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Thread: Early Look at 40-man decisions

  1. #1
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    Early Look at 40-man decisions

    Reds have about 6-7 weeks to decide what to do with the 40-man. Seems to me that in recent years, the importance of 40-man decisions has shifted a bit. It used to be that you needed to protect the correct guys for one reason: to keep someone else from selecting someone in the Rule V that you wanted to keep. But in recent years, the trend has been that players in the minor leagues who are on the 40-man are almost certainly going to be the first mid-season callups to avoid having to DFA someone. So those decisions become crucial for multiple reasons.

    First of all, how many spots will be open? Conservatively, I will say five. You have three free agents (Hernandez, Renteria, Willis), one player that will almost certainly be non-tendered (Burton), and one player who could be outrighted (Negron). Who takes the five spots?

    I will say there are three locks: Phipps, Lotzkar, and Soto. Henry Rodriguez would be a strong fourth choice that I would think would be highly likely. The fifth guy, I am not sure about. I would say, right now, that my guess is Pedro Villarreal. Other candidates could be: Webb, Puckett, possibly Gil, and less likely, Rojas, Ravin, Shunick, Buchholz. The dark horse candidate: Howell. He is a better prospect than some of the guys on the list, but because he missed a year and a half on the mission, he has not pitched above low-A. Unlikely someone would take him in the Rule V.

    I could be missing someone.

    Of course, the five openings is a number that could be off by a couple, either way.

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  3. #2
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Early Look at 40-man decisions

    I think that Ravin is a guy that someone should select if he isn't on the 40 man, at the very least to give him a look. Guys with his arm simply aren't available every day, much less for the price. I would protect Henry Rodriguez without thinking twice about it. If we needed to open another 40 man spot, I wouldn't hesitate to take off Valaika, who hasn't done much over the last three seasons.

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    Re: Early Look at 40-man decisions

    I am not as big a Henry fan as some are, but I would agree that he will be protected. Ravin...not sure. He was eligible last year. Pitched better than his 2-8 record in Bakersfield would indicate but went 0-2, 7.07 in six starts with Carolina. Villarreal throws a little harder than Ravin and has a much better breaking ball. Ages are two months different. I gotta go with Pedro there. Villarreal was 11-7 at the same levels that Ravin was 2-10. Ravin has grown up a lot but he still has never been able to put it all together. I would like to have seen Ravin pitch somewhere this season other than in a ballpark that was 350 feet to the center field fence.

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    Will post for food BuckeyeRedleg's Avatar
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    Re: Early Look at 40-man decisions

    What's keeping Fisher, Maloney, Thompson, Valaika, and Jordan Smith on the roster?

    That and I don't think Cordero comes back.

    So, if there's an issue with worrying about which new guys to protect, I think there's some dead weight that can be removed from the 40-man.

  6. #5
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    Re: Early Look at 40-man decisions

    Why the certainty of non-tendering Burton? If he's healthy, he could/should be a much needed arm in the pen. I didn't follow him much this season, but IIRC he came back from being injured sometime in the second half of the year.
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    Re: Early Look at 40-man decisions

    I am a big Burton fan but he has not been able to stay healthy. They paid him $750,000 this season and got 4.2 innings out of him. They paid him $810,000 in 2010 and got 3.1 innings out of him. Eight innings over two years for $1.56 million. If you tender a contract, it has to be at least x percentage of what he made in 2011. They could non-tender him and bring him back on a minor league deal with a non-guaranteed deal. Or they might just cut bait.

    The Reds salary structure requires that they have a fair number of players in that $450,000-550,000 range.

    As far as Fisher, Maloney, Thompson, Valaika, Smith...yes any of those guys could be removed from the roster. Actually, I thought Fisher provided some value this year and he might be one of those late bloomers that sticks at some point. You are talking about fringe major leaguers and you do need some of those but they are expendable. Smith had some value but got hurt. They actually still like Valaika a little as a guy who can come up and play multiple positions.

