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. @redsfanman:

    Rolen could be the “grand Old Man” on a team of youthful under acheivers. Sorta like Walter Matthau in “the bad News Bears” (or the Bosox) without the swearing , smoking’, and drinking.

    • @redsfanman:

      I put more weight on DB’s side of the scale for the final decisionthe 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 goodby keeping all the pitching that he did. This probablymeans AC stays in the Bullpen. Whether WJ actually desired this is debatable. We take opposite sides. In a friedly debate!

      A friendly debate that I’m enjoying.

      I think Jocketty knows what decision Dusty Baker will make. Currently Dusty has two doors, two paths to follow (and something behind the ‘bullpen’ door smells nice) – if Jocketty disagrees he’s perfectly able to remove one door, like he did with leadoff by adding Shin-Shoo Choo as an obvious choice. He can remove a door by trading a starter or talking to Castellini.

      If the Reds enter spring training with six (or more) starters Jocketty is the guy who set that up. If Chapman goes to the bullpen it’s just as much Jocketty’s fault (although I think it’s the right decision) as Dusty’s.

      @redsfanman:

      Rolen could be the “grand Old Man” on a team of youthful under acheivers. Sorta like Walter Matthau in “the bad NewsBears” (orthe Bosox) without the swearing , smoking’, and drinking.

      Hey, we don’t know what Rolen does in his free time. I think that as long as Rolen is on the team he’ll start some games. That’s the respect he’s earned around MLB. Joey Votto’s interview where he talked about what Rolen meant to his career was moving, and I doubt they leave a guy like that in a utility role.

  2. “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.”

    If Chapman is again the best pitcher this coming spring like he was last spring, they will have no choice but to start him, because that is what they said they would do.

    Who would your rather take a chance on for 2013; Leake or Chapman in the rotation.

    No brainer. get ready to see Chapman extended. Leake remains an average pitcher, and this team is rolling the dice for greatness.

    Leake can be traded breaking camp as easily as he can be traded today. The advantage of having him break camp is that you make sure you have 5 healthy starters before you trade him. Teams always have pitching needs when they go north.

    • @reaganspad:
      Last year the Reds would have no chance but to start Chapman if he did well. You know what? He did well, but he still found his way back to the bullpen. The Reds seem far less dedicated to his conversion this year.

      Who would I rather take a chance on in 2013? For what? The rotation? I think Chapman is more a matter of ‘chance’ or gamble while Leake provides more certainty with a lower ceiling. Leake can eat innings and stay healthy, we’ve seen it. If Leake goes to the bullpen it’s a waste. If Chapman goes to the bullpen he’ll dominate, no question. Leake to the rotation and Chapman to the closer role, that’s what I’d choose.

      You’ve been waiting a long time for Chapman to start. The likelihood that he’ll switch has only gone down following Shin-Shoo Choo’s acquisition.

      Leake can be traded any day? That’s true, but they’re done with filling their offseason needs. It’s highly unlikely that they’ll suddenly throw him away after being so reluctant to trade away ANY pitching.

  3. I wish I could understand this view that Chapman is the best pitcher on this team. I don’t see it. Yes he is good, but on a very limited basis as we have seen. He is much more a thrower then a pitcher. Right now if I had to rank our pitchers in who is the best it would be:

    Latos
    Cueto
    Homer
    Bronson
    Marshall
    Leake
    Chapman
    Lecure
    Broxton
    Simon
    Logan
    Hoover

    I think Chapman is best suited for short brief appearances, I don’t think his body will be capable of long term pitching unless he does alot of work on his conditioning and pitch ability. I think I would rather go with Leake in the 5 spot and go with Marshall/Broxton and Chapman as the back end of the game guys. But that is just me…

  4. Cingrani in the bullpen in 2013 doesn’t mean he stays there forever. There are quite a few teams that have brought up their better prospects with a year in the pen then moving them to the rotation.

    • Cingrani in the bullpen in 2013 doesn’t mean he stays there forever. There are quite a few teams that have brought up their better prospects with a year in the pen then moving them to the rotation.

      I want Cingrani starting in AAA. He made his MLB debut out of the bullpen last season but he had jumped straight from AA after starting the season in single A. Hopefully he can pitch well in Louisville to prove that he can be should be taken seriously as a starter, since I think some people have been fair skeptical about his future. I think he has exceeded everybody’s expectations at every level (he was only drafted in 2011) while quickly rising through the farm system as a starter… and he should get a chance to continue that in AAA. If he does well I might consider moving him into the Reds’ bullpen.

      Going from a AA starter to major league bullpen lefty, I think that’s a step in the wrong direction for him at this point. Maybe later in the 2012 season.

    • Cingrani in the bullpen in 2013 doesn’t mean he stays there forever.

      Sure it does. It’s called the Baker-Chapman Rule. Something about the vortex of gravity in the bullpen, fastballs, Hank Aaron… it’s all very, very technical. But yeah, Cingrani is screwed. :D

      • As far as taking Jocketty at his word, I think his first priority in interviews is to win people over rather than drive them away, like a (good) salesman or politician. You wanna see Chapman start? You want Chapman to close? Well, wait until spring training and we’ll come to a decision! No scaring away potential season ticket holders who refuse to watch unless they see Chapman start. He side steps the question, but look at what he’s done and I think you can come to the assumption that he expects Chapman to close.

        Choo, I didn’t mean to imply that the trade was made to appease Dusty and motivate him to compromise on other fronts (Chapman’s role). I was shocked and thrilled that the Reds managed to address all their needs while retaining ALL the pitching, both at the minor and major league level – it completely changed my outlook on Chapman’s likely role. With Leake and Cingrani I feel they retained the MLB-ready starting pitching depth they need to justify keeping Chapman in the rotation.

        @RC: I think Dusty’s legacy with the Cubs is most frequently associated with the ‘Bartman Game’, if you will, and injuries to Wood and Prior. He came to the Reds with major concerns amongst fans that he’d ruin the young Reds pitchers like Bailey and Cueto. I think he’s been very careful with the young pitchers, and it’s paid off. I think concerns about Chapman’s usage and the negative response from fans – no matter what role Chapman fills – probably factors into Dusty’s decision. He doesn’t want to be remembered in Cincinnati as the guy who blew out Chapman’s elbow when he could be the guy who allowed Chapman to become the most dominant closer any Reds fan had ever seen. I think the Reds knew Dusty would have such concerns when they hired and extended him.

