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Reds Insider
From news of the day to news of the weird, John Fay provides a glimpse of what it’s like to cover the Cincinnati Reds

John Fay
John Fay has been the Reds beat writer for the Enquirer since 2001. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles for the Enquirer: backup Reds writer, UC beat writer, backup Bengals writer and as a general assignment reporter. He is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of Elder High School and the University of Dayton.

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Saturday, August 4, 2007

What your plan?

I wrote my Sunday Insider for the paper about the Reds' plan.

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070805/COL09/708050421/1082/SPT

Which of a lot of you, think is no plan at all. The Reds have gone for the quick fix. It hasn't worked obviously.

What would your plan for the Reds be?

Would you try to win in 2008?

Or would you try to go young and look to the future?

That's basically what it comes down to: Short-term or long-term. If you go short-term, you add free agents to get over the top. If you go long-term, you add prospects and play young players, knowing it’s going to take some time.


39 Comments:

at 5:36 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It has been many losing years in a row. If they try and rebuild from the bottom then the park will be empty. Also, What quick fix are you talking about? They still have a low payroll. Until they sign a few significant free agent's and really raise the payroll don't insult us.

 
at 5:45 PM Blogger max said...

Krivsky continues to add young players that adds depth to our farm system. At some point this will filter upstream to the parent club as some of these players develop. We may very well see Bailey, Votto, Cueto, and Bruce ALL at the major league leval sometime in '08. That's a pretty impressive influx of talent from the system in a short time.

We also need to trade the likes of Dunn, Freel, Stanton, Coffey, Hatteburg, Gonzalez, and Conine. By the end of '08 our line-up could look like:

Hamilton CF
Keppinger 2B
Griffey LF
Phillips SS
Votto 1B
Bruce RF
Encarnacion 3B
Ross C

To answer your question...let's not do anything too risky to accelerate the process in '08, the organization is gradually evolving into a winner from the bottom-up. Krivsky and his staff are methodically strengthening the foundation.

 
at 5:58 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

My plan for 2008 would be to get those players up and playing that the Reds should be counting on to take them forward in the future. I think that the team should look something like this (which you'll see is definately a youth movement that would probably sacrifice the playoffs in '08, but make them much more feasible in '09 and beyond):

Hamilton CF
Phillips 2B
Bruce RF (for those who disagree and say a rookie can't hit middle of the order think Braun from Mil.)
Dunn LF
Encarnacion 3B
Votto/Cantu 1B
Gonzalez SS
Ross/Valentin C

starters:
Harang
Arroyo
(free agent or player from Griffey trade)
Bailey
Cueto

relievers:
Burton (closer)
Weathers (righty set up man)
Bray (lefty set up man)
McBeth
Coutlangus
Salmon
Livingston (long relief and spot starter)

bench:
Freel, Hopper, Keppinger

not really much to be done personel-wise other than add a #3 type starting pitcher either via free agency or by trading Griffey.

THE BOTTOM LINE FOR THIS TEAM IS THAT BOTH DUNN AND GRIFFEY CANNOT REMAIN. The Reds need to open up spots for the four prospects they have ranked in the top 25 of Baseball America's top 100 minor leaguer list (Bruce#2, Bailey #5, Votto #18, Cueto #23). By the end of this year all four will have had experience at AAA and it appears all will have been successful there. It is time for the future of the Reds to arrive in Cincinnati.

Reds fans will need to watch them grow as players in '08 and then be ready to make a long string of playoff runs in '09 and beyond.

-Redbeard

 
at 6:03 PM Blogger Don said...

And clearly the long term plan hasn't worked either, three GMs and two owners later.

The only way to fix this problem in the short term is to substantially increase payroll. Does Castellini want to win as badly as he says? You can try to fix it in the long term by adding prospects, but it is pretty darn unfair for this organization to ask the fans to be patient once again. Jim Bowden told the fans, "build it (GABP) and we will win". A few short months after opening the GABP, the Reds had a firesale. Five years later I am still waiting for them to simply win more than they lose.

Castellini could achieve more in terms of PR by immediately adding millions and millions to the payroll. Even if the Reds still lost he would come off as putting his money where his mouth is. Adding cheap options like Santos, Saarloos, Stanton, etc., does not exactly leave the Reds fan base with the feeling that this organization is dead set on winning ASAP. Castellini and company have some work to do to assure the fans that the Reds are 110% committed to winning, and that needs to be proven more with actions than with words.

 
at 6:12 PM Blogger rodger said...

