From the free side of Baseball Prospectus…they’re confused about Drew Stubbs and concerned about Edinson Volquez:

First….about Drew Stubbs:

Just confusing

Drew Stubbs, OF, Reds (Triple-A Louisville)
Monday’s stats: 3-for-4, 3 R, 2 RBI, BB, SB
So the Reds keep throwing Willy Taveras out in center field pretty much every day, despite the fact that he’s pulling off the rare double threat of both an on-base percentage and slugging percentage under .300. Meanwhile, Stubbs is now batting .281/.370/.375 at Triple-A, and his numbers are brought down by a June slump. He’s nearly as fast as Taveras, a better basestealer (42-for-49 in his attempts), and arguably the best defensive center fielder in the minor leagues. Basically, he’s just a flat-out better baseball player on every level and deserves a shot.

Then, about Edinson Volquez:

Edinson Volquez (10/4)
Scott Rolen (8/5)
It was a busy day for surgeons, as Tim Kremchek had to go into Volquez’s elbow. As expected, Volquez had a torn UCL, which was replaced in a Tommy John procedure. What wasn’t expected was the flexor mass problem that was revealed, which multiple sources described as either “shredded” or “ruptured.” The Reds say they expect Volquez back in 12 months, a very specific timetable which surprised many Reds watchers. Normally, the Reds estimate 9-12 months, so was the full 12 an indication of thinking that the flexor issue would keep him from hitting the aggressive end of the timetable, or is it—as I think—that 12 is the best-case scenario, and that they didn’t want to give an even more conservative estimate? For all intents Volquez is done for 2010, but he’s young enough to correct his mechanics and come back well. The Reds are also keeping a close eye on Scott Rolen after taking a hard shot to the head. He was held out since he was still having some symptoms. The team will continue to hold him out as long as symptoms are there, but they don’t think he’ll be out long.

61 Responses

  1. Matt WI

    I’m already mentally prepared for no Volquez at all in 2010. I felt that way I soon as I read the news about the Tommy John work. Walt Jockety probably thinks his prognosis is great news. That way, when the Reds are “contending” into Sept 2010, Volquez comes of the DL for a shot in the arm in the rotation, “which is better than any trade we could have made” says Reds GM Walt Jockety. Just a hint of the future (because of course Walt didn’t make a trade that would have helped during any other time).

  2. Steve Price

    I was thinking about Dick Pole not knowing how many pitches Volquez pitched in the winter leagues…

    Does Reds management not keep up with their players in the offseason?

    May be they should go back and read Big Red Dynasty and the Bobby Tolan story.

  3. Steve Price

    or, how about reading about what happened to Wayne Simpson…

    Or Gary Nolan, or Don Gullett, or Jim Merritt, or Jim McGlothlin, or Roger Nelson

    I would say Jim Maloney, too, but he hurt himself on the bases instead of pitching…

    Oh, wait, I guess that apply to Micah Owings, Matt Maloney, or our most recent novice pinch hitter, Homer Bailey.

    I found something interesting about Fred Norman. Norman was as a switch hitter…

    Against right handers, Norman’s career batting average was .131, with a .188 slugging percentage (four career doubles), an OPS of .330.

    Against left handers, Norman’s career batting average was .110, with a .110 slugging (no career extra base hits), an OPS of .259.

    Now, that’s actually a 27% difference between batting right handed over batting lefthanded.

    Would that be worth it? I mean…how many batting practice swings would he actually get to take?

  4. BigRedMike

    Volquez will more than likely not be ready in 2010.

    The fact that Taveras and Gonzalez play every day when healthy, makes me not enjoy baseball as much as I use to. The fact that they play primarily due to their salary makes it even worse.

  5. GregD

    The way I understood it, Pole thought he had an agreement with Volquez winter league manager, but come game time the pitch count was ignored.

    If he comes back in 2010 at all, they should protect his arm/career and only let him pitch out of the bullpen.

  6. Steve Price

    I heard about the agreement, too, but if I have a tens of millions worth of property that I’m investing and managing (think about Volquez’s potential earnings), if I’m Walt Jocketty and/or Bob Castellini, I have someone on the phone every day he’s pitching, and the day after to see how things are going.

    Volquez should be managing this, too, but asking an athlete not to compete is kind of like talking to a wall.

