Turn Off Ads?
Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 63

Thread: Stuck in reverse

  1. #1
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    28,439

    Stuck in reverse

    So I'm sitting down, trying to figure out what the Reds have to do this offseason in order to improve their fortunes, and it strikes me that everything on their plate, and I mean everything, was sitting there the day Dan O'Brien arrived.

    We've been through the first year of the DanO regime and the organization has yet to tackle any of its chief problems. In no specific order those problems are:

    1. Horrid pitching, the worst in franchise history.

    2. Ken Griffey Jr., Sean Casey and Danny Graves eating up too much of the payroll to invest in other areas.

    3. A thin feeder system, particularly in high impact prospects.

    4. A young superstar named Adam Dunn who's going to be too expensive to keep around if the organization doesn't put him on a LTC.

    Now, DanO did do some things I liked. He's shown aptitude at finding minor league filler with upside. Ben Kozlowski in fact has significant upside and might be the best arm DanO's found in the past year. He reworked the low minors pitching with the eight-man staff and it looked to generate positive results in Potomac.

    He also made a tough, but necessary call in not bringing back Barry Larkin. Now, I'm as big a Larkin fan as anyone, but the Reds are a mess and they need to throw ABs at young shortstops until one of them sticks. They'd be a better team with Barry Larkin and he's plenty affordable these days, but the team has to go into tryout mode. Unfortunately Larkin was at best third on the list veterans who needed to moved out.

    The top two spots belong, inarguably, to Ken Griffey Jr. and Danny Graves. A year ago I made the case that the Reds had to find a way to dump those contracts (and/or Sean Casey's) otherwise the organization would find itself even deeper in the same hole this year. I believed then it would a mortal sin of GMing to allow that to happen ... and I still do. There was a time in the summer when Jr. and Graves had their markets. The organization made the choice not to pursue those markets and now it gets to pay for that boneheaded decision. Jr.'s got 10/5 rights and the Reds will pay the bulk of of Graves' 2005 contract whether he's in town or not. The one contract they might be able to move is Sean Casey's and that's the one they want to keep. So it's nice to see the organization make a painful, but necessary call on Larkin (and there's no one rooting harder for him to wind up in Boston than me), but the failure to address far bigger problems that go right to the heart of the team's competitive future overwhelms that momentary show of spine.

    Not moving Paul Wilson in July is another decision that deserves a double-heaping of scorn. They had a chance to turn a meaningless pitcher into something. Now he's turned back into a pumpkin.

    That brings me to the pitching. It's entirely possible the 2004 Reds didn't have a single pitcher take the mound worth keeping over the next three years. I happen to think Ryan Wagner will be a good pitcher, but I wouldn't wager any body parts (not even an appendix) on it. I'm sure there's some who think Luke Hudson's the next big thing, just like they thought Aaron Harang was this summer or Jose Acevedo was last year. Hudson threw a ton pitches per hitter and sooner or later that's going to translate into ugly innings. Brandon Claussen's still got a lot of lumps to take. Under penalty of death, Paul Wilson should not be brought back for 2005. He is A) not a good pitcher and B) unable to chew up significant (200+) innings. I'd rather have Cory Lidle and I'd rather eat a hive of bees than see Lidle back in a Reds uni. Wilson will cost the Reds more than he'll cost any other team. If the Reds want someone like him, then go get someone else's castoff for $1M-$1.5M (or possibly less dependent upon the market).

    The Reds do have $8.75M from Wilson, Lidle and Haynes to spend on a pitcher. I still say Matt Clement's the guy to go after. Other pitchers and some sexy bats will be gobbled up before him, taking a lot of the big money off the table, plus the Cubs may not offer him arbitration. Clement should go for something within the Reds' price range. If the budget grows, then D'Angelo Jiminez (possibly in a package) might be able to fetch someone who's coming available for salary reasons (in the $4+M range). With Ryan Freel in town and William Bergolla (who did everything right in the second half of the season) in AAA, Jiminez, whom I like, is expendable.

    I don't expect there to be much help from the minors next season. I'm confident Eddie Encarnacion could do a good job, but I'd guess Felipe Lopez will be the opening day 3B (with Andy Machado or Ray Olmedo at SS). Todd Coffey might be able to make the jump, but starters like Richie Gardner and Thom Pauly are still too green. Absolute best case scenario on Bubba Nelson is he's going to need a year to find himself. Same with the wildly mishandled Dustin Moseley. Jung Bong and Matt Belisle have a talent deficit to overcome. Ben Kozlowski might get himself to the front of the class in short order, but he's got to master some command issues before he hits the majors (otherwise you're just looking at a Claussen clone).

