In the wake of the Alex Gonzalez deal, Redleg Nation thinks it is high time the Reds organization makes the move they should have made the day they traded Felipe Lopez away and move Brandon Phillips back to shortstop. With Chris Valaika’s bat appearing to peak out at AAA this season, there is not anyone in the organization that appears ready to be of help at SS in the near future. With this season already a lost cause, doesn’t it seem to make sense to see if Phillips can still play the position he played for 82% of his minor league career?

In the Cleveland organization, Phillips was a SS from 1999 to 2002. He was not a fulltime 2B until 2003 with the Indians, and later at AAA Buffalo after he flopped offensively in the majors. In 2004 he split time evenly between SS and 2B at AAA. In 2005 he was a full-time SS in AAA. Omar Vizquel was the Cleveland SS through the 2004 season, and Johnny Peralta took over full-time in 2005. So basically Phillips had 5.5 years of professional experience at SS and 1.5 years of professional experience at 2B when he came to the Reds, and some pretty good SS talent in front of him in Cleveland.

Phillips has indicated that he’d be willing to make the move back to SS on several occasions since arriving in Cincinnati. If nothing else, finding out if Phillips can still play the position would give the Reds the flexibility of finding either a SS or a 2B to fill the big hole in the middle infield for next season.

Is it possible that the Reds are already considering this move? That may be the only logical reason for moving one of their top prospects, Todd Frazier (who is hitting .296/.355/.485/.840 at AA), from LF to 2B recently. Frazier was drafted as a SS, but many saw his 6’3” 215 lb frame being more likely to end up at 3B or a corner OF spot. Just last winter, the Reds had moved him from SS to LF, where he played for most of the season before being moved to 2B for the last few weeks. If Phillips is entrenched at 2B for the Reds, why would they move one of their best prospects at the higher levels behind him on the depth chart all of a sudden when he would seem to be much more likely to break into the Reds lineup at either LF or 3B a lot sooner?

The Reds already know that Paul Janish can play SS and that he can’t hit. The better solution would be to maximize Phillips’ bat by moving him to the tougher defensive position that he’s shown the ability to play in the past. The Reds should go ahead and move him back to SS now for the remainder of the season and let him get comfortable on that side of the infield again while they are simply playing out the season; if nothing else, this helps to find the answer to some questions for turning things around for next season. Making a sensible move like this one could also go a long way toward showing the Cincinnati Reds fan base that there might actually be some sort of plan in place to improve this club, as opposed to the mixed signals the Reds have been sending out lately.

Join the conversation! 57 Comments

  1. I believe this team can field a far better lineup in 2010 with just a few simple moves. Whether or not that will help given the implosion of our pitching staff remains to be seen. But moving Phillips to SS, bringing up Frazier (2B) and Stubbs (CF), and signing or trading for an everyday LF with power would give this team a solid productive lineup.

  2. So simple, isn’t it?

  3. What is frustrating is that 2/3 of the solution is right there in our own farm system. I will go on record as stating there is simply no scenario in which Stubbs/Frazier are worse overall than Taveras/Gonzalez. At worst we bring up the young guys and they do not succeed as expected and our offense is about the same (while our CF defense becomes awesome).

  4. According to the Enquirer today, Dusty is “still trying to win.”

    I agree with the logic that the Reds might as well give Phillips a shot at SS this year. However, remember one thing, it is the Reds we are talking about and they’ll screw it up some how.

  5. While we’re making out to-do lists, I’ll throw in my 2 cents: Give Votto some time in LF when Hernandez gets off the DL. Our two best hitting prospects both project to be guys you have to hide at first base. Alonso–slow. Francisco–a butcher.
    The only way this team can get better in a sustainable way is to develop impact players you can control for 6 years. You gotta make the puzzle pieces fit w/o hurting your defense.
    This is the lineup I want to see one year from now:

    CF Dickerson/Stubbs
    SS Phillips
    LF Votto
    3b Rolen
    RF Bruce
    1B Alonso or Francisco
    2B Frazier/free agent acquisition
    C Hanigan

    In this scenario, you’re only shopping for a 2B/utility infielder (insurance for our yet-to-be-named 2B), a backup catcher (I’d take Hernandez w/ a huge pay cut), and A NEW MANAGER.

