Turn Off Ads?
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 37

Thread: Platoon in LF for 2014?

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    87

    Platoon in LF for 2014?

    Since the Reds are ~ $111mm in salary for 2014, they don't have the cash to spend on upgrading their personnel this year.

    Just out of curiosity, I was looking for cheap OF's who hit left handed. (I know the Reds do need a RH power bat to bat cleanup, but hey, they really are kind of financially restricted @ the moment) But I was looking for a lefty who could platoon with Ryan Ludwick.

    Ludwick over the past 3 years has a slugging % of .491 vs lefties and .405 vs Righties. OPS of .843 vs lefties compared to .717 vs Righties.

    This to me suggests there is a prime opportunity for a platoon in LF. (So you run the risk of a 3-4-5 all hitting lefty, but it's not so bad-- the Cards starting rotation are all righties.)


    Nate Schierholtz was a guy I was looking @. The Cubs don't really need him long term. Soler is their future RF. He's a FA after 2014. He's definitely attainable in a trade.

    His expected arb # is $4.4mm so a bit pricey for a platoon. Plus he should be cheap to trade for--- a C+ prospect and maybe some international bonus slot money should do the trick. (Theo loves to build farm systems and draft players)

    Anyway- it's hard to cut and paste so I'll just cut and paste a few #'s, vs things like doubles, triples etc.

    Votto played 162 games last year and had 716 plate appearances. 480 vs righties, 236 vs lefties. I figured this gives me a good approximation on the R/L distribution for this exercise.

    Because Luddy missed most of last season, I had to use a 3 year average on his splits.

    Based on a # of 236 ab's vs lefthanders (what Votto saw last year) He would be expected to hit like:

    PA BB AB's HR
    236 31 205 11.60

    Nate Schierholtz #'s over a 3 year period and based on 480 ab's, his #'s would look like.

    PA BB AB's HR
    480 32 448 18.27

    Combined over a season, 29.87 Hr's with a .483 slugging % over 716 plate appearances. Oops, slugging % didn't cut and paste properly--- but it came to a .483 slugging.


    Schierholtz played a bit more last year than the previous years and if we are looking @ just last year's #'s-- he would approximately do the following damage in 2014.

    PA BB AB's HR
    Nate Schierholtz 480 22 458 22.39


    Combined with Ludwick's approximation, a platoon next year would be around 33.99 or 34 HR's from the pair and a .497 Slugging %.


    Historically here are Ludwick's Slugging % #'s.

    SLG % Age
    .479 28
    .591 29
    .447 30
    .418 31
    .363 32
    .531 33
    .326 34


    If the Reds got a platoon that did a combined .497% slugging next year-- that would be solid given what Ludwick has done historically over the past few years. I'm highly doubting he can pull off a year like he did 2 years ago.

    Not to mention, over the past 7 years-- he's only averaged 408 ab's a year. He's not a 155 games, 675 plate appearances type player. He's perfect for a platoon situation-- and it doesn't work real well when his backup (Heisey) is a right handed hitter as well.


    Arb #'s approximation. Shierholtz $4.4mm-- Heisey ~ $1.7mm. So a difference of $2.7mm, plus something in a trade.


    Best case scenario-- and the Reds got Schierholtz and the platoon worked--- it is 34 HR's and .497 Slugging %.

    FWIW-- Jay Bruce over the past 3 years has averaged 32 HR's a .488 slugging %.

    Actually the platoon should be a little worse-- Ludwick's #'s are inflated by his 2012 production. However it shouldn't affect it that much since Ludwick would only get about 1/3rd of the ab's in a platoon.


    Downside is a 3-4-5 order that is lefty lefty lefty. But I'm assuming if a lefty came in to pitch- the Reds would pinch hit Ludwick for Schierholtz-- and vice versa if Ludwick was in and a RH came into pitch.


    Anyway-- Finding a Lefty bat to platoon with Ludwick could give a nice increase in production out of the LF spot. Especially since that left handed hitter should see about 2/3rds of the ab's.

    If someone wants to take the time and research-- who would you recommend to be a LH bat to platoon with Ludwick in 2014? The only restriction is the player has to be cheap and can fit into the Reds budget. I would say about $5mm max. Basically a LH batter to replace Heisey.

  2. #2
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    14,843

    Re: Platoon in LF for 2014?

