2013 Reds

Dexter Fowler boomlet?

Reading in a couple places today the suggestion that Dexter Fowler might be a possible trade target for the Reds. John Fay speculates:

But Fowler is ideal. He hit .300 with a .389 on-base percentage and .474 slugging percentage last year. He made $2.3 million and is abitration-eligible for the second time. He’s only 26 and the Reds would control him for two years. That works well. Top prospect Billy Hamilton is a year or two away.

But, again, the price would be steep. The Reds would probably have to give up either Daniel Corcino or Tony Cingrani, two top pitching prospects, as part of the package.

Fowler *might* be an upgrade over Drew Stubbs. But his home/away splits are a huge concern. He success seems tied to the friendly confines and high altitudes of Denver. Fowler’s career slash outside of Coors Field: .248/.331/.367. Despite his speed, he’s not very good at stealing bases. In the past three seasons, Fowler has stolen 37 bases (and caught 21! times). Over that time he’s hit 24 home runs.

Stubbs career: .241/.312/.386. In the past three seasons, Stubbs has 51 home runs and 100 stolen bases (23 CS).

Is Fowler better than Stubbs in CF? Meh. I surely wouldn’t give up the farm, or even an important piece of it, to find out.

138 thoughts on “Dexter Fowler boomlet?

  1. Joakim Soria signs with the Rangers for less than half ($8mil/2yrs. w/ option) of what Broxton cost us. You’d think last offseason would’ve taught Walt & Co. that waiting out the market for relievers is the best strategy. Still out there—Rafael Soriano and Mike Adams.

    In addition to my belief that Broxton wasn’t the best talent for the money, I just hate the idea that the Broxton overpay would prevent us from having an extra $3mil or so to buy some bench help.

  2. Joakim Soria is also recovering from Tommy John surgery and is out until halfway through the season. So there’s that.

  3. Gordon has been mentioned a bunch on pretty much all the fan websites. But the Royals think they can contend next year so there is pretty much no way he’s being traded. The Royals have a stacked farm system so why give up Gordon?

  4. I have been so busy with football I havent commented in a while, package Mike Leake with another player make this trade. GABP and Coors Field are probably the 2 best NL Ballparks to hit in. Those NL West ballparks are not good hitting parks I dont know what it is I am guessing its the cool california air, along with the size of those Ballparks. The Reds can not have Drew Stubbs hitting lead off in 2013.

  5. @Tom Diesman: Sadly pathetic as Cozart/Stubbs (2 lowest OBPs in NL) would be 7/8, I still think Baker will bat at least one of them 1 or 2…I’ve read a lot of articles quoting about the Reds “Dusty-proofing” the lineups. How sad!!! Best way to Dusty-proof it was to let him mosey on down the road. Stubbs has no business on any major league roster, much less the roster of a supposed contender, much less starting!!! Fowler would be an improvement, but…Coco Crisp would be an improvement!!!!

    • @Tom Diesman: I think you missed a back up catcher on the list of needs.

      Meso needs to be down at AAA getting his mojo back if he is ever to be a real help at the MLB level.

      Corky Miller is returning to the organization if Mesoraco gets sent to AAA to get his mojo back. I expect Mesoraco will be with the team though. I don’t think a backup catcher is a high priority.

  6. Whether or not the Reds acquire a leadoff hitter is the key to whether or not Cozart or Stubbs hit at the top of the lineup – that’s up to Walt Jocketty, not Dusty. Add a leadoff hitter and #4 hitter and they’ll go to the bottom of the order. Some fans call that Dusty proofing, you can also call it building a well-rounded roster. The primary ‘error of Dusty’s ways’ regarding the lineup is never being given a good leadoff hitter in all his years with the Reds. It’s always easier to criticize Dusty’s leadoff hitters than suggest a decent leadoff hitter on the roster.

    Coco Crisp and Eric Young get mentioned sometimes. I don’t think they’re improvements, they’re just new names to throw into a mix so Dusty can draw out a name. Joey Votto is the only OBP guy whose name he can pull out, and he hits third. Crisp and Young could enter the revolving door of disgrace – the leadoff position for the Cincinnati Reds – but I doubt they’d last any longer or be any more successful than the many similar players who came before them. Stubbs. Cozart. Orlando Cabrera. Taveras. Corey Patterson. The Reds need an improvement, not new names to throw into a void.

    Why would the Royals give up Alex Gordon? Maybe they need pitching help to contend and want to open up a spot in the outfield for Wil Myers. That’s where Homer Bailey fits in. They already signed Jeremie Guthrie (HA) to improve their rotation and they’re supposedly still trying to get rid of Luke Hochevar. Are they going to contend? I doubt it, not unless they improve the pitching staff, and Homer Bailey could help. If Wil Myers duplicates Mike Trout’s rookie season I doubt he can carry that current pitching staff to contention.

    Do Cozart, Stubbs, and the pitchers’ spot make a pathetic 7-8-9 spot? I don’t think so. Teams tend to stick their worst hitters in those spots, not just the Reds. In a full season I’ll bet the Reds would get more homeruns and stolen bases out of those spots than most teams if Cozart and Stubbs keep hitting down there.

