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RedEye
12-13-2012, 11:15 AM
Who will end up playing there? Initial reports said it would be Choo. Walt says it will be worked out in ST. Olney says everyone else thinks it will be Bruce. Your thoughts?

My guess is Bruce. But that worries me a bit -- not b/c I think he can't do it, but b/c I worry about an injury. I remember him playing CF in ST one of those first years, and he had hamstring trouble from all the running.

cumberlandreds
12-13-2012, 11:17 AM
I would go with Choo. Unless he is a complete disaster he should be the one.

RedEye
12-13-2012, 11:23 AM
I would go with Choo. Unless he is a complete disaster he should be the one.

From what I've read, lots of people think he will be a complete disaster.

mdccclxix
12-13-2012, 11:28 AM
All things considered, I think Choo should get the best shot at it because Hamilton "could" be ready to help out and Choo could be moved around the OF to find PT. Meanwhile, keeping Bruce where he is seems sensible. He's a bigger part of the team and I don't want him getting injured. Anyway, the answer to this won't be evident until mid-May after the chosen alignment has had some practice.

Steve4192
12-13-2012, 11:34 AM
I would go with Choo. Unless he is a complete disaster he should be the one.

^ This

Choo is a one-year rental. Bruce is a cornerstone of the franchise. If someone is going to be forced to play out of position, it should be the guy who is only here one year.

redsfan30
12-13-2012, 11:36 AM
I think it will be Choo's to lose.

I will miss watching Stubbs chase balls down in the gaps with ease.

RedsManRick
12-13-2012, 11:36 AM
Bruce. At the end of the day, I go with the alignment that I think will be most effective. If and when there seem to be negative consequences from having Bruce in CF, we can adjust, but like the with the "Chapman as starter" discussion, I don't want to avoid trying to be the best we can be simply because it might not work. There's a way to do that prudently, starting with a thorough vetting in ST, but I think Bruce is likely the better option.

Steve4192
12-13-2012, 11:42 AM
From what I've read, lots of people think he will be a complete disaster.

I don't buy that.

It sounds like a bunch of hand-wringing for the sake of hand-wringing.

Bruce and Choo are almost exactly the same player defensively. They are both guys who started out as CF in the minors but were moved to RF upon arriving in the majors based upon the belief that they were middling defenders in CF but could be outstanding defenders in RF. Both of them panned out as above-average RF with howitzer arms, but didn't quite live up to the 'potential gold glove' hype. Both of them can play CF in a pinch but you probably don't want them there long-term.

I see no reason to believe that Bruce will be any better than Choo manning CF. Assuming that is the case, why mess with one of the cornerstones of the franchise? Make the new guy who is only here for a year make the switch.

RedEye
12-13-2012, 11:54 AM
I thought Bruce was a borderline GG caliber RF. At the very least he gets good reads and runs hood routes. Choo, apparently, has a good arm but not much else going for him out there.

WildcatFan
12-13-2012, 12:03 PM
I'd prefer Bruce in a one-season vacuum, but based on the circumstances, I'll say Choo. He's not going to be around after this year, and I'm OK with him struggling a little if need be.

SidneySlicker
12-13-2012, 12:03 PM
I thought Bruce was a borderline GG caliber RF. At the very least he gets good reads and runs hood routes. Choo, apparently, has a good arm but not much else going for him out there.

My problem is uprooting Jay Bruce from the position that he'll likely play for the next half decade for one season of Choo. I agree Choo would have to be a disaster to move Bruce over.

SunDeck
12-13-2012, 12:08 PM
Unless Choo can stand on the warning track in right field and throw a one hop seed to third base, I say leave Bruce where he is.

mattfeet
12-13-2012, 12:19 PM
I'd prefer Bruce in a one-season vacuum, but based on the circumstances, I'll say Choo. He's not going to be around after this year, and I'm OK with him struggling a little if need be.

Agreed.

jhu1321
12-13-2012, 12:26 PM
Unless Choo can stand on the warning track in right field and throw a one hop seed to third base, I say leave Bruce where he is.