        @Hank Aarons Teammate: I agree that I’m discussing different things regarding Chapman – What I want to happen vs what I expect to happen after following the Reds (the later changed after Choo’s trade) – but in this case I think they’re the same thing. As you said I’ll believe Chapman is the closer until I see him make a major league start, and the Reds’ moves, depth, needs, priorities, ‘window of opportunity’ in the NL Central, and history makes that change seem unlikely. Dusty or Jocketty telling people what they want to hear – “oh sure, Chapman will get a great chance for the rotation”, that doesn’t mean anything. All evidence, starting with a recent 97 win season, seems to point towards the bullpen.

        @Hank Aarons Teammate: In addition to cash one should look at Broxton’s reputation – is he a strong closer who other teams envy? Was he in high demand? Was he the big name on the free agent market like Ryan Madson and Francisco Cordero had been? No. He lost his job as the Dodgers’ closer in 2010 for doing badly. He joined the Royals as a setupman and only became the Royals’ closer following an injury to another guy. He could close elsewhere, but probably not for a good team. His only hope to become the Reds’ closer is for Chapman to be removed from the competition. Sean Marshall is at least as good, just he hasn’t been given a closer job to lose. I think Broxton can do the job fine, if necessary, but that they look at him more as a key setupman and a member of a new Nasty Boys bullpen.

        It’s called the Baker-Chapman Rule. Something about the vortex of gravity in the bullpen, fastballs, Hank Aaron… it’s all very, very technical. But yeah, Cingrani is screwed.

        Fortunately Tony Cingrani hasn’t headed down that path yet. Brief summary of his career: he was drafted as a closer but they moved him into the rotation after he was signed – for two minor league seasons he started full time before making 4 relief appearances with the Reds. Some scouts seem to think that his future is as a reliever but it seems like he’s done everything possible to prove otherwise. Personally I think he should be sent to join the Louisville rotation – if he pitches well scouts should start to take him (more) seriously as a starter.

  5. You “Dustyproof” a lineup by getting rid of ineffective players that Dusty keeps running out there over and over. You “Dustyproof” a lineup by getting a leadoff hitter who has the attributes that Dusty wants in a leadoff hitter PLUS the ones that actually matter.

    You don’t “Dustyproof” a pitching staff by trading away serviceable MLB or promising minor league starting pitchers solely to force a recalcitrant manager to start a guy who was always a starter, who was signed to be a starter, and who should !&*@ well be given a chance to start, just because that recalcitrant manager gets a warm fuzzy feeling knowing that this particular should-be starter occupies the totally made up and incredibly overrated position of “closer”.

    I don’t buy the idea that Walt needed to trade a pitcher just to cement a spot for Chapman. But now that Walt’s gone and left the door cracked, Dusty will be doing his durned-est to kick it all the way open. And if Chap starts the this season in the pen, I kinda think he’ll never get out. At least, not while he’s a Red.

  6. @redsfanman: I’ve heard of him mostly as a fastball/change guy. I’d like to see him pick up another pitch. AAA is the perfect place to do that, switch him to a LOOGY if and only if he can’t hack it as a starter. There are plenty of failed starters waiting to become LOOGYS out there.

  7. @RC: I think you ‘Dusty Proof’ by making the candidate who you and Dusty Baker want into the same person. Sometimes that means eliminating bad options (6th starter), sometimes it means providing better ones (leadoff hitter who everyone approves of).

    Trading a ‘serviceable MLB or promising minor league starting pitcher’ is not synonymous with releasing them or throwing them in a garbage can. If they trade, say, Mike Leake for a promising young hitter who needs more time in AAA, fine. Suddenly Dusty has 5 options and more minor league talent.

    You don’t buy the idea that Jocketty needs to trade a pitcher to cement a spot for Chapman? Currently there are (at least) two good candidates for the final spot – Leake and Chapman. You’d prefer one, Dusty the other, but Dusty’s decision is the one that matters. Trade Leake and BAM, Dusty-proof, you’re both in total agreement of the selection of Chapman.

    Chapman won’t get out of the bullpen with the Reds? I agree. I don’t think he should. I think he should put together a Hall of Fame caliber career as a closer. I believe he can.

    • Chapman is going into spring training as a starter, like last year – to satisfy the fans…

      Really? If I honestly thought that the organization was doing kabuki theater like that, I’d be in favor of mass firings.

      Sometimes that means eliminating bad options (6th starter)

      A 6th starter is only a “bad option” if you never need him. We didn’t last year. It’s highly unlikely that we’ll be so lucky in 2013.

    • You don’t buy the idea that Jocketty needs to trade a pitcher to cement a spot for Chapman? Currently there are (at least) two good candidates for the final spot – Leake and Chapman. You’d prefer one, Dusty the other, but Dusty’s decision is the one that matters. Trade Leake and BAM, Dusty-proof, you’re both in total agreement of the selection of Chapman.

      If the Reds are serious about moving the Chapman into the rotation, which they appear to be, they would be foolish to think that he can throw the number of innings next season required for a full season in the rotation. That said, they have no doubt formulated some kind of plan for how many innings they are going to allow Chapman’s 25 year old left arm to toss next season, given that he’s never thrown more than 118 in his career and having only thrown 63 and 71 the last two years. Thus they will obviously be needing someone to cover at about 10 starts next year. That’s looking like it will be Mike Leake right now. It appears to me that they understand that Chapman moving into a full time starter’s role is a two year project in order to get his innings per season stretched out to a full season. That also keeps Leake on hand in the interim to fill in for injuries to any of the starters, and to possibly take over Arroyo’s spot in the rotation the following year if he is not resigned. Chapman is far more valuable to the Reds pitching as a starter than he is coming out of the pen. Having one of your best pitchers on the mound more often can only improve your staff.

  8. @redsfanman: Yeah, Leake has a lower ceiling than Chapman. Chapman’s is 20 ft high ceilings in a mansion, and Leake’s house just got caved in and the ceiling’s at about 5 feet.

  9. @redsfanman: The probability of a Hall of Fame career for anyone in their 3rd year, and who will be exclusively a reliever, is diminishingly small.

    • @redsfanman: The probability of a Hall of Fame career for anyone in their 3rd year, and who will be exclusively a reliever, is diminishingly small.

      Yeah, you’re right, the Hall of Fame closer suggestion is a little overboard but I think you got the idea I was trying to make. Chapman has already shown that he can be or is as good as anybody in the game today in the closer role.

