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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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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Projecting the 25-man

I'm sitting in the office today working on our spring training preview package. One of the things I do annually is project the 25-man roster. I went 20-for-25 in '06. The Arroyo-Pena trade cost me two spots.

Last year, I went 22-for-25. I would have gone 24-for-25 if Eric Milton and Bill Bray hadn't been on the DL. Anyway, enough with my excuses, here's this year's projection:

Starting eight
1B Joey Votto
2B Brandon Phillips
SS Alex Gonzalez
3B Edwin Encarnacion
RF Ken Griffey Jr.
CF Jay Bruce
LF Adam Dunn
C David Ross


Bench:
OF/INF Jeff Keppinger
OF/INF Ryan Freel
OF Norris Hopper
C Javier Valentin
1B Scott Hatteberg

Rotation:
Aaron Harang
Bronson Arroyo
Matt Belisle
Jeremy Affeldt
Homer Bailey


Bullpen:
Francisco Cordero
David Weathers
Jared Burton
Bill Bray
Mike Stanton
Todd Coffey
Edinson Volquez

The bold prediction is Bruce making it. I'm just guessing on Volquez-Bailey. I think if Bailey gets the nod as far as the rotation, Volquez will make it was a reliever because his arm is that good. I don't think Coffey's spot is secure. And I'm also guessing that Juan Castro starts the year on the DL.

What do you think?


141 Comments:

at 3:51 PM Anonymous JD in the SD said...

I like the Bruce prediction. He is ready and he should start playing this year. He needs to have a year under his belt so he is ready to lead this team when Dunn or Griffey are gone next year (my guess).

Do we really need to see Stanton running out there again this year? I would rather have somebody else from the minors.

Also, do you predict Cueto being ready this year?

 
at 3:54 PM Anonymous Noggy said...

Well I agree with you one everything but Affeldt....

Why would Affeldt get the #4th spot? I see Bailey as #4 then Volquez. Affeldt will get his shot but lose it to Volquez so he can go back to the pen and kick out Stanton.

Finally someone else has Belisle at #3, thanks Fay.

I hope that Bruce gets the start, they really need this guy to play.

 
at 3:54 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really, not bad.
If that's the roster, the future looks bright.
Except--my hope is that Stanton, Coffey AND Majewski are on REALLY short leashes, and that any poor performance this year means DFA, not merely being optioned out.
Coutlangus over Stanton, and I think I'd like McBeth over Coffey.
What I'm thinking, though, is that if Keppinger, Hopper, Freel, Hatteberg, Valentin are the bench, close late inning games are going to be exciting--some come from behind wins are coming the Reds way this season!

 
at 4:10 PM Anonymous M.P.N. said...

I think Volquez starts and Affeldt comes out of the pen.

also, i assume phillips bats leadoff. i don't really like him there.

lastly, thanks for all the great work, john.

 
at 4:23 PM OpenID gdcatcat said...

Looking at it, that's a lot of stick. The depth is excellent. The Reds really are one solid starter and one solid reliever away from being a solid contender.

 
at 4:25 PM Anonymous PastorBRANDON said...

maybe it would be dumb, but i see a trade the sends Hatty somewhere so Andy Phillips makes the Team out of ST.

That would give the Reds A Righty and lefty at 1st base.

 
at 4:26 PM Blogger russ said...

So those are the 11 pitchers on the major league roster assuming that everyone stays healthy?... Something tells me this could be a long summer in hitter-friendly GABP. Maybe Dunn, EE, BP and Griffey will each pick-up 100 RBI and they can stay just below .500 like they have been doing.

 
at 4:29 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you are pretty spot on with the roster . . . and in being so, we are destined to finish either 3rd or 4th in the division.

 
at 4:30 PM Blogger Grizzlyfox said...

Really not sold on Belisle starting. Volquez as a starter(in limited appearnaces) last year was better than all but 2/5 of our current rotation era wise. I'd say Belisle hits the pen, as he was demoted out of the rotation late last year before injuries forced him back in. And man, we need to find some pop for that bench. Javy can't pinch hit cuz then we lose our back up catcher, and it would be hard for those other 4 guys to combine for even 15 HRs on the season.

 
at 4:30 PM Anonymous Kyle said...

I dont think that naming Bruce the starting centerfielder is too bold. I kind of thought that Hamilton was traded because the Reds felt that Bruce was ready.

I threw down a roster when I read the title, and I had 24 of our spots matching. I differed on Volquez making the bullpen. I saw the last bullpen spot going to Majewski. Would you mind listing a few of the players that were on the bubble for you? I thought that McBeth, Coutlangus, Majewski, and Salmon were close to making it.

By the way, do any of you see Roenicke getting any innings in big league camp? If so does he have an outside shot of making the bullpen?

 
at 4:43 PM Blogger John Fay said...

I think Roenicke gets a look.

I just listed the starters as they came to me. I don't think the order beyond Harang means much.

 
at 4:51 PM Blogger Bruce Almighty said...

How is this for a prediction?

This is my 25 man roster:

1b: Votto
2b: Phillips
3b: EE
SS: AGon
LF: Dunn
CF: Bruce
RF: Griffey
C: Ross

Bench
-Freel
-Hopper
-Keppinger
-Hatteberg
-Valentin

Rotation
1. Harang
2. Arroyo
3. Belisle
4. Bailey
5. Cueto

Bullpen
-Cordero
-Weathers
-Burton
-Stanton
-Bray
-Volquez

Cueto will get added to the 40 man roster when Valenzuela gets cut is spring training or gets put on the DL. Bruce will get added when Castro is put on the DL.

Also, Coffey or Countlangus will get called up when Staton becomes ineffective.

 
at 4:58 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure hope you are wrong about Coffee and Stanton. Had the feeling of lost hope everytime those two came into a game last year. How about a couple of our young guns (Cueto, Baily, anybody maybe) in as long men? Remember, Jose Rijo started his reds career as a long man and look how that turned out. Why can they only be starters or only this or that? Get em started out with less pressure.
Gr8pastime, Germantown, Ohio

 
at 5:05 PM Blogger Bruce Almighty said...

Here is my Prediction:

1b: Votto
2b: Phillips
3b: EE
SS: AGon
LF: Dunn
CF: Bruce
RF: Griffey
C: Ross

Bench
-Freel
-Hopper
-Keppinger
-Hatteberg
-Valentin

Rotation
1. Harang
2. Arroyo
3. Belisle
4. Bailey
5. Cueto

Bullpen
-Cordero
-Weathers
-Burton
-Stanton
-Affeldt
-Volquez
-Bray

Cueto will get added to the 40 man roster when Valenzuela gets cut in spring training or is put on the DL. Bruce will get added when Castro goes on the DL. And also, Coffey or Countlangus will get called up when Stanton becomes ineffective.

 
at 5:11 PM Blogger Bruce Almighty said...

add Affeldt to the bullpen on my post.

 
at 5:23 PM Anonymous CHEVIOT SPORTS AUTHORITY said...

Lets hope more moves are made before the season starts. I agree with your roster picks, but if thats it, then we are in for another long year. One proven quality starter and a decent #4 (Arroyo) will not a contender make. Far too many question marks, of course they could all turn into pluses, lets at least wait until ST. Stanton may make the opening day roster just because Krivsky can't afford many more Cormiers, Saarlooses, Santos, Hammonds, etc.
Really no need for Freel either, a right handed batter with some power off the bench would be much more useful. But again, Krivsky has overpaid Freel and he will hard to move.

 
at 5:32 PM Anonymous J-diggety said...

This is my 25 man roster:

1b: Votto/Keppinger
2b: Phillips
3b: EE
SS: AGon
LF: Dunn
CF: Hopper
RF: Griffey
C: Ross/Valentin


Bench
-Freel
-Hatteberg
-Castro
Rotation
1. Harang
2. Arroyo
3. Belisle
4. Bailey
5. Volquez

Bullpen
-Cordero
-Weathers
-Burton
-Stanton
-Bray
-Affeldt
-Brower

 
at 5:34 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can book this team of sorry pitching and dumb hitters for the Reds usual 12 games under .500.

 
at 5:39 PM Blogger Todd Fisher said...

John if that is the lineup, who leads off? EE, Gonzo, or Phillps? I suppose you could try bruce but that doesn't seem likily to me to start a rookie and have him bat leadoff.

 
at 5:41 PM Anonymous Oldtimer said...

John....that roster won't play 0.500 baseball. Oh, well...another long wait for football to return.

 
at 5:47 PM Anonymous TonyLarussa said...

Jeff Keppinger hit .332
Jeff Keppinger .400OBP
Jeff Keppinger 12 Ks in 241 ABs


Norris Hopper hit .329
Norris Hopper hit .371 OBP

Let's make sure we start people that can't hit their weight but hit 40 HRs.

 
at 5:48 PM Blogger John Fay said...

The lineup lacks a true leadoff guy. Votto, perhaps?

