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Thread: Realigning the positions at AAA?

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    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Realigning the positions at AAA?

    2012 will bring the next wave of Reds to the point of really pushing for a roster spot. Francisco, Alonso, Mesoraco, Frazier, Sappelt, Cozart and Valaika all will probably be ready to play in Cincy by 2012. In order to carve out some roles on the Reds, some positional movement might be needed. The Reds probably will move on from Renteria, Gomes, Lewis, Hernandez and maybe Cairo to make some room. The team even needs to make a decision on Brandon Phillips after 2011. In preparation, the Reds should probably get these guys lots of time in positions where they will be more valuable in the roles opening up in Cincy.

    Alonso could be a huge boost to this team if he can play LF to get his bat in the line-up. IMO, he should play left almost every day in AAA. No sense playing him much at 1B IMO.

    Francisco's future is probably as one of those corner IF types who adds power as a cripple shooter who can bash certain pitching but is overmatched by other types. Defensively, its doubtful he would be tolerable every day at 3B. His role is probably as a guy who plays a little 3B, a little 1B and pinch hits in spots. He's played enough 3B. I'd stick him at 1B while Alonso is learning the OF.

    Frazier's best opportunity to be an every day guy who can be an asset both offensively and defensively at his position is as a 3B. The Reds really should give him a year where he does this day-in, day-out. Its a different circumstance than spot play and I really think he needs to be evaluated as an every day guy there. By 2012, Rolen will need frequent caddying and a replacement for 2013 needs to be all lined up.

    Cozart and Valaika will probably compete to replace Renteria. Cozart is clearly the SS of the two, but if either is to make the team, they'll need to be able to spot in at both positions. They should probably flip flop between 2B and SS a bit and even spot in at 3b once in a while. Negron figures in here at both spots as well. They should probably give Valaika time in the OF too.

    Sappelt is way more valuable as a centerfielder than as a corner guy and he clearly has the range. His arm has been the issue but it seemed to stregthen in 2010. He should play CF exclusively in 2011 IMO and give the team a good read on how well that arm will do.

    Chris Heisey may very well be headed back to AAA if the Reds choose to add another lefty on the bench (Hermida or less likely Francisco or Alonso). If Alonso and Bruce are manning the corners and forming two thirds of the meat of the order to go with Votto, then a good 4th OF who hits RH and can play plus defense in both spots is real valuable. Heisey should probably play both positions a lot. I'd even give him a little time backing up at 1B on occassion. If it was good enough for Jim Edmonds...

    Mesoraco is the man at catcher and should play and pick Corky's brain as much as possible.

    I hope the Reds push the envelope with these guys to get them ready. Filling the bench and replacing the weaker starters with cheap kids instead of pricey vets is the best way to keep this core together as long as possible. Moving on from Renteria, Ramon, Lewis and Gomes and backfilling with kids can shave about $7 Million from the payroll. The team will need it as raises kick in and more kids head toward arb. Add that to what might be saved in the pen in 2012 and keeping Phillips until Hamilton is fully cooked might be possible. If Louisville's line-up routinely has Alonso at 1B, Francisco at 3B and Frazier in LF, its a really bad decision IMO.
    Last edited by mth123; 02-19-2011 at 09:02 AM.
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  3. #2
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    Re: Realigning the positions at AAA?

    I don't see Hermida as much of a lock as everyone else. He had a really, really bad 2010 with the Red Sox and A's. He's not on the 40, and Heisey played really well last year. I think Hermida will start in Louisville and have an outfield of Gomes, Stubbs, Bruce with Lewis and Heisey as the backups.

    That being said, if Yonder plays left then an outfield of Yonder, Sapp and Hermida is very likely for the Bats.

    The biggest thing is what will they do with Frazier and Francisco. They will ultimately have to make a concrete position on the two since they are both at the same level. If one was in Double-A and one was in Triple-A then they could both play third, but there isn't enough playing time for the two if they are at the same position. There is a chance, depending on how things shake out, and injuries, that Francisco could begin the year in the big leagues as the lefty off the bench. Is that the best option for the Reds and Francisco as far as development, probably not, but it's still something that may happen and to think about.
    If Yonder is going to play left and Frazier and Francisco man the corners (third and first,) then that likely puts Dorn as a backup outfielder/backup first baseman.
    Also, I see the middle infield as Cozart and Val at short and second, respectively. I do not think that the Reds would want Negrón as bench player in Louisville and will go back to Carolina to play second with either Jake or Puckett.
    It's honestly way too early to speculate on what will happen because so many things could alter what the Reds envision. By the final couple of weeks, however, we may have more of a better idea of who is going where.