Win now, and for two reasons. One: you need an influx of MLB-close players to go young. The Reds don't have it. A flurry of trades at the deadline last week would have helped. But since the club basically sat still, other than unloading Lohse, there's only a couple players you could call up right now and "go young." Two, and more importantly: I think the club is close to competing. Yea, call me crazy. But imagine this year if we had a real closer and Weathers could have been the 8th inning guy. Ten more wins? More? Give me that next year and some rebound years from Edwin, Ross, Freel. Add in continued growth from Bailey, Hamilton and the young relievers. A healthy Bray. I say roll the dice next year, and then go young in 2009, when more prospects will be ready. (Plus we could get some in deadline deals next year if we're out of it.)

 
at 6:16 PM Blogger baundy said...

I would go long-term as opposed to short-term. If the Reds go for the quick fix, which I think ownership might be tempted to do in an effort to win back fans, you add so high priced free agents and try to win right away. Sounds great and all except for the fact that they'd only be able to hold onto those players for a year or two and we, as fans, would all take a hit in our wallets to cover the higher payroll. The Reds would compete for a year or two with the added help but that's it. However, if you look long-term, you develope the talent that you have (which the Reds currently have a lot of), sign the young players to long-term deals at bargain prices (keeping ticket prices where they are) and you develop a core group of athletes that attain big league experience together and mesh into one cohesive unit that plays some darn good baseball (a la the Big Red Machine). Yeah, we might have to suffer through another year or two of below average baseball, but at least we would be able to see what the future holds and take part in the development of the young talent that currently calls Louisville home. Of course, we would only be patient if we were told that was the plan, but as we have seen, the organization isn't very open about what the plan is. I think that is the key. Regardless of what route they decide to take (I prefer long-term), the fans just want someone to tell us something.

 
at 6:19 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would pray for divine intervention. Other then a miracle, the Reds are dead.

 
at 6:57 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not a question of long term or short term ... it's a question of what type of club do you want to field.

Offense - Right now, the the Reds have too many hitters that are not contact hitters; too many first ball hitters that make it easy on the other pitchers; too many hitters with poor pitch selection that strike out and kill rallies. Trade-off the power for contact. More Hatteburgs; more Keppingers.

Pitching - the core is there with Harang and Arroyo. Potential solid starters in Belilse and Livingston. Potential add ons in Bailey, Dumatrait, and Cueto. Relief pitching needs a POWER CLOSER.

Defense - goes along with shift to contact hitters. I'll take solid defense and contact over power and marginal defense.

Leadership/character - haven't been in the clubhouse, but my guess is something is missing. Why don't the Reds have a Captain that can provide some player level leadership?

 
at 7:17 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe the answer may come from the choice of a new manager. Bob Brenly has expressed interest, and would be a wise choice. They can compete with this roster(the nearly the same roster last year almost made the playoffs), and according to ESPN's w-l predictor should be in 3rd in the NL central, even with how bad the pen has been. 2008 25 man-
SPs-Harang, Arroyo, Bailey, Cueto, Belisle
RPs-Livingstone, Burton, Bray, Weathers, Guardado, Majewski, Coutlangus
IF-Phillips, Votto, Gonzo, Keppinger, Cantu, Encarnacion
OF-Dunn, Griffey, Bruce, Hamilton, Freel
Catchers-Ross, Valentin

 
at 7:57 PM Blogger Portland Phil said...

I'd bring La Russo and Jockety from St Louis...that's the first thing I'd do! I trade Dunn for pitching if possible. I trade Encarnacion and let Castro go. I keep Griffey and look at free agents for left and third. I start Votto at first and keep Hatteberg as his backup. And obviously I'd do every thing possible to up grade the bull pen. My priority would be to compete next year! As fans, we're tired of "building for the future!" We can win but we need to make some serious changes. By the way...if Pete Mc. wants to stick around, he needs to stop doing the same things Jerry did, put Keppenger at third for the rest of the season...what does he gain from playing a lazy and unproductive Encarnacion? And play Hatteberg EVERY day! He's the best hitter on the team...what's Pete Mc. thinking? Playing Encarnacion and Conine ahead of Keppenger and Hatteberg is STUPID!

 
at 8:05 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe they have a good core of young position players and very little pitching talent.

As opposed to being concerned about the manager, I would pay whatever price necessary to hire someone who could spot and develop pitching talent. The Reds have drafted and developed one successful starting pitcher in the last 25 years.