    Bailey is expected to get ~$5m in 2013, then up again thanks to salary arbitration. And up again. Alex Gordon is about $4m more per season, but I expect the difference to remain similar for the next several years. Bailey isn’t getting cheaper either, even if he signs a long term extension (which they haven’t even considered doing yet).

    • Whether or not the Reds acquire a leadoff hitter is the key to whether or not Cozart or Stubbs hit at the top of the lineup – that’s up to Walt Jocketty, not Dusty.Add a leadoff hitter and #4 hitter and they’ll go to the bottom of the order.Some fans call that Dusty proofing, you can also call it building a well-rounded roster.The primary ‘error of Dusty’s ways’ regarding the lineup is never being given a good leadoff hitter in all his years with the Reds.It’s always easier to criticize Dusty’s leadoff hitters than suggest a decent leadoff hitter on the roster.

      Coco Crisp and Eric Young get mentioned sometimes.I don’t think they’re improvements, they’re just new names to throw into a mix so Dusty can draw out a name.Joey Votto is the only OBP guy whose name he can pull out, and he hits third.Crisp and Young could enter the revolving door of disgrace – the leadoff position for the Cincinnati Reds – but I doubt they’d last any longer or be any more successful than the many similar players who came before them.Stubbs.Cozart.Orlando Cabrera.Taveras.Corey Patterson.The Reds need an improvement, not new names to throw into a void.

      Why would the Royals give up Alex Gordon?Maybe they need pitching help to contend and want to open up a spot in the outfield for Wil Myers.That’s where Homer Bailey fits in.They already signed Jeremie Guthrie (HA) to improve their rotation and they’re supposedly still trying to get rid of Luke Hochevar.Are they going to contend?I doubt it, not unless they improve the pitching staff, and Homer Bailey could help.If Wil Myers duplicates Mike Trout’s rookie season I doubt he can carry that current pitching staff to contention.

      Do Cozart, Stubbs, and the pitchers’ spot make a pathetic 7-8-9 spot?I don’t think so.Teams tend to stick their worst hitters in those spots, not just the Reds.In a full season I’ll bet the Reds would get more homeruns and stolen bases out of those spots than most teams if Cozart and Stubbs keep hitting down there.

      Bailey is expected to get ~$5m in 2013, then up again thanks to salary arbitration.And up again.Alex Gordon is about $4m more per season, but I expect the difference to remain similar for the next several years.Bailey isn’t getting cheaper either, even if he signs a long term extension (which they haven’t even considered doing yet).

      Right. Dusty isn’t responsible for consistently putting the 2 least equipped guys 1-2. Got it. :D

      The Royals must really love Jeff Francoeur out in RF. Always err old, that’s what I always say…

  7. Something is brewing in the Music City today. WJ is off and talking to the Yankees of all teams. Is Brett Gardner about to become an OF for the Reds?? Is Frazier about to become a Yankee?

  8. WJ also talking to the Pirates for OF Starling Marte. Discussions centered on SS Didi Gregorius, P Kyle Lotzkar or Daniel Corcino, and OF Chris Heisey. Might take a bit more than this to pry away Marte from the Pirates. Gregorius would allow the Buccos to trade their SS Barmes and his high salary for a P. Heisey would help form a very good platoon in LF with Travis Snyder. They already have good OF’s in McCutcheon and Jones and Alvarez to play OF and 3B.

  9. @Steve Mancuso:
    A guest on MLB radio. Didn’t get his name. They were talking Pirates when he said the Reds were interested in Marte and what he thought was offered.

  10. Marte is just another young guy with “potential” but no plate discipline, right? As I recall, he strikes out a lot more than he walks…

  11. To expound, I believe that it’s more likely Cozart or Gregorius would be traded to the Yankees. They could shift whoever they traded for over to third, which would solve the ARod problem. I don’t think that it would cost much to get him, as my buddy has told me that the Yankees don’t think very highly of Gardner. He wasn’t even a starter the second half of last season.

  12. I think we’re mixing two concepts here.

    1) Fowler is clearly better than Stubbs. [The splits bother me, but even with those considered, Fowler is better. What really concerns me, though, is Fowler's defensive stats. Notwithstanding those, Fowler is still superior to Stubbs.]

    2) But Fowler is by no means fair value for Bailey. Maybe if you take their contracts into consideration, it gets close. I’m not adverse to trading Bailey but Bailey straight up for Fowler would be a steal for the Rockies.

    • I think we’re mixing two concepts here.

      1) Fowler is clearly better than Stubbs. [The splits bother me, but even with those considered, Fowler is better. What really concerns me, though, is Fowler's defensive stats. Notwithstanding those, Fowler is still superior to Stubbs.]

      2) But Fowler is by no means fair value for Bailey. Maybe if you take their contracts into consideration, it gets close. I’m not adverse to trading Bailey but Bailey straight up for Fowler would be a steal for the Rockies.

      That’s what I was trying to say earlier. You just did it better.

