From the awesome Red Roof Inn here in Louisville, Kentucky, at 1:47am, I’m sitting down to type away for your reading pleasure (hopefully). On Tuesday evening I reached out to you guys for some topics that I could write about, but there were a few questions that I really found interesting and thought I’d give a few of the questions a good answer, so here goes.
What is “The Backup Plan” prospects that the Reds absolutely need to get better if these current MLB youngsters don’t cut it?
I think that there is a lot to unfold here. First, I’ll start off with, if this current crop of Major League youngsters doesn’t cut it, then the backup plan, so-to-speak, is a ways off. I’m of the belief that the rebuild is basically dependent on the team finding a rotation from the young starting group of Finnegan, Castillo, Mahle, Romano, Stephenson, Garrett, Reed. They have a lot invested in at least a few of those guys panning out into quality big league pitchers. There’s other options, including a guy like Anthony DeSclafani if he can find his health, but the organization needs to find at least four quality starting pitchers in that group. If they don’t it’s going to get real interesting and I don’t mean that in a good way.
Behind that group of pitchers, you’ve got guys like Jose Lopez in Triple-A, Vladirmir Gutierrez in Double-A, and Tony Santillan in Advanced-A who are among that “next tier” of guys, but they are further behind and if and when they do get there it’s going to be further down the line that would just prolong the time to get to where the team wants. And, there aren’t quite as many options beyond the “current plan” to find guys.
With that said, if we are going to look at the position guys, I think there are three or four guys that are key depending on how you want to look at it. If you count Nick Senzel as a part of the “current plan”, then it’s three. If not, then it’s four. He’s definitely a big part of the plan. I believe that we all know that part of the plan, be it now or the future one.
Behind Nick Senzel, though, the key guys in the more near-term future would be the trio of Tyler Stephenson, Taylor Trammell, and Jose Siri. All three players have All-Star upside, and at premium positions. There are some other guys that would help quite a bit, but those three might be the ones that could be the biggest among the position guys.
What are the benefits of moving from Bakersfield in the California League to Daytona in the Florida State League?
This is another question with a few different parts to the answer. The stadium in Bakersfield was old, rundown, and the town wasn’t exactly great. The center field wall was a full 354 feet away. That of course helps no one. Hitters were probably trying things that they shouldn’t in order to hit the ball out of the ballpark because of the dimensions. Pitchers had to be incredibly careful because any easy, crappy fly ball would go over the fence. The California League is full of ballparks where the ball flies. Getting out of there was a blessing.
With that said, the Florida State League is the exact opposite. It’s where fly balls go to die. Hitting for power in the league is a rarity. The ballpark in Daytona is the most hitter friendly in the league. Ideally, you’d want a team in the Carolina League where things are more neutral.
One other benefit of the move from Bakersfield to Daytona is the proximity to both Dayton and Pensacola. While it’s not exactly close to Dayton, it’s a lot closer than it was to Bakersfield. That makes it easier for the organization to move players between the three stops when it’s needed for short-term roster fixes. At times when the team was in Bakersfield they would call in guys from the AZL Reds, who were so far over their heads in terms of talent level that they were basically “emergency use only” types.
That’s all for today. Have yourselves a good Wednesday.