Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Real McCoy: Looks like Patterson in center field

Les Cason and now Jay Bruce!!!....as The Dick Vitale helps to ruin more young players!

Meanwhile, I had breakfast at the Broken Egg in Lakeland Ranch with ESPN basketball analyst Dick Vitale, who talked baseball more than basketball while wearing a Reds cap and signing autographs for all comers between bites of fruit and toast.

Vitale said he attended Tuesday’s game against Pittsburgh and chatted with Baker.

“Dusty Baker really likes Corey Patterson, doesn’t he?” said Vitale, revealing why Patterson will start in center field for the Reds. “He said he needs speed, somebody quick, in center field to cover the gaps.”

That’s because Baker is worried about his corner outfield spots, Adam Dunn in left and Ken Griffey Jr. in right.

There are still 50 players in camp and 25 need to be trimmed quickly. Nevertheless, it is evident Baker is pretty set on his Opening Day lineup — not that I agree with it.

It is: CF Patterson….....

Repoz Posted: March 20, 2008 at 12:36 PM | 65 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: reds

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. formerly dp Posted: March 20, 2008 at 12:54 PM (#2716197)
The Reds could be so good this year, but Baker's gonna do whatever it takes to screw them up. Now that Corey Patterson is all polished and proven, Bruce won't sniff 3 starts a week out there.
   2. faketeams Posted: March 20, 2008 at 01:08 PM (#2716204)
Are the Reds a better team with a .400 Scott Hatteberg at 1B and Patterson in CF? I thought defense was the new Moneyball, no?
   3. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 20, 2008 at 01:16 PM (#2716208)
Dunn-Bruce-Griffey would be an absolutely horrific outfield.

2007 G/F for Reds rotation:

1.00 - Harang
0.83 - Arroyo
1.11 - Belisle
1.05 - Fogg

I couldn't find GB/FB rates for Cueto or Volquez in the minors, but Cueto looks to profile as a bit of a flyballer, working mainly off a mid-90s 4-seamer that he likes to run up in the zone. Regardless, the Reds aces are an extreme flyballer and a moderate flyballer, and their two choices for the back of the rotation are neutral. This is a team for which outfield defense should come at a premium - especially since all defense should come at a premium when breaking in young pitchers, as the Reds will be doing.

These are Jay Bruce's projected stats by the three freely available systems (Cairo - Chone - Zips):

308/447 - 305/457 - 317/476

That's not much of an asset in center-field, especially given that he's projected as a right-fielder defensively by most analysts. Here's Corey Patterson:

297/400 - 305/402 - 295/402

Corey Patterson projects as a better ballplayer in 2008 than Jay Bruce. The Reds need defense in the outfield because they have DHs at both corners. I think this is absolutely the right choice, both for the Reds now and in the future.

EDIT: To clarify that last point, the CAIRO spreadsheet has BaseRuns / 162 games, and it projects Patterson at 74 and Bruce at 81. Patterson should make up that difference and then some with baserunning and defense.
   4. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: March 20, 2008 at 01:18 PM (#2716210)
I think it's defensible to start with Patterson on Opening Day, as long as their willing to call up Bruce as soon as needed. If Votto makes the roster, I'll only criticize Dusty if he buries him on the bench. The team looks pretty good, overall. They're my darkhorse team in the Central. The Cubs, Brewers and Reds should be fun this summer.
   5. JPWF13 Posted: March 20, 2008 at 01:22 PM (#2716213)
If Bruce isn't starting he's got to go to AAA.
   6. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: March 20, 2008 at 01:26 PM (#2716218)
If Bruce isn't starting he's got to go to AAA.

Yes, absolutely.
   7. JPWF13 Posted: March 20, 2008 at 01:28 PM (#2716220)
Corey Patterson projects as a better ballplayer in 2008 than Jay Bruce.


Barely if at all.

Also I see Bruce's development being FAR FAR FAR more important to the Reds than the possible 1 game improvement Corey in 2008 in CF nets them over Bruce.

Bruce is only 21 (well he'll turn 21 in a week or so) and with 50 games at AAA it's certainly defensible to send him to AAA for 2008-
but if he plays 2-3 times a week as an OF sub in Cincy... well then everything bad that's been said about Dusty and young players will be confirmed.

I suspect Bruce will go to AAA, and Votto is going to see sporadic PT in Cincy...
   8. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: March 20, 2008 at 01:33 PM (#2716224)
Patterson is only 28! it's not like he's a guy playing out the end of his rope. there's no reason to rush up bruce now when he wouldn't be a significant improvement over Patterson at the plate and he'd be a significant downgrade on defense.
   9. WillieMays Haze Posted: March 20, 2008 at 01:34 PM (#2716226)
From the article
That leaves some good guys out in the cold: INF/OF Jolbert Cabrera, INF Andy Phillips, INF Andy Green, INF/OF Jerry Gil, INF Jerry Hairston, Jr.

