Thursday news, notes and all questions answered Doug Gray February 28, 2013 25 Comments News and notes The Reds put a beat down on the Diamondbacks yesterday and it was mostly built on the backs of the youngsters. Here is how the guys performed. Billy Hamilton went 0-1 with a walk. Ryan LaMarre went 1-3 with a walk, double and 2 runs. Kristopher Negron went 2-3 with an RBI, triple and 2 runs. Denis Phipps went 1-2 with a run and a triple. Yorman Rodriguez went 2-2 with a walk, double, HR, 3 runs and 3 RBI. Donald Lutz went 2-3 with a double, HR, 2 runs and 5 RBI. Henry Rodriguez went 3-3 with an RBI and a double. Drew Hayes threw 1.1 shutout innings with a walk and a strikeout. Chad Rogers threw 1.2 perfect innings with 3 strikeouts. Nick Christiani threw a shutout inning. Apparently the Reds are considering shifting Neftali Soto back to third base in order to give him a chance to see time with the Reds. I think it is worth a shot. If he can figure things out at the plate, he could be a difference maker and there still won’t be a chance he can do anything if he is stuck behind Joey Votto. With that said, in his career in the minors with 148 games at third base he posted an .895 fielding percentage, so there will be plenty of work to do. It is still worth a shot though. This isn’t exactly prospect related, but just baseball related in general. Brandon Morrow printed out some Pitch F/X data on teammate Ricky Romero and gave it to him, perhaps highlighting part of the reason as to why Romero saw his production drop off dramatically. While this kind of data isn’t publicly available for minor leaguers (some teams bought and had the systems installed in their minor league parks for internal uses), and isn’t quite as important at the minor league level where learning and developing is more important than winning, it still surprises me when I see articles like this. Players shouldn’t be finding this kind of stuff out from other players on their own team. Teams have been scooping up guys from the web who have been proficient in Pitch F/X analysis for years now, so there is obviously teams using the data, so I just wonder why Romero found this out from a teammate. All Questions Answered The rules are the same as always Ask before midnight. Three questions per user. Avoid questions that will require me to look up answers. Avoid questions that will take longer than a paragraph to answer. 25 Responses Tommy Perry February 28, 2013 Doug, Are you impressed with what Yorman did yesterday? From the stat lines, you can see his potential. Plus, I heard he made a nice play in the outfield. Secondly, how high do you see him moving through the system if he has a great year? Thanks so much, love the site. Doug Gray February 28, 2013 It is impressive given that he is the youngest guy in camp. But, I don’t put much stock into it either. If he truly has an outstanding year I could see him spending time in Pensacola. I just think that Louisville is too deep with guys right now to push him there, even if he were having a truly outstanding season. Jeff February 28, 2013 1. If Soto hits the way he is capable of and improves his defense, what does that mean for Frazier? 2. Was yesterday the kind of confidence builder that Yorman needs? 3. Why in the world did Dusty let Cueto throw 40 pitches in his first start? Doug Gray February 28, 2013 1. Maybe he finds his way back to left field. Maybe he becomes a super-sub kind of guy. Maybe he keeps his job at third base depending on how he performs. 2.I hope so, but I am not sure confidence has been his issue really. 3. I don’t have the slightest clue. MK February 28, 2013 Most teams typically allow starting pitchers to go 2 innings during their first spring appearance so 40 pitches aren’t an issue. I think Price just decided to start with one inning since Spring Training is so much longer this year. Heck back in the 90s they used to go three in their first outing. Dick February 28, 2013 1) Is Bo Amaral (Dayton) a legitimate leadoff prospect? Is Soto going from the frying pan to the fire at 3B?. 3B is the organizations most loaded position Do you have any magic dust that would convert those 3B prospects into legitimate SS prospects? Doug Gray February 28, 2013 1. Right now, you are going to have a tough time finding many who think he will start at the MLB level. He could change that of course, but right now, he is viewed more as a potential 4th outfield type. 2. I think that Soto will still spend plenty of time at first base in Louisville, but it will be interesting to watch how this plays out. I don’t have any magical abilities. If I did, it would be obvious by all of the World Series banners hanging up at GABP and by my girlfriend Jennifer Lawerence. But those things aren’t there, so Soto is going to have to do this on his own. wanderinredsfan February 28, 2013 Get in line. Jennifer Lawrence is my next girlfriend. Doug Gray February 28, 2013 Tell you what, if you can actually pull that one off, she is all yours. Clammy February 28, 2013 Negron won’t make the opening day roster but he can play ss, 2b and cf, is this the most versatile player we have in AAA or AA? Seems to me Soto should try to be as versatile as possible, especially for a NL team. Doug Gray February 28, 2013 1. Negron probably is the most versatile guy we have in the system. He can actually handle shortstop, second and center. Most guys can’t do that. Soto