    The Reds offense is filled with so many splitty, low OBP, medium power RH bats, I'm a big believer that platoons at many positions could really improve the offense. 2B, SS and 3B could use LH Bats to at least tandem with the starters if not a straight platoon. Brayan Pena and Skip Schumaker will probably be used as tandem partners (though Skippy maybe at more than one position). I thought Kelly Johnson (LF, 2B and 3B), Eric Chavez (3B), Garrett Jones (LF), Seth Smith (LF), Raul Ibanez (LF) and Nate McClouth (LF/CF) were guys who have already been moved/found new homes this off-season who might be good fits. Xavier Paul wasn't a terrible choice, but the Reds chose to keep a few lesser players (IMO) on the roster while non-tendering a guy who was at least useful. Jack Hannahan is one lefty bat who is not really an upgrade and I hope is somehow moved this winter or released in Spring Training (or sooner).

    Your Schierholtz suggestion is pretty good. Some other names for you in order of preference:

    Matt Joyce
    Will Venable
    Mike Carp

    and one that would require a team eating a ton of money - Andre Ethier.

    Joyce is probably most obtainable of that group.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    87

    Re: Platoon in LF for 2014?

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    Your Schierholtz suggestion is pretty good. Some other names for you in order of preference:

    Matt Joyce
    Will Venable
    Mike Carp

    Joyce is probably most obtainable of that group.
    Based on 3 year splits. (Not a perfect way to estimate of course)

    PA BB AB's HR Slg%
    Matt Joyce 480 58 422 19 0.467
    Nate Shierholtz 480 32 448 18 0.48
    Will Venable 480 37 443 14 0.447
    Mike Carp 480 50 430 17 0.449
    Lucas Duda 480 72 408 16 0.456


    Joyce made $2.45mm last year. Venable has a 2 year deal-- $4.25mm per year the next 2 years. SD just resigned him a few months ago. Duda would be a disaster fielding in LF I would imagine-- but the Mets are shopping him. Duda and Carp basically made $500K last year- so they are cheap.

    I should have put .OBS-- but I was looking @ Slugging because Ludwick bats 4th in the order-- I was looking for lefthanded hitters who had some pop.
    Last edited by Ladeda; 12-27-2013 at 05:44 PM. Reason: Wow, that is ugly to read. I tried to format it to make PA, BB, AB's, HR and Slg% easier to read. I failed.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    234

    Re: Platoon in LF for 2014?

    Unless Ludwick really struggles, I don't see either Walt or Price looking at him as a "Platoon" type player.

  5. Likes:

    Old school 1983 (12-27-2013)

  6. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    87

    Re: Platoon in LF for 2014?

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Fan View Post
    Unless Ludwick really struggles, I don't see either Walt or Price looking at him as a "Platoon" type player.
    Considering how Ludwick has not exceeded 490 ab's any of the past 5 years, he is almost a platoon player by default.

    At best he will get about 500 plate appearances out of approximately 715. So that is 70% of the ab's. Someone else will be getting 30% of the ab's in left field.

    Why not take advantage of his strengths and use him exclusively vs lefties?

    Over the past 3 years here are his splits.

    .OBP SLG OPS
    .352 .491 .843 vs Lefties
    .312 .405 .717 vs Righties


    .405 Slugging % vs righties. Not to mention, he's getting older and odds are he will continue to be declining. In reality, he's not going to have a 2012 again where he slugged .513 vs righties. Odds are he's going to hit more like he did in 2011, when he slugged .347 vs Righties. 2012 was an aberration. He's 35 and turns 36 in July of next year. Expecting another 2012 is very very unlikely. Possible, but very, very unlikely.

    Give me one of those lefties who will slug 100+ points higher than Ludwick-- especially if they are batting 4th/5th in the lineup.

  7. #6
    Grouch ac084c's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    514

    Re: Platoon in LF for 2014?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ladeda View Post
    Considering how Ludwick has not exceeded 490 ab's any of the past 5 years, he is almost a platoon player by default.
    His ABs over the last four seasons are due to his injury-proneness. There is no such think as a platoon player by default.

    You don't play a platoon player 9MM/year - unless you've got a 200M+ payroll. The last time I checked, the Reds are far from that.

  8. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    87

    Re: Platoon in LF for 2014?

    Quote Originally Posted by ac084c View Post
    You don't play a platoon player 9MM/year - unless you've got a 200M+ payroll. The last time I checked, the Reds are far from that.