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    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Realigning the positions at AAA?

    I think Frazier needs to play 3B every day. Period. Moving around from position to position is nice and all, but its not the same. The only way to really make a judgement on him at 3B is to let him play there for a year.

    As far as Francisco goes, I keep reading how he needs to play every day at AAA to help him develop. I don't see it. His primary problems are hs free swinging ways and his XXL body. He's been playing 3B from the start, so his defense probably isn't going to get any better (and he's not going to get any smaller). As for the bat, he's already got an OPS of over .900 in 428 PAs in AAA. Going down there and beating up on the same crummy pitchers isn't going to refine his approach one bit IMO. He's better served facing better pitchers in the big leagues and figuring out that his current approach won't always work. He's had success in AAA. More time there is simply going to reinforce what he's already doing. Its really a question of whether he's better than Cairo for the major league team. I think its no contest. Cairo isn't close.

    The only thing Francisco can gain at AAA is some reps at 1b. I imagine if he wants to have a career, he'll have to be able to play there. I think the Reds can gain a lot by having him caddy for Rolen. He can get his 1B reps in wnter ball.
    "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: Realigning the positions at AAA?

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    As far as Francisco goes, I keep reading how he needs to play every day at AAA to help him develop. I don't see it. His primary problems are hs free swinging ways and his XXL body. He's been playing 3B from the start, so his defense probably isn't going to get any better (and he's not going to get any smaller). As for the bat, he's already got an OPS of over .900 in 428 PAs in AAA. Going down there and beating up on the same crummy pitchers isn't going to refine his approach one bit IMO. He's better served facing better pitchers in the big leagues and figuring out that his current approach won't always work. He's had success in AAA. More time there is simply going to reinforce what he's already doing. Its really a question of whether he's better than Cairo for the major league team. I think its no contest. Cairo isn't close.

    The only thing Francisco can gain at AAA is some reps at 1b. I imagine if he wants to have a career, he'll have to be able to play there. I think the Reds can gain a lot by having him caddy for Rolen. He can get his 1B reps in wnter ball.
    You haven't watched Francisco the last two years in AAA have you? He clearly learned a lot over that time, despite beating up on those same crummy pitchers. He has more to learn and can do so in AAA.

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    Re: Realigning the positions at AAA?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    You haven't watched Francisco the last two years in AAA have you? He clearly learned a lot over that time, despite beating up on those same crummy pitchers. He has more to learn and can do so in AAA.
    Doug--do you think Francisco can play every day at 3b in the majors? If so, then it seems to me they should just keep spotting Frazier around and probably look to deal him. If there's no hope of JF ever playing major league caliber defense at 3b, then I think they ought to install TF at 3rd in L'ville until they can make the judgment whether he can play it or not (if they haven't already made that judgment, which I suspect they may have).

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    Re: Realigning the positions at AAA?

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    2012 will bring the next wave of Reds to the point of really pushing for a roster spot. Francisco, Alonso, Mesoraco, Frazier, Sappelt, Cozart and Valaika all will probably be ready to play in Cincy by 2012. In order to carve out some roles on the Reds, some positional movement might be needed. The Reds probably will move on from Renteria, Gomes, Lewis, Hernandez and maybe Cairo to make some room. The team even needs to make a decision on Brandon Phillips after 2011. In preparation, the Reds should probably get these guys lots of time in positions where they will be more valuable in the roles opening up in Cincy.

    Alonso could be a huge boost to this team if he can play LF to get his bat in the line-up. IMO, he should play left almost every day in AAA. No sense playing him much at 1B IMO.

    Francisco's future is probably as one of those corner IF types who adds power as a cripple shooter who can bash certain pitching but is overmatched by other types. Defensively, its doubtful he would be tolerable every day at 3B. His role is probably as a guy who plays a little 3B, a little 1B and pinch hits in spots. He's played enough 3B. I'd stick him at 1B while Alonso is learning the OF.

