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WVRedsFan
09-29-2011, 12:53 AM
I am a great game thread guy and always have been. It's like a sports bar to me. Fans gathered around discussing the game. A big variety of opinions and arguments. Some people insult and some are diplomatic, but all Reds fans. The shock was that over the last month or so, no one participated, and I guess, I understand why. This had to be the most frustrating season I have ever expereinced.

Let me explain that I am a long-time fan. Went to my first game in 1961 and was raised on the Reds. There have been good times and bad, but regardless, the Reds, especially during he season have always been my passion. This year was different. After last year's emotional NL Central win, it appeared we were on our way. The Phillie beatdown in the playoffs was simply devastating, but there was hope for the future. This team simply took all that away and put us back where we were from 2001-2009. And it hurts. A lot.

We watched the off-season, foolishly thinking that moves would be made to shore up left field and shortstop, and we got Fred Lewis and Edgar Renteria. We hoped for a stud pitcher to be our ace and instead, we got Edinson Volquez as the opening day pitcher and ace. He failed miserably. Bronson Arroyo had a uncharatistically bad season and the kids, with the notable excpetion of Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake (finally), simply didn't have what it took to win. The offense was putrid, even though they scored a lot of runs, usually in bunches and then going on vacation other times (and I admit a lot of that had to do with the pitching not holding leads). The bullpen was at times brutal.

And so we returned to the lost decade and it was very hard to understand. I have great respect for Walt Jocketty, but he should have known that left field was a problem and Jonny Gomes was not the answer. He should have known that Fred Lewis was not going to help much and that Chris Heisey, despite his late season heriocs with the HR's was a fourth outfielder at best. He should have known that Paul Janish would hit a little bit north of .200, even if his defense was superior. You must score runs to win. The loss of Scott Rolen was notable, but the backup plan was not there.

The season was over by then, but Votto struggled all year, coming off the MVP year. Part of that was Jay Bruce's .250+ year (I know his OBP) that didn't protect him much. Bruce will be a great one some day, but this year, he looked lost at the plate 3 of the 5 months of the season. Other than Votto and the 2/5 of the season Bruce peformed, what else was there. Drew Stubbs struck out (it's still an out) over 200. Brandon Phillips had a career year and had to deal with the organization not negotiating with him. Dysfunctional? Maybe.

My biggest fear is we'll go into 2012 with the same program. Volquez will be our ace (we never learn, especailly with his late-season heriocs, kinda), Janish will be lauded for his defensive work at short, Rolen will play 110 games while Francisco languishes on the bench, Heisey will get the majority of playing time in left while Alonso hits the pine, Stubbs will continue to whiff and Bruce will continue to struggle. It's depressing to me. I'll be watching what happens over the next four months, but I don't expect much. I've done that for too long. While St. Louis added people to help (and even though they lost major contributors), as did Milwaukee, we were satisfied with what we had. The result was a losing season. Just like before.

kaldaniels
09-29-2011, 01:00 AM
I am a great game thread guy and always have been. It's like a sports bar to me. Fans gathered around discussing the game. A big variety of opinions and arguments. Some people insult and some are diplomatic, but all Reds fans. The shock was that over the last month or so, no one participated, and I guess, I understand why. This had to be the most frustrating season I have ever expereinced.

Let me explain that I am a long-time fan. Went to my first game in 1961 and was raised on the Reds. There have been good times and bad, but regardless, the Reds, especially during he season have always been my passion. This year was different. After last year's emotional NL Central win, it appeared we were on our way. The Phillie beatdown in the playoffs was simply devastating, but there was hope for the future. This team simply took all that away and put us back where we were from 2001-2009. And it hurts. A lot.

We watched the off-season, foolishly thinking that moves would be made to shore up left field and shortstop, and we got Fred Lewis and Edgar Renteria. We hoped for a stud pitcher to be our ace and instead, we got Edinson Volquez as the opening day pitcher and ace. He failed miserably. Bronson Arroyo had a uncharatistically bad season and the kids, with the notable excpetion of Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake (finally), simply didn't have what it took to win. The offense was putrid, even though they scored a lot of runs, usually in bunches and then going on vacation other times (and I admit a lot of that had to do with the pitching not holding leads). The bullpen was at times brutal.

And so we returned to the lost decade and it was very hard to understand. I have great respect for Walt Jocketty, but he should have known that left field was a problem and Jonny Gomes was not the answer. He should have known that Fred Lewis was not going to help much and that Chris Heisey, despite his late season heriocs with the HR's was a fourth outfielder at best. He should have known that Paul Janish would hit a little bit north of .200, even if his defense was superior. You must score runs to win. The loss of Scott Rolen was notable, but the backup plan was not there.

The season was over by then, but Votto struggled all year, coming off the MVP year. Part of that was Jay Bruce's .250+ year (I know his OBP) that didn't protect him much. Bruce will be a great one some day, but this year, he looked lost at the plate 3 of the 5 months of the season. Other than Votto and the 2/5 of the season Bruce peformed, what else was there. Drew Stubbs struck out (it's still an out) over 200. Brandon Phillips had a career year and had to deal with the organization not negotiating with him. Dysfunctional? Maybe.

My biggest fear is we'll go into 2012 with the same program. Volquez will be our ace (we never learn, especailly with his late-season heriocs, kinda), Janish will be lauded for his defensive work at short, Rolen will play 110 games while Francisco languishes on the bench, Heisey will get the majority of playing time in left while Alonso hits the pine, Stubbs will continue to whiff and Bruce will continue to struggle. It's depressing to me. I'll be watching what happens over the next four months, but I don't expect much. I've done that for too long. While St. Louis added people to help (and even though they lost major contributors), as did Milwaukee, we were satisfied with what we had. The result was a losing season. Just like before.

You threw a whole lot at the wall there and I can't even begin to dissect it tonight. But hang in there, it was a rough season, but this team is nothing like the teams of the 00's.

But if there is a starting point of disagreement, it is calling the offense putrid.

WVRedsFan
09-29-2011, 01:12 AM
You threw a whole lot at the wall there and I can't even begin to dissect it tonight. But hang in there, it was a rough season, but this team is nothing like the teams of the 00's.

But if there is a starting point of disagreement, it is calling the offense putrid.Thanks, Kal. I'm interested in your thoughts because I respect your opinion, but too many 3-2 and 2-1 losses, and too many extra inning games, tell me one thing. It's either the offense or the pitching or both.

We'll sort this out tomorrow.

AtomicDumpling
09-29-2011, 01:20 AM
I am a great game thread guy and always have been. It's like a sports bar to me. Fans gathered around discussing the game. A big variety of opinions and arguments. Some people insult and some are diplomatic, but all Reds fans. The shock was that over the last month or so, no one participated, and I guess, I understand why. This had to be the most frustrating season I have ever expereinced.

