2013 Reds

Something for you all to argue about

Moments ago, I was perusing the most recent ZiPS projections for the Reds and I noticed something. ZiPS thinks Billy Hamilton is better than Ryan Ludwick right now.

I don’t happen to agree. I actually think Ludwick will be fine (just wait until my season-preview series, it’s coming soon! [that exclamation point means you should be excited]), but what if ZiPS is right on both fronts? How would you feel about an OF of Choo in left, Hamilton in center, and Bruce in right? It’s a lot better defensively and maybe better overall.

So, yeah, let’s have a fight about it.

94 thoughts on “Something for you all to argue about

  1. @redsfanman: I can’t remember who posted this…maybe Sultan? Preach?

    Anyway, when I was rending my garments over Stubbs’ lost defense, they posted a breakdown of “number of plays to CF” per game. I can’t remember the specifics, but I believe the point was that a “hard” CF play occurs, on average, once every three games or something. Does anyone remember that?

    • @Jared Wynne:

      I can’t remember the specifics, but I believe the point was that a “hard” CF play occurs, on average, once every three games or something. Does anyone remember that?

      I don’t know if we are refering to the same discussion, but the post I remember was completely subjective and intentionally erred on the side of giving more credit to the impact of Stubbs’ defense than it probably deserved.

  2. @redsfanman: You distort. You don’t even think it matters but go to great lengths to disprove an idea? I really don’t give a hoot if Bruce is in CF or not… simply advocating that anything is worth a look, and hoping people will consider possibilities without presenting opinion as fact or unfounded doom and gloom. I don’t give a hoot if Bruce wins a GG ever… there’s often a disconnect between an award and what is true. Just want a guy to help the Reds win, you know? I can openly acknowledge that Choo might be the best call, I hope he’s a rock star out there…

    Discussion is so much better when we can acknowledge the other side. There is such a huge difference between presenting an idea as “it is this way” vs “it might be this way” and understanding what we can know and not know, or how understanding how circumstantial evidence may or may not be informative. Sometimes exploring ideas like this is just fun, without making it right or wrong. It’s part of what (usually) makes this blog awesome, but somehow I feel I’ve unintentionally become part of the problem by failing to recognize what cannot be changed, even if the intent was trying to keep this place a little more awesome… for that, my apologies at large.

    Go Reds.

  3. @Matt WI: I’m kinda lost. I wouldn’t say I’m going to great lengths to disprove an idea, I’m just saying that it (Bruce moving to CF) isn’t going to happen and explaining reasons why, in part reiterating the points that I heard Walt Jocketty make recently on 700WLW. Initially I thought converting Bruce was worthy of consideration but I changed my mind – it’s not. As far as I’m concerned you’re welcome to make points about why converting Jay Bruce to CF is a good idea but I’ll continue to make points about why it isn’t.

    I care if Reds players win awards like Gold Gloves. I like seeing Reds players recognized as the best of the best. Brandon Phillips missing out in 2012 was very disappointing, albeit unimportant. I’d rather see a Gold Glove RF and a mediocre defensive CF playing next to each other than two mediocre defensive outfielders.

    I think a problem we have is that we’re predicting what will happen in upcoming baseball games and it’s not even baseball season. There’s snow all over the ground all around here. Also all we’re left with are minor details – which guy plays where, who gets a final roster spot – rather than old fashion debates about the lineup and playing time.

  4. Also I believe that Shin-Shoo Choo can hit well enough and consistently enough to offset criticisms of his fielding. Jay Bruce is known for his hot streaks and long slumps, frequent periods of criticism which don’t need to be expanded upon to include criticisms about his defense in CF. I want Jay Bruce’s attention to be focused on becoming a more consistent hitter.

  5. @redsfanman: You’re sort of begging the question. If we *assume* that there isn’t much difference between Choo and Bruce in CF, then of course, why move Jay Bruce to CF. You sort of create the conclusion based on the initial assumption.

    My point was that we don’t know if this statement — “There isn’t much difference between Choo and Bruce in CF” — is right or not. My opinion is the Reds should use at least the first part of Spring Training to find out. If Choo = Bruce, then Bruce moves back to RF. It’s really laughable to assert that a couple-week experimental period is going to be distracting or cause any lingering impact.

    I’m saying the Reds don’t have enough information and they should go into spring training with an open mind.

    IF (again, if) Bruce is a significantly better CF than Choo, then he should play there this year. To say that “can’t affect the World Series” is to make every single Reds decision unimportant if it can’t be connected to “winning the World Series.

  6. @Steve Mancuso: Walt Jocketty seemed pretty sure that he had enough information already after talking to scouts and other Reds personnel. I’ve never seen Choo play but I’ll trust Jocketty’s judgment. There’s more to consider in the equation than just CF, including defense in RF, role of the CF (who will probably shift and replaced Ludwick in LF), and priorities Jay Bruce should have short and long term.