      @reaganspad: Still, when predicting who makes the rotation the most important point is who manages the Reds – you, me? Nope. Dusty Baker. It’s his choice, and Jocketty has seemingly done nothing to try to compel him to change his mind. In my opinion Jocketty (by keeping all the starting pitching and replacing Ryan Madson with Jonathan Broxton) has only reinforced and/or increased the likelihood of Chapman closing.

      These are the Cincinnati Reds, run by old school Walt Jocketty, old school Dusty Baker, and protective Bryan Price. They value keeping pitchers healthy and on regular routines. Ideas about piggybacking with 6 starters, trading a key starter during a playoff run, starting Chapman in AAA, plans to extend Chapman’s season by limiting pitch counts and innings, I think it’s all crazy. Too crazy for the Reds.

      In the 2013 playoffs I expect any of three options for Chapman:
      1. Pitching out of the bullpen.
      2. Starting after missing a significant amount of time with a midseason injury (hopefully unrelated to his pitching, like a broken leg).
      3. Shut down like Stephen Strasburg
      4. Disabled List – out with an injury that fans blame on Dusty Baker… even if the injury resulted from a decision that he opposed.

      • These are the Cincinnati Reds, run by old school Walt Jocketty, old school Dusty Baker, and protective Bryan Price. They value keeping pitchers healthy and on regular routines. Ideas about piggybacking with 6 starters, trading a key starter during a playoff run, starting Chapman in AAA, plans to extend Chapman’s season by limiting pitch counts and innings, I think it’s all crazy. Too crazy for the Reds.

        So Chapman can never become a starter?

        • So Chapman can never become a starter?

          I never said Chapman couldn’t become a starter, I said I don’t see that as being likely with the Reds. They are going all in for 2013 – if they were rebuilding it might be another story. Instead they won 97 games with Chapman in the closer role and all the signs (including team success) point to him returning to that role in which he was so successful.

          Will Chapman start or not? It makes me think back to the recent presidential election. Obama continuously led in polls all the swing states he needed to win – Ohio, Wisconsin, Nevada – the evidence was there to predict the likely winner. Similarly I think we can make a realistic prediction now that Chapman will return to the bullpen…. unless there’s an injury or trade of a starter before opening day.

  10. redsfanman
    I am not talking about throwing Leake away. I am talking about going through Spring Training with him on the team, making sure that the staff is healthy. Even then, Leake and Chapman can piggyback the first half of the year, and who knows, in July you drop Bronson. Teams are always trading for pitching.
    Leake has not shown the stuff that will allow him to pitch for this team in post season, but he could take Bronson’s role as durable guy, 5th starter.

    sorry but if Broxton can close 40 games and blow 5 saves, why would you need Chapman there. Championship teams have left handed starters. We are building a championship team, not a team to just win the division.

    I would agree that if a second perfect storm occurred where Broxton gets hurt, Marshall goes to the DL, Hoover gets waived, Massett never comes back… and the team bus at triple A backs over the bullpen, then yes, Chapman could be closing again. But if there is any degree of health, we get 164 innings of Chapman next year

  11. with the exception that Chapman is probably the best athlete on the team, has started before, and has a pitching coach who is not concerned with him being able to handle pitch counts.

    I do understand what you are saying redsfanman, but old school right lefty batting order likes righty lefty pitching rotations. Nothing more old school than that.

    Woods and Prior were not enough to get it done. throw a lefty effectively in between them and maybe we never hear the name bartman

    speaking of Broxton and old school, you think they signed a 7 million dollar pitcher to pitch the 7th inning for the next 3 years? really

    • Folks, here we are a day after the trade and this just makes me feel all is right in RedsLand. :-)

      Cincinnati Reds Active Roster

      Infielders

      Zack Cozart
      Jason Donald
      Todd Frazier
      Donald Lutz
      Brandon Phillips
      Henry Rodriguez
      Neftali Soto
      Joey Votto

      Outfielders

      Jay Bruce
      Shin-Soo Choo
      Chris Heisey
      Ryan Ludwick
      Xavier Paul
      Yorman Rodriguez

  12. @reaganspad: Whether or not Chapman has started before is irrelevant; he hasn’t started in years. Cases like his involve teams setting inning limits and ending seasons prematurely to protect the prized arm.

    Do I think the Reds paid $7m/year to a setupman in Jonathan Broxton? Yes. Up from about $5m/year to Marshall the year before that. Jocketty wanted to sure up the bullpen and he did just that. Marshall-Broxton-Chapman, that’s an enviable trio of capable closers. I’m not sure if that’s better or worse than The Nasty Boys, but it’s as close to a lock down back end of the bullpen that you’ll find in MLB today.

    Kerry Wood and Mark Prior, Dusty probably still hears about them. He RUINED their careers. Evil, bad Dusty. All his fault. Yada yada. It’s been years, but I’ll bet he still hears that. He’ll hear the EXACT SAME THING if Chapman moves to the rotation and gets hurt, and he knows it.

    • Kerry Wood and Mark Prior, Dusty probably still hears about them. He RUINED their careers. Evil, bad Dusty. All his fault. Yada yada. It’s been years, but I’ll bet he still hears that. He’ll hear the EXACT SAME THING if Chapman moves to the rotation and gets hurt, and he knows it.

      Again, really? Decisions as fundamental as this are made in fear of fan reaction? Again, if this were true, Castellini should clean house. Some group of fans will criticize every move that every manager will ever make. Nobody should be listening to us, no matter how much we think otherwise.

      I disagree that the acquisition of Choo and the failure to move a pitcher indicates anything regarding Chapman’s destination in 2013. However, Jocketty’s statement *does* mean something – it contradicts some of his earlier statements, and gives momentum to Dusty and others in the organization who clearly prefer to never explore the depth of a dominant pitcher’s potential. If it turns out that Chap is a closer (grrrr) again, I will be seriously ticked. I’m sure the Reds will give my feelings all the consideration they deserve. Maybe more.

      • @RC:

        However, Jocketty’s statement *does* mean something – it contradicts some of his earlier statements, and gives momentum to Dusty and others in the organization who clearly prefer to never explore the depth of a dominant pitcher’s potential. If it turns out that Chap is a closer (grrrr) again, I will be seriously ticked. I’m sure the Reds will give my feelings all the consideration they deserve. Maybe more.

        It probably went down like this: “Dusty, I understand you refuse to see Aroldis as a possible starter and make this team great. I don’t want to bicker in public, that’s not how I work. Here’s how it goes… you get what you want with Aroldis, I’m going to get you a leadoff hitter that has a high OBP, and you’re going to have to use him. Choke on that.”

