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Thread: Mark Sheldon's Inbox

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    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Mark Sheldon's Inbox

    Personally, I think Mark Sheldon is lacking in baseball knowledge. I've decided to post his Q&A section from reds.com and then critique it, bit by bit. I may make this a recurring thing. If so, this is the first edition.

    I was just wondering why the Reds signed Orlando Cabrera? Why couldn't the Reds have given Todd Frazier, Paul Janish, Zach Cozart or Chris Valaika a shot? Now it looks like they won't get a shot for another two years.
    -- Jacob B., Cincinnati

    I was all for letting Janish and Frazier battle it out, but the Reds felt they needed more offense and Cabrera has more of a Major League track record in that regard. Personally, I don't think the moderate offensive difference Cabrera brings will be worth the approximate $1.6 million difference between his salary and Janish's or Frazier's.

    On the other hand, I do understand and respect the thought process used by a club that had such an anemic offense last season. Cabrera is a contact hitter that will not draw a lot of walks or have the shiniest on-base percentage. But he's batted .280 or better in each of the last four seasons and can steal some bases when needed. Also, he's been to the postseason the last three seasons with three different teams -- that's experience the Reds could use.
    Really? The Reds believe The OC will give better offense than Todd Frazier? Don't you think it's possible that the Reds signed him because they were worried that they had no other legitimate SS options on the 40-man roster other than Paul Janish and Chris Valaika (who is arguably only a 2B)? Anyway, we all know whether it was a good signing based on his batting average over the past four seasons.

    What are the odds the player to be named in the Willy Taveras trade is Travis Buck, who could contend for the left-field job?
    -- Nick E., Cincinnati

    It won't likely be Buck. Most of the time, the player to be named is a low-level Minor Leaguer. Honestly, it really doesn't matter who the Reds get in return. General manager Walt Jocketty pulled off a coup by finding a team to take Taveras and his $4 million salary in a trade. That team, the A's, only wanted Adam Rosales anyway and to part with Aaron Miles' $2.7 million contract. Oakland designated Taveras for assignment moments after the Feb. 1 trade and released him on Tuesday. The Reds used the savings to help pay for the Cabrera signing.
    Nick, since Mark won't tell you, I'll go ahead and say it. The PTBNL isn't Travis Buck. Presuming it isn't cash, it's not even someone who will ever see the major leagues. I hope I didn't ruin the suspense.

    What do you know about Juan Francisco's trial in the outfield? He may be the best hitting prospect in the Reds' organization. Do you agree?
    -- Steve C., Pickerington, Ohio

    A natural third baseman, Francisco played 18 games in left field during the Winter League regular season in the Dominican and some more during the postseason. The Reds seemed happy with his ability, but he has a lot of work to do to prove he's competent out there. With 27 homers and 93 RBIs last season in the Minors, his powerful left-handed bat carried him from Double-A to the Majors and earned him the Dominican Winter League MVP.

    But if fans thought Adam Dunn struck out too much, Francisco could really frustrate them. He strikes out a lot, but unlike Dunn, he doesn't draw walks. In 1,892 Minor League plate appearances since 2006, Francisco has just 72 walks compared to 442 strikeouts.
    Juan Francisco strikes out less than Adam Dunn.

    I heard the Dusty Baker comment of the Reds contemplating moving Yonder Alonso to catcher. My question is, why not? I think it's a great idea with our depth at every position in our farm system but catcher.
    -- Brandon D., Cincinnati

    I like that multiple options appear to be on the table for Alonso's future, but teaching him the hardest position on the field isn't the same as just moving a guy to first base or left field. The bottom line is that his bat will force its way into the lineup -- somewhere, somehow. I've long been opposed to the idea that Joey Votto should move to left field, and while he'd be the good teammate and do it, I don't see him being happy about it. Nor should he be.
    What exactly are Alonso's multiple options? By the way, Walt Jocketty pretty much said Alonso won't be tried out at catcher.

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  3. #2
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Mark Sheldon's Inbox

    Not exactly sure why you don't like Sheldon. I didn't find anything wrong with what he had written. He isn't writing to someone on RZ, he is writing to the casual Reds fan. The Reds fan who checks out www.cincinnatireds.com. Sometimes you need to dumb down you answers so the people who read you understand.

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    Re: Mark Sheldon's Inbox

    A quick critique of your critique. While the FJM people made this a popular feature because they found insanely stupid things said, I have to say you may be reaching a bit here in an effort to criticize.
    Maybe I'm misreading, and this isn't a personal criticism, so feel free to critique my critique of your critique.


    1) It's worth noting that Mark doesn't agree with the Reds choice but rather he respects the thought process behind it. I think we all can. He doesn't hold up batting average as a stat to be all end all but rather points it out showing Cabrera does have his good qualities.

    2) He says up front that it likely won't be Travis Buck. I guess he could have said it wouldn't be Travis Buck but ya know journalistic ethics and all, passing an opinion off as a fact is probably not a good idea.

    3)He points out that Francisco strikes out a lot and unlike Dunn doesn't walk to help compensate. We could go on and on arguing about whether people who were frustrated by Dunn's strikeouts were mollified by his walk totals but you and I are certainly intelligent enough to note that if a guy strikes out a lot and doesn't walk very often he probably doesn't have enough control of the strikezone.

