2012 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: Another ho-hum Reds win

Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Cincinnati 5
Houston 3

W: J. Arredondo (6-2)
L: X. Cedeno (0-1)
S: A. Chapman (34)
BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–As the Reds entered the top of the eighth, it was looking increasingly likely that the good guys were going to lose two of three to the hapless Astros. Houston was up 3-0, had recorded the first out of the eighth inning, and the Reds had mustered precious little offense all day long.

Enter Jay Bruce, stage left. After Drew Stubbs walked and Brandon Phillips singled, Bruce hit a three-run homer (off a lefty, even) to tie the game. Todd Frazier followed with a single, then Chris Heisey and Miguel Cairo doubled, and before you knew it, Cincinnati led 5-3.

–Another outstanding performance by Bronson Arroyo: six innings, one run, three hits.

–Jonathan Broxton and Aroldis Chapman were excellent in the eighth and ninth. Each pitched a perfect inning, striking out two.

–Xavier Paul was 2-3, and BP was 2-5.

NEGATIVES
–Jose Arredondo came in with a one run deficit and left an inning later with the Astros leading 3-0. Arredondon’t.

–Stubbs got on base twice, which means that the two guys at the top of the Reds lineup now have identical .287 OBPs. Eighth hitter Ryan Hanigan didn’t reach base in four trips, lowering his OBP to a pedestrian .375. Write your own punch line.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–The Reds just keep on rollin’. Eighty-two wins, which is the highest total in the big leagues. The Cards and Pirates both lost, so the good guys hold a 9.5 game lead in the NL Central division.

Is this heaven?

–If you ever hear some guy tout pitcher wins as a way to determine a pitcher’s value, point him to today’s box score. Arroyo: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R. Arredondo: 1 IP, two runs allowed on two hits and a walk. Arredondo gets credit for the victory, of course.

–Quick, someone tell Marty Brennaman:

–Reds Magic Number:

Source: FanGraphs

65 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Another ho-hum Reds win

  1. A lot of comments in the game thread deriding Mr. Baker for pulling Arroyo after 6 excellent innings and only 75 pitches. I personally think pulling Arroyo after 6 innings was a sensible alternative. The performance of Arredondo left a lot of questions going into the post season. I’m not sure Mr. Baker is taking any questions so I expect to see Arredondo for any high leverage relief opportunity prior to the 8th inning.

  2. Watching mlbnetwork, they showed the list of LHed hitters with the most HRs off of a LHed pitcher since the start of 2010. As Chad notes above, Jay Bruce is at the top of the list. Josh Hamilton of course was on the list.

    I know that Bruce’s numbers against lefties aren’t that good this year, but it’s a mistake for a manager to bring in a mediocre (or even pretty good) lefty reliever to face him. He feeds on those guys.

  3. @jmt5887: I don’t see him on the playoff roster. I can’t imagine suddenly switching him to relief. My guess is he’s here to maybe spot start a bit and give the top 3/4 some rest before the playoffs.

  4. They’ve shown a lot of the Braves-Phillies game. Amazing 9th inning comeback by the Braves, capped by a Chipper Jones walkoff HR. Huge win for the Braves, who seemed to be headed to their 11th loss in their last 15 games, while having to hear about last September’s collapse after every loss.

    Jeremy Horst continues to pitch well for the Phils. Yes the Reds have a deep bullpen, but Horst is better than some of the Reds relievers. In any case, the Horst for Valdez trade is looking bad right now. Not that I complained at the time, who would have thought Horst would have so much more value than Bray in 2012 ?

    • They’ve shown a lot of the Braves-Phillies game. Amazing 9th inning comeback by the Braves, capped by a Chipper Jones walkoff HR. Huge win for the Braves, who seemed to be headed to their 11th loss in their last 15 games, while having to hear about last September’s collapse after every loss.

      Jeremy Horst continues to pitch well for the Phils. Yes the Reds have a deep bullpen, but Horst is better than some of the Reds relievers. In any case, the Horst for Valdez trade is looking bad right now. Not that I complained at the time, who would have thought Horst would have so much more value than Bray in 2012 ?

      The Braves or Pirates are the teams I’d most like to face. The Giants might be hell in a short series because they can just delete Zito and Lincecum and the Reds can’t match the top three they have.

      How can the Braves let Chipper retire? Guy’s killing it this year.