The Reds have to change this, and if they don't it won't matter if they have Tony LaRussa, Petey Mack, or Casey Stengel as manager.

 
at 8:25 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hamilton CF
Keppinger 2B
Griffey LF
Phillips SS
Votto 1B
Bruce RF
Encarnacion 3B
Ross C

This is what Max said and I see this being a good lineup. The problem is getting anything for Dunn. It isn't a secret he strikes out a lot. I rather have Griffey for another 2 years, than Dunn. I wouldn't expect much for Dunn really.

After all that, the Reds can win in '08. No reason to go completely young. This team is young, with a few older players. Trading the rest of the Conine, Hette, and Gonzalos (?)for anything should be highly important during the season and try to trade Dunn in the offseason or early next year.

Pitching... Beyond Harang and Arroyo, well you have to bring Homer back up. Use the Milton money to get some other veteran. Then let Belisle, P.D., Ramirez, and Cueto fight for #5.

I think Belisle is a better reliever than starter, and Burton is the real deal.

Now to get a catcher who can hit...

Adrian

 
at 8:27 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention that Livingston should get a shot too to be a starter. Maybe he should the #4 instead of a veteran free agent...

Adrian

 
at 8:58 PM Blogger Redsheart said...

This team can never win with this horrible bullpen. Did you watch Coffey's ugly pitching? Krivsky believed he could help this team. What an incompetent GM...

 
at 9:04 PM Blogger John Fay said...

That was the 11 home run Coffey has allowed. That's two more than any reliever in baseball. When Eric Milton set the club record for homers allowed (40) in 2005, he did it over 186 1/3 innings. At Coffey's current pace, he's give up 46 in the 186 1/3 innings.

 
at 9:10 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

So are you saying John that a few guys that go by the names of Bray, Majewski, and Guardado could use another(or there first shots this year) in the Bigs? I know Gosling, Coffey, and Stanton are big keys for this team in the future(along with Rickey Stone-imagine how great this current pen would be with Stone in it) but how bout getting those other 3 guys up here?

 
at 9:15 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

And a now daily Jay Bruce update- In the seventh, 2-3 with a walk and an RBI double. Votto sits, Cantu 1-4.

 
at 9:17 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Hard to argue. Coffey's allowed 11 earned in 9 1/3 innings since the All-Star Break. I'd be stunned if he's not sent to Louisville by the time the club gets back to Cincinnati.

 
at 9:22 PM Blogger Dan H said...

I'd much rather see Brad Salmon up and Coffey at AAA after this sad performance. As for the plan- I still feel 2009 is the year they contend fo rthe Central pennant. The keys are Bailey,Bruce,Hamilton, and a bullpen closer. Bailey may need a full year at the ML level to fully develop. Bruce who I was hoping would be in Cinci in mid 2008 appears to be progressing faster than I expected and may be able to make an impact at the start of the 08 season. Hamilton and Bruce may now be on the same learning curve. hamilton must continue to refine his skills and can he stay healthy? If Bruce gets an audition in Sept and shows he belongs that could enable Krivsky to move an outfielder (Dunn?)for pitching and bullpen help.

 
at 9:23 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John - Have the Reds not figured out that Coffey just can't pitch in the majors?

 
at 10:19 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John I assume you talk to Marty and Thom every once in a while, do you mind telling them that I enjoy watching Adam Dunn his hit worthless HRs?

 
at 10:44 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is Todd Coffey in the major leagues??

 
at 11:31 PM Blogger kingseyeland said...

I wouldn't pussyfoot around with Coffey anymore. Just DFA him. He's had more chances than most players ever get in a Reds uniform, and that's saying a lot. Plus that sends a message to the rest; get guys out, or they're next. The lack of accountability and consequences is doing nothing to improve the situation. Heads need to roll before anything will change.

 
at 11:47 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would focus on building a consistent winner and follow the Cleveland and Altanta models. The key to this is to build a line-up with younger players where, top to bottom, you have: (1) guys who can run, (2) who have some pop, (3) know how to give themselves up, and (4) field their position well. This model also requires a depth of young talent so when you need a Mark Texeira for the stretch run, you're willing to part with a Jarrod Saltalamocchia without breaking a sweat because you know you've got guys coming up who can fill his shoes.

