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Thread: Notes: Bruce wants more than award

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    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Notes: Bruce wants more than award

    Notes: Bruce wants more than award
    Minor League Player of Year wants to play in big leagues
    By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

    CINCINNATI -- Sunday had to have been a big tease for Jay Bruce.

    Bruce, the Reds' top outfield prospect, was on the field for pregame ceremonies to receive his award as the Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year. He got to mingle in the home clubhouse and visited with familiar faces he knows on the team.

    But there was no locker or uniform waiting with his name on it. And there was no chance Bruce would make a big league debut against the Cubs, not even with Reds outfielders dropping like flies with injuries in recent weeks. The club already decided not to make the 20-year-old a September callup at the beginning of the month and stuck with that choice.

    Did Bruce wish he could suit up and play?

    "Absolutely. Who doesn't?" Bruce said. "It's a lot different, too. The first time I was here, I really didn't know a lot of the guys. I was kind of star struck and everything. Now I know a majority of the people in here and have some sort of relationship with them, so I care a lot more about watching them play, watching them do well and succeed. I'm just ready to get up here and help the team out. Hopefully it's in the near future."

    The Reds' first-round Draft pick (12th overall) in 2005, Bruce advanced all the way from from Class A Sarasota to Triple-A Louisville this season. The lefty slugger batted .319 with 26 homers and 89 RBIs overall, with his 80 extra-base hits and 306 total bases ranked second among all Minor Leaguers.

    In a year where fellow 2005 first-rounders Justin Upton (Arizona, first overall) and Cameron Maybin (Detroit, 10th overall) made it to the Majors, Bruce would have to wait.

    At the time September callup decisions were made, Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn and Josh Hamilton were all healthy, and general manager Wayne Krivsky said there wouldn't be enough at-bats for Bruce, who accepted the front-office decision. He was asked if he was disappointed.

    "I don't know if 'disappointed' was the word," Bruce said. "I definitely wish I got called up, but I understood the situation with the outfielders and everything. You can't take anything away from anything those guys have done this year. They definitely earned their spots here."

    Instead, Bruce is gearing up to play for Team USA in a World Cup tournament at Taiwan from Nov. 6-18. After that, all he knows is that he will be invited to the big league camp as a non-roster player. He plans to battle for a spot on the team.

    "Whether or not I have chance to make the team, that's not going to even come into a factor," Bruce said. "I think that will play itself out, to be honest -- with the all the guys and situations. We'll have to wait and see."

    http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/...=.jsp&c_id=cin

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    Re: Notes: Bruce wants more than award

    I guess I don't understand the situation with the outfielders. We spent a whole lot of Sept. with Jason Ellison and Buck Coats playing--neither of whom, I hope, will be back with the organization next year. Is there some reason that time couldn't have been going to Jay Bruce and Chris Dickerson?

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    Re: Notes: Bruce wants more than award

    Quote Originally Posted by HokieRed View Post
    I guess I don't understand the situation with the outfielders. We spent a whole lot of Sept. with Jason Ellison and Buck Coats playing--neither of whom, I hope, will be back with the organization next year. Is there some reason that time couldn't have been going to Jay Bruce and Chris Dickerson?
    Well I don't think that was the plan, but about half way thrugh the month, our starteers began dropping like flies.

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    Re: Notes: Bruce wants more than award

    Quote Originally Posted by HokieRed View Post
    I guess I don't understand the situation with the outfielders. We spent a whole lot of Sept. with Jason Ellison and Buck Coats playing--neither of whom, I hope, will be back with the organization next year. Is there some reason that time couldn't have been going to Jay Bruce and Chris Dickerson?
    I like Coats as an extra outfielder. He adds depth to the organization. I about died the day that we got Ellison. He shouldn't have ever been picked up. Coats, however does have some potential. I like his arm, and he seems to hit pretty well.
    If you can't build a winning team with that core a fire-sale isn't the solution. Selling the franchise, moving them to Nashville and converting GABP into a used car lot is.
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    Re: Notes: Bruce wants more than award

    In a time that was without arbitration and free agency you would have seen Jay Bruce with the Reds in September. But that time was over 30 years ago and a time we will never see again. The ole arb clock is what drives an organization, more than anything, as when they bring up their top prospects. That just the cruel reality of baseball business.
    Reds Fan Since 1971

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    Re: Notes: Bruce wants more than award

    Quote Originally Posted by cumberlandreds View Post
    In a time that was without arbitration and free agency you would have seen Jay Bruce with the Reds in September. But that time was over 30 years ago and a time we will never see again. The ole arb clock is what drives an organization, more than anything, as when they bring up their top prospects. That just the cruel reality of baseball business.
    I completely agree with this. But unless the Reds think there's a chance that Bruce won't make the team out of spring training (or unless they think he's going to get sent back down to the minors sometime after he gets called up), then it wouldn't have affected either his arbitration or free agency timing if they called him up this September.

    While his walk rate is sub-optimal, I'm of the opinion that a guy who OPS's .925 in Triple-A will make the team out of spring training next year. Given that, I think he would have benifited from the experience of seeing some major league arms this September.
    ". . . acquiring J. Blanton from Oakland for, apparently, Bailey/Cueto, Votto and a lesser prospect. I do it in a second . . . The Reds' equation this year is simple: Make Matt Belisle your #3 starter . . . trade for Blanton, win 85 or more, be in the mix all summer." - Paul Daugherty, Feb. 8, 2008

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    Re: Notes: Bruce wants more than award

    Quote Originally Posted by cincinnati chili View Post
    I completely agree with this. But unless the Reds think there's a chance that Bruce won't make the team out of spring training (or unless they think he's going to get sent back down to the minors sometime after he gets called up), then it wouldn't have affected either his arbitration or free agency timing if they called him up this September.

