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View Full Version : Time to shore somethings up



corkedbat
06-24-2012, 07:38 PM
Not hitting the panic button, but I believe there are several changes that could be made that could turn this offense into a Juggernaut. While JV is having a fantastic season, I believe (through no fault of his own), it may not be as good as it could have. It's a crime to put guys two guys OBPing around .300 or less ahead of him when higher OBP guys (even .340+) would give JV so many more run-producing opportunities. At the same time, someone who can hit cleanup and give Joey protection to make pitcher's think twice about pitching around him, would do wonders also.

It's kind of odd (and sad) that the one part of the lineup that seems to be hitting on all cylinders may be as capable of upgrading production as any. That this circumstance has existed for two or three years now is downright pitiful.


Top of the order (1st & 2nd):

I would give anything to see Joey hit with a legitimate .360 OBP leaoff hitter ahead of him and someone who could adequately protect him hitting fifth. As for the leadoff spot? A speedy CF who can defend and get on base at a respectable clip would be ideal. Guys like Denard and Spann from Minny or Dexter Fowler from the Rox (even a rental of Victorino from the Phils) would be my top targets I could live with a LH CF spliting time with either Stubbs or Heisey, but I'd be done with the two of them in the lineup at the same time.

If I was successful in landing a CF who can leadoff, I'd bat Brandon behind them. He's only gonna OBP in the .320-.340 range (max), but on this team that is virtually astronomical and he isn't going to be moved further down the lineup than fourth. If I'm wasn't successful, I'd lead Brandon off and bat Hanny second (but that's not happening, so anytime that Stubbs/Heisey is in the lineup, Id hit Cozart 2nd (Heisey/Stubbs would be permanently entrenched in the 7 hole).

Middle of the order (3rd-5th):
Joey in the three hole is a no-brainer. as perfect a fit for that spot as any player in MLB. I'm fine with leaving Bruce and his Jeckyl and Hyde ups and downs in the 5th spot (possibly moving him up a notch when he's one fire). I want someone with more consistency and respect from pitchers behind Joey though. There aren't too many guys who might be available than Josh Willingham, It probably would not be an easy deal to make and maybe even a tougher payroll fit, but I think the payoff would be worth it. There are several other targets who would be lesser fits, but I'd still go after one. I'd talk to the Yanks about Nick Swicher for one and a darkhorse might be Nick Markakis from the O's. I'd get so serious that I'd consider including at least one of Chapman, Hamilton or Corcino for the right guy.

If they can land a cleanup hitter, my in-house solution would be Todd Frazier, but this is a much stronger lineup with Todd hitting sixth.

Bottom of the order (6th-8th):

IMO, Frazier is very strong as a sixth hitter behimd Bruce. He is my 3B form here out with Rolen getting a start or two at the most each week and being a top PH the rest of the time. If Heisey or stubbs is in the lineup they hit seventh. Hopefully they aren't that often and Hannigan/Mesaraco would hit seventh with Cozart eighth. Zach may be able to hit at the top of the order in the near future, but for now, I'm fine with taking the pressure off and batting him eighth.

If they cannot land a cleanup hitter and Frazier moves there, I'd hit Hannigan/Mess sixth ahead of Stubbs/Heisey.

Bench:

No five man bench should ever have three members as anemic as Harris, Cairo and Valdez. Actually though, the Reds bench is more like 4.5 guys because the backup catcher is really only going to be used as a pinch hitter on rare occaisions. The biggest change I would make to the bench would be adding a sixth member. The staff is going deep in most games and the pen as a who;e is pitching well (some really need more work). I think you could go with an 11 man staff and add the extra bat. If you really need another arm you can always make a move with Lousiville just a short drive down I-71. I know it wouldn't be populr, but Chapman would be the odd man out. I either deal him for a big bat or send him to Louisville and put him on the Starter Express.