You could use Phillips, but he's not an on-base guy.

 
at 6:24 PM Anonymous Ken in NY said...

Looks good, but I figured that somehow Volquez makes the rotation. But I have to admit that if Affeldt is a starter that probably doesn't happen unless there is a deal, an injury, or Belisle pitches himself into the bullpen. Also, anything new on the Majewski grievance?

 
at 6:26 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets wait for a full season out of Hopper and Kepp. before we pronounce thier real averages.

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't mind if they play a whole lot. But don't see Hopper being better that the starting three (of).

 
at 6:32 PM Anonymous PresidentJohnAllenJr. said...

Adding Lofton would provide the Reds with a decent lead off hitter. But, it would cost Bruce his position. Trading Freel for Murton could open a roster spot too. John, is Murton out of options?
If Keppinger opened the season with the Reds, I don't see the Reds keeping Castro.
Majic Man over Volquez is the only change I would made unless the Reds can find a taker for Freel or Hatteberg.

 
at 6:38 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

hmmm..after all these accolades all winter long, I must admit that I was expecting a very different lineup

Just kidding..looks pretty much the same to me as last year

If middle relief does not blow up again..I look for an improvement to .500

 
at 6:40 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is still a disfuctional lineup! We will NOT be 500!I blame W.K....NO PLAN!Just a collection of mostly poor players.And some of you still support that baffoon!Walt J. will lead us in a positive direction...finally! WAKE UP CINCY FIRE KRIVSKY COACH

 
at 6:54 PM Anonymous schlemdog said...

Your line-up has NO lead off hitters.

Unless the Reds are going to hold Bruce back an entire year, then I start him in the OF from Day 1.

I can only pick at your 25 man otherwise.

I hope Stanton retires and Majewski pitches well and takes his spot.

Call it 3, 4, or 5. The Affeldt/Volquez spot in the rotation is IFFY. Whoa! I think Affeldt belongs in the pen and I don;t trust RP who threw lots of innings to string good years together (see Coffey). If Hamilton is ann everyday OF, I'd hope Volquez gets his shot.

The other one you may miss on is Griffey on the DL (knock on wood) and Bruce sliding over, Freel and Hopper starting in CF.

 
at 6:56 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't argue with the 25 roster. I would hope Stanton has a turn around season, but that is a big IF.

In the central this team can contend for the divsion title, but not much beyond. The good young pitchers are too young yet. It would be nice to get an 'ace' or a #2, but sacrificing the future on a 'I hope this works'? I will settle for more growth instead, but there better be an above .500 record since they are in the central. Too many bad years of farm club neglect to overcome...
Adrian

 
at 7:11 PM Anonymous Tucsonguy said...

It sounds like everyone is writing off Sergio Valenzuela. The Reds must have seen something in him or they wouldn't have spent the money to get him in the Rule 5 Draft. They stayed with Burton thru thick and thin last year, and they hate to lose money. I say Valenzuela stays even if he doesn't deserve the spot.

 
at 7:14 PM Anonymous redsfanwoody said...

I think if Stanton struggles during spring training they'll eat his salary and release him. They more than enough young arms to replace him.

If Freel his healthy, he will be traded and will be easier to move than you may think.

Hopper will be the 4th OF, and maybe Phillips earns Freel's spot. Affdelt will be in rotation till and if he struggles then Volquez gets first shot.

Bruce I believe will being in CF Opening Day and will play most of the season there even if he struggles.

But its nice to know that we are finally approaching the start of finding out how the roster will shape up.

 
at 7:20 PM Blogger Scottyb said...

Do you think Bruce is ready. I hope so but if he's not we can insert Hopper in there and you have a leadoff guy.

Do you think Ross can have a stronger year? If he's not going to hit he better learn to throw out runneres

 
at 7:21 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, I was in a boring meeting today and came up with the same roster you did, except for one.(I had Majewski instead of Volguez.) It pained me greatly to list Stanton, but, sadly it's an economic reality. What is Majewski's status? And what can be done about another right-handed bat with some pop?

ajaxonford

 
at 7:26 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Salmon and Coutlangus will make the squad. Trade Stanton for a box of balls or cut him loose then send Coffee to Lousiville and watch him get rocked by AAA players.

This team is far from perfect but Wayne has done a really good job. Look at the horrible roster the Reds had when he came to town. Now every position has some depth. It's not the best depth or the most experienced but it's much better than some of the horrible teams of the past.

 
at 7:29 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John,

Your about 17/25 on this one baby. First off, I'm pretty sure even high ranking Reds officials have made statements regarding how "Jay Bruce would literally have to blow the door off this spring to earn a starting spot".

Joey Votto leading off? What? Is that a joke? I thought we left the Bob Boone (Adam Dunn, Sean Casey leading off) days behind us.

Edinson Volquez in the bullpen? You're thinking Mike Stanton is going to come out of Spring Training alive with this team? Todd Coffey over Jon Coutlangus?

Obviously we butchered our Rule V pick if Sergio Valenzuela isn't making the club.

So we won't be carrying a 3rd catcher in Paul Bako? How about newly acquired Red, Scott Sauerbeck? Brad Salmon, Tom Shearn, and Jom Brower all demoted over Stanton and Coffey? John I seriously doubt it.

This doesn't sound like a projected 25-man that was very well thought out John.

 
at 7:37 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi John,

Welcome Back! I'd have to say your 25 man roster pretty much matches mine. A lot of lumber! I can't wait for the season to start and watch Dusty Baker and Walt Jocketty work their magic.

Do you find it interesting of the lack of coverage in the national media of the Jocketty signing? I mean, we both know if the Cubs or Brewers had signed him we would've seen it all over ESPN and Fox Sports for days. Do you have any insight into why?

John C.
Las Vegas

 
at 7:46 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really think it will be Bailey & Volquez filling out the rotation; Affeldt in the pen. I also wouldn't be surprised to see Stanton retire and McBeth or Cooter making the team. I think it will be Volquez's spot to lose in the rotation to help justify the Hamilton trade.

my lineup:

Phillips
Votto
Griffey
EE
Dunn
Bruce
AGon
Ross/Valentin
Pitcher

I love the idea of Votto hitting from the 2 hole. He's gonna wear the gaps in GABP

 
at 7:47 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

i like that lineup but like everyone else is asking who is the leadoff hitter i would think baker would like phillips there but thats just my opinion i would like cueto in the rotation with harang , arroyo , belisle , bailey and cueto but if not i hope its volquez instead of affeldt also i really wish Roenicke gets a shot i believe hes ready and could help the pen out

Rusty in Brookneal

 
at 8:03 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Juan Castro makes the roster, I'm going to denounce my fan status. This team does not have the luxury of a(n old) defensive specialist that can't hit.

If the bench is what you have listed, it would be the best in baseball. It lacks power, but every single one of those guys can hit.

I'm going to say it again, Alex Gonzalez should be traded. This team has three strikeout problems with Votto, Bruce, and Dunn. We can not afford someone like Gonzalez, who is deteriorating defensively.

Keppinger at SS would solve this problem, and give us a leadoff hitter.

Encarnacion is also not worthy of playing on a playoff team.

 
at 8:04 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and please get Mike Stanton off of this team. He used HGH AND he sucks.

 
at 8:10 PM Anonymous Seantron said...

I think that it's a waste of Votto's potential RBIs to bat him leadoff, but I really don't want to see Gonzo leading off.

I'm of the belief that Bruce is athletic enough that he could be used pretty productively in the leadoff spot; at least, more so than anyone else.

 
at 8:14 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where's the Bullpen long man? With 3 questionable starters the Reds are on going to need one.

 
at 8:23 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about Valenzuela...he doesn't even get a shot in the bigs? If he doesn't make the roster out of Spring Training, is he back on the market, or does he get offered back to his original team?

 
at 8:33 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

CF Hopper
LF Dunn
2B Phillips
RF Griffey
3B Edwin
1B Votto
SS Gonzo
C Ross

C Valentine
1B Hatteberg
INF Castro- if he is hurt then nvm
UT Freel
UT Keppinger

SP Harang
SP Arroyo
SP Belisle
SP Bailey
SP Volquez

CP Cordero
RP Weathers
RP Burton
RP Affeldt
RP Bray
RP Coutlanges
RP Valenzuela/Coffey

John,

Unless Bruce has a Hamilton-esque spring training, I see no reason to rush him.. he is only 20 and Hopper is a very solid player (also solves the leadoff problem)

Affeldt has proven that he can't start. I'm thinking they just said that to get him signed.. he will really help the pen.

Keeping Stanton would be a huge mistake. Why no love for Coutlanges? He was a rookie last year and wasn't bad.

- Rod

 
at 8:49 PM Anonymous Red at the Beach said...

^ John, it won't lack a leadoff guy when the Reds start Hopper in CF. Just how many K's do you pencil in for that starting OF? Good grief!