Krivsky is actually doing a relatively good job of executing on this approach. Votto, Bailey, Bruce, Stubbs, and other players in the farm system have high ceilings, but the talent pool needs to be enhanced to create more competition. Fortunately, the Reds have several players who could (and must) be traded for prospects. Not moving Dunn at the deadline was ridiculous unless Krivsky was not offered at least one high ceiling prospect for the guy, which is very difficult to believe. Even if all the Reds were offered was one exceptional AA prospect, I would have traded Dunn to clear salary for signing guys in the off-season consistent with the above model. Same with Griffey. Junior's one of the good guys, and I'd love to have the luxury of keeping him for years to come. Unfortunately, the Reds don't have that luxury. Again, they need the prospect or two he'd yield, and the salary flexibility trading him would create for off-season acquisitions. Griffey may have been deemed untouchable by Krivksy or Castellini or Castellini may have vetoed a Griffey trade like Lindner vetoed the Larkin trade several years back, much to the detriment of the Reds, but who knows? So far as I know, no one has asked Krivsky.

I would also trade Conine and Hatteberg. Both could likely yield at least one high ceiling single A prospect. Trading these guys would give Votto and at least one other youngster some ABs this season, which is unquestionably lost.

Ross is probably untradeable because he's as one-dimensional as Dunn, but I would not start David Ross again ... ever. He rarely gives you a professional at-bat, has no idea how to bunt, and is not a particularly adept at blocking pitches. The guy's batted at or below .200 all year, but continues to start the majority of games. That's nuts, and has to be driven by Krivsky's direction to play the guy because of his salary. Ludicrous.

As far as the relief pitchers, I have been saying all season the Reds need to follow the Nasty boys model and focus on power guys, like Burton. Burton is pitching terrific, now that he's finally getting the ball, but where is Salmon, why can't Bailey relieve, and why on earth is Coffey still a Red? Coffey and Stanton are awful, and have been all season. I understand the financial logic of keeping Stanton, if you can't move him, but there is no such excuse for keeping Coffey.

The only guys I like on this team are Phillips, Encarnacion, Gonzo, Valentin, and Hamilton. I'd build around those guys in 2008.

As far as finding a new manager, the Reds clearly need a disciplinarian. So far as I can tell, there's only available right now, Joe Girardi. Bob Brenly is a good announcer, but he's no disciplinarian. Tony LaRusso and Joe Torre might make good managers for veteran clubs, but the Reds are going to be in rebuilding mode for a couple years, and these guys aren't going anywhere. Joe Morgan would make a fantastic manager for numerous reasons, but it would take enlightened thinking to hire a guy like that and enlightened thinking was designated for assignment in spring training.

 
at 11:52 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

The Ten-Step Plan:

1. Either Todd Coffey or Bob Castellini is gone from the Reds next year.

2. Keppinger is a starter next year or Bob Castellini must be driven out of town.

3. Votto and Bruce and Cueto are given a chance to make the team in Spring Training.

4. Seattle is told that if they don't give up Felix Hernandez for Junior, that we'll trade Griffey to the Angels.

5. We either have a full-time Caribbean-based scout to sign teenagers in the Dominican Republic (if Manchester United can sign 9-year olds then the Reds can sign 16-year old Jose Reyes and Hanley Ramirez types) or Castellini is tarred, feathered, and taken to a dungeon in Haiti until such a scout is hired. Note: if we already have one, fire him and get a new one, cause he ain't getting the job done!

6. Majewski makes the Reds' major league roster for opening day or Krivsky is fired before the first pitch of the 2008 season.

7. A team of National Geographic Researchers finishes their journey of exploration, no excuses, to find David Weathers' and Mike Stanton's first chin before Pitchers & Catchers report in February 2008.

8. A set lineup with power-hitters batting cleanup is mandated or Castellini and Krivsky are driven out of town; NO MORE SCREWING WITH LINEUPS! NO MORE DAYS OFF FOR YOUNG HEALTHY PLAYERS DURING A CRUCIAL SERIES! AND IF ANYONE DOESN'T RUN HARD ALL THE WAY TO FIRST BASE (MR. HOPPER TONIGHT), THEY ARE BENCHED FOR A MONTH!

9. Fire the manager if the Reds fall to 9 games under .500, I don't care if it's a reconstituted Connie Mack or a Joe Torre at the helm--enough letting a season slip away before making a correction; if things start poorly, down comes the axe; if Mackanin finishes at .600 or above for his half-season, hire him for all of 2008 with the caveat that a set lineup is going to be used (meaning 6 or 7 starters will bat in the same position for 145 games or more--depending upon their health).

10. Suggested lineup:

2B Keppinger
CF Hamilton
SS Phillips
LF Dunn
RF Bruce
1B Votto
3B Encarnacion
C Valentin + Slimfast + 4 hours a day in the off season in the weight room

Now what's so difficult about all that (besides keeping Valentin away from french fries and soda?)

 
at 7:32 AM Anonymous David said...

