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View Full Version : Bruce to CF, Frazier to RF on Votto return?



Dan
08-26-2012, 05:49 AM
This was mentioned by Mark Sheldon on Saturday 's radio broadcast as an idea being kicked around by Reds management. I think it's an interesting solution for how to keep Frazier's bat in the lineup. Ultimately, though, I don't think they'll mess with it this year. At least not on a full time basis. What does everyone else think?

camisadelgolf
08-26-2012, 07:02 AM
The defense would definitely take a hit, but I think it's worth the offensive upgrade from Stubbs to Frazier. The thing that gives me pause is that I think Frazier is due to cool off, and Stubbs is due to heat up. Therefore, I'd only make it a once-in-a-while thing.

AtomicDumpling
08-26-2012, 07:04 AM
This was mentioned by Mark Sheldon on Saturday 's radio broadcast as an idea being kicked around by Reds management. I think it's an interesting solution for how to keep Frazier's bat in the lineup. Ultimately, though, I don't think they'll mess with it this year. At least not on a full time basis. What does everyone else think?

If you have a ground ball pitcher like Leake or Cueto on the mound it is feasible in my opinion. You could do it maybe once a week to get Frazier in the lineup an extra time. Frazier will be playing about 3 times per week at 3rd base, probably once a week at first and once a week in left field. That is five starts. Give Stubbs a break against a tough RH pitcher once in awhile and see how Bruce can handle centerfield.

membengal
08-26-2012, 07:05 AM
I think its a fine idea in GABP. Wouldn't make me very comfortable in potential playoff places like LA or SF for the road games.

oneupper
08-26-2012, 07:12 AM
The defense would definitely take a hit, but I think it's worth the offensive upgrade from Stubbs to Frazier. The thing that gives me pause is that I think Frazier is due to cool off, and Stubbs is due to heat up. Therefore, I'd only make it a once-in-a-while thing.

Baker was asked yesterday about Stubbs' 9th inning single after his golden sombrero. (at the end).

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=24212093&c_id=mlb

It seemed to me that he is very unhappy with Stubbs' hitting. Enough to bench him or demote him in the order? I'm not sure.
Stubbs' been "due" for almost two years now. Fake pregnancy if you ask me.

Vottomatic
08-26-2012, 07:14 AM
Yes, make the change. Atleast until it's a complete disaster.

There have been plenty of other things we didn't think would work out this year that have.

traderumor
08-26-2012, 08:24 AM
Baker shares my sentiments on Stubbs. Time's up. Play Bruce in CF and Frazier in RF for 6-7 innings, get a lead for the bullpen, and bring in defensive replacements of Heisey and Stubbs late. Works for me. Except, I agree that perhaps it isn't quite as tidy in a big ballpark. You might have to go D there, or we'll look like the Phillies outfield.

Raisor
08-26-2012, 08:25 AM
I'd put Frazier in LF and Ludwick in RF. But yes, I would do it. Stubbs can ride the bench and be a defensive replacement

mth123
08-26-2012, 08:31 AM
Redszone was talking about this a while ago IIRC. It wouldn't be every day since Frazier will be playing in other spots, but an occassional start for Bruce in CF in smaller parks against a RHP would be fine. Frazier is a decent OF. If they were doing this 150 games per year, I'd think the extra pitches would pile up on the staff and it would be a horrible idea, but once or twice each week for the rest of 2012 with rosters expanding to bring in a couple extra arms if it causes a high pitch count inning or two, I don't see an issue. I agree that Stubbs should probably be in there in big parks.

Scrap Irony
08-26-2012, 08:47 AM
Love it.

There's little chance Bruce's defense is poor enough to offset the 200 point boost Frazier offers as a better bat. Too, this may move Phillips up to leadoff, which would further strengthen the lineup:
Phillips 2B
Cozart SS
Votto 1B
Ludwick RF
Bruce CF
Frazier LF
Rolen 3B
Hanigan C

Sub in Stubbs' glove late in games as parts of double switches and play he and Heisey (who's a much better hitter and decent enough glove) a couple days a week as Rolen needs a blow.

As an added bonus, this may make Bruce a perennial All-Star. He'll get a HUGE WAR boost simply for playing the CF position.

mth123
08-26-2012, 09:14 AM
Love it.

There's little chance Bruce's defense is poor enough to offset the 200 point boost Frazier offers as a better bat. Too, this may move Phillips up to leadoff, which would further strengthen the lineup:
Phillips 2B
Cozart SS
Votto 1B
Ludwick RF
Bruce CF
Frazier LF
Rolen 3B
Hanigan C

Sub in Stubbs' glove late in games as parts of double switches and play he and Heisey (who's a much better hitter and decent enough glove) a couple days a week as Rolen needs a blow.

As an added bonus, this may make Bruce a perennial All-Star. He'll get a HUGE WAR boost simply for playing the CF position.

Agreed. There is no question in isolation that this move makes a better team, but I wouldn't understate the impact those extra pitches have on the health of the staff as they pile up over a season. Its a non-issue for the rest of this year though. Next year, Frazier plays 3B and hopefully a new CF is acquired in the offseason.

757690
08-26-2012, 09:29 AM
Have people seen Bruce in right this year? No way I want that defense in center, ever... never ever.

Have people seen Frazier in left this year? No way I want that defense in right, ever... Never ever.

This team is 26 games over .500 and in first by 7 games because of their run prevention. Messing with that is just plain stupid.

camisadelgolf
08-26-2012, 09:36 AM
If you ask me, Frazier's a better left fielder than he is a third baseman (and he's not a bad third baseman). I'm fine with him out there. But I do agree that Bruce has a lost a step or two since his debut. Having him in center might be more of a detriment than we realize.

mth123
08-26-2012, 09:39 AM
Have people seen Bruce in right this year? No way I want that defense in center, ever... never ever.

Have people seen Frazier in left this year? No way I want that defense in right, ever... Never ever.

This team is 26 games over .500 and in first by 7 games because of their run prevention. Messing with that is just plain stupid.

I think you are overstating the case on Frazier. He's a decent defensive OF. Probably better out there than at 3B. I might agree on Bruce, but wouldn't mind seeing it once or twice each week. I'd rather see them get a real CF over the next few days.

Bruce' issues have been more brainlocks though. His range seems fine though may be a bit of an issue in CF. Its not like he's going to be 2005 Griffey out there.

Raisor
08-26-2012, 09:44 AM
I would go:

Phillips
Bruce
Votto
Ludwick
Frazier
Rolen
Cozart
Catchers

That is a top notch lineup

mth123
08-26-2012, 09:44 AM
I would go:

Phillips
Bruce
Votto
Ludwick
Frazier
Rolen
Cozart
Catchers

That is a top notch lineup

I'd swap Bruce and Frazier.

_Sir_Charles_
08-26-2012, 09:45 AM
Have people seen Bruce in right this year? No way I want that defense in center, ever... never ever.

Have people seen Frazier in left this year? No way I want that defense in right, ever... Never ever.

This team is 26 games over .500 and in first by 7 games because of their run prevention. Messing with that is just plain stupid.

I agree somewhat. Bruce in right has been fine. He's had a couple of bad games but overall he's been very good IMO.

But sacrificing defense at this point is pretty silly IMO. It's one of the main things that's gotten us where we are right now. Sure the pitching staff is going great...but how much of that is due to the defense? A lot I think.

757690
08-26-2012, 09:49 AM
I think you are overstating the case on Frazier. He's a decent defensive OF. Probably better out there than at 3B. I might agree on Bruce, but wouldn't mind seeing it once or twice each week. I'd rather see them get a real CF over the next few days.

Bruce' issues have been more brainlocks though. His range seems fine though may be a bit of an issue in CF. Its not like he's going to be 2005 Griffey out there.

One or two days a week wouldn't be terrible, if done smartly, I agree. But I have a hard time remembering a playoff team that didn't have a true CF for most of their games.

Raisor
08-26-2012, 09:52 AM
I agree somewhat. Bruce in right has been fine. He's had a couple of bad games but overall he's been very good IMO.

But sacrificing defense at this point is pretty silly IMO. It's one of the main things that's gotten us where we are right now. Sure the pitching staff is going great...but how much of that is due to the defense? A lot I think.

If Stubbs had any ability to get on base at this point I would probably agree, but the difference between he and Frazier on offense is just HUGE.

mth123
08-26-2012, 09:59 AM
One or two days a week wouldn't be terrible, if done smartly, I agree. But I have a hard time remembering a playoff team that didn't have a true CF for most of their games.

If Frazier plays 3B 2 or 3 times each week and maybe gets a start for Ludwick and/or Votto, he's probably is already in there 4 times per week. No way this will be more than once or twice weekly. Once you remove the day to day accumulation of the extra baserunners and extra pitches off the pitching staff from the equation, most of the downside is gone and it really does become more an exercise in run creation vs. run prevention and match-ups. I think that would favor sitting Stubbs more often.

Chip R
08-26-2012, 10:08 AM
Frazier plays a barely adequate 1B and now people expect him to play RF?

