2013 Reds / Reds - General

Hey, the Reds can actually walk and Choo gum at the same time!

Thoughts about this base-clogging Opening Day lineup? Here’s Chad’s podcast to get you started.

  1. Choo RF/CF
  2. Phillips 2B
  3. Votto 1B
  4. Ludwick LF
  5. Bruce RF/CF
  6. Frazier 3B
  7. Cozart SS
  8. Hanigan C
  9. Cueto P

With this (!) starting pitching rotation:

  1. Cueto
  2. Latos
  3. Chapman
  4. Bailey
  5. Arroyo

And this bullpen:

  1. Broxton
  2. Marshall
  3. Massett
  4. Hoover
  5. Simon
  6. Arredondo
  7. LeCure

And this depth:

  • Mike Leake SP
  • Logan Ondrusek RP
  • Chris Heisey OF
  • [Update per comment] Xavier Paul OF
  • Jason Donald IF
  • Devin Mesoraco C
  • [Update per current events] Jack Hannahan 3B/1B

Still to acquire for the final Opening Day roster:

  • Left-handed reliever

228 thoughts on “Hey, the Reds can actually walk and Choo gum at the same time!

  1. WV, I agree that cingrani is the lefty in the pen

    redsfanman, If Rolen choses to come back, it will be because he is healthy. He will not come back for an injury plagued swan song. He is not that guy. If he is healthy, I would have him on my team and see what happens. He is glue in the clubhouse.

    I think the idea of piggybacking Leake for 3 every day that chapman throws 5 is a great idea until the all star break. That presents another trade opportunity for whatever might be needed, and that would be 12 Chapman starts where you could shave 25 innings off his total. Then let Chapman do what he does in the second half if you do trade a starter

  2. Hannahan is signed for $2 million per Rosenthal and MLBTR.

    I am guessing there will be competition between Burris and Donald for utility IF.

    Now trade Redmond for a veteran lefty reliever so Baker has his “LOOGY”.

  3. Most of the pieces I have read have Jay moving to CF by opening day. He won’t be great out there, but, hopefully, he could be slightly below average. Maybe playing 81 games at GABP will hide the deficiencies a bit, too. Most seem to think that Choo will be historically bad in CF.

  4. I like that we only have one red headed step child versus three (Willie Harris, Cairo, Valdez).

    Dusty will probably prefer Burriss to Donald because he use to be a Giant and could bring in a “winning” attitude, or some sort of BS like that.

    STILL! One bad egg, but this one has some speed and potential.

  5. Hey Steve,

    I am curious how the salary is shaping up with the estimated amount for Choo plus the $2 million for Hannahan. When you have time, could you update the salary chart?

    It will be very appreciated.

    • @rfay00:

      Hey Steve,I am curious how the salary is shaping up with the estimated amount for Choo plus the $2 million for Hannahan. When you have time, could you update the salary chart?It will be very appreciated.

      Baseball Reference has the payroll at $96.2 after Choo, so would Hannahan make it $98.2 for 2013?

  6. @Hank Aarons Teammate: Not much via FA, but I assume someone like Hannahan can be traded for pretty easily.

    In the end, it’s a lateral move between Rolen and Hannahan, with the secondary benefit of ensuring Frazier gets the majority of starts. The real improvement to the bench comes from finally having a rationally organized roster instead of a bench where one guy (Rolen) can only play 3B, another (Cairo) only really plays 3B/1B-albeit poorly, and the utility guy (Valdez) plays below average defense AND is completely useless at the play.

  7. Per Danny Knobler on twitter:

    Rolen saying he thinks he wants to return. Where would he fit? I know Hannahan *can* play elsewhere, but he’s noted for his excellent d *at third* and I’m not sure signing Rolen would be smart. Unless he plays for, say, eleven bucks an inning? I love Rolen, and I would like to see him back for his leadership…but NOT if he’s taking Frazier’s playing time away. Rolen is nothing more than defensive replacement and pinch hitter at this point.

