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Thread: Of course defense is important

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    Member Spring~Fields's Avatar
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    Of course defense is important

    Of course defense is important

    Junior's exit first step toward upgrade
    By John Erardi • jerardi@enquirer.com • August 3, 2008

    A lot has been written and said about Ken Griffey Jr. since he was traded to the Chicago White Sox this week.

    But not enough has been written or said about how lackluster his defense was, and how much it contributed to the overall decline of a terrific defense in 1999 to a chronically anemic one through the 2000s.

    Granted, he was hurt a lot of that time and he was only a part of the problem, but he turned gaps into Grand Canyons.

    If the Reds can't improve their defense - and unloading Griffey was a start - they will not make the postseason.

    Introducing the Deficiency Efficiency Ratio (DER). It is one of the most accurate barometers of a team's success.

    It measures a very simple thing: how well your team turns into outs the batted balls that stay in the park.

    A great defensive team turns 72 percent of batted balls into outs (Tampa Bay and Oakland currently lead Major League Baseball with a .720 DER). On the other end of the spectrum, a bad defensive team will turn only 68 percent of batted balls into outs. Guess on which end of the spectrum your Reds rank?

    Poor defense has been a huge problem for the Reds since Griffey's second year here (2001).

    Here is the Reds' DER and the rank among MLB teams defensively for the last decade:

    Year DER MLB rank
    2008 .681 29th
    2007 .682 26th
    2006 .691 21st
    2005 .683 28th
    2004 .696 20th
    2003 .698 21st
    2002 .700 19th
    2001 .695 23rd

    2000 .710 3rd
    1999 .731 1st



    The 2000 Reds were the last Cincinnati team with an above-average defense (and the last with a winning record). The 1999 Reds were the second-best defensive team of the last decade, exceeded only by the 2001 Seattle Mariners, who won 116 games.

    Based on several advanced defensive stats, the Reds have only two good defensive players: Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto.

    If the Reds are going to contend in 2009, they are going to need several more.

    Edwin Encarnacion is having a fine season at the plate but is the worst defensive third baseman in the majors.

    Good hands and quickness with an erratic arm sounds like a potential first baseman or left fielder. (We favor left field for him; both because it's an easier position than first, and because of the history of third basemen making that transition.) But if the Reds re-sign Adam Dunn, where do they put EdE?

    At shortstop, Jeff Keppinger doesn't have the range necessary to anchor a great defense, but he can play third if Encarnacion gets traded. Part-time shortstop Jerry Hairston Jr. is good in center field but can't stay healthy. Ditto Alex Gonzalez, whose reputation as a great shortstop isn't supported by the numbers.

    Dunn has the opposite problem of Griffey - the Big Donkey looks worse than he is. This year he rates only slightly below average defensively among NL left fielders, a considerable improvement over his bottom-five ranking last year.

    The priorities for the Reds are acquiring 1.) a go-get-'em center fielder, 2.) a better shortstop and 3.) a catcher.

    The Reds can get creative. They have a very good shortstop playing second base. There's no reason why Brandon Phillips wouldn't be a very good shortstop. A good second baseman, Oakland's Mark Ellis, is available via free agency.

    Can improving the defense work? Check out the Tampa Bay Rays this year, a team with an even more futile record this decade than the Reds. Last year, the Rays were 66-96 and had one of the worst DERs ever. What did they do?

    They turned a terrible second baseman (B.J. Upton) into a better center fielder. They traded their good-hit, no-field shortstop (Brendan Harris) and replaced him with an excellent glove (Jason Bartlett).

    They moved their third baseman to second base and made room for a rookie with an excellent glove (Evan Longoria).

    They picked up a fourth outfielder from Milwaukee (Gabe Gross), who is posting excellent defensive stats.

    And while it isn't Volquez-for-Hamilton, they traded a fine young hitter (the defensively challenged Delmon Young) for a fine young pitcher (Matt Garza).

