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Thread: It's never going to be perfect

  1. #16
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: It's never going to be perfect

    I agree with the notion that what the Reds need is the right footsoldiers. That was part of my reason for starting this thread. Foot soldiers are, by nature, flawed. Sometimes they cost a little too much. The goal needs to be a functional lineup with good defense matched with solid (or better) pitching.
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  3. #17
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    Re: It's never going to be perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    I agree with the notion that what the Reds need is the right footsoldiers. That was part of my reason for starting this thread. Foot soldiers are, by nature, flawed. Sometimes they cost a little too much. The goal needs to be a functional lineup with good defense matched with solid (or better) pitching.

    A simple place to start would be to fix the third base fielding problem and get another starting pitcher.

    When you look at the Reds "pitching and defense" two things stand out. EE's errors. And the 7 plus ERA that Fogg, Belisle, and Bailey had as fifth starters.

    If all the Reds do this off-season is add a righty bat and fix those two problems they should be much better.

    Another way to put it -- Beltre and Lowe would be two key additions who would really help this club improve for next year. These guys are no slouches, but they won't require Sabathia or Texiera money.

    Then Reds could add footsoldiers to shore up centerfield, catcher and possibly shortstop. I see Janish as a guy who can help at short.
    Last edited by Kc61; 11-14-2008 at 06:25 PM.

  4. #18
    Brett William Moore Will M's Avatar
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    Re: It's never going to be perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    A simple place to start would be to fix the third base fielding problem and get another starting pitcher.

    When you look at the Reds "pitching and defense" two things stand out. EE's errors. And the 7 plus ERA that Fogg, Belisle, and Bailey had as fifth starters.

    If all the Reds do this off-season is add a righty bat and fix those two problems they should be much better.

    Another way to put it -- Beltre and Lowe would be two key additions who would really help this club improve for next year.

    Then they could add footsoldiers to shore up centerfield, catcher and possibly shortstop. I see Janish as a footsoldier who can help at short.
    Even just Beltre (with EE to LF) helps.
    Owings or Ramirez should put up a lot better than a 7.00 ERA as the 5th starter.
    .

  5. #19
    SERP Emeritus paintmered's Avatar
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    Re: It's never going to be perfect

    I've not done any looking into the matter yet, but lately I've wondered about this...

    If you built a 25-man roster using the mean offensive and defensive production at every position, how many runs would that team score and how many runs would that team surrender? Would it add up to a .500 season or even a winning season?

    A few here have suggested that the bigger priority for this team is to substitute its worst players with average players. That is, raise the floor of the team rather than raise the ceiling of the team. This notion makes sense to me, but I've not yet proven to myself that it is indeed the case. Has this exercise already been done?
    What if this wasn't a rhetorical question?

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  6. #20
    Brett William Moore Will M's Avatar
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    Re: It's never going to be perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by paintmered View Post
    I've not done any looking into the matter yet, but lately I've wondered about this...

    If you built a 25-man roster using the mean offensive and defensive production at every position, how many runs would that team score and how many runs would that team surrender? Would it add up to a .500 season or even a winning season?

    A few here have suggested that the bigger priority for this team is to substitute its worst players with average players. That is, raise the floor of the team rather than raise the ceiling of the team. This notion makes sense to me, but I've not yet proven to myself that it is indeed the case. Has this exercise already been done?
    i don't think it has.

    There are a lot of holes that need to be filled. Last year we had junk players (Bako, Patterson,Fogg,etc) getting way too much playing time. If we get decent players to replace the junk we had we'll be a lot better.
    However, Walt has work to do (see below). I'd like a LF, SS, 2nd C, good bench, & another RP (Affeldt).

    looking at the Reds roster as it stands i see:
    1B - Votto
    2B - Phillips
    SS - ?
    3B - EE
    Util IF - Keppinger/Rosales/Richar/Janish (pick two max)
    LF - ?
    CF - Dickerson
    RF - Bruce
    Util - Castillo
    C - Hanigan
    C - ?
    Injured and unclear if they'll play - Freel, Gonzo, Hopper
    SP - Volquez
    SP - Harang
    SP - Cueto
    SP - Arroyo
    SP - Owings or Ramirez (Thompson & Maloney have a shot also)
    RP - Cordero
    RP - Burton
    RP - Bray
    RP - Massett
    RP - Ramirez or Owings
    RP - Roenicke?
    RP - Herrara
    AAA - Valaika, Stubbs, Dorn, Bailey, Thompson,etc
    .

