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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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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My 25-man roster

Here’s my latest 25-man roster:

Starting eight
Corey Patterson CF
Jeff Keppinger SS
Ken Griffey Jr. RF
Brandon Phillips 2B
Adam Dunn LF
Edwin Encarnacion 3B
Scott Hatteberg 1B
Javier Valentin C
The skinny: This is assumes that Alex Gonzalez and David Ross begin the year on the disabled list. The only questions here are center field and first base. Patterson seems to have won the job in center with a good spring (.455 average) and he’s Baker’s guy. Norris Hopper will likely get a lot time against left-handers. Baker likes Joey Votto a lot. But Hatteberg’s hitting .382; Votto’s hitting .158. The Reds may want Votto to his bat going in AAA.

The bench
Norris Hopper
Ryan Freel
Juan Castro
Paul Bako
Andy Green
The skinny: I’m confident on the first four. Green, Jolbert Cabrera, Jerry Gil, Drew Anderson, Jerry Hairston and Andy Phillips all have made strong cases for the 25th man spot.

Starting rotation
Aaron Harang
Bronson Arroyo
Johnny Cueto
Edinson Volquez
Josh Fogg
The skinny: Homer Bailey and Matt Belisle have options. They’ll be a phone call way should Cueto, Volquez or Fogg falter.

The bullpen
Francisco Cordero
David Weathers
Jared Burton
Mike Stanton
Bill Bray
Todd Coffey
Jeremy Affeldt
The skinny: The Reds would like to keep Kent Mercker in the mix. He’d probably make the club if Stanton didn’t have a guaranteed contract. There’s also a chance Belisle could be shifted to relief.


at 6:53 PM Blogger Stock said...

I agree with 24 of 25.

I am going out on a limb and saying that Miguel Olivo will take Bako's spot on your 25.

An interesting question is who goes when Gonzalez returns (Green). This doesn't seem so difficult.

When Ross returns (Drop Olivo or trade)? I have no idea.

at 7:01 PM Blogger Chad said...

Wow, I was excited about the possible depth of our bench this offseason. I thought it would be Keppinger, Freel, Hopper, Hattenberg, and Valentine.

Injuries to Ross and Gonzalez, and Votto not hitting this spring, has really changed the look of the bench in a negative way.

at 7:09 PM Blogger Brandon said...

My 25 man also except I had Bako starting since Baker loves him. Also I picked Gil over Green but thats really a toss up.

Honestly That looks like a pretty good roster especially compared to 2 years ago when Kriv took over.

Lets surprise the central this season I have a good feeling for once going into this year as long as BP and EE don't start off slow like last year. But I have to agree CTR that EE is going to have a break out year.

at 7:35 PM Blogger redlegs08 said...

I have been excited for most of the winter but with about 2 weeks until the start of the season I just get the feeling that the Reds are just going to do the same things they always do. Their line-up has a few holes and the pitching staff is going to compete on potential and not much else. Until the games are played and the Reds show that they have made improvements in many of the little things that help win games I fear they are doomed to another disappointing season. I hope I'm wrong!

at 7:37 PM OpenID sportshandicapper said...

You have Votto getting cut?

I like Belisle a lot better as a #7 starter than a #3 though.

at 7:54 PM Blogger ST fan said...

Only 1 of the 5 extra men is LHBatter but likely OK with 4 lefties and one switch in starting line up. Why do GMs hate to dump guaranteed contract layers when they can replace with a cheap but better player? In accounting it's called a sunk cost when it's paid either way.

Sorry Roenicke isn't on your list and Mercker has looked super.

Lots can and will happen before heading north.

Overall, I'm VERY optimistic and see this as a MUCH better team than the past several years. Remember, last year we had Milton and Loshe as starters. and NO closer. UGH

at 8:00 PM Blogger dwr said...

It saddens me that this organization is going to start a 38 year-old, lifetime .274 hitter with little power, who has hit over .300 just once in his career, over a top prospect who has nothing left to prove in the minor leagues. (And spring stats mean nothing - just take a gander at Ichiro's spring training numbers.) Votto will be 25 in September, it's time to fish or cut bait.

at 8:02 PM Blogger mentalmidget said...