  13. @redsfanman:

    As much as I like and admire SRolen, I think his presence will be a distraction unless his role as backup is clearly stated and agreed to.

    I am in the camp that DBaker has qualities WJocketty likes; handling the players and personnel decisions (coaches particularly, and mental toughness. Otoh, I think WJ would prefer a manager less dogmatic and more open to new ideas.
    I really believe “Dusty Proofing” is part of his MO.

    • I am in the camp that DBaker has qualities WJocketty likes; handling the players and personnel decisions (coaches particularly, and mental toughness. Otoh,I think WJ would prefer a manager less dogmatic and more open to new ideas.
      I really believe “Dusty Proofing” is part of his MO.

      I think Jocketty just had his chance to push for manager who was ‘less dogmatic and more open to new ideas’. Instead he approved the Reds’ extension of Dusty Baker. I think Jocketty knows what he can expect from Dusty by now and apparently he’s satisfactory.

      I think Jocketty’s mission is to improve the Reds, and the ways to do that were pretty obvious, albeit vague – acquire a leadoff hitter while trying to retain the 2012 (and future) pitching staff. Things that are frequently blamed on Dusty (no leadoff hitter, bad bench players) are often the GM’s responsibility to fix. I think they work as a team (with Dusty getting and accepting the blame when things go wrong) and a perceived battle between them is sometimes blown out of proportion. Chapman’s role is critical to the future of the organization, it’s a decision that includes people other than Dusty.

  14. There are a total of 39 players on the active roster right now. Once Hannahan is officially signed, that will take the total to 40. In order to add anyone else (Rolen?), someone has to be removed from the active roster, DFA’d, traded or outright released.

  15. You know, we actually agree on a lot. Getting a new manager was a move neither needed, wanted, or necessary. Particularly if the personnel changes “Dusty Proofed” the decisions ” Dusty could make.

  16. “and all the signs (including team success) point to him returning to that role in which he was so successful.”

    redsfanman, like your posts but we have to disagree here. all signs point at Chapman starting. Your explanation of this team spending $21 million for a 7th inning guy just does not hold water. That is closer money.

    Left handed starters are what championship teams have on their roster. As you said, they are going for it in 2013, which is why Chapman starts.

    I do not believe the Dusty ruined Prior and Wood, even though he does things I do not agree with. I actually think that Dusty is easy on his pitchers now with this pen. I think he is a little too much Captain Hook

    • “and all the signs (including team success) point to him returning to that role in which he was so successful.”

      redsfanman, like your posts but we have to disagree here.all signs point at Chapman starting.Your explanation of this team spending $21 million for a 7th inning guy just does not hold water.That is closer money.

      Left handed starters are what championship teams have on their roster.As you said, they are going for it in 2013, which is why Chapman starts.

      I do not believe the Dusty ruined Prior and Wood, even though he does things I do not agree with.I actually think that Dusty is easy on his pitchers now with this pen.I think he is a little too much Captain Hook

      I don’t understand how it’s obvious that Broxton is getting closer money when he’s “only” getting 7M per year. I have to agree with RFM on this. If 5M for Marshall definitely isn’t stopper money, I don’t see how 7M is definitely stopper money. I can’t say he won’t be the stopper for sure, but it’s not like they paid him 12M per year.

  17. I for one take WJ at his word. The Reds would not have committed so much money to their bullpen otherwise.

    Also, I think all this talk of the Reds going “all in” is overblown. This roster has a pretty decent mix of short and long term players.

    • I for one take WJ at his word.The Reds would not have committed so much money to their bullpen otherwise.

      Also, I think all this talk of the Reds going “all in” is overblown.This roster has a pretty decent mix of short and long term players.

      You seem like a rational fellow. And you take what Jocketty says seriously?

      Perhaps you’ll be right, but it seems far fetched to me.

  18. @dn4192: Notice that five of your top six Reds pitchers, according to your own rankings, are starters. Think about what that means, and think about how that might apply to Aroldis. If relievers aren’t worth all that much, and Chapman ranks in the back half of the team, why wouldn’t it be a good idea to see if he can be valuable as a starter instead? With your rankings, they’re just toying with a middling reliever anyway.

    “But we don’t know, we don’t know if he can, we just don’t know, he hasn’t proven it”…. I’m pretty sure that he can outpitch Mike Leake over 150 innings with his off-hand. And I like Mike Leake, I’m just saying, Aroldis is special. If you have to have experience in a job before you get the job, exactly how is baseball going to continue on?

    • @dn4192: Notice that five of your top six Reds pitchers, according to your own rankings, are starters. Think about what that means, and think about how that might apply to Aroldis. If relievers aren’t worth all that much, and Chapman ranks in the back half of the team, why wouldn’t it be a good idea to see if he can be valuable as a starter instead? With your rankings, they’re just toying with a middling reliever anyway. “But we don’t know, we don’t know if he can, we just don’t know, he hasn’t proven it”…. I’m pretty sure that he can outpitch Mike Leake over 150 innings with his off-hand. And I like Mike Leake, I’m just saying, Aroldis is special. If you have to have experience in a job before you get the job, exactly how is baseball going to continue on?

      I guess we disagree on Chapman being “special” as I don’t see it. He has 1 pitch and when it’s on it is near impossible to hit, problem is if it’s not he is in trouble and the really good hitters can figure out when to go after his pitch. To be “special” he must develop a consistant 2nd top level pitch and have a 3rd pitch available to him he can throw for strikes. He doesn’t have either of those right now. He also has a body make up and motion that SCREAMS injury after injury. I still believe Chapman’s value to this team is via trade, not on the mound for the Reds.

  19. @redsfanman: There are two different things you are discussing. First is what *should* Chapman be doing? Well, I want him starting. Yes, they are all in this year, but that doesn’t move me to say he should be in the pen. I just happen to believe that if the starter thing doesn’t work out, you can put him back in the pen. I don’t see a huge problem there. Injury wise, I see no evidence that he’s any more likely to be injured in the rotation as in the bullpen.

    Second is what the Reds will do. I have never, ever, thought that he will step on the mound as a starter with the Reds since the day that they made him the closer last year. No matter what is said, until I see him start a game in the regular season, I will believe he’ll be the stopper.

  20. @redsfanman: Just to be clear, if no one is hurt and Choo consistently bats 7th and Cozart leads off, Baker should get the ax.

    No, I don’t think that will happen, but…you never know.

    • @redsfanman: Just to be clear, if no one is hurt and Choo consistently bats 7th and Cozart leads off, Baker should get the ax.

      No, I don’t think that will happen, but…you never know.