  8. To a man, Rolen has said he isn’t sure if he’s gonna play. The Reds have a job to do, so they filled the hole as best they can. I think that sends a pretty strong message to Rolen. Or more likely, I think he’s told them privately he’s done.

    Rather than feel bad for Rolen, I feel for HRod. I think he could’ve produced every bit as much as Hannahan, and for the league minimum. That said, the Reds have been pretty adamant in recent years about prospects working their way up the ladder slowly, so this doesn’t suprise me. Hannahan had interest from other teams, so we could flip him if HRod is banging on the door.

    • @Sultan of Swaff:

      Rather than feel bad for Rolen, I feel for HRod. I think he could’ve produced every bit as much as Hannahan, and for the league minimum.

      My dear Sultan, I was also pulling for HRod to get a chance at the utility IF/PH role. I think the thing working against him was his relative lack of experience playing SS (and the fact that he’s a rookie and the reds don’t use rookies to fill utility roles). Put him in Louisville this year and plant he rear end at SS with occasional appearances at 2B & 3B. Let him prove to everyone once again that he is going to have a long, successful career in the Show (probably in a supersub IF utility role, right Cairo?) and the Reds better make a spot for him in 2014.

      • @Sultan of Swaff:

        My dear Sultan, I was also pulling for HRod to get a chance at the utility IF/PH role.I think the thing working against him was his relative lack of experience playing SS (and the fact that he’s a rookie and the reds don’t use rookies to fill utility roles).Put him in Louisville this year and plant he rear end at SS with occasional appearances at 2B & 3B.Let him prove to everyone once again that he is going to have a long, successful career in the Show (probably in a supersub IF utility role, right Cairo?) and the Reds better make a spot for him in 2014.

        Maybe after another year in AAA the Reds can trade Henry Rodriguez to Arizona for a top pitching prospect. Stranger things have happened.

        • Maybe after another year in AAA the Reds can trade Henry Rodriguez to Arizona for a top pitching prospect.Stranger things have happened.

          Yeah, just tell Towers that H-Rod is the next A-Rod and he will send over Upton and pay all his salary.

  9. @hermanbates: That’s garbage IMO. I mean, it’s the middle of December, but Rolen still isn’t sure he’s playing?? For a guy who’s a ‘leader’, try leading yourself to a decision before we commit $2mil to someone else.

    Too late, pal. The train has left the station.

  10. Me, too. I don’t necessarily begrdge Rolen some time to make a decision, a contending organization can’t afford to sit on it’s hands while available players for need positions keep getting snapped up.

    He should have let ‘em know by now.

  11. @WVRedlegs: I was thinking of this the other day… I’m not particularly happy that the Reds’ cleanup hitter is Ludwick. He had an admirable season as a whole, but his first half was pretty awful. I’m not saying that there were better options available for WJ, perhaps not, but there is a real chance Ludwick does not match last season’s numbers

  12. I think it’s important to recognize that Jack Hannahan is NOT competing for quite the same role as Scott Rolen, although he took Rolen’s job and roster spot. In Rolen’s case there’s always a chance he’d take over and play regularly, Hannahan is like a platoon option for Frazier who can’t take Frazier’s everyday job.

    Henry Rodriguez can still get promoted if somebody gets hurt. I think he could use some more time in AAA and I don’t think he should feel held back by this. Hit well and he can earn a spot.

    The Reds went from valuing former Cardinals to valuing former Indians (Choo, Donald, Hannahan). Did the front office hire somebody important out of the Indians organization?

  13. Sorry, been kinda busy with some other stuff today. Haven’t had a chance to read all the comments carefully, so someone probably already said this, but Hannahan is a left-handed bat and can play 1B as well as 3B so nice utility. This almost certainly ends the Reds’ flirtation with Scott Rolen’s return.

    The Burriss/Donald competition will be a classic titanic struggle. Neither one hits for power, neither one walks. Burriss had a negative dWAR last year, Donald was 0.0. Burriss had exactly one extra base hit (a double) in 150 plate appearances. If Donald is signed to a major league contract (not sure about that) it might give him an edge over Burriss who is just on a minor league deal.

