MLBTradeRumors says the Nationals are unlikely to pursue Prince Fielder this offseason
which is hardly relevant news for this space, but the reasoning behind it is that Nats GM Mike Rizzo is more likely to pursue a CF/lead off type. So this got me thinking a bit. The Reds have a seeming abundance of players who fit this profile. Dave Sappelt, Chris Heisey, and of course, Drew Stubbs are to varying degrees capable of playing CF and hitting at the top of a lineup and are, to varying degrees, expendable.
Is there opportunity for a deal here? Which of the three would you be most willing to part with, and for what kind of package? I think the biggest need the Reds have right now is for a top of the rotation pitcher, which is not exactly something the Nats have in spades (nor does any other team, for that matter). But would you trade Drew Stubbs for Jordan Zimmermann? Do you think the Nationals would?
Dusty says Dave Sappelt still has some learning to do
which is why he's kinda sorta struggled a bit in his first few weeks. "Most guys have something to work on," Baker said on Wednesday. "Very few guys come from the Minors that are totally big league ready. I don't, but most people go on offensive production and batting averages vs. the total game. If you're going to win in the big leagues, you want guys that have the total game. In the last decade, you do as much teaching at the big league level as ever before."
We talked about this a bit in yesterday's game thread, but I still think Sappelt could be an everyday LF. He's not the typical lumbering slugger (see: Alonso) you find in LF, but that doesn't mean he can't succeed. His game is lots of contact and good speed, with a few walks, middling power, and above average defense. Actually, his profile matches up quite well with Carl Crawford. I seriously doubt Sappelt will be as good a ballplayer as Crawford (CC is faster, a better baserunner, a better defender, and likely has more pop), but I think he could be at least average as a corner OF. At the very least, he deserves a longer look.
Dusty has opened the door a crack for the possibility of playing Yonder Alonso at 3B
"There's a chance," Baker said. "I'd like to get him in a blowout game one way or the other first. It depends on who is pitching. It depends on the situation...You've got to try to find the situation and pick the spots. I'll pick the situation. Offense wins you games and generally speaking defense loses ... games."
I think I'd rather see Todd Frazier get an extended look at 3B than Yonder. While Yonder is a superior hitter to Frazier, I think the chances of him sticking at 3B are even worse than his chances in LF. There may be an argument that his particular defensive skill set (his slowassness) is better suited to 3B than the outfield, but at this point it's clear to everyone that he is a first baseman. I have no problem with Yonder playing anywhere at this point, as I think first priority with him is showcasing his bat for a potential trade this winter. If that means he fumbles around in LF or boots ground balls at 3B, so be it. I just wanna see him hit.
The Fay remarks that Joey Votto's latest hot streak is vaulting him into the race for MVP
His 5-7 performance (with two dingers) in yesterday's doubleheader puts him in the OPS lead, which Fay says is the first stat he looks at for MVP consideration. Personally, I prefer wOBA, which has Votto in a close 2nd behind Ryan Braun. Votto also leads in fWAR and is 3rd in bWAR. At this point, it's Braun's award to lose as he's this year's Votto, leading his team to the playoffs. Winning two MVPs in a row is a hard thing anyhow, but it's still awesome to see Votto putting up the same kind of numbers.
This is a few days old
but there is some injury news regarding Logan Ondrusek and Chris Heisey. It looks like Dusty wanted to keep Travis Wood on the roster for the doubleheader in case a long man was needed. So Ondrusek should be back with the team for the homestand. As for Heisey, he took batting practice and looked good, and could go on a short rehab assignment soon.
Ramon Hernandez was placed on waivers
which means that if a team claims him and the Reds work out a trade with them, it will have been about a month too late. Which seems to be the common thread among all their roster moves this year, yeah?
Mike Silva uses Billy Hamilton's tremendous year on the base paths a spring board for a discussion about the art of stealing
Boots Billy upped his total to 92 last night. The last time a major leaguer topped that mark was back in 1988 when Rickey Henderson did it. "So is the stolen base dead? Not quite. Will we see 100 stolen bases again? Unlikely. Billy Hamilton has a ways to go before he get’s to the majors, and if he does, his strikeout rate doesn’t give me confidence he will be on base enough to have the opportunity. Just like the days of 70 home runs are gone, the era of Vince Coleman and Rickey Henderson running wild around the bases appears to be in the history books for good."
In this week's power rankings, Grant Brisbee drops some philosophy like Galileo dropped the orange
He ranks the teams based on how well their utility player reflects the Platonic ideal of Utility Player. These guys play numerous positions, rarely hit well, and win disproportionate numbers of team MVP awards. Our own one Miguel Cairo is ranked 2nd on the list, primarily because Dusty said so:
"The description of the perfect utility infielder is above, but it's missing one key component: approval from Dusty Baker and Tony La Russa. These rankings are inherently flawed because they weren't created after a roundtable discussion with Baker and La Russa, the truest connoisseurs of the utility infielder that our generation has known. Cairo would have been the utility-infielderest utility infielder two years ago, but then at the age of 36, he started to hit a little bit. It was like Neil Young releasing a dubstep album. Don't hurt yourself, old fella, they've got other people to do that. But there he went, and now no one knows what to make of him."