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Thread: Reds' major problems at mid-season

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    Reds' major problems at mid-season

    The Reds are improved this year, but let's try and focus in on the specific problem or problems that are causing the team to be slightly worse than .500. I post team stats every ten games, not repeating the stats here, but others should feel free to do so.

    Here's my breakdown so far.

    Bullpen -- A. Not A plus, but one of the best in the league. Like all areas can do better but has been the strength of the team. (I'm sure 22-1 debacle didn't help pen ERA with Janish pitching, so stats don't tell full story.) Dusty needs to continue to watch usage. I think some guys (Herrera?) may be wearing down a bit.

    Defense -- B+. Too many errors. Left side of the infield questionable with Gonzo out. When Gomes plays LF is not a good defensive spot. But generally the outfield is light years better than previous seasons and the defense has been solid or better.

    Starting pitching -- B-. Middle of the pack for NL is an improvement. Cueto and Harang have been very good. Owings good for fifth starter. Arroyo has faded badly. Bailey very promising. When Volquez returns, if healthy, could improve this area. Pretty good depth and young guys with great promise.

    Offense -- D. First base and second base strong. Third base acceptable if EE plays up to norms. Catcher improved. SS Hairston OK stopgap, obviously team has a hole at that position. OF offense horrendous.

    Bench -- B-. Haven't looked at stats but generally satisfied. Hanigan gets an A for his bench performance. Janish has been as advertised defensively. Gomes good offensively. Hairston has helped much with versatility. Dickerson patient hitter with speed and defense. Nix ok but has faded. Overall, versatile group has done well.

    The obvious major problems are getting Bruce on track offensively; Taveras' hitting as lead off man; the lack of a true starting left fielder with a bat; and Arroyo's recent pitching slump. IMO these need to be addressed for team to improve.
    Last edited by Kc61; 07-10-2009 at 10:38 AM.

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    Re: Reds' major problems at mid-season

    Manager/Coaches: C- They get an A for gaining handling the young players such as Votto and Bruce and not letting them get overwhelmed. They get an F for preparation and tactics.

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    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: Reds' major problems at mid-season

    sure looks like there is possibly a good answer to the CF and leadoff issue bashing away in AAA. God forbid a GM actually admit a mistake ... even though it has long been obvious to everyone.
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    Re: Reds' major problems at mid-season

    Quote Originally Posted by flyer85 View Post
    sure looks like there is possibly a good answer to the CF and leadoff issue bashing away in AAA. God forbid a GM actually admit a mistake ... even though it has long been obvious to everyone.
    Yes. One bold approach would be to send Bruce and Taveras to AAA for awhile. I don't know why this should be considered off-limits. They both need work right now.

    Bring up Stubbs and Heisey. Platoon Stubbs in CF with Dickerson. Put Heisey in RF full time for awhile. Look for a trade for LF, but until then use Nix/Gomes in LF.

    I would then install Dickerson/Stubbs as the leadoff guy and Heisey as the number two. This hopefully will help the OBP part of the problem at the top of the order.

    Then they need to get a bat for LF to help the middle of the order.

    This scenario helps the offense and shouldn't hurt the defense because Dickerson, Stubbs, and Heisey are no slouches in the outfield defensively.

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    Re: Reds' major problems at mid-season

    I'd say:

    Defense: A

    Bullpen: B

    Starting pitching: C-

    Offense: F

    I'd further say that if it weren't for the defense, all pitching grades would be down one notch.
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    Re: Reds' major problems at mid-season

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    Yes. One bold approach would be to send Bruce and Taveras to AAA for awhile. I don't know why this should be considered off-limits. They both need work right now.

    Bring up Stubbs and Heisey. Platoon Stubbs in CF with Dickerson. Put Heisey in RF full time for awhile. Look for a trade for LF, but until then use Nix/Gomes in LF.

    I would then install Dickerson/Stubbs as the leadoff guy and Heisey as the number two. This hopefully will help the OBP part of the problem at the top of the order.

    Then they need to get a bat for LF to help the middle of the order.

    This scenario helps the offense and shouldn't hurt the defense because Dickerson, Stubbs, and Heisey are no slouches in the outfield defensively.
    That would be bold.

