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Thread: Krivsky - strengths and weaknesses

  1. #1
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Krivsky - strengths and weaknesses

    Wayne Krivsky fascinates me. He's seemingly in possession of one of baseball's toughest to find skills, the ability to identify which struggling talents will put it together. Already he's turned up Bronson Arroyo, Brandon Phillips and Josh Hobbsilton. He gets a lot credit for picking up Johan Santana and making the Nathan/Liriano/Bonser deal during his Twins days.

    It's an incredibly valuable skill to have in an organization like the Reds, which is thin on talent. Krivksy's demonstrating an ability to turn up key players out of the ether. If you can land a guy or two like that each season, turn it into a pipeline, it can have a dramatic impact on your long-term outlook. It's a major differentiator.

    Krivsky also seems to have addressed the organization's instructional weakness. In his first season we saw Reds prospects take a uniform step forward for the first time in ages. There's a lot of Reds prospects off to hot starts in 2007 too (though three key prospects -- Joey Votto, Johnny Cueto and Travis Wood -- have yet to get going).

    Those are great long-term skills to have for a GM, giving him a steady stream of young talent with which to work.

    Where Krivsky's been weak so far is rounding out his team. While he has an eye for breakout talents, he seems to lack a sense for support players. It's turned up in his bullpen and on his bench. It caused him to take a swinging miss on The Trade last year. Gary Majewski, even if he had been healthy, wasn't the sort of reliever he needed and Royce Clayton wasn't going to solidify his infield. Oddly Brendan Harris might have been a fine backup IF, but Krivsky let Harris get away. Perhaps Bill Bray will turn out to be one of the breakout talents and save some face on the deal, but it fits into a developing pattern. Krivsky hasn't shown much touch with blue collar players. It's going to lead to bullpen meltdown, a lack of bench options, relatively easy outs in the lower lineup and probably some trouble at the back of the rotation.

    Given Krivsky's talents, if he sticks around he'll probably mine/develop his way out of that bind, but it will take time. The other upside is that what he does well is in the "you've either got it or you don't" category. A GM can learn to shop for a better supporting cast. Krivsky also seems like a guy willing to take a critical look in the mirror. Whether he can spot his flaws when he does so remains to be seen.

    It makes for a frustrating mix because Krivsky skills can put a team on the verge of a breakthrough, but his weaknesses, on top of being avoidable, can undermine his team, leave it with an overly soft underbelly.

    Help from AAA and AA is probably what the Reds will be reliant upon this season, to provide the depth a team needs to win games.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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  3. #2
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Krivsky - strengths and weaknesses

    Given Krivsky's talents, if he sticks around he'll probably mine/develop his way out of that bind, but it will take time.
    Especially since in honing his skills as a first time GM he's going to try things that he has rolled around in his mind for the past 2 decades, some might be founded, some not. But the main fact is it's his "philosophy" and he's sold it to the man with the checkbook. Since he's in the business of baseball and not instant gratification many of these moves will be played out over a longer period of time then many care to wait.

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    Member Marc D's Avatar
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    Re: Krivsky - strengths and weaknesses

    So lets bring Dan O back to run the amatuer draft, Krivsky to run the Rule V draft while doing the contracts and a bonafide MLB GM to put the actual team together/make trades/hire a real manager.

    It all gets back to what you have brought up before M2...too much reliance on pixie dust for my taste. I fear what happens in '07 when he mashes the panic button and makes another trade for pitching "help".

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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Krivsky - strengths and weaknesses

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    Krivsky also seems to have addressed the organization's instructional weakness. In his first season we saw Reds prospects take a uniform step forward for the first time in ages. There's a lot of Reds prospects off to hot starts in 2007 too (though three key prospects -- Joey Votto, Johnny Cueto and Travis Wood -- have yet to get going).
    This makes me the giddiest....it's alot easier to round out a roster when you can use a surplus (gasp!) of young, good and cheap as trade bait.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Member membengal's Avatar
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    Re: Krivsky - strengths and weaknesses

    I'm not reading M2's post as being particularly critical of WK, but rather a nice summation of his strengths and weaknesses thusfar. I am guessing, and what makes me hopeful, is that WK will learn from his mistakes and won't repeat them ad nauseum. And, I agree, M2, his locating of very real talent in fairly obscure places is a HUGE plus in his favor.

