Usually I reserve this for Wednesday, but with the trade it pushed everything back and because of the trade I feel that it is something that should still happen this week as there are plenty of questions due to it.

Before that though, with the State of the Farm series being wrapped up, Monday is now going to become home to the Series or Game Review for a player. For the most part, any player in full season ball should have some game footage between all of the affiliates either having their own broadcasts or the Blaze playing the Giants a few times a year who do. So, which players should I look at? Position players and relievers (when possible) will get a series review so there is plenty of data. Starting pitchers will get a game review as they tend to throw often enough in one game for a solid amount of data. Between now and April there are is time for 15 reviews, so everyone list the guys you want to see (whether it is 1 guy or even 15 guys). Ultimately I will choose, but having a list to work from certainly helps.

Now, onto the All Questions Answered rules:

  • Ask before midnight.
  • Each user gets three questions.
  • Avoid questions that require more than a paragraph to answer.
  • Avoid questions that will require me to look up an answer.

Seems simple enough. List some players and ask some questions.

72 Responses

  1. Daryl

    Doug.

    1. How would you make our lineup? I like this lineup.

    1. Phillips – 2B
    2. Choo – RF
    3. Votto – 1B
    4. Ludwick – LF
    5. Bruce – CF
    6. Hanigan – C
    7. Hannihan – 3B
    8. Cozart – SS

    2. After this deal and the Hannahan acquisition what else do the Reds really need to upgrade? We still have a pitcher we could deal but I am having a hard time figuring out what else we need to do. I would not want to trade Bailey or Leake for a bench upgrade. I’d rather run out what we have, either Donald or HRod.

    3. What would be your depth chart for the shortstops in the minors? Do you think Vincej is legit?

    I am sending this to you from Tokyo. Just thought you may like to know.

      • jim t

        Darly also no way are we trading Bailey unless we can’t sign him. With the way he finished last half of last year I’m not sure he isn’t our NO. 2 starter and maybe closing in on ACE territory.

    • MK

      Plus, they got Choo to lead off and they wouldn’t do lefty/lefty 2nd and 3rd.

    • Doug Gray

      1. I am with that line up, except for you missing Frazier at 3B and moving up to the #6 spot. I like Choo behind Phillips given Phillips propensity to hit into double plays with his aggressive approach. Dusty will undoubtedly have them switched from what we like though.

      2. We could use an upgrade at SS, where I feel we are league average at best. I still think we need to just let Mesoraco catch 75% of the games too. But right now, this team is stacked.

      3. Our depth chart in the minors is empty. Not a single guy with full season league experience is even on it if we are looking at true defenders at shortstop. I don’t believe Vincej has a starters ceiling.

  2. jim t

    Doug,

    1. Do you bring Rolen back as a sub? Word is he wants to come to ST and see how he feels.

    2. Bigger upside Bailey or Latos

    3. If Ludwick puts up 2012 numbers again this year with our pitching and Choo leading off we win the central again. Your thoughts?

    • MK

      If you read the Enquirer story about the budget, unless Rolen is playing for quite a cut in pay there isn’t much over major league minimum available. Plus with Hannahan I’m not sure there is a roster spot for him.

      • jim t

        I think he would defiinitely have to take a cut in pay. It would be spelled out up front that he is a sub. I don’t think Bob C or Walt would deny him the opportunity to try out if he wanted to. Don’t know that I would have a issue with a bench of Hannihan,Mezoraco,Heisey,Paul and Rolen. Of courswe he would have to except his reserve role upfront.

      • Alan Horn

        Jim and Mk, I think that if Rolen is on the team, the first time Frazier hits a slump Rolen will be the third baseman. I would rather not go there. I agree that if the money were right and he would accept a lessor role, then maybe. Starting with that plan and holding to that plan is easier said than done for Dusty. Dusty doesn’t need the temptation.

      • MK

        If you are carrying 12 pitchers there is just no room for him. I see:
        Hanigan, Mesoraco
        Votto, Phillips, Cozart, Frazier, Hannahan, (Donald/Burris)
        Ludwick, Choo, Bruce Paul, Heisey

        That’s 13, where does Rolen fit?