    Last year, the Rays had a DER of .662 and allowed 782 runs (one fewer than the Reds). This year, they have a DER of .720 and are on pace to allow 664 runs, a 118-run improvement. That's 12 wins.

    And consider Milwaukee. Last year, it had a DER of .680. This year? .697. Not as awesome as the Rays, but still above the NL average this year (.693).

    How'd the Brewers do it? They moved Ryan Braun from third base to left field, signed Mike Cameron and moved center fielder Bill Hall to an easier position (third base). With those moves alone, they already have improved their team by 32 runs this season.

    The Reds have several promising arms. Seeing what they could do with a defense behind them would be a treat.

    Sabermetrician Greg Gajus provided most of the information. Also contributing were sabermetricians Justin Inaz and Joel Luckhaupt.

    http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs...808030433/1071
    Last edited by Spring~Fields; 08-03-2008 at 10:59 AM.

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    Member VR's Avatar
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    Re: Of course defense is important

    Fantastic. The stats prove what Redszone has known for years!


    I listened the game on radio last year, and was amazed at how many well hit balls off the bats of the Reds, getting Marty all excited, were tracked down with with great catches by the speedy Nats outfield. More than one of them would have broken the game open.

    Conversely, the Reds this year just haven't given their pitch any morsel of defensive support. Those '99 pitchers were an ok bunch, but benefited so greatly by the crazy defense that would have the opponent frustated night after night.

    Just making the basic plays is such a huge confidence boost for the pitching staff, but to take away hits, shut down running games, not allow extra bases, and throw in a few POtD's, just demoralized the other teams as well.

    The past few years, the Reds have not only thrown up crazy amount of errors, but the mental lapses and poor execution of fundamental baseball by the defense is staggering. Throw in the unforced errors by the pitching staff and offense, and this team gives the opposition a crazy advantage in bases on a nightly basis. I don't care what the talent is, you just can't overcome that over the course of a season.
    Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand

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    Re: Of course defense is important

    The problem with fixing the defense is that it will require a major overhaul of the team.

    First base -- keep Votto but unclear how it turns out defensively.

    Second base -- currently above average, unless Phillips moves his position.

    Shortstop -- needs an upgrade defensively.

    Third base -- needs an upgrade defensively.

    Catcher -- no real incumbent for next year. Needs a new player.

    Left field -- passable defensively.

    Center field -- no real incumbent for next year. Needs a new player.

    Right field -- ok defensively with Bruce.

    That's four positions -- at minimum -- that need to change to fix the defense. That's a lot of ground to cover in one year. Good luck Walt.

  5. #4
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    Re: Of course defense is important

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    The problem with fixing the defense is that it will require a major overhaul of the team.

    First base -- keep Votto but unclear how it turns out defensively.

    Second base -- currently above average, unless Phillips moves his position.

    Shortstop -- needs an upgrade defensively.

    Third base -- needs an upgrade defensively.

    Catcher -- no real incumbent for next year. Needs a new player.

    Left field -- passable defensively.

    Center field -- no real incumbent for next year. Needs a new player.

    Right field -- ok defensively with Bruce.

    That's four positions -- at minimum -- that need to change to fix the defense. That's a lot of ground to cover in one year. Good luck Walt.
    If you're willing to sacrifice some offense for great (not good) defense, I'd say three of the four are pretty doable. Third base is a little sticky however.

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    Brett William Moore Will M's Avatar
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    Re: Of course defense is important

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    The problem with fixing the defense is that it will require a major overhaul of the team.

    First base -- keep Votto but unclear how it turns out defensively.

    Second base -- currently above average, unless Phillips moves his position.

    Shortstop -- needs an upgrade defensively.

    Third base -- needs an upgrade defensively.

    Catcher -- no real incumbent for next year. Needs a new player.

    Left field -- passable defensively.

    Center field -- no real incumbent for next year. Needs a new player.

    Right field -- ok defensively with Bruce.