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    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Krivsky - strengths and weaknesses

    I have been one of he biggest WK "bashers" on this board over the past year and he really hasn't done much to dissuade me from feeling any different.

    WK gets plenty of pub on his acquisitions of Phillips, Ross ( for a year, at least) Arroyo and now Hamilton. Take Arroyo out of the mix for now, as that was a wise move. The others can all be lumped in with Yan, Mays, Kim and the rest of the no risk acquisitions. In my opinion, he is given too much credit for these moves, since there is no risk. Obviously other teams could have taken the chances that WK has, but when the worst outcome of acquisitions like these is "Well, we didn't give much up anyway", then there isn't much of a reason not to make the move. For every Hamilton, there's 3 Yans. For every Arroyo, there's a few Mayses. WK has scraped the bottom of the barrel many times in the past year. Odds are that a few will work out.

    Now...the bigger moves. Arroyo has worked out brilliantly. Great move. But in all other moves where he actually had to put himself on the line a little, IMO, he hasn't really won me over. Off the top of my head, here are some:

    The Trade (Lopez and Kearns)
    Lohse (millions and Ward)
    Cormier (Germano and millions)
    Weathers and Stanton (millions * 2)
    Conine (millions again and Moran)
    Gonzalez (millions)

    These are acquisitions that cost more than the nominal PTBNL or minor league contract. And these are where he hasn't really found much success.

    Again, my main issue with Krivsky is this: He has spent a pretty fair amt of money on keeping this team mediocre. He should have been taking that money and pouring it into the draft and international guys. The guys he acquired are filler...they are not enough to get this team to the next level. I think he doesn't know if he should go for the gusto or tear it down and start from scratch. So what does he do? He sits on the fence, acquiring enough medicore players to be not embarassing.

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    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Krivsky - strengths and weaknesses

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc D View Post
    So lets bring Dan O back to run the amatuer draft, Krivsky to run the Rule V draft while doing the contracts and a bonafide MLB GM to put the actual team together/make trades/hire a real manager.

    It all gets back to what you have brought up before M2...too much reliance on pixie dust for my taste. I fear what happens in '07 when he mashes the panic button and makes another trade for pitching "help".
    Wayne can only run the contract aspect for players under 35. I don't want him handing out Cormier like extensions anymore.

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    Re: Krivsky - strengths and weaknesses

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    Krivsky also seems to have addressed the organization's instructional weakness. In his first season we saw Reds prospects take a uniform step forward for the first time in ages. There's a lot of Reds prospects off to hot starts in 2007 too (though three key prospects -- Joey Votto, Johnny Cueto and Travis Wood -- have yet to get going).

    Those are great long-term skills to have for a GM, giving him a steady stream of young talent with which to work.
    Great stuff, M2, and you've summed up my take very well too.

    The young talent we've acquired and have started to develop in the farm recently is where I'm most satisfied with Krivsky so far, and hopefully what we're seeing is just the beginning. We've finally now got some very nice organizational youth. Now we need to continue developing the youth we've got while also continuing to pour new youth into the pipeline. Having the ability to acquire and develop a wealth of young talent is such an important asset to a ballclub, and many times it's one of the primary differences between good organizations and bad organizations.

    The Reds have had a laughingstock for a farm system for so long that I'm not sure that many Reds fans understand the value of possessing a deep, talented system that has the ability to continually churn out young talent for the major league club.
    Barry Larkin - HOF, 2012

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    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Krivsky - strengths and weaknesses

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclone792 View Post
    Great stuff, M2, and you've summed up my take very well too.

    The young talent we've acquired and have started to develop in the farm recently is where I'm most satisfied with Krivsky so far, and hopefully what we're seeing is just the beginning. We've finally now got some very nice organizational youth. Now we need to continue developing the youth we've got while also continuing to pour new youth into the pipeline. Having the ability to acquire and develop a wealth of young talent is such an important asset to a ballclub, and many times it's one of the primary differences between good organizations and bad organizations.

    The Reds have had a laughingstock for a farm system for so long that I'm not sure that many Reds fans understand the value of possessing a deep, talented system that has the ability to continually churn out young talent for the major league club.
    What young talent has Krivsky acquired that makes you happy? Phillips and Hamilton were long-shots. Good moves, but chances like these don't happen every day. I'd rather have someone who proves through the draft and international mkts. Too soon to tell on that.

