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Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Doc Daugherty: Joey Votto DL - Adam Dunn ?

Wrong for Each Other! Doc Pompous strikes again!

As The Club preps for a doubleheader that could set longevity records, The Morning Man says J. Votto will go on the DL today. The wonder is how much he will be missed.

The last time I suggested, “Not as much as you’d think,’’ I took the predictable bashing from the OBP crowd and the Walk Freaks. So be it. The fact is, losing Votto is not the blow it used to be, because Votto isn’t the hitter he used to be. That likely owes to the chronic quadriceps pain that keeps him from driving off his back leg.

He could be gone this time until late August. The Reds will have to find a first baseman. Period. They have no one in their weak-hitting farm system. They have no one on the 25-man who can play there every day.

Which brings us to today’s Essential Question:

Who?

A name that has popped up is Adam Dunn. TML has one thing to say about that:

No.

Noooooooo.

You might see Dunn’s name and recall long home runs. I see it and recall Dunn in the clubhouse every afternoon, splayed on a leather couch, reading car magazines.

You might see serious longball potential for a Club that could use some, and a nice fixture at cleanup. I see a player who has never won anywhere. Who is too cool for school. Whose “work habits’’ here were not exactly a shining example for young players.

I wrote a column once, in the declining days of the Junior-Dunn Era, suggesting the Reds would be better instantly, if only they’d take the couches out of the clubhouse. Dunn ridiculed me, naturally. Then he got traded. Seems someone important agreed with me. Is it coincidence The Club started winning once Dunner and Griff left the building? Perhaps.

The couches are still in the clubhouse. They’re not used very much.

Repoz Posted: July 08, 2014 at 10:21 AM | 32 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: reds

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   1. I Am Not a Number Posted: July 08, 2014 at 10:59 AM (#4745990)
Pa! Them there's is fish in this here barrel. Look at 'em all! What do you reckon I should do to 'em?
   2. Batman Posted: July 08, 2014 at 11:03 AM (#4745994)
Votto's injury could cause couch sitting.
   3. The District Attorney Posted: July 08, 2014 at 11:31 AM (#4746021)
Adam Dunn thinks he's too cool for school. Well, I've got a news flash for you, Walter Cronkite... you're NOT.

It is in fact accurate that Votto's production this year is potentially replaceable (because he's been hurt), and that the Reds don't seem to have another halfway decent 1B option in their organization (which is a failure by them.) I'm sure they could pick up Dunn or another contract-unfriendly vet on the cheap. Or with six starting pitchers, they could make a bigger move. But, ultimately, if they don't replace the superstar production Votto was supposed to give them (rather than what he actually was giving them), I don't think they're a very good team. So if I were them, I wouldn't push too hard.

At least they don't have many young players to worry about Dunn being a bad example for. (I do agree that Billy Hamilton should not pattern his game after Adam Dunn's.)
   4. Tim Raines Posted: July 08, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4746029)
I'm sick and tired of ballplayers like Adam Dunn and Albert Belle relaxing on couches all the time.
   5. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 08, 2014 at 11:49 AM (#4746037)
The silliness of the column aside, much of Votto's issues stem from a 50 point drop in BABIP. Which seems flukey because he actually has a career high 35% line drive percentage. But, yes, his home runs and ISO are down.

The thing is that Votto has generally not been an elite home run hitter. His performance has been driven by a very good batting average, elite walk rate, and good power.
   6. Ziggy Posted: July 08, 2014 at 11:53 AM (#4746040)
These fish aren't even worth shooting. In fact, sometimes I wonder if guys like this even believe what they're saying. Their jobs, after all, aren't to say informative or even true things, just to get clicks.

Votto was great last year and injured this year. Much as I love him, that contract scares me like nothing else. He's injured and 30. And the Reds owe him > $200,000,000.

As for short-term replacements, not looking good. There's not much on the farm and there's not much to trade for. Dunn might actually be the best bet. Lucas Duda is still young so likely to be expensive. Garrett Jones, maybe, if the Marlins realize that they're not going to make it this year. Everyone else is either on a contender, signed long term, or so bad they're not worth trading for. Actually, the best bet might be to sign Alphonso Soriano and tell him that he's a first-baseman for a few weeks.
   7. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 08, 2014 at 12:01 PM (#4746047)
Actually, the best bet might be to sign Alphonso Soriano


But is he available?
   8. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 08, 2014 at 12:02 PM (#4746048)
Much as I love him, that contract scares me like nothing else. He's injured and 30. And the Reds owe him > $200,000,000.