Not enough at bats for Bruce in the bigs at the start. Since Dunn can be traded after June 15, and since Junior will (I pray) already have hit #600, we will have 2 potential openings for Bruce at that point.

Also, recall the Reds strategy with Bailey. He came up June 8, iirc as much b/c it was the first date after the year vested, ie, Bailey did not gain a year toward arbitration and then free agency.

The only way Bruce makes it is if he pulls a Hamilton or Pujols and tears up spring ball. Otherwise, the Reds will want him to play everyday -- he won't in the bigs -- and there will be no reason to get him 1 yr closer to really costing the club big $$$.

 
at 8:55 PM Anonymous tutorkey'sfavoriteson said...

It could be interesting that's for sure. Here's my 25...

1B - Votto
2B - Phillips
SS - Gonzalez
3B - Encarnacion
LF - Dunn
CF - Bruce
RF - Griffey, Jr.
C - Ross

Bench...

Keppinger
Freel
Hopper
Hatteberg
Valentin
Castro

Rotation...

Harang
Arroyo
Affeldt
Bailey
Volquez

Pen...

Belisle
Cordero
Weathers
Burton
Bray
Coutlangus

I see Cueto and Maloney starting at Triple A. I see Stanton cut or traded, Majewski & Coffey starting at Triple A as well. If Votto falters in the Spring, the Reds might put Andy Phillips on the bench backing up Hatteberg. Hopefully, Baker won't be so committed to the stupid platoon stuff at first like Narron did. I think at this point, Volquez and Bailey will have to learn at the ML level. I just don't see giving Belisle starts over the kids. Belisle and Affeldt may swap places and if that happens, Coutlangus would be out and Majewski or Coffey may be in.

If healthy, I think this team scores runs, kids take some lumps along the way but develop, the 7th - 9th innings are strong, but middle or situational bullpen is a little suspect. May still be a pitcher or two away in the middle. Who knows someone may surprise...say...Shearn, Livingston (once recovered), Majewski or Coffey may step up their game. I like Todd Coffey's competitiveness...but has anyone suggested to him that when he sprints in from the bullpen he not only looks silly...he is out of breath trying to throw a pitch with the game on the line. Maybe Rick Sweet could suggest it to him at Triple A.

Can't wait til Opening Day.

 
at 9:49 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I say Anon "WAKE UP CINCY FIRE KRIVSKY" slowly slides into a deep depression when Krivsky is not fired.

 
at 9:56 PM Anonymous mikec said...

C: Ross
1B: Votto
2b: Phillips
SS: Gonzalez
3B: Encarnacion
LF: Dunn
CF: Bruce
RF: Griffey

Bench:
Keppinger
Hatteberg
Valentin
Freel
Hopper

(by the way, nice bench)

Rotation
Harang
Arroyo
Belisle
Affeldt
Volquez

(good competition here)

Bullpen:
Cordero
Weathers
Burton
Bray
Majewski
Salmon
Coutlangus

 
at 11:35 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

NO way this team improves with Stanton, Majewski, Salmon, and Coffey making up a majority of this bullpen.

 
at 12:00 AM Blogger 24/7 said...

coutlangus is NOT making the 25 man. he throws one pitch that he can't locate. look at his walks. he was terrible in the 2nd half. its gonna be interesting to see maloney, as well as affeldt's new changeup. that's gonna determine about 3 roster spots.

 
at 2:48 AM Anonymous redifil said...

My lineup

Phillips
Bruce
Griffey
EE
Dunn
AGoner
Votto
Ross/Valentin
Pitcher (Harang, Arroyo, Belisle, Bailey, Volquez)

 
at 7:55 AM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

7:26 anon...this incredible lineup you speak of is essentially the same one that went 72-90 last year

John C in Las Vegas..when did Dusty Baker become a magic worker?

redsfanwoody..aside from Bruce in center field ..the roster has been shaped up for quite some tiome..no big surprises

 
at 8:23 AM Blogger Joe said...

I like Bruce starting in center. Every time Stanton or Coffey came into the game last year, half of Ohio groaned. Stanton's contract may be why the Reds keep him. Coffee's running from the pen to the mound fires up the other team and Coffee is more focused on fan response than the task at hand. The first batter or two to face him hit him like a little leaguer. I am all for hustle which is obviously lacking at the big league level, but that is not hustle. Maybe one or both of these guys can be packaged with Ryan Freel for a couple low minor pitching prospects. I say lets give Belisle until the break to establish whether he can start or should work from the pen. By then we will know more on progress of Cueto and Maloney.

 
at 8:48 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keppinger + Hopper = Nunnally & Stynes

As a Reds fan, we have seen this before. A good half season when the team is already out of contention does not necessarily equal being ready to contribute on a daily basis from day one.

If Bruce is the future...the future is now. Why wait?

There will absolutely be a trade. If the Reds are serious about contending, they have to know that they need a lead-off hitter and that they cannot rely on Freel or Hopper.

What about some type of package of Freel, Gonzo, and a pitching prospect (Cueto?) for Atlanta's Furcal?

 
at 9:28 AM Blogger Jon said...

"This is still a disfuctional lineup! We will NOT be 500!I blame W.K....NO PLAN!Just a collection of mostly poor players.And some of you still support that baffoon!Walt J. will lead us in a positive direction...finally! WAKE UP CINCY FIRE KRIVSKY COACH"


Yaaay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!He's back!

I love it: "mostly poor players"

go take your medication, please.

Coach, please stick around all year, I'll need some comic relief I'm sure.

 
at 9:32 AM Blogger Jon said...

The thing that feels different about this team is that our line up is going to leave some pretty damn good prospects in the minors. Wayne is just stockpiling talent and creating competition, I love it.

 
at 9:59 AM OpenID bigguy1913 said...

John, I did this yesterday. I have Freel in CF with Bruce in Louisville and Juan Castro on the bench. I have Volquez in Louisville with Coutlangus and Majewski in the bullpen. Majewski is more of a pride thing for Krivsky.

When I was doing this and I was struggling for the final spots, it came to me. Stanton will have a bad spring training and will be put on waivers.

I can also see some team trading for Hatteberg and Andy Phillips making the team.

What about your thoughts on a 25 man roster on June 1st? I think after callups and injuries that this team will be young.

 
at 10:09 AM Anonymous Eddie in Chicago said...

I think you may be right, but I really don't like the way that lineup shapes into a batting order. I don't think you want to hit Phillips leadoff... he was too good last year in the cleanup role. If that is the case, then you are left with:

1. Bruce
2. Votto
3. Griffey
4. Phillips
5. Dunn
6. Encarnacion
7. Gonzalez
8. Ross
9. Pitcher

Although that lineup has potential, I don't like the first two spots occupied by rookies. I think the answer is to make sure that one of Keppinger, Freel, or Hopper are in the game every day. They can fill in at CF, RF, 3B, & SS... and 2B on the off chance Phillips actually gets a day off.

 
at 10:28 AM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

The biggest mistake you knuckleheads keep making in these fairly useless lineup projections before spring training plays out is that Gonzalez is the shortstop. Period. Paragraph. End of story.

There are 11 million reasons why, including range, double-play pivot, arm, badly needed right-handed power in the lineup, and an 11-year career track.

There's also the issue of a guaranteed contract for two more years, and the fact Keppinger has 417 career ABs and has yet to go through the league twice.

But hey, knock yourselves out. . . .

 
at 10:33 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jack In Denial

Ever read anything about baseball or do we just get your blurry eyed beer shaded view from the top six row?

It's great when you post because usually you are so far off it makes me laugh.

Keep up the great work!
Your Friend
#1 Fan of jack In Blue Ash Comedy Post Routines

 
at 10:34 AM Anonymous PresidentJohnAllenJr. said...

John, Mike Lincoln was signed yesterday to a minor league contract. Do you see anymore signing before camp?

 
at 10:39 AM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

Jon 9:32 am... the lineup is essentially the same as it was last year

what we have in the minors may or may not even make it to the majors

if there is some improvement in both the relief and starting pitching..perhaps this team will be better by 8-10 games over last year.

and that is quite an accomplishment

 
at 10:39 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems pretty reasonable, John. However, I didn't realize Mike Stanton was still gracing us with his presence. My question is, WHY?

 
at 10:42 AM Blogger Jim said...

Completely agree with you on this, John. I like the Bruce prediction. I wonder how Volquez would perform out of the BP, but I definitely want to see Bailey winning out the 5th spot and proving to us that he is deserving of all the hype!

This is the year of the Bruce!

 
at 10:52 AM Blogger docproc said...

Whether we like it or not (and I don't think I like it), Krivsky has too much invested in Majewski for him to not make the 25-man.

And McBeth will make the roster, too.

Here's hoping we unload some dead weight in the 'pen through trades or cuts.

 
at 11:03 AM Blogger Scott In Louisville, KY said...

Why is everyone so concerned about a lead-off hitter?!?!?