    This is more or less management fundamentals…we’re weak there, too.

  7. Steve

    You could even hire someone to go with Volquez to the DR to be his trainer or something – but there to keep an eye on him professionally. How much would someone like that cost for a couple of months? An ex-ballplayer, trainer etc. Couldn’t be more than a few grand.

  8. Travis G.

    I like the idea of Volquez pitching out of the bullpen if he’s available at all next season, and for all of 2011, as well.

  9. Glenn

    As bad as this team is (and its really bad), you’d think that some nugget of luck would fall their way. I can’t think of a single lucky break this team’s got all year. If it weren’t for bad luck they’d have none.

  10. Dick Bronson

    I don’t think I have full faith in Dr. Tim, or the Reds training/medical staff in general. They certainly don’t have a very good record to point to.

  11. David

    I love Walt Jocketty. I do. And, at the time, I didn’t mind the Taveras signing. However, the Taveras signing had all the trappings of a move motivated by Dusty Baker. Taveras is his type of guy, not Jocketty’s.

    I’m unsettled by Paul Dougherty’s recent article indicating that Bob Castellini was the motivating factor behind the Rolen acquisition, as well.

    Isn’t it Jocketty’s job to tell Dusty B. and Bobby C. to stuff it? Who is the architect of this team?

    So why is there no Stubbs in Cincinnati? I would imagine it’s because now Jocketty must justify the Taveras signing, which Jocketty likely didn’t really want to make in the first place.

  12. Steve Price

    May be Jerry Narron’s brother is available. At least he used to shadow Josh Hamilton.

  13. nick in va

    WT batting (not hitting) leadoff is what has really caused me to lose faith. Someone from over Dusty’s head should sit him down and tell him that WT cannot bat leadoff. Stubbs should get called up and replace him.

    I was never a huge Dunn fan, but wouldn’t it be nice to have him in the lineup?

  14. Steve Price

    My opinion is the Taveras signing has Jocketty written all over it. In Taveras, I see a poor-man’s Vince Coleman, who was a poor-man’s Lou Brock.

  15. Steve

    Don’t want to start up the whole “Rolen trade” debate again. Just want to point out that Paul Daugherty mentioned in his blog today that the Reds are only paying $7 million for Rolen next year. IF that’s right, that extra $4 million will help.

  16. Steve Price

    I mean we’re into third generation poor-man’s now…or may be I should say two levels below a very good player in Brock.

  17. Steve Price

    I guess every penny helps, but doesn’t $4 million get us players like Willy Taveras, Edwin Encarnacion, or Jerry Hairston?

    We need to spend BIG money on two BIG impactful free agents, and surround them with young guys making less than $1 million…may be one $3-4 million guy in the bullpen.

    The problem is we don’t have that money now, because we have fairly large contracs in Harang and Arroyo, a HUGE contract for an unneeded closer in Cordero, an overvalued contract next year in Phillips, and lots of mid-level contracts in Rolen, Gonzalez, Hernandez (hopefully last two are gone and $4 mil of Rolen’s is paid, or he’s overpaid, too), and too large of contracts being paid to our eighth inning relievers.

  18. Steve Price

    What I’m seeing is Jocketty building this team like a large market, contending team. We have big money tied up in our so-called 1 and 2 starters, big money tied up in a closer, too much money tied up in eight inning relief specialists, and medium money tied up in veteran players–the kind of players that the Yankees/Dodgers get and pay that much monehy to sit on the bench.

    A small market team needs to be have MANY younger players playing, with a couple of BIG studs to be the team anchors, the “faces of the franchise.”

  19. Steve

    What I said at the time about the Taveras signing was that if he ended up being the fourth OF, would could come off the bench and pinch run, the signing made sense. Remember, at the time we were still looking for another big-hitting OF type.

    When the latter part of that failed, they had to make Taveras more of a centerpiece. That’s where Jockety’s culpability lies.

    The reason I think it was more of a Baker signing is that Dusty, right away, gave Taveras the CF job, even though there could have been legitimate competition from Dickerson and others.

    Baker saw his CF/lead off hitter. Jockety saw depth in the OF. Neither one had very good judgment on the matter. But I believe Baker drove the entire process.

    Remember, Taveras is fast.

