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Thread: It's never going to be perfect

  1. #31
    Ripsnort wheels's Avatar
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    Re: It's never going to be perfect

    The more I think about it, Mike Cameron was the glue to that club. When he came over in that trade, not much was known about what he could really bring to the table. He had physical skills and tons of range and some pop. That's all anyone really knew and the jury was definitely out. Jack McKeon stuck with him despite Marty's grumblings ("He strikes out too much!!", etc.) and he became a pretty good leadoff hitter and terrific defender. Who cared about Paul Konerko by mid July?

    He and Greg Vaughn changed the paradigmn.

    Do the current Reds have a paradigmn shifting player on this year's roster? Someone that could potentially aleviate a good portion of their ills with a varied skill set?

    I'm not sure, but I can draw some paralells in the person of Chris Dickerson. Now, before you jump all over me, I'm being vague on purpose. I'll admit that we can't know for sure if we're judging him on minor league numbers and a short Major League stint, not to mention the fact that I've not done a comparison of age specific numbers with Mike Cameron. I just get a Cameron vibe from the kid, and I'm quite smitten with his apparent skill set.

    Stick with him for a season. See what he can do. Open him up on the back roads and see how he takes the corners.

    Go out and find a quality defensive minded fourth outfielder in the Michael Tucker mode, and somehow get a big palooka that hits the ball really far and stick him in left field. They traded for Greg Vaughn dontcha know.

    I'd also like to see them swing a deal for Chris Nelson, and I know somebody's gonna rip me for that idea, but I just like dynamic players. I might be sounding a lot like Jimbo, and lord knows those types can blow up in your face, but they can also help shock the world.

    Dynamic young players can often do dynamic things. That's how you lift the entire roster so as to not rely upon the bit characters. Remember how great the entire club lookd when Bruce was tearing the cover off the ball after he was called up?

    I think it can be done.
    Last edited by wheels; 11-14-2008 at 09:44 PM.
    "We know we're better than this, but we can't prove it." - Tony Gwynn

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  3. #32
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    Re: It's never going to be perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    It may never be perfect but the Reds aren't really very close.

    The problem is not so much with the stars. I think there are potential stars on the team with Bruce and Votto. Cordero and Harang in a given year can pitch like star pitchers. Volquez is close. Alonso may be a star coming up. Phillips won the Gold Glove, he's a star defender and a borderline star for second base.

    The problem is more with the non-stars, the "infrastructure" guys. The third baseman has a .930 Fielding pct. The fifth starter's slot had a 7 plus ERA. The most important defensive position, shortstop, lacks defense. There is no solid experienced catcher. The stopgap centerfielder last year was OBP challenged.

    The only additional star this team needs is a righty bat who can put some fear in opposing pitchers. Other than that, it's simply a matter of getting solid players who field their positions and hit around .270, and a few depth pitchers who can keep their ERA in reasonable territory.
    On the money.

  4. #33
    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 IslandRed View Post
    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.
    I think it's the basis for a plan currently whether we like it or not. Although I think we would all love to go out & fill every position with an above average player most don't believe the current team is close enough thus making it tough to fill all the needs.

    I say you have to go hard after what you believe fits and that gets us closer to having far less holes to fill after next season and in the meantime makes us a competitive squad and with a little luck maybe sneak into the w/c race. Fill the catching position and whatever else you can now where you don't have help on the horizon but make sure it's a short term and long term answer.
    "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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  5. #34
    Charlie Brown All-Star IslandRed's Avatar
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    Re: It's never going to be perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by Mario-Rijo View Post
    I think it's the basis for a plan currently whether we like it or not. Although I think we would all love to go out & fill every position with an above average player most don't believe the current team is close enough thus making it tough to fill all the needs.
    There's a big gap between average and replacement level. A team full of average players would be expected to go 81-81 and a team full of replacement-level players, based on the classic methodology, would go 49-113. A team may end up playing a replacement-level player full time for one reason or another, due to injuries or because he's having a worse season than expected, but it shouldn't be part of the offseason plan. As long as the price is right, there's plenty of room to fill in with players that are technically below average but are still not the boat anchor a replacement-level player would be.
    Not all who wander are lost

  6. #35
    Where's my chair? REDREAD'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.

    .
    I agree. The 1999 Reds are a great arguement that defense really does matter. Especially when Hammonds/Tucker were in LF, that was an outstanding defensive team, even with Tauby behind the plate.
    Thank you Walt and Bob for going for it in 2010-2014!

    Nov. 13, 2007: One of the greatest days in Reds history: John Allen gets the boot!

  7. #36
    Where's my chair? REDREAD's Avatar
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    Re: It's never going to be perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick View Post
    Regarding getting a 5th SP, I don't think this is necessary.

    As for the 3rd base fielding problem, I'm on board.
    I'd much rather spend the money earmarked for the 5th starter on a position player or bullpen. The rotation is good enough for now. We are really weak in the starting 8 right now, both offensively and defensively as a whole. Sure, there's three really good players in the mix there, but 5 question marks to go with them. Maybe EdE isn't a question mark to some, but you see my point.
    Thank you Walt and Bob for going for it in 2010-2014!

