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Thread: Krivsky's Checklist

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    Krivsky's Checklist

    Going into the off-season most agreed that we needed alot in order to be competitive in 2008. Has Krivsky addressed (or actively trying to addess) those needs?

    If the plan is to compete in 2008, what are our chances? What more do we need? There's luxuries, but on paper - what more do we need?

    We needed:
    1) A #2/3 starter
    - We got Volquez who should be a solid #4/5, we might get Blanton - who would more adequately address our needs holding the #3 spot down in our rotation.
    -This hole is currently partially filled, and WK is actively trying to fill it more completely (acquire Blanton or someone similar)

    2) A RH bat off the bench
    -We got Craig Wilson... the answer?, who knows, but so far there's a reliable RH preseence on the bench (Keppinger) and possible power RHer (Wilson).
    -This hole is filled, IMO.

    3) A major bullpen upgrade
    -We got Cordero, a capable closer, which re-shifted the whole bullpen, putting Weathers & Burton in more comfortable roles
    -We got Affeldt, a solid lefty reliever who put up good numbers last year.
    -This hole is filled, IMO.

    4) Defensive CFer/Leadoff hitter
    -We already have Hopper/Freel... enough? I don't know, but Kenny Lofton is rumored to be on the Reds radar... I think his acquisition would fill this hole.
    -This hole still exists (to some degree), but WK is actively trying to fill it.

    5) Offensive Upgrade at Catcher
    -WK seems to be content w/ a defensive pitchers-catcher rather than an offensive catcher, and as far as we know, is making no efforts to upgrade at this position.

    Some RedZoners still keep saying that the acquisition of Blanton would be stupid because we have no chance at winning in 08... but my question is what are we really missing?

    -The acquisition of Kenny Lofton, would leave pitching as our only hole to be filled (on paper).. so, why not try our best to improve pitching and make a real push in '08??

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    Re: Krivsky's Checklist

    Quote Originally Posted by hippie07 View Post
    Going into the off-season most agreed that we needed alot in order to be competitive in 2008. Has Krivsky addressed (or actively trying to addess) those needs?

    If the plan is to compete in 2008, what are our chances? What more do we need? There's luxuries, but on paper - what more do we need?

    We needed:
    1) A #2/3 starter
    - We got Volquez who should be a solid #4/5, we might get Blanton - who would more adequately address our needs holding the #3 spot down in our rotation.
    -This hole is currently partially filled, and WK is actively trying to fill it more completely (acquire Blanton or someone similar)

    2) A RH bat off the bench
    -We got Craig Wilson... the answer?, who knows, but so far there's a reliable RH preseence on the bench (Keppinger) and possible power RHer (Wilson).
    -This hole is filled, IMO.

    3) A major bullpen upgrade
    -We got Cordero, a capable closer, which re-shifted the whole bullpen, putting Weathers & Burton in more comfortable roles
    -We got Affeldt, a solid lefty reliever who put up good numbers last year.
    -This hole is filled, IMO.

    4) Defensive CFer/Leadoff hitter
    -We already have Hopper/Freel... enough? I don't know, but Kenny Lofton is rumored to be on the Reds radar... I think his acquisition would fill this hole.
    -This hole still exists (to some degree), but WK is actively trying to fill it.

    5) Offensive Upgrade at Catcher
    -WK seems to be content w/ a defensive pitchers-catcher rather than an offensive catcher, and as far as we know, is making no efforts to upgrade at this position.

    Some RedZoners still keep saying that the acquisition of Blanton would be stupid because we have no chance at winning in 08... but my question is what are we really missing?

    -The acquisition of Kenny Lofton, would leave pitching as our only hole to be filled (on paper).. so, why not try our best to improve pitching and make a real push in '08??
    I agree with much of this, however I'll address your final question:
    I actually do think we have a chance to contend in '08, particularly if we acquire Joe Blanton.

    However, as far as the naysayers go, it's not what we are missing, but what we are counting on. In other words, in order to contend, we are counting on at least four or five players to put forth very good seasons who have yet to put forth a solid full major league season. Between Matt Belisle, Bailey/Volquez, Edwin Encarnacion, Joey Votto, and Jay Bruce, there is an absolute abundance of talent and major league promise. However, none of these players have yet to put up an entire major league season of above average play. Encarnacion is probably the closest, but even he was demoted to the minor leagues as recently as last season. You have to consider this when evaluating this year's roster. There are a lot of prospects and potential, but so far not that much of a track record with a few exceptions. I think most if not all of these players will turn out to be quite good, but counting on each of them to reach their potential in unison this season may be a risky proposition.