Just noticed that. They committed to him through age 40? I completely missed it.
   9. Ziggy Posted: July 08, 2014 at 12:08 PM (#4746054)
Yeah, he signed it a couple years in advance. He was going to leave as a FA before this season otherwise. AAV comes out to $22.5 or something like that. With the jump in salaries the past couple years it doesn't look quite as bad as it did (Choo is making almost this much). But it's still a lot of money, for an older player, for a really really long time.
   10. PreservedFish Posted: July 08, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4746060)
The silliness of the column aside, much of Votto's issues stem from a 50 point drop in BABIP. Which seems flukey because he actually has a career high 35% line drive percentage.


Is line drive percentage actually a thing worth looking at? Honest question.
   11. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 08, 2014 at 12:13 PM (#4746061)
local word was that votto at 70 percent was still contributing and that he would be able to play through the pain. also he would not completely heal until the offseason. hence no dl stay. guess that changed

as for the first base question guys like sheehan bleat constantly of freely available talent at first base that could produce 1-2 war that a team could install with no real cost. i know the brewers found this to not be the case so it will be interesting to see how the reds respond.

before anyone yammers about juan francisco please watch a few clips of juan's defense. yes, it wsa that bad. like the guy's power but he was such an oaf at first base it astounded me that anyone would attempt to play him on the field at all. he's a dh through and through
   12. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 08, 2014 at 12:21 PM (#4746064)
Is line drive percentage actually a thing worth looking at? Honest question.

Yes.
   13. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 08, 2014 at 12:29 PM (#4746071)
It's an interesting question you raise, Harvey. I haven't seen a comprehensive look at it recently, but yes the Brewers (and the Yankees before them) got very little out of Overbay.

On the other hand, Baltimore found Steve Pearce. LA has Scott Van Slyke wasting away. The Pirates acquired Ike Davis. A few years ago the A's signed Brandon Moss for very little.

The Rangers are trying with Carlos Pena. I'm not optimistic. He hasn't hit since 2011 and the batting average is just too low to do anything with.

Corey Hart has flopped for the Mariners. The Yankees had to endure Kelly Johnson this year while Teixeira was out.

Worth noting that several of the regular 1B aren't performing so I wonder if it's a down year for 1B. Chris Davis. Mauer. Howard. Hosmer. Whoever the Padres are running out there. Swisher. Singleton. Smoak (injured). Fielder (now out). Loney (if you can call him a regular). So if it's a down year and a lot of teams are scrambling then maybe that explains some of the lack of replacements available.
   14. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: July 08, 2014 at 12:36 PM (#4746077)
Jay Bruce started at 1B last night, which he has never done as a pro (minors included). He did not look great, but I think he's acceptable if it means getting someone good in the outfield. The Reds started Ludwick and Shumaker in the corners last night. Bottom line is that team needs another bat. The likely call-up is either Donald Lutz or Neftali Soto, neither of whom are exciting but probably better hitters than Shumaker.
   15. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 08, 2014 at 12:41 PM (#4746084)
post 13

this is not a recent issue. first basemen who can hit as expected/needed have become less available.

and to clarify the brewers are platooning mark reynolds with lyle overbay.
   16. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: July 08, 2014 at 01:21 PM (#4746136)
The silliness of the column aside, much of Votto's issues stem from a 50 point drop in BABIP. Which seems flukey because he actually has a career high 35% line drive percentage. But, yes, his home runs and ISO are down.

FWIW, Fangraphs has Votto at a 26.7 line drive percentage, which is slightly above his career norm in their numbers. They seem to call a lot of things "ground balls" that BBRef calls "line drives". Fangraphs also credits Votto with 56 fly balls, while (doing the math from the HR/FB rate) BBRef seems to credit him with 97. Those are some pretty surprising discrepancies. Does one of Fangraphs and/or BBRef use wonky definitions of terms like "line drive" or something?

Anyway -- I doubt the BABIP drop is really fluke. He's just hurt.
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 08, 2014 at 01:43 PM (#4746165)
Anyway -- I doubt the BABIP drop is really fluke. He's just hurt.

Yup. BABIP and LD% do not tend to regress to a league-wide average for hitters, like they do with pitchers.

Hitters have significant control, and it's very likely that an injured Votto is just not hitting the ball very hard.
   18. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: July 08, 2014 at 01:44 PM (#4746167)
Votto contract looks a lot like Helton. The last six years were 7 WAR at ~$81M.


   19. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: July 08, 2014 at 01:50 PM (#4746178)
Votto contract looks a lot like Helton. The last six years were 7 WAR at ~$81M.