      Or if Baker uses Choo in the bullpen as a LOOGY.

  21. I like the Choo acquisition. There was a steep price to be paid (Gregorius); but, it was a deal that needed to be made for the Reds in the present.

    I think years from now when all us said and done, Gregorius won’t have been another Jeter in overall impact. However, barring injury he may at least border on matching Concepcion’s career. And he likely will have a better individual career than Zack Cozart (excepting a little bit of an edge in power to Cozart, their minor league numbers are essentially the same; and, the age advantage to Gregorius would indicate he will mature into a better player).

    The point I want to make here is that I hope folks get out of the habit of calling the Reds a small market team, in particular when things don’t work out for them. Small market teams don’t trade the type and quantity of talent the Reds traded last year for Latos/ Marshal and have traded this year for Choo. They keep those guys and trade the Vottos, Phillips, Bruces, and Cuetos etc.

    So if it doesn’t work it will be because WJ traded the wrong guys or for the wrong guys not because the Reds are a “small market” team.

    • I like the Choo acquisition. There was a steep price to be paid (Gregorius); but, it was a deal that needed to be made for the Reds in the present.

      I think years from now when all us said and done, Gregorius won’t have been another Jeter in overall impact. However, barring injury he mayat least border on matching Concepcion’s career. And he likely will have a better individual career than Zack Cozart (excepting a little bit of an edge in power to Cozart, their minor league numbers are essentially the same; and, the age advantage to Gregorius would indicate he will mature into a better player).

      The point I want to make here is that I hope folks get out of the habit of calling the Reds a small market team, in particular when things don’t work out for them. Small market teams don’t trade the type and quantity of talent the Reds traded last year for Latos/ Marshal and have traded this year for Choo. They keep those guys and trade the Vottos, Phillips, Bruces, and Cuetos etc.

      So if it doesn’t work it will be because WJ traded the wrong guys or for the wrong guys not because the Reds are a “small market” team.

      First of all, I disagree about Didi – I think he’s really overrated and you sound like Kevin Towers, the DBacks GM :) Like Yonder Alonso the Reds didn’t have any use for him so I’m glad he was moved.

      As far as the Reds being a small market team, their payroll has increased in recent years but most of that money is spent on long term contracts for current Reds players. Maybe they qualify as ‘mid-market’ or whatever now. The main point is that the Reds don’t have a lot of payroll flexibility to go out and add new players; most cash they have is already locked up. Most acquisitions have to be completed by exchanging players rather than outbidding the Dodgers and Yankees.

  22. @redsfanman: I think Gregorious is overrated also, but it’s not like he’s blocked by the best player in baseball. It wasn’t the same situation as Alonso. The Reds probably could have traded Cozart and just plugged in Gregorious and been ok, especially with the offense being added with Choo.

    That said, I like moving the guy who doesn’t project to be a good hitter AND has barely taken a major league at bat.

  23. I will say, I haven’t read all the comments, just so many. So, I thought I would just comment on who would be on the 25 man opening day roster (not talking of something special like holding back the 5th man until their start to get another bat for the first 4 games).

    I don’t think Masset will be in there, still recovering or either be let go, aka what we did with Burton. It’s been so long since he’s pitched with us, I don’t think we hold onto him too much longer. We do have Hoover for that position.

    Honestly, I like Logan more than Arredondo. I believe the thing with Logan was he was a bit overused. Baker has used Logan at the beginning of each season, I believe, looking at a 70-80 appearance reliever. I don’t believe Logan may be that strong of a pitcher. Or, if he is, just don’t keep pitching him 2 games then resting one. That’s a pace of over 100 appearances. No need for that when other pitchers on the team aren’t even getting 50 or even 40 appearances for the entire season. Also, from what I recall, at the beginning of last year, Logan has a scoreless inning streak similar to Chapman. Not saying Logan is Chapman. But, I will say, used effectively, I believe Logan is a good pitcher. Logan is also a bit cheaper. As well as, having that 6’8″ frame, it would be different for the batters to see, for example, Cueto on the mound then Logan come out. So, I would have to say adios to Jose.

    I would send Leake to Louisville for starting pitching depth. He comes up before Redmond and may even be up quicker than that if Chapman doesn’t handle starting, which I am still not convinced of. Talent in Chapman yes. But, starting ability proven at this level, he hasn’t shown. As well as, I want to see the other things, like holding runners on, fielding, etc., things that closers normally aren’t concerned with.

    If we get the loogy, I would have to say Simon or Lecure may be gone to make room. Sorry to see it, but someone has to leave to make room. Some may say Hoover. But, there is something about him I like and want to see what he can do with us first. If Chapman fails at starting, he goes back to closing, Leake comes up, and the other of Simon/Lecure may be on the block.

    All of this, I believe for everyone here, is just speculation, fantasy baseball if you will, and simply depends upon how the individual would build their team. My team, I wouldn’t have changed the pitching staff from last opening day. That’s what carried the team last year. Why change it?

    I still think we need a better 4 hole hitter. I just don’t think Ludwick will do for Votto what Fielder will do for Braun or Halliday was for Pujols. I would have gone with BP and Cozart in the 1-2 holes, myself, and look for the 4 hole hitter. But, if you can’t find that, which I assume we couldn’t, Choo is a great plan B.

  24. I believe RLudwick will come up to bat with lfewer than two outs and at least one runner on base.

    I believe JBruce will no longer be our number second inning leadoff hitter virtually every game.

    I believe TLaRussa is very smart, loyal to those whom he feels he owes it, and is a small spiteful man at the same time.

    I believe there will be less hair pulling over DBaker on this board. Still, when I disagree with him it is only fair I share my feelings with him as to how he can get back on the path to glory.

    I believe others will feel the same way.

    I believe this team can be as magnificent as the 2012 team which tore up the league when Joey Votto went down.

    That is what I believe.

  25. Anyone else looking forward to Cueto vs. Weaver on opening day?

    Trout, Pujols, Trumbo

    Phillips, Votto, Bruce

    Then the next day Latos vs. Wilson.

    Wow. What a way to start the season!

    • rfay00
      12/13/2012 at 9:13 am rfay00(Quote)
      Anyone else looking forward to Cueto vs. Weaver on opening day?
      Trout, Pujols, Trumbo
      Phillips, Votto, Bruce
      Then the next day Latos vs. Wilson.
      Wow. What a way to start the season!

      It’ll also be a nice way to end the 2013 season. In the World Series with a win in a 7 game series. Winning game 7 at home with Tony Cingrani striking out the side in the 9th inning in a 4-3 win.

