Wednesday news, notes and All Questions Answered Doug Gray January 23, 2013 47 Comments If you didn’t read the post yesterday, please do so. There could be some changes to the site coming this spring, but I would greatly appreciate your input on the idea. After making no notable signings at all during the international signing period the Reds made their first real splash by signing 18-year-old and 6′ 4″ left hander Jacob Constante. He reportedly has a fastball that works 92-94 MPH with very good movement, a potentially above-average slider and a change up that needs work. He signed for $730,000. There are several videos of him on youtube, though some are poor quality. Below is a video from a bullpen session that is good quality. His arm action is very clean. The ball seems to come out faster than his arm action. Reports are the he is fluent in both Spanish and English, so I would expect him to be stateside and likely in Arizona this season. All Questions Answered The rules are as always: Ask before midnight. Each user gets three questions. Avoid questions that will require me to look up information. Avoid questions that will require me to write more than a paragraph to answer. That is it. 47 Responses zblakey January 23, 2013 Do you expect Massett to start the season with the big club? If so, whose gets demoted? Doug Gray January 23, 2013 1. I don’t expect it. The bullpen is deeper than I imagine it has ever been. I think that the Reds will give him “rehab” time in Louisville, whether he needs it or not to begin the season. Jeff January 23, 2013 1. If Rolen decides he wants to play, do you feel the Reds should make him earn a roster spot? Is so, who gets cut for him? 2. @DatDudeBP came out and said Chapman should be closing. Do you agree with me that he needs to shut his mouth and play? Maybe learn not to make the first out at 3rd in the first inning of Game 3 of the NLDS when up 2 games to none? 3. I visit this site every day, somtimes more than once, and appreciate all of the work you do. That being said, if you go to a pay system what can I do to get a free membership? jim t January 23, 2013 What is the issue with BP. I go to 50 games a year and if their is a more fan friendly red I haven’t seen him. He was probably asked a question and gave a answer. Same question that Bronson Arroyo answered. He by the way thinks Chapman will have a tough time making the transition as well. So does Smoltz a guy who has done it. I’m not saying I agree with him because I don’t and feel the reds should try him as a starter. I just don’t understand all the hostility towards BP. MK January 23, 2013 I think Phillips opinion is more valid than a guy looking for a handout. Ryan the Red January 23, 2013 A handout? Sounded like he was willing to do a little work for that. Jeff January 23, 2013 I just think that someone that is way overhyped and overpaid needs to just sit back, agree with what his boss tells him, do his job and collect his paycheck. RobL January 23, 2013 He is not overpaid. Jon Ryker January 24, 2013 I, too, think that Chapman should close, and I have no issue with BP saying it. Doug Gray January 23, 2013 1. Yes, he should. He isn’t the guy he used to be and I don’t think he is the best fit for third base. Coming back shouldn’t promise him a gig. 2. I think he should probably have said that the big guys know what is best. 3. Even if I do go to a pay system, there will still be plenty of free content on the site. The Duke January 23, 2013 1) If we don’t see a little more from Humberto Valor this year is it time to start using the B word or is he young enough to where you still have some faith? 2) Has there been a Jonathan Perez the younger sighting recently? We gave him $825,000 or so a couple years ago and I can’t remember seeing anything about him at all in any of the Latin American leagues anywhere. 3) Can you remember a time when the Reds had so many intriguing arms that should be in AZL-Low As (Costante, Perez, Kivel, Traviseso, Diaz, Romano, Garrett, Stephenson, Guillon, Cisco, Moscot, Langfield?)? Doug Gray January 23, 2013 1. I wouldn’t use that word with him. He was probably the equivalent of a 6-10th rounder. You don’t use that word with those types of guys, not sure you do with a guy like this either. 2. He was dinged up a little bit last year. He is expected to be in Arizona this year. 3. No, I can’t. It may have been before I was alive if it has happened before. Dick January 23, 2013 Can you remember a time when the Reds had so many intriguing arms that should be in AZL-Low As (Costante, Perez, Kivel, Traviseso, Diaz, Romano, Garrett, Stephenson, Guillon, Cisco, Moscot, Langfield?)