    Don't get me wrong, I do think the Reds have the chips in place to compete, especially if they can acquire Blanton without giving up one of the fab four prospects. I happen to think that Beane has his sights on Drew Stubbs, as unlike the O's he does not need major league ready prospects. That would also explain the Reds' interest in Kenny Lofton pending a trade. Maybe he asks for Cueto and Stubbs, and the Reds counter with Maloney and Stubbs. Either way, I would strongly consider such a move, as I think it would put the Reds in a position to challenge for the NL Central for this year and beyond.
    Last edited by Benihana; 02-11-2008 at 02:24 PM.
    Go BLUE!!!

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    Re: Krivsky's Checklist

    Quote Originally Posted by Benihana View Post
    I agree with much of this, however I'll address your final question:
    I actually do think we have a chance to contend in '08, particularly if we acquire Joe Blanton.

    However, as far as the naysayers go, it's not what we are missing, but what we are counting on. In other words, in order to contend, we are counting on at least four or five players to put forth very good seasons who have yet to put forth a solid full major league season. Between Matt Belisle, Bailey/Volquez, Edwin Encarnacion, Joey Votto, and Jay Bruce, there is an absolute abundance of talent and major league promise. However, none of these players has yet to put up an entire major league season of above average play. Encarnacion is probably the closest, but even he was demoted to the minor leagues as recently as last season. You have to consider this when evaluating this year's roster. There are a lot of prospects and potential, but so far not that much of a track record with a few exceptions. I think most if not all of these players will turn out to be quite good, but counting on each of them to reach their potential in unison this season may be a risky proposition.

    Don't get me wrong, I do think the Reds have the chips in place to compete, especially if they can acquire Blanton without giving up one of the fab four prospects. I happen to think that Beane has his sights on Drew Stubbs, as unlike the O's he does not need major league ready prospects. That would also explain the Reds' interest in Kenny Lofton pending a trade. Maybe he asks for Cueto and Stubbs, and the Reds counter with Maloney and Stubbs. Either way, I would strongly consider such a move, as I think it would put the Reds in a position to challenge for the NL Central for this year and beyond.
    I can see your point of view... but what rookies are we really relying on??

    IF the Reds got Blanton, then we wouldn't really need to lean on rookies very much.

    Rotation: Harang/Arroyo/Blanton/Volquez/Belisle.

    If Belisle, Volquez, or Bailey doesn't improve from last year, it won't kill us because Bailey & Volquez last year's numbers are fine for a #5 (which is all we'd need them to be) and Belisle's last year's numbers would be fine for #4 (which is all we would need). However, the better they improve, the better we'll do.... of course... but the thing is we won't be DEPENDING on the kids to improve/ excell (and become #3's).

    If Votto slips... we've got Hatteberg. If EdE slips ... I think that's the biggest hurt because we need his RBI's against LH pitching.. but that being said - we've got Keppinger who is a capable replacement. Bruce would be awesome to come up and put up great offensive #'s, but again we wont depend on him because we'll have Hopper/Lofton (maybe?).

    So I don't see dependence on rookies.. if they contribute- GREAT! all the better, but if not, we'll have their replacement already on the roster.

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    Re: Krivsky's Checklist

    Quote Originally Posted by hippie07 View Post
    Going into the off-season most agreed that we needed alot in order to be competitive in 2008. Has Krivsky addressed (or actively trying to addess) those needs?

    If the plan is to compete in 2008, what are our chances? What more do we need? There's luxuries, but on paper - what more do we need?
    Here are my responses by the checklist you've identified.

    1) A #2/3 starter
    I disagree with the premise. We needed a total of 5 above replacement level starters, which specifically means 2 new guys. Arroyo is an average to weak #2. Another above league average guy would be great, but not necessary to compete. I think 2 of our young options should fill these roles well enough in 2008 and will improve over time. I prefer going with the in house options to trading away significant value for Blanton.

    2) A RH bat off the bench
    Wilson is not the ideal solution given his struggles in 2007, but he fits the profile.

    3) A major bullpen upgrade
    Agreed it was a need. Not a huge fan of the investment, but we didn't exactly have high leverage options in house. It was met.

    4) Defensive CFer/Leadoff hitter
    Agree with the first part, disagree with the 2nd. "Leadoff hitter" is a role, not a skill. We have guys who can leadoff just fine. When you have Dunn and Junior, do you really need a guy who can steal 50 bases? Given that we have the #1 prospect in baseball and that he plays CF, signing somebody to replicate the basic skill set of Freel / Hopper strikes me as a waste of resources. Lofton does not represent an upgrade worthy of the roster inefficiency he would create.

