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Thread: C. Trent Notes

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    Boom Goes the Dynamite Screwball's Avatar
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    C. Trent Notes

    From C. Trent's blog:

    Looking ahead, looking back
    Monday 03-10-2008 10:15am ET
    SARASOTA -- Two weeks into spring training games and we're about to get to the place where we can start making some (albeit guarded) decisions about the 2008 Reds.

    Here's some of the things I've seen so far:

    *Most impressive player: RHP Johnny Cueto. I've said it before, I'll say it again -- put him in the rotation. Let him take some lumps, the kid can handle it. While there will be some lumps, he'll learn from them and be ready. He's also got the kind of stuff that makes you think a no-hitter is possible almost every outing.

    *Least impressive player: RHP Sergio Valenzuela was the Reds' surprise Rule V pick in December. After last season's Rule V bonanza, the law of averages comes back to get Wayne Krivsky. Valenzuela has looked out of his league even against minor league hitters at the end of games. Rule V picks are a gamble, and you never expect to win every hand at the table. Time to fold this hand.

    * Most encouraging sign: Any step Jay Bruce takes. Bruce has an easy swing and all the tools in the world. After the hiccup with a quad issue, Bruce is going to be given a lot of chances to show his ability on the field. Still, expect him to start the season in Louisville.

    * Most discouraging sign: 1. Corey Patterson. 2. Jerry Hairston. 3. Is Neifi next? Even the most ardent Dusty Baker backers winced at the Patterson and Hairston signings, thinking there may just be something to the incessant Cub whining about Baker and his penchant for retreads over young players. Expect "I told you sos" from the Windy City when Patterson's your Opening Day lead-off hitter and centerfielder. If Bruce isn't in Cincinnati by June 1, you can give up and say, they're right.

    * Biggest mystery: Homer Bailey. Last year Homer was the savior. He's still No. 9 on Baseball America's Top 100 Prospect list, but he's not been lights-out in spring. Opposing hitters report a straight fastball, which means outfielders watching the ball go into the stands at Great American Small Park.

    * Trade bait? As a veteran and a starter last season, Scott Hatteberg's supposed to be done with his spring training games in the fifth inning this early in the season. Instead, he's gotten some ninth-inning at-bats (albeit as a DH) when he should already be out on the golf course. With Joey Votto playing well enough and having nothing left to prove, Wayne Krivsky may see if he can parlay Hatteberg (who hit .310 last season and was signed to a reasonable one-year, $1.65 million deal) into a pitching prospect.

    * And you are? Ryan Freel's been quiet. On the field and off. He could be feeling the pressure of looking in center -- where he was the Opening Day starter in 2007 -- and seeing Jay Bruce, Norris Hopper and Corey Patterson. He looks at the infield and sees anchors at second and third base, and Jeff Keppinger in his role as backup everywhere in the infield, and trying to figure out where he fits in. A two-year, $7 million extension through 2009 makes him tougher to trade, but a few injuries here and there and Farney and Freel may be in a different uniform come March 31.

    * Poised to break out: Edwin Encarnacion should put up 30 homers at Great American Ball Park this year and for the foreseeable future. Encarnacion has had a slow spring, but at this point of his career, it's not something to get too worried about.

    * What about Junior? There's no overriding Ken Griffey Jr. storyline this spring -- and nobody is happier about that than Ken Griffey Jr. He's healthy, he's in right field and he's happy. That's about all you can ask for. Griffey's looked fine so far and even had an opposite field rocket of a home run in his second spring training game. Expect No. 600 sometime in early May.

    * And Dunn? Dunn seems more relaxed than ever, which isn't to say he's nonchalant, but more like he's not feeling any pressure. That's shown in his swing, hitting the ball where it's pitched with men on base. He's gone the other way for RBI singles more than once already this spring.

    * Who starts at short? Jeff Keppinger. Keppinger isn't going to be the everyday shortstop -- if Alex Gonzalez's knee injury is more serious, the Reds will explore their options, but Keppinger can man the position weeks at a time. He should get 400 at-bats this season, and if he does, you know he'll give about 390 quality at-bats. Keppinger also solves Baker's search for a No. 2 hitter.

    * Who's on first? It looks like it'll be Votto -- the question is Hatteberg. If Krivsky can trade Hatteberg, expect a number of others to serve as Votto's backup or part of a platoon, which leads to the next question.

    * Three catchers? Really? Again, it could happen, especially if Krivsky finds a taker for Hatteberg. If they do go with three catchers, expect Javier Valentin to be used more as a pinch hitter who can catch. He'll be the switch hitter of the bench. Also, both Valentin and Paul Bako have played first base in spring games. Starter David Ross has been slowed by a sore back, so it's unsure if he'll be ready.

    * Will Mike Stanton be on the Opening Day roster? Yes. His contract is too big and his track record is too good for him not to get a shot to prove himself during the regular season. If he has a disastrous April and one more bad outing in May, he could be jettisoned, but not before that.

    * What about Gary Majewski? Majewski has a live arm, experience and options. That makes him valuable. He may start the season in Louisville, but he'll be back with the Reds this season.

    * What's the rotation? What is it going to be our what should it be? Well, here's my rotation if I'm filling it out -- Harang, Arroyo, Cueto, Fogg, Affeldt -- and it may end up being that way, just in a different order.

    * Is the bullpen better? In a word, yes. In another word, much.

