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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, February 23, 2008

Baker: Better, much better

Dusty Baker said he was going to address some things with the team before Friday’s work out. He did. And the results?

“It was better – much better,” Baker said. “The overall intensity of the drills was much better. It’s hard to simulate (game conditions) but you practice as you play. You’re looking for perfection even though you’ll never get it.”

Baker is spending time on the tower between fields. He’s starting to get to know his pitchers. He’s been impressed so far.

“Some guys are throwing good," Baker said. "You can tell the guys who played Winter Ball. (Johnny) Cueto, (Edinson) Volquez. They’re ready. (Josh) Roenicke showed a pretty good arm yesterday.”

The competition among left-handers in the bullpen is going to be stiff. The Reds have Bill Bray, Jon Coutlangus and Mike Stanton on the roster, plus non-roster veterans Kent Mercker and Scott Sauerbeck.


“Mercker’s throwing the ball good," Baker said. "All our left-handers are throwing good. It’s going to be tough decision. I had never seen Coutlangus. He’s throwing the ball good. Sauerbeck’s throwing good.”

Baker singled out right-hander Gary Majewski again: "Majewski’s throwing the ball well. He’s in better shape than I heard he was last year. He’s stronger.”

Jared Burton’s make a favorable impression as well.

“He was breaking some bats yesterday," Baker said. "The ball was moving all over everywhere.”


Here's the scoop on Tuesday's intrasquad game:

SCRIMMAGE: The intrasquad game will be held at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday at Ed Smith Stadium. The 11 pitchers scheduled to throw an inning each are RHP Aaron Harang, RHP Bronson Arroyo, RHP Josh Roenicke, RHP Richie Gardner, RHP Johnny Cueto, LHP Alexander Smit, LHP Matt Maloney, RHP Daryl Thompson, RHP Sergio Valenzuela, LHP Tyler Pelland and RHP Ramon Ramirez. Proceeds from the $5 general admission tickets will benefit the Reds Community Fund.


91 Comments:

at 10:00 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

One thought about the pitching is that Belisle could still not get a starting pitching position. If not, that would only strengthen the bullpen even more. A bullpen of Cordero, Weathers, Burton, Belisle, Bray, Affedlt, Mercker, Cooter, plus one other guy would be a very good bullpen when compared against the rest of the MLB. If the young guys falter, just move Belisle up in their place.

Start the year with
Harang
Arroyo
Fogg
Bailey
Cueto/Voltron (I like that nickname)

If the younf guys falter early, they get sent down and now know what they have to work on. In the weak NL central, I believe this approach would be OK. I would say I realize this would never work in a tougher division.
Adrian

 
at 10:06 AM Blogger docproc said...

John:

I just checked the Spring Training schedule and was amazed to find that the Reds are playing their first game THIS WEDNESDAY against Philadelphia in Clearwater. Is it just me or is this a shorter gap than usual between "pitchers and catchers report" and the first ST game?

 
at 10:57 AM Anonymous Nathan said...

John - do teams have workouts during the weekend too, or is it only a Mon-Fri thing?

 
at 11:10 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, if Bruce gets the starting job, do you see Hopper backing up in center and Freel in the utility position like before?

 
at 11:21 AM Anonymous tadd said...

John,

Great pictures on the enquirer website.I hope this is going to be a regular Spring Training addition.

 
at 11:22 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who remembers the last time the Reds had this many good arms in Spring Training? It's been 10--15 years! Plus most are really young! You've gotta love the fact that we're getting younger and better at the same time. It may not be this year, but it's only a matter of time (barring injuries to young arms) before the Reds (and yes, I said, "the REDS!") begin to dominate the NL Central and possibly the rest of baseball.

I couldn't be happier we didn't deal anyone for Blanton. Bedard... I would have loved to have had, but probably not at the cost it would have taken. So, let the competition begin and let the development take place as we wait for the second coming of the Braves of the 90's. (Hopefully with better results in the WS!)

I'm excited about our future and look forward to watching these guys develop. It's going to be a fun year. Go REDS!!

Marc in Kentucky

p.s.
I think Krivsky has done a marvelous job of crafting a club that is going to be competitive for a long time. He gets a lot of flack, but I think overall he's been a super GM.

 
at 11:25 AM Blogger John Fay said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
at 11:37 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

MARC ONE WOULD ONLY HOPE THE REDS BECOME GOODIN A MATTER OF TIME CONSIDERING THEY HAVE STUNK FOREVER. WE HAVE NOT PLAYED ANY GAMES THIS YEAR EVEN SPRING TRAINING PERHAPS YOU SHOULD NOT BE GRADING WK SO PREMATURELY

 
at 11:51 AM Blogger John Fay said...

The only off day of the spring is March 19. The reds work out every other day.

Doc Proc: It gets on you quick. Seems to me the gap is shorter than ever.

 
at 11:58 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the previous thread, people were talking about Keppinger at short vs. Gonzalez. I loved Keppinger's bat last year, too, and I hope he keeps it up. I'm old enough to remember when Danny Driessen came up - he looked like he might hit .400 some day. And Kal Daniels - he looked like a hitting machine, like many guys do for a short time when they first come up, and then fell back to reality.

Again, I hope Keppinger hits .340 for the rest of his career. And don't worry, if he does, he'll damn sure play somewhere.