  6. Yes. A thousand times yes. I still remember two years ago, when good ol’ Keppy was logging significant time at SS, thinking “what’s wrong with this picture?” And here’s another thing – does anybody besides me think that Adam Dunn’s improved BA this year has less to do with a heavier bat, and more to do with the fact that he’s hitting in the 4 hole with Willingham behind him, while the 2008 Reds had dropped him to the “we’re-quietly-ashamed-of-you” 6 hole? And if that’s the case, weren’t they making the same mistake earlier this year with Jay Bruce? Call me crazy, but when/if he comes back this year, I’d hit him 4th and have Phillips, or maybe even [gasp] Votto hit 5th. He’ll get better pitches to hit…

  7. Jason’s right, the solution is right there in front of us, we just need a manager who recognizes that. I seriously think that a managerial change could be the most important thing we do to affect the direction of this franchise over the next 3 year cycle.

  8. It is possible that they don’t want to make the switch mid-season. But, yeah, we should absolutely try it out.

  9. RC

    I did not think about that, at all. I think Dunn may have simply benefited from a bit of the good ol’ change of scenary thing.

    But I did wonder something else. I feel like the Reds’ hitters, with Votto being the notiable exception, are not developing at the major league level, at all.

    Dunn never improved while here (really) and then did significantly this year. EE got worse, and worse, and worse. Bruce has taken a giant step backwards, instead of progessing like we would expect. Even Phillips has not gotten better, really, in the last couple of years.

    Despite being in a hitter’s park, we have the worst offense in the game. Why is Jacoby, etc. not getting more of the blame?

    Dusty makes some head scratching decisions, no doubt. But the team stinks, period. Shedding Gonzalez was good, shedding Taveras would be better. But having them on the team is not Dusty’s fault. The fact that they, too, never improved might portend hitting coach problems.

  10. The reason management is sending mixed signals is because they don’t have a plan. Everything’s a hodge-podge that way.

    I still think Crosby is the buy low guy who would do well at GABP. I agree whole heartedly that you have to give Votto a whirl in LF. Hernandez played suprisingly (to me, anyway)well there this year. If we get him at a discount, I wouldn’t mind having him around.

  11. EE got worse, and worse, and worse.

    Really? His OPS+ from 2006-08 was 108, 101, 106

    Seems like the Reds are always least inclined to switching player positions. Dunn should have moved to 1st when Casey went to Pittsburgh. Votto could have worked more in LF in AAA, stayed there, and would already be there if Alonso develops.

    The Phillips switch should definitely be tried out. Every season since 2006. Better late than never. Just do it!

  12. Right, this is a line-up that can be tested this year:

    CF Stubbs
    SS Phillips
    1B Votto
    LF Gomes
    3b Rolen
    C Hernandez
    RF Bruce
    2B Frazier

    There is the issue with Taveras, I think nobody would take him in a trade. Just DFA at season’s end to save at least $400K. The pitching staff looks OK for next year with Arroyo, Harang, Cueto, Lehr and somebody else for the 5th spot among Owings, Bailey, Maloney or Wood. I like Travis Wood. The bullpen looks OK too, even trading Cordero to free some payroll. There are too many just-fair or utility players in the roster (Rosales, Stubbs, Nix, Dickerson, Janish, Balentien), a team can not compete with that kind of players!!!

  13. OK, we’re touching on one of my big pet peeves here. Since the advent of the Dayton Dragons, we’ve seen many highly touted prospects pass completely through the Reds’ minor league system and arrive in Cincinnati as raw as they were when they started – Dunn, Kearns, Pena, Bruce… heck, Votto seems to have gotten quite a bit better once he escaped his minor league “coaching”. The fundamental flaws of players who were “developed” in this system are pretty evident. And for me, the last straw is the fact that Homer Bailey learned the pitch that may have finally turned him into a credible big-league starter from Justin Lehr, not from his coaches. Pbbbt. PS – Dunn should have been moved to 1B, the favored position for big doofy guys, when he was still in Dayton.