757690
08-26-2012, 10:08 AM
Stubbs at this point has been a 1.5 win player this season, and that's with him being a neutral defender according to UZR. He's really not hurting the team as much as people think. He looks like he is at times, but overall he's just been slightly below average.

Kc61
08-26-2012, 10:16 AM
One of the big changes that helped turn the Reds into contenders was outfield defense.

I don't see the Reds reverting to a subpar outfield defensively.

Oh, when Votto is back, they might try this once or twice. But not as a regular matter.

I wouldn't be shocked if the Reds picked up another CF in a waiver deal next week, although it's tough because other teams can block these moves by putting in a waiver claim. I'm thinking of someone who might share the position with Stubbs for the rest of this season.

jojo
08-26-2012, 10:19 AM
Have people seen Bruce in right this year? No way I want that defense in center, ever... never ever.

Have people seen Frazier in left this year? No way I want that defense in right, ever... Never ever.

This team is 26 games over .500 and in first by 7 games because of their run prevention. Messing with that is just plain stupid.

I agree the suggestion would downgrade the defense significantly.

Scrap Irony
08-26-2012, 10:25 AM
Stubbs at this point has been a 1.5 win player this season, and that's with him being a neutral defender according to UZR. He's really not hurting the team as much as people think. He looks like he is at times, but overall he's just been slightly below average.

Stubbs ranks dead last among all qualified CF in WAR. He gets the bump because of his position, not because he's been great. Or good. Or acceptable. Or even less than acceptable.

Bruce, in CF, would be a 5.0 WAR player, or thereabouts.

mth123
08-26-2012, 10:31 AM
Stubbs at this point has been a 1.5 win player this season, and that's with him being a neutral defender according to UZR. He's really not hurting the team as much as people think. He looks like he is at times, but overall he's just been slightly below average.

Just proves that WAR is flawed IMO.

Stubbs is at .227/.292/.372/.664 playing in the best hitting environment in the NL. His OPS+ is 74. If he really is a neutral defender, that just isn't a starting caliber player.

I think years of watching Griffey cover a 2 foot square followed by Corey Patterson and Willy Taveras has people with too low a bar for CF. Stubbs is better than those guys, but he is not a starting caliber player IMO. Sitting him twice per week might just make him better on the days he does play. Some guys are just better in small doses.

For comparison sake, Rick Ankiel was released with a line of .228/.282/.411/.694 for an OPS+ of 87 and he's a better defender.

oneupper
08-26-2012, 10:44 AM
Stubbs can start vs. LHP not named Jaime Garcia. No prob. (.839 OPS vs. LHP)
Stubbs can start vs. the Astros and other AA pitchers. No prob.

Its the rest of the games which are up for debate. And that includes the playoffs where he will be facing elite pitchers.

Of course, you can always reduce the impact of his terrible bat vs. RHP by dropping him down in the order. From 2nd to 7th he gets almost a full 1 PA per game less. But I think I've heard that idea a few times before around here. :)

jojo
08-26-2012, 10:45 AM
Bruce, in CF, would be a 5.0 WAR player, or thereabouts.

That's not really true.

Assuming he started the entire season to date in CF, he'd get an additional .8 WAR of value due to the position adjustment because he'd be in a more valuable position so he'd be about a 3.3 WAR player. That said, he's been a -3 run defender in the corner. You'd expect his defensive value to take a hit if he had played the entire season in center (generally it's a 10 run ding to move from the corner to CF, that's the point of the position adjustment) so his WAR would be expected to take a hit. In other words, 3.5 WAR would be the most optimistic estimate.

RedsMan3203
08-26-2012, 10:51 AM
Its a good problem to have at this point....

I think the Reds will be able to play around with the idea the final 2 weeks of the season to see how it works...

I still think Bruce's D is under rated by a few people were at The Zone....

But, if you go to a huge ball park like SF... Stubbs has to start... Period.

Scrap Irony
08-26-2012, 10:58 AM
That's not really true.

...3.5 WAR would be the most optimistic estimate.

So far. Add in the 0.8 bump he would receive as a CF. Add in another 0.7 WAR he would make as he improves and for the rest of the season.

There's your 5.0 WAR.

jojo
08-26-2012, 11:02 AM
Just proves that WAR is flawed IMO.

No. it actually shows that WAR does exactly what one would hope it would do.

According to the numbers, Stubbs has been a neutral defensive CFer this season thus far. In this offensive down year, an average major league bat has posted .255/.319/.406; OPS=.726 good for a wOBA of .316. So Stubbs' bat has been -6.2 runs below average given his playing time thus far. But given his defense and the position he plays, that essentially makes him a roughly average major league player.

In other words, being one of the best defenders on the field (even if you're just average for your position) while being a tick below average offensively is still a useful thing.

If Stubbs is proof of anything, his season thus far is proof that WAR works very well.

jojo
08-26-2012, 11:04 AM
So far. Add in the 0.8 bump he would receive as a CF. Add in another 0.7 WAR he would make as he improves and for the rest of the season.

There's your 5.0 WAR.

Where does the improvement "value come from? The .8 bump from position was already added in. Also, you're ignoring the pothole that should be expected related to his defense.

Scrap Irony
08-26-2012, 11:20 AM
Were Bruce to play an entire season in CF, it would be next season. Almost all players who come into the league as young as Bruce and put up the numbers he's put up so far see a fairly big bump in production at the age (and experience level) Bruce will be in 2013 or 2014. (Only two of his 10 most similar batters, according to B-R, dropped over those two years, while six took major leaps forward in OPS+. One was injured and never again the same. One stayed just about the same.)

I assume the "pothole" he might be defensively wouldn't be all that bad, as most of his negative value doesn't come from a lack of range, but errors and brain locks. His lifetime range factor is well above average for a RF and in fact is pretty close to an average CF.

(Not that I think he'll be an average CF. He'll be below average. But both Ludwick and Frazier are better than average and will help mitigate that slight problem. And his production as a CF would pretty clearly outshine Stubbs' production. Which, of course, is the biggest reason why this makes sense. It improves the team by a wide margin.)

mth123
08-26-2012, 11:20 AM
No. it actually shows that WAR does exactly what one would hope it would do.

According to the numbers, Stubbs has been a neutral defensive CFer this season thus far. In this offensive down year, an average major league bat has posted .255/.319/.406; OPS=.726 good for a wOBA of .316. So Stubbs' bat has been -6.2 runs below average given his playing time thus far. But given his defense and the position he plays, that essentially makes him a roughly average major league player.

In other words, being one of the best defenders on the field (even if you're just average for your position) while being a tick below average offensively is still a useful thing.

If Stubbs is proof of anything, his season thus far is proof that WAR works very well.

Average includes pitchers, back-up infielders and journeyman who lower the bar by piling up PAs starting for crummy teams or as an injury fill in. These players should not be pertinent to the evaluation of Stubbs' worthines to play CF every day. The bar should be higher for a starting player who gets 600 PAs. I'm not saying Stubbs can't be a major league role player who starts against LHP, pinch runs and comes in late for defense. But he's not a starting caliber player IMO.

It could be that my issue is more that people are just using WAR wrong (as frequently occurs with stats). I know WAR is measured against replacement players and probably would be OK if the scale was used properly. Just because a guy has a WAR above zero, it doesn't make them a starting caliber major leaguer. It may mean he belongs on a roster, but what is the expected WAR for some one who is supposed to be in there playing every day? If it shows that Stubbs 1.5 WAR should be playing as was asserted, then its flawed. If you say that measured against a replacement player a guy should have 2.5 to 3 WAR to be a solid starter, then I might back off. The assertion was that because Stubbs has a 1.5 WAR, he deseves to play. I say that he gets that mostly by playing a certain position and being an average defender. I think we could find lots of average defenders to play CF in the minor leagues, so that alone isn't enough. If we could bring up Felix Perez and he plays a decent CF and plays the position alot while not hitting much, he'd have a 1.5 WAR too. That's my issue, it seems that a guy just needs to play a certain spot the way many minor leaguers could to accumulate WAR values. How does that make 1.5 different from zero if there are plenty of minor league players who could do the same thing readily available? Isn't that what WAR is measuring? In Stubbs case, I think there are guys who could play his caliber of defense and hit poorly. Stubbs accumulates WAR with playing time in CF. Its not because he's better, it's because he was a first round pick.

Kc61
08-26-2012, 11:44 AM
(Not that I think he'll be an average CF. He'll be below average. But both Ludwick and Frazier are better than average and will help mitigate that slight problem. And his production as a CF would pretty clearly outshine Stubbs' production. Which, of course, is the biggest reason why this makes sense. It improves the team by a wide margin.)

Ludwick has a -6.8 UZR/150 rating. Alfonso Soriano is +20.2 this year, just as a comparison. Soriano leads qualified left fielders.

Tom Servo
08-26-2012, 11:47 AM
I'm not crazy about lowering the outfield defense ability, but to be able to have Votto/Ludwick/Bruce/Rolen/Frazier all in the lineup, as well as BP/Cozart/Hanigan...I think I'd do it.