I would try to win now. This orgination has a terrible history of developing players. Sign Dunn long term. Then we can watch him softball slug his way to the Hall of Fame. Until there is an owner in place that doesn't run the team as a "business", things will not improve. Krivsky seems to be way in over his head. Yes he found Phillips and Hamilton, but it seems that Hamiliton is one Johnny Narron nap away from being gone. And he is the future of this club? How can they possibly provide a babysitter and deprive him of any money or free time for the rest of his career? There are reasons why Jerry Narron wasn't a manager, Dick Pole wasn't a pitching coach, and Pete Mackinon wasn't a manager. All other teams know they aren't qualified for these positions. The list of awful players that Krivsky signed to extensions is ridiculous, and remember, he renewed, not extended, Brandon Phillips contact. And I'm sorry, Reds fans, but Ryan Freel is not Pete Rose and is not an everyday player who should be earning millions of dollars. Krivsky doesn't know what he is doing. He traded away a nice pitching prospect a few days ago. How do you build with youth if you are going to trade away your youth? This orgination is a wreck. So, rebuild with youth and watch things get worse for 3 - 5 years? NO WAY. Trade the prospects, raise the payroll, and get some bonafide major league players here! Castilini makes money every day as the value of this club appreciates. SPEND SOME OF IT!!!

 
at 10:53 AM Anonymous mikec said...

Hey John,
I can't find this article today. Can you post the link here?

 
at 11:02 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Reds have to change their thinking in three areas:
1. Thinking people who can play multiple positions is keen and neat.
2. Stop being embarresed to hook the starter in the first inning.
3. Stop worrying about keeping players happy by rotating the lineup nightly.

Harold Schuler

 
at 11:56 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would trade Dunn, Griffey, Conine, Hatteberg, Stanton, Ross and Coffey for whatever young talent I could get, AA or A prospects. Build the 2008 team around Hamilton, Keppinger, Phillips, Gonzo, Encarnacion and Valentin. Call up Votto and Cuerto now. Give Bruce and Bailey and the rest a little more time to get their sea legs. Go with youth, and hire Joe Girardi to manage them. The Reds need a disciplinarian.

 
at 3:03 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Reds aren't far from being a winner, but they don't have the means of improving by signing veterans in the offseason. There is almost no talent in the way of free agent pitchers, as shown here:

Kris Benson BAL
Paul Byrd CLE
Shawn Chacon PIT
Matt Clement BOS
Bartolo Colon LAA
Scott Elarton KC
Josh Fogg COL
Casey Fossum TB
Freddy Garcia PHI
Livan Hernandez ARZ
Jason Jennings HOU
Brian Lawrence COL
Jon Lieber PHI
Kyle Lohse PHI
Rodrigo Lopez COL
Wade Miller CHC
Eric Milton CIN
Odalis Perez KC
Joel Pineiro STL
Kenny Rogers DET
Curt Schilling BOS
Carlos Silva MIN
Julian Tavarez BOS
Brett Tomko LAD
Kip Wells STL
Randy Wolf LAD
Jaret Wright BAL
Carlos Zambrano CHC
Victor Zambrano NYM

The only ones worth aquiring are Aaron Cook, because he is a groundball pitcher from cincinnati, and Randy Wolf, who has had solid seasons in the past. These players are risky signings, and likely to flop. The likes of Zambrano and Schilling are out of the Reds payroll, so the just aren't any sure thing options. Therefore, the Reds should try to improve the pitching within the orginization.
As for the hitting, the Reds already have some tremendous talent. Encarnacion, since coming back from AAA, has been brilliant in the field. At the plate, a season of .280 20 80 10 is definetly within his reach, especially with Narron gone. If he does falter, then Keppinger or Cantu could be a very viable backups. Also, Votto will likely start at first base. He'll be a rookie, so don't expect immidiate results, but he could be a contributor in the near future. Gonzalez has played well below his talent level at short, but before this year he was one of the fielders in baseball, so expect a comeback. Now, assuming Dunn is traded for prospects, Freel or Hopper can start in left and bat leadoff. Freel, despite his terrible numbers this year, has batted about .270 and stolen 30 bases in the past 3 seasons. There's no reason to think he can't return to form. If Freel can't handle the starting job, then Hopper could start. Besides, no one else on the team fits the bill of a leadoff hitter. That taken into consideration, the Reds 2008 lineup could look something like this:

Hitters
--------
Freel LF
Encarnacion 3B
Griffey RF
Phillips 2B
Hamilton CF
Gonzales SS
Votto 1B
Ross C

Keppinger UT
Cantu IF
Bruce OF
Hopper OF
Valentin/Moeller C

Pitchers
--------
SP Harang
SP Arroyo
SP Bailey
SP Belisle/ Free Agent
SP Cueto

MRP Coutlangus
MRP McBeth
MRP Weathers
SU Burton
LRP Dumatrait/Gosling
CL Bray

Looks like a servicable lineup to me.

 
at 4:56 PM Blogger Shawn said...