When people look and see that Keppinger had a better fielding percentage than Gonzalez and that the team ERA was lower when Keppinger played (not sure if that's even a verified fact, but it might be) - how can anyone not realize that it had to be unbelievably difficult for Gonzalez to concentrate last year with what he was going through. It could never be proved, but it seems obvious that it would be fair to attribute some of those errors to that situation.

Plus, Gonzalez can easily hit 25 hr's playing at GABP - it's not like he's a total all glove, no hit guy.

 
at 12:05 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

11:58 anon ..Gonzalez hit for average last year. Absolutely no one is saying he had a bad year

Keppinger is just a better ballplayer

 
at 12:11 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, I love the pictures too from spring training, but it is asking too much to provide a link to get back to the main sports page. Geeeeessshhhhhhhhhhhhhh

 
at 12:28 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, I would like your opinion on the Krivsky situation. Many on this board want to see him gone and Jockerty replace him. No doubt because of the past relationship between the owner and Walt, there has to be some pressure on Wayne. My take is far from what all the smart posters are saying. The Reds have moved up to the number 3 overall organizations according to Baseball America. They are on the cusp with some great young and talented players. Between some nice drafts by O'Brien and Wayne the Reds look to have a promising future. All along I felt this team would turn the corner in 09 and be in great shape for years to come. If they don't finish higher than third, do you think Wayne is gone? I do not thing Jockerty is all that impressive as far as what he did with the Cardinals. He made a horrible trade when he go Mulder, he got lucky when a couple of pitchers had a good run and they won the world series, despite not even deserving to be in the playoffs. Now the Cards are in horrible shape, both on the feild and their farm system. So what does he bring to the Reds? I look at the moves that Wayne made and while they didn't all work out, he has brought in some key young players. I would really be interested in your opinion from your vantage point? Thanks for the great blogg.

Mike Davis,
USAF

 
at 12:35 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Mike: That's what I'm writing about in my Sunday insider for the paper. My conclusion: You could be Jocketty and Krivsky together for several years. That's if the Reds win this year. Jocketty had nice things to say about the young talent Krivsky has collected.

 
at 12:39 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

More about Keppinger/Gonzalez that I forgot to say. The difference in team era, if it was actually lower when Keppinger played, for one is probably not that significant due to the small sample size of how many games that Keppinger played at SS. Also, it's greatly affected by who happend to be pitching during that small sample size. For example, if Harang happened to have started proportionately more games when Keppinger was playing. Also, Burton became a huge factor in our bullpen in the second half, and that's when Keppinger played.

Fielding percentage is such a small part of rating a fielder. If nearly everyone in baseball that I've heard talk about it says that Gonzalez is one of the best fielding SS's in the game, then I believe it, and I know that's worth a huge amount to a team.

I'm not by any means against Keppinger playing. I loved watching him last year, and I hope they find playing time for him. But it's pitching and defense that wins games, so I'll trust the experts that Gonzalez is one of the best and needs to be playing.

Don't mean to be argumentative and beat a dead horse, I just had forgotten to make a couple of those points (I was anon 11:58).

 
at 1:06 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's hard not to feel giddy about the Reds' prospects this year. The collection of young guns both arms and fielders is superb. Dusty seems really high on Votto, Bruce not as much. That seems understandable. Votto had a nice cameo at the end of the end of the year. I just hope Bruce gets a fair shot. Catcher continues to be the achilles heel of this team. David Ross has no stick, and Valentin no glove. Would hope the Reds address this position in the draft or by trade. In any case, can't wait til opening day. Go Res!

 
at 1:10 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

we have a better staff and maybe a great staff in years to come but I remain worried about our hitters. Too many lefties that do not make contact enough. Nothing drives me crazier than lead off doubles followed by three strike outs or pop outs. Aside from Votto and Bruce, these guys are old enough to know how to play the game. get it done and the pitching staff and GM will be fine

 
at 1:26 PM Blogger Aaron said...

If Majewski and Mercker are in the bullpen we are in BIG TROUBLE. majewski will fool you until the game is on the line at which point he will buckle every time. If Baker isn't smart enough to look at that stat sheet, and if he buys into this nonsense that Majewski was hurt or whatever and just needs a clean slate then he will get burned and it will cost us several games as the entire bullpen will be affected. Mercker is just plain washed up. He was decent two yrs ago -- barely. His numbers were ok but he let nearly all inherited runners score so no way can he qualify as a situational lefty.

Baker has a lot of personnel decisions to make and I am worried that because he was not with the Reds last season he is gonna give everyone a blank slate and Majewski is gonna possibly get yet another chance to kill us.

 
at 1:26 PM Blogger jdeezman said...

Jack, for anyone to say that Keppinger is a better ballplayer than Gonzo after such a short sampling is beyond ludicrous.

I sincerely hope that you are right, because it would mean nothing but good things for the Reds. Reality says that you have to see what the kid would produce in a full season to tell what kind of ball player he will really be.

Anon @11:58/12:39 hit the nail on the head... I HOPE that Keppinger is the next Ripken/Jeter but as of right now he is just a September call-up flash in the pan.

Gonzo is the proven SS for the Cincinnati Reds.

 
at 1:27 PM Anonymous Marc in Kentucky said...

"MARC ONE WOULD ONLY HOPE THE REDS BECOME GOODIN A MATTER OF TIME CONSIDERING THEY HAVE STUNK FOREVER. WE HAVE NOT PLAYED ANY GAMES THIS YEAR EVEN SPRING TRAINING PERHAPS YOU SHOULD NOT BE GRADING WK SO PREMATURELY"

First off, turn your caps off dude, no need to shout.

