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Thread: EE & Defense

  1. #46
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    Re: EE & Defense

    Does any of the culpability lie with Sceff Coberg or Ritt Hattelia?

    Admittedly a small sample size, but in 2005 Edwin had a more respectible fielding percentage of .944. The difference, he was throwing to a 'natural' firstbaseman, not a converted catcher/outfielder/shortstop.

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  3. #47
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    Re: EE & Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by puca View Post
    Does any of the culpability lie with Sceff Coberg or Ritt Hattelia?

    Admittedly a small sample size, but in 2005 Edwin had a more respectible fielding percentage of .944. The difference, he was throwing to a 'natural' firstbaseman, not a converted catcher/outfielder/shortstop.
    Since when is Rich Aurillia a natural 1st baseman?

    He was throwing to RA and Hatteberg the entire year. It's no different.
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  4. #48
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    Re: EE & Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by reds44 View Post
    Since when is Rich Aurillia a natural 1st baseman?

    He was throwing to RA and Hatteberg the entire year. It's no different.
    I think what puca's saying is in 2005, Edwin Encarnacion was making throws to first base to Sean Casey, a natural first baseman whose entire professional career defensively was at first base. The premise being that a natural first baseman may have prevented some of those throwing errors by simply being better at picking bad throws out of the dirt and being in better position to catch throws off line.

    In 2006, Encarnacion was making throws to Scott Hatteberg, a converted catcher, and Rich Aurilia, a converted shortstop. Both of those guys were moved to first base in the midst of their professional careers when it became apparent that they could no longer play and/or be effective defensively at their original position.

    Jeff Conine in 2007 is in the same boat as Hatteberg and Aurilia. He came up professionally as an outfielder and later converted to first base.

    Of those four current first baseman ... Sean Casey, Scott Hatteberg, Rich Aurilia, and Jeff Conine ... who is probably the best at handling throws from infielders? Probably Casey.

    Would Encarnacion's throwing errors be less magnified and occur less often if Casey (or a similarly skilled first sacker in terms of receiving infield throws) was playing first base? Probably, but we'll never know for sure how much of an impact that would play.
    Last edited by Cyclone792; 05-16-2007 at 07:55 PM.
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  5. #49
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    Re: EE & Defense

    Originally posted by Stingray
    Yes. In general I think he's shown undue preference for aging vets over younger players. Think Lopez, Kearns, Deno

    Hamilton is the one exception. That probably because of a combination of Hamilton's obvious talent and his long time relationship with Narrons' brother.

    I agree with you Stingray he does have a tendency to try to make an example of guys who are more passive in their demeanor. Rookies or players who have not played in the bigs long are easy targets. Those type of guys just know they have to listen to the manager because if not it's a quick trip to AAA. Veterans who complain and moan and know how to get around what the Mgr. is saying get what they want in the end.

    Originally posted by Razor Shines
    Lopez? Kearns? Before the trade last year they were both playing everyday.
    I'm sorry to disagree with ya Razor but If I'm not mistaken Lopez was EE before EE was. Who started the season last year at SS? It sure wasn't Felo and if not for an injury Aurilia might still be playing there (:comment in jest of course). FeLo was a passive guy and did what mgmnt told him, and so he sat the bench with the hot bat and Aurilia hurt our record early in the season with a bad all around game. Kearns was a young guy but not anywhere near passive as the Mgr and F.O. quickly found out.

    Originally posted by HoosierRed
    By young players, I can only assume you mean Encarnacion.

    Any complaints on how he's handled Phillips? or Hamilton? Coffey? Lohse? or Belisle?
    Lohse? The guy has 171 big league starts under his belt I'd hardly call that young in baseball terms.

    Don't get me wrong I think EE needed to go to AAA also but only as a wake up call and some time to get his swing back. Of course he promptly had 2 errors in his next game so apparently he was still asleep. The kid needs to understand one thing, this is the big leagues it's about 1 thing; winning. And either you play accordingly or you get to play where development is as much of a component is as winning.

    And the Manager needs to understand that benching a youngster for making mistakes will not get the attention of the rest of the group unless it's accompanied by anyone else making similar mistakes taking a seat beside him.

    And the F.O. needs to quickly determine if EE has a future @ 3B, and if they feel he doesn't they need to respond accordingly. Apparently they have yet to determine that very question, as they still have him playing the position.
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  6. #50
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    Re: EE & Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclone792 View Post
    I think what puca's saying is in 2005, Edwin Encarnacion was making throws to first base to Sean Casey, a natural first baseman whose entire professional career defensively was at first base. The premise being that a natural first baseman may have prevented some of those throwing errors by simply being better at picking bad throws out of the dirt and being in better position to catch throws off line.

