Minors

In case you missed this…

I know we’re all in hyper-playoff mode, but didn’t want this nugget from Mark Sheldon to get by us…

ST. LOUIS — It’s been hinted and largely expected, but now it will definitely happen next season. Reds top prospect Billy Hamilton is switching positions, going from shortstop to center field.

“There are a lot of reasons,” Bill Bavasi, the Reds’ vice president of scouting and player development, told MLB.com. “We have [Zack] Cozart. We have Didi [Gregorius]. If you watch Hamilton’s style of play, it’s a pounding style of play. It would be an easier position for his body to take along with the base stealing. Everything seems to work better.”

Moving Hamilton to center field does not mean a Major League promotion is imminent for 2013.

“He’s not at the point yet where we have to make room for him,” Bavasi said. “I can’t really tell you where he’s going to start next year — Double-A or Triple-A.”

But this bodes well for the organization (in my opinion) and probably doesn’t bode so well for Drew Stubbs.

39 thoughts on “In case you missed this…

  1. Billy Hamilton is likely to start the 2013 season in AA so I think the Reds’ centerfielder, whether that be Stubbs or somebody else, shouldn’t have to worry for a little while.

  2. Double A for Hamilton next year? I kinda doubt it. Read between the lines. Triple A maybe but truth be told: see you Drew Stubbs.

    • Double A for Hamilton next year?I kinda doubt it.Read between the lines.Triple A maybe but truth be told: see you Drew Stubbs.

      So far Billy Hamilton has 175 ABs in AA and he’s converting to a new position. They won’t want to rush him. Bill Bavasi seemed to imply that they’ll make a decision in spring training, but I’m expecting AA unless he has a remarkable spring.

      Something Stubbs has to be concerned about long term? Yes. Something he needs to be concerned about soon? No. He should have several months next season to turn himself into a trade candidate before he needs to worry about Hamilton.

  3. Billy won’t go to Triple-A until mid-2013, if at all, and is not a likely September callup. They should be trying Didi at 3rd so there can be an evolution from the current guard in 3B, LF, and CF (Rolen, Ludwick, Stubbs) to Gregorious, Frazier, and Hamilton. This solves the position player changes as contracts expire and guys retire or move on, because pitching will likely evolve to have Chapman take over in Bronson’s spot next year or 2014 and Cingrani will likely take Cueto/Bailey’s in 2015 if we can’t/won’t resign one of them, I guess.

  4. @RichmondRed: I seriously doubt that Chapman is moved to the starting role. Who takes over the closer role? There is nobody to replace him and the Reds will have a limited budget.

    The rotation will be the same as this year and you will have a setup guy battle between Masset and Marshall with Chapman closing. Don’t fix it if it doesn’t work, right?

    • @RichmondRed: I seriously doubt that Chapman is moved to the starting role. Who takes over the closer role?

      Anybody but Chapman. Anybody. We’ve got Broxton and Marshall, and maybe Masset. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – if Chapman’s not a starter next year, TRADE HIM. He’s potentially worth more in a trade than any closer in the history of baseball has ever been.

      • Anybody but Chapman.Anybody.We’ve got Broxton and Marshall, and maybe Masset.I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – if Chapman’s not a starter next year, TRADE HIM.He’s potentially worth more in a trade than any closer in the history of baseball has ever been.

        Tony Cingrani is an interesting bullpen candidate – he was drafted as a closer, maybe he could do it for the Reds. On the other hand I’d prefer to just keep Chapman in that role.

        I never understand that logic RC – what can the Reds trade Chapman for that would be more valuable than him? I wouldn’t trade him for Trout or Harper – the key to winning is good pitching and the Reds know that.

      • Anybody but Chapman.Anybody.We’ve got Broxton and Marshall, and maybe Masset.I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – if Chapman’s not a starter next year, TRADE HIM.He’s potentially worth more in a trade than any closer in the history of baseball has ever been.

        Maybe we can trade Votto, imagine what a former MVP would be worth?

        • Maybe we can trade Votto, imagine what a former MVP would be worth?

          Votto is worth far more than any closer who has ever pitched. Closer if the most seriously overrated position in professional sports. If the organization decides Chapman is a “closer”, it would be a tremendous waste of potential.

          I know this has been posted here before but… career WARs:
          Randy Johnson – 114.7
          Mariano Rivera – 39.3

    • @RichmondRed: I seriously doubt that Chapman is moved to the starting role. Who takes over the closer role? There is nobody to replace him and the Reds will have a limited budget.

