The weekend was full of plenty of news. First and foremost was the Aroldis Chapman will close decision. While that isn’t minor league related, it does lead to minor league decisions. That may push a “loogy” out of their role that was present with Chapman as a starter, opening a spot for JJ Hoover. Of course, there are still plenty of reasons to believe that JJ Hoover winds up in the bullpen for Louisville too, but to get into that in depth you should check out the podcast below.

The Reds traded Cody Puckett to the White Sox for a player-to-be-named-later or cash considerations. These deals almost always turn out to be for cash. Puckett hit .257/.329/.450 in his minor league career with the Reds. He has hit at least 16 home runs in each of the last 4 seasons.

There were two mock drafts posted that I saw this weekend and I know that some of you are already following that in depth. John Sickels and Matt Garrioch teamed up at MinorLeagueBall.com for one of them. They had the Reds taking high school outfielder Ryan Boldt. He is a toolsy outfielder who bats left handed, has some good speed and good bat speed.

In the other mock draft MyMLBDraft.com, which was posted on March 13th, the Reds are projected to take high school catcher Reese McGuire. The MinorLeagueBall.com mock draft had him going earlier and even mentioned him as potentially going as high as #7. Like Boldt, McGuire is also a left handed batter. He is considered a strong defender with a strong arm and at the plate can already use the whole field and should develop power as he fills out.

It seems that, at least for now, they both believe the Reds are leaning toward a high schooler. The Reds have gone with a high school pitcher each of the last two years with their first pick taking just one high schooler with their first pick between 2006 and 2010. I don’t think the Reds lean one way or the other with which type of player the prefer to take early on, but it just depends on how the draft plays out in front of them.

Last night we had Redleg Nation Radio with a slightly different format than previous weeks. I was joined by RedlegNation.com writers Chad Dotson for the entire show and Jason Lindon joined us for about half of the show.. We are trying out the premium features right now, which allow us to go beyond the 30 minute limit as well as have the show between 7-11pm, which we weren’t able to do before. That certainly doesn’t matter now that the show is completed for this week. We went on for about an hour and 23 minutes. You can listen below in the player or you can subscribe via iTunes and listen through whichever device you have linked up through iTunes.

39 Responses

  1. sultan of swaff

    With the Chapman role settled, the only question becomes who gets the call in the event of an injury or nonperformance (leake) to one of the starters?

    • Doug Gray

      I think that really depends on when someone is needed. Real early in the season, it wouldn’t surprise me to see if be Galarraga. The further we get into the season, the more likely it will be one of the two prospect arms.

  2. MK

    Justice French, Stalin Gerson, Lucas O’Rear, Taylor Wrenn, Jeff Stevens all released.

    There are so many more variables involved in the baseball draft it is hard to imagine how much value they have at this point.

    • Doug Gray

      I looked around and didn’t see this. Did you see this somewhere or pick it up through someone?

  3. Kevin

    I’ve been out of the loop, partly because I don’t want to think about it it’s got me so frustrated, but it seems to me that this Chapman decision is a weird situation where everyone loses money on it. Chapman loses money because an above avg starter makes more than an elite closer long term. The Reds lose money because they just paid 21 mil for a setup guy that’s not any better than AAA setup guys they already have.

    Reds are spending a lot of money on very replaceable parts. Not a recipe for success for a team that can’t compete with the wallets of the big boys.

    • sultan of swaff

      Walt has a lot of egg on his face, no doubt.

      I think the only time I’ll derive any enjoyment from a Chapman save will be when it’s a game started by Leake.

    • The Duke

      You can definitely make an argument that Broxton is overpaid and not a good contract for us, but to say there are multiple guys in AAA that are better than him is ridiculous. Even Hoover has to prove himself more than the limited MLB innings he has pitched, and he is the only one you could even try to compare.

      As for Chapman, I just don’t think he has what it takes to start. Control of offspeed pitches, arm endurance, the ability to work through lineups multiple times. We’ve bungled his development, pure and simple, and I think he needed to be handled carefully if we were ever to use him as a starter, and we didn’t.

      • Kevin

        Broxton is not that good. So I don’t know why it’s ridiculous to say a player that is of marginal value above replacement can be replaced with replacement level parts. They’ll have JJ Hoover, Mark Prior, and Manny Parra in AAA to start the season, these 3 would give you similar results pitching 1 Inning for the league minimum as Broxton will for 7M. I’m willing to bet Hoover would give you better results. And Parra and Prior might be better if Broxton continues the declining trajectory he’s been on. This is not a statement saying Prior and Parra are good. It’s just that Broxton is *again*, not that good.

        Let’s revisit the performances mid-season and see how it shakes out. But the main point which I think you concede is these are not good money decisions and the Reds have to basically bat 1.000 when it comes to money decisions, if they want to compete over the long haul.

      • Doug Gray

        If Broxton that pitched for the Reds shows up this year, he is without question a better option than Manny Parra. Mark Prior? He walked a batter an inning in AAA last year. He isn’t in the same ballpark as Broxton.