    Nov. 13, 2007: One of the greatest days in Reds history: John Allen gets the boot!

  8. #37
    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: It's never going to be perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by wheels View Post
    The more I think about it, Mike Cameron was the glue to that club. When he came over in that trade, not much was known about what he could really bring to the table. He had physical skills and tons of range and some pop. That's all anyone really knew and the jury was definitely out. Jack McKeon stuck with him despite Marty's grumblings ("He strikes out too much!!", etc.) and he became a pretty good leadoff hitter and terrific defender. Who cared about Paul Konerko by mid July?

    He and Greg Vaughn changed the paradigmn.

    Do the current Reds have a paradigmn shifting player on this year's roster? Someone that could potentially aleviate a good portion of their ills with a varied skill set?

    I'm not sure, but I can draw some paralells in the person of Chris Dickerson. Now, before you jump all over me, I'm being vague on purpose. I'll admit that we can't know for sure if we're judging him on minor league numbers and a short Major League stint, not to mention the fact that I've not done a comparison of age specific numbers with Mike Cameron. I just get a Cameron vibe from the kid, and I'm quite smitten with his apparent skill set.

    Stick with him for a season. See what he can do. Open him up on the back roads and see how he takes the corners.

    Go out and find a quality defensive minded fourth outfielder in the Michael Tucker mode, and somehow get a big palooka that hits the ball really far and stick him in left field. They traded for Greg Vaughn dontcha know.

    I'd also like to see them swing a deal for Chris Nelson, and I know somebody's gonna rip me for that idea, but I just like dynamic players. I might be sounding a lot like Jimbo, and lord knows those types can blow up in your face, but they can also help shock the world.

    Dynamic young players can often do dynamic things. That's how you lift the entire roster so as to not rely upon the bit characters. Remember how great the entire club lookd when Bruce was tearing the cover off the ball after he was called up?

    I think it can be done.
    Great post Wheels. I'm glad I'm not the only Dickerson believer on here. I think something clicked for him last year. He's always had the tools and he finally put them to use in 2008. He's obviously not a 1.021 OPS hitter like he was in August/September, but I think he's capable of OPSing in the .800 area next season while stealing 25 bases and playing plus defense in center field. It takes some guys longer to develop and Dickerson is one of those guys IMO.

    I love the idea of acquiring Chris Nelson. He's a guy that could use a change of scenary. He had a very disappointing 2008 season in Double-A, so the Reds could buy low on him. He's the type of player that could either flame out and never reach the majors or he could develop into a star at shortstop. He's definitely the type of prospect I'd like to see Walt target.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

  9. #38
    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 IslandRed View Post
    There's a big gap between average and replacement level. A team full of average players would be expected to go 81-81 and a team full of replacement-level players, based on the classic methodology, would go 49-113. A team may end up playing a replacement-level player full time for one reason or another, due to injuries or because he's having a worse season than expected, but it shouldn't be part of the offseason plan. As long as the price is right, there's plenty of room to fill in with players that are technically below average but are still not the boat anchor a replacement-level player would be.
    Wow, that's my bad. I guess I didn't fully realize just how bad a replacement level player was. I always assumed they were just below average, not well below average. But after reading the definition of VORP this is the example I came up with, I'll use CF. I am using the players below in their primes.

    Excellent: Carlos Beltran
    Above Average: Mike Cameron
    Average: Shane Victorino
    Below average: Ryan Freel
    Replacement level: Norris Hopper

    Is that about right?
    "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

    --Woody Hayes

  10. #39
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    Re: It's never going to be perfect

    If there is one team that that has tried an approach where they ID'd above average mean players -it's the Red Sox.

    They don't have a tent pole strategy where most of their worth is built around 1 player --they have a lot of players that are grade B ballplayers with some flaws.

    What they do a great job of doing is making sure they don't have a huge whole.

    The one player who exemplified the strategy was/is Justin Masterson. They brought him up to fill in as a starter. He did well, but it was clear he had some flaws and may have been over extended in that role. A bad team would have rode him hard and hoped he might have kept it together enough to where he did not fall apart (mentally and physically). Boston decided it was better to put a young player in a situation where he could suceed and not be taxed.

    They handled him perfectly and he now has a solid foudation of success.

    Another case is Julio Lugo. He's not more than an average ballplayer -he may be a C- player. The short stop position could have turned into a nightmare and drained the lineup of it's value, but they got enough out of the guy in totality that it wasn't a drain and he plugged up the position enough to get it done.

    The Reds, otoh, are more than comfortable allowing 3 holes in the lineup to just kill the team. Those holes have been mentioned by other posters- sad thing is --those holes were ID'd be posters before the season began (Bako and Patterson). There are some things you must live with because you cannot know the future (EE and Homer Bailey are decent examples), but when management goes into a season knowing full well there are 2 positions that will give the team F- value....then that is terrible and management should take a hit (Wayne K lost his job because there was always one equation of the whole that he didn't go get C or C- production from--and he knew it from the start of the season!!). No GM should hold his job with the fore knowledge of F grade bp's (who have no upside) holding a position.

