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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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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Dusty on Fogg; Gonzo on his son

Early morning blogging:

Dusty Baker on the possible Josh Fogg signing: “I don’t know? Has he he’s signed yet? I haven’t talked to Wayne (Krivsky) this morning. He told me he had been on the phone yesterday, most of the day, trying to do something.”

Then Baker did something Krivsky doesn't do, he answered the hypothetical question about what a Fogg signing would mean: “He appears to getting better. Plus, if he can pitch in Colorado, he pitch anywhere. He was a pretty big man for them down the stretch, so you know he’s not afraid of big games. It gives us another guy who knows how to pitch. If one of our young guys isn’t ready, it gives them time to get ready.”

I asked Alex Gonzalez how his son was doing. "Good," he said. When I asked a follow-up, he politely said he didn't want to talk about it. That's not just a media thing with him. I've asked a couple of teammates what they've heard and they said Gonzalez just doesn't like to talk about it.

Back to Fogg: My thought is if you can get him without giving up anyone, it makes more sense than trading Homer Bailey or Johnny Cueto for Joe Blanton. Fogg's ERA at Coors last year was 5.97. It was 4.15 on the road. Blanton's ERA was 2.69 in Oakland. It was 5.11 on the road.

Add in the fact that Fogg makes $2.7 million less than Blanton and it makes sense. If you're paying a guy $1 million -- pocket change in today's baseball -- you don't feel obligated to put him the rotation. And that $2.7 million could go toward eating a contract, if you know what I mean.


at 9:28 AM Anonymous redsfanwoody said...

Sounds like maybe Stanton's contract gets eaten? No offense to him personally but he is another year older and coming off a pretty bad year.

I am not too overly concerned if the do sign Maybe the young guys get sent down or maybe Belisle stays in the pen.

Like few people said in earlier post, the Reds realistically probably won't compete for the division title. And if Fogg pitches decently,come July 31st they could add some depth to the farm system.

Plus it's not like its a 3 year $27 million contract!

at 9:30 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eat the contract, goodbye Mr. Stanton and more 7th and 8th Inning meltdowns.

I like the Fogg pickup. I've seen him pitch twice at GABP, once in 04 with the Pirates and in 06 for the Rockies, and both times he was really really good and shut down the Reds bats. Plus he will help eat up some innings in the 4th or 5th spot in the rotation.

Back to my wanting Stanton to go. I would much rather go into battle this year with Bill Bray and Jon Coutlangus than Mr. Stanton. And if Kent Mercker bounces back, that is three strong left handers. Gives Dusty alot of flexability in the bullpen. Randy Bounds, Chatham, IL

at 9:31 AM Blogger robby said...

What you see in the Reds is what happens when an organization thinks it is closer to being good than they it really is. Very disappointing to see the organization continue to target the low-end free agents instead of going with the youngsters. Josh Fogg? How far has Homer Bailey fallen? Did the Reds really trade Hamilton for a pitcher that can't be given a shot to start? I can't wait to see if Kenny Lofton is signed to be the center fielder. What a mess......

at 9:44 AM Blogger Scott In Louisville, KY said...

I don't understand everyone's griping!!!

This move and a possible Kenny Lofton signing are LOW-RISK moves. All they are doing is adding competition. You can never have too many arms. Plus it gives the young guys all the more reason to try harder and excel.

Seriously everyone RELAX. If not you are going to have a heart attack by Opening Day.

I want a winning team just as bad as everyone else but I'm not going to get all bent out of shape over $1 million being thrown to a guy that could (albeit probably won't) be a solid #5.

I would rather go with the youth movement but I also understand the importance of competition when it comes to Spring Training. You don't want these guys getting complacent, especially the young guns.

at 9:45 AM Blogger Scott In Louisville, KY said...

I don't understand everyone's griping!!!

This move and a possible Kenny Lofton signing are LOW-RISK moves. All they are doing is adding competition. You can never have too many arms. Plus it gives the young guys all the more reason to try harder and excel.

Seriously everyone RELAX. If not you are going to have a heart attack by Opening Day.

I want a winning team just as bad as everyone else but I'm not going to get all bent out of shape over $1 million being thrown to a guy that could (albeit probably won't) be a solid #5.

I would rather go with the youth movement but I also understand the importance of competition when it comes to Spring Training. You don't want these guys getting complacent, especially the young guns.

at 9:47 AM Blogger maus said...

Have you ever heard of a team paying someone to retire?

Reds could save Stanton the spring training effort and offer him 60% of the rest of his contract to retire today.


at 9:48 AM Blogger tom dunne said...