    That's four positions -- at minimum -- that need to change to fix the defense. That's a lot of ground to cover in one year. Good luck Walt.
    yep. C-SS-3B-CF all need to be improved. IMO this team is going nowhere with such a bad defense.

    I'd like to see if Phillips can play SS. There are several in house and free agent options for 2B but zip for a SS. play him some at SS this year and see what he looks like there.

    EE needs to go to LF if Dunn doesn't sign or be traded if he does. EE sucks so bad at 3B.
    .

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    Re: Of course defense is important

    This is from another article:

    It is a significant reason why the Reds ranked next-to-last in defensive efficiency entering the weekend, turning 68.2 percent of the balls in play into outs. By comparison, Tampa Bay and Oakland convert 72.1 percent into outs. That 4 percent difference will mean about 165 extra hits and errors allowed by the Reds over the course of the season.

    That's amazing to me. 165 hits over a full season?!? Ouch. No wonder the Rays have had such an amazing turnaround. The Reds don't have to get up in the 72 % range like the A's and Rays but somewhere in the 70.6 range (good enough for top ten) would be nice. One move I would make is moving Brandon Phillips to SS. He's got incredible range and the hands to handle SS just fine. This opens second base for Chris Valaika, an average SS who could probably be an above average second baseman. Next is the catching position. I'd like to see a young catcher like Jeff Mathis or Taylor Teagarden acquired, if not Ryan Hanigan is considered a backstop in Louisville. Which brings us to center field. The Reds have two excellent, gold glove caliber center fielders in the system in Drew Stubbs and Chris Dickerson but one is not ready and the jury is still out on whether they will hit enough to be regulars.

    Third base is still a problem but I'm holding out hope EdE finally figures it out. If not, he should be moved.

    Let's take a look at that defense:

    LF Adam Dunn
    CF Chris Dickerson/speed burner
    RF Jay Bruce
    3B Edwin Encarnacion
    SS Brandon Phillips
    2B Chris Valaika
    1B Joey Votto
    C Taylor Teagarden/Jeff Mathis

    You've got a slightly below average left fielder, a below average third baseman, and an average second baseman with room to get better. On the positive side you have an above average to potentially plus shortstop, an above average first baseman, a good defensive catcher, a plus center fielder, and a plus fielder in RF. That's a good defensive team right there though the offense takes a hit.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Brett William Moore Will M's Avatar
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    Re: Of course defense is important

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    This is from another article:

    It is a significant reason why the Reds ranked next-to-last in defensive efficiency entering the weekend, turning 68.2 percent of the balls in play into outs. By comparison, Tampa Bay and Oakland convert 72.1 percent into outs. That 4 percent difference will mean about 165 extra hits and errors allowed by the Reds over the course of the season.

    That's amazing to me. 165 hits over a full season?!? Ouch. No wonder the Rays have had such an amazing turnaround. The Reds don't have to get up in the 72 % range like the A's and Rays but somewhere in the 70.6 range (good enough for top ten) would be nice. One move I would make is moving Brandon Phillips to SS. He's got incredible range and the hands to handle SS just fine. This opens second base for Chris Valaika, an average SS who could probably be an above average second baseman. Next is the catching position. I'd like to see a young catcher like Jeff Mathis or Taylor Teagarden acquired, if not Ryan Hanigan is considered a backstop in Louisville. Which brings us to center field. The Reds have two excellent, gold glove caliber center fielders in the system in Drew Stubbs and Chris Dickerson but one is not ready and the jury is still out on whether they will hit enough to be regulars.

    Third base is still a problem but I'm holding out hope EdE finally figures it out. If not, he should be moved.

    Let's take a look at that defense:

    LF Adam Dunn
    CF Chris Dickerson/speed burner
    RF Jay Bruce
    3B Edwin Encarnacion
    SS Brandon Phillips
    2B Chris Valaika
    1B Joey Votto
    C Taylor Teagarden/Jeff Mathis

    You've got a slightly below average left fielder, a below average third baseman, and an average second baseman with room to get better. On the positive side you have an above average to potentially plus shortstop, an above average first baseman, a good defensive catcher, a plus center fielder, and a plus fielder in RF. That's a good defensive team right there though the offense takes a hit.
    1. your lineup if fine except for EE. he is not getting any better. move him.

