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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Monday, April 24, 2006

Reds - DFAed Womack

Cincinnati Reds - Acquired OF Cody Ross from the Los Angeles Dodgers for future considerations; designated IF Tony Woe-mack for assignment.

About damn time.  The Reds clearly had way too many middle infielders on the team and way too many Tony Womacks.  Krivsky gets a thumbs-up for a change for addressing both surpluses before the end of April.  Ross impressed many in his hot start with the Dodgers and while he’s no up-and-coming star, there’s no reason he can’t be a good 4th outfielder, which is especially important when you have an outfield with two fragile outfielders.  It’d be nice if he were also a slick-fielding centerfielder, given that the Reds have one of the worst defensive centerfielders around when healthy, but that would be a little greedy (and if Ross were a slick-fielding centerfielder, he likely wouldn’t have been available this cheaply).

There are still a few things on the to-do list - figuring out what do with Rich Aurilia as the season progresses, finding a place for Ryan Freel to keep playing, and perhaps most urgently, resolving which 2 of Jason LaRue, Javier Valentin, and David Ross to keep.

Dan Szymborski Posted: April 24, 2006 at 07:48 PM | 61 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John Lowenstein Apathy Club (CB) Posted: April 24, 2006 at 08:20 PM (#1985842)
there’s no reason he can’t be a good 4th outfielder, which is especially important when you have an outfield with two fragile outfielders. It’d be nice if he were also a slick-fielding centerfielder, given that the Reds have one of the worst defensive centerfielders around when healthy, but that would be a little greedy

That, though, is what your 5th outfielder is for, if your fourth OF can hit a little and you already have a pinch-hitter. In my mind's eye, the ideal NL bench is...

your 4th outfielder, 3-position OF who can hit a little
your 5th outfielder, a defensive replacement who can run
your backup catcher
your LHB professional pinch-hitter
your backup middle infielder
your RHB third baseman/first baseman type who hits lefties well

Every Tony Womack, third catcher or seventh reliever you employ on your club who doesn't fit one of these requirements forces you to cover the missing skills with one of the guys alredy on your bench.
   2. Moses Taylor World Re-Tour 2.0: Warszawa Posted: April 24, 2006 at 08:25 PM (#1985858)
Good for the Reds that they cut bait so soon. He did start the season leading off. That's quite a quick change of opinion.
   3. DCW3 Posted: April 24, 2006 at 08:26 PM (#1985860)
Noooooo! My HACKING MASS team!
   4. villainx Posted: April 24, 2006 at 08:30 PM (#1985871)
If the Reds front office is smart enough to DFA Womack, why can't they build a better team?
   5. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: April 24, 2006 at 08:32 PM (#1985877)
I see what you're saying, Craig B, but that's 6 players. Most teams want 12 pitchers (even 13 at times!) so that's not possible. You need to make do a little.

To my mind, the ideal NL bench is...

your backup catcher
your fourth outfielder, a good fielding CF who can hit a little (yes, a little expensive)
your backup middle infielder who can run
your RHB utility type who can hit a little, play the corner infield/outfield, but doesn't do anything well
your LHB professional pinch-hitter

I'm willing to pay a little more for my fourth outfielder because I see him getting a bunch of starts.
   6. My guest will be Jermaine Allensworth Posted: April 24, 2006 at 08:34 PM (#1985881)
I was going to say they could've called up T.I.M.O.™, but now he's with the Cardinals. When did that happen?
   7. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: April 24, 2006 at 08:34 PM (#1985884)
Nice trade for the Reds, lousy trade for the Dodgers.

The Pirates are going to be so ###### if the Reds end up a smart team like the Brewers.
   8. MM1f Posted: April 24, 2006 at 08:36 PM (#1985887)
Did Krivsky or Obrien pick up Womack to begin with? Cos 1 mil, Kevin Howard and throw-in Ben Hines aint much but it was something andpointless for a team, esp in the Reds position, to throw away for 2 weeks of a bad, old player
   9. My guest will be Jermaine Allensworth Posted: April 24, 2006 at 08:37 PM (#1985892)
I remember it like it was yestermonth:

"They never gave me a chance to do anything," Womack said. "It's easy to put you on the back burner. It's easy to say someone didn't do anything when you don't give them a chance."

