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Thursday, March 20, 2008

MLB.com: Reds send Bruce to Minors

Worry not, Reds fans, Bruce will arrive on the MLB scene soon enough.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 20, 2008 at 09:14 PM | 130 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: reds

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   1. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: March 20, 2008 at 09:34 PM (#2716677)
Bruce will arrive on the MLB scene soon enough.

Ah, but with which team?
   2. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: March 20, 2008 at 10:04 PM (#2716701)
I'm grabbing some popcorn for this one.
   3. Rich Posted: March 20, 2008 at 10:05 PM (#2716702)
Is this more about tolling the start of his ML service time?
   4. Evil Twin Posted: March 20, 2008 at 10:11 PM (#2716714)
Hatteberg is reportedly beating out Votto too.

It's quite possible that there's less risk involved with Hatteberg and Patterson and they'll outproduce Votto and Bruce in 2008. But there's also no upside to Hatteberg and Patterson and all playing them assures is that the Reds won't finish any higher than third place. Less risk, less reward.
   5. JPWF13 Posted: March 20, 2008 at 10:15 PM (#2716718)
Is this more about tolling the start of his ML service time?


I think it's more Krivsky realizes that if he doesn't send Bruce to AAA, he'll be yanked in and out of the lineup at random by Baker, tolling his service time is a side benefit. Given those two options it's better that Bruce go to Louisville, he's only 21 and has only 50 games at AAA anyway.

The big question is what happens when Griffey goes on the DL for an extended period of time... I can see it now, Krivsky reaches for the phone to call Louisville... and just as the phone starts to ring he hears Baker on the Radio: "anytime you lose someone like Griffey it's a bad thing, obviously we need a veteran bat to replace him..."
   6. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: March 20, 2008 at 10:16 PM (#2716719)
As an unashamed Dusty basher, I'm actually surprised by this. Either the Reds decided that he needed more seasoning, or they're trying to delay the free agent clock. Either one is a reasonable decision. I agreed with a number of posters that expected Bruce to make the opening day roster, sit against tough pitchers, sit after bad days, and eventually get sent down.
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 20, 2008 at 10:20 PM (#2716724)
Hatteberg is reportedly beating out Votto too.

The Bruce decision is defensible given his age, limited time in the high minors and delaying the FA clock.

Votto makes no sense. He's 24, has had good full seasons at AA and AAA. He needs to play.
   8. JPWF13 Posted: March 20, 2008 at 10:23 PM (#2716726)
It's quite possible that there's less risk involved with Hatteberg and Patterson and they'll outproduce Votto and Bruce in 2008. But there's also no upside to Hatteberg and Patterson and all playing them assures is that the Reds won't finish any higher than third place. Less risk, less reward.


I don't see the Reds contending in 2008 any way.

Bruce turns 21 in a week or so, and has 50 games at AAA, by all means let him clear 100 games there.

Votto is 24, he turns 25 at the end of the season, he had 590 PAs in AA (.319/.408/.547) and 580 PAs in AAA (.294/.381/.478) and hit .321/.360/.548 in his 24 game cup of coffee last year.

A composite projection (pecota + zips + a few others) I downloaded had Hatteberg at .280/.370/.415- Votto at .283/.364/.482...

Hatteberg had a nice year last year, but this is absurd.

I'm a Met fan, I have zero confidence that Delgado will be both healthy and productive this year, let alone 2009, we'll trade you Heilman for Votto :-)

At least 2008 Hatteberg is likely better than 2003 Karros (Oh hell, Votto is doomed)
   9. BTF's left-wing cheering section (formerly_dp) Posted: March 20, 2008 at 10:44 PM (#2716742)
Votto is ready. I'm not sure why they would think he isn't, but he looks ready to have Lyle Overbay's career, maybe with a little more power given his home park. I can't think of a worse manager for the Reds. But you know what? Screw the Reds. This is a team that always manages to find talent in spite of itself, then pisses it away. ####, they could have been running Josh Hamilton out there and gone with a Griffey/Bruce/Hamilton/Dunn rotation. But they undid a move that worked out as best as they could've hoped by dealing him for very, very little, and now are content to replace him with Patterson. This is why they're a loser franchise- they'd rather hang onto Griffey and Freel while they break down (I'm a fan of both, but I wouldn't ship out better young talent to let them keep their jobs) than play superior and cheap players. And any team that hires Dusty Baker deserves to suck. Before dealing Hamilton, they had one of the most exciting collections of young talent. But Dusty will do his best to bury Votto, and I'm sure they'll find someone to take Encarnacion's place again this year when he has a bad two weeks.
   10. rr Posted: March 20, 2008 at 10:45 PM (#2716744)
I don't see the Reds contending in 2008 any way
.

I am nor sure about this--I think, as a Reds fan, it is unlikely but not a huge stretch.
But the point is that I think there is zero chance that Baker and Krivsky feel this way, and I simply think they believe that playing Hatteberg and Patterson give them the best chance to win. In the case of Patterson, for reasons explained on the other thread, that is defensible. Not so, as stated above, WRT Votto.

I said a few weeks ago that I would be really surprised if either Votto or Bruce made the team. I will also be somewhat surprised if the Reds don't go 76-86 and Baker/Krivsky are both out, replaced by LaRussa/Jocketty with Baker getting a buyout.
   11. Evil Twin Posted: March 20, 2008 at 11:02 PM (#2716750)
I don't see the Reds contending in 2008 either. At least not seriously. That said, any scenario, however unlikely, that has the Reds contending really depends on Votto and Bruce coming up and hitting their 90th percentile or thereabouts.
   12. Honkie Kong Posted: March 20, 2008 at 11:08 PM (#2716751)
Why can't the Reds contend?
They have solidish starting pitching, and by the law of large numbers, they have walked into a couple decent bullpen arms.
Now if they can get their defensive alignment and players sorted out, they can be a force.
Thats why there has been so much ######## about the Reds this offseason. They have a lot of talent, which if properly deployed, will have them solidly in the race. Unfortunately, what BTF posters ( and some would say common sense way ) postulate is the right way and what Krivsky/Baker are thinking is planes apart.
   13. BTF's left-wing cheering section (formerly_dp) Posted: March 20, 2008 at 11:15 PM (#2716753)
I think the Reds have the ability to contend, but they won't unless Baker wises up quickly...
The lineup is as deep as any in the league. Their defense will be a bit suspect if they're forced into going with Keppinger at SS, but otherwise it's pretty solid. Bruce isn't some stathead fantasy, and neither is Votto. These are both guys highly ranked by scouts whose numbers justify the drool. Patterson is as streaky as they come- he could very easily hit .150 or .350 in any given month (OK, the .350 is hard to come by), and with Baker, won't be encouraged to be any more patient at the plate.

I think the Cubs and Brewers are both better, but not by that much. Really, it'll come down to who can beat up on the Astros and Pirates the most...
   14. Walt Davis Posted: March 20, 2008 at 11:44 PM (#2716767)
No matter what, the Reds should always have been projected as a highly variable team. Really, there are only 2-3 reliably good players on the whole team -- Dunn (whose defense wavers between awful and tolerable), Harang and maybe Encarnacion. It was always pretty dicey questions like:

1. Griffey still hits pretty well, but how many games -- he did give them 144 last year and, jokes aside, has averaged over 125 the last 3 seasons.

2. Brandon Phillips? League average hitter with good defense?

3. The kids -- Bailey, Cueto, Votto, Bruce?

4. The rest of the rotation? Arroyo's more than solid enough. But if you're looking at Fogg and Belisle for #5, that suggests not a lot of depth. No matter how good and even if they and others don't get hurt, you probably don't want to push Bailey and Cueto to 180-200 IP at their age.

