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Thread: Straight Talk

  1. #16
    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: Straight Talk

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    It seems like everyone wants to ignore Harang's past and judge him on 2008.
    I agree it's maddening. For a lot of guys maybe you figure they fell off a cliff potentially and maybe due to the injury he did fall off a tad (hard to tell) but basing one's opinion on a year where he was obviously hurt and for quite some time is ludicrous. But to take it a bit further Bronson Arroyo has shown to be a guy who will sit between 4.00 and 4.50 but it's somehow a stretch to think he can't do that? I've said it every year he has been here, he starts well has troubles in June-ish and pitches ok or a little better the rest of the year. This year it was a little longer than usual, is that a decline or just bad luck? There's certainly no proof of a decline, and if you look at boths last 10 or so starts I'd say there's proof of just the opposite. All players will have down years and IMO those 2 did.

    Cueto and Volquez, who knows they have very little track record but no one argues they have good stuff so barring a complete mental meltdown or god forbid an injury I think it's a good bet they will be solid. The 5th spot I feel more comfortable with, between Owings, Ramirez and Darryl Thompson I think we can get better production than last season.

    One thing I would hate to see is the pitchers have a good season and it be wasted because of a lack of vision. This team can compete now for the playoffs, no I don't necc. see them as legit contenders for a championship but if you just get in the playoffs that's a major win for this franchise and in more than 1 way.
    "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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  3. #17
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Straight Talk

    I don't care how much improved this rotation might be. I'll give you that just for the sake of argument.

    To coin the words of a famous politician (with a slight twist), and not to be taken personally....

    "IT'S THE OFFENSE STUPID!"

    What have we done in this off-season to really address a team that was close to the bottom tier in all of MLB in most offensive categories worth tracking? Other then they were up there in Hrs. That's gonna drop too.

    It can't simply be "voodoo baseball" of addition through subtraction, like ridding ourselves of CPatt, Ross, Valentin, and a few others.

    YOU HAVE TO ADD!

    According to our GM/owner, we are placing our hopes on the further maturation of young players like Bruce, Votto, and EE. My opinion? When it comes to Votto and EE, what you see is pretty much what you're going to get...

    Votto... .368 OB% .506 SLG% .874 OPS
    Encarnacion... .340 OB% .466 SLG% .806 OPS

    You should see improvement from Bruce (if he cuts down on that swing)

    You hope to get the '07 performance from Phillips in '09.

    After that... whatcha got?

    You've added a catcher that has OPS'd .714 over the last two years, and whose defense is so-so. How he'll do at GABP I have no idea.

    You've added another speedster in Wee Willy Winkle to the mix for the lead-of spot, when Stevie Wonder could find 1B before he could.

    It looks like the Island of Misfit Toys.

    I'm a loyal Reds fan, and will follow this team diligently in '09 (thanks FSN Ohio); but I'm not buying what this FO is trying to sell me. I may be stupid, but I'm not ignorant.

    It's like trying to peddle Hudepohl on me over Sam Adams.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

  4. #18
    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: Straight Talk

    Quote Originally Posted by GAC View Post
    I don't care how much improved this rotation might be. I'll give you that just for the sake of argument.

    To coin the words of a famous politician (with a slight twist), and not to be taken personally....

    "IT'S THE OFFENSE STUPID!"

    What have we done in this off-season to really address a team that was close to the bottom tier in all of MLB in most offensive categories worth tracking? Other then they were up there in Hrs. That's gonna drop too.

    It can't simply be "voodoo baseball" of addition through subtraction, like ridding ourselves of CPatt, Ross, Valentin, and a few others.

    YOU HAVE TO ADD!

    According to our GM/owner, we are placing our hopes on the further maturation of young players like Bruce, Votto, and EE. My opinion? When it comes to Votto and EE, what you see is pretty much what you're going to get...

    Votto... .368 OB% .506 SLG% .874 OPS
    Encarnacion... .340 OB% .466 SLG% .806 OPS

    You should see improvement from Bruce (if he cuts down on that swing)

    You hope to get the '07 performance from Phillips in '09.

    After that... whatcha got?

    You've added a catcher that has OPS'd .714 over the last two years, and whose defense is so-so. How he'll do at GABP I have no idea.

    You've added another speedster in Wee Willy Winkle to the mix for the lead-of spot, when Stevie Wonder could find 1B before he could.

    It looks like the Island of Misfit Toys.

    I'm a loyal Reds fan, and will follow this team diligently in '09 (thanks FSN Ohio); but I'm not buying what this FO is trying to sell me. I may be stupid, but I'm not ignorant.

    It's like trying to peddle Hudepohl on me over Sam Adams.
    I doubt anyone disagrees with you.

    But I think most get tired of hearing how a guy has one bad year and all of sudden he's a major question mark. Maybe he is but odds are against it so why fall on the side that's most unlikely? Because you really saw something that makes you believe he has truly slipped? If so put it out there and let's discuss the merits of that issue. If not then it's simply a feeble attempt to support a position that's low on the current priority list.

    In other words like you stated why are we discussing pitching when the offense is the current priority and pitching (esp. of the starting variety) obviously isn't a thought for the F.O. The answer could be that the point of the thread is to take in the current team again and find out how we are looking at this point and what needs attention yet, at least that's what I gathered. That would require including the pitching to some extent.
    "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

    --Woody Hayes

  5. #19
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    Re: Straight Talk

    Very strong post, GAC.

    The scary thing about the team now is that all three facets must be improved: offense, pitching, and defense.

    Pitching: the rotation looks solid, even if Cueto doesn't take the leap forward many assume so long as Harang rebounds somewhat. Here's to hoping his lost velocity is fixed with his recovery from injury. The bodies which should serve as rotational filler in the event of an injury (Owings, Ramirez, Bailey, et al) are an improvement over the likes of Fogg, Kim, Mays, and other stiffs who have typically fulfilled that function.