Now the 36-year-old is hoping to become an everyday player for the Reds. He said last year "doesn't exist" in his mind and believes he has several good years left in his legs.
   10. rb's team is hopeful for the new year! Posted: April 24, 2006 at 08:37 PM (#1985896)
I thought womack was a yankee?
   11. rb's team is hopeful for the new year! Posted: April 24, 2006 at 08:40 PM (#1985901)
He said last year "doesn't exist" in his mind and believes he has several good years left in his legs.

It's the years left in his bat that teams were worried about.
   12. John Lowenstein Apathy Club (CB) Posted: April 24, 2006 at 08:42 PM (#1985905)
TwoAlous, that's why I said that every third catcher _or seventh reliever_ forces you to chop and change players and skill sets.

I think generally, you're right, but I'd quibble with one facet of your bench, the good fielding CF who can hit a little. Not only is that player expensive, he's not generally available. Most good fielding CFs who can hit a little are either starters or are still young, too young to find easily. So generally, that player doesn't hit a little, he's just a jazzed-up version of the 5th outfielder on the ideal bench (speed, defense, no bat).

I'd rather use my normal fourth outfielder in that situation, forget about making defensive substitutions and just hope my CF stays healthy. Obviously, if I'm the Reds I can't reasonably do that. :)

Normally, teams seem to try to do exactly what you suggest, employing the jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none as the numbers buster. Like Tony Womack, oddly enough. Womack's sales brochure since he got booted off the SS job in Phoenix emphasizes that he can hit lefthanded, just enough not to look totally embarrassing, play second base and all three OF spots, and act as an emergency shortstop.
   13. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: April 24, 2006 at 08:42 PM (#1985906)
I guess this will be 2 bad years on the back of your card, eh Tony?
   14. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: April 24, 2006 at 08:42 PM (#1985907)
believes he has several good years left in his legs

He just might be right about his legs. The problem is that he has nothing left in his bat or his glove. Actually, the problem is that he never had a bat or a glove.
   15. Mister High Standards Posted: April 24, 2006 at 08:42 PM (#1985909)
How about some Brandon Phillips love!
   16. Psychedelic Red Pants Posted: April 24, 2006 at 08:44 PM (#1985913)
If the Reds front office is smart enough to DFA Womack, why can't they build a better team?


I think they're DFAing Womack based on 43 Brandon Phillips ABs, though.
   17. Spahn Insane Posted: April 24, 2006 at 08:50 PM (#1985929)
Good for the Reds that they cut bait so soon. He did start the season leading off. That's quite a quick change of opinion.

I was gonna say: other than being a year older, Womack's exactly the same player he was last year, but it took the Yankees about six times as long to pull the plug on him. Not sure what the Reds were thinking bringing him in to begin with, but still.
   18. Spahn Insane Posted: April 24, 2006 at 08:51 PM (#1985935)
The Pirates are going to be so ###### if the Reds end up a smart team like the Brewers.

On the bright side, the Cubs are still the Cubs.
   19. John Lowenstein Apathy Club (CB) Posted: April 24, 2006 at 08:55 PM (#1985943)
The often overlooked element of bench composition is how to assemble a roster of players who won't break the bank but have enough skills to handle the tasks that a bench must handle:

* Short-term injury replacement
* Pinch hitting as required (2-5 times a game in NL, much less in AL)
* Defensive replacements
* In-game (emergency) injury coverage

with the constraints of money and talent. Few players will happily accept a bench role if they have the talent or opportunity to start, so already the universe of players you're looking at is fairly limited. I've always been a strong believer in getting guys who actually do one or two things well, and using numbers to build the necessary redundancy that a bench needs to provide. This also means you have to use the available redundancy in your starters as well to make things work. But to me, a player who doesn't do anything well (i.e. enough above average that you can see it) I find I can't use.