Except Helton was beloved, where as Votto has already become Public Enemy #1 in the Great American Ballpark region.
   20. Canker Soriano Posted: July 08, 2014 at 02:39 PM (#4746221)
If they need a 1B, they should call the Nationals and inquire about LaRoche. He's an FA at the end of the year, and DC would probably be willing to move him and get Zimmerman off 3rd.

   21. The elusive Robert Denby Posted: July 08, 2014 at 02:43 PM (#4746224)
I'm just glad this douche-nozzle doesn't cover the Royals.
   22. alilisd Posted: July 08, 2014 at 02:50 PM (#4746228)
As for short-term replacements, not looking good.


Alfonso Soriano is available.
   23. madvillain Posted: July 08, 2014 at 03:01 PM (#4746238)
Don't look now, but Adam Dunn actually has the 35th highest OPS against RHP in MLB this year. He's a full time DH and a 1-2WAR player at best, but he could help a team that has a crater at DH.
   24. hokieneer Posted: July 08, 2014 at 03:42 PM (#4746277)
Jay Bruce started at 1B last night, which he has never done as a pro (minors included). He did not look great, but I think he's acceptable if it means getting someone good in the outfield. The Reds started Ludwick and Shumaker in the corners last night. Bottom line is that team needs another bat. The likely call-up is either Donald Lutz or Neftali Soto, neither of whom are exciting but probably better hitters than Shumaker.


The offense wasn't exactly impressive even with a 75% votto, but now they really need a bat. I couldn't believe the quick fix was to move Bruce (who is a + outfielder) to 1b, just to get Shumaker in the lineup. Then I saw the options they had a 1b, and well I understand.
   25. Batman Posted: July 08, 2014 at 03:51 PM (#4746283)
Since Mike Cameron's not around any more, the Reds can have Paul Konerko back for Billy Hamilton.
   26. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: July 08, 2014 at 04:06 PM (#4746294)
Don't look now, but Adam Dunn actually has the 35th highest OPS against RHP in MLB this year. He's a full time DH and a 1-2WAR player at best, but he could help a team that has a crater at DH.

I agree that Dunn would be a good fit for the larger side of a DH platoon. But there aren't many teams looking to fill that role, which really limits his opportunities.
   27. madvillain Posted: July 08, 2014 at 05:00 PM (#4746421)
I agree that Dunn would be a good fit for the larger side of a DH platoon. But there aren't many teams looking to fill that role, which really limits his opportunities.


He might actually be a good fit in Seattle. They are LHB heavy, but the Mariners were so desperate at DH that they brought back Montero, a guy they banished just a few months ago. Dunn's wRC+ of 136 against RHP might look pretty damn good to them and they are operating on very slim margins in Seattle. They are 9 over .500 but by 3rd order wins they are much closer to a .500 team.

It's hard to underestimate the feeling in Seattle that THIS IS THE YEAR TO GO FOR IT, the Seahawks run just amped up the pressure on them and Seattle is a great baseball town that is starved for a winner.
   28. Walt Davis Posted: July 08, 2014 at 05:54 PM (#4746529)
I think I'd have just put Shumaker at 1B. He's the kind of guy who is gonna have to learn to play all over to keep a job anyway. And Bruce is solid defensively in the OF. Not that that's a great solution, just seems more sensible to me.

Whoa, the O's are in first place -- when did that happen? (I know off-topic)

HW, I agree with you more than disagree with you but just this offseason: just among MLers, Loney, Napoli (kinda), Garrett Jones, Ike Davis (just after offseason) and Mark Trumbo were available but not free (but not particularly expensive other than Napoli). Trading for Mitch Moreland probably was possible. As far as I know, the Brewers didn't go after any of them.

So they made their own bed ... and that was probably an OK decision. Loney's on pace for being Loney again -- about 1-1.5 WAR but is on a 3/$21 contract. Jones's defense has cancelled his offense. Trumbo got hurt but also his OF defense more than cancelled his OK hitting -- I don't know when he's back but he's a 1B option for teams, AZ has to have realized how dumb it was to expect him to play LF. It seems Ike Davis's defense has declined too and he's below replacement. Moreland's not hitting at all and is below replacement.

WAR puts Overbay/Reynolds at +.4 WAR, all Reynolds, for a total cost of $3.5 M.

Yes Sheehan and others overstate the quality of the "freely available talent" but the main point is shown above. Loney, Jones, Davis, Trumbo, Moreland, Overbay/Reynolds among them are making something like $22 M among themselves (plus whoever got traded for Trumbo) and have produced maybe 1 WAR among themselves. How much worse could a half-dozen minor-league FAs be? $20 M worse?