  13. In all the “Fowler is better than Stubbs” talk, keep in mind:

    OBP: Fowler better than Stubbs
    Power: Stubbs considerably better than Fowler
    Defense: Stubbs considerably better than Fowler
    SB: Stubbs enormously better than Fowler

    Sure, OBP may be the most important of these indicators. But let’s not ignore the other stuff.

  14. I like the Alex Gordon talk. Two time GG winner in LF. But he is a LH hitter. KC’s Billy Butler (DH) can play LF too. A RH hitter. Better hitter but not as good defensively as Gordon. Both have signed Jay Bruce-like extensions. Gordon is 28 and Butler is 26. However, KC also has Wil Myers that could play LF. He’s 22 and a RH hitter. Great defense. It would take a haul to get him, the 2012 minor league player of the year. I would empty out the coffers for him, but keep Hamilton and Cingrani as untouchables. I would start with Leake, Stubbs, Corcino, Lotzkar, KC needs a 2B so include H-Rod or Didi Gregorius, and whoever else KC would want. That would address KC’s 3 biggest needs, SP, CF, and 2B. Or maybe some other combination of players.

  15. Starling Marte (24) is a right-handed left fielder playing for the Pirates. He was signed as a 17-year old from the Dominican Republic and spent six years in the Pirates system. Last year, he saw some time with the Pirates – 182 plate appearances.

    In the minor leagues, Marte was known for being a power/speed combination hitter, and had a .361 on base percentage.

    In his time with the Pirates last year, he hit .257/.300/.437 – which is a 4.4 BB%. He had 12 SB (5 CS), 5 HR and 6 triples! Over 162 games that wold be 17 HR and 41 SB. His dWAR is positive, but that’s very unreliable given its based on such little MLB service time. Otherwise I can’t say anything about his defense.

  16. @WVRedlegs: Agree on Alex Gordon. Wonderful defense. He could lead off. Being a LH hitter is OK because of the separation between batting first and JoeyMVP batting third. No crossed streams there. In fact, the Reds could use another LH bat in the lineup. Solid power.

    His walk-rate was over 10% last year, which is well above league average. He wouldn’t fit in on the Reds at all. :-)

    There might be a match with the Royals that wouldn’t involve Homer Bailey. Solving the LF and lead-off problems with one person would be a positive

    • @WVRedlegs: Agree on Alex Gordon. Wonderful defense. He could lead off. Being a LH hitter is OK because of the separation between batting first and JoeyMVP batting third. No crossed streams there. In fact, the Reds could use another LH bat in the lineup. Solid power.

      His walk-rate was over 10% last year, which is well above league average. He wouldn’t fit in on the Reds at all.

      There might be a match with the Royals that wouldn’t involve Homer Bailey. Solving the LF and lead-off problems with one person would be a positive

      I doubt there would be a match for both teams that doesn’t involve Homer Bailey – I expect the Royals would want a better pitcher than Mike Leake and the Reds would need to clear Homer Bailey’s contract from the payroll to afford Gordon’s salary. Again, trading Bailey eliminates another problem my leaving five starting pitchers for five spots in the starting rotation – nobody has to worry about Leake winning a rotation spot from Chapman.

  17. Problem is the Reds are still trying to sign Ludwick, so they won’t actually make a trade until they figure that out.

  18. If anybody cares about the five tools that guys like Jim Bowden values so much, Stubbs has four of them – power, baserunning speed/ability, defense, and throwing arm. He lacks the most important one, arguably the only one that Dexter Fowler possesses – hitting for average. Stubbs’ homeruns and stolen bases are likely to go up if he puts together that fifth tool, and he’s still young enough to improve. On the other hand Fowler doesn’t have much power or a talent for stealing bases and isn’t going to be nearly as good defensively.

    @WVRedlegs: I don’t claim to be an expert on the Royals but I assume Billy Butler will continue to DH. I definitely don’t think that Wil Myers is a realistic fit for the Reds’ needs, any more than Giancarlo Stanton or Morse of the Nationals. I think they’re willing to move Wil Myers for a front line ace pitcher but Homer Bailey doesn’t meet that qualification…. and Mike Leake is even further back.

    I wouldn’t mind a trade of extra players for Starling Marte. I’m a big fan of any trade that includes Didi Gregorius, Kyle Lotzkar, and/or Chris Heisey for a young player. Marte is a bit of a gamble but he could be a great hitter.

    • @redsfanman: You may be right, but I’m not sure the Reds payroll situation is necessarily as tight as everyone thinks.

      I guess the Reds haven’t made it clear if they expect to spend any money on improving the infield bench. I’m curious if they’ll fill Rolen, Cairo, and Valdez’s spots with quality free agents, cheap guys off the scrap heap, rushed prospects (like Henry Rodriguez), or by trade. Either way adding Alex Gordon’s $9m contract, that increases every year after, seems tough.

        • @Steve Mancuso:
          I didn’t think of Alex Gordon as a leadoff hitter, moreso as a #4, but I guess he could be. Leake would be a #3 starter for the Royals, with the prospect of being their #2. Hochevar and Chen are their #3 and #4 right now. With Jeremy Guthrie as their #2.I’m sure the Reds could put an enticing package together. But the question is will they??Will they pull the trigger on such a trade that would help both teams??