    4)Alonso has a number of options, he can play 1b, he can play LF, they're considering having him catch, or he can be traded. Sheldon said he appreciates keeping the doors to these options open I'm not sure what's objectionable.
    When people say that I donít know what Iím talking about when it comes to sports or writing, I think: Man, you should see me in the rest of my life.
    ---Joe Posnanski

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    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Mark Sheldon's Inbox

    Judging by the responses, I'm going to call the first edition of this a success. I'm going to keep this up.

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    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    Re: Mark Sheldon's Inbox

    You actually read the responses right?
    Suck it up cupcake.

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    Re: Mark Sheldon's Inbox

    Sheldon mustve let his dog poop in your yard

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    No half measures, Walter RedEye's Avatar
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    Re: Mark Sheldon's Inbox

    I actually thought Sheldon made a good point about Francisco. He wasn't saying that Francisco strikes out more than Dunn, but rather that he strikes out a lot and AND he doesn't walk. Sheldon isn't critiquing Francisco's K's, he's critiquing his lack of plate discipline and OBP skills. Although he couches it in plainer language than we are accustomed to, I think that's pretty much the consensus on RedsZone, too... isn't it?

    Apologies to Hoosier Red--I just repeated your points!
    "Iíll kind of have a foot on the back of my own butt. Thatís just how I do things.Ē -- Bryan Price, 10/22/2013

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    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: Mark Sheldon's Inbox

    I'll throw my 2-cents worth of critique of the critique. In referring to the Reds acquiring Buck (which Hoosier already touched on)...Sheldon being a journalist can't say "It won't be Buck", because if somehow Buck becomes the PTBNL, it damages Sheldon's credibility and journalistic accuracy. So the Mark says "it won't likely" be Buck...and you rip him to shreds over it...yikes. You're usually pretty spot-on camis...but you are reaching on this one.

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    Re: Mark Sheldon's Inbox

    Quote Originally Posted by RedEye View Post

    Apologies to Hoosier Red--I just repeated your points!
    No need to apologize. It's the first time in my 10 years on the board that I've made a point worth repeating.
    When people say that I donít know what Iím talking about when it comes to sports or writing, I think: Man, you should see me in the rest of my life.
    ---Joe Posnanski

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    Re: Mark Sheldon's Inbox

    Quote Originally Posted by RedEye View Post
    I actually thought Sheldon made a good point about Francisco. He wasn't saying that Francisco strikes out more than Dunn, but rather that he strikes out a lot and AND he doesn't walk. Sheldon isn't critiquing Francisco's K's, he's critiquing his lack of plate discipline and OBP skills. Although he couches it in plainer language than we are accustomed to, I think that's pretty much the consensus on RedsZone, too... isn't it?

    Apologies to Hoosier Red--I just repeated your points!

    Francisco's problem is mostly in the walk column. His Ks have improved over his minor league career. His K rate isn't unusually high for a power hitter. His lack of walks hurt him in K/BB ratios, OBP, OPS and similar categories.

    It's typical for the press and others to say he Ks too much, but the emphasis should be on walks. As for a Dunn comparison, AD hits more home runs and walks far more. JF fans less and perhaps will hit for a higher BA although it is too soon to tell.

  12. #11
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: Mark Sheldon's Inbox

    Quote Originally Posted by icehole3 View Post
    Sheldon mustve let his dog poop in your yard


    It must be late. I laughed at this.

    Pay attention to the open sky

  13. #12
    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Mark Sheldon's Inbox

    You guys don't even want to hear about what Sheldon did to my Wheaties.

  14. #13
    No half measures, Walter RedEye's Avatar
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    Re: Mark Sheldon's Inbox

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    Francisco's problem is mostly in the walk column. His Ks have improved over his minor league career. His K rate isn't unusually high for a power hitter. His lack of walks hurt him in K/BB ratios, OBP, OPS and similar categories.

    It's typical for the press and others to say he Ks too much, but the emphasis should be on walks. As for a Dunn comparison, AD hits more home runs and walks far more. JF fans less and perhaps will hit for a higher BA although it is too soon to tell.
    Agreed. I guess I was just trying to defend Sheldon's characterization. It's not perfect, but he is writing for mainstream Reds fans--many of whom don't think about K's the same way we do here.
    "Iíll kind of have a foot on the back of my own butt. Thatís just how I do things.Ē -- Bryan Price, 10/22/2013

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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Mark Sheldon's Inbox

    Quote Originally Posted by camisadelgolf View Post
    Juan Francisco strikes out less than Adam Dunn.
    Francisco in the minors - 23.4% strikeout rate
    Dunn in the minors - 18.2% strikeout rate

    As minor leaguers, Francisco is striking out about 15-20% more than Adam Dunn did. Given his approach, I wouldn't be surprised one bit to see Francisco top 160 K's often if he is actually given long enough at the MLB level to rack up multiple 625 PA seasons.

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    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Mark Sheldon's Inbox

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    As minor leaguers, Francisco is striking out about 15-20% more than Adam Dunn did. Given his approach, I wouldn't be surprised one bit to see Francisco top 160 K's often if he is actually given long enough at the MLB level to rack up multiple 625 PA seasons.
    Uh oh, better get that guy out of here now, I bet he doesn't break his bat over his knee either
    Go Gators!


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