  5. I would have listed stubbs’ two times on base as a positive, unless it compels dusty to actually lead him off. I love stubbsy, but not at leadoff.

  6. Another walkoff win that I saw live was Putz blowing a save against the Dodgers, with AGon getting the big walkoff hit. Ugh. I don’t want to see the Dodgers in the postseason. First, I don’t like their approach, buying $260 million of players in July and August. That August trade with the Red Sox would have been nullified by Bowie Kuhn as “not in the best interest of baseball.”

    My primary concern is that it was not in the best interest of the Reds. I know the Dodgers have pitching problems, but their lineup is very scary now.

    • I don’t think Negron is on the major league DL.

      He’s listed on the 15 day DL on the Reds site. But that may be wrong.

  7. Cingrani was a reliever in college, I believe, and has been converted to starting as a professional. I think he would get some innings out of the bullpen in September. His chances to make a postseason roster will depend on how he does, the opposing teams, and health of other left-handers in the organization. But overall, I’d put his postseason roster chances as slim.

    Horst – I’ve been confused about why they traded him from the beginning. Nothing but good numbers from him throughout his professional career.

    • Cingrani was a reliever in college, I believe, and has been converted to starting as a professional. I think he would get some innings out of the bullpen in September. His chances to make a postseason roster will depend on how he does, the opposing teams, and health of other left-handers in the organization. But overall, I’d put his postseason roster chances as slim.

      Horst – I’ve been confused about why they traded him from the beginning. Nothing but good numbers from him throughout his professional career.

      Agreed. We had players that could do what Valdez does for us. I don’t understand why it had to be a veteran. After all, if a veteran, they are a veteran bench player for one reason, they couldn’t handle starting. I can’t help thinking I would rather have a younger player there who could potentially take advantage of the opportunities he is given.

  8. Another well pitched game by Bronson. And Braxton has been excellent since his shoulder has calmed down. Chapman is otherworldly.

  9. I may be wrong, but I remember that in the past ten yearsor so, it seems common for teams to give a prospect a chance to pitch out of the pen before giving them at least a chance to fight for a rotation spot. Some were eventually left in the pen)

    Cardinals- Adam Wainright(circa 2005)
    White Sox- Chis Sale(3011)
    Rays- David Price(2009) Jeremy Hellickson(2010) Matt Moore(2011)
    Red Sox- Jonathan Papelbon(2004)
    Rangers- Neftali Feliz(circa 2010)
    Yankees- Joba Chamberlain (circa 2009)

  10. Guaranteed winning season – and it’s only September 2. Got to love our Reds this year and their post-season chances. I almost shut off the game, but I’m glad I didn’t as I got to see it all unravel for the Stro’s and watch Bruce launch that moon shot.

  11. Watching the plays of the month on mlbnetwork. Still 20 plays to go and they’ve already shown four 6-4-3 DPs by the Reds. In all cases 6 was Cozart and 4 was BP, of course.

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate: In the NL, the Cardinals and Dodgers make the most nervous in a post-season series, because of their lineups.

      I don’t want to see the Cardinals at all, and the Dodgers have Kershaw and their fantasy lineup. I agree.

  12. Things left over from the game thread.

    1. I still can’t believe Stubbs is being compared to Juan Castro. Come on now, folks. To say Stubbs isn’t a solid 4th outfielder is kind of silly. He’s a plus CF and has great speed on the bases. His hitting is below an average center fielder of course; if it was average, he’d be a good starting CF. I’m not even a Stubbs fan, but let’s not go overboard. Juan Castro had a career OPS+ of 55; Stubbs 89.

    2. The notion that “market value” for Ryan Ludwick is going to be 5 million is to misunderstand the idea of a market. Beltran’s value was 12 million this year, based on last year. He’s dropped off but he’s still having a good year. Ludwick is having a better year. Ludwick’s fair market value is going to be definitely north of 10 million, and likely a multiyear deal at that rate. Beltran’s more broken down than Ludwick is. If there is a team that will pay that much, then that’s the market value. That’s not my opinion, that’s market economics. Whether the Reds should risk 8 figures per year on the guy is a different question.

    3. The idea that Chapman could be one of the best closers ever, I feel that’s a kind of extreme statement. There are a group of 4-5 stoppers having really great years. Kimbrel is as good, roughly. There have also been stoppers that strike out tremendous numbers of hitters. Sometimes they burn out. Could Chapman be one of the best ever? Sure, he might be if kept in that role. I still think relief’s the wrong way to use his value, though.

