Gio Gonzalez, Mat Latos and Jair Jurrjens are still the main targets for Cincinnati Reds even with the asking price being way to high. Walt Jocketty is still trying to get a top of the rotation starter for the team this offseason. A closing pitcher is also at the top of the list this offseason for Walt and it is rumored that they will go to the free agent market for a good closer once they get their starter. At the beginning of the offseason Jocketty also stated that the team was in need of a right-handed power hitting left fielder and a back up SS / INF. He said that those two would be picked up in free agency also. It is funny to hear that they are looking through free agents right now considering he said at the start of the offseason that they would not get any free agents.
I have been reading a lot of blogs lately and one theme I am seeing a lot with Reds fans is that people are not happy with the lack of movement this offseason. Walt Jocketty once again is saying he is trying but nothing is happening. It does not surprise me that nothing has been done yet and to tell you the truth I am happy that nothing has been done. It means Walt is not going to give up our prospects for players he feels don’t deserve it. Many of us can point fingers freely and say it is all Walt’s fault or it is all Dusty’s fault but we do not realize that the other teams might be trying to get way too much for a player that really does not deserve it. I would not want to see the Reds trade away Yonder Alonso and one of their catching prospects for someone like Huston Street. I would probably crawl into a snow bank and not come out until it melted.
How about four of the Reds top prospects for Jair Jurrjens? Are you off your meds? I am glad none of these rumors came true, it shows that the front office will not trade away the future for someone who might not even help us for one season. If they want to win this year they will have to make a move but we really need to determine as fans what we want. Do we want them to win one Championship or many of them? I for one would love to see them in the playoffs for many seasons so keeping our young prospects is a very good idea. I don’t think trading three or four of them away in one trade is really a smart move right now. I don’t care if Greg Maddux and Pedro Martinez type pitchers are up for trades, I would rather keep our prospects. What if Yonder Alonso does awesome in left field in 2012 and becomes rookie of the year? What if one of the Reds young pitchers goes on to become one of the best closers in baseball because the Reds took a chance and let him play that role? And what if Yasmani Grandal goes on to become another Johnny Bench for the Reds? Do you really want to trade these guys away for one player who will get killed in Great American Ball Park? Don’t get me wrong, if Walt can get one of those types of pitchers for one prospect and other players to be named later than I say go for it, but I really don’t think they could ever get a top of the rotation Ace without giving up most of the farm system.
Being an armchair GM for many years now I must say I am very pleased with how Walt Jocketty is handling this team. I get frustrated sometimes and wish he would make a move but I do understand that holding our players at a certain value and not just sending them away for a player to be named later is not an easy task. Many factors come into play that a lot of us might not understand. We also have to remember that the Reds are not to big into the whole Money Ball idea right now as far as I have read and Walt is going off of what his scouts and staff say. And I really am getting used to not seeing the Reds do much during the offseason. Another great thing about this offseason is that teams in the National League Central are losing their top players while the Reds just sit and watch. They might also be waiting to see where Prince Fielder goes before making any moves at all especially now that the Machine Albert Pujols is gone to the Angels.
If the team finishes below .500 again in 2012 I don’t think fans will have to wait much longer for something to happen. I think Walt and Dusty will be on the ropes and as fans begin to find other things to spend their money on the owners will step in and tell Walt and Dusty to move on. The Reds would then have to hire a whole new front office and that might have Reds fans wishing Walt and Dusty were back.
The second day of the Winter Meetings has gone by and nothing has been done by the Reds front office which is a good thing considering they have a lot of young prospects on their roster. In my mind, no news is very good news. It means they will not be throwing away prospects in order to get a #3 or lower starter who would get eaten up in GABP.
A lot of arm-chair GM’s want the Reds to trade for Atlanta Braves pitcher Jair Jurrjens and think they should give up Yonder Alonso and Yasmani Grandal and some even say the Reds will have to give up even more than that. Sad thing is, there is not just one person saying this, there are a lot out there that think Jurrjens would be the right fit for Cincinnati Reds. I really wish these people would stop thinking that way. Like I have stated many times before, Walt Jocketty does not make deals like that. If he did, they would not have players like Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Drew Stubbs and Homer Bailey. Sure the last two are not really panning out as well as Bruce and Votto but it just shows that Jocketty and the front office still hold them up very high. Which is why I really doubt they will trade away someone like Yonder Alonso or Yasmani Grandal for a #3 starter in the rotation. Now many will say, you have to trade good players to get good players and I understand that very well. I just don’t think trading two #1 picks or more away for a starting pitcher that might not do very well in Great American Ball Park is a very wise move. I would rather have Travis Wood or another young pitcher play and save those young position players for when we really need them.