Yes they have stunk for quite a while, but the talent level is among the best I can remember and I've been following them for about 30 years. They are just young. I'm not comparing them to "The Big Red Machine" but they've got a collection of young arms and bats that make very confident the tide is turning. I'm willing to enjoy them this year as they mature and would hope the next several years will be windfalls.

Lighten up and stop being so negative. If you can't find a little hope with the future of this club you've got a fairly miserable sports existence. Sorry if my optimism offends your depression.

Go REDS!!!

Marc in Kentucky

 
at 1:35 PM Blogger jdeezman said...

Great call Mark in Ky, and don't be surprised to soon see that your optimism will be the cause for personal attacks.

The young talent base IS the most promising since the Dick Wagner purge statred so many years ago.

It's more than a little irionic to me that Bob Howsam passes away just as the Reds seem to be headed in the right direction finally.

Here's to looking forward to (near) future success!

 
at 1:37 PM Blogger jdeezman said...

Wow, my spelling/typing are REALLY terrible today!
Marc, started, ironic...LOL!

 
at 1:45 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, With all this talk of a need for a leadoff hitter, why isn't Joey Votto part of the conversation? The guy has a .385 OBP over his minor league career and has averaged 21 SB over the last two seasons. We have plenty of power to go throughout the lineup, so his power stroke will not be nearly as misplaced as when Dunn hit at the top. His SB% number is a bit low at 68% for his career. Does he have enough speed to leadoff? - Petey in LA

 
at 1:53 PM Anonymous reality based community said...

The very idea that Keppinger vs. Gonzalez is a debate is one of the many reasons I can't help but read this board. You guys are simply hilarious. Find a scout anywhere who sees Keppinger, who will be 28 in April, as anything more than a utility player and I'll show you a guy who's about to be out of a job.

 
at 1:57 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Votto's averaged 21 steals the last two years. He's an on-base guy. But I don't think the Reds would want to put that kind of pressure on him.

 
at 2:02 PM Blogger AFMike said...

Thanks John,

The one followup to your reply that I would be curious about is: "If the Reds win". What will represent "win"? Myself, I believe the Reds should not buy into the fools gold that they did two seasons ago. A successful season in 08 to me would be .500 with development of the young players.

Also, what is your opinion of Jockerty and his track record in St. Louis? I do not want to see the Reds go backward as far as devloping their own players.

Thanks,

Mike D.
USAF

 
at 2:17 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry John, I have a lot of questions. Do you think the Reds will give Dunn an extension? Without him this team is lacking that one player that people come to watch. Everyone can jump on the Jay Bruce bandwagon (including me), but Adam Dunn provide production and fans. I'm sure some of the talking heads do not agree, but I don't give their opinion a whole lot of credability.

Thanks,
Mike D.
USAF

 
at 2:19 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

MARC: To give W.K. any credit is all wrong,did you forget 72-90!! Also, the Nats. won more games than the Reds in 07!!We have lots of holes yet...Walt J. is on the job because Cluless has failed! In addition,W.K. is a PR nightmare with his arrogant disregard to the fans!Bob C. can't afford to have this jerk around!! WAKE UP CINCY FIRE KRIVSKY...ANGRY IN DAYTON

 
at 2:21 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

John Fay hit the "nail on the head"..money

Its interesting to see how players get embellished or diminished on this blog. Gonzalez being a good example.

He has always been a very streaky player that at times could make brilliant plays. Yet, very inconsistent, This is why he was let go in Boston.

Somehow, by the time he came to the Reds, everybody on this blog had made him out to be the 2nd coming of Derek Jeter.

I don't need scouts to determine my realities, my eyesight is good. This team played a hell of alot better with Keppinger at shortstop

And if it were not for the money that Gonazalez is owed..he would not be starting. Furthermore, they did attempt to trade him this past winter and they had no takers

Mr Deezman, you served a couple of years in the peacetime military a number of years ago, Thank you. They pulled me outta an emergency room rotation in 05 to go to Iraq, I actually served our country in a time of war

And when John Fay gets back from Florida, he can come to my office, meet my staff and see actual commendations from the Airforce.

Yet, you hurting your back on somejob ten years later, living off disability and workers comp does not make you a war hero as you are presenting yourself to be

I find this charade of yours insulting to the good men and women that actually defended our country

Furthermore, you live 800 miles away , you have not been to a Reds game in 15 years as you told us, your input specific to this team is marginal andinsignificant.

 
at 2:48 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marc in Kentucky, we have heard the same thing for the past seven years from our owners and general managers, you people getting so excited even though the team has not played a game is astonishing, you can look at that other bloggers post differently, oerhaps his/her dose of reality is offensive to your state of denial

 
at 2:50 PM Blogger redfuture said...

Petey in LA: The answer is unequivicalbly... YES. Thank you, I've been saying all winter that Votto should leadoff whenever Hopper/Freel are not starting. That allows the L-R-L-R-L-R-L beat in the lineup of Votto, BP, Jr, EE, Donkey, AGon, Bruce, Ross.

 
at 2:57 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Mike: By winning, I mean a winning season. Jocketty's overall record is hard to argue with. I think Dunn will get an extension, but I'm not as sure about as I once was.