    In 2006, Encarnacion was making throws to Scott Hatteberg, a converted catcher, and Rich Aurilia, a converted shortstop. Both of those guys were moved to first base in the midst of their professional careers when it became apparent that they could no longer play and/or be effective defensively at their original position.
    I'm not sure there is such a thing as a "natural first baseman." Defensive spectrum and all that; there are very, very few guys who play first base if they're capable of playing well anywhere else. Casey just reached that end of the spectrum far sooner than Hatteberg or Aurilia. :

    Experience at the position helps, I admit, but there are plenty of guys playing first base in the major leagues who haven't played there all their lives and aren't great at saving errant throws, yet the third basemen on those teams manage. Trying to blame the first basemen for Encarnacion's error rate is grasping at straws, IMHO. Hatteberg, Aurilia, Conine etc. may not be special at picking throws but they're representative of the type of guys who play first base. Are we trying to argue that we need one of the extra-special guys to save Encarnacion's bacon? That leads straight to Be Careful What You Wish For Land. What if Joey Votto's not any more of a picking machine than Hatteberg?
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  7. #51
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    Re: EE & Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandRed View Post
    I'm not sure there is such a thing as a "natural first baseman." Defensive spectrum and all that; there are very, very few guys who play first base if they're capable of playing well anywhere else. Casey just reached that end of the spectrum far sooner than Hatteberg or Aurilia. :

    Experience at the position helps, I admit, but there are plenty of guys playing first base in the major leagues who haven't played there all their lives and aren't great at saving errant throws, yet the third basemen on those teams manage. Trying to blame the first basemen for Encarnacion's error rate is grasping at straws, IMHO. Hatteberg, Aurilia, Conine etc. may not be special at picking throws but they're representative of the type of guys who play first base. Are we trying to argue that we need one of the extra-special guys to save Encarnacion's bacon? That leads straight to Be Careful What You Wish For Land. What if Joey Votto's not any more of a picking machine than Hatteberg?
    I don't see anyone making that argument. I was simply noting that Edwin's rate of throwing errors has increased since the Reds started employing guys with relatively little experience at first base and wondering if there was a connection.

    I do know that some guys just can't play first base, so I'm not sure what you mean by the 'type of guys who play firstbase'. Mike Piazza immediately leaps to mind. He is one of those 'types of guys', and he was awful. I also had the pleasure of watching Craig Wilson try to play first base on a daily basis when he was with the Pirates. He really never looked comfortable over there. His footwork was terrible and many 'catchable' balls ended up in the dugout. I haven't seen Hatteberg enough to form an opinion. I simply noted a pattern and wondered if it was a trend.

    If your fetish is to have a great defensive team, it seems you pay attention to the guy in the infield that touches the ball the most. Have the Reds done that? I'm not sure.
    Last edited by puca; 05-16-2007 at 10:42 PM.

  8. #52
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    Re: EE & Defense

    It's no secret why EE is throwing the ball all over the place. It's his footwork. He has been working on it for some time now, and in fact, there was something in the paper about it in the last couple of days. It's not a mystery.

    His arm slot is all over the place when he doesn't have his feet "under him" when he starts to throw. Pretty basic stuff, and he knows it.

    He's young. He's still refining his fundamentals. And his hitting isn't keeping him up here right now.

    He'll be back. I don't think we've got a Brandon Larson situation here. But it's all up to him to work out his problems.

    I think it's basically mental at the root. The physical fundamental flaws show up from lack of focus, IMO. They're the symptom, the lack of focus is the root cause.
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  9. #53
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    Re: EE & Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by puca View Post
    I don't see anyone making that argument. I was simply noting that Edwin's rate of throwing errors has increased since the Reds started employing guys with relatively little experience at first base and wondering if there was a connection.
    That's cool. Apologies if I misinterpreted your point.

    For the sake of argument, let's say Casey is clearly better at handling errant throws than the multi-headed Reds first-sacker of the last 14 months and the increase in EE's throwing errors is entirely attributable to the downgrade at first base. The question is, how does MultiHead rate relative to other first basemen, who are generally playing because of their offense and not their defense? I think -- and it's just my opinion -- that the level of play has been somewhere in that big "roughly average" lump. Nothing special, not horrible; the typical first baseman is not an awesome picking machine. Which would make Casey better than average. Where I was trying to go with that is, if I'm right, changing to a new first baseman won't make Encarnacion better unless the new first-sacker is also solidly above average.

    If your fetish is to have a great defensive team, it seems you pay attention to the guy in the infield that touches the ball the most. Have the Reds done that? I'm not sure.
    I don't want them to feel compelled to acquire a great defender at first base to compensate for deficiencies elsewhere in the infield. That's how guys like Doug Mientkiewicz end up on your team and guys like Joey Votto -- also an ex-catcher who hasn't played first base all that long -- end up in another organization. I don't want that. I want our infielders to throw the ball straight so we can play a first baseman who can hit.
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    Re: EE & Defense

    I think Casey was pretty good at handling anything near him, and it helped that the guy was 6'4 compared to the 6'1 of Hatteberg, Aurilia and Conine. And I have to question both Aurilia and Hatty being taller than 5'11, maybe 6'0 at the most.
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  11. #55
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    Re: EE & Defense

    No argument. I'd rather have a plus offensive firstbaseman than a plus defensive one. I just wish ours were either.

  12. #56
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    Re: EE & Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by puca View Post
    No argument. I'd rather have a plus offensive firstbaseman than a plus defensive one. I just wish ours were either.
    Can't disagree with that.
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