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Thread: Hal - what's wrong and what's right

  1. #1
    Making sense of it all Matt700wlw's Avatar
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    Hal - what's wrong and what's right

    What's working, what needs work with the Reds
    By Hal McCoy

    Staff Writer

    Friday, March 20, 2009

    SARASOTA, Fla. — What's right and what's wrong with the Cincinnati Reds as they enter the last two weeks of exhibition baseball — other than the fact they are vacating this paradise to join Lawrence of Arabia in the Arizona desert.


    • Right: Micah Owings and Homer Bailey are pitching more like they are battling for the No. 1 spot than the No. 5 spot and, frankly, as of now both deserve to be in the rotation.

    • Wrong: Aaron Harang (1-2, 7.24 ERA) still looks more like the 17-game loser he was last year than the 16-game winner he was the previous two years and Bronson Arroyo seems more comfortable on his boat, The Nasty Hook, than throwing hooks on the pitching mound — 0-2, 15 innings, 10 runs, 12 hits, five home runs, seven walks.

    • Right: Chris Dickerson looks as if he is the left field answer (what was the question?) with his .375 average, his speed, his defense and his Save the Planet Web site.

    • Wrong: Willy Taveras, the ignition switch leadoff hitter, needs a new flint to flame up a .222 batting average and a .300 on-base average that just won't do for an offense based on manufacturing runs.

    • Right: The best find of the winter was outfielder Jonny Gomes, who has made the team ("Tell them a little bird told you," said the source, but the source really is a big bird). He deserves it — leading the team in home runs, RBIs and positive vibes.

    • Wrong: Manager Dusty Baker will show that he plays no favorites when Jacque Jones, who played for Baker in Chicago, doesn't make the team — not with a batting average of .100 halfway through the spring.

    • Right: Joey Votto is doing what he did at the end of last season, hitting for average and for power and driving in runs and singing the Canadian national anthem on key.

    • Wrong: Edwin Encarnacion, who they probably should have traded (if they could) over the winter hasn't changed — .211 the first half of spring training with 12 strikeouts in his first 19 at-bats and a team-leading three errors. And Jay Bruce is scruffing along at .212 with 11 strikeouts in 33 at-bats.

    • Right: Ryan Hanigan, supposedly the back-up catcher, is playing most of the time and is hitting .435 and handling the pitchers like a lion tamer.

    • Wrong: Ramon Hernandez, the regular catcher, remains with the Venezuela team in the World Baseball Classic, missing out on catching Reds pitchers who are new to him and missing out fitting himself into the team's lineup.

    • Right: Bullpenners Mike Lincoln (2.70 ERA in six appearances and jockey-sized lefty Daniel Ray Herrera (0.00 in five appearances) are air-tight and Herrera could replace Bill Bray as a left-hander.

    • Wrong: Closer Francisco Cordero couldn't close a perfectly working automatic sliding door. Right now — six games, six innings, 12 runs, 17 hits, two walks, an 18.00 ERA and a whopping number of furrows on pitching coach Dick Pole's forehead.

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  3. #2
    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Hal - what's wrong and what's right

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt700wlw View Post
    • Wrong: Aaron Harang (1-2, 7.24 ERA) still looks more like the 17-game loser he was last year than the 16-game winner he was the previous two years and Bronson Arroyo seems more comfortable on his boat, The Nasty Hook, than throwing hooks on the pitching mound — 0-2, 15 innings, 10 runs, 12 hits, five home runs, seven walks.

    • Wrong: Closer Francisco Cordero couldn't close a perfectly working automatic sliding door. Right now — six games, six innings, 12 runs, 17 hits, two walks, an 18.00 ERA and a whopping number of furrows on pitching coach Dick Pole's forehead.
    That's a lot of coin right there.

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    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: Hal - what's wrong and what's right

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44 View Post
    That's a lot of coin right there.
    That's a lot of proven talent right there.

    It's spring training. I don't care about their stats.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Member blumj's Avatar
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    Re: Hal - what's wrong and what's right

    Anyone remember which players had really good springs last year and who had really bad ones?
    "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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    Making sense of it all Matt700wlw's Avatar
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    Re: Hal - what's wrong and what's right

    Quote Originally Posted by blumj View Post
    Anyone remember which players had really good springs last year and who had really bad ones?
    Bailey's sucked

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    Who, What, Where, When? Tornon's Avatar
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    Re: Hal - what's wrong and what's right

    Aaron Harang has told us before, he doesn't care about results in spring training. He's more focused on zoning in the locations of various pitches. He may have a hitter at the plate that loves fastballs up & in, but Harang needs to get that pitch down for the regular season so he throws it anyway & gives up a tater. I don't remember last year, but I know Harang had a terrible spring two years ago and was fine when April rolled around. He'll be fine

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    Re: Hal - what's wrong and what's right

    Quote Originally Posted by blumj View Post
    Anyone remember which players had really good springs last year and who had really bad ones?
    I remember Votto had an absolutely abysmal spring last year. Didn't seem to hold him back any.

