Originally Posted by Chip R
The problem with Hariston that I see is that the Reds have too many of his type of player. Freel, Hopper and Keppinger are of the same mold and Freel is signed through next year, IIRC. Plus there is the returning Alex Gonzalez - be it this year or next year. If you bring him back next year, are you getting the Hariston of the past month or the Hariston that he's been his whole career? Time and again we have seen this type of player burst on the scene and adopted as a fan favorite only to see him come down to his career norms.
Maybe he will burst on the scene and go down to career norms. Or maybe he will continue to be one of the best players on the team for another year. I certainly wouldn't give him ARod money, probably not even Freel money --but another year at a decent wage? Absolutely. In a heartbeat.
There is no logjam at the top of this order. Only Hairston and Kepp are tablesetters. Freel is frequently hurt and both he and Gonzo seem to have serious injuries (Gonzo now out for this year).
What I would do is keep Hairston and Kepp and add a lefty leadoff centerfielder who can hit (not CP, certainly), and let the three of them be tablesetters for this team using platoons, etc.
You can't count on Gonzo or Freel. The Reds obviously will try to move one or both of them. Maybe find a taker for Freel (doubtful for Gonzo post-surgery).
This thread, and others, seems to be about people predicting Hairston's failure. They may be right, but I'm willing to chance it for another year or so. At worst, he'll be a reasonably well paid back up.