John Fay spoke to Walt Jocketty, who said that they really wanted Mark DeRosa. Can someone explain that to me? I know I’m dense, but I can’t figure out how DeRosa helps the Reds right now.

Jocketty also mentioned that Edwin Encarnacion is likely to return on Friday. Consider me excited to see EE back in the Cincinnati lineup.

60 Responses

  1. Y-City Jim

    It’s not like DeRosa’s numbers are eye popping, and to use a Dusty quote, “Where would he play?”

  2. GRF

    I get it if they were not sure EE was going to be back, he played pretty good 3B for the Indians. In the same article that EE is likely to return Friday, not sure. Maybe the plan was to sit Bruce against most LHP?

  3. GRF

    DeRosa also played some 1B for the Indians. He was fairly brutal, but maybe they also wanted an alternative to rest Votto other than Hernandez?

  4. Glenn

    My guess is that they were entertaining the idea of including EE in that deal. That’s really the only way it makes sense.

    DeRosa can also play LF,SS and 2B. (although he was much younger when he played SS.) He’s not going to play over BP at second and the Nix/Gomes platoon is one of the few strongpoints in this offense. That leaves only third base.

  5. RiverCity Redleg

    DeRosa would have played third until EE got back and then (I know it’s a pipedream) he would play 2nd, moving BP over to SS.

  6. RiverCity Redleg

    And Chad, I never thought I would ever say this, but I am also excited to see the return of EE.

  7. Josh

    Why are so many people enamored with DeRosa? I’m glad the Reds are looking at options and trying to improve, but I just don’t buy into DeRosa as being a really valuable piece. I’m happy we didn’t win that one.

  8. Brian

    DeRosa would have played 3B until EE returned and then been a valuable backup at 1B, 2B, SS, 3B because unlike the other options off of the bench he can hit. He is basically a better version of Hairston Jr.

  9. brublejr

    He is a nice player, who can play all over. I guess they were looking for him to play 3B until EE returned, then LF after that…but I am not sure it would have been that great an improvement over the current LF platoon.

  10. Matt WI

    For what it’s worth, with the Tribe DeRosa had a .799 OPS. That would fit nicely with Phillips (.821) and Votto (1.058) and is better than Hairston (.700). Nix has a higher OPS… but if he would have been rotating around, maybe 4-5 games a week, that beats the heck out of Rosales. It would have allowed Dusty to use Gomes and Nix off the bench as legit threats as well.

  11. GregD

    Walt Jocketty was on WLW SportsTalk last night. Did anyone get a chance to listen? He’s scheduled to be on with Lance again today on 1530 Homer at 3:30.

  12. Andy

    The best part about getting DeRosa would be not having to face him. In 178 career PAs against the Reds, he’s .367/.452/.553. I agree that he doesn’t seem to have a long term everyday position on this team w/o moving EE.

  13. pinson343

    DeRosa is defintely a Reds killer. Unfortunately he’ll help the Cardinals. He would have given us a better bench and more depth (injuries do happen), but it sounds like the Indians wanted too much. The PTBNL is supposed to be a big part of the trade.

  14. AnnapolisRed

    DeRosa can play several positions. An upgrade to Hairston. He has to pop too. I think with this team anybody that can hit you should be able to find a place for (except Hanigan of course.)

  15. pinson343

    I like it that WJ is at least talking a bit about what the Reds are trying to do, instead of playing the role of the “man of mystery” ala Krivsky. And his answering a question with the word
    “definitely” is very refreshing.

  16. AnnapolisRed

    Glenn-My guess is if EE was part of the trade the Reds would have landed DeRosa.

  17. AnnapolisRed

    Ask the Cubs how much they miss him

  18. Jared

    Could Nix or Gomes (or Bruce) not play CF? I’d rather see both of them in the lineup than Slick Willy, whoever is pitching. Everyone’s talking about how great the platoon is, but they’re both better (offensively) than Taveras, so why not get the three best guys in the outfield?

  19. Jared

    Annapolis — probably about as much as Patterson and Hairston.

  20. Alpha Zero

    DeRosa is pretty much a lock to be a Type B free agent, and I recently read that he actually has a pretty decent shot to become a Type A in the NL. If a team believes that DeRosa can be a fairly useful piece for the rest of the season and will decline arbitration at year’s end, that alone would likely make him worth the price of an advanced relief prospect and a lower level minor leaguer. I’m not a huge DeRosa fan, but I do think that the price that the Cards paid (and that the Reds were willing to pay) was more than fair, especially if he develops into a Type A free agent.