Jack, Jdeezman, et al: Please for the love of God don't turn every thread into a debate about who's who. People come here for Reds talk.

 
at 3:03 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

you are correct John I apologize I will refrain from responding in the future sorry

 
at 3:11 PM Blogger jdeezman said...

John,

For the love of God... shut down the fool known Jack in Blue ash.

I come here to talk/read Reds baseball, and not read the asinine ramblings of some internet stalking freak.
Just like AF Mike, I've lived outside the area since I joined the service in 1983 and get my fill of Reds news... especially off season news through online entities such as your blog. This guy and his minions ruin every Reds conversation/post you make if you don't agree with their opinions.

Jack in Blue Ash, contact me at jdeezman@yahoo.com if you want to have any dealings with me that are not related to the Cincinnati Reds, but stop the stalking BS please.

 
at 3:22 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

JOHN:
So far I have heard that Dunn is in shape, Coffey has lost 20 lbs, Majewski is in better shape. What about Griffey (who was terribly out of shape early last season), Gonzalez(who looked a bit pudgy last year), and everyone's favorite Mike Stanton. Do any of them appear to have lost any weight?

 
at 3:29 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Griffey looks good. Stanton and Gonzalez look about the same to me. Krivsky said guys who were asked to lose weight did.

Bruce and Frel look like they added some upper body muscle.

 
at 3:54 PM Anonymous Mike the Pharmacist said...

"Mr Deezman, you served a couple of years in the peacetime military a number of years ago, Thank you. They pulled me outta an emergency room rotation in 05 to go to Iraq, I actually served our country in a time of war"

Very, very irrelevant to Reds/baseball talk. Come on, let's focus on Spring Training and the upcoming season.

 
at 3:57 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: Also, what is your opinion of Jockerty and his track record in St. Louis? I do not want to see the Reds go backward as far as devloping their own players.

I happen to live and work in St. Louis for the past 14 years. I was born, grew up, and lived in Cincinnati for 45 years. I have followed the Reds since 1955. I thought I would give my observation of Walt Jocketty. Yes, the Cardinals farm system is now depleted, and, the team on the field this year looks weak to me. But....the Cardinals have had a run of about 10 years where they have made the playoffs, the World Series, or been close. The St. Louis fans pack the stadium every game. The Cardinals are 7th in revenue in all of Major League Baseball. Obviously...somebody did something right. A lot of that credit goes to Walt Jocketty. Cincinnati is always crying about being "small market". Draw a circle around Cincinati for 150 miles....roughly a two hour drive. Within that radius, you have Columbus, Louisville, Indianapolis, Dayton, Lexington. Now do the same with St. Louis......you almost have no large cities at all. St. Louis itself isn't all that much larger in Metropolitan area. The Reds marketing department leaves a lot to be desired. I cannot even go to a movie here, or turn on the TV when I don't see an advertisement for Cardinals tickets. Jocketty did a tremendous job here, and I'm tickled to death that the Reds now have him.

 
at 3:59 PM Blogger Fkdrad said...

John:
Was there much comment today about Ramon Ramirez and Matt Maloney? They looked sharp from the "bleachers" Also, noted that since the first day Griffey,during batting practice, is wearing his cap as it was intended!!! Did Dusty have anything to do with this as part of his "doing the little things right" speech?
Other that D.Pole the entire Reds players and staff looked fit and trim!!!
fkd from osprey

 
at 4:00 PM Blogger jdeezman said...

I know it's very early, but who/what about the Reds has surprised you the most so far?

 
at 4:29 PM Anonymous Kyredsfan said...

If choosing between optimism and throwing in the towel before the season starts I will definately choose optimism. There is one big difference between this spring and the past what, 20...young, talented arms...That is reason to be excited for hopefully 2008 and beyond.

People still complain about the kerns trade, guys he has done NOTHING in Washington and Lopez hada career year in 05. John is the Thompson kid in that trade still considered a prospect?

 
at 4:39 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

Kearns will be playing in a new ballpark this year surrounded by a healthy Willie Mo Pena and Dimitri Young. I look for him to have a very good season. Lopez seems to be a head case, probably good to get rid of him, but at the time his stock was high and we got nothing to show for this trade. Krivsky panicked and got snookered by the last person in baseball that you should trust. Jocketty is not here because Krivsky is a genius.

 
at 4:59 PM Blogger John Fay said...

I've heard good things about Maloney and Ramirez. Maloney is bigger than I thought 6-4 or so.

The talk of the camp so far is Roenicke. He throws 98 and his ball moves. I would not be surprised if he makes the club.

 
at 5:17 PM Blogger redfuture said...

John, it's great to have heard so many positive comments about Roenicke. Have you seen the left hander Tyler Pelland and what impression has he left on you and the coaching staff?

 
at 5:43 PM Anonymous Kyredsfan said...

Im not saying Krivski is a genius, but I am saying acting like Austin was an All-Star outfielder is not being realistic. Since his rookie year (2002) when he hit .315 his high year was this past year year when he hit 266. His other highs are 24 hr and 86 rbis.