The first batter of the game is just that. After the first inning how often does he really bat first in an inning.

Rickey thinks the idea of having a Rickey Henderson type lead-off man is now over-rated.

Most teams don't have a "typical" lead-off batter nowadays.

 
at 11:22 AM Blogger John Fay said...

Possibly. But, remember, Victor Santos was the only non-roster guy to make it last year.

 
at 11:28 AM Blogger John Fay said...

The Reds owe Stanton $3 million. They'll break camp with him. I think the last spot will come down to Coffey or Majewski. Given Majewski history the DL is a possibility.

 
at 12:12 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jack in Blue Ash...Have you followed baseball at all the last 17 years? Dusty Baker has turned around every franchise he has managed. Before Dusty became manager of the Giants they lost 90+ games in 1992. 1993 they won over 100 games and were contenders nearly every year leading up to their World Series appearance in 2002. Are you kidding me about Dusty Baker? In 2002 the Cubs lost 90+ games, 2003 with Dusty they make the playoffs. Only deranged Cubs fans blame Dusty for "ruining" two pitchers who were alrady injury prone before Dusty arrived. It's funny both Prior and Wood are so bitter at Dusty that they called to congratulate him on getting the Reds gig. Before spewing out ignorance Jack, do some research!

John C.
Las Vegas

 
at 12:16 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

Thank you 10:33 anon... I try to amuse

Everything that I have posted and you have read is quite accurate

The Reds have not done very well for the past seven years..please show me any inaccuracies

The relief pitching was deplorable last year..again, please educate me if I am wrong

this lineup is quite similar to the one we had last year when we had a 72-90 record

I think John Fay would agree that if this franchise was to improve by 8-10 games it would be quite an accomplishment

 
at 12:34 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

Jack, You continue to beat the 72-90 bandwagon, saying that we have the same team.

2007 was a tale of 2 teams, one with a manager 20 games under 500, who got fired.
And a second manager, with less after Lohse was traded, who had the team playing over 500, by several games.

Dusty Baker, as much as you do not like him, is not Jerry Narron. His track record is a winning one, that is why he was hired.

Pete Mackanin proved that this team can win. And yes, 60 innings of Cordero is much better than the 60 starting innings we got from Dumatrait, Milton and Saarloos. We lost all 11 of those starts....

 
at 1:17 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it funny the Yankees are pinning their hopes on three untested pitchers yet the experts are saying the Yankees young prospect pitchers (Ian Kennedy, Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain) are for "real", but the Reds young pitchers (Homer Bailey, Jonny Cueto and Edinson Volquez) are not. Quite hilarious

 
at 1:42 PM Anonymous Z-train said...

Starting eight
1B Joey Votto
2B Brandon Phillips
SS Alex Gonzalez
3B Edwin Encarnacion
RF Ken Griffey Jr.
CF Jay Bruce
LF Adam Dunn
C David Ross


Bench:
OF/INF Jeff Keppinger
OF/INF Ryan Freel I see them trading freel for a pitcher to compete for a spot in the rotation or bullpen
OF Norris Hopper
C Javier Valentin
1B/ C Scott Hatteberg

Rotation:
Aaron Harang
Bronson Arroyo
Matt Belisle
Jeremy Affeldt
Homer Bailey


Bullpen:
Francisco Cordero
David Weathers
Jared Burton
Bill Bray
Mike Stanton
Todd Coffey
Edinson Volquez

I think Cueto will start at triple a he could get called up around July I think what do you think about this lineup? It’s like yours
What about Goodyear anything new on this?

 
at 3:06 PM Anonymous firefly118 said...

Not sure about Affeldt in the rotation, probably long middle relief. Not sure about Volquez in the rotation either, and then I think, who the heck else do we have. Your probably close on the 25 man, I have just one question though. WHERE IS CUETO???? All through the winter I have heard from you and other posters about keeping our prospects and not trade for a proven pitcher. I have also heard how good Cueto is, and many have him rated better than Bailey. SO WHERE DOES CUETO STAND? Wouldn't it be prudent to have him in the bullpen at least, getting to face big league hitters in a controlled situation. Legitamit question don't you think?

 
at 3:08 PM Blogger Jon said...

Jack in BA,

This lineup has a better bench than last year, as we've found out more about Kep, Hop, Votto. Edwin is a year better and readier.

Our rotation has 4-6 noteworthy, well regarded prospects. If 1 or two work out, we're already better than last year.

Bullpen is solid.

 
at 3:32 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Starters:

1. Phillips
2. Keppinger
3. Dunn
4. Griffey
5. Votto
6. Bruce
7. Encarnacion
8. Ross/Valentine
9. Pitcher

I don't think A-Gone's salary justifies his starting. He can't hit & should be utilized as back-up/defensive replacement. There was a reason the Red Sox dumped him. If he starts, it is only because Krivsky wants to justify his signing of a couple of years ago.

Bruce should start, if for no other reason than Freel & Hopper are too light hitting. I think with the trade of Hamilton, Bruce will start.

Griffey should bat 4th. Phillips is the only player with speed on this team & should bat lead-off. Alfonso Soriano has great power #s and also hits lead-off.

Dunn strikes out a lot, but he never had anyone behind him. I think he plays better with Griffey behind him.

I could flip Votto/Bruce, but Votte should start over Hatteberg based upon his Sept. #s.

As for starting pitching, I think we need to say how everyone does in Spring Training.

EE belongs near the bottom of the order -- he is 15 HR, 270 hitter -- nothing particular special for a third baseman.

Ross/Valentine should platoon.

The key to the Reds season will be pitching & in particular, the bullpen.

 
at 4:20 PM Blogger redbeard said...

Hey John this is a great thread. I've been waiting to get you opinion on the rotation for a long time. Thanks.

It appears obvious to me with Krivsky's track record that Cueto will start the year at AAA. So the rotation comes down to 3 of these 4:

Affeldt
Bailey
Belisle
Volsquez

I'd say whoever loses out will go to the bullpen unless it is Bailey and then he'd go to AAA.

Regarding the bullpen, I'd sure like to see Roehnic and McBeth over Stanton and Coffey but I also understand that economics and options play a big part here. Hopefully they can get Stanton and Coffey out quickly if they stink the joint up again this season.

Regarding the starting lineup, it still lacks a leadoff hitter and this appears to be a glaring weakness until Drew Stubbs is major league ready (and he hasn't exactly been a good on-base guy in the minors). I also expect Valentin to get the left handed side of a platoon with Ross. Then I'd say you may well see Keppinger at first against some lefties and maybe one start a week against righties at third and short. That still leaves Gonzo and EE playing 5 of 6 or 6 of 7 games a week.

This team should be 10 games better than last season's team. Let's hope by mid season the powers that be are willing to go with younger guys is the veterans at certain spots are under performing.

--Redbeard

 
at 4:32 PM Blogger Grizzlyfox said...

Wow talk about no respect for Cincy. USA Today has a list of 100 of the next wave of MLB players expected to make an impact next year. Bruce? 19th. Volquez? 18th. Votto? 29th. Bailey? 44th. Chris Denorfia? 22nd. REALLY? Are You Kidding Me? My fav guy in front of Bailey-Brendan Ryan. No actually Rajai Davis. USA Today says at best he will be a 4th OF this year. But he is ranked ahead of Bailey. And then I saw the MLB.com article predicting the Reds at 5th. Over the last 2.5 years, if you take away Narron's tenure of 07, which was Castellini and Krivsky's worst move by far, this has been a .500 team. Recent quality additions apparently will only make them worse.

 
at 4:33 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Firefly: Cueto could make the club, no question. This is my best guess for the 25-man on Feb. 4.

 
at 4:43 PM Anonymous J-Diggety said...

I know I'm in the minority here but, I fully expect stanton to turn things around and post an ERA in the 3.75 range.

 
at 5:00 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

If you think Jeff Keppinger should be starting in front of Alex Gonzalez in the most important defensive position of the field, where the most balls are hit, where more games are impacted, where balls that trickle through for hits and missed double plays lead to shorter starter outings and more taxation of the bullpen, you should just keep on drinking whatever you have in that glass.

(And for the record, it Gonzalez who wanted out of Boston, not vice-versa. He declined an extension.)

 
at 5:05 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

More About W.K. : The few supporters he has must not realize Cluless has already been FIRED !! Get real folks,the team has gotten worse since he showed up.He treats fans as personal enemies and drives fans away!!We have enough arrogant incompetent people in this city,Bob C. has decided to improve that group by one!! Go WALT....WAKE UP CINCY FIRE KRIVSKY ( COACH)

 
at 6:02 PM Blogger Gale said...

Affeldt makes the team as a relief pitcher. The Reds can't afford another 5 inning starter in the mix. Someone has to eat innings.I agree with you on the everyday starters.