      The rotation will be the same as this year and you will have a setup guy battle between Masset and Marshall with Chapman closing. Don’t fix it if it doesn’t work, right?

      If Cueto or Latos get severely injured in spring training I think Chapman is likely to enter the rotation, but I don’t foresee that happening under other circumstances. Cingrani can probably replace one of the middle of the order starters (Arroyo, Bailey, Leake) but I wouldn’t count on him being used to replace one of the co-aces long term. I’ll be closely watching Robert Stephenson and Daniel Corcino next season also as potential replacements when Arroyo leaves.

      @RichmondRed:
      Didi Gregorius isn’t even a good hitting AAA shortstop, let alone being a capable offensive MLB thirdbaseman. Didi is either a slick fielding middle infielder or trade bait, nothing else.

      @CI3J: Cuddyear (or however you spell it) is available from COL. Assuming we don’t take the Ludwick option.

      To clarify, I think it’s a pretty sure thing the Reds will pick up their part of Ryan Ludwick’s option, it’s just a question of whether or not he accepts his $5m or chooses to go elsewhere. I think he’s likely to return to this picturesque and ideal environment and a team that wants him.

  5. @RC: No, Broxton is gone after next year. If Dusty is back, he will not put Marshall in the closers role. Masset will be a setup guy at best to Dusty.

    Logically, Chapman should have been a starter this year. He should be stretched out to be one next year. Will he if Dusty Baker is back? No.

  6. @redsfanman: Chapman as a starter could be as valuable as any pitcher in the game today. Chapman as a closer is worth as much or more than any closer in the game today.

    Which is not that much.

  7. @rfay00: Dusty did use Marshall as the closer, and he was effective. The only reason he moved him out of that role was that Chapman was ready. Why wouldn’t he use him that way in the future?

  8. Actually, I think rfay00 is right about Dusty’s opinion of Marshall. Turned him into a loogy for the most part.

    • @BenL: I’m pretty sure it wasn’t that easy of a transition. Marshall struggled for a few outings and then Chapman was promoted. If Marshall was as effective as you are claiming, Dusty wouldn’t have made the move and they would have continued to use Chapman for 1-2 innings of work.

      Actually, I think rfay00 is right about Dusty’s opinion of Marshall.Turned him into a loogy for the most part.

      Yep, a 4 million dollar a year loogy.

  9. @redsfanman:I never understand that logic RC – what can the Reds trade Chapman for that would be more valuable than him? I wouldn’t trade him for Trout or Harper – the key to winning is good pitching and the Reds know that.

    You wouldn’t trade Aroldis Chapman for Mike Trout?!? Seriously?!? I mean I love Chapman as much as the next guy but c’mon! Have you seen Trout play all year? The kid is phenomenal. I would jump out of my shoes for that trade. Moot point though because the Angels wouldn’t trade him for all the gold in Fort Knox IMO.

    As far as the article I completely agree with the decision and it’s great news. I think it is pretty much a lock he won’t be in the majors before September of next year though. Kids that young don’t learn new positions in the big leagues.

    • @redsfanman:I never understand that logic RC – what can the Reds trade Chapman for that would be more valuable than him? I wouldn’t trade him for Trout or Harper – the key to winning is good pitching and the Reds know that.

      You wouldn’t trade Aroldis Chapman for Mike Trout?!?Seriously?!? I mean I love Chapman as much as the next guy but c’mon! Have you seen Trout play all year? The kid is phenomenal.I would jump out of my shoes for that trade.Moot point though because the Angels wouldn’t trade him for all the gold in Fort Knox IMO.

      As far as the article I completely agree with the decision and it’s great news.I think it is pretty much a lock he won’t be in the majors before September of next year though.Kids that young don’t learn new positions in the big leagues.

      I think if that trade is made the Reds would be in the same postseason situation as Trout. Having Chapman close those games out in from mid June to late August was more valuable than a guy who just clog up the bases.

  10. I don’t get where this whole “As long as Dusty is here, Chapman will never start” mentality is coming from.

    Chapman is going to be a starter. That is the long term plan. Dusty said so too:

    Chapman to start? Wait till next year
    07/23/12 at 7:36pm by jfay

    HOUSTON — Aroldis Chapman obviously is going to be in the bullpen the rest of this year. But Reds manager Dusty Baker hinted that Chapman could return to the rotation in 2013.