If you have young players, that's great. Young players who haven't quite grown into starting roles yet are often more skilled than the available bench players you could otherwise have, so they can be a genuine asset to a bench. If you don't, you can still build a good bench that wins games for you, provided you build the kind of team that suits one first.
   20. John Lowenstein Apathy Club (CB) Posted: April 24, 2006 at 08:59 PM (#1985952)
I think Tony Womack knows that if he's going to eat, his legs are taking them there. And I forgot pinch running in my list above. :)
   21. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: April 24, 2006 at 08:59 PM (#1985953)
Oh my god does this mean Freel has a full-time job now? My fantasy team is saved! (Maybe)
   22. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: April 24, 2006 at 08:59 PM (#1985954)
On the bright side, the Cubs are still the Cubs.

Speaking of which, Womack could come fill the middle infield spot on the Cubs that would allow Walker to move to 1B full time while Lee is out and Neifi to play 2B.

(Not what I'd want to see, but if ever there was a Dusty player Womack is the guy.)
   23. John Lowenstein Apathy Club (CB) Posted: April 24, 2006 at 09:02 PM (#1985963)
I wonder if Dusty would still hit him second like he did in '03.
   24. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: April 24, 2006 at 09:11 PM (#1985977)
I think generally, you're right, but I'd quibble with one facet of your bench, the good fielding CF who can hit a little. Not only is that player expensive, he's not generally available. Most good fielding CFs who can hit a little are either starters or are still young, too young to find easily. So generally, that player doesn't hit a little, he's just a jazzed-up version of the 5th outfielder on the ideal bench (speed, defense, no bat).
If I haven't developed someone, I want the guy who's basically a starter (but not a good starter). And I'm willing to pay a bit. I'm not going to just hope my CF stays healthy, that's madness. What I'd really like to do is do what the Giants are doing this year with Steve Finley, and basically have four starters. In fact, even though you've got a 6 man bench and I've got 5, I'm probably spending significantly more on my bench than you are, because I want a middle infielder who's also basically a starter (but not a good starter). I want good depth, and I realise you have to pay for it.

Giving names to roles, I'd go for something like:

Todd Greene
Corey Patterson
D'Angelo Jimenez
Pedro Feliz (but not at $4m!!!)
Tony Clark
Normally, teams seem to try to do exactly what you suggest, employing the jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none as the numbers buster. Like Tony Womack, oddly enough. Womack's sales brochure since he got booted off the SS job in Phoenix emphasizes that he can hit lefthanded, just enough not to look totally embarrassing, play second base and all three OF spots, and act as an emergency shortstop.
Which is why he's always in a job. Some team will pick him up. In fact Ray Durham's just gone down injured, and Brian Sabean never saw a veteran he didn't like.
   25. Greg Franklin Posted: April 24, 2006 at 09:19 PM (#1985990)
I was going to say they could've called up T.I.M.O.™, but now he's with the Cardinals. When did that happen?

Friday. Gone before he got here.
   26. Morph Posted: April 24, 2006 at 09:20 PM (#1985995)
Womack was the [ I believe] last move made by the previous regime. What a legacy.
   27. Johnny Tuttle Posted: April 24, 2006 at 09:31 PM (#1986016)
I'd hold off on the Freel love, Griffy. Phillips may have played himself into being a very, very regular name on the line-up cards....
   28. SouthSideRyan Posted: April 24, 2006 at 09:34 PM (#1986023)
I ehco DCW's sentiments. I was counting on a right side of the Reds infield vortex of suck to carry me.
   29. My guest will be Jermaine Allensworth Posted: April 24, 2006 at 09:36 PM (#1986027)
Ah. Thanks, Greg.
   30. villainx Posted: April 24, 2006 at 09:45 PM (#1986047)
To my mind, the ideal NL bench is...

your backup catcher
your fourth outfielder, a good fielding CF who can hit a little (yes, a little expensive)
your backup middle infielder who can run
your RHB utility type who can hit a little, play the corner infield/outfield, but doesn't do anything well
your LHB professional pinch-hitter


Do you guys have players in mind for your ideal bench?

