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Thread: big decision on OF

  1. #1
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    big decision on OF

    maybe this post should go into the "move Bruce out of CF ASAP" thread, but that thread seems to have turned...

    the Reds face a most interesting decision this spring: should Jay Bruce stay in CF?

    I really think that this SHOULD come down to whether Bruce looks like he can be an above average CFer. You should always do what's best for your top young players, and worry about the other players next.

    however, there are several other top young players that actually affect the decision: Adam Dunn, Drew Stubbs, and a large set of young pitchers who seem capable of getting strikeouts.

    will Dunn sign? If so, then maybe you need a rangier CFer than Bruce

    is Stubbs a player? If so, then maybe they use other bodies to keep CF warm for him, while having Bruce learn RF ASAP.


    do you want to keep Jr happy by not having Bruce learn RF while he's still around? I wouldn't consider the wants/needs of an old player myself, but the Reds have bent over backwards to keep Jr happy in the past.

    the other part of the question concerns the pitching. We have pitchers that might actually strike out batters coming up in the organization. Are they for real? such guys would need less OF defense. or will we continue to rely on pitchers that really should have Tris Speaker in CF?

    I figure that this debate rages internally, and we picked up a little bit of the conversation when Dusty was commenting on Bruce's achy legs. Whether that's a fair point or not, such issues really should be raised now because informed decisions have to be made, and flanked by Dunn and Jr, the Cincy CFer WILL have to run a lot this year, no question about it.

    I'm intrigued by Bruce as a CFer, because typically it's much easier to find LFers and RFers than offensively dominant CFers. Dusty is probably less enamored as he needs to manage for this season, in which he understandably needs a bunny in center.

    but the big question is-- what will Wayne do?

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  3. #2
    Charlie Brown All-Star IslandRed's Avatar
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    Re: big decision on OF

    Good post. There's no question that Bruce is the best bat available to play CF. It's purely a matter of whether they think his defense is up to being the everyday CF. Given the degree of difficulty of playing between Dunn and Griffey, the incremental gain from having a premium flychaser out there as opposed to an average one is huge.

    With Corey Patterson, squint hard enough and you can sort of see Cesar Geronimo. That kind of player has a lot of value to certain kinds of teams. Are the 2008 Reds one of them? Not sure.
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  4. #3
    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: big decision on OF

    The reality is that if Bruce plays in the majors this year, most of the time will be CF.
    He can play LF or RF to give Dunn/Jr a break occasionally.

    In theory, one could bench Jr and give Bruce the RF job.. but that's not going to happen.
    And I don't think it should. Whether people want to acknowledge it or not, we need Jr's bat
    in the lineup.

    This is going to be another rebuilding year. It's ok if Bruce plays a less than stellar CF.
    It's also ok if Bruce spends the entire year in AAA (That might actually be what's best for the
    longterm future of both Bruce and the Reds).. Bruce whizzed through the minors. There was another
    thread where someone (maybe it was Dusty) talked about how Patterson was rushed, and ultimately it
    wasn't good for him. A year (or half year) at AAA certainly isn't going to hurt him.

    What's Wayne thinking? My guess is Bruce at AAA, and Patterson/Hopper in CF. Freel is the backup plan.
    Thank you Walt and Bob for going for it in 2010-2014!

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    Re: big decision on OF

    unlike your one-year guess, Reds FO will determine where it thinks team will be in 2-3 years and begin to implement.

    we're not a rent-to-rent organization any longer.

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    Re: big decision on OF

    Quote Originally Posted by princeton View Post
    do you want to keep Jr happy by not having Bruce learn RF while he's still around? I wouldn't consider the wants/needs of an old player myself, but the Reds have bent over backwards to keep Jr happy in the past.

    I like Jr. but I'm not going to worry about keeping him happy this year. The Reds are almost assuredly not going to pick up his option for next season so he'll be a free agent. If he's shopping himself to other teams, I think he's going to want to look as attractive as possible to them and that means gritting his teeth and being happy here no matter what slights - real or imaginary - he suffers this year.

    I think a question that doesn't get raised on here is what happens if, God forbid, Dunn is out for a significant amount of time. Do the Reds put Bruce in LF and keep Jr. in RF or do they dare to have Jr. play LF. It's not just necessarily about attitude either. On sunny days, LF is the sun field for the early part of night games in the mid summer. Plus the ball sometimes takes funny bounces off the scoreboard. Do you really want Jr. out there in LF learning on the job or would you put an eager beaver like Bruce there whose athletic ability could overcome those problems?
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  7. #6
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: big decision on OF

    Jay Bruce was always a RF who might be able to play CF in his youth if the situation demands it.