    Maybe Jocketty isn’t done with the utility players yet. Maybe both Donald and Burriss are organizational depth. Maybe Jocketty was sick of who we rolled out there last year.

  14. Reds have to be the favorites to win it all this year.

    Find me a team that is better built, top to bottom?

    • Hannahan’s walk-rate is 10.3% – more base clogging!

      Not at the top of the order though! I expect he’ll be a 6 or 7 hitter when he’s in the lineup. He won’t clog the bases as much if he’s used against LHPs!

  15. @RedForever: Lots of tough teams in the NL this year. Washington added some pieces, plus Strasburg and Storen all year and they had more wins that us last season. The Dodgers are the best team money can buy. The Giants are defending World Series champs. The WLB will be good this year, too. And that’s just the NL.

    But I agree, I love the way our roster is shaping up. Keep going, Walt!

  16. Here’s an interesting note about Jack Hannahan – his splits are strange:
    2012: .167 average/.259 OBP in 72 ABs against LHPs, .270/.331 in 215 ABs against RHPs.
    2011: .296/.367 in 108 ABs against LHPs, .226/.314 in 212 ABs against RHPs

    One year he could only hit RHPs, the previous year he was better against LHPs than RHPs? In the past two years it balances out to a .244 average/.323 OBP against LHPs vs .248/.322 vs RHPs. Basically the same. I wonder how he pulled that off.

    • @rfay00:

      The Reds might be a 100 million dollar team this year…

      Don’t forget the $3.5MM that Cleveland kicked in to the deal to offset Choo’s salary.

      • Don’t forget the $3.5MM that Cleveland kicked in to the deal to offset Choo’s salary.

        That will offset the $3.5MM that the Reds will be throwing down a rat hole on Nick Masset.

  17. I like the Hannahan pick up. He’s played well for Cleveland the last two years and he’s played a lot. I also like the Donald pick up in the Shoo trade. Donald had a rough 2012 season, but he played well for Cleveland during his 1st two years at the major league level and he played well through the minors. There is no competition between Burriss & Hannahan or Donald. Burriss is headed to Louisville after spring training while Donald and Hannahan will be in Cinncinnati.

  18. From what I understand Donald is pre-arb still. So that appears that he would have options left.

    It looks like the bench is set: Heisey, Paul, Hannahan, Meso, and backup SS TBD in ST. Kind of wish we had Janish back to back up SS.

    HRod only had a handful of AB’s in AAA last year and was still recovering from a broken thumb at that. He can definitely use some more seasoning in AAA and if any of our bench bast struggles he’ll be ready. Also in AAA we’ll have at least 4 solid SP for depth in Corcino, Cingrani, Villarreal, and Redmond. Leake may end up there as well as the BP is already full.

    The interesting battle will be the BP. You would have to think that at least 5 of the spots are locked up between Broxton/Marshall/Hoover/LeCure/Simon. Only Hoover has options out of that group (maybe LeCure). Simon could be the long man, and piggyback on Chapman. This could work out because you know the opposing manager will stack RH hitters against Chapman and then Simon comes in as a righty. After that Arredondo would appear to have a spot if no LOOGY is signed because he’s better against lefties anyways. He just makes me nervous because he walks a ton of guys, and that’s a horrible quality to have as a LOOGY.

    Then the last position would likely come down to Ondru/Masset/Leake. From what I’ve read, it sounds like the Reds have about two weeks into the season to send Leake down or he loses his option for the year. To me, it would seem that keeping him starting in AAA would be the way to go. The Reds are in on Masset for too much money to just let him walk. If he’s healthy I fully expect him to be on the opening day roster. Ondrusek can work on stuff down in AAA.

    For once the Reds have a really balanced and talented roster. I would still like to see a LH for the BP over Arredondo, and a better option for back up SS, but compared to last year’s roster I’m just being nit-picky.