The issue with decent bench players is playing them on a semi-regular/regular basis (see Bernie Williams) or trading them away, or putting a player that should be a regular on the bench (see La Duca and Castro).
   31. John Lowenstein Apathy Club (CB) Posted: April 24, 2006 at 10:11 PM (#1986098)
Sure. At least, I could. The Best Bench In Baseball would be:

(remember that I listed the positions as:
your 4th outfielder, 3-position OF who can hit a little
your 5th outfielder, a defensive replacement who can run
your backup catcher
your LHB professional pinch-hitter
your backup middle infielder
your RHB third baseman/first baseman type who hits lefties well)

Reed Johnson
Nook Logan
Gregg Zaun
Mark Sweeney
Marco Scutaro
Shea Hillenbrand

This isn't necessarily the best bench, per se, but it's a great bench that's very, very benchy. I put three Blue Jays on the team b/c I'm familiar with them and also because Gibbons and Ricciardi clearly agree with me about how to build a bench. Originally I had Izturis instead of Scutaro there, but I guess Izturis is still a starter. Hillenbrand also probably makes too much money for most teams to employ as a reserve, but Ty Wigginton or Mike Cuddyer doesn't, so you can sub one of them in if you're scandalized by my reckless spending.
   32. John Lowenstein Apathy Club (CB) Posted: April 24, 2006 at 10:14 PM (#1986105)
Also, even better than Reed Johnson for that 4th OF spot are a couple of young rookies, Nate McLouth of Pittsburgh or Ben Johnson of San Diego.
   33. MM1f Posted: April 24, 2006 at 10:16 PM (#1986109)
#24 and #31...is your team strategy contingent on your SS playing 9+innings 162 times a year and being impervious to injury or fatigue?
   34. formerly dp Posted: April 24, 2006 at 10:20 PM (#1986117)
Also, even better than Reed Johnson for that 4th OF spot are a couple of young rookies, Nate McLouth of Pittsburgh or Ben Johnson of San Diego.

Do you want rookies on your bench if they're not in the mode Reed Johnson was when he came up? Johnson basically came up as a 3.5 outfielder, where it was clear he didn't have the talent to start at a corner and Vern meant he wouldn't be a CF. So it meant that being on the bench wasn't hurting his career/development. The Brewers are in this situation with Corey Hart and Gabe Gross- Hart they've sent down I assume because he projects to be a better future in the future than Gross does. Also, I assume at 4th OF you want someone who is to some extent proven as a guy who can come in cold and hit- it's tough to ask a guy to spontenously produce if they've been conditioned to normal playing time in the minors (though Gross is doing great at it this year, he sucked at it for the Jays when he was asked to do essentially the same thing).
   35. John Lowenstein Apathy Club (CB) Posted: April 24, 2006 at 10:33 PM (#1986134)
is your team strategy contingent on your SS playing 9+innings 162 times a year and being impervious to injury or fatigue?

Your middle infielder has to be able to play shortstop, obviously. If he can't play shortstop, he's not much good as a middle infielder, is he?

Marco Scutaro played 81 games at shortstop last year for one of the best defensive teams in the majors. I think he can handle the position OK.

Big, BIG points for snark though. You've got a future around here.

Do you want rookies on your bench if they're not in the mode Reed Johnson was when he came up? Johnson basically came up as a 3.5 outfielder, where it was clear he didn't have the talent to start at a corner and Vern meant he wouldn't be a CF. So it meant that being on the bench wasn't hurting his career/development.

I have never bought the "hurting his development" line. A good manager can to use his bench enough to get a young fourth outfielder with some skill 200-250 at-bats even if the starters aren't injured much. That's two starts a month for each of your three OFs plus normal bench duty. Most young players who are good enough to play on a bench but not good enough to start probably can't learn much from the retreads and has-beens in AAA anyway. He'll learn more about how to be a major leaguer from major leaguers.
   36. John Lowenstein Apathy Club (CB) Posted: April 24, 2006 at 10:43 PM (#1986152)
is your team strategy contingent on your SS playing 9+innings 162 times a year and being impervious to injury or fatigue?