John, I agree with you about 90% of the time. This time I will fall in to the 10%. I don't have a problem with all of your picks except one. You're very last line says Belisle "COULD" be shifted to the bullpen. If he's not, he should go to Louisville! If he stays in the "bigs", it's long relief/mop-up! I've stated many times Belisle is NOT a starter!! He's been given numerous opportunities and not cashed in on them!! How many more times does Belisle get??

at 8:08 PM Blogger John said...

Why is Juan Castro taking up space on this roster? He has no value to this team offensively and quite honestly, if one of the starting 8 isn't a good enough fielder to be on the field in the 8th or 9th inning, they don't deserve to be on the team either. Castro is taking up space for a developing talent or a true utility player.

at 8:13 PM Blogger redsfan8557 said...

Looks like we will have to wait another year for Bruce

at 8:15 PM Blogger redsfan8557 said...

I also cant wait for another great time at the ballpark. I cant wait to see all the fans coming down to the park

at 8:22 PM Blogger Arden Dulou said...

That is a good lineup. It was to see how even though AHtteberg was the odd man odd he played his way in. When/if Griffey gets hurt then could Bruce get called up to be a starter?
The focus now is if the Reds are contending at the trade deadline, do they make a deal? If so, what would they deal for?
I am surprised to see Patterson play this way. I guess I didn't think he had it in him to potential take a spot from Bruce.

at 8:34 PM Blogger Chris Sabo said...

Well i hope you have tickets to opening day......bc thats the last sell out we'll see haha

at 9:00 PM Blogger Y-City Jim said...

We won't be waiting a year on Bruce because Corey Patterson is going to ineffectively offensively once the season begins. His career numbers don't lie.

at 9:05 PM Blogger redfuture said...

Does anyone have access to Bill Jame's Fielding Bible? I'd like to know how Patterson's defense compares to other CF. The numbers from baseball-reference.com show less than average. It's probably easier for Dusty to get through to Cory this time about his hitting approach. After all he's older now and he should realize that if Dusty want's a power hitter that Bruce would beat him out there every time.

at 9:15 PM Blogger doerr906 said...

pinch hit HRs are big.
Won't get any with that bench.

at 9:18 PM Blogger redfuture said...

Oh no, another Jack Armstrong. Yes, its our Jack's son who will be a high draft choice this year out of high school. Here is the scouting report link:

at 9:20 PM Blogger mentalmidget said...

Hey redsfan8557, Is your glass half empty? Give my boy, Bruce, some room!!! The kid is 21 years old!!! My oldest is 24, number 2 is 21 years old!! Don't have a Brain Freeze 'cuz the kid is not producing like we all expected him to!! I'll bet the "farm" the "kid" doesn't make the club at the start of the season!! I'll also bet the "farm" he finishes his season with the "big boys"!

at 9:23 PM Blogger redsfan8557 said...

Fans dont go to opening day just to for the game, its more of a party. I belive we will sell them out for at least 10 more years. I take it Sabo you have not been to many. There is nothing like it in Cincinnati

at 9:23 PM Blogger Chris said...

It's not so much that Hatteberg played his way into the starting lineup, it's that Votto played himself out. I can understand Hatte starting on opening day, but I think it would be a big mistake for Votto to be in AAA. He's proven he can be competitive in the big leagues and Hatte will need a backup.

I think Jay Bruce would have made the big league if he had a good spring, but I'm beginning to understand the plan. It looks like Bruce will be getting looks in RF where he'll ultimately land while Patterson, if he works out, will be a legitimate CF for years to come. Then the front office only has to resign Dunn.

at 9:25 PM Blogger Red Faced said...

I don't think it will be long before Votto comes back up and Bruce will be here mid season so it won't be long. I'm more concerned with Bailey at this point. He's young but I don't want him to get all mental with the let down of not earning his spot on the team. Hopefully he'll straighten out the command issues. He's still got good stuff and could be great so don't give up on this kid yet.

Listened to the Cowboy on 1530 earlier and he said that he would not be surprised if Cueto turns out to be the Ace of the staff by next year. I personally have thought that he could end up being our Ace but not for another 2 or 3 seasons. The bottom line is he is something special. It didn't take too many times seeing him pitch last year in Louisville to figure that out.