    • Also in AAA we’ll have at least 4 solid SP for depth in Corcino, Cingrani, Villarreal, and Redmond.Leake may end up there as well as the BP is already full.

      Here’s a good question – who will have a better starting rotation in 2013 (assuming they all faced major league hitters), the Houston Astros or Louisville Bats? I would choose the Bats.

  19. Notably, injured Scott Rolen (.716 OPS) still had a better statistical 2012 than Jack Hannahan (.654 OPS).

  20. @Shchi Cossack: Good point, but there are still a ton of players not signed. Latos, Bailey, Paul, Heisey, Mesoraco, LeCure that are arbitration eligible, so who knows what their salaries end up being.

    There might be a few more that I missed on that list too.

  21. LOL Masset.

    I’ve never seen so much hype about a marginal setup man. He was pretty good 4 years ago, decent 3 years ago, lousy 2 years ago, and didn’t pitch last year. He’s as relevant as Jimmy Haynes.

    • @Chris Garber:

      LOL Masset. I’ve never seen so much hype about a marginal setup man. He was pretty good 4 years ago, decent 3 years ago, lousy 2 years ago, and didn’t pitch last year. He’s as relevant as Jimmy Haynes.

      I kinda prefer Josh Fogg over Haynes. Or Jack Armstrong, the All American Boy.

      Man, the Reds have had some atrocious pitching over the last 20 years …

  22. Wonder if the Dodgers will take Masset in a trade for a loogy in their pen? They like to spend money.

  23. @hotto4votto: If a player on the 40 man roster is sent to the minors at any time, spring training, mid-season, whenever, the team has to use one of the players 3 options. A team uses 1 option per player per year, so it doesn’t matter if they send them to the minors several times in a year. I believe that Leake has only gone to the minors in one year, so he should have 2 option years left.

    I think Leake should be the long man, now that LeCure has proven himself as a good late inning guy. I would skip a Chapman start every 4th or 5th time and let Leake start, to keep Chapman’s innings down. In games where it’s clear the long man won’t be needed, Leake can pinch hit too.

  24. The addition of Choo makes this the best Reds team I’ve ever seen, on paper.

    Choo had a down year last year, and if he repeated it with us, he would have been as good as Frazier or Ludwick were last year. Both vital parts of our team. But just a few years ago, he was one of the best outfielders in the game. If he gets close to those numbers, he’s like adding another Phillips or Bruce, or better.

    I can easily see a scenario where he’s the second best hitter on the team this year.

    Plus, they finally have another lefty in the lineup. He makes the lineup so balanced, with a lefty hitting 1, 3, and 5, and righties 2, 4, and 6.

    He also has a career 1.400 OPS at GABP.

  25. Like just about everyone else, I love this move. I’m also interested to see how Cingrani could figure in to this team. He seems talented, and as a lefty, I would think he’s a natural plug-in for Chapman throughout the season. I’m not sure what the smartest way to manage a roster spot would be for him, though. Any chance we use a six-man rotation for some part of the season?

  26. Wow! Told my wife not to go crazy over my X-mas present as the Reds have gone all in.

    Can’t wait until Spring Training starts. Might even take a trip to AZ to catch a few games.

  27. Hanahan was signed to a two year contract, per John Fay. According to first reports, his first year he’ll receive 2 Mil. Second year the same?

  28. Wouldn’t it maybe be a bit better idea to leave Chapman in AZ and allow him to better prep himself with workouts and such and bring him north say around May, then he can go until the end of the season. Have Leake start out as Number 5 and then move to the pen in may.

    • @VottoManCrush: Happiest man on the planet: Bronson Arroyo.

      Actually I expect Arroyo to be worried – he gives up so many fly balls to the outfield, balls that he expects to be caught. He’s the guy whose numbers are likely to suffer as a result of this trade. That’s not to say that I regret the trade as I feel that Choo’s ability to leadoff more than offsets the fielding deficits.