Incidentally, my "team" is the Blue Jays, whose shortstop handles routine grounders like falling anvils, so I would be the last guy to make this kind of assumption. The only thing Russ Adams is impervious to is my entreaties not to give me a heart attack.
   37. villainx Posted: April 24, 2006 at 10:51 PM (#1986161)
Shea Hillenbrand


Craig B, not bad, except isn't Shea a starter?
   38. John Lowenstein Apathy Club (CB) Posted: April 24, 2006 at 10:54 PM (#1986163)
Right now, they're still calling him one, but functionally he's in a DH platoon with Hinske. Like I said, Hilly is earning starter money anyway basically, so you could substitute a Cuddyer or Wigginton type if that floats your boat. Even Rob Mackowiak if you're in searching-other-people's-couch-cushions-for-money-type poverty.
   39. Ozzie's gay friend Posted: April 24, 2006 at 11:10 PM (#1986186)
ideal bench

backup C -Paul Bako
lefty PH -Matt Stairs
Backup MI -Antony Grafinino
4th OF -Shane Costa
"Chone" -Estaban German
   40. formerly dp Posted: April 24, 2006 at 11:24 PM (#1986198)
A good manager can to use his bench enough to get a young fourth outfielder with some skill 200-250 at-bats even if the starters aren't injured much. That's two starts a month for each of your three OFs plus normal bench duty. Most young players who are good enough to play on a bench but not good enough to start probably can't learn much from the retreads and has-beens in AAA anyway. He'll learn more about how to be a major leaguer from major leaguers.

"Not good enough to start" is a problem- the Brewers, again, have three very capable outfielders and Hart could probably match the production of Jenkins and Clark right now. But it might take him a while, and you don't want to run a guy out to get seasoning at a point when every AB is crcuail (a pennant race for example) or when the guy is going to take PT away from a regular who will resent being benched. Some guys don't hit right away and don't benefit from sporadic playing time. Gross's time in Toronto is a great example of this, where he couldn't get it going in the majors and thus wasn't someone you'd want to bring in for crucial ABs. I agree with your general point, but I can see the logic of having a "proven 4th" on the bench over a rookie for several reasons. Sometimes rookies don't pan out, and I'd rather not be finding that out by leaning on them during a pennant chase...

I tell you, it drives me crazy that Hilly's the DH b/c it means they didn't look for other, cheaper/better options. I would've been pretty comfortable leaving a spot open for Durazo this offseason...

Frankie Menacchino was let go by the Reds last week- wouldn't mind having him at AAA...
   41. John Lowenstein Apathy Club (CB) Posted: April 24, 2006 at 11:40 PM (#1986220)
other, cheaper/better options

Not sure that anyone cheaper would do better - if he were hitting, I don't think any of us would mind. Hillenbrand's a hell of a bench player, but I'm not sure he's $5.5 million good. I'm not sure anybody's $5.5 million good as a bench player. The problem with "cheaper" is you're likely to get someone with a huge question mark, like Durazo, who might not be able to play anymore. Why take the chance when you're a contender? Durazo seems twice as likely to lose you a game in April as he is to win you two games in August if he does hit. Is that a gain? It's arguable.

I mean, if Hillenbrand were the third baseman and Glaus the DH, nobody would pay any attention. Glaus prefers to play third, though.

Menechino can still help a team that loses a player with an injury - heck of a guy to call up and play the bench role of a guy who is forced into the starting mix. Most teams don't have a 25th guy as good as Frankie, either.
   42. formerly dp Posted: April 24, 2006 at 11:46 PM (#1986227)
That's the problem with Hill/Adams- one goes down, McDonald is your regular SS/2B. I'd like to have Frankie hanging around, but there isn't room for him on the roster right now.
   43. Walt Davis Posted: April 25, 2006 at 12:00 AM (#1986245)
ideal bench

backup C -Paul Bako
lefty PH -Matt Stairs
Backup MI -Antony Grafinino
4th OF -Shane Costa
"Chone" -Estaban German


Two of those guys are close to the ideal bench -- Stairs and Graffanino. A smart team would realize that Graffanino makes German expendable meaning you can add another decent bat. Assuming Stairs can still move, he's really your 4th OF (playing corners only of course) and Costa is your 5th OF.

