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Thread: 2011 looking back, September callups and looking forward to 2012

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    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    2011 looking back, September callups and looking forward to 2012

    I thought about starting this thread at the end of the year, but with 7 players called up now seemed like a better time. It allows for some guessing for this month and what that might mean for next year.

    Clearly 2011 was a disappointment. And as much as some want to blame Dusty, I'll heap more blame on Jocketty. Gomes and Lewis were not inspired signings, and though Lewis was very good off the bench, as a starter, well not so much. I've grown to really like Miguel Cairo. nice bat off the bench. Renteria? blech. I was one of those that thought Janish could handle SS. defensively? yes. but his bat has completely vanished even by his standards. Losing Cozart to TJ surgery was a big setback. fortunately it's his glove arm, so he's expected back to full baseball activity in about 2-3 months from now.

    Another Walt failing was in how he handled Arroyo this year. Arroyo should have been DL'd with fatigue at some point. Probably twice in fact. LeCure could have handled a few spot starts, say three during each DL trip Arroyo would have made. It isn't like we don't KNOW mono can affect a persons energy levels for up to a year or more. Bronson's velocity is down, his FB is sitting at like 84-86 and is straight as a pin the few times I have seen him. I'd say this year's version of Arroyo cost the Reds 8 wins. He's been awful, he's untradeable, and he's not pitching like he's being paid.

    Rolen broke down. Shocking that a 36 year old 3B with a chronic injury history might break down. And now a shoulder injury. ugh. He's done. Look, I like him. I think he should be the primary backup at 3B next year, with one of the kids handling the fulltime duties. But that ain't gonna happen. I'd say a .750ish OPS with excellent defense in about 120 games is the most we as fans can hope for realistically. In case you think he can do more, here is the list of 37 year old 3B and their numbers for 2010: http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/batting...d/falseI'd hope everyone hopes someone beats him out for the job in 2012.

    So here we sit. September 1. It's like spring training. Mesoraco, Sappelt, Heisey, Alonso, Frazier, Francisco. We all believe Mesoraco is the starter at C next year with Hernandez likely gone to FA. If so I see no real change in duties as far as PT goes. Dusty will use his two catchers in tandem. It works. Hanigan will get more starts than Mes in 2012. Mes gets to learn how to be a better receiver, better game caller and he eases in to life as a MLB player. If all goes well the roles reverse either by the ASB or the start of the 2013 season.

    That leaves 5 guys at minimum vying for two spots. The best defender at 3B is Frazier. He may have the weakest bat of the three potential candidates to replace Rolen, but his overall value as a player might be the highest. Read some articles about Frazier from when he was with Dayton. He'll solidify a very good defense on the left side (Cozart is no Janish, but is still a good defender, Janish will likely be the backup at SS, 3B and 2B). He's been considered a clubhouse leader at every level. He's my choice to replace Rolen. He's the oldest prospect the Reds have with any shot to be a contributor, but I think his bat is underrated.

    LF is problematic in that CF is a problem too. If the Reds think Sappelt is the guy, then Stubbs has to be dealt with. If they think it is Alonso or Francisco, then you can put Sappelt in CF. Heisey can man any of the three OF positions, and would be a good CF as well. Stubbs is the best defender out there. He's better than Bruce. His arm might be a tick under Jay's, but he more than makes up for it in range.

    He just can't hit. He has the tools. He does not have the skills. The Reds have jerked him around so much he has no idea of how to hit. His power potential is that of a Jay Bruce. Did you know Stubbs was 3rd on the Reds in HR's last year? 4th in SLG among regulars, but 168 K's COUPLED with low walk total, 55 last year hurt his OBP. He's on pace for 212 K's and 59 BB's. he has 50 BB's now. I think 59 is optimistic. I don't care about the K's too much, but he needs to walk 80+ times a year. At least 80. He's hovering at a .700 OPS right now. Now ask yourself this: does Drew Stubbs, with a sub .700 OPS and a SB% at 81% have value even with his defense? He is on pace to score 100 runs, which is a testament to not only the guys hitting behind him, but his speed as well. Stubbs is in scoring position at 1B. Last year I called him Adam Dunn Lite. Lots of K's, about half Dunn's power, half his walks but with the ability to play defense. Does anyone remember that when Dunn came up he could steal a base? He never had Stubbs speed, but he did steal 19 bases his first full year. So does anyone know what kind of hitter Stubbs is supposed to be? Because the Reds damn sure don't.