Question: do you see the Reds making a trade to address the weakness against left handed pitching. Other than Phillips and EE, both streak hitters, where do the Reds find clutch hitting from the right side of the plate?

 
at 6:43 PM Blogger redbeard said...

Mr. R and John --

Do you see Keppinger getting time kind of like I suggested in my previous post where he starts some at first against lefties, and then maybe once a week at third and once a week at short giving him about 2 to 3 starts a week? That seems to make quit a bit of sense to me. Then you could add to that Freel starting against lefties rotating between starting at each outfield position, therefore giving a day off to each of the Reds left-handed hitting outfielders against every third lefty the Reds face.

-- Redbeard

 
at 6:53 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

My sense is all of this is premature conjecture--albeit fun conjecture for many fans--before they have ever played any spring games, before injuries might be factored, before a trade is likely made, and before competition plays out.

The team you see today is not the team that will go north.

I learned long, long ago it's a complete waste of blog cyber paper to spend any moments on this sort of stuff now when you could be watching "Ghost Whisperer."

 
at 7:13 PM Blogger docproc said...

Oh c'mon, Mr. R.--we have NOTHING ELSE TO DO. Let us conjecture and have fun.

 
at 8:28 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

As much as we have looked for a veteran pitcher this year to add, is there anyone who would rather have Lohse, Milton and Saarloos on this 25 man roster than the names that are shown.

Lohse would be the one guy that you might want to add, but I am more excited with the 4 kids (TBNL)

 
at 8:32 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

Gale, Ross has to step his game up because he is the catcher this year and very good vs LHP's.

Baker will have a lot of fun tutoring him, Dunn and Griffey. All three of those are better hitters when the go oppage

 
at 8:42 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Doc, I'm easily distracted at my age.

A Jennifer Love Hewitt banner ad for Hanes jumped out on a web page I was reading and, tempted by the . . . er, um . . . 20 percent discount for new underwear, I was slightly compelled to click on the ad, where I discovered a . . . uh, ahem . . . tribulation in which she was bouncy, bouncy, bouncy across a room disposing of her skivvies in favor of the new Hanes ComfortSoft.

Baseball is a constant. It never goes away. These arguments of lineup and rosters are a month away.

But that . . . coff, coff . . . 20 percent discount is short-term.

 
at 8:46 AM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

John in Las Vegas..

dusty Baker has managed only two teams

he was surrounded by a great group of players in San Francisco. He was fired in Chicago

Personally I don't usually listen to the so called sports experts..but even Hal McCoy says Baker has issues with younger players

reganspad..most times when there is a managerial change ..teams play better for a while.. ultimately..this team did not play so well for Pete

The team finished 72-90, we added a quality closer, an average reliever and some prospect that may not even make the team. We lost a centerfielder that in fact showed great promise at the major league level.

After Harang..starting pitching is a big question mark. You can put these group of releivers in any inning..they still were pitiful

I would caution you not to get so excited and take some small steps

Mr Redlegs..by the way Keppinger blows Gonzalez away..the team played much better with Keppinger
I dont care about Gs history.. what is ..is

 
at 9:40 AM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Keppinger's had one-half of one good season. That's it, that's all--and he can't hold Gonzalez's beans or bag defensively in ANY aspect of the position.

And Baker was NOT surrounded by great players in San Fran. That's why he gained his reputation. He had Bonds, but several of those years they had no business being in contention.

Overall he had much better talent in Chicago, he almost got them to the World Series his second year, and they were ripped apart by injuries his last year and a half.

Sorry, but no manager is responsible for injuries that destroy his team. And no, he didn't cause Prior and Wood's injuries. That's a blog fable, proven time and again if you read sources of credibility.

Like the players.

 
at 9:49 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Redlegs --

Gonzo did not decline an extension at the end of the year, for money of any magnitude, with the Sox. He may have declined money for a back-up, which is what he is. Gonzo is not good defensively. Gonzo is no Omar Vizquel in the field.

You have no judge of talent, if based upon last year's stats, you try to argue Gonzo should start over Kepp. Obviously, if Kepp does not play well, he should not continue to start -- but he should be the starter going into 2008 based upon last year. Defensively Kepp & Gonzo (at least, Gonzo of last year), were comparable.

 
at 9:50 AM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

btw Jack, it's always LMAO hysterical how you make a blanket statement--he was fired in Chicago--as if that's the end-all to the story. Fired. He sucks.

Stengel was fired by the Dodgers AND Braves, yet won seven World Series and 10 pennants with the Yankees.

Dick Williams won two World Series and four pennants, was fired six times.

Durocher won a World Series, three pennants and 2,008 games, and was fired four times.

Bucky Harris won two World Series, three pennants and was fired six times.

What do they all have in common?

Hall of Fame.

 
at 9:54 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep it up with Jennifer Mr. Redleg and you'll get serious carpal tunnel and then what will you do?

 
at 10:36 AM Blogger reaganspad said...

Anon 9:49 Gonzales is our shortstop. Kepp is a steady backup and glad to have him. Freel cannot play short, and we have a great bench

Jack, you are funny because you really cannot take yourself seriously. Can you?
Pete had a team that was 20 games under playing 10 over. after he lost all his outfielders, and most infielders, they finished 2 games over 500.

Your 30 game package must have been done by the time that Coats, Lopez and Ellison were starting.

I watched those games

 
at 11:22 AM OpenID reedreederson said...

I don't think Krivsky feels Majewski "must" make the roster. Bray is a good young lefty who struggled with injuries last year. Felipe Lopez is the worst fielding shortstop in the major leagues and his OBP is abysmal. Austin Kearns has a good arm in right but he'll always hit .275 with 15-20 homers. Wow. We sure miss him.I can't understand why people still analyze that trade. Both teams basically traded crappy players to each other. If Bray turns out to be anything other than Mike Stanton, I'll call it a win for the Reds. I also remember someone suggesting the Reds should trade for Atlanta's Rafael Furcal. That would be pretty tough to pull of considering he has played for the LA Dodgers the last two seasons. Jack in Blue Ash keeps talking about the Reds 72-90 record. Records in baseball mean nothing. In a 162 game season, luck has more to do with baseball than any other sport. If the reds have a couple of bloop singles that fall, or a couple of leads that don't get blown, they win the division. How do you think the Tigers went from challenging for the worst record in history, to the world series a year later. Did they just become good overnight? No, they just improved a little and got some good breaks. That's how baseball works Jack. If you want to wallow in your self-created misery and pessimism, do it somewhere else other than true Reds Fans posts.

 
at 11:27 AM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Well, if I'm no judge of talent then I should turn in my Baseball Writers card, which I've held since 1985.

Funny how you want to use last year as a barometer of Keppinger, who managed just 175 ABs at shortstop, but you don't want to use Gonzalez's career as a gauge.

When Ozzie Guillen and Dave Concepcion say Gonzalez is one of the best defensive shortstops they've ever seen, I'll take their word over an anonymous blogger reading a stat sheet.

What do I see that you don't? Positioning. Look at how many times Gonzalez is in exactly the right spot. Look at how quick he is on the first step toward a ball. He's moving with the swing.

Balls that Keppinger is waving at in the hole Gonzalez is handling on the backhand. His arm strength blows away Keppinger and the only shortstop today who might come close to Gonzalez on the pivot is Vizquel.

Put another way, if Keppinger is such a great effing shortstop, how come his previous two organizations never played him there?

On another issue, most infield defensive stats are a bunch of hooey. They don't take into account the defensive positioning of the fielder on the batter or the pitch, nor do they quantify arm or double-play capability. The most important infield defensive stat is assists in comparison to chances.

Gonzalez also gets a pass for last year, given the situation with his infant son. Still, he ended up with decent numbers and, in a stat I've quoted often, his errors led to 12 unearned runs with only one error actually costing the Reds a game (in late-April or early May against the Astros).

However, I stand corrected on his contract status with the Red Sox. He was signed to a one-year deal going into 2006, missed a good portion down the stretch with an oblique injury, and was not offered an extension when he wanted a multi-year deal.

 
at 11:29 AM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

reaganspad..

during this time span you speak of Keppinger did fine, the team did much better.. why would you mess with a good thing?. Its not like Gonzalez was out just for 4 or 5 games

I knew you were going to bring up injuries..always making excuses regan..

other teams have injuries also

fact of the matter..again..the majority of the time a managerial change is made in baseball, you always seem to have some initial improvement

If Pete did so well..why was he not retained?

 
at 11:33 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does Todd Coffey have options?

 
at 11:38 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont particularliy agree with Jack on all his posts but reedreederson if you are telling us that the Reds have suffered from 7 years of bad luck, I would have to respectfully disagree

It aint bad luck fellow..we have had no players, poor management, poor ownership and terrible pitching In a 162 game season game management, hitting fielding and pitching wins games..Luck..may win a couple of games

 
at 11:40 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with John, except flip-flop Volquez starting and Affeldt in the pen. Also Coffey out and Brad Salmon in. Not sure if Coffey has options or not. If out of options he makes over Salmon.

 
at 12:02 PM Blogger John Fay said...