5. The pen?

I'm a Cub fan so maybe it's rose-colored glasses, but seems to me the idea that the Reds are in the Cubs' class is dreaming. Not that the Cubs class is elite or anything. But you have stability at LF, 3B, 1B, 2B (how's DeRosa's health? OK, maybe not), probably RF, 3 rotation spots and a bunch of the bullpen. Just as importantly, the Cubs have substantial rotation depth and a bullpen full of live arms -- Wuertz might well be only their 4th best reliever -- and two good bats on the bench (Murton and Ward). All that depth means they'll have some pieces to trade at the deadline.

Sure, if most things go right for the Reds, especially if they stay remarkably healthy in their lineup and the rotation, they might be the equal of a realistic (i.e. with injuries and disappointments) Cubs projection.

Really, for 2008, is there a Reds' player you'd rather have on the Cubs in place of his equivalent? Harang over Zambrano maybe; Phillips (or Keppinger) over DeRosa probably; Cordero over Howry maybe. Am I missing anything?

The Cubs aren't a great team. But they are solid almost everywhere, they're deep, and they have pieces to trade if they need to fill a hole.

That's not to say the Cubs are a lock. I have no doubt they are better on paper than Milwaukee or Cincy (much less the rest) making the Cubs a clear favorite. But the chances that one of those teams has enough things go right is pretty high.
   15. Jimmy P Posted: March 20, 2008 at 11:46 PM (#2716768)
Votto makes no sense. He's 24, has had good full seasons at AA and AAA. He needs to play.

Didn't you read the article about a week or two ago? Votto is too patient and he needs to be more aggressive. He's waiting around too much to clog up the bases. He needs to go up, take his hacks, and walk back to the dugout.

Isn't it funny how much Dusty jerked Patterson around, and now he's choosing Patterson over Bruce? Basically, Patterson's not much better than when Dusty was jerking him around, he's just 5 years older.
   16. BTF's left-wing cheering section (formerly_dp) Posted: March 20, 2008 at 11:49 PM (#2716772)
Basically, Patterson's not much better than when Dusty was jerking him around, he's just 5 years older.

You can make the case pretty easily that Patterson's actually gotten worse- in the past at least you could expect more out of him. We pretty much know what he is at this point, and it isn't pretty.
   17. Morph Posted: March 21, 2008 at 12:14 AM (#2716787)
If Votto doesn’t play, I’d be intellectually insulted. Not only as a baseball fan, but as a human being with a decently functioning brain.
   18. JoeHova Posted: March 21, 2008 at 12:39 AM (#2716802)
I'm curious how Chicago is undoubtedly better on paper than Milwaukee. Milwaukee is better throughout the outfield, at SS and 2nd, and probably at first. They have four guys whose ERA +s were 114 or better last year who will be in the rotation at some point (Parra in a very small amount of innings, to be fair). They have 4 other 100 ERA + type starters. They have an almost entirely new bullpen.

Meanwhile, Chicago is good, but Fukudome is a question mark to a certain extent and Lilly is unlikely to match his 2007.

I think the teams are pretty evenly matched. Also, 8 of the Brewers top 10 players are 26 or younger so they have some upside yet. I don't see the Cubs having that except with Marshall and Marmol.
   19. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 21, 2008 at 01:05 AM (#2716817)
Joe:

Don't bother. Even Chris has drank the Kool-Aid. Did you read that Brewers THT article? I was stunned at the tone. And the sloppy approach.

Easily his worst effort in YEARS.

If Jaffe is off the deep end the rest are beyond reason.

Situation is ripe for a Beano flame fest with retro.

Yeah, should be fun.

Right.

Sigh................
   20. Eli N. Posted: March 21, 2008 at 01:41 AM (#2716823)
I totally agree with this move. A small-sample fluke, Bruce had a BABIP of .359. That can not be maintained. Giving him some more time in AAA will give Krivsky and Baker a better sense of how Bruce will perform in the majors.
   21. Steve M. Posted: March 21, 2008 at 02:23 AM (#2716837)
I can see it now, Krivsky reaches for the phone to call Louisville... and just as the phone starts to ring he hears Baker on the Radio: "anytime you lose someone like Griffey it's a bad thing, obviously we need a veteran bat to replace him..."


I actually laughed out loud when I read this. By the time Griffey makes his obligatory DL trip in mid-June, I can see the Reds batting Patterson-Hopper-Freel in the first through third spots, with Baker adamant that he won't have Adam Dunn "clogging up the basepaths with walks" in his top-five. Homer Bailey throws 356 innings, requires TJ surgery, and the Reds rebuilding project virtually restarts.
   22. Walt Davis Posted: March 21, 2008 at 03:00 AM (#2716843)
Milwaukee is better throughout the OF?

Man, who's drinking the Kool-Aid now?

Cameron is old, suspended and, given his age, probably a lesser defender than Pie. The idea that Corey Hart is less a question mark than Fukudome is hilarious. And there is no way -- no way -- that Braun repeats that season and who knows if he can even catch the ball in LF.

Last year Braun hit 430/844 on-contact. That will be the best year of his career. He needs to learn some plate discipline. Even if you buy his true talent as a Ruthian 400/800, you're talking about a guy hitting 300/345/600 -- glorious numbers and a SLG heavy 137 OPS+ -- better than Soriano before we take defense into account at least. Put him at a Bondsian 360/750 and now you're talking 270/315/563 and a 120 OPS+ and now Soriano's defense gives him a clear edge.

The Brewers clearly win at SS and 1B. Weeks, if he stays healthy, is better than DeRosa, even if he stays healthy. Ramirez is much better than Hall and Soto is much better than Kendall. The benches, roughly equal.

They have four guys whose ERA +s were 114 or better last year who will be in the rotation at some point (Parra in a very small amount of innings, to be fair).

See, now, that's funny. The Cubs' TEAM ERA+ last year was 115. The Cubs have a guy who gave them 100 IP and a 119 ERA+ last year who will be in the minors (not that I expect Marshall to repeat that performance but since we're cherry-picking). Cubs' starters as a whole had about a 111 ERA+. There's nobody Milwaukee can truly rely on in that rotation. If Sheets is healthy, he's one of the best. Gallardo looks damn good, let's see how he does over a full season. Sure, the Brewers had a lot of pitchers give them high ERA+ seasons ... too bad almost nobody gave them high IP seasons.

And if Milwaukee has all these league-average starters floating around, why did they need 89 starts last year from guys with ERA+ of 88?

Is Lilly going to repeat 2007? No, probably not. But here are his last 6 seasons, 4 with 178+ innings -- 119, 102, 119, 80, 106, 122. Oh good golly, I'm deeply worried about him, he's had one bad season in the last 6. Hell, Rich Hill probably projects better than anybody in Milwaukee's rotation except, maybe, Sheets. (Remember, you need to take IP into account.)

Then the pen. Milwaukee lost their one good reliever and the only other two who had decent performances were a 38-year-old Brian Shouse and Linebrink (gone). I don't remember who's in this sparkling new bullpen of theirs but would any of them even make the Cubs pen?

And the defense. Milwaukee's will be better than the awful crap they rolled out there last year but it still doesn't look too good to me.

Yes, better than Milwaukee on paper for 2008. The Brewers will outhit the Cubs, but the Cubs will outpitch and play better defense. And the Cubs have plenty of pitching depth and good OF depth ... and our minor-league MIs aren't really any worse than the guys we have in the majors. :-)

Look, on paper, the Cubs and Brewers are a lot closer than the Cubs-Reds I didn't mean to suggest otherwise. But the Brewers have nothing but question marks (and Jeff "190 IP guaranteed" Suppan) on the mound and their defense is sub-par. If more things break right than break wrong (or vice versa for the Cubs), the Brewers will probably win the division; if lots of things break right (Sheets healthy, Gallardo good and durable, the bullpen has one of those 'where did these guys come from' seasons), they could dominate.

The Cubs are solid across the board and fairly deep but low-variance. The Brewers are solid on offense, fairly deep and high-variance. The Brewers have a much better chance of winning, say, 95 games than the Cubs; the Cubs have the better chance of winning 88+.