          Alex Gordon is left handed and definitely wouldn’t be a #4 hitter for the Reds. Dusty Baker is reluctant to hit lefties back to back, let alone three in a row (which I agree with). I read up on Alex Gordon and most of the articles were people complaining about him being removed from the leadoff spot and wanting him back there, where he’d been so successful. He’s not a prototypical leadoff hitter but he is a very good one. Maybe he could get lots of RBIs with Stubbs hitting 8th.

          I still think the Royals will want a better pitcher than Mike Leake in their quest to improve the rotation. They’re being mentioned as seeking James Shields of the Rays. Reds fans want Leake left out of the rotation for his ~4.60 ERA. I see Leake as a fit for a team looking for a reliable inning eater at the back of the rotation… but not an ace.

          That said, hopefully the Royals will make a silly deal trading Alex Gordon for Mike Leake and prospects.

          My guess is the Reds plan to improve the bench a little through the Rule 5 draft on Thursday.Red Reporter has a good article:

          http://www.redreporter.com/2012/12/3/3712488/cba-blues-rule-5-draft-reds-josh-hamilton-jared-burton-brian-moran-marc-krauss

          I assume (but I’m not certain) that the Rule 5 draft is like the regular draft order where the Cincinnati Reds will have around the 29th choice…. so the only Rule 5 picks will be guys overlooked by all the other teams. If there are good players taken in the Rule 5 draft I think it’s a longshot that they fall to the Reds, but we’ll see!

          Rule 5 picks overlooked by all the other team, is that a match or what? Perfect replacement for Miguel Cairo or Wilson Valdez. Yikes :/

  19. There’s no way I would trade Bailey. No way no how!! If Chapman pitches like he did last spring as a starter, then the Reds have 4 legit potential #1 starters. An ace in Cueto, and potential #1’s in Latos, Bailey and Chapman. And the crafty veteran Arroyo. The Reds can spare Mike Leake. They have Redmond and Cingrani to fill in, in case of an injury emergency. And LeCure could start some if a starter went on the 15 day DL. Thats 3 options right there without Leake. And I sense that WJ is going to sign a veteran pitcher to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training like Jeff Francis last year for some AAA depth. That would be a 4th option. Hamilton, Cingrani and Stephenson would be my only untouchables. Leake and Stubbs/Heisey could be packaged up with a host of prospects (Didi, H-Rod, Corcino, Lotzkar, Lutz, Soto, Smith, Phipps, Barnhart, etc.) for a top tier player to play LF and to bat 4th. There are a handful of teams that match up with the Reds here.

  20. @Steve Mancuso:
    I didn’t think of Alex Gordon as a leadoff hitter, moreso as a #4, but I guess he could be. Leake would be a #3 starter for the Royals, with the prospect of being their #2. Hochevar and Chen are their #3 and #4 right now. With Jeremy Guthrie as their #2. I’m sure the Reds could put an enticing package together. But the question is will they?? Will they pull the trigger on such a trade that would help both teams??

  21. What does the Denard Span trade (for one A-level prospect) say about the trade market for Shin Soo Choo? Choo is the better player, but Span can play CF. Span also has three years of team control and Choo only has one. Maybe Choo’s trade price went down after the Span deal and we could trade for him for a year. At least that would solve the corner OF problem and lead-off. Could we get him for a single minor league prospect? Sign me up!

    I’d rather have Choo playing LF and leading off than any other ideas we’ve been discussing.

    • What does the Denard Span trade (for one A-level prospect) say about the trade market for Shin Soo Choo? Choo is the better player, but Span can play CF. Span also has three years of team control and Choo only has one. Maybe Choo’s trade price went down after the Span deal and we could trade for him for a year. At least that would solve the corner OF problem and lead-off. Could we get him for a single minor league prospect? Sign me up!

      I’d rather have Choo playing LF and leading off than any other ideas we’ve been discussing.

      I think it’s worth recognizing that the A-level prospect was the Nationals’ equivalent of Robert Stephenson, a highly regarded pitching prospect who is years away from the majors. Not some no talent bum or career minor leaguer. The Reds seem unwilling to consider trading Stephenson despite him being an A-level prospect.

      I’d rather have Alex Gordon than Shin-Shoo Choo, but I’m okay with either. I’m also much happier with either of them than any other name I’ve heard. It’d be interesting to know who the Indians wanted in return.

    • What does the Denard Span trade (for one A-level prospect) say about the trade market for Shin Soo Choo? Choo is the better player, but Span can play CF. Span also has three years of team control and Choo only has one. Maybe Choo’s trade price went down after the Span deal and we could trade for him for a year. At least that would solve the corner OF problem and lead-off. Could we get him for a single minor league prospect? Sign me up!I’d rather have Choo playing LF and leading off than any other ideas we’ve been discussing.

      Jon Heyman reports that Indians’ efforts to trade Choo have been “hampered” by the Span trade. I think that means the price is about to come down.

