Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Reds year in reveiw.

I was expecting a .500 season from the Reds this year, and they fell a little short. But what was very encouraging was the strong finish in the last month. Normally by this time the Reds would have given up and just not cared, but I think that there are enough guys on this team that are young and hungry so they continued to battle until the end. There were allot of good things that happened this year and some bad, some things to look forward too and some things that need to happen in the off season.

The Good.

  1. Bruce, Votto, Dickerson, Cueto, Volquez. All of these guys are rookies that got in allot of valuable playing time. It is nice to see a group of young talent come up and contribute like they did, and it gives hope for next year. My only fear is what happened with the Braves. They bring up the young talent and they do well that year, but then the next two years show their inexperience and their youth against seasoned pitching.

  2. Getting rid of Griffey and Dunn. Griffey is old and just didn't care anymore. I saw him run harder and give more effort in two games when he was traded to Chicago than he did in the last two seasons here. Dunn is a riddle wrapped in a mystery. He is a lock for 100 runs, 100 rbi and 40 home runs every year. You would think that would be enough to want to keep him in any lineup, oh yeah he walks allot too. But on the flip side he strikes out 200 + times a year, he is horrible with runners in scoring position, his batting average is frequently below the mendoza line, and his defense, if you can call it that, is like watching a fat kid who is right handed play with a left handed glove in quick sand. So, all the positives that he did actually bring were completely negated by his "other half." It really is like Dunn is two different people, part Captain Caveman, part Chunk from "Goonies."

  3. Bronson Arroyo. After a horrible start to the year, he had a great second half to finish the years as the pitcher that I think everyone was expecting to see. After the June 24 batting practice that he gave up to Toronto, giving up 10 earned runs in one inning, he went on kind of a tear going 12-3 to finish off the year. E.R.A. was a little high, but he was an inning eater going 200 innings and had 100 fewer walks than strikeouts.

  4. Brandon Phillips. Another strong year for the second basemen that Cleveland threw away. Some of his stats were down, but still a good year. He was 20/20 and his walks were up and strikeouts were down. His fielding percentage was .990 and he only had seven errors, another gold glove year that I am sure will be overlooked. The only glaring issue was the batting average took a huge hit. He went from .288 down to .261, that is a pretty big drop off. No real protection can be part of the blame, maybe we can fix that in free agency?

The Bad.

  1. Aaron Harang. Every statistical category took a hit this year. His E.R.A jumped a full point from 3.73 to 4.78, he lost 17 games, he only pitched 184 innings, and had as many walks as he did last year in 50 less innings. I know he was hurt for allot of the year, but even when he was healthy he wasn't right. I am just hoping that he can return to form and have years like 2006 and 2007.

  2. The Bullpen. And yes this includes Fransisco Cordero. Lets start with him since he is making the most. Saves were down, E.R.A. was up, walks were up, strikeouts were down, and hits were up. he did finish strong, but was not as consistent as he was last year, and I put him in the bad category because we are paying him 11+ million a year. If I am paying my closer that much I want more for my money. Idea for next year include; Since he is "The Matador," maybe he should come out in the little hat and red cape and do a dance with it after each strikeout, or maybe he can wear a giant Reds sombrero while pitching, I know he is not Mexican, but that would entertain me. Now as far as the rest of the bullpen, they were much worse. In a day in age when pitching wins championships the Reds should start to do their homework. I was looking for official stats to back me up, but I could not find any, needless to say it was horrible, and I am pretty sure it was just as horrible as I think it is.

  3. Defense. Getting rid of Dunn and Griffey will certainly help in the future, but we still have issues defensively. We need to get better at shortstop, third base and first base. Personally, I would love to just get rid of Edwin Encarnacion, more on that later. I like Keppinger, but he is not good with the glove and since Derek Jeter is hard to come by I would prefer to have a stronger defensive presence out there than offensive, i.e. see Dave Concepcion. Didn't they win two World Series with that guy?