    • Doug Gray

      1. Assuming he, and more importantly, Dusty knows that Rolen is the back up and that Frazier has a long leash, then sure. I wouldn’t mind bringing him back.

      2. I think it is the same. Both guys can throw 200+ innings, have plus sliders, similar velocity…. they are very similar pitchers when it comes to their upside.

      3. Assuming whoever plays center field isn’t a total albatross defensively and we stay relatively healthy, we win this division by 5+ games.

  3. Alan Horn

    Ben Nicholson-Smith of mlbtraderumors.com says the Diamondbacks were on the short end of the Choo trade. He said the Reds and Indians won. I’m not so sure the Indians did. Maybe in terms of what they got for one year of Choo. What are your thoughts.

    Do you think we need to acquire a LH reliever or use Cingrani there short term?

    What pieces do you think we still lack to complete the team for 2013? th

    • jim t

      Alan, Indians got a nice pitching prospect for a guy they were going to lose after this year. Arizona got Didi a fine prospect but one with no ML experience. Reds got a proven ML lead off hitter with the numbers to back it up. Joey has got to be smiling think about the increase in RBI opportunities. I call it Reds based on what they did to compete for title , Indians and then Arizona.

      No way I use Cingrani as a releiver after the numbers he put up last year.

      I’d like them to get a lefty reliever but it isn’t a deal breaker. I think with the signing of Hannihan we are set. Arredondo is money against lefties.

      • Alan Horn

        I agree on all counts Jim. If we get in a pinch, we could use Cingrani short term as a reliever. But I agree, I want to see him in the rotation in the not so distant future.

    • Doug Gray

      1. I think the Indians absolutely made out like bandits in this trade. They gave up one year of a very good player and acquired a very well regarded minor league arm who is at the worst, very close to being able to contribute at the MLB level. They are a team that isn’t going to win in 2013. They made a strong move for their team. The DBacks move is interesting. They clearly had soured on Bauer because of his “attitude”. They have a plethora of pitching already. They have no real solution at shortstop. They solved that problem. Maybe look at it like the Reds/Padres deal. In a vacuum, the Reds got hosed in the Latos deal. But it wasn’t done in a vacuum. The Reds traded parts they had better replacements for, for something they didn’t have at all. Same thing here, though on a much smaller scale. Bauer is the “better prospect”, but he probably isn’t the more valuable one to the Diamondbacks.

      2. I think we stick with Marshall and use Arredondo as a lefty guy when called for. There isn’t room for a guy with options in the bullpen right now except for Hoover.

      3. I don’t trust Cozarts bat. So far in his career, he is a worse hitter than Drew Stubbs has been in his career. People just don’t complain as much because he isn’t striking out as often. That really is the only concern I have with this team as of today. A week ago I would have said the bench and CF too, but those seem to be taken care of.

  4. Greg

    Am I carzy for now wanting to put Chapman back at Closer and Leake as 5th starter.

    Does that not make the team stronger

    Who would you rather say goodbye to: Ondrusek or Arrendondo (sorry about the spelling)

    • jim t

      Greg, only one way to answer the Chapman question. Start him and find out. If it doesn’t go well you can always move him back to the pen. If Leake wants to remain a part of this rotation he needs to pitch better than he did last year. He is about to be passed by some Minor leaguers.

    • sultan of swaff

      You’re not crazy Greg. I had the same thought when they announced the Choo trade. It probably depends on your perspective. If you believe we’re in it to win it just in 2013, then you probably feel that way. Given the years of losing ingrained in most Reds fans, it’s a reasonable expectation. However, surveying the divisional landscape, I don’t see why we wouldn’t be one of the top 2 teams for the forseeable future whether Chappy is on the team or not. In a sense we’re playing with house money here, so why not go for it, right?

    • Doug Gray

      1. Yes, you are crazy for it.

      2. It could make the team stronger, but it could make them weaker. I would at least try Chapman as a starter and re-evaluate after 10 starts. He can always move back to the bullpen if he struggles.

      3. Ondrusek. Both guys struggle throwing strikes. But when they do throw them, Arredondo’s stuff just gives me more faith.

  5. jim t

    Doug iF you allow me a bonus question.

