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Thread: Youth, veterans and hope

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    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Youth, veterans and hope

    Youth, veterans and hope
    Jocketty, Baker look to mold solid 25-man team in Arizona
    By John Fay • jfay@enquirer.com • February 13, 2010

    A replay of the 2006 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox was playing.

    “I watched some of it,” he said. “Aaron Miles played well in that series.”

    Miles, of course, is one of the two players the Reds added in the same day two weeks ago. The other, Orlando Cabrera, also has postseason experience. That’s not a coincidence.

    Nor is it coincidence that the player the Reds added at the trade deadline, Scott Rolen, also has postseason success on his résumé.

    The Reds will open spring training Thursday at Goodyear with a mostly young roster. But that hasn’t stopped them from adding veterans to help show the youngsters how to win.

    The Reds were able to add a starting shortstop (Cabrera) and probably their top bench player (Miles) without adding significant payroll because Willy Taveras’ $4 million salary was moved in the deal that brought Miles from Oakland.

    “I think it was a chance to add two guys with postseason experience,” Jocketty said. “Miles had an off year last year. But he’s a good player. He’s a winning player. So is Cabrera. They’ve been through it.”

    The Reds were buoyed by the success after Rolen came to club last year, via trade from Toronto. Rolen was injured in his second game with the Reds. But after he recovered and returned from the disabled list, the team went 27-13.

    By adding Cabrera the Reds answered the question at shortstop. Before Cabrera signed the Reds were relying on Paul Janish, who hit .211 last year, without a real backup plan.

    Miles, who can play infield and outfield, adds depth. That’s key because injuries derailed the Reds last season.

    The Reds go into spring with things pretty set. Seven of eight everyday spots are spoken for: Joey Votto at first base, Brandon Phillips at second, Cabrera at shortstop, Rolen at third, Jay Bruce in right field and Drew Stubbs in center.

    Aaron Harang, Bronson Arroyo, Homer Bailey and Johnny Cueto will make four-fifths of the rotation.

    The bullpen is all but set with closer Francisco Cordero, setup men Nick Masset, Arthur Rhodes and Jared Burton. Daniel Ray Herrera established him last year. Mike Lincoln, provided he’s healthy after disc surgery, and Micah Owings will likely round out the relief corps.

    There are still questions going into spring. Chiefly, who plays left field and who will be in the fifth spot.

    “(Those positions) are wide open,” Jocketty said. “We hope that competition brings out the best in guys.”

    Reds manager Dusty Baker, entering the third and final year on his contract, goes into spring with an open mind as far as left field and the fifth spot.

    “Not many teams have their 25-man roster set,” Baker said. “If you did, spring training would be very interesting.”

    Left field and the fifth spot are similar in that the list of candidates is long without a clear favorite.

    Chris Dickerson is the favorite to win the left field job. He played well for the most part in his first extended time in the big leagues last year. His .370 on-base percentage was impressive.

    Three of Reds’ top prospects – Todd Frazier, Chris Heisey and Juan Francisco – will be competing for the left field job as well.

    Heisey is the only one with extensive outfield experience. Frazier and Heisey are right-handed hitters, so they conceivably could be platooned with the left-handed hitting Dickerson.

    Laynce Nix, who hit 15 home runs in 307 at-bats last year, and Wladimir Balentien, a one-time top prospect, are in the mix as well.

    Right-hander Justin Lehr and left-hander Matt Maloney are probably co-favorites for the fifth starter spot, based on their success with the Reds late last season.

    Aroldis Chapman, the 22-year-old Cuban the Reds signed for $30.25 million, and last year’s minor league pitcher of the year, Travis Wood, are in the mix for the fifth spot as well. Both are left-handed.

    Last year’s top pick, Mike Leake, will be in camp as well.

    Owings and Lincoln are scheduled to begin camp in the rotation.

    “”I’ve got to talk to Dusty and (pitching coach) Bryan Price,” Jocketty said. “We’ve got to make sure we’ve got enough innings for all these guys.”

    Despite adding the veterans, the Reds’ success or lack thereof will hinge on the young players.

    There’s a chance that no one in the outfield will have more than one year’s big league experience.

    “We’re still a very young club,” Jocketty said. “It helps to have some veteran experience to lead the way.”

    http://news.cincinnati.com/article/2...erans+and+hope

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    Member Ron Madden's Avatar
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    Re: Youth, veterans and hope

    Thanks for posting the article OBM.


    I have a few questions for those who place a lot of stock in post season experience.

    What is it that makes these guys winners?

    Is the 25th man on a World Series Championship team more valuable than the 25th man on the club his team just defeated in seven hard fought games?

    I might just be feeling old and grumpy but I've grown tired of players being labled as winners just because they rode the coat tails of talented teammates to a World Championship.

    I've grown tired of Owners, GMs, Managers and Beat Writers telling me a guy "knows how to win" just because he was in the right place at the right time.

    If post season experience is so valuable, why don't we have more repeat WS winners?