    • over from the game thread.

      1. I still can’t believe Stubbs is being compared to Juan Castro. Come on now, folks. To say Stubbs isn’t a solid 4th outfielder is kind of silly. He’s a plus CF and has great speed on the bases. His hitting is below an average center fielder of course; if it was average, he’d be a good starting CF. I’m not even a Stubbs fan, but let’s not go overboard. Juan Castro had a career OPS+ of 55; Stubbs 89.

      Great speed on the bases, yes. But, he can rarely get on them to use any of it. Thus, not much of a factor. And, while he would hit in front of Votto, he would rarely be able to use it, then. Baker has even bunted him over to 2nd a couple of times. All meaning his speed on the bases is even less of a factor.

      Frankly, a 4th OF is essentially equivalent to Juan Castro, a 5th IF. So, I don’t understand what’s the beef.

      • Great speed on the bases, yes.But, he can rarely get on them to use any of it.Thus, not much of a factor.And, while he would hit in front of Votto, he would rarely be able to use it, then.Baker has even bunted him over to 2nd a couple of times.All meaning his speed on the bases is even less of a factor.

        Frankly, a 4th OF is essentially equivalent to Juan Castro, a 5th IF.So, I don’t understand what’s the beef.

        Yep. Stubbs is a defensive wiz with not much if any offense to speak of. He has more power than Castro, but that’s about it.

        Stubbs really is a 4th outfielder and it would do the Reds well to realize it instead of insisting he’s a starter.

        • Yep. Stubbs is a defensive wiz with not much if any offense to speak of. He has more power than Castro, but that’s about it.

          Stubbs really is a 4th outfielder and it would do the Reds well to realize it instead of insisting he’s a starter.

          I find it impossible to believe that thinking people are comparing a career somewhat below average hitter, Stubbs, with a career horrible hitter, Castro. Aside from the power angle, Stubbs’ career OBP is almost 50 points higher than Castro.

          I don’t even care for Stubbs, but this is really out of control.

        • I find it impossible to believe that thinking people are comparing a career somewhat below average hitter, Stubbs, with a career horrible hitter, Castro.Aside from the power angle, Stubbs’ career OBP is almost 50 points higher than Castro.

          I don’t even care for Stubbs, but this is really out of control.

          Sorry it bothers you.

        • Another mature response.

          People disagree with you. It obviously bothers you. Again, what more is there to debate?

        • People disagree with you. It obviously bothers you. Again, what more is there to debate?

          It’s not necessary to be a jerk. Well, perhaps it is.

        • I find it impossible to believe that thinking people are comparing a career somewhat below average hitter, Stubbs, with a career horrible hitter, Castro.Aside from the power angle, Stubbs’ career OBP is almost 50 points higher than Castro.

          I don’t even care for Stubbs, but this is really out of control.

          Only meant as a weak hitting player, Hank. Stubbs may have more power, but it is obvious he is still a weak hitting player, has been since 2010 if not his entire career.

  13. Agree with what you say about Chapman as a closer. But I’d add that his 2012 K rate of 15.9/9 is unprecedented (I think).

  14. Three big outs on the bases by the Astros today. Without those, they would have a taken a 5-0 lead. One of the disadvantages of a AAA lineup.

    Hanigan showed off his gun on two of them. Dusty’s calling a pitch out set up one of them was a good move.

  15. I have been to more than 1000 Reds games. I have never seen a pitch- out for a third base pick- off.

  16. The Cingrani callup is very intriguing. At face value, it looks like the same scenario I was advocating for Donnie Joseph—lefty specialist in a playoff game. If he can prove his worth over this month, it’s pretty easy to envision him landing on the playoff roster in place of someone like LeCure or Leake. It also acts as a hedge in case Bray can’t get right.

    Of equal importance may be the work of JJ Hoover. Arredondo hasn’t looked good for 3 months, I’m not sold on Broxton, and Ondrusek has been exposed. We NEED a rightie who can get out RH hitters.

  17. OK, I see it now. When I looked yesterday, it wasn’t on Reds.com yet. On Aug 31, the Reds “promoted” Negron from Louisville and placed him on the 15-day DL. He was previously sent down to AAA in mid-June and has spent most of the time since then on the minor league DL, out for the year.

