Originally Posted by REDREAD
In the beginning of the season, Bruce was in the minors.
At the end of the season, injuries and trades decimated the team's OF depth.
What were the alternatives?
1. Bruce and/or Dickerson could've been called up earlier. Well, that's all on Walt and Wayne. Dusty can't play the guy if he's in AAA. Once the kids arrived, he did give them playing time.
2. Harriston could've gotten more time in CF. Harriston was another non roster player that barely made the roster. No one foresaw him having a career year. I can't remember in detail what time periods Harriston was hurt and what time periods he was forced to play SS, but that also played a part in Patterson getting more CF time
3. Hopper? He was hurt much of the season and IMO it's debatable whether he's as good as Patterson.
Does that logic make sense? I am not talking down to you, but it's a myth that Dusty played Patterson out of stupidity. His hand was pretty much forced. With Jr and Dunn on the corners, it made sense to have a good glove in CF and show some patience with Patterson (early in the season).
That is why I want Walt to get some OF depth. Taveras may not be a gold glove CF like Patterson was, but let's look at the alternatives if we get an OF injury. Do you want to be forced to play a corner OF out of position or be forced to call up a minor leaguer that will hit/OBP worse than Janish?
We all get the fact that Taveras' walk rate is below average for a leadoff hitter. We all get the fact that he's an OBP risk, etc. But it's not as if the Reds can pull someone out of their minor leagues that is going to be better to fill his spot. The Reds also have a lot of holes to fill and a limited budget to do it. I don't mind them cutting corners a little bit on backup OF. If that leaves more money to get a quality LF, that is a good thing.
I think the chorus of objections in these parts has more to do with CP playing CF and
batting leadoff. He'd likely do the same with WT--which would arguably be worse because, from what I've seen, WT is not nearly the fielder that CP is. WT is fast and that's about it.
Look, I honestly think the Reds would be better off re-signing Hairston and then responding to a possible injury by bringing up Stubbs or Dorn and slotting them low in the lineup with some combo of Dickerson and Keppinger in the leadoff spot. Hopper plays the role that you envision for Taveras as the AAAA OF in case of emergency. The team already has players who are better than WT, so his acquisition would just be sunk cost.
If Walt wants OF depth, I really hope he goes out and signs players who have skills that add to the roster rather than repeat what it already has. That means taking a chance on Baldelli or Bradley or Dye or even Burrell. But please, no Willy Taveras.