Patrick Bateman
08-26-2012, 11:51 AM
I think the idea works as a strict platoon.

Stubbs is a great regular against lefties, as he hits them (.840 career OPS) and can field the position. You don't move that out of the starting line-up as that's where he accumulates bascally all of his value.

However, Stubbs looks pretty bad against righties no matter how you slice it. It helps you can field the position, but he's almost a replacement level player against righties.

I'm fine giving this idea a chance assuming Bruce's defense in CF and Frazier's defense in right isn't completely disgustingly bad. If they can make the transition somewhat adequately, I think the sum of the parts might improve the Reds a bit, however, I don't think it's as big an upgrade as people think due to the likely defensive decline.

Reds Fanatic
08-26-2012, 11:52 AM
I'm not crazy about lowering the outfield defense ability, but to be able to have Votto/Ludwick/Bruce/Rolen/Frazier all in the lineup, as well as BP/Cozart/Hanigan...I think I'd do it.

Yes I think I would do it too and you could always put Stubbs in as a late inning defensive replacement in center.

I would like this lineup:

Phillips 2B
Cozart SS
Votto 1B
Ludwick LF
Bruce CF
Frazier RF
Rolen 3B
Hanigan C

On the days Rolen needs a rest you put Frazier in a 3rd and Stubbs/Heisey in center and bat them 7th.

cincrazy
08-26-2012, 11:55 AM
Why not at least try it? What do we have to lose?

Patrick Bateman
08-26-2012, 11:58 AM
Why not at least try it? What do we have to lose?

Well, if both guys turn out to be horrendous defensive players at their new positions, the answer would be "more baseball games".

mth123
08-26-2012, 12:01 PM
The Reds played Alonso in LF last year and he was a horrendus defender, but it still had a positive impact on the team. I don't think the defesnive downgrade would be nearly as much and the offensive boost probably a lot bigger given the guys who would be losing the PAs.

jojo
08-26-2012, 12:01 PM
Average includes pitchers, back-up infielders and journeyman who lower the bar by piling up PAs starting for crummy teams or as an injury fill in. These players should not be pertinent to the evaluation of Stubbs' worthines to play CF every day. The bar should be higher for a starting player who gets 600 PAs. I'm not saying Stubbs can't be a major league role player who starts against LHP, pinch runs and comes in late for defense. But he's not a starting caliber player IMO.

It could be that my issue is more that people are just using WAR wrong (as frequently occurs with stats). I know WAR is measured against replacement players and probably would be OK if the scale was used properly. Just because a guy has a WAR above zero, it doesn't make them a starting caliber major leaguer. It may mean he belongs on a roster, but what is the expected WAR for some one who is supposed to be in there playing every day? If it shows that Stubbs 1.5 WAR should be playing as was asserted, then its flawed. If you say that measured against a replacement player a guy should have 2.5 to 3 WAR to be a solid starter, then I might back off. The assertion was that because Stubbs has a 1.5 WAR, he deseves to play. I say that he gets that mostly by playing a certain position and being an average defender. I think we could find lots of average defenders to play CF in the minor leagues, so that alone isn't enough. If we could bring up Felix Perez and he plays a decent CF and plays the position alot while not hitting much, he'd have a 1.5 WAR too. That's my issue, it seems that a guy just needs to play a certain spot the way many minor leaguers could to accumulate WAR values. How does that make 1.5 different from zero if there are plenty of minor league players who could do the same thing readily available? Isn't that what WAR is measuring? In Stubbs case, I think there are guys who could play his caliber of defense and hit poorly. Stubbs accumulates WAR with playing time in CF. Its not because he's better, it's because he was a first round pick.

A major league average player pretty much is a legit starting player. What you're suggesting about WAR isn't really an issue. Playing a certain spot like any minor minor leaguer is replacement level. Stubbs' bat has been below average but it's been significantly better than the bat of "any minor leaguer".

I'm not saying the Reds couldn't upgrade CF. Clearly CF has not been a strength this season relative to other CFers.

I'm simply pointing out that upgrading CF by rearranging the outfield with Bruce sliding to center and Frazier manning a corner will also have an associated cost as the defense is likely to take a noticeable hit which is going to impact the pitching staff.

Right now the Reds team ERA is abut 30-35 pts lower than it's FIP/xFIP. Guys like Bronson, Latos and Homer all have lower ERAs that fall with that range (Cueto's difference is slightly bigger). You'd expect a significant reduction in outfield defense to raise the ERA (tighten the differences).

In other words, RS could improve but RA would likely blunt the advantage. There was a time when I would have argued that Bruce could be a passable CFer. I'd argue it's a fairly risky move in 2012 considering his last 2500 or so defensive innings where he's beginning to show a lesser range than his corner peers. He might be a double digit bad defensive CFer over a season.

Meanwhile Stubbs' unimpressive neutral defense currently makes him the 6th most valuable defensive CFer in the game this season.

Kc61
08-26-2012, 12:06 PM
The Reds played Alonso in LF last year and he was a horrendus defender, but it still had a positive impact on the team. I don't think the defesnive downgrade would be nearly as much and the offensive boost probably a lot bigger given the guys who would be losing the PAs.

LF is one thing. CF is another.

I think the day of the Reds playing corner outfielders in CF are over. They value CF too much. Agree with Jojo's post above.

Most teams are willing to play subpar LFers defensively. Looking at the UZR rating, it's arguable that Ludwick has been below average.

But CF is another story. I don't think the Reds will do this, particularly so late in the year. I don't think they want to start putting Bruce in a new, important defensive position right now.

Maybe we'll see more of Heisey, like today. Long shot, Reds try to get a CFer on a waiver trade, but again it's a long shot.

mth123
08-26-2012, 12:08 PM
A major league average player pretty much is a legit starting player.

This is where I think we've watered down what a starting player should be. If he's average, and average includes back-ups, pitchers and the like, he's got to be below average as capable starters go.

mth123
08-26-2012, 12:12 PM
LF is one thing. CF is another.

I think the day of the Reds playing corner outfielders in CF are over. They value CF too much. Agree with Jojo's post above.

Most teams are willing to play subpar LFers defensively. Looking at the UZR rating, it's arguable that Ludwick has been below average.

But CF is another story. I don't think the Reds will do this, particularly so late in the year. I don't think they want to start putting Bruce in a new, important defensive position right now.

Maybe we'll see more of Heisey, like today. Long shot, Reds try to get a CFer on a waiver trade, but again it's a long shot.

Completely agree that LF is one thing and CF is something else, I just have a hard time belieiving that Bruce in CF and Frazier in RF will accumulate to as big a drop as the team took defensively with Alonso in LF. He was't just poor, he was absolutely brutal. I can't believe the combo proposed would give away more bases than Alonso did on his own in 2011.

cincrazy
08-26-2012, 12:39 PM
Well, if both guys turn out to be horrendous defensive players at their new positions, the answer would be "more baseball games".

Did I say stick with it if it doesn't work? Would a one week trial really lead to the end of our season? Stubbs is awful in center right now. Fact. This team should be willing to think outside the box to try and solve holes. If it doesn't work, then kill the idea. But I don't see the harm in trying it.

reds44
08-26-2012, 01:42 PM
It's not like it has to be permanent. Do it on a trail basis. If Bruce's or Frazier's defense isn't satisfactory, then scratch the idea.

I'm all for it. I'd play Ludwick in RF though.

Phillips
Cozart
Votto
Ludwick
Bruce
Frazier
Rolen
Catcher

Patrick Bateman
08-26-2012, 01:59 PM
Did I say stick with it if it doesn't work? Would a one week trial really lead to the end of our season? Stubbs is awful in center right now. Fact. This team should be willing to think outside the box to try and solve holes. If it doesn't work, then kill the idea. But I don't see the harm in trying it.

I simply answered the question that you presented.

It's just when I hear "what's the worst that can happen", the answer that I feel that isn't considered is "losing more baseball games". I didn't say that was the end of the world, I just honestly didn't think some people considered that the offensive upgrade in one position might be outweighed by the defensive downgrade at two positions.

It's not fact that Stubbs is "awful". He's essentialyl a league average player. If every player on the Reds was as good as Stubbs, they would not be a good team. At the same time, every contending team has a guy in their line-up who is providing the same value, or worse than Stubbs.

I think the answer is a strict platoon. The trial should be purely against righties, where Bruce and Frazier don't need to be good fielders at their new positions to come out just roughly even.

reds44
08-26-2012, 02:00 PM
I simply answered the question that you presented.

It's just when I hear "what's the worst that can happen", the answer that I feel that isn't considered is "losing more baseball games". I didn't say that was the end of the world, I just honestly didn't think some people considered that the offensive upgrade in one position might be outweighed by the defensive downgrade at two positions.

It's not fact that Stubbs is "awful". He's essentialyl a league average player. If every player on the Reds was as good as Stubbs, they would not be a good team. At the same time, every contending team has a guy in their line-up who is providing the same value, or worse than Stubbs.

