File this under posts that are pointless and speculative, but my goodness the Reds have won three in a row and I want to speculate in a happy way.
So let’s look at next year’s lineup. And let’s pretend it’s the “perfect” lineup and let’s pause to consider the potential beauty.
- Jesse Winker RF
- Nick Senzel 2B
- Joey Votto 1B
- Eugenio Suarez 3B
- Adam Duvall or Scott Schebler LF
- Devin Mesoraco C
- A Shortstop SS
- Billy Hamilton CF
Some recent comments by Reds head of player development indicated that Senzel can play second (or even short), so let’s find a place for him. He’s crushing double-A and I’m on team Rush-Senzel. Maybe the Reds re-sign Cozart. Maybe they put Peraza at short. Maybe Senzel plays short and Scooter Gennett starts at second. But however you slice it, that’s a fun, balanced lineup. Good power. Good OBP The top six are all good to great hitters. That lineup will score runs.
Yes, yes, I know the pitching, the pitching. I’m right there with you. But Homer is starting to look okay, and there’s Castillo, and Mahle keeps being great in Louisville. Sal Romano has been solid and Robert Stephenson was even good last night. You never know.
This post is silly. It’s supposed to be silly.
So now, I put it to you. Be optimistic. What do you think goes right next year? How might the Reds be good? Let’s have some fun.
I think if healthy that can be a 85 win team
Suarez was once a shortstop. Duvall was once a third baseman. If you want to have a ton of fun…
1. Winker RF
2. Senzel 2b
3. Votto 1b
4. Duvall 3b
5. Suarez SS
6. Schebler LF
7. Mesoraco C
9. Hamilton CF
Castillo is cueto, mahle is leake, desclafani is latos, homer is 2011 homer, Romano is a good fifth starter. Or if finnegan, bob Steve, Garrett etc pitch really well they could also be in there. Jose Lopez has also been unbelievable in AA.
That’s a good team.
*Obviously those are just ideal pitching situations, not what I actually expect will happen. But it doesn’t seem THAT unrealistic. Also DW did mention once that Duvall could possibly play the corner infields, though I haven’t given up on peraza at all and think he could also be a great ss in which case you maybe trade schebler or Duvall. You have scooter, elizalde, Barnhart, maybe blandino or whoever on your bench and that’s an exciting team.
If you wanted an even crazier, all-offense lineup:
1. Winker RF
2. Senzel 2b
3. Votto 1b
4. Duvall 3b
5. Suarez SS
6. Schebler CF
7. Gennett RF
8. Mesoraco C
PS: I don’t think Suarez can play SS, and Hamilton’s value on defense would outweigh his lack of offense. Fun to think about though.
2017 Mesoraco is not 2014 Mesoraco….not even close. Big fan of his when he broke out, but honestly, post numerous surgeries, he will never be the same offensively. Defensively, he needs work. Doesn’t frame at all – if anything, sometimes he makes good pitches look bad. Devon stabs at the ball, resulting in the mitt moving away from the strike zone.
At this point, Barnhart is serviceable. Great at throwing out runners, needs improvement on his framing….until we get computerized balls and strikes.
Replace Mez with Barnhart in the 7th spot, replace Schebler with Scooter (keep Schebler as a spot starter and often used pinch hitter and pinch runner), sign Cozart if he can be re-signed at a reasonable price, and I like your lineup.
The key is always starting pitching. I really think it can’t get worse, and with a little stability next year, and some young guys improving, we could be a league average starting rotation.
With this line-up (and barring injuries, setbacks, Joe Votto regressing, etc), this team could win 85-90 games, and be in the hunt for a Wild Card spot in 2018.
I do not think that is crazy, but again, it all hinges on STARTING PITCHING.
May I speculate about the rotation? Bailey, Castillo, lorenzen, Iglesias, and disco. Pretty savory, eh?
I think they have to stick w/Scooter at 2B vs righties. It prob won’t last long but his ops vs righties is higher then Joey’s (1.023 vs .999). I’d prefer that they move Suarez back to SS, but maybe they could get Zack for 2 yrs and make Suarez into a Ben Zobrist type? Scooter is going to need a platoon partner at 2B. I’d leave Billy at leadoff as long as his obp is over .300. If he goes 3-25 w/1 walk then move him down to 9th for a while til he gets going again. Look at Joe Maddon….think he’s had Hayward batting 1st, 5th, 8th, etc. They’re baseball players and they all get 1 atbat at a time…its not like asking your QB to kick field goals.
Best one I’ve seen yet!
1. Pete Rose3B
2. Ken GriffeyRF
3. Joe Morgan2B
4. Johnny BenchC
5. Tony Perez1B
6. George FosterLF
7. Dave ConcepcionSS
8. Cesar GeronimoCF
9. Gary Nolan
The silliest part is batting the pitcher 8th. Why give the worst hitter more at bats? Plus can lead to needing to pull the pitcher for a pinch hitter earlier.
The general consensus is that batting the pitcher 8th makes sense as it provides you with a “second” leadoff hitter. So, you don’t have the pitcher batting right before your very best hitters.
I’ve pondered this for while now and my only concern is in the late innings. You *tend** (have no data, would need to track it down) to have high leverage situations arise that would force a PH to hit for your pitcher. When that occurs, you’re assuming traditionally the guy on deck is Ichiro, Joe Morgan, Derek Jeter, Shin Choo Soo, you know, not BHam and his .244/.287/.319 sitting there swinging his bat furiously trying to look all formidable.
Now you’re wasting an out and an opportunity. I have no data to back this up and otherwise agree with P hitting 8th.
I am not sure I follow the logic, this could still happen when the pitcher bats 8th, I would imagine over a season this occurs about the same amount time- PH followed by Hamilton no matter if he bats lead off or 9th
Also, batting Hamilton is a waste, because his one great offensive asset is his speed. That speed is totally neutralized by hitting in front of the pitcher. Best case scenario the pitcher is going to lay down a bunt that makes the stolen base a moot point. Worst case, he gets on with two out, and the pitcher is almost a guarantee to get the third, so what wads the point?
By batting him ninth you mitigate his weakness (OBP) by limiting his plate appearances, but when he does get on, you have the best hitters coming up behind him to drive him in.
On top of that, having him hit in front of patient hitters like Winker and Votto, who are going to take a lot of pitches, gives him the maximum opportunities to steal.
*First sentence should say “batting Hamilton *eighth* is a waste.
So instead, out of 4.5,6 you get someone on, maybe even a double since there is power there and ioncomea the pitcher. People got on and on about getting your best hitters the most at bats but then turn around and want to move the pitcher up in the line up.
You do not give the pitcher more AB, how many times does a pitcher get 3 AB’s in a game and the 8th place gets 4?, whatever it is it would be the same with the pitcher batting 8th, because you would PH therefore your line-up is more optimal in that Hamilton bats before best hitters. Joey Votto or whoever bats 3rd gets more AB with 2 better hitters in front of him.
2018 will look very much like 2017
1) CF Hamilton (now leading Reds in ABs, over .250 ave and .300 OBP)
2) 2B Scooter
3) 1B Joey
4) LF Duvall
5) 3B Suarez
6) LF Schebler/Winker
7) C Mez/Barnhart
8) SS Peraza.
By mid season, club has to weigh a .250 hitting Peraza or a Senzel that’s killing it in Louisville.
I have judged Suarez harshly though I think fairly for his defense! I have qualified it by stating it was a lack of confidence as opposed to ability even when he was at SS!!!!!! He has made a beliver this season for sure he just was the front end of a 5-4-3 DP against the Cardinals that was as pretty as it gets!!!