He looked pretty good picking up Arroyo Phillips, Maloney, and Volquez. He went for the win with bullpen help in 2006 and it didnt work out. He has made some bad moves and some good moves, thats all I'm saying.

 
at 5:57 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

we have had good young arms in the past . There always seems to be surprises the first 5 days of camp

Arroyo is inconsistent, Volquez and Maloney have yet to pitch a game for us, who knows.. Phillips appears to be wonderful..and a good person too

I am looking forward to the Reds improving to.500..that would be a tremendous improvement in one years time

I saw pictures of that new ballpark.. Cheviot...looks neat

 
at 6:52 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arroyo inconsistent? He has been fairly consistent.

 
at 6:54 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have not heard anything about Lehr or PettyJohn or Valenzuela. How are they doing?

 
at 7:11 PM Blogger Michael said...

harang
arroyo
bailey
belisle
fogg,

Then plug in whichever young gunis hot when one or more of these guys falls apart.

 
at 7:14 PM Blogger Michael said...

cueto and maloney will start the year at triple A, almost no matter how well they pitch in the spring.

 
at 7:42 PM Anonymous PresidentJohnAllenJr. said...

John, would you ask Baker what he thinks of Michael Barrett.
Would the Reds package Keppinger and Freel for the Giants Lowrey?
While the trade value is high for Keppinger, trade him. Gonzo is the shortstop for two more years, case closed. The Giants needs a thirdbaseman and a centerfielder,

 
at 8:09 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, it's Jocketty, not Jockerty. Stop listening to Alan Cutler. Second, St.Louis let him go because he couldn't develop the minor leagues. That's bad, and the Reds don't need it. Krivsky is doing a good job, despite what ANGRY IN DAYTON wants to you believe. Every GM has a couple bad moves. Not many have as many good moves as WK in such a short period of time.

 
at 8:40 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

80-82 to 72-90 is Krivsky's bottom line. I will take the results that the Cardinals have had for the past 7 yrs or so while the Reds have consistently lost.

Arroyo has been very inconsistent and his over-all record is terrible for the past season and a half.

 
at 8:43 PM Anonymous reality based community said...

Of course, the Reds would trade Keppinger and Freel for Lowry. The Giants, however, would not. That is, unless the entire organization has suffered a collective brain seizure.

 
at 8:56 PM Blogger redfuture said...

Dusty is free to choose his own lineup of course, but here is a series of posts describing three basic lineup variations.

Lineup #1) The Methodical Drubbing Lineup, to be used against teams starting a RH (or so-so LH) with two rested decent LHs in the bullpen. It uses the melodic stucatto of the military drill sargeant: Left, Right, Left, Right, Left, Right, Left, Right.
1B - Votto
2B - B. Phillips
RF - Junior
3B - Encarnacion
LF - Dunn
SS - Gonzalez
CF - Bruce
C - Ross (sometimes Valentin)

 
at 8:57 PM Blogger redfuture said...

Lineup #2) The No Mercy Bashing Lineup, to be used against teams starting a RH with no more than one rested decent LH in the bullpen. It uses the unrelenting power bat onslaught of lefty after lefty after lefty after lefty. The get 'em before the no what hit 'em theme.
1B - Votto
CF - Bruce
RF - Junior
LF - Dunn
2B - B. Phillips
3B - Encarnacion
SS - Gonzalez
C - Ross (sometimes Valentin)

 
at 8:57 PM Blogger redfuture said...

Lineup #3) The Industrial Grade Lineup, to be used against teams starting a tough LF pitcher. It manufactures runs with more bunting and situational hitting. Also dares the opponent to use RH reliever with Votto/Bruce joining the other LH hitters on the bench.
CF - Hopper (sometimes Freel)
SS - Keppinger (gives AGon an occassional rest)
RF - Griffey
3B - Encarnacion
2B - Phillips
LF - Dunn
1B - Andy Phillips (wish it were Cantu)
C - Ross (sometimes Valentin)

 
at 9:29 PM Anonymous Kyredsfan said...

We have had good young arms in the past? Who would they be? The Jim Bowden era was bring in 50 guys and hope 1 sticks. I'm trying to think of a young nearly major league ready pitching prosepct the Rds have had in camp the past 10 years. Who would they be?

 
at 9:49 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Fkdrad,

Thanks for the firsthand accounts from the Reds' camp! Lots of us can't get to Florida and there's a lot of things we'd like to know about the team.

Are you going to report from scrimmages and games? Travelling with them throughout the Grapefruit League?

Keep up the great reports and if you don't mind, send me an email at: bottledwater6@gmail.com

 
at 10:07 PM Anonymous redsfanwoody said...

Redsfuture, nice work on the lineups. Pretty interesting.

Kearns is a good player,but is he worth what the 'Nats are paying him? Probably not. Plus he's always been marked as "ready to break out" the last few years and not much has happened. And I like Kearns.

John,thanks for reporting that Jocketty gives Krivsky his due.

As for the Gonzo/Keppinger argument,I think they are both good players. Gonzo has more natural talent and range.And with his son's health problems behind him,maybe he'll show you exactly what he can do.

Keppinger seems to be a "baseball smarts" kind of guy. He's not the most talented,but he probably is the most prepared.

I am thinking Burton is going be money in the bank this year. So I look for the bullpen to be that much better.

 
at 10:26 PM Blogger Hugh D. Pohl said...

Mr. Fay, thanks so much for your comments about the ridiculous and distasteful personal attacks.

Some comments:
After reading all the negative comments on here, I made a point of reviewing the Reds sections of 5different baseball annuals (still waiting for my Baseball Prospectus to come in the mail). I realize these annuals including the Sporating News are the equivalent of the much maligned "mainstream media". But with that caveat, I found it interestinfg that none mentioned a word about Baker destroying young pitchers, Krivsky being clueless, the club ruined by trading Hamilton, Gonzales being beaten out by Keppinger, or Dunn being fat and lazy (although most mentioned him as being below average in the field).