    Rank pitchers according to upside as starters. Corcino, Leake and Cingrani.

  6. Jer-B

    1. Are the reds done? or could we trade a few relievers, Leake, or some prospects for LH bullpen arm?

    2. Who’s the minor league guy that will turn heads and get a strong look to make the team out of Spring Training?

    3. What 2012 draftee starts at the highest level out of spring training? What 2012 draftee ends at the highest level at the end of next year?

    • Doug Gray

      1. I think they are done as far as guaranteed contracts go. They may bring in some minor league deal guys with invites, but I don’t see them signing any more 25 man guys or trading for them.

      2. That guy doesn’t exist.

      3. Dan Langfield or Jon Moscot will likely start in Bakersfield. I could see either of those guys getting a taste in AA to end the season.

  7. us

    Which Reds prospects would you have treaded to get James Shields/ wade davis from TB?

    Players: Stephenson, Hamilton, HRod, YRod, Barnhart, LaMarre

    • boiler

      No way no how would I ever trade a pitcher if I thought he had TRUE ace stuff, not just someone who we call our #1 but would be a typical #2 or #3 on a good team.

    • Doug Gray

      1. I wouldn’t have made the trade. Our pitching if really, really good. I wouldn’t have wasted some of our bullets for them.

  8. Dan

    Hey Doug,

    1) How are you feeling about our last 2 top draft picks at this point (Robert Stephenson and Nick Travieso)? Too early to say?

    2) What’s the word on Billy Hamilton’s defense in CF so far?

    3) Tony Cingrani’s minor league numbers (as a starting pitcher) look AWESOME to me, but I’ve seen talk that he might only profile as a reliever in the majors. What’s your opinion on that, and can you explain why?

    Thanks!

    • Doug Gray

      1. Stephenson is the best pitching prospect we have had since Homer Bailey was the best pitcher in the minor leagues…. and Stephenson has more upside than Homer did at the time. Travieso, it is a little early to say on, but I do like the early returns from the scouting reports.

      2. Needs work, like most everyone with about 20 games played at the position. Has the tools to play there very well. Just needs to continue working on reading the ball and running better routes.

      3. I am split. Right now, he is basically a two pitch guy with a really good fastball (though more because of location and deception than velocity or movement) and a real good change up. His slider is a poor pitch. Every now and again he will throw a good one, but more often than not it is flat, almost like a fastball, but much slower. The biggest issue though is that he simply relies on his fastball WAY too much. He throws it 70-80% of the time and you simply can’t do that and be a starter at the Major League level. The pitch is really good, especially at the minor league level, but he is going to need to trust his other pitches more to be a starter. And improve his poor slider.

  9. weigarp

    1. I am not sold on Frazier being an every day player. His 2010-2012 Louisville stats are average at best and he finished September in Cincy very poorly. Its not realy a question as much as I would like your thoughts on this.

    2. If Bailey, Latos and Cueto all continue to pitch as they have, who do you think will be retained long term. By 2015, all three will have the potential to demand huge contracts.

    3. Which of our minor league teams do you expect to have the most talent in 2013?

    • Rick D in Chicago

      I’m not Doug, but I’d take Latos from that lot. Bailey has a history of nagging injuries and there is still the thought that Cueto could wear down. Latos was $ after April of last year.

    • Doug Gray

      1. Louisville isn’t a hitter friendly ballpark, so we need to take that into account. Also need to account for that again, he was being used all over the field while also learning to play some outfield. I think he can be a league average, maybe even slightly better than league average third baseman. I think he could be a below average one too. It just depends on how well his hit tool plays in a full time role. The power and defense are fine.

      2. Latos. He is the youngest and has a track record to with it. And unlike Cueto, who has a decent track record himself, he has a much better body.

      3. It could be Dayton. There was plenty of talent in Billings last year and some of the hold overs from this year have some prospect status still with them.

  10. The Duke

    Players: Bryson Smith, Ismael Guillon, David Vidal, Ryan Wright, and Theo Bowe

    1) Do you think Hamilton starts 2012 in AA given he has less than a ful year there and is at a new position?

    2) Is Zach Vincej now our best SS prospect? Good contact, little to no power,but good glove and arm.