  21. Travis G.

    He is basically a better version of Hairston Jr.

    Exactly. Good teams always seem to have guys like that.

    The Mark DeRosas and Casey Blakes and Ty Wiggingtons of the world keep you from relying on guys like Danny Richar and Cherry Hairston for extended stretches of time.

  22. Mr. Redlegs

    Huh, you don’t get the DeRosa interest?

    Super utility guy who would have slotted into the middle of the batting order. Votto-DeRosa-Phillips/Bruce isn’t too bad of a middle. DeRosa would have played 3b until EE returns, would have given Votto and Bruce days off against certain lefties, and would have been the LF starter in other times.

    Gomes and Nix would have reverted to what they are–No. 4 and 5 outfielders.

    He was the perfect piece for this team’s roster and lineup makeup.

  23. GregD

    I think with the economic situation of this past offseason, it is much harder than past years to speculate who will or won’t (and should or shouldn’t) accept arbitration.

    As far as the Reds bench, yes you should have guys who could fill-in to spot start, start during “day-to-day” injuries, and/or fill-in during a 15-day DL stint. If the bench isn’t capable of doing that, then the team is weaker overall. The tough part of keeping a bench together like that is that if the bench is good enough, the individuals want to be starters. One of the Reds better benches of the past few years included Aurilia and Freel. Once The Trade went down, they found themselves starting almost every day, and the bench included minor leaguers like Olmedo and Denorfia.

  24. wanderinredsfan

    DeRosa is not the “perfect piece” to this team. DeRosa would be nice if 2nd wasn’t shored up, we were thin at 3rd, and there was not a decent power option in LF, but I feel good about a healthy BP and EE as starters and am pleasently surprised by Nix and Gomes.
    Also, the idea that Votto or Bruce needs much time off is not a sane one. They need as much playing time as they can handle. Granted we are not sure of Votto’s immediate future playing time, but I would hedge my bets that he plays. Let’s face it, if Votto doesn’t play, the Reds don’t win. Having DeRosa does help alleviate the problem of Votto’s absence, but a team like Cincy can’t pay for that type of luxury. Unfortunately, we need to live or die with our starters and hope our bench is not needed for long-spells such as this season. The Reds have been the victims of poor luck thus far this season, nothing more, nothing less, yet they are still competing.

    Now the “perfect piece” to this team’s roster would be a decent hitting, slick fielding SS, but they are more precious than gold and I fear not a feasible trade candidate. I’d also be happy with a legitimate RH outfield bat with more power than DeRosa, but not at a huge cost to our farm.

  25. per14

    “Now the “perfect piece” to this team’s roster would be a decent hitting, slick fielding SS, but they are more precious than gold…”

    So true. I grew up on the 1990 Reds and Barry Larkin’s career, and man, was I spoiled.

  26. GregD

    Ditto what wanderinredsfan said. I don’t see Derosa as the missing link nor that he should have come here and bat cleanup ahead of Phillips.

    Phillips is outhitting him in AVG, OBP, SLG, is faster and has more steals. Nix/Gomes is outhitting him in the outfield.

    I agree with those who believe the answer lies with an upgrade to SS and minimizing Taveras’ playing time.

  27. Steve Price

    Here, here, I agree…getting DeRosa would’ve been an improvement over our current bench; I fear it would’ve led to a benching of Nix/Gomes with DeRosa in LF. Used properly, he would’ve replaced Jerry Hairston, Jr., as super utility guy, and that would have an extraordinarly healthy move for our team…but, then he would be gone….I feel the Cardinals overpaid for him.

    Our problems have been SS, CF, and 1b when Votto was not healthy. Gonzalez and Taveras have both been train wrecks, and it really should not have been a surprise to anyone. Hopes for them to succeed where prayers.

    It’s nice that Hernandez could play 1b….but, really, who couldn’t really have played 1b? As for his offensive production (Mike Howes need help here…), Hernandez’s offensive production at 1B may have been the worst in my lifetime as a Reds fan. Todd Benzinger was awful there, too, but Hernandez’s baseball era scores more runs than Benzinger’s era as a player.

    Hanigan probably won’t develop more than he has, but I’m quite happy with how he’s played.

    As for Jocketty’s sudden desire to talk…I think we’re revisioning things here…wasn’t it just last week that he said all was quiet on the trade talk front, and the ESPN dudes were saying it’s way too early…then the speculation ran to there’s not enough money out there (by the way, there’s a boat load of money available if someone wants to win…) It’s not Jocketty’s style to talk, and, frankly, I don’t know that he should talk about potential player moves.