I said this in another thread, but it bears repeating. We're less than a week into spring training - it's way too early to know if the kids are ready to start the season on the Major League roster. Bailey pitched 9 games last year and sucked - maybe he's not ready yet. Volquez has 80 innings of MLB experience and he's *really* sucked - maybe he's not ready yet, either.

Just because you have a couple of highly touted prospects doesn't mean you should throw them to the wolves. If they both pitch like phenoms in the spring, maybe they both make the rotation ahead of Affeldt and Fogg. If they both pitch poorly or get injured (Homer did both last year), you've got some guys on the rostr who can cover for them.

Last year, the Reds used 11 different starting pitchers. Most teams use around that many (the champion Red Sox started 9 guys during the season.) You simply cannot have too much starting pitching, even if it's million-dollar roster filler like Josh Fogg.

at 9:51 AM Anonymous Ben said...

If Fogg is going to be used as a long reliever, i love the signing, if not then it does nothing but stunt the growth of the young guys without any superior production. If it lets us eat Stantons contract, so much the better. Affeldt, Bray, and Coutlangus will be fine from the left side of the pen, with Cordero, Burton, Weathers, and Fogg from the right hand side. Affeldt and Fogg can both be our long relievers.

at 9:51 AM Anonymous redfuture said...

I usually try to support their moves but every now and then they don't have the Foggiest notion what they're doing. If Fogg is just to serve as the long/spot man out of the pen that's one thing but to take 30 starts away from Volquez (return for Hamilton) or Bailey/Cueto is mystifying! We all heard their positive impressions of these studs. Is it possible that something is wrong with Harang or Arroyo?

at 9:58 AM Blogger John Fay said...

Maus: The Player Association would have something to say about that.

at 10:19 AM Blogger Al in Ohio said...

OK. Who can tell me, without speculation, how many games Bailey, Cueto, Volquez, or Maloney will win this year at the major league level? Anyone?...Bueller?

That's why the Reds are trying to sign Fogg. The guy has started more than 25 games for six years in a row, and has double-digit wins in five of those years. That's called a "baseline". The Reds have a good idea what they're getting with Fogg, and what they can expect of him. They don't have that with the young guys. All of you can say how many games you THINK the youngsters will win, or FEEL they can win, but the fact remains that you have no legitimate idea. No one does.

Signing a durable, veteran arm for a low price is an absolutely great, solid move by the Reds.

at 10:23 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's funny how everyone just assumes that the young guys are ready enough not to embarress themselves and/or that they will stay injury free. And that Harang and Arroyo stay injury free. And that Belisle actually improves. And no one in the bullpen gets hurt. Etc., etc., etc.

This is a low-risk move for depth. Not protecting the team in the event of injury and/or young guys getting blown up by actual big-league hitters this spring would be malpractice on the part of Krivsky.

Tampa Red

at 10:24 AM Blogger 24/7 said...

seemed like we paid cormier to retire. dios mio!

at 10:31 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally I think it's a good move. Fogg was decent away from the launchpad Coors Field last year (sadly, that's how it would be here, too). This gives you the chance to eat Stanton's contract (seems to be everyone's idea). Maybe Bailey's not ready yet? Maybe there is an issue with some of the kids. Krivsky's so tight on personnell that we wouldn't know it until the last minute. But even the talk of adding a starter gives the young guys more competition and incentive to get better. This move won't make the team worse, and who knows, Fogg could just be a rent-a-player that they use as trade bait in July - either way, it certainly can't hurt an already shaky pitching staff.

at 10:40 AM Blogger Bengal43 said...

Options...Does Majewski, Bray, Coffey, Coutlangus, Belisle, Volquez and McBeth still have options?

at 10:41 AM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

Glad to see that the scrap heap is still open. Obviously Krivsky feels the need to replace Screwloose and Lousy.

Actually, no harm in signing Fogg as long as he is not in the rotation or taking up a spot on the major league roster like a Santos, Mays, Majewski, McBeth, Stanton, Cormier, Williams, Michalik, Sun-Woo-Kim, White, Standridge, Yan, Hammond, Johnson, Burns, Saarloos, Lohse, Stone just to name a few Krivsky additions.

Happy garbage picking Wayne!

at 10:42 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This sends a clear message (vote of no confidence) to the supposed promising young starters: "Don't get your hopes up. Your chances will be limited." Club insiders must know deep down that the young guys are not studs or are nowhere near ready for the bigs. And if they aren't better than Fogg, they don't belong. So, just put away dreams of watching a home-grown starting stud come of age this year. Fogg is bottom of the barrel. Affeldt has been promised a preferred shot at rotation. Barring injury that leaves no room for anyone else. All the talk of the 4 young prospects was blather.

at 11:02 AM Blogger Chris at Redleg Nation said...