He can.

RedsManRick
12-13-2012, 12:48 PM
Unless Choo can stand on the warning track in right field and throw a one hop seed to third base, I say leave Bruce where he is.

He can. Here's the RF list from the Fans Scouting Report. I eliminated all people with less than half a season of games and provided some averages at the end.

Both Bruce and Choo are better from an arm perspective than a range one. But for Choo, the range is actually a problem and likely something that would be exacerbated in CF.



PLAYER G Votes React Accel Velo Hands Ftwork ThrStr ThrAcc AvgRng AvgArm TotAVg RngRank ArmRnk Overall
Heyward, Jason 151 33 75 75 77 74 75 84 73 75 77 77 3 5 1
Suzuki, Ichiro (SEA) 93 68 74 78 73 74 79 77 79 75 78 76 4 3 2
Hunter, Torii 124 19 75 70 61 75 77 70 77 70 75 71 5 10 3
Reddick, Josh 142 21 70 64 59 63 80 87 88 64 85 70 6 1 4
Blanco, Gregor 98 30 80 82 83 76 58 38 49 80 48 70 1 23 4
Bogusevic, Brian 90 12 62 59 64 62 68 81 76 62 75 66 8 9 6
Bruce, Jay 149 35 57 59 58 51 73 87 81 56 80 64 15 2 7
Stanton, Giancarlo 115 12 52 60 69 48 63 83 71 57 72 64 11 11 7
Markakis, Nick 103 34 58 55 54 71 70 71 73 60 71 62 10 12 9
Venable, Will 104 10 58 68 69 51 62 53 59 62 58 61 9 14 10
Revere, Ben 118 32 71 89 89 69 40 0 28 80 23 61 2 31 10
Choo, Shin-Soo 148 31 44 48 58 48 67 87 75 50 76 59 21 7 12
Beltran, Carlos 130 26 68 50 50 61 64 66 72 57 67 59 11 13 12
Upton, Justin 142 16 52 65 74 34 43 77 49 56 56 59 15 17 12
Aoki, Norichika 121 28 63 61 63 63 61 30 57 63 49 58 7 22 15
Rios, Alex 152 17 52 63 70 44 53 51 57 57 54 57 11 19 16
Bautista, Jose 87 53 46 43 44 53 67 88 76 47 77 56 22 6 17
Joyce, Matt 106 14 58 54 52 58 55 60 57 56 57 56 17 16 17
Ethier, Andre 141 11 56 50 48 67 62 53 59 55 58 55 18 14 19
DeJesus, David 125 24 61 55 52 61 56 48 55 57 53 55 11 20 19
Cruz, Nelson 145 32 29 40 54 35 61 89 78 40 76 53 25 8 21
Denorfia, Chris 82 10 52 48 57 51 55 51 59 52 55 53 20 18 21
Colvin, Tyler 99 10 49 58 55 48 48 46 47 53 47 51 19 25 23
Francoeur, Jeff 144 33 32 28 35 48 67 87 81 36 78 49 27 3 24
Tabata, Jose 82 12 25 50 53 44 41 55 49 43 48 46 23 23 25
Swisher, Nick 130 28 44 35 41 43 53 45 55 41 51 44 24 21 26
Ross, Cody 108 23 42 37 41 33 43 45 49 38 46 41 26 28 27
Pence, Hunter 100 22 21 29 57 23 24 70 46 33 47 40 29 26 28
Cuddyer, Michael 89 13 42 32 41 27 36 53 49 36 46 40 28 27 28
Boesch, Brennan 101 52 10 23 38 11 22 45 35 21 34 27 30 29 30
Duda, Lucas 98 24 4 10 22 23 15 41 35 15 30 21 31 30 31

RANDY IN INDY
12-13-2012, 12:52 PM
The pitchers are going to miss Drew Stubbs defense in CF.

_Sir_Charles_
12-13-2012, 12:55 PM
Unless Choo can stand on the warning track in right field and throw a one hop seed to third base, I say leave Bruce where he is.

