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Thread: If Votto is showing that he can handle LH pitching...

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    Manliness Personified HumnHilghtFreel's Avatar
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    If Votto is showing that he can handle LH pitching...

    Then I'm assuming that means he's going to be in the lineup just about every day. I'm ALL for that.

    Now, when Alex Gonzalez gets back, I'm assuming that he's going to be finding some playing time. The original idea kicked around was that when he gets back, Kepp would split time between SS and 1B against lefties. If Votto is hitting lefty pitching though, that means Kepp is out of the lineup.

    I'm a big proponent of keeping Kepp's bat in the lineup as much as possible, so where then do you put him at that point? Do you take away AB's from Edwin, sit Votto even if he's hitting well, or straight platoon him with Gonzo at short?

    Maybe I'm overreacting a bit to a situation that may not even arise, and it's down the line a bit, but I think it could end up being an interesting situation. I think his bat is a big enough asset that it could be a problem if he isn't in the lineup often enough.

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    GR8NESS WMR's Avatar
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    Re: If Votto is showing that he can handle LH pitching...

    If I was in charge, it'd be Gonzo on the bench. Votto and EE are much more important to this team's success than finding a place for Kepp outside of SS that would likely force Votto or EE to the bench.
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    Member redsrule2500's Avatar
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    Re: If Votto is showing that he can handle LH pitching...

    Gonzo at third? I like him more than EE at this point.
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    Member Jpup's Avatar
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    Re: If Votto is showing that he can handle LH pitching...

    Alex Gonzalez may not be back before June. I wouldn't worry about it much right now. Jeff Keppinger will be in the lineup everyday for the rest of the year unless something very strange happens. Dusty loves him, the fans love him, he's Krivsky's pick up, & he's probably the best hitter on the team right now. Why would anyone consider messing with him?
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    Member icehole3's Avatar
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    Re: If Votto is showing that he can handle LH pitching...

    call me crazy, but I think before the season is done Votto will be carrying this team...call me crazy I dont care.


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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: If Votto is showing that he can handle LH pitching...

    Votto will always have platoon splits and he's probably always going to be a below average defender. These things don't disappear when the big promotion happens and he looks to really be an average to a little above average overall as a major leaguer.

    None of that suggests he's not a better option than Hatteberg though (it's kind of an argument for Votto actually).

    Frankly, I'd just stick EE in the lineup and forget about him so since Votto has no real platoon partner, that notion probably applies to him in spades.
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    Moderator RedlegJake's Avatar
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    Re: If Votto is showing that he can handle LH pitching...

    I disagree with jojo completely. Votto will be an above average hitter. Average fielder? Probably but he CAN get better defensively. Guys get better defensively much more often than they do offensively. He's pretty athletic and I see no reason to think his D won't improve. As for his splits -Joey doesn't have to hit lefties as well as righties -just good enough to be as good or better than most platoon partners would be. Platooning has one flaw. It means sitting for days on end, especially for the RH partner but it disrupts the flow for both players. Platoons often end up getting less from both players, imo. I do like the semi-platoon. When you have a RH bat that hits a particular lefty well, or when your lefty like Votto is in a bit of an overall slump, a day off against a lefty might be in order. I just dislike - well its a lefty time to sit Votto and play someone else.
    If the Reds think that's all the better Votto is then trade him and get a regular 1st baseman. Votto will hit lefties reasonably well (ala Dunn) or he'll eventually lose his job. So far he's showing he isn't lost when a lefty is on the mound. Quite the opposite.

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    Red's fan mbgrayson's Avatar
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    Re: If Votto is showing that he can handle LH pitching...

    Interesting note on Votto almost three weeks in: he has no walks so far. Zero. This is after Dusty said in spring training "On Votto: “He needs to swing some more. I talked to him about that. Strikeouts aren't the only criteria. I'd like to see him more aggressive.”

    Well his batting average and slugging look good. But do we really want to continue to have his avg.=his obp.? He needs to develop and refine his batting eye. He is being more aggressive. In last year's late season call up, he was seeing 3.81 pitches per plate appearance. This year so far, that is down to 3.28 pitches per plate appearance. Last year he walked 5 times in 89 appearances, this year 0 times in 43 appearances. Full splits are HERE.

    I am afraid that we may be seeing a Dusty 'hack away and don't walk' approach.
    Last edited by mbgrayson; 04-20-2008 at 12:10 PM.
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    Re: If Votto is showing that he can handle LH pitching...

    Quote Originally Posted by mbgrayson View Post
    Interesting note on Votto almost three weeks in: he has no walks so far. Zero. This is after Dusty said in spring training "On Votto: “He needs to swing some more. I talked to him about that. Strikeouts aren't the only criteria. I'd like to see him more aggressive.”

    Well his batting average and slugging look good. But do we really want to continue to have his avg.=obp.? He needs to develop and refine his batting eye. He is being more aggressive. In last year's late season call up, he was seeing 3.81 pitches per plate appearance. This year so far, that is down to 3.28 pitches per plate appearance. Last year he walked 5 times in 89 appearances, this year 0 times in 43 appearances. Full splits are HERE.