If those young pitchers (all of them?) aren't ready, then ship them out for someone who's actually good.

Either use them to pitch, or use them as trade fodder.

Funny that Dusty remembers Fogg as coming through in big games. I seem to recall him getting his brains beat in by the Padres in that one-game playoff (4 IP, 8 H, 2 BB, 5 ER), then again in the post-season (10.2 IP, 18 H, 2 BB, 6 ER).

Fogg's "improvement" is a function of the excellent Denver defense, not much more.

For 1/$1M, he's actually a nice signing - it just makes no sense for a team that already has Matt Belisle (who's better and younger), Jeremy Affeldt (who was just signed to start), and Voltron (who we just gave up Josh Hamilton to acquire).

As usual, there's no discernable pattern to Wayne Krivsky's activity.

at 11:26 AM Blogger Champ Summers said...

When an earlier post said relax it's apparent that some of you can't take good advice. This is baseball and pitching is hard to find. Fogg has been decent at times and can give you a stong outing from time to time.

He is what he is and we know what to expect from him. Not the guy we have slotted to take the #3 but who says Belisle is? Our future #2 #3 and #4 just that, the future.

The real run begins next spring. This year is a transition year. Guys like Fogg and Affeldt are here to keep the ship from sinking if the future is not now!

What do we have if the young guys just need a little more seasoning? Nothing.

If anyone expects a 90 win season here you are overly optimistic. Those expectation begin in 2009.

at 11:29 AM Anonymous Dan said...

Usually I agree w/ you Chris at RN, but in this case I don't.

I think Fogg is great as a #5 innings eater and as young pitcher insurance. It gives the Reds the flexibility to let any or all of them get in more time at AAA. Keep in mind how young they all are. If memory serves, Volquez is 23, Bailey is 21, and Cueto is 21!

Also, as an earlier post mentioned, the idea of picking 5 starting pitchers and that's it is really not accurate. ALL teams -- good and bad -- end up having something like 9-12 or more guys start at least one game. (I don't know the actual numbers, but it's something like that.)

Having one more decent, durable arm around to pick up a bunch of those starts is nothing but good.

And better yet, it leaves the hope we have for 2009 and beyond undisturbed.

at 11:35 AM Blogger Brendan said...

If the Reds really went with the "give the youngsters a chance" plan this season that some of you are clamoring for, you same people who are wanting it would be complaining about it in June when the youngsters were getting pounded. I really don't understand that narrow-minded argument. How is competition bad in any setting? Did anyone say that Fogg is guaranteed a spot in the rotation?

What happens if Bailey and Cueto both pitch well in the spring and make the rotation on to be ROCKED when the season starts? Should we just keep throwing them out there to gain experience, even though their confidence will be shot?

Everyone brings up the Tigers and the season they let their young pitchers learn in the majors. That whole 2003 Tigers team was TERRIBLE. They had NO CHANCE of competing with the Sox and Twins that season. The same can't be said about the Reds this year. The NL Central is probably the easiest to win in the ML right now, so why not make a few low risk moves to try to win it?

The 2003 Tigers won 43 games that season..... I've seen how some of you guys whine on this blog and if the Reds went with the youngsters and only won 60 games, you'd be posting the overplayed "WAKE UP CINCY FIRE KRIVSKY" slogan twenty times a day!

at 11:36 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

NO, NO, NO, NO ! ! ! The guy puts so many men on base, a situation goes from bases empty to a 3 run dinger in only seconds away in GABP. Look how many hits and walks the guy gives up. Large or small field does not factor in those numbers. Now add in the GABP hr factor and WOW! I don't care how cheap he is. You can get little Jimmy from the local knothole team cheap too, does that means he's any good?


at 11:37 AM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

Fogg has a neat sounding name..unfortunately hes not a very good pitcher

cheviot.. I dont know whether Stone or Cormier was Krivskys best signing

at 11:52 AM Blogger jdeezman said...

Mr. Fay, could you pass on to Gonzo that we respect his privcy, but please know there are fans praying for his child and family?


at 12:33 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

Jack, I kinda lean toward Joe Mays although Cormier and Stanton got a lot more money. Stone certainly deserves consideration.

at 12:33 PM Blogger kingseyeland said...

I would rather see Josh Fogg get knocked around than any of the young pitchers. At least we know Fogg can bounce back from a bad outing. Rush the young guys and destroy their confidence? Not interested. Let them develop where you're supposed to develop players -- in the minors.

at 1:58 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

yeah I forgot about Joe Mays.. Cheviot

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