  20. Steve

    Steve P: I agree with all the roster moves you identify. Cut our losses with Gonzalez, Hernandez, Weathers, and try to move Cordero. Maybe one of Arroyo/Harang.

    But the Rolen trade, taking into account we would have paid EE $4.75 million looks better IF Rolen is only a $7 million commitment. That’s not much money overall.

    Now if Roenicke becomes a shut down closer, or if Zach Stewart wins a Cy Young….

  21. Steve Price

    For the money Jocketty rushed to pay an unemployed, released outfielder in Taveras, I have little doubt that he was expected to start and play centerfield…to improve our outfield defense with that hustle he exhibits all the time.

    I thought the game I saw on TV where Votto called Taveras out on the field spoke volumes. Taveras was on second base and couldn’t score, didn’t attempt to score, on a single to center by Votto and Votto was asking from first base why Taveras didn’t score.

    Jocketty has publicly said he wanted to improve outfield defense (we needed too, I agree), but he overpaid in a down market for a non-talented (except for speed) player.

    Then, he didn’t have the resources to get the power hitter he wanted, or, he didn’t realize they would take less to play in this economic market.

    And, Dusty, it’s been shown, prefers to play veterans over rookies AND younger players…after all….he “ain’t no frontrunner.”

    Remember, too, he came from a very stable lineup in Los Angeles…Garvey-Lopes-Russell-Cey-Monday-Reggie Smith-Baker-Yeager

  22. Steve Price

    I’m not just analyzing the Rolen trade…if we were contenders, I would agree with the trade because it does make us better today. But, losing teams don’t rebuild with 34 year old third basemen, veteran leadership or not. Rolen won’t be here when we have a chance to improve.

    They rebuild with impactful players surrounded by youth…the complete opposite of what our roster has become, and trading those guys for Rolen only makes it worse…if we wanted to trade them, we could have traded them for someone who would actually have made a difference and will be here in a few years.

    While I think defense matters, how many teams are counting on their third baseman to anchor infield defense? That’s the shortstop’s job, and that’s one of the spots which was far more important than trading for Scott Rolen.

  23. Dan

    Totally agree, Steve.

    This is largely on Castellini and his impatience and delusional perception about the state of the Reds, isn’t it?

  24. Andy


    I will agree with Vince Coleman being a poor man’s Lou Brock. However, I think Taveras is a homeless man’s Vince Coleman.

  25. Steve Price

    Oh, I think it always starts at the very top and it shows in who Castellini has gotten to run the team. He knew Jocketty from St. Louis,Jocketty was available, and the Cardinals were winners. Castellini was familiar with the Big Red Machine, and Jocketty ran the Cardinals like the Big Red Machine was run, and he talked the “tradition” language that Castellini liked when it came to wanting to win again in Cincinnati so Castellini hires him.

    Meanwhile, Dusty Baker becomes available, and espouses all the things mentioned in the previous paragraph, including the importance of pitching and defense (remember now that Dusty played half his games in Dodger Stadium…). Baseball tradition says pitching is 90% of the game, and, heck,the Reds aren’t winning on hitting home runs out of their home run -designed hitting ballpark.

    Voila…we now have our current management and a style of play ill-suited to our ballpark, and a management team ill-suited to our market size for baseball.

  26. Eddie

    Here’s the thing, we’re not the Boston Red Soxs, we are a franchise who hasn’t made the playoffs in forever so in order to get players to sign here you’re going to have to add years or salary to the contract. That being said would I have liked to sign Willy to only one year? Yeah of course but we don’t know if he had any other offers (not every thing comes out in the media, I mean no one knew Peavy was getting traded till after the fact). So personally I have no problem with the signing because we really didn’t have a CF or leadoff hitter. Come opening day next year if Willy is still on this team as anything more than a 4th outfielder I will not be a happy camper, heck I’d rather just dump the loses now and move on.
    As far as Drew Stubbs goes he still needs to work on his hitting and they don’t want his time to start. But if he isn’t called up in September to get some major league experience and show that he can hang with the big boys I will be furious.

  27. MLH

    I’ll kick it with Volquez in the DR. $50/day per diem and I’m on it.