One more time, if you didn't see this article from Jayson Stark be sure to take a look at ESPN. Here's the link: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/spring2008/columns/story?columnist=stark_jayson&id=3301183

He really broke down the bullpen troubles last year and put it in perspective. In this sense alone I feel this team will be MUCH improved. Sure there are some areas we need to improve upon and no we are likely not going to win the Series this year but we can be a playoff team...and we are definitely heading in the right direction. I feel we have a solid foundation to build upon the next few years.

at 9:30 PM Blogger Ron said...

I don't have problems with this 25 man roster but I would bet it never materializes. I think either Freel or Hopper is gone before the season starts, most likely Freel, to make room for Hairston or Gil. Personally, I would rather have Bako catching and Valentine on the bench. Valentine provides more late inning options.

at 9:39 PM Blogger redfuture said...

Catcher Craig Tatum hit another tater today along with a double and 4 RBI while going 2 for 2 in the Louisville game. Stubbs also went 3 for 5 and the other day hit 2 HRs in the same game. Those might be our future catcher and power hitting defensive RH CF of the future.

at 9:41 PM Blogger redfuture said...

I predict that before May is half over that a Patterson 0-20 streak will coincide with a Bruce 12-20 streak with 6 HRs in Louisville.

at 9:52 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

Whats this about Miguel Olivo?

Lifetime .239 BA

In case Ross isnt well enought to NOT hit, we can plug in this guy to NOT hit?

Mentioned this on the catcher thread:
Freel, Belisle, and Valentin for Salty. Plus money if needed.
Rangers are happy with Laird.

Whoever called Freel and Belisle "cast offs", Im not sure what you mean. Just because the Reds are in a posistion to have less need for these guys does not mean they have no value.

Is Sean Casey a "cast off"?
No, the Tigers just do not need him.

The Rangers get:
A backup catcher that is a potent bat of the bench (or DH)
A F-real super sub (sorry couldnt resist)
And a potentialy really good long man / setup guy.

The Reds get a top level catching prospect that has not been proven in the bigs.

Why would this be such a unlikely trade?

3 for one also clears some roster space for a couple young guys currently blocked by veterans with $ contracts.

at 9:58 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

Majewski, now thats a cast off!

at 9:58 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

Cory Patterson leading off in CF, WOW! Is this the same Andy Green who has a lifetime .199 BA in parts of 3 major league seasons? Bako and Casto, neither one can hit their weight. Freel is still here? (great signing Wayne).
That can not be the bench if the Reds expect to contend.

What has Burton done this spring? Last I heard he was stinking up the place. Haven't heard anything about him lately. I wouldn't put a whole lot of faith in Bray yet either.

at 10:09 PM Blogger outtatown tim said...

Since Bray has options, it wouldnt surprise me if they keep Merker and push Bray back to L'ville. That way, if Stanton destructs again, they can cut him, and bring Bray up then.

at 10:21 PM Blogger redaholic said...

all we need now, is trade bailey,belisle,hatteberg,castro,and gonzo to the twins for joe mauer. 5 for 1 sale. today only!

at 10:24 PM Blogger Kyle said...

This 25 man roster looks a lot different than the original projection.
I would be dissapointed to see Votto in AAA. He really has nothing to prove there.
One way or another it looks like Louisville is going to have a strong roster.

at 10:24 PM Blogger Chris at Redleg Nation said...

Two sub-.330 OBPs in the top 4 spots? Makes perfect sense to me.

As a bonus, Marty can bitch about Dunn not getting RBIs.

at 10:47 PM Blogger _Sir_Charles_ said...