Let me explain that I am a long-time fan. Went to my first game in 1961 and was raised on the Reds. There have been good times and bad, but regardless, the Reds, especially during he season have always been my passion. This year was different. After last year's emotional NL Central win, it appeared we were on our way. The Phillie beatdown in the playoffs was simply devastating, but there was hope for the future. This team simply took all that away and put us back where we were from 2001-2009. And it hurts. A lot.

We watched the off-season, foolishly thinking that moves would be made to shore up left field and shortstop, and we got Fred Lewis and Edgar Renteria. We hoped for a stud pitcher to be our ace and instead, we got Edinson Volquez as the opening day pitcher and ace. He failed miserably. Bronson Arroyo had a uncharatistically bad season and the kids, with the notable excpetion of Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake (finally), simply didn't have what it took to win. The offense was putrid, even though they scored a lot of runs, usually in bunches and then going on vacation other times (and I admit a lot of that had to do with the pitching not holding leads). The bullpen was at times brutal.

And so we returned to the lost decade and it was very hard to understand. I have great respect for Walt Jocketty, but he should have known that left field was a problem and Jonny Gomes was not the answer. He should have known that Fred Lewis was not going to help much and that Chris Heisey, despite his late season heriocs with the HR's was a fourth outfielder at best. He should have known that Paul Janish would hit a little bit north of .200, even if his defense was superior. You must score runs to win. The loss of Scott Rolen was notable, but the backup plan was not there.

The season was over by then, but Votto struggled all year, coming off the MVP year. Part of that was Jay Bruce's .250+ year (I know his OBP) that didn't protect him much. Bruce will be a great one some day, but this year, he looked lost at the plate 3 of the 5 months of the season. Other than Votto and the 2/5 of the season Bruce peformed, what else was there. Drew Stubbs struck out (it's still an out) over 200. Brandon Phillips had a career year and had to deal with the organization not negotiating with him. Dysfunctional? Maybe.

My biggest fear is we'll go into 2012 with the same program. Volquez will be our ace (we never learn, especailly with his late-season heriocs, kinda), Janish will be lauded for his defensive work at short, Rolen will play 110 games while Francisco languishes on the bench, Heisey will get the majority of playing time in left while Alonso hits the pine, Stubbs will continue to whiff and Bruce will continue to struggle. It's depressing to me. I'll be watching what happens over the next four months, but I don't expect much. I've done that for too long. While St. Louis added people to help (and even though they lost major contributors), as did Milwaukee, we were satisfied with what we had. The result was a losing season. Just like before.

Yep you pretty much nailed it on the head. This season was a huge letdown after 2010. We all got our hopes up and were primed for disappointment. We should have seen it coming though. As you mentioned, the Reds had glaring weaknesses at starting pitcher (exposed for the world to see in the playoffs), left field, shortstop and third base. We all knew this at the end of last season -- but Walt Jocketty totally failed to solve any of those major problems. That right there should have told us that the Reds were not serious about taking the next step into becoming a real contender. Instead they chose to sit back and reap the profit generated by increased attendance and enthusiasm based on last year's success after a prolonged 15 year period of abject suckitude. We watched and waited in vain all winter for the Reds to make a splash in the player market while the Cardinals and the Brewers made aggressive and smart moves to bolster their squads. All we got was a couple of geriatric cast-offs who came to the Reds because nobody else wanted them. I am guessing we are in for more of the same this winter after Uncle Walt was given a 3 year extension to reward him for his paralysis.

AtomicDumpling
09-29-2011, 01:22 AM
Thanks, Kal. I'm interested in your thoughts because I respect your opinion, but too many 3-2 and 2-1 losses, and too many extra inning games, tell me one thing. It's either the offense or the pitching or both.

We'll sort this out tomorrow.

Its the pitching. The offense is the least of the Reds worries.

Slyder
09-29-2011, 01:23 AM
I consider 2011 a failure and a lost opportunity for the franchise as a whole. Most everyone saw the problems this team faced after winning the division and being exposed by Philadelphia, but we did nothing to address ANY of them meanwhile Milwaukee added 2 high caliber pitchers (Greinke and Marcum) and Garza went to the Cubs (granted the Cubs could screw up a 1 car funeral procession). Any of the 3 would have been heads and shoulders above any number of our guys and had/have track records of success which many guys we used don't. We resign Bronson... Even at his best Bronson got by on guile.

I read on here attendance was up 12% this year (what was the final totals?), I would say that was inspite of a lackluster front office (not blaming just Walt but also Dusty and the owners). Dusty continues to seemingly act like one of the guys rather than as a manager at a job. His job is to put guys in a position succeed not make sure everyone is happy. If he wants to do that then he can go coach his son at little league.

Walt needs to Dusty proof the team like he did when he traded Gomes to Washington and moved Lewis to AAA so that Dusty COULDN'T play them over guys who have more potential value when it was clear to everyone we were done for 2011. I also believe the front office needs to do a better job at managing our roster, there is NO excuse for Ramon to still be a Cincinnati Red with Devin Mesoraco being almost ready, especially if the Reds have no intention on offering Arby to Ramon. NO excuse at all, we needed to get whatever we could for him and let Ramon go to a team like SF (or Ari, or insert team needing offense here) where he could help a team in contention try and make the post season. If you're worried about over playing Mesigan then after sept 1 callup Corky (using Ramon's spot) and shut some guys down.

RedsManRick
09-29-2011, 01:37 AM
I share your fears, but I am excited to hear from multiple sources that Jocketty himself has said this offseason will be much more eventful than last. They've basically said they're going to try and go out and get an ace. Will it happen? We'll see. But I'm (very) cautiously optimistic.

The Operator
09-29-2011, 01:39 AM
It was a frustrating season, probably the most frustrating one yet because unlike the Lost Decade, there were real expectations and genuine reasons to be optimistic. You didn't have to be a standard "rose colored glasses" guy to feel somewhat good coming into 2011... and then 2011 happened.

I think the offense isn't that far from being truly elite. If they could find someone to hit #4 between Votto and Bruce, that would go a long way. Matt Kemp would be perfect, but is very likely a pipe dream.

I think the rotation's quality will come down to a few things:

Will Homer Bailey be able to stay healthy for an entire year? He performed well for extended stretches in both 2010 and 2011 and showed some serious flashes of becoming that ace we know he can be, but two straight years being plagued by shoulder issues is worrisome. Is he another Rich Harden?

Will The Reds *finally* make a move to bring in some kind of upper level starting pitcher to this team? It doesn't have to be a Roy Halladay, but they really do need a guy who can start a playoff game without us having to think "oh boy, let's hope he holds it together." James Shields would be great, if the price is right.