Now that I've run my mouth, let's check ZiPS. It puts Braun at 294/332/554 -- that's about 400/750 on-contact which strikes me as high for a mean/median projection but close enough. Soriano is at 286/336/527 -- quite close. Both better than the average LF, Braun getting the edge on park factors. Enough to make up for the defense? I doubt it (Soriano is rated as "very good").

ZiPS loves Hart, ZiPS loves Fukudome, ZiPS rates Fukudome as the better defender (granted, lord knows what if any data Dan used for that). Call it a draw.

Cameron is still projected a little above-average on offense and average on defense; Pie a little below-average offensively and average defensively. Advantage Brewers.

ZiPS rates Hall just above-average at 3B, Ramirez well above-average (all SLG), both rated average at 3B, advantage Cubs depending on the comparative health of the two.

I will just grant the big edge at SS although, surprisingly, Hardy projects as only a smidgen above-average offensively (but much better than Theriot/Cedeno) and as worse defensively than Theriot or Cedeno.

2B is hard to assess. Who really knows what the Cubs will get up to there. But this is clearly an advantage for the Brewers. ZiPS loves Weeks' bat but DeRosa comes in as average offensively and defensively (while Weeks is fair). Based on previous history, both seem likely to miss about 30 games. And if DeRosa is seriously hurt, the Cubs lose pretty big here.

Hmmm...ZiPS puts 1B pretty close actually. Offensively the difference is about 55 points of SLG plus park factor; Lee has the defensive and, I assume, baserunning edge. I personally give the Brewers the bigger edge here because I'm concerned about Lee's power but this is the ZiPS portion of this post. Close but I think ZiPS leans towards Fielder slightly.

Now, C ... oh joy! HWB is a tough ol' bugger (and that is purely a compliment) but I suspect even he sobs uncontrollably when he sees Kendall's ZiPS projection. But ZiPS LOVES Soto. Enormous ZiPS advantage here for the Cubs.

So the Cubs dominate at 3B and C; the Brewers don't quite dominate anywhere but have substantial advantages at 2B, SS, and CF (though they should be penalized for Cameron's suspension).

Now ZiPS does like Milwaukee's rotation, giving them 5 above-average starters and 4 backups before things start to get scary. ZiPS most definitely does not like Milwaukee's bullpen, giving them just 2 barely above-average relievers (one of them Derrick Turnbow!) and only 5 total who project with ERAs of 4.50 or better.

ZiPS also adores the Cubs' rotation with 5 above-average starters and 4 guys just below it (though Guzman is hurt isn't he?). Plus Ryan Dempster (projected as an average reliever) and Jon Lieber (another just-below average starter). The Cubs seem determined to have at least one and probably two of the below-average guys in the rotation of course but both Lieber and Marquis are good bets to at least eat innings.

Meanwhile, ZiPS positively creams its shorts over the Cubs' pen with 8 above-average relievers (including Dempster). The Cubs' have 5 relievers projected with lower raw ERAs (in the tougher park) than Milwaukee's best reliever projection.

Oh yes, Mr. Hill projects as a 3.88 ERA (in the tougher park) while Milwaukee's best projected starter is Mr. Gallardo at 3.66. For what it's worth, basically same number of innings. That .22 is the same as the difference between the league average starter ERAs so call it a draw. Of course Zambrano is the Cubs #1 starter. Basically ZiPS puts it as Z>Gallardo, Hill=Sheets (on performance! surely Hill wins the IP projection), Lilly>>Parra. After that, everybody's within spitting distance of league average and each other but ZiPS seems to give Milwaukee a small advantage on the back end (especially given who the Cubs are actually likely to start).

So ZiPS and I differ somewhat. ZiPS seems to see the offense and the rotation as closer than I do, though our overall differences are probably pretty close. We do agree that the Cubs' pen is dominant and the Cubs' defense is better (though ZiPS doesn't seem to suggest a huge advantage here ... unless maybe Braun is awful and Hart gets a lot of CF time). I read ZiPS as giving an overall edge to the Cubs but smaller than mine.

Alas, our good friend ZiPS is not a playing time projection system. I suspect the top Cub starters (and even the back end) are much better bets to pitch 180+ IP which is where a big part of the advantage I see lies.

Anyone run simulations yet?
   23. Spahn Insane Posted: March 21, 2008 at 03:12 AM (#2716847)
Situation is ripe for a Beano flame fest with retro.

Whatever--I'm over it. I've discovered more productive ways to spend my time, like brushing my hairless cat.
   24. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 21, 2008 at 03:47 AM (#2716856)
Didn't we just have this thread?

-Corey Patterson projects as a better player in 2008 than Jay Bruce
-With flyballers and kids making up their rotation, the Reds badly need a plus defensive CF in between Dunn and Griffey
   25. Damon Rutherford Posted: March 21, 2008 at 04:06 AM (#2716859)
#### this.
   26. Dr. Vaux Posted: March 21, 2008 at 04:07 AM (#2716860)
Rich Hill's been quite bad in the spring, and it's not just Arizona hits, it's walks. He may be injured.
   27. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: March 21, 2008 at 04:45 AM (#2716867)
Lilly is unlikely to match his 2007.

I think Lilly's a great bet to match or even better his mark last season. He's a flyball pitcher by trade. The Cubs will have a new right fielder many teams wanted to install in center. In center, the Cubs look willing to give it to Felix Pie, who is fantastic by all accounts. By win shares, they had the best defensive outfield in baseball last year, yet they managed to upgrade two-thirds of their starting gloves out there.

Lilly will likely be less effective, but he is also a good shot to post better numbers than he did last year. Also, I think a lot of his apparent improvement in ERA was really the difference in pitching in the AL East and the NL Central

Rich Hill's also a flyballer. If Pie hits well enough to stick, and everyone stays healthy, Lilly & Hill could be fun pick ups for anyone playing fantasy baseball. (Though Hill's 14 walks in less than 13 IP this spring scare me).

I think the teams are pretty evenly matched. Also, 8 of the Brewers top 10 players are 26 or younger so they have some upside yet. I don't see the Cubs having that except with Marshall and Marmol.

Marshall and Marmol are odd choices there. Marshall was fine early on, but the way he pitched later indicated he was over his head. His 2007 will likely be his high water mark. Marmol looks like the real deal, loaded with talent. But even real deals loaded with talent rarely duplicate 1.43 ERAs. He'll be great, but only routinely great. Along similar lines to Marmol, I suspect Fielder & Braun will take a step back, and that's a good chunk of their offensive firepower.

You're right that Milwaukee has a tremendous number of talent still under the age of 27. Actually, that's one reason I'm a little pessimistic on them for 2008. Great young talents before they reach their prime are still guys who haven't reached their prime. They should be a very good offense this year, but they're real days of domination will be a little down the road.

I dunno who will win the division this year, but one thing is for certain, if the Cubs can't beat the Brewers this year, they're screwed for the forseeable future. It Milwaukee can club them into submission with a bunch of 25 year olds, they won't stand a chance against the Brew Crew by 2010.

Even Chris has drank the Kool-Aid. Did you read that Brewers THT article? I was stunned at the tone. And the sloppy approach.

Easily his worst effort in YEARS.


Nah, not even my worst effort of this year.

If Jaffe is off the deep end the rest are beyond reason.

Puh-leeze. We're Cub fans. By definition we're beyond reason.
   28. Lassus Posted: March 21, 2008 at 04:50 AM (#2716868)
I've discovered more productive ways to spend my time, like brushing my hairless cat.

Does he eat hairless mole-rats?
   29. Comic Strip Person Posted: March 21, 2008 at 05:35 AM (#2716874)
I ran 100 seasons of ZiPS sims on DMB, and the Cubs had an average of 91.1 wins to the Brewers 84.4. The Cubs average RS-RA was 799-703, and the Brewers was 793-757. The Cubs won the division 67.5% of the time, to 25% for the Brewers.
   30. Snowboy Posted: March 21, 2008 at 06:12 AM (#2716878)
Holy Cow! That's domination. 67.5%? In your sim, did any other team win their division as often?
   31. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: March 21, 2008 at 12:46 PM (#2716917)
I'm kind of wondering what HW saw in the tone of the Brewers article. Seemed O.K. to me, an outsider looking in.
   32. AROM Posted: March 21, 2008 at 01:24 PM (#2716942)
I've discovered more productive ways to spend my time, like brushing my hairless cat.