? From the Dukes post Do we really need to sign Latos/Bailey to incredible long term contracts?Organizational pitching depth appears to be beyond words. Two more international pitchers signed. Great, but are you concerned about the depth of some of the positions? RobL January 23, 2013 You always need pitchers of Latos/Bailey quality. But you don’t give pitchers incedible long term deals when they are under club control. Their is too much risk. You try to sign them to team friendly contracts, because the team is assuming the risk. But the players may not want to do that and risk getting to free agency healthy. If common ground can be struck, great. But, for this offseason, you don’t offer free market rate. And it has nothing to do with organizational pitching depth. The big team has talent and you want to maximize wins now, but not at the expense of the future. Jon Ryker January 24, 2013 Presumably, they’re insuring those contracts… Doug Gray January 23, 2013 1. I would offer Latos and Bailey each 5-6 year deals right now. Without thinking about it. 2. I am a tad concerned about the lack of catching prospects behind Tucker Barnhart and the absence of a shortstop prospect in full season ball. There is time to fix that, but it needs to be addressed. The Duke January 23, 2013 Do you consider Vincej a prospect worth noting? If so, he’ll be in full season ball this year. I do agree we could maybe use an early pick on a college SS though. Doug Gray January 23, 2013 I want to see more from his bat. Defensively, I buy in. But I don’t trust his bat at this point. That could change, but right now, I just don’t buy in. sultan of swaff January 23, 2013 Doug, my 2 cents on the site– I’m not big on monthly subcriptions for anything, so my preference would be for a yearly membership. Also keep in mind a gated site might scare off some new visitors. Since the commment thread is where much of the value for me comes from, maybe that could be for subscribers only (but tease a couple comments perhaps?), while the recaps could be seen by all. Diehards might like the exclusivity as well! Doug Gray January 23, 2013 Thanks for the input, I really do appreciate it. I am with you that the pay-wall could scare off some visitors, it is why I decided to go with the hybrid model rather than a full on pay model. I am not entirely sure how the comments work for subscribers/non-subscribers yet though on subscriber articles. I know that it can be set up where you get a preview of the article, but it is cut off at a certain point (similar to ESPN Insider for example). The Duke January 23, 2013 You should offer monthly and yearly, with a slight discount to promote people buying the yearly. People can’t skimp on the off season that way. Doug Gray January 23, 2013 Certainly. There will be different tiers for pricing depending on how you want to subscribe. Personally, I don’t subscribe to any online websites for the full term. Basically, I would rather save money today because I never know what is going to happen (which tells you my current financial situation where that extra $30-50 makes a difference) in the future. At the same time, I get people that would rather just pay for a full year up front and save a little bit of change by doing it that way. Ryan the Red January 23, 2013 Idk how i feel about the paywall idea. I completely understand the reasoning behind it, i just dont know that i would subscribe. I hate services that charge monthly automatically. If you were to go into it with another person who would be putting out quality content then i probably would. What would a round about number be for a yearly subscription? Doug Gray January 23, 2013 That depends on the price that is set. But in the $20-30 range. tim January 24, 2013 What about throwing out a package deal with that years Prospect Guide and a year subscription??? Jeff January 23, 2013 Good stuff. jim t January 23, 2013 Doug, 1. will you be in Az this ST? 2.Who is the guy your most excited about coming into the season. (Minor leagues) 3. who is that guy on ML level? Doug also if you feel like you need to start charging for the site consider me a yes. What you have been providing is more than worth 2-4 bucks a month. You run a good site and the people who participate are first rate as well. Alan Horn January 23, 2013 I agree on the last part. Consider me a subscriber also. Doug Gray January 23, 2013 1. I won’t be in Arizona this spring, but I am hoping to get there this summer and take in a few rookie league games. 2. Robert Stephenson. The idea of what he could become is incredibly exciting. 