  26. @rfay00: Actually, I’m not looking forward to that. I think it’s an abomination that the Reds have to open vs an AL team. (But at least it’s an interesting AL team, I’ll give you that.)

    • @rfay00: Actually, I’m not looking forward to that.I think it’s an abomination that the Reds have to open vs an AL team.(But at least it’s an interesting AL team, I’ll give you that.)

      Eh, yeah I kinda forgot the whole AL vs. NL everyday of the year thing.

      I guess we are at an advantage seeing they don’t get a DH.

  27. Hannahan is now official, 2 years with a club option. I didn’t see $$$ details, but I imagine it’s $2MM per year for each of the 3 years. That puts the roster at a full 40, barring another transaction to remove someone. The only possible need to address before the season starts (and this could wait until the final club releases at the end of spring training if necessary) might be a LOOGY for the bullpen to augment Marchall and Arredondo (reverse splits).

    • This is simply an awesome lineup going into the 2013 season. WJ has done a good job assembling this team for this coming season and going forward for many years.

      #1 LH .289/.381/.465/.847 Shin-Soo Shoo (thru 2013)
      #2 RH .273/.322/.429/.750 Brandon Phillips (thru 2017)
      #3 LH .316/.415/.553/.968 Joey Votto (thru 2024)
      #4 RH .263/.334/.466/.799 Ryan Ludwick (thru 2015)
      #5 LH .255/.330/.483/.813 Jay Bruce (thru 2017)
      #6 RH .264/.323/.485/.808 Todd Frazier (thru 2017)
      #7 RH .275/.370/.390/.729 Ryan Hanigan (thru 2013)
      #8 RH .251/.290/.405/.694 Zack Cozart (thru 2017)

  28. It looks like WJ has crossed off a lot of items from his to-do list this off-season. I’m sure there will be a couple of guys signed to minor league contracts with invites to spring training for competitions sake. Contract negotiations will now take the place on the front burner. Have the arbitration hearings coming up and most players will probably sign before those hearings are held. Extensions for Bailey and Latos are, or should be, a priority. Those two should get about the same contract, in the neighborhood of 4yr/$40MM deals. Nice neighborhood to be in.

  29. Question I have been pondering…

    What if Rafeal Soriano and his agent are open to a Ryan Madson type deal for next year with the Reds. Do the Reds do it?

    Is this likely? No. Just throwing it out there.

    • Question I have been pondering…

      What if Rafeal Soriano and his agent are open to a Ryan Madson type deal for next year with the Reds. Do the Reds do it?

      Is this likely? No. Just throwing it out there.

      I don’t want Soriano anywhere near the Reds dugout.

  30. As I read all the comments I noticed a question that popped up time and time again regarding the bench. The bench consists of 5 guys including the backup catcher. Since we know there will be 2 catchers who will split time starting, we will count the bench as 4 players.

    5 SP
    7 RP
    3 OF
    4 IF
    2 C

    21 Players… that leaves 4 spots for bench/role players.

    Typically the bench carries 2 OFs, but not always. Provided he’s not traded, Heisey is a lock. If there is a 2nd bench OF (5th OF) XP is probably a lock.
    This leaves 2 bench spots for the IF. Currently those spots are filled by Hannahan, Donald, and Burriss. (We’ll talk about Rolen in just a second.)

    Burriss is currently the only backup middle-IF on the 40-man. That does not make me feel warm and fuzzy. Burriss < Valdez/Cairo… but you need a backup MIF. Donald and Hannahan are redundant. Both are corner IFs. I prefer Rolen to either provided Rolen is used properly. Donald is on the 40-man AND out of options. That will have to factored. Likely he'll have to be outrighted risking him to the waiver process. I do like him for bench depth but not in Cincinnati.

    Ok, so as of today Hannahan at $2M is a lock. Heisey is a lock. A middle IF (currently Burriss) is a lock. That means if Rolen comes back, XP is the odd man out. Frazier becomes your 5th OF and backup 1B. Hannahan is your lefty off the bench. Burriss is a switch-hitter.

    It will be a crime if Burriss is on the 25-man April 1st rather than XP.

  31. Hey Hank Aaron

    “I don’t understand how it’s obvious that Broxton is getting closer money when he’s “only” getting 7M per year. I have to agree with RFM on this. If 5M for Marshall definitely isn’t stopper money”

    we paid Madsen 8 mil last year to be our closer. everyone choked over paying Coco 10 mil per year, even though at the time, I understood and liked the contract. We had to pay MORE for Coco to be a Red at the time. MORE as in we overpayed for a closer

    yes $7.0 mil is closer money.

  32. @steveschoen: Ryan Ludwick isn’t Matt Holliday or Prince Fielder but he had a great 2008 season hitting cleanup behind Albert Pujols, who won the MVP that season. After Ludwick’s 2012 season I see no reason why Ludwicka can’t perform well in that role to give Joey Votto another serious shot at the MVP. I that Ludwick was replaceable but I think he’s a capable or good cleanup hitter.

    As far as Shin-Shoo Choo, the leadoff spot was the obvious problem in the 2012 lineup, not Ludwick. Maybe he was Plan B – he’s second in OBP by leadoff hitters with over 300 ABs, behind Mike Trout. If the Reds’ priority was OBP out of the leadoff spot NOBODY available – not even Michael Bourn – was as good as Choo in 2012.

    Back to the Chapman topic, I think there are three points of view: What I want, what the Reds want, and what’s best for Chapman.
    1. What I want: I want him to close. He’s dominant and they have starting pitching depth. The current priority is winning the World Series in 2013.
    2. What the Reds want: I think they want to win, keep everyone healthy, and build on what has worked in 2012. I think that points towards Chapman closing.
    3. What’s best for advancing Chapman’s career: Starting before being shut down early due to an inning limit like Stephen Strasburg and Mike Leake. Unfortunately nobody wants him sitting on the bench in the playoffs. People would call for Dusty and Jockety to be fired if he sat out like Strasburg, but doing that is in the best interests of his career.

    @Shchi Cossack: Keep in mind that Jocketty won’t pursue a good LHP if he expects Chapman to return to the bullpen. I wouldn’t recommend paying a lot of attention to the free agent lefties.

    @WVRedlegs: Yeah, there’s not much news to look for. Questions like Chapman’s role and Bruce vs Choo for CF won’t be answered until spring training. The speculation about player acquisitions has pretty much dried up, now it’s just a question of contract extensions and filling the AAA roster… or adding competition for the 25th roster spot. It SHOULD make it much easier for me to focus on work from now on. Yay for a few days, weeks, or months of productivity.