  4. Catcher. We have not had a good catcher since maybe Joe Oliver. I know Joe was no Johnny Bench, but he was able to manage a pitching staff, much like Jason Varitek. Jason is way better, but Joe was still pretty good. Again, Johnny Bench is hard to come by, but I do want a catcher that can call a game. We have allot of young pitchers that could use a good veteran catcher to help guide them along, where is Crash Davis when you need him?

  5. Homer Bailey. This kid has been given every opportunity to succeed and he has not been able to run with it. It is starting to look like it may be time to call it quits on this kid and give him a change of scenery, it may be best for both he and the organization. 2008 stats; 0-6 7.93 E.R.A. 18 Strikeouts, 17 walks, 59 hits. Wow.

  6. Homer segways to my next point, the minor league pitching coaches. When was the last time the Reds developed a decent pitcher that they drafted? Tom Browning? He was drafted in 1982 by the way. Homer is a prime example of how our minor league coaches are failing; a kid with all the talent in the world and they can't seem to hone it at all.


  1. Office management, C+. They did get rid of Griffey and Dunn and got more than a bucket of balls in return, they let the rookies play and earn the right to play, they dealt Hamilton and got a prime pitching prospect in Volquez. However, They still have about 8 left handed bats, which is very imbalanced and they have utility players starting full time out of position, i.e. Jerry Hairiston, Ryan Freel, Jeff Keppinger. Corey Patterson, 'nuff said.

  2. Field management, C-. Probably gave too much of a chance to Homer to prove himself, especially since he was struggling in AAA as well. Why was Votto not starting over Hatteberg to start the season? Votto had a great spring and Hatteberg has been nothing but a serviceable first basemen his entire career. Why was Corey Patterson starting in center field? Are you really telling me that at the start of the season that Jay Bruce wasn't better than Corey Patterson? I understand having the veteran on the bench ready to go when Jay is slumping, but it was just a horrible idea to have him start, and for so long.

Some questionable moves and calls, but I have a better feeling than when I had to watch Dunn bat lead off. I think the upper management and Dusty and his crew are pretty stable and this organization needs some stability in order to grow. And now that locker room cancers are gone and well as defensive liabilities, I would like to see what they do this off season, last year proved that if they think that they really need it that they will go out and sign a big contract.

Possible trade?

I like to tinker, I like to see what would make sense. I had this thought about a month ago when I thought that the Ray's could not possibly keep it up, kudos to them they did! But I was thinking that if they were not able to pull off this miraculous turn around could the Reds go to them with Edwin and Bruce, or Edwin and Dickerson for Evan Longoria? it is not longer in the realm of possibility, but I thought it was a win/win. The Reds get that right handed bat they need and a defensive upgrade and the Rays get a speedy outfielder with a little pop and someone to replace Longoria at third.

Also, Pat "The Bat" Burrell is a free agent. his average is not great, but he is a legit power hitter and right handed, and his defense is way better than Dunn's was.

Speaking of....Here are free agents of interest.

  1. Joe Crede Third base

  2. Milton Bradly Outfield (He is crazy though)

  3. Carl Crawford Outfield (Not really affordable?)

  4. Raul Ibanez Outfield (Age factor?)

  5. Scott Podsednik Outfield

  6. Bobby Abreu Outfield (Money factor)

  7. Pat Burrell Outfield

  8. Jon Garland Pitcher

  9. Jason Jennings Pitcher

  10. Will Ohman Relief Pitcher

  11. Mike Timlin Relief Pitcher

  12. Dennys Reyes Relief Pitcher

So, with all that said here is to next year, a famous motto of Reds fans since 1990.


Jay said...

Maybe the problem is because this woman was on the loose in Middletown:


George Herron said...

That is A problem, not THE problem, however! Great find though!

Jay said...

Is she CJ's new girlfriend?

C.J. said...

