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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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Monday, March 17, 2008

Reds v. Tigers lineup

Today's game at 1:05 p.m. It's on FSN and WLW

Corey Patterson CF
Juan Castro SS
Ken Griffey Jr. RF
Brandon Phillips 2B
Adam Dunn LF
Edwin Encarnacion 3B
Scott Hatteberg 1B
Paul Bako C
Johnny Cueto P


52 Comments:

at 9:00 AM Blogger Rob said...

how is Castro's arm coming along? The Reds need his glove in the late innings.

 
at 9:20 AM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

Looks like the opening day lineup!

But with Harang of course.

Seems like Dusty wants to get a look at his A team vs a contender.

Hope the Tigers play their A Team...and Cueto gives them fits.

 
at 9:22 AM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

John, how many innings is Cueto slated to pitch?

Would love to see 6+

 
at 9:25 AM Blogger atomic said...

wow John the game is on TV I had no idea.Are there any more games on TV the next couple of weeks?Good morining KevingMeyers, no offense but I sure hope that this is not our opening day lineup. it looks far less potent than it did last year.Patterson, Castro, and Hatteburg is very weak..I have not been following Votto , what happened to him, he was doing great last year

 
at 9:32 AM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

Votto is perceived as a slow starter, and its my beleif all along that Dusty would start Hateberg on OD, then ease in Votto. (no pressure that way)

Patterson has the highest batting average of Him, Freel, and Hopper, and lets not forget, hes Dusty's guy.

As Far as Castro, who knows? Kepp surely has done his job throughout spring, but Dusty seems to have some specific ideas about his shortstops. Hes not sold on Kepp.

 
at 9:33 AM Blogger atomic said...

thanks kevin for the insight I have to run I will catch ya later

 
at 9:39 AM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

Just a couple days ago Dusty made a comment about sorting out the middle infield and we know he aint talking about second base!

 
at 9:45 AM Blogger R said...

Pray that it's not the opening day lineup. Castro batting 2nd is abysmal, especially after the other out-machine, Corey Patterson. These two have career OBPs near .300, if not less.

 
at 9:54 AM Blogger redsfanwoody said...

Nice job this morning on the radio John. It was nice that you kind of let it be known that if Fogg was to be dealt,not much interest is going to be there. At least for picking up a decent prospect.

I would think if The Reds(if out the race) would deal him,it would be in July when teams might be some what more in a desperate need of pitching. Same with Patterson if some one needs a bat and he's playing well.

Agreed it looks like the Opening Day line up. But with Keppinger at SS. Anyone think if Ross is not ready Bako will get the most time at catcher?

 
at 9:57 AM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

I agree on Castro's hitting #s, if Dusty starts him it wont be for hitting. Dustys not thrilled with Kepps double play mechanics, range. Really hes in a bad spot, its clear he wants Agon @ short, and Kepp in the utility role. But with Agon out.....

Well we will see.

W/ Patterson, Dusty has attributed his low OBP to him batting lower in the order for other teams, and trying to hit for power. He thinks that screwed him up a bit.

His OBP in spring is not listed on espn, but his batting is .438, so OBP must be at that or higher.

 
at 9:59 AM Blogger R said...

Yeah, Kevin. As long as Patterson hits .360, he'll make a great leadoff hitter. ;)

 
at 10:01 AM Blogger Stan said...

Hopefully Dusty's just getting Castro some work in. He just needs to be a late inning defensive replacement. Kep is no Ozzie Smith, but he's more than capable and his hitting will make up for defense.

 
at 10:03 AM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

Hairston is hitting .556 (in only 9 ABs) Good enough for 25th man, but lets hope not. Id much rather have Green, Rosales, or Cabrera.

Any thaughts?

 
at 10:05 AM Blogger HoosierVirg said...

Kevin, Patterson's spring OBP is .438, the spring stats are on the Reds web site.

 
at 10:06 AM Blogger Stan said...

I think Rosales has already been sent down. But, your right, unless a Dusty guy hits about .080, he'll make the team.

 
at 10:07 AM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

I like Kepp too, even better than Agon. I just think Dusty thinks a little dufferently than we do.

 
at 10:09 AM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

Kevin, Patterson's spring OBP is .438, the spring stats are on the Reds web site.

Thanks, so no walks, ESPN's site doesnt list walks either so I wasnt sure.

 
at 10:10 AM Blogger Stan said...

Could Hairston and/or Patterson be used as trade bait if they keep up the hot spring?

 
at 10:15 AM Blogger R said...

Hairston and Patterson trade bait? For what? Some hot dogs? If anyone wanted them, they wouldn't have been available during spring training. Baseball GMs are smarter now. They see horrific OBPs and they pass on these guys. Getting on base and not making an out is the name of the game on offense.

 
at 10:28 AM Blogger minman said...

Neither Patterson or Hairston has enough at bats this spring to consider their averages or OBP as being significant.

 
at 10:29 AM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Rarely, if ever, does hitting make up for defense at the position where more balls are hit than any other place on the field. Whoever dreamed up that concept of hitting making up for defense never experienced the wrath of a pitcher and the ire of an entire dugout.