    It was clear the Reds were not in the race by the end of June. So why weren't they stretching Chapman out instead of getting him ready for more relief appearances? A healthy progressing Chapman in 2011 in the pen helps you win a few games. A healthy, progressing Chapman in Louisville, being stretched out as a starter helps you build a rotation beast for 2012 and beyond. The handling of Chapman was completely wrong IMO, and set back his true development by a year at least.

    Edinson Volquez was rushed back. I think he pushed himself far too soon, too fast and the results show it. However, he has pitched very well at AAA over the last 2 months: http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/m...pbp&pid=450172 He's probably always going to be a high BB guy. He also K's more batters than any other Red.

    Homer Bailey. The Big Tease. Over Homer's last 11 starts he has given up 5 runs or more 3 times. In the other 8 starts during that span he never gave up more than 3. He did something similar last year. in 2010 Bailey pitched 110 innings. He's on pace for 123 this year. He has trouble staying healthy. It would be nice to see what a healthy Homer Bailey can do.

    Johnny Cueto. Ace.

    Mike Leake. Enigma. He's the very definition of number 4 starter, yet i keep seeing people rave about him. I don't see it. He's touted as a GB pitcher. he's not. he's almost 50/50 on GB/FB this year, with the edge going to FB's. He's young, so he has upside.

    So, looking ahead? crapshoot. But I'll tell you what i think it should be...

    1B Votto - should be 2nd or 3rd in the MVP vote, IMO 2nd with Braun winning it.
    2B Phillips - coming off his 3rd GG season
    3B Frazier - He's the best fit, poised to take over as a leader on the field if/when Votto leaves. He's got the best glove after Rolen for the position and his bat will not hurt the Reds there.
    SS Cozart - All we got was a taste. but in 36 AB's he has 1/3 of all the HR's hit by a Reds SS. Very good power throughout his professional career. I'll gladly take 15-20 HR's from my 8th hitting SS.
    3B Hanigan/Mes - prolly a 60-40 split in 2012
    RF Bruce - still waiting on that .900 OPS breakout. Could win a GG this year
    CF Heisey - I was warming to Stubbs last year. even found myself defending him. But he regressed in his second season, and unless he learns what kind of hitter he is, his overall value keeps dropping.
    LF Francisco - A lot will say Sappelt. Some might say Alonso. Heisey in CF would lead off. Francisco has a nice arm in LF, and off the charts power. He's LH and crushes RH pitching, something the Reds don't do enough. He's a better defender in LF than Alonso. A pregnant camel in a forest fire would be a better defender than Alonso.

    SP Cueto
    SP Willis - yep. I have him as a #2 starter 6 starts in August, 5 QS. He should have been 5-1, instead he was 0-3. I think he's back, maybe 85% of what he was, but he's been building on success. I see a sub 4.00 ERA next year.
    SP Volquez - The only reason I have him at #3 is because I haven't seen him pitch with the Reds the way he's been pitching for the Bats. He'll get 3 starts this month I believe. He's a K machine. 85K's in 85 IP as a Red, 71K's in 80 1/3 IP as a Bat. 66 BB's as a Red, 27 as a Bat. If he's more the latter than the former next year... yes please.
    SP Chapman - Just give me 100 innings.
    SP Arroyo - He's tradeable at the deadline I think.


    RP Bray LH
    RP Maloney
    RP Ondrusek
    RP Burton
    RP LeCure
    RP Horst
    CL Arredondo

    with appearances by Gil (yes Gil) Boxberger, Fisher, Joseph (possibly. I think he'll be in AAA most of the year) and Christiani.

    Now all this discounts any acquisitions. I won't guess as to who Jocketty and Co. are looking at. If he wants to sign Albert Pujols and move Votto to LF or Toronto for Jose Bautista and Brandon Morrow, I won't complain.

    I think Alonso has no future as a Red. I think he's gone as soon as the Reds can find the right trading partner. I think 3B is Frazier or Francisco, and I prefer Frazier there, especially if Francisco can play LF. I prefer Heisey or Sappelt to Stubbs right now, but I wouldn't deal Stubbs with his stock this low. And if he can rebound to what he was last year, he's a top 5 CF in all of baseball. Phillips eventual replacement needs to be found. Sooner he's identified, the better. And I'd be thinking hard about what an over .500 finish for 2011 plus a division title in 2012 might mean regarding Joey Votto. Win the division next year and if he's the same Votto he was this year and last, his value is ridiculous regarding a trade or keeping him. It's almost like they can't lose either way.