    DanO proved unable to find young arms who could make a splash in the near term. His veteran fishing expeditions netted one live fish, Todd Jones, but also another, Gabe White, who left a stink lingering over the whole season. The 2004 Reds pitching was every bit as bad as the 2003 model and DanO's yet to show any aptitude or working game plan for stopping what has become a rolling disaster.

    And there isn't a ton of reason to think he delivered much in the way of help with the 2004 draft. Homer Bailey's at least four years away in a rosy scenario, more likely five or six years if he manages to stay healthy. B.J. Simmons (I like using his would-be Jazz Age name) didn't exactly set the world on fire in an extreme hitters league. In fact, the Billings club was filled with underwhelming hitters. Tyler Pelland looked good on the mound, but he's probably four (more likely five) years from being a pitcher of any note in the majors.

    Joey Votto's the only guy who looks like a fast riser on the farm. Encarnacion's ready as soon as the club blows through its 3B options in early 2005 (hopefully they'll have the good sense not to hand anything to Brandon Larson this time around) Bergolla, if his rediscovery of the BB sticks, could be a nifty addition in 2006.

    That brings us to Dunn. 2004 confirmed what many of us knew -- that he's fabulous. The problem is he just whacked 46 HR (with a .956 OPS) right before his first arbitration season. Record awards are sure to follow. The Reds, with an ounce of foresight, could have locked him up prior to season and saved themselves millions. However the Reds continue to let things happen to them rather than making the sort of aggressive moves it's going to take to rebuild the franchise into something good. Small market franchises simply cannot allow the course of events to wash over them.

    Dunn, if he isn't signed this offseason, will head into astronomical territory by 2006 and the Reds may be forced to deal him. The young OF they should be moving is Austin Kearns (though maybe not until next season so that he can push his market back up -- warning, he will be injured again, just as sure as it will be sweltering hot in Alabama next summer, so careful with the brinksmanship).

    The good news is the attendance this season. Apparently Cincinnati's a decent little baseball market. Who'd have guessed? I mean if only there had been some historical evidence which suggested that. Maybe now that the Reds have been reminded of that fact, they'll stop trying to mimic Milwaukee Kansas City and Pittsburgh.

    It goes to the heart of the organization's main flaw -- THE CINCINNATI REDS MUST STOP CONDUCTING BUSINESS AS USUAL. They've misjudged their market, failed to address their most glaring problems and neglected to put the necessary down payments on their future. As Reds fans, we're exactly where we were a year ago. It's beyond frustrating to root for a team that refuses to help itself. And these overarching problems only get more entrenched the longer they're allowed to linger.

    The Reds can't afford to keep duplicating 2004.
    Last edited by M2; 10-18-2004 at 06:43 PM.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

    I'm witchcrafting everybody.

  2. Turn Off Ads?
  3. #2
    Pre-tty, pre-tty good!! MWM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    12,324

    Re: Stuck in reverse

    Welcome back. It hasn't been the same. And I especially liked the "appendix" line.

    Also, as I was unpacking in my new home, I came across my Starlight Express CD. I was pretty excited as I was going to scan the cover and post it on the non-BB forum just for you. But you weren't around.
    Last edited by MWM; 10-18-2004 at 04:41 PM.
    Grape works as a soda. Sort of as a gum. I wonder why it doesn't work as a pie. Grape pie? There's no grape pie. - Larry David

  4. #3
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    28,439

    Re: Stuck in reverse

    Quote Originally Posted by MWM
    Welcome back. It hasn't been the same.

    Also, as I was unpacking in my new home, I came across my Starlight Express CD. I was pretty excited as I was going to scan the cover and post it on the non-BB forum just for you. But you weren't around.
    Been real busy. Too busy even for Broadwayfied roller disco, but I figured I'd stop by and comment on how, uh, similar things are to last year ... and the year before ... and the year before. If I didn't know better, I'd call this a trend.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

    I'm witchcrafting everybody.