In several ways, defense can impact a game and team more than scoring runs to win. Not making defensive plays can affect your pitcher's outing, tax the bullpen, burden the rotation, and cause your lineup to exhaustingly have to play catch-up.

All because your most important defensive player couldn't flip a double play quicker or get to a ball that leads to a force out that ends an inning, et al.

 
at 10:30 AM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

I agree w/ R, Any team that wanted them could of had them 2 weeks ago, and spring #s wont increase trade value, now if in July Paterson is batting say .350 with an OBP around .500, but at that point, why trade him, especially if your are in the race. Even if you are not in the race, Dusty wants him, so I think the Reds get an extension done.

As far as Hairston, he would be a sub and at that time of year, teams are looking for pitchers, and hitters (everyday players).

 
at 10:32 AM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

Neither Patterson or Hairston has enough at bats this spring to consider their averages or OBP as being significant.

True, MINMAN, but fact remains, OD is in two weeks, and what other info can Dusty use to set the lineup?

 
at 10:45 AM Blogger docproc said...

Hey John:

Is anything wrong with Kepp? Second day in row that Castro has played SS, after Kepp got 3 hits on Saturday.

 
at 10:51 AM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

I think Bako may start:

Bako .350 20ABs

Valentin .263 19ABs

Valentin will catch Cueto / Volquez of course.

 
at 10:56 AM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

If Bako, continues batting at or above say .275 and Harang, Arroyo, and Fogg pitch well with him, Ross will be the "odd man out"

 
at 11:00 AM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

Is anything wrong with Kepp? Second day in row that Castro has played SS, after Kepp got 3 hits on Saturday.

This is what Im saying, its too early to be resting guys, so it sure seems like Dusty is looking for something from Castro; something he may not be seeing from Kepp.

 
at 11:01 AM Blogger smtides said...

I think some of yall just reflexively don't like Patterson and/or Hairston because they're considered "Dusty guys."

Actually, the Patterson signing was a very good move. Other than Bruce, the Reds really have very little OF depth in the system.

Patterson's a Gold Glove quality outfielder, he's still young, he's probably now the fastest guy on the team and if the Reds are unable to lock Dunn up AND the lose Griffey, he's your starting CF next year.

With Hairston, you get a very versatile guy like Freel, without the salary, and allows you to at least TRY to trade Freel to a team like the Rays.

What's the problem?

 
at 11:10 AM Blogger John Fay said...

I asked Keppinger about that. He said nothing's wrong with him. He's just getting a couple of days rest. It's not too early for rest. These guys have been going at it every day for over a month.

 
at 11:12 AM Blogger redsfan8557 said...

I am so glad the fighting back and forth has stopped.I enjoy reading all the posts. Just think guys 2 more weeks. Whos going to opening day?

 
at 11:16 AM Blogger Aaron said...

Hatteberg isn't weak unless you are comparing him to the likes of Cecil Fielder, Ryan Howard, etc. He was one of our best hitters last year that delivered in the clutch time and time again. I have no problem with starting the season with Hatteberg as our primary 1B. I expect Votto to get it together and take over at some point but with Hatte there is no need to rush him in there. Bruce, Votto, Bailey all need more work in Louisville. I know Votto pretty much proved himself last year but he also started cold last year. I'd rather have him go through a cold spell at AAA then for the Reds.

 
at 11:17 AM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

You just have to wonder about Hairston though:

Has anything he has done good because of P.E.D's?

If so, what will he be without?

If he does struggle, will he try and beat (cheat) the system?

Same goes for Stanton.

 
at 11:17 AM Blogger Mr. Doom and Gloom said...

patterson is not remotely close to gold glove quality with that arm. just cause a guy's fast, it doesn't mean he's a good ourtfielder (see exhibit a, Ryan Freel). i don't think we have an above average OF on this team, though i do believe jr. could surprise, he really came on defensively in the second half once he figured out RF.

i hesitate to post for fear this wil lead to more josh hamilton lamentations.

 
at 11:20 AM Blogger minman said...

"Actually, the Patterson signing was a very good move. Other than Bruce, the Reds really have very little OF depth in the system."

Have you been to the games? Patterson's arm is poor, he lets hits drop in front of him without making an effort and is suppose to have speed, that he has yet to show defensively. I was a big Patterson supporter because I thought his defense would earn him a spot. I have been very dissapointed so far, not impressive.

I do like the fact that he is beating out infield hits and trying to bunt to get on base. We will need his small ball game if he is going to lead off.

 
at 11:27 AM Blogger Red Faced said...

Good convo today guys. Thank you John.

I think this lineup may well be the opening day lineup with the exception of Keppinger at SS instead of Castro. It does seem that Castro is getting extra time there lately but he's bound to pay for it at the plate as a result. I don't think Castro is capable of hitting well long term even in spring training.

I won't blast Dusty for putting Patterson in CF opening day either as I agree with him that we need a better leadoff option. I'm not convinced that Patterson will be any better than say Hopper but I'll give him the chance to prove or disprove it first.

I like where the rotation is heading but don't be surprised to see Belisle climb back in there if he can put together back to back good outings to close the spring. That's a BIG if I know.