    2012 should be a fun season for Reds fans.
    Suck it up cupcake.

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    Re: 2011 looking back, September callups and looking forward to 2012

    Right now, I'd go with:

    Votto
    Phillips/ Cairo
    Cozart
    Mesoraco/ Hanigan
    Rolen/ Francisco
    Frazier/ Alonso
    Sappelt/ Heisey
    Bruce

    I'd platoon almost all the questionable spots.

    Francisco and Rolen can platoon in order to keep Rolen healthy and give Francisco the best chance at success. The LH/RH bats are a bonus and balance the lineup nicely, albeit lower than cleanup.

    Frazier and Alonso can platoon in LF, assuming the Red brass thinks Alonso can be only poor and not horrid at the spot. Big-time power and a great bench bat to use late, if needed. If Alonso can play passably at 3b, he could take ABs away from Francisco, as, IMO, he's the better bat. Alonso DHs every game in AL parks in order to boost the AB total. I think he could net somewhere between 400-450 ABs. That's a good number to see what they've got.

    Baker could play the hot hand between Heisey and Sappelt in CF, thereby giving him a CF with pop, good defense, and a solid number two hitter below Phillips. Heisey also backs up Bruce in RF. If Alonso is Chicago Yonder, a three-headed monster of Frazier, Heisey, and Sappelt patrol center and left.

    Cairo backs up Phillips and PHs a lot. 125 ABs or so.

    Frazier backs up Cozart at SS and plays some in LF, some 1b, and some 3b. Nice guy to have. Should get him 400 ABs.

    I'd deal Stubbs and a couple of the young, cost-controlled arms (perhaps a bullpen arm, and a prospect or two) for a TOR starter. (I think Stubbs, Yasmani Grandal, Neftali Soto, and Travis Wood nets Big Game James Shields and a lesser prospect, for example.)

    I'd also look to the free agent market for another starter. (CJ Wilson is my personal favorite.)

    Barring those moves:

    Cueto
    Bailey
    Leake
    Volquez/ Wood
    Chapman

    are my starting rotation. I'd really let Bailey, Leake, Volquez, and Wood fight for three spots, with only Chapman as fifth man and Cueto as ace assured of spots. The guy who pitches the best (Volquez showing more control, Bailey more composure, Wood more stuff, Leake more stamina) wins a spot. Pretty simple.

    If Shields is dealt for, he, Cueto, and Chapman are locks, with two spots decided between the rest of what's here.

    I'd drop the failed starters in the pen, along with the new Red closer, Bronson Arroyo. IMO, he'd be serviceable in the spot at least, with a possible penchant for the gopher ball outweighed by his rubber arm and the couple mph he can find pitching only an inning.

    The pen:
    Arroyo
    Arrendondo
    Ondrusek
    Bray
    Wood/ Volquez
    Bailey/ Leake

    If Bailey's the odd man out, he becomes the closer and Arroyo moves to long man or rotation. (Ugh.) Same with Volquez.
    "You can learn little from victory. You can learn everything from defeat."
    -- Christy Matthewson
    "Show me a good loser and I'll show you an idiot."
    -- Leo Durocher

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    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    Re: 2011 looking back, September callups and looking forward to 2012

    I was thinking about this last night. One of the best Reds teams defensively was the 1999 team. A team that saw Greg Vaughn play 153 games, 144 in LF and Dmitri Young play 91 games in the OF, 75 in RF!

    So, maybe, just maybe Alonso's defense in LF is not quite as important as some, myself included, make it out to be.
    Suck it up cupcake.

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    Member klw's Avatar
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    Re: 2011 looking back, September callups and looking forward to 2012

    TRF, I'm curious as to where you have Leake as you agree he has upside but is missing from your roster. I am assuming you would have him in AAA to be ready for either an injury/ failure of a starter/ or trade of Arroyo.

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    Re: 2011 looking back, September callups and looking forward to 2012

    A starting rotation that includes Arroyo, Volquez, and Willis, and a bullpen that relies on Burton, Horst, Maloney, and Arrendondo as closer is likely, IMHO, to lose 100 games. I think we'll see much more radical remaking of the team in the offseason.

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    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    Re: 2011 looking back, September callups and looking forward to 2012

    Leake is choice #1 at Louisville along with Wood as choice #2. I'd prefer either to Arroyo, but that just isn't happening. so i mixed what I want with a little reality.
    Suck it up cupcake.