Is he named Mr. Bigglesworth?
   33. John Lynch Posted: March 21, 2008 at 01:27 PM (#2716943)
It warms my heart to see such a spirited defense of Ted Lilly. I never understood why he's been lumped in with all the supposedly crazy free agent pitcher contracts. The guy has been solidly above average his entire career with good peripherals. He's had a demonstrably better career than guys like Milton, Pavano, and Marquis and all the other jokers he gets lumped in with. His success nor any continued success has not surprised me and will not surprise me.
   34. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 21, 2008 at 01:32 PM (#2716944)
Doc:

First, Chris is a victim of his own standards. There are high expectations associated with a Jaffe article.

Second, I thought it odd that an avowed Cubs fan was doing the Brewers article. One could point to familiarity. Or if one were at a different website or a mere blog one could expect a hatchet job.

Well, it wasn't an over the top demeaning of an organization but it certainly contained its share of negatives with nary a whisper of positives.

"At first, Prince Fielder could only dream of being banal."

"Hall manned the wide-open spaces like a man with an acute fear of agoraphobia."

"Braun's glove was so bad it crossed the line from horrible to civilization-threatening."

I will stop now so as to not look to belabor the point. Basically, everyone is destined to stink except Weeks.

Contrast that to one of the opening remarks in a similarly-themed article on the Cubs:

"With all the key players back, why not a world championship in ’08? Bet money on it!"

Now that was a reference to the 1908 Cubs but the tone was set. Fairly positive article. You would have to have Andujar-type rabbit ears to glean anything that hinted at criticism.

Meanwhile, a normally sensible soul did a poor man's Don Rickles routine.

This for teams that finished fairly close actual record or from a Pythag angle.

Look, I understand a dumb*ss like Joe Sheehan having picked Milwaukee a few years ahead of schedule, being angry about being made to look foolish and then the resulting backlash by Sheehan as he takes every opportunity to ridicule the Brewers. I get that. He's a small person with a small mind. A Mariotti sort.

I expect more from others.

And if someone is going to be funny then be FUNNY. Don't do it halfway. When I go after Yost I take my best shots.

Bring it strong or stay home.................
   35. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 21, 2008 at 01:36 PM (#2716945)
"The idea that Corey Hart is less a question mark than Fukudome is hilarious."

Maybe, but Hart isn't the one who had elbow surgery over the offseason.
   36. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 21, 2008 at 02:02 PM (#2716958)
-Patterson projects as a better player in 2008 than Jay Bruce.
-We have no reason to assume that Bruce's development will be better served by playing in the majors
-We have good reason to assume that the two flyball pitchers (Arroyo and Harang) and the two young pitchers (Cueto and Volquez) in the Cincinnati rotation will be harmed by having to play in front of a disastrous defensive outfield (Dunn-Bruce-Griffey), and as such Patterson's superiority to Bruce for 2008 is heightened because the value of his excellent defense is heightened.

Reposting from the last thread, these are the three freely available projection systems on Bruce and Patterson (Cairo - Chone - Zips):

308/447 - 305/457 - 317/476 Bruce
297/400 - 305/402 - 295/402 Patterson

Given Patterson's 10-15 run advantage in defense and baserunning, Patterson projects as the better player.
   37. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 21, 2008 at 02:17 PM (#2716969)
With all the fussing over Bruce/Patterson what is being forgotten is that come August the Reds may have to overhaul the outfield. Barring the team being in contention Dunn will likely be traded while Griffey will either be on the DL or with another organization as well.

Does any Reds fan see a scenario where Dunn stays in Cincy? I don't see ownership paying him 15 mil/year for several years. Nor do I see Adam wanting to put up with any more of Marty's cr*p.
   38. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 21, 2008 at 02:22 PM (#2716972)
So what, matt? Even if Patterson is better right now, as of March 21st, he's a marginal starter who doesn't project to get any better. Bruce will be kicking his ass by June.
If he is, call Bruce up in June. The statistical projection systems disagree with you that Bruce will get that good that soon.

Corey Patterson projects not as a marginal starter, but as an ~average CF. Defense and baserunning count, too.

EDIT: Patterson's also 28, with great tools. I see no reason to presume he's reached his ceiling.
   39. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 21, 2008 at 02:28 PM (#2716975)
If you call him up in June, it will delay his adjustment to the bigs by another 2 monthsd. ... When a guy is ready, he's ready. Play him.
You don't know that.

Certainly, if we assert that it is always better for prospects to play in the majors, and if we assert that Bruce will struggle if called up midseason, then this is a bad move. But that's not something we know.

Bruce might benefit from more development time in the high minors (he has only 250 AB above A-ball). He might be motivated by being sent down. Bruce might struggle if forced to play a defensive position for which he's not really built - Bruce is a natural right-fielder, according to most scouts. I don't know any of that, but neither do you, is my point.

Also, there's the problem of developing young pitchers and stocking the rotation with flyballers. With Harang, Arroyo, Cueto, and Volquez likely in the rotation, I think Cincinnati desperately needs a top defensive CF to cover the gaps between Dunn and Griffey.
   40. Swedish Chef Posted: March 21, 2008 at 02:28 PM (#2716976)
-Patterson projects as a better player in 2008 than Jay Bruce.


But Bruce has upside, Patterson has none, and the Reds need all the upside they can get to compete.

-We have no reason to assume that Bruce's development will be better served by playing in the majors


If you believe that challenging your talent with the best opposition you can provide is optimal for their development, as I do, there is.

Given Patterson's 10-15 run advantage in defense and baserunning, Patterson projects as the better player.


"Better" by a run or two, if his speed isn't hit by aging, which is very possible
   41. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 21, 2008 at 02:32 PM (#2716980)
But Bruce has upside, Patterson has none, and the Reds need all the upside they can get to compete.
Yes, I've never heard of 28-year-olds with four- or five-tool talents improving on their previous numbers, either.
If you believe that challenging your talent with the best opposition you can provide is optimal for their development, as I do, there is.
No one believes that. Clay Buchholz started out in the New York - Penn League, not the Red Sox bullpen. Players should be challenged by the opposition that is most reasonable for their talents, not the best possible. I don't know if the best opposition for Bruce to face in the start of 2008 in AAA or MLB pitching, and neither do you.
   42. chris p Posted: March 21, 2008 at 02:37 PM (#2716982)
Also, there's the problem of developing young pitchers and stocking the rotation with flyballers. With Harang, Arroyo, Cueto, and Volquez likely in the rotation, I think Cincinnati desperately needs a top defensive CF to cover the gaps between Dunn and Griffey.

this is the key. bruce isn't the only young player the reds are trying to develop. ideally, bruce plays every day in the majors in right. if you have a top defender in center, you go with that, otherwise, bruce may have been a good option there. as it stands, we'll have to wait a month or so for either dunn to get traded or griffey to get hurt.
   43. Cowboy Popup Posted: March 21, 2008 at 02:44 PM (#2716989)
If you believe that challenging your talent with the best opposition you can provide is optimal for their development, as I do, there is.

Yeah, the Mets have tried that and in some cases its worked and in some cases it hasn't. In some cases, it has weakened the trade value of their prospects. In any case, isn't the history of baseball littered with guys who have been rushed and haven't developed the way they should have because they were overwhelmed and weren't given enough time to learn in the minors. You could point to two guys on the Reds, Patterson and Phillips, and argue that they failed to live up to the hype because they were brought up too soon.