    In my humble opinion anyone who makes it to the Big Leagues knows how to win. There are a few of'em in the HOF who never won the World Series or even played in the fall classic.
    Last edited by Ron Madden; 02-14-2010 at 02:44 AM.

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    Socratic Gadfly TheNext44's Avatar
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    Re: Youth, veterans and hope

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Madden View Post
    Thanks for posting the article OBM.


    I have a few questions for those who place a lot of stock in post season experience.

    What is it that makes these guys winners?

    Is the 25th man on a World Series Championship team more valuable than the 25th man on the club his team just defeated in seven hard fought games?

    I might just be feeling old and grumpy but I've grown tired of players being labled as winners just because they rode the coat tails of talented teammates to a World Championship.

    I've grown tired of Owners, GMs, Managers and Beat Writers telling me a guy "knows how to win" just because he was in the right place at the right time.

    If post season experience is so valuable, why don't we have more repeat WS winners?



    In my humble opinion anyone who makes it to the Big Leagues knows how to win. There are a few of'em in the HOF who never won the World Series or even played in the fall classic.

    For the most part I agree. Playing on a team that makes it to the post season is not a strong reflection of a players ability. But I do think that players that have played in the post season do bring something valuable to a club. They have been through it before, and that's a lot.

    There is no way to learn what that experience is like, other than by playing in the big games. I have seen many players on many different teams not be able to handle the pressure of a pennant race or the playoffs at first, only to strive in them their second and third time around.

    I think that any player that has been through a tough pennant race or played in the playoffs at the very least can help players who have not dealt with such situations when they do arise. Of course, the fact that these players have been to the playoffs will do very little in helping a team get there, but I think they are very valuable to the team when it does.
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge." -- Albert Einstein

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    Member Ron Madden's Avatar
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    Re: Youth, veterans and hope

    Quote Originally Posted by TheNext44 View Post
    For the most part I agree. Playing on a team that makes it to the post season is not a strong reflection of a players ability. But I do think that players that have played in the post season do bring something valuable to a club. They have been through it before, and that's a lot.

    There is no way to learn what that experience is like, other than by playing in the big games. I have seen many players on many different teams not be able to handle the pressure of a pennant race or the playoffs at first, only to strive in them their second and third time around.

    I think that any player that has been through a tough pennant race or played in the playoffs at the very least can help players who have not dealt with such situations when they do arise. Of course, the fact that these players have been to the playoffs will do very little in helping a team get there, but I think they are very valuable to the team when it does.
    If there is no way for Jay Bruce to learn what the experience of playing in those games are like other than to play in them, what the heck is Aaron Miles or Orlando Cabera going to tell him or show him?

    No offense to you, but I just can't see the value in carrying guys like Miles on the 25 man roster, post season experience or not.

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    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Youth, veterans and hope

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Madden View Post
    Thanks for posting the article OBM.


    I have a few questions for those who place a lot of stock in post season experience.

    What is it that makes these guys winners?

    Is the 25th man on a World Series Championship team more valuable than the 25th man on the club his team just defeated in seven hard fought games?

    I might just be feeling old and grumpy but I've grown tired of players being labled as winners just because they rode the coat tails of talented teammates to a World Championship.

    I've grown tired of Owners, GMs, Managers and Beat Writers telling me a guy "knows how to win" just because he was in the right place at the right time.

    If post season experience is so valuable, why don't we have more repeat WS winners?



    In my humble opinion anyone who makes it to the Big Leagues knows how to win. There are a few of'em in the HOF who never won the World Series or even played in the fall classic.

    Amen.

    Willy Taveras had been to the post-season with both Houston and Colorado and he was a huge drag on this team's ability to win. Expect similar "contributions" from Miles in 2010.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

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    Re: Youth, veterans and hope

    Miles is a solid bench player, who by all accounts is a good guy and to me the postseason experienece is just a bonus. It's not like we are taking a bad veteran player and pushing aside a young star just because the veteran has postseason experience. We have to have solid bench guys and you dont want to put a young guy on the bench who could be getting at bats so a guy like Aaron Miles is exactly what you want. Good pickup by Jocketty, he dumped the worthless taveras and got something that at least has some value to the team.

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    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Youth, veterans and hope

    Quote Originally Posted by dunner13 View Post
    Miles is a solid bench player, who by all accounts is a good guy and to me the postseason experienece is just a bonus. It's not like we are taking a bad veteran player and pushing aside a young star just because the veteran has postseason experience. We have to have solid bench guys and you dont want to put a young guy on the bench who could be getting at bats so a guy like Aaron Miles is exactly what you want. Good pickup by Jocketty, he dumped the worthless taveras and got something that at least has some value to the team.
    Disagree. The A's thought that Adam Rosales was enough of an upgrade that they were willing to take Taveras, eat his $4 Million and cut him immediately. This is the same Adam Rosales (who I like btw) that most people thought didn't have a chance to make the opening day roster in Cincy yet a well respected major league GM thought he was enough of an upgrade that he was willing to flush $1.3 Million to dump Miles for him.