    “We’ll worry about that next year,” Baker said. “We’ll worry about that when we get (Ryan) Madson back. We’ll worry about that then. There are plenty of guys that went from starters to closer to the Hall of Fame. (Dennis) Eckersley, Goose Gossage, (Dave) Righetti. Righetti’s not the Hall of Fame, but he was a pretty good closer.”

    Chapman prepared in spring training to start. Had Madson, Nick Masset and Bill Bray not have been hurt during spring training, Chapman would have likely been in the rotation.

    http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/2012/07/23/chapman-to-start-wait-till-next-year/

  11. Just an aisde fro mthis article:
    ———————–
    If you have $3 and an internet connection, MLB.tv, or MLB Network (I think) you should be watching the A’s game right now. This is a playoff game. Oakland Coliseum is packed.

  12. @CI3J: Here’s your problem with that. Madson and his 11 million dollar option (or something close to that) will not be picked up. The Reds don’t have the salary and why would you waste that much on a guy who just had tommy john?

    I have heard Dusty say numerous times that the two best things to have in life is good friends and a good bullpen, but not in that order. I don’t care what he said to the media, Dusty knows the Chapman will save him a game 9.5/10 times. He won’t let that safety net go.

    I am not going to argue with you about this, but that’s how I see it. It would be different if this years rotation didn’t have a top 5 ERA or that a contract is up and they need a replacement.

  13. My prediction is we pass on Ryan Madson’s $11 million option for next year and then re-sign him at a discount. He’ll be the closer next year. Chapman will be starting.

  14. @CI3J: My guess is we trade him. It’ll be interesting to see what we get for him though. Might end up trading him along with a couple prospects (similar to the Travis Wood deal) for… (insert a billion different guesses here). It’s always hard to know what Walt is thinking though.

  15. When Chapman starts, you could line up Cueto, Chapman, Latos, Bailey, Leake. That would be a very impressive rotation and riddle me this. Who is the oldest of the five?

    • When Chapman starts, you could line up Cueto, Chapman, Latos, Bailey, Leake.That would be a very impressive rotation and riddle me this.Who is the oldest of the five?

      Without looking, I think it’s Bailey. He’s 26.

      And Arroyo will be in there another year, thus my asking what to do with Leake. And we have Cingrani, Corcino, and Stephenson coming along as well.

      10 years ago, who knew the Reds would be in this position? Ty Howington? Chris Gruler?

  16. @VottoManCrush: FWIW Madson said he’d be “highly interested” in signing with the Reds in 2013 (I believe a re-signing was assumed.) But it can take a pitcher up to 2 years to be as effective as they were after Tommy John surgery. As ray00 said, he’s a Scott Boras client, but just the same, he can’t expect more than an incentive-laden 1 year contract right now.

  17. WJ has never wavered, in speech anyway, that Chapman will be a starter for the Reds. Next year would seem to be the time.

    • WJ has never wavered, in speech anyway, that Chapman will be a starter for the Reds. Next year would seem to be the time.

      I pretty much agree in 2013 it is then or never for Chapman as a starter with the Reds

  18. @pinson343: (Madson) can’t expect more than an incentive-laden 1 year contract right now…..

    I was thinking there was another way they could float to him. 3 years; first two years guaranteed and get back his $11M he loses on the declined option but nothing more (loading doesn’t really matter since it is 100% guaranteed). Third year market for a top closer but on an two way option.

    My thinking is that 2013 is basicly a rehab year for him anyway so anybody wanting to pay him salary for finishing his rehab should also get a year to enjoy the fruits of the labor. It is a risk but TJ surgery is reasonably reliable and recovery is fairly predictable.

  19. Sorry but I don’t get all the hype with Hamilton yet and now he is switching positions to CF and this coming with what many consider a weak arm. I want to see at least a full season if not 2 in the minor leagues showing me he can hit and field that position.

    • Sorry but I don’t get all the hype with Hamilton yet and now he is switching positions to CF and this coming with what many consider a weak arm.I want to see at least a full season if not 2 in the minor leagues showing me he can hit and field that position.

      I know you often throw chum in the water to see what you comments you can attract, but where have you heard that Hamilton has a weak arm, b/c I’ve heard the opposite?