Of course "ideal" benches really depend on the players you have available. If you start with a decent defensive OF where at least one of the corner guys can slide over to CF without totally embarassing himself, then you don't need a Costa. If your backup SS still has options left, you can stick him at AAA as long as you've got someone (like Graff) who won't embarass himself starting a couple games at SS (and assuming your starting SS isn't a dud with the glove -- if so, you'll likely want a defensive replacement). You do have to have a backup C of course, and ones that can both hit and field decently are rare (usually starters) though Mirabelli or Valentin/LaRue are good options there. Maybe you can pull a Craig Wilson or a LeCroy/Fick maneuver, but those opportunities are rare. Your backup CF can be in AAA along with your backup SS. So...

backup C
Matt Stairs
Tony Graffanino
Eduardo Perez (can he still hit?)
ummm....Todd Hollandsworth ... well, the good Todd Hollandsworth

The mistake that NL teams often make is in carrying 2 (or in the Cubs case 3) backup infielders. It just doesn't work worth a hoot. If you carry a backup C (who usually can't hit), a backup SS (who usually can't hit), and a backup CF (who usually can't hit much), that leaves you 2 bats on the bench. Burn one of those on another infielder and you've got a lousy bench. But beyond that, it's self-defeating. You generally need to PH (or double-switch) for your pitcher twice a game which burns your two decent PH. That means you don't have anyone to PH for your starting SS which means you don't need a "real" backup SS.

Do starting SS and CF get hurt? Of course, and then you call up their AAA backups. You might be stuck with your non-embarassing but kinda scary SS/CF for a couple days waiting for your AAA kid to arrive, but you live with that. The hardest decision will be when your SS/CF is hurt for like 3-5 days.

That's one reason why the all-vet bench like the one I listed above (and most have listed) is not a particularly good idea. You want a couple guys around with options. If my SS gets hurt for 3-5 days, I want the flexibility to call up my AAA SS without having to waive someone or put my starting SS on the DL. Of course I might be able to swing that by moving down a reliever with options and going with an 11-man staff for those few days.

Obviously there's a lot more flexibility if you just go with an 11 (or the dreamy 10) man staff, but I fear we won't be seeing those days again.
   44. John Lowenstein Apathy Club (CB) Posted: April 25, 2006 at 12:11 AM (#1986266)
That's the problem with Hill/Adams- one goes down, McDonald is your regular SS/2B.

Heh, true enough as it goes but actually I think the problem goes deeper than that. McDonald fits quite well my vision of how you build a bench - McDonald has two central skills that give him value, as he's an excellent glove man and he hits lefthanders quite nicely for a MI. On another team, McDonald would fill the bench role fine and if one of your MIs got hurt you'd call up a prospect from AAA to start vs RHP, who Mac can't hit at all it seems.

On this team, though, you have two inexperienced MIs who are not being pushed adequately for playing time. I think that both Hill and Adams, who were handed jobs, have been quite lazy in their play this year (especially Hill with the stick and Adams in the field) and that's because they face no competition. A Rich Aurilia type of player would have spurred them on by offering direct competition for playing time.
   45. Ozzie's gay friend Posted: April 25, 2006 at 12:32 AM (#1986295)
Walt-

-Stairs shouldn't play OF at all, he'd be fine in an emergency playing a corner, but that's about it.

-Costa is playing very well right now, his potential has always been a fourth OF, and I'd say he's reached it. He's stretched a bit thin in CF, but he won't kill you there either.