    Putting him on the major league DL gives the reds an extra player in their playoff pool at the cost of major league salary and service time for Negron.

    • Oh, by the way, how about Broxton recently?

      THAT’S the way a shut down reliever pitches.

      This is quite funny. First, you mention Marshall’s ERA in August as something like 4.30, saying how bad he’s been. Broxton’s ERA as a Red, which is August and one day in September, is higher than that, in fact in August his ERA was 5.00. But he has a handful of good outings in a row and you eagerly point that out. I’m sorry that Marshall stole your lunch money.

      Broxton has indeed pitched very well in his last 4 outings. This is very good to see. And it’s clear that you continue to show an incredible bias. As a Red Broxton has allowed 13 baserunners in 10 innings. I’m guessing that if Marshall did that, you’d be all over him.

      • This is quite funny.First, you mention Marshall’s ERA in August as something like 4.30, saying how bad he’s been.Broxton’s ERA as a Red, which is August and one day in September, is higher than that, in fact in August his ERA was 5.00.But he has a handful of good outings in a row and you eagerly point that out.I’m sorry that Marshall stole your lunch money.

        Broxton has indeed pitched very well in his last 4 outings.This is very good to see.And it’s clear that you continue to show an incredible bias.As a Red Broxton has allowed 13 baserunners in 10 innings.I’m guessing that if Marshall did that, you’d be all over him.

        I trust Broxton more than Marshall.

        The end.

        • I trust Broxton more than Marshall.

          The end.

          Yep, that’s the way to debate something.

        • Yep, that’s the way to debate something.

          It sure is.

          I do trust Broxton more than Marshall. What more is there to debate?

        • It sure is.

          I do trust Broxton more than Marshall. What more is there to debate?

          Because you continually cherry pick everything. You trust Broxton more, fine. It’s that you bring up stats to support it, except they don’t actually support it. It’s really a joke. As if Broxton hasn’t had any bad outings, and as if Marshall hasn’t had any good outings. I find myself defending Stubbs and Marshall, two guys that I’m not even sure should be on the team next year. Sheesh.

        • Because you continually cherry pick everything.You trust Broxton more, fine.It’s that you bring up stats to support it, except they don’t actually support it.It’s really a joke.As if Broxton hasn’t had any bad outings, and as if Marshall hasn’t had any good outings.I find myself defending Stubbs and Marshall, two guys that I’m not even sure should be on the team next year.Sheesh.

          Then stop defending them. Marshall is pretty good, but he has to be used properly. He is not a shut down reliever. Stubbs has been getting worse every year. You can bring up his career stats, but that doesn’t represent the player he is now.

          And I never said Broxton didn’t have any bad outings and Marshall hasn’t had any good outings. No need to overreact.

          Simple, no?

  18. just curious………mlb.com lists Halladay for Wednesday, but TBA for the Reds. Wouldn’t that be Leake’s spot in the rotation? Did I miss an injury or some shuffling in the rotation?

    • just curious………mlb.com lists Halladay for Wednesday, but TBA for the Reds. Wouldn’t that be Leake’s spot in the rotation? Did I miss an injury or some shuffling in the rotation?

      Wednesday is indeed Leake’s spot in the rotation, he’s pitched well (4 ER in 12.2 innings) over his past two starts but, prior to that, he got beat up by the Phillies – he gave up 7 runs and 10 hits in 4.2 innings against Philadelphia on August 20th. I haven’t heard anything about an injury to Leake or any other starter.

      Moving on to speculation, the Reds just promoted top prospect and lefty Tony Cingrani… maybe a LHP will be a last minute secret weapon against Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Domonic Brown, and Jimmy Rollins. Unlikely, but a possible explanation.

    • Cards and Pirates are both closer to 4th place than 1st place. This is a good thing.

      Reds will close the season at Pittsburgh and at St. Louis. If the division is secured and the chase for the top seed is finished, it would be interesting to see how Dusty sets his lineups for those two series. Wouldn’t break my heart if a lot of regulars got rest vs. Pittsburgh but then began to return to the lineup to get ready for the playoffs in that final series against St. Louis!!!!!

  19. Arroyo, I was disappointed to see him pinch hit for. When he’s pitching well I like seeing him left in for ~100 pitches. I guess it’s a compliment to the bullpen that they feel compelled to pull him early, a few years ago they would have milked him for every possible pitch.