    I'd prefer that they trade for Elijah Dukes, who's fallen out of favor in Washington and is currently toiling away in the minor leagues, and thus wouldn't cost much in terms of talent. The Nats may even take Taveras as part of the return (if the Reds picked up his salary.) Beyond that, it may cost a guy like Matt Maloney. Platoon Dukes with Bruce in RF. That way, Bruce could still work on hitting major league pitching, but do so without worrying about facing his dreaded lefties.

    Let Dickerson play CF full time for a couple of weeks. If he falters (or struggles mightily against lefties) then call up Stubbs in August and platoon him with CD. I like that Stubbs is finally gaining experience in the leadoff position in Louisville. I'd give him another couple of weeks at least to continue doing so.

    Assuming no major sell-offs/acquisitions at the deadline, continue to platoon Gomes and Nix in LF. If Dukes really comes alive, move him over to LF full time, and platoon Gomes with Bruce in RF. Dukes is much better defensively than Gomes and has more upside with the stick. Nix becomes 4th OF/LH bat off the bench.
    Last edited by Benihana; 07-10-2009 at 11:35 AM.
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    Re: Reds' major problems at mid-season

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    Yes. One bold approach would be to send Bruce and Taveras to AAA for awhile. I don't know why this should be considered off-limits. They both need work right now.

    Bring up Stubbs and Heisey. Platoon Stubbs in CF with Dickerson. Put Heisey in RF full time for awhile. Look for a trade for LF, but until then use Nix/Gomes in LF.

    I would then install Dickerson/Stubbs as the leadoff guy and Heisey as the number two. This hopefully will help the OBP part of the problem at the top of the order.

    Then they need to get a bat for LF to help the middle of the order.

    This scenario helps the offense and shouldn't hurt the defense because Dickerson, Stubbs, and Heisey are no slouches in the outfield defensively.
    This is a really fun plan. Co-sign.

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    Re: Reds' major problems at mid-season

    IMO, Dukes simply has too much baggage, he would be a distraction.
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    Re: Reds' major problems at mid-season

    I wasn't sure what to do with the info I looked up but this is as good a place as any to put it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    The Reds are improved this year, but let's try and focus in on the specific problem or problems that are causing the team to be slightly worse than .500. ...
    They had a 31-27 record after 6/10.
    They are 10-16 in the last 26 games since 6/10.
    In 13 of those 26 games the starter wasn't able to last 6 full innings.
    The starters accumulated 139.2 ip over those last 26 games.
    That's roughly 5.1 innings per start.

    6/11 owings 5.1 ip loss
    6/12 maloney 6.0 loss
    6/13 arroyo 5.0 loss
    6/14 cueto 6.0 loss
    6/16 harang 2.0 win
    6/17 owings 6.0 win

    6/18 maloney 5.2 loss
    6/19 arroyo 6.2 win
    6/20 cueto 4.2 loss
    6/21 harang 7.0 loss
    6/23 owings 5.2 loss
    6/24 arroyo 3.2 loss
    6/25 cueto 6.0 win

    6/26 harang 4.2 loss
    6/27 bailey 5.0 win
    6/28 owings 6.0 win
    6/30 arroyo 5.1 loss
    7/1 cueto 6.0 win
    7/2 harang 7.0 win
    7/3 bailey 7.1 loss

    7/4 owings 6.2 win
    7/5 arroyo 5.0 loss
    7/6 cueto 0.2 loss
    7/7 harang 6.0 win
    7/8 bailey 6.0 loss
    7/9 owings 4.1 loss

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    Last edited by redsfandan; 07-10-2009 at 12:18 PM.
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    Re: Reds' major problems at mid-season

    Quote Originally Posted by Benihana View Post
    That would be bold.

    I'd prefer that they trade for Elijah Dukes, who's fallen out of favor in Washington and is currently toiling away in the minor leagues, and thus wouldn't cost much in terms of talent. The Nats may even take Taveras as part of the return (if the Reds picked up his salary.) Beyond that, it may cost a guy like Matt Maloney. Platoon Dukes with Bruce in RF. That way, Bruce could still work on hitting major league pitching, but do so without worrying about facing his dreaded lefties.

    Let Dickerson play CF full time for a couple of weeks. If he falters (or struggles mightily against lefties) then call up Stubbs in August and platoon him with CD. I like that Stubbs is finally gaining experience in the leadoff position in Louisville. I'd give him another couple of weeks at least to continue doing so.