    I am hoping Jocketty manages resources much the same way the Red Sox do.

    One more thing: 2 or 3 years ago -on this board- I advocated for a tent pole strategy. I thought it would be best to go out and get an A+ player and build around him. I have changed my mind completely...too many things can go wrong if too many of your eggs are in 1 basket. You get locked in and there's not necessarily a good exit strategy. If you go that route-you better have an exit plan in place. The Reds never had one with Griffey.

  11. #40
    Something clever pahster's Avatar
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    Re: It's never going to be perfect

    Here's a list of CF and their VORPs for last year.

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/st...php?cid=313152

  12. #41
    Charlie Brown All-Star IslandRed's Avatar
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    Re: It's never going to be perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by Mario-Rijo View Post
    Wow, that's my bad. I guess I didn't fully realize just how bad a replacement level player was. I always assumed they were just below average, not well below average. But after reading the definition of VORP this is the example I came up with, I'll use CF. I am using the players below in their primes.

    Excellent: Carlos Beltran
    Above Average: Mike Cameron
    Average: Shane Victorino
    Below average: Ryan Freel
    Replacement level: Norris Hopper

    Is that about right?
    That's in the ballpark, if you'll forgive the pun, although the peak Freel's OBP was pretty solid.

    Another thing about replacement level -- it refers to the level of performance you would expect to get from the best of the freely/cheaply available talent, not any freely/cheaply available talent. It's possible to be worse than replacement level. Sometimes considerably worse. That comes into play when people assume that anyone and everyone yanked out of the minor leagues is "replacement level." Not so.
    Not all who wander are lost

  13. #42
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    Re: It's never going to be perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by pahster View Post
    Here's a list of CF and their VORPs for last year.

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/st...php?cid=313152
    It's a great thing that Nate McLouth swung a hot bat in 2008, b/c his glove and D is attrocious.

  14. #43
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: It's never going to be perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by Cooper View Post
    If there is one team that that has tried an approach where they ID'd above average mean players -it's the Red Sox.

    They don't have a tent pole strategy where most of their worth is built around 1 player --they have a lot of players that are grade B ballplayers with some flaws.

    What they do a great job of doing is making sure they don't have a huge whole.

    The one player who exemplified the strategy was/is Justin Masterson. They brought him up to fill in as a starter. He did well, but it was clear he had some flaws and may have been over extended in that role. A bad team would have rode him hard and hoped he might have kept it together enough to where he did not fall apart (mentally and physically). Boston decided it was better to put a young player in a situation where he could suceed and not be taxed.

    They handled him perfectly and he now has a solid foudation of success.

    Another case is Julio Lugo. He's not more than an average ballplayer -he may be a C- player. The short stop position could have turned into a nightmare and drained the lineup of it's value, but they got enough out of the guy in totality that it wasn't a drain and he plugged up the position enough to get it done.

    I am hoping Jocketty manages resources much the same way the Red Sox do.
    I agree that I would love to see Jocketty opperate a FO similar to that of the Red Sox. The Sox over the past few years have had a very very deep farm system. However they have had the luxury of adding several high priced roll players. While Lugo may be a below average player he also carries a high price tag of 8M-9M a season. A few years ago the Red Sox wanted outfield help and went out and got Coco Crisp and also a guy named JD Drew. They also wanted to add another starter and went out and paid 51M just to negotiate with Dice-k.

    The Red Sox have been very successful over the past 5-10 years and havce made some very good decisions when to cut ties with certain players (Damon and Pedro come to mind). However they have the financial flexibility in order to withstand some expensive contracts for average players.

  15. #44
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    Re: It's never going to be perfect

    “There’s not a lot of elite catching out there,” Epstein said. “But at the same time, that changes the standards for what you’re looking for. What we like to do is be league average at every position, and then be way above league average at as many positions as we can. We try to have no weak links and be at least league average at every position. It’s well-documented that there’s not a lot of elite catching out there, but we’ll figure it out.”
    "This isn’t stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

  16. #45
    Member blumj's Avatar
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    Re: It's never going to be perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    I agree that I would love to see Jocketty opperate a FO similar to that of the Red Sox. The Sox over the past few years have had a very very deep farm system. However they have had the luxury of adding several high priced roll players. While Lugo may be a below average player he also carries a high price tag of 8M-9M a season. A few years ago the Red Sox wanted outfield help and went out and got Coco Crisp and also a guy named JD Drew. They also wanted to add another starter and went out and paid 51M just to negotiate with Dice-k.

    The Red Sox have been very successful over the past 5-10 years and havce made some very good decisions when to cut ties with certain players (Damon and Pedro come to mind). However they have the financial flexibility in order to withstand some expensive contracts for average players.
    Yes. But if you can't afford to overpay for average players, then you really can't afford to overpay for below average ones. And you have even more reason to make damn sure you know the difference.
    "Reality tells us there are no guarantees. Except that some day Jon Lester will be on that list of 100-game winners." - Peter Gammons


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