    While his walk rate is sub-optimal, I'm of the opinion that a guy who OPS's .925 in Triple-A will make the team out of spring training next year. Given that, I think he would have benifited from the experience of seeing some major league arms this September.
    Well unless something happens with Hamilton, Griffey or Dunn, I don't think there is room for him on the team. They won't sit him on the bench, so unless a move is made, I fully expect Bruce to start in Louisville.

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    Re: Notes: Bruce wants more than award

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Well unless something happens with Hamilton, Griffey or Dunn, I don't think there is room for him on the team. They won't sit him on the bench, so unless a move is made, I fully expect Bruce to start in Louisville.
    Mentioned this on the ORG, but I imagine Bruce's agent calls a host of folks from the Reds organization every single day, putting pressure on the team to make sure Jay breaks camp with the big league club.

    Expect to hear regular pronouncements from Bruce about how his mindset this offseason is to prepare himself to be an everyday player with the Reds and expect to hear a lot of columnists arguing that the Reds have to make room for the kid.
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    Re: Notes: Bruce wants more than award

    Have to say I think the kid will deserve to be on the team coming out of spring training, and it's past time on this club that people get rewarded for productivity. If the only way for him to start in the outfield is for there to be a trade of Griffey, Dunn, or Hamilton, I hope they make a deal. If there is no deal, or actually even if there is one, I don't see Buck Coats as having any role on this ballclub. Bruce, Dunn, Griffey, Hamilton, Hopper, Freel, Dickerson would all have to be ahead of him, and Keppinger and Votto can also play the outfield.

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    Re: Notes: Bruce wants more than award

    Would Jay Bruce be OK being a reserve outfielder in 2008? Both Hamilton and Griffey have the potential to be frequently injured, and he could end up getting a lot of ABs in 2008. He may not be a starting outfielder in 2008, but he could get ready to be one in 2009. There is staill a remote possibility we could see Griffey traded in the off-season to make room for Bruce. It will be interesting to see how he does in spring training.

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    Re: Notes: Bruce wants more than award

    I don't think the Reds would not have him getting every day at bats somewhere. If that means Louisville, that is where he will be.

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    Re: Notes: Bruce wants more than award

    From Lonnie Wheeler today:

    "What we did learn, at least ... that Jay Bruce ought to be here;"
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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    Re: Notes: Bruce wants more than award

    I'd love to see the Reds more Griffey before the start of next season, but I'm not sure it's feasible.

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    Re: Notes: Bruce wants more than award

    Quote Originally Posted by fearofpopvol1 View Post
    I'd love to see the Reds more Griffey before the start of next season, but I'm not sure it's feasible.
    Assuming that the Reds keep Dunn, moving Grif is the only way we'll see Bruce in a Reds uniform next season. Based on the way he kept up with the guys at AAA, I think he'll put on a good show in ST.

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    Re: Notes: Bruce wants more than award

    Minors' top player eager for spring
    Bruce, in town, hopes the next time is to stay
    BY JOHN FAY | JFAY@ENQUIRER.COM

    Jay Bruce was talking to the media when Jeff Keppinger snuck up behind him and whispered: "You got a uniform?"

    "No," Bruce said.

    "Want me to get you one?" Keppinger asked.

    You could have probably taken up a collection among Reds fans to buy Bruce one if it meant him starting the season finale Sunday.

    But Bruce's presence in Cincinnati was purely ceremonial. He was in town to accept Baseball America's Minor League Player of the Year award.

    Bruce, a 20-year-old outfielder, would have liked a September call-up.

    "Absolutely," Bruce said. "Who doesn't?"

    The Reds clubhouse was full of players Bruce played with in Louisville, nearly all of whom he outplayed.

    "The first time I came up here, I was kind of star-struck a little bit," Bruce said. "Now, I know the majority of people in here. I've got some sort of relationship with them. I care a lot more about watching them play, seeing them succeed, up here and help the team out."

    Bruce, the club's first-round pick in the 2005 draft, is pretty media-savvy for a young guy. He was careful not to cause any controversy by making a stink about not getting the call to the bigs.

    "I don't know if disappointed is the right word," he said. "I definitely wish I was up here. I understood the situation with the outfield. Those guys have earned their spots. I'm looking forward to being here when I get the chance. I've got to take care of my part of the game. The front office will make their decision. I'll be fine with it either way."

    Bruce had a remarkable year. He started in Single-A Sarasota and rose to Triple-A Louisville.

    He had no trouble adjusting at the two higher levels. He combined to hit .319 with 46 doubles, eight triples, 26 home runs and 89 RBI.

    "I think when it comes to being promoted, it has a lot to do with the front office," he said. "I just have to go out and do what I can do. I didn't really surprise myself this year as far as performance. I think I can do pretty well at this game for a long time. If you're going to have that attitude - every day thinking you're one of the best players on the field. If you don't do that, you're going to struggle."

    The plan was for Bruce to spend one week with Louisville. He was supposed to be there only until Dewayne Wise got healthy. But Wise's hamstring never completely healed and Bruce kept hitting.

    "When I first got there, I thought: I'm going to be there a week and have to go back," Bruce said. "Then after a couple of days, I said, 'I can't control that. I'm going to do what I can to make it as hard on them as I can.' "

    Bruce is the first player in the Reds organization to win Baseball America's top award.

    "When you get an award like that, it's surprising because of the talent in the minor leagues," Bruce said, "all the guys that got to the big leagues this year. That makes it more of an honor. It's crazy. I would never imagine winning this award."

    Bruce is going to play for Team USA in the World Federation Cup Nov. 3-18, a qualifying tournament for the Beijing Olympics.

    http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.d...T04/710010342/


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