The reserve SS is probably going to be D-first so I can live with Valdez (as long as he NEVER bats 2nd), although I wouldn't mind giving Janish a shot either. Rolen would takeover Cairo's spot. Whoever remains of Stubbs/Heisey/Ludwick would be the primary RH bat off the bench. The fifth bench spot would be the backup catcher (Hanny/Mes). That leaves one spot. I'd try to land a fifth OF who can hit LH to be the prime LH bat off the bench. Failing that, I'd take a long look at bringing up Navarro as a third C/LH bat. Maybe Beau Miller down the road. Another option might be Danny Dorn (probably not - but I've got a softspot for DD and I think he might be OK as a 5th OF/LH bat).

_Sir_Charles_
06-24-2012, 10:00 PM
Okay, seriously....did I type this?!? :O)

I agree with literally EVERYTHING you typed here. Phillips leading off. Hanny hitting second. Janish or Dorn up? A 3rd catcher to free up Mes/Hanny for PH duties. Shortening the pen in favor of the bench. Sending Chapman to L'ville for starting duties.

Seriously, this is exactly what I've been wanting. It's kinda freaky actually. *grin*

corkedbat
06-24-2012, 11:01 PM
Okay, seriously....did I type this?!? :O)

I agree with literally EVERYTHING you typed here. Phillips leading off. Hanny hitting second. Janish or Dorn up? A 3rd catcher to free up Mes/Hanny for PH duties. Shortening the pen in favor of the bench. Sending Chapman to L'ville for starting duties.

Seriously, this is exactly what I've been wanting. It's kinda freaky actually. *grin*

And your previous posts may well have influenced some of what I posted. I think that's the beauty of a board like this we take out own ideas an add what we read and learn from others.

IMO. this club is fully capable of najubg the playoffs (either as a wildcard or division champion) and maybe even advancing a round, but after that I'm afraid it will take some serious breaks to go beyong that.

I just feel like witha few minor tweeks this roster can be one of the tops in MLB. The priorities to me have to be:

1. Set the table for Joey. Get runners on base at the top of the orderin front of JV. A CF/leadoff abd BP would be solid improvement.

2. Protect JV's butt. Dat Dude has done an admirable job, but a dependable cleanup hitter (moving Phillips ahead of Joey) would be turbo-charging this lineup, IMO.

3. Solidifying the bench. It's inexcusable to have a bench so anemic. Especially one so short. I'd keep one of Cairo, Harris and Valdez. And one of Stubbs/Heisey/Ludwick. Rolen (even in his depleted state) would be an imporvement. I would not remove Frazier from the regular lineup at this point for anything - not mmatter if they acquire anyone new or not. I'd like to see them Keep Heisey as the fourth OF and top RH PH. I'd also add a LH counterpart.

4. Chapman needs to start. I'm not sure that Chapman is a leadpipe cinch as a starter, but he's the closest thing to adding a TOR starter as the Reds are going to get. I love the way this rotation has pitched this season, but if Chapman starts and can come even close to reaching his ceiling I like the chances of this team advancing deeper in the postseason. Cueto, a dominant Chapman, & Latos (if he pulls ot together or Bailey (if he doesn't) could be much more competitive against most other top threes.

I don't think it's a given that develoing a starter will work, but they'll never know until they try and the potential payoff, if successful, is much too fantastic not to try. I don't believe you can do it in the Reds bullpen either. I believe he must go to Lousivlle , get in an every-fifth-day routine and really stretch it out. Even if he isn't ready this season, it'll be a great headstart for next year and you can bring him back to the pen for the pennant drive.

I love watching Chapman come out of the pen and lightup the gun as much as anyone, but I really believe there are enough talented arms here and in L'Ville that this bullpen can be successful w/o Aroldis. Rigjht now, I'm hating the injury to Madson more than ever.

_Sir_Charles_
06-25-2012, 09:09 AM
Only one small disagreement from me. I keep Stubbs and Heisey unless we DO get another CF/LF'er. And that CF/LF'er has to be a legitimate improvement. I've got no problem letting Ludwick hack away for somebody else. The other 2 still have potential and quite a bit of skill. All 3 makes no sense IMO.