I don't think moving Chapman to the rotation and calling it a day will come even close to getting the rotation where it needs to be. I am in the camp that thinks he needs to be a starter, but I also think he needs to make the transition at AAA and I'm not about to think he's going to immediately become a #1 starter. Maybe by 2013 but even that is pushing things. This whole bullpen experiment has really set his development back if the plan is to ultimately make him a starter.

The bullpen? I don't even know where to begin. But I'll try anyway.

Cordero had a flashy ERA but I hope and pray there's a better alternative out there and he won't be coming back. Nick Masset was just plain awful for long stretches this whole year. I can live with his awful April's if he dominates the rest of the year, but he was pretty bad for about half of this season. And then Chapman also factors into the bullpen discussion depending on whether or not they convert him to a starter. We shall see.

All in all, this team has pieces in place that make me feel better about the future than I ever did during the Lost Decade.

That being said, things have to be done and we cannot have another offseason of Jocketty sitting on his hands. Tough choices have to be made. The great GMs are the ones who can identify which prospects to keep and which ones to sell. Until Adam Wainwright, I can't think of a single pitching prospect that the Atlanta Braves traded during their run that amounted to much - and they made some big trades. That's what it takes to win. You can't just blindly hold onto every single prospect you have out of fear that they might flourish elsewhere.

If Walt can identify who to keep and who to deal for help, 2012 could be a fun year for us just like 2010. We'll see.

WVRedsFan
09-29-2011, 01:41 AM
Its the pitching. The offense is the least of the Reds worries.I agree in part. The bullpen was especially bad down the stretch. Of our starting staff, only Cueto and Leake seemed to have what it took to keep the team in contention. We all know Volquez's story (to channel George Grande). He simply is a No. 5 pitcher, but I fear his successes (?) over his last four or five starts will convince the brain trust that he is the ace we need. Homer is a raw product. If Chapman is the fifth starter (I am assuming that Leake is the other starter) and Willis is let go, it's still not a solid staff. The bullpen is a mess, Masset is a head case, Orendondo shows promise, but Ondresek is a really question mark. Sam LeCure looked good, but he was on and off. Codero needs to move on. As successful has he's been, he's much to expensive.

Lots of changes need to be made, but my worry is that they won't be in the name of $$. Ah, the problems of a small market team. But I still contend, and I do not apologize, that the offense is comprised of too many streak hitters. Regardless, as long as Dusty is manager, this is the team we get. Lots of washed up veterans and wannabees get the playing time over potential. For my money, without free agent signings (which appear to be off the table), I play Francisco 50% of the time at third, anyone at short, Alonso in left and Mes at catcher. and I'd trade pieces for a stud pitcher. But I'm not in charge and never will be.

reds44
09-29-2011, 01:44 AM
The Reds aren't far off. A few key acquisitions in the winter and there's no reason to believe they can't contend next year.

We'll see if they actually make those moves, though.

AtomicDumpling
09-29-2011, 04:24 AM
I agree in part. The bullpen was especially bad down the stretch. Of our starting staff, only Cueto and Leake seemed to have what it took to keep the team in contention. We all know Volquez's story (to channel George Grande). He simply is a No. 5 pitcher, but I fear his successes (?) over his last four or five starts will convince the brain trust that he is the ace we need. Homer is a raw product. If Chapman is the fifth starter (I am assuming that Leake is the other starter) and Willis is let go, it's still not a solid staff. The bullpen is a mess, Masset is a head case, Orendondo shows promise, but Ondresek is a really question mark. Sam LeCure looked good, but he was on and off. Codero needs to move on. As successful has he's been, he's much to expensive.

Lots of changes need to be made, but my worry is that they won't be in the name of $$. Ah, the problems of a small market team. But I still contend, and I do not apologize, that the offense is comprised of too many streak hitters. Regardless, as long as Dusty is manager, this is the team we get. Lots of washed up veterans and wannabees get the playing time over potential. For my money, without free agent signings (which appear to be off the table), I play Francisco 50% of the time at third, anyone at short, Alonso in left and Mes at catcher. and I'd trade pieces for a stud pitcher. But I'm not in charge and never will be.

You nailed it on the pitching. The only part of your post I would alter is the part about the Reds being a small market team. The Reds are a highly profitable mid-market team with a very solid fanbase, good attendance and plenty of revenue. The Reds' market extends 100-200+ miles beyond the borders of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. I don't think the Reds's market size is much of an excuse for their poor performance. The Reds are not in a super-high revenue team like the Yankees or Red Sox or Mets, but they certainly are nowhere near the financial depths of the Marlins, Rays, and Royals in terms of a revenue disadvantage. The Reds are in the middle of the financial landscape and make a very large profit each season. (Actually some of the small-market teams make larger profits than the big-market teams due to revenue sharing but that is a topic for another thread.)

Since the Reds had such a discouraging season this year it has lowered our expectations for next year. No matter what happens in 2012 we won't be as disappointed as we are right now!

So we got that going for us, which is nice.
.

Redhook
09-29-2011, 07:40 AM
Good thread. I agree, 2011 was a disaster and it falls mostly on Walt's lap.

I'm optimistic about next year though, but Walt really needs to wakeup. The Reds need two players: a cleanup hitter and a #1/#2 pitcher. They'll have to trade some good players and spend a little cash to get them, but it is possible. Everything else will fall into place once they get those two spots filled. Unfortunately, I see Walt bringing Cordero back which will only allow one of those 2 spots to be filled.

nate
09-29-2011, 09:25 AM
The Reds offense scored the second most runs in the league and tied for 3rd in wOBA.

The Reds pitching allowed the fourth most "earned runs" (if you're into that sort of thing) and was last in FIP. Breaking it down, starters were allowed the fourth most "earned runs" and were last in IP while relievers allowed the fifth fewest "earned runs" and were second worst in FIP.

The Reds defense was rated second best in the league by UZR.

If they're looking for a fix of the club as is, I'd say they should focus on:

1. Pitching
2. Pitching
3. Pitching

As far as the emotional reaction to the season goes, I can't really even compare it to the drudgery and numbness of the "lost decade."

Homer Bailey
09-29-2011, 10:30 AM
The Reds offense scored the second most runs in the league and tied for 3rd in wOBA.

The Reds pitching allowed the fourth most "earned runs" (if you're into that sort of thing) and was last in FIP. Breaking it down, starters were allowed the fourth most "earned runs" and were last in IP while relievers allowed the fifth fewest "earned runs" and were second worst in FIP.

The Reds defense was rated second best in the league by UZR.

If they're looking for a fix of the club as is, I'd say they should focus on:

1. Pitching
2. Pitching
3. Pitching

As far as the emotional reaction to the season goes, I can't really even compare it to the drudgery and numbness of the "lost decade."

This can't be emphasized enough. It's not the offense. It's just not. That's not an opinion, it's a fact.