    3) Does HRod play exclusively 3B in Louisville or will he start around the infield prepping for a utility role?

    • Doug Gray

      1. No. I believe that Walt had said at Redsfest that he would be in Louisville. I am 95% sure that I heard that.

      2. Could be. Unless there is someone I am missing out on.

      3. I think so. At least for the first half. Vidal will be back in Pensacola (though that does have me wondering what they will do with Mattair, who clearly earned a promotion in 2013), so he won’t push up for a little bit. If and when Vidal gets promoted, I think HRod could begin moving around more.

  11. wanderinredsfan

    1. Would you rather see Burriss or Donald on the Reds’ bench? (wouldn’t it be better for Donald to get ABs in AAA, in case Cozart struggles)

    2. Should the Reds consider adding a corner OF bat (e.g., Raul Ibanez), Or should they go with Paul?

    3. What’s the next move you would like to see Walt make before spring training?

    • Doug Gray

      1. Break my ribs, one by one? But seriously, I would take Donald. Neither guy has shown much of a stick at the MLB level, but Donald at least showed something at the plate in the minors.

      2. I am comfortable going with Paul.

      3. Extend Mat Latos.

      • jim t

        Doug, I might extend Bailey before Latos. It is strange saying this because it took Homer awhile to mature as well but until Latos gets his head on straight I don’t offer him big money. I think Homer is a year closer to free agency than Latos so I wait on him and sign Homer. To many games last year where Latos completely let the umpires view of the strike zone take him out of his game. Young man needs to control the thngs he can control. Hopefully after last year he understands that. I also think Homer is really going to take off this year. He was lights out end of last year and his effort in the playoffs against the Giants was tremendous. I see a big season from him this year.

      • Herbie

        Save for Dusty not knowing when to hook a pitcher; you could replace “Homer Bailey” with “Mat Latos” in your bits of praise.

      • jim t

        Herbie I think Latos had a very nice year. Even with the loss to the Giants in the deciding game. I also find it hard to fault Dusty for Latos letting the umpire get in his head. I also believe Price has a lot of imput when a pitching change is made and going on the health and success of the staff I’d say the pitchers were handled very well.

      • Jon Ryker

        No, Baker has no idea when to hook pitchers. That’s why the pitching staff was so effective….

  12. Billy

    1) Which, if any, prospects do you think could play/pitch at three levels this season?
    2) Will H-Rod be given a legitimate shot to earn a spot on the 25-man in spring training, or will he be kept in Louisville for the extra playing time in the event a more full-time fill-in is needed due to injury?
    3) If Billy Hamilton is playing a great CF and looking ready to be called up early- to mid-season, what would happen? I assume he’d be called up if an injury occurred. How bad would Choo’s defense have to be? What if Ludwick looked like 2009-2011 Ludwick instead of 2012 Ludwick? Are there scenarios where Hamilton comes up even if everyone else is playing reasonably well, and if so, what would the outfield rotation look like?

    • Doug Gray

      1. I could see where Stephenson could start in Dayton and finish in Pensacola. If healthy, I could also see a scenario where Lotzkar starts in Pensacola and gets time in Cincinnati.

      2. I don’t think he will be. I think unless there is a serious injury, he will be in AAA at least most of the year.

      3. I think the outfield is going to be Choo, Bruce and Ludwick, with Bruce in center and Choo in right. Without an injury, and a significant one (because Hamilton isn’t on the 40 man), I don’t see him getting the call until September. The Reds aren’t paying Ludwick all that money to bench him this season. At least not early.

  13. Rick in Va.

    Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer says “the Reds want Choo to replace Stubbs in center. They will regret that move, because one reason the Indians were able to deal for Choo was that he struggled in center for Seattle. He also was inconsistent last season for the Tribe in right.”
    Do you think Choo will be an acceptable center fielder, or will he be a sharp enough downgrade defensively that our stellar pitching staff will regress next year?

    • Doug Gray

      No, I don’t. I expect Bruce to be in center and that really isn’t a good option either. But Choo isn’t at all a center fielder. I believe that either way though, our pitching will regress across the board because whoever it is is going to cost the staff outs, thus pitches and innings, while also allowing more runs, giving the bullpen more innings and the more innings aren’t replaced by the back end guys.