And....the good guys?
   10. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 20, 2008 at 01:34 PM (#2716227)
Also I see Bruce's development being FAR FAR FAR more important to the Reds than the possible 1 game improvement Corey in 2008 in CF nets them over Bruce.
Sure. But given that Bruce's development rests on basically one thing - strikezone judgment and making contact - and given that he hasn't done this particularly successfully at either AA or AAA (68 K, 23 BB in 253 AB), it seems to make sense to let him have development time in AAA. I'm pretty skeptical that he's proven he's ready for MLB, or that he has nothing more to learn in the minors.

If the Reds decided he was ready for MLB, and that the best thing for his development would be to play everyday in Cincinnati, I'd trust them, but I don't see a lot of reason in Bruce's record to assume he needs to be in MLB now if the Reds don't make that judgment.
   11. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 20, 2008 at 01:37 PM (#2716229)
I'm also arguing that for the Reds pitching staff, and for their young pitchers in particular, a near-GG quality CF will help a lot. The problem isn't Bruce, it's Griffey and Dunn, but since Griffey and Dunn ain't going anywhere, the best thing for the Reds is to make sure they have a plus CF in between to play the gaps. Patterson should help in Cueto's and Volquez's development.
   12. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: March 20, 2008 at 01:42 PM (#2716234)
I'm also arguing that for the Reds pitching staff, and for their young pitchers in particular, a near-GG quality CF will help a lot.

Before last year, I would have been skeptical of this, but after seeing the Marlins defense destroy their young pitchers, I think you have a strong point here. In fact, I agree with Dusty on this one. Hmm, that didn't hurt as much as I thought it would.
   13. Arva Posted: March 20, 2008 at 01:43 PM (#2716235)
Here's the problem as I see it. If Bruce, Votto, and either Bailey/Cueto aren't performing at their top level, can the Reds win the division over the Cubs or Brewers. I don't think they can. Offense is a problem with this club, especially since I don't think Hatteberg is going to post a .400 OBP next year, and is essentially powerless. The defense will be better with Patterson in center, but its going to be bad in LF, RF, SS (when Keppinger starts, which could be a month or so), and 3B (EE could improve, I guess). It looks to me its no better than mediocre even with Patterson, and the offense won't be enough if Bruce and Votto don't perform at a high level.

Its not that Patterson or Hatteberg are bad players, its just that they don't have the upside necessary to boost the Reds over the Cubs or Brewers. An offense/defense platoon of Patterson/Bruce and Hatteberg/Votto would be optimal, but Baker's not really that kind of manager. I think Baker is going to be good for Dunn, Griffery, and the other vets, but the Reds hope of winning now and in the future is Bruce and Votto hitting at a higher level than Hatteberg/Patterson. If Bruce and Votto can't do that, the Reds are a third place time, and closer to the Cards/Pirates/Astros dreck than the Brewers/Cubs. Just my 2 cents. Now if Bailey and Cueto both immediately turn into aces, its a different story. I think just think that Bruce/Votto/Bailey all performing less than their peak but more than their mid-range projection is more likely than Cueto/Bailey both hitting their top bound projections.
   14. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 20, 2008 at 01:48 PM (#2716237)
"And....the good guys?"

Gil's not bad. Put up a .816 OPS as a 23-year-old in AA, then hurt his elbow and missed all of last year. He doesn't walk, but young shortstops with pop don't grow on trees.

Green's kind of interesting as a AAAA guy, too.
   15. AROM Posted: March 20, 2008 at 01:48 PM (#2716238)
It's a decision by Dusty so we have to criticize it.

But as MCoA points out, Bruce does not project better than Patterson right now. Bruce projects much better than whatever the Reds will be able to find in the year 2014, so the right call is to give him a year of AAA and holding off on his free agency for a year. At worst Bruce will have a guaranteed job in 2009, and quite possibly will take over RF in the middle of this year if Griffey gets hurt.
   16. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 20, 2008 at 01:49 PM (#2716239)
I guess it comes down to whether you think the Reds should be primarily trying to contend in 2008, or primarily trying to build for the future.
   17. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 20, 2008 at 01:53 PM (#2716241)
Matt:

Good grief Matt. Bruce hasn't had to worry about strike zone issues since he has been hitting the bejeezus out of the baseball. He's a work in progress. He could be Vladtastic in 2008 or he could refine his approach.

That being said there is no issue with having Corey handle centerfield and I am NOT writing this as a Brewer fan gleeful about the reduced offense. Patterson is a legit defensive centerfielder, and I would have preferred him to a 35 year old Mike Cameron. But both the Reds and the Brewers had defensive issues in 2008 and both have sought some degree of remedy. Baker is absolutely correct that you need SOMEBODY to track down the fly balls.

If Dunn managed to keep the weight off this offseason he won't be terrible. Dunn improved greatly over his 2006 though his defense is still below average. Adam Dunn in 2006 was a chubby Ron Kittle. He was a disgrace. Thankfully, he changed.