    Tony Cingrani is, indeed, interesting. I’ve become a big fan of his. Some scouts seem to question whether his future is as a starter or reliever – he was drafted as a reliever but has been really successful as a starter through his brief minor league career. Like with Chapman it’ll be interesting to see how they allow Cingrani’s career to unfold – maybe they’re both too good to be closers, maybe Cingrani isn’t good enough to be a starter. Either way if Cingrani pitches well this September he may look like a candidate for the rotation, if one appears, next spring or early next season.

    I’m not up for debating whether or not Stubbs is good but, with a career OBP of .315, he gets on base enough to make use of his speed. There’s some silly assumption now that he’s never reached base in his life. Juan Castro was never nearly as successful at reaching base nor did he offer homeruns or basestealing ability like Stubbs.

    Ryan Ludwick is worth some amount of money on the free agent market. He is not necessarily worth that amount of money to the Reds, and that’s an important point to remember. Todd Frazier and Brandon Phillips are both candidates to bat cleanup next season and I think paying Ludwick more than $5m is a waste of the team’s limited resources. Between Todd Frazier, Chris Heisey, Xavier Paul, and a whole pool of free agents and trade options I think they can come up with something. Maybe a trade for David DeJesus to play LF and bat leadoff.

    The Reds had young players who could do what Wilson Valdez does for the Reds? They had Paul Janish but I believe he got injured early in the season. Other than that they had young guys (Henry Rodriguez and Didi Gregorius) who are better suited playing regularly in the minors.

    I don’t see Jeremy Horst as any big loss for the Reds organization.

    • Arroyo, I was disappointed to see him pinch hit for.When he’s pitching well I like seeing him left in for ~100 pitches.I guess it’s a compliment to the bullpen that they feel compelled to pull him early, a few years ago they would have milked him for every possible pitch.

      Tony Cingrani is, indeed, interesting.I’ve become a big fan of his.Some scouts seem to question whether his future is as a starter or reliever – he was drafted as a reliever but has been really successful as a starter through his brief minor league career.Like with Chapman it’ll be interesting to see how they allow Cingrani’s career to unfold – maybe they’re both too good to be closers, maybe Cingrani isn’t good enough to be a starter.Either way if Cingrani pitches well this September he may look like a candidate for the rotation, if one appears, next spring or early next season.

      I’m not up for debating whether or not Stubbs is good but, with a career OBP of .315, he gets on base enough to make use of his speed.There’s some silly assumption now that he’s never reached base in his life.Juan Castro was never nearly as successful at reaching base nor did he offer homeruns or basestealing ability like Stubbs.

      Ryan Ludwick is worth some amount of money on the free agent market.He is not necessarily worth that amount of money to the Reds, and that’s an important point to remember.Todd Frazier and Brandon Phillips are both candidates to bat cleanup next season and I think paying Ludwick more than $5m is a waste of the team’s limited resources.Between Todd Frazier, Chris Heisey, Xavier Paul, and a whole pool of free agents and trade options I think they can come up with something.Maybe a trade for David DeJesus to play LF and bat leadoff.

      The Reds had young players who could do what Wilson Valdez does for the Reds?They had Paul Janish but I believe he got injured early in the season.Other than that they had young guys (Henry Rodriguez and Didi Gregorius) who are better suited playing regularly in the minors.

      I don’t see Jeremy Horst as any big loss for the Reds organization.

      It’s been well noted that Stubbs may have speed, but he and the manager never give him the opportunity to use it. Speed not used isn’t speed.

      When they brought in Valdez, they had Janish, Valaika, and Frazier just to name 3 that do the same job Valdez does. The club just wanted to fill the position with a vet. They didn’t have to get a vet.

      As valuable as left handed pitchers are these days, all teams would love to have a cheap good left hander on the staff anywhere.

  20. @redsfanman: Definitely, Ludwick is worth less to the Reds than he’d be to a team with a severe offensive problem. My only point was that *if he wants*, he’ll make a lot more then 5 million on the open market., because if someone believes he’ll hit 30 jacks, which is what he’ll do this year, even though he played at GABP that will be worth more than 5 million. We’ll have to see what happens.