I'm in the process of getting an options list. I don't think Coffey does. Volquez does, by the way.

 
at 12:11 PM OpenID reedreederson said...

Anonymous-I wasn't saying the Reds had 7 years of bad luck, I was just trying to explain to Jack that 72-90 last season could have easily been 82-80. This Reds team doesn't face a bleak forecast just because they were under .500 last year. They did add a closer, they have some young live arms, and winning a division isn't as preposterous as Jack makes it sound. If they're better on paper, and they get a few breaks, there is reason to be optimistic. It's not that hard to make the leap from mediocre to division winner in baseball.

 
at 12:17 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

Jack. I would have kept Pete if were up to me. So would have Hal, as well the other beat writers. He was a great interview, and had the team playing inspired.
I understand ownership wanting to invest in success. They did it in the broadcast booth last year, and with the manager this year, in addition to payroll.
Jack McKeon, Davey Johnson, Lou Pinella type hire bringing Dusty in. Not my favorite choice, but the team will not do worse under Dusty than Pete.

And Dusty is an upgrade from Jerry Narron

 
at 12:41 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

On the subject of Gonzalez-Keppinger defensively at shortstop, John Fay will know better but the 2-3 times I saw Janish on TV in spring training last year, I think he's lights-out better than Keppinger. That kid can pick it.

 
at 1:26 PM Blogger docproc said...

I saw a lot of Janish in Spring Training last and he could indeed pick it and throw it. And btw, he also showed a better-than-expected stick.

 
at 1:33 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Red Legs --

Kepp batted .330 last year -- his only chance to play. Gonzo is a career .250 hitter, who by all accounts -- & I went to a dozen or so games & watched others on TV -- was average defensively. Kepp's potential 80 point upswing compared to Gonzo's career #s, and not so-good year defensively, is why I would play Kepp.

Defense is important -- but the Red Sox did not think it offset Gonzo's offensive short-comings & with the Reds, having lost 90 games & on pace to lose a lot more with Gonzo starting most games during the first half of the season -- I would go with Kepp. You are free to have a different opinion, but your baseball card impresses only you. Some of us have other 60-70 hr careers devoted to other matters than baseball... Nevertheless, I played baseball & have always followed baseball & don't stare at stat-sheets.

Without question, Vizquel & his defense has justified his starting over the years & being one of the best SS in the game. If Gonzo played like Vizquel (which he does not/did not last year, if you have ever seen Vizquel play in his prime -- you would know that Gonzo can't hold a candle to Vizquel), then without question I would play Gonzo. Vizquel turned around the Indians when he came to Cleveland based upon his defense. Gonzo was a liability for the Reds last year.

Given Kepp's awesome #s, low strikeouts, great hitting in the clutch & average SS defense, he should be given a chance to start in 2008 in my opinion. 175 at bats is limited opportunity, but that is all he has had. Gonzo does not have very good offensive career #s. Of course, if Gonzo does play like Vizquel did/to his hype, then he should start -- I did not see that last year.

I assume you do not also suggest that Castro should start over Kepp based upon his defense. If so, you should definitely turn in your baseball card. Offense does matter. Kepp may not be the best SS defensively, but there is no evidence that he was a liability particularly given his offense.

Stan

 
at 1:39 PM Anonymous Don said...

John, I checked out most of the inbound messages on your Blog along with your own comments and had to wonder what has happened to Josh Hamilton.No mention of his name anywhere. Gone, still around, rehabbing or lost in the woods? Just knew I shouldn't have taken that European boat ride up the Rhine. Don

 
at 2:11 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

Stan, do not get me wrong about Kepp, because I really like him. BUT, per mlb.com stats, in 393 AB's gonzo had 55 RBI's and 55 runs. In 241 AB's Kepp had 39 and 32.

In runs produced by AB's, their percentage is almost identical (28% TO 29%).

Early in the year, Gonzo was our best RBI man from the right side. His glove is better. He starts and Kepp gets 400 ab's playing everywhere

 
at 2:15 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Yes, by all means, hand Keppinger the most important defensive position on the field based on one-half a season of offense.

But it's a moot point. It's NOT going to happen. $11 million worth of reasons, including 1.) is an exceptional defensive player and 2.) the other is a utility infielder with all the movement of Frosty the Snowman.

Glad you played ball, Stan. So did I. As a result, you should understand the value of the defensive shortstop and decipher the innate skills of the position.

This is my 32nd year of writing about MLB.

http://www.myspace.com/goredlegs

 
at 2:24 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

Stan.. I agree completely..The team played much better with Keppinger, he was good defensively and he batted almost 80 percentages points higher than Gonzalez.

And he did this not for just 5 or so games but for almost half a season

Mr Redlegs ..life is not all the back of baseball cards and/or stats. Baseball is a team sport and this team did better with Keppinger..much better

I guess these other teams you speak of and or/the management were just dead wrong about Keppinger

 
at 2:32 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

Mr Redlegs..

in 43 games at shortstop keppinger had 2 errors and that would translate to about 5 errors per hundred games

Gonzales had 16 errors in a 103 games

aside from 2002 and 2006 his error rate was pretty average on the teams he played for

just perhaps the Reds paid too much money for him

 
at 2:46 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

MR REDLEGS.. I THINK WE WENT THROUGH THIS ON THE MSN SPORTS BLOG A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO AND WE FOUND OUT THAT ASIDE FROM SOME EARLY ATTEMPTS TO FREELANCE AFTER COLLEGE YOU HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO EXPERIENCE AS A SPORTS WRITER. PERHAPS YOU SHOULD MAKE ANOTHER MYSPACE

 
at 3:23 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Funny Jack, you tell us that baseball is not the back of a card, yet that's what you do. Recite stats.

You look at a stat sheet and say 16 errors for Gonzalez, and I ask Stats Inc. to do a survey and find that only 12 unearned runs evolved from those errors and only one cost them a game.

You say only two errors for Keppinger and I look at Stats Inc. defensive charts and say how many balls didn't he get to?

You look at error totals for 2002 and 2006, and I talk to pitchers and coaches who cite how many balls Gonzalez saved from being hits, and how many double plays balled them out of innings.

Ya see, the game is more than the stats on the back of a card. You said so yourself. Take your own advice. Who knows, you might learn something.

 
at 3:26 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

Jack. 73 double plays for Gonzo. 27 double plays for Kepp.

You can't assume the double play, nor do you get an error with just one out.

Kepp is good. Gonzo is great

 
at 3:46 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

I have never, not once, spent a moment on MSN Sports--whatever that is. But glad you congregate to such a high-profile, highly respected site for the very best in daily sports analyses and opinion from the nation's top writers. Your fanhood cannot be questioned.

Nope.

 
at 5:06 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

Mr Redlegs.. I did not want to bring this up..but I also remember you from an MSN sports blog. At that time you claimed to be on the Cincinnati Post Staff and it was proven you were not

Anyway..your emphasis on Gonzalezs defensive ability lead me to do my research..hes no better than Keppinger,,if anything he trends to be worse

This team played with a higher energy with Keppinger in there.

As far as double plays made ...that argument is nonsensical, it may simply be that there was not a man on first base when a ground ball was hit to Keppinger as often as it was when Gonzalez was playing .

 
at 5:20 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Jack, in all honesty, I have never been on that site, I have never claimed to be on the Post staff, and I've always been as upfront as possible about what I do for a living, within the parameters of my bosses, who quite often monitor my blogging on the Reds.

Certainly it could have been someone using the same handle making claims, but it most certainly was not me. I have never lived or worked in Cincinnati.

Based on the boss of my house, the only place I'll probably ever live other than Northern Virginia is Roswell, N.M., where someone with a pissy little dog has her fancy set on seeing UFOs.

And that ain't no joke.

 
at 5:29 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Yes Jack, the reason Gonzalez turned twice as many DPs as Keppinger is because, by shear coincidence, there was NOT a runner on first base half the times Keppinger had his opportunities.

Of course, that is profoundly illogical since baserunners would have to be in a force-out situation for a double play . . . unless you really have the wherewithal to say that roughly 50 percent of Keppinger's opps turned out to be (huh?) assist-or putout-only situations.

There is not ONE of Keppinger's shortstop abilities better than Gonzalez's, and I challenge you to find anyone in MLB--coach, scout, pitcher, GM--who will say otherwise.

All you need is one. Go at it.

 
at 6:06 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

Mr Redlegs

As I mature, I realize that I dont need to find others to support my opinion as you seem to have this desperate need to do. Its not high school...stand on your own two feet

Keppinger was fine defensively, he hit for a much better average than Gonzalez and this team took off when he was in there. Team chemistry was much better.

