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Thread: 2011 Carolina Mudcats

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    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    2011 Carolina Mudcats

    Overall, it looks like the 2010 Mudcats will be better than 2009 team, but I wouldn't get my hopes up too high. The AA team is certainly the most difficult team to predict, but they're probably only a couple minor league free agents away from being one of the better teams in the league.

    Projected starting lineup:
    CF Felix Perez
    3B Alex Buchholz
    2B Cody Puckett
    1B Neftali Soto
    RF Kyle Day
    C Yasmani Grandal
    LF Josh Fellhauer
    SS Miguel Rojas

    Bench:
    C Kevin Coddington
    IF Jose Castro
    IF Carlos Mendez
    OF Justin Reed

    Starting rotation:
    Matt Fairel
    Scott Carroll
    Jordan Hotchkiss
    Travis Webb
    Dallas Buck/Mark Serrano

    Bullpen:
    Brad Boxberger
    Derrik Lutz
    Drew Bowman
    Scott Gaffney
    Curtis Partch
    Nick Christiani
    Justin Freeman
    Aguido Gonzalez
    Chase Ware
    Donnie Joseph
    Jeff Jeffords

    Catcher: Could we see Grandal in AA so soon? To be honest, I doubt it, but it wouldn't be a complete shock. If it happens, Kevin Coddington would become the backup catcher and Neftali Soto the third catcher. Another scenario I can envision is Chris Denove (or an acquisition similar to Brandon Yarbrough) splitting time with Coddington.

    First base: The Neftali Soto project at catcher isn't officially over, but if he's going to spell Grandal or Coddington, Carlos Mendez would handle first base on the days Soto is catching. Then again, the organization might prefer Eric Eymann (who may leave as a six-year MLFA) or Mike Costanzo. Another possibility is that Chris Richburg could earn a quick promotion.

    Second base: Cody Puckett deserves to get all the consideration here, but he might be moved to a corner position or stuck in Lynchburg if Chris Valaika doesn't make the Major League squad out of spring training. That's because it would most likely result in Jake Kahaulelio repeating AA. Jose Castro may stick around as depth.

    Third base: Alex Buchholz is the favorite, but he could always stay down in Lynchburg or move to the middle infield. If that happens, the job belongs to Eymann, Costanzo, or Mendez, but there's a good chance none of them will be around next year. There are decent odds that Shane Carlson and/or Jose Gualdron could come up to take over Jose Castro's role.

    Shortstop: I expect Miguel Rojas to be the starting shortstop, but if Cozart isn't playing in Cincinnati, that could push Negron back to Carolina. Unless you count Negron, the only other threat to take away playing time from Rojas is Alex Buchholz.

    Outfield: If Dave Sappelt somehow makes the Reds' roster (and it's a possibility now that Dickerson has been traded), we could see Felix Perez replace him in AAA, which would mean that Cody Puckett might have to go to left field (and Fellhauer to center) in order for the Mudcats to field their best possible lineup. I expect a Luis Terrero-type to be signed in the off-season, but if Denis Phipps proves he can hit Southern League pitching, he might push Kyle Day over to left field or serve as Louisville's utility outfielder. I can't emphasize enough how think the organization's mid-minors are in regards to outfielders.

    Starting rotation: Matt Fairel, Scott Carroll, and Jordan Hotchkiss are probably safe bets for the rotation. Mark Serrano hasn't been lights-out in Lynchburg, but he should be good enough to get AA hitters out. Dallas Buck is always a question mark due to injuries, so if he isn't ready to go, Curtis Partch could take his place. Daryl Thompson would be an upgrade over either pitcher, but I suspect he'll leave as a free agent.