That's the thing. He can. Someone earlier posted that they're both virtually the same defensively. I agree with that.

vaticanplum
12-13-2012, 01:31 PM
I've always been higher on Bruce in CF than most. Just love his arm, i guess.

So I'll go with Bruce, but I also think that if this is the case, they need to *start* spring training with the mindset that he is going to be there or there's going to be a 100% pure tryout (rather than Choo being the default with Bruce only stepping in if he fails). He's going to need that time to readjust in that mindset.

Additionally, while I know the stats, I haven't seen enough of Choo in the outfield to have a strong opinion about it.

Caveat Emperor
12-13-2012, 01:33 PM
When in doubt, go with the younger guy -- Bruce.

SunDeck
12-13-2012, 01:39 PM
Choo's arm is not an upgrade to Bruce's. I like the best arm in RF to protect 3rd and a good Right Fielder makes a Center Fielder better.

Bruce looks like he would be better in CF than Choo, but is it worth it? From a pitching perspective, I don't think either of them will replace the confidence they had in Stubbs, but Bruce would probably be better from that perspective. However, it is a pretty small center field and I wonder how much of a difference that will make? For that reason, I think I'd like to see Choo there at least until he proves he can't do it.

RedEye
12-13-2012, 01:40 PM
However, it is a pretty small center field and I wonder how much of a difference that will make? For that reason, I think I'd like to see Choo there at least until he proves he can't do it.

They do play 81 games in other stadiums though...

Steve4192
12-13-2012, 02:30 PM
Both Bruce and Choo are better from an arm perspective than a range one. But for Choo, the range is actually a problem and likely something that would be exacerbated in CF.


Range was a problem for Choo last year, but prior to that it was never an issue. Before last season, he and Bruce were almost twins defensively. I guess you could say that 2012 portends a serious downgrade for Choo defensively, but to me it looks like an outlier. I'm willing to bet on a return to his career norms rather than 2012 being the new norm. Apparently, so is Walt.

Steve4192
12-13-2012, 02:35 PM
Choo's arm is not an upgrade to Bruce's. I like the best arm in RF to protect 3rd and a good Right Fielder makes a Center Fielder better.

I think Choo might have the better arm. He has more OF assists and double plays than Bruce despite having slightly fewer chances. Honestly though, I don't think it matters. They are both elite throwers from RF. Regardless of where they play, teams will be reluctant to go for the extra base against either of them.

On an unrelated note, what the heck happened with Ludwick last year? In researching the fielding stats for Choo/Bruce, I noticed that Ludwick didn't tally a single assist last year. That's from a guy who posted 35 assists in four years prior to his arrival in Cincinnati.

11larkin11
12-13-2012, 03:38 PM
From the eye test, I think Choo's arm may be a bit better than Bruce's. There was an article last year that said some AL Scouts thought it was better than Ichiro's, even when Ichiro first came up.

SunDeck
12-13-2012, 04:03 PM
I'm just looking at the chart posted in this thread, from which it looks like Choo's arm is not as good as Bruce's. I've not seen the kid play but a few times, but I know what I see from Bruce which is definitely elite.

SunDeck
12-13-2012, 04:03 PM
They do play 81 games in other stadiums though...

And some are small like GABP.

CySeymour
12-13-2012, 04:05 PM
I'm just looking at the chart posted in this thread, from which it looks like Choo's arm is not as good as Bruce's. I've not seen the kid play but a few times, but I know what I see from Bruce which is definitely elite.

The defensive metrics from each of the past two seasons indicate Bruce is declining defensively.

Scrap Irony
12-13-2012, 04:10 PM
It won't matter much who's out there, IMO.

It is, at this point, what it's going to be. They'll likely have a poor CF defensively who will make up for that with offensive numbers. No matter who's out there, the difference between that person and the Drew Stubbs we saw in 2012 looks to be a pretty massive improvement. Neither Choo nor Bruce are going to be more than 20 runs below replacement (as it's almost impossible to be that bad with decent defenders to both sides of you-- which either CF would have-- and the few outs hit to you per game). Add on three pitchers who profile as ground ball guys (Cueto as an extreme example of that) on the starting staff, and you have to figure that it doesn't mean all that much in the overall scheme of things one way or another.