    2. Phillips need to play some SS in 2008 so we can see how he looks there. Dickerson needs to be called up now & Patterson released. Lets see what he can do.
    .

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    Re: Of course defense is important

    I posted this in another thread, but I'd like to see the Reds callup Chris Dickerson, Paul Janish, and Ryan Hanigan and play them everyday in September just to get a look at what actual defense looks like up the middle. Dickerson would be an improvement with the bat over Patterson IMO, and Hanigan couldn't do any worse than Bako with the bat. Janish at SS would be a step down offensively but his defense is a lot better.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Re: Of course defense is important

    More brilliant defense by the Reds today turned a one run inning into a four run inning. Man oh man.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: Of course defense is important

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    This is from another article:

    It is a significant reason why the Reds ranked next-to-last in defensive efficiency entering the weekend, turning 68.2 percent of the balls in play into outs. By comparison, Tampa Bay and Oakland convert 72.1 percent into outs. That 4 percent difference will mean about 165 extra hits and errors allowed by the Reds over the course of the season.

    That's amazing to me. 165 hits over a full season?!? Ouch. No wonder the Rays have had such an amazing turnaround. The Reds don't have to get up in the 72 % range like the A's and Rays but somewhere in the 70.6 range (good enough for top ten) would be nice. One move I would make is moving Brandon Phillips to SS. He's got incredible range and the hands to handle SS just fine. This opens second base for Chris Valaika, an average SS who could probably be an above average second baseman. Next is the catching position. I'd like to see a young catcher like Jeff Mathis or Taylor Teagarden acquired, if not Ryan Hanigan is considered a backstop in Louisville. Which brings us to center field. The Reds have two excellent, gold glove caliber center fielders in the system in Drew Stubbs and Chris Dickerson but one is not ready and the jury is still out on whether they will hit enough to be regulars.

    Third base is still a problem but I'm holding out hope EdE finally figures it out. If not, he should be moved.

    Let's take a look at that defense:

    LF Adam Dunn
    CF Chris Dickerson/speed burner
    RF Jay Bruce
    3B Edwin Encarnacion
    SS Brandon Phillips
    2B Chris Valaika
    1B Joey Votto
    C Taylor Teagarden/Jeff Mathis

    You've got a slightly below average left fielder, a below average third baseman, and an average second baseman with room to get better. On the positive side you have an above average to potentially plus shortstop, an above average first baseman, a good defensive catcher, a plus center fielder, and a plus fielder in RF. That's a good defensive team right there though the offense takes a hit.
    I agree for the most part on this OBM although I would do it slightly different it pretty much would end up with above average defenders at most positions at least.
    "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

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    Re: Of course defense is important

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    More brilliant defense by the Reds today turned a one run inning into a four run inning. Man oh man.
    Don't forget the offense turning a 2 run inning into a 0 run inning w/ Phillips pick off.
    You have to appreciate the consistency of their ineptitude, no?
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    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Of course defense is important

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    This is from another article:

    It is a significant reason why the Reds ranked next-to-last in defensive efficiency entering the weekend, turning 68.2 percent of the balls in play into outs. By comparison, Tampa Bay and Oakland convert 72.1 percent into outs. That 4 percent difference will mean about 165 extra hits and errors allowed by the Reds over the course of the season.