I know one of your concerns was the 1B defense in 2013. I assume Sean Halton and Hunter Morris are not the answer. Travis Ishikawa has a good defensive history and was freely available this offseason. Sure, he might hit even worse than Overbay.

I'm not an expert in these things but I see the Angels have a guy named Efren Navarro, 28. It's the PCL and he can't even post crazy PCL numbers -- in fact his numbers are about what Grant Green was hitting there this year except with a lot more walks/OBP. So you might get something like 260/340/380 out of him. OK, ZiPS wasn't even that kind to him so let's say 240/300/340.* That's pretty miserable but the defense seems OK and Overbay is only at 240/320/340 and Reynolds at 210/300/390.

So yes, the point needs to be rephrased. You can't find 1 WAR position players floating around freely. There are a few of these among the minor-league FAs but hard to find and not nearly enough of them to fill all the open ML slots. The handful who can hit well enough are often a disaster on defense and those that can defend are often a disaster on offense.

But ML teams every year pay actual millions of dollars to veteran players who are a disaster defensively or a disaster offensively and replacement level. Just look at Ty Wigginton's b-r page sometime ... from 29-35, $23 M for .7 WAR. That's a waste of teams' money and it keeps guys like Bobby Scales from the occasional $500,000 payday.

Doesn't solve anybody's 1B problems though. The Brewers (and Reds and ...) can't all find better players just floating around out there. The issue should never be phrased as "why is this team playing X when there must be a dozen better guys out there who are freely available?" It should be phrased as "why is this team paying X millions when there must be a dozen guys out there just as bad who would have cost half a million?" The only way a team might get better with Efren Navarro is if they wisely spend the money they saved by playing him.

Which of course is not a lot of money so expect no miracles, maybe a 4th reliever.

*ZiPS also projected 240/270/370 for CJ Cron.
   29. Ziggy Posted: July 08, 2014 at 06:52 PM (#4746579)
Maybe it's time to go fishing. * looks around *

So this guy is hitting .515 in Indy ball. http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=bladel000joh
Never heard of him, and there must be a reason he wasn't drafted, but it couldn't hurt to put him in AA for a few weeks and see what he can do.

In actual affiliated ball the Brewers have this guy: http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=zarrag001sha
He's too old to be a prospect, and he's super blocked at catcher. Erm, he's probably no better than a replacement level 1B though, and maybe not that.

Steve Souza is more promising: http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=souza-001ste
Also a bit on the old side and I'm guessing an injury history, but he's killing AAA. I wonder what he'd cost. Do the Nats seem him as a long-term option?

Dan Dorn is probably more realistic: http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=dorn--001dan
He's a guy I really liked when he was in the Reds' system, like, 6 years ago. Minor league filler at this point, but having a good year in AAA and a low cost fill-in for a few weeks.

So, yeah, I'd say the possibilities for fill in 1B (or OF and a current OF moves to 1B) are Soriano, Garrett Jones, and Dan Dorn (or see if you can afford what the Nats will ask for Souza).
   30. catomi01 Posted: July 08, 2014 at 07:25 PM (#4746596)
So this guy is hitting .515 in Indy ball. http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=bladel000joh
Never heard of him, and there must be a reason he wasn't drafted, but it couldn't hurt to put him in AA for a few weeks and see what he can do.


They have his bats and throws listed as "unknown"...just a guess but I'm thinking league quality might not be all that high...he looks like 1 of 4 guys with 100 PA and an OPS over a thousand...so maybe grab all three and see what happens.

For the league - 28 guys have a 1000 OPS...Johnny Bladel does looks like the best of the bunch, but take a look at Eric Kozel as well - 43 HBP in 46 games
   31. Buck Coats Posted: July 08, 2014 at 08:17 PM (#4746634)
If they need a 1B, they should call the Nationals and inquire about LaRoche. He's an FA at the end of the year, and DC would probably be willing to move him and get Zimmerman off 3rd.


I assume he'd cost a whole lot, considering the Nats are half a game out of first, and LaRoche has the highest OPS on the team.
   32. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: July 09, 2014 at 12:37 PM (#4746968)
I think I'd have just put Shumaker at 1B. He's the kind of guy who is gonna have to learn to play all over to keep a job anyway. And Bruce is solid defensively in the OF. Not that that's a great solution, just seems more sensible to me.

I should have mentioned that Bruce has been dealing with knee injuries this year, so the team is trying to limit the wear on his legs while keeping his bat in the lineup. He played 1B again in one of the games yesterday.

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