Here is the Reds Hot Stove League show report for 3-28-07. Tom Gamble was the host tonight. Jeff Brantley and Wayne Krivsky will be on the show later on. Tom talked about how the weather would be next week and recapped the game today. Tom gripped a bit about Harang giving up a lot of hits during ST. Tom said that X-Rays on Freel's ribs were negative.
After commercial, Jeff Brantley joined Tom by phone. After bantering about packing and clothing to wear, Tom asked about the Reds record and if it meant anything. Jeff said he doesn't think it means a whole lot but a strong record shows depth and strength of an organization. He said teams that win have guys who have the ability to play in the big leagues. Tom asked Jeff about Josh Hamilton's throw against the Sox on Monday and Freel's catch on Tuesday. Jeff said that shows the talent level of the Reds and he said when Josh caught the ball against the wall it was a really good play since it bounced off the and onto the warning track so it didn't go right in his glove; he had to make a stab for it. Jeff said that there aren't too many OFers who could have taken that ball, turned and threw the ball to 2nd like that.
After commercial Tom asked Jeff about Narron's comment about the rotation especially with Milton not being guaranteed the 3rd and 4th spot and if being in the 5th spot would be the best thing to do with Milton (Actually the best thing to do with Milton is hand him his walking papers.) Jeff said it is the best thing to do since he hasn't thrown the ball as well as the rest of the guys (Understate much?) He said Milton's not tradeable and he won't be unless he can put some numbers on the board. He thinks they put him in the minor league game to work on some things and it was at the same time Livingston shut out the Sox. Jeff said the bottom line for Milton is he ain't getting anybody out and when you don't get anyone out, no one wants you out there to pitch (Unless you make $9M) Tom asked if you could pitch him for a few starts in hopes that he pitches well enough to trade him since left handed pitching is at a premium but if he pitches well, why would you trade him? Jeff said that good lefty pitching is at a premium and the good lefties get people out with consistency and don't give up a bunch of HRs. Jeff is also not confident Lohse can pitch well. He said you have to be mentally tough to pitch in GAB. Tom asked if there was any reason to be concerned with Aaron's performance. Jeff quickly said no. Tom said he only feels good with the first two spots in the rotation. (Welcome to the club) Jeff said he agrees and Lohse is the swing man in this rotation. He has the stuff to be a 12-15 game winner. He said Kyle has to be able to go out and throw all his pitches, be aggressive and not hope the ball over the plate. Jeff said a friend of his, Tom Prince, caught Kyle for a lot of his starts in MIN because Prince is a no-nonsense guy and he wouldn't let Kyle nibble and walk guys. He said if Lohse and Milton can't pitch well, there are guys in AAA who can. (There are probably guys who work for AAA who can pitch better than Milton). Jeff said if they send down a Belisle or a Livingston, we may see them before the All Star break. (Or before Mother's Day) Tom asked how the bullpen stacked up and mentioned Victor Santos who has not been scored upon during ST. Jeff said that if you can keep a guy like Santos in AAA you do it. He said the organization is a lot deeper in pitching than it has been in ages and pitching is the currency of baseball.
After commercial Wayne joined Tom. Tom asked Wayne if he was happy with what he's seen so far especially with the pitching depth. Wayne said the competition has been great and that's what they wanted. He said there was a nice battle going on for the 5th spot - or one of the starting spots. Tom asked if it was safe to assume that the guys who don't make the team are going to be contributors to the team during the year. Wayne said he's been trying to get that point across. He said the Opening Day roster isn't set in stone for the year and things will change during the season. He said that the fuss about who will make the Opening Day roster is overblown but you want to put the best team you can out there to begin the year and let the chips fall where they may after that. He said ST isn't a tryout camp and they are going to take who they think are the best players. They may be wrong and if someone proves them wrong, that guy will come up later. He said they are doing a lot of thinking with different scenarios and they will do the best they can and they know the roster will not stay the same. Tom asked Wayne if options come into play with guys making the team. Wayne said they are in good shape there. All the pitchers have options (Good. Send Milton to AAA then) Bubba Crosby didn't but he has accepted the assignment to AAA and Moeller - who doesn't have an option - is fighting for a spot on the roster. He said that stats don't mean a lot for guys with track records but it means more for guys without track records or who haven't performed well in the majors. He said he rarely if ever looks at the ST stats and the guys who make a positive impression on the coaches and put up good stats in the minors will speak volumes for their chances to come up later.
Tom asked Wayne what has he been most pleased with and what has he been most disappointed with.
Wayne said he's been most pleased with the competition for the open spots. He said what he's most disappointed with is that there are a lot of guys hurt and they may have to start the year with a heavy DL and you don't want to see that. Tom asked Wayne if he's starting a new trend with the Rule 5 draft. (Good question) Wayne said the credit for Josh goes to several people from the advance scouts to the scouting director to ownership. He spread the credit for picking up Burton to several scouts.
After commercial Enquirer columnist Paul Dougherty joined Tom in studio. Tom asked him how he felt about the Reds. Doc said he's feeling a lot better about them now than he did a few weeks ago. He said he likes the pitching depth and that has surprised him. He thinks Josh is almost as good of a player as he is a story at this point. He said the key is the 3-5 starters. Tom said one good feeling he has is that the guys in AAA who might step in. He said Homer isn't even a story any more. Doc said that he doesn't know what they are going to do with Milton if he can't start. He can't close or set up and he's untradeable. Tom says you are doing the team a disservice by running him out there all the time. Doc said that's true but it isn't our money.
Thus endeth the Reds Hot Stove League show report for 3-28-07. Thanks for reading the reports and for the nice responses you have given me. They are truly appreciated. It isn't always easy listening to these people on the show but it usually isn't boring. So, until November, so let it be written. So let it be done.