  22. I don’t want fowler. I thought much the same that he isn’t much of an upgrade. He is young and could be blooming, but he might have just had a career year…you never know.

    If you want to make a real trade, go after 3B Chase Headley and play Frazier in left field. Wrenching him away from SD won’t be easy, but it would put some oomph into the lineup.

  23. I’m on the Choo train, too, ahve been all along. And I’d think for a guy who’s looking for a big year to earn a juicy new contract, GABP would be a nice cozy spot to spend 2013.

    • @Gregg: I think it’s too late to go after Chase Headley – the Yankees and some other teams need thirdbase help a lot more than the Reds do, and will probably be willing to give up more to get it.

      Also read the Red Sox offered Victorino 3 years at $37.5 mil.Uh… good luck with that.

      That is crazy, in my opinion. Now Victorino has to see if he can find MORE elsewhere. Personally I think he’s worth $6m or $7m/year coming off a bad year.

  24. I really, really hope the Reds don’t stand pat.

    If their biggest moves this offseason are re-signing Broxton and Ludwick – all that does is put us back where we were, albeit with Chapman (maybe) in the rotation. The Harpers have traded for Span and signed Dan Haren and they won more games than the Reds last year.

    I hope we learned our lesson in 2011, when we stood still after making the playoffs in 2010.

    If Choo can be had for a minor league pitcher, I’d make that trade even if we get Ludwick.

    • The final number is 3 years, $39MM to Boston.

      Morons. . .

      The Red Soxs aren’t morons, they just have lots of extra money. Can’t argue with that. I wish the Cincinnati Reds had lots of extra money.

      I really, really hope the Reds don’t stand pat.

      If their biggest moves this offseason are re-signing Broxton and Ludwick – all that does is put us back where we were, albeit with Chapman (maybe) in the rotation. The Harpers have traded for Span and signed Dan Haren and they won more games than the Reds last year.

      I hope we learned our lesson in 2011, when we stood still after making the playoffs in 2010.

      If Choo can be had for a minor league pitcher, I’d make that trade even if we get Ludwick.

      I’m really worried about Ryan Ludwick signing because it might convince them that they’re finished. As long as LF is open they NEED to add somebody with more options for targets. Once Ludwick signs any leadoff hitter they acquire would need to play CF. That eliminates hope of acquiring Alex Gordon or Shin Shoo Choo, both of whom always played corner outfield spots.

      Something that surprised me today was Shane Victorino signing a contract to play LF. It seemed like that possibility (playing LF) was being met with resistance by Reds fans.

  25. Posted this over on the other thread, but mlb.com has an article saying the Reds are waiting for a response from Ludwick on a two-year contract….also said possible trade targets if Ludwick doesn’t work out could be the D-backs’ Kubel and Parra.

  26. Tired of hearing how Stubbs has such a power advantage over Fowler…since he became a starter in 2009, Fowler has a slugging percentage of .431 – average, mind you – which Stubbs has only APPROACHED once! (.444, in 2010…back when we thought there was hope he could be a major league hitter)…since then he hasn’t been within 60 points. I realize there are certain advantages to hitting in Coors, but 60 points!!! Why don’t we just bring back Paul Householder and stick HIM in center field?!?

    • Tired of hearing how Stubbs has such a power advantage over Fowler…since he became a starter in 2009, Fowler has a slugging percentage of .431 – average, mind you – which Stubbs has only APPROACHED once! (.444, in 2010…back when we thought there was hope he could be a major league hitter)…since then he hasn’t been within 60 points.I realize there are certain advantages to hitting in Coors, but 60 points!!!Why don’t we just bring back Paul Householder and stick HIM in center field?!?

      Those ‘certain advantages to hitting in Coors’ are the reason why so many people are so skeptical of Fowler’s numbers. Here’s a key section from an article on the topic:

      Fowler’s high SLG and OPS values come from his gap-to-gap power, which is best utilized at Coors Field. The left-center and right-center field gaps at Coors Field measure 420 and 424 feet, respectively. In Cincinnati, those same gaps measure just 379 and 370 feet. Those additional 41 and 54 feet make a huge difference in Fowler’s ability to stretch base hits into doubles and triples.

      Read the whole article and you won’t want Fowler anymore:

      http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1431111-mlb-winter-meetings-dexter-fowler-not-worth-it-for-cincinnati-reds

  27. To elaborate, Fowler has the ability to hit the ball in the gap, something which is unlikely to be quite as successful without the distant outfield walls in Colorado. In 2012 Fowler hit 13 homeruns after hitting 15 combined in his first three full seasons. Stubbs, aka Mr Unpopular, just hit 14 homeruns in his worst full season, down from a career high of 22 in 2010.

    If Dexter Fowler gets traded away from his ideal hitting environment of Coors Field I expect Fowler’s extra base hit totals to be slashed. I expect Stubbs would surpass him in slugging by hitting more homeruns (say, 20 vs 5 for Fowler) and getting comparable numbers of doubles and triples. That is NOT to say that I expect Stubbs to lead Fowler in average or OBP.