The Reds are also shopping for a closing pitcher which they might just turn around and use in-house pitchers like Sam LeCure, Edinson Volquez or Bill Bray. If the Reds do end up looking outside of the team for a closer it will most likely be a cheap player that they will be able to afford for 2 to 3 seasons.
Other news yesterday was that they are looking for a right-handed power hitting left fielder along with an older cheap SS / INF who would be able to play all positions to help Dusty Baker out when players get injured. I would not expect them to pay too much for these two players and I would not expect it to be long contracts either because they really want to have room for their younger players later on.
I still don’t think much will happen at the Winter Meetings for the Reds because of the fact that every team and their dog is looking for the exact same thing that they are looking for and many of these teams have way more to trade away. And to tell you the truth I am ok with the Reds just staying where they are until players like Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder get taken off the free agent list. That way they can plan better with what they will really need to push forward in 2012.
Any Reds fan out there can tell you how disappointed they were to see Drew Stubbs strike out as much as he did in 2011. 205 strikeouts in 2011 put him 3rd overall in single season leaders for strikeouts, Mark Reynolds is 1st, 2nd and 4th. 223 being the highest single season record.
I wanted to look a little more into this and see exactly who struck Drew Stubbs out the most and it is very interesting to see what pitchers had the most fun against him in 2011. Ryan Dempster along with Matt Garza and Shaun Marcum top the list with 5 SO. All three of these pitchers gave Drew Stubbs nothing but problems in 2011. Stubbs only went 3 for 15 against Dempster and 3 for 13 against Garza while really struggling against Marcum by going 1 for 10. There were four pitchers that got 4 strikeouts against Stubbs in 2011. Chris Carpenter, Yovani Gallardo, Jair Jurrjens and Marco Estrada. His batting average against some of these pitchers was not as bad with the top three but he still went down swinging a lot. The next group of pitchers who got three strikeouts against Stubbs also only saw him a few times which really makes it interesting. With some pitchers he only had 4 plate appearances while striking out 3 times. Jason Grilli struck him out 3 times with 3 PA. After writing this, I honestly had to look up Jason Grilli just to see who he was. He played in 28 games for Pittsburgh Pirates getting 2 wins and 1 loss with a 2.48 ERA at 34 years old. He had a total of 37 strike outs in 32.2 innings pitched.
If Drew Stubbs batted 8th or 9th in the order for the Cincinnati Reds I am sure many of us would not have noticed that he was struggling so much but that was not the case for most of the season. He batted 1st and it was painful to watch this poor kid come up to bat every time. It was very clear to me, (as a fan) that he was just not very comfortable while he stood in the batters box. Sometimes it even looked like he was not even at the ball park that day. His mind seemed to be somewhere else many times. Joey Votto is a fun player to watch in the batters box. You can see him thinking about the next pitch and what was just thrown to him, he is always thinking up there. Drew Stubbs and sometimes Jay Bruce need to learn from Votto on that matter.
Like I said before, if he batted lower in the batting order I am sure we would not have noticed as much but he played over 95 games batting 1st getting a .250 BA, .329 OBP, .373 SLG with 131 SO and 44 walks. Once Dusty woke up and realized he was struggling Stubbs then batted 6th for 35 games and 7th for 12 games. What amazes me is that he only played 3 games batting 8th but with guys like Paul Janish in the order that explains it.
Leading off an Inning was very painful to watch when it came to Stubbs. As 1st batter in the game he had a .212 BA, .295 OBP and .282 SLG while getting 27 SO in 85 at bats. Leading off an inning he got .243 BA, .305 OBP and a .341 SLG while getting 63 SO in 214 AB.
Another thing I noticed is that the more times he saw a pitcher the better he got but it was usually to late. vs. SP for the 1st time he went 28 for 128 with 50 SO. 2nd time facing a SP he went 33 for 127 with 38 SO. He went 31 for 110 with 28 SO the 3rd time he faced a starter. And 4+ times facing a starter he went 11 for 31 with 14 SO. And as you can see it took him quite awhile to learn the pitcher and usually the team would bring in a relief pitcher before he did, in which case he went 41 for 199 with 72 SO against a RP the 1st time.
At first I thought maybe it was something to do with Great American Ball Park but he had just as much problem on the road as he did at home. In GABP he went 77 for 287 with 98 SO while going 70 for 317 with 107 SO on the road. Which shows that he had a way better batting average at home and that if he was traded he might not have a job for long on any other team. His speed is great and his fielding is not bad but if he can’t hit at this level he won’t last long on other teams.