Long time reader...first time poster. First let me say that I really enjoy your articles John. I'm a life-long Reds fan who's now living in Houston Texas. So the internet is my only access to my beloved Reds.
Secondly, as to your 25-man roster...I'd have to disagree with several.
1: I understand that Stanton has a big contract, but he simply hasn't produced. At all. Why hold back a young arm and lessen your chance to win games by carrying that load on the roster. It's time to eat that contract and move on.
2: Corey Patterson is a nice player. But I just don't see any reason to justify him starting over either Hopper OR Bruce. Norris has earned the right to start due to his production last year. And if he's going to get bumped for anyone, it's got to be for the "Next Big Thing". Keep Corey on the 25-man roster, but from the bench.
3: Hatteberg. Yes, he's a solid contributor. But just because Joey's struggled out of the gate in spring training is no reason to leave him languishing in AAA. He's 25 years old and he's proven everything he needs to prove in the minors. Even if it's a platoon role, he MUST be on the 25-man roster.
4: Castro. Wow. Just wow. What is it about this guy that the Reds F.O. is in love with? Sure, he's got a nice glove. But he's anemic with the stick and injury prone. No, no, no.
5: Your bullpen is almost dead on with the exception of Stanton being in there still. That's Matt Belisle's spot. You can just see it in him. He's made for a long-relief role. I personally think he'll flourish there. Stanton's done.

at 11:09 PM Blogger R said...

I agree with Chris. The lineup stinks with Patterson at the top. This just in, he's not gonna hit .455 this year. Also, he's not Baker's guy. They didn't get along at all in Chicago. Votto also isn't going to AAA because good evaluators judge guys on large samples, not spring training ones. Notice how there's no backup 1B on that bench.

at 11:23 PM Blogger Dutch in Richmond, IN said...

Two years ago, the Indians were frustrated with the slow progress of player and GAVE him to Cincinnati. Cincinnati immediately gave him shot in the big leagues and that player became only the 2nd second baseman in the HISTORY of baseball to join the 30-30 club last year. The point is that Brandon Phillips, despite his early struggles, was given a chance to play in the big leagues and he developed and his quickly becoming a star. What did Votto do when he was called up last September? He tore the cover off the ball. Dusty and Wayne need only to look at Brandon to realize big experience is invaluable. Votto needs to play, NOW, and Bruce better be close behind. And if neither of these guys are on the opening day roster, the Bats may outdraw the Reds in attendence by May.

at 11:25 PM Blogger Brandon said...

i love how negative people are everyone once again just calm down when may rolls around you can complain like this depending on our status

at 11:29 PM Blogger John Fay said...

Should have clarified: this is my guess as to what the roster will be -- not the roster I would pick.

at 11:47 PM Blogger Dave said...

To all those who forgot last year so easily - yes, he improved, but EE still has a loose cannon...Castro at third, Gonzo, BP, Hatteberg is a really, really solid late inning D, especially with Patterson, Freel, and Hopper out there behind them...pitching and D, pitching and D - can't say it enough times. Good 25 man roster, though - Votto will take spot 25 when he heats up in the minors, leaving Valentine and Hatt as the LH subs, with Freel/Hopper/Gonzo/Bako on the other side - likely Bako is cut, someone traded (Freel) or Gonzo released if EE can keep the throws online. And when Bailey puts it together mid-season, Stanton gets the ax, Bailey starts and Fogg or Volquez (Fogg) go to the pen. Definitely the makings of a solid contender.

at 12:04 AM Blogger Dave said...

So we're okay this year, but I can't help but see the quarreling over the "young guys" and say "wait til they're less young..." We're a late-playoffs type team in a year or two...

1. CF Patterson/Stubbs (both have speed to burn)
2. SS Keppinger (.330 with 15-20 HRs)
3. RF Bruce (30/30? Maybe 40/20, but still a perfect #3)
4. 2B Phillips (Retiring a Red)
5. LF Dunn (keep him around, teach him to swing more, back to rookie form - .290+ - with 45 HR)
6. 3B EE (25-30 HR and, when the throws fly truer, Gold Glove level D - he scoops everything)
7. 1B Votto (another 25-30 homer guy at 7th!)
C Ross?/Mesoraco (good D and 20 HR, I hear the kid can run)

Dickerson (D and baserunning)
Hopper (see Dickerson)
Patterson/Stubbs (possible Stubbs replaces Dunn?)
C #2
Gil/Green/Util. INF

SP Harang (better D and O might get him to 18 or 20 wins?!)
Arroyo (another 15+ guy)
Cueto (probably #2, will win 20 games at some point)
Volquez (see Arroyo, maybe Cueto)
Bailey (see Volquez, maybe Cueto)
MR Belisle (better in the pen - doesn't suffer "the inning")
Roenicke (future closer)
Bray (future setup man)
Affeldt, I hope
Minor Leaguer/FA
Set Burton (maybe holding Bray's role?)
CP Cordero (40+ S every year)

at 12:18 AM Blogger Marc in Kentucky said...

