The Royal Heffernans

Quite possibly the best family ever

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Reds Update

I know most of us have been focusing on NCAA football and the end of the Fantasy Football season, so it might come as a surprise that there's been some news from the Cincinnati Reds organization.  The Reds have completed a few trades, some minor, one a bit bigger, in the last few days and have made some pitching changes:

  • Re-signed Jonathan Broxton (Closer) for three (3) years
  • Assigned Aroldis Chapman to the starting rotation
  • In a 3-team trade, obtained Shin Soo Choo (RF) and Jason Donald (IF)
  • In the same deal, got rid of Drew Stubbs and Didi Gregorious
  • Re-signed Ryan Ludwick to a 2-year deal
  • Reportedly signed Jack Hannahan (IF)
These signings go a long way to shoring up some difficult spots in the Reds roster.  The biggest problem for the Reds in 2012 was the lead-off spot in the batting order.  Drew Stubbs typically held down this spot, but his OBP was .277 - the worst of any Reds regular hitter in 2012.  Choo will likely be replacing Stubbs in center field next year, which, while a slight drop-off in defense, is a HUGE gain in offense.  Choo batted .310 and had a .389 OBP from the lead-off spot in 2012 for a pretty bad Indians team.   Overall, he hit .273 with 16 HRs and 21 SBs - so he's got a little pop to his bat and will also steal a base or two throughout the year.  He's also a lefty hitter, so if he hits lead-off, it plays into Dusty's L-R-L-R batting order, since you know Votto (a lefty) will be hitting third).  He may play a little worse defense than Stubbs did, but let's face it, most balls over his head are going out of GABP, so I'm not too concerned.  Besides, pitchers need to pitch better.

Donald and Hannahan will be utility infielders, with maybe a spell or two in the OF.  Votto, Phillips, Cozart, and Frazier will be holding down the infield next year.  I just hope that Rolen calls it a career, or that we don't re-sign him.  Dude is old.

Finally, re-signing Broxton is exciting because we have a proven closer and can move Chapman back to the rotation.  Chapman did solid work in the closer role last year, but he was also the best SP in spring training, and if he can hold that form throughout the season, Cueto, Chapman, Arroyo, Latos, and Bailey will be a fabulous rotation.  Since it's unlikely they all stay healthy, maybe we can keep Leake around - but I wouldn't be heartbroken if we got a couple of young prospects for him. 

My personal feelings are that Jocketty is improving the club with these moves.  I don't know how well Ludwick will do in 2013 - I see him being like Johnny Gomes in 2010 and 2011.  However, the addition of Choo and re-signing of Broxton are really good moves that allow this lineup to be much more consistent in terms of batting order and pitching order in late innings. 

Finally, I'd just like to say that it was time for Stubbs to go, and I'm glad he's gone.  Projected batting order for 2013:  Choo, Frazier, Votto, Phillips, Bruce, Ludwick, Cozart, Hanigan, Pitcher. 

We are stacked!


Kevin said...

I forgot to say the the Indians are also chipping in $3.5 million to the Reds on the trade. So we can some cash money to use toward Votto and Phillips.

Colin and Liz said...

I am so pumped about this move. It was exactly what I needed to exorcise the demons of the disastrous collapse that was the 2012 NLCS. How did we lose?!!!!

With that behind us, let's focus on 2013. Yes, Choo is inferior defensively when compared to Drew Stubbs, but think about this: Choo’s higher on-base percentage (OBP) will result in reaching base 105 times more than Reds lead-off hitters accomplished in 2012. 105 more times on base! That's 105 more opportunities for Phillips and Votto to see better pitches because pitchers can't pitch around them when Choo is on base. Even if Choo is the worst CF in the majors (or maybe we put Jay Bruce there) the offensive gains still outweigh the defensive regression.

Also, the batting line-up has now been "Dusty-proofed". No more chances for Dusty to continually have fast guys lead off who can't get on base. This move also allows other Reds players, such as Phillips and Cozart to hit in their more natural positions. Picking up Choo made the Reds better on so many levels. Obviously the big draw-back is defense, but I think the Reds will be fine.

The Reds, barring injury, will be a heavy favorite to make it to the World Series. Go Redlegs!

Teddy said...

Minor correction. Ludwick batted 4th the last half of the season. He'll stay there. BP will hit 2nd.

Colin quoted the money stat: 105 more times on base. That's just insane. And Choo's stats were a little off last year!

Also a shout out to Jocketty. Such a shrewd move. He got the best possible fit to lead off, for CHEAP! He's a 1 year rental, but that's ok. Billy Hamilton is being groomed for CF in 2014. And yes, the lineup is now Dusty proof. If we can just get rid of Rolen and Cairo.