  28. @redsfanman: OK, I’ll agree that Fowler isn’t a savior and probably not worth Bailey…but the slash lines listed in the article didn’t mention that Stubbs has consistently regressed each of the past 3 years…I still can’t bring myself to concede that Fowler wouldn’t be an improvement over Stubbs – in fact, I think Heisey and XPaul BOTH would be improvements…but idiot seems convinced that Stubbs/Cozart/Patterson/Taveras/Darren Lewis/Neifi Perez/etc. should be at the top of the lineup. I’d rather have DatDude batting somewhere other than leadoff, but he’s an improvement over Stubbs & Cozart, the two NL starters with the lowest OBP in the NL!!! Sometimes I think idiot chooses his lineups the same way the kids in the Archie comics chose their vacations…spin a globe, put a blindfold on Jughead, and have him throw a dart! lol

  29. @MarvinBakerDustyLewis: Keep in mind that if the Reds trade for Dexter Fowler they won’t be getting the Coors Field version of Dexter Fowler, they’ll be trading for a Great American Ballpark version. If a players’ extra base hit totals getting slashed is to be considered regression, Dexter Fowler is likely to demonstrate it with the Reds.

    Fowler should be an upgrade for batting average and downgrade every other way. At best comparable slugging/power numbers. Worse basestealing. Worse fielding. They’d have to trade a lot for somebody who isn’t much of an upgrade.

    I think you, Dusty, and I are all in agreement that Brandon Phillips should bat somewhere other than leadoff. Unfortunately the rules require the manager to write SOMEBODY into the leadoff spot. I think Dusty knows by now that whether he gives an issue great thought, turns to a statistician, or pulls a name out of a hat most fans are dissapointed with whoever he chooses to hit leadoff – none of the options are acceptable. The only solution is for the front office to add a quality leadoff hitter, a luxury Dusty Baker has NEVER received in all his years with the Reds.

    Here’s the selection processes or hierarchy that I suspect they go through for choosing a leadoff hitter:
    1. Choose the quality leadoff hitter (blank) [Michael Bourn would be an example].
    2. Choose the non-prototypical leadoff hitter who would do a good job (blank) [Alex Gordon would be an example].
    3. Choose the guy who possesses some (but not all) of the positive skills associated with a leadoff hiter (Phillips).
    4. Choose the guy who might possess SOMETHING, such as speed, that you might vaguely associate with a leadoff hitter (Stubbs, Cozart, Taveras, Patterson) [Angel Pagan, Dexter Fowler, Parra of Arizona, Chris Young, Coco Crisp].
    5. Choose a bench player who can’t even hit his way into the lineup (Heisey).

    On that chart I just made Dusty’s options usually start at step 3, although the only candidate (Phillips) is more successful in other roles, so he has to go further down the list. Hopefully they can still acquire somebody (Gordon, Choo) capable of at least meeting the second category.

  30. Can’t completely argue, although I’d like to think, on a competitive team, we wouldn’t have to resort to a leadoff hitter who “might” possess “something” that you might “vaguely” associate with a leadoff hitter…I think Phillips has done a decent job as a leadoff hitter when put in that position the last couple of years…so why not look at 1 and 2 hitters who are not totally incompetent (i.e. Stubbs & Cozart, the 2 lowest OBPs in the NL)…I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they make moves this winter to fill the needs they have, but I have bets out that Stubbs will be our starting CF on opening day and Rolen will be our starting 3B, and Frazier will be on the bench…just like in the disastrous playoffs…Personally, I’d love to see a move for Gordon or Choo, but even if so, not convinced idiot wouldn’t put them on the bench in favor of Stubbs…

  31. Not saying I’m in on Fowler, but i”m not willing to concede on the argument that his extra base numbers go down at GABP…..It still doesn’t change OBP. As long as Joey has a man on first consistently, his doubles power and Fowler’s speed ensures a run. Also, any thought that a smaller outfield boosts his defensive prowess, narrowing the gap between him and Stubbs in that area as well? For the record, I think we can do better than Fowler, but he is more than a marginal improvement all the way around.

    • Can’t completely argue, although I’d like to think, on a competitive team, we wouldn’t have to resort to a leadoff hitter who “might” possess “something” that you might “vaguely” associate with a leadoff hitter…I think Phillips has done a decent job as a leadoff hitter when put in that position the last couple of years…so why not look at 1 and 2 hitters who are not totally incompetent (i.e. Stubbs & Cozart, the 2 lowest OBPs in the NL)…I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they make moves this winter to fill the needs they have, but I have bets out that Stubbs will be our starting CF on opening day and Rolen will be our starting 3B, and Frazier will be on the bench…just like in the disastrous playoffs…Personally, I’d love to see a move for Gordon or Choo, but even if so, not convinced idiot wouldn’t put them on the bench in favor of Stubbs…

      You’d like to think Phillips has done a decent job as a leadoff hitter. I’ll pull up the numbers:
      2012: .202 average, .254 OBP in 114 ABs hitting leadoff.
      2011: .350 average and .417 OBP in 157 ABs.
      2010: .251 average, .302 OBP in 315 ABs.