  14. 1. Ramon Hernandez has not had a good year, no matter what anybody wants to think. He got a couple of “clutch” (lucky) hits and we were surprised that a catcher could play 1b…well, he plays there all winter. He has hit extremely poorly, I still remember him refusing to slide when Bailey was telling him to get down, and he’s not a good defensive catcher which is priority one for a back up catcher. Put him on the same train as Taveras…

    2. Baker does have input on Taveras/Gonzalez. First, they fit into his “model” of players (check his history). Second, he’s batted them at the top of the order, which tells the GM “I want them.” Third, he could have a conversation with Jocketty. Also, keep in mind the Neyer book where he manipulated the Cubs’ roster by refusing to play the guys Cubs GM Hendry got to play (think “Janish”). I don’t think it was any coincidence that Reds owner Castellini was talking wiht Cubs GM Hendry while the Reds were in Chicago. My question is “will Castellini eat the $4 million contract?”

    3. Phillips is almost too old to make the switch to shortstop. I’ve been all fo rthat move for a couple of years, but it seems that teams win with young shortstops more than than veterans. Even experienced teams have younger shortstops for they need the defensive prowess. Frankly, Phillips is about “average” age for the position, but with the move, it’s time to find his replacement, too. I also think he has more trade value than most players on the Reds. I’m also a bit alarmed that the Indians thought Peralta had more talent than Phillips; may it was an offensive decision and not a defensive decision to keep Peralta and move Phillips ot 2B? It could have been.

    4. Adam Dunn’s batting average in Washington is well in range of normal standard deviation for his career. He’s batting .285, 35 points higher than his career average. With the Reds, he had three seasons in the .260’s. Pete Rose had three seasons where he batted about 35 points higher than his career average. I’m not criticizing Dunn…he should still be here in Cincinnati.

    5. Jeff Keppinger is hitting in the .260’s with a 732 OPS for Houston. No, that’s no all-star material, but that’s who we traded to get “Sutton”…we could have had Keppinger at 2b (his real position) for $400,000 this year and Phillips at shortstop this year instead of Gonzalez.

  15. Oh, yes…Rose switched to 3b during the middle of a World Series championship series. Surely, we can try it being next to last.

    Secondly….we’ve sacrificed development in our minor league system for the sake of marketing ticket sales for years. I can’t explain Kearns, no one seems to be able to. (Bill James has a category for “can I do this career over” and he’s listed Kearns there). His OPS his rookie year was 907 and a plus defender with a great arm at age 22. Dunn wasn’t ready defensively, Bruce has been way exposed when it comes to hitting lefties, and Bailey is announced to the world every time they brought him up (no pressure there) instead of just working him in. They left Votto down too long, I thought, but may be that was the right way to go…

  16. I cannot understand why Dusty Baker keeps trotting out the same weak lineup when there are better players in AAA. The Reds know what Taveras and Rosales and Janish are going to give them. It’s time to find out about the other fellows in the minors. I can only think that he believes that his job is on the line and he is maximizing his chances of holding on to it by using “veteran” players.

    Big Bob should take a gander at the kids now and not wait until the last two weeks in September.

    What does he, Bob Castellini, have to lose by going this route? Absolutely nothing.

  17. Dusty’s going to make $4 million next year whether he’s managing the Reds or not. If it was next year, I’d agree that he’d be worried about his job. It seems to me he needs to be thinking about 2011, and to do that, he needs to be asking for some talent.

  18. “‘EE got worse, and worse, and worse.'”

    “Really? His OPS+ from 2006-08 was 108, 101, 106”

    Yeah, I think so, particularly when his career trajectory is compared with the typical player, who improves as he approaches 27/-28 years old.