Tilting at windmills, and all that.

Tom Servo
12-13-2012, 04:13 PM
Posted this in the signing thread, but if you are looking for some defensive highlights by Choo, here you go

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gq6ZcTyW4s

dougdirt
12-13-2012, 04:15 PM
It won't matter much who's out there, IMO.

It is, at this point, what it's going to be. They'll likely have a poor CF defensively who will make up for that with offensive numbers. No matter who's out there, the difference between that person and the Drew Stubbs we saw in 2012 looks to be a pretty massive improvement. Neither Choo nor Bruce are going to be more than 20 runs below replacement (as it's almost impossible to be that bad with decent defenders to both sides of you-- which either CF would have-- and the few outs hit to you per game). Add on three pitchers who profile as ground ball guys (Cueto as an extreme example of that) on the starting staff, and you have to figure that it doesn't mean all that much in the overall scheme of things one way or another.

Tilting at windmills, and all that.

Not a single Reds starter induced 50% groundballs last season. Cueto and Leake were both at 48.9%. While that leans them more toward groundball than flyball, it isn't exactly making them groundball pitchers either. 142 pitchers threw 100+ innings last year. Cueto and Leake ranked 40th in GB rate among them. Better than average, but they are still allowing the ball in the air more than it is going to the ground.

Griffey012
12-13-2012, 05:37 PM
If a guy can steal 20+ bases, how can he have limited range issues in the outfield? I dont know much about his defense, maybe some others can expand. Does he have issues reading balls of the bat in RF?

IslandRed
12-13-2012, 06:46 PM
I've always been higher on Bruce in CF than most. Just love his arm, i guess.

So I'll go with Bruce, but I also think that if this is the case, they need to *start* spring training with the mindset that he is going to be there or there's going to be a 100% pure tryout (rather than Choo being the default with Bruce only stepping in if he fails). He's going to need that time to readjust in that mindset.

Additionally, while I know the stats, I haven't seen enough of Choo in the outfield to have a strong opinion about it.

If they think there's a good possibility Bruce will be the CF, he needs to start training for it now. Not just shagging fly balls, but in his offseason conditioning. More speed, less bulk. He's still young enough for it.

CesarGeronimo
12-13-2012, 07:09 PM
Not a single Reds starter induced 50% groundballs last season. Cueto and Leake were both at 48.9%. While that leans them more toward groundball than flyball, it isn't exactly making them groundball pitchers either. 142 pitchers threw 100+ innings last year. Cueto and Leake ranked 40th in GB rate among them. Better than average, but they are still allowing the ball in the air more than it is going to the ground.

Jay Bruce looks a little big for a CF at this point in his career, doesn't he? He was 205 in 2008, according to his rookie card, but is listed at 225 now. I would worry a bit about him doing all that running in center. And it would be crazy, of course, for Jay to lead off :)

_Sir_Charles_
12-13-2012, 07:16 PM
Jay Bruce looks a little big for a CF at this point in his career, doesn't he? He was 205 in 2008, according to his rookie card, but is listed at 225 now. I would worry a bit about him doing all that running in center. And it would be crazy, of course, for Jay to lead off :)

He slimmed down a BUNCH last off season. IIRC, he was "in the best shape of his life". ;)

Wonderful Monds
12-13-2012, 07:22 PM
Jay Bruce looks a little big for a CF at this point in his career, doesn't he? He was 205 in 2008, according to his rookie card, but is listed at 225 now. I would worry a bit about him doing all that running in center. And it would be crazy, of course, for Jay to lead off :)

Which is funny because Jay did lead off for a while when he first came up didn't he?

CesarGeronimo
12-13-2012, 07:26 PM
He slimmed down a BUNCH last off season. IIRC, he was "in the best shape of his life". ;)

I remember him slimming down noticeably, but I think he's still just a bigger, stronger guy than he was when he played center as a youngster (I do cherish the annual "best shape of his life" stories).

dougdirt
12-13-2012, 07:28 PM
If a guy can steal 20+ bases, how can he have limited range issues in the outfield? I dont know much about his defense, maybe some others can expand. Does he have issues reading balls of the bat in RF?