  28. RiverCity Redleg

    No surprises in tonight’s lineup. Balentein gets his first start as a Red:


    Taveras 8
    Rosales 5
    Votto 3
    Phillips 4
    Gomes 9
    Balentien 7
    Gonzalez 6
    Hanigan 2
    Cueto 1

  29. Dan

    Yeah, I think Edwin was irrelevant to the Blue Jays. He’s a placeholder for the rest of the year. They (smartly) wanted the young arms.

  30. Matt WI

    Well, good luck to Edwin, I hope he catches on somewhere. I know a lot of people have talked about how the Reds should have “sold high” on him (and some others on the team). Problem is, with a losing team like the Reds, you actually need to have a few anchor stars before you can afford to “trade high” on a prospect or anyone else having a career year. Either that or have extremely good judgment about the ceiling of any player’s given ability… or just be the Pirates and trade everyone.

  31. doktor

    i dont know whats more shocking. Rosales still batting 2nd or Hanigan getting “dropped” to 8th for A-Gon to bat 7th

  32. Dan

    The Pirates are a hugely interesting test case! I’m intrigued to see how this goes. It’s one of the biggest “go young” sell-offs I can recall seeing.

    In my opinion, they did the right thing (thought that’s VERY hard to sell the fans on — all 27 of them) and it’ll pay off.

    My money is on the Pirates being better than the Reds by 2012. I think we’ll be duking it out w/ the Astros for last place.

  33. David

    Toronto is absolutely stacked with young arms. It’s their bloated offensive contracts (Wells/Rios) that are keeping them from legitimate contention.

    As to the Reds’ foreseeable future, the non-waiver deadline means very little to this group. Weathers, Rhodes, Co-Co, Arroyo and Harang will ALL clear waivers. The Yankees, Dodgers and Angels are all looking to add a starter. Arroyo or Harang fit the bill, and the aforementioned teams have money. All of the contenders are looking to add help to the pen. I don’t see Arroyo and Harang here come October, even if the Reds have to eat a portion of the contract.

  34. RiverCity Redleg

    @doktor.. Unfortunately, nothing is “shocking” anymore when it comes to the lineup.

  35. Dan

    David, unfortunately, we need any players we’d be receiving also to clear waivers.

  36. Steve

    Have we ever considered that the Reds might have “sold high” on Stewart and Roenicke?

  37. Glenn

    Dan, your post just gave me a nightmarish thought. What if the Blue Jays release EE and he comes back next year as a left fielder? They were always talking about trying him out there.

  38. Glenn

    If either Stewart or Roenicke get hurt than Steve is right. The Reds would have sold high. You never know what the future might bring. Did anyone foresee Rolen getting beaned and sidelined right after he was acquired?

  39. BigRedMike

    Taveras batting lead off is no longer “shocking”, but, it is pathetic.

    That is just a flat out horrible lineup.

  40. Glenn

    Mike, no one likes the lineup but what players would you put in it that are no already in there? IMO whether Hannigan hits second or eighth, or Tavaras in in the lineup or on the bench is of no consequence at all. The personnel on this club, with a few notable exceptions, are nothing more than also-rans who would have trouble making most major league rosters. Who bats first or second is tantamount to rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

  41. al

    that’s where the proverbial ptbnl comes in.

  42. JerBear

    Can’t believe this Balentin guy is already in the lineup. This organization is seemingly heading for rock bottom.

    Some people were almost excited when Jay Bruce got hurt. Thinking that having Gomes or someone else play RF would help the team offensiviely. Bruce was hitting just terribly, and Gomes probably has been better offensively.

    But overall, it was a really bad injury. Maybe Bruce would have started to get better at the plate. One of the few exciting things to look forward to next year is the middle of the order with Votto, Rolen, Phillips, and Bruce. It has potential to be at least above average.

    But still we basically have no number 1 or number 2 hitter…man this is a sad team and organization right now!

    I tell ya what though…I think Arroyo has some real trade value, especially to like the Yankees. I think he’s pitched well enough where he could help the back end of a rotation. Maybe they’ll get some nice prospects out of him. Right now, 2011 should probably be a year the Reds are more focused on then 2010.

  43. Dan

    I’m happy to see what Balentien can do. This is the type of thing the Reds should be using these last 57 games for — try some things and learn about some of these players.

    I’ve been banging this drum for a while, but I’d really like to see if Phillips can be our SS!! I think he could. He’s really good in the field, and he’s got a good arm. he might even like trying if we could stroke his ego about how the SS is the captain of the infield…

    I’d trot out Phillips at SS and Sutton at 2B a lot.