    That's amazing to me. 165 hits over a full season?!? Ouch. No wonder the Rays have had such an amazing turnaround. The Reds don't have to get up in the 72 % range like the A's and Rays but somewhere in the 70.6 range (good enough for top ten) would be nice. One move I would make is moving Brandon Phillips to SS. He's got incredible range and the hands to handle SS just fine. This opens second base for Chris Valaika, an average SS who could probably be an above average second baseman. Next is the catching position. I'd like to see a young catcher like Jeff Mathis or Taylor Teagarden acquired, if not Ryan Hanigan is considered a backstop in Louisville. Which brings us to center field. The Reds have two excellent, gold glove caliber center fielders in the system in Drew Stubbs and Chris Dickerson but one is not ready and the jury is still out on whether they will hit enough to be regulars.

    Third base is still a problem but I'm holding out hope EdE finally figures it out. If not, he should be moved.

    Let's take a look at that defense:

    LF Adam Dunn
    CF Chris Dickerson/speed burner
    RF Jay Bruce
    3B Edwin Encarnacion
    SS Brandon Phillips
    2B Chris Valaika
    1B Joey Votto
    C Taylor Teagarden/Jeff Mathis

    You've got a slightly below average left fielder, a below average third baseman, and an average second baseman with room to get better. On the positive side you have an above average to potentially plus shortstop, an above average first baseman, a good defensive catcher, a plus center fielder, and a plus fielder in RF. That's a good defensive team right there though the offense takes a hit.
    I'm not sold on Valaika. I have no idea about his defense and BP had an article this week about major league projections based on the curent minor league season. For Valaika they project .261/.304/.401/.705 now and at his peak (age 27) .281/.333/.438/.771. I'd market the heck out of Valaika and make him one of the trade commodities in a package for a veteran to fill a hole. I'd want a big time defender to live with that bat. I don't know that Valaika's bad, but I've never heard him projected as plus on defense.

    Dickerson OTOH projects pretty well. His peak starts next year so the the now and peak projections are about the same - .246/.348/.435/.783. Given his great defense and excellent speed I'd go with a committee in CF with Dickerson the default option until he proves he can't do it. Hairston/Freel/Hopper/Cumberland/Henry and possibly Stubbs would be a decent fall back plan and guys to work in to protect him from being exploited by pitchers he may not be able to handle (Lefties?). I would focus on Catcher and SS as spots to upgrade.

    For the record Henry (.805 OPS) and Dorn (.800) project the best now. At peak time (Age 27) Henry (.844), Dorn (.859) and Frazier (.853) project as the plus bats. The system was not optimistic about defensive guys Hanigan (.668 OPS at peak which is now), Stubbs (.657 now and .728 at peak), and Cozart (.569 now and .660 at peak). Cumberland and Soto show peaks that could be useful (.794 each) if they can play up the middle someplace. Since we're trying to upgrade the defense, maybe they should be marketed as well. They may be iffy at positions where that bats projects. Soto might bring back a nice player without adding much more (but I wonder if he'll do better than these numbers).

    I like the Teagarden idea, but I think he'd cost a lot. The Reds may be better going for vets. I'd target SF. Bengie Molina, Randy Winn and Kevin Correia may be guys who can be had that may really help the Reds. They don't have an answer for SS though (maybe they would take Gonzalez off our hands if the Reds take on some vet salaries). A package of guys like Valaika, Stubbs, FRancisco, Maloney etc may entice them with their system so thin for position players. Given Dorn's projection and the implication that he isn't far away, I might consider Votto in the right deal with Dorn getting some 1b time. (I like Votto better but Dorn plus whatever Votto could bring may make for a better team).

    Of course, given this thread, I would want any acquisitions to be competent defenders.
    "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

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    Flash the leather! _Sir_Charles_'s Avatar
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    Re: Of course defense is important

    Well, I personally don't think Dunn is going to re-sign. It'll be a combination of the club flip-flopping on thier decision and Dunn not feeling wanted and deciding to cut the cord.

    So I'd like to see this happen if Dunner hits the FA market.

