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Thread: Could the Reds go very young on offense?

  1. #1
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    Could the Reds go very young on offense?

    What if the Reds decided to spend only for pitching and backups in the off-season and to go very young with its position players.

    Dickerson/Stubbs CF
    Valaika SS
    Votto LF
    EE 3B
    Bruce RF
    Phillips 2B
    Alonso 1B
    Hanigan C
    P

    Bench -- Janish, Keppinger (or Hairston), new backup catcher, lefty pinch hitter. (Stubbs or Dickerson would be on bench depending on lefty/righty.)

    Then, instead of putting money in Matt Holliday types, use the dough for Sabathia or Lowe or another good pitcher and maybe even spend on a polished middle reliever.

    I can see some defensive problems, but it would be fun for the minor league forum fans. Alonso, Valaika, and Stubbs would be getting some early time in the bigs.
    Last edited by Kc61; 10-02-2008 at 12:53 AM.

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  3. #2
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Could the Reds go very young on offense?

    This is the right direction IMO. I don't like Valaika at SS and we may see Freel buy time for Stubbs (or Heisey if Stubbs is dealt for help elsewhere) as the RH half of CF for a while. Also, maybe a stopgap to buy time for Alonso (Owings?? Rosales??), but if the team could deal a couple of the pitchers like Bailey and Thompson to get the SS to fit with this group, its exactly what I would do. I'd go all the way and keep Castillo as the back-up catcher and maybe replace Keppinger with Rosales.

    CC and Lowe may be long shots (the Lowe idea is growing on me) but another veteran starter seems like a good idea.
    "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

  4. #3
    Member kpresidente's Avatar
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    Re: Could the Reds go very young on offense?

    You don't have to go to that extreme. You can just play Gonzalez and Freel instead of Valaika and Stubbs. You have to pay those two anyway, so why rush the kids? It's still the same amount of $$ available for pitching regardless.

    It'd all fix itself by 2010. You might see a roster like this:

    1B - Votto
    2B - Valaika/Richar
    3B - Alonso/Frazier
    SS - Phillips
    CA - Hanigan
    LF - Dorn/Encarnacion
    CF - Dickerson/Stubbs
    RF - Bruce

    ...notice the use of platoons. All of the talent in the organization is being maximized. If you draft a college SS in 2009, he could be ready by the time Phillips's contract gets outrageous. Mesoraco should be knocking on the door at catcher. Combine that with a rotation like this...

    Sabbathia
    Volquez
    Harang
    Cueto
    Arroyo

    ...with Bailey/Thompson/Lotzkar waiting to replace Harang and Arroyo. There's no holes in that plan for 5-6 years, and it's well under budget. Spend the extra money on Dominican 16-year olds and gear up for another run when that team hits FA.

    All that with no trades and one free agent. Why am I not the GM?
    Last edited by kpresidente; 10-02-2008 at 07:24 AM.

  5. #4
    Member klw's Avatar
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    Re: Could the Reds go very young on offense?

    I don't know if you are maximizing the system's talent by platooning. You would probably do better by trading some of the platooned talent to upgrade. ex. If you platoon EE you are most likely killing his trade value.
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  6. #5
    Member kpresidente's Avatar
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    Re: Could the Reds go very young on offense?

    Quote Originally Posted by klw View Post
    I don't know if you are maximizing the system's talent by platooning. You would probably do better by trading some of the platooned talent to upgrade. ex. If you platoon EE you are most likely killing his trade value.
    Yeah, you're right. So trade EE to the highest bidder and plug Keppinger into your LF platoon. Better to get his .403 OBP in there in the #2 hole, anyway.

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    Re: Could the Reds go very young on offense?

    Quote Originally Posted by kpresidente View Post
    Yeah, you're right. So trade EE to the highest bidder and plug Keppinger into your LF platoon. Better to get his .403 OBP in there in the #2 hole, anyway.
    I'd love for the Reds to get .403 OBP in the #2 hole, but why are you seemingly associating that number with Jeff Keppinger? EE has a higher career OBP than Kepp.

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    Member kpresidente's Avatar
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    Re: Could the Reds go very young on offense?

    Quote Originally Posted by puca View Post
    I'd love for the Reds to get .403 OBP in the #2 hole, but why are you seemingly associating that number with Jeff Keppinger? EE has a higher career OBP than Kepp.
    Kepp's career OBP vs. LHP is around .403.

    .515 SLG as well. We could probably bat him in the 3 spot and get good production.

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    Re: Could the Reds go very young on offense?

    I'm in the platoon boat. These days, it just seems so doable to find guys with .375-.400 OBPs against their opposite number. As it's been said, those fellas would typically be a lot cheaper than everyday players, freeing up the bucks for a stud or two. Plus, they'd give you a nice bench, all warmed up.

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    Re: Could the Reds go very young on offense?

    Quote Originally Posted by kpresidente View Post
    Kepp's career OBP vs. LHP is around .403.

    .515 SLG as well. We could probably bat him in the 3 spot and get good production.
    Okay, gotcha. Didn't catch the platoon part of your statement.

    Kepp's career against lefthanders consists only of 300 PA, so the obligatory sample size warning should be applied.

  11. #10
    Member Spring~Fields's Avatar
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    Re: Could the Reds go very young on offense?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    What if the Reds decided to spend only for pitching and backups in the off-season and to go very young with its position players.