    * Is it enough? Honestly, it looks like the team is still a 78-win, third-place team. But, just a bit of overachieving and in this division, it's playoff time. But I'm certainly not putting down a deposit on World Series tickets quite yet.
    http://1530homer.com/pages/ctrent.html
    Last edited by Screwball; 03-10-2008 at 12:30 PM.

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    Brett William Moore Will M's Avatar
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    Re: C. Trent Notes

    Quote Originally Posted by Screwball View Post
    From C. Trent's blog:
    3 catchers? Moving Hat and using Javy as a left PH is fine IF the
    3rd catcher is an improvement over Ross. ie a trade for Ramon Hernandez or one of the Ms catchers or one of the Pirates catchers. If the 3 catchers are Ross-Bako-Javy then OMG!

    It wouldn't suprise me if both Hat and Freel are traded before opening day.
    .

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    Re: C. Trent Notes

    Least impressive player: RHP Sergio Valenzuela was the Reds' surprise Rule V pick in December. After last season's Rule V bonanza, the law of averages comes back to get Wayne Krivsky. Valenzuela has looked out of his league even against minor league hitters at the end of games. Rule V picks are a gamble, and you never expect to win every hand at the table. Time to fold this hand.
    too bad he couldn't live up to his minor league numbers. :ughmamoru
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    Re: C. Trent Notes

    did he just write that bullpen is much better, but also that Majewski will be back with the Reds this season?

    bullpen or whatever

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    Puffy 3:16 Puffy's Avatar
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    Re: C. Trent Notes

    Quote Originally Posted by Screwball View Post
    From C. Trent's blog:

    * What's the rotation? What is it going to be our what should it be? Well, here's my rotation if I'm filling it out -- Harang, Arroyo, Cueto, Fogg, Affeldt -- and it may end up being that way, just in a different order.

    What - no mention of Belisle by someone who's spent the past two and a half weeks watching all things Red? You mean, maybe, just maybe, Belisle isn't the next Aaron Harang like so many on this board have been postulating all winter? Shocking.
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    Re: C. Trent Notes

    So by C. Trent's math, 2.5% of Keppinger's ABs will be less than quality?

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    Boom Goes the Dynamite Screwball's Avatar
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    Re: C. Trent Notes

    Quote Originally Posted by Puffy View Post
    What - no mention of Belisle by someone who's spent the past two and a half weeks watching all things Red? You mean, maybe, just maybe, Belisle isn't the next Aaron Harang like so many on this board have been postulating all winter? Shocking.
    Well, it's tough to flat out disagree with him because, as you mentioned, he's there with the team and I'm not. But I just don't see why Belisle should be relegated from the rotation in favor of an Affeldt or Fogg, and I don't think the Reds will go that path either.

    I'd be interested to hear his rationale for the decision.

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    Re: C. Trent Notes

    Quote Originally Posted by Puffy View Post
    What - no mention of Belisle by someone who's spent the past two and a half weeks watching all things Red? You mean, maybe, just maybe, Belisle isn't the next Aaron Harang like so many on this board have been postulating all winter? Shocking.

    I'd like Cueto in bullpen to bring him along slowly, but if they understandably can't stomach the rotation without him, then bullpen goes to Belisle or Affeldt. I doubt that Fogg could be an effective short reliever. Of those two, if they really prefer a lefty in rotation then Belisle gets pen. Could go the other way, though.

    Volquez or Bailey could probably beat out Affeldt, moving him to bullpen as well. Might not happen by opening day though.

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    Pitching is the thing WVRedsFan's Avatar
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    Re: C. Trent Notes

    Quote Originally Posted by princeton View Post
    did he just write that bullpen is much better, but also that Majewski will be back with the Reds this season?

    bullpen or whatever
    Contradiction of terms. I've seen all those live arms come and go so much over the years and most of them do not pan out. It's time for the Reds to cut bait on Mr. Majik.

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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: C. Trent Notes

    Quote Originally Posted by princeton View Post
    did he just write that bullpen is much better, but also that Majewski will be back with the Reds this season?

    bullpen or whatever

    He also said he may start the season in LOU which would make the bullpen in Cincinnati better.
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    Re: C. Trent Notes

    Opposing hitters report a straight fastball, which means outfielders watching the ball go into the stands at Great American Small Park.
    Has this been a common theme with Bailey? It seems like I've read that before with regards to his fastball.

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    Re: C. Trent Notes

    Quote Originally Posted by BRM View Post
    Has this been a common theme with Bailey? It seems like I've read that before with regards to his fastball.
    we have kids whose main selling point is not a skill, but age. With Majewski, main selling point is not a skill, but options.

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    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    Re: C. Trent Notes

    Quote Originally Posted by Puffy View Post
    What - no mention of Belisle by someone who's spent the past two and a half weeks watching all things Red? You mean, maybe, just maybe, Belisle isn't the next Aaron Harang like so many on this board have been postulating all winter? Shocking.
    This is the same guy that say Majewski has a live arm, and has value.

    I like his writing too, but that don't mean he's perfect.
    Suck it up cupcake.

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    Member red-in-la's Avatar
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    Re: C. Trent Notes

    Quote Originally Posted by flyer85 View Post
    too bad he couldn't live up to his minor league numbers. :ughmamoru
    Would you say he was dominant?

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    Re: C. Trent Notes

    He has been with the team (and is privy to a lot more information than the rest of us), but that doesn't mean he's the GM or the manager. He's mostly making predictions at this point and I think he'd tell you the same thing if you asked. I wouldn't get too worked up about what he's saying because while I think some of what he said will stick, I think some things will not.


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