Ken Griffey can't change. Injuries and Father Time have eroded his once impressive skill set. Now even the first step is gone. It's painful to a baseball fan to watch a player clearly KNOW where to go but literally unable to will his body to move. Ken's instincts are still in tact. But his legs simply will not cooperate.

The Hatteberg signing provides a modicum of defense at the cost of both a young player's growth while keeping two sub-par defenders in more critical roles. It's a puzzling move and one that I seriously question. Particularly since SH is 38 and could drive off the career cliff at any moment. And oh by the way he hits at GAB and disappears on the road. Pretty narrow base of skills.
   18. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: March 20, 2008 at 02:13 PM (#2716258)
If Bruce isn't starting

then he ain't departin'.
   19. JPWF13 Posted: March 20, 2008 at 02:23 PM (#2716266)
If the Reds decided he was ready for MLB, and that the best thing for his development would be to play everyday in Cincinnati, I'd trust them,


There are organizations whose judgment I would trust and those I wouldn't, Cincy's is one I wouldn't.

Also, if Cincy is going to start Cory in CF and send Bruce to AAA because Bruce is young and could use needs a full year in the high minors under his belt, and Corey in CF will alleviate some pressure on guys like Bailey and Cueto, well then I can't really argue with that reasoning.

If Cincy is going to start Corey because his glove is 2 games better than Bruce's while his bat is only one game worse, and by golly that difference between 77 wins and 78 wins in 2008 is the most important thing - well then Cincy is doomed so long as Krivsky and Baker are running things.
   20. Cowboy Popup Posted: March 20, 2008 at 02:23 PM (#2716267)
I guess it comes down to whether you think the Reds should be primarily trying to contend in 2008, or primarily trying to build for the future.

Is it? Patterson is a better player than Bruce right now. Bruce has more upside, but there's no guarantee that he'll make it. The Reds have several players already with some serious upside (Votto, Encarnacion, whichever of the young pitchers they take), I think they need some safe-bet production (and as mentioned above, some OF defense). If Bruce does well in AAA, they can call him up when Griffey gets hurt/traded. I think this is right move both for now and the future.
   21. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 20, 2008 at 02:27 PM (#2716270)
Patterson's also 28, has all the tools, and has put up well above-average seasons in 2003, 2004 and 2006. There's quite a bit of upside there, too.

JPWF - from TFE, Baker's reasoning is that he needs excellent CF defense to make up for his corner outfielder.
   22. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 20, 2008 at 02:34 PM (#2716276)
I think that unless a team is on the cusp of the playoffs, it almost always makes sense to make sure a player is really ready before giving him an major league job. The economics of the game are such that you need to maximize the value of your player control years. I want a player knocking down the door before I start the FA clock, unless I have no other options.

What did Detroit gain by having Bonderman be a crappy starter at age 20? All they did was cost themselves service time.
If he had spent an extra 1.5 years in the minors, they'd be in much better shape now.
   23. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 20, 2008 at 02:39 PM (#2716283)
"I think they need some safe-bet production"

How safe a bet is Corey's production, though? He had a 54 OPS+ three seasons ago...

I can buy Corey's skills being a better fit for the current roster, and I can sort-of buy him as the better bet for 2008. I can't really buy "safer".
   24. JPWF13 Posted: March 20, 2008 at 02:41 PM (#2716284)
Baker's reasoning is that he needs excellent CF defense to make up for his corner outfielder.


Again, I don't particularly trust Baker's stated reasoning- he strikes me as the type to adopt a line of reasoning after the fact to justify what he wants to do all along.

We also seem to differ as to Patterson's value. I don't think he's that good (though he's clearly better than someone like Juan Pierre) which is why he's now regarded as freely available talent.

The way I do it, I see him as above average just one year, 2003, he was an average starting CF two other years, 2004 and 2005 (below average offense for a CF, above average D) and below avcearge every other year.

Bruce may project as a .310/.460 guy in 2008 (and Patterson may project at .300/.400), but Bruce could easily go .330/.500 or higher and barring a BABIP fluke like 2003, Patterson is not going to go higher than .320/.450.

I don't see the Reds as contenders in 2008.

Personally, what I think teh Reds shoudl do?
1: If Bruce is ready? Trade Griffey, play Corey in CF and move Bruce to RF
2: If Bruce isn't ready? AAA
3: Get Hatteberg off the roster, yes he can still play, but all his presence is going to do is allow Dusty an appealing veteran alternative when Votto slumps, Votto is 24, he's ready, he's almost certainly the future, Hatteberg is not.
   25. Posada Posse Posted: March 20, 2008 at 02:46 PM (#2716287)
I think it's defensible to send Bruce to the minors, but are the Reds really going to use Patterson as the lead-off guy? Might as well sign Neifi and have him hit in the two spot of the order also.
   26. Cowboy Popup Posted: March 20, 2008 at 02:49 PM (#2716293)
How safe a bet is Corey's production, though? He had a 54 OPS+ three seasons ago...

