A lot of information pouring from Redsfest this weekend, which set a new attendance record with 23,737 fans attending to the two day event. The Friday night crowd was especially heavier as 11,000 fans attended Friday night compared to just 3,000 last year.

Jocketty admits to looking to add a top of the rotation starter this offseason, stating that the team is looking at six different options, but not naming names. John Fay of the Enquirer speculates that the names could include Jamie Shields, Gio Gonzalez, Jair Jurrjens.

Bronson Arroyo realizes that he needs to increase velocity on his fastball.

“All I’m looking for is more velocity,” Arroyo said. “They can say all they want that velocity doesn’t mean anything. But there’s a world of difference between 86 and 91. I’m not going to lose the ability to get people out and the feel for my breaking ball. I’m trying to get my body strong and get that velocity back.”

Dusty Baker wants to have the closer role handed to one person, not use a committee approach.

“We’re going to look in-house. We’re going to look at trades or free agents and try to come up with a guy, a main guy,” Baker said. “The one thing we don’t want to do is have a closer by committee.”

Yonder Alonso has been working out hard in the offseason with an eye towards the leftfield job.

“I’ve been working really hard,” said Alonso, who hired a workout trainer and a chef to cook healthy meals. “Ever since I went home, I started doing my thing. So far, it’s been working out. I start on Monday with my outfield stuff. I started my hitting last week. It’s going to be fun.”

Zack Cozart appears to be the starting shortstop next year, and he has resumed baseball activities recently. The team is trying to sign a veteran presence to back him up.

Jocketty revealed the Reds are looking around for a veteran shortstop/infielder to back up rookie Zack Cozart. The club was high on free agent Ramon Santiago, who re-signed with the Tigers recently.

“Those are the types of guys we are looking for,” Jocketty said.

While Ramon Hernandez signed with the Rockies, Devin Mesoraco is remaining humble as to his 2012 role.

“Hanigan’s proven what he can do and I haven’t really done anything yet,” Mesoraco said Friday at Redsfest. “I can’t imagine I’m just going to jump to the top. I’ve got to prove myself before I get any starts.”

13 Responses

  1. MikeC

    Another veterinary SS? I wouldn’t waste the money. The Reds have plenty of options in-house for the back-up spot.

  2. Jason Linden

    Nearly all of this is encouraging. Time for the annual holiday-dose of off season optimism. Speaking of which here are the current fan projections available for Reds players at Fangraphs:

    Votto 7.5 WAR
    Bruce 5.2
    Phillips 4.7
    Stubbs 4.4
    Mesoraco 2.7
    Cueto 3.4

    I can only conclude from the comments above and these projections that the Reds are going to win the World Series. It should be a fun year.

  3. Sultan of Swaff

    More specifically, Jocketty said he’s looking for a #3-type starter who could project into a #2. To me, that says they’re looking for an up and coming, cost controlled player rather than an established guy like Shields. Pitchers who I think fall into that category would be Danks, Romero, Latos, etc.
    As for SS, I dunno, you’d think that Frazier could perform every bit as well as an over the hill guy like Renteria or Gonzalez. What probably scares the Reds brass about that scenario is if Cozart got hurt and you had to use the backup full time. Convoluted logic for sure, but that’s their modus operandi.
    It would be insanity to trade Alonso. The dude is gonna tear up the league in 2012. I’m suprised we aren’t floating Chapman to try and secure the #2 pitcher we need.

    • Tom Diesman

      As for SS, I dunno, you’d think that Frazier could perform every bit as well as an over the hill guy like Renteria or Gonzalez. What probably scares the Reds brass about that scenario is if Cozart got hurt and you had to use the backup full time.

      I agree. Frazier could surely fill in there adequately for a game or two here and there, and then they could stock a weak hitting good fielding SS at AAA, similar to Janish, to call up for a long term replacement in the event of an injury. Why waste a few million here?

    • al

      I’m suprised we aren’t floating Chapman to try and secure the #2 pitcher we need.

      That doesn’t make any sense, since they are hoping that Chapman will be a decent starter this year and a top guy the next. Trading a starter for a starter doesn’t is just musical chairs.

      The need to trade from a strength to fill a weakness, and right now their strength is in young hitters. If they were willing to let go of Votto, Bruce, Stubbs, Alonso, or Mesoraco they could get a starter in a heartbeat.

  4. Greg Dafler

    Isn’t Paul Janish still with the organization? Why couldn’t he be the “veteran backup”? It’s not like the guys they are targeting can hit anyways…if they’re going after a weak hitting backup, at least target a guy who can field the position.

    @Sultan of Swaff: I’m not sure why the Enquirer turned Jocketty’s comments to mean something more than they did. However, I’m not sure that any of the guys Fay named are bona fide #1’s either. They each did have the best ERA on their respective teams last year, but they each have something that I feel warrants considering them more of a #2 or 3…

    Shields had his first great year. His career ERA is right around 4.00. It’s unreasonable to expect him to repeat a sub-3 ERA again next year, but I’m sure the Rays are attempting to trade him as if he has that kind of value.

    Jurrjens hasn’t made more than 25 starts in either of the past two seasons. His K/rate also dropped considerably last year…it had been around 6.6-6.7 but was 5.3 last year. That is essentially what Arroyo’s K/9 rate has done from his first 2 years in Cincinnati compared to his past two years.

    Gonzalez is one I’d actually say is a #2, budding to be a #1. He cuts down on his walk rate and he’s a league ace.

  5. preach

    I’ve never made it a secret that I never cared for the possibility of Janish as a starter, but I am in agreement with others here: he seems to be a good backup plan. What else are you going to do with him? That’s just silly. Why limit Cozart’s play with a vet, which is exactly what would happen. I suggest that Paul learn to play a couple more positions asap. It’s his only hope of sticking around. Can you imagine him listening to THIS conversation? Last couple of years he was going to be splitting time with vets, which turned out to mean he was riding pine until an injury, and now he’s off the grid completely in conversations. Now it will be Cozart riding the pine if things keep going this route. Keep Janish. There, I said it.

  6. RiverCity Redleg

    @preach: Janish can already play multiple positions. He’s played 3b and 2b on the MLB level several times.

  7. al

    most of the news seems good to me. they are active on a decent starter and not going to throw money away on cordero. i hope they don’t get fleeced by phillips, but that seems inevitable at this point. hopefully he can be good enough in the next two years that i won’t mind him stinking in three years.

  8. CP

    Janish isn’t a perfect backup though…Cozart is an excellent defender so Janish doesn’t really bring anything to the bench, other than a nice glove. Which basically means he can provide late inning defense to Rolen (not going to happen) and Francisco (yes, please).

    I think it’s okay for the Reds be on the lookout for a guy that hits okay and maybe hits from the left side of the plate. Santiago probably would have been perfect b/c 1) he’s got a little pop relative to Janish; and 2) he’s never been an all star, mitigating the Dusty effect. I don’t know if there is another Santiago-type out there but I’m not angry if the Reds pick up another bat and Janish is let go (I’m certainly picking up the phone if I’m the Brewers and see Janish is not on the opening day roster).