    Assuming no major sell-offs/acquisitions at the deadline, continue to platoon Gomes and Nix in LF. If Dukes really comes alive, move him over to LF full time, and platoon Gomes with Bruce in RF. Dukes is much better defensively than Gomes and has more upside with the stick. Nix becomes 4th OF/LH bat off the bench.

    I like the Dukes idea. His baggage is obviously a concern but it would also keep the price down.

    Only thing I'd do differently is not platoon them. My OF would be Dukes 7, Stubbs/Dickerson 8, Bruce 9 come hell or high water. I don't think Dukes or Bruce have anything left to learn in AAA.

    2009 production might not be a whole lot better but the youth/talent/potential of that OF is worth a flier imo.

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    Re: Reds' major problems at mid-season

    They need more pitching, more defense, and more offense.
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    Re: Reds' major problems at mid-season

    Our Defensive Efficiency rating is .704, in 7th place in the majors. We were 2nd about a week ago, the 22-1 game killed us a bit.

    I'd give the defense an A- at worst, because they are doing what they are supposed to do, turning balls hit into play into outs.

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    Re: Reds' major problems at mid-season

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    Yes. One bold approach would be to send Bruce and Taveras to AAA for awhile. I don't know why this should be considered off-limits.
    One reason might be that Taveras can't be sent to the minors without his permission.

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    Re: Reds' major problems at mid-season

    Quote Originally Posted by PuffyPig View Post
    One reason might be that Taveras can't be sent to the minors without his permission.
    Actually I'm not sure he has reached that point. According to Cot's, he only has 4.028 years of service. I found this bit from Wikipedia about MLB Transactions.

    If a player has 5 years of major-league service, he may not be assigned to a minor-league team without his consent, regardless of whether he has already been outrighted once, even if he clears waivers. If the player withholds consent, the team must either release him or keep him on the major league roster. In either case, the player must continue to be paid under the terms of his contract. If he is released and signs with a new team, his previous team must pay the difference in salary between the two contracts if the previous contract called for a greater salary.

    I think he is not in that category, but he has played more than five professional seasons, so I think he would have to be waived, although that isn't completely clear to me from this explanation of options:

    If a player is on the 40-man roster but not on the active major league roster, he is said to be on optional assignment—his organization may freely move him between the major league club and the minor league club. If a player is on the 40-man roster and not the active 25 man roster for any part of more than three seasons (in which he spent 20 or more total days of service in the minors), he is out of options and may not be assigned to the minors without first clearing waivers. However, if a player has less than 5 years of professional experience, he may be optioned to the minors in a fourth season without being subject to waivers. If a major league player is ineligible for free agency and "has options" remaining, his team may option him to a minor league team without consequence. This is usually what is meant when players are "sent down" to the minors. Likewise, when a player on the 40-man roster is added to the active major league roster, he is "called up" to the majors.

    What's causing my hesitation is that I'm not sure that Taveras has reached the place where he's eligible for Free Agency. We picked him up after he was waived and given his release. I don't know enough there to say for sure.

    Of course if we place him on waivers and someone claims him, let them have him, IMO. But I think it's possible we could still send him to the minors without his permission, at least for this year.
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    Re: Reds' major problems at mid-season

    The Reds are 2 acquisitions plus a lot of IFs to be 2009 contenders.

    SP:
    Cueto
    Harang
    Volquez (if healthy)
    Bailey (if he keeps it up)
    Owings/Arroyo
    Overall not too shabby if Volquez and Bailey pitch well the 2nd half.
    Actually we are 2 big IFs away from a really good 1-2-3-4.

    Then pen has been a strength. Burton was sent to AAA despite turning it around. Seems we could deal an arm to help elsewhere. Yes i know we have had some stinkers lately out of the pen but overall we are solid and deep.

    Catcher, 1B & 2B are fine.
    We can piece together one outfielder with a Bruce/Gomes platoon.
    CF is ok with Dickerson (maybe Hairston vs some LHP).
    3B is another big if.
    SS & the other corner OF spot are giant holes.

    So...
    IF Volquez is healthy.
    IF Bailey continues to pitch well.
    IF Edwin can hit like he has prior to 2009.
    AND we go out and get another outfielder.
    AND we go out and get a SS.
    Then we can make some noise this year.

    IMO this is a lot of IFs and acquisitions.
    Therefore I hope any moves we make are not for a rental player but are made for 2010 and beyond. if they help this year great but improving the team long term would be my hope.
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