I think the answer is a strict platoon. The trial should be purely against righties, where Bruce and Frazier don't need to be good fielders at their new positions to come out just roughly even.
No. Drew Stubbs is bad. Just, no.

Patrick Bateman
08-26-2012, 02:17 PM
No. Drew Stubbs is bad. Just, no.

Thanks for the input.

There's no question he is an awful hitter against right handed pitchers (which is unfortunately the biggest piece of the puzzle for an everyday player). And also does so in an ugly fashion.

But the rest his game (ie. hitting vs lefties, fielding, plays an important position, base running) are all average or better.

That's what makes him "not an awful player". He just needs to be used in positions to succeed (ie. starts against lefties, and relieves Frazier as defensive sub late in games to get an ideal defensive alignment to clsoe out games). If used correctly, he's a great platoon guy, and 4th outfielder when he doesnt play.

Vottomatic
08-26-2012, 02:21 PM
Days like yesterday make me angry at Dusty for putting Stubbs 2nd in the order. And I'm sure it makes other fans mad too.

He struggled the night before and looked clueless all day until he finally connected later on. I know many players look clueless at times, but Stubbs looks clueless most of the time...........as evidenced by him leading the league in K's last year.

When you glance over at the Cardinals lineup and see their top 4 guys in the lineup batting over .300 with good OBP's, it's hard not to get even more upset at the placement of Stubbs batting 2nd. Drives me nuts.

reds44
08-26-2012, 02:25 PM
Thanks for the input.

There's no question he is an awful hitter against right handed pitchers (which is unfortunately the biggest piece of the puzzle for an everyday player). And also does so in an ugly fashion.

But the rest his game (ie. hitting vs lefties, fielding, plays an important position, base running) are all average or better.

That's what makes him "not an awful player". He just needs to be used in positions to succeed (ie. starts against lefties, and relieves Frazier as defensive sub late in games to get an ideal defensive alignment to clsoe out games). If used correctly, he's a great platoon guy, and 4th outfielder when he doesnt play.
His UZR 150 for his career:
2009: 22.9
2010: 0.8
2011: -2.2
2012: -0.2

He's an average defender. He has a .595 OPS against RHP. He has no business playing against right handed pitchers, ever.

You called him league average and if every player was Drew Stubbs the Reds would be a good team. No. If every player was Drew Stubbs the Reds would be an average defensive team who never hit RHP.

I'm not saying cut the guy. If the Reds do play Bruce in CF, whenever the Reds have a lead Stubbs is going to come in and play CF with Bruce going back to RF. But overall, he's a bad player.

Brutus
08-26-2012, 02:30 PM
I'm not crazy about this idea, especially over the course of a long season, but in the short term, I think it's an experiment worth trying for a few games to see if it works. If it does, play out the rest of the season against RHP with it. Stubbs hits lefties well enough I'd keep him in there on those days, and take that opportunity once in a while to give Votto a rest or Scott Rolen one of his days off.

If it doesn't work, the strategy could be abandoned rather easily.

Patrick Bateman
08-26-2012, 02:30 PM
His UZR 150 for his career:
2009: 22.9
2010: 0.8
2011: -2.2
2012: -0.2

He's an average defender.

I said "average of better".


He has a .595 OPS against RHP. He has no business playing against right handed pitchers, ever.

I said he is a terrible hitter against righties.


You called him league average

Rememeber, I didn't say "starter", I said "player" On pace for around 1.5 WAR, which is at worst, comprable with past seasons, it's a true statement.


and if every player was Drew Stubbs the Reds would be a good team.

You need to re-read my post. That is not what I said. I think you went into my post wanting to find something to disagree with, because it seems you aren't even reading my posts.

reds44
08-26-2012, 02:31 PM
If every player on the Reds was as good as Stubbs, they would not be a good team.

Whoops, missed the "not" part of that. Haha. My bad.

Patrick Bateman
08-26-2012, 02:32 PM
?

Are you even reading that quote? Seriously?

Try actually reading it.

Patrick Bateman
08-26-2012, 02:36 PM
All I'm saying, it that I think some are not recognizing how bad the defense could be with Frazier in RF (a positon I'm not aware he's ever played before), and Bruce in CF (he projects to be bad in CF considering he's beena bout average in RF).

Combined with the fact that Frazier is currently overachieving, we may not be fitting in a bat that isn't a lot more than a true talent .820 OPS.

Lastly, having these guys put extra effort to work on new defensive positions this late in the season could make them lose focus on their overall hitting. I'm fine trying the idea, I just don't think the overall reward is THAT high, and I wish they had more time remaining in the season for Bruce and Frazier to work on things.

Brutus
08-26-2012, 02:41 PM
All I'm saying, it that I think some are not recognizing how bad the defense could be with Frazier in RF (a positon I'm not aware he's ever played before), and Bruce in CF (he projects to be bad in CF considering he's beena bout average in RF).

Combined with the fact that Frazier is currently overachieving, we may not be fitting in a bat that isn't a lot more than a true talent .820 OPS.

Lastly, having these guys put extra effort to work on new defensive positions this late in the season could make them lose focus on their overall hitting. I'm fine trying the idea, I just don't think the overall reward is THAT high, and I wish they had more time remaining in the season for Bruce and Frazier to work on things.

It's not really much of an adjustment playing right versus playing left, or playing center versus playing right. There is no reason a major league player shouldn't be able to adjust to a different outfield position. Some might simply not have the tools to play center or right, but it's not like they have to do much different.

If they do this, I hope Frazier is in left and Ludwick is in right but beyond that, it's worth trying, I suppose.

reds44
08-26-2012, 02:43 PM
It's not like Bruce has never played CF, either.

Plus Plus
08-26-2012, 05:12 PM
It's not like Bruce has never played CF, either.

Frazier has played SS.
Votto has played LF, RF, and C.
Ludwick has played CF.
Valdez has pitched.
Arredondo has played SS.

It is much less about whether or not somebody has played a position before, and much more about if the team will be better as a whole with players playing positions that they haven't sniffed in 4+ seasons. Again, as I said repeatedly in the Choo and Pence trade rumor threads, this is a team that has come out and said that they are dedicated to defense on the field, and there is no equation that has Bruce in CF that fits that philosophy.

Baseball is really hard already- do we really need it to be even harder with players playing out of position?

Brutus
08-26-2012, 05:16 PM
Frazier has played SS.
Votto has played LF, RF, and C.
Ludwick has played CF.
Valdez has pitched.
Arredondo has played SS.

It is much less about whether or not somebody has played a position before, and much more about if the team will be better as a whole with players playing positions that they haven't sniffed in 4+ seasons. Again, as I said repeatedly in the Choo and Pence trade rumor threads, this is a team that has come out and said that they are dedicated to defense on the field, and there is no equation that has Bruce in CF that fits that philosophy.

Baseball is really hard already- do we really need it to be even harder with players playing out of position?

The mechanics of playing a different outfield position doesn't really change too much. It's mostly just a matter of having the physical skills to do it successfully (i.e. having the range to play center, the arm to play right, etc.)

Over the course of a full season, a Frazier-Bruce-Ludwick outfield is probably not a good idea. But in one month, it might work.

Plus Plus
08-26-2012, 05:19 PM
The mechanics of playing a different outfield position doesn't really change too much. It's mostly just a matter of having the physical skills to do it successfully (i.e. having the range to play center, the arm to play right, etc.)

Over the course of a full season, a Frazier-Bruce-Ludwick outfield is probably not a good idea. But in one month, it might work.

Is there any evidence that Bruce would be able to play center at a passable MLB level?

The fact that he hasn't been there since 2008 but a backup middle infielder has says a lot about that.

Wonderful Monds
08-26-2012, 05:22 PM
Is there any evidence that Bruce would be able to play center at a passable MLB level?

The fact that he hasn't been there since 2008 but a backup middle infielder has says a lot about that.

Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. Dusty likes for the regular guys to have regular spots, both in the field and in the lineup. It's a big thing with him. Therefore, I think he would be more inclined to play one of the backups in a more unfamiliar spot than risking disrupting one of the everyday players routines.

Brutus
08-26-2012, 05:24 PM
Is there any evidence that Bruce would be able to play center at a passable MLB level?

The fact that he hasn't been there since 2008 but a backup middle infielder has says a lot about that.

I don't think it says anything about it other than they prefer him in right field because he has one of the best arms in baseball and so that's his best position. But in this case, maybe the Reds view this as having someone capable of justifying being out of an ideal position because of their bat, so they might see this as an opportunity to win more games down the stretch.

Plus Plus
08-26-2012, 05:32 PM
So what evidence is there that Bruce could succeed in CF, outside of the fact that he played CF in the minors and for 35 games five season ago?

I really see this as a fantasy baseball square pegs and round holes situation.

Raisor
08-26-2012, 05:33 PM
Over the last 35 games, Frazier would be worth an extra 10 runs over Stubbs on offense.