  33. Now I am getting a little worried about Defense in CF . . . Heisey was inconsistent in CF and he is going to be our defensive replacement out there.

    Choo has the arm, there is no doubt about that. Bruce and Choo can throw laser beams.

    The knock from Indians fans has been his angles and breaks on fly balls. I hope he is ready for the challenge come opening day!

    • Now I am getting a little worried about Defense in CF . . . Heisey was inconsistent in CF and he is going to be our defensive replacement out there.

      Choo has the arm, there is no doubt about that.Bruce and Choo can throw laser beams.

      The knock from Indians fans has been his angles and breaks on fly balls.I hope he is ready for the challenge come opening day!

      I think it’s premature to worry about Choo in CF. There’s still a good chance that Bruce will switch to CF instead regardless of the preliminary announcements – the Reds said he’d work on it in the spring. It will be an interesting situation for Dusty to manage and a great opportunity for Chris Heisey.

      • I think it’s premature to worry about Choo in CF.There’s still a good chance that Bruce will switch to CF instead regardless of the preliminary announcements – the Reds said he’d work on it in the spring.It will be an interesting situation for Dusty to manage and a great opportunity for Chris Heisey.

        I would prefer Bruce but having hear nary a whisper Jay to CF, I am not holding my breath.

        Especially if the Reds toy with the idea of extending him for another 3-5 years. I think they want to pay corner OF prices on the extension, not the CF rate.

        • I would prefer Bruce but having hear nary a whisper Jay to CF, I am not holding my breath.

          Especially if the Reds toy with the idea of extending him for another 3-5 years.I think they want to pay corner OF prices on the extension, not the CF rate.

          I believe it was Walt Jocketty who said in a radio interview the other day that Bruce would get a look in CF in spring training before they make a final decision. Jay Bruce has suggested signing an extension but Jocketty has implied that that is premature as he’s already under contract long term. IF Bruce (or Choo) moves to CF it will be a one year assignment and I think everyone knows that. Choo would sign a big free agent contract as a corner outfielder and Billy Hamilton is set to take over in CF.

          If Bruce stays in RF he could realistically win a Gold Glove. If he moves to CF for 2013 I think you can cross his name out of consideration for that award. If anything a conversion to a defensive position where he’ll field worse might harm Bruce’s leverage for negotiating.

          @reaganspad: We’re just not going to agree. What I want, what’s the Reds want, and what’s best for Chapman are different issues. Chapman was forced into the rotation out of necessity but the opportunity gave the Reds an opportunity to see what he could do in that role. Their priority is to win and they won 97 games. They worked hard to bring back the same bullpen. Whatever the goals were for Chapman’s future I think they’ve changed in the eyes of the Reds’ organization. Chapman could face a two year process to convert him into David Price – that’s in his best interests but, considering his contract length, I don’t think starting that process is in the best interest of the Reds. Not while the Reds are already the favorites in the NL Central and in the midst of their ‘window of opportunity’.

    • Now I am getting a little worried about Defense in CF . . . Heisey was inconsistent in CF and he is going to be our defensive replacement out there.

      Choo has the arm, there is no doubt about that.Bruce and Choo can throw laser beams.

      The knock from Indians fans has been his angles and breaks on fly balls.I hope he is ready for the challenge come opening day!

      Heisey was only inconsistent when he didn’t get any playing time. You can’t expect for anyone to have their game skills ready when they don’t play. It’s not like riding a bike. While they can still be swinging a bat and throwing the ball, there is no substitute for gametime situations.

  34. @TC: Emmanual Burriss signed a minor league contract and I don’t think that gives him any edge up over guys who have performed well on the MLB roster like Xavier Paul. I think Burriss making the roster is an assumption fans make to justify trashing the Reds – Reds must, by default, choose the worst case scenario. Like how some fans, before the trade, expected Stubbs to lead off on opening day. Also, Burriss isn’t the only long shot candidate for a utility infield spot – Henry Rodriguez is one also.

    Is it a crime if Burriss beats Xavier Paul for a roster spot? I think it depends on how Paul hits in spring training. Does Xavier Paul deserve a roster spot based on last year if he struggles in spring training? I’m not sure. Lots of fans were angry about Cairo and Valdez getting roster spots due to prior accomplishments.

    Donald and Hannahan aren’t redundant, one is a righthanded hitting shortstop and the other is a left handed hitting corner infielder. Frazier and Rolen, both righthanded thirdbasemen, they are redundant.

    Rolen, I’m not clear on how he could be ‘used properly’. Whenever he played in 2012 Dusty faced criticism, regardless of how well or how badly he did. In 2013 he’d play too much or not enough, either way there would be disagreement. I’m glad the Reds moved on from that with Hannahan.

    I’m interested in how JJ Hoover and Tony Cingrani do in 2013. Either of them could be a future closer. Chapman will cease being the Reds’ closer in the next few years for one of any number of possible reasons.

    @reaganspad: Ryan Madson did get a lot of money. All the news articles at the time, however, mentioned how he was signing for a discount, way below market value, and as a good bargain for the Reds. Many people expected him to get at least $10m, $12m/year… or more. Big closer money, like the Reds once gave to Francisco Cordero. The Reds paid a lot of money to Marshall and Broxton, not necessarily closer money but enough to keep them from pursuing a closer job with another team. Does that money make Broxton or Marshall the closer? I don’t think so.

    • Is it a crime if Burriss beats Xavier Paul for a roster spot?

      Yes. Under no circumstances should Burriss be on the Opening Day roster barring multiple injuries. The guy had one extra-base hit (double) in 150 AB last year. Negative defensive metrics. Never walks. .213/.270/.221 last year (not a typo).

    • Emmanual Burriss signed a minor league contract and I don’t think that gives him any edge up over guys who have performed well on the MLB roster like Xavier Paul.

      I agree it shouldn’t, but Burriss is an IF, Paul is an OF. The error in my post is that Donald can play MIF as well. Burriss was the ONLY middle IF on the 40-man in my mind. That would pretty much guarantee a position regardless of his contract status. But since Donald is also a MIF my point was incorrect.

      I think Burriss making the roster is an assumption fans make to justify trashing the Reds – Reds must, by default, choose the worst case scenario.

      I think in the 5 years I’ve posted here that I’ve proven that is not the case with me.

      Also, Burriss isn’t the only long shot candidate for a utility infield spot – Henry Rodriguez is one also.