Red Faced... you the man! (Or whatever gender you may be?) I've been saying this all along, although I usually get slammed on this board. The future is bright, we are much improved and think we can make some real noise this year. I still don't know if we are a playoff team this year, but I really believe we're going to contend and if we stay healthy the next 5 or 6 years... the Series isn't a pipe dream.


at 12:39 AM Blogger REddlegg in Colorado said...

When Gonzo & Ross come back,who's cut???

Depending on who makes the 25th spot,
(Green,Gil,Phillips,Anderson, Cabrera,Hairston)
Castro, or Bako.

2 players are going have to be cut to make room for those two.I say Castro for sure,not sure about the other spot.

at 5:41 AM Blogger redaholic said...

for john fay... what team is most likely to trade us a catcher? any rumors about freel and votto for a catcher?

at 7:06 AM Blogger Brandon said...

So over at mlb trade rumors I just read that recently the A's made an offer to the Reds to give us Blanton for Spring Sensation Cueto. The deal was declined and I literally laughed out loud reading it.

at 7:15 AM Blogger Mr. Doom and Gloom said...

"Freel, Belisle, and Valentin for Salty. Plus money if needed."

Dude...you're not gonna get Salty for an overpaid, injury prone utility guy, a back-up catcher who can't throw anybody out, and a guy who posted an ERA over 5 in the NL last year.

Castro, Stanton, and Coffey will be on the 25-man to start the season, their contracts dictate that.

Bray starts in L'ville and Mercker makes the team...You can already hear Dusty setting that up if you listen, talking about Bray's endurance, and questioning his ability to pitch back-to-back games. Bray will be up as soon as Stanton gets cut or Mercker gets hurt.

at 8:36 AM Blogger Jason said...

Votto will be on the opening day roster.

at 8:37 AM Blogger John Fay said...

Just reread a post from Feb. 7 about the A's wanting Bailey or Cueto, Votto and a third player for Blanton. To your credit, posters were about 93-to-2 against the trade. The deal may have gotten done but the A's insisted on Cuero over Bailey.

Some of you wonder how Bailey had fallen behind Cueti in Reds' view. Now you know.

at 8:59 AM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

D&G (Jack) You have no control over the use of "DUDE" in your posts do you? You forget not to use it when posting under different Ids.

Anyway, Salty has played in 93 games, were not talking about Joe Mauer or Johnny Bench here. He is unproven over the long run.

His value is similar to that of Votto's. Looks great, but it still has to happen on the field.

Freel has become injured only when he plays everyday.

A BACKUP catcher that can hit doesnt have to have a stellar % thrown out.

Belisles ERA is as a starter. Im suggesting him in a different role.

What people get tired of is you coming on, reading the posts, and then submitting a post like this:

jdeezman, your wrong

kevinftmyers, you dont know what your talking about,

redlegg, thats rediculous

Dont you notice that systematically picking out posters and disagreeing with them is your M.O.?

Its relly very tiresome.

Try a post with new information and an opinion you have formed based on statistics, rather than just picking posts to disagree with.

at 9:14 AM Blogger wire2wire said...

Great...So by the time we decide to call Bruce and Votto up around June 1 we will already be 10 games out of first. Stick with the young guys and let them learn in the bigs!

at 9:37 AM Blogger Kyblu said...

If anyone can get this to the Reds front office, Mike Difelice might be a catcher that could help. He is with the Tampa Rays now.

MISCELLANY: Jackson was extremely sharp in his first five innings, retiring his first 11 (five by strikeout) and keeping the ball down in a 3-1 win over the Phillies. … Troy Percival had his third 1-2-3 inning in four outings. … With an RBI single, nonroster C Mike Difelice is hitting .429. … LHP Trever Miller and RHPs Gary Glover and Dan Wheeler threw at the minor-league complex.

at 9:40 AM Blogger Mr. Doom and Gloom said...