Question becomes, is that worth the drop off in defense.

Stubbs averages just over 2 Total Chances per game.

jojo
08-26-2012, 05:50 PM
The important consideration is wht might Frazier be worth compared to Stubbs over the next 30+ games. ZIPs projects Frazier would be worth about 2.4 runs more than Stubbs.

Over 30 games, Bruce in CF and Frazier in the corner probably looks like -5 runs.

So for this to work one needs to expect no regression from Frazier's or Stubbs' bats.

Raisor
08-26-2012, 06:18 PM
Based on their stats before today's game, Stubbs has created 0.107 runs per TPA while Frazier has created 0.172 per TPA. Figure 4.5 TPA per games for the remaining of the season and Frazier would be at 26.18 runs created vs Stubbs' 16.32.

jojo
08-26-2012, 06:24 PM
Based on their stats before today's game, Stubbs has created 0.107 runs per TPA while Frazier has created 0.172 per TPA. Figure 4.5 TPA per games for the remaining of the season and Frazier would be at 26.18 runs created vs Stubbs' 16.32.

And again that only happens if neither player regresses (I.e Frazier continues to be this good and Stubbs continues to be this bad).

mth123
08-26-2012, 07:09 PM
And again that only happens if neither player regresses (I.e Frazier continues to be this good and Stubbs continues to be this bad).

I've been saying for a long time that Stubbs just doesn't have the ability to make the adjustments and he profiles as a player who will continue to get worse as his career goes on. That is a pretty typical path for a lot of players who come up and look pretty good at first, level off and start to decline as the league adjusts. Its why many guys careers come to an end long before the birth certificate says that it should. I don't know that Frazier won't regress (I'd guess he will but maybe not this year), but I'm pretty confident that Stubbs won't improve and more likely will continue his downward spiral. I'd guess that Stubbs will be a minor leaguer by his 30th birthday. I don't think ZIPS can account for that real world decline that Stubbs is in the middle of. Stubbs 2009 and 2010 have influence on the projections but are really meaningless when it comes to what we should expect from Stubbs. ZIPS might be right about Frazier, but I'm betting its way too optimisric concerning Stubbs.

Roy Tucker
08-26-2012, 07:34 PM
And again that only happens if neither player regresses (I.e Frazier continues to be this good and Stubbs continues to be this bad).

I don't have stats to back me up, but I think we have a pretty good idea as to what kind of player Stubbs is. Pretty good (but not great) defense and I think mth123 hit it on the head as to where he is as a hitter.

With Frazier proving he is an everyday player and I think Stubbs has shown he isn't, I think the time has come to at least platoon Stubbs, start him against lefties and use him as a late inning defensive replacement. I wish Dusty would put Stubbs down at #8 hole so his hitting deficiencies aren't so critical. Hitting #1 or #2, he just seems to be up at the worst possible times.

Shuffle the OF a bit, use Bruce in CF once in a while, start Heisey once a week, and give the bulk of the ABs to Bruce, Frazier, and Ludwick. They are the guys that can hit consistently. The defense will drop a bit, but the offense will perk up quite a bit.

Vottomatic
08-26-2012, 07:37 PM
I find it funny that the Cardinals seem to move guys around to new positions (Schumaker to 2B) and not think twice about it. Yet moving Bruce to CF, a position he played extensively in his career up until 2008 is an issue.

Plus Plus
08-26-2012, 07:52 PM
I find it funny that the Cardinals seem to move guys around to new positions (Schumaker to 2B) and not think twice about it. Yet moving Bruce to CF, a position he played extensively in his career up until 2008 is an issue.

Schumaker has been basically horrible at 2B, which would fit my expectations for Bruce ca. 2012 in center field pretty closely.

Raisor
08-26-2012, 08:10 PM
Schumaker has been basically horrible at 2B, which would fit my expectations for Bruce ca. 2012 in center field pretty closely.

2 total chances per game.

exactly how bad do you think he'll be?

Plus Plus
08-26-2012, 08:18 PM
2 total chances per game.

exactly how bad do you think he'll be?

I overstated my point in my last post. I don't see the Reds playing a UZR-neutral RF in CF and a negative-UZR LF in RF with a converted infielder in LF since they have stated several times in the last year(s) that defense is a priority for the team. Maybe if this were MLB2K12, but not in MLB when you are trying to win the division.

Baseball is won on the margins because of its random variance, and increasing the variance of any ball in play by taking a defensive asset and making it a potential liability seems silly. We all remember the gap shots of the mid-00s where seeing Griffey and Dunn chase balls down should have had the benny hill theme song playing over the PA system.

As far as how bad I think Bruce would be? I think he would be bad enough that if I were GM or manager, I would never even remotely consider placing him in CF on a team with Heisey and Stubbs on it. I think placing Bruce in CF after four-plus years of corner outfield play is a really poor plan.

-edit-

And as far as two total chances per game? Every OF on the Reds is averaging about 2 putouts per game- I can't find a statistic of total chances for any outfielder on fangraphs. Chances are, the trickle-down effect of poor defensive play in the outfield would be much bigger than the two chances that you are alluding to.

Anyway- if you use that logic, why have any plus defensive outfielders? After all, it's only two chances a game...

jojo
08-26-2012, 08:38 PM
2 total chances per game.

exactly how bad do you think he'll be?

The proposed realignment could easily cost the Reds 5 runs defensively in 30 games.

Raisor
08-26-2012, 08:39 PM
The Reds are EXTREMELY soild on defense everywhere on the field. My opinion is that they can afford a dip in the defense to get Stubbs out of the lineup in favor of Frazier.

Raisor
08-26-2012, 08:39 PM
The proposed realignment could easily cost the Reds 5 runs defensively in 30 games.


which would leave the Reds up +5.

jojo
08-26-2012, 08:40 PM
which would leave the Reds up +5.

Only if you assume Stubbs and Frazier continue exactly as they have been to this point which truthfully is not a safe assumption.

Raisor
08-26-2012, 08:44 PM
You can play to win or you can play not to lose.

mth123
08-26-2012, 08:45 PM
I think the downside is way overstated in this thread. Frazier has played a lot of OF in the minor leagues. It was his best defensive position down there. He's played the other spots this year because Rolen was out for a long time and now Votto is. Bruce was exclusively a CF in the minors. Catching fly balls isn't that hard. These aren't untested guys that can't judge a fly ball that would be playing out there. Bruce won't be as good as Stubbs in CF, but I'd bet he would be nearly as good as Heisey is. There are few plays where Stubbs would make the play and Bruce would not. Bruce may actually be better on balls hit in front of him. Stubbs runs to the spot and plays it on the bounce most of the time.

jojo
08-26-2012, 08:46 PM
You can play to win or you can play not to lose.

Or you could say a 6 game lead with Votto coming back soon is a recipe that doesn't need more garlic.

Raisor
08-26-2012, 08:48 PM
Or you could say a 6 game lead with Votto coming back soon is a recipe that doesn't need more garlic.

I'm not worried about the regular season. I'm for prepping for the playoffs.

This is a better playoff team with Frazier in the lineup instead of Stubbs.

jojo
08-26-2012, 08:55 PM
I'm not worried about the regular season. I'm for prepping for the playoffs.

This is a better playoff team with Frazier in the lineup instead of Stubbs.

I would rather have a defensive alignment that made the pitching better for the playoffs than to have several players playing out of position in order to slightly improve the offense that is currently ranked 9th in the majors by wOBA and would be the third best offense in the playoffs if the season ended today (and benching Stubbs doesn't substantially close the gap between the Reds offense and those of the Yanks and Rangers).

757690
08-26-2012, 09:00 PM
I'm not worried about the regular season. I'm for prepping for the playoffs.

This is a better playoff team with Frazier in the lineup instead of Stubbs.

In a short series, especially against elite pitching, run prevention is more valuable than run production. It's more likely bad defense will let a run in due to an downgrade at one position, than an offensive upgrade at one postion will score an additional run.

defender
08-26-2012, 09:23 PM
Sending Mes down for Navarro indicates that the Reds may be willing to give up some defense to get better bats on the team. I think Bruce playing center is on the table. I also think at least one of Valdez and Cairo do not make the playoff roster.

Raisor
08-26-2012, 10:10 PM
In a short series, especially against elite pitching, run prevention is more valuable than run production. It's more likely bad defense will let a run in due to an downgrade at one position, than an offensive upgrade at one postion will score an additional run.

I'd argue the other way.

You can only win if you out score the other team.

You can play a perfect defensive game, but if you don't score you can't win.

Kc61
08-26-2012, 10:38 PM
I think the downside is way overstated in this thread. Frazier has played a lot of OF in the minor leagues. It was his best defensive position down there. He's played the other spots this year because Rolen was out for a long time and now Votto is. Bruce was exclusively a CF in the minors. Catching fly balls isn't that hard. These aren't untested guys that can't judge a fly ball that would be playing out there. Bruce won't be as good as Stubbs in CF, but I'd bet he would be nearly as good as Heisey is. There are few plays where Stubbs would make the play and Bruce would not. Bruce may actually be better on balls hit in front of him. Stubbs runs to the spot and plays it on the bounce most of the time.