    Miles has a career OPS of .678 with only his career year of 2008 above .700. His On Base average is a woeful .322 only to be outdone by his awful .356 slugging percentage. He's the IF version of Willy Taveras minus the Steals and the speed to offset his poor defense. Defensively he's average at best at 2B and its his best position. He does have enough versatility to be below average at a lot of positions so he has that going for him.

    Drew Sutton or even some one like Valiaka or some out of options player with a little upside who gets sent down by another team at the end of spring would be a better use of the roster spot.
    Last edited by mth123; 02-14-2010 at 10:00 AM.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

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    Re: Youth, veterans and hope

    If Miles is the player he was in 08, he's an excellent pickup. If he's the 09 Miles, he won't help.

    I'll wait and see.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

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    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Youth, veterans and hope

    Quote Originally Posted by lollipopcurve View Post
    If Miles is the player he was in 08, he's an excellent pickup. If he's the 09 Miles, he won't help.

    I'll wait and see.
    If He's the 04, 05, 06 or 07 Miles he won't help either. Seems unlikely that 08 is who he'll be given his other 5 years of crummy. If so, its a nice bonus.

    Dealing for Miles was probably still worth doing to save some of Willy's wasted cash, but his presence is more of another poor consequence of the awful Taveras signing than it was a good acquisition to help the team. I just hope they will be willing to cut him loose to let better guys play. Maybe he'll stick around for a while to help keep the service time down for some one like Frazier or Cozart, but if some one looks like they are ready for a look, I hope the team is willing to cut bait.
    Last edited by mth123; 02-14-2010 at 10:32 AM.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS

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    Re: Youth, veterans and hope

    My hope is they DFA Miles in spring training, but it sounds like Jocketty likes him a lot so he'll probably be on the Opening Day roster. I'd rather have Sutton on the roster. He was better than Miles last year in a small sample size, and he actually provides some upside.

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    Re: Youth, veterans and hope

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    If He's the 04, 05, 06 or 07 Miles he won't help either. Seems unlikely that 08 is who he'll be given his other 5 years of crummy. If so, its a nice bonus.

    Dealing for Miles was probably still worth doing to save some of Willy's wasted cash, but his presence is more of another poor consequence of the awful Taveras signing than it was a good acquisition to help the team. I just hope they will be willing to cut him loose to let better guys play. Maybe he'll stick around for a while to help keep the service time down for some one like Frazier or Cozart, but if some one looks like they are ready for a look, I hope the team is willing to cut bait.
    Yep. I think it was worth it to rid the Reds of some of Willy's salary considerations though.
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

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    Re: Youth, veterans and hope

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    My hope is they DFA Miles in spring training, but it sounds like Jocketty likes him a lot so he'll probably be on the Opening Day roster. I'd rather have Sutton on the roster. He was better than Miles last year in a small sample size, and he actually provides some upside.
    Actually, it's Miles who has the upside. He's been a major league starter and once had an OPS of over .750 (2008). I remember him as a very effective player although without power.

    I have no way of knowing if Miles is capable of a .700 plus OPS again, but I think the Reds made a good trade to get him. He's a veteran backup who will almost certainly make the Reds. Janish and Sutton will compete for the last spot.
    Last edited by Kc61; 02-14-2010 at 12:09 PM.

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    Re: Youth, veterans and hope

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    Actually, it's Miles who has the upside. He's been a major league starter and once had an OPS of over .750 (2008). I remember him as a very effective player although without power.

    I have no way of knowing if Miles is capable of a .700 plus OPS again, but I think the Reds made a good trade to get him. He's a veteran backup who will almost certainly make the Reds. Janish and Sutton will compete for the last spot.
    Actually, Miles has very little upside. He's got a career OPS of .678 with just one season above .700, and his minor league OPS is only .734. Sutton, OTOH, has an .820 OPS in the minors and is younger. Give me the younger guy with upside over the 33-year old with a career .678 OPS.

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    Re: Youth, veterans and hope

    i like the makeup of this team with the youth and vets. miles is no concern for me. if he is good thats a bonus. the fact he can play the infield and outfield trumps willy t. how much do you really expect him to play anyways? he is a backup and thats it. dusty gave taveras start after start. i'm not worried about miles unless he's given the left field job or the fifth spot in the rotation.
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    Re: Youth, veterans and hope

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    Actually, Miles has very little upside. He's got a career OPS of .678 with just one season above .700, and his minor league OPS is only .734. Sutton, OTOH, has an .820 OPS in the minors and is younger. Give me the younger guy with upside over the 33-year old with a career .678 OPS.

    Rosales and Sutton had the good minor league numbers. Where did that lead last year? Again, are we going to experience another year of tryout camp?

    Miles has upside in the sense of being able to maintain a major league job and contribute. He was a starter for the Cards. Reds only need him as a backup.

    I like Sutton, hope he gets a role or is at AAA ready to come up.

    But Miles serves the role of experienced backup. Reds needed that.


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