    Cordero...who knows unless you are WJ or Cordero's agent.
    Last edited by redsof72; 10-04-2011 at 04:34 PM.

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    Re: Early Look at 40-man decisions

    I'm guessing Travis Webb gets a spot, unless he self-destructs in Arizona. Big lefty who came on like gangbusters when he was moved to the bullpen this year. I'd think there would be a distinct danger of losing him if not protected.

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    Re: Early Look at 40-man decisions

    Does the organization consider Phipps a real prospect now? He had a really nice line this year, but he was also starting the year as a 25-year-old repeating Double-A and he really had no track record as a hitter whatsoever. Not saying a guy can't "get it" at his age, but even minor leaguers have career years out of nowhere, and sometimes it's hard to tell that from true development.
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    Re: Early Look at 40-man decisions

    Phipps has always been a guy that was regarded as having the tools to come on quickly. I never saw much in Phipps but obviously he is a different player now. Many would rate him as the best or second best defensive outfielder in the org (Sierra would be the other candidate for this). Excellent arm. Good athlete. Had a basketball background but 2011 was a breakout year for him. The jump to Triple-A did not slow him down a bit. He was one of the most productive players in minor league baseball from June 1 to the end of the season. When the light came on it really came on. He was hitting .197 at Carolina on June 1. When he moved up to Louisville on July 22, he was at .328. He went to Louisville and they hit him 3rd or 4th in the order, which tells you a lot. He hit .380 in over 150 at-bats there.

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    Re: Early Look at 40-man decisions

    If you want to get a feel for whether a guy's stats in the minors are legit, look at where his manager is hitting him in the order. A guy hitting for a high average in a spot in the order where he is seeing mostly fastballs with no one on base is one thing. Doing it in the 3 or 4 spot, where every pitcher is battling to get him out and mixing in everything he's got, trying to get out of innings with men on base, that's a whole different animal.

    I have seen many, many cases where a guy was hitting in the bottom of the order and they tried moving him up and he just couldn't handle it and they moved him back down. There is more to be said for that than you would ever expect. They pitch you much differently in the three hole or four hole than they would somewhere else. You are seeing the best the pitcher has in those key RBI spots in the order.

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    Re: Early Look at 40-man decisions

    H-Rod is a certainty. Puckett would probably be my 5th choice. Gil is a possibility, and could certainly be a target with his fastball, but I wouldn't go out of my way to protect him.

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    Re: Early Look at 40-man decisions

    Villarreal wasn't throwing harder than Ravin was this year. At least not when I saw them both in August or what reports were from Bakersfield. Ravin was more like 89-91 in 2010, but was considerably higher than that this season.

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    Re: Early Look at 40-man decisions

    Henry Rodriguez is not eligible.


    (I think)


    However, I'd add Soto, Lotzkar, Webb and Ravin.


    Phipps, I still think, should have been added in September. May be too late now since he's a free agent.
    Last edited by cinreds21; 10-05-2011 at 12:41 AM.

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    Re: Early Look at 40-man decisions

    Locks:
    SP Bronson Arroyo
    SP Johnny Cueto
    SP Homer Bailey
    SP Mike Leake
    SP Travis Wood
    RP Aroldis Chapman
    RP Sam LeCure
    RP Nick Masset
    RP Logan Ondrusek
    RP Bill Bray
    C Devin Mesoraco
    C Ryan Hanigan
    C Yasmani Grandal
    1B Joey Votto
    1B Neftali Soto
    2B Brandon Phillips
    3B Scott Rolen
    SS Paul Janish
    OF Drew Stubbs
    OF Chris Heisey
    OF Jay Bruce
    OF Yonder Alonso
    OF Dave Sappelt
    OF Todd Frazier
    UT Miguel Cairo

