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Thread: It's Billy time....

  1. #1
    Member Old school 1983's Avatar
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    It's Billy time....

    I've seen many different takes in the reds offensive woes and what should be done. Here is mine.

    First off to everyone pointing at left and the two hole as the problem spots that needs fixed. That view while obvious is misguided. They are symptoms of the bigger issue with the offense: no right handed impact bat to protect votto and poorer team D in general.

    Look at the history. 2010 Gomes on fire. Votto protected he wins MVP. Last year we had ludwick to protect Phillips and votto in the three hole. Reds win 97. ( yes I know great D and pitching too but ill get back to that). 2011. No consistent cleanup. No playoffs. Seems like a theme.

    Second issue with this lineup. Too many low contact high pop guys. This results in a one dimemsional atrack in high Ks and inconsistent offensive performances.

    So how to fix it? Well right now it's way too soon to bring in any impact player so the reds are going to have to rely on their pitching to carry them to the trade deadline, but at the same time change things in the lineup.

    Step one: ID the issue. The 4 spot but that can't be fixed until the deadline so fix the symptoms while improving the D.

    So this means the two hole needs fixed while we improve the defense of the team at its two weak links. Center and third.

    First thing first. Do not assume ludwick will return and be at peak form, so It's Billy time. (Robinson down) Yes I know he probably not ready but right now we are getting nothing out of the two spot and our one dimensional approach with no speed is killing the top of the order. Plus just by virtue of his speed and athletic ability, it's a good bet he will be better than choo in center. Then choo can move to left and improve that too. In the two spot I'd use billy to bunt and move choo over and use his speed to disrupt the defense as much as possible and get on himself. He doesn't have to be a star. He just has to do better than cozart et al have done in the two spot so there wouldn't be much pressure.

    Step two: the Bruce Frazier decision. These two back to back in the order are the key culprits for the weak contact high K rally killing issue. So which one to keep in the lineup and who to pull. My answer is pull Todd. Bruce plays all star caliber D that never slumps plus he has a track record of streakiness. Frazier on the otherhand doesn't bring much of anything with his D when the bst is in famine mode. So what to do with third and what to do with Frazier?

    Third: hannahan brings the leather and gives decent at bats staying within himself and makes decent contact. AAA prospect Henry Rodriguez (lutz down for now) brings a solid contact switch hitting bat that the reds could use as a step away from feast or famine fence flailing. So my solution would be when Mez starts at catcher go with the D in hannahan. When anyone else starts go with the O with Hrod.

    Frazier: use him as last year. A super sub and right handed power off the bench. He can crush lesser pitchers or bring pop to the lineup when key stars need a break. Use him in those situations. Pick your spots and pitchers he can crush and insert him wisely. He can be an asset playing 100 to 120 games or so but he gets exposed as undisciplined as he starts more and sees better pitching.

    Catcher: there aren't many hitting issues with the catcher if that catcher is Mez. He gives good at bats seems to have a decent eye and makes hard contact. The other two catchers aren't bringing much to the plate. Solution. So long hanigan is out play Mez 4 out of 5 days. If his injury is prolonged corky needs to go. Bring up Barnhart.

    So after all if that the reds need to sit back and assess and go from there.

    The next part of my plan for at the deadline goes as follows:

    If cingrani is the real deal use either cueto or bailey as the key piece in a trade for Headley from San Diego. If ludwick looks like good right handed power off the bench or in a spot start use Frazier and prospect to grab a plus pitcher to add to rotation. Maybe a josh Johnson rental.

    If cingrani struggles: use prospects to acquire Michael Young from the phillies.

    That'd solve the four spot issue and depending on the billy experiment Phillips could go back to two or behind Bruce.

    So line before deadline:

    Choo
    Hamilton
    Votto
    Phillips
    Bruce
    Mez
    Hannahan/Rodriguez
    Cozart

    Post deadline:

    Choo
    Hamilton
    Votto
    Young/Headley
    Bruce
    Phillips
    Mez
    Cozart

    Or

    Choo
    Phillips
    Votto
    Headley/young
    Bruce
    Ludwick
    Mez
    Cozart

    Well. That's my take. Lets hear how crazy I am and how this is real life and not a video game. Haha

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  3. #2
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    Re: It's Billy time....

    Billy is hitting .205/.278/.307 in AAA...he's not ready and to bring him up now just makes this offense worse at this point.

    Barnhart is better, but he's in AA...doubt they bring up a C from AA at this point in time.

    I don't think trading pitching for hitting at this point is a good idea unless the guy you get is a superstar...I don't know that Headley or Young would be worth giving up our pitching depth...

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    Re: It's Billy time....

    Quote Originally Posted by dwyerbrg View Post
    Billy is hitting .205/.278/.307 in AAA...he's not ready and to bring him up now just makes this offense worse at this point.

    Barnhart is better, but he's in AA...doubt they bring up a C from AA at this point in time.