      Twice (2010 and 2012) he failed miserably in that role, doing way below his overall season numbers. in 2011 he put up unsustainable numbers (Joey Votto could barely keep that up) that skew the long term performance. I don’t think Phillips should be put back through that experiment again.

      You’d like to think that a team has an obvious option, but the facts aren’t always so kind. Unfortunately the lack of a good option is usually blamed on the manager rather than the front office.

      Alex Gordon has never played CF and Shin-Shoo Choo hasn’t played CF since 2006. They play different positions from Stubbs so they would have no bearing on his playing time. Benching either for Stubbs isn’t a (realistic) option. I fully expect Stubbs to be the opening day CF, but I expect he will start the season in the bottom of the lineup. How long he stays down there depends on who they acquire.

      Not saying I’m in on Fowler, but i”m not willing to concede on the argument that his extra base numbers go down at GABP…..It still doesn’t change OBP. As long as Joey has a man on first consistently, his doubles power and Fowler’s speed ensures a run. Also, any thought that a smaller outfield boosts his defensive prowess, narrowing the gap between him and Stubbs in that area as well? For the record, I think we can do better than Fowler, but he is more than a marginal improvement all the way around.

      I respectfully disagree about Fowler being more than a marginal improvement. The Reds prioritize pitching, speed, and defense and average/OBP is the only skill in which Fowler provides any sort of improvement whatsoever. I don’t think the concerns about Fowler’s defense in Colorado related to the larger outfield or would be eliminated by the smaller outfield in Cincinnati – I don’t think anybody has questioned his speed in CF. In my opinion his high rate of getting caught stealing eliminates the run game as a threat.

      I wonder how much pitching, minor league talent, homerun power, basestealing ability, and/or defense in CF it’s worth trading for that improvement in OBP that Fowler would provide. In my opinion, not much.

      • You’d like to think Phillips has done a decent job as a leadoff hitter. I’ll pull up the numbers:
        2012: .202 average, .254 OBP in 114 ABs hitting leadoff.
        2011: .350 average and .417 OBP in 157 ABs.
        2010: .251 average, .302 OBP in 315 ABs.

        Twice (2010 and 2012) he failed miserably in that role, doing way below his overall season numbers. in 2011 he put up unsustainable numbers (Joey Votto could barely keep that up) that skew the long term performance. I don’t think Phillips should be put back through that experiment again.

        You’d like to think that a team has an obvious option, but the facts aren’t always so kind. Unfortunately the lack of a good option is usually blamed on the manager rather than the front office.

        You just got sample sized!

        Phillips PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
        Career 4989 .273 .322 .433 .755
        Career #1 691 .265 .325 .426 .751

        Phillips is not ideal for the top of the order, but is still hands down the best option we currently have. He ensures at least one league average OBP hitting in front of Votto, and the extra ABs associated with the top spot go to a competent hitter. He should be in the 2 spot if a better leadoff hitter is acquired or when Hamilton is promoted.

      • You’d like to think Phillips has done a decent job as a leadoff hitter. I’ll pull up the numbers:
        2012: .202 average, .254 OBP in 114 ABs hitting leadoff.
        2011: .350 average and .417 OBP in 157 ABs.
        2010: .251 average, .302 OBP in 315 ABs.

        Good heavens. Please stop abusing these numbers and parsing them out to make your point. We get it, you don’t think BP is good for leadoff. He’s not ideal, but he’s the best until proven otherwise. But please stop ignoring how numbers work to say he’s only likely to be below average. Give him one season, one full season, and if his numbers aren’t close to career norms, that would be something noteworthy. The expectation for BP out of the leadoff spot over any reasonable length of time would be an OBP of .320-.330. That’s it. No great shakes, but better than sub .300.

  32. @redsfanman:

    for BP leading off in 2010, recall his numbers are skewed down because late in year, Brian Wilson drilled him in the hand. Dusty only sat him 3 days, then put in back in leadoff where he went something like 9 for 72 because his hand was still too swollen for him to grip bat properly. Before that HBP, BP was doing well in lead off role.

    i agree it would be nice to have a more typical leadoff hitter, but right now BP seems to be the best Reds have. And given the recent Free Agent deals, pagan/victorino and whatever Bourn will get now, if the reds want to improve then it will likely have to be a trade. Choo sure seems more attractive now as leadoff hitter, though given his defensive metrics, best he goes to LF, while Reds “platoon” Heisey/Stubbs more in CF.

  33. I still think there are options in Japan. The culture of Japanese baseball has more of a OBP mindset. They like their home runs like anyone else, but making contact and getting on base is just more of a part of the baseball culture.

  34. I’d be fine with playing Choo or Gordon in LF instead of Ludwick because of the lead-off role. On the other hand, if you’re looking to acquire one of them in addition to Ludwick, there is the idea that Jay Bruce could move to CF and Choo or Gordon could play RF.

  35. Why not experiment with Stubbs in spring training and bat him 4th?? Put that big swing of his to use. Most cleanup hitters already strike out alot. Just give him a different mindset. Grip it and rip it. Don’t jerk him around like much of the last two years to be more of an on-base guy and then use his speed. He hit 22 HR’s in 2010 before Dusty started with the mind games on Stubbs in 2011. Go out and acquire the prototypical leadoff hitter to play LF or CF and give Stubbs a chance at the cleanup spot. He just might turn out to be better and cheaper option than Ludwick.