      • Rick in Va.

        But Walt said he had already told Choo they would play him in center. You don’t believe him, or you think the Reds will change their minds after seeing him in Spring Training? Of course, if he is going to lead off Dusty will probably want him in center!

      • Doug Gray

        Walt said that initially. I have heard him twice since then say they would also look at Bruce in center during the spring. Bruce is the better defender of the two and I think he gets the nod in the end.

  14. Herbie

    Just one question that’s puzzled me for a while. Does Chris Heisey hit like a lefty or not? He has some of the oddest splits I’ve ever seen.

    His career splits: .

    .214/.272/.376 vs Lefties
    .277/.332/.462 vs Righties

    But then, 2012:

    .274/.315/.512 vs Lefties
    .262/.314/.365 vs Righties

    I’ve never really analyzed his plate approach and swing much enough to glean anything from it, to figure him out as a batter one way or the other. I’m guessing him mainly being a fastball hitter probably factors into things.

    • Doug Gray

      When Heisey tries to hit for power, he can’t hit lefties. No power last year and he hit lefties. Power before that and he couldn’t. That is my best guess.

    • Jon Ryker

      Heisey can’t hit pitches on the outer third of the plate because he steps in the bucket….lefties hit that side of the plate more consistently than righties, or at least, if they miss, they often miss that pitch outside….if a righthander fails to execute the pitch away, he often hangs it in a zone where Heisey can reach it…..this is why Heisey has trouble against lefties and good pitchers in general….

    • Doug Gray

      I would have given up a Corcino or Cingrani along with another solid, but not upper end prospect or two.

      • Rick in Va.

        Would you rather have had Span or Choo, all other things (including cost) being equal?

      • Doug Gray

        Span. More years, actual center fielder. Choo is more valuable, but I am not sure that he is more valuable to us, given what we already have.

  15. Brett S

    1. A lot of analysts have said the Reds have a weak/thin system now (due to all of the trades). Do you agree with that take?
    2. What do you expect from Mesoraco this year?
    3. Will Sean Buckley finish the year as a top 20 Reds prospect?

    • Doug Gray

      1. Position player wise, the system is incredibly thin with anything “near ready”. There is basically Billy Hamilton and a slew of question marks at this point.

      2. To unfortunately be a back up who plays 2-3 times a week for most of the year.

      3. I have my doubts. He has some big contact issues and without some correction, it will be tough to see him as that kind of guy.

  16. pharnald

    1. Any idea on where Browning and Paleaz end up coaching?

    2. How you doing?

    3. Any idea on the hitting coach for Dayton?

    Thanks

    • Doug Gray

      1. Not sure.

      2. Pretty sick today actually. Just got up from a nap. It worked a little bit.

      3. Nope.

      You are welcome. If only I had better answers.

  17. Stock

    Frazier and Cozart are about the same age. Cozart vastly underperformed vs. his AAA stats and Frazier overperformed vs. his AAA stats. Because of his great defense (which should be consistent from year to year) they had basically the same WAR last year. Cozart was pretty good offensively last year when he wasn’t leading off (which he won’t do this year). Cozart played everyday and not just when Dusty thought there was a good matchup. I am comfortable with SS at the ML level but have concerns with 3B. Shouldn’t we be more concerned about Frazier than Cozart?

    Per fangraphs Chapman has thrown nothing but fastballs and sliders the last two years. Seeing that you have questions about Cingrani because he doesn’t throw a third pitch with regularity why would Chapman be any different? What concerns me even more is that Chapman wasn’t very effective as a SP in Louisville in 2010.

    • Doug Gray

      I don’t think so. Frazier, for the most part in the minor leagues hit well. Cozart, for the most part hit ok. Frazier also has quite a bit more power than Cozart does.

      The difference with Chapman and Cingrani is two fold. Chapman has a breaking ball. It is a lot easier to teach a change up than it is to teach a breaking ball. Secondly, there is a whole lot more room for error when Chapman throws a slider almost as hard as Cingrani throws his fastball.

      Chapman will need to throw a change up and he will need to throw his slider more than he has. But he has things working in his favor somewhat.