It's the pitching.

Sent from my HTC Incredible using tapatalk

CySeymour
09-29-2011, 10:39 AM
I agree, the starting pitching wasn't nearly good enough. The team needs to try and mimick what the Brewers did and cash in some of their young talent for TOR starters. Yeah, I know, easier said then done, but that is what Walt is paid to do.

WVRedsFan
09-29-2011, 10:47 AM
This can't be emphasized enough. It's not the offense. It's just not. That's not an opinion, it's a fact.

It's the pitching.

Sent from my HTC Incredible using tapatalkNow that everyone is pretty much in agreement that it's the pitching, what does Walt do? Stay the course, cross your fingers, and pray?

bucksfan2
09-29-2011, 11:05 AM
Yep you pretty much nailed it on the head. This season was a huge letdown after 2010. We all got our hopes up and were primed for disappointment. We should have seen it coming though. As you mentioned, the Reds had glaring weaknesses at starting pitcher (exposed for the world to see in the playoffs), left field, shortstop and third base. We all knew this at the end of last season -- but Walt Jocketty totally failed to solve any of those major problems. That right there should have told us that the Reds were not serious about taking the next step into becoming a real contender. Instead they chose to sit back and reap the profit generated by increased attendance and enthusiasm based on last year's success after a prolonged 15 year period of abject suckitude. We watched and waited in vain all winter for the Reds to make a splash in the player market while the Cardinals and the Brewers made aggressive and smart moves to bolster their squads. All we got was a couple of geriatric cast-offs who came to the Reds because nobody else wanted them. I am guessing we are in for more of the same this winter after Uncle Walt was given a 3 year extension to reward him for his paralysis.

Its easy to place the blame on Jocketty, too easy if you ask me. This team underperformed this season because the players counted on to improve, didn't. It was mentioned that they had holes at 3b, lf, and SS but the reality is RF and CF regressed this season. With the exception of Cueto and Leake the SP regressed this season. Homer Bailey, Volquez, and Wood didn't take the step forward everyone had hoped them to. Arroyo was a disaster from the get go. The pen was worn out at the all star break because of the porous starting pitching early in the season.

I think this team needs a shake up. I don't like the current construction of the offense. Its not the biggest issue, and some will disagree, but the team as a whole strikes out too much, Votto has no protection, and the young guys aren't progressing. I really was impressed with Alonso's plate presence but don't know if he will be the protection Votto needs.

I would put everyone on the block with the exception of Votto, Cueto, Leake, and Mesoraco. I would be looking for a TOR style pitcher, but also anywhere where I could improve the club. I am not as much upset with Jocketty or Baker, more upset with the lack of progress made by the players themselves.

Sea Ray
09-29-2011, 11:18 AM
I would put everyone on the block with the exception of Votto, Cueto, Leake, and Mesoraco. I would be looking for a TOR style pitcher, but also anywhere where I could improve the club. I am not as much upset with Jocketty or Baker, more upset with the lack of progress made by the players themselves.

TOR style pitchers are Volquez. You're not going to get a ready to plug in TOR pitcher with our payroll restraints. I think we need to set our sights a little lower. I think another Arroyo trade like we did a few yrs ago is the best we could hope for. Keep Cueto healthy and we have our #1

_Sir_Charles_
09-29-2011, 12:14 PM
Now that everyone is pretty much in agreement that it's the pitching, what does Walt do? Stay the course, cross your fingers, and pray?

Well, it certainly sounds like he's focused on getting a top of the rotation pitcher from what Fay posted the other day. My fear is that he'll do what many here want him to do and that is to get James Shields. If the Reds were primed for a disappointing season this year, then Shields is primed for one next year. I'm not saying he's bad, not by any stretch. I'm saying he'll be ridiculously overpriced after coming off a career year.

A few guys I wouldn't mind us going after.

Felix Hernandez. He's signed for 18.5/2012, 19.5/2013 & 20.0/2014. Considering how far away Seattle is from competeing...we might be able to pry him away, but it'll cost us.

Weaver or Haren from the Angels. Weaver just signed a 5 year extention for 85 million. Haren is at 12.75/2012 and a club option for 2013. I think Haren is more obtainable of the two, but either fit our needs perfectly.

Clayton Kershaw. He's on a one year contract this year and due for arbitration. I'm not sure how that would affect things, but with the Dodgers financial situation, it might be a good time to talk turkey with LA. This is a career year for Kershaw, but at least he's got a track record for consistently being very good. But I'd be careful due to the contract status.

There are others out there, but I want to stay away from aging "ex-aces" like Carpenter and from guys who just have one big career year like Shields because we'd be bound to overpay without knowing what we really are getting.

mdccclxix
09-29-2011, 01:55 PM
Felix isn't going anywhere, but Seattle ought to consider cashing in pitching for offense. They might be a better team with Votto + Bailey than with just Felix.

Felix
Cueto
Leake
Arroyo
Chapman

dfs
09-29-2011, 02:05 PM
but Walt Jocketty totally failed to solve any of those major problems.

Was this a failure of will. The price for Griencke and Marcum was shockingly low? I would hate to believe this, but the failure to deal Ramon Hernandez for anything remotely interesting sure does look like a front office on autopilot.

Was it a failure to correctly evaluate what he had? Sure hindsight is great and several of the decisions he made last year could have looked like roses now if development had gone differently. It would not have been entirely out of the realm of chance for Janish to hit 275 and slug 400 at which point paying him peanuts looks likes a great deal. Jocketty was not alone in projecting Volquez to be an ace(heck, we still heard it from the announcing crew last night). I mean....heck, take third base. Ok, so you expect Rolen to go down, but you've got Juan Francisco a prime prospect poised to start and....he goes down and then you have Todd Frazier and Miguel Cairo. As "bad" as 3B was this year, it still put up a 96 OPS+ which may not be anything to write home about, but is no where near the crater that SS or LF looked like. How insulated can any organization be? If you took A-Rod from the Yankees, they wouldn't be able to scrounge up a 96 OPS+.

Was it just bad luck? Lots of things really do point at this. If the results of Walt's decisons last year got destroyed by bad luck, do you want him switching horses midstream?

I can go on and on about this. Every decision that Jocketty made was defensible as an individual decision. For so many of them to crash so badly......Ouch

I don't have answers, and I don't really expect anybody here does either. It's just an interesting set of questions to look at.

_Sir_Charles_
09-29-2011, 03:34 PM
Felix isn't going anywhere, but Seattle ought to consider cashing in pitching for offense. They might be a better team with Votto + Bailey than with just Felix.