    I don't think trading pitching for hitting at this point is a good idea unless the guy you get is a superstar...I don't know that Headley or Young would be worth giving up our pitching depth...
    I know what billy is hitting in AAA. I also heard his BABIP is only .250. Also in a perfect world I'd say use Robinson in the outfield and bat him second. While using hannahan and hrod at third. Unfortunately the reds play in dustys world where the one or two times a week Robinson gets to play, he bats 8th and any of his speed and bunting ability is negated.

    I recognize Hamilton isn't ready but I think dusty would be more likely to bat him second than Robinson, plus he doesn't have to light the world up. He had to be fast and be able to get a runner over. If he can only get on base once a game I think his speed would be a more of a factor than anything anyone else does in that spot. Right now no one in the two hole even has the consistent ability to even just move choo over after he gets on.

    As far as Barnhart, the reds just brought Lutz up from AA. Idk why really. We have enough players of his handiness and skillset on the team. I'd go with Hrod. I would only go with Barnhart if hanigan is going to be out awhile. I heard his D is major league ready and I think anything is better than corkys bat. It's like having two pitchers in a row and that's an insult to some of our pitchers hitting.

    I'd never give up any of our starters for young. He's older and would just be a rental. Use prospects. Headley is a superstar and I think he'd bring this lineup together, improve the D and add protection to votto. What's the point of investing 225 million if he's never going to be able to hit at his maximum potential if he's never pitched to?
    Last edited by Old school 1983; 05-02-2013 at 09:23 AM.

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    Member cumberlandreds's Avatar
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    Re: It's Billy time....

    It's not time for Hamilton. He needs to prove he can do it in AAA before he comes to the show. So far he hasn't done much in AAA. He probably needs the entire season in Louisville.
    Maybe a September callup if he's doing well by then.
    Reds Fan Since 1971

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    Re: It's Billy time....

    Quote Originally Posted by cumberlandreds View Post
    It's not time for Hamilton. He needs to prove he can do it in AAA before he comes to the show. So far he hasn't done much in AAA. He probably needs the entire season in Louisville.
    Maybe a September callup if he's doing well by then.
    I recognize he may not be ready to be a star leadoff hitter in the big leagues. I'd be asking him to be a role player in the two spot that'd use his speed and bunting to pressure the defense and get choo over. That's more than any of our two hole guys are doing now. (Please see what I said about Robinson in my previous post on this thread).

    But honestly who on the current roster could fill that role in the two hole consistently, would be played regularly by dusty, and not be a defensive detriment? No one except Robinson, and well dusty won't play him regularly or bat him second.

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    Re: It's Billy time....

    Quote Originally Posted by Old school 1983 View Post
    I recognize he may not be ready to be a star leadoff hitter in the big leagues. I'd be asking him to be a role player in the two spot that'd use his speed and bunting to pressure the defense and get choo over. That's more than any of our two hole guys are doing now. (Please see what I said about Robinson in my previous post on this thread).

    But honestly who on the current roster could fill that role in the two hole consistently, would be played regularly by dusty, and not be a defensive detriment? No one except Robinson, and well dusty won't play him regularly or bat him second.
    Hamilton needs to be playing everyday and Louisville is the place for that. He won't get any better sitting on the bench and maybe getting one or starts a week. His role will be a starting CF and when he is ready for that then he can be called up. I do agree with you about Robinson. I would like to see him play more. He has great speed and if he can get on base he would really help out. I don't know if he can or cannot do that since he's hardly playing.
    Reds Fan Since 1971

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    Newbie Rock of Truth's Avatar
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    Re: It's Billy time....

    Billy is hitting .167 in his last 10 with an OBP of Less than .290. During these 10 games, he has zero muti-hit games and only 3 times has he been on base twice in the same game. His game needs work.

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    Re: It's Billy time....

    Quote Originally Posted by cumberlandreds View Post
    Hamilton needs to be playing everyday and Louisville is the place for that. He won't get any better sitting on the bench and maybe getting one or starts a week. His role will be a starting CF and when he is ready for that then he can be called up. I do agree with you about Robinson. I would like to see him play more. He has great speed and if he can get on base he would really help out. I don't know if he can or cannot do that since he's hardly playing.
    That was kind of my point on Hamilton. In an ideal world I say leave him in AAA until the last day he can be called up and be playoff eligible. Unfortunately we aren't in an ideal world. We have tons of injuries that have thrown the team and lineup out of whack. On top of it dusty is not playing his two best IMO options in the second spot, Mez or Robinson, namely Robinson. I think if billy came up with a mandate that he play everyday it'd force dustys hand. In my baseball dreamworld Robinson plays center bats second and holds the spot down until a more permanent solution can be found.

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    Re: It's Billy time....

    Yeah...I have to think you'd really mess Billy up...leave him where he is. Robinson is very similar player a couple three notches below Billy but at this point probably offers more. Simply make a Paul/Robinson platoon in left and bat them 2d. I agree about Mes with Hanny out. Cork should float out there once a week max. I still would play Hanny 2-3x a week if he was available...its not all about hitting you know. Hanigan is elite on the D side. Give Bruce a day or two off and hope he locks back in on returning. Its helped before. Hannahan over Frazier at 3d only marginally improves D and Jack has NONE of the offensive ability of Todd. You knock Hanigans offense but will put a guy at third who is as bad or worse. And Frazier has hardly been bad at third. No Rolen but he isn't a butcher either.

