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Thread: What position should the Reds upgrade?

  1. #1
    Start the Reactor! *BaseClogger*'s Avatar
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    What position should the Reds upgrade?

    There are a lot of threads on RedsZone right now devoted to conversation about which position the Reds should improve to get them into the playoff picture. Is Matt Holliday the answer in left field? Should the Reds target an infielder like Tejada or DeRosa? Or should they just get the bat with the biggest impact? So this thread is devoted to determining which positions have actually been a strength for the Reds so far in 2009, and which project to stay that way from here out.

    In attempt to determine which positions the Reds can choose to improve offensively, here is a list of the team's sOPS+ by position to date (OPS+ also normalized by position):

    Code:
    C:   117
    1B:  121
    2B:  138
    3B:  67
    SS:  100
    LF:  71
    CF:  74
    RF:  100
    Catcher has been a position of strength for the first time in years.

    First base was another huge asset for the club before Votto went down. Now there is uncertainty at the position.

    Second base has been the team's best position offensively, and is a strength defensively too.

    Third base has been a swirling black hole of suckitude, both offensively and defensively.

    Shortstop has been surprisingly solid. Alex Gonzalez has been decent enough defensively and Jerry Hairston has been good enough offensively there to make the position average with the stick.

    Left field has sucked, but that should improve as the Nix/Gomes platoon gets all of the ABs.

    Center field doesn't look good offensively, but the Reds are committed to defense-first at that position and Taveras/Dickerson along with all of those guys down on the farm all play great defense.

    Right field has been just fine, and it's Jay Bruce's position for the next decade.

    ----------

    Clearly, catcher, second base, and right field are set. I would venture a guess that center field won't be changed either, for a myriad of reasons: the Reds are committed to a defense-first center fielder, the farm system is loaded at that position, and a lack of difference makers on the market.

    Personally, I would leave left field alone too. I just feel that unless a superstar like Lance Berkman is brought in--and he probably can't play left field anyways--there won't be a big enough upgrade over the current platoon. And just like center field, I don't think the Reds will trade for a shortstop. They have a lot of money invested in Alex Gonzalez, and have offense-first and defensve-first options available in Jerry Hairston and Paul Janish, respectively.

    That leaves two positions, first base and third base. Why haven't I eliminated first base yet? Well, I don't know what the Reds know. And if Joey Votto isn't going to be available for a lengthy amount of time, then the Reds need to address that position. And I have the perfect solution; I would get Edwin Encarnacion some playing time over on the other side of the infield. Third base has been terrible, and we all know Edwin isn't a fit defensively there. Why not move him to first base with Votto out indefinitely? My trade targets would be top third baseman like Adrian Beltre, or possibly a first baseman such as Aubrey Huff.

    What do you think?
    "On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage," Baker said. "Clogging up the bases isn't that great to me."

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  3. #2
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: What position should the Reds upgrade?

    Fanbase would be a great start.

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    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: What position should the Reds upgrade?

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    Fanbase would be a great start.
    Como?
    "No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda

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    smells of rich mahogany deltachi8's Avatar
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    Re: What position should the Reds upgrade?

    Pitching.
    Nothing to see here. Please disperse.

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    Re: What position should the Reds upgrade?

    haha...very nice. The Reds are having their best season in years and everyone wants to fix it...I think if the Reds could land a LF (a 1-year type player) that could hit toward the middle of the lineup without trading a top 5 prospect, it would be a worthwhile thing to do. Hopefully EDE is coming back in the not too distant future to help solve the low production at 1B.

    Overall though, I think the team is doing great. They have really competed well even when their better offensive players haven't been playing. Solid pitching top to bottom really makes a difference!

    Bum

  7. #6
    I'm gettin paper Homer Bailey's Avatar
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    Re: What position should the Reds upgrade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bumstead View Post
    haha...very nice. The Reds are having their best season in years and everyone wants to fix it
    Umm.... Do you think this team has no room for improvement? Best season in years? In 2006 weren't we like 36-24 at one point?


    ...I think if the Reds could land a LF (a 1-year type player) that could hit toward the middle of the lineup without trading a top 5 prospect, it would be a worthwhile thing to do.
    Getting an upgrade over Gomes/Nix is going to take a top 5 prospect IMO.