-German is amazing, I'm in love. He's a middle class Chone Figgins. Normally I'm doubtfull about Ken Phelps career minor league guys, but Estaban can PLAY.
Defense isn't great, but he can play anywhere, great baserunner, 400 career ML SB's, goes first to third well.
So far ths year I'd say he has the best hitting approach of anyone on the royals, realy works the count, willing to take a walk, but not too patient either.
He should be starting and leading off.
   46. Walt Davis Posted: April 25, 2006 at 02:08 AM (#1986499)
Sorry, being the Royals, I just assumed that Costa was a no-hit CF type ... who probably couldn't play CF either. Also, being the Royals, I assumed you were trying to make fun of them. :-)

If German's doing as well as you say, he makes Graff expendable ... or Grudz. Not that either are in huge demand, but KC should be able to move one of them sometime this season.
   47. The Original SJ Posted: April 25, 2006 at 02:35 AM (#1986605)
The ideal backup catcher is Jim Leyritz.
   48. BTF's left-wing cheering section (formerly_dp) Posted: April 25, 2006 at 02:44 AM (#1986631)
On this team, though, you have two inexperienced MIs who are not being pushed adequately for playing time. I think that both Hill and Adams, who were handed jobs, have been quite lazy in their play this year (especially Hill with the stick and Adams in the field) and that's because they face no competition. A Rich Aurilia type of player would have spurred them on by offering direct competition for playing time.

A Brandon Phillips type would look pretty good too...!
   49. Ozzie's gay friend Posted: April 25, 2006 at 02:54 AM (#1986667)
I'm not sure if I was trying to make a point or not, if I was it is that the royals bench is better than a lot of non-terrible teams out there.
   50. Rich Posted: April 25, 2006 at 08:30 AM (#1987377)
What's he going to whine about now?
   51. More Indecisive than Lonnie Smith on 2nd... Posted: April 25, 2006 at 02:21 PM (#1987515)
I'm not sure if I was trying to make a point or not, if I was it is that the royals bench is better than a lot of non-terrible teams out there.


Probably because their entire roster is full of bench level players.
   52. John Lowenstein Apathy Club (CB) Posted: April 25, 2006 at 02:27 PM (#1987520)
A Brandon Phillips type would look pretty good too...!

Yes, but all mentions of Felipe Lopez will be met with me sticking my fingers in my ears and shouting in a loud, singsongy voice, "I CAN'T HEAR YOU I CAN'T HEAR YOU I CAN'T..."
   53. More Indecisive than Lonnie Smith on 2nd... Posted: April 25, 2006 at 03:03 PM (#1987570)
hey, how about grading benches around the league (and trying to account for the DH factor in the AL).

The Atlanta Braves:

Todd Pratt - backup C, light hitting
Wilson Betemit - 3B/SS, good switch hitter, cheap
Brian Jordan - 1B (?!)/corner OF in theory, medicore hitter
Matt Diaz - 4th OF (corners only)
Pete Orr - 2B/3B/SS (the last in a pinch), speeedy, lefty
Tony Pena - SS, no bat

Note: I reviewed Betemit as a backup, as that's his role. Prado I did not review because he's only up for another day or so.

Overall, the Braves get a "C+". Pratt has a reasonable bat (~.720 OPS last two years).

Betemit is the lone star of the bunch (in bench terms). Switch hitting, can play short, and with enough pop to induce care when up as a PH. However, from there the falloff is considerable.

Jordan is overmatched at 1B, at the plate (.635 OPS the past two years of 220 AB or so), and too slow to play corner OF effectively. He's really only around because Kelly Johnson is injured.

Diaz is there because Jordan cannot effectively play the OF. He's serviceable at the plate, but struggles mightily against any pitcher league average or better. His glove is nothing special, either.

Pete Orr is there because Giles version 2.0 has a tendency to slide headfirst into brick walls. A serviceable utility player and left-handed hitter, his lack of power is noticeable.

Pena is the enigma. Likely up only because Renteria is out, he's killing time until the Braves develop Elvis Andrus in 2007.

The Braves have too many guys who do little well (other than Betemit). Like last year, look for an infusion of developing talent for the bench--yes, contrary to some of the opinions in this thread, Atlanta LIKES to develop guys in a pennant race; then again, they're always in one. Pena leaves first, allowing Betemit to spell Renteria and Chipper. Orr stays on as a Giles backup and pinch-runner (the only speed of the bench, though more as a score-from-first-on-a-double type than base stealing threat). Jordan gets the boot by June and retires. Diaz likely sticks all year, unfortunately, as the Braves have NOTHING in AA/AAA capable of replacing him.