Pitchers who struck Drew Stubbs out the most in 2011
AB H SO BA OBP SLG OPS Ryan Dempster 15 3 5 .200 .200 .467 .667 Matt Garza 13 3 5 .231 .286 .462 .747 Shaun Marcum 9 1 5 .111 .200 .333 .533 Chris Carpenter 14 5 4 .357 .438 .429 .866 Yovani Gallardo 9 3 4 .333 .400 .778 1.178 Jair Jurrjens 7 1 4 .143 .143 .571 .714 Marco Estrada 6 0 4 .000 .000 .000 .000 Zack Greinke 8 5 3 .625 .667 .750 1.417 Jaime Garcia 9 3 3 .333 .400 .444 .844 Jordan Zimmermann 4 0 3 .000 .200 .000 .200 Cliff Lee 7 3 3 .429 .429 .429 .857 Jhoulys Chacin 6 2 3 .333 .333 .333 .667 James McDonald 7 1 3 .143 .250 .286 .536 Hiroki Kuroda 6 1 3 .167 .167 .167 .333 Ivan Nova 4 1 3 .250 .250 .250 .500 Cole Hamels 5 0 3 .000 .000 .000 .000 Josh Johnson 4 0 3 .000 .000 .000 .000 Jason Grilli 3 0 3 .000 .000 .000 .000
The Reds have given chances to some of their young players over and over again in the past few years. Drew Stubbs and Homer Bailey are the two that really come to mind when I think about this. Stubbs was drafted by the Reds in the 1st round (8th pick) in the 2006 amateur draft and Homer Bailey was drafted by the Reds in the 1st round (7th pick) of the 2004 amateur draft. I have heard so many people praise these two men and some even say that they are the future of the Reds and that really scares me. Don’t get me wrong I wish they both would prove me wrong but I have not seen anything from either one lately to really impress me enough to say they are the Reds future and they have had their chances. I just hope the front office can even get anything of value from another team when they do finally decide to trade them.
I have read some reports that Jair Jurrjens might be traded from Atlanta Braves. And I have heard rumors that Cincinnati Reds might trade for him. So I thought I would add my two cents and hopefully Walt Jocketty reads it and takes my advice. If not I will be happy with the idea that I can later on show the link for this post and prove that it was a big mistake to trade for him. And if I am wrong and he turns out to be a great pitcher for the Reds I will be glad to say I am sorry but I for one have not seen many pitchers do very well in Great American Ballpark. That could be why not many pitchers want to sign with the Reds in the offseason unless they are getting a huge paycheck like Francisco Cordero got a few years back.
Cordero in Great American Ballpark
Split G AB R H HR BB SO BA BAbip CIN-GreatAmer BP 162 593 59 142 10 62 140 .239 .295
Jurrjens in Great American Ballpark
Split G AB R H HR BB SO BA BAbip CIN-GreatAmer BP 4 77 16 23 6 10 18 .299 .315
With 4 games (2008 – 2011) as a starting pitcher in Great American Ballpark Jair Jurrjens has given up 6 home runs, 16 earned runs, 23 hits in 17 innings of play giving him a 0 – 2 record with 2 no decisions. His last start in Great American Ballpark was on Friday, July 22, 2011 where he gave up three home runs, four earned runs, three walks and recorded nine strikeouts. In six innings he threw 100 pitches, 59 of them strikes. 6.2 innings is the longest he has ever lasted in this ballpark which was in 2010 where he gave up five earned runs with one home run, throwing 104 pitches with 70 of them being strikes. So it is safe to say that Great American Ballpark has not been very nice to him. Then again not many pitchers who have pitched there can say it has.
Hopefully the front office for the Cincinnati Reds will make the right decision to help out the team. If it is true that they are going to trade for him, I hope they don’t give up to much in return. The Reds have a lot of potential in their young players and I would hate to see three or even four of them traded to Atlanta. In my mind if they are looking for a starting pitcher they should look in the American League that way the young guys they trade away will not come back to haunt them to soon.
Jair Jurrjens in Great American Ballpark
Rk Date5 Rslt IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit Str ERA 2 2008-05-31 L 7-8 4.1 9 6 6 6 2 2 99 55 12.46 3 2009-06-16 L 2-7 2.0 2 1 1 1 1 0 38 24 4.50 4 2010-07-31 L 2-5 6.2 8 5 5 0 6 1 104 70 6.75 5 2011-07-22 W 6-4 6.0 4 4 4 3 9 3 100 59 6.00