I think this is all very bizarre. The Reds are playing it safe with their incredibly valuable young player, shoring up their defense for their young pitchers and keeping their options open to improve the team for free later this year and they're being criticized. I don't get it.
   44. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: March 21, 2008 at 02:52 PM (#2716997)
Thank you for the response, HW. I get what you're saying now.
   45. Danny Posted: March 21, 2008 at 02:54 PM (#2716999)
Reposting from the last thread, these are the three freely available projection systems on Bruce and Patterson (Cairo - Chone - Zips):

308/447 - 305/457 - 317/476 Bruce
297/400 - 305/402 - 295/402 Patterson

Given Patterson's 10-15 run advantage in defense and baserunning, Patterson projects as the better player.

And then there's PECOTA, which has Bruce at .270/.336/.513--about 15-20 runs better than Patterson.

And while the Cinci rotation might be flyball heavy, it's also strikeout heavy, which reduces the relative value of Patterson's defense.
   46. Dan The Mediocre Posted: March 21, 2008 at 02:55 PM (#2717000)
If he hasn't stepped forward by now, he's never going to. And he's not a five-tool star. He can't hit. Period.


I have to disagree. If Patterson were to develop plate discipline, he could still be a great CF. His problem is that he swings at everything, and it used to work so well for him that he never developed plate discipline.
   47. Cowboy Popup Posted: March 21, 2008 at 02:56 PM (#2717002)
If he hasn't stepped forward by now, he's never going to.

Yeah, it's not like guys like Jeff Kent, Jose Guillen, Brian Giles, Melvin Mora, Luis Gonzalez, and Sammy Sosa became much better players when they were around Patterson's age.
   48. Dan The Mediocre Posted: March 21, 2008 at 02:59 PM (#2717003)
Yeah, it's not like guys like Jeff Kent, Jose Guillen, Brian Giles, Melvin Mora, Luis Gonzalez, and Sammy Sosa became much better players when they were around Patterson's age.


All kevin is going to say is "I guess he has a chance if he starts shooting up". You can't argue with someone who doesn't understand the subject at hand.
   49. Cowboy Popup Posted: March 21, 2008 at 03:02 PM (#2717004)
You can't argue with someone who doesn't understand the subject at hand.

True, but it's nice to get the information out there, just so all the lurkers can see how obviously wrong it is.
   50. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: March 21, 2008 at 03:06 PM (#2717009)
Dan, you have that wrong. You can't argue with someone who doesn't understand he doesn't understand the subject at hand.

i'm referring to you of course.
Zing!
   51. Dan The Mediocre Posted: March 21, 2008 at 03:06 PM (#2717011)
"If" all Patterson needs to do develop plate discipline, then why hasn't he shown any trend at all in that direction in the last FOUR years?


Yeah, because his strikeout rate hasn't declined over the last 4 years....
   52. Dan The Mediocre Posted: March 21, 2008 at 03:09 PM (#2717015)
Dan, you have that wrong. You can't argue with someone who doesn't understand he doesn't understand the subject at hand.

i'm referring to you of course.


I understand that 27 is the average age when players peak. I also understand that players can peak earlier or later depending on their skill set and other circumstances that exist outside of their control. I have a pretty good understanding of how players get better and get worse. You have claimed that players can't get better after age 27, which is very, very wrong, and you have persisted in this belief despite being corrected many times.
   53. Cowboy Popup Posted: March 21, 2008 at 03:14 PM (#2717020)
Yeah, because his strikeout rate hasn't declined over the last 4 years....

All this attention brought on to Patterson has made me really curious about how he's going to perform this year. His K's are down while his walks have been consistent. His power disappeared last year and his average didn't jump. Did he change his approach? If he has, is it likely to ever be a positive change? The decrease in K's does not suggest a slower bat, his legs looked fine when I saw him and his speed numbers look right in line with his career, but loss of power is troubling. I doubt anyone paid enough attention to Patterson last year to really get much of an idea of him, but does anyone know what was different about him last year? The numbers just aren't providing enough information here.
   54. Dan The Mediocre Posted: March 21, 2008 at 03:14 PM (#2717021)
Ok, so now he grounds out instead of striking out.

I guess that's progress...


In 2005 he struggled because he was put into the leadoff spot, and his year saw a downward spiral.

In 2007, he had a fluke year wrt babip.
   55. chris p Posted: March 21, 2008 at 03:14 PM (#2717022)
Yeah, because his strikeout rate hasn't declined over the last 4 years....

well, his power has declined with the k rate.
   56. JPWF13 Posted: March 21, 2008 at 03:18 PM (#2717025)
-Patterson projects as a better player in 2008 than Jay Bruce.

Not sure about that, Pecota for instance has a 150 OPS edge for Bruce, plus while Corey is a good CF, I don't see him as a +10 run guy, I see it as a push 30% chance Bruce is better, 30% chance their even, 30 % chance Corey is a little better. The upside is all on Bruce's side. I see no upside for Patterson, I see a guy who has probably already peaked and any slippage in his athletice skills will be catastrophic.

-We have no reason to assume that Bruce's development will be better served by playing in the majors
I have to agree with you, plus I'd add, that given Cincy's specific manager he's better off in Louisville right now.

-We have good reason to assume that the two flyball pitchers (Arroyo and Harang) and the two young pitchers (Cueto and Volquez) in the Cincinnati rotation will be harmed by having to play in front of a disastrous defensive outfield (Dunn-Bruce-Griffey)
Yes that's a bad defensive OF, but Bruce is the best fielder of the three
   57. TDF, situational idiot Posted: March 21, 2008 at 03:19 PM (#2717027)
It may not be a question of Bruce being "not ready"; it may be that he's NOT READY.

Hey, he tore up AA and AAA last year...in 250 ABs. At this time last year, it was still assumed he was 2 years away. He still strikes out waaaay too much - last year, his k:bb ratio was almost 3:1. Imagine what MLB curveballs might do to him.

Bruce will be kicking his ass by June.


If this is more likely by having Bruce spend 2 months in Louisville, I'm all for it.

Does any Reds fan see a scenario where Dunn stays in Cincy?


Other than the owner stating, very publicly, that he wants Dunn to stay in Cinci? Or the owner, after said very public statement, having lunch with Dunn alone (no Krivsky, no Baker)?

I don't see ownership paying him 15 mil/year for several years.


Have you looked at he contracts Harang, Arroyo, and Cordero signed? If so, why would you think Dunn wouldn't be offered a competative contract?
   58. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 21, 2008 at 03:21 PM (#2717030)
Corey's batting issues are twofold. One, he will invariably lunge at a slider. He will. It's part of his programming. Unless he is coached and coached and coached some more to reinforce the notion of patience once you have two strikes on him throw the slider and he lunges. It's alarming in its predictability.

He swings for power on one plane. There was another Cub outfielder like this in the early 90's. Dwight Smith. Everyone thought he was great. Problem was once pitchers figured out the plane they stopped throwing fastballs in that area.

I don't KNOW for a fact but I strongly suspect that pitchers have figured out that throwing Corey a fastball in his plane of glory is a bad thing.

Those are two pretty big issues to address. Being away for a few years from the NL may help as there are plenty of stupid pitchers on each roster that may fall victim to their lack of memory. Great American Ballpark will also help.

I could easily see Patterson having a hot 2-3 months before staffs remember what used to work.

He's in shape and playing for the Grand Master of Stroking Egos. Patterson could capture lightening in a bottle in Cincy........
   59. Cowboy Popup Posted: March 21, 2008 at 03:22 PM (#2717031)
Other than the owner stating, very publicly, that he wants Dunn to stay in Cinci? Or the owner, after said very public statement, having lunch with Dunn alone (no Krivsky, no Baker)?

When's Griffey's contract up? Is it this year? Griffey seems to be the real obstacle here, not Patterson.
   60. Cowboy Popup Posted: March 21, 2008 at 03:25 PM (#2717032)
He's in shape and playing for the Grand Master of Stroking Egos. Patterson could capture lightening in a bottle in Cincy........

Thanks for the info Harvey's.
   61. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 21, 2008 at 03:26 PM (#2717033)
Have you looked at he contracts Harang, Arroyo, and Cordero signed? If so, why would you think Dunn wouldn't be offered a competative contract?