I'm wondering how Bailey was ever ahead of him...

at 9:44 AM Blogger redsfanwoody said...

Ugh Stanton. I have nothing personal against the guy,but if implodes the first month,it is time to swallow that contract and move on. If your paying and he's not producing, is it not the same if he was not on the team anyways?

I can understand the frustration people have with Krivsky and the front office when they gave out contracts like this one and others. Guaranteed contracts to aging relief pitchers not a great idea on Wayne's part.

As much as I would like to see the likes of Bruce/Votto on the 25, I will give the benefit of doubt to Baker/Krivsky. But I am looking forward on how this is going to play out all year.

at 9:57 AM Blogger 24/7 said...

Does Mercker have options?

at 10:10 AM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

kevin...this D and G you type of is not me..ask John Fay..you seem a little bit paranoid..

kevin lets stick to baseball as John as requested

kevin because i dont share in your enthusiasm after seven straight years of losing..sorta makes me a realist

at 10:56 AM Blogger Marc in Kentucky said...

wire2wire, I feel you. I want to see the young guns too. But, scoring runs isn't our problem, it's getting people out. Bruce and Votto are going to get theirs real soon. I just hope we've gotten a lot better in the pitching department. I think we have. I think it's going to be a fun season.

at 11:04 AM Blogger Hey Barry Larkin! said...

John, I would've thought we'd have heard of some cuts by now, with the off-day yesterday. Do you think there will be moves made before today's game?

It just seems like we still have a whole lot of players in camp, less than 2 weeks from Opening Day. I'd expect around 15 guys to be gone this week.

at 11:14 AM Blogger Mr. Doom and Gloom said...

hey kev old buddy...

ever notice that everytime someone disagrees with your basball takes, you accuse them of being jack in blue ash ?

you are grossly overestimating the value of ryan freel, valentin and belisle.

since when does defense not matter for a back-up catcher? why would anyone consider freel as anythng more than a utility guy/spot starter considering his injury history when asked to play an extended period? don't you think that confirms the fact that he is an overpaid utility player and affects his value in a trade?

they tried belisle in a relief role 2 years ago and he was terrible out of the pen too, his only success coming in a couple spot starts.

look at the ceiling for the guys you want to trade compared to salty...

freel and valentin have reached theirs, and if you consider belisle a long reliever, well, that ain't too high a ceiling now is it?

i propose trading ryan freel to china in exchange for peace in tibet and the return of the dalia lama to his home land.

at 11:15 AM Blogger omnired said...

John, that trade proposal looks as dumb now as it did then. Bailey and Votto and a third for Blanton. That's a lot for a guy whose results are similar to a guy like Josh Fogg. And I think most would agree that some cash and a 1-yr deal is much preferred to giving up 3 prospects for Fogg/Blanton.

at 11:18 AM Blogger cincy14 said...

Get rid of Mike Stanton, he's done.

at 11:26 AM Blogger John Fay said...

I feel certain there will be cuts today. They won't announce them until they tell the players. It's a night game so we probably won't hear till mid afternoon.

at 11:30 AM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

Nobody wants Freel for the money he is making. Similar to Griffey on a much lower scale. Belisle has had plenty of opportunities both starting and relieving. I really don't understand why we need Corey Patterson. What would be the purpose of keeping Andy Green?

Bruce and Votto both need to be starting in Cincinnati until they prove that the can not play.

at 11:42 AM Blogger suter51 said...

Votto will help the big league club out in '08, but he has had a rough spring. It's not just that he is hitting .140 or whatever. Tuesday when he hit his 3-run homer he also made an error at 1st that cost Fogg & the Reds 3 runs. He also cut off a throw from RF that he should have let go through. Those kinds of mistakes stick out way more than his terrible batting average. EE proved last year how valuable a trip to Louisville can be.

at 12:00 PM Blogger jdeezman said...

Well there obviously needs to be quite a few cuts... and soon... so we'll know within a week where we stand.
I was hoping to see Votto starting at first too, and he might.
I think that there will be at least one more trade to happen. Injuries in spring training make for unexpected trades/trading partners.

It'll be interesting to see who stays in the pen and whether it's performance based of contractually based.

at 12:03 PM Blogger Chad said...

