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.
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.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.
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 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.
Juan Francisco strikes out less than Adam Dunn.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.
What exactly are Alonso's multiple options? By the way, Walt Jocketty pretty much said Alonso won't be tried out at catcher.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.