    • @redsfanman: Definitely, Ludwick is worth less to the Reds than he’d be to a team with a severe offensive problem……

      Don’t the Reds have a severe offensive problem if they don’t retain Ludwick or obtain somebody to bring similar numbers to the table? Heisey’s play the last 10 games or so has been encouraging but it is a big risk to go into the 2012 season counting on him as the LF (I’m figuring Frazier at 3rd with Rolen either gone or working part time off the bench)

      • Don’t the Reds have a severe offensive problem if they don’t retain Ludwick or obtain somebody to bring similar numbers to the table? Heisey’s play the last 10 games or so has been encouraging but it is a big risk to go into the 2013 season counting on him as the LF (I’m figuring Frazier at 3rd with Rolen either gone or working part time off the bench)

        The Reds win games with pitching and defense, not big bats.

        I’m not writing Todd Frazier’s name in pen at any position until I know who is available at every other position.

        If Ludwick declines his option the Reds have several months to find another option before opening day. Brandon Phillips and Todd Frazier both look like candidates to hit cleanup in 2013. Frazier and Heisey form something to build around. Frazier’s ability to play 3b or LF lets Jocketty consider thirdbasemen to replace Ludwick’s roster spot. I don’t think finding somebody to duplicate his exact numbers will be a priority.

        Maybe somebody would be available for trade, like David DeJesus of the Cubs. He wouldn’t replace Ludwick exactly but he provides a LF and leadoff hitter. There will be lots of free agents. Quickly looking through a list and in no particular order – (I don’t care to debate any of them, how they’re performing or what they’re worth) – Melky Cabrera, Kevin Youkilis, Nick Swisher, Ichiro, Cody Ross, Xavier Nady, Torii Hunter, Victorino, Ankiel, Delmon Young, Kearns, Jonny Gomes, and Ryan Ludwick could all be free agents. Maybe somebody is old, washed up, and wants to rebuild (or build) their career in the friendly confines of Great American Ballpark… or seeks to play for a contender. I think Walt Jocketty can come up with something reasonable for less than what Ludwick would earn as a free agent. And it has yet to be seen if Ludwick values cash over happiness.

        • The Reds win games with pitching and defense, not big bats.

          I’m not writing Todd Frazier’s name in pen at any position until I know who is available at every other position.

          If Ludwick declines his option the Reds have several months to find another option before opening day.Brandon Phillips and Todd Frazier both look like candidates to hit cleanup in 2013.Frazier and Heisey form something to build around.Frazier’s ability to play 3b or LF lets Jocketty consider thirdbasemen to replace Ludwick’s roster spot.I don’t think finding somebody to duplicate his exact numbers will be a priority.

          Maybe somebody would be available for trade, like David DeJesus of the Cubs.He wouldn’t replace Ludwick exactly but he provides a LF and leadoff hitter.There will be lots of free agents.Quickly looking through a list and in no particular order – (I don’t care to debate any of them, how they’re performing or what they’re worth) – Melky Cabrera, Kevin Youkilis, Nick Swisher, Ichiro, Cody Ross, Xavier Nady, Torii Hunter, Victorino, Ankiel, Delmon Young, Kearns, Jonny Gomes, and Ryan Ludwick could all be free agents.Maybe somebody is old, washed up, and wants to rebuild (or build) their career in the friendly confines of Great American Ballpark… or seeks to play for a contender.I think Walt Jocketty can come up with something reasonable for less than what Ludwick would earn as a free agent.And it has yet to be seen if Ludwick values cash over happiness.

          Make no mistake, teams with with bats, pitching, and defense. Do you really think the Reds win as many games without the bats of Frazier and Ludwick this year? Not by a long shot. Make no mistake, this is still a team game. And, a team needs all parts to win games.

          If Ludwick doesn’t return, I believe Heisey will be in the same position he was beginning this year, how everyone was looking at Ludwick as a platoon with Heisey, possibly a competition, which Baker made it (about a month for Heisey, then a month for Ludwick). Heisey performed fine during that time. But, I could see Uncle Walt looking for possible candidates for competition for the position.

          Walt would also need to consider the cost of any players coming in. Walt has a butt load of arbitration cases, I believe. As well as, Votto gets a huge increase for next season.

        • It is a risk to go into next season with Heisey for left field, but I wouldn’t say big risk.It would be just as much a risk (a small risk) to have Ludwick in there.The last time he had numbers like this, the next season, he had a drop of numbers across the board.With how Heisey is hitting this season, he would be more of an ideal 1-2 hole hitter than Stubbs.