Not sure why everyone is pushing to trade Freel. Look at our current projected bench. It's below average at best, and trading Freel is just going to make it worse.


at 12:09 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

D&G. 2-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 2006 is actually good numbers for Belisle. 40 IP

The problem he had was his back, and getting it loose. That is why they wanted him to start, so that they could have him in a set routine to help his back.

Belisle has good stuff, but if his concentration or pitching out of a stretch are not improved, I question having him on the ML Roster when he could continue development at AAA.

We will not get through 2008 with 5 starters. Isn't it a great option to have Belisle at AAA because we have better performing pitchers starting the year?

I feel a lot better about calling up Belisle than what we had in 2007. And maybe he won't like the AAA circuit, and decide like Volquez that he is in the Bigs for good the next time he is up

at 12:35 PM Blogger Red Faced said...

I'm not totally convinced that Votto won't be on the 25 man yet. I know there is just over a week left of ST and he could very easily turn his spring around in only a weeks worth of AB's. I think the general feeling was that he was going to be on the 25 man and only because of his poor showing so far has that changed slightly.

Hatteburg is solid and I'm not sure why so many people bash him on this blog but he's not going to play every day and I'm sure he'll very likely be a mid season trade this year so Votto needs his AB's.

I also feel that Juan Castro needs to go though and doesn't really offer us much more than a late inning defensive replacement. Why give this roster stop to Castro when there are many other young options available? Let's see if some of the young guys can produce in this role. I know, they won't get many at bats but I'd rather pinch hit Arroyo then Castro.

Yes I'm concerned about the catching situation. I felt we should have addressed it in the off season but did not. I don't see anything happening in this area. we'll stick with Valentin and Ross and #3 whomever it ends up being. I've debated before that Valentin's flexibility and success as a pinch hitter is almost a detriment as it forces us to keep 3 catchers on the 25 man. I know, that sounds crazy but since he's such a good pinch hitter he gets used often and then leaves us with no backup catcher on the bench. If we had another pinch hitter who we felt good about on the bench then it wouldn't be as bad. But come on are you going to pinch hit Castro when you need a hit (yes Narrow did for Hamilton last year - he should have been fired on the spot for that).

Hopper-Freel-Patterson. Too many guys here and Bruce sitting at AAA. Someone has to go. Looks like Freel is the odd man out. I love your style Freel but you are short on talent, frequently hurt and you strike out too often. Hopper is the better leadoff hitter so I'm afraid you need to go. I feel like Freel will be moved before the season starts.

Bullpen: Looks good, I agree with most everyone else. Stanton will be with the team to begin the season and this will likely cost someone more deserving a spot. If Stanton struggles again this year look for the team to eat his contract and get him out of here.

at 12:35 PM Blogger Matt said...

Bailey has put up poor numbers in the spring but 10 and 2/3 innings is a cup of coffee, albeit a bitter one. Affeldt has 11 and 2/3 as well. I'm not questioning their having lost a rotation bid but these are two short starts worth of innings and are in spring training. I'm suggesting this is not an inordinate amount of work for a pitcher to find his game, even when you include bp/intersquad work.

I'm more concerned for Affeldt because he WILL be a Red and be needed to pitch well in the bullpen and when you view his outings against bullpen candidates, his spring would've cost him a job (if he was not established). Let's keep it simple and root for these guys to find their way. I think Bailey will pitch well tonight.

at 12:45 PM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

I agree with D and G. Matt has had plenty of opportunities and very little success

Freels only value is his versatlity

I can tell ya where we stand right now.. but I wont

Great article on Josh Hamilton

at 12:46 PM Blogger Hey Barry Larkin! said...

Good point reagan. I had completely forgotten about Belisle's back pains being the rationale for moving him to the rotation. You're definitely right about needing more than 5 starters to make it through the entire season. I think Belisle should start out in AAA. Fogg or one of the rooks is bound to falter or be injured at some point this season. He's good insurance, and can keep his form starting every fifth day in Louisville.

at 12:49 PM Blogger Mr. Doom and Gloom said...

agreed that belisle is a better option as a #6 or #7 than we've had in recent years, i'm just saying we shouldn't kid ourselves into thinking he has any real value in a trade.