Kind of late to make this move. If they are going to do it, I'd expect it to begin, like, tomorrow if not sooner, LOL.

I don't think the Reds are suddenly going to change Jay Bruce's position in October. Don't think that's real.

I guess they could try it once or twice in September when Votto comes back, but the team is kind of conservative in this way, just think it's unlikely at this point.

Reds face a lot of lefties now. Let's see how Stubbs does. He got hot the last time in Houston, this trip is Arizona and Houston.

reds44
08-26-2012, 10:45 PM
I'm not worried about the regular season. I'm for prepping for the playoffs.

This is a better playoff team with Frazier in the lineup instead of Stubbs.
THIS. All of this.

Griffey012
08-26-2012, 10:53 PM
I think the downside is way overstated in this thread. Frazier has played a lot of OF in the minor leagues. It was his best defensive position down there. He's played the other spots this year because Rolen was out for a long time and now Votto is. Bruce was exclusively a CF in the minors. Catching fly balls isn't that hard. These aren't untested guys that can't judge a fly ball that would be playing out there. Bruce won't be as good as Stubbs in CF, but I'd bet he would be nearly as good as Heisey is. There are few plays where Stubbs would make the play and Bruce would not. Bruce may actually be better on balls hit in front of him. Stubbs runs to the spot and plays it on the bounce most of the time.

This is a great post. Stubbs biggest defensive asset is speed, and that is his main defensive asset. He is actually one of the worst centerfielders I have watched in terms of reading the ball off the bat. Hence a lot of those shallower balls you mention that he pulls up on. Stubbs is also below average around the wall, he tends to shy away from making contact with the outfield wall it seems, this negates his speed on some balls. Maybe it is just me, but how often do you see Stubbs get to a ball in GABP that most average CFers wouldn't get to?

Bruce gets great reads off the bat, but doesn't have quite the speed of Stubbs. Bruce is capable of playing a league average or above average defense in CF in our ballpark (not a ton of ground to cover). I have never seen Frazier play in RF, but he is athletic enough to be capable of playing a decent RF, now whether he has the other skills outside of athletic ability, I do not know.

The offensive trade off far outweighs the defensive trade off in my mind. Now if we are playing in a cavernous park, I leave Stubbs in CF.

Kc61
08-26-2012, 11:01 PM
This is a great post. Stubbs biggest defensive asset is speed, and that is his main defensive asset. He is actually one of the worst centerfielders I have watched in terms of reading the ball off the bat. Hence a lot of those shallower balls you mention that he pulls up on. Stubbs is also below average around the wall, he tends to shy away from making contact with the outfield wall it seems, this negates his speed on some balls. Maybe it is just me, but how often do you see Stubbs get to a ball in GABP that most average CFers wouldn't get to?

Bruce gets great reads off the bat, but doesn't have quite the speed of Stubbs. Bruce is capable of playing a league average or above average defense in CF in our ballpark (not a ton of ground to cover). I have never seen Frazier play in RF, but he is athletic enough to be capable of playing a decent RF, now whether he has the other skills outside of athletic ability, I do not know.

The offensive trade off far outweighs the defensive trade off in my mind. Now if we are playing in a cavernous park, I leave Stubbs in CF.

But this isn't spring training. Whether these folks have the tools to play these positions is one piece of the equation. Whether the Reds would make that change now is very different story.

There's the famous situation when a Tigers player, Mickey Stanley, in 1968 was moved to shortstop to replace Ray Oyler, who was hitting below the Mendoza line. Stanley was moved there to get more offense in the lineup and he had never played SS before in the bigs. He played shortstop creditably at the end of the regular season and stayed there through the World Series.

I don't think the Reds management would have played Stanley at shortstop.

BCubb2003
08-26-2012, 11:04 PM
This reminds me of how Dusty would never replace Marshall as closer with Chapman.

AmarilloRed
08-26-2012, 11:05 PM
This would be a very good discussion for the Reds to have with Bruce in spring training; I don't expect them to discuss it in the middle of a pennant race.

reds44
08-26-2012, 11:11 PM
The Cardinals won the World Series last year with Matt Holiday in LF and Lance Berkman in RF.

AtomicDumpling
08-26-2012, 11:19 PM
The Cardinals won the World Series last year with Matt Holiday in LF and Lance Berkman in RF.

We have a winner! :thumbup:

jojo
08-26-2012, 11:49 PM
The Cardinals won the World Series last year with Matt Holiday in LF and Lance Berkman in RF.

Neither played centerfield and both were better bats than Bruce/Frazier.

reds44
08-27-2012, 12:20 AM
Neither played centerfield and both were better bats than Bruce/Frazier.
I'd be willing to bet all 3 of Ludwick/Bruce/Frazier are better defenders than those 3.

Jamz
08-27-2012, 12:21 AM
Neither played centerfield and both were better bats than Bruce/Frazier.

While that may be true, it's not like it's a HUGE difference:

2011
Holliday - .912 OPS (154 wRC+)
Berkman - .959 OPS (159 wRC+)

2012
Frazier - .904 OPS (140 wRC+)
Bruce - .858 OPS (124 wRC+)

The main difference in offensive output in the outfield, though, is going to come when comparing Ludwick and Jay:

2011
Jay - .768 OPS (112 wRC+)

2012
Ludwick - .912 OPS (140 wRC+)

So by moving Bruce to the CF where he won't be a liability but he won't be great either, and having Frazier and Ludwick manning the corners (neither of which should be liabilities either, though not defensive stalwarts) you get a combined OPS of 2.674 for the Reds and 2.639 for the Cards...and a combined wRC+ of 404 for the Reds and 425 for the Cards.

Ultimately not much difference...but I highly, highly doubt that you're going to get better defence out of Holliday, Jay and Berkman than Ludwick, Bruce and Frazier.

REDREAD
08-27-2012, 02:40 PM
Have people seen Bruce in right this year? No way I want that defense in center, ever... never ever.

Have people seen Frazier in left this year? No way I want that defense in right, ever... Never ever.

This team is 26 games over .500 and in first by 7 games because of their run prevention. Messing with that is just plain stupid.

I agree. Bruce was tried in CF when he first came up.. He's below average there. Bruce is above average in RF however.

More to this game, other than OPS.. Right now, defense in RF and CF is a relative strength.. I don't want to weaken both those spots.
This team has enough offense to carry Stubbs' bat for the rest of the year.

IMO, this experiment has too much downside to try it. It might work, but we only have a 6 game lead.. I don't want to see a few games tossed away by players playing out of position (which is certainly possible).
I also think our young pitchers (Latos, Leake, and Homer) could potentially really feel the impact of this.. Heck, even though Cueto has controlled his emotions better this year, he'd get frustrated as well. Arroyo.. well.. with his fly ball tendencies, I want the best OF defense posssible. Heck, Latos seems to give up his share of flyball outs too (not looking up the numbers, just my gut feel)

If the Reds really want to try this, next years' spring training is the time to do it, not now. I'm glad Dusty shot down this idea.

REDREAD
08-27-2012, 02:51 PM
Did I say stick with it if it doesn't work? Would a one week trial really lead to the end of our season? Stubbs is awful in center right now. Fact. This team should be willing to think outside the box to try and solve holes. If it doesn't work, then kill the idea. But I don't see the harm in trying it.

The problem I see is that we only have a 6 game lead.

This experiment (even if for only 7-10 days) could result in an extra 3 losses under the right circumstances.

Not to mention, Bruce has been heating up offensively of late. Throwing him into a new position might impact his offense.

These ideas remind me of the time the Reds tried to move Aaron Boone to 2b.
He had the atheletism to do it, and he had all spring training to get ready.. yet he never got comfortable, and it impacted his offense.

If the Reds do nothing (leave Stubbs/Heisey in CF), they probably win the division.. Why risk giving the Cards a few games on defensive miscues?

Let's say the experiment gave passable results.. Would we really want to put that weak defensive OF on the field for playoff games? The main correlators for WS winning teams is defense and bullpen.. Why weaken the defense?

If the Reds were trailing the division leader by 4 games at this point, I could see trying this experiment as a desperation move, but I don't want to tamper with success now.

reds44
08-27-2012, 03:06 PM
Playing Jay Bruce in CF would never cost the Reds 3 games in a week. Again, he did it in the minors and he's done it in the majors. Despite some hiccups this year, he's been one of the best defensive RFers in baseball over the course of his career. It's not exactly Javier Valentin played 3rd base.

Plus Plus
08-27-2012, 03:14 PM
Playing Jay Bruce in CF would never cost the Reds 3 games in a week. Again, he did it in the minors and he's done it in the majors. Despite some hiccups this year, he's been one of the best defensive RFers in baseball over the course of his career. It's not exactly Javier Valentin played 3rd base.