    1B-Edwin Encarnacion
    2B-Jeff Keppinger (until Chris Valaika is ready for the bigs)
    SS-Brandon Phillips
    3B-Adam Rosales
    LF-Joey Votto
    CF-Chris Dickerson
    RF-Jay Bruce
    C-Ryan Hannigan

    I think Valaika will be ready sometime next year. Once he is, Kepp becomes the number one option off the bench. This will give us a bench of Hairston, Keppinger, Ross and another utility guy like Hopper or Janish.

    Edwin at first eliminates his erratic arm problem. He's already got the range and the glove. This'll let him focus on his bat.

    Kepp should be able to transfer to 2b pretty seamlessly. And with him being sandwiched between Edwin & Brandon...his range will be negated considerably like it is now. Valaika's bat has never been his question mark, it's been his arm. 2B minimizes that. His glove work and range are MORE than adequet for second.

    Brandon prefers SS to 2b. That alone is enough reason for me. Add into that the fact that we simply don't have good options for SS in the minors...and this is a no-brainer IMO.

    Rosales is due. His time is now. He's got the bat, the glove and the arm. He's been flip-flopping between 3b, ss & 2b. His arm is much stronger/accurate than Valaika's so 3B seems the right slot for him. However, if he's not ready then we can hold off on the transition of Votto/Edwin.

    Votto to LF is out of necessity to be honest. I'd prefer it if we could keep him at 1B, but we simply don't have the OF'ers if Dunn leaves. Votto's got the experience in the OF and he's got the range and the glove to be sucessful there. We've got SO many corner infielders shooting up through the minors, we've got to make some room for them and I'd rather swap Joey to the outfield sooner rather than later.

    Dickerson has always had the defensive abilities. That's always been a given. His problem was always with the stick. Well, he's MORE than turned a corner in that department. I think everyone would agree that he won't be able to duplicate his numbers in Louisville this year to Cincy next year. However, he won't have to. He's got speed, range, glove and a good arm. With Votto & Bruce surrounding him in the OF we need his glove and speed. It's time to see what he can do.

    Bruce should be planted in the 3rd slot in the order and penciled into RF for the remainder of this season and all of next season. Period.

    We've got several players shooting through the minors that could have solid impact on the club in the next few years. However, most of them are IF'ers. This is what prompts me to want to move Votto & Edwin as soon as possible into their new positions. Votto to make room, and Edwin to see if he's worth keeping or if we should move him. Hopefully Mesoraco will become what the Reds scouting department thought he would and he can fill the C void for a long time to come. But that certainly isn't happening anytime soon. So I'd rather go with youth than the current 3-headed aging catching trio. Hannigan has earned a shot at the big club with his year at Louisville. Some of these youngsters won't be ready. That's why we should hold onto Hairston, Keppinger, Janish & Hopper. These guys can fill the voids until they're ready.

    I'm sick of this ball club being built around the long ball. We've finally got a solid core for a pitching staff (pen too). We've simply GOT to put a defense behind them to give them a chance to develop.
    2014 predictions:
    99-63 WS champs (Cards take 2nd WC, Mil 3rd, Pit 4th, Chi 5th)
    Bruce/Votto neck and neck MVP race (neither takes it)
    Bailey CYA winner
    Hamilton ROY & GG

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    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: Of course defense is important

    Quote Originally Posted by _Sir_Charles_ View Post
    Well, I personally don't think Dunn is going to re-sign. It'll be a combination of the club flip-flopping on thier decision and Dunn not feeling wanted and deciding to cut the cord.

    So I'd like to see this happen if Dunner hits the FA market.

    1B-Edwin Encarnacion
    2B-Jeff Keppinger (until Chris Valaika is ready for the bigs)
    SS-Brandon Phillips
    3B-Adam Rosales
    LF-Joey Votto
    CF-Chris Dickerson
    RF-Jay Bruce
    C-Ryan Hannigan

    I think Valaika will be ready sometime next year. Once he is, Kepp becomes the number one option off the bench. This will give us a bench of Hairston, Keppinger, Ross and another utility guy like Hopper or Janish.

    Edwin at first eliminates his erratic arm problem. He's already got the range and the glove. This'll let him focus on his bat.