There are talks out there that he does have problems with reading the ball off of the bat (well, talks that his routes are sketchy, but that is a direct result of his bat/ball reading skills).

Roy Tucker
12-13-2012, 08:07 PM
If nothing else, if the Reds are slumping mid-season, they can move Bruce to CF for a spark. Like Rose to 3B.

Rojo
12-13-2012, 08:35 PM
Choo's leading off, right? Dusty's still managing, right?

I'll believe Bruce in Center when I see it.

dougdirt
12-13-2012, 08:36 PM
Choo's leading off, right? Dusty's still managing, right?

The suspense, she ain't killing me.

Right. Right. I hope no one is killing you. That wouldn't be very nice.

Griffey012
12-13-2012, 09:21 PM
There are talks out there that he does have problems with reading the ball off of the bat (well, talks that his routes are sketchy, but that is a direct result of his bat/ball reading skills).

Thanks Doug.

It could be possible the speed he has will appear much better in CF than RF. From previous playing experience, getting a good jump on a ball in CF was a helluva lot easier than getting a good jump in RF.

Maybe it is just wishful thinking as well, but I hope this is the case with Choo and he is really more naturally a CFer.

RED VAN HOT
12-13-2012, 09:22 PM
Choo in April; Bruce in May; Heisey in June-August; Hamilton in September

RedEye
12-14-2012, 11:23 AM
Choo in April; Bruce in May; Heisey in June-August; Hamilton in September

I like it. Reads like a piece of poetry as well.

Roy Tucker
12-14-2012, 11:58 AM
I like it. Reads like a piece of poetry as well.

Almost a haiku.

mth123
12-14-2012, 08:31 PM
I think the drop off in CF won't be as big as people think. Stubbs looked good out there, but I was underwhelmed watching him every day. I especially grew tired of his repeated "shyness" on balls in front of him. Pulling up and playing a ball on the bounce when its 10 to 15 feet in the air and another step or two would be all he needs to record the out was a regular event. Choo may give up a gapper or two a month that Stubbs would get to, but he'll make up for on the dinkers in front of him IMO.

As for reading the ball off the bat, CF is by far the easiest position to play if you have the speed to play it. No grounders. No slices or hooks. A true read every time. He won't be Wily Mo or post injury Griffey out there. People are making it out like he won't ever catch a fly ball.

dougdirt
12-14-2012, 08:42 PM
I think the drop off in CF won't be as big as people think. Stubbs looked good out there, but I was underwhelmed watching him every day. I especially grew tired of his repeated "shyness" on balls in front of him. Pulling up and playing a ball on the bounce when its 10 to 15 feet in the air and another step or two would be all he needs to record the out was a regular event. Choo may give up a gapper or two a month that Stubbs would get to, but he'll make up for on the dinkers in front of him IMO.

As for reading the ball off the bat, CF is by far the easiest position to play if you have the speed to play it. No grounders. No slices or hooks. A true read every time. He won't be Wily Mo or post injury Griffey out there. People are making it out like he won't ever catch a fly ball.

The ball certainly slices in center. It is just easier to notice than in the corners.

I think you may be underestimating the amount of gappers Choo gives up a month compared to Stubbs, particularly on the road. It wouldn't surprise me if it were one per series on the road and one every other series at home. Drew can flat out get it in the gaps.

CySeymour
12-20-2012, 09:44 AM
The ball certainly slices in center. It is just easier to notice than in the corners.

I think you may be underestimating the amount of gappers Choo gives up a month compared to Stubbs, particularly on the road. It wouldn't surprise me if it were one per series on the road and one every other series at home. Drew can flat out get it in the gaps.

If Drew didn't cut off that ball in game one of the playoffs, they Reds very well could have lost the first game. Neither Choo, Heisey or Bruce get to that ball.