It’s the Thought That Counts


One blog post that has sent Twitter in a bit of a buzz this morning was a nice one by none other that John Fay. Within this, Fay points out four things the Reds might want to consider…

"–Bring up Todd Frazier or Yonder Alonso to play left field. I would have given Chris Heisey a five- or six-game trial there by now, but that hasn’t happened for whatever reason. Frazier and Alonso are hitting at Triple-A. Adding a big bat deep in the lineup would help.–Put Brandon Phillips back in leadoff and drop Drew Stubbs to sixth or seventh. When they did that last year, Stubbs’ numbers improved drastically.–Make a trade. Devin Mesoraco’s killing it in Triple-A. He’s hitting .322/.410/.537 overall and .472/.558/.778 over his last 10 games. A lot of teams would likely be interested in Ramon Hernandez or Ryan Hanigan.–Edgar Renteria was unavailable yesterday with a sore back. Disable him. Bring up Zack Cozart. Cozart is hitting .294 at Triple-A. He has 25 extra-base hits. That’s 17 more than the Reds have gotten from shortstop this year."

Hmm. All of these “suggestions” are coming to the point of having to be at least considered, right?

I think the one where placing Renteria on the DL and calling up Cozart would go over very well considering the amount of disdain Renteria has brought upon a fair amount of the Reds fanbase. And look at what Cozart is doing in Triple-A. I know, there’s no guarantee he’ll hit at the big league level.

Another interesting “move” involves promoting Mesoraco and moving Hernandez or Hanigan. I say that for a couple of reasons.

One, in our season previews, Justin had this to say about Mesoraco…

"Though he did tail off a bit once he hit Louisville, Mesoraco could put the higher-ups in a bind if he has a good start to the year in AAA. He could be the first call for a fill in the event of an injury to either Hernandez or Hanigan."

And he has done just that as detailed by Kevin earlier today and touched on by Kerry as well. The Reds brass is now in a bit of a bind as Justin predicted in March. And if you take Kerry’s numbers into consideration here, Hernandez would be the one to deal, but there is another reason, he’s only on a one-year deal. That would make it appealing for the Reds to deal him and give the promotion to Mesoraco.

Two, and I’m not saying Mesoraco is Buster Posey, but it could (stress, could) evolve into a similar situation the Giants faced last season. When Posey finally took over as the starting catcher for good on July 1, the Giants sat at 40-37, 5.5 games out and in 4th place in the NL West and had traded Benjie Molina to the Texas Rangers. We all know what happened. Yes, there were other deals made that aided the Giants in winning the World Series last season, but installing Posey as the everyday catcher seemed to begin to right a ship. Just for your curiosity, the Gaints went 49-32 for the rest of the 2010 season.

We know that Hernandez has performed rather well at the plate while Hanigan has stumbled a bit so far this season. The trade-off may be all right.

The one suggestion revolving around Brandon Phillips being put back in the leadoff spot and dropping Drew Stubbs in the lineup is a nice study in their stats. In theory, it does make all the sense in the world as Stubbs has already amassed 77 strikeouts this season. But in comparing BP’s stint as the leadoff guy last season and what Stubbs has done so far this season, there is really no comparison at all. Here’s the look…

These numbers reflect only when starting a game in the leadoff spot in the batting order. If you look at these numbers and remove the strikeouts, I’m sure almost everyone would think Stubbs is by far the better option at the top of the order. But what makes it difficult isn’t all these other numbers combined, it’s just those darn whiffs. That does make it even more painful when you have a runner in scoring position, one out with the pitcher at the plate. You know that odds say there will be two outs when your leadoff hitter approaches the plate. You know where this is going.

It’s a case of “if only he (Stubbs) could make some form of consistent contact”. When Stubbs does put the bat on the ball, good things are more likely to happen. We can only guess when that happens.

My other question on this potential move would be this: Who bats second?

While I do like trying Phillips as the top guy in the order, it appears that when ever we find a “home” for one guy, another “hole” opens. No bueno…

The issue of left field has stood out like a sore thumb all season. Dusty’s tried four guys there (Jonny Gomes, Chris Heisey, Fred Lewis, and Jeremy Hermida) and none have taken grasp on the chance to be an everyday player. Maybe none of the previouss four are everyday players. Maybe there’s a real platoon situation that has yet to be discovered.

What am I thinking. Some form of a platoon is what’s currently being employed…with three guys (kind of. More like two and a little more). Since the beginning of May, Gomes (14), Lewis (13), and Heisey (6) have all garnered starts at the position. It’s weird how it all won’t work. And there is something to like about all three. Gomes gives you pop and hustle, Heisey gives you defense, pop and more speed. Lewis gives you some speed and some pop. There’s that little thing called production and none have been able to do such consistently.

And once you think you have found a solution, we get back to the whole issue of where to put him in the batting order.

The only point where an arm could even be construed as a fix is the part about a trade. Isn’t that part of the issue here as well?Are we simply holding on to the fact that when Bailey returns from his second stint on the DL that life will be good again? Are we hoping that Edinson Volquez can come back and be the EV of 2008? Are we holding on to a thought that may not even be a reality? And did we ever think the only pitcher we could bank on for a good start was Johnny Cueto? I’m sure we would all say “no” to that one.

At this point, it’s hard to imagine that the one area where most thought the Reds had a strength has evolved into a weakness, and that is the starting pitching. Some Reds fans may shudder at the thought of Volquez starting tomorrow night. I’ve been one of EV’s biggest supporters and I’m still extremely concerned because of lack of finding the zone. He did get a win his last time out in Louisville going 6.2 innings for the victory, but he threw more than 110 pitches and walked four guys while only posting two strikeouts. If a pitchers throws 15 pitches an inning, he should have around 105 after 7 by using simple math. I’ll leave the rest up to you on this deal.

And even if a deal could be made for an arm (or another position for that matter), I can promise at least one good arm will be going the other way especially if Cincy wants a top notch player. Sitting at 30-30 and 5.5 games back of the Cards, we all have to take a second and wonder if sending three or four guys in a deal for a potential “rental” is really worth it. Would you possibly “mortgage” your future for the sake of one season?

File that last question undet “Just sayin'”.