This week is a perfect time for me to bust out an All Questions Answered thread as we are nearly two weeks into the minor league season. Some guys are out to great starts, like Phillip Ervin, while some others haven’t been able to get things going just yet. I’ve been following along closely, watching games and getting some reports from scouts already this season. So if you’ve got some questions about the players, the teams or just minor league baseball in general – fire away.

There are some rules, but they are pretty easy:

  • Each user gets three questions.
  • Ask questions before 9pm and they will be answered.
  • Avoid questions that will require more than a paragraph to answer… I’m long winded as it is.
  • Avoid questions that will require me to look up an answer (such as: How many guys have stolen 50+ bases in the Reds system in the last 20 years).

Other than that, give it a go. I will check in throughout the day and answer questions. Just because this is a minor league article doesn’t mean I won’t answer questions about the big league team, so if you have those, I’m open for them as well.

32 Responses

  1. lanny sterin

    Do you think Phillip Ervin will continue batting in the lead off role and what is his best defensive skill?

    • Doug Gray

      In the long run I don’t think he hits leadoff. He’s got more power than your typical leadoff hitter does and usually those guys find their way down the line up at some point. Defensively – I think he’s better suited for a corner, but he can play center.

  2. lanny sterin

    What is going on with Robert Stephenson he seems to have taken a step backwards .What do you think?

  3. Michael

    In the limited sample size do you think Ervin has overcome the issues he ha last season?

  4. jdx19

    (Q1) Do you think the wrist injury (I believe it was a wrist) to Jesse Winker last year set his timetable back for making the MLB club?

    A lot of folks seem to feel he could start in left in 2016. Being in AA now and not having set the place on fire yet in 30 games, I feel like Mid-2016 or 2017 seems more likely. We have no idea how AAA will go, either!

    (Q2) What do you think the relationship is between bringing aplayer up based on his skills, or bringing a player based on team need? More specifically, will Winker get called up because the Reds need a LFer, or will they wait until he has at least a good 1/2 season at AAA under his belt?

    (Q3) Have you throw out a first pitch at a Reds game?

    Thanks, Doug! I think that was only 2 questions.

    • Doug Gray

      1. I do. I believe without the injury that he would have began his season in Triple-A to start the season. Instead he’s going to spend half of the year in Double-A now, at least. I’m of the belief he could be a contributor in the big leagues now, so I don’t think even the second half of 2015 is out of the question. He’s got a plate approach that’s made for the Majors and his defense is just fine for left field. That said, I don’t expect him until September or even April-May of next year.

      2. I think with your best guys, the elite prospects, non-September call ups aside, the teams around the league are only bringing up those types when they believe they are ready. Whether he needs time at Triple-A to know that is another story. The Reds haven’t had a hitter with Winker’s skillset since Joey Votto came through, and Winker is much more advanced at the same age.

      3. Funny enough someone asked me about throwing out a pitch the other day and about how hard I’d throw it. My shoulder is a wreck these days, but I could go sidearmed and get a decent pitch there. Whether or not I’d be in pain for a few weeks after or not is an entirely different story.

  5. Nick Carrington

    1. How much potential does Luis Gonzalez (ss) have with the bat?

    2. I know it’s early, but does Redleg Nation favorite Sean Buckley intrigue you with his strong start?

    3. If possible (and I think it is) name three to five pitchers that would be an upgrade in the starting rotation over Jason Marquis right now?

    • Doug Gray

      1. I don’t think there’s a ton of power in the bat, but he’s got double digit homers in him, I believe. I think there’s a chance he could hit for a high average. He’s got good bat speed and can use the entire field. Of course he struggles with pitch recognition right now, so he’s a long ways away from being able to use either of those hitting tools and pitch recognition is the one thing that’s toughest to develop.

      2. It’s just good to see him healthy again. He’s battled injuries for years. He’s got six hits, so we are talking about the small sample size of small sample sizes. Can’t really take much from there.

      3. Moscot, Lorenzen, Iglesias, Stephenson. I know Stephenson has a worse ERA in AA than Marquis does it the bigs right now – but that’s going to change soon enough.

      • Hotto4Votto

        I’d add Dylan Axelrod to that list as well.

  6. Adam

    Q1. For 2017 Reds team, who is the surprise prospect that cracks the major league roster no one is really expecting right now?

    Q2. If Lorenzen and Iglesias are on Inning Limits this year, I believe keeping them in
    AAA is the best for their long term development since as an organization we should be worried about the future. If we have bullpen problems, that should have been addressed before season (it wasn’t) and there should be other options besides our two best future starters. How do you feel about that?

    Q3. If Stephenson and Winker are our top 2 guys in the organization, don’t you think we should be giving them some time at AAA, or are they still that behind in their development that they can’t crack the AAA roster? I think AAA team could really use their services.

    • Doug Gray

      1. Let’s go with Sal Romano. Not sure which role he winds up in (he’s a starter, and should start in the future – but there’s only so many spots to go around).

      2. I don’t necessarily disagree with you, though my plan was to have one in the rotation instead of Marquis and the other in the bullpen, throwing 2 innings at a time. Then flip them at some point in late June and you can control both guys innings, but still get starts out of both and improve the bullpen.