    I am leery of the 'pen insofar as repeating last year's performance, but I expect Cordero to be a bit better than last season--granted, much of this stems from Baker's anecdotal information that Frankie Four Fingers' control problems came from the bone spurs in his landing foot--and Rhodes should be an effective LOOGY if Bray cannot take a step forward. Here's to hoping Lincoln can curtail the gopherballs, but if he cannot, there are plenty of places to find low-leverage arms on the proverbial "bone pile." Again hoping...hopefully Weathers doesn't lose that last tiny bit that completely negates any semblance of effectiveness his guile confers. He is walking a tightrope at this point, and to be truthful (as one of Weathers' few fans) he was doing so last season.

    Defense: Must be improved, especially the millstone represented by the left side of the infield. Keppinger must not be permitted to start 100 games at SS again, and I'd like to see as little of Hairston as possible at such an important position. I like Janish, but am not convinced his D is appreciably above average...leaving Gonzo, from whom nobody knows what to expect. SS must be upgraded, considering 3B will likely not be as the team desperately needs EE's league-average O.

    CF is a step back because Patterson was very good out there. The only good thing about signing Taveras--which I hated--is that NoHo will not be pulling his customary Vasco da Gama act on fly balls. I think his defense is worse than Freel's...allowing that most metrics (SSS) say otherwise. RF will be an improvement due to Griffey playing about 90 games out there. Provided a good glove is found for SS, the Reds shouldn't be one of the bottom teams in defensive efficiency, which is sadly a position to which they have become accustomed.

    Offense: A top run producer must be procured, and the logical place would be LF, or, less likely, acquiring another player to bump EE or Votto to LF. Handedness should not matter as much as the FO seems to indicate. My preference would be Dunn or Ramirez, but there is about as much chance of either of them starting in LF on opening day as there is of me starting there. Abreu wouldn't be bad either but the fears: too much $/years, Baker will stick his declining glove in RF out of "respect," etc. make it less than optimal. We are all waiting to see how the starting 8 shake out.

    I think the current level of umbrage on the site is in large part due to the fact that everyone sees changes must be made and the acquisitions thus far have inspired milquetoast reaction at the most.
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    Re: Straight Talk

    [QUOTE=Mario-Rijo;1787309]I agree it's maddening. For a lot of guys maybe you figure they fell off a cliff potentially and maybe due to the injury he did fall off a tad (hard to tell) but basing one's opinion on a year where he was obviously hurt and for quite some time is ludicrous.


    I don't know that I've seen anyone basing a projection about Harang simply on last year's performance. The serious point about Harang is that it's very difficult to know what to project for him this year, in some measure because we don't really know how what the status of his injury is at this point. What is surely more certain is that conversation is rarely promoted by calling some points of view "ludicrous."

  7. #21
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Straight Talk

    Quote Originally Posted by Mario-Rijo View Post
    But I think most get tired of hearing how a guy has one bad year and all of sudden he's a major question mark.
    If you're referring to Harang, then I'd agree. But if you're referring to Willy - he's been a regular since 2005 (4 years). And he's had three bad years compared to one good year (2007). That's why I laugh at our FO that says they HOPE he can recapture the magic of that '07 season.

    I'm going with the odds.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

  8. #22
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    Re: Straight Talk

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    It seems like everyone wants to ignore Harang's past and judge him on 2008.
    Here's the thing about Harang's '08. It's not appropriate to act like it didn't happen either. His '08 has got to effect his projections going forward.

    That doesn't mean he won't be effective in the next few years, it just means there is reason to adjust expectations.
    "This isnít 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

  9. #23
    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: Straight Talk

    I fully expect to see the 2005-2007 Aaron Harang in 2009. I have no reason to believe he won't return to form. He pitched very good toward the end of the year after returning from injury. His first two starts were rough but he was fine after that.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

  10. #24
    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: Straight Talk

    Quote Originally Posted by HokieRed View Post
    I don't know that I've seen anyone basing a projection about Harang simply on last year's performance. The serious point about Harang is that it's very difficult to know what to project for him this year, in some measure because we don't really know how what the status of his injury is at this point. What is surely more certain is that conversation is rarely promoted by calling some points of view "ludicrous."
    To your 1st point, they have to be basing it on last year because they act as if he cannot be counted on to be what he was prior to last year. They seem to be presuming that last year was an indication that he is sliding. That could be but no one has really given any strong evidence to support such a claim.

    To your second point I agree, but it was the best word I could think of at the time to convey my feelings. Not an attempt to offend those of that opinion as much as it might have seemed. Chalk it up to frustration and not the arrogance that it may have appeared to be.
    "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

    --Woody Hayes

  11. #25
    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: Straight Talk

    Quote Originally Posted by GAC View Post
    If you're referring to Harang, then I'd agree. But if you're referring to Willy - he's been a regular since 2005 (4 years). And he's had three bad years compared to one good year (2007). That's why I laugh at our FO that says they HOPE he can recapture the magic of that '07 season.

    I'm going with the odds.
    Not referring to Willy at all.
    "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

    --Woody Hayes

  12. #26
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    Re: Straight Talk

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    I fully expect to see the 2005-2007 Aaron Harang in 2009. I have no reason to believe he won't return to form. He pitched very good toward the end of the year after returning from injury. His first two starts were rough but he was fine after that.
    I hope you're right. But I also hope that Jocketty isn't expecting Harang to post a sub 3.70 FIP next season in order for the moves Jocketty has recently made (and the next ones he's surely still contemplating) to make sense in terms of the playoffs.
    "This isnít 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


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