I was looking through stats this past weekend and was struck by how well Chris Denorfia played at all levels last year. According to the Baseball America 2006 Almanac, he was the Reds' minor league leader in hits (162), runs (90), and total bases (269). The same publication lists him as second in the organization in RBI (87 + 2 with Reds) and credits him with leading AAA Louisville with a .391 OBP. He also has some power, as he totaled 21 HRs in a season split between AA, AAA, and the Reds. He also performed well with the Reds in his short visit (18 Gs). He had the following stats: .263 (BA), .421 (SLG), .364 (OBP).
The above stats had me interested until I checked the 2006 Bill James Handbook, which projects Denorfia to have an OPS comparable to Kearns and better than Pena: .857 (Denorfia), .860 (Kearns), .809 (Pena). These stats then prompted the question: How much flexibility does the presence of Denorfia give the Reds in trading Pena or Kearns? I know there are serious issues relating to injuries and the need for a backup, as well as issues about what Dan O'Brien would bring back in return (I picture the oft-told story of my uncle who once traded his bike for two live catfish). Nevertheless, I can't help thinking that the Reds' achilles heel has been pitching. Without pitching, an injured Griffey, Pena, and Kearns won't matter. It didn't matter that they were healthy last year with no pitching. Assuming a competent GM is hired by new ownership in the next month, would the above stats influence your thinking about trading Pena or Kearns for a solid GABP-friendly pitcher?