Felix
Cueto
Leake
Arroyo
Chapman

Odds are, you're right. I don't think Felix is going anywhere either. But both the M's and the Angels should think about trading some pitching for some offense. Giants & Padres are in that boat too. The Padres' problem though is that they don't really have that top notch starter to deal. Latos I'd guess is their best, but he doesn't have much of a history to work with. But since we're talking about targets for the REDS...I don't see anything that the Pads have that I'd want in terms of starters. But I'd certainly be looking at Seattle, LA (AL&NL) and SF. All 4 clubs can use some offense and all 4 have "aces" we'd want.

AtomicDumpling
09-29-2011, 04:01 PM
Was this a failure of will. The price for Griencke and Marcum was shockingly low? I would hate to believe this, but the failure to deal Ramon Hernandez for anything remotely interesting sure does look like a front office on autopilot.

Was it a failure to correctly evaluate what he had? Sure hindsight is great and several of the decisions he made last year could have looked like roses now if development had gone differently. It would not have been entirely out of the realm of chance for Janish to hit 275 and slug 400 at which point paying him peanuts looks likes a great deal. Jocketty was not alone in projecting Volquez to be an ace(heck, we still heard it from the announcing crew last night). I mean....heck, take third base. Ok, so you expect Rolen to go down, but you've got Juan Francisco a prime prospect poised to start and....he goes down and then you have Todd Frazier and Miguel Cairo. As "bad" as 3B was this year, it still put up a 96 OPS+ which may not be anything to write home about, but is no where near the crater that SS or LF looked like. How insulated can any organization be? If you took A-Rod from the Yankees, they wouldn't be able to scrounge up a 96 OPS+.

Was it just bad luck? Lots of things really do point at this. If the results of Walt's decisons last year got destroyed by bad luck, do you want him switching horses midstream?

I can go on and on about this. Every decision that Jocketty made was defensible as an individual decision. For so many of them to crash so badly......Ouch

I don't have answers, and I don't really expect anybody here does either. It's just an interesting set of questions to look at.

Every decision he made was to do nothing.

Yeah I agree with you that he had some bad luck, but you can't just do nothing for years and claim you did a good job.

crazybob60
09-29-2011, 04:18 PM
I was just about to get on here and mention that we should seriously consider looking at Kershaw. What a great find that would be. He is arb elig right now and with the state of the Dodgers, who knows. They have others they need to look at as well (Kemp, Ethier) that are in the same boat. And Kershaw is one of those guys who I believe would pitch well even at GABP. I would love to see it and find out. I know it is a long shot and a pipe dream. But he is still very very young and as stated, has a track record already. A good track record and not just a year of pitching well. Something to build the pitching staff around. He is the TOR guy that we have needed for so long and fits the bill perfectly. And the fire and intensity he brings not only on the days he pitches but when he is in the dugout too, man, I love it.

If we go after James Shields, that's not a bad thing, but to tell you the truth, I see him as more of a 2 or a 3, not a TOR guy. If we want to take that next step and move on to the next level of winning, we need to act like it and make moves like it and not stay stagnant and do nothing or do lateral moves.

Again, this is nothing new and most of this has been said in previous posts above. And in previous threads before this. I just hope that the Reds do do something different this offseason. I am in the Clayton Kershaw camp this offseason. Go full steam ahead in doing everything in our power to get him. And when I say everything, well, I mean everything.

dfs
09-29-2011, 04:53 PM
Every decision he made was to do nothing.

Yeah I agree with you that he had some bad luck, but you can't just do nothing for years and claim you did a good job.

I'm not trying to be offensive, but I don't see that. The decision to use in house talent instead of importing talent by free agency or trading for it is still a decision.

In left field, I believe Gomes already had signed a two year deal at the start of 10, so he was going to be here. Jocketty CHOSE to sign Fred Lewis and Jeremy Hermida and hope that between Gomes, Lewis, Hermida, Heisey and the rest of the minor league system, he could get decent enough output not to sink his offense like a stone.

Now....we can judge this decision a couple of ways...

#1. Lack of Will. Jocketty should have gone out and signed Lance Berkman or Vlad Guerrero to an $8 million dollar contract and just bit the bullet someplace else on the roster. You don't like those guys? You could have had Jayson Werth or Magglio Ordonez. The BEST free outfield signing would have been Berkman or Andruw Jones, but in more at bats Jones would have been horribly exposed and LOTS of folks thought Berkman was done. I guess he could have traded for Josh Willingham.

#2 Was it just that he misread his talent? Is it unreasonable to think that between Gomes, Lewis, Hermida, Heisey and the rest of the minor league system, he could get decent enough output not to sink his offense like a stone. Probably not particularly when you add in Yonder, Sappelt and Frazier minor league guys that could have given you some decent major league at bats. Although the guy on that list that probably had the best year got buried at AAA. Hermida put up a 924 ops in Louisville. One of the dangers of having a bunch of guys audition for the job is that the guys evaluating the talent make a poor choice. Hermida looks terrible in 18 plate appearances, gets exiled to Louisville and buried off the 40 man roster and....suddenly you've got left fielders doing their best Paul Janish impression.

#3. Luck? As bad as Gomes may have looked out there.....You know his OPS+ is above average for the year/position. Left field got buried by ...well pretty much by everybody not named Gomes or Yonder. I HAVE to think that if you give 400 at bats to Sappelt/Lewis/Heisey that you'll end up with better numbers. Those guys hit fine in other roles/places, just not in cincy in left field.

The odd thing about it.....If Walt has Baker play Gomes, the batting average would have looked terrible, but he would have had decent production out of left. Better production that anybody mentioned in this post other than Berkman or Yonder.

So what's the story? You can call it lack of will, but in retrospect just keeping and playing Gomes would have been not just cost efficient, but more productive than most obvious trade targets or free agent signings. The fact that they didn't play Gomes more and his replacements cratered....was that misidentification of the most talented replacements? (Hermida spent the year cooling his heels in Lousiville)

or was it luck and we should expect better from Sappelt/Heisey/Lewis?

hmmmm.

...sorry. I can't let go. Jim Bowden used to to do this kind of thing with starting pitchers. He would bring in 6 guys who had each won 10+ games twice in their careers and let them all try out for spots in the starting rotation during spring training and then crow about it at the end of the year about how he had found such a great value in the one of them that survived the season and won 15 games. Never looking at the 40+ other starts that he had given to other retreads that sunk his team.

When you throw stuff at the wall to see what sticks, you might end up with something valuable, but for sure your going to end up with a dirty wall as you spend time sorting through what's there.

mth123
09-29-2011, 08:25 PM
Its easy to place the blame on Jocketty, too easy if you ask me. This team underperformed this season because the players counted on to improve, didn't. It was mentioned that they had holes at 3b, lf, and SS but the reality is RF and CF regressed this season. With the exception of Cueto and Leake the SP regressed this season. Homer Bailey, Volquez, and Wood didn't take the step forward everyone had hoped them to. Arroyo was a disaster from the get go. The pen was worn out at the all star break because of the porous starting pitching early in the season.