    Hopefully EDE is coming back in the not too distant future to help solve the low production at 1B.
    EE at 1B??

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    Re: What position should the Reds upgrade?

    Can Aubrey Huff still play 3B effectively? He did very well last season statistically but only played a handful of games at the hot corner. If he can indeed play 3B passably, he'd be my top choice after a huge bat like Berkman.
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    Re: What position should the Reds upgrade?

    A number of CF candidates. I think Votto will be fine (and there's Alonso in the wings). Gomes and Nix are doing nicely now and LF is never that hard to fill.

    I'm not a fan of this team for no reason, so I say shortstop.

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    Re: What position should the Reds upgrade?

    If Votto is going to be out for a significant period, I wouldn't make any "rental" type moves. Any trade would have to benefit us long term.

    And I might say the same thing even if Votto is back after his DL stint on time.

  11. #10
    High five! nate's Avatar
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    Re: What position should the Reds upgrade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bumstead View Post
    haha...very nice. The Reds are having their best season in years and everyone wants to fix it...I think if the Reds could land a LF (a 1-year type player) that could hit toward the middle of the lineup without trading a top 5 prospect, it would be a worthwhile thing to do. Hopefully EDE is coming back in the not too distant future to help solve the low production at 1B.

    Overall though, I think the team is doing great. They have really competed well even when their better offensive players haven't been playing. Solid pitching top to bottom really makes a difference!

    Bum
    They are doing better than any other Reds team this century. However:

    1. That's a pretty low bar to step over.

    2. As well as they've been doing, they're still in first, let alone running away with the division.

    3. The teams near them will be improving their rosters.
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

  12. #11
    Start the Reactor! *BaseClogger*'s Avatar
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    Re: What position should the Reds upgrade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    Can Aubrey Huff still play 3B effectively? He did very well last season statistically but only played a handful of games at the hot corner. If he can indeed play 3B passably, he'd be my top choice after a huge bat like Berkman.
    He's probably no better than EE defensively, but he could play 1B while Votto is still out. He also has experience in LF...
    "On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage," Baker said. "Clogging up the bases isn't that great to me."

  13. #12
    Member cincrazy's Avatar
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    Re: What position should the Reds upgrade?

    Quote Originally Posted by *BaseClogger* View Post
    There are a lot of threads on RedsZone right now devoted to conversation about which position the Reds should improve to get them into the playoff picture. Is Matt Holliday the answer in left field? Should the Reds target an infielder like Tejada or DeRosa? Or should they just get the bat with the biggest impact? So this thread is devoted to determining which positions have actually been a strength for the Reds so far in 2009, and which project to stay that way from here out.

    In attempt to determine which positions the Reds can choose to improve offensively, here is a list of the team's sOPS+ by position to date (OPS+ also normalized by position):

    Code:
    C:   117
    1B:  121
    2B:  138
    3B:  67
    SS:  100
    LF:  71
    CF:  74
    RF:  100
    Catcher has been a position of strength for the first time in years.

    First base was another huge asset for the club before Votto went down. Now there is uncertainty at the position.

    Second base has been the team's best position offensively, and is a strength defensively too.

    Third base has been a swirling black hole of suckitude, both offensively and defensively.

    Shortstop has been surprisingly solid. Alex Gonzalez has been decent enough defensively and Jerry Hairston has been good enough offensively there to make the position average with the stick.

    Left field has sucked, but that should improve as the Nix/Gomes platoon gets all of the ABs.

    Center field doesn't look good offensively, but the Reds are committed to defense-first at that position and Taveras/Dickerson along with all of those guys down on the farm all play great defense.

    Right field has been just fine, and it's Jay Bruce's position for the next decade.

    ----------

    Clearly, catcher, second base, and right field are set. I would venture a guess that center field won't be changed either, for a myriad of reasons: the Reds are committed to a defense-first center fielder, the farm system is loaded at that position, and a lack of difference makers on the market.