3. Don’t really have one guy, but I will say that I am most nervous about Votto. I want to see how healthy he is. Foxbud January 23, 2013 How do you value Zach Stewart now versus what we have as our “40th man” on the roster? Any value picking him up now that he was released by the Pirates? Do you agree the only way Rolen comes back is on minor league deal where a pre-arrange deal between him and Jocketty puts him on roster by opening day? Otherwise they would have to bump someone decent and young. Pitch selection percentages for Chapman to be successful as a starter? FB, SL, C. Doug Gray January 23, 2013 1. I haven’t seen any scouting reports on him recently, so I honestly can’t say. 2. I don’t think Rolen would agree to that. 3. Below 70% FB, 20% slider, 10% change. power eagle January 23, 2013 Jacob Constante got a $ bonus = to approx. the 71st overall draft pick had he been in the June draft. Physical LHP, 3 projectible pitches – seems like there was some value for Reds here. Your thoughts on this? The Duke January 23, 2013 Costante signed a free market deal though, so that likely inflated the dollar amount vs a draft pick comparison. He certainly has some projection though. Good size, solid mechanics, lots of movement. AZL Reds might be very interesting this year. Costante, Jonathan Perez, Jeremy Kivel, Mason Felt if he is healthy enough after his crash, likely a high school pitcher take somewhere in the first ten rounds in this year’s draft. Lots of possibilities. Doug Gray January 23, 2013 I am a fan. Any time you can get lefties who can throw 94, you are getting something of value. Until he starts facing professional hitters we don’t really know what his control will be like, and that is a very big part of a pitchers game. Still, it was money well spent. I honestly don’t know where I would rank him right now among our other prospects. I would have him outside of the Top 40 at this point, but probably in line with guys like Jonathan Perez and Sal Romano as guys who could really vault up the rankings. Jeff January 23, 2013 1. Would you be willing to trade some pitching depth for some catching and shortstop depth? 2. Do you think this is the year Bruce puts it all together? 3. What is the most you would be willing to pay for an All-Star game ticket? Doug Gray January 23, 2013 1. It depends on what the other guys looked like and who we had to trade to get that guy. 2. I hope so. 3. That kind of depends on how much money I am making at the time. 1% of my yearly earnings sounds about right. Cbus January 23, 2013 Great site Doug, I would understand you charging to see videos and scouting reports for games that you traveled too. 1. Is Stephenson a better prospect than Homer Bailey was? 2. You still believe in Yorman or Duran ever being MLB starters? 3. Who’s your best guess on Ludwick’s replacement in two years? Doug Gray January 23, 2013 1. Right now, no. Bailey at one point was considered the best pitching prospect in the game. Stephenson isn’t there yet. Could he be by the end of 2013? Absolutely. He has that kind of ability. He needs to go a full season and show he can get things done over a full year while maintaining his stuff though. 2. Yorman yes, Duran, no. Duran is just so much swing and miss that I just can’t see the improvements needed in order to turn him into even a poor contact hitter. 3. Maybe Jesse Winker if he is as advanced as some think he is. That is obviously a quick time table, and unlikely, but even if he has only played at AA at the end of those two years (say all year in Dayton, then splits Bakersfield/Pensacola in 2014), a stop gap could be taken for him for 2015 until he is ready. Maybe it is someone else, a guy like Yorman Rodriguez. Stock January 23, 2013 I’m hoping Lutz or Vidal are ready by 2015. If not then maybe the Reds and Ludwick both execise their mutual option. Best case scenario is Ludwick turns down the mutual option. That means Ludwick has a good 2014. hunr4redsoct January 23, 2013 Kris Negron, Joel Bender, Ty Washington, Blaine Howell, and Sin Shoo Choo all here in Arizona working out at the Reds complex already. Doug Gray January 23, 2013 Awesome. I know a few more guys are on their way in the next week as well. Terry M January 23, 2013 Ah. the first signs of spring…. IndyRedsFan January 23, 2013 1) regarding Duran. It seems I read somewhere (probably here) a year or so ago a thought about trying to convert him to a pitcher if he fails to hit. Does he have the arm for that?? 2) Regarding paying for the content. Count me in. This site is well worth $2 to $4 per month. And while I’m at it, just let me just say to the folks who voted “no”….Come on guys, give up a cup of coffee, a beer, a slurpee or a couple of candy bars a month and support Doug in the great work he does here. Doug Gray January 24, 2013 1. He has an outstanding arm. So I could see him giving it a shot one day if he wants to keep playing and doesn’t turn it around as a hitter. 2. Thanks. I appreciate the sentiment and hope that enough people can follow your logic if I do indeed go that route. WallyP January 23, 2013 Doug I would certainly pay to view the site , you put so much work into this , it is the least that I can do hunr4redsoct January 23, 2013 Sitting in front of a fireplace on the hotel terrace listening to Tom Browning tell stories…..priceless. DJ Day January 24, 2013 His book “Tales from the Red’s Dugout” was a real entertaining book.