    Bullpen: James Avery, Federico Baez, Tom Cochran, Gilbert De La Vara, Jesus Delgado, Scott Gaffney, Jerry Gil, Daniel Guerrero, Ruben Medina, Zach Ward, Abe Woody . . . Any of those guys could come back to Carolina, but all of them are candidates to hang up the spikes. Scott Gaffney, Aguido Gonzalez, Derrik Lutz, and Mace Thurman will all need to prove they're healthy to be considered for spots. The good news is that Donnie Joseph, Chase Ware, and Nick Christiani will make a great trio for the back of the bullpen. That leaves Justin Freeman, who has been nothing short of solid, and Drew Bowman, who has big trouble finding the plate. Also, the AAA team will be so stacked with left-handers (Aroldis Chapman, Daniel Ray Herrera, Jeremy Horst, Ben Jukich, Joe Krebs, Matt Maloney, Lee Tabor, Phil Valiquette, Travis Wood) that someone might be held back. Whatever happens, the Carolina pitching should be improved.
    Last edited by camisadelgolf; 08-27-2010 at 11:41 AM.

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    Member muddie's Avatar
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    Re: 2011 Carolina Mudcats

    Assuming I'm not missing something contract wise, and I haven't missed his name above, where would you put Travis Webb? I would definitely put him ahead of Serrano to begin the season.

    I think the organization needs to take a really good look at what they're going to do with Boxberger and how far they're willing to go with him in the pen. Early on, this doesn't look like a good idea.

    I could stand Brodie Greene at short as well.

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    Re: 2011 Carolina Mudcats

    I think the organization needs to take a really good look at what they're going to do with Boxberger and how far they're willing to go with him in the pen. Early on, this doesn't look like a good idea.
    I can't believe he won't go back to starting. I think they've said as much -- the move to the BP is to keep his innings down, right?
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

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    Re: 2011 Carolina Mudcats

    Man, you had a lot to deal with there. Among the many names to consider were quite a few that I suspect will no longer be with the organization--the likes of Castro, Gualdron, Bowman, Baez, Medina, Woody, Reed, Lutz, Gaffney, Partch, Guerrero, Ward . . . Not that all those guys will be gone, but I'd be surprised if several weren't.

    It'd be nice if Serrano could regain his prospect status. And Buck, of course. Wouldn't you imagine that Boxberger would be returned to the rotation to start the season? Meanwhile, I'm not sure what the logjam will look like at Louisville, but I'd half-expect Carroll to get a shot there. (Although you've probably already done those calculations.)

    Thanks.

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    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: 2011 Carolina Mudcats

    Quote Originally Posted by muddie View Post
    Assuming I'm not missing something contract wise, and I haven't missed his name above, where would you put Travis Webb? I would definitely put him ahead of Serrano to begin the season.

    I think the organization needs to take a really good look at what they're going to do with Boxberger and how far they're willing to go with him in the pen. Early on, this doesn't look like a good idea.

    I could stand Brodie Greene at short as well.
    Whoops. Yeah, I just forgot to copy-and-paste his name. Travis Webb would likely get the nod in the rotation, but his limited success combined with being left-handed might push him to the bullpen at some point.

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    Re: 2011 Carolina Mudcats

    I wonder if Tom Cochran is getting short-shrifted here. Somehow, I don't see him in the bullpen. He's probably not considered a prospect, but he has pitched well enough to be rewarded somehow. Think he gets a shot at Louisville in a Justin Lehr kind of role? Or is it back to Carolina? Or back to the independent leagues?
    Last edited by mace; 08-27-2010 at 12:04 PM.

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    Re: 2011 Carolina Mudcats

    Quote Originally Posted by mace View Post
    I wonder if Tom Cochran is getting short-shrifted here. Somehow, I don't see him in the bullpen. He's probably not considered a prospect, but he has pitched well enough to be rewarded somehow. Think he gets a shot at Louisville in a Justin Lehr kind of role? Or is it back to Carolina? Or back to the independent leagues?
    If I were the Reds, I'd ask him to come back as a starter in AA. If he's not interested, I'd ask him if he'd have interest in the Louisville bullpen. If neither of those interest him, I'd let him walk.