Wayne Krivsky has been a "pitching and defense" guy since he came to town. It's not at all surprising that he convinced leadership that these were assets worthy of dollars.

Dunn is not aligned with his GM's philosophy. Dunn has been verbally abused now going on three years. Barring ownership telling your Hall of Fame radio announcer to shut up about the d*mn strikeouts why would Adam sign up for four more years of that nonsense?

The one thing going for Cincy is that the clubs with money are getting smarter. Dunn's value in November of 2008 may be more accurately assessed than it would have been in November of 2006 or earlier.
   62. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: March 21, 2008 at 03:32 PM (#2717037)
Well, it wasn't an over the top demeaning of an organization but it certainly contained its share of negatives with nary a whisper of positives.

The defense should be better and two of the regulars (Hall and Weeks) should be much better. Question #5 is can they win it, and I begin by saying, "Hell, yeah."

I will stop now so as to not look to belabor the point. Basically, everyone is destined to stink except Weeks.

And I expected significant improvement from Hall, & improvement from Hardy. I think Fielder's a bad bet to hit 50 homers. I wasn't aware that qualifies as stinking.

Contrast that to one of the opening remarks in a similarly-themed article on the Cubs:

Totally unfair given that I didn't write that article. This is especially worth noting because I initially volunteered to do the Cubs article, and wouldn't have told anyone to bet money on the Cubs (my main point there would've been as Zambrano goes, so go the Cubs).

I opted not to do the article because one of THT's editors, Joe Distelheim, also wanted to do it. He's got seniority over me, does a fantastic job, and it's the only article he writes all year. (I was going to do the one on the White Sox also, until a combination of travel, grading, and flu made me pull out).

With 30 different articles written by 25 different people you're going to get varying levels of enthusiasm about the teams. One reason I wanted to do the Brewers is because my views on them do differ from the sabermetric standard line. I get a little sick of people always going with the younger team. Great talent usually only wins in their prime. Last year they weren't in their prime, this year they still won't be in their prime.

And if someone is going to be funny then be FUNNY. Don't do it halfway. When I go after Yost I take my best shots.

Fun fact: one of those lines (the one about Braun's glove) I stole directly from one of your posts, Harv.

Looking back, I do have some problems with the article - most notably that I tried to cover too much ground in too short a time. In a 5 question format, I don't need to weigh in on as many players, and attempting to do so I spread myself too thin (most notably the bit about Corey Hart).
   63. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 21, 2008 at 03:43 PM (#2717049)
Fun fact: one of those lines (the one about Braun's glove) I stole directly from one of your posts, Harv.

Which was written as sarcasm in response to one of about 20 Nate Silver remarks concerning Braun's defensive issues. (IIRC. I can't search on this site worth a tinker's d*mn)

You also freely admitted your pessimistic tone making the comment about their ability to contend seem like some half-hearted attempt to appear more evenhanded.

Look, glad you are happy about the Cubs. That's great. Hope you enjoy the season. That goes for all Cub fans.

What I simply do not understand is how the Brewers went from being a legitimate rival to an afterthought. As if it will offend the sensibilities if someone else in the division wins a baseball game.
   64. Dan The Mediocre Posted: March 21, 2008 at 03:45 PM (#2717051)
Corey's batting issues are twofold. One, he will invariably lunge at a slider. He will. It's part of his programming. Unless he is coached and coached and coached some more to reinforce the notion of patience once you have two strikes on him throw the slider and he lunges. It's alarming in its predictability.

He swings for power on one plane. There was another Cub outfielder like this in the early 90's. Dwight Smith. Everyone thought he was great. Problem was once pitchers figured out the plane they stopped throwing fastballs in that area.

I don't KNOW for a fact but I strongly suspect that pitchers have figured out that throwing Corey a fastball in his plane of glory is a bad thing.

He's in shape and playing for the Grand Master of Stroking Egos. Patterson could capture lightening in a bottle in Cincy........


He's always in excellent shape and he's one of the most physically gifted players in baseball. It's always been his desire to crush the ball that kills him. As I said, if he ever got plate discipline, he'd be a very good player. Everything else is there to succeed.
   65. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: March 21, 2008 at 03:45 PM (#2717052)
The difference between Patterson as a young player and Bruce was that when Patterson was called up for good, he was hitting .253 with a .308 OBP in AAA. The year before he hit .261 with a .338 OBP in AA. Patterson's "talent" was why he was rushed. Bruce is being rushed because he tore the cover off the damn ball last year.

The corollary for Patterson is not Bruce, but Andrew McCutchen who is a top prospect based on his tools, not his .710 OPS he posted in AA last year.

If the Reds are doing this to postpone Bruce's service time, I think that's a silly way to behave. Why screw a guy you could wind up begging to re-sign in a few years. If it's because they legitimately think someone else is better right now, well then that's different. I still don't see the point of Patterson. I don't think he's substantially better than Hopper and some of Hopper's weaknesses can be mitigated (like hitting him leadoff) in ways that Patterson's can't.
   66. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: March 21, 2008 at 03:49 PM (#2717056)
What I simply do not understand is how the Brewers went from being a legitimate rival to an afterthought.

I don't understand how I ended up making them an afterthought.
   67. Cowboy Popup Posted: March 21, 2008 at 03:56 PM (#2717061)
The difference between Patterson as a young player and Bruce was that when Patterson was called up for good, he was hitting .253 with a .308 OBP in AAA. The year before he hit .261 with a .338 OBP in AA. Patterson's "talent" was why he was rushed. Bruce is being rushed because he tore the cover off the damn ball last year.

Assuming that you're responding to what I wrote in post 48, I'm not arguing that Patterson the prospect is similiar to Bruce, I'm arguing that putting prospects up against higher levels of competition before they have truly dominated a lower level is not always advantageous. Certainly Bruce performed well in AAA, but there are more than enough reasons that have already been mentioned in the thread to send him down for a couple of months for some more seasoning and see how he does.

I still don't see the point of Patterson. I don't think he's substantially better than Hopper and some of Hopper's weaknesses can be mitigated (like hitting him leadoff) in ways that Patterson's can't.

I wasn't aware he existed really. Looking it over, I don't really get Patterson over Hopper either. Maybe they think a lot of Patterson's flyouts will turn into HRs in the GAB or that they can get more out of Patterson's tools than the O's could.
   68. JPWF13 Posted: March 21, 2008 at 04:01 PM (#2717064)
I don't think he's substantially better than Hopper and some of Hopper's weaknesses can be mitigated (like hitting him leadoff) in ways that Patterson's can't.


I wasn't even thinking of Hopper...

The Reds could have kept Hamilton, they have Hopper around as a defensive caddy...

The season hasn't yet begun, but yet any Stathead leaning Reds fans must be getting real nervous...
Bruce down, tools goof Corey starting in CF, Hatteberg over Votto...

I can easily see:
Bruce and Votto on other teams in 2010
2-3 guys out of Harang/Arroyo/Bailey/Cueto having multiple consecutive 110+ pitch games, repeatedly, until 1-2 start making repeated DL trips...

The absolute worst thing that could happen to the organization IMHO is Patterson and Hatteberg both have good years (by their standards) and are re -signed, Griffey plays 125-140 games (Bruce never has an opp at the MLB level in 2008), Votto gets no regular PT, ends up with a bad batting average and in Dusty's doghouse for taking too many called 3rd strikes... The Reds get 800 IP out of the 4 above mentioned pitchers, and win 85 games (finishing 5 out).
The Reds then trade Votto for pennies, re-send Bruce to Louisville... one or 2 of the 4 pitchers are hurt or ineffective, Reds win 75 games in 2009... Bruce plays poorly in 9/09, and is traded in 11/09....
   69. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: March 21, 2008 at 04:02 PM (#2717066)
If anyone's curious, THT projections have Milwaukee winning the division. The order goes: Mil-ChC-StL-Cin-Hou-Pit.
   70. JPWF13 Posted: March 21, 2008 at 04:12 PM (#2717072)
I wasn't aware he existed really. Looking it over, I don't really get Patterson over Hopper either.