    The Reds have 15 spots for the following players:
    On the bubble:
    RP Jose Arredondo - arbitration eligible; the Reds might not be fond of his lack of control
    RP Jared Burton - arbitration eligible; struggled with health two years in a row
    RP Jeremy Horst - was already passed on in the rule five draft, and wasn't exactly a superstar when he was up
    RP Jordan Smith - had a rough year and battled health issues
    IF Chris Valaika - versatility is nice, but puts up lackluster numbers against advanced pitching
    UT Kris Negron - was simply awful in AAA following an excellent winter ball performance

    Out of options:
    SP Matt Maloney - probably trade bait for a ptbnl; there isn't much room for him, and other teams are always in search of starting pitching
    SP Daryl Thompson - health is always a question, and he was terrible when he was with the Reds
    RP Carlos Fisher - had a few impressive performances but always ends up with mediocre numbers against major league hitting
    3B Juan Francisco - has flashed potential but needs to find consistency

    Free agents:
    SP Dontrelle Willis - nice comeback story but wasn't really all that great
    RP Francisco Cordero - there are rumors of him coming back, but it's possibly time for the Reds to move on
    C Ramon Hernandez - impressive job, especially considering his age, but now might be the time for Mesoraco to shine
    SS Edgar Renteria - rebounded from a horrible start but he's clearly past his heyday

    Could be added (although some of these are extremely doubtful):
    SP Josh Ravin - impressive arm, not-so-impressive numbers
    SP Scott Carroll - might be solid as a reliever
    SP Matt Fairel - had an awful 2011 and might just be organizational filler, but he puts up good numbers when healthy
    SP Clayton Tanner - the Giants gave up on him, but you hate to lose a lefty with good peripherals
    SP Pedro Villarreal - excellent control and decent stuff; probably a future major leaguer
    SP Ismael Guillon - superb stuff but clearly not ready for a big league roster
    SP Kyle Lotzkar - some of the best stuff in the organization, but can he overcome his arm issues following changed mechanics?
    RP Jerry Gil - converted shortstop flashes plus-plus stuff, but is this project ready for prime time?
    RP Travis Webb - looked excellent as a reliever; might be worth a shot as a loogy
    RP Jordan Hotchkiss - barely pitched in 2011 but deserved consideration for Reds' minor league pitcher of the year in 2010; might be worth a shot as a reliever
    RP Clay Shunick - performed very well after moving to the bullpen
    RP Blaine Howell - good arm and great numbers but hasn't pitched above A-ball
    1B/OF Danny Dorn - has already been omitted from the 40-man roster for what seems like a million times; just had his least impressive year to date; looks like minor league pitchers are finally starting to figure him out
    2B Henry Rodriguez - redsof72 has brought up questions about his intangibles and some of his skills, but he has always put up decent numbers while being young for every level
    3B Eric Campbell - did the Reds figure something out that makes him a legit prospect again?
    SS Didi Gregorius - adding him may be slightly premature, but his skills will likely get him a 40-man roster spot
    SS Miguel Rojas - all glove and no stick, but an opposing team might find a use for that
    OF Bill Rhinehart - looks like organizational filler, but a light seemed to turn on at some point last year; you never know when the Reds' scouts see something other teams don't
    OF Denis Phipps - has been called a human tool shed; his lack of success in the past may bring up doubters, but the Reds have shown a willingness to add players to the roster based on recent success
    UT Cody Puckett - has shown a good ability to hit, but is it enough to compensate for his lack of defense?

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    Re: Early Look at 40-man decisions

    IMO, Maloney and Thompson are expendable. Burton should be gone. Smith is iffy, but I'd probably give him another year. Keep Valaika.

    Here's my ranking of the guys to add:

    1. Phipps
    2. HRod (if his clock dictates it)
    3. Soto
    4. Lotzkar (would be higher, but injury issues persist)
    5. Rojas (great glove off the bench always has a spot)
    6. Puckett
    7/8 Villareal/Ravin (gotta have starters in the system)
    9/10. Howell/Webb (gotta have some LH relievers too)
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