    5) Offensive Upgrade at Catcher
    Again, I disagree with the premise. I've been saying that Ross will bounce back to a .750 OPS for the last 4 months and all the projection systems agree. (PECOTA has Ross good for .235/.310/.448). There simply aren't options out there who are likely to be more productive -- and they all would cost something significant. (PECOTA has Barrett down for .248/.306/.380, for example) The reality of the catcher position is that outside of 4-5 guys, it's a bunch of crap offensively. Sure, we should aspire to improve everywhere, but catcher isn't a problem area.

    So I guess my list looked like this:
    1.) Improve the bullpen
    2.) Improve the defense
    3.) Don't trade away young guys unless it's for serious impact

    Looking forward a few years, the biggest need for this team is to simply develop the talent is has. We'll need to replace Junior and Weathers for sure in 2009, possibly Dunn. Outside of that, we're actually in fairly good position. This team as constructed look like an 83-85 win team with 92 win upside given health and the development of some young guys ahead of schedule.

    The worst thing we could do is kill our upside by locking in to a few more "proven" talent that caps out our win potential in the high 80s -- call in the Mariners plan. A few prudent moves and player development. The BIG push needs to happen in 2009. This year is crucial, I just hope we don't sacrifice too much for a false start.
    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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    Re: Krivsky's Checklist

    RMR, I agree w/ you about catcher... I'm fine w/ Ross too, but I put that in because I've read it in alotta Redzoner's list of improvements the Reds should make to be competitive.

    The only thing I disagree with in your comment is that 2009 is the best year to compete... IMO, 2008 is the year that the FO is pushing for ... in 2009 we might not have Dunn, Griffey, Weathers, etc... I don't think its fair to assume that we'll be much better equipped in 2009 then we will be in 2008.. maybe in terms of maturation of Belisle, Bailey, Volquez, Cueto... but there's substantial risks in building the franchise's hopes of succes on the assumption that our starting pitching will be much better in 2009... cuz that's like building your house on sand. I think the foundation (combo of vets & rookies) is as good or better in 08 then it will be in 09.

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    Re: Krivsky's Checklist

    Quote Originally Posted by hippie07 View Post
    RMR, I agree w/ you about catcher... I'm fine w/ Ross too, but I put that in because I've read it in alotta Redzoner's list of improvements the Reds should make to be competitive.

    The only thing I disagree with in your comment is that 2009 is the best year to compete... IMO, 2008 is the year that the FO is pushing for ... in 2009 we might not have Dunn, Griffey, Weathers, etc... I don't think its fair to assume that we'll be much better equipped in 2009 then we will be in 2008.. maybe in terms of maturation of Belisle, Bailey, Volquez, Cueto... but there's substantial risks in building the franchise's hopes of succes on the assumption that our starting pitching will be much better in 2009... cuz that's like building your house on sand. I think the foundation (combo of vets & rookies) is as good or better in 08 then it will be in 09.
    I'm of the opinion that the team simply cannot afford to buy enough talent to guarantee favorite status in 2008. It would take either too much money or would require such a outlay of prospects as to jeopardize our ability to compete beyond 2008.

    Our ability to compete in 2008, unless we can add about 10 wins, is dependent on the continued good health of our roster and significant contributions from young guys like EE, Votto, Bailey, and some bullpenners. For this to be a 90+ win team, you'd need to add an Erik Berdard AND get all of the above. I just don't think that's a smart plan.
    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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    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Krivsky's Checklist

    We needed:
    1) A #2/3 starter
    - I am not at all enamored with Blanton. Take him out of Oakland and put him at GABP and I think you have an average to below average pitcher. To that extent I think that if let pitch the entire season both Volquez and Bailey will be a better pitcher than Blanton by seasons end.
    2) A RH bat off the bench
    -There were a lot of people who wanted to reds to sign Craig Wilson last season. Quite frankly he does nothing to get me excited at all. If he replaces Freel or Valentine then I would be ok with it but if he takes the roll of Hopper or Keppy I wouldn't be too fond of Wilson.

    3) A major bullpen upgrade
    - I like the Cordero signing and think he really settles down the pen. No longer will we see Coffey run out there over and over again to get shelled. Weathers, Burton, and Affeldt (hopefully) could go a long way to shorten the game and get the ball to Cordero.