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    Re: It's Billy time....

    Quote Originally Posted by Rock of Truth View Post
    Billy is hitting .167 in his last 10 with an OBP of Less than .290. During these 10 games, he has zero muti-hit games and only 3 times has he been on base twice in the same game. His game needs work.
    I'm going to sarcastically make the April battle cry on here. Small sample size. I'm not saying call him up because I believe he's totally major league ready. I actually believe the contrary. But dusty isn't exploring better options in the majors. It's not an ideal situation right now. If it was I'd be a fool to say bring him up. The injuries and lack of exploring better in team options has kinda led me to the point if saying why not billy

  14. #11
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    Re: It's Billy time....

    Quote Originally Posted by RedlegJake View Post
    Yeah...I have to think you'd really mess Billy up...leave him where he is. Robinson is very similar player a couple three notches below Billy but at this point probably offers more. Simply make a Paul/Robinson platoon in left and bat them 2d. I agree about Mes with Hanny out. Cork should float out there once a week max. I still would play Hanny 2-3x a week if he was available...its not all about hitting you know. Hanigan is elite on the D side. Give Bruce a day or two off and hope he locks back in on returning. Its helped before. Hannahan over Frazier at 3d only marginally improves D and Jack has NONE of the offensive ability of Todd. You knock Hanigans offense but will put a guy at third who is as bad or worse. And Frazier has hardly been bad at third. No Rolen but he isn't a butcher either.
    Once hanigan comes back he should get two starters until he can prove his hitting woes were injury related. The staff has pitched well with Mez in there. I'm sure hanny has an effect on the pitching but I think this period where he is out has proved it's not as mystical as some once thought. As far as Frazier I'd use hannahan and Hrod at third. Hannahan brings the glove and actually has a fecent approach at the plate. Hrod would bring the bat. Right now Frazier looks like he couldn't hit water if he fell out of the titanic. His glove doesn't justify him being in there when he is this cold. Id definitely give him playing time though. Spot him in right to give Bruce a chance to chill. Spot him in left and at third occasionally. If his bat gets hot again ride the hot hand. I was also saying play the D when Mez and play the bat with whoever else back there. In other words Frazier or Henry Rodriguez.
    Last edited by Old school 1983; 05-02-2013 at 10:56 AM.

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    Re: It's Billy time....

    I think our biggest diff after reading your reply is our perceptions of Hannahan as a hitter. We agree that adjustments are screamed for but Dusty seems incapable of that. Nothing huge, imo, as I think this is going to selfcorrect over time but Corky starting and his handling of the 2 spot drive me crazy. I'd be for spot starting Hannahan to give Todd a bit of time off choosing those spots based on which pitcher is likely to give Todd fits. Same with Bruce. When he is cold give him day or two off. When either is cold a start for someone else hardly hurts the offense and might help them get going again.

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    Re: It's Billy time....

    Quote Originally Posted by RedlegJake View Post
    I think our biggest diff after reading your reply is our perceptions of Hannahan as a hitter. We agree that adjustments are screamed for but Dusty seems incapable of that. Nothing huge, imo, as I think this is going to selfcorrect over time but Corky starting and his handling of the 2 spot drive me crazy. I'd be for spot starting Hannahan to give Todd a bit of time off choosing those spots based on which pitcher is likely to give Todd fits. Same with Bruce. When he is cold give him day or two off. When either is cold a start for someone else hardly hurts the offense and might help them get going again.
    I agree exactly with that. My hrod part is more inline with why the heck did they call Lutz up? We have plenty of players that offer his skillset. I have no delusions of grandeur for jack at the plate. I look at it this way. Frazier struggles against better pitching. When the reds play a top starter hannahan should play. His glove will probably save more runs than Frazier will bat in. Our pitching will keep us in the game. Later in the game when a reliever comes in that throws more gas and less crooked stuff pinch hit Frazier and see if he could pop one. Sounds kind of like last year where Frazier was a success.

  17. #14
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    Re: It's Billy time....

    Jake you're definitely right about stuff self correcting too. Baseball is a long season and stuff definitely does even out. I like your approach regarding Frazier too. Spot him in where he can succeed. A lot of people on here treat him like a perennial all star and dont realize this is his first year starting and he'll have bumps whereit may be better to go with a veteran backup, or worse case senerio prove himself not to be a big league starter. Concerning calling up Rodriguez, I think he could be tried at the 2 spot whereas Lutz never could.

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    Re: It's Billy time....

    Rodriguez? You mean Hamilton? LOL....I am anxiously following Yorman too but he's still in A ball. Saw your minor league forum question about a late season call for him so I'm betting you had Yorman's future possibilities on your mind when you said that. You must be like me...the whole Reds spectrum at once...


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