I don't know if Dickerson is considered one of the "studs in the pipeline" or not (I've never had the feeling that he was considered a "blue chipper", but rather a good glove who was offensively-challenged), but maybe he's playing CF in Louisville because the Bats have paying customers, and they have to put a product on the field. Maybe he's the best that the Bats have, but he's still not good enough (yet, anyway) to play at the next level. Or maybe the Reds want him to refine his skills at AAA, so he will be a better player when he finally makes it to the big leagues.If Dickerson would be so bad, then why does the Reds brass have him playing Cf for their AAA team? After all, isn't he supposed to be one of the new and talented studs in the pipeline?
Eric Stratton, Rush Chairman. Damn glad to meet ya.
And maybe Dickerson is not Votto or Bruce, but if he can make it to AAA, then either your franchise is bad (see Pirates) or he is good enough to out play Patterson.....and even if he isn't, he gets some major league experience instead of the blind hole that is Corey Patterson.
"Is there a problem officers?"
Yes, it's been a dissappointment that this team has underachieved, we have been forced to endure ill conceived lineups on a nightly basis and the overall team brainfart on the last homestand (after the recent momentum in early June with the home winning streak and Bruce's callup). But, 4-4 on the road vs. tough AL teams once again shows with the developing staff this team can matchup and take a series anytime, anyplace against any lineup.
The unexpected performances of Arroyo/Harang (6.52/10.07 ERAs respetively) and essentially the entire offense in the month of June being about .100 OPS below each individual's career norms have been the issue.
However, the season is all about the youth movement and not the fodder that will be long gone after 2008. The interesting thing is that the progress of Cueto/Volquez and in limited sample Thompson seems to be progressing very nicely and that's with virtually no offensive support. That's the future and that's why I have some level of hope that light is at the end of the tunnel going into 2009.
One very good sign is that in his last nine starts since May 11th, Cueto has a 3.61 ERA and has only given up three runs twice, two runs or less six times and only one stinker (vs. STL 6 ER in 5 IP).
Interesting to note that Harang/Arroyo have combined for 200 IP of 5.4+ ERA ball this season. Without them the staff ERA would be about 4.20 (instead of 4.55) and with reasonable seasons from both, the staff ERA would probably be in the very respectable 4.0-4.1 range and that's with a complete 8-9 ERA black hole from the 5th starter pre-Thompson.
Last edited by oregonred; 06-28-2008 at 11:32 PM.
I was shocked to hear Doc Rogers (I suppose he knows his stuff) praise Cueto over Volquez on tonight's post-game show. High praise, too. The kid sure looked good tonight. He and Volquez, and like you say, the return to form by Harang are the 1-3 starters. Thompson may or may not be. I haven't seen enough of him, but we've got a good start and those RHH bats are very important for a club who rarely scores more than 3 runs.
"You only have to bat a thousand in two things; flying and heart transplants. Everything else you can go 4-for-5."
Good posts oregon and Stormy.
I don't see how everyone can't be excited about the future of this starting rotation. Edinson Volquez has been the best pitcher in baseball so far this season. Johnny Cueto has shown ace potential at times and is really starting to pitch better after going through some rough patches. Daryl Thompson is only 22 but has flashed very, very good stuff. That's 3/5ths of the rotation right there and all are 24 years old or younger. Aaron Harang is going through a bit of a rough stretch right now but he's still a very good pitcher and is always a good bet to give you 200+ innings of 3.50-4.00 ERA baseball with 200 K's. That's a very strong 1-4 in the rotation and there are some solid options for the fifth spot. Bronson Arroyo could always bounce back. If not Homer Bailey still has talent but there are other solid options behind him. Matt Maloney is a big lefty who won't wow ya but could settle in as an inning eating fifth starter. Other options are lefty Ben Jukich (2.78 ERA, 34 BB/80 K ratio in 100.1 innings in AA) and Sam Lecure in AA.
Cueto and Volquez are just a thrill to watch. Most pitchers when pulled from the game immediately head to the showers and change and then watch the rest of the game from the clubhouse. Not Cueto and Volquez. No matter how good or bad they pitch, when the camera flashes toward the dugout both of those kids are standing on the top step of the dugout watching the game with a big smile on there face. They always being a big smile to my face. I'm so excited to have both these kids in a Reds uniform for a long time and the same can be said for Daryl Thompson.
Improve the defense and add another bat or two and this team will be ready to play in the postseason for many years to come.
I miss Adam Dunn.
The only thing I have been really looking at this year has been what you two already mention - the progress and development of young players at the ML level. Let Votto, Volquez, Cueto, Thompson, and Bruce play. They are going to go through the highs and lows. Let them take their knocks, as long as we don't see a total meltdown. I think Dusty has done a good job in handling our pitchers overall, as well as handing 1B to Votto.
But the experience they are gaining is invaluable.
Man - if we could only get Homer Bailey turned around.
The one person I'd dangle out there right now - and I say this with a lump in my throat - is Aaron Harang.
I would love to trade Arroyo; but his performance over the last couple of years (as well as that contract) make him unappealing to a majority of teams that might be looking for that second half boost in the pitching department.
But Harang is a different story IMO. Aaron is going to bounce back. He makes 6.75 mil this year, 11 mil in '09, 12.5 in '10. There is a team option for 12.75 mil in '11.
Other then that, I see Walt entertaining offers on Dunn, while "waiting out" some of these other contracts in which nothing much else can be done because of WHO they are (ex- Jr). If we can get something out of guys like Belisle, Weathers, Majik, and/or whoever, then fine. No offer should be refused. But IMHO, I think they are just going to have to wait them out.
But Jocketty has a golden opportunity to not only allow numerous players to walk, who have been fodder on this team, but to also increase payroll room and drastically change the "face" of this team going into the '09 season.
Last edited by GAC; 06-29-2008 at 08:17 AM.
"panic" only comes from having real expectations
I watched Corey Patterson range pretty far to run down quite a few long fly balls in the last few days. The pitching staff needs that. With EE hurt, Hairston is playing IF out of necessity while either Griffey or Dunn serves as DH. In a situation like that, 2 of your top 4 OF are not available for the OF, the 5th OF (Freel) is on the DL so the team is down to its 6th and 7th options. When it gets down that far, I'll take the defensive guy.
For the record, the pecking order in the Reds OF is Dunn, Bruce, Griffey, Hairston, (I'd flip flop Griffey and Hairston personally), Freel, Patterson, Hopper. I find it hard to place much blame on Dusty for playing Patterson while one OF serves as DH, another plays SS and third sits on the DL. With Cueto, Arroyo and Harang giving up lots of fly balls out there, Patterson's defense provides a lot of value to this team that he gets no credit for. He's not worth $3 Million dollars, but who else is there right now?
As far as Chris Dickerson goes, I think if everything could go right for him, he'd be about what Corey Patterson is right now. I'm aware that he draws walks in AAA, but in the majors, he'll need to prove he can hit before he'd walk much IMO. I'm guessing he wouldn't give any pitcher any reason to do anything other than throw it right down broadway while he's up there.
Last edited by mth123; 06-29-2008 at 06:07 AM.
"All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH
Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS
great job guys, refreshing insights.
Arroyo's stinking was unexpected? Not by me. Guys who have to have pinpoint control for the modicum of success they have are in deep waters when they hit their early 30s.
This team still needs middle relievers, and two more starters of steady #4 quality (not what Arroyo is currently giving the team; that is sub-Miltonic performance). We can be happy all we want about the young starters, but without veteran depth in the rotation, the team is going nowhere.
And they need defense at SS (since they've given up on Janish I guess), 3rd, and catcher.