    Kepp should be able to transfer to 2b pretty seamlessly. And with him being sandwiched between Edwin & Brandon...his range will be negated considerably like it is now. Valaika's bat has never been his question mark, it's been his arm. 2B minimizes that. His glove work and range are MORE than adequet for second.

    Brandon prefers SS to 2b. That alone is enough reason for me. Add into that the fact that we simply don't have good options for SS in the minors...and this is a no-brainer IMO.

    Rosales is due. His time is now. He's got the bat, the glove and the arm. He's been flip-flopping between 3b, ss & 2b. His arm is much stronger/accurate than Valaika's so 3B seems the right slot for him. However, if he's not ready then we can hold off on the transition of Votto/Edwin.

    Votto to LF is out of necessity to be honest. I'd prefer it if we could keep him at 1B, but we simply don't have the OF'ers if Dunn leaves. Votto's got the experience in the OF and he's got the range and the glove to be sucessful there. We've got SO many corner infielders shooting up through the minors, we've got to make some room for them and I'd rather swap Joey to the outfield sooner rather than later.

    Dickerson has always had the defensive abilities. That's always been a given. His problem was always with the stick. Well, he's MORE than turned a corner in that department. I think everyone would agree that he won't be able to duplicate his numbers in Louisville this year to Cincy next year. However, he won't have to. He's got speed, range, glove and a good arm. With Votto & Bruce surrounding him in the OF we need his glove and speed. It's time to see what he can do.

    Bruce should be planted in the 3rd slot in the order and penciled into RF for the remainder of this season and all of next season. Period.

    We've got several players shooting through the minors that could have solid impact on the club in the next few years. However, most of them are IF'ers. This is what prompts me to want to move Votto & Edwin as soon as possible into their new positions. Votto to make room, and Edwin to see if he's worth keeping or if we should move him. Hopefully Mesoraco will become what the Reds scouting department thought he would and he can fill the C void for a long time to come. But that certainly isn't happening anytime soon. So I'd rather go with youth than the current 3-headed aging catching trio. Hannigan has earned a shot at the big club with his year at Louisville. Some of these youngsters won't be ready. That's why we should hold onto Hairston, Keppinger, Janish & Hopper. These guys can fill the voids until they're ready.

    I'm sick of this ball club being built around the long ball. We've finally got a solid core for a pitching staff (pen too). We've simply GOT to put a defense behind them to give them a chance to develop.

    Very intriguing lineup. Is that your 2009 lineup or are you looking further out?

  16. #15
    Flash the leather! _Sir_Charles_'s Avatar
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    Re: Of course defense is important

    2009. But I'd like to see a good portion of it implemented THIS season. Brandon to SS. Kepp can take over 2b or we can give Janish another look-see. I want to see some spot starts for Edwin at 1st and Joey in the OF this season too. If we do end up resigning Dunn...no harm done. But if he does walk...and I'd say the odds are VERY good at this point...then I'd rather start preparing as soon as possible. This season is LONG over.

    Hannigan and Dickerson should've been up a month ago. Rosales...I'd let him finish out the season at Louisville I think. But get him the majority of his playing time at 3rd or 2nd. Pick one and stick with it. Same goes for Valaika...pick one...perferably the opposite from Rosales.

    That lineup doesn't have a ton of pop to it. But it does have hitters for average, speed, defense and MORE than enough pop for GABP.

    ~~We should also have Roenicke and Herrera up here now too. Does anybody seriously think Fogg/Affeldt/Weathers will all be back next year? One maybe...all three? Not a chance.
    Last edited by _Sir_Charles_; 08-03-2008 at 07:04 PM.
    2014 predictions:
    99-63 WS champs (Cards take 2nd WC, Mil 3rd, Pit 4th, Chi 5th)
    Bruce/Votto neck and neck MVP race (neither takes it)
    Bailey CYA winner
    Hamilton ROY & GG


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