Things that were noted: Starting pitching weak after Harang and Arroyo (yes Arroyo was noted as a strength), good young arms in Volquez, Bailey and Cueto, bullpen strengthened with signing of Cordero, good power of Griffey and Dunn, Griff as above average right fielder, Ross good defensive catcher who needs to get average up, improvement of EE, bright outlook for Votto and Bruce. Most predicted a middle of the pack finish in the division.

Unfortunately, sometimes this blog is like talk radio. Many of the posters run toward the extremes of the spectrum from "Dunn is fat and lazy, Krivsky is an idiot, this team won't win because it has lost for 7 years on the one side" to "Keppinger is a budding superstar, we can get a top-notch starter for Freel and Belisle, and all our young arms are going to be major-league ready at the same time and take us to the promised land" on the other side.

It's okay for everyone to have and express an opinion but it's more interesting if a few facts and some semblance of a foundation for those opinions are cited (other than "I saw it with my own eyes from the stands"). Otherwise it makes you feel like quoting They Might Be Giants: "People should be beat up for stating their beliefs". Oh, and I have to come clean. I never served in the military in any capacity and have no medals or commendations on my walls.

 
at 11:21 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

lets keep it to baseball.

 
at 11:39 PM Blogger Donkey Dizzle 4's said...

This blog is just not very fun. Peace.

 
at 12:59 AM Blogger Stock said...

I really don't understand how fans can look at the record of the Reds the last two years and state that Krivsky stinks as a GM. In the old days GM's were given 5 years to create a team. Here are some of WK moves:

Arroyo for Pena
Phillips for nothing
Ross for Germano
Bray, Majewski and Thompson for Lopez and Kearns
Hamilton Rule 5
Burton Rule 5
Signed long term Harang, Arroyo
Guardado for nothing
Comier for nothing
Maloney for Lohse
Volquez for Hamilton
Valenzuela Rule 5
Really Cheap FA pickups: Keppinger, Hopper
Cheap FA pickups: Gonz, Hatteberg, Stanton, Conine
2006 Draft: Very good
2007 Draft: Great!!!

I probably missed a couple.

It seems that WK gets a bad rap from some fans because of one trade and one FA pickup, because all his other moves put him well above any other GM. However, if it was such a bad trade for the Reds how could it have been a bad trade for the Nationals also. They are stuck with a utility infielder (Lopez) who is a huge problem and an OF that had to leave Cincinnati for Adam Dunn's sake. Kearns is now battling for the RF spot this spring with Dukes. Bowden can have Kearns and Lopez. I would much rather have Hopper and Keppinger.

Who would have been able to anticipate the dropoff of the steroid free Stanton.

For a GM on a team with a limited budget he has done an awful lot extremely quickly.

As Cheviot SA pointed out the Reds did much better in the second half last year. He gave the credit to Keppinger, which is partially correct. I think Hopper and most importantly Burton played a role in this revival also. All three were great pickups by WK.

I must also admit part of the reason for the 2nd half turnaround was that Coffey was pitching in Louisville.

 
at 4:11 AM Blogger Grizzlyfox said...

Haha Hugh hilarious comment...I have also never served haha, I had a guy pull that on me earlier when we were debating Francisco Cordero. My response? I didn't. Its just an awkward situation when someone claims they were in the military. Anyways, this bear predicts the Reds finish 2nd, behind the Cubs. Way too much established talent on that team. I can see Braun, Fielder, Weeks, and Hardy having less productive years than last year, but not Lee, Ramirez, Zambrano, and the rest of their veteran crew. D'Backs lose the series to the Red Sox though. I'd put decent money on that.

 
at 4:55 AM Blogger BATSFAN said...

I got a quick question where is EZ Ramierez?

 
at 7:16 AM Blogger John Fay said...

The EZ question, easily the most asked on the blog. He left as free agent and signed minor league deal with Texas.

 
at 7:37 AM Blogger redfuture said...

Brewer manager Ned Yost is coming down with a case of LaRussa-its. He is considering batting Jason Kendall ninth since he is a leeadoff type hitter but doesn't want move everyone else down to get in there at leadoff. This reported by the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal. IMO-- Reds job just got a tad easier.

 
at 8:02 AM Blogger Redmyles said...

I have not seen anything about Encarnacion. How is his spring going? Any chance he will not be the opening day 3B?

 
at 8:14 AM Blogger redfuture said...

If Dusty's last personal impressions mean anything, Coffey may make the bullpen over my objections. Here is Coffey's line against the Cubs in 06, Baker's last:
2006 6G, 0W, 0L, 2S, 5.1IP, 2H, 0ER, 1BB, 5SO.
This my friends is the more Coffey-esk line the 1st year Dusty saw him against the Cubs:
2005 7G, 1W, 0L, 0S, 8.2IP, 12H, 6ER, 2BB, 3SO.
Must admit though that Coffey seems to have the Cardinals number as he has posted a career 1.00ERA in 19 games against them. The fact that he has a career ERA of 12.60 in 7 games against Arizona does not bode well for him in the opening series this year.

I doubt that Todd's sprint from the bullpen meshes with Dusty's 'way to play the game'. So if he does stick it will interesting to see how Todd enters the game.

 
at 8:24 AM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

Mr Pohl..i sorta tend to look at results rather than relying on publications written by individuals that dont live in this town or follow our sports teams on a daily basis.