Mr. Fay, I think you are right that trying to plug in veterans is not the way to go. I don't know that putting 20 and 21-year olds like Bailey and Cueto on the firing line so fast is the way to go, but Votto should certainly be in the lineup now. I think the key is, go with young players, not 40-year olds.

 
at 6:24 PM Anonymous Justin Fernandez said...

Looks like a sub .500 lineup (and pitching staff) too!

Bigger changes need to be made, and if this owner can't afford a Schilling or Zambrano (of CHC) then we can't afford this owner!

 
at 6:55 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Reds need a complete overhaul, much like the Bengals when they hired Marvin Lewis and he got rid of 90% of the players he inherited within a couple of years.

1. The main problem with the Reds is the bullpen, obviously. This is the area where the Reds need the most OUTSIDE help. Keepers:
Burton, Coutlangus. Get rid of: Weathers (He's wearing down. Next year will likely be his "Stanton Year," just wait) Stanton, Gosling, Majewski. Wait and see: Bray, Macbeth, Salmon. The Reds need to bring in at least two, maybe three TOP-END, young relievers (think Shields, not Cormier) through free agency or trades. This is where they should spend the bulk of the money left over from...

2) Get rid of Dunn (don't sign) AND Griffey (trade). By the end of the season, both will hit .260 and have their 35-40 HRs, yes. But have you noticed how well this has worked out since they got here? Take a look at the last good Reds team - 1999 - when they lost the playoff tiebreaker game to the Mets - Barry Larkin, Aaron Boone, Pokey Reese, Sean Casey, (with Mark Sweeney and Hal Morris) Dmitri Young, Mike Cameron, and Greg Vaughn (with Micahel Tucker). How many sluggers there? One - Vaughn. Everyone else - good contact hitters. Case closed.

3. Get rid of the remaining malcontents. Gonzalez - trade. Start Keppinger at short or move Phillips to short and put Keppinger at 2nd. Conine - he's gone anyway.

4. CATCHER, CATCHER, CATCHER. Please, find a catcher who can both hit and call a game. Currently, the Reds have a sub-par catcher tandem. You've been brainwashed to think otherwise.

5. Give Encarnacion to the end of this year. If he hits .280 or better with another 10 HRs and his defense stays improved, give him another shot (either at 3rd or 1st). If not, trade him. A major league team cannot live with its third baseman hitting .265 without a lot of power, especially with shaky defense (which he seems better with now). The Reds need a proven star hitter and fielder at
first or third, if not both. All good teams have them. They should have gotten Teixiera and moved Votto to the outfield. Again, the Reds need a star player at 3rd or 1st, preferably both. Encarnacion/Votto/Hatteberg = not star players.

6. Freel stays in center, not Hamilton. For one, how long can Hamilton stay on the field? Is it possible that he's run his body through the mill too much, and it can't hold up to the rigors of pro baseball? Secondly, Freel right now is one of the top 5 center fielders in the game defensively. Odd but true. He catches anything he has a right to catch, and a lot that he doesn't, and his arm is average. Hamilton hasn't got nearly the range, even if healthy, and he should be in right. Live with Freel hitting slightly below average - he makes up for it in baserunning.

7. Bring up Votto and Cueto. Wait on Bruce one more year.

8. Rotation: Harang, Arroyo, Cueto, Livingston, and either Bailey (if he actually learns how to pitch) or a free agent.

Last but not least. Fire George Grande and hire Michael Reghi - or anyone who will talk about the game THAT IS CURRENTLY BEING PLAYED without a smarmy, smirky, fake, overly polished, anecdote-laden, chuckle-a-minute attitude. The man is horrible, and it doesn't matter how long he's been in broadcasting. I was watching the games that Reghi did, and I said to my wife, "Honey! He's actually talking about that game! He's talking about what kind of pitch the pitcher might throw to get the batter out!" Tears nearly ran down my eyes. My wife didn't care. Either way, this move alone will increase television viewership.

All of these things can be accomplished with near the current payroll if you do #2 above. Let go, people. Let go.

 
at 8:09 PM Anonymous randy said...

First, business: Hire someone whose FT job is the fan experience. Has to be more fun even when losing. Cheap seats all the time for college students. They travel in packs. Younger kids come with parents. How about a college deck? Keep track of attendees by college name or conference or something.