    Personally, I would leave left field alone too. I just feel that unless a superstar like Lance Berkman is brought in--and he probably can't play left field anyways--there won't be a big enough upgrade over the current platoon. And just like center field, I don't think the Reds will trade for a shortstop. They have a lot of money invested in Alex Gonzalez, and have offense-first and defensve-first options available in Jerry Hairston and Paul Janish, respectively.

    That leaves two positions, first base and third base. Why haven't I eliminated first base yet? Well, I don't know what the Reds know. And if Joey Votto isn't going to be available for a lengthy amount of time, then the Reds need to address that position. And I have the perfect solution; I would get Edwin Encarnacion some playing time over on the other side of the infield. Third base has been terrible, and we all know Edwin isn't a fit defensively there. Why not move him to first base with Votto out indefinitely? My trade targets would be top third baseman like Adrian Beltre, or possibly a first baseman such as Aubrey Huff.

    What do you think?
    I always scoffed at the notion of Edwin being moved from 3B, I didn't think it would solve anything. But I just read a book on the Dodgers, and there was a passage in there that talked about Tommy Lasorda moving Pedro Guerrero from 3B to the outfield, and from there Guerrero took off offensively. He was DREADFUL at 3B defensively, but once he was moved, he thrived. I wonder if the same couldn't be said of EE. Might be worth a shot.

  14. #13
    Member cincrazy's Avatar
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    Re: What position should the Reds upgrade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Homer Bailey View Post
    Umm.... Do you think this team has no room for improvement? Best season in years? In 2006 weren't we like 36-24 at one point?




    Getting an upgrade over Gomes/Nix is going to take a top 5 prospect IMO.



    EE at 1B??
    We were 28-19 I think in 2006... but it was smoke and mirrors. I really think this team is legit if it could be completely healthy, and if Walt added some pieces.

  15. #14
    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: What position should the Reds upgrade?

    Quote Originally Posted by cincrazy View Post
    I always scoffed at the notion of Edwin being moved from 3B, I didn't think it would solve anything. But I just read a book on the Dodgers, and there was a passage in there that talked about Tommy Lasorda moving Pedro Guerrero from 3B to the outfield, and from there Guerrero took off offensively. He was DREADFUL at 3B defensively, but once he was moved, he thrived. I wonder if the same couldn't be said of EE. Might be worth a shot.
    I think so he isn't out there playing stress free, it's like he's walking on eggshells at this point. Who knows if it would help or not, I doubt we ever see it though at least as a Red.
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  16. #15
    Member tripleaaaron's Avatar
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    Re: What position should the Reds upgrade?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bumstead View Post
    haha...very nice. The Reds are having their best season in years and everyone wants to fix it...I think if the Reds could land a LF (a 1-year type player) that could hit toward the middle of the lineup without trading a top 5 prospect, it would be a worthwhile thing to do. Hopefully EDE is coming back in the not too distant future to help solve the low production at 1B.
    There is always time for evaluation and a desire to improve. If the Reds sat on their hands we would rip them to shreds. As for LF there is only a handful of players that will be available who is a clear-cut improvement over the current platoon and we won't come away from the table without giving up a top 5 prospect; there will be far too many interested to deflate the value that low. I think EE could come back and give us a big boost, I wish it could be at 1B (or if you're not set on Nix/Gomes, maybe LF) while Votto is out, but now is not the time to teach him a new position (unless he has a really long rehab stint).
    Quote Originally Posted by *BaseClogger* View Post
    He's probably no better than EE defensively, but he could play 1B while Votto is still out. He also has experience in LF...
    I like the thought of adding Huff and don't think it will take all that much. Huff is notoriously a 2nd half star and could give this lineup some needed pop and could fill in at our 3 weakest positions (sans Votto) 3B, 1B and LF. Huff's ability to play 1B would also keep the Catcher position from regressing as Hernandez would return to everyday duty and Wilkin Castillo would take his rightful place in the Minors. Huff could be the best fit for the current organization as his production and positioning will assuredly help the team without too much cost. Adrian Beltre would also be a good target (if his down production deflates his cost) as he should receive a big boost from GABP as well as a change of scenery.
    Last edited by tripleaaaron; 06-05-2009 at 01:19 AM.
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