I want to wish Ken Griffey Jr. the best of luck this season in Seattle.
His years in Cincinnati went through highs and lows but I am most proud
that Griffey, while on the Reds, always played the game the right way.
He went through so many injuries he could have easily succomb to the pressure to use a banned substance.
He never did and lost a lot of time on the field because of it but to me his 600 home runs are twice as historic and memorable as Bonds 750+ home runs. I hope he has a great season this year in Seattle and I hope he stays healthy. I was sad to see Griffey go but I agree that the Reds needed to move the team in a different direction.
Good Luck Griffey!!
Always a Red
Hanigan is a gritty catcher who has already drawn some praise from Dusty Baker. He has only played two games thus far with 7 AB’s this season. He is known as a defensive catcher but he has hit a lot better this season hitting in AAA Louisville. His arm strength is also better since Spring Training where he fought for a roster stot. The Reds need a catcher that can hit and defend and it would be very nice if Hanigan can produce and actually help the team defensively and offensively.
Chris Dickerson is a speedy outfielder who should have been in the majors much earlier for Corey Patterson who is absolutely awful and GMs need to start realizing he is never going to meet his so called “potential.” Dickerson can run on the basepaths and provide the leadoff hitter the Reds so desperately needed. He also has great range in the outfield. So far since his callup he has 4 hits including 2 doubles and an RBI triple. I have no idea what the Reds were thinking going with Corey Patterson over him!
The last two moves that the Reds made make since money wise since the Reds were not going to resign Adam Dunn anyway. They actually got a lot for him considering he will be a free agent at season’s end. That being said this season could have turned out a lot better that it has.
Owner Bob Castellini has made it known. He wants to win NOW!. Then some players better get it together in the offseason and they better make some serious additions in the offseason. Spend money and more wins will be more likely to come. Go Reds!
The writer of the blog District Boy is absolutely right. The Cincinnati Reds front office is now definitely the worst in baseball. If they think that Cueto, Volquez, Votto, and Bruce are enough good players to depend on for the future then they are idiots.
Let me just name a few reasons the Reds team and ownership is pathetic:
1-Corey Patterson is still in the majors. He could not play on any other team in the majors. Chris Dickerson needs to be in the bigs NOW because he could be the center fielder of the future.
2-Josh Fogg is still in the rotation.-Darryl Thompson or Ramon Ramirez ought to be in the majors pitching. They have paid their dues in the minors and the management needs to find out if they can pitch in the majors.
3-Walt Jocketty is just not a good GM.
4-Dick Pole is not a good pitching coach. Mark Berry (3rd base coach) and Brook Jacoby (hitting coach) also ought to be fired.
5-Brandon Phillips is great but is the worst cleanup hitter in baseball. He does not come close to comparing to Prince Fielder, Aramis Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, Lance Berkman, Albert Puhols or Josh Hamilton etc.
6- They dropped David Ross who was also awful but was the best catcher they had. Javier Valentin has an awful on base percentage and you cannot even afford to put him in the field becuase he is such a bad defensive catcher. Ross could atleast throw out a decent percentage of base runners
7-The Reds need to build for the future and quit lying to themselves saying they still want to win now because that is just a LIE.
Their lineup the rest of the way ought to look like:
Shut down Harang and hopefully he will come back better next year. Good Lord! I say this just becuase I end every entry this way- Go Reds!-but I say it half heartedly
The Reds have once again called up Homer Bailey from AAA Louisville. This will be his fourth time with the big league club, and he is entering a definite crossroads in his career. Marty Brenamen, the great Reds radio broadcaster, recently said that one reason for Bailey’s struggles was that he pitched so well in the minors at such a young age that he thought he had everything figured out. He started to think his way was the best and he became tough to coach. Most recently he has gone back to AAA and will have better mechanics and more velocity for his fourth stint in the majors.
Also this year, Aaron Harang has simply not been himself. It would have been nice to have seen Volquez and Harang fight for the title of staff ace, but Harang has never gotten in a groove this year. Since he came in in relief in the 18 game earlier this year, he has never pitched a game where he had all his tools. Now DL time is expected due to a forearm strain, but if Harang had been vintage Harang so far this year, the Reds may be 3 or 4 games over .500 and only 5 or 6 games back in the competitive NL Central. The Reds have a bright future, and they will need Harang to be the dominant pitcher that Dusty Baker and everyone with the knows he can be.