    Salary shouldn't even be entering into the equation. It's a sunk cost. If he's not good enough, he's not good enough. What happens if Heisey gets off to a hot start in the games he plays? Are you going to bench Heisey just because Ludwick has the higher salary?

    You have to look @ every opportunity to improve the team, and LF is definitely one spot. If you can find a LH platoon partner for cheap that will perform significantly better than Ludwick vs Righties- then it's definitely something to look @. The Reds don't have the cash to sign/trade for a $10MM OF.

  9. #8
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    14,843

    Re: Platoon in LF for 2014?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ladeda View Post
    Salary shouldn't even be entering into the equation. It's a sunk cost. If he's not good enough, he's not good enough. What happens if Heisey gets off to a hot start in the games he plays? Are you going to bench Heisey just because Ludwick has the higher salary?

    You have to look @ every opportunity to improve the team, and LF is definitely one spot. If you can find a LH platoon partner for cheap that will perform significantly better than Ludwick vs Righties- then it's definitely something to look @. The Reds don't have the cash to sign/trade for a $10MM OF.
    I somewhat agree with the theory, but Ludwick is penciled in as the primary RH power bat in the line-up. He's going to be the clear starter and won't be part of a straight platoon. I do see him getting frequent days off (that was true even in his big season of 2012). What he needs is a LH Hitting "caddy" to play a couple days each week against certain RH pitching. The puzzling part to me is that Xavier Paul seemed like a pretty decent choice for that job. I have a hard time understanding the need to release a guy who may have made $1 Million in arb in order to make a roster spot for Juan Duran, Ryan Lamarre or Nick Christiani. When he was released, I assumed the Reds were clearing the path for a better player, but we've gotten Skippy, Brayan Pena and a minor league deal for Jason Bourgeois.

    Maybe Donald Lutz will start-off hot at AAA and enter the picture. If the light goes on, he could be an answer as a LH platoon option. Since all the Reds seem to be doing this off-season is hoping things go right instead of actually filling holes with established guys, Lutz fits the plan.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

  10. #9
    Grouch ac084c's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    514

    Re: Platoon in LF for 2014?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ladeda View Post
    Salary shouldn't even be entering into the equation. It's a sunk cost. If he's not good enough, he's not good enough. What happens if Heisey gets off to a hot start in the games he plays? Are you going to bench Heisey just because Ludwick has the higher salary?

    You have to look @ every opportunity to improve the team, and LF is definitely one spot. If you can find a LH platoon partner for cheap that will perform significantly better than Ludwick vs Righties- then it's definitely something to look @. The Reds don't have the cash to sign/trade for a $10MM OF.
    If you're telling me that money doesn't affect these managers/gms decisions - then I don't know that to say. If Heisey was good enough to displace Ludwick as a starter - he would have already.

    If they have an internal minors player that they want to bring up to get significant at bats in LF - then they would trade Ludwick - like the Cardinals did with David Freese. They could have played Freese off the bench and to platoon against LH hitting at third - but they didn't want to pay a bench player $4MM.

    Ludwick is the starter, barring injury.

  11. #10
    Moderator RedlegJake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    North Kansas City, Mo
    Posts
    5,860

    Re: Platoon in LF for 2014?

    ac084c is right on the salary issue. Ladeda, you're right that it should not be an issue but we are talking about real management, owners and money. Maybe for us, sitting here having a BB discussion it shouldn't be an issue and is a sunk cost but across baseball, how many guys making Ludwick's money are platooned or sit regularly? There are a few but darn few. When a guy making that much ends up on the bench it almost always prefaces a trade. Owners want to see their bigger investments out on the diamond. As mth123 points out, Lud is rested already on a frequent basis, even when healthy so there is an opportunity for a guy who can hit RH pitching to get some ABs. It doesn't rise to the level of a platoon, though.
    No - I am not from State Farm!

  12. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    87

    Re: Platoon in LF for 2014?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedlegJake View Post
    ac084c is right on the salary issue. Ladeda, you're right that it should not be an issue but we are talking about real management, owners and money. Maybe for us, sitting here having a BB discussion it shouldn't be an issue and is a sunk cost but across baseball, how many guys making Ludwick's money are platooned or sit regularly? There are a few but darn few. When a guy making that much ends up on the bench it almost always prefaces a trade. Owners want to see their bigger investments out on the diamond. As mth123 points out, Lud is rested already on a frequent basis, even when healthy so there is an opportunity for a guy who can hit RH pitching to get some ABs. It doesn't rise to the level of a platoon, though.