  28. Steve Price

    Oh, yes, too, Barry Larkin. Thank you, per14, for missing Barry. Reds fans seem to have real trouble appreciating real players until they’re gone. It only took us 40 years to reconcile with Frank Robinson…

  29. Jim D

    How about trading for Christian Guzman? He has a 330 BA. is a solid lead off man. Plus he would solve our problem at ss. It’s just a thought?

  30. GregD

    The Pirates have made their second and third trade of the season.

    Eric Hinske to the Yankees for minor leaguers Casey Erickson and Eric Fryer.

    Nyjer Morgan and Sean Burnett to the Nationals for Lasting Milledge and Joel Hanrahan.

  31. GregD

    Apparently there is no platoon in CF. Fay with the lineup. There is a Janish sighting:

    Willy Taveras cf
    Jerry Hairston 3b
    Joey Votto 1b
    Brandon Phillips 2b
    Laynce Nix lf
    Ramon Hernandez c
    Jay Bruce rf
    Paul Janish ss
    Bronson Arroyo p

    vs. RH Dan Haren

  32. Matt WI

    Who didn’t appreciate Barry Larkin?

  33. preach

    “Nyjer Morgan and Sean Burnett to the Nationals for Lasting Milledge and Joel Hanrahan.”

    That could be an interesting trade for both sides.

  34. Dan

    I was afraid Dusty wasn’t getting smart but was just getting Willy a little rest… dammit… so freakin stubborn.

  35. REDS1

    Nice to know he was willing to do something.

  36. Dan

    In what way is Willy a better player than Dickerson, other than the fact that he’s a little bit faster? I’m serious — name one other way Willy is better.

    Can anyone help me out here? I’m pretty open-minded to opposing viewpoints, but in this case I’m genuinely struggling…

    (I’m not trying to be a smartass here… I really do want to try to understand the other side of this…)

  37. Matt WI

    Dan… it’s hard not believe there isn’t anything more to it other than the Reds are paying Willy a lot of money.

  38. Dan

    Really? You think Dusty cares about that? (Seems to me that if we wind up with a multi-million bench player, that looks worse for Jocketty than it does for Dusty, no?)

  39. GregD

    Dusty did what I said before the AL swing. Play Taveras vs the 4 LH start Dickerson against the 2 RH. EXCEPT he also started Dickerson vs. the LH. Taveras went 7-for-18 (.389avg) with 3 doubles (944 ops) and that gives him his starting spot back vs. righties for some reason.

    Dickerson hit in 5 of 6 games and reached base in all 6.
    7-for-21 .333/.375/.429slg.

    The most annoying thing for me is the amount of times he has the players up there bunting. Dickerson got on early in a game over the weekend. Taveras is up there bunting, and actually ends up with a infield single. Then, with no outs, Hairston is up there bunting. WTF? You got your two fastest guys on 1st and 2nd, don’t give up an out to put two RISP. Take three shots at driving in that runner from 2nd.

  40. preach

    Dan, you’re acting like something other than being fast is important in a centerfielder. Speed kills (our offense).

    If you played with Hank Aaron you could appreciate the game of baseball.

  41. Steve Price

    A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, Willy Taveras batted .320 and last year he LED the league with 68 STEALS. Steals wreak havoc, you know.

    It was just two years ago that Taveras hit .320, but it was also in Colorado.

    Oddest stat about Taveras….

    Notice the regression of ground balls to fly balls for his career:

    2005 1.31
    2006 1.28
    2007 1.13
    2008 1.06
    2009 0.98

    He went to Colorado in 2007, and his ground bal percentage drops by more than 10%.

    I wish I had this handy, but I’ve read a study where Coors Field negatively affects hitters after playing for the Rockies.

    I don’t just mean the obvious return to average performance being away from the lighter air…I mean, the players decline to below their pre-Coors Field averages, too. I suspect the players change their approach.

    Here’s an example of a guy who needs to hit ground balls nearly every at bat since he has zippo power, and he hits more flyballs than ground balls.

    He’s played in three hitters’ parks for his career (Houston, Colorado, and Cincinnati) and has terrible hitting numbers.

  42. Steve Price

    Hey hey…

    Chris Heisey has hit his first AAA homer today in Louisville…Bats are winning 7-1 after 7.