In the first 12 days of June, the Reds have started to play better, and they will need to get to .500 first before they focus in on the Cubs, Brewers, and Cardinals.
Another question many Reds fans are asking is will Dunn and Griffey get traded. I seriously hope they do not trade Adam Dunn because it is hard to replace a guy who hits 40 home runs every year. I don’t care how many times he strikes out, he always produces and you can always count on Dunn to hit 40 homers, drive in 100, and walk 100 times. Also I cannot see Griffey being traded because there is not much of a market for him out there, and he has a hefty salary that comes with him.
If the Reds keep plugging away and can get on a run or two, they could still make an interesting run down the stretch. Go Reds!
2008 is a year of great hope and a year of great opportunities for the Reds. The Dusty Baker era is beginning, and it appears that the Reds finally have the desirable mix of young talent and tested veterans.
Since the new ownership took over with Bob Castellini at the head, the Reds have been getting closer and closer to the old winning ways of this great franchise.
Much of this success can be attributed to finally having some stability at the top of the organization. General manager, Wayne Krivsky, will be heading into his third year with the team, and also during this offseason, the team added Walt Jocketty to be a special advisor for the team. Finally now, the team has added a manager with a proven track record and a winning attitude. The Reds seem like they are a team with the tools to be winners if the players can get it done. Of course, nothing that has been mentioned matters if the players cannot get the job done.
Now let’s break down the 2008 roster.
Catcher- The catcher position is a pretty big question mark for the Reds this season. Two years ago, it looked as if the Reds had found a diamond in the rough in David Ross, but last year’s .203 batting average impressed no one. This spring, he has been injured which has pushed Javy Valentin into the starting spot opening day. Valentin can be a pretty good hitter at times but is a defensive liability.
First Base- The first base position has two very good options: Joey Votto, and veteran Scott Hatteberg. The future at first base is Votto, but Hatteberg had a very good spring, and either could be the opening day starter. I would like to see Votto start because he is the future, and he performed well when called up last September.
Second Base- Brandon Phillips has turned into one of the games best second basemen. He never ceases to amaze with the leather and was a 30/30 man last season. He needs to play well though for the Reds to really contend because he is a pivotal part of the middle of their lineup.
Shortstop- I am glad that Jeff Keppinger is going to start the season at short because he also played very well while Alex Gonzalez spent some time on the bereavement list. He is a great hitter, and I would like to see Dusty Baker slide him into the second spot in the order where he was very good last season. When Alex Gonzalez returns, I hope he will not simply be given the job back becuase as good as he is defensively, I think Keppinger is as equally good offensively.
Third Base- Edwin Encarnacion, I think, is primed for a breakout season. He played much better after being sent down last season. If he has a breakout season, expect the Reds to be playing well. In the offseason, Encarnacion has continued to play winter ball and work on his game. If he gets close to 90 or 100 RBI and can hit around .300, expect the Reds to be playing well.
Left Field-Dusty Baker has said he hopes Dunn can cut down on his strikeouts, but you know what you will get with Adam Dunn: 40 homers, 100 RBIs and 100 runs, all of which he has proven he can acheive pretty regularly. Expect Dunn to be subbed in for sometimes late in the game by someone like Norris Hopper for defensive purposes.
Center Field-Corey Patterson, Norris Hopper, Ryan Freel, and Jay Bruce all competed for the center field job in Spring Training. Believe it or not, I am glad Bruce, the Reds #1 prospect, did not win the job because the Reds would have had no true leadoff hitter. Hopper and Patterson had very good Springs, but Patterson will get the opening day nod. I like Hopper though because he is very good defensively and always puts the ball in play. He also ranked in the top five in the league last year in infield hits despite playing only 121 games last year.
Right Field- future Hall of Famer Griffey continues to man the position well and is a great clubhouse leader. If Griffey is not back in 2009, Jay Bruce will probably be the Reds right fielder of the future.
Please send me your feedback.
Next post I will examine the pitching staff.