    Frazier's best opportunity to be an every day guy who can be an asset both offensively and defensively at his position is as a 3B. The Reds really should give him a year where he does this day-in, day-out. Its a different circumstance than spot play and I really think he needs to be evaluated as an every day guy there. By 2012, Rolen will need frequent caddying and a replacement for 2013 needs to be all lined up.

    Cozart and Valaika will probably compete to replace Renteria. Cozart is clearly the SS of the two, but if either is to make the team, they'll need to be able to spot in at both positions. They should probably flip flop between 2B and SS a bit and even spot in at 3b once in a while. Negron figures in here at both spots as well. They should probably give Valaika time in the OF too.

    Sappelt is way more valuable as a centerfielder than as a corner guy and he clearly has the range. His arm has been the issue but it seemed to stregthen in 2010. He should play CF exclusively in 2011 IMO and give the team a good read on how well that arm will do.

    Chris Heisey may very well be headed back to AAA if the Reds choose to add another lefty on the bench (Hermida or less likely Francisco or Alonso). If Alonso and Bruce are manning the corners and forming two thirds of the meat of the order to go with Votto, then a good 4th OF who hits RH and can play plus defense in both spots is real valuable. Heisey should probably play both positions a lot. I'd even give him a little time backing up at 1B on occassion. If it was good enough for Jim Edmonds...

    Mesoraco is the man at catcher and should play and pick Corky's brain as much as possible.

    I hope the Reds push the envelope with these guys to get them ready. Filling the bench and replacing the weaker starters with cheap kids instead of pricey vets is the best way to keep this core together as long as possible. Moving on from Renteria, Ramon, Lewis and Gomes and backfilling with kids can shave about $7 Million from the payroll. The team will need it as raises kick in and more kids head toward arb. Add that to what might be saved in the pen in 2012 and keeping Phillips until Hamilton is fully cooked might be possible. If Louisville's line-up routinely has Alonso at 1B, Francisco at 3B and Frazier in LF, its a really bad decision IMO.
    Couldn't agree more with the original post
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    Re: Realigning the positions at AAA?

    Quote Originally Posted by HokieRed View Post
    Doug--do you think Francisco can play every day at 3b in the majors? If so, then it seems to me they should just keep spotting Frazier around and probably look to deal him. If there's no hope of JF ever playing major league caliber defense at 3b, then I think they ought to install TF at 3rd in L'ville until they can make the judgment whether he can play it or not (if they haven't already made that judgment, which I suspect they may have).
    I am all for lining up Alonso in LF, Frazier at 3B and Francisco at 1B in Louisville.

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    Re: Realigning the positions at AAA?

    If Francisco would drop some weight, he'd be fine at the hot corner. His arm and footwork are both very good. It's his range that's poor. And that's bad because of his pear-shaped body.

    He needs to be kept on a tight leash, IMO, but kept at 3B. A 280/300/525 line is just fine as a 3B (assuming average D). As a 1B, it's beyond poor.

    As to Frazier, why move him full time to third? Why not take full advantage of his versatility and move him around the diamond wherever he could help? I'd love to see him play a Tony Phillips-style role on the Reds in 2012, playing 10-20 games at six positions.

    As for positioning in Louisville, how about:

    1. Sappelt CF/ LF
    2. Valaika 2B/SS
    3. Alonso LF/1B/DH
    4. Frazier OF/IF
    5. Dorn 1B/OF/DH
    6. Mesoraco C
    7. Barton/ Hermida/ Heisey OF
    8. Cozart SS
    9. Negron DH/MI

    I know it's unorthodox and not likely to help the team win, but the trio of Negron, Cozart, and Valaika should play the middle infield among them, splitting the time just about equally. Add in Frazier to that spot as well, but have him roam all over, aside from CF and C. (I'd even try him at SS some, with Negron and Valaika/ Cozart at 2B and 3B for help defensively.)

    Speaking of all over, Dorn would play three of the four corner spots and DH on occasion. Sappelt would get time in both CF and LF, and Barton, Hermida, and/or Heisey would play the majority of RF (though two of those three could also play CF in a pinch).