  5. #4
    breath westofyou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    PDX
    Posts
    43,275

    Re: Stuck in reverse

    how, uh, similar things are to last year ... and the year before ... and the year before.


  6. #5
    Member red-in-la's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Santa Paula, CA
    Posts
    6,536

    Re: Stuck in reverse

    M2, sounds like a "sit down tongue lashing talk" that you need to give to Uncle Carl.....reminds me the of Dolly Parton lecture to her boss in 9 to 5.

    I still see JR as a DH in pinstripes.....NY pinstripes that is.

    But I would not agree with Jimenez. Freel is a distaster with a glove on. He might be a decen, nifty little lead off guy, but in the age of seeing Henderson and Garrett Anderson lead of (anf hit 30 HR's) it is really tough to think of Freel as any real answer.

    JImenez is one of the few really steady players on the Reds roster or in the whole organization ofr that matter......as long as Miley agrees to never bat him 5th again.

    I also disagree with one other point. The 2004 Reds were WORSE by design of DanO than the team he inherited.....I will even point out that wirtually every good thing that happened in 2004 was a JImbo plant......except maybe the Todd Jones thing....if that wins a good award.
    "Is there a problem officers?"

  7. #6
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    28,439

    Re: Stuck in reverse

    r-i-l, I'd rather have Jiminez than Freel too, but there's three factors that go into my thinking here:

    1. The 2005 Reds aren't going to be such great shakes.

    2. Jiminez will absolutely price himself out of town by 2006, possibly necessitating a Todd Walker style giveaway.

    3. Miley's made the decisions that Freel, not Jiminez is his leadoff guy (though I suppose Jiminez would be a good #2 hitter if Miley ever stuck him there).

    WOY, that's a brilliant piece of art there. The Enquirer or Post haven't done anything half that good in decades.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

    I'm witchcrafting everybody.

  8. #7
    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    south of the border
    Posts
    23,858

    Re: Stuck in reverse

    Quote Originally Posted by M2
    The Reds do have $8.75M from Wilson, Lidle and Haynes to spend on a pitcher. I still say Matt Clement's the guy to go after. Other pitchers and some sexy bats will be gobbled up before him, taking a lot of the big money off the table, plus the Cubs may not offer him arbitration. Clement should go for something within the Reds' price range.
    You are missing the point. To sign a decent FA pitcher(like Clement) it will take around ~8M A YEAR, but not just for one season. Most likely 3-4 and the Reds can't afford to make a commintment like that to a 30 something pitcher. It will cause the Reds to not be able to keep their younger players.

    No small market team has built any of their success on signing a high priced free agent. The Reds must stay far away from the Matt Clements. Their only hope is to develop their own of trade for a younger established pitcher who is not yet an FA(which are expensive in terms of trading).

    The key thing for the Reds in 2005 is to clear the deck of their salary obligation to the 30 something guys and to pay now to save some later.

  9. #8
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    28,439

    Re: Stuck in reverse

    Quote Originally Posted by flyer85
    You are missing the point. To sign a decent FA pitcher(like Clement) it will take around ~8M A YEAR, but not just for one season. Most likely 3-4 and the Reds can't afford to make a commintment like that to a 30 something pitcher. It will cause the Reds to not be able to keep their younger players.

    No small market team has built any of their success on signing a high priced free agent. The Reds must stay far away from the Matt Clements. Their only hope is to develop their own of trade for a younger established pitcher who is not yet an FA(which are expensive in terms of trading).

    The key thing for the Reds in 2005 is to clear the deck of their salary obligation to the 30 something guys and to pay now to save some later.
    The Reds have assiduously stayed away from talented pitchers for years, so you're likely to get your wish.

    I happen to think Clement will be a good pitcher the next three to four years based on his numbers over the past three years - 587.2 IP, 3.80 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 8.82 K/9, .666 OPS against. In fact I think his best years are in front of him. That's my projection. Might not be right, but he's a pitcher to whom I'd be willing to commit. The Reds, a team that lacks so much as a single pitcher worth any sort of commitment, desperately need to acquire such arms.

    I've been making this point for years. You have to start somewhere. You can't build a rotation overnight, but you can take the money you've got (and the Reds easily have the $7M-$8M it will take to get Clement) in order to lay a foundation.

    He actually gets easier to afford down the road because A) revenues rise over time and B) Graves comes off the books. Provided you do something smart like get yourself cost containment on players like Dunn and Pena, then a staff leader like Clement doesn't prevent you from doing anything.