Reduce prices during wekday/early season games, up em on weekends when you draw the best.

Attendance has to be boosted.

Real thoughts:

Keep Mackanin unless you get LaRussa or Girardi. Big name =big dollars that may be better spent on players.
Don't do much with offense, even with our "problems", Reds still 13th in ML in number of runs scored. But, with pitching issues, only offensive player that would attract interest is Phillips and his low OBA is a problem.

I'd try to negotiate with Dunn for a lower salary and try to have outfield of Griffey, Hamilton, Dunn, Bruce. Keep Freel as utilty player/late inning defense. Trade Hopper (low OBA again) in a package with Phillips. Put Hamilton, Keppinger 1-2 in lineup. Both get on base. Nice to have a lead off homer occasionally.

Keep Keppinger to replace Phillips. Put Votto on first, keep Hatteberg as PH. Platoon Ross/Valentin.

Bullpen is bad...MUST Keep Weathers as set up man. DUMP asap Coffey, Stanton. Bring UP Cueto, Bailey ASAP for big league experience while it doesn't matter if we win or lose.
If can't trade Milton, consider a ML minimum salary deal when he's healthy. He might do it. Low risk if he's that cheap.
08 rotation: Harang, Arroyo, Bailey, Cueto, and Belisle/Livingston. Put 35 mill of budget into pitching. If can afford, sign a number 2 or 3 guy.

Hitting: Offseason: Trade Phillips. Low OBA and Reds offense problem is OBA

 
at 11:28 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

As John Erardi already pointed out, the Reds have 2 huge problems.

1) The bullpen

2) Lineup construction - 6-7 regulars on a daily basis with a poor on base percentage means lots of outs and rally killing.

If guys like Phillips, Ross, Gonzalez, Encarnacion and Freel cannot learn to be patient and get on base, then they should not be kept around very long. The one exception is Phillips who brings more to the table.

Fortunately, guys like Bruce, Votto, and Hamilton look like big OPS guys with OBP and power included. On the other hand, Cantu does not.

So in summary, better bullpen, more Moneyball philosophy, and better drafting and devoping than we've seen from the hacks running the farm system for the past 20 years. No starting pitchers worth a crap since Tom Browning is ABYSMAL!

 
at 11:38 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

the best way is do both plans. sign veterans that will keep people comong to the ballpark. But long-term is more important. Keep Dunn. He's a power hitter and every team needs a 40 homerun guy. In the offseason trade Griffey, hatteburg, Conine (if he doesn't retire), trade gonzalez (He be better defensivly but they need his position), trade staton, or dump him, trade freel or hopper...they are both good but outfeilders are a dime a dozen and other teams could use them. in '08 shoot for .500. But in '09 bring up good some guys. I hope that one day this could be the lineup in '09.

Hitters

Hamilton CF
Dunn LF (He has a high SLG and OBP and lets face it he hits best at the no. 2 spot...don't believe me? look it up. http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/playerSplits?categoryId=85502)
Encarnacion 3B
Philips 2B
Votto 1B
Bruce RF
Keppinger/Cantu SS
Ross C

Bench

Kepping/Cantu IF
Castro IF
Hopper OF
Valentin C
Veteran Free Agent 1B (To show Votto the ropes in the big leagues)

Startes

Harang
Arroyo
Bailey
Livingston
Dumatrait/Rameriz (Let them battle it out)

Bullpen

CL: Burton/Salmon (Let them battle it out)
SU: McBeth
SU: Weathers
SU: Coutlangous
SU/MRP: Burton/Salmon
MRP: Belisle (OK starter good reliever)
MRP: Bray
LRP: Rameriz/Muntrait

I know i have a lot of set-up men but they can all do it.

 
at 7:45 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Portland Phil...you wonder why Mac keeps playing Conine and Encarnacion? Its because he's being told by Krivsky to do so! It's called showcasing for a possible trade in the future. Everyone sees that Keppinger and Hatteburg should be in the lineup, regardless of who is pitching, but Krivsky wants Mac to play certain people to showcase them for a trade. Why else would he limit Petey Mac? He isnt gonna be here next year anyway, so he has to do what he is told to do, simple as that!

 
at 12:16 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reassign Mackanin to his advance scouting job. I'm not trusting another interim-turned full-time that eventually fails. Fire Pole and Hume, pitching is to blame. I'll never forget last year at Redsfest, I met Pole, and I said 'I really think you'll help our pitchers', and he just laughed.
Hire Girardi. Make a rebuilding youth movement happen; Joe can work with that. He'll probably keep Jacoby, Hatcher, Berry, and Stefanski, but let him pick whatever coach he wants

Rebuild like Milwaukee. Starting this winter, and going till God knows when do this position by position:

1B: Either way Conine is gone soon. Resign Hatteberg, but make Votto the full-time guy. Hopefully, Votto can contribute up here.