    • Why not experiment with Stubbs in spring training and bat him 4th?? Put that big swing of his to use. Most cleanup hitters already strike out alot. Just give him a different mindset. Grip it and rip it. Don’t jerk him around like much of the last two years to be more of an on-base guy and then use his speed. He hit 22 HR’s in 2010 before Dusty started with the mind games on Stubbs in 2011. Go out and acquire the prototypical leadoff hitter to play LF or CF and give Stubbs a chance at the cleanup spot. He just might turn out to be better and cheaper option than Ludwick.

      That’s exactly what I suggested going in to last year. After Stubbs’ year I don’t know if I can on board with this any more. Way too many ABs for a bad hitter.

  36. @Matt WI: Phillips’ attempt to hit leadoff has been a failure and it’s silly to start the experiment over and over again. I really doubt he’ll surpass a .300 OBP in that role in 2013, despite a hot streak back in 2011. I hope the Reds don’t throw him under the bus for a full year to continue that silly experiment. If they’re not going to get production out of the leadoff spot they can waste other guys (like Cozart) instead and at least put Phillips in a position to succeed (hitting second). The experiment went on too long in 2010. Too long in 2012. Hopefully they don’t start it up again in 2013.

    If somebody’s going to be booed for ineffectiveness hitting leadoff it might as well be Stubbs – he’s used to being trashed and booed. Cozart too, he’s used to being a bad leadoff hitter. Phillips is one of the team’s most popular players and a strange choice to throw under the bus.

    • @Matt WI: Phillips’ attempt to hit leadoff has been a failure and it’s silly to start the experiment over and over again.I really doubt he’ll surpass a .300 OBP in that role in 2013, despite a hot streak back in 2011.I hope the Reds don’t throw him under the bus for a full year to continue that silly experiment.If they’re not going to get production out of the leadoff spot they can waste other guys (like Cozart) instead and at least put Phillips in a position to succeed (hitting second).The experiment went on too long in 2010.Too long in 2012.Hopefully they don’t start it up again in 2013.

      If somebody’s going to be booed for ineffectiveness hitting leadoff it might as well be Stubbs – he’s used to being trashed and booed.Cozart too, he’s used to being a bad leadoff hitter.Phillips is one of the team’s most popular players and a strange choice to throw under the bus.

      Couldn’t disagree more. The only reason Phillips wasn’t in the 1 or 2 spot all the time is the Reds failure to supply a competent clean up hitter, or Baker’s failure to think out of the box and bat Bruce 4th where he should be. Put Phillips at the top and leave him there, and he’ll put up OBP numbers close to his career norm like he always does.

  37. @Tom Diesman: Provide a roster that allows Phillips to bat second and I think everyone’s happy, including Walt Jocketty, Dusty Baker, Brandon Phillips, and most of the fans. Bat Phillips elsewhere and a lot of people will be skeptical of the decision, hoping the Reds acquire a more appropriate hitter for whichever role.

  38. Yes, Phillips is miscast as a leadoff hitter. He’s also miscast as a 4 hole hitter, and in a way that accentuates his worst attributes. I mean, I guess it’s admirable that he *tried* to play to the role, but I’m seriously tired of seeing him swing out of his shoes time after time.

    I don’t want to see him leading off, either, but he *should* have been leading off last season, because he would have been much better than the other options. A low bar to be sure, but still true. Hopefully new circumstances will overcome that choice in 2013. I’d love to see him in the 2 spot. Or even the 3.

  39. Looks like more Fowler rumors are circulating. According the MLBTR it would be Fowler for Leake and two prospects. This doesn’t make sense to me. Leake is a bit more valuable in my estimation. Leake may be the #5 on the Reds, there are few teams where he would be the #5. I’m not quite sure why two prospects would go with him. Like I said at the top of this thread, this seems like a move to make a move. Fowler doesn’t impress me. I hope this is just idle speculation on the part of the Rockies beat writer.

    • Looks like more Fowler rumors are circulating.According the MLBTR it would be Fowler for Leake and two prospects.This doesn’t make sense to me.Leake is a bit more valuable in my estimation.Leake may be the #5 on the Reds, there are few teams where he would be the #5.I’m not quite sure why two prospects would go with him.Like I said at the top of this thread, this seems like a move to make a move.Fowler doesn’t impress me.I hope this is just idle speculation on the part of the Rockies beat writer.

      Reds fans often think players are worth more than they are and Rockies fans probably feel the same way about their players. The rumors seem to involve Leake and Stubbs for Fowler, which seems realistic, rather than Reds prospects. If the Reds are serious about starting Chapman Leake or Bailey need to be traded.

      I don’t think it would be a move just to make a move, I think it’s a move that would help to settle the roster, both the starting lineup and the starting rotation. If they sign Ludwick Jocketty’s final important issue to address over the next three months would be adding bench players.

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