Justin has an optimistic take on our new catcher:

To put it another way, if Hernandez can be an average-fielding catcher, and hit as projected, the boost in offense at catcher plus the defensive gains in the outfield can negate the loss of Adam Dunn.

Lots of “if”s there, of course…

Go read the entire piece. It’s worth your time.

5 Responses

  1. per14

    Interesting. I’m not too excited about Hernandez but this is encouraging. He and Hannigan should be a vast improvement over last year, when catcher was usually a black hole on offense.

  2. nycredsfan

    The point, though, is that even though LF will be much less offensively productive w/out Dunn, the defense there presumes to be much better. So take that into account, added to the fact that Hernandez’ projections would be WAY better than what we got from the catcher position last year, and it almost makes up the difference. It’s not that Hernandez is awesome, it’s just that the catcher spot was an offensive black hole last year.

    I’m actually starting to feel slightly optimistic about the offense.
    You have to figure C, RF, and CF will be offensive upgrades over last year. (Yes, even w/ Taveras. That’s how bad CPat was last year) 1B, 2B, and 3B all figure to hold steady, and there’s reason to believe all three could improve. LF will be a decline, and SS is a big question mark. But if we could get decent production from a Dickerson/Gomes platoon, and AGon/Hairston can match last year’s weak SS output, the offense might not be so bad. We’re not going to be the 2005 offense, but with the improved pitching, who knows?

  3. per14

    I didn’t take Matt’s warning and looked at Pecota’s page on Hanigan. Why is Pecota so down on him? He’s been an OBP machine in the minors. Is there something I’m missing?

  4. Mark in CC

    Bill, you might be correct about total runs being down. However a 4 to 2 victory counts the same as a 7 to 2 one. Depending on power, the way the team has in the past, makes for a very inconsistent offense, 10 runs one day 1 run the next type thing.

    I think the the ’09 version will be able to manufacture more runs maybe not making it more potent, but more consistent and consistency is a big thing in baseball success.

    I still think the key to the line-up, offensively and defensively, will be A-Gon. Hope he starts off well a DH tonight.

  5. jinaz

    Math on the Adam Dunn claim:

    Based on my the article, the projected improvement at catcher, assuming average defense (which is probably overly optimistic…), was 20 runs. So, if Dunn’s loss is negated, the difference between Dunn’s projected offense+defense and the 2009 Reds’ offense+defense must be 20 or fewer runs.

    According to CHONE, Dunn projects in 2009 as a +16 RAA hitter per 150g and a -13 RAA fielder per 150g. That makes him a tad above average as a player overall, +3 RAA. I’ll be the first to admit this seems like a low projection for a guy who’s been a favorite of mine for years, but it actually matches his salary pretty well and CHONE’s as good as it gets in terms of projections. CHONE is pretty aggressive about discounting home runs at GABP when projecting players in other parks, so that’s a big part of why Dunn’s rated so “low” on offense.

    Here are some of the 2009 Reds LF options, on a per-season basis in left field:

    Dickerson projects as a -15 run hitter and a +3 run fielder = -12 RAA left fielder, 15 runs below Dunn.

    Gomes projects as a +7 run hitter and a -14 run fielder = -7 RAA left fielder, or 10 runs below Dunn.

    Hairston projects as a -12 run hitter and a +4 run fielder = -8 RAA left fielder, or 11 runs below Dunn.

    I still think CHONE is underestimating on Dunn, but even if you give him a subjective 5-run bump on offense the difference between the main LF candidates and Dunn is no worse than the projected improvement at catcher with Hernandez & Hanigan vs. the 2008 catchers.