Francisco makes the team maybe its would seem to be at the expense of one of Gomes or Heisey and the team goes with four outfielders or maybe an 11 man pitching staff.

I'd guess that Francisco won't make the team, but if the OF ends up as the starting LF, there still would be no LH Bat on the bench, so you may be on to something.

I still think bringing Cairo back hurts the make-up of the bench. If the Reds passed on Cairo, the bench could be Gomes, Heisey, Hanigan, Francisco and Renteria with the LH OF Bat starting in LF. I'm guessing the LH OF will end up being Laynce Nix who fits as the LH Bat on the bench with Gomes sticking as the starter in LF. It would fit with the off-season of status quo.

edabbs44
12-31-2010, 07:59 AM
I'd guess that Francisco won't make the team, but if the OF ends up as the starting LF, there still would be no LH Bat on the bench, so you may be on to something.

I still think bringing Cairo back hurts the make-up of the bench. If the Reds passed on Cairo, the bench could be Gomes, Heisey, Hanigan, Francisco and Renteria with the LH OF Bat starting in LF. I'm guessing the LH OF will end up being Laynce Nix who fits as the LH Bat on the bench with Gomes sticking as the starter in LF. It would fit with the off-season of status quo.

Who backs up the right side of the infield?

mth123
12-31-2010, 08:06 AM
Who backs up the right side of the infield?

Assuming you are referring my passing on Cairo scenario - Renteria. Heck he could play SS and Janish slide to 2B if its a big problem. Francisco would be an option at 1B. Ramon can still play 1B and if Gomes doesn't spend time in Spring taking some balls there its pretty short-sighted IMO.

lollipopcurve
12-31-2010, 09:26 AM
if Gomes doesn't spend time in Spring taking some balls there its pretty short-sighted IMO.

I believe they gave that a go last spring training and found out Gomes can't play there. (To no one's surprise.)