Here is the Reds Hot Stove League show report for 3-12-08. Paul Daugherty was the host tonight. He listed the transactions today. He also said that Goodyear AZ has secured the funding for the Reds to train there which would start in 2010.
Marty joined Paul by phone. Paul asked Marty about Capellan and Marty didn't know anything about him and said that since there are so many players in camp, it is starting to resemble one of JimBo's camps. Paul asked if that was too tough to handle for the coaching staff. Marty said it is, especially for the pitching coach. He said with the exception of Bruce, the position players are pretty well set and it boils down to pitching. At some point you have to cut some players which the Reds did today and that was a good thing. (Tell that to the guys who got cut) At this point you have to start giving pitchers the necessary innings to be able to decide if they can make the team. Marty sarcastically said that the Reds struck the motherlode with Valenzuela who cost them $25K and he doesn't understand it. Marty said he talked to Braves GM Frank Wren about him after he got pounded in the intrasquad game and Wren laughed and said he will probably be getting a phone call soon. Marty said Valenzuela had no shot of making the team and he questioned the wisdom of the people who make those decisions.
After commercial, Paul asked how much Cueto has to show to make the team. Marty said not much. He said he can't remember a year a kid came into camp wit the kind of arm Cueto has, the kind of moxie Cueto has and the confidence he has. If he pitches well tonight, he should make the club. Marty told a baseball official when he watched him work the other day that he's the 3rd best pitcher on the staff and the baseball guy (Probably not Jerry Narron) said he's the 2nd best behind Harang. Paul said he only has pitched 22 innings past AA. Marty said he doesn't care. Marty used the example of Alejandro Pena who pitched in the Florida State League one year and with the Dodgers the next and was a dominant pitcher. Marty said that you shouldn't care where a kid pitched the year before if he has the makeup to pitch in the big leagues. Marty thinks there is too much concern that every prospect has to start in Billings, then go to Sarasota then go to Dayton then to Chattanooga then to LOU then to Cincy. He said if you're good enough to jump a classification or two, there isn't anything wrong with that.
Paul asked Marty about Mad Dog Volquez. Marty said he was dominant. He said the Yanks had never seen him before and he got hurt a couple of times leaving his breaking ball up but he also got a couple of outs on breaking balls. Marty said he is this close to be able to pitch up here and pitch productively. It's all about continuing to refine his breaking ball and throwing it for strikes. Marty said he read somewhere where Johann Santana throws 12 sliders a game and that's it. Marty said that he should either begin the year in the rotation or be the long guy.
Paul asked whose call this was. Marty said Wayne, Walt, Pole and Dusty are all involved. Marty said when push comes to shove, Dusty's got the 3 year deal and Wayne's expires at the end of the year so if Dusty wants to make a fuss, he'll probably get his way. (Corey Patterson, c'mon down! You're the next contestant to play CF and bat leadoff) Paul asked Marty if he thought Dusty wanted to take Mad Dog and Cueto north. Marty said absolutely unless they tank it the rest of the spring but both may not necessarily be in the rotation.
Paul asked Marty about Homer and Marty said Homer's back is against the wall in his opinion. He has to pitch well the rest of the spring to make the team. Paul asked if his stuff was as good as Mad Dog's and Cueto's. Marty said it is but the other two are more consistent in the strike zone. Marty said he's never seen anyone like Cueto before. (He doesn't get out much) The other day when he missed, he missed down and he is very impressive. Paul asked what happens if Cueto gets hit hard tonight. Marty said it won't bother him a bit. Paul clarified and asked if it alters the thinking of the powers that be. Marty said probably not but only to the extent he can't pitch bad the next time out. If he has back to back poor outings, he could be on the bubble.
Paul said that since the Reds didn't trade these young players, they better be on the 25 man roster. Marty said he doesn't think Bruce has a chance in hell of being on the 25 man roster and he thinks it would be a crime if he isn't. Paul said Greg Gajus was on his show last night (The SABR guy who helped Erardi with his pieces on Sunday) and Gajus said that the Reds need to score more runs this year and one of the ways to do that is to start Bruce 150 times. Marty said if Bruce continues to play as well as he has, they better have a viable reason that makes some sense why he doesn't. Marty thinks he won't make the team because it screws up the Reds personnel situation so bad that it's unbelievable. (Huh?) Marty said the other options are Patterson against righties, Hopper against lefties and Freel being traded.
After commercial, Paul asked how Bruce screws the personnel up. Marty said they have all those other guys and then they have Bruce and you don't know what the heck to do with the other guys. Marty said Bruce has done everything they have asked him to do and if he's sent down, whatever reason they give will fall on deaf ears if he continues to play well. Marty said if he's sent down you have your leadoff hitters in Hopper and Patterson (ick). Paul asked why they brought in Patterson. Marty said he doesn't know why they bring in guys like him and Rios and Capellan.
Paul said when Gajus was on his show last night he said Keppinger has to play somewhere every day if they want to improve the run production. Marty doesn't disagree but wants to know is the run production of the Reds so bad that they need him in there every day. (Uh, hello. You have three 8th place hitters in that lineup with Ross, Hopperson and Gonzo). Paul said the Reds were 7th in the league in runs scored last year. Marty thinks they have plenty of offense. Marty said Kepp made an error on a routine grounder the other day but he isn't concerned about his defense and he's one of two professional hitters on the team (The other being Mr. Hat.) But Marty said he will be the shortstop to begin the season.
Paul asked about Mr, Hat and who has the leg up between him and Votto for the 1B gig. Marty said he doesn't know. He said if you feel like you have to platoon Votto you need a RH 1B there and Hatteberg is a lefty hitter too. Marty mentioned Jolbert Cabrera as a possibility cause Dusty loves him. Marty feels Votto should have the inside track and thinks he does. But if he's the regular 1B, what do you do with Hatteberg. Marty said he doesn't know. (LH pinch hitter? It's not that tough, guys.)
Paul asked Marty what he thought of Sabrmetrics. Marty said he likes some of it. He felt the Erardi pieces on Sunday were very, very entertaining. He said he doesn't agree with everything they propose. He thinks any team that casts its lot with that approach will go in the tank. He thinks that's why Walt left StL because they are going that way. He said if you do a combination of SABR and "by the book" ball, you have a chance to be a pretty good team.
I guess Thom was on the second half of the show but I forgot UC was playing and they were doing the other half on the other station and I wasn't really listening to the show so I would know to change it. Sorry, gang.
Thus endeth the Reds Hot Stove League show report for 3-12-08. So let it be written. So let it be done.