    4) Defensive CFer/Leadoff hitter
    - Please no Lofton. The idea of him with the reds makes me sick. He is old and another lefty bat in the lineup. IMO Hopper can fill the leadoff hole and the reds will be ok. I don't want to sign a 40 year old Lofton and have him block Bruce's path to the majors.
    5) Offensive Upgrade at Catcher
    - I really don't like this idea. Ross isn't the greatest catcher but the reds don't need him to be. It seems like the pitchers like him and he has enough pop in his bat. Catcher is a premium defensive position and Ross does fine there. I also like a free swinger batting 8th who can punish a mistake. Ross is fine for me as a good defensive catcher as well as 8 hole hitter with some pop in his bat.

    IMO that the reds can contend in the NL Central this year. I think the team will get stronger as the season goes along as guys like Bruce, Votto, Bailey, Volquez, etc. get more playing time. I would much rather play a team that has the ability to let its young guys improve as the season goes along then trade those young guys for average at best pitchers.

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    Re: Krivsky's Checklist

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    We needed:
    1) A #2/3 starter
    - I am not at all enamored with Blanton. Take him out of Oakland and put him at GABP and I think you have an average to below average pitcher.
    I disagree. Move him to the NL and that will cancel any park adjustment and then some. How can any pitcher that throws 230 innings and walks 40 be considered average to below average? Please name me 50-60 starters in the game that are better.

    GABP is a hitters park, but not to the extent that some make it out to be. Good pitchers do fine here. And Blanton is a good pitcher. As I have said several times, he's probably better than Arroyo. And he's only pitched three full seasons and is getting better every year. I think he has POTENTIAL to be a slightly lesser version of Aaron Harang.

    For those freaking out about his K rate, see Arroyo in 2005 in Boston.

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post

    3) A major bullpen upgrade
    - I like the Cordero signing and think he really settles down the pen. No longer will we see Coffey run out there over and over again to get shelled. Weathers, Burton, and Affeldt (hopefully) could go a long way to shorten the game and get the ball to Cordero.
    What makes you think the addition of Cordero means Coffey won't pitch anymore.

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    Re: Krivsky's Checklist

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    We needed:
    4) Defensive CFer/Leadoff hitter
    - Please no Lofton. The idea of him with the reds makes me sick. He is old and another lefty bat in the lineup. IMO Hopper can fill the leadoff hole and the reds will be ok. I don't want to sign a 40 year old Lofton and have him block Bruce's path to the majors.
    Just because you hate Lofton - doesn't convince me that he's a bad fit for the Reds. Lofton has yearly put up great numbers (despite his age) and if he's used as a platoon w/ Hopper... I think the 2 together can make for an exceptional CFer. As for Bruce... if Bruce performs well and learns the lessons he needs to learn in AAA and if the Reds are in need of his bat.... there's no way anyone "blocks" him.. I mean, I know where you're coming from - but really that idea is just ludricious. The FO is giving us every indication that they plan to WIN in 08.. and if we need a bat ... to hell with precaution...Bruce is wearing Red.. end of story! I don't understand the freakout... yeah, a Lofton signing probably precludes Bruce from starting the year in CF, but I think there was little chance of that happening anyway.

    If you take a look at what WK is doing I think you'll see that each rookie has a veteran waiting in the wings in case that young guy slips...
    -EdE ..... Kepp
    -Votto.... Hatte
    -Bruce..... Hopper/Freel/Lofton?
    -Bailey/Cueto/Volquez.... Affeldt/Blanton?

    I think its a pretty brilliant insurance policy - actually...

    As excited as I am to see the rookies play.. it makes me really uneasy to think that any success the Reds will have in 08 is entirely dependent on 5 or 6 rookies/young guys putting up phenomenal numbers... it's much better to know that there's a backup plan .... I think WK is building a winning team, here and there's a real chance that this team makes a serious bid..

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    Re: Krivsky's Checklist

    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeRedleg View Post
    I disagree. Move him to the NL and that will cancel any park adjustment and then some. How can any pitcher that throws 230 innings and walks 40 be considered average to below average? Please name me 50-60 starters in the game that are better.
    I tend to agree that Blanton would be good for the Reds--another dependable pitcher, but that move from the AL to the NL really helped Milton a lot, em? I'm more concerned about how much of our future we have to give up to get him.


    What makes you think the addition of Cordero means Coffey won't pitch anymore.
    Or any number of the other bullpen guys. Let's look at the ERA of what's left. Bray (6.28), Coffey (5.82), Majewski (8.22), and Stanton (5.93) looks like a sterling relief staff. One reliever, even a closer) won't change that. We're still down to Weathers and Burton who we can count on.