      3. I’m not surprised that either guy is at Double-A right now. Winker had a handful of games there last year and was injured for half of them. Stephenson struggled with his control there, so sending him back there and having him see some success there isn’t a bad plan. What did surprise me was sending Kyle Waldrop back there.

  7. JMO

    The Reds absolutely need Stephenson to reach his potential, especially with losing Cueto. The 2016 rotation could be: Bailey, Disco, Iglesias, Lorenzen and Stephenson

  8. wizeman

    Two questions. What is the situation with Sampson? And can Dejesus play multiple positions.
    Thanks

    • Doug Gray

      I honestly don’t know what’s going on with Sampson other than he’s injured.

      De Jesus can play all of the spots on the infield. He’s got a very strong glove.

  9. Beroader

    What do you expect from Amir Garrett this year? Is he still a long way away, since he lost some development time playing basketball?

    • Doug Gray

      I think Garrett made arguably the biggest improvements I’ve seen from one year to the next in my 9 years of covering the farm system. He went from a total project to a pitcher. He just looked like an entirely different guy. With that said, there’s still things he’s got to work on and improve. He’s probably a year and a half away in the quickest sense, but probably two years out.

  10. Jeff

    1. I know Price is not going anywhere right now, but is there someone on the farm that you would personally like to see as the Manager of the big club?

    I keep hearing DeShields, but I’ve read some of his quotes about hitting approach and I was less than impressed.

    • Doug Gray

      I honestly have no clue. And I don’t know of anyone in the Majors either. I’ve always said that none of us have any idea of who is qualified to manage. Is Joe Maddon really some mad scientist with a great sabermetric mind, or was he fed outstanding information and was willing to go with it from the Rays front office? I don’t know. You don’t know. Hardly anyone knows. I think that it was a mix of both things, but I don’t really know. And until I’m in the seat able to ask guys questions about how they’d approach situations, handle certain moves, their thoughts on the short and long term of a player and a million other things, I can’t sit back and give a suggestion. I know that sounds terrible, but I just don’t know enough about the things I’d want to know to say who would or wouldn’t make a good manager. I wish I had a better answer.

  11. Scott

    I am making the journey to Pensacola this summer to catch 2 games, any recommendations on places to sit, places to eat, just any thoughts on visiting the stadium?

    • Doug Gray

      There’s not really a bad seat in the place from what I’ve seen. Good views all around. But, the best view is of Pensacola Bay, which is easier to see from the third base side of the field. There’s a big variety of food to try at the stadium with lots of different options.

      Two places to eat outside of the stadium: The Tin Cow – it’s downtown, a burger joint, and it served me the absolute best cheeseburger I’ve ever had in my life. Also, if you like pizza, The Tuscan Oven is fantastic. It is further outside of downtown, but well worth the 10-15 minute drive. Addison Russell’s (the Cubs prospect they just called up) own the place. I’ve gone three years in a row – absolutely love it. It’s brick oven fired pizza, very good.

      The closer you stay in a hotel to downtown, the better. I made the mistake one year of staying about two miles out – big, big mistake. I went cheap and I really shouldn’t have.

  12. Kate

    My only question is: What is the deal with LeCure? As in, what is really wrong, does anyone actually think he will be back, ect. I have heard that his arm is possibly dead and when I tried to look up his pitch speed for this year I couldn’t find anything. (He is my favorite player, my heart was broken when he didn’t make the roster)

    Thanks in advance!

  13. Scott

    Who is your all potential team (could be any level in Reds organization except majors).Meaning who would you say has the highest potential or each position catcher, 1B, 2b, etc.

    • Doug Gray

      C – Jose Ortiz
      1B – Gavin LaValley
      2B – Alex Blandino
      SS – Luis Gonzalez
      3B – Taylor Sparks
      LF – Jesse Winker
      CF – Yorman Rodriguez
      RF – Phillip Ervin or Aristides Aquino
      SP – Robert Stephenson
      RP – Probably someone who is currently starting, but if I had to choose from the guys relieving today: Jeremy Kivel.

  14. Hotto4Votto

    More likely starting rotation next year:

    Bailey, Leake, Disco, Lorenzen, Iglesias
    Bailey, Disco, Lorenzen, Iglesias, Moscot
    Bailey, Disco, Lorenzen, Moscot, Stephenson (Iglesias in BP)
    or a different variation?

    With your best guess, who starts more games in 2016, Winker, YRod, or Waldrop for the Reds.

    How soon does Travieso get bumped up to Pensacola? Thanks Doug.

    • Doug Gray

      Middle option – I don’t see Leake coming back and the team can probably choose to leave Stephenson down for part of 2016 unless he forces things.

      Winker.

      Midseason – June-ish. Maybe he’s a guy they bring to the Futures Game and announce it there or something.

  15. Ryan

    1. If you had to name one Reds prospect to come up this season and actually perform and help the big league club, who is it and in what capacity?

    2. What do you see as the most likely outcome for Eugenio Suarez in the next 1-2 years? Bench piece/utility guy, starting shortstop, or starting second baseman? (this probably partially depends on how Cozart performs as well).

    • Doug Gray

      1. Iglesias.

      2. I think he works his way into the lineup as a utility guy but eventually gets the starting job at SS.