  7. #21
    Member Highlifeman21's Avatar
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    Re: It's never going to be perfect

    I still hate Al Leiter, and I'm not a fan of Steve Parris

  8. #22
    Mon chou Choo vaticanplum's Avatar
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    Re: It's never going to be perfect

    I don't know to say this exactly and I can't even point to a specific post to respond to on this point. But what this thread has dissolved into is a discussion of specific players, specific spots, specific deficiencies. And somewhere deep down I feel that a major problem with the Reds the last eleventy billion years (ok, like eight) has been their inability to see the forest for the trees. And I can't point to anything specific on that or speak from anything but gut feeling.

    It's so difficult, because how do you fix a bad team if you don't very specifically identify the parts that are wrong? And baseball fans are analytical by nature, and GMs HAVE to be analytical and specific to do their jobs. But time and again I hear about what's wrong with this player. Why the guy at this position isn't playing to league standard. Why this guy in the bullpen has an atrocious k/walk rate. Well, ok, these things need to be addressed. But I never see these things in context. Marty Brennaman picks one certain player to rail on at any given time. Fans zone in on the pitching, OR the hitting, OR the defense. There's no question these things all have problems. But where do you give and take? Do you breathe a bit easier on the bullpen if you shore up your middle infield defense? Where do you draw the line between extremes of good and bad offense and starting pitching? There is never any set answer to these questions. It always depends on the parts you begin with and you build from there. That's what I see lacking with the Reds. They're always filling parts rather than shoring up a whole. The third baseman's defense is berated, but never in context of what the people around him are doing. Krivsky -- and I was and am a Krivsky fan to a great degree -- was a huge purveyor of this. Time to address the bullpen! Time to address the starting pitching! Now it's Offense Month! Dude, you had a roster to control, remember? I think he had a great talent for the parts, but that's a scout's job. A GM is in charge of a whole pie.

    I guess this is really just a re-stating of M2's point. The Reds are a very single-minded team in my opinion, and they seem to work on each position individually rather than in the context of a whole. That not only doesn't work on the field; it also makes for kind of a miserable team. Chemistry is important, but chemistry can be created. Or destroyed.
    Last edited by vaticanplum; 11-14-2008 at 07:45 PM.
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  9. #23
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: It's never going to be perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    A simple place to start would be to fix the third base fielding problem and get another starting pitcher.
    Regarding getting a 5th SP, I don't think this is necessary. Josh Fogg was a problem from the start last year -- that was to be expected. This year provides a spot for somebody from the crew of Owings, Thompson, Ramirez, Maloney, Bailey to step up. That's plenty of options and it's quite likely one of them puts up better than 5th starter numbers.

    As for the 3rd base fielding problem, I'm on board.

    Quote Originally Posted by paintmered View Post
    A few here have suggested that the bigger priority for this team is to substitute its worst players with average players. That is, raise the floor of the team rather than raise the ceiling of the team. This notion makes sense to me, but I've not yet proven to myself that it is indeed the case. Has this exercise already been done?
    I'm not sure if it's been done recently, but when I did it last year, I found that the Reds would have increased their RS differential by something like 80 runs, 8 wins(!), merely by getting replacement level performance from those players who produced at sub-replacement a level. I imagine that 2008 was a bit more skewed to the hitting side, but I'd be shocked if it weren't about the same.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 11-14-2008 at 07:59 PM.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  10. #24
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: It's never going to be perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by PuffyPig View Post
    The 1999 Reds were seriously under rated IMO.