probably is trying to be as versatile as possible. He has tried third, catcher and first. The first two didn’t work out as well as hoped. But, his biggest key is figuring out how to put up numbers at the plate. If he can do that, someone will eventually give him a chance, even if it isn’t the Reds. wanderinredsfan February 28, 2013 Honestly, A guy who can back-up 1st, 3B, and C, while providing a bunch of pop, could be a great asset for the Reds in a couple of seasons. If he can become at least adequate at 3B, then even better, allowing Frazier to slide to LF. Of course, this gets me pining for Edwin Encarnacion right now. Boy would he be perfect for this team right now. Doug Gray February 28, 2013 Of course, but right now, Soto can’t really be counted on at third or catcher…. so he needs to figure something out and hopefully it is third because the catching thing is behind him. wanderinredsfan February 28, 2013 Really, just implying that Soto’s catching could help a squad by warming up pitchers between innings, or as security in extra inning games. Would love to see him get adequate at 3B. Guy has the arm, and I think his glove and foot work area just fine. I think he just needs the reps and a healthy back. Sultan of Swaff February 28, 2013 Boy, having guys like YRod, HRod, and LaMarre put up good numbers would do wonders for the lack of hitting depth in the organization and help bridge that gap between our young major leaguers and our promising lower level guys. I mean, in a perfect world: –LaMarre would be the 4th OF on the Reds in 2014—righthanded balance to the lineup, can play plus defense in CF. I don’t hate Heisey, but his lack of versatility with the bat and glove leaves much to be desired. –YRod takes over LF in 2015. The article about Soto mentioned he battled back spasms most of last year. Anyone else hear that before? We all know how debilitating those can be. It would be nice to see him rebound, but at this point, you wonder if he’s trade bait. Doug Gray February 28, 2013 I first heard about his back in January. I am pretty confident that Soto is trade bait, assuming he can perform well enough to garner some interest. The Duke February 28, 2013 1) You believe that Lamarre is finally 100% healthy? Seems like he has been snakebit with injuries since we drafted him. Never anything major, but he is always playing through something. 2) Reds.com says Lutz is at 251, DOWN 15 pounds from last year. How did a team with a professional training staff not intervene a little sooner and try to get him trimmed down a little? I know he has a big 6’3″ frame, but 265 is a lot. Even 251 is pretty husky, especially if they want him to play LF. 3) Who do you think sees time in CF in Dayton besides Amaral? Doug Gray February 28, 2013 1. I have no reason to believe otherwise at this point. 2. To be honest, despite that size, he was still a decent runner, so it wasn’t something they probably saw as holding him back. He didn’t look “fat” either. 3. Jefry Sierra may return. There will be someone on the roster who can also cover center. MK February 28, 2013 Colorado announcers impressed with Ravin’s fastball, not so much his control. Just saw on MLBTV that Olivo was third among AL catchers in throwing out attempting basestealers in 2012. The Seattle blogger who thought he was terrible must have missed that part. Doug Gray February 28, 2013 No, he didn’t. It is just that Olivo is that bad at the rest of defense. Olivo has an outstanding arm. He can’t call a game. He stabs at everything he catches. He can’t catch plenty of things still. He throws well. He sucks at catching. He sucks at blocking. He sucks at framing. wanderinredsfan February 28, 2013 Did you notice that Olivo slid, head-first into 1B on a routing ground-ball play in yesterday’s game?!? WTF? Also, Interesting that he caught Chapman today. I wonder if Dusty will try to attach Olivo’s roster addition to Chapman’s spot in the rotation? It will be interesting to see if Olivo is catching Chapman again in 5-days. Doug Gray February 28, 2013 Let’s remember, Mesoraco stopped catching Chapman mid-season when Chapman hit his slump. He didn’t catch him after that. Mesoraco took the blame for that. Which is strange, because he seemed to do fine with Mesoraco before then. The Reds are going to screw this kids development up so bad it isn’t funny. Jake March 1, 2013 Which kid, Chapman or Mez? Or both? lol wanderinredsfan February 28, 2013 Just a rant: But is anybody else getting tired of the talking heads on MLB network and other media outlets decrying Chapman’s conversion to the rotation? This argument makes little sense to me, especially if you consider the worth of pitching more innings. Didn’t Chris Sale’s 2012 teach anyone anything? Even if Chapman’s ERA goes up a run from 2012, he’s likely to add 2 WAR due to hurling ~90 more innings. A 2 WAR improvement is not a drop in the bucket during a divisional race. Doug Gray February 28, 2013 As the years go by, the more and more I can’t stand “analysts” who are former players. Sorry, but they don’t know a tenth as much as the analysts who never played the game when it comes to value. They might know how to play, but they don’t know how to value. And there is a big difference. If I want to know how to improve my swing or throw a better slider, I will ask the former players. If I want to know what is valuable, I will ask the guys who studied the game.