Most of his value is in his glove and his basrunning, neither is likely to fluctuate this year. His bat isn't consistent, but it's a good bet his 05 is just an outlier. His EQA's over the last four years are .261, .210, .260, .245. In 05 he hit .215 instead of the more regular .260 something. He's rebounded from that and it doesn't look like there was any sort of residual effects and he returned to a more normal line the year after. I'd be more worried about his power disappearing last year than his terrible 05.

I can buy Corey's skills being a better fit for the current roster, and I can sort-of buy him as the better bet for 2008. I can't really buy "safer".

I think a guy who has been around the league, is a decent enough player with a solid set of skills, and is still under 30, not coming off a serious injury or a particurlarly terrible year is always a safer bet than a rookie. Look at Alex Gordon last year, he was as ready as he could have been and still struggled for the first two months of the year.
   27. Cowboy Popup Posted: March 20, 2008 at 02:54 PM (#2716295)
2004 and 2005 (below average offense for a CF, above average D) and below avcearge every other year.

You mean 04 and 06?

below avcearge every other year.

He's only played 6 years. So he's been average or above in three of them and below in the other three, one of which included a BABIP fluke as big as his 03.

1: If Bruce is ready? Trade Griffey, play Corey in CF and move Bruce to RF

They're not trading Griffey until he hits 600. It also seems to have been forgotten that Griffey hurts himself every other day. The chances of Bruce staying down past June seems slim at best.
   28. Spahn Insane Posted: March 20, 2008 at 02:55 PM (#2716297)
In fairness to Dusty (you paying attention, Gambling Rent?), his argument for putting Patterson's D in between the clanktastic gloves of Griffey and Dunn is a reasonable one. Bruce may not be quite ready to dominate with the stick, and a defensive OF of Griffey/Bruce/Dunn would be pretty ugly. I'd still be viewing Corey as a stopgap if I were Baker (and Baker may well not be viewing Patterson that way, given his history).
   29. Spahn Insane Posted: March 20, 2008 at 02:56 PM (#2716300)
And as I should've expected, it appears about 20 people beat me to the point. C'est la vie.
   30. The Loveable Losers Posted: March 20, 2008 at 03:11 PM (#2716312)
I think it's defensible to send Bruce to the minors, but are the Reds really going to use Patterson as the lead-off guy? Might as well sign Neifi and have him hit in the two spot of the order also.


Exactly. You can make an argument that Bruce should go to the minors and Patterson start. I'm not exactly sure how you make the argument for batting Patterson lead-off unless it's based purely on the 'he's fast and can bunt' point of view. I ran the numbers with projections blended from PECOTA, BaseballHQ, Rotowire, Zips, and Marcels through this lineup analysis tool (http://www.baseballmusings.com/cgi-bin/LineupAnalysis.py) and used last years runs allowed by the Reds to project the team's record with the following lineup: CPatt, Keppinger, Griffey, Phillips, Dunn, Encarnacion, Votto, Valentin, Pitcher. That's the type of lineup you'd expect to see out of Dusty Baker and we already have some hints that CPatt is indeed the leadoff guy. The results? The team posts a 76-86 record. Just putting those guys in an optimal order is worth 6 wins turning them into an 82-80 team. Normally lineup decisions don't matter all that much but Corey Patterson has such a bad obp that batting him leadoff is a disaster. Only the fact that this is the NL and the pitcher has to bat saves this lineup from being one of the worst possible options.
   31. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 20, 2008 at 03:15 PM (#2716320)
he was an average starting CF two other years, 2004 and 2005 (below average offense for a CF, above average D) and below avcearge every other year.
2004 EqA: Patterson 261, Average CF 264
2006 EqA: Patterson 263, Average CF 261

Given his defense and baserunning, Patterson was solidly above average both seasons.
   32. AROM Posted: March 20, 2008 at 03:17 PM (#2716322)
If Cincy is going to start Corey because his glove is 2 games better than Bruce's while his bat is only one game worse, and by golly that difference between 77 wins and 78 wins in 2008 is the most important thing - well then Cincy is doomed so long as Krivsky and Baker are running things.


That only makes sense if you believe that Bruce will become a better player if he spends 2008 in the majors than if he plays in Louisville. The theory is that his growth is stunted, but another line of thought is that rushing a player to the majors can mess up their development - Jose Guillen with the Pirates would be a good example of that. I don't have any idea which option is better for Bruce's development.

If I view Bruce's skill set in 2009 and beyond as the same regardless of where he plays in 2008 (which I am doing because I don't have any evidence that one option is better than the other), then the question is:

Would you rather have Bruce for his age 21 season or his age 27 season?

Either way, you've got him for age 22-26. So if Patterson can provide similar value for 2008, the choice seems easy to me. And if you start him in AAA and he's hitting like Ryan Braun last year, you can call him up in the middle of the year and get most of his age 21 and his age 27 season.
   33. Dan The Mediocre Posted: March 20, 2008 at 03:20 PM (#2716324)
My take on all this is that it's a move to prevent the team from being really bad, but it also limits the upside. The Reds really need Votto and Bruce to perform well in order to make the playoffs. Patterson is a better defender, and may be better for the team in 2008, but he has to come close to his 2003 to push the team into contention. I have no confidence in him doing that if he's batting leadoff, as he has almost no ability to get on base. He'd be better as a 7 or 8 hitter if only because he's likely to have men on base, and not as likely to kill the potential for more runs after him.