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    Re: 2011 looking back, September callups and looking forward to 2012

    If thet get a shot at the Vott/Bautista deal again. I hope they do it.

    I'd look at starting Alpnso at 1B & 3B with Grazier backing up both (and even LF some). I'd have Phillips, Cozart and Janish as my MI's and hope that Gregorious might be able to replace Janish sometime around midyear. The fact that Did can hit from the left would give us nice balance.

    Bautista and Bruce in the corners, then If I'm Walt, I'd decide how I want to go forward in CF between Stubbs, Sappelt and Heisey. One would start, one would be the 4th OF and the other would be used in a deal. I'd also like to find a LH or SH OF with Heisey's versatility as the 5th OF and 5th bat on the bench. Mesaraco and Hanigan split the catching chores.

    Rolen probably returns though, so he priobably splits tikme with JF at 3B and takes the place of the 5th OF.

    Cueto, Arroyo and Leake would have three spots. Arroyo is a l9ck because of his contract, but I expect him to return to 09/10 form after an offseason to regroup. I'd deal fir Shields (built around Grandal, Stubbs, Heisey and extra starters), If the deal is decent, I would not be against Dontrelle as the 5th starter.

    Arredondo, Massett, Lecure, Bray and Boxberger or Ondrusek would be the bullpen. Chapman would be the closer and I'd be willing to look at Bailey or Volquez as his RH counterpart if they aren't in the rotation or dealt. I'd like to see them add another prospect capable of possibly closing over the offseason.

    2B Brandon Phillips
    CF Dave Sappelt/(LH CF)
    RF Jay Bruce
    LF Jose Bautista/Chris Heisey
    1B Yonder Alonso
    3B Juan Francisco/Todd Frazier
    CA Devin Mesaraco/Ryan Hannigan
    SS Zach Cozart/Didi Gregorious

    James Shields
    Jonny Cueto
    Bronson Arrroyo
    Mike Leake
    Dontrelle Willis
    Sam LeCure
    Logan Ondrusek
    Nick Masset
    Bill Bray
    Brad Boxberger
    Jose Arredondo
    Aroldis Chapman


    With Toronto:

    Joey Votto
    Josh Smith

    (for)

    Jose Bautista

    With Tampa Bay:

    Yasmani Grandal
    Edinson Volquez/Homer Bailey/Travis Wood
    Drew Stubbs
    Carlos Fisher

    (for)

    James Shields
    Last edited by corkedbat; 09-04-2011 at 07:42 PM.

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    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: 2011 looking back, September callups and looking forward to 2012

    I'm really frustrated with the front office of this team. I think they were waaaaay too patient.

    This is turning out to be a donut season with a big hole in the middle. We endured 100's of ABs to guys lke Gomes, Lewis, Janish, and even Cairo. Several promising looking rookies languished in AAA from June into August.

    The front office needs to gain a new sense of urgency about performance and winning. Going for weeks and months saying "everything will be OK, just wait" just doesn't hack it. Of course, guys have ups and downs, but at the MLB level, it is results that count. I think Jocketty and crew let this team and the fans down by being entirely too patient.

    Pay attention to the open sky

  10. #9
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: 2011 looking back, September callups and looking forward to 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Tucker View Post
    I'm really frustrated with the front office of this team. I think they were waaaaay too patient.

    This is turning out to be a donut season with a big hole in the middle. We endured 100's of ABs to guys lke Gomes, Lewis, Janish, and even Cairo. Several promising looking rookies languished in AAA from June into August.

    The front office needs to gain a new sense of urgency about performance and winning. Going for weeks and months saying "everything will be OK, just wait" just doesn't hack it. Of course, guys have ups and downs, but at the MLB level, it is results that count. I think Jocketty and crew let this team and the fans down by being entirely too patient.
    "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

  11. #10
    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: 2011 looking back, September callups and looking forward to 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Tucker View Post
    I'm really frustrated with the front office of this team. I think they were waaaaay too patient.

    This is turning out to be a donut season with a big hole in the middle. We endured 100's of ABs to guys lke Gomes, Lewis, Janish, and even Cairo. Several promising looking rookies languished in AAA from June into August.

    The front office needs to gain a new sense of urgency about performance and winning. Going for weeks and months saying "everything will be OK, just wait" just doesn't hack it. Of course, guys have ups and downs, but at the MLB level, it is results that count. I think Jocketty and crew let this team and the fans down by being entirely too patient.
    Great post.
    I miss Adam Dunn.


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