2B: Why mess with a good thing? Phillips is one of the NL's best second basemen; leave him there. This is the guy I'm betting we'll see be team captain.

SS: A-Gon is okay. There's nothing in the minors at short [janish can't hit, Valaika will be nothing but utility for some team]. No shame in keeping A-Gon, but I'd try for Eckstein.

3B: Good lord, trade out Encarnacion. Put in King Keppinger. That simple. Juan Francisco? Bad defense, k's way too much. Forget him.

C: Don't like Ross, but he'll have to do until Mesoraco comes up; he'll be better. [Devin is off in his pro debut, but heck, Rookie league has like 4 catchers. I'd have trouble if I were him catching any consistency].

OF: Trade Dunn. There is a taker for him, but trade him, and settle for prospects. Let Griff stay his last year here, then move on. Eventually have an outfield of Hopper in left [playmaker, good D, fast, bunter; you don't need power guys at every position, look where it gets you], Hamilton in center [two more years, he'll be awesome-r], and Bruce goes to right after this year - Griff's last. Stubbs? A fourth outfielder. He's very fast, but k's way too much. He does have perfect defense, though.

Keep Harang as long as possible, that's our ace. Bet your bottom dollar Bailey comes around. I think Arroyo could be traded. Belisle and Dumatrait? Don't hold on to them longer than needed. Keep an eye on Livingston, he could work into the future rotation. Sean Watson, keep an eye on him in the minors. Trades and FA acquisitions will need to fill in the 1 or 2 extra rotation spots.

Pull a Papelbon, and convert Cueto to a closer; I think he'd have the mentality, and would be lights-out. Let Bray and Coutlangus stick around in the bullpen for the future. It's a toss-up on Majewski. Guardado, he won't last too much longer, don't depend on him. Get some minor leaguers and free agents to fill in the bullpen, that's plausible.

Freel can't play everyday. Trade him, or the better option is put him on the bench for the future. Keep Valentin; his pinch-hitting abilities are tremendous, and would be valuable to the club.

This plan would need about two years to totally gel together.

-J.D.

 
at 10:13 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Cincinnati Reds have a good core of players such as Dunn, Griffey Jr, Phillips, Freel, Harang and Arroyo.

Keep Griffey Jr. until the end of his career. Many out there do not appreciate what he has endured, what he has done, and what he can potentially do. Remember he has had ground breaking surgery on his legs, with 3 screws holding his hamstring together. Yes, he is at the end of his career and production is low but this man is a Hall of Fame player, the only active player to be on the All-Century Team. He's giving Cincinnati all he has. Keep him batting 3rd, however he needs help.

Dunn is a Cincinnati type player. The thing is important is his consistency. He plays everyday, consistently hits 40 homers, 100 RBIs and 100 runs. If traded that is a lot of offensive to replace, and lets face it the Reds with their offense.

DUMP MILTON.

The Reds also need one more quality starting pitcher with major league experience. Moreover the addition of a professional hitter from the 1st base position like Phillips and Hatteberg is the help Dunn and Griffey need.

Promote Livingston. He is a Cincinnati type player as well. Hard-nose and a competitor, he will add fire to the clubhouse. Sure his stuff isnt overpowering but it is good enough to be in the majors.

A complete overhaul of the bullpen except for Weathers, Burton, and Gosling. Gosling doesn't know what the heck he is doing with right handed batters but he can be a left handed specialist.

The Reds need to tap into the history of the ball club. Barry Larkin and Jose Rijo as assistants to Bowden in Washington is appauling. Moreover, the perfect manager that will provide leadership and fire to the clubhouse is Cincinnati's own Frank Robinson.

The revolving door of managers, GM's, and players must end in Cincinnati to provide team chemistry and continuity. Hire a long term manager, and I guess keep Krivsky. In his short tenure as GM his dealings have been above average. I still don't understand what was wrong with Felipe Lopez. Reds fans need to give credit when its due.

Keppinger must stay. In his short tenure with the Reds he has been good. Why not? however lets not get too excited.

Bottom line Reds Need:
Professional hitting 1st baseman
Quality Starting pitcher
Bullpen overhaul
Long term Manager
Remember the history of the club

 
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