I think this team needs a shake up. I don't like the current construction of the offense. Its not the biggest issue, and some will disagree, but the team as a whole strikes out too much, Votto has no protection, and the young guys aren't progressing. I really was impressed with Alonso's plate presence but don't know if he will be the protection Votto needs.

I would put everyone on the block with the exception of Votto, Cueto, Leake, and Mesoraco. I would be looking for a TOR style pitcher, but also anywhere where I could improve the club. I am not as much upset with Jocketty or Baker, more upset with the lack of progress made by the players themselves.

And who was the idiot who counted on so many unproven and mediocre players? Walt wasted the winter meetings, made no moves in Spring Training when Homer and Cueto were hurt and Arroyo was ill and did nothng at the deadline. How does a team with designs on post season play go into a season with so many unproven, injured (or both) guys penciled into his starting rotation. Blatant mismanagement? If Walt trusted so many unprovens to step-up, it serves him right.

If a guy walks out into traffic, he's the main culprit in his own demise. Portraying him as a victim of misfortune is misstating the case. He screwed the pooch. Period.

HokieRed
09-29-2011, 08:38 PM
mth nailed it in the offseason. The Brewers added very significantly to their starting pitching with Marcum and Greinke. They have, IMO, changed the dynamics in the division markedly. They are a vastly better team than a year ago and will continue to be next year, no matter who is playing first base for them. Walt needs to get cracking.

bucksfan2
09-29-2011, 09:14 PM
And who was the idiot who counted on so many unproven and mediocre players? Walt wasted the winter meetings, made no moves in Spring Training when Homer and Cueto were hurt and Arroyo was ill and did nothng at the deadline. How does a team with designs on post season play go into a season with so many unproven, injured (or both) guys penciled into his starting rotation. Blatant mismanagement? If Walt trusted so many unprovens to step-up, it serves him right.

If a guy walks out into traffic, he's the main culprit in his own demise. Portraying him as a victim of misfortune is misstating the case. He screwed the pooch. Period.

You mean the idiot out in CF who struck out over 200 times and regressed offensively? Or how about the idiot out in RF who regressed both offensively and defensively? Or how about the idiot opening day starter who was sent to the minors twice in the season? Or how about a couple of starting pitching idiots who failed to build on last years season.

Jocketty by no means deserves GM of the year after this past season. But to be honest even if he had added Greinke this team wasnt going to the playoffs with the level of production they got from the likes of Stubbs, Bruce, Volquez, Bailey, Wood, and Massett. All of whom most RZ counted on to improve over their 2010 performance.

kaldaniels
09-29-2011, 09:20 PM
You mean the idiot out in CF who struck out over 200 times and regressed offensively? Or how about the idiot out in RF who regressed both offensively and defensively? Or how about the idiot opening day starter who was sent to the minors twice in the season? Or how about a couple of starting pitching idiots who failed to build on last years season.

Jocketty by no means deserves GM of the year after this past season. But to be honest even if he had added Greinke this team wasnt going to the playoffs with the level of production they got from the likes of Stubbs, Bruce, Volquez, Bailey, Wood, and Massett. All of whom most RZ counted on to improve over their 2010 performance.

Leave Jay Bruce out of this.

Seriously, if you speak of production, how can you possibly give Jay Bruce the business? Room to improve? Sure. But he had a good season production-wise.

mth123
09-29-2011, 09:24 PM
You mean the idiot out in CF who struck out over 200 times and regressed offensively? Or how about the idiot out in RF who regressed both offensively and defensively? Or how about the idiot opening day starter who was sent to the minors twice in the season? Or how about a couple of starting pitching idiots who failed to build on last years season.

Jocketty by no means deserves GM of the year after this past season. But to be honest even if he had added Greinke this team wasnt going to the playoffs with the level of production they got from the likes of Stubbs, Bruce, Volquez, Bailey, Wood, and Massett. All of whom most RZ counted on to improve over their 2010 performance.

Volquez, Bailey and Wood should have all been viewed as unproven and a guy or two with a track record should have been brought in. I do agree that Bruce performed below expectations, but Stubbs was a .715 OPS guy in AAA. Expecting any improvement from last year was foolish. Do I blame Stubbs for falling short of 2010 or the guy who expected him to do more? I'll agree that there were expectations for Bruce to be better than his stiill pretty darned good year. Hernandez, Cueto and Leake all exceeded expectations. Rolen's fall could be seen from miles away (though maybe not this much). Janish sub .600 OPS was also easy to see coming. Walt couldn't foresee Arroyo's mono even though some regression from 2010 should have been expected. Francisco's injury hurt the team unexpectely. The collapse of the Masset and the pen down the stretch is rooted in Walt's misguided faith in the unproven rotation IMO. Those guys were toast by the end of June.

At the end of the day, few players disappointed IMO and were offset by those who were better than planned. The error was in the expectations for players whose warts were obvious or planning on so many guys who were completely unproven. That's on the GM.

AtomicDumpling
09-29-2011, 11:10 PM
You mean the idiot out in CF who struck out over 200 times and regressed offensively? Or how about the idiot out in RF who regressed both offensively and defensively? Or how about the idiot opening day starter who was sent to the minors twice in the season? Or how about a couple of starting pitching idiots who failed to build on last years season.

Jocketty by no means deserves GM of the year after this past season. But to be honest even if he had added Greinke this team wasnt going to the playoffs with the level of production they got from the likes of Stubbs, Bruce, Volquez, Bailey, Wood, and Massett. All of whom most RZ counted on to improve over their 2010 performance.

Walt Jocketty was the idiot that bet the farm by relying on those idiots to perform well. He was proven wrong. His strategy failed.

At some point a decision to do nothing stops being a strategy. At some point it becomes apparent that doing nothing is actually a failure to accomplish something.

How long do you want to give Jocketty the benefit of the doubt? It has been at least 2 years since he last found a way to improve the team, maybe 3 years if you don't consider spending the entire multi-year free agent budget by giving Chapman $30+ million a smart move just yet. I am just curious how long you are willing to give him? There is no right or wrong answer. I just would like to see how patient you are.

I hear a lot of excuses for Walt, saying there was nothing he could do to improve the team for a multi-year period. But other teams found creative ways to get better. The Cardinals and Brewers certainly found ways to blow past the Reds. Maybe Jocketty could have beaten the Cards and Brewers to those deals? Maybe a more skilled GM could have worked out similar or better deals with other teams? We will never know. All we know is our GM failed to improve the team... Again.

