Originally Posted by FlightRick
And there's the rub: if we can find a taker for Freel, then we can (in good conscience) extend Hairston.
But if we can't unload Freel, then we can't take the chance of having the same mistake on the roster twice. Especially when you add in the fact that Keppinger is, in many ways, essentially the third head on our current Three-Headed Super-Sub Monster, and is younger and cheaper than the other two.
We're ALL loving Hairston and it's because he's single-handedly solved our Lead-Off Conundrum. But it's worth noting that -- in seasons where he has played 100 games or gotten 300 ABs -- Hairston's previous best OBP was .336 (with a career OBP of .329 and that INCLUDES this year's amazing tear).
Meantime: the LOWEST OBP posted by Freel in a season of 100 games/300ABs is .363 (career .357). Keppinger has never had a 100 game/300AB season, but is OBP'ing .361 for his young career.
Two no-pop, 85-ish OPS+, right-handed supersubs/platoon guys would be perfectly fine for a well-constructed bench. Three no-pop, sub-100 OPS+, RH supersubs is one too many. And to me, that's still what Hairston is (not a guaranteed everyday player), which makes his future with the Reds totally dependent on moves made with other similar players on our roster, one of whom is under an over-priced contract and one of whom is dirt cheap for another year or two.
I think you summed it up well. I'm enjoying the tear Hairston is on right now but based off his body of work he is quite simply playing above and beyond his capabilities. I'd love to have him as a utility player but if you depend on him to be your every day leadoff hitter for next season we're going to be in for a big letdown. I'm sure injuries limited him a bit over his career but if the guy has been hurt for ten years then is that really an excuse? That would make me more scared to depend on him if he can't stay healthy. Ride him while he's hot and let him finish the year but in the offseason they need to find a true leadoff hitter.
p.s. I'd also be curious as to what kind of supplements Hairston is taking right now.