    The Reds are nowhere near growing their own. Maybe in 2007 Thom Pauly or Richie Gardner show up and pitch well (too often we Reds fans confuse showing up as a guarantee that good pitching will follow -- we should know better). The Reds need to invest in quality pitchers when they've got money to spend and to work the trade market for pitchers. I'm completely on board with trading for arb eligibles or LTC guys, been banging that drum for years. And I wouldn't mind parting with some talent to get those pitchers.

    Remaking the salary composition of the team and putting together a rotation isn't easy, but it becomes next to impossible when you refuse to pay the going rate for a good (possibly undervalued) pitcher. 200 quality IP at the front of the rotation isn't going to come cheap and it's not going to come from inside the organization anytime soon. Either the Reds find someone worth the gamble or they can continue with the "Groundhog Day" routine.

    The point is that the pitching has been atrocious and short-term veteran fill like Paul Wilson, Cory Lidle and Jimmy Haynes has failed as a strategy. It's time to stop paying some money to bad pitchers in the hopes they'll be good and to start paying market value to good pitchers who can actually deliver.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

    I'm witchcrafting everybody.

  10. #9
    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Out Wayne
    Posts
    22,924

    Re: Stuck in reverse

    Quote Originally Posted by M2
    Been real busy. Too busy even for Broadwayfied roller disco, but I figured I'd stop by and comment on how, uh, similar things are to last year ... and the year before ... and the year before. If I didn't know better, I'd call this a trend.
    Glad to see you posting again. We probably disagree on about 90% of the political posts made on this board, but I usually both agree with, and appreciate, your analysis on the baseball side. I'm glad you are back.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

  11. #10
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    West N. Carolina
    Posts
    55,717

    Re: Stuck in reverse

    WOY what happend to that poor mans head??
    Go Gators!

  12. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    4,672

    Re: Stuck in reverse

    The starting pitching in 2004 was better than in 2003 marginally. But the Bullpen's collapse turned alot of games that should have been 5-3 losses into 10-3 losses. But Bullpen is the easiest position to rebuild which means I see a signifigent reduction of runs in 2005 compared to 2004 with the same staff we ended with in 2004. Any upgrades they get in 2005 and improvements they get from the current group will mean more innings and less strain on the bullpen. Hopefully they do both, but overspending on suspect FA's isn't a good idea.

    Undoubtly reducing payroll commitments from players such as Graves,Griffey,Casey would be nice but Griffey's body has laid that egg. The only way we "get out" of Griffey's contract is for retirement. Don't cover coat it.

    So the Reds lose Jimenez after 2005. So be it. 2.5 years as a Reds would be fitting and we will test the 2nd base depth(Most likely Bergolla, though Howard may challenge) we have in 2006. Again, naturally as you will want to spread the 5 mill Jimenez would make in 2006 to other areas of the team.

    FWIW, I don't agree with the Moseley "mishandling" stuff at all. Considering the strong way he went out in 2004, he will be better in 2005 because of it.

  13. #12
    Ripsnort wheels's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Posts
    7,676

    Re: Stuck in reverse

    I don't know if we can sure Kearns is gonna be hurt again.

    For one, he's young, so he can recover from injuries faster than a guy in his thirties.
    Secondly, I'm not so sure his injuries are the type that will recur, or be nagging. His shoulder? Possibly, but that was cause by trauma, so if he's fully recovered from surgery he should be okay.
    He doesn't seem to have gimpy knees just yet, or a balky hamstring, or nagging back problems.

    Maybe I'm being overly optimistic (me? nawwwww..), but if he can avoid bad luck, or collisions with three hundred pound relief pitchers, he can certainly put a whole healthy season together. Of course, I'm the overly optimistic one.

    What do you think about the third base experiment?
    "We know we're better than this, but we can't prove it." - Tony Gwynn

  14. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    14,260

    Re: Stuck in reverse

    Thoughtful post by M2. As I see it, the Reds basic problem has been relatively large payroll expense for position players and very little left over for pitching. The Reds need salary room to pay for pitching, even if at the expense of offense.

    You can bring up cheap young pitching, but it is very hard to compete without some high priced pitching talent. Reds are, in essence, completely unwilling/unable to pay for veteran pitchers.