    It's a work in progress, but the bullpen is not fixed.

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    Re: Krivsky's Checklist

    The bullpen thing still bugs me. Adding Cordero is great and Weathers, Burton and a Bray comeback all provide some hope for bridging the gap from the 6th to the 9th. But Weathers took a big drop in the 2nd half, Burton could be a 6 week wonder and Bray is more suspect than prospect IMO. The Reds have some other good arms that could step up if those guys fail. I'm hopeful for a Coffey comeback. I like McBeth. Salmon looks good but probably won't get a chance. Young hard throwers like Roenicke and Pelland don't really need a lot of seasoning to come in and throw hard.

    But... a primary piece of offseason roster improvement has not occurred and that is the subtraction of Stanton and Majewski. As long as those guys are around, 120 or so key innings in crucial situations will be going to guys who are of questionable major league quality. Weathers needs to come through to hold the curse of Majewski at bay and Bray needs to be lights out to keep Stanton away.

    Cordero will be good IMO, but I expect the Reds pen to be just as bad as it was in 2006 and 2007.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

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    Will post for food BuckeyeRedleg's Avatar
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    Re: Krivsky's Checklist

    Quote Originally Posted by WVRedsFan View Post
    I tend to agree that Blanton would be good for the Reds--another dependable pitcher, but that move from the AL to the NL really helped Milton a lot, em?
    Milton did smell pretty bad, however, he had a pretty decent year in Philly before he spontaneously "Miltoned" in his first year with the Reds (2005). He did not come to the Reds straight from the AL.

    There were concerns expressed by many members of this board the day the Reds signed him of not only his potential to suck real bad as a LHP in GABP, but also his severely damaged knee.

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    Re: Krivsky's Checklist

    Quote Originally Posted by hippie07 View Post
    Just because you hate Lofton - doesn't convince me that he's a bad fit for the Reds. Lofton has yearly put up great numbers (despite his age) and if he's used as a platoon w/ Hopper... I think the 2 together can make for an exceptional CFer. As for Bruce... if Bruce performs well and learns the lessons he needs to learn in AAA and if the Reds are in need of his bat.... there's no way anyone "blocks" him.. I mean, I know where you're coming from - but really that idea is just ludricious. The FO is giving us every indication that they plan to WIN in 08.. and if we need a bat ... to hell with precaution...Bruce is wearing Red.. end of story! I don't understand the freakout... yeah, a Lofton signing probably precludes Bruce from starting the year in CF, but I think there was little chance of that happening anyway.

    If you take a look at what WK is doing I think you'll see that each rookie has a veteran waiting in the wings in case that young guy slips...
    -EdE ..... Kepp
    -Votto.... Hatte
    -Bruce..... Hopper/Freel/Lofton?
    -Bailey/Cueto/Volquez.... Affeldt/Blanton?

    I think its a pretty brilliant insurance policy - actually...

    As excited as I am to see the rookies play.. it makes me really uneasy to think that any success the Reds will have in 08 is entirely dependent on 5 or 6 rookies/young guys putting up phenomenal numbers... it's much better to know that there's a backup plan .... I think WK is building a winning team, here and there's a real chance that this team makes a serious bid..
    I don't hate Lofton, I just don't see how this team is much better by signing a guy who is as old as Lofton is, plays a premium defensive position, and IMO is replaceable by a 4th outfielder. I think you take the few million it would cost to bring Lofton in and use it in other ways (draft, foreign players, etc.)

    As for Coffey what Cordero does is shift the pitching order down. I don't think Coffey sees as many important innings this season as he did last season.

    As for the rookies, let them play. I hate platoons and would really hate to see Votto not get at bats because the thought is that he doesn't hit lefties very good when in reality he has a limited sample size against them. EE could be a very interesting case study on how not to handle a young player. When he was put in the lineup every day, day in day out, he improved as a baseball player as well as putting up better numbers. Homer has shown that he has the ability to pitch and pitch well at the MLB level he just needs to show a little more consistancy and Volquez should be given every chance to start. Look I would much rather see Cueto given a chance to play then see Belisle out there every fifth day. Maybe the reds aren't in contention for the entire season with the rookies playing but maybe they become a very improved club by the end of the season. More than anything I want to see the reds play competitive baseball this season but in all reality I want to see them ripe for contention in the NL in 09. To go for it this year by overpaying for Blanton would send the reds back into the cycle that they have been in over the past decade.


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