    @Matt WI: Unfortunately Miguel Cabrera’s fielding percentage is much lower at 3b than anywhere else. That’s why he was moved away. The Tigers accepted a defensive liability to get Miguel Cabrera’s bat in the lineup and the Reds are going to do something similar with Shin-Shoo Choo.

  7. For those members of the Nation that don’t follow twitter, it looks like Cris Carpenter is done for the year and his career.

  8. @Shchi Cossack: Really?? Wow. I kinda thought he would be around until he was 50, and annoying the crap out of me. What an amazing career for that guy. Still a jerk! Heavens, he is still a jerk. But what a career.

  9. @Shchi Cossack: That’s too bad. Tough one for the Cards, I wonder if it puts Lohse back in play?

    Also, the Reds should probably make sure the players are not available to Hal McCoy after Gomes and “Wainwright-gate.”

  10. Not only is Chris Carpenter finished but there are still injury concerns about Jaime Garcia. It’ll be interesting to see if the Cardinals can still make a deal with free agent Kyle Lohse or if they’ll go for a young rotation with Trevor Rosenthal, Shelby Miller, Joe Kelly, and Lance Lynn competing for spots. And Westbrook and Wainwright.

    My favorite memory of Chris Carpenter is him being tackled by Scott Rolen in the Brandon Phillips’ fight.

  11. Carpenter caused the destructive part of that fight. I was sitting about fifteen feet from it (Section 120, second row). The BP-YM fight had mostly ended but everyone was still on the field. Scott Rolen was shepherding Dusty Baker back to the dugout (remember that Baker and LaRussa really went at it in the first part of the fight). As Rolen and Baker passed in front of me, Carpenter said something to Baker that made Rolen so mad he went after Carpenter right up against the netting. That’s what triggered the Cueto and LaRue part of the skirmish. I couldn’t quite hear what Carpenter said, but it must have really been something awful to provoke Rolen, who was trying hard to be a peacemaker, that severely. There is zero doubt in my mind that Carpenter is responsible for that part of it.

  12. @Steve Mancuso: I don’t think ‘provoked’ is the right word, I don’t think Carpenter offended Rolen or anything, I think Rolen was just trying to protect his friend and former teammate (Carpenter) from getting into trouble. Rolen clearly wasn’t trying to hit anyone or hurt anyone, he just seemed determined to do everything he could to make people act professionally. But that’s just my opinion. Still, that image is what I’ll always remember Chris Carpenter for.

    • reds

      Dude, read Steve’s quote. Rolen went after Carpenter. And, you say Rolen was trying to protect Carpenter? From what, someone else from getting to him before he did?

      • Dude, read Steve’s quote.Rolen went after Carpenter.And, you say Rolen was trying to protect Carpenter?From what, someone else from getting to him before he did?

        In the video it looks like Rolen is trying to restrain and calm Carpenter, not hurt or punish him. Maybe to keep him from throwing punches, getting punched, or getting suspended. My impression is that they are friends and former teammates rather than adversaries.

        In the video when Cueto starts kicking people you can see Joey Votto and Homer Bailey doing something similar, grabbing Johnny Cueto and shoving him out of the middle of everything.

        Oh well, not important.

        @steveschoen:
        What? I agree that promoting Billy Hamilton is now even more appealing than it was before due to diminished range of the centerfielders on the roster following Stubbs’ trade. I never said Choo wasn’t capable of playing CF, I’ve implied that I think it’ll be tougher for him to perform well than in a corner spot, and I don’t think that’s in dispute. What would I consider ‘frequent’ regarding Ludwick getting pulled? It just seemed like under the right circumstances – the team ahead, his spot in the batting order presumably finished for the game, Ludwick (not Bruce or Stubbs) would get removed in favor of a defensive replacement. How often did that come up? I don’t know, but enough times to notice a trend. Ludwick got pulled before the other outfielders. I think that trend will continue in 2013 with Choo moving to LF, but we’ll see.

  13. @redsfanman: I’m starting to think there is literally nothing I could say that you wouldn’t find some way to disagree. I’ll repeat, I was sitting fifteen feet from the part of the fight where Carpenter *provoked* Scott Rolen. Rolen was on his way back to the dugout, with Baker in tow, when Carpenter said something that caused Rolen to head straight for Carpenter – the fight had stopped, Carpenter’s taunt and Rolen’s response restarted it. Maybe by the end, Rolen was protecting Carpenter (and himself) from the crowd, but there’s no doubt the fight had stopped until Carpenter said something. That’s provocation.

  14. Here’s how John Fay (and virtually everyone else) reported the fight and the Carpenter-Rolen part: “Molina took off his mask and got right in Phillips’ face. Scott Rolen came out and got Molina away from Phillips. Benches and bullpen cleared. Things calmed down. But it erupted when Rolen went after Chris Carpenter.”