Lastly, on another note, Jarod Saltalamacchia is off to an .874 OPS start in AA at age 20 (21 in two weeks). Also of interest is that thus far, the Braves are NOT developing him as a 1B an potential platoon trio of Laroche, McCann and Salty.
   54. Cris E Posted: April 25, 2006 at 03:12 PM (#1987593)
ideal bench

backup C -Paul Bako
lefty PH -Matt Stairs
Backup MI -Antony Grafinino
4th OF -Shane Costa
"Chone" -Estaban German


In Minnesota we tend to create a bench that looks like this

Primary backup C - Mike Redmond
Other backup C - Corky Miller
Primary Utility - Nick Punto
Secondary Utility (Infield) - Luis Rodriguez
Backup Utility (Outfield) - Lew Ford
Super Utility (except 3b) - Mike Cuddyer
AAA Reserve Utility - Glenn Williams, Terry Tiffee, Denny Hocking, Jeff Rebolet, Al Newman, Zoilo Versales...
   55. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: April 25, 2006 at 03:21 PM (#1987617)
If you don't have Ryan Freel on your bench, you hate freedom.

Ryan Freel on my team would probably play everyday, but a different position/different role everyday.

he'e end up playing 160 games, but in a different role every game. Sometime he pinch hits, sometimes he pinch runs, sometimes a defensive sub, sometimes he starts in the 90 different positions he can play, etc.
   56. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: April 25, 2006 at 03:23 PM (#1987625)
I liked Eli Marrero back in the day when he didn't suck. He'd be a great bench guy.
   57. BTF's left-wing cheering section (formerly_dp) Posted: April 25, 2006 at 03:38 PM (#1987661)
Well Craig, not to make you stick your fingers in your ears, but...

The Jays lineup looks nice if you swap Lopez for Adams...and of course, if the Jays kept Lopez maybe they could've taken someone useful instead of Adams in the 1st round...

Still not sure why so many people give JP a free pass on this one. Shortstops who hit in the high minors by age 20/21 are pretty valuable commodities- even if it takes them a couple of years. Phillips might be another data point if he's actually rebounded, and that would be 2 young middle infielders the Reds got practically for free.
   58. BTF's left-wing cheering section (formerly_dp) Posted: April 25, 2006 at 03:40 PM (#1987666)
Ryan Freel was a Jay too...who saw that one coming...? At one point, they had to decide between Woodward and Freel as "utilityman of the future" and they chose Woodward...Freel's turned himself into a really valuable guy...
   59. Boots Day Posted: April 25, 2006 at 03:56 PM (#1987699)
I liked Eli Marrero back in the day when he didn't suck. He'd be a great bench guy.

Marrero is a great bench guy. He's hitting .321/.424/.821 for the Rockies (with most of that damage coning in the road, not in Colorado) and has taken over first base while Helton is out.

I'd rather the Rocks got a real first baseman to sub in for Helton -- somehow, I don't think Marrero is going to keep slugging .800, even in Coors -- but he's still a valuable guy to have around.
   60. BTF's left-wing cheering section (formerly_dp) Posted: April 25, 2006 at 04:25 PM (#1987767)
Shealy will be off the DL soon, right? This may be the opportunity he needs, seeing as he was failing in the OF...
   61. Cheer and boo and raise a hullabaloo Posted: April 26, 2006 at 04:15 AM (#1989701)
I can't believe a trade involving a 5th outfielder that the Dodgers were about to release, for a PTBNL, has generated so many posts. Cool.

Dodgers bench:
Sandy Alomar Jr. -- cruddy backup catcher, veteran teacher(TM)
Ramon Martinez -- cruddy backup infielder, had a hot spring and apparently is GLittle's fave
Oscar Robles -- backup infielder
Olmedo Saenz -- RH PH
Ricky Ledee -- 4th/5th outfielder, hitting type, I guess
Jason Repko -- 4th/5th outfielder, speed type

The first two are lame, but the other ones are fine. The backup outfielders are guaranteed to get a ton of starts because Kenny Lofton is supposed to get 40-50 games off. I have no idea what grade to give them. C-? D?

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