      Wouldn’t it maybe be a bit better idea to leave Chapman in AZ and allow him to better prep himself with workouts and such and bring him north say around May, then he can go until the end of the season.Have Leake start out as Number 5 and then move to the pen in may.

      I think the whole point of starting Chapman is getting him more innings and handling that by keeping from pitching seems silly. In my humble opinion they should start him. If he shows signs of wearing down replace him in the rotation, maybe with Tony Cingrani or Mike Leake.

      • Actually I expect Arroyo to be worried – he gives up so many fly balls to the outfield, balls that he expects to be caught. He’s the guy whose numbers are likely to suffer as a result of this trade. That’s not to say that I regret the trade as I feel that Choo’s ability to leadoff more than offsets the fielding deficits.

        @redsfanman: I hear you but I still think Bronson has to be thinking: I just dropped a quarter=point of my ERA.

        • @CharlotteNCRedsFan:

          @redsfanman: I hear you but I still think Bronson has to be thinking: I just dropped a quarter=point of my ERA.

          Or he might be thinking, I’ll be pitching with a lead alot this year.

          Or … he might be thinking, is this the best chance I’ll ever have to get a WS ring?

  29. I dunno. I won’t be surprised if Dusty gives Bronson his own “personal centerfielder” to go along with his personal catcher.

    • @earmbrister: He’s already checked that off his bucket list… he was with Boston in ’04 when they took the ring.

      Whoops. Good job by Bronson. Well, this is his chance to win the World Series as the important veteran on the pitching staff rather than the irrelevant young guy who a team would trade for Wily Mo Pena.

      • Whoops.Good job by Bronson.Well, this is his chance to win the World Series as the important veteran on the pitching staff rather than the irrelevant young guy who a team would trade for Wily Mo Pena.

        And the Bosox picked up both airfares if I heard the story right…..

  30. @CP: I have no problem with Arroyo choosing his own catcher and nobody (that I know of) has objected in the past. Hanigan hits better than Mesoraco but effectively they are interchangeable – they’re getting days off, it’s just a matter of when. Benching Choo, Ludwick, or Bruce (and moving Choo to LF or RF when Ludwick or Bruce are out) during Arroyo’s starts would be much more noticeable and controversial. Starting Heisey and bringing in Ludwick or Choo in a double switch when Arroyo leaves would be odd. Interesting situation for Dusty to manage.

    @earmbrister: He might be thinking that he’ll be a part of a lot of high scoring games in his best chance to win the World Series. I expect Arroyo will win 15 games again, the same as I would have predicted before the trade. It’ll be interesting to watch.

  31. WJ on radio:

    Rolen pt if he comes back;
    Choo in CF;
    Bruce to play CF in ST “just in case”;
    Chapman may start season in bullpen, then start, I assume to limit innings.

    • Chapman may start season in bullpen, then start, I assume to limit innings.

      NO NO NO NO NO a thousand times NO!

      He needs to be stretched out to somewhere in the vicinity of starter’s innings in Spring Training, because I don’t believe that they will do so during regular season games after his “stint” as a reliever. A “stint” which you KNOW certain people will look for every excuse to extend.

      NO WALT, NO! BAD WALT!

  32. @BenL:

    Yeah, part time is how WJ phrased it, I think. He didn’t say ‘bench player’ or ‘reserve’ or ‘sub’ or ‘backup’ if I heard right.

    Maybe he would start day games after night games……something like that. WJ has a bigger man-crush on Rolen than I do!

    • NO NO NO NO NO a thousand times NO!

      He needs to be stretched out to somewhere in the vicinity of starter’s innings in Spring Training, because I don’t believe that they will do so during regular season games after his “stint” as a reliever.A “stint” which you KNOW certain people will look for every excuse to extend.

      NO WALT, NO!BAD WALT!

      Haha, put Jocketty in time out!

      I said all along, if they were serious about converting Chapman they would trade a starter to make room. Instead they were careful to hold onto them all, including Leake and Tony Cingrani. If they were serious about Broxton closing he wouldn’t have had to clarify that he might be a setupman after signing. If the Reds were confident in Chapman’s ability to convert Arroyo wouldn’t have spoken out about it. If Jocketty expected Chapman to leave the bullpen he would have added a lefty reliever.