  20. things get locked into place in the post-season, that’s the problem. it’s only a handful of games, but they mean so much they can shape people’s careers.

    look at paplebon. he was a starting pitching prospect for the redsox, but after what he did in the post-season, there was no way the sox were going to move him out of the closer role.

    if chapman ends up saving games in the world series and the reds win, i can’t imagine them moving him to the rotation.

  21. @vicferrari: That is not the same situation. Chapman is a unique talent, but the Reds could replace that role (closer) pretty well, even if it meant giving up the triple digit heater and dominance.

    Chapman as a closer gets flipped for a better (whatever), while likely being replaced almost fully in terms of save percentage (which is really the only thing that matters about a closer, not K’s and whatnot). Net gain of more wins for the team.

    You trade Votto? It’ll take at LEAST two players to replace him. Net gain… likely zero.

    If the Reds will start Chapman, then all trades are off.

  22. By the time Jacoby gets done with him, his K rate will be around .300 and his bunt rate will be one for every 100 at-bats. He won’t steal because Jacoby will turn him into a guy who can’t reach first base.

    • @redsfanman:I never understand that logic RC – what can the Reds trade Chapman for that would be more valuable than him? I wouldn’t trade him for Trout or Harper – the key to winning is good pitching and the Reds know that.

      You wouldn’t trade Aroldis Chapman for Mike Trout?!?Seriously?!? I mean I love Chapman as much as the next guy but c’mon! Have you seen Trout play all year? The kid is phenomenal.I would jump out of my shoes for that trade.Moot point though because the Angels wouldn’t trade him for all the gold in Fort Knox IMO.

      No, I wouldn’t trade Chapman for Trout. Both are phenomenal, but the Reds need pitching more than hitting. Trading away important pitching in hopes that the new guy can make up for bad pitching is a huge step in the wrong direction. That’s a Jim Bowden move that is inconsistent with the team’s goals.

      When Chapman becomes the starter, does Leake become the long man? Or do we trade him or send him to Louisville as a backup option?

      I think Chapman’s only chance to enter the rotation in 2013 is if Cueto or Latos sustain a serious injury in spring training. Anybody else – Arroyo, Bailey, Leake – can be adequately replaced by Tony Cingrani.

      WJ has never wavered, in speech anyway, that Chapman will be a starter for the Reds. Next year would seem to be the time.

      Walt Jocketty and Dusty Baker have both said that to appease fans who wouldn’t quit whining about how they had foolishly ruled that out. They’ve given no real indication that we should expect such a change, let alone suggested plans to do so. I expect he’ll prepare for spring training as a starter and hope for a major injury to Cueto or Latos. He got the closer job from Madson because of Tommy John Surgery and a similar procedure for a starter is his only likely path into the rotation.

      Sorry but I don’t get all the hype with Hamilton yet and now he is switching positions to CF and this coming with what many consider a weak arm.I want to see at least a full season if not 2 in the minor leagues showing me he can hit and field that position.

      I thought a bad arm was part of why Brandon Phillips was moved away from shortstop years ago. I’m not convinced that a crummy arm for a shortstop (who has to throw a long way off balance into the glove of a 1b) necessarily means a bad arm for a CF – we’ll have to wait and see.

      Votto is worth far more than any closer who has ever pitched.Closer if the most seriously overrated position in professional sports.If the organization decides Chapman is a “closer”, it would be a tremendous waste of potential.

      A point Marty Brennaman was making earlier this season is that he believed closing to be a very overrated role until he saw the panic following an injury to Mariano Rivera. Guys like Rivera or Chapman are extremely difficult to find let alone replace. It seems like years of complaining about Francisco Cordero would make Reds fans gain more of an appreciation for Chapman’s value as a closer, but nope, I guess not. People (like Matt WI) who say the Reds can adequately replace Chapman as closer probably haven’t been watching the Reds over the past decade. Just a few extra blown saves by his replacement can cost the Reds a trip to the 2013 playoffs.

      An important point is what do the 2013 Cincinnati Reds need? Do they need another starting pitcher to replace Mike Leake or do they need a closer? Some say the former, I say the later.

      By the time Jacoby gets done with him, his K rate will be around .300 and his bunt rate will be one for every 100 at-bats. He won’t steal because Jacoby will turn him into a guy who can’t reach first base.

      Going after Jacoby now? Reds finish first in runs scored in 2010, second in runs in 2011, and run away with first place in 2012 and you’re still really disrespectful of the coaching staff? Yikes!

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