    As a 23 year old, he hit .276/.359/.473 in 406 at bats, with 33 doubles. Excellent year, suggesting a great, long career. To date, those are his career highs in both slugging and oba — the latter of which has gotten worse every single year . . .

    2006 = .359
    2007 = .356
    2008 = .340
    2009 = .303 (as of yesterday)

    Most players improve during those years. Certainly some don’t. But this seems to be a Reds trend.

    As far as blaming Dusty v. Jocketty, well, if Dusty is the one making these terrible decisions and calling all the shots, he is to be blamed. But Jocketty has the GM tag for a reason. I assume he signed Taveras and made the Rolen trade and signed Lincoln and traded Dunn, etc. I also assume he could fire Dusty.

    Either Dusty is a significant problem in that he refuses to play the right guys/makes bad personnel decisions or he isn’t. If he isn’t, I blame Jocketty. If Dusty IS a/the problem, then either Jocketty cannot recognize it OR Jocketty is powerless to do anything about it, in which case I also blame Jocketty for failing to control his owner, which was what Krivsky complained of when he left.

    As a 24 year old

  19. Oh, ignore the “as a 24 year old”

  20. Kearns never seemed to recover from his head first slide into home that messed up his shoulder hitting the leg of Ray King(if i recall correctly).

    regarding reds prospects, i think some of them do get rushed a bit too quickly(especially Bailey) as the Front Office panicks or trying for PR lightning in a bottle. they all should stay at least half a season of AAA to “season” up and smooth out flaws in swing, pitching motion, defense etc. players get promoted when they show on the field they have earned it. This problem would be the issue for lack of a “plan” by management.

  21. Fay’s article is excellent, maybe the best I’ve seen from him. It includes moving Brandon Phillips to SS and a number of other sensible suggestions.
    Will any of it happen ? No. What are the obstacles ? The triumverate, our not so bold leaders. Dusty will continue to play Taveras. Bob “no more losing” Castellini will want no more losing and get lots more of it. WJ is between a rock and a hard spot, and isn’t handling it well. If he has a clue as to what needs to be done, and he might, he should have a good talk with Bob and get his way or resign. This should include discussion of a new manager.

  22. I would love to see some of the young guys get called up (Stubs and Crew) but the issue is, management (my opinion) doesn’t want to start the arbitration clock.

  23. Stubbs vs. Dickerson Question

    I haven’t seen Drew Stubbs play more than a few games in spring training. His numbers seem to indicate he will be a plus-plus center fielder, steal bases, and get on base a fair amount. He has not exhibited much power in AAA.

    Chris Dickerson is playing really great defense in CF – plus caliber. He steals bases, draws walks etc. But has not shown the power this year that he did last year.

    Here’s my question for those of you who have seen Stubbs play more than I have:

    Is Drew Stubbs a better CF than Chris Dickerson, and in what ways?

    I’m fine with playing Stubbs in CF if he is better than Dickerson, and he might be. I just don’t see that yet in the numbers – but am very interested in what those of you who support him see in him.

    Finally, is it the case that Dickerson and Stubbs are too light-of-hitting that we would want them both to play at the same time? Stubbs-Dickerson-Bruce?

    (Fwiw, I support the idea of moving BP to SS this year, he has a lot of experience with it, and if successful could make our moves for next year much easier.)

  24. Even if the most optimistic projections came true for next season, I don’t think you could get enough offense out of a Stubbs-Dickerson-Bruce outfield.

  25. Apparently, now that Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo are pitching well, the Reds are less likely to trade them because Bob Castellini is hoping for a turnaround in the 2010

    Then Bob needs to stay out of the GM’s office. Trade Harang and Arroyo if they are doing poorly. Keep them if they are doing well?

    Is that why they traded Encarnacion for Rolen? Encarnacion was having a down/injured year and Rolen was bouncing back?

    How about, get a plan and stick to it.