I still think Patterson will be about league average overall, but the Reds need more than that.
   34. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 20, 2008 at 03:20 PM (#2716326)
Either way, you've got him for age 22-26. So if Patterson can provide similar value for 2008, the choice seems easy to me. And if you start him in AAA and he's hitting like Ryan Braun last year, you can call him up in the middle of the year and get most of his age 21 and his age 27 season.

Excellent summary of the key issue!
   35. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 20, 2008 at 03:21 PM (#2716327)
"CPatt, Keppinger, Griffey, Phillips, Dunn, Encarnacion, Votto, Valentin, Pitcher. That's the type of lineup you'd expect to see out of Dusty Baker"

Actually, I'd expect Dusty's lineup to have Hatteberg in it. He's made some really negative comments about Votto this spring.
   36. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 20, 2008 at 03:22 PM (#2716329)
"His EQA's over the last four years are .261, .210, .260, .245. In 05 he hit .215 instead of the more regular .260 something."

Looks to me like a true-talent EqA in the .240s, then, with big variations in three of the four years. That's not "safe".
   37. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: March 20, 2008 at 03:24 PM (#2716331)
Let me add that having Patterson lead off is a horrible idea and I reserve the right to mock Dusty if he goes in that direction.

Dusty is becoming a more popular topic around here than His Lord Satan anymore, isn't he?
   38. Spahn Insane Posted: March 20, 2008 at 03:32 PM (#2716340)
Um, yes. My defense of Baker was strictly limited to his using Patterson in center field. If he uses Patterson in the leadoff spot, he's even dumber than I thought he was; Baker of all people should know from experience that Patterson has no business leading off.
   39. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 20, 2008 at 03:37 PM (#2716345)
Starting CPat is a fine move, sending Bruce to the minors. CPat leadoff is moronic.
   40. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: March 20, 2008 at 03:47 PM (#2716356)
Dusty is becoming a more popular topic around here than His Lord Satan anymore, isn't he?
But Beezelbud's HL-PORV (High Leverage Pestilence Over Replacement Value) just blows Dusty's HL-PORV away. Bud hits a GS every time he bats; Dusty's just an empty .300 hitter in comparison.
   41. JPWF13 Posted: March 20, 2008 at 04:01 PM (#2716364)
2004 EqA: Patterson 261, Average CF 264
2006 EqA: Patterson 263, Average CF 261

Given his defense and baserunning, Patterson was solidly above average both seasons.


I don't know what EQA is doing, but I have him safely below average both those years. (I use ERP and my own park adjustment factors- though some years I use Dan's when I'm lazy).

I'm more than willing to throw out both 2003 and 2005 in evaluating Corey.
What you get is a career: .261/.302/.413 hitter- against a park adjusted league average of .270/.341/.430- an OPS+ of 84

Is OPS+ fair to Corey?
NO: he's good baserunner who never GDPs
YES: That's offset since he's OBP low...

Including baserunning I have him as generating 4.5 to 4.6 runs per 27 outs (BBREF has him at 4.4)
league average for his career is just shy of 5.00

He's a below average offensive player no matter what EQA says.
With his Dee he's good enough to start, better than players like Pierre or Matthews who have nice fat shiny contracts, but he's well in the bottom half of starters- and using him to block a prospect with superstar potential (IF that's what Cincy is doing)is absurd.
   42. JPWF13 Posted: March 20, 2008 at 04:04 PM (#2716368)
That only makes sense if you believe that Bruce will become a better player if he spends 2008 in the majors than if he plays in Louisville.


No it makes sense if you read the whole post, I was talking about Cincy's thought process, not whether it would be better for Bruce to spend 2008 in Cincy, Louisville or rotting on the bench.
   43. Cowboy Popup Posted: March 20, 2008 at 04:25 PM (#2716385)
Looks to me like a true-talent EqA in the .240s, then, with big variations in three of the four years. That's not "safe".

3 of those four years, he's within a few runs of being average. One he's not. He's not a perfect model of consistency, but you have a good idea that you're going to get a player that is average to a win below it. That's a much safer bet then guessing what Bruce might produce.
   44. JPWF13 Posted: March 20, 2008 at 04:48 PM (#2716401)
That's a much safer bet then guessing what Bruce might produce.


Yes, but for crissakes, Jay Bruce isn't Rajai Davis or Alejandro De Aza or even Carlos Gomez. He's the consensus #1 or #2 prospect in all of baseball with a performance record that matches.

If this IS an either or situation (which it probably isn't), picking a known mediocrity over THE #1 prospect because the mediocrity is "safer" makes no sense for a team in the Reds situation.