RANDY IN INDY
09-29-2011, 11:51 PM
Idiots? Oh, that's real nice. :rolleyes:

cincrazy
09-30-2011, 12:27 AM
No one is arguing that the pitching wasn't the main problem. But to assert that the offense is all hunky dory and there is minimal improvements to be made is just as absurd as stating the pitching staff is fine going forward.

Chip R
09-30-2011, 12:56 AM
I truly thought they were going to run away with the division after they swept the Cards and Cubs that 2nd/3rd week in May. Then they dropped 6 in a row. From 8 games over .500 to 2 games over.

marcshoe
09-30-2011, 01:27 AM
On the whole,it wasn't a fun season. Every sign they were about to take off was followed quickly by disappointment. I still like the direction the team was going, and for me the highlight of the year was watching the kids come up and develop.

mth123
09-30-2011, 03:42 AM
No one is arguing that the pitching wasn't the main problem. But to assert that the offense is all hunky dory and there is minimal improvements to be made is just as absurd as stating the pitching staff is fine going forward.

I think the position players were a problem at several spots, but the Reds only have so much payroll space and a starting pitcher is number 1 on the list. Next year at this time we may regret banking on kids to improve the weak areas but Alonso, Cozart and more of Francisco should provide some improvement to the 3 biggest trouble spots. I'd still like to see the team acquire a middle of the order slugger, but if the budget dictates going cheap somewhere, much better to do it with Alonso in that role than relying on Chapman or Volquez to be the saviors of the rotation. Ideally the team would acquire a middle of the order bat and a top of the rotation arm, but the Reds scored a lot of runs and look to be improved with the kids coming up in place of a number of the marginal guys, I think a key will be how the team approaches CF. If Stubbs is allowed to flounder for 680 PAs again in 2012, he could be a quite a drag on the offense. I'd really like to see the team turn it over to Heisey and Sappelt with Stubbs one of the main guys on the block to acquire a pitcher.

GAC
09-30-2011, 05:15 AM
After such a successful 2010 season I think this FO got "content" going into 2011.

Pitching....

You had Arroyo coming off probably his best season in the majors (17 wins, 3.88 ERA), they're getting a healthy Volquez back, with Cueto, Leake, Bailey, Wood to "solidify" the rotation. Last season, overall, the bullpen did a good job after they cleared out dregs like Owings and Lincoln. Besides Harang, they also let Rhodes go (not a bad move, seeing his 2011). But they went into 2011 with optimism (hope) as far as the pitching went.

Well, that was smashed right off the get-go with Arroyo diagnosed with mono in ST (and I think it effected him most of the year), Cuteo/Bailey start the season on the DL, and Volquez, as well as Chapman, can't find the plate. Your bullpen incurs numerous injuries with guys on/off the DL too.

Offensively.... For a majority of the season you lose your AS 3Bman/clean-up guy/run producer in Rolen. That hurt, and caused a lot of batting order shuffling trying to find an answer. NEWS FLASH! - we don't have one. We shuffled Phillips there - didn't work.

Then we had struggles with lead-off. Stubb's ... .250 BA .329 OB% .373 SLG% .702 OPS, with only 44 BBS and 131 Ks, ain't gonna make it. Again we decide to give Phillips a try there.

Bruce had a better year, but is still a very streaky player.

We had no answer in LF, even after trading away Gomes.

Watching this offense this year was like having a nagging toothache. Did we set the record for men left on base?

The "Janish is our SS" (which most groaned over) proved to be prophetic. As far as Cozart? We'll see how that experiment goes because he is going to be given the job in 2012. They have no other alternatives at this point. Janish will be Cozart's BO next year.

Player performance-wise, the only bright spots for me was Votto (obviously), Leake, and Cueto coming back strong from the DL. The rest was a downer.

Thing clicked for us in 2010. In 2011 we were "snake bit", Murphy's Law, whatever you want to label it. Yeah, we had some injuries; but this FO, regardless of that, has to see they have some glaring holes to fill going into 2011.

Looking at this organization over the last decade or so, one of the knocks on it was their weakness in the farm system (drafting/player development). And they have turned that around which is a good sign. More organizations are following the Billy Beane (Moneyball) model. And I don't say that as a criticism, because I wholeheartedly endorse it. But any more I ask the question - Is it enough? It's understandable that this "model" has objectives of not only "growing your own talent", but also saving money for organizations that don't have those endless financial resources others do. But in order to get to that "next level", which is to win a championship, don't they then have to complement that, to fill those voids the farm system didn't fill, by entering the market and spending money to do so? If you're saving money in other areas, then why aren't you spending (pinpointing) some of it judiciously in a couple others to get you to that point?

And IMO, that is where this organization fails. That's why we end up with the Lewis', Hermedias, Gomes, Renterias, and yes, even a Rolen.

I hope this off-season is a wake-up call to this FO. We do have some solid young talent. But to totally rely on it to be the answer is a miscalculation by this FO IMO.

Ron Madden
09-30-2011, 06:38 AM
Thoughts on the 2011 Reds:

The Starting Pitching was very disappointing and the main reason the club lost more games than it won.

bucksfan2
09-30-2011, 08:16 AM
Leave Jay Bruce out of this.

Seriously, if you speak of production, how can you possibly give Jay Bruce the business? Room to improve? Sure. But he had a good season production-wise.

Why?

You count on young players to improve as they mature. I didn't say that Jay had a poor season nor did I say that he was a bad player. I just think that for a team that counted on him to improve saw him stay stagnant or even take a step back (defensively). Jay's OPS went from .846 in 2010 to .814 in 2011.

I am not saying that he is a bad player at all, just that he did not make the jumps that many of us had expected/wanted.

TRF
09-30-2011, 09:39 AM
Jocketty by no means deserves GM of the year after this past season. But to be honest even if he had added Greinke this team wasnt going to the playoffs with the level of production they got from the likes of Stubbs, Bruce, Volquez, Bailey, Wood, and Massett. All of whom most RZ counted on to improve over their 2010 performance.

Hmm. I have to disagree.

Zach Greinke or Shaun Marcum. I'd have preferred Marcum. 200 IP 3.54 ERA 1.16 WHIP. Plug that into the top of the rotation and suddenly Leake maybe doesn't get demoted. Willis doesn't get a start. Arroyo is the #5. Volquez only gets a handful of starts before being sent down for the year, instead of being rushed back. Wood only a handful of starts until Cueto and Bailey are ready to come back. Marcum eases the load on the bullpen. I'd say compared to what the Reds had as their #5 starter he'd have been worth 5-7 additional wins plus another 2-3 relief wins as the pen is rested. With Marcum... 89 wins.

One hammer in the rotation to go with what was there. Just one.

bucksfan2
09-30-2011, 10:09 AM
Walt Jocketty was the idiot that bet the farm by relying on those idiots to perform well. He was proven wrong. His strategy failed.