  26. Stubbs covers more territory and runs better routes to the ball than Dickerson.
    A couple of years ago Dickerson was considered to have the best outfield arm in the Reds’ minor leagues. Stubbs has a good arm, too; had an outfield assist in the AAA all-star game.

    Stubbs can run circles around Dickerson on the basepaths.

    Dickerson draws more walks than Stubbs; Dickerson’s power last year was not consistent with his minor league performance as many noted in preseason. This year’s Dickerson is more of what to expect.

    Dickerson is in his prime; Stubbs still has development to go.

    Having both in the outfield as starters would make for a losing team.

    Need a BOOMING power bat. Bruce will not be ready to carry the team. I’ve read on Baseball Prospectus where they consider Rasmus to be a better prospect than Bruce at this point.

  27. I am surprised to hear that.

    AB R H 1B 2B 3B HR RBI BB KO SB CS BA OBP SLG
    Rasmus 344 53 89 56 20 1 12 40 26 66 1 1 0.2587 0.3147 0.4273
    Bruce 299 38 62 30 12 2 18 41 30 63 3 2 0.2074 0.2831 0.4415

    Developmentally, Rasmus seems to be a little bit ahead in making consistent contact (maybe he has fewer weak picthes). But he is also a year older. I think Bruce, given his power and plate discipline as well as his great arm, still has the better long term potential.

  28. Sometimes I think Fay just reads the posts and comments here, gets a few quotes, and then posts his stories.

    I like the Dickerson/Stubbs platoon idea. Let’s get a big bopper, too. Not sure Gomes can do it for a full season.

    BP to short is a great idea because he’s a plus bat as a shortstop. He’s an average bat at best as a second baseman. The problem is I doubt he’ll ever agree to it. If he won’t, I trade him now.

  29. That would be way too logical. This is a Cincinnati pro franchise we’re discussing, after all!

  30. After re-reading the Fay thing, I’ll give him some credit. He’s about the only person in the media putting forward these “revolutionary” thoughts. I really wish he’d put the screws on Baker and WJ and get them to answer why they don’t try these things with the remaining 40 games.

  31. Off topic, but I’m in Louisville for a few days and will probably only make it to one game. Which? It looks like Matt Klinker is up on Wednesday night and I’d like to see him, any recommendations?

  32. @ Jared – on Tuesdays you can get buy one get one free tickets with a Kraft Singles wrapper. Something to consider. And Thurs (if they’re still in town) is $1 beer night from 5:30-7:00.

  33. @Jared.. I think Travis Wood pitches tonight, s/b a good one.

  34. Another point on the front office, Dunn, and lack of planning – they weren’t looking to trade Dunn last year.

    The “win now” mantra had the front office/manager focused on trying to win as many games as possible instead of retool for 2009. So, neither Griffey or Dunn was shopped. The White Sox called on Griffey just before the 7/31 deadline. The D-backs called on Dunn when Hudson went down with injury.

  35. or so we were told.

  36. If you TRULY buy that…I have some land to sell ya.
    JR & Dunn were being shopped from the moment WJ took Krivdog’s job.
    Maybe he hadn’t gotten offers worth much, for either, as far as a return goes..But there’s NO DOUBT IN MY MIND they were being shopped & shopped hard.

  37. If you’re serious about contending in 2010, and using a decently stocked minor league system, a-la the Tampa Bay Rays, then you do not deal EE for Rolen. The Dunn deal is a done deal, and he was only returning if the Reds could get him at less than 8 figures, which seemed possible, considering Bobby Abreu still only got $5M.
    I think the Reds are chasing their tail, and having a ‘win, win, win’ manager in Baker doesn’t work for a young franchise that has potential. Dusty is the right man for the Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, Tigers…unfortunately they all have managers they are very happy with.
    As for Griffey, why keep him around when all you have bubbling up are outfielders from your system?
    I think Dickerson has power potential, he’s just not getting the PT, and he’s very fragile. If they can deal Harang or Arroyo for a power bat, make the call.