Bruce has been a negative UZR defender for two seasons now, both exclusively in right field- for what that's worth.

dfs
08-27-2012, 03:18 PM
Darren Lewis - Marvin Benard - Daryl Hamilton - Calvin Murray - Tsuyoshi Shinjo - Corey Patterson - Juan Pierre - Willy Taveras - Drew Stubbs.

I just don't see it happening.

reds44
08-27-2012, 03:25 PM
Bruce has been a negative UZR defender for two seasons now, both exclusively in right field- for what that's worth.
He was a +3.6 in CF and a -5.1 in RF as a rookie too. Maybe he's better in CF. :D

reds44
08-27-2012, 03:27 PM
Also, (correct me if I'm wrong) it's now been stated in this thread that Ludwick, Stubbs, and Bruce are all negative defenders this year according to UZR. Wouldn't that blow a hole in the "don't move anybody because the Reds play good OF defense" theory?

Plus Plus
08-27-2012, 03:31 PM
Also, (correct me if I'm wrong) it's now been stated in this thread that Ludwick, Stubbs, and Bruce are all negative defenders this year according to UZR. Wouldn't that blow a hole in the "don't move anybody because the Reds play good OF defense" theory?

I'm pretty sure that is correct, although Stubbs is at like -0.2 UZR/150.

However, isn't the question then why you would put players at harder positions if they aren't already providing good or better defense at the positions they are currently playing?

reds44
08-27-2012, 03:33 PM
I'm pretty sure that is correct, although Stubbs is at like -0.2 UZR/150.

However, isn't the question then why you would put players at harder positions if they aren't already providing good or better defense at the positions they are currently playing?
Oh for sure. You have to think taking a negative RFer and putting him in CF and taking a negative LFer and putting him in RF makes them even more negative. All I'm saying is I'm not sure how much water the "Reds play good OF defense so don't move anybody" holds.

I also hope everybody singing that tune doesn't want Frazier playing over Rolen either, but I'd be shocked if that's the case.

reds44
08-27-2012, 03:39 PM
If the Reds do this, it's for no other reason than for the postseason. The Reds will probably glide to an NL Central Championship with Stubbs in CF and nobody would think anything of it. With how often Rolen gets days off, Frazier would probably play a third of the time at 3rd and you could find ABs for him at other times. This would be the Reds trying to get their 8 best hitters in the lineup come October.

Kc61
08-27-2012, 03:55 PM
Also, (correct me if I'm wrong) it's now been stated in this thread that Ludwick, Stubbs, and Bruce are all negative defenders this year according to UZR. Wouldn't that blow a hole in the "don't move anybody because the Reds play good OF defense" theory?

Yes, all three outfielders have been below zero under UZR and UZR/150 except Stubbs recently had a surge and is around zero in each measure.
(UZR is so subjective, Heisey this year has much better CF ratings than Stubbs.)

But Stubbs is a real centerfielder, you can't compare him to somebody plugged in there because of his bat.

This is an interesting discussion, but the clear likelihood is that the Reds won't make a major switch at this point. More likely - given the brutal schedule of late, when Votto comes back and depth is restored guys will get appropriate rest. And part of that effort may involve trying Bruce in CF on occasion.

If it works well, then I could see them going with Bruce in CF in the playoffs, but first I think it may be tried out on a spot basis at most.

defender
08-27-2012, 03:57 PM
As has already been stated, if the Reds do this, it would be because they are considering it for the playoffs. The Reds may not plan to rest Rolen and Ludwick, but still want Frazier in the lineup.

camisadelgolf
08-27-2012, 04:17 PM
I'd like to see if there's a study that can correlate UZR and trips to the disabled list. Granted, the Reds outfield has a lower UZR this year, but they've also done a great job of staying healthy and getting in the lineup everyday. Maybe it's because they're not senselessly diving for balls out of their range and banging up their body too much.

jojo
08-27-2012, 04:24 PM
I'm pretty sure that is correct, although Stubbs is at like -0.2 UZR/150.

However, isn't the question then why you would put players at harder positions if they aren't already providing good or better defense at the positions they are currently playing?

If I had to guess a potential defensive value, based upon the last several years of UZR, Bruce might be expected to be a -10 run defender in CF. Frazier might be a -5 to -10 run defender in the corner over the course of a season.

traderumor
08-27-2012, 04:54 PM
Despite a recent power surge against lefties, Dusty will probably use the "sitting Brucie against a tough lefty, get Todd some ABs" reasoning and continue using Stubbs/Heisey in CF. If he's gonna do that, start Heisey against righties and Stubbs against lefties.

REDREAD
08-27-2012, 05:25 PM
I'd argue the other way.

You can only win if you out score the other team.

You can play a perfect defensive game, but if you don't score you can't win.

Giving the other team extra outs is probably the easiest way to lose in the playoffs. One ball that Bruce/Frasier doesn't get to in the new defensive alignment may change the game.. IMO, that's more likely to happen than the offensive upgrade gained.

We've tried this stategy before.. Keppinger at SS, Bruce in CF, Aaron Boone at 2b.. It just doesn't work..

OldXOhio
08-27-2012, 05:31 PM
Despite a recent power surge against lefties, Dusty will probably use the "sitting Brucie against a tough lefty, get Todd some ABs" reasoning and continue using Stubbs/Heisey in CF. If he's gonna do that, start Heisey against righties and Stubbs against lefties.

I'm of the same opinion, although I do agree you might see Bruce in CF once a week after this roadie.

And yeah, i don't see why Drew Stubbs would start a game against a RHP the rest of this season. Smarter folks on here will have to provide an analysis of the defensive metrics b/w the two, but I would suspect Heisey's numbers, despite his deficiences, are enough of an improvement to warrant the starts.

Griffey012
08-27-2012, 07:01 PM
But this isn't spring training. Whether these folks have the tools to play these positions is one piece of the equation. Whether the Reds would make that change now is very different story.

There's the famous situation when a Tigers player, Mickey Stanley, in 1968 was moved to shortstop to replace Ray Oyler, who was hitting below the Mendoza line. Stanley was moved there to get more offense in the lineup and he had never played SS before in the bigs. He played shortstop creditably at the end of the regular season and stayed there through the World Series.

I don't think the Reds management would have played Stanley at shortstop.

But Bruce has played CF in the minors and in the bigs, Frazier has not played RF in the bigs or the minors, but has played LF. SS and RF are two different positions in terms of difficulty, and LF is not identical, but similar to RF. It could be plausible to shift Ludwick to RF as he has played there a lot in his career, he has more career games in RF than LF, but lately has played more LF.

I think Reds management will give this a shot some and see how it works out, especially if Stubbs keeps doing what he has been doing.

reds44
08-27-2012, 07:33 PM
Despite a recent power surge against lefties, Dusty will probably use the "sitting Brucie against a tough lefty, get Todd some ABs" reasoning and continue using Stubbs/Heisey in CF. If he's gonna do that, start Heisey against righties and Stubbs against lefties.
Leads all LHB in homers vs lefties since the start 2010.

Blitz Dorsey
08-28-2012, 12:29 AM
Anything that doesn't involve Drew Stubbs as the Reds' everyday CF has my full interest. It's ridiculous he can play at a pathetic level all year and keep his starting job. All because he's a former first-round pick. Turrible.

Kc61
08-28-2012, 01:56 AM
But Bruce has played CF in the minors and in the bigs, Frazier has not played RF in the bigs or the minors, but has played LF. SS and RF are two different positions in terms of difficulty, and LF is not identical, but similar to RF. It could be plausible to shift Ludwick to RF as he has played there a lot in his career, he has more career games in RF than LF, but lately has played more LF.

I think Reds management will give this a shot some and see how it works out, especially if Stubbs keeps doing what he has been doing.

Whether Bruce played CF years ago and whether Frazier might find RF similar to LF doesn't change my view.

I don't think the Reds are willing to sacrifice their outfield defense. And I don't think they would likely make this key change in the middle of the pennant race. It's not their way.

As the season progresses and the Reds rest some players they might give this a shot in a couple of games, sure. But I don't think it's a front burner item.

When Stubbs doesn't play, I think they'll mostly use Heisey.

11larkin11
08-28-2012, 02:11 AM
Anything that doesn't involve Drew Stubbs as the Reds' everyday CF has my full interest. It's ridiculous he can play at a pathetic level all year and keep his starting job. All because he's a former first-round pick. Turrible.

I think it's more because he's a fantastic defender, despite what the flawed defensive metrics say. If Stubbs was batting 8th playing everyday in CF, people wouldn't have a problem with him. See who Atlanta's everyday #8 hitter is.

mth123
08-28-2012, 05:07 AM
I think it's more because he's a fantastic defender, despite what the flawed defensive metrics say. If Stubbs was batting 8th playing everyday in CF, people wouldn't have a problem with him. See who Atlanta's everyday #8 hitter is.