    We are just going to have to agree to disagree on this topic. My answer is probably going to be incredibly long.

    First, I have to agree that yes-- all things equal, owners probably want to see the guys making the bigger money playing on a regular basis. Add yes, if he's benched- then they would prefer to trade him. (See Ethier or Kemp)

    Can we agree that the Reds have close to zero money available to spend this offseason?

    Can we agree that Ludwick's contract is excessive for someone of his production?

    Can we agree that Ludwick is 35 years old and will turn 36 in July? And his best days are most likely behind him?

    Can we agree that LF is an option the Reds should consider upgrading with a short term solution until hopefully Ervin is ready in 18 months to 24 months?


    If the Reds can find a better option than Ludwick @ LF that doesn't break the bank, it's something the Reds need to seriously need to look at. If that means finding someone who replaces him or platoons with him- it's something to look @.

    Part of the job of the manager is to put the best players on the team on the field @ the same time regardless of players salaries. Can we kind of agree on this point? Sort of? (Heck, it's not like Ludwick is a Star like Votto or Bruce-- he's just an expensive average player)

    Unfortunately for the Reds, they are full of 4th OF's for the LF spot. (Heisey, Schumacher etc.) The Reds currently do not have a LF on the roster who is better than Ludwick. I think we can all agree to this point. Ludwick is currently the best option the Reds have in LF.

    Cheap Reds options in the farm system are 2 years away. Winker and Ervin should be starting in AA next year. Lutz in AAA, and it's not like his AA #'s were that great. He's not a future starting OF anyway IMO.

    If the Reds want an upgrade in LF, they will have to find one currently not on their roster or in their farm system.

    Going back to the question of players who make alot of money who are benched. For example, what happens next year in LA, when Crawford, Kemp, Ethier and Puig are all healthy? Puig isn't getting benched, so that means 1 of Ethier, Crawford and Kemp are starting the season on the bench. Right now, possibly Ethier and his his $17mm contract. all 3 of those guys have massive contracts.

    Would there be a revolt in LA if Ethier started over Puig? Yes there would. It's not a perfect example for the Reds, because the Reds don't have a Puig that would slot into LF to replace Ludwick. So salary doesn't necessarily equate to starting if you have a viable backup. In this case, Puig for the Dodgers.

    Yes, the Dodgers would like to trade Ethier (or Kemp) but their contracts are massive. $71mm over 4 years left for Ethier-- and Kemp-- $128mm through 6 years and he has shoulder and ankle issues.

    The Dodgers are finding it hard to trade Ethier who is younger and better than Ludwick. You right-- expensive players on the bench are usually prime candidates to get traded.

    Which gets me back to one of my previous statements that Ludwick's contract is untradeable. I think the Reds know he is overpaid, but they really can't move him even though they would LOVE to. I don't know who would pay that much money for that little production and trade a player for it.


    I have no idea where I'm really going with this, since it's late and I need to sleep.

    I haven't sufficiently articulated my point, that just because Ludwick is making alot of money doesn't mean that the Reds shouldn't look @ that position as a possible position to try and upgrade. They really should-- even Ludwick's best years weren't that good. He's likely to be piss poor this season. (Watch him bat .260 and hit 30 HR's now) OK, piss poor is harsh, but lets say he is somewhere between .5 and 1.1 WaR. That's not that great. If I can find a $3mm option or less who will hit better than him- i'm taking it every day of the freaking week.

    The Manager wants to win-- if he doesn't win, he's getting canned. If Ludwick is batting .212 with 4 hr's @ the end of May, don't you think the manager will be looking for a replacement? salary be damned. Skip really isn't a good option in LF for a handful of games because he really isn't that much better vs RHP compared to LHP and he has no pop.

    My original point of looking @ Schierholtz is because he's an upgrade over Ludwick vs RHP. He will make about $4mm next year which is about all the Reds can afford if even that.

    He had 409 AB's vs RHP last year, and hit 20 HR's. He slugged .499 and he's an ok right fielder defensively. Ludwick was -6.8 UZR/150 in 2012, and -23.5 in 2013.

    Schierholtz UZR/150 was 2.5 and -1.1 in 2012 and 2013. Schierholtz is better defensively than Ludwick and can also play RF. (For the few rare games when maybe Bruce gets moved to CF when BHam needs a day off)

    I know Ludwick is making money, but if the Reds can add someone who will hit better than him vs RHP and also play better Defense while not costing an arm and a leg, shouldn't it be something the Reds are looking @?