  38. Preach-I’m with you on Crosby

  39. buy what? I’m not only going by what the Reds said, but what the buying teams said at the time of the deal. There were also little-to-no Dunn or Griffey rumors last July, if I recall correctly. Not that we always hear every trade discussion rumored, but in July, it is typically known who is and isn’t being shopped – i.e. the rumors around Rolen (who did move) and Arroyo (who was passed over by a few of teams.)

  40. Jared @32 – I was just there for Saturday’s game. nice park. and you have to get a Big Brat. very good.

    3rd base line is the shade side of the park. also, if you are in the upper section, the roof slopes back to the seats so many foul balls roll back to the fans.

    Enjoy the game and the future Reds talent.

  41. I’m not with anyone on signing Bobby Crosby. Unless we can get him on a one year 1-2 million contract, but we won’t. What will happen is they will overpay for him and sign him a multiple year deal worth 4 million a year. I’d rather just stick with Janish at SS than overpay for Crosby.

    Here’s the thing: I’d love to have a solid offensive SS, but there are no real options. If Phillips isn’t moved to SS, then put your focus on getting a bat for LF or a decent SP.

    I have no problem with Janish batting .220 in the eight hole if he is playing solid defense.

  42. Tonight it is, my first AAA game. Louisville is hot.

  43. I’m with WillRedsCHI – Bobby Crosby is Alex Gonzalez without the defense.

    Crosby, in his last 1500 plate appearances, spanning four seasons, has never had an OBP above .300 – his career OBP is lower than Willy Taveras. His fielding has not been significantly above average since 2005.

    Either move BP and sign/promote a 2B – or just put Janish there, have him bat eighth, play great defense, hit .220 and spend our resources on an OF.

  44. Paul Janish

    We often fail to appreciate just how good Paul Janish is at defense. And shortstop is, as you know, a crucial position for a good glove.

    He has played 229 innings at shortstop this year. If you search for all shortstops who have played at least 200 innings this year – the top six SS in terms of defense (measured by UZR/150):

    6. JJ Hardy (MIL): 9.2
    5. Elvis Andrus (TEX): 10.1
    4. Cesar Izturis (BAL): 10.5
    3. Brendon Ryan (STL): 11.7
    2. Jack Wilson (PIT): 16.8
    1. Paul Janish (CIN): 19.3

    Yes, Paul Janish is the top rated SS – and it isn’t really close, and it’s really, really separated from #3 – in all of MLB.

    BTW, Alex Gonzales (BOS!) is #13: 5.8

  45. >>Rose switched to 3b during the middle of a World Series

    you are correct steve, but I also think this goes further
    players have switched positions throughout history and not just Reds

    Perez went from 3B to 1B
    Bench went from C to 3B
    and we all remember ARod moving from SS to 3B
    hell even a player who griped about his move, Soriano moved from 2B to LF, and then said he liked it.

    there are many quotes from both and many other players about whatever is best for the team. Maybe players on other teams have switched positions THIS YEAR

    Stl is experimenting with moving an OF to 2B.

    and honestly all the unfounded statements about Jr not wanting to move out of his spot in the batting order or move out of CF and he eventually did both without saying anything except, whatever we have to do to win. The only even partially negative thing I ever heard him say about it was saying, “I’ll move out of CF when we have someone else who can play the position”

    Dusty is just stubborn about the roles players play and the place in the batting order they hit.

    what confuses me the most is, if you are out of it like the Reds, it’s the time to experiment. It’s the time to take a look at players. The Reds are still acting like they are in the race.

  46. Or Steve, see how Cozart does in AAA early next year and maybe he is an option.

    Here’s the thing: Our starting lineup is pretty much going to be set for opening day. THIS IS NOT WHAT I WANT, but it is what it will be (barring injuries)

    CF Tavarez
    SS Hairston
    1B Votto
    2B Phillips
    3B Rolen
    RF Bruce
    LF Dickerson
    C Hanigan

    That’s right, Hairston will be back. Hernandez will be back if no one else wants to pay 5 million or more for him because you would have to be insane to pick up the 8 million option.