Interestingly,as a long suffering Bengals fan I used to take great solace in reading the wonderful sports publications in the off season that always suggested that the team had great talent and would do well.. How often has that held true?

The players and coaches that actually worked with Baker felt he was not very good in working with and developing young arms.There are many articles available on the net that were written both in Chicago and by various sports publications specific to Bakers firing.

Even in todays Enquire, you will note that the article on the Reds noted that had WK been successful, "Jocketty would not be here" I can assure you, if Castellini had 100% confidence in WK the J man would not be a "special advisor"

I dont think this blog is like "talk show radio" Hugh, I believe that there are some realists and when they temper optimism based on the terrible record of this franchise over the course of the past 7 years, people get offended.

I, myself, have repeateadly said that it would be a great accomplishment if the Reds got back to .500. I think that is realistic and an achievable goal

Hugh, as you suggested, I have a fact for you, the Reds were 80-82 two years ago. Last year the Reds were 72-90..they regressed. Not a single game has been played this season, not even 1 spring training game. I simply have not found anything to gush about at this point in time

 
at 8:42 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is nothing to gush about. After Harang we have ZERO "top" pitchers in the rotation.

Closer Cordero and closer backup Weathers appear to give us some depth and reliability at last at closer. If Cordero goes down, it's back to the same old, same old.

Glad to hear Coffey is taking his athleticism seriously and I expect his talent combined with new fitness will make him better, I still think Majewski is a no-talent absolute stinker but this season we'll see guys who KNOW that it's their last chance to play major league ball--many young arms give us great hope here, but for 2010-2011.

The next two years, pitching-wise, is simply going to be a very bumpy road, and nothing absolutely nothing suggests that Affeldt is going to be an effective, reliable starter.

Voltron and Volquez and Bailey are not "good enough" yet either. Maybe their development will accelerate, maybe not.

But 2008 is looking much like last year. Under .500 likely.

How far under is the big question.

I say 2008 is going to be a shocker--with the Reds finishing in last place in the Central.

 
at 8:48 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

STOCK MAN

Arroyo for Pena good
Phillips for nothing good
Ross for Germano fair

Bray, Majewski and Thompson for Lopez and Kearns lousy
Hamilton Rule 5 gone
Burton Rule 5 .. h e had a few good outings.. aside from that he stunk
Signed long term Harang, Arroyo

Guardado for nothing gone and lousy

Comier for nothing (nothing..we paid him millions) and he retired lousy
Maloney for Lohse we will see
Volquez for Hamilton we will see
Valenzuela Rule 5
Really Cheap FA pickups: Keppinger, Hopper good
Cheap FA pickups: Gonz, Hatteberg, Stanton, Conine fair to good

2006 Draft: Very good
2007 Draft: Great!!!
we have absolutely no idea as to how the drafts will turn out

Kevin in Kentucky

 
at 8:54 AM Blogger Al in Ohio said...

"Brewer manager Ned Yost is coming down with a case of LaRussa-its. He is considering batting Jason Kendall ninth since he is a leeadoff type hitter but doesn't want move everyone else down to get in there at leadoff. This reported by the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal. IMO-- Reds job just got a tad easier."

redfuture, you only reported about 1/4 of the story. Yost's musing about putting Kendall in the #9 spot was nothing other than saying he was "thinking outside the box", and had looked at moving Ryan Braun to #2 in the order, due to the fact that, on average, the #2 hitter gets 39 more at-bats than the #4 hitter. If he puts a guy with a good OBP and a guy who takes a lot of pitches, like Kendall, at #9, he sees it as though Braun is hitting #3, with an extra almost 40 ABs.

Don't forget, all the criticism of LaRussa hitting the pitcher at #8 came in years when he won the division.

 
at 9:01 AM Blogger redfuture said...

Here is a link to the kind of dribble Dusty nay-sayers are alluding to. It's full of half-truths and one-sided reporting.
http://www.cubscast.com/blog/2006/07/07/dusty-baker-and-his-coaching-staff-dont-want-to-get-young-players/

Just a quick one-sided positive look for balance in 2003, Dusty's last year in SF, Foppert (22) got 21 starts, Jerome Williams (21) got 21 starts, Correia (22) got 7 starts. He didn't have to do that, he had Schmidt, Rueter, Moss, Ponson, Hermanson, Brower, Jensen and such.

 
at 9:07 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

redsfuture..

dusty baker was not fired because he did a good job..enough said

hopefully he has learned from his mistakes and will regain some of the magic he had in san francisco

 
at 9:17 AM Blogger redfuture said...

Thank you Al in Ohio for following up on the source I gave you. To me it was obviously for the reasons you quoted. What else can one deduce as a reason for batting a position player 9th. That does not make it the best strategy you know. Furthermore, I am certain that Tony did it again last year and I don't believe he won anything. Perhaps Rolen was peeved at the move of rendering the 7 hole batter's impact nearly meaningless as they pitch around him to get the the pitcher in the 8th spot.

 
at 9:29 AM Blogger redfuture said...

Speaking of hitting pitchers, do any of you remember how impressive Bailey was at bat last year? Looks like he is goint to be able to help himself with the stick. Last year he got 3 hits in 11 atbats for a .273 average. I know he is not going to approach that number but he does have a good swing. Perhaps the worst part of his game is holding runners on base better. If he doesn't make the club, I would bet that will be high on the list of reasons.

 
at 9:34 AM Anonymous Phill said...