    Their "Team Defensive Efficiency" (BABIP Against) was a major's best .275. The second best team was a distant .293, a huge gap.

    Compare that with 2008, where it was second last at .327. That's a .052 difference, a huge gap.

    If you put our 2008 pitchers in front of our 1999 defense, our pitchers might be as good as anyone in the league.

    It expalins why guys like Paris, Villone even Neagle had good years. Their DIPS ERA were considerably higher due to very low BABIP's.
    Yep, you are right on target here.

    And it goes back farther than that. The BRM was great, but even the pitching staff which included a couple of journeyman like Billingham and Norman and a guy back from the dead in Gary Nolan as mainstays in the rotation were in the upper portion of the league most years. Morgan, Concepcion and Geronimo did that IMO.

    In 1990, they had Larkin and Davis at their best. In 1999 it was Larkin, Pokey and Mike Cameron. Defense up the middle is a foundation which makes a lot of the other stuff a team tries to do work.

    It really isnt a tough concept and it surely isn't anything new. Its why I don't want to see the team compromise with the like of Jeff Keppinger or other "might be able to play there" types because the offense would look really good. Who cares? Get top defenders who's offense might be passable up the middle. Getting borderline offensive guys who look good up the middle as a justification for "settling" on defense is a recipe for losing. They may be decent fantasy players at those positions, but on the field they lose you a lot of games and contribute to the demise of a lot of arms.

    Fix the defense up the middle (the team has good start with some in house guys) and a lot is possible IMO. The Tampa Bay rise in 2008 was fueled by a huge improvement on the defensive side to provide a non-Reds example.
    "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

  11. #25
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: It's never going to be perfect

    Interesting post VP. I think you see this sentiment shared whenever us sabermetricly inclined folks talk about just adding value. The currency of baseball is runs. You either produce them or prevent them. To try and create an insanely prescriptive method of having a certain mold (Ace starter, #2 starter, closer, leadoff guy who plays CF, etc.) for your team is just crazy. Everything always matters. Everything could always used improvement. Improve the areas where you can get the most improvement for your investment. Whack-a-mole roster construction, particularly when you don't have the resources to buy enough a mallet for every mole, just isn't a winning approach.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 11-14-2008 at 10:10 PM.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  12. #26
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    Re: It's never going to be perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Interesting post VP. I think you see this sentiment shared whenever us sabermetricly inclined folks talk about just adding value. The current of baseball is runs. You either produce them or prevent them. To try and create an insanely prescriptive method of having a certain mold (Ace starter, #2 starter, closer, leadoff guy who plays CF, etc.) for your team is just crazy. Everything always matters. Everything could always used improvement. Improve the areas where you can get the most improvement for your investment. Whack-a-mole roster construction, particularly when you don't have the resources to buy enough a mallet for every mole, just isn't a winning approach.
    Excellent point, RMR.

    Bottomline, the Reds need to add talent to the roster, and I don't care where or how they do it.

    Just do it.

    If it's a SS, or a C, then great.

    But if it's a 1B, or a 2B, or a RF, that's ok too.

  13. #27
    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: It's never going to be perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by vaticanplum View Post
    I don't know to say this exactly and I can't even point to a specific post to respond to on this point. But what this thread has dissolved into is a discussion of specific players, specific spots, specific deficiencies. And somewhere deep down I feel that a major problem with the Reds the last eleventy billion years (ok, like eight) has been their inability to see the forest for the trees. And I can't point to anything specific on that or speak from anything but gut feeling.