      Chapman is going into spring training as a starter, like last year – to satisfy the fans – he’ll drop out of the running once they have justification or a news story to bury it behind. Fine. Strongest bullpen in the NL.

      @RC:
      I agree!
      Once in the pen, DB won’t let AC out.

      The whole organization is looking for reasons to justify returning Chapman to the closer role, it’s not just Dusty. If Jocketty only leaves one door open – a door to the bullpen – it’s not something he seriously expects Chapman to get out of.

      @rfay00: I really doubt Rolen will return. That doesn’t mean they have to be rude and say that they don’t ever want to see him back with this team. If they want to be respectful, fine.

  33. Why would they bring Rolen back now? They already have Burris, Hannahan, and Donald.

    That deal just DOES NOT need to happen!!!

  34. If Chapman starts the year in the pen, I would only hope it’s for what he started last year as…the two to three inning guy who comes in to get out of a tight jam with one out and pitches until his spot is up to bat.

  35. @seat101: If Chapman starts the season in the bullpen, I’m not sure he’ll ever start.

    The only feasible scenario would be to have Cingrani start at AAA, and Chapman in the bullpen for the Reds. At midseason, Chapman moves into the Reds rotation and Cingrani moves to the Reds bullpen. It doesn’t work with Leake because he can’t relieve.

    A lot has to go right for that to happen even–individual health and performance being first, team health and performance being the second.

    Color me skeptical.

  36. @rfay00:

    If he’ll not supplant Fraser, he could do a lot for the team.

    But if he is anything but a bench player, and barring injury, starting more than 16.2 games, it is not a good idea. It’s Fraser’s time. It’s Fraser’s turn.

  37. @wally mo: I get that options are for a full year. I also know that service time eventually negates options. Just like Votto doesn’t have options even though he was never optioned after he was called up. From what I was told, when I asked specifically about Leake, was that after two more weeks of service time Leake’s accumulated would negate his last option available. I don’t understand how it all works, but that’s what I was told from a guy who knows about this stuff.

  38. I don’t see where Rolen fits in after Hannahan is signed. Rolen only plays one position and battles injuries half the year. We will have a backup SS. So we’ll have Rolen at the expense of an OF which is poor roster construction.

  39. I am playing Devil’s Advocate here. I think a team like the Cubs or Astros could use his skillsets on and off the field.

    Rolen on the bench gives us depth in the minors, a “Charlie Hustle” attitude/example, a backup third baseman, a great guy to have in a fight if the WLB’s start feeling their oats again, and an extra reason for Hoosiers to come to GABP.

    • Scott Rolen has said many times that he does NOT want to be a hitting coach or manager when he retires. I doubt he’s changing his mind in the next few months.

      I am playing Devil’s Advocate here. I think a team like the Cubs or Astros could usehisskillsets on and off the field.

      Rolen on the bench gives us depth in the minors, a“Charlie Hustle”attitude/example, a backup third baseman, a great guy to have in a fight if the WLB’s start feeling their oats again, and an extra reason for Hoosiers to come to GABP.

      If his goal is to end his career with dignity going to the Cubs or Astros is a step in the wrong direction. He won’t be earning much in a one year contract relative to what he’s earned in his career. I hope he retires and accepts some job in the Reds’ organization, like a scout, roaming hitting or fielding coach, or ‘special assistant to Walt Jocketty’, whatever that last job actually means.

  40. @redsfanman:

    I put more weight on DB’s side of the scale for the final decision the final decision on AC .

    As you point out, WJ could have mooted the point by trading a starter or two, but took another tack. This makes it possible for th on-field manager to make the final decision.

    I believe that WJ did the club long term good by keeping all the pitching that he did. This probably means AC stays in the Bullpen. Whether WJ actually desired this is debatable. We take opposite sides. In a friedly debate!

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