The guys that failed were guys most of us were counting on. It didn't work but I don't think any of us saw declines in Bruce and Stubbs. Or how about Chapman and Volquez struggling to find the strike zone? There was a majority of RZ clamoring for Janish to get his chance to start everyday at SS, that worked out well.


At some point a decision to do nothing stops being a strategy. At some point it becomes apparent that doing nothing is actually a failure to accomplish something.

How long do you want to give Jocketty the benefit of the doubt? It has been at least 2 years since he last found a way to improve the team, maybe 3 years if you don't consider spending the entire multi-year free agent budget by giving Chapman $30+ million a smart move just yet. I am just curious how long you are willing to give him? There is no right or wrong answer. I just would like to see how patient you are.

I hear a lot of excuses for Walt, saying there was nothing he could do to improve the team for a multi-year period. But other teams found creative ways to get better. The Cardinals and Brewers certainly found ways to blow past the Reds. Maybe Jocketty could have beaten the Cards and Brewers to those deals? Maybe a more skilled GM could have worked out similar or better deals with other teams? We will never know. All we know is our GM failed to improve the team... Again.

Now. Jocketty got the benefit of the doubt last season. One playoff appearance in 15 years gets you that. Now is time for him to make some improvements to the club. Now you have a better idea of what Volquez, Bailey, Leake, and Cueto bring to the table. Now you have a better idea of what Mesoraco and Alosnso can do. So to answer your question, this off season is make or break for Jocketty to me.

TRF
09-30-2011, 11:57 AM
IMO the OF is set for 2012. Alonso/Heisey, Stubb/Heisey, Bruce. 3B is set with Rolen/Francisco. BP, I think will be signed to a LTC, maybe a 4 year deal. at the very least his option will be picked up. Votto at 1B. SS is Cozart's to lose with Janish as the backup.

Looks like Cordero is going to be offered a contract. Doesn't mean he'll sign. While LeCure was definitely the long man in the pen, it can be argued he was also the best pitcher in the pen. It isn't a stretch to see him as the closer.

But the key is the rotation. C.J. Wilson is a FA. He won't be cheap, and he's not a true #1, but he would make this rotation better. 200 IP from Cueto will be a nice addition, and 180+ IP from Leake, if he can maintain this year's numbers or even improve a little.. Arroyo will be a Red. I hope he gets back to 2010 form. that leaves #5

Volquez/Bailey/Chapman/Wood.

4 guys for one spot assuming a FA acquisition at SP.

Or four for two if Jocketty does nothing. This rotation needs a boost. Wilson, Shields, someone.

Redhook
09-30-2011, 09:24 PM
This rotation needs a boost. Wilson, Shields, someone.

These 8 words sum up the off-season needs. They really need a great pitcher from outside the organization.

cincrazy
09-30-2011, 10:45 PM
IMO the OF is set for 2012. Alonso/Heisey, Stubb/Heisey, Bruce. 3B is set with Rolen/Francisco. BP, I think will be signed to a LTC, maybe a 4 year deal. at the very least his option will be picked up. Votto at 1B. SS is Cozart's to lose with Janish as the backup.

Looks like Cordero is going to be offered a contract. Doesn't mean he'll sign. While LeCure was definitely the long man in the pen, it can be argued he was also the best pitcher in the pen. It isn't a stretch to see him as the closer.

But the key is the rotation. C.J. Wilson is a FA. He won't be cheap, and he's not a true #1, but he would make this rotation better. 200 IP from Cueto will be a nice addition, and 180+ IP from Leake, if he can maintain this year's numbers or even improve a little.. Arroyo will be a Red. I hope he gets back to 2010 form. that leaves #5

Volquez/Bailey/Chapman/Wood.

4 guys for one spot assuming a FA acquisition at SP.

Or four for two if Jocketty does nothing. This rotation needs a boost. Wilson, Shields, someone.

I totally agree, we should resign Paul Wilson in the offseason.

;)

MikeThierry
09-30-2011, 11:42 PM
Looking at this organization over the last decade or so, one of the knocks on it was their weakness in the farm system (drafting/player development). And they have turned that around which is a good sign. More organizations are following the Billy Beane (Moneyball) model. And I don't say that as a criticism, because I wholeheartedly endorse it. But any more I ask the question - Is it enough? It's understandable that this "model" has objectives of not only "growing your own talent", but also saving money for organizations that don't have those endless financial resources others do. But in order to get to that "next level", which is to win a championship, don't they then have to complement that, to fill those voids the farm system didn't fill, by entering the market and spending money to do so? If you're saving money in other areas, then why aren't you spending (pinpointing) some of it judiciously in a couple others to get you to that point?

You bring up an interesting point. I think going all in on the Moneyball/Billy Beane philosophy of building a team to the extreme is the wrong approach. I believe you need a healthy balance of free agents and home grown talent to be successful. We can all point to the Tampa Bay Rays and say "see, they did it with all home grown talent". While that is true, the Rays are almost an exception to the rule and even then they have guys like Damon and Longoria who are steady veterans. If you look at all the playoff teams this year, many of them have high payrolls but they also have a good number of players they developed within their system. I'm not saying that a team solely based on draft and development won't work but it is unlikely that it will.

GAC
10-01-2011, 07:02 AM
We can all point to the Tampa Bay Rays and say "see, they did it with all home grown talent". While that is true, the Rays are almost an exception to the rule and even then they have guys like Damon and Longoria who are steady veterans. If you look at all the playoff teams this year, many of them have high payrolls but they also have a good number of players they developed within their system. I'm not saying that a team solely based on draft and development won't work but it is unlikely that it will.

I agree. And I would also inject - what does one define as success? Is it simply to be "competitive" in the sense you're holding the fan's attention by having a winning record, maybe winning the division, making an appearance in the post-season every so often? Again, all positive things. I'd rather see that then be a perennial "loser" say like the Pirates, K.C. etc who give their fans little hope. But if you're consistently falling short of the goal - and over the last decade only two small market, low payroll teams utilizing sabermetric principles in a cost-effective way have made it to the WS (Marlins, TB) - then what is that "next step" if there is one?

I realize that the "Moneyball" concept does enable small market, payroll constrained organizations a better chance at being competitive, just as the title of the book states "The Art of Winning an Unfair Game". But some of those large market teams are also employing those same sabermetric principles, while also having the added advantage of being able to spend freely to fill voids. So it's still "tilted" or unfair. But there's no crying in baseball. And the only way these smaller market teams, geared to those principles, are going to have any chance of getting to that next level they are going to have to spend at some level, as I stated, judiciously (wisely).

And IMO, the Reds have not done so. But then again, I don't think the "internal" structure of this organization adheres to, or is sold on, the Moneyball (sabermetrics) principles. Jocketty wasn't when with the Cards. Both he and Dusty are old school traditionalists in that sense.