Here would be the moves I'd make in chronological order:
1. Promote Bill Bray, send Todd Coffey to Louisville
2. Promote Jerry Hairston Jr., send Norris Hopper to Louisville (if he has options, otherwise DFA)
3. Sign Mike Piazza to be the go-to RH pinch-hitter and backup catcher to Bako, although I'd play Bako everyday. DFA Javy Valentin.
4. Play Corey Patterson and Ryan Freel in a strict righty/lefty platoon, and go with this lineup for the next three weeks (Dusty never would, but just for the heck of it):
1. If Freel and Patterson don't break out of their slumps, I promote Jay Bruce and play him everyday in CF. If Freel hits well over this time period, I try to trade him for anything of value. If not, I DFA Juan Castro to make room for Bruce and Freel returns to his bench role. If Patterson starts to hit again, I would leave Bruce in AAA until one of the OFers gets injured.
2. Promote Drew Stubbs, Juan Francisco and Chris Valaika to Chattanooga (assuming they continue to rake.)
3. Promote Todd Frazier and Brandon Waring to Sarasota (assuming they continue to rake.)
4. Promote Josh Roenicke and Carlos Fisher to Louisville. If those guys are gonna make it, they should get used to pitching to better competition at their age.
5. I continue using a rotation of Harang-Cueto-Arroyo-Volquez-Belisle. If a spot start is needed, I use Fogg or one of the AAA vets (Lehr/Shearn) during this time period. Otherwise Fogg stays in his long relief/mop-up role.
1. I address the Adam Dunn situation. If he is hitting over .250 at this point, I would offer him an extension- first offering more money for a 3-year deal, and then if he refuses offer less money for a 4-year deal. Either way, I would not exceed $60 MM in total money.
2. I would also revisit the Homer Bailey situation. If he continues to deal the way he has in the last month, I consider him for a promotion. If a spot starter is needed at this point, he is the guy. If he has success, I would go to a six-man rotation, with Harang pitching every fifth day no matter what. The other guys rotate around him in order to keep the rookies' innings down.
During these next two months, I would constantly be looking to make trades, with all of the following players expendable: (I would like to move all of the major leaguers for the best return possible, however small that may be.)
Matt Maloney (his value may never be higher than it is now- trade him only for a nice haul)
Carlos Fisher (he looks to have regressed a bit so far this year)
Sam LeCure (ditto)
BJ Szymanski (I would see if someone would bite on his hot start.)
Juan Francisco (he definitely has value, but I'd be wary of his plate discipline and he has nowhere to play)
Guys I would be targeting include the following:
Taylor Teagarden C TEX
Max Ramirez C TEX
Wladimir Balentien OF SEA
Matt Kemp OF LAD
Andy Marte 1B/3B/OF CLE
Brian Anderson OF CHW
Matt LaPorta OF MIL
Erick Aybar SS LAA
JULY AND BEYOND
If/when Bailey joins the rotation in June and shows that he can stay there, I would also consider dealing Arroyo or Belisle, especially if the Reds could land a guy like Yunel Escobar (doubtful, but worth inquiring.) That situation would depend on where the Reds are in the standings come July. If Dunn refuses to sign for $60 MM or less- or if he continues to straddle the Mendoza line, I would try to move him at the deadline as well. However if Dunn is re-signed and the Reds are out of contention come July 31, I would look to deal Griffey Jr. for the best possible return. One intriguing option that I would explore is trading Jr. and Maloney to Seattle for Waldimir Balentin and Jeff Clement or Kenji Johjima- provided we could sign the latter to a reasonable extension. Additionally, the Dodgers are also reportedly discussing a contract extension with Rafael Furcal, which would make shortstop prospect Chin Ling Hu expendable. Ditto for Brent Lillebridge in Atlanta if Escobar continues to rake. I would inquire about those two if they could be had for any of the spare parts listed above (not Dunn, Belisle, or Arroyo.) Also, if Darryl Thompson and Travis Wood continue to dazzle, I would give them both a midseason promotion to Louisville and Chattanooga, respectively.