    I am afraid that we may be seeing a Dusty 'hack away and don't walk' approach.
    I agree this may have a lot to do with the pre-season quotes from Dusty saying he wanted him to be more aggressive at the plate. His isoOBP through the minors does nothing but suggest he had a much more patient approach at the plate.

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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: If Votto is showing that he can handle LH pitching...

    Quote Originally Posted by RedlegJake View Post
    I disagree with jojo completely. Votto will be an above average hitter. Average fielder? Probably but he CAN get better defensively. Guys get better defensively much more often than they do offensively. He's pretty athletic and I see no reason to think his D won't improve.
    The NL average firstbaseman did this in '07: .284/.365/.481 OPS: .846. It's asking a lot for a guy to be significantly better than that with his platoon splits. Ryan Howard has platoon splits but he's mauled right handers to a degree that Votto has never consistently equaled. Also Votto is breaking into the league at an age where defensive skills already begin peaking. Sure he can work hard and get better (hats off to Hatteberg), but there's clearly a ceiling on the amount of improvement that is realistic. His defense will probably always be a drag on his productivity.

    Average to a little above average as a major league first baseman is neither a pejorative nor a particularly conservative forecast for a guy like Votto given his skill sets and age.

    Quote Originally Posted by RedlegJake View Post
    Platoons often end up getting less from both players, imo.
    Hatteberg/Aurilia say hello!

    Quote Originally Posted by RedlegJake View Post
    I do like the semi-platoon. When you have a RH bat that hits a particular lefty well, or when your lefty like Votto is in a bit of an overall slump, a day off against a lefty might be in order. I just dislike - well its a lefty time to sit Votto and play someone else.
    Personally I dislike using small sample size splits to justify a move. Platoon splits are generally supported by rock-solid samples. They're real. Hitting 7 for 16 against a particular lefty isn't informative as it appears.

    Quote Originally Posted by RedlegJake View Post
    If the Reds think that's all the better Votto is then trade him and get a regular 1st baseman. Votto will hit lefties reasonably well (ala Dunn) or he'll eventually lose his job. So far he's showing he isn't lost when a lefty is on the mound. Quite the opposite.
    I haven't argued Votto should be platooned (actually I argued the opposite abive) but rather his platoon splits will be a drag on his production.

    Controlling an average to slightly above league average player for 6 years is an extremely valuable thing. Frankly, I think Votto might be one of the top four major league hitters on the Reds (Dunn, Votto, Bruce, Jr) depending upon how Jr handles his age this season. He's just not going to be a superstar IMHO. That said, penciling in a guy and not worrying about it for several years is a great thing.
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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: If Votto is showing that he can handle LH pitching...

    Votto sounds like a smart guy. Perhaps he was thinking that once he established himself as the regular every day 1st baseman doing it the "Dusty Way", that he could go back to his former approach.
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    Re: If Votto is showing that he can handle LH pitching...

    Chip has a solution:
    http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=67393
    OF: Dunn, Phillips, Griffey
    IF: Encarnacion, Gonzalez, Keppinger, Votto

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    Red's fan mbgrayson's Avatar
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    Re: If Votto is showing that he can handle LH pitching...

    Quote Originally Posted by HumnHilghtFreel View Post
    I agree this may have a lot to do with the pre-season quotes from Dusty saying he wanted him to be more aggressive at the plate. His isoOBP through the minors does nothing but suggest he had a much more patient approach at the plate.
    Not true. Votto had significant plate discipline in the minors.
    2005 Sarasota; Avg= .256 OBP=.330 with 52 BBs.
    2006 Chatanooga; Avg=.319 OBP=.408 with 78 BBs.
    2007 Louisviile; Avg=.294 OBP=.381 with 70 walks.

    A significant part of Votto's value was his high OBP, which was partly driven by walks. That simply must be maintained for him to be an average or better firstbaseman. It is worth noting that Ryan Howard, in addition to all the HRs, had 107 walks last year. Pujols had 99 walks. Berkman had 84. Lee had 71.
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    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: If Votto is showing that he can handle LH pitching...

    Votto is only going to continue getting better IMO. Growing up in Canada, Votto didn't play as much baseball as kids from the United States and Dominican Republic. I still think his best days are ahead of him. I think he'll hit lefties just well enough and crush right handers OPS around the .880-.900 mark each year. He's got some power in that bat and playing half his games in the GABP, he may eventually become a 30-35 homerun guy. This year alone I think he'll give up 22-25 homeruns and 30 doubles if he's given 500 atbats. And his defense is already better than Hatteberg's IMO.

  16. #15
    Manliness Personified HumnHilghtFreel's Avatar
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    Re: If Votto is showing that he can handle LH pitching...

    Quote Originally Posted by mbgrayson View Post
    Not true. Votto had significant plate discipline in the minors.
    2005 Sarasota; Avg= .256 OBP=.330 with 52 BBs.
    2006 Chatanooga; Avg=.319 OBP=.408 with 78 BBs.
    2007 Louisviile; Avg=.294 OBP=.381 with 70 walks.

    A significant part of Votto's value was his high OBP, which was partly driven by walks. That simply must be maintained for him to be an average or better firstbaseman. It is worth noting that Ryan Howard, in addition to all the HRs, had 107 walks last year. Pujols had 99 walks. Berkman had 84. Lee had 71.
    I think you misread what I said, I agree with what you're saying


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