Kevin In Kentucky...

Burton..only a few good outings? More like only a few bad outings. Out of 47 appearances he gave up 15 total runs, only 12 of them earned. Not bad for a rookie who hadn't pitched above AA AND in Great American.

To Stock,

Keppinger was aquired via trade with the Royals. Krivsky traded Russ Haltiwanger for Keppinger. Not a free agent signing.

Also Norris Hopper wasn't a Wayne Krivsky pick up. Norris Hopper was signed as a free agent in winter of 05 many months before Krivsky took the reigns.

 
at 9:36 AM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

If he keeps the runners off base he won't have to worry about it.

 
at 9:39 AM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

I will also withhold judgment on the Willie Mo for Arroyo trade for another season. Arroyo had a great first half of 06 and has been mediocre at best since then. Willie Mo just turned 26 years old. He could still be a monster.

 
at 10:00 AM Blogger redfuture said...

Arroyo had 22 quality starts, that's alot. What fans remeber are 4 consecutive horrible starts at the end of May and then another repeat bad one against Nats on Aug 1. The Reds record had slipped to 18-27 or something when this began. I truly think part of Bronson's problem was getting used to pitching for a team going no-where again. He had not done that is Boston and the Reds of 06 were in the race until Sept. To his credit Bronson manned-up and became efficiently good the rest of the year regardless of team record. He did not get any favors from the bullpen last year either. This year will be a different story my friends.

 
at 10:11 AM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

The bullpen did no one any favors last season. We can hope for a good entire season from Arroyo. It just hasn't happened yet. He always seems to have a streak of absolutely awful starts. He even did that in Boston. When they made him stop the in season concerts he was much better last year. Maybe that was the answer.

 
at 10:24 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

arroyo has a history of inconsistency..quit making excuses for the guy..

yeah redsfuture and mark my words the Bengals are going to the superbowl my friend

aside from Cordero in the 9th you still have the same stinkers in the pen.

 
at 10:43 AM Blogger Hugh D. Pohl said...

In season concerts a cause for poor performance? That's a good one. And who says "they made him quit". Maybe he thought of that on his own.

 
at 10:45 AM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

I love Bronson arroyo....yet he is what he is..inconsistent. I think he had the same issues in Boston. Cordero helps the ninth inning but even weathers was very shaky and the rest of the pen essentially has not changed

 
at 10:57 AM Anonymous Bud E Weiser said...

Hugh D Pohl (what a clever name):

Let's just say it was strongly suggested that he schedule his music engagements for the off season by the people who sign his checks.

 
at 11:22 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Let's just say it was strongly suggested that he schedule his music engagements for the off season by the people who sign his checks."

and who told you this a friendof a friend of yours that works for the reds?

Kevin in Ft Mitchell

 
at 12:37 PM Blogger redfuture said...

How many of you think that Greg Maddox is inconsistent? 18 quality starts out of 34! How many of you bet on Blanton 20 out of 34! Josh Fogg: 12 of 29. Tom Glavine: 23 of 34, yeah he was able to eak out one more than Bronson. The great Carlos Zambrano: 18 out of 34. Give me a break, Bronson is a legit number 2 and performs as one.

 
at 12:49 PM Blogger redfuture said...

John. Can you find out from Bernie Stowe how many boxes off toothpicks are on hand for Dusty this year? And...how many more is that than in a normal year?

 
at 4:15 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arroyo for Pena
SO FAR NEITHER HAVE BEEN IN THE PLAYOFFS SINCE (Pena will get better, Arroyo is okay but often overrated).


Phillips for nothing (FANTASTIC, best move the Reds have made since getting Pinella)

Ross for Germano FAIR yes

Bray, Majewski and Thompson for Lopez and Kearns

VERY LOUSY. Lopez should have been kept.


Hamilton Rule 5 (GOOD WHILE IT LASTED, NOW WE HAVE GOOD PITCHERS AS A RESULT, SO STILL GOOD)

Burton Rule 5 FAIR AND BETTER IN 08, hopefully


Signed long term Harang
HARANG EXCELLENT.

Guardado for nothing gone and lousy

Comier for nothing (nothing..we paid him millions) and he retired super lousy

Maloney for Lohse (more like trading dead cats)

Valenzuela Rule 5 (great for the name, otherwise unknown)

Really Cheap FA pickups: Keppinger, Hopper

VERY GOOD to EXCEPTIONAL.


Cheap FA pickups: Gonz, Hatteberg, Stanton, Conine STINKY to TOLERABLE (Hatman the best of the bunch)

Let's not forget the other ridiculous FA pickups, like that no talent 0F who played at the end of last season when he had no business on a major league roster.


2006 Draft: Stupid for not enough pitchers taken, otherwise UNKNOWN
2007 Draft: Stupid for the few pitchers taken in first few picks, otherwise UNKNOWN

we have absolutely no idea as to how the drafts will turn out, OF COURSE

we also don't know how many opportunities were missed while Krivsky Waste Collection Co., was dumpster diving for reserve OF on a team lousy with outfielders.

There's only one lineup I want to see this year:

CF BRUCE
2B PHILLIPS
SS KEPPINGER
LF DUNN
RF GRIFFEY
1B VOTTO
3B ENCARNACION
C pick your poison
P

Everyone else can sit on the damn bench until PH opportunities arise for all I care!

That's a damn good lineup.

 
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