Anyway, I assume (hope for the Reds sake) that all this speculation is for naught, Bruce will start in Louisville, hit the snot out of the ball, and be recalled when one of Griffey's body parts falls off- conveniently at a point which will succeed in delaying Bruce's arbitration eligibility by a year down the road.
   45. Wakefieldfan Posted: March 20, 2008 at 04:58 PM (#2716411)
The results? The team posts a 76-86 record. Just putting those guys in an optimal order is worth 6 wins turning them into an 82-80 team. Normally lineup decisions don't matter all that much but Corey Patterson has such a bad obp that batting him leadoff is a disaster. Only the fact that this is the NL and the pitcher has to bat saves this lineup from being one of the worst possible options.


This doesn't pass the smell test. Are you sure you weren't using the run environment from 1998-2002 in this analysis? It seems difficult to believe these results, considering that The Book calculated roughly a 1-win difference between the best and worst possible lineups, and what you have isn't even the worst possible lineup (pitcher still hitting 9th).
   46. billyshears Posted: March 20, 2008 at 04:58 PM (#2716413)
Maybe Dusty just feels that he owes it to Corey to start him in CF as an apology for ####### him up in the first place?
   47. Cowboy Popup Posted: March 20, 2008 at 05:02 PM (#2716416)
He's the consensus #1 or #2 prospect in all of baseball with a performance record that matches.

And Alex Gordon was last year. He was older and had better control of the strikezone and still sucked ass last year. Letting Bruce warm up in AAA is not a bad thing at all, he has all of 250 ABs above A ball at this point and he's 21.

If this IS an either or situation (which it probably isn't), picking a known mediocrity over THE #1 prospect because the mediocrity is "safer" makes no sense for a team in the Reds situation.

It actually does. They already have a lineup and rotation with plenty of player's who could break out, they can use some safer role players.

If Bruce plays over anyone, it should be Griffey, who is probably worse than both Patterson and Bruce. Bruce is not likely to be a CFer for long and he's not likely to be a plus out there even when he can still cut it there, so why not put him in right, with Patterson in center, where he can help shore up the defense?

The notion that playing Bruce in the minors to start the season might cause the Reds to miss the playoffs is ridiculous IMO. He'll be up, as you acknowledge, once Griffey hits the DL. If he's ready then, he can bump Patterson out of CF if Griffey ever recovers or stay in right if Griffey is finally traded. It is very unlikely that the difference between Bruce and Patterson will cosst the Reds wins in the month or two that Bruce is in the minors. But with that timeline he gets some more seasoning in AAA, give the Reds an extra year before his free agency and they do not really hurt the team this season. This is not likely to cost the Reds any wins and is likely the best outcome for them both now and in the future.
   48. base ball chick Posted: March 20, 2008 at 05:16 PM (#2716425)
well, i personally like that patterson will be playing CF for the reds. i like that he's leading off. he's #3 on my fantasy team and i personally would, um, like to see as much of corey as possible

besides, who else is gonna lead off? neifi isn't on the team yet. corey is the ideal leadoff guy. he runs VERY fast. and you don't see him walking and clogging up bases, do you?

ok then

nuff said
   49. JPWF13 Posted: March 20, 2008 at 05:26 PM (#2716438)
The notion that playing Bruce in the minors to start the season might cause the Reds to miss the playoffs is ridiculous IMO.


I don't think the Reds are making the playoffs in 2008 with or without Bruce.
If you read my post 24 you'll see I agree with you re: Griffey.

And Alex Gordon was last year. He was older and had better control of the strikezone and still sucked ass last year. L
and had an OPS+ of 87 to Corey P's 80.
   50. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 20, 2008 at 05:29 PM (#2716441)
and had an OPS+ of 87 to Corey P's 80.

And had less defensive value, just as Bruce will have less defensive value. And the tiebreaker is an extra year of Bruce in his prime.
   51. Cowboy Popup Posted: March 20, 2008 at 05:34 PM (#2716446)
If you read my post 24 you'll see I agree with you re: Griffey.

My bad, I missed it.

and had an OPS+ of 87 to Corey P's 80.

I don't doubt that Bruce can outhit Corey and yes, Gordon out hit Patterson while sucking, but Patterson still brings great defense. If he hits like 05 or 07, make him a 4th OFer and bring up Bruce, if he hits like 04 or 06, make him the CFer and stick Bruce in right once Griffey has been dealt or dealt with. If Corey stays in CF and Griffey stays in right and Bruce hits well in AAA and never sees the field of the Great American Ballpark (that's the name right? Awful cheesy), then I'll agree that this is bad move. I also agree with you that the Reds haven't really earned the faith I'm giving them, but I have to believe they know enough to not let Bruce stagnate if he's ready to move up.
   52. Honkie Kong Posted: March 20, 2008 at 05:47 PM (#2716462)
As someone mentioned earlier, while you can see this as a defensible move, given the context of how the Reds treat their young players, this should start ringing some alarm bells.
And I mean how they mishandled Edwin Encarnacion ( in favour of Freel, Castro et al ). How they screwed aroudn with Dunn and Kearns. How long they took to move Griffey...
This organization needs to show some smarts and success before it can expect people to trust their decision making.
   53. Spahn Insane Posted: March 20, 2008 at 06:01 PM (#2716477)
Maybe Dusty just feels that he owes it to Corey to start him in CF as an apology for ####### him up in the first place?