          I never said I thought Chris Heisey was a good option for a full time LF. Heisey has never been the team’s LF but he’s always been an important part of a plan they can build around. Sometimes he’s used as a platoon player, sometimes he’s used rarely at all. At least I think he’s something in LF to build around. Combining him with guys off the scrap heap – Gomes and Ludwick – has worked well in the past.

          Make no mistake, teams with with bats, pitching, and defense.Do you really think the Reds win as many games without the bats of Frazier and Ludwick this year?Not by a long shot.Make no mistake, this is still a team game.And, a team needs all parts to win games.

          If Ludwick doesn’t return, I believe Heisey will be in the same position he was beginning this year, how everyone was looking at Ludwick as a platoon with Heisey, possibly a competition, which Baker made it (about a month for Heisey, then a month for Ludwick).Heisey performed fine during that time.But, I could see Uncle Walt looking for possible candidates for competition for the position.

          Walt would also need to consider the cost of any players coming in.Walt has a butt load of arbitration cases, I believe.As well as, Votto gets a huge increase for next season.

          I don’t think the Reds would have won as many games without Ludwick but but I believe they could have found plenty of other options elsewhere. Ludwick was one of many players they probably considered in the offseason. Ludwick is valuable but I definitely don’t think he’s irreplaceable.

          I think the Reds are built around a pretty solid group of quality hitters (including Votto, Phillips, Bruce, Frazier, Hanigan) and I believe in Walt Jocketty’s ability to put together competition with Heisey in LF that can provide satisfactory offense at that position. The priorities remain pitching and defense – I believe the rest of the offense will just fall into place, even without a big contract.

      • Don’t the Reds have a severe offensive problem if they don’t retain Ludwick or obtain somebody to bring similar numbers to the table? Heisey’s play the last 10 games or so has been encouraging but it is a big risk to go into the 2012 season counting on him as the LF (I’m figuring Frazier at 3rd with Rolen either gone or working part time off the bench)

        It is a risk to go into next season with Heisey for left field, but I wouldn’t say big risk. It would be just as much a risk (a small risk) to have Ludwick in there. The last time he had numbers like this, the next season, he had a drop of numbers across the board. With how Heisey is hitting this season, he would be more of an ideal 1-2 hole hitter than Stubbs.

      • I agree, Jim. I hope they work something out because I am not sure who is going to fill that left field hole with his absence. I don’t mean to be negative but can we count on Frazier to have another power season like this next year? I would be concerned if they let Ludwick go and not replace him with a quality bat.

        Don’t the Reds have a severe offensive problem if they don’t retain Ludwick or obtain somebody to bring similar numbers to the table? Heisey’s play the last 10 games or so has been encouraging but it is a big risk to go into the 2012 season counting on him as the LF (I’m figuring Frazier at 3rd with Rolen either gone or working part time off the bench)

        • I agree, Jim. I hope they work something out because I am not sure who is going to fill that left field hole with his absence. I don’t mean to be negative but can we count on Frazier to have another power season like this next year? I would be concerned if they let Ludwick go and not replace him with a quality bat.

          How can you doubt Super Todd? In all seriousness though I think next year his numbers will come down a tad as the scouting reports get better on him but at the same time I think with how unorthodox his approach at the plate is that a scouting report can only take you so far. On one pitch he can look like the worst hitter in the league and then when you throw that same pitch again he swats it out of the stadium like a cat playing with a ball of yarn. It’s uncanny.

  21. Super Todd is one of the crazier bad ball hitters I have seen in a while. He can really drive some odd pitches, some perfectly made and some out of the zone.

    It’s kind of hard to believe Frazier has done as well as he has done, so thinking he might have another gear seems a reach. But it would be cool that TF can do what he has done this year for a few more seasons.

  22. @Mwv:
    @steveschoen:

    I am not married to the idea that they have to pay Ludwick enough to get him back, especially if he becomes the center of a bidding war.

    However, the team took off this year when the long awaited for production from LF became a reality. They need to be as sure as they can that they have the same type of production there next year.

    Whether it is Ludwick or some other veteran. I think you take your risk on that side of the coin versus on a guy like Heisey who will be in his fourth year after three years of not quite getting over the hump.

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