Really you have no idea how much I have been looking forward to this post. I realize that up till now the blog has been slanted to the Bengals, but baseball is where I live.

For the most part I agree with your statements, I like the youth movement. I think there is a group of kids that like playing the game and should be fun to watch, not to mention make Cincinnati baseball watchable again.

However there are a few things you said that I have to correct.

First - The Bullpen
It was better this year. Come to terms with it, you might not like it but they were LIGHT YEARS ahead of last year.

Team ERA in 2007, 4.99
- Starters were 4.91
- Relievers were 5.13

Team ERA in 2008, 4.53
- Starters were 4.94
- Relievers were 3.76

Second - Adam Dunn
I agree his defense is bad, but he is productive for what he is paid for and that is to get on base and drive in runs. His OBP is through the roof and he averages over 100 RBI a year. That is a rare combination.

His defense does leave something to be desired, .976 is a below-average left fielder. However, so are a lot of LF's. Raul Ibanez was pretty much identical at .975 and Pat Burrell WAS identical at .976. And that ladies and gents are your other two top FA left fielders. Kinda makes you sad you were so happy to get rid of Dunn huh?

No you say?...Oh right the strikeouts. How could I be so careless. Let me share something with you, they aren't that important. There’s no denying that since 2002, Dunn has struck out over 1100 times, but follow me on this train of thought.

The point of a team’s offense is to score runs. If a team doesn’t make any outs, they score an infinite number of runs and innings never end. So, for all intensive purposes the most valuable offensive commodity are outs. Therefore your biggest offensive signpost should be how unlikely is a hitter to make an out because you only get 27 of them. Simply put, despite the strikeouts Dunn does not make many outs. His career OPS is .899 putting him 11th as a left handed hitter, 7th as an OF and 1st as a left handed OF.

Third - The Matador
I'll be honest, I'm doing this as much for Sarah as myself (she loves that guy, kinda like me and my man-crush on Brad Lidge). Anyway, Cordero is just pitching to the back of his baseball card. Did we overpay? Yes. But pitching is a commodity you rarely get to buy low and usually have to overspend to get when you need it. What it did do is shore up the late inning and gave our bullpen definition. Allowing us to correctly slot people in the 7th, 8th and LH/RH specialist role. We also reduced blown saves by the bucket-full.

In '07 the Reds converted 34/62
- (55%, 16th in the NL)
In '08 the Reds converted 34/55
- (62%, 6th in the NL)

Fourth - Free Agents
Joe Crede
- Statistically worse over the last 3 years in every offensive category than Edwin and this year had the same fielding percentage of .930. I'll take the guy 5 years younger, not on the wrong side of 30.

Raul Ibanez
- I already noted you were better off with Dunn due to offensive output because defense is similar between them.

Bobby Abreu
- You couldn't pay him enough and if you did you would be back in the Junior situation all over again. Paying a guy for his history with other teams rather than his potential production with yours

Pat Burrell
- I don't want to sound like a broken record, but his defense is the same as Dunn and his offensive output is slightly less, you would be getting a less oafish LF who swings right handed

Carl Crawford
- See Bobby Abreu all over again. This might have had a chance before the Rays were good and he wanted to go somewhere different, but now that they are playoff bound you can kiss that one goodbye

- I like our pitching...call me crazy but I think we have enough right now, just need to find the right combination for 2009

George Herron said...

All well said, but you are never going to convince me that Adam Dunn was worth signing to a big contract and keeping around here. I am glad to be rid of him and to get Mich Owings in return is not a horrible deal. He will be a good spot starter and long reliver.

Crede might not be the answer but neither is Encarnacion. he has had plenty of time to develop and he, at his best I think is a guy that will hit .260, 25 HR, 75 RBI and 10,000 errors. We can and should do better at a critical position.

The Matador. My only issue is with the price we paid for this guy. I just think that if we are going to pay that much he should preform as well!