This actually occurred to me, but I prefer to think Dusty's just an idiot, and that his getting his hands on Patterson as a "proven veteran" is merely delicious irony.
   54. Spahn Insane Posted: March 20, 2008 at 06:04 PM (#2716482)
And the tiebreaker is an extra year of Bruce in his prime.

That, along with the defensive issues, is the key, to my mind.

Along with the enjoyment I'll get at seeing Dusty insist on making Patterson a leadoff hitter, of course.
   55. Spahn Insane Posted: March 20, 2008 at 06:06 PM (#2716486)
And I mean how they mishandled Edwin Encarnacion ( in favour of Freel, Castro et al ). How they screwed aroudn with Dunn and Kearns. How long they took to move Griffey...

And that was BEFORE His Dustiness showed up.
   56. JPWF13 Posted: March 20, 2008 at 06:26 PM (#2716504)
And I mean how they mishandled Edwin Encarnacion ( in favour of Freel, Castro et al ). How they screwed aroudn with Dunn and Kearns. How long they took to move Griffey...


Well to be fair, when a future HOFer doesn't want to move, it's pretty hard for most teams to make him.
Their handling of Encarnacion has been questionable, but I'm not sure it's affected his development. Three years ago I thought he had a chance to be star, now, I think he is, and "merely" will be a good player. What's most perplexing about Encarnacion is the Freel/Castro business, here you have a young guy, who is already better than those two, a young guy who many believe might get better yet, and you take his playing time away in their favor? At least Freel deserves a 25 man roster spot, but Juan Castro????

This is an extreme case, but last year Kouzmanoff hit .113/.171/.183 in April- his minor league track record (no matter what you think of MLEs)- said there was no way he was that bad- he'd hit .379/.437/.656 in 2006 and .333/.397/.579 in 2005 and .324/.381/.523 in 2004 (basically the only place he failed to clear a .900 OPS was the NY Penn league- go figure).
Most teams would have benched him, never to see the light of day again. Kouzmanoff has issues, he's "old" for a prospect, his dee is either bad or godawful depending on who you ask, but the Padres had given up someone who at the time had significant trade value for him (Barfield), and by sticking with him they salvaged that value.

Does anyone think that if Bruce or Votto goes 6 for 30 to start the year that won't result in Dusty banishing either man to the far corners of the bench for an extended stay?

To bring up Alex Gordon- once he was plugged in as a regular, and hit under .200 in both April and May- what do you do? People say that "obviously" he wasn't ready- but sucking that badly has to mess with his confidence- getting demoted, even if he deserves it, has to mess with his confidence, if nothing else keeping him up sent a message that the team believed in him.

There's a good chance Bruce will struggle early, he's very young, he has limited at bats in the high minors, his manager by reputation will not tolerate that, the best thing for Bruce is to go to AAA.
   57. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 20, 2008 at 07:00 PM (#2716542)
Well to be fair, when a future HOFer doesn't want to move, it's pretty hard for most teams to make him.

I've never understood this. So, the Cincy manager pencils Griffey in RF. What does Griffey do? Quit? Run out to CF anyway?
   58. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: March 20, 2008 at 07:02 PM (#2716544)
It seems difficult to believe these results, considering that The Book calculated roughly a 1-win difference between the best and worst possible lineups, and what you have isn't even the worst possible lineup (pitcher still hitting 9th).

This intuitively cannot be right. Are you sure The Book didn't instead calculate a 1-win difference between the best possible lineup and the typical lineup? Batting the pitcher at the top of the order and the best hitter at the bottom would surely be worth multiple wins, just from the fact that the best hitter would have 100+ fewer PA and the pitcher spot 100+ more.
   59. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: March 20, 2008 at 07:11 PM (#2716554)
I've never understood this. So, the Cincy manager pencils Griffey in RF. What does Griffey do? Quit? Run out to CF anyway?

He walks around mumbling obscenities. Other players on the club are like "WTF? how can they do that to Grif?" Players start to question and doubt the coaches.

What if the greatest worker your office has ever had was suddenly moved to a crappy little desk and given less prestigious projects to work on? Would everything continue unchanged?
   60. Walt Davis Posted: March 20, 2008 at 07:30 PM (#2716577)
haven't read the comments yet but I can only hope that McCoy's pre-senile dementia has kicked in already or something. Cuz that's like the ultimate Dusty Baker-critic lineup there. Bruce in AAA, Votto on the bench, $3 M to Stanton (really?) ... and what team in their right mind keeps Castro over Freel? It's like the Neifi Perez -- Tom Goodwin -- Eric Karros wet dream.
   61. Walt Davis Posted: March 20, 2008 at 07:38 PM (#2716585)
At worst Bruce will have a guaranteed job in 2009, and quite possibly will take over RF in the middle of this year if Griffey gets hurt.