'06 numbers look good on the surface, but 40 IP is a small sample size and if you take out the numbers from his last 2 appearances, (both starts, 9.2 IP, 1 ER), it is a better reflection on how he did out of the pen.

i'll rely on the '07 numbers to tell me how he was as a starter. wh knows, maybe the guy will figure it out at some point, definitely has the arm. i'm not even advocating a trade, good option to have behind the youngsters and fogg.

at 1:06 PM Blogger Dan H said...

Saw Mercker and Capellan pitch today in a Louisville/Chattanooga intra squad game. Mercker pitched 2 good innings topping at 89 on the gun with good command.Krivsky,Jocketty,Pole,Soto all watching. Capellan,well not as good. Command so-so and topped at 87-88 on gun.Noticed a Philly scout watching as well.Janish with a HR and this Francisco kid sure can hit. If it wasn't for Stanton's contract,Mercker would be a lock. Maybe Bray gets optioned and they keep both Mercker and Stanton. Ross got 4 AB's with a double,K,FO,and GO.

at 1:20 PM Blogger Mr. Doom and Gloom said...

looks like the muskies are well on their way to turning my bracket into a steaming pile

at 1:35 PM Blogger Jeff said...

I don't think any of us know where the Reds stand right now. A lot depends on two extremely talented pitchers who are unproven at the Major League level. I think we'll have a better idea in the June timeframe.

at 1:51 PM Blogger jdeezman said...

Dan H,

Thanks for the info, but I have a question;

Did Ross do any catching or just get some AB's in?

Thanks again.

at 2:29 PM Blogger Dan H said...

jdeezman, Just 4 AB's for Ross, did not see him catch anyone even in the warm-ups. He seemed to be running OK though.

at 2:41 PM Blogger Bogey said...

How can c trent get the cut scoop on you from BFE AL?

at 3:00 PM Blogger Bob Loblaw said...

I thought Capellan was C.C. Sabbathia huge? What the hell is he doing topping out at 88 miles per hour? Please tell me they scouted him better than that. We don't need a lefty who has to "hit his spots" to be effective. As far as the 25 man goes, it's not ideal, but lots of changes can be made during the season. Bruce and Bailey will be up sometime this season, probably before the All-Star Break. Let's hope Mike Stanton blows it and forces the Reds' hand. I would like to think they somehow see something we don't and aren't keeping him on the roster just because his contract is guaranteed. If any of our other lefty options are better we have to go with them, regardless of monetary concerns.

at 3:13 PM Blogger blueridge said...

Based on Fay's proposed 25-man roster, the Reds suck and there is little room for optimism. If Bruce and Votto can play, why aren't they in the starting lineup? Hatteberg and Patterson are nondescript journeymen. If Bruce and Votto cannot play at the major league level, why all the hype? I am sick of a decade of losing. Castellini and Krivsky were supposed to change things in Redsland. They haven't. They sat around on their fat asses this past offseason and did nothing to improve this team offensively. Now the young prospects don't measure up. The Reds have not produced a homegrown major league star since Dunn(if he even qualifies). And what's up with Homer Bailey? If he still cannot crack the Reds' second-rate starting rotation, then he probably never will. I am so sick of this b***sh**.

at 7:30 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

Listening to XM MLB home plate today and John Curillo? I think is his name? From Baseball America was on, while he said Cueto was way ahead of Bailey right now, the feeling @ Base. Amer. was still that Bailey has a better long term outlook. Said Bailey's stuff is better, and that his problem is likely with mechanics more than attitude. He mentioned "over throwing". He personally met Bailey and scouted him for baseball america, so I listened.

Anyway, made me feel a little better about Homer.
Im not one who beleives Bailey should be traded, but I am getting a little impatient.

I think we should just still keep 2009 in the back of our minds, Cueto and Volquez are a nice suprise, and making fans think about 2008, but 2009 is more realistic. (I still hope we give the Cubbies hell this year.)

Votto starting all year, Bruce platooning, hopefully Cueto and Volquez with a pretty good season under their belt, maybe a real catcher, and with any luck, Bailey rounding out the rotation.

Yep 2009.

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