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    Re: 2011 Carolina Mudcats

    Pretty good list. Luttz won't be ready until June at the earliest. Phipps is a free agent, same with Woody, and maybe Castro, not sure.

    I don't know too much about Lynchburg, but from what I've looked at (just stats) everything looks good and about right. I heard that Costanzo is interested in signing back, so that might factor in, in Carolina or Louisville. Also they are likely (from what I've heard) to sign some minor league Free Agents.

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    Re: 2011 Carolina Mudcats

    I'd be shocked if Perez is still in AA to start next season. He could very well be the 5th OF in Cincy, but more than likely he'll be at Louisville.

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    Re: 2011 Carolina Mudcats

    Quote Originally Posted by mac624 View Post
    I'd be shocked if Perez is still in AA to start next season. He could very well be the 5th OF in Cincy, but more than likely he'll be at Louisville.
    He's raw, and I'm sure the Reds want him getting plenty of at-bats. If Sappelt is in Cincinnati, it paves the way for Perez to be the everyday center fielder in Louisville. Otherwise, he would likely need to play a corner outfield spot to be promoted.

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    Re: 2011 Carolina Mudcats

    Quote Originally Posted by mac624 View Post
    I'd be shocked if Perez is still in AA to start next season. He could very well be the 5th OF in Cincy, but more than likely he'll be at Louisville.
    Perez has a lot to prove at AA, seriously. I would imagine he will be in Carolina to start next season.

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    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: 2011 Carolina Mudcats

    Quote Originally Posted by muddie View Post
    Perez has a lot to prove at AA, seriously. I would imagine he will be in Carolina to start next season.
    I agree with mac. I'll be shocked if Perez isn't at least in AAA. If Perez starts in Carolina, I'd imagine it will be for only a few weeks.
    "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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    Re: 2011 Carolina Mudcats

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus the Pimp View Post
    I agree with mac. I'll be shocked if Perez isn't at least in AAA. If Perez starts in Carolina, I'd imagine it will be for only a few weeks.
    I'm a Felix Perez fan but...

    since arriving in Carolina he has struck out 19 times and walked 4 times.

    His OBP% is .321 and his SLG% is .340. In Lynchburg the kid hit .338. At Carolina Perez has hit .258 to date. He hasn't even found a permanent spot in the batting order yet.

    I'm not seeing a justification for Perez starting in Louisville next year. His BA has dropped at each level this year, which is totally reasonable but still has to be considered in such a short span of time. The kid has moved up three levels to date. I think Perez should start in Carolina next year barring a winter showing that is over the top. If he starts in Louisville there is probably more going on than this guys performance alone.

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    Et tu, Brutus? Brutus's Avatar
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    Re: 2011 Carolina Mudcats

    Quote Originally Posted by muddie View Post
    I'm a Felix Perez fan but...

    since arriving in Carolina he has struck out 19 times and walked 4 times.

    His OBP% is .321 and his SLG% is .340. In Lynchburg the kid hit .338. At Carolina Perez has hit .258 to date. He hasn't even found a permanent spot in the batting order yet.

    I'm not seeing a justification for Perez starting in Louisville next year. His BA has dropped at each level this year, which is totally reasonable but still has to be considered in such a short span of time. The kid has moved up three levels to date. I think Perez should start in Carolina next year barring a winter showing that is over the top. If he starts in Louisville there is probably more going on than this guys performance alone.
    The Reds signed him to be a quick mover, though. Based on performance, I agree he's probably not ready to be bumped up. But given his age and reputation, I think the Reds are going to try to fast track him.
    "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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    Re: 2011 Carolina Mudcats

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus the Pimp View Post
    The Reds signed him to be a quick mover, though. Based on performance, I agree he's probably not ready to be bumped up. But given his age and reputation, I think the Reds are going to try to fast track him.


    Like I said, I'm a fan of the kid. Hope he can keep up with the promotions.


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