Corey is a seasoned vet...
Hopper is not...

look at it this way, Matt Murton hit .321/.386/.521 in 50 game sat the end of 2005. In 2006, Dusty benched him at the very first slump, apparently because he had to see if a 35 year old {Phil Nevin coming off a 77 OPS+ year had anything left. Murton never really got his job back, he was platooned the rest of the way...

Hopper may have hit .329/.371/.388 last year (which was probably a babip fluke- but still I doubt he's any worse than Corey), but he has less than 500 MLB PAs, he's not a seasoned vet, he can't be trusted, he's "not safe",

I doubt the thought of starting Hopper ever crossed Dusty's mind.
I think the thought of having Hopper caddy Bruce/Griffey/Dunn as a 4th OF, defensive replacement did cross his mind- if only because he didn't have Patterson yet. Once he had Patterson, that went out the window.

20/20 hindsight? I think the Reds should have shipped Bruce and Votto off to Minny for Santana and something else. Right now the odds of the Reds extracting the value that they should from the pair is questionable.
   71. JPWF13 Posted: March 21, 2008 at 04:15 PM (#2717076)
The difference between Patterson as a young player and Bruce was that when Patterson was called up for good, he was hitting .253 with a .308 OBP in AAA. The year before he hit .261 with a .338 OBP in AA. Patterson's "talent" was why he was rushed. Bruce is being rushed because he tore the cover off the damn ball last year.


I tried to argue this with someone over at Sickels' blog, it was like arguing with a wall- the guy I was arguing with basically kept saying, (paraphrase) "Patterson was ranked as high as #2 by BA, at the time he was a great prospect, as good as Bruce is now, to say otherwise is revisionist history")...
   72. Cowboy Popup Posted: March 21, 2008 at 04:17 PM (#2717077)
Right now the odds of the Reds extracting the value that they should from the pair is questionable.

Man, I am not intending to disparage your conclusions in any way, but they sure as hell are depressing.
   73. Wes Parkers Mood (Mike Green) Posted: March 21, 2008 at 04:48 PM (#2717089)
Patterson was a great defensive centerfielder in 2006 and an average one in 2007 according to most measures. He will be 29 in August. Unless Bruce is pretty bad out there, the odds that Patterson will be 15-20 runs better in the field and on the bases in 2008 is not great.

You can certainly justify the move for service time reasons, at least for the first 2-3 weeks of the season.
   74. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: March 21, 2008 at 04:49 PM (#2717090)
Yeah, it's not like guys like Jeff Kent, Jose Guillen, Brian Giles, Melvin Mora, Luis Gonzalez, and Sammy Sosa became much better players when they were around Patterson's age.

Among these, only Guillen and possibly Mora are truly comparable to Patterson in any meaningful way, and Mora probably not. Kent, Giles, Gonzalez and Sosa, unlike Corey Patterson, were already good hitters when they took their leap. Corey Patterson is not a good hitter. He's a hitter who has displayed power, and that vanished last year. Mora and Guillen also had one good tool each -- Mora his plate discipline, Guillen his power -- and jumped forward.

It's not impossible. It remains extremely unlikely.
   75. Cowboy Popup Posted: March 21, 2008 at 04:56 PM (#2717095)
It's not impossible.

Which was the only point I was trying to make with my post because I was responding to someone who declared that it was impossible.
   76. Spahn Insane Posted: March 21, 2008 at 05:03 PM (#2717099)
THT projects the Cards finishing third? Huh. I know the Central blows and all, but that still surprises me. I would've thought the Reds would've projected better, and possibly Houston.
   77. Spahn Insane Posted: March 21, 2008 at 05:04 PM (#2717100)
Corey is a seasoned vet...
Hopper is not...


I wouldn't put it past Dusty to think that, but Hopper's actually older than Corey (though Corey obviously has a lot more MLB experience).

And Hopper strikes me as a "Dusty-type player" in any case. Quick singles hitting guy who doesn't do much else.
   78. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 21, 2008 at 05:15 PM (#2717104)
THT projects the Cards finishing third? Huh. I know the Central blows and all, but that still surprises me.

Agreed. Previously I have stated in other seasons that the team with the best manager/player combo always had the upper hand. And the Cardinals having both the best manager in the division and best player in the division were always one step ahead of their rivals.

Only now the best player may be hurt before the season even begins while the manager seems to be suffering from an advanced case of crotchety.

I think it's pretty easy to envision a scenario where the Cards lose 95 games. And can't say that too many folks around here would break out the hankies.
   79. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 21, 2008 at 05:17 PM (#2717106)
If the Reds are doing this to postpone Bruce's service time, I think that's a silly way to behave. Why screw a guy you could wind up begging to re-sign in a few years.

I don't see how sending a 21 year old back to AAA for a couple of months is screwing him. Screwing him is keeping him in the bigs and letting Dusty play him twice a week.

With a 24 year old like Votto, you need to play him now.
   80. JPWF13 Posted: March 21, 2008 at 05:17 PM (#2717107)
And Hopper strikes me as a "Dusty-type player" in any case. Quick singles hitting guy who doesn't do much else.


I have no doubt Dusty will find a use for Hopper on the roster, just as he found a use for Angel Pagan in Chicago and similar players in San Fran
   81. TDF, situational idiot Posted: March 21, 2008 at 05:31 PM (#2717118)
Wayne Krivsky has been a "pitching and defense" guy since he came to town. It's not at all surprising that he convinced leadership that these were assets worthy of dollars.


Considering the level of Cinci's pitching and defense when Krivsky hit town, I've got no problem with this.

Dunn is not aligned with his GM's philosophy. Dunn has been verbally abused now going on three years. Barring ownership telling your Hall of Fame radio announcer to shut up about the d*mn strikeouts why would Adam sign up for four more years of that nonsense?


You said I don't see ownership paying him 15 mil/year for several years, which I quoted, and I responded to. Now it may be that Dunn wouldn't take it, but I repeat: Unless Krivsky is going to openly oppose his boss's stated position, why would you think that?
   82. Charter Member of the Jesus Melendez Fanclub Posted: March 21, 2008 at 05:35 PM (#2717122)
I don't understand how I ended up making them an afterthought.

It's just Harveys chronic persecution complex flaring up again. Pay it no mind...
   83. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: March 21, 2008 at 05:37 PM (#2717124)
Why screw a guy you could wind up begging to re-sign in a few years.

I take your point, but are there any examples of players leaving as a free agent for that reason? Of course, they're never going to say, "I'm still bitter because my GM delayed my shot at The Show"
   84. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 21, 2008 at 05:38 PM (#2717125)
TDF:

My apologies for not being clear. I think ownership's position is BS designed to appear as if interested. This has been a common approach by teams of late when faced with a player who may have a constituency among the public but doesn't fit the team's long-term plan due to cost.

He plays nice to Adam, hopes Adam plays well which helps the team win and when the time comes to ante up holds up his hands and bemoans being a mid-market team. And behinds the team I think Krivsky IS advocating that Dunn not be part of the plan. There is nothing about Dunn's game that meshes with Wayne's view of baseball.

For the sake of Reds fans like yourself I hope that my half-witted supposition is wrong and that at least a legit effort is made. For now I think it's all smoke.
   85. base ball chick Posted: March 21, 2008 at 05:43 PM (#2717133)
agree with harveys. about the cards i mean.

i was VERY surprised TLR agreed to come back at all and i was VERY surprised that uncle albert decided he didn't want to take off a year to fix all his injuries - ESPECIALLY this year.

what this means is that even after almost 28 years i still don't understand males and your, uh, thinking
   86. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 21, 2008 at 05:45 PM (#2717137)
what this means is that even after almost 28 years i still don't understand males and your, uh, thinking

There's your mistake, you assume men actually think before they act.;-)
   87. base ball chick Posted: March 21, 2008 at 05:48 PM (#2717140)
snapper darling boy,

then what IS it You People doing when you say "i'm thinking it over"
   88. shattnering his Dominicano G Strings on that Mound Posted: March 21, 2008 at 06:04 PM (#2717146)
This is actually one of the better threads of late. Lots of good stuff for a lurker such as myself...