    Isn't it ironic that the highest paid pitcher the Reds have had in the past years is Graves. One big pitching contract and the guy had no track record as a starter.

    I think O'Brien wanted to have a decent season and didn't trade away veterans because he thought it was important to start showing some results. Whether right or wrong, that is the past.

    I think the concept of re-signing Wilson and adding one reliever is totally inadequate. The Reds have to acquire several veteran pitchers and can't be afraid to pay $7 million per year for a good starter. I really don't mind if it requires trades of all of Casey, Griffey (if possible), Jimenez, and Larue to provide payflex.

  15. #14
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    28,439

    Re: Stuck in reverse

    Quote Originally Posted by Aronchis
    The starting pitching in 2004 was better than in 2003 marginally. But the Bullpen's collapse turned alot of games that should have been 5-3 losses into 10-3 losses. But Bullpen is the easiest position to rebuild which means I see a signifigent reduction of runs in 2005 compared to 2004 with the same staff we ended with in 2004. Any upgrades they get in 2005 and improvements they get from the current group will mean more innings and less strain on the bullpen. Hopefully they do both, but overspending on suspect FA's isn't a good idea.

    Undoubtly reducing payroll commitments from players such as Graves,Griffey,Casey would be nice but Griffey's body has laid that egg. The only way we "get out" of Griffey's contract is for retirement. Don't cover coat it.

    So the Reds lose Jimenez after 2005. So be it. 2.5 years as a Reds would be fitting and we will test the 2nd base depth(Most likely Bergolla, though Howard may challenge) we have in 2006. Again, naturally as you will want to spread the 5 mill Jimenez would make in 2006 to other areas of the team.

    FWIW, I don't agree with the Moseley "mishandling" stuff at all. Considering the strong way he went out in 2004, he will be better in 2005 because of it.

    Man, if only I had a dollar for every Redszone poster who insisted the pitching staff at the end of 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and now I guess 2004 would be better if it comes back to start the next season. I'd own an island in the Caribbean right now with enough cash leftover to put up a hurricane-proof villa.

    The Reds had a 5.54 ERA and .858 OPS against in September, which, miraculously, was worse than the team's overall numbers for the season. So the collection of never-wases and never-will-bes that finished the season actually managed to do worse against lesser competition than the pile of detritus that was in place for most of the season. Bad pitching recognition skills are needed and turning up your nose at a good pitcher who fits the budget will only buy you more of the same. Banking on improving the current group is like substituting Sam Kinison for Eliza Doolittle and thinking you've got a potential society girl.

    Jiminez: Good plan, pay him money to play a position you can cover with a less expensive player in what promises to be an uncompetitve year and then give him away for nothing after the season. I like Jiminez, but he might be able to fetch you a long-term piece of the puzzle right now. Maybe he can't. If that's the case, keep him and see what he's worth in July. But you once again seem to be advocating a do-nothing policy where the Reds lay around and continue to be a victim of circumstances. I've got a 21st Century's worth of evidence that tells me what a lousy idea that is.

    And only a Reds fans could construe four starts in which a pitcher allows more than a hit an inning while posting a K/9 of 4.26 as a strong finish. Moseley had the at-em ball working in his final four starts. Dustin cannot pitch like that and have any hope of success over the long haul. He never even sort of mastered AAA this past season and any good habits he might have developed pitching against an appropriate level of competition for a full season (something he's never done) got flushed with yet another pointless promotion courtesy of a desperate, pitching-incompetent organization.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

    I'm witchcrafting everybody.

  16. #15
    Member red-in-la's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Santa Paula, CA
    Posts
    6,536

    Re: Stuck in reverse

    I am not sure Jimmy Haynes was a failure. Paying him for more than one year proved to be a problem, but getting 15 wins from a journeyman the first year was a GREAT deal.

    Signing these guys isn't always bad.....you guys seem to have a good formula for picking them out. But sign a Jon Lieber (when lots of you urged the Reds to try) or a Chris Carpenter (ditto) or maybe even (next year) Dempster is maybe a good strategy.....it seems to work sometimes, you just have to pick the right time.

    Should the impossible happen and JR stay healthy (in LF or RF) and Kearns work out at 3B, the Reds MIGHT get close to the Cards blueprint if they could score a ton of runs and strike lightning in a bottle with one or two pitchers.
    "Is there a problem officers?"


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