    From Yahoo: Molina and Phillips were separated, and the fight seemed to die a few seconds later with Scott Rolen(notes) — a former Cardinals player — trying to make peace. When Dusty Baker and Tony La Russa started to jaw among the umpires, Carpenter (the Cards’ starting pitcher Monday night) interjected and screamed at Baker, which re-ignited the fight.

    Here’s the video (good times…) and around 1:20, you can see that Carpenter provoked the resumption of the skirmish. Rolen drives him into the wall.

    If Carpenter’s career is over, I’m not a bit sorry.

  15. I’m with Steve on this. Carpender is a faux gamer. He wasn’t durable, especially well-liked, and was the valedictorian of the LaRussa/Duncan School of Bitching and Moaning. Did you know: Carpenter has approximately 20 more wins in his career than Bronson (and is 2 years older). Good riddance to a legendary d-bag.

  16. I know this isn’t the forum for this, but on the heels of Ryan Braun’s name appearing in records of a certain doctor in Miami, I thought it was worth mentioning. I simply have to think that the Reds brass made the Latos trade partly on suspicions of Grandal and Alonso. So, kudos to Walt and the others who advocated getting Mr. Latos.

  17. @Steve Mancuso: I DID watch the video before posting that. I keep it on my phone, ha. I guess it depends on your definition of ‘provoke’, Carpenter evoked a response from Rolen (who he wasn’t even yelling at) but I don’t think that response was anger. Oh well.

    @rewquiop: It puts into perspective how wins are a matter of persistence. Staying healthy has always been Carpenter’s big problem and Arroyo’s big strength. Arroyo can probably get up to #17 on the Reds’ all time win list this year, passing Jose Rijo and Mario Soto.

    @Drew Mac: I don’t believe that the Reds knew anything about Yasmani Grandal, and Yonder Alonso has yet to be implicated beyond his choice of colleges. The thing Grandal and Alonso had in common was that they were worthless to the Reds except as trade chips.

  18. Well if can’t agree that it is good riddance to Carpenter, will be ever agree on anything.

    I remember (about the fight) being surprised when I read later the “smoothing over” quotes from Rolen about Carpenter and what went on between them because the TV replays showed it happened like Steve recounted above.

    On the PED front, I think it is highly unfair to drag Alonso into the conversation at this point. I don’t think he has ever been connected with any of the rumors or in any way with the situation except that he went to the U with some overlap at the beginning of his college days with Braun and then Grandal at the other end of his college days. And I could be proven wrong tomorrow but Alonso is one of those folks who’s body type almost screams NOT a PED user.

    To say Walt traded Grandal because he suspected he was involved with the PED situation is also a bit of a slap at Walt’s integrity. If WJ had information that Grandal might have been involved with with PED’s he was duty bound to report him to MLB, not dump on him the trade market. And also for all any of us know, the Padres may have insisted on Grandal over Mesoraco (or anybody else) as a prerequisite of the deal.

  19. ryan braun again linked to miami PEDs? looks like University of Miami (surprise, surprise) might be a hot bed for baseball PEDS……Even more laughable is Braun saying he used Bosch (not a doctor) as a consultant for when he got busted the first time. Braun might be in trouble….this may be another big PED bust out story

  20. Maybe that was why I never got too far. I needed to take PEDs… Ok seriously, I’m kidding. Even for the oodles of money one could make, it just isn’t worth the toll on the body… I am so sick of hearing about PEDs in the game. It seems the media coverage for it is just too much. Let MLB finish their investigation and punish the guilty if there is enough proof. The constant coverage this is getting is taking away from the fact that pitchers and catchers are reporting soon.

  21. My favorite Minor Leaguer is 7th on the Reds prospect list. I was impressed with Ryan Wright the first time I saw him take an AB in Dayton. Very exciting.

  22. @earmbrister: I think Walt Jocketty acquires players and Dusty Baker is given leeway to decide how to use them. As a result some fans perceive Jocketty as the good guy who MUST agree with them and Dusty as the evil obstructionist guy who gets in the way. Hence the perception of a rivalry between Dusty and Jocketty that I don’t believe exists in real life.

    Decisions, like regarding the use of Chapman, are frequently blamed entirely on Dusty Baker, after all he’s the face of the team, some fans seem to assume that he’s some kinda renegade. I don’t believe he’s able to make big decisions like that without the support of the other big guys in the organization, including Bryan Price, Walt Jocketty, and Bob Castellini. They’re all in it together and I believe they all have a say.

    You see something similar in politics (MLB blog or not, it’s a good comparison in my opinion), too – neither political party will suggest items for budget cuts. The side that recommends a cut to something you disapprove of – like education, PBS, or the military – is evil and the one that took no position is the one you can relate to. Similarly Dusty is the visible decision maker and you can believe whatever you want about what Jocketty wanted.

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