–As Chris W already noted in today’s DOTF, Aaron Harang made a good rehab start last night in the minors. John Fay asked Dusty if Harang was ready to return. I certainly hope so.

The Reds are beginning to move on without Griffey. Well, that’s nice to know.

–The Reds have played 113 games. Thirty-three of those games have been started by rookie pitchers. I think we were all deluding ourselves when we thought this team had a chance to contend. Everything would have had to go right for that to happen…and you see where we’ve ended up.

–Fay says that the outfield of the future has yet to surface. Wait, I thought the outfield of the future was supposed to be some combination of Adam Dunn, Austin Kearns, Junior Griffey, and Wily Mo Pena?

Or was it (Dmitri) Young, (Mike) Frank, and (Chris) Stynes?

For what it’s worth, I’m very concerned about next year’s outfield. If Dunn is resigned, that will help considerably, but even so, there is liable to be an offensive sinkhole in center field next season.

If Dunn isn’t resigned, I’m scared to death that we’ll have to watch some combination of Jay Bruce, Jerry Hairston, Ryan Freel, and Chris Dickerson out there. Ugh. That would be simply disastrous.

23 Responses

  1. Bill

    IMO, there is no logical reason for Chris Dickerson and even Ryan Hanigan, not to be up here at this point. Waive Patterson to make room for Dickerson, trade a catcher for condiments to get Hannigan up and see what happens.

    Jerry Hairston is not the answer in CF…

  2. Chris W

    I know Chad and I discussed the unliklihood of this team competing. I think we all blind ourselves as fans, thinking this team was a good one. But when you look at things now, good teams don’t have a Brandon Phillips batting cleanup, or an aging OF batting 3rd (Griffey). Nor do they have a Jeff Keppinger batting in the 2 hole or 2 or 3 pitchers in the rotation with less than 2 years experience. Nothing against all of these guys, but good teams aren’t built the way the Reds are right now.

    Perhaps some of it is the blame of Dusty for making out the lineup the way he does. I know I for one would shuffle some guys around. I liked last night’s lineup with Votto batting 2nd in the order. I’d rather have seen Dunn batting 3rd, but understand it was a lefty pitcher.

  3. Matt Steele

    As much as I want to compete and get hot and make a run, I also know that it is more valuable for us to bring up some of the younger guys and get them experience before next season.

    Though it will be nice to have Freel and Harang back again soon.

  4. Matt Steele

    This is the lineup that I would like to see next year:

    Dickerson CF (his OBP is pretty good in AAA)
    Votto 1b
    Dunn LF
    Bruce RF
    Phillips 2b
    E.E. 3b
    Gonzalez SS
    Unidentified Catcher C
    Pitcher P

  5. GregD

    I’ve been concerned about next year outfield ever since the Reds traded Hamilton to Texas. They have to keep Dunn if they want even 2/3rd of a starting OF. I don’t see much else out there in the 2009 free agent market worth going after.

    Hopefully, Hairston’s injury will help drive home the point that he is no longer an option as an everyday player. He’s a 30+, fast, multi-position, utility player. When you get to the point of plugging utility guys into starters roles at multiple positions, you’ve got a lot of problems.

    I’d include AAA closer Roenicke in the list of guys who should be up with the club now.

  6. Sultan of Swaff

    Agreed. There is nothing binding Dusty’s hands right now, he’s not beholden to any set batting order beyond what injuries and the pitching matchup dictate. So far he’s said the right things about Bruce. It’s time to take the kid gloves off him and Votto and move them up for good. The problem is the 4 hole—EdE is too hot/cold to stay there over a full season, and Phillips doesn’t spray the ball enough. I doubt either will ever drive in 100. As for the pitching, outside of Harang and Volquez, it’s about what we expected. This is the year of taking our lumps with those guys in hopes it will pay dividends next year. I’m still confident with some shrewd acquisitions we can compete.

  7. per14

    I still like Ross as our C next year. Bat EdE higher and Phillips lower.

    I think the OF of the future is Dmitri, Stynes, and Jon Nunnally.

  8. preach

    I might take a look at Baldelli or Monroe. Resign Dunn and put Bruce in the outfield with one of those guys. Use Hairston as a fouth outfielder. Can EE play outfield? What about first base in a platoon with Votto?

  9. Sultan of Swaff

    Looking at the list GregD linked to, I’d make a run at Orlando Hudson (move Phillips to SS) and Oliver Perez, while keeping Dunn, Affeldt, and Hairston. I’d settle for a revolving door in center and catcher so long as our pitching was top notch. If the Brewers lose Sheets and CC while having to pony up to secure their core guys, they could suffer a pretty steep dropoff in the offseason.