I would tend to agree with the idea that sending Bruce down is ok. He's very, very young, and it just can't hurt to have him hit his way up like Pence did last season. His plate discipline isn't very good, and he could get some good momentum by pounding some AAA pitching for a bit, and working on pitch selection. And, he could get reps in CF, and prove that he can man the position adequately. I like Patterson's defense also, and agree with many here that it will help the pitching staff. As for Votto, well, what can be said? Why not let him play? He's not young, did perform well at the end of last season, and all things being equal, will put up the same stats as Hatteberg. And, it's not like Hatteberg is a hacker. He walks a lot too. The two are just so similar in many respects, except, of course, that Hatteberg is over a decade older, and there is not future for him. Perhaps he could be shopped around a bit? There are some contenders who might be interested in a 1B like him. I don't get why the Reds aren't more actively trying to swing a trade involving one of the geezers,like Jr. or Hatteberg, and really committing to having an amazing team in a year or two. And I don't get why folks love Marty s much. It's painful to listen to him - even more so with Thom in the booth with him. And I don't get hiring Baker. But, I've never understood Cincinnati so much anyway. At least Kings Island is there...

"baseball chick:" we are certainly not thinking it over. We're delaying having to think, and preparing our later snap decision to look more "thought out"...
   89. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 21, 2008 at 06:07 PM (#2717151)
then what IS it You People doing when you say "i'm thinking it over"

Ignoring the question and hoping you won't ask again, or just thinking about sports ;-)
   90. Jim Wisinski Posted: March 21, 2008 at 06:13 PM (#2717155)
And while the Cinci rotation might be flyball heavy, it's also strikeout heavy, which reduces the relative value of Patterson's defense.


Shouldn't it being a small park also reduce the relative need for defense in the outfield. You still don't want a bunch of clunkers of course regardless of the size of the outfield but it doesn't seem like it would be quite the same priority as in a stadium with deep fences.
   91. Dan The Mediocre Posted: March 21, 2008 at 06:55 PM (#2717176)
And while the Cinci rotation might be flyball heavy, it's also strikeout heavy, which reduces the relative value of Patterson's defense.


It's 10th in strikeouts, so it's really not strikeout heavy.
   92. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: March 21, 2008 at 07:09 PM (#2717181)
Dan, was that the staff rank in K's from 2007? 2008 is going to feature Edinson Volquez and Johnny Cueto, both of whom should produce way more strikeouts than Kyle Lohse and the rest of the Happy Homerun Gang the Reds put into the rotation last year. The Reds gave 43 starts last year to a group that put up a collective 6.63 era. Kyle Lohse was actually their 3rd best starter last year. Volquez and Cueto will be at least that good, with way more upside. Hopefully, Dusty doesn't ruin them by July
   93. base ball chick Posted: March 21, 2008 at 07:13 PM (#2717183)
baseball chick:" we are certainly not thinking it over. We're delaying having to think, and preparing our later snap decision to look more "thought out"...
99. snapper Posted: March 21, 2008 at 02:07 PM (#2717151)

then what IS it You People doing when you say "i'm thinking it over"

Ignoring the question and hoping you won't ask again, or just thinking about sports ;-)


- ah
honest males

or as my dear husband once said - it take a LOT of time to exactly answer exactly right because if even one word wrong we in deep shtt. and usually not right away. and by the time we find out we already forgot it all anyhow and can't figger out why You didn't
   94. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: March 21, 2008 at 07:48 PM (#2717204)
then what IS it You People doing when you say "i'm thinking it over"

"it over" = "about boobs"
   95. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: March 21, 2008 at 07:56 PM (#2717212)
I don't see how sending a 21 year old back to AAA for a couple of months is screwing him.

Well whose pocket does the money the Reds potentially save come out of? Bud Selig? The Yankees? No, it comes straight out of Jay Bruce's pocket, and it ain't like he's unaware of it.

Scaling back the free agency clock a year costs Bruce money and gives him an extra year to have a career threatening injury before a potential big pay day. If I knew the only reason I was getting sent down was because my team was looking to push back my free agency a year, I'd probably not be thrilled with their behavior.
   96. JPWF13 Posted: March 21, 2008 at 07:59 PM (#2717216)
No, it comes straight out of Jay Bruce's pocket, and it ain't like he's unaware of it.


And if he is unaware of it, his agent will educate him
seems to me in recent years a couple of prospects have complained about being demoted- explicitly proclaiming their belief that the team did it to save a few bucks and delay arbitration and free agency rights.

IF a player really believes that, well then I think he is much less likely to re-sign at all, let alone give his team a "hometown" discount (which many players really do- look at Oswalt for instance)
   97. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 21, 2008 at 08:03 PM (#2717221)
Well whose pocket does the money the Reds potentially save come out of? Bud Selig? The Yankees? No, it comes straight out of Jay Bruce's pocket, and it ain't like he's unaware of it.

Scaling back the free agency clock a year costs Bruce money and gives him an extra year to have a career threatening injury before a potential big pay day. If I knew the only reason I was getting sent down was because my team was looking to push back my free agency a year, I'd probably not be thrilled with their behavior.


First, it's clearly not the only reason, CF defense, limited AAA experience etc. If Bruce was 24 and had two full years of AAA, I could see him being pissed. Second, I assume the Reds will offer him a long-term contract at some point, giving him a chance at security long before FA. And, finally, do we have any evidence of this sort of minimal good will/bad will affecting anything? The Yankees have long refused to give players big contracts before FA, and I haven't seen them have any trouble retaining their players.

It's a business. If I'm a team I have to assume I'm paying market price for my players when they hit FA. If I'm a player, I'm looking for the best offer.
   98. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: March 21, 2008 at 08:05 PM (#2717223)
I take your point, but are there any examples of players leaving as a free agent for that reason? Of course, they're never going to say, "I'm still bitter because my GM delayed my shot at The Show"

Well there's examples of players signing with other teams for less money, because their former club pissed them off. Greg Maddux leaving the Cubs for the Braves for example.

I think it would be easy enough to lock the guy up for the extra year if you did it early and made it worth his while, so we're really only talking about a money issue, and it ain't a ton.
   99. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: March 21, 2008 at 08:12 PM (#2717227)
This is all well and good, but Bruce hit .260 and was injured in ST. It's not hard to point to that and tell him the minors is the place for him. Apparently he said the right things, too.
   100. JPWF13 Posted: March 21, 2008 at 08:16 PM (#2717231)
The Yankees have long refused to give players big contracts before FA, and I haven't seen them have any trouble retaining their players.


That's because when the time comes the Yankees are willing and able to pay through the nose to keep those guys.

First, It's clearly no the only reason,


I tend to agree-partly, imho the main reason is Dusty's unwillingness to play an unproven player when he has, or thinks he has, a veteran alternative.

Do the Reds (not just Baker, but others in the organization) think Bruce is ready?
I don't know, and I'm not sure it matters now that Mr. Proven Winner Manager is on board.

I suspect that what Bruce has done or has not done, or what he now does or does not do at AAA is completely irrelevant to Baker, I also suspect that what the Reds's scouts and minor league guys think Bruce can or can't do is largely irrelevant to Baker. He's decided (based upon ST) that Jay Bruce is not a winning MLB player.

What is going to change Baker's mind?
AAA performance? Nope
Scouting reports? Nope

Performance in the MLB? Yes/maybe

As you can see Bruce is trapped in a catch 22- he needs an injury or trade to get on the 25 man roster and into the lineup and then he has to pay well- immediately.

or he needs to be traded and then in 2-3 years he'll have enough of a MLB track record for Baker to see him as an everyday player.
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