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    Re: Hal - what's wrong and what's right

    A sample of some 2008 spring pitching stats:

    Jeremy Affeldt - 10.69 ERA in 8 games, 16 IP
    Bronson Arroyo - 1.89 ERA in 4 games, 19 IP
    Homer Bailey - 5.21 ERA in 6 games, 19 IP
    Jared Burton - 8.22 ERA in 8 games, 7 2/3 IP
    Todd Coffey - 0.96 ERA in 9 games, 9 1/3 IP
    Francisco Cordero - 5.00 ERA in 8 games, 9 IP
    Johnny Cueto - 5.09 ERA in 6 games, 17 2/3 IP
    Josh Fogg - 3.38 ERA in 5 games, 16 IP
    Aaron Harang - 2.86 ERA in 5 games, 22 IP
    Edinson Volquez - 2.70 ERA in 6 games, 20 IP
    David Weathers - 3.00 ERA in 8 games, 9 IP

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    Worst Behavior. reds44's Avatar
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    Re: Hal - what's wrong and what's right

    His wrongs were Harang, Arroyo, Taveras, Edwin, Bruce, Hernandez, Cordero, and Jacque Jones.

    With the exception of Jones, I think I'll take my chances with that group of players.

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    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: Hal - what's wrong and what's right

    Quote Originally Posted by reds44 View Post
    His wrongs were Harang, Arroyo, Taveras, Edwin, Bruce, Hernandez, Cordero, and Jacque Jones.

    With the exception of Jones, I think I'll take my chances with that group of players.
    The puzzling thing was that he somehow dragged Dusty into it. Clearly Jones is wrong, but the team cutting him loose should be in the right column.
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    Member Highlifeman21's Avatar
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    Re: Hal - what's wrong and what's right

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    That's a lot of proven talent right there.

    It's spring training. I don't care about their stats.
    While they may certainly be proven talent, the only thing they are proving this Spring is they know how to get their heads beat in.

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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Hal - what's wrong and what's right

    Wrong-writing a whole column basically using a few weeks worth of spring training stats as the premise.
    "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

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    nothing more than a fan Always Red's Avatar
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    Re: Hal - what's wrong and what's right

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    Wrong-writing a whole column basically using a few weeks worth of spring training stats as the premise.
    Stats as the premise, or eyeballs on ballplayers everyday, watching them work?

    Like Dusty said yesterday- sometimes you don't get hits because the ball doesn't drop in the right place, and sometimes you don't because the bat and ball do not meet. Big difference, and that's what being there can tell you.

    ST stats do not mean much for players who already have the team made. They mean a lot for guys like Jones, Ward and Gomes, who are trying to find a spot. St stats don't mean that much- until they do.

    The problem I have is that pitching and defense are supposed to carry us this year. That's fine, and I wholeheartedly agree with that approach, since the bashing plan didn't work out quite so well for the Reds in the past. But we have nearly the exact same pitching staff that we had last year, which finished 12th in the league. No improvements were made there. We're left with just hoping they pitch better this year.

    IF ST stats mean nothing, are we all comfortable with Cordero's game right now? Ready to go to war with him as closer? He can't get anyone out right now. As Hal said- even linebackers and lineman (guys with big #'s) were jacking him the other day.

    If this team finishes 12th in pitching again this year, the Reds will struggle to 75 games. This team is gonna struggle to score runs, I think.

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    Five Tool Fool jojo's Avatar
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    Re: Hal - what's wrong and what's right

    Quote Originally Posted by Always Red View Post
    Stats as the premise, or eyeballs on ballplayers everyday, watching them work?

    Like Dusty said yesterday- sometimes you don't get hits because the ball doesn't drop in the right place, and sometimes you don't because the bat and ball do not meet. Big difference, and that's what being there can tell you.

    ST stats do not mean much for players who already have the team made. They mean a lot for guys like Jones, Ward and Gomes, who are trying to find a spot. St stats don't mean that much- until they do.

    The problem I have is that pitching and defense are supposed to carry us this year. That's fine, and I wholeheartedly agree with that approach, since the bashing plan didn't work out quite so well for the Reds in the past. But we have nearly the exact same pitching staff that we had last year, which finished 12th in the league. No improvements were made there. We're left with just hoping they pitch better this year.

    IF ST stats mean nothing, are we all comfortable with Cordero's game right now? Ready to go to war with him as closer? He can't get anyone out right now. As Hal said- even linebackers and lineman (guys with big #'s) were jacking him the other day.

    If this team finishes 12th in pitching again this year, the Reds will struggle to 75 games. This team is gonna struggle to score runs, I think.
    Deciding whether Jones/Ward/Gomes makes the team because of 40 spring training PA's is a flawed way to make decisions because attaching significant meaning to spring training stats a flawed approach. That doesn't really change whether it's your #1 starter or the 25th man.
    Last edited by jojo; 03-21-2009 at 08:51 PM.
    "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

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    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    Re: Hal - what's wrong and what's right

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    Deciding whether Jones/Ward/Gomes makes the team because of 40 spring training PA's is a flawed way to make decisions because attaching significant meaning to spring training stats a flawed approach. That doesn't really change whether it's your #1 starter or the 25th man.
    Really? All three have had a mixed bag of results at the major league level. How would you evaluate them?
    Suck it up cupcake.


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