While I think Patterson over Bruce is fine the above is overly optimistic. At worst ... at worst, Bruce gets frustrated being sent down, struggles and never achieves his promise. At worst, Bruce gets Murton-ized or Choied. At worst, Bruce gets called up to replace an injured Griffey in May only to be sent back down or sent to the bench when Griffey comes back in July.

None of those are particularly likely, much less inevitable, but the idea that Bruce has a guaranteed job for 2009 is ignoring not only the vagaries of prospects but Baker's recent history.
   62. Gambling Rent Czar Posted: March 20, 2008 at 10:08 PM (#2716710)
28. retro-shiite
In fairness to Dusty (you paying attention, Gambling Rent?)

of course i am :)
   63. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 20, 2008 at 10:16 PM (#2716720)
He walks around mumbling obscenities. Other players on the club are like "WTF? how can they do that to Grif?" Players start to question and doubt the coaches.

What if the greatest worker your office has ever had was suddenly moved to a crappy little desk and given less prestigious projects to work on? Would everything continue unchanged?


Is rightfield some sort of horrible Siberia? I guess I missed that. Staring in right field and being in the same spot in the lineup is not some huge demotion.

In your office scenario, if the guy had missed his sales quota, or profit target repeatedly, or was demonstrably doing a bad job, he would sure as hell get moved to a different responsibility. And if it was a roughly equivalent position, and he got paid exactly as much, no one would say boo.

Edit: And Griffey is nowhere close to the greatest player the Reds have ever had, certainly not based on his Reds career.
   64. dcsmyth1 Posted: March 20, 2008 at 10:33 PM (#2716734)
Maybe Dusty just feels that he owes it to Corey to start him in CF as an apology for ####### him up in the first place?


I don't agree that Dusty had anything to do with Patterson's failure. Probably, the organization overestimated him, because they focused on his 'tools', and ignored his very serious problems with pitch selection. And maybe everyone else, including Baseball America or whomever, similarly overrated him. But, his true talent was what is was.

So, no matter when you decided to promote Patterson, he was going to be Corey Patterson. And in hindsight, he was as ready for the bigs when he was promoted as he is now.

Patterson wasn't screwed up by his handling, IMO. He has simply turned out to be much less of a player than he appeared to be, because the scouts didn't pay attention to the sixth tool (plate dicipline), and perhaps overestimated his power development (he is small). And, he has not developed much, from his initial skill set. That happens sometimes.
   65. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: March 21, 2008 at 12:21 PM (#2716907)
The real bombshell here is: why would anyone want Dick Vitale's autograph?

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Phil Birnbaum
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogA's Acquire Lester, Gomes For Cespedes
(58 - 11:30am, Jul 31)
Last: GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella

NewsblogJULY 31 2014 OMNICHATTER/TRADE DEADLINE CHATTER
(51 - 11:30am, Jul 31)
Last: Davo Dozier

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-31-2014
(6 - 11:26am, Jul 31)
Last: Davo Dozier

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread July, 2014
(536 - 11:23am, Jul 31)
Last: Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14!

NewsblogOTP - July 2014: Republicans Lose To Democrats For Sixth Straight Year In Congressional Baseball Game
(3821 - 11:23am, Jul 31)
Last: GregD

NewsblogHardball Talk: Calcaterra: Nationals-Orioles TV Money Dispute about to Explode
(2 - 11:22am, Jul 31)
Last: Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14!

NewsblogSOE: Minor League Manhood - A first-hand account of masculine sports culture run amok.
(160 - 11:02am, Jul 31)
Last: kthejoker

NewsblogPosnanski: Four theories about Hall of Fame voting changes
(37 - 10:55am, Jul 31)
Last: Ray (RDP)

NewsblogDifference of opinion on baseball stats as Derek Jeter climbs all-time hits list
(7 - 10:51am, Jul 31)
Last: Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee)

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread- July 2014
(1037 - 10:39am, Jul 31)
Last: GregD

NewsblogCardinals To Acquire Justin Masterson
(12 - 10:38am, Jul 31)
Last: jdennis

NewsblogWEEI: Lester, Gomes to A’s… for Cespedes
(3 - 10:18am, Jul 31)
Last: villageidiom

NewsblogRed Sox trade rumors: 'Very good chance' John Lackey and Jon Lester are traded - Over the Monster
(88 - 10:11am, Jul 31)
Last: Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October

NewsblogAn Idiot in Exile
(11 - 9:50am, Jul 31)
Last: Spahn Insane

NewsblogWhy the Mets Are Right to Save the New York State Pavilion
(6 - 9:42am, Jul 31)
Last: Swoboda is freedom

Page rendered in 0.4769 seconds
52 querie(s) executed