Fact-finding tour doesn't disappoint Reds GM Krivsky
DAYTON — Wayne Krivsky said he doesn't know how long it will take, but understand, he is on the job.
Not only does the first-year general manager of the Cincinnati Reds want to make the Reds better, he wants to make the organization better.
To do that, Krivsky first juggled around some jobs. Now, he's on a fact-finding mission. Already he has visited Reds teams at Class AAA Louisville and Class AA Chattanooga.
For five days beginning last Thursday, Krivsky has sat in the stands at Fifth Third Field looking over the Class A Midwest League Dayton Dragons.
And not just during games. Most days he arrived well before batting practice, and while he did take a lot of calls on his cell phone, his eyes hardly left the field.
"I don't have a set time" on how long it will take to straighten out the Reds system, Krivsky said. "You have to have a real productive draft. You have to sign the right six-year free agents. You've got to make the right trades."
None of that was happening recently as the Reds system melted down to only one team — rookie Billings, Mont. — with a winning record last year.
It wasn't any better with the Reds, who were fifth out of six in the National League Central.
The Dragons have been used to this. They have finished out of playoff contention for three straight seasons — 13th, 14th and 14th out of 14 teams.
A six-game winning streak closed the first half for the Dragons at 35-35. Prior to Monday night's game, the Dragons were 1-3 with Krivsky watching.
"We've got players at every level," Krivsky insisted. "The people who come out with these rankings don't see every team. It's really subjective. I'm not disappointed at what I've seen."
Even though they're just hovering around the .500 mark, the Dragons are clearly better than they have been over the previous three seasons. More help may be on the way, too. Krivsky hinted he wouldn't be adverse to farm director Johnny Almaraz moving some of the new draft picks from the rookie Billings team to Dayton as soon as they are deemed acclimated to professional baseball.
Who might that be? Well, No. 1 pick Robert Stubbs, a center fielder from the University of Texas, was hitting .318 with three triples and four RBIs after six games, and closer Sean Watson, the second-rounder out of Tennessee, threw 32/3 innings in one game, not allowing a runner while striking out four. Oh, and first baseman Logan Parker, a 12th round pick from the University of Cincinnati, was hitting a monster .526 with a homer and four RBIs.
"You have to be careful you don't move players too quickly," Dragons manager Billy Gardner Jr. said. "If a guy fails, it becomes a mental thing. Players will tell you when they're ready to move (by the way they play)."
Notoriously slow in moving players, this year might be different for the Reds. They have already promoted two players — shortstop Paul Janish and closer Blake Hendley — on merit from the Dragons. Soon, Dayton may receive someone on merit from Billings instead of a rehab assignment player at extended spring training.