  47. WillRedsCHI, said to say I also think your lineup is what we’ll see

  48. said == sad
    sad to say

  49. Hairston will not be this club’s SS. Even they know he can’t get it done defensively.

    The odd thing is they understand that Paul Janish (.281 career OBP) can’t cut it with the stick, but believed that Alex Gonzalez (.293) is not only good enough to start, but should bat second.

    THAT’s what I mean by having a no effing plan. Do they require their shortstops to hit, or don’t they?

  50. You see where the Red Sox are batting AG, ninth.

  51. Has a single reporter this entire season asked Dusty why he’s batting Taveras leadoff and putting the two worst OBP on the team in the top 2 positions in the batting order?

    or do the reporters act like cowards, wait most of the season then start writing stuff in public but don’t directly ask him? Is there a Dusty pre-game in the Cincinnati area like there is a Giants pre-game with their manager? Someone just ask him! And don’t take the stupid-cliche-responses and write them down, follow up, interact and find out what the hell is going on.

  52. If you’re going to move Phillips to SS then I’d have him practice there for a couple of weeks and then play there for the last month. You don’t want to test him there next year and 2 months into the season find that he just doesn’t fit there.

    Also I don’t understand the obsession with Drew Stubbs, the guy has never hit over .277 for a full year in the minors. Stubbs has the same AVG (.268/.269) and lower OBP (.353) in AAA than Dickerson (.365) does in the majors (Not to mention Stubbs strikes out once a game). Do we really think that him coming to the majors is going to improve his numbers?
    So Stubbs plays better defense and is a better base stealer than Dickerson…but how much better? Will his defense/base stealing make up for his lack of hitting?

    I also think people are under valuing Chris Heisey. You want some pop this guy has it (He’s tied for 5th in homers in the AA southern league, yeah the league he hasn’t played in for 2 months). 19 homers on the year (13 in AA, 6 in AAA).
    06 he batted .286, 07 .295, 08 .291 and 09 he is batting .320 (.278 in AAA). His on base percentage is usually about .80 points above his average. In my mind this guy is a great candidate for LF. He should give you a decent avergage, on base percentage and power and probably plus defense.

  53. Why not get Heisey some innings at 2B? He’s right-handed, and 2B is just one step up the defensive spectrum from CF.

    Worth a shot, at least, maybe in the Arizona Fall League?

  54. I’m afraid John Fay’s article makes a great deal of sense. It’s going to be extremely hard for this team to upgrade because the budget is stretched so thin. Phillips move to SS might be one of the few things management can do to improve the club without breaking the bank.

  55. Next season in the outfield: Heisey, Stubbs, and Bruce with Gomes and Dickerson as reserves.

  56. 1. By the way, I’m in no way sold that Stubbs (or Heisey) are answers to the Reds. I don’t think Stubbs will hit enough to hold a starting job on the Reds, unless there’s two big time hitters on each side of him. Dickerson’s not a long term answer, and he may not even be a short-term answer; I think over exposure will catch up with him. I think Heisey has a chance to be a better fit than Stubbs, too, but Stubbs can play all the outfield spots extremely well. He’s what the Reds decided to pay millions for in Taveras.

    2. Here’s a cost of the Ramon Hernandez trade….it hurts worse all the time…from Baseball prospectus. Here’s a guy we need RIGHT NOW…instead we have Hernandez and false praise…

    Sleeper alert!

    Justin Turner, 2B, Orioles (Triple-A Norfolk)
    Sunday’s stats: 2-for-4, R, BB, 2 K
    A seventh-round pick in 2006 out of Cal State Fullerton, Turner came to Baltimore from the Reds in the off-season as part of the package for Ramon Hernandez, and all he’s done this year is what he’s done at every level – be productive. He’s now hitting .309/.373/.405. His tools will never impress anyone on any level, but if you want to compile an all-makeup team, Turner is one of your first picks, and nobody would be surprised if he ended up with a David Eckstein-esque career.

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