  18. MK

    What do we know of Michael Gilmartin and Ryan Dennick the AAA Rule 5 picks.

    • Doug Gray

      That they were Rule 5 minor leaguers for a reason. Odds are, they might be average players in the league they are placed, but they aren’t real prospects.

  19. Stock

    Cozart was 3rd in the NL in HR and iso power among everyday SS (Hanley was a 3B and Espinosa a 2B for the most part last year). Cozart had 52 extra base hits last year to Frazier’s 51. Frazier has more power but for a SS Cozart is pretty good himself. Most importantly I am comfortable with Cozart because of his solid defense. As poorly as he hit last year he was an asset to the Reds and I believe last year’s offensive production was his floor. Conversely, I believe Frazier’s offensive production last year was his ceiling.

    I would rather have a SP with Cingrani’s power, control and deception combo than Chapman’s power and lack of control. Cingrani’s lack of BB thus far in his career is what has impressed me. In limited pitches in the majors he threw K’s 69% of the time. Cueto and Arroyo threw career high K% of 65% and 67% this year for comparison sake.

    • Doug Gray

      Cozart has some power. But Frazier has the power to hit 25-30 HR. Cozart is more of a 15-20 guy. Last year may be his floor offensively, but his ceiling isn’t much higher either. He is safe to be what he is. But the upside isn’t much higher than what he was either.

      With Frazier, last year was probably his offensive ceiling or close to it as well. But give him 600 at bats in a season and he is a 35 double, 30 home run guy. His average/OBP are the questions. Can he hit .260? If so, he is going to be an above-average bat for his position.

      Cingrani has control of his fastball. Very good control of it. But it is the only pitch he has faith in. That is a problem.

      • Stock

        If last year was truly Frazier’s ceiling which I think it was and you have indicated that if it wasn’t it was darn close then 30 HR is unrealistic. 19 HR over the course of a full season equates to 25 HR. Throw in that a regular doesn’t get the luxury of sitting vs. pitchers he finds difficult to hit, throw in that pitchers have seen him and will now approach him differently, throw in that he doesn’t get the rest he got last year and I think you will see a drop in performance and not the same level or an improved performance.

        Also consider how much Frazier outperformed his stats from Louisville while Cozart was just the opposite. I can’t help but think that Cozart will have better stats in 2012 and Frazier will have weaker stats in 2012. Because of this I fully expect Cozart to have a better WAR in 2013 than Frazier.

        I hope I am wrong about Frazier but I think full time work will expose his weaknesses.

    • MK

      Cozrt had 140 more at bats than Frazier. Not really apples to apples when comparing total extra base hits

      • Stock

        Fair enough. And I don’t intend to suggest that Cozart’s power = Frazier’s power. I have already conceded that point. However there are fewer SS that have more power than Cozart as opposed to 3B who have more power than Frazier.

        My point I guess is that comparing Frazier to Cozart is not apples to apples. You have to consider position and that is why Cozart is a better player in my book.

  20. Kyle

    1. Where do you see Cingrani and Corcino pitching in 2014 (level., and rotation/pen)?
    2. How do the supplemental draft picks line up out for the Reds in 2013, and does Choo possibly netting a supplemental pick in 2014 make the trade look a little better?
    3. Do you expect David Vidal to rebound in 2013, and does his glove make him a potentially above average third baseman?

    • Doug Gray

      1. Both in AAA, in the rotation, until someone is needed at the MLB level. I think both are likely to remain in the starting role unless there are multiple injuries in the big league bullpen (at least for 2013).

      2. I don’t think they have any supplemental picks in 2013. They should get one for Choo and it does add some value to the deal.

      3. I think he is better than his time in AA showed. He was rushed up a little sooner than he probably should have been because of the injury to HRod. I think there is a chance he could be a quality third baseman.

      • Krozley

        They do get that competitive lottery pick after the free agent comp supplemental picks, which was at #36 I think. There are still 5 free agents that could add supp picks, although it would only push the Reds supp pick down if one of the worst 10 teams signs one of them. For example, whereas the Rangers will get a comp pick for Hamilton, the Angels lose their pick, so it is a wash as far as where the Reds pick.