    No one would have a set position across the diamond, though everyone would know multiple spots. The defense would likely be brutal most nights, though, with that lineup, it wouldn't matter much. (The pitching, too, looks really good. But brittle.)

    Repetition, at this point in their respective careers-- especially in-game-- is overrated completely.
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    Re: Realigning the positions at AAA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    If Francisco would drop some weight, he'd be fine at the hot corner. His arm and footwork are both very good. It's his range that's poor. And that's bad because of his pear-shaped body.

    He needs to be kept on a tight leash, IMO, but kept at 3B. A 280/300/525 line is just fine as a 3B (assuming average D). As a 1B, it's beyond poor.
    A .300 OBP is just fine?

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    Re: Realigning the positions at AAA?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I am all for lining up Alonso in LF, Frazier at 3B and Francisco at 1B in Louisville.

    Ditto.

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    Re: Realigning the positions at AAA?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    A .300 OBP is just fine?
    As a 3B, that 825 OPS would rank 8th in all of baseball and fourth in the National League, doug. I'd take that even with the 300 obp.
    "You can learn little from victory. You can learn everything from defeat."
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    Re: Realigning the positions at AAA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    As a 3B, that 825 OPS would rank 8th in all of baseball and fourth in the National League, doug. I'd take that even with the 300 obp.
    In scenarios like that, at the extremes, OPS isn't exactly a good way to look at ones value. A .350/.475 line is a lot more valuable than a .300/.525 line despite both being an .825 OPS.

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    Re: Realigning the positions at AAA?

    Francisco's OBP was 39 points higher than his BA in 308 ABs in AAA last year. I don't see any reason to think it would be lowered to only 20 points higher. In fact, I would think it would be higher than 40. His improvement has been constant and not trivial.

    The final offensive hump he needs to get over is his apparent disdain for taking a base on balls.

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    Re: Realigning the positions at AAA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post
    If Francisco would drop some weight, he'd be fine at the hot corner. His arm and footwork are both very good. It's his range that's poor. And that's bad because of his pear-shaped body.

    He needs to be kept on a tight leash, IMO, but kept at 3B. A 280/300/525 line is just fine as a 3B (assuming average D). As a 1B, it's beyond poor.

    As to Frazier, why move him full time to third? Why not take full advantage of his versatility and move him around the diamond wherever he could help? I'd love to see him play a Tony Phillips-style role on the Reds in 2012, playing 10-20 games at six positions.

    As for positioning in Louisville, how about:

    1. Sappelt CF/ LF
    2. Valaika 2B/SS
    3. Alonso LF/1B/DH
    4. Frazier OF/IF
    5. Dorn 1B/OF/DH
    6. Mesoraco C
    7. Barton/ Hermida/ Heisey OF
    8. Cozart SS
    9. Negron DH/MI

    I know it's unorthodox and not likely to help the team win, but the trio of Negron, Cozart, and Valaika should play the middle infield among them, splitting the time just about equally. Add in Frazier to that spot as well, but have him roam all over, aside from CF and C. (I'd even try him at SS some, with Negron and Valaika/ Cozart at 2B and 3B for help defensively.)

    Speaking of all over, Dorn would play three of the four corner spots and DH on occasion. Sappelt would get time in both CF and LF, and Barton, Hermida, and/or Heisey would play the majority of RF (though two of those three could also play CF in a pinch).

    No one would have a set position across the diamond, though everyone would know multiple spots. The defense would likely be brutal most nights, though, with that lineup, it wouldn't matter much. (The pitching, too, looks really good. But brittle.)

    Repetition, at this point in their respective careers-- especially in-game-- is overrated completely.
    My problem with this Scrap is that we've done this already. We've done the positional merry-go-round. We need to see what these kids can do at SETTLED positions. Versatility is great, but stability is better for a players development. We need to see how Alonso's defense is in left and that'll only happen with regular reps there. For Frazier, he needs a settled position so he can focus more on his bat. Same for many others. Stability is a factor that's drastically overlooked by many.
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    99-63 WS champs (Cards take 2nd WC, Mil 3rd, Pit 4th, Chi 5th)
    Bruce/Votto neck and neck MVP race (neither takes it)
    Bailey CYA winner
    Hamilton ROY & GG

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    Re: Realigning the positions at AAA?

    Frazier played third today.

    Just thought I'd mention it.


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