    The reality is his time as a major league CF was going to be limited to 2008 because starting in 2009 he'll be the starting the RF. So the question becomes, is Jay Bruce in CF (as opposed to Corey Patterson) going to be the difference in winning a division?

    I don't pretend to have that answer at the moment (maybe by the end of the month, but right now I'm not sure what the roster, lineup, rotation and bullpen are going to look like).

    Long term, Bruce in RF next to a legit CF makes a ton of baseball sense. That's the end state and if Jr. gets one of his month-long injuries, he could find himself Pipped.

    Island Red, nice comparison between Patterson and Geronimo, and I don't know if the 2008 Reds are that kind of team either.
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    Re: big decision on OF

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    Jay Bruce was always a RF who might be able to play CF in his youth if the situation demands it.
    he's in his youth and the situation exists this year and possibly beyond-- unless some things get addressed soon.

    I think that the FO feels the need to determine if the "might" is a "can" or "cannot" so that it can begin to plan accordingly.

  9. #8
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: big decision on OF

    Quote Originally Posted by princeton View Post
    he's in his youth and the situation exists this year and possibly beyond-- unless some things get addressed soon.

    I think that the FO feels the need to determine if the "might" is a "can" or "cannot" so that it can begin to plan accordingly.
    We just saw those things get addressed in the form of Corey Patterson. He's probably not a long-term solution, but I'd say he's a fairly clear signal that the Reds are interested in true CFs. As a corollary, I'm guessing the Reds are interested in a true RF as well.

    The larger question from my perspective is, if they get those two things in place, will they be open to a statue in LF?
    Baseball isn't a magic trick ... it doesn't get spoiled if you figure out how it works. - gonelong

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    Re: big decision on OF

    Long term, Bruce in RF next to a legit CF makes a ton of baseball sense. That's the end state and if Jr. gets one of his month-long injuries, he could find himself Pipped.
    Bruce has filled out quite a bit in the last year or so. Since he's still only 20/21, expect that to continue, making the move to a corner look better and better. Since it seems obvious Griffey will not be here next year, it's logical to groom Bruce for RF now since he says he doesn't feel as comfortable there as in CF. Stick him in RF in Louisville, and let Dickerson patrol CF. Meanwhile, Patterson + whoever can platoon in CF while they get a better read on Stubbs and Dickerson.
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    Re: big decision on OF

    As capable as Jay Bruce is I think at this stage Junior has a better bat - if you look at how Junior is at this stage of the spring it has been much better than any other spring in recent times for the REDS.

    Hitting home runs this early has never been one of the things and it must be also one of the first springs where he hasn't arrived from a winter of rehabbing.

  12. #11
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    Re: big decision on OF

    Quote Originally Posted by Nugget View Post
    As capable as Jay Bruce is I think at this stage Junior has a better bat - if you look at how Junior is at this stage of the spring it has been much better than any other spring in recent times for the REDS.
    I think it's awfully dangerous to draw conclusions from 6 at bats in spring training.

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    Re: big decision on OF

    I think Bruce's biggest problems this year are Dunn and Griffey.

    If the Reds had corners who could cover ground, Bruce might have a shot at center.

    With the current corners, I think the Reds will opt for defensive oriented center fielders.

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    Re: big decision on OF

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    I think Bruce's biggest problems this year are Dunn and Griffey.

    If the Reds had corners who could cover ground, Bruce might have a shot at center.

    With the current corners, I think the Reds will opt for defensive oriented center fielders.
    of course. But--long term?

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    Re: big decision on OF

    Quote Originally Posted by pahster View Post
    I think it's awfully dangerous to draw conclusions from 6 at bats in spring training.
    I wasn't comparing their springs but saying that Junior still has a better bat than most out there. And that Junior has arrived at spring this year in much better condition and frame of mind than any other spring in recent REDS history.

  16. #15
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    Re: big decision on OF

    Is there anything that suggests that Patterson is a good defensive CF? Seems to me that he has never been anywhere near a gold glove discussion.

    If Bruce is a 5 tool can't miss, why is there any question?

    If compared to Freel or Hopper, Bruce apparently cannot be much worse. I already know that Freel is an awful defensice CF because I have watched him play there a great deal over the last few seasons. You guys claim Hopper is worse, I don't see that at all, but if you are right, then Hopper is simply awfuler.

    So why this sudden ongoing line about getting Bruce out of CF?
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