    Adam Rosales is still batting .411… Heisey is in CF, Stubbs in LF, Valaika is at 2B, and Sutton is at SS.

  43. preach

    I don’t know how any park factor seriously impacts a guy who rarely hits anything out of the infield.

    I really wouldn’t have the total disdain I do for him if he wasn’t in the leadoff spot and if he would just flippin’ run when he does get on base. I hear he is a prolific base stealer, but he seems positively scared to death to try. I’m sure the hammy might be affecting that, but has he had that condition all year? If he can’t steal a base then his value is minimal, and that’s putting it mildly.

  44. preach

    “Adam Rosales is still batting .411”

    That should tell you all you need to know about the reliability minor league stats.

  45. Matt WI

    While I don’t think he literally uses the salary charts, there is little to suggest Dusty attempts much creativity and would sit a veteran if he didn’t have to. If Dusty were an true independent thinker, I’d like to think Willy would be playing a lot less often. Taveras was signed to be the centerfielder and he’s fast. That’s all Dusty needed to know.

  46. pinson343

    Crap about Taveras leading off, I was stupid to think Dusty had moved on to a platoon. Hernandez/Taveras over Hanigan/Dickerson, and yet Dusty is mystified when people say he prefers veterans to young players.

    Why isn’t EE in the lineup in the Louisville game ? Is that good news (he’s coming back) or bad news (wrist hurting ?).

  47. pinson343

    EE is with the Bats, hopefully no setback, just a day off.

  48. Mark in CC

    At what point does finding someone who can hit above the .220s in right field seem to be a need.

    I like Jay Bruce, and he supplies a little power and defense but his current offense just isn’t getting it done. I know he probably leads the world in hitting fly balls to the gap, or hitting 100 points higher when the moon is in its second phase or any of those other stats which try to make excuses for players we like, but right now he isn’t getting it done and hasn’t for a while.

  49. GRF

    As much as batting Taveras leadoff, especially against a RHP, is irksome, complaining about it is geting old.

    So I will instead complain about Hannigan again sitting in favor of Hernandez and Hernandez batting sixth. I was afraid this would happen when Votto came back, but routinely sitting Hannigan for Hernandez just does not make sense the way they both are playing. Play Hannigan primarily for now, and if he tails off, then make Hernandez the “regular” catcher again.

  50. GRF

    Dan, FWIW my take is that Dusty makes his decisions at the beginning of the year and then sticks with them even when a player is struggling horribly in hopes of letting them play their way out of it. Maybe because that is how he wanted to be treated when he was a player, maybe out of loyalty to his guys, but while it may work to protect a productive veteran going through a bad stretch a chance (Ortiz in Boston this year?) it is really destuctive when he gives guys whose baseball cards do not warrant that kind of faith a very long leash. Patterson, Taveras, Gonzo, even to some extent Bruce with his struggles this year, all to me seem to be cases of too slow of a hook.

    “No front runner” is probably the best shorthand description 🙂

  51. Dan

    True, GRF.

    To Dusty’s credit, “his guy” is not ALWAYS the veteran over the young guy. In the cases of Votto and Bruce, he made exceptions and now sticks to them rigidly. (I do happen to think it’s the right move for these two.)

    But committing rigidly to a guy who just isn’t that good (like Taveras) is frustrating and baffling.

    Totally agree on Hanigan vs. Hernandez too. At least get us closer to a 50/50 split here…

  52. Steve Price

    As for Bruce production, I mentioned this in the “buyers or sellers” thread….Bill James says he’ll be great by age 26, but he would send him to the minors for up to a year to get him up to speed so that the Reds would get their money’s worth for their six years of contract control…or, they’ll end up with six years of subpar performance while he figures it out at the big league level.

  53. Dan

    I personally have no problem w/ the handling of Jay Bruce, and I’d bet a fair amount of money that he’ll bat… hmmm… at least .260/.320/.480 for the last 3 months of the year.

    I actually think he’ll do much better than that, but I’m very confident he’ll do AT LEAST that well.

    He’s young, he’s struggling, yes, but he’s SO talented, I really think he’ll put it together very soon.

  54. earl

    I don’t think Jay Bruce is that far. He figures out that slow outside stuff, the guy will be fine. I think having Votto back is going to lead to a few more fastballs a week and probably start getting his average up.

  55. Mark in CC

    Take away Bruce’s first month in the big leagues last year and he has been a .220 hitter for a whole year. At what point do we say there needs to be a different strategy before it is too late.