    I think we already know what Janish is — a great fielder and a lousy hitter. I don’t see that changing.

  44. GreatRedLegsFan

    I’m still trying to understand this Rolen trade. First we got the idea of the “small ball” philosophy with pitching, defense and base running. Then, like the ball that hit the Rolen’s helmet, they traded two of our best pitching prospects, being Stewart the best one according to several sources. I think Castellini needs better advisors, by willing to win now he’s mortage the future of this organization. It’s not acceptable to trade two young high-potential pitchers for an aging 3B. As a common fan it hurts to foresee another loosing season and no better expectations for next years. Please, clean the house. Fire Baker, Pole and Jacoby. Get rid of Taveras, Gonzalez and Hernandez. Trade Harang, Arroyo and Cordero!!!

  45. Dan

    In terms of possible August trades, it would help us a LOT for Harang and/or Arroyo to have 2 or 3 really good starts in a row. (I liked seeing Harang’s 10 K’s last night!) This might make some desperate teams consider them.

  46. AB

    Dan (49) – I’ve said this before, but I think the worst part about Gonzalez getting all of the PT at short (or a non-Janish player when AGon was hurt) is that we DON’T know what we have in Janish (at least offensively). He has 98 plate appearances this year and those aren’t even regular plate appearances. This is just too small of a sample to tell us anything about his real offensive abilities. The best way for the Reds to gauge Janish is to let him play every day from here on out. I don’t think that’s going to happen, but it’s still the best way and really, what’s to lose.

    If I’m Jocketty, one of my top concerns right now is who the everyday shortstop is going to be next year. I’m not bringing back Gonzalez unless it’s for league minimum (and even then, maybe not) and I don’t have anyone in the minors bangin on the door, so my options are Janish or a free agent. In order to make an informed decision on whether to spend money on a free agent SS ($$$) or a different position of need, I need to know Janish’s true value. Less than 200 total MLB PAs over 2 years doesn’t tell me much. Also, sitting on the pine is doing nothing for Janish’s development. I would have preferred to have Janish in AAA the entire year getting regular ABs than giveing him the MLB “experience” he’s gotten this year. His usage this year hurts both his career and the organization.

  47. mike

    the one player is a poor mans version of another player is sorta fun

    it is odd even. So I’m going to try and find the true rich persons version of Taveras looking at the type of hitter he is.

    a no power speedster who doesn’t walk

    since 1961 there have been 21 players who got 175+ SB while having a SLG below .400 by age 28

    In order of OPS+ skipping some players here is are the poor-person’s-list

    Willy T is a poor mans Brian Hunter
    who is a poor mans Tom Goodwin
    who is a poor mans Vince Coleman
    who is a poor mans Juan Pierre
    who is a poor mans Roger Cedeno
    who is a poor mans Tommy Harper
    who is a poor mans Mookie Wilson
    who is a poor mans Marquis Grissom
    who is a poor mans Dave Collins
    who is a poor mans Willie Wilson
    who is a poor mans Terry Puhl


    I think as you look down that list you can decide where on the list is a player you’d actually want starting.

  48. Travis G.

    Well done, Mike.

    I’d take Tommy Harper on down, but I would not to be stuck with of those players’ careers. Mookie actually had a pretty solid run between 1984-1988, and Marquis Grissom was a lot worse than I recalled.

  49. mike

    oh and of the 21 OFers who are fast with no power since 1961 Taveras has the lowest OPS+

    and by the way, Taveras is fast approaching Patterson as the Reds CF who hurt the team the most in the last 50 years

    1 Corey Patterson 2008 -30
    2 Bobby Tolan 1973 -29
    3 Willy Taveras 2009 -25
    4 Curtis Goodwin 1997 -18
    T5 Reggie Taylor 2002 -17
    T5 Eddie Milner 1984 -17

    and along those lines Gonzo is quickly approaching being the SS who’s hurt the Reds the most in the last 50 years. And to be honest those other seasons aren’t all so horrible when taking defense into account. The Reds have a long history of great SS. Gonzo, if he continues to play could easily end up being the worst in Reds history.

