Here is the Reds Hot Stove League show for 3-5-08. Paul Daugherty was the host tonight and he recapped the Reds win over the Red Sox. He also mentioned an event at GAB on Friday March 21, An Evening with Bench and Brennaman at Club 4192. Tickets are $75 and proceeds go to the Reds HOF & Museum. It includes a buffet meal, 2 drink tickets, parking and a free preview of the Joe Nuxhall exhibit at the HOF & Museum.
After that, Marty called in. Paul asked what Marty thought of the Patterson signing. Marty said he doesn't disagree with the move and he has some ability and while no one has said anything, he'd be stunned if Bruce was on the Opening Day roster. He said if Patterson can show some ability, the Reds will platoon him and Freel or Hopper in CF and the odd man out will probably be traded. He thinks they feel Bruce should play every day in the minors. Marty thinks the Patterson signing could be a very, very good addition to the ballclub.
After commercial, Paul asked Marty if Dusty believes Bruce isn't a CF. Marty said he doesn't know and if he had to guess he'd have to say yes. Marty sees him as a RF more than a CF because of his arm. Paul asked Marty if Dusty's worried about Bruce's legs. Marty said Bruce went into Dusty's office and said he doesn't have a problem with his legs. Paul asked assuming Jr. and Dunn are healthy, if Bruce is in AAA. Marty said he thinks Wayne has preconceived ideas about certain players and no matter what they do they will open the year in AAA. Marty thinks at some point Wayne and Dusty are going to go head to head about that. Marty believes Dusty wants to take the best 25 guys north. For instance, with Gonzo hurt, Dusty has been singing Adam Rosales' & Paul Janish's praises. Marty said maybe neither one is ready to play in the bigs but it characterizes what Dusty's thinking is.
Marty said that Dusty's thinking is if a kid played at AA last year and he plays well during the spring, he doesn't have a problem taking him north. Marty doesn't think Wayne feels like that. Paul asked Marty who he thought was most responsible for bringing in Patterson and Hariston. Marty said he thinks it was Dusty (Duh). Paul said that kind of goes against what Marty was saying. Marty said since Bruce and Gil are laid up, Dusty's covering himself by bringing in the ex-Cubs to see what they can do. Marty speculated that there might have been a discussion between Dusty and Wayne and Wayne made it clear to Dusty that Bruce is starting the year in AAA. Marty said if you don't go with Bruce, you have to platoon in CF. Marty thinks that they aren't going to let Bruce make the team unless he can play every day against both righties and lefties because they don't want to platoon him. Paul asked Marty if he agreed with that. Marty said he didn't and he feels he's ready to start in CF on Opening Day. Paul said the Brewers put Ryan Braun in there and he did well. Marty agreed and said that it depends on how quickly Bruce can recover from the quad strain. He raved about Bruce's double of Burnett the other day. They both agree it's foolish to start Bruce in AAA.
After commercial, Paul asked Marty if sending Bruce down to AAA would be a waste. Marty said it would be unless he falls on his face the rest of ST
The first caller said he's upset with the Reds bringing all the vets into camp. He wants to see Homer and some of the young guys come up and they keep signing these veterans. Marty said he disagrees with him about Patterson. (Uh oh, does Marty have a little man crush on Corey? What does Hopper think about that. Remember, Marty, hell hath no fury like a Hopper scorned.) Marty said he's only 28, he's had some success in the bigs, he played for Dusty in CHI. Marty believes that if things work out with certain players on this team who can perform at a level where they can benefit the Reds, they can finish 2nd in the division behind the Cubs. (Fun fact: The Cubs have not won consecutive world/league/division championships since 1908) He thinks they are potentially better than every other team in the division. Marty said the division stinks and you don't have to be that great to be in contention in the NL Central.
The next caller asked why the Reds are not putting the young guys in the rotation/lineup if they are everything they say they are. Marty said he doesn't disagree and used the Tigers as an example. He said a few years ago DET put several young guys in the rotation and they got their butts kicked and then 2 years ago they went to the Series. Marty thinks Cueto has passed Homer and he's never seen a guy who had a better arm, a better assortment of pitches and a better ability to throw strikes than Cueto. Marty said Homer may be his own worst enemy because of his attitude. He said Cueto's confidence is really high and Cueto feels he should pitch in the big leagues now. Paul asked Marty if he would take Cueto north over Homer. Marty said he would have told him at the beginning of ST that he expects him to be in the rotation when the season starts.
The next caller asked about Freel and if he is the odd man out and if he has options. Marty said he doesn't think he has options. Assuming Bruce starts in AAA and Patterson makes the team, it's going to be between Freel and Hopper and he doesn't think both of them will make the club.