    I'm sure there are probably better, cheaper options than Schierholtz. Just someone who is a monster vs RHP and isn't stonehenge in LF defensively.

    We will have to agree to disagree-- but I firmly feel if the Reds can't find a solid fulltime LF to replace Ludwick (which they can't because they are broke and Winker/ERvin are not ready) Then the Reds need to look into finding a LH batter with extreme splits favoring his production vs RHP and who is also cheap- the Reds should look into it as a means to upgrade their hitting for 2014.


    Heck, when the Reds have zero money to spend, you need to get creative trying to improve production on the field. If it means taking advantage of matchups, do it to it.

  13. Likes:

    Drugs Delaney (01-24-2014)

  14. #12
    Grouch ac084c's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    514

    Re: Platoon in LF for 2014?

    Didn't the Reds (along with every other MLB team) just get 25MM in TV Money? Did they spend that on Choo? Did they spend that on any significant FA?

    They have money to spend still. Is their top priority LF - where they're already paying a guy 10MM in hopes he'll be healthy again?

    For your arguments sake, let's say they are. It would be irresponsible for them, should they sign an OF to displace Ludwick for them not to trade Ludwick as well.

  15. #13
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    14,843

    Re: Platoon in LF for 2014?

    Quote Originally Posted by ac084c View Post
    Didn't the Reds (along with every other MLB team) just get 25MM in TV Money? Did they spend that on Choo? Did they spend that on any significant FA?

    They have money to spend still. Is their top priority LF - where they're already paying a guy 10MM in hopes he'll be healthy again?

    For your arguments sake, let's say they are. It would be irresponsible for them, should they sign an OF to displace Ludwick for them not to trade Ludwick as well.
    They spent it last year when they increased the payroll by 20 Million from 2012. They borrowed from it by backloading raises and buy-outs for Ludwick, Hannahan, Broxton and Latos. I'd guess the Reds could add $5 to$10 Million, but nothing like signing Drew or Cruz or dealing for Kemp or Ethier can happen unless some payroll is unloaded. These scenarios that increase the payroll by 30% from 2013 are more unrealistic than saying they'll ride Zach Cozart's .950 OPS to the title.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

  16. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    164

    Re: Platoon in LF for 2014?

    Quote Originally Posted by ac084c View Post
    Didn't the Reds (along with every other MLB team) just get 25MM in TV Money? Did they spend that on Choo? Did they spend that on any significant FA?

    They have money to spend still. Is their top priority LF - where they're already paying a guy 10MM in hopes he'll be healthy again?

    For your arguments sake, let's say they are. It would be irresponsible for them, should they sign an OF to displace Ludwick for them not to trade Ludwick as well.
    I'm pretty sure that $25 million was just the average. Some teams got more (larger markets) and some got less. I haven't seen how much the Reds received, or anyone else.

  17. #15
    Grouch ac084c's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    514

    Re: Platoon in LF for 2014?

    Quote Originally Posted by LewGra View Post
    I'm pretty sure that $25 million was just the average. Some teams got more (larger markets) and some got less. I haven't seen how much the Reds received, or anyone else.
    Where the previous contract paid teams an average of $25.53 million each per year, next year’s contract will pay teams an average of $51.67 million per year. Having an additional $26 million on hand seems useful.

    MLB’s collective bargaining agreement, however, stipulates that teams share 34% of their local TV money. The shared pool is then split evenly among all thirty teams.


    http://www.awfulannouncing.com/2013/...v-dollars.html


Turn Off Ads?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Board Moderators may, at their discretion and judgment, delete and/or edit any messages that violate any of the following guidelines: 1. Explicit references to alleged illegal or unlawful acts. 2. Graphic sexual descriptions. 3. Racial or ethnic slurs. 4. Use of edgy language (including masked profanity). 5. Direct personal attacks, flames, fights, trolling, baiting, name-calling, general nuisance, excessive player criticism or anything along those lines. 6. Posting spam. 7. Each person may have only one user account. It is fine to be critical here - that's what this board is for. But let's not beat a subject or a player to death, please.

Thank you, and most importantly, enjoy yourselves!


RedsZone.com is a privately owned website and is not affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds or Major League Baseball


Contact us: Boss | GIK | BCubb2003 | dabvu2498 | Gallen5862 | LexRedsFan | Plus Plus | RedlegJake | redsfan1995 | The Operator | Tommyjohn25