    It's so difficult, because how do you fix a bad team if you don't very specifically identify the parts that are wrong? And baseball fans are analytical by nature, and GMs HAVE to be analytical and specific to do their jobs. But time and again I hear about what's wrong with this player. Why the guy at this position isn't playing to league standard. Why this guy in the bullpen has an atrocious k/walk rate. Well, ok, these things need to be addressed. But I never see these things in context. Marty Brennaman picks one certain player to rail on at any given time. Fans zone in on the pitching, OR the hitting, OR the defense. There's no question these things all have problems. But where do you give and take? Do you breathe a bit easier on the bullpen if you shore up your middle infield defense? Where do you draw the line between extremes of good and bad offense and starting pitching? There is never any set answer to these questions. It always depends on the parts you begin with and you build from there. That's what I see lacking with the Reds. They're always filling parts rather than shoring up a whole. The third baseman's defense is berated, but never in context of what the people around him are doing. Krivsky -- and I was and am a Krivsky fan to a great degree -- was a huge purveyor of this. Time to address the bullpen! Time to address the starting pitching! Now it's Offense Month! Dude, you had a roster to control, remember? I think he had a great talent for the parts, but that's a scout's job. A GM is in charge of a whole pie.

    I guess this is really just a re-stating of M2's point. The Reds are a very single-minded team in my opinion, and they seem to work on each position individually rather than in the context of a whole. That not only doesn't work on the field; it also makes for kind of a miserable team. Chemistry is important, but chemistry can be created. Or destroyed.
    Good post and I agree I noticed this as well and am partially guilty of it myself. I do not think though you can possibly construct a logical plan without looking at the whole picture. Sometimes it's tough for me though to articulate it for whatever reason.

    Basically I want to raise the floor and specifically when it comes to run prevention. When looking at this team from a big pic POV I think there is enough there to be competitive in the short term if you continue working on run prevention with a slight tweak on offense. And that can easily be done without hurting the long term vision. I say that because I don't think anyone believes we could tweak and realistically be a legitimate contender unless everything just went right, but better that than what we seen for most of '08. And then we follow things wherever they take us after that.

    I hope that goes to your point.
    "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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  14. #28
    Moderator RedlegJake's Avatar
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    Re: It's never going to be perfect

    But look at the roster now as opposed to what we had going in to 2008 - huge improvement imo and most of that is in the 2nd tier players, the candidates for the 5th starter spot and the bullpen - although they need to sign Affeldt or an equivalent replacement to keep the edge there. The Reds also have several good candidates for sub roles now and less of the Corey, Castro and Bako type junk - it's the starting positions at SS, defense at 3rd, a hitter for left (or 3d or 1st with the subsequent player movement) and someone capable to pick up half the starts at C that need real attention.

  15. #29
    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
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    Re: It's never going to be perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    I'm not sure if it's been done recently, but when I did it last year, I found that the Reds would have increased their RS differential by something like 80 runs, 8 wins(!), merely by getting replacement level performance from those players who produced at sub-replacement a level. I imagine that 2008 was a bit more skewed to the hitting side, but I'd be shocked if it weren't about the same.
    http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=72050

    Do these numbers give what's needed to figure out the additional runs they could have scored with replacement level replacing hideous?
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

  16. #30
    Charlie Brown All-Star IslandRed's Avatar
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    Re: It's never going to be perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    I'm not sure if it's been done recently, but when I did it last year, I found that the Reds would have increased their RS differential by something like 80 runs, 8 wins(!), merely by getting replacement level performance from those players who produced at sub-replacement a level. I imagine that 2008 was a bit more skewed to the hitting side, but I'd be shocked if it weren't about the same.
    And then we consider that replacement level is a fallback position, not the basis for a plan... It was probably last offseason or maybe before, but I remembered reading a BP article on a similar subject, showing just how hard it was to have a playoff-level offense while carrying even one full-time replacement-level bat. Much less sub-replacement, or having replacement level at multiple positions.

    I haven't exhaustively studied Jocketty's tenure in St. Louis but I tend to remember him being pretty good at scrounging complementary parts. The Cardinals didn't always have good players everywhere but rarely had genuinely lousy ones. I hope I remember correctly and that he's able to do the same here.
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