    1 Dave Concepcion 1983 -17
    2 Jeff Keppinger 2008 -16
    T3 Alex Gonzalez 2009 -15
    T3 Jeff Branson 1993 -15
    T5 Pokey Reese 1997 -14
    T5 Juan Castro 2001 -14
    7 Ray Olmedo 2003 -12
    8 Juan Castro 2000 -11
    T9 Dave Concepcion 1971 -10
    T9 Barry Larkin 2002 -10
    T9 Pokey Reese 2001 -10

    when adjusting for position Willy T has been the worst in baseball this year
    T1 Willy Taveras -25
    T1 Emilio Bonifacio -25
    3 Delmon Young -21
    T4 Chris Davis -20
    T4 Chris Young -20
    T4 Jose Guillen -20
    T7 Eric Byrnes -19
    T7 Garrett Atkins -19
    T9 Dioner Navarro -18
    T9 Magglio Ordonez -18
    T9 Alexi Casilla -18

    in other words we aren’t just talking about poor production we are talking about historically horrible production from these two

  50. mike

    Travis, Tommy Harper on down was my thought as well
    the only thing to consider is if any of those players had sort of a late peak in their careers. I didn’t look at their performance 29+ years of age.

  51. Travis G.

    I looked at each player’s peak years (best sustained run of OPS+ relative to each player’s own career), and found they almost all peaked by age 27. Harper and Mookie each peaked later and became much better all-around ballplayers. Not sure if that means anything, but here’s the results of my work:

    Willy T (2005-2007, ages 23-25)
    Brian Hunter (1996097, ages 25-26)
    Tom Goodwin (1998, age 29)
    Vince Coleman (1985-90, ages 23-28)
    Juan Pierre (2003-08, ages 25-26)
    Roger Cedeno (1999-2001, ages 24-26)
    Tommy Harper (1970-73, ages 29-32)
    Mookie Wilson (1984-88, ages 28-32)
    Marquis Grissom (1992-96, ages 25-29, but another mini-peak in 2002-03 … hmmmm)
    Dave Collins (1979-84, ages 26-31)
    Willie Wilson (1979-82, ages 23-26)
    who is a poor mans Terry Puhl (1978-85, ages 21-28)

  52. Steve Price


    this stuff is just hilarious.

    Of all the guys listed, I’d take Tommy Harper’s 1970 season when he batted .296 with 31 homers, 82 rbi, and 38 stolen bases.

    The ugly truth about five tool players whose power never develops….is that they peak earlier than the slugging type players such as an Adam Dunn or a Harmon Killebrew.

    That’s why those skills (power and walks) are called old player skills…they get to play until they’re old. Speed disappears earlier…even defense disappears early…I was surprised to see that the Reds had traded shortstop Roy McMillian (the god of Reds defensive shortstops) at age 29.

    Longest careers: speed and power
    Middle careers: power only
    Shortest careers: speed only

  53. mike

    the defensive skills leaving early (players like this usually play CF/SS/2B) is important and why a handful of these types of players play way too long in their careers. People still see the tools but assume they translate into defense.

    It’s also made me wonder why some have said Dunn will decline sooner. His plate discipline is going nowhere, he’ll have that even when he’s 50. His defense is already terrible. And raw power like his will take a long while to decline. I can honestly see him hitting 30 HR and BB 100 times as a DH when he’s 40

    and I think this is something the Reds don’t see with Gonzo. That his defense is already in decline and he plays an important defensive position

    Despite weaknesses in LF and C (not really at C if the right players starts) I think we have a bigger overall weakness. Up-the-middle. I reacently read another study that showed if you have good overall production and defense (not just defense but hitting and defense) up the middle you will win.

    Our up-the-middle with Taveras-Gonzo-Phillips-Hernandez has been the worst in baseball
    Phillips despite being good just can’t make up for the rest. I really do have to wonder even if Janish is not going to hit how much better this team would be this year if our starting up the middle was Dickerson-Janish-Phillips-Hanigan all season. Even better if the Reds found a SS in the off season but I understand not a tiny bit.

  54. Reapers

    LineUp I would like to see come September!

    1.Stubbs CF
    2.Phillips 2ND
    3.Votto 1ST
    4.Rollen 3RD
    5.Heisey LF
    6.Dickerson RF
    7.Hanigan C
    8.Gonsalez SS