    Dickerson/Stubbs CF
    Valaika SS
    Votto LF
    EE 3B
    Bruce RF
    Phillips 2B
    Alonso 1B
    Hanigan C
    P

    Bench -- Janish, Keppinger (or Hairston), new backup catcher, lefty pinch hitter. (Stubbs or Dickerson would be on bench depending on lefty/righty.)

    Then, instead of putting money in Matt Holliday types, use the dough for Sabathia or Lowe or another good pitcher and maybe even spend on a polished middle reliever.

    I can see some defensive problems, but it would be fun for the minor league forum fans. Alonso, Valaika, and Stubbs would be getting some early time in the bigs.


    I like that idea of going all young vs the risk of trading or FA in 2009.

    Though if you went all young I think that Baker would quit and give up.
    Last edited by Spring~Fields; 10-02-2008 at 03:33 PM.

  12. #11
    Member kpresidente's Avatar
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    Re: Could the Reds go very young on offense?

    Quote Originally Posted by puca View Post
    Okay, gotcha. Didn't catch the platoon part of your statement.

    Kepp's career against lefthanders consists only of 300 PA, so the obligatory sample size warning should be applied.
    That's fair, but I think this season is the worst play you're going to get from him, and finished at .412.

  13. #12
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Could the Reds go very young on offense?

    Quote Originally Posted by kpresidente View Post
    You don't have to go to that extreme. You can just play Gonzalez and Freel instead of Valaika and Stubbs. You have to pay those two anyway, so why rush the kids? It's still the same amount of $$ available for pitching regardless.

    It'd all fix itself by 2010. You might see a roster like this:

    1B - Votto
    2B - Valaika/Richar
    3B - Alonso/Frazier
    SS - Phillips
    CA - Hanigan
    LF - Dorn/Encarnacion
    CF - Dickerson/Stubbs
    RF - Bruce

    ...notice the use of platoons. All of the talent in the organization is being maximized. If you draft a college SS in 2009, he could be ready by the time Phillips's contract gets outrageous. Mesoraco should be knocking on the door at catcher. Combine that with a rotation like this...

    Sabbathia
    Volquez
    Harang
    Cueto
    Arroyo

    ...with Bailey/Thompson/Lotzkar waiting to replace Harang and Arroyo. There's no holes in that plan for 5-6 years, and it's well under budget. Spend the extra money on Dominican 16-year olds and gear up for another run when that team hits FA.

    All that with no trades and one free agent. Why am I not the GM?
    I don't like any plan that assumes Gonzalez, after a year and a half off and a major set of recurring fractures to his knee, can be an adequate SS. The guy was slowing down before he got two years older with his legs compromised. If Gonzalez can play at all I'd consider it a bonus of sorts. I prefer getting a real long term SS. Even if Gonzalez is all the way back, he misses a lot of time and is gone after 2009 and the Reds have no adequate back-up or successor. The Reds still need a young SS of the future to work in and take over as the season goes on. If ever a team had a glaring need at a spot, its the Reds at SS.
    "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

  14. #13
    Member kpresidente's Avatar
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    Re: Could the Reds go very young on offense?

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    I don't like any plan that assumes Gonzalez, after a year and a half off and a major set of recurring fractures to his knee, can be an adequate SS. The guy was slowing down before he got two years older with his legs compromised. If Gonzalez can play at all I'd consider it a bonus of sorts. I prefer getting a real long term SS. Even if Gonzalez is all the way back, he misses a lot of time and is gone after 2009 and the Reds have no adequate back-up or successor. The Reds still need a young SS of the future to work in and take over as the season goes on. If ever a team had a glaring need at a spot, its the Reds at SS.
    If so, the numbers don't bear that out, and I don't see how anyone can see SS as a bigger need than LF. Right now the only thing we've got there is Freel and Hopper.
    Last edited by kpresidente; 10-04-2008 at 07:50 PM.

  15. #14
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Could the Reds go very young on offense?

    Quote Originally Posted by kpresidente View Post
    If so, the numbers don't bear that out, and I don't see how anyone can see SS as a bigger need than LF. Right now the only thing we've got there is Freel and Hopper.
    But long term the Reds have Votto or Alonso, Dorn, Frazier, Henry, Stubbs, etc. for the outfield.

    At SS, the Reds have a guy who hasn't played in 2 years whose range was declining before his leg injury and is gone after 2009 anyway, a guy who has proven he can't play SS defensively while being trumpeted as an offensive plus who happened to put up a .656 OPS in 2008, a young kid who may have the defense but will struggle to OPS .600 in the majors, and a bunch of minor league SS "prospects" who all project as guys who need to be moved off of the position.

    If Gonzalez comes back, the Reds may have a passable (not good) situation for one year and nothing in the organization beyond that with the possible exception of Zach Cozart who has to pass through a lot of levels without stalling to even have a chance at a utility role.

    Frankly, I can't see how anyone can look at what the Reds have on the way in the OF and conclude the Reds should expend a lot of resources there and then look at SS and say there isn't a need. The need is much more glaring at SS even if you believe Gonzalez will man the position capably in 2009 while Freel and Hopper demonstrate their flaws regularly in the OF. The team has long term alternatives for the OF. There are zero at SS.
    Last edited by mth123; 10-04-2008 at 10:02 PM.
    "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

  16. #15
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    Re: Could the Reds go very young on offense?

    SS>LF

    I dont see the position getting shored up until we go outside the organization or wait a few years
    "When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail"


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