I just don't see a "fantastic defender" when I see Stubbs. I see a good defender who can cover a lot of ground but leaves a lot of outs on the table because he pulls up too soon and plays balls on a hop. I don't remember many running catches on balls in front of him. He pulls up while the ball is still 10 to 15 feet in the air and plays it on a hop. One more step and he'd catch it in the air. Drives me nuts.

membengal
08-28-2012, 06:17 AM
Leads all LHB in homers vs lefties since the start 2010.

Inconvenient facts...

Griffey012
08-28-2012, 07:21 AM
I think it's more because he's a fantastic defender, despite what the flawed defensive metrics say. If Stubbs was batting 8th playing everyday in CF, people wouldn't have a problem with him. See who Atlanta's everyday #8 hitter is.

Brandon Phillips and Scotty Rolen are fantastic defenders. Drew Stubbs is fast. They are two entirely different things. His speed makes up for a lot of centerfield skills that arent full developed such as getting reads off the bat, getting good jumps, knowing when to pull up on a hop or go for the catch, and playing around the wall. Stubbs has the speed and athletic ability to be an Andruw Jones (in his prime) type defender in CF, instead he is around average.

That is a big reason why I don't see a big drop off in defense, Stubbs isn't as good in CF as a lot think he is. We aren't removing an all-world defender out of the lineup.

If they chat with Bruce and he is comfortable with giving it a few games, it would be wise to give it a try, and see how it works out.

Nasty_Boy
08-28-2012, 08:53 AM
Just watching Heisey in CF makes me appreciate what Stubbs gives the Reds defensively... He rarely misplays a ball and his arm is strong and accurate. I think one of the underrated things that Stubbs does well is hit his cut off men, and throws to the correct base. You don't see him air mailing the guy and allowing the other runners to take an extra base. He's also quick and accurate about getting the ball back in from the gaps. He may not pull the all out Free like dive, but his play in CF is extremely valuable IMO... I just wish he were hitting at the bottom of the order.

Blitz Dorsey
08-28-2012, 10:28 AM
Stubbs is not an elite defensive CF by any means. He's good. He's above average. He's fast. But he's by no means a "great" defensive CF. He doesn't come in on balls very well. It's a tough play when a line drive is hit in front of you, yet is close enough to be caught. Some CFs are good at it, most aren't. Stubbs falls in the latter category. Often he doesn't get good jumps on balls. When he does, it's a thing of beauty. He can cover the gaps with ease. It's fun to watch and that's why some fans overrate Stubbs' defensive ability. Occasionally he will make a spectacular play. He also has a strong arm. But he's also not very good at playing balls close to the wall (which is another difficult thing to do, but if we're talking about being an elite CF you need to do those things) however he has improved in that area.

traderumor
08-28-2012, 11:28 AM
Leads all LHB in homers vs lefties since the start 2010.Bruce has been struggling all season against lefties, which is why I called it recent. I know what his history is, but counting stats also include more opportunities. He doesn't get platooned or pinch hit for against situational lefties much and can run into one against a lefty every now and then. If he is on a tear, it doesn't matter if its lefty or righty out there.

Finally, I'd be more impressed with your point if you provided something other than "most since..." since that gives little context.

Things like 115 points less in slugging % this season against lefties with a pretty healthy sample size might seem more relevant than counting the number of homers since some point in time, for example. 30% strikeout rate against lefties, 21% against righties is another example. Shall we mention an OBP under .300 against lefties vs. .349 against righties seems relevant as well, for context sake.

Homer Bailey
08-28-2012, 11:35 AM
Bruce has been struggling all season against lefties, which is why I called it recent. I know what his history is, but counting stats also include more opportunities. He doesn't get platooned or pinch hit for against situational lefties much and can run into one against a lefty every now and then. If he is on a tear, it doesn't matter if its lefty or righty out there.

Finally, I'd be more impressed with your point if you provided something other than "most since..." since that gives little context.

A .750ish 760ish OPS vs. lefties isn't really struglling.

traderumor
08-28-2012, 11:49 AM
A .750ish 760ish OPS vs. lefties isn't really struglling..227/.294/.440 = .733 (.711 against lefty starters) is his 2012 lefty split. My eyeballs told me the same thing from watching 90% of the games. So your point is? Are we looking for everyday players getting on base less than a .300 clip in 1/3 of their ABs? It could be an off year, but his lefty numbers are not dramatically worse this year than his career. If you're trying to get the best offensive lineup out there against lefties, wouldn't it make sense to take advantage of Stubbs only strengths (can hit lefties sometimes and cover some ground that Frazier can't) and put the lefty killers in the lineup?

Bruce is better than some lefty vs. lefty, but let's not pretend that a strong case can't be built for sitting him against lefties on any given day.

Homer Bailey
08-28-2012, 11:59 AM
.227/.294/.440 = .733 (.711 against lefty starters) is his 2012 lefty split. My eyeballs told me the same thing from watching 90% of the games. So your point is? Are we looking for everyday players getting on base less than a .300 clip in 1/3 of their ABs? It could be an off year, but his lefty numbers are not dramatically worse this year than his career. If you're trying to get the best offensive lineup out there against lefties, wouldn't it make sense to take advantage of Stubbs only strengths (can hit lefties sometimes and cover some ground that Frazier can't) and put the lefty killers in the lineup?

Bruce is better than some lefty vs. lefty, but let's not pretend that a strong case can't be built for sitting him against lefties on any given day.

The last I had checked, his OPS was around .750, which I now see is .733.

In 2011, it was .804. In 2010, it was .899. That would put his 3 year average around .800.

Is your point that you'd rather see Frazier play RF against lefties than Bruce? I hope it isn't suggesting Heisey should play over him.

Even given the numbers, I would not play Frazier over Bruce against LHP's.

traderumor
08-28-2012, 01:43 PM
The last I had checked, his OPS was around .750, which I now see is .733.

In 2011, it was .804. In 2010, it was .899. That would put his 3 year average around .800.

Is your point that you'd rather see Frazier play RF against lefties than Bruce? I hope it isn't suggesting Heisey should play over him.

Even given the numbers, I would not play Frazier over Bruce against LHP's.If you'd look back, I stated my thoughts on that. If you're looking for maximizing your offense in the lineup, then the Votto return lineups should have Stubbs in center and Frazier in right against lefties, then Bruce in RF and Heisey in CF against righties. Take your pick between two of Frazier, Ludwick and Rolen for lf/3b against righties. Stubbs should not play against righties, Frazier and Ludwick need a spot against lefties.

Homer Bailey
08-28-2012, 02:04 PM
If you'd look back, I stated my thoughts on that. If you're looking for maximizing your offense in the lineup, then the Votto return lineups should have Stubbs in center and Frazier in right against lefties, then Bruce in RF and Heisey in CF against righties. Take your pick between two of Frazier, Ludwick and Rolen for lf/3b against righties. Stubbs should not play against righties, Frazier and Ludwick need a spot against lefties.

OK, l got you. I'd still play Bruce in RF, but can see why you would say otherwise.

edabbs44
08-28-2012, 02:57 PM
Leads all LHB in homers vs lefties since the start 2010.

Tied with the Grandyman.

Brutus
08-29-2012, 12:22 AM
I think I'm convinced. I've seen enough of Stubbs. I'll take the trade-off.

Ludwick-Bruce-Frazier or Frazier-Bruce-Ludwick. Get it done, Reds.

Put Phillips in the leadoff spot, drop Cozart to second and then you'll have Ludwick, Bruce and Frazier behind Votto.

reds44
08-29-2012, 12:28 AM
If this happens, the most likely lineup from Dusty would IMO be:

Phillips
Cozart
Votto
Ludwick
Bruce
Frazier
Rolen
Hanigan

I think you could make an argument to hit either Rolen or Frazier 2nd.

Wonderful Monds
08-29-2012, 12:33 AM
I think you could make an argument to hit either Rolen or Frazier 2nd.

I know I would.

reds44
08-29-2012, 12:35 AM
I think it's more because he's a fantastic defender, despite what the flawed defensive metrics say. If Stubbs was batting 8th playing everyday in CF, people wouldn't have a problem with him. See who Atlanta's everyday #8 hitter is.
Drew Stubbs is not a fantastic defender. Absolutely not. That was a tag he got in college that he's never lived up to in Cincinnati. Not even close.

Wonderful Monds
08-29-2012, 12:44 AM
Drew Stubbs is not a fantastic defender. Absolutely not. That was a tag he got in college that he's never lived up to in Cincinnati. Not even close.

He has range and is fundamentally sound. I think the only weaknesses you can chalk up against him are balls near the wall and and sometimes balls that fall in front of him.

I myself don't know that those things are enough to knock him down from being a good if borderline great defender.

Superdude
08-29-2012, 12:57 AM
He has range and is fundamentally sound. I think the only weaknesses you can chalk up against him are balls near the wall and and sometimes balls that fall in front of him.

I myself don't know that those things are enough to knock him down from being a good if borderline great defender.

UZR's never been a fan of Stubbs outside of a small sample in 2009. From just watching, I think the balls falling in front of him is a bigger detriment than anything. He doesn't seem to utilize his tools for much of anything outside of covering the gaps.