Regardless, I realize i have been coming to this blog and arguing the merits of mediocrity with both you and reagasnpad

This team has been abhorable the past seven years. Aside from Harang ..Brandon Phillips and to a lessor degree players like Hopper and Keppinger, it is ridiculous to be overly positive about any player on this team

Yet, both you and reaganspad are two of the biggest apologists and excuse makers on this blog.

Have fun meandering in mediocrity

 
at 6:26 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Red Legs --

No one is really debating whether Gonzo or Kepp may be better defensive players, though based upon last year, Kepp was better. If both bat .250 or so, then Reds should play Gonzo IMO. I do agree with Jack that Gonzo appears to be overhyped as a defensive whiz.

Kepp batted .330, in 175 AB -- that is not a fluke. He had great half -- a half where the Reds won a lot more games than the first half & Kepp was a key reason why.

Given that you live in N. VA, you clearly do not go to too many Reds games & probably most are not televised there unless you subscribe. I grew up in N. Va.

Kepp should start at SS over Gonzo based upon awesome offense & he really does not give up anything to Gonzo on defense based upon last year.

You are entitled to your opinion & the Reds may start Gonzo because of his salary -- but Kepp ought to start. If Kepp is a .300+ hitter, that outweights any potential defense that Gonzo might bring with his .250 hitting. Gonzo is no Vizquel & stop acting like he is.

Stan

 
at 7:19 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Jack, if you want to call objective analyses, statistical cogitation, organizational awareness, historical perspective and good ol' everyday MLB common sense being an apologist, then what do we call your narrow, monotonous diatribes about winning (period!) and your stubborn, if not ambient, refusal to read, learn and comprehend about this team and organization?

What brevity do you bring to the daily debate?

This team has been abhorable the past seven years.

That's it? Best you got? Repeated time and again, day after day? Not very original, not very deep.

Hey, guess what? We know. We've witnessed the years. We were there.

Difference is, the majority of us know why the record has been what it is, we understand what is being attempted to amend the issue, we comprehend the market issues and revenue stream difficulties, we grasp the challenges of a city in population decline and other social issues that scare off players and free agents.

You? A frontrunner, a bandwagoner, a happy complainer, a milquetoast voice within your own confines.

What escapes you are the factors—pro and con, positive and negative—that make sports more than winning and losing. Storylines draw that finite line. The Reds have about six going into this spring training. Do you know what they are? Do you have any forethoughts on how they will play out?

Remember, any dope can pull for a winner. Only an intelligent fan, one of reason and depth, can find interest, curiosity and meaning that a team’s record is not the end-all, tell-all of a season.

Otherwise, there would be no reason for two-thirds of the teams to play beyond Aug. 1.

Funny you should use the phrase "excuse-makers." Most call it common sense, reasoning and percipience.

Not that you seem grasp any of those. Apparently.

 
at 7:22 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

Cool. So now Jack says the second half Reds were better than the first half Reds because it suits his point. Whatever.
Welcome aboard Jack.

Do not get lost in who likes Keppinger. I absolutely love the guy. Sounds like he will get Connine's AB's at 1st base and I am all for it.

Gonzo will not play one minute at 1st base, and it has nothing to do with your opinion or mine or Mr. Redlegs. It has to do with the back of his baseball card.
Facts are stubborn things

 
at 7:33 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Stan, I saw 125 Reds games on MLB.TV last year and caught another 15 or so on radio. I also saw them live in three different cities. I'm pretty attuned to them.

You say Keppinger's offense is not a fluke? He batted the equivalent of one-third of a season, having not gone through the league two full turns. He's never come close to that batting average in the big leagues and will not--repeat, will NOT--be the starting shortstop with a trade or injury, nor should he be.

No one is saying Gonzalez's defense is equivalent to Vizquel because, ya know, Vizquel is one of the best in history. As in, all time. So that's a moot parallel.

The point that matters is Gonzalez is far superior to Keppinger in every single element of shortstop fundamentals. There is zero--arm, range, pivot, charging, release, positioning, backhand, footwork, vertical range--that Keppinger does better.

Is Keppinger adequate? Absolutely. Is he an everyday MLB starting shortstop. Not a chance.

You say Keppinger's batting average makes up the difference in defense? Yeah, go tell the pitching staff. Does Keppinger's lack of range that allows balls that should be outs but go trickling for hits and allowing a pitcher to stay in too long, or the bullpen to get called earlier, make up the difference?

Look at the whole picture of what is required of the position, look at the player with an 11-year track who most every manager and some of the best to ever play the shortstop to say Gonzalez is still one of defenders in the game.

 
at 11:04 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Red Legs -

There is not another team in MLB that would take Gonzo off the Reds' hands for his salary -- if there was, the Reds would have traded him a long time ago. There is no other team wants him for his money.

Apparently, you thought the first half Reds, on pace to lose 120 games were good. I suppose living in DC, where the Nationals play, you are ok with mediocrity.

My question to you: IF Kepp's stats are legit -- i.e. he is a .330 hitter -- are you telling me you would still start the .250 Gonzo? If your answer is yes, no disrespect, but you are absolutely nuts.

If you read the stats, Kepp has never really had a chance to play in the majors, but has excelled everywhere that he has played as a hitter.

If your case is that you think Kepp is really a .270 hitter or so & just had a good year last year, I respect that you have that opinion.

I would love Gonzo to prove me wrong & demonstrate that his defense makes up for his lack of offense. However, I did not see that last year -- I saw Kepp, bat .330 though & Gonzo has never done that in 175 AB (to my knowledge)...
I have nothing against Gonzo, but .330 hitters do not grow on trees...I think Kepp could be someone that is very special offensively.

I suppose, since you have access to stats, you could tell me the average ERA for games that Gonzo played vs. Kepp. Given that Kepp played most of the second half & the Reds pitching improved in the second half, you seem to be extremely misguided on this issue re: the significance of Gonzo's defense.

Stan

 
at 12:37 AM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Stan, where I live has nothing to do with my ability to see the Reds live or on TV just like anyone who lives in Cincinnati.

After all, I've held a pass for 22 years that gives me complete field and clubhouse access and the option of paying $10 for some really bad press box food at any MLB park.

So I'm really at a bypass explaining the Gonzalez-Keppinger issue to you any clearer than I already have. You're just not grasping it: Keppinger, past, present or future is not the all-around player of Alex Gonzalez. That's not even an issue because you're basing matters on 175 ABs.

That's just ridiculous.

I challenge you to tell me through verifiable evidence of a team that needs a shortstop that would not take Gonzalez. Who turned down the Reds?

No one. Know why? He was not offered. And furthermore, if Keppinger was so effing great, why is he the utility infielder and the platoon 1b going into this season?

Let me guess: because the GM is a blithering idiot and a handful of bloggers are geniuses?

Yeah, right. Don't quit your day jobs.

 
at 7:14 AM Anonymous J said...

Stan...why waste your time arguing with this Redlegs..Minimally he has not been to a Reds game in years. He goes from sports blog to sports blog pretending to be a freelance writer

The team played better with Keppinger in there..simple as that

The Red Sox went to the world series after Gonzalez left

Keppinger may, in fact, turn out to be a part time utility player. But I know one thing..considering the way he played and the way the team took off..I would give him the opportunity to prove me wrong

Redlegs ..Ill give ya some objective analysis from personal observation . With players like Keppinger, the Cincinnati Reds played with great energy and a heck of alot better

 
at 9:41 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nine players on the field and you're saying the reason the Reds played better is one player?

Nice 6th-grade evaluation.

The new manager putting Burton into the 8th inning role played a bigger part and the terrific second half by Encarnacion played a bigger part and Hopper filling in aptly for the injured Hamilton and Freel played a bigger part.

And Mackanin played a larger role than Keppinger by himself. He changed the mood of the clubhouse, showed new confidence in people like Belisle, Hopper, Burton and yes Keppinger. He stopped the foolishness of lineup juggling and he simply let people play.

Keppinger didn't just arrive from the minors and singularly lift the Reds to great and glorious heights. He played a part, sure, but to say he's the reason they played better is ridiculous.

Just like saying the reason the Red Sox won the World Series was because he was gone.

Did the Giants win the Super Bowl because Tiki Barber was gone?

Guess the Yankees suddenly got great when Mattingly retired.

Ridiculous comments.

 
at 10:14 AM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

9:41 I would have to agree with J, the Reds seemed to play much better with Keppinger in the lineup on a regular basis. Although I do agree that Hopper and Burton were a part of this

Why mess with a good thing is the point ?

By the way you have no idea as to what Pete did or did not do in the clubhouse. I would imagine he received instructions from WK to give Keppinger, Hopper, etc more playing time. Dude..Pete did just as much lineup juggling as Narron

I was never a big Jerry Narron advocate.. Yet, his failing was simple..his bullpen failed him on almost every outing..not rocket science. Had pitching not failed Narron he would still be here and the Reds probably would have finished above 500

 
at 4:07 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

Jack, you are killing me now. "Had pitching not failed Narron he would still be here and the Reds probably would have finished above 500"

I have said that same thing and you blast me for it. The bullpen is better with Cordero. The team can finish over 500, just like they did under Pete.

