I've noticed looking at the minor league stat sheets that Joey Votto is getting more and more time at LF for the Bats. I'm sure some of that is so Cantu had a place to play while he was down there, but I wonder if it has implications for next year as well.
It now looks like the plan all along was to have Cantu replace Conine as the right handed half of the 1B platoon/ first right hander off the bench. Krivsky said the deal with the Mets was done long ago, they were just waiting on an open roster spot.
Now with Hatteberg hitting over .300 and being a solid guy on the team, its hard to imagine the Reds not picking up his 1.85 million option for next year. He's cheap and very effective in a platoon role. But where does that leave Votto? Votto is also a lefty, which means platooning with Hatteberg is just foolish. This leads me to wonder if Votto will instead be the starting left fielder for the Reds in 2008? No one seems anxious to re-up Dunn. We all see the writing on the wall, he's as good as gone, either traded after his option has been picked up or allowed to go for 2 compensational draft picks.
With the Reds keeping the payroll below 70 million, would Votto be a better choice in LF than a high priced free agent, allowing the club to pursue pitching, pitching and more pitching (and right handed power?). It'll be interesting to see how many more games Votto plays in LF now that Cantu is gone... That should tell you right there how the Reds are leaning for next year.