Can't wait to see Cueto pitch tonight. Oh and I'll be there opening day how about the rest of your guys?

 
at 11:27 AM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

IMO,

I think Patterson feels like hes on the team, hes swinging the bat well, and that matters most in ST. Alot of outfielders dont go full out in ST. (Unless their trying to make the team) Lets not forget hes only been in camp a couple weeks and may be holding back in the outfield to prevent hurting his arm etc..

 
at 11:31 AM Blogger smtides said...

Bonds never had a great arm and won several Gold Gloves. Patterson's arm is as good as Bonds arm was in 1998, his last Gold Glove season.

I have been to several games this year, but none that Patterson has played in. I was going to the game today but something came up.

But I do remember Patterson when he first came up with the Cubs, and I don't remember him at all the way you just described him.

 
at 11:32 AM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

FYI

Pattersons Career Fielding % in CF .987

 
at 11:36 AM Blogger R said...

"OD is in two weeks, and what other info can Dusty use to set the lineup?"

Their historical stats that say they're no good.

"Actually, the Patterson signing was a very good move. Other than Bruce, the Reds really have very little OF depth in the system.
"

Freel and Hopper are both better leadoff options. Signing a guy with a sub-.300 OBP is never a good move.

 
at 11:36 AM Blogger Red Faced said...

I have to add my 2 cents on Patterson. His fielding is decent but his arm is very weak. This is an exaggeration of course, but there will be times when he'll make you wish you had 2 cut-off guys between him and where ever the ball is going.

 
at 11:44 AM Blogger Aaron said...

There is a good chance both Griffey and Freel will both be hurt again this year. It happens nearly every year at some point. We will be glad Patterson is on the roster if it happens.

 
at 11:49 AM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

Bonds fielding in 1998 .984

 
at 11:49 AM Blogger R said...

If Griffey and Freel are hurt, then Hopper is Freel and Bruce is Griffey. Patterson is a pinch runner.

 
at 11:51 AM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

R said...
"OD is in two weeks, and what other info can Dusty use to set the lineup?"

Their historical stats that say they're no good.


Is that how Hamilton got into the lineup last year?

 
at 11:55 AM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

Point being, Hamilton looked good in spring, so they played him.

This is one of the reasons you have spring training, to see which of your potential starters is swinging the bat well. If were going by past performance, Dusty would just sit behind a desk sorting through mountains of paper.

 
at 11:56 AM Blogger Mr. Doom and Gloom said...

i don't mind patterson on the roster...just not as a lead-off hitter until he proves he can maintain a respectable obp. he'll be serviceable in cf - just as good as freel or hopper - but nothing special.

i prefer hopper as the lead-off man based on past performance, but doubt he's gonna hit as well as he did last year over the long haul, and if he doesn't, he's gonna struggle with obp unless he changes his approach and draws more walks.

i think if they could find someone to take freel's contract off their hands they'd want very little in return at this point. they can get comparable utility work from guys like kepp, cabrera, green, gil, etc for far less money.

 
at 11:56 AM Blogger Aaron said...

When Patterson is taking time away from someone more deserving than we can argue about it... but the truth of the matter is that Bruce does not look ready for the Big Show. He's made a slew of baserunning mistakes already. He needs to learn more fundamentals at AAA. He was rushed thru 3 levels last year. I know he is gonna be great but he needs to learn fundamentals before starting his big league career. Patterson has more talent and upside than Freel and Hopper, although yea I like Freel and I thought Hopper had a great half a season in 07. We'll see how it shakes out.

 
at 12:23 PM Blogger smtides said...

I guess I'm just optimistic that Patterson's 2nd half last year was a sign of things to come.

He's got the talent. He was, I believe, the 3rd overall pick in the draft in, what, 1999? 2000? If he can put it all together he could be quite a steal. If not, he'll still provide quality depth and improve the Reds overall bench.

I think it was a good signing.

 
at 12:28 PM Blogger R said...

"Their historical stats that say they're no good."

Is that how Hamilton got into the lineup last year?

There were no numbers to use on Hamilton, other than spring training. He had no past and sending him to the minors wasn't an option. So he made the team and as he got some hits, he got more time.

Patterson and Hairston have a history of making outs at a 70% clip, thus their availability to any team late in spring training. I think it's good to have a guy like that around to play some D and run the bases, but by no means as a leadoff hitter.

 
at 1:00 PM Blogger Ol' Timey Redsfan said...

This does look close to the Reds A team to me as well, with the exception of SS and C. I believe you will see Kepp at SS and Valentin at C opening day. Don't forget that righthander Webb is starting opening day, hench Valentin at Catcher. If Ross is not ready, than Valentin will get most of the starts. Bako has had some Defensive troubles and Valentin is a strong left handed hitter. Let Go Reds! Go nail down that rotation spot Cueto!

 
at 1:23 PM Blogger Aaron said...

Looked like Cueto wanted nothing to do with Ordonez or Cabrera. Those first two hits were lucky bloopers.

 
at 4:27 PM Blogger Y-City Jim said...

If this was the Opening Day lineup, the Reds have offensive problems.

 
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