In today's Enquirer Paul Daugherty expresses what appears as the media's and management's prevailing attitude about the Red's future. His 'future' hinge upon Hopper's and Keppinger's incredible out field play and extraordinary ability to 'rattle pitchers' etc. Also another important future step is the trading of Adam Dunn and the sitting of Hatteberg. And I quote:" The guys who need to play: Hopper, Keppinger, Coutlangus, Dumatrait, Bobby Livingston and Votto." He finishes his column with: "Don't diminish what Mackanin has done. Just don't let it blind you. Today's optimism is tomorrow's 78-84."
I like Hopper as a 4th or 5th outfielder. I like Keppinger off the bench with the bat and for his utility play. I like Coutlangus, I don't know why he's in AAA. Dumatrait is an unknown. I like Livingston at best as a #5 because he manages to keep his team in the game. Yep Votto should be getting a look see. But it is not the end of the world if he doesn't come up until September.I don't agree that Dunn should be anywhere but resigned and playing. Scott Hatteberg didn't get traded(yet) and has had a very good season. If he's to be traded then he needs to play, plus he is a professional's professional.I don't see building a competitive team around guys like Hopper, Kepp. Livingston, Dumatrait, as everyday players. Maybe one of them will pleasantly surprise me, I hope so.
Here's my pick (and I know we've done this about a million times, but Daugherty really annoyed me today)for who should play next year:
Bench: Freel, Hopper, Keppinger,Valentin, an outfielder/1st basemen TBNL
Pitching - Harang, Bronson, fill in the blanks
Pen - Weathers, Bray, Burton, Cootie, (Belizzle?) fill in the blanks.
I am disappointed in Daugherty's 'east' assessment based on 'playing the right way" etc.
I've not included a lot statistical info here to back up my response so my apologies to sabermetric guys, but this is a case of simple common sense.