You are proving yourself wrong on the last 7 years rant. I love it

 
at 4:22 PM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

reaganspad..how can I possibly be proving myself wrong over the record of the Reds the past seven years?

Did they all of a sudden have some winning seasons i did not know about?

this bullpen aint much better?

reds will be lucky to get to .500

 
at 4:40 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gonzalez has a career fielding percentage of .969. He has a career batting average of .248 with a career OBP of .295.

Keppinger had 241 AB last year, batting .332, with an OBP of .360. His fielding percentage at SS was .989 last year. In little over 400 career AB, he has a career batting average of .309. Hence, the snap shot is indeed more than 175 AB.

Of course, Red Legs, since you apparently spend so much time at ball games and on blogs,you forgot to look at basic math. .989 is a much better percentage than Gonzo's career .969 or .963 from last year. (Omar incidentally has a career average of .988)

No one is saying Kepp is the sole reason that the Reds won a lot more games in the second half. Gonzo had a pretty good second half too, when faced with the competition from Kepp. However this nonsense about Kepp being inadequate fielder, etc. is idiotic. Kepp was certainly a reason for the surge in the second half.

However, I am done with this issue -- I can't believe I have blogged some much about it thus far. Some of us have regular real jobs -- I need to do that. While I do not have Major League pass (as you claim you have), I have both a college and advanced degree -- at this point, this is a waste of time talking with Red Legs about this -- everyone has there own opinion.

Here's to hoping the Reds win a lot of games in 2008.

-S

 
at 6:21 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

S. check out the double plays last year. Gonzo had TRIPLE with Twice the chances.

Shortstops are there to turn the DP. No error for one out, as you cannot assume the DP.

But tell me how someone with a better fielding percentage has far lower DP totals? Range, armstrength, and ability to pivot.

Also, Gonzo had 110 runs produced to 71 for Kepp. run those numbers versus AB's and while Gonzo hits for less, the score at the same rate.

Gonzo is the man

 
at 6:42 PM Anonymous rickNmd said...

Hey S or Stan -- maybe you should get your money back for that advanced college degree . . . you should know the difference between "their" and "there" and you would be able to calculate comparative numbers.

Keppinger had 175 ABs as a shortstop. I believe that was the conversation. Kepp vs. Gonzo as shortstop.

If you really had an advanced degree you would also know the difference between comparing one player's career stats against another player's one third of a season.

I also don't think Gonzo performed better because of Keppinger. There is no competition. Gonzo has a $15M contract. The position is his. When he returned and was healthy, he was immediately the starter at SS again.

It's also Redlegs, one word, not two.

But that's just simple facts for someone with an advanced college degree. Wasted money, wasted logic.

 
at 7:42 PM Anonymous J said...

rick I have finally figured something out.. People like u and reaganspad have these love affairs and live vicariously through players like Griffey , Gonazalez, etc.

It does not matter that the team stinks when they are in the lineup..you will always make excuses

the point simply being..the team performed a hell of a lot better with Keppinger playing shortstop..why would you want to put Gonzalez back in .

If, in fact, Keppingers stats are not indicative of what he may or may not do in a complete season, let him show us..let it roll until it gets bad

rick i hate to burst your bubble dude but in sports..many times when a player gets injured etc and cannot play ..the player coming in sometimes performs much better and becomes the starter..happens quite a bit

I dont think its necessary to go back and forth. Keppinger simply is a far better hitter and more than adequate fielder

baseball is a team sport..and on this team the chemistry is much better with players like keppinger

 
at 9:55 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
at 11:05 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Yo Jack, I have finally figured something out . . . I hate to burst your bubble . . . people like u live vicariously through your own vanity . . . you always make the same excuses and arguments.

Familiar verbiage?

Yep, just like the new poster "J" and a couple of anonymous postings, including "Rod." Strange how the tone, writing, punctuation and argument points are almost identical. To wit:

Corroborating Evidence No. 1:
Jack and his egos each use random punctuation, the key being the use of two dots instead of the typical ellipses.

Jack Example:
Dude..Pete did just as much lineup juggling as Narron

"J" Example:
But I know one thing..considering the way he played and the way the team took off..

Anon 2:46 Example:
MR REDLEGS.. I THINK WE WENT THROUGH THIS

"Rod" Example:
I see no reason to rush him.. he is only 20 and Hopper is a very solid player

Anon 11:36 Example:
hitting fielding and pitching wins games..Luck..may win a couple of games

Corroborating Evidence No. 2:
Jack and "J" each randomly type in lower- and upper-case letters at the start of sentences, paragraphs and for proper nouns, articles and prepositions.

Jack Example:
hmmm..after all these accolades all winter long, I must admit that I was expecting a very different lineup

"J" Example:
the point simply being..the team performed a hell of a lot better with Keppinger playing shortstop


Corroborating Evidence No. 3:
Repeated arguments on multiple posts with little variation of the theme:

Jack Example (of many):
Team chemistry was much better.

"J" Example (of many):
. . . on this team the chemistry is much better with players like Keppinger

Jack Example:
people like u live vicariously through your own vanity

"J" Example:
People like u and reaganspad have these love affairs and live vicariously

Corroborating Evidence No. 4:
Absolutely shameless self-agreement on points:

Jack Example:
9:41 I would have to agree with J


So Jack or "J" or "Rod" or various Anons, "as I mature, I realize that I don't need to find others to support my opinion as you seem to have this desperate need to do. It's not high school . . . stand on your own two feet."

Sound familiar?

Yeah, thought so. You may not need others but you sure need the various guises of yourself.

What a piece of work. How transparent.

 
at 11:21 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a a big KEPP fan but before we send him to COOPERSTOWN lets see what he can do over a full season. The fact is that GONZO is a really good SS and there are many teams that would love to have a SS of his ability. GONZO is coming off of a less than stellar year but I think his mind might have been in other places. He wasn't brought to CINCI to hit, he was brought for the twin killing and most fans were happy then.

Does anyone remember KEVIN MAAS (Yankees 1B)? I hope KEPP turns out to be better but at this point he has accomplished about the same. GONZO is a slick fielder and every pitcher in camp would rather have him behind them than anyone else on the team.

Everyone gets caught up in stats way too much, some very important aspects of the game are missed in stats, if it were up to all of these fans with the crazy posts that not one baseball guy would ever agree with, we would have JAVY behind the plate for 162 games, DUNN at 1B, KEPP at SS. This approach works very well on PLAYSTATION but in real life the other team gets 4 outs every inning and pitchers arms fall off.

Sit back relax, let the professionals try to acquire a ligit 3rd STARTER because if they do the REDS will make the post season. Let the DUSTY put the best 9 on field including GONZO. Enjoy the ride, it could be fun, life is too short to get angry because you flip burgers and KRIVSKY is the GM.

 
at 7:35 AM Anonymous Jack in Blue Ash said...

11:21 anon

how do you know every pitcher would like to have Keppinger rather than Gonzalez,,they tell you that personally?

Keppingers defense was absolutely not an issue and he hit for 8o points higher than Gonzalez.I feel certain many pitchers would rather have Keppinger playing.p

my sister goes to Boston College..she is a die hard Red Sox fan .. She told me that Gonzalez was a very streaky player, he "pouted" and got upset alot and that most were glad to see him traded.

If the Reds get a legit 3rd starter..this does not assure post season. Our legit second starter seems to shut down for half a sesaon and the bullpen still is way below average. Not miserable anymore..but still not very good

 
at 1:03 PM Anonymous Rob said...

He's how i see the team

Starting 8...
C: David Ross
1B: Joey Votto
2B: Braden Philips
3B: EE
SS: Gonzo
LF: Adam Dunn
CF: Norris Hopper
RF: Griffy Jr.

Bench...
IN/OF Ryan Freel
IN/OF Jeff Keppinger
C Javier Valentin
1B Scott Hatteberg

Rotation...
1. Aaron Harang
2. Bronson Arroyo
3. Matt Belisle
4. Homer Bailey
5. Edison Volquez

Bullpen...
Cordero
Weathers
Burton
Bray
Stanton (On a short leash, if he fails then a call up of Brad Salmon)
Affeldt
Coutlanges
Coffey (Also on a short list if he fails then Marcus McBeth gets called up)

On the verge of being called up...
OF Jay Bruce
SP Cueto
RP Brad Salmon
RP Marcus McBeth
SP Tom Shearn
RP Majewski (Assuming he doesn't already make the team)

 
at 1:17 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

If your SISTER says GONZO is no good then KRIVSKI should cut him today.

Perhaps the REDS could bring your SISTER in to give ADAM DUNN some OUTFIELD instruction. She would probably also be an asset in the developement of BRUCE, HOMER and the rest.

 
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