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    Re: Krivsky - strengths and weaknesses

    The best skill he has will be less obvious the better the team gets....does that make sense? He's really good at finding players off the scrap heap, but if your team gets better there will be less options in which to plug the finds into. Which is a good problem to have, but also makes it doubly important for him to learn how to round out a team. Would it be the Law of Diminishiing Returns?

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    Playoffs Cyclone792's Avatar
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    Re: Krivsky - strengths and weaknesses

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44 View Post
    What young talent has Krivsky acquired that makes you happy? Phillips and Hamilton were long-shots. Good moves, but chances like these don't happen every day. I'd rather have someone who proves through the draft and international mkts. Too soon to tell on that.
    Development. Development. Development.

    Drafting a player is just the first step, but development is the other key. Homer Bailey, Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, Johnny Cueto, Travis Wood, etc ... are among a number of players who took a giant leap forward in 2006. Was it coincidence or something the organization did? I'm not 100 percent certain, but it's a very interesting sign, and a good one at that. None of those players were even a Krivsky drafted player, but they need to handled instructionally in the best manner possible, and I think the Reds are now handling this aspect far better than they have before in recent memory.

    Even if Krivsky isn't the most adept GM at drafting players, if he's highly successful in developing who we do get, then the organization will still churn out reams of young talent. I think the great starts by our minor league teams this season indicate that there's some definitive improvement down in the minor league sytem. Maintain that type of instructional development, and it's just a matter of time before the benefits reach the big club.
    Barry Larkin - HOF, 2012

    Put an end to the Lost Decade.

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    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: Krivsky - strengths and weaknesses

    Killer post, M2.

    Nice followups too.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    ~ Mark Twain

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    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Krivsky - strengths and weaknesses

    Quote Originally Posted by Cooper View Post
    The best skill he has will be less obvious the better the team gets....does that make sense? He's really good at finding players off the scrap heap, but if your team gets better there will be less options in which to plug the finds into. Which is a good problem to have, but also makes it doubly important for him to learn how to round out a team. Would it be the Law of Diminishiing Returns?
    Interesting question. My take is that for a smaller market club, that skill will always be important. Neither the A's nor the Twins ever rest on their laurels. You've got to master the art of churn when you can't lock up every good player who graces your doorstep.

    For instance, Dunn probably isn't going to be around past 2008. Phillips and Encarnacion might be on the block around 2010. And you can never have too much pitching. Bullpens in particular need constant reassembly.
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

    I'm witchcrafting everybody.

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    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: Krivsky - strengths and weaknesses

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    Especially since in honing his skills as a first time GM he's going to try things that he has rolled around in his mind for the past 2 decades, some might be founded, some not. But the main fact is it's his "philosophy" and he's sold it to the man with the checkbook. Since he's in the business of baseball and not instant gratification many of these moves will be played out over a longer period of time then many care to wait.


    Great point. People forget that he's also learning on the job, trying out things to find his style.

    I don't want to rehash "the trade", but I don't think it can be discussed without the context of Krivsky trying to keep the team in the pennant race and keep his Boss' promise to the fans.
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    ~ Mark Twain

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Krivsky - strengths and weaknesses

    Good post M2. Interesting to dissect the strengths/weakness of GM skills the way we all do with players. It seems his "rounding out" skills are simply reflecting a lack of focus in that area. Rather than getting guys with complimentary skill sets given their likely roles, he fills the bench/pen with simply the next tier of talent, even if it's completely redundant. I'm hoping he'll become more savvy over time, but I'm glad he seems to be getting the big things right by and large.

    Also, to Cyclone's point -- look at the teams who are consistently good but aren't buying their way. It's not just drafting, but it's developing AJ Pierzynski and turning him in to 3 more pieces. It's developing LaRoche and turning him in to Mike Gonzalez. It's developing Chuck Knoblauch and turning him in to Milton and Guzman (who were good on the Twins). Wayne tried to follow the same path, he simply whiffed on the trade -- so far... Let's wait for Thompson to develop (or not develop).

    Remember, Billy Beane whiffed on the Hudson deal. Schuerholz traded Jermaine Dye for Michael Tucker. Even the best GMs lose trades. It seems like Krivsky at least understands the concepts.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.


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