After commercial, Paul said it's a little ridiculous that they valued Bruce so highly in the offseason that they wouldn't trade him if he goes down to AAA. (That's a good point. Same could be said for trading Josh.) Jeff Brantley called in. Paul chided him for his prediction that Bruce would be starting on Opening Day. Jeff said that with Bruce's injury and the feeling that Freel and Hopper aren't adequate defensively they needed to bring someone like Patterson in. He does agree with Marty and Paul that Bruce should start in CF. Paul said that Dusty said he's going to give him that chance and if Jeff believes that. Jeff said he does.
Paul asked Jeff what he thought about Cueto. Jeff agreed that Cueto should be in the rotation because he feels he's ready. He said they know what Affeldt, Belisle, Fogg and Arroyo can do but we don't know what Cueto can do. He asked what if he's as good as Harang. He said Cueto's paid his dues in the minors, he works hard so he should get the chance. Paul asked why they weren't traded if they won't go north with the Reds. Jeff said you can't guarantee these guys a job before ST starts but you do apply as much pressure in ST on them and say if they want to play, prove it.
After commercial, Paul asked Jeff if he went to the game today. Jeff said he didn't. (Marty didn't go either. I find it a little odd that the two main broadcasters for this team don't go to all the ST games.) Paul asked Jeff about Volquez. Jeff said he saw him before the Reds traded for him and he believes it was a steal to move Josh and get Mad Dog for him. Paul asked if he makes the team. Jeff said he has as good or better shot than anyone. He said the heat is on guys like Belisle, Homer, Cueto and Mad Dog. If he had to rank them he would rank them, Cueto, Volquez, Bailey and Belisle in that order. He said Homer pitched well today but his problem is that he throws a curve that won't be called for a strike and if he hangs it it will get hit very hard and very far. He said until he learns and/or is willing to make the adjustment to a shorter breaking ball, his time in the majors is going to be limited.
The next caller asked Jeff if he's seen anything this ST that shows Dusty's man love for vets. Jeff said he doesn't buy it cause he's played for him. He said when he was the closer for Dusty in SF, he got replaced by Rod Beck who came up from the minors. He said Dusty will play the best players available guaranteed because the last thing Dusty wants to do is answer questions after every game of "Why did you lose?" Paul said that when they bring in guys like Affeldt, Fogg, Hariston and Patterson, people are going to say that they are taking up spots that the younger guys should have. Jeff said that the only one of those guys who has a guaranteed contract is Affeldt. (Fogg has options?) Jeff said that if he's Dusty, he wants to see if Patterson can live up to his hype from 4 years ago. He said he wants to see what happens to Bruce when he's no longer the top dog in the lineup and there's big pressure on him. Jeff said if you can't handle the heat in ST, you can't handle it when the season starts.
The next caller thinks the Hamilton trade was dumb and he's an unbelievable star. He also thinks Bruce should start every day in CF. Jeff said that because of the abuse Josh put his body through, he has the body of a 35 year old, not a 27 year old. He said it isn't just about physical ability and if you don't trade Josh and you want to play Bruce, you are going to have a problem since they can't play at the same time.
The next caller asked with all the pitching that is in camp now and we know Adam (sic) Harang and Arroyo will go north, do you put Affeldt in the rotation and if you take Cueto, who would be the odd man out between Fogg and Belisle or do you go with a 6 man rotation (Always nice to hear from Ray Knight) Jeff said that is going to be a tough question and if Volquez, Bailey and/or Cueto all make the rotation, what do you do with Belisle, Affeldt and Fogg? Long relief or send the kids to AAA and call them up if the vets fail. Jeff said he'd rather have too many options than not enough.
After commercial Paul said that the thing he likes about ST is that there is a lot of competition for a lot of spots. He asked Jeff if the season started tomorrow, which 5 would be in his rotation. Jeff said that puts Affeldt at a disadvantage because he wants to see him pitch 5 or 6 IP a game before he leaves camp. He said he'd take Harang, Arroyo and Belisle but Belisle would be on double secret probation. Then he would take Mad Dog and Cueto and he'd tell Homer if he wants to pitch in the big leagues he has to come up with a shorter breaking ball. Paul asked how Homer would feel about that. Jeff said he likes Homer and he has as much confidence and as much of a competitive edge as anyone on the team. Jeff said if Homer could come up with a breaking pitch that was somewhere between his curve and a slider, he could be very close to being an ace or the ace on this team. He likes his competitiveness but he can't get by with that curve.
The next caller asked about Homer's attitude. Jeff said that his attitude isn't necessarily a problem because he'd rather have someone who is fiery than someone who isn't. Jeff said it's a long season and the competitiveness is what keeps you going when you get knocked around. Jeff said he doesn't think he can pitch in the majors with what he has now but that's just his opinion.
This endeth the Reds Hot Stove League show report for 3-5-08. So let it be written. So let it be done.