  10. Chris

    This team most certainly needs Adam Dunn next year. It also needs a CF and SS who can provide above-average defense and average hitting, or Gold Glove defense and crappy (but better than Patterson) hitting. I would consider the likes of Drew Stubbs for this job, possibly.

    This team needs to improve its defense markedly, and those are two spots where it can be done. They could (obviously) improve in LF, but good luck getting someone who can provide the same total value as #44. He is also better than before with the glove.

  11. GregD

    Tying some thoughts together with the other thread on batting order….and why Dunn gets a bad rap (at least among fans) for lack of driving in runs.

    The Dunn batting in the 5th spot in the order leads off an inning or bats with the bases empty more times than anyone else on the club, except the leadoff hitter. Comparing him to Ryan Howard, a noted “RBI guy”:

    Howard has 482 PAs
    237 w/bases empty (49%)
    245 w/runners on (51%)
    345 total runners on base
    Almost exclusively cleanup.

    Dunn has 439 PAs
    266 w/bases empty (61%)
    173 w/runners on (39%)
    255 total runners on base
    Almost exclusively #5 (92% of PA’s)

    If Dunn had the same # of opportunities as Howard, he’d be sitting on approx 89 RBI’s right now (vs. his 74.)

  12. Phill

    #10 Chris, They have a gold glove shortstop that has suspect offense already. His name is Alex Gonzalez.

  13. GregD

    Unfortunately, after being out of baseball for so long, I expect Alex Gonzalez to come back with a lost step on defense and not do much better than Corey Patterson offensively.

  14. Brian

    I don’t know why so many people want Dunn batting 3rd. I would much rather have a more all around hitter in the 3 spot with Dunn at number four with increased RBI opportunities.

  15. NickP

    I think we should try to get CoCo Crisp from Boston. His bat will play in the NL, and he’s a sick defender.

  16. Kyle

    I agree with 14. I really don’t see Dunn as a 3 hitter. I’ve always thought every teams goal should be to use the SS/CF spots at the 1 and 3 holes. It seems like this is where your best all around athletes play. If I were building a team, priority numbers 1 and 2 would be a 50 SB/yr CF or SS to lead off and a 30-30 guy for the 3 hole in the other position. Put Dunn at 4 or even 5. I may be wrong, but I think at the break, Dunn’s % of RISP driven in was higher than Hamiltons, its just that Hamilton ALWAYS has someone on base, and the reds are… NEVER on base.

  17. Matt Steele

    Dunn gets on base more than anyone else on the team and more than most MLB players. You need guys to get on base in order to be driven in. His RBI totals might not be great but put him at #3 and Bruce at #4 and Bruce will have a lot of RBI’s

  18. Shawn

    Chad, I’m old enough to remmeber Dick Wagner deciding the outfield of the future was Paul Householder, Cesar Cedeno, and Clint Hurdle!

  19. Jay Bruce for President

    Rocco baldelli
    im all for getting him
    gaining orlando hudson and moving phillips to ss

    not sure about perez he is highly overrated

  20. Dan

    Batting order matters very very very little. What matters is having good hitters.

    Last year, Carlos Quentin was available for very little (despite hitting better than .300/.400/.500 in the minors) b/c the Arizona OF was so overstocked w/ young talent (and b/c he happened to have one bad year due to lingering injuries).

    Now Quentin is an All-star and probably a top 10 for MVP.

    Quentin is water under the bridge… but who is next year’s Quentin? He’s got to be out there.

    I say let’s bring Nelson Cruz in for a trial run. (Get him now if that’s possible… though I doubt he’d clear waivers.) He’s worn out his welcome in Texas — he just hasn’t cut it yet in the majors… but he’s hitting .344/.434/.710 at AAA! (Career .299/.371/.542 in the minors.)

    He’s not ideal — he’s older than you’d like (28) and might never turn the corner at the MLB level — but why not try to go out and get him?

    He briefly showed up in a rumor w/ the Reds on http://www.mlbtraderumors.com on deadline day.

    Just a thought…

  21. Dan

    That said, I totally agree w/ Chris about team defense. It’s been bad here for almost 10 years (since Griffey replaced Cameron in CF, sadly). And I think that really really matters.

    Did you all see Erardi’s (and jinaz’s) article in the Sunday Enquirer?

    I’d LOVE for Stubbs to pan out and just become average offensively for that reason. Everything I read says that he is just a sick defender in CF. That would be a HUGE step in the right direction for the Reds IMHO (and make it much more palatable to keep Dunn around in LF for a long time).

  22. Chris W.

    I always thought you put your highest OPS guy in the 3 slot. Cough Dunn Cough