      That is a very good point. The only reservation I have is that HRod as a utility player is that he played 2B through the minors until last year. In his 451 minor league games he played 322 games at 2B. He played 87 (60 last year) games at 3rd with moderate to poor results and 38 games at SS with disastrous results. They moved him from 2B to 3B last year after Phillips’ extension hoping to keep his excellent hitting skills relevant to the big leagues. He did okay in AA, but struggled at 3B in Louisville. (I think as a result of being moved he suffered a bit at the plate.) Perhaps can use that experience to be a backup 3rd and 2nd, but not SS. And not until his hitting recovers.

      Is it a crime if Burriss beats Xavier Paul for a roster spot? I think it depends on how Paul hits in spring training.

      Mmmmm, here I disagree. Paul didn’t have a great spring last year, but showed that he could be an important contributor to the club when given a chance during the regular season. Based upon the fact that Paul did well with the Reds last year and Burriss did not do well with another club I think it would take more than good numbers in spring for Burriss to beat out Paul to make the roster. But that’s just my opinion.

      Rolen, I’m not clear on how he could be ‘used properly’.

      I think you would agree there would be a way to use Rolen that would benefit the club and NOT take innings away from Frazier. My thought would be to be to use him as the first bat off the bench, late inning substitution, with a very occasional start. Moreover, to use him as a guide for the younger players with whom he will have plenty of time to teach while he watches the game from the dugout.

      Donald and Hannahan aren’t redundant, one is a righthanded hitting shortstop and the other is a left handed hitting corner infielder.

      Yes, of course. Point taken.

      Your reply didn’t irritate like usual. You were able to disagree without being abrasive this time. I might have to reconsider my plans to burn your house down.

      • That is a very good point. The only reservation I have is that HRod as a utility player is that he played 2B through the minors until last year. In his 451 minor league games he played 322 games at 2B. He played 87 (60 last year) games at 3rd with moderate to poor results and 38 games at SS with disastrous results. They moved him from 2B to 3B last year after Phillips’ extension hoping to keep his excellent hitting skills relevant to the big leagues. He did okay in AA, but struggled at 3B in Louisville. (I think as a result of being moved he suffered a bit at the plate.) Perhaps can use that experience to be a backup 3rd and 2nd, but not SS. And not until his hitting recovers

        If I remember correctly, didn’t HRod have a hand or thumb injury last year and played thru the injury. That would make most players hitting drop off. I would expect HRod’s hitting to rebound this year at Louisville, if he stays healthy. Does anybody know if he is playing winter ball anywhere??

  35. @redsfanman: No one has discussed it much but I heard the thinking from the front office was to ‘flip’ the Strasburg model. Chapman gets starter work, begins the season in the bullpen where there is always need for another lefty (and Cingrani continues to start in AAA) and moves into the rotation sometime around the All Star Break.

    Come playoffs, Champman will have thrown 100 innings with the ability to space to pitch either role depending on the circumstances.

    I think it’s the most logical approach but it will take real mental fortitude on the part of Chapman to make a mid-season transition but if any pitching coach can make it happen, it’s Bprice.

  36. redsfanman,
    I understand that you want Chapman to close

    “1. What I want: I want him to close. He’s dominant and they have starting pitching depth. The current priority is winning the World Series in 2013.
    2. What the Reds want: I think they want to win, keep everyone healthy, and build on what has worked in 2012. I think that points towards Chapman closing.”

    Your assumption 2 is flawed because Chapman was starting up to injury (the things that didn’t work in 2012). He was dominate as a starter in spring training and was much better than Leake.

    And guys make the jump from bullpen to rotation all of the time without getting hurt (David Price) and most are not constructed like Chapman. That, and the best thing for your top pitcher is to pitch in a set pattern. every 5th day will be a benefit for Chapman and will be the best way to keep him healthy. We have seen him break down each of the past 2 years from relieving.

    your arguments have flaws and we still disagree

  37. If Choo has a great year this year, and Ludwick has a year similar to last year, assuming that BHam goes to CF in 2014, would the Reds sign Choo to an extension to play LF and let Ludwick go via a trade next off season???? Just wondering.

  38. @WVRedlegs: I think we’d all wish that, but if Choo has a great year, a Boras client in a walk year is going to get very, very expensive to sign long term. Falls under possible, but not probable.

  39. If we bring in Rolen, I start wondering about the payroll for 2013, as well as the headaches that could cause with the lineup if not the fans, also. Frazier deserves his chance. If any move with him, it should be to another position, the one he says he favors, LF, but we have Ludwick in there now.

    Hannahan is different than Donald and Burris. Hannahan is a corner IF, the others more middle IF. If Rolen comes back, Hannahan goes somewhere. The opening day roster will come to Donald and Burris. I would have to say Burris in that case. He and Donald are similar players except Burris can bat from both sides. But then, do any of the three (Burris, Donald, and Burris) have any options left?

  40. @Matt WI:

    I was just wondering. Votto could have a 140 RBI season in that scenario with BHam and Choo batting before him. Phillips could bat 4th and possibly could have his first 100 RBI season. And Bruce, if he doesn’t reach it this year could also have his first 100 RBI season. Just take the $7.5MM that would have gone to Ludwick, and with Arroyo’s salary coming off the books after next season, I think there could be room to sign him. But being a Borass client does negate it some.

  41. All the handwringing about whether Chapman will start this year is a waste of time.

    Chapman WILL BE a starting pitcher, unless there are multiple injuries again in the bullpen, or unless he is not up to the task of starting.

    Chapman would have been a starter last year if the Reds had not lost their closer Madson, their 7th inning guy Masset, and their lefty Bray before spring training had begun in earnest. You lose three key bullpen pitchers, you are forced to go with Plan B.

    Chapman will be a starter, because he will put fannies in the seats. He’s a surefire sellout every 5th day, which is crucial when your team payroll has risen like the Reds has (approx. $100 Mil this year). More importantly, he will be a starter because he is much more valuable as a dominant starter than as a dominant closer. That’s why starters can land $160 Mil contracts.

    Who wants to get 60 innings out of Aroldis, when we can get 160? Certainly not the Reds.

  42. Unless Choo is really atrocious in center field — and I don’t think that would be the case — I think the Reds would be best served to keep Bruce in right field since we’re only talking about one year here. If Bruce were to start the season in one of his notorious arctic freezes at the plate, I can envision a great outcry that his new position is weighing on him at the plate, too. We know going in that we will be trading some defense for the offensive upgrade.

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