      • Ryan the Red

        I dont get why people are now up in arms with Broxton’s contract. The reds probably over-paid a little but he’s still a quality arm Dusty can go to late in games. Having an abundance of guys like that is not something you should take for granted.

        Now hopefully we see a reliever shipped out for some SS depth, preferably Simon or Arrendondo.

      • Kevin

        So Chapman doesn’t have what it takes to start because he hasn’t got to start yet? Again this is why I’ve stayed away from the topic because it’s so frustrating to me. How do you know that he can’t control offspeed pitches, doesn’t have arm endurance or the ability to work thru lineups multiple times? More to the point how do you know he’ll *never* attain that ability? Look at Randy Johnson’s career arc and maybe you’ll rethink the notion that we know all there is to know already for a fastball-slider 95mph+ lefty by age 24:

        http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/j/johnsra05.shtml

        And if he fails miserably, you can always move him to the bullpen after that.

      • Jon Ryker

        The point is that you don’t know he can….he never has…..you do know he’s their best closer….you also know they don’t need another starter…..so it would be the height of stupidity to try to convert chapman to a starter now….

    • MK

      Can’t wait to see Louisville play if they are going to have a bullpen better than Broxton they are going to be something to watch. As far as contracts Marshall is making $5.5 Million with worse career stats an and had not shown the ability to close should the need arise, which it did in September last year. So Broxton makes a million and a half more. It is money well spent.

      As far as egg on his face thank goodness Walt has created a baseball organization where all management get a voice. I believe he has always been this way. Do you think he told Tony LaRussa where and when to play his talent?

      • Doug Gray

        Sean Marshall was 8 of 9 in save chances last year as the closer.

        As for the GM telling the manager where to play his talent, I don’t know if they do, but they should.

      • RobL

        There was at least one save chance that Marshall was blowing and had to have someone else come in and save it.

      • Doug Gray

        That happens to a lot of guys from time to time.

        I stand by the idea that Sean Marshall, over a full season, would save 90% of the baseball games he was given a chance to save. Just like almost every other really good reliever would if given the chance.

      • Jon Ryker

        The facts in the market as a whole would be firmly against your position…..it’s lots easier to pitch the 8th, where you get mixed and matched, than in the 9th, when you’ve got to get everybody out…..if it were as you say, then there would be no difference in pay between closers and setup guys…..closers would never have been universally adopted……they evolved because they are necessary, and they are well-paid because they are rare….

      • MK

        As a closer in 2012 Marshall had 16 appearances, posted three perfect 3-up-3-down innings. As you said he has 7 saves and 1 blown save, but was pulled twice so and other bullpeners could finish. He also earned the loss when he entered a tie game in extra-innings in Washington. That is 25% poor performances as closer. This isn’t the performance of a championship team’s closer.

      • Kevin

        Given the chance Dusty Baker would have stuck with Wally Pipp. He should have no voice in personnel decisions in my opinion.

      • Jon Ryker

        They won 97 games with no leadoff hitter and without Votto for half the year…..that’s good managing….period…

  4. fromcubawithluv

    I guess it’s early cus the #1 pick in one goes 12 in the other and the #1 in other goes #6 in the one. cool to look at though. Glad you posted it.

    • Doug Gray

      Yeah, every year I have requests for draft stuff in April, sometimes earlier, but I generally don’t start really looking at it until May. Too much can happen. Heck, Ryan Boldt, the guy Sickels had us taking, hasn’t even played a game yet this year because he is a high schooler in Minnesota. They just started practice last week. Still, at the very least we get to see the names out there and it gives us an idea of who to perhaps keep an eye on as the college/high school seasons get going.

  5. Terry M

    Every week Baseball America display College draft prospects stats . Easy way to follow some of the college players. Not a premium article. Week 6 is up today. Two names from the past are interesting May from Coastal Carolina and Boyd the LHP from Oregon State..

  6. wanderinredsfan

    Considering the sheer depth of our bullpen, perhaps this is a good time to shed some arms (Arredondo, Simon, Ondrusek) before they start to get expensive. There is some real value there for teams currently sporting a lackluster bullpen (Anaheim, Detroit, etc.). It might be a good opportunity to pick up a decent prospect or two in return.

    What type of return could Walt get for two of the aforementioned arms?

    Would a top-100 prospect be dreaming?

    • RobL

      Maybe at the trade deadline. At the start of the season, teams usually feel good enough about their options to not give up a top prospect for a sixth or seventh inning guy. But at the deadline, teams are desperate to fortify their pen. If the aforementioned players perform well, they could pick up a nice prospect. Then again, the reds probably wouldn’t want to part with a good reliever.

    • Doug Gray

      It would probably be dreaming, but hey, if we can’t dream what is the point?

  7. peppe

    Wow 16 to 0 Dose anyone here believes this team will win the central?

    • Alan Horn

      It’s hard to judge by spring training lineups. Usually half the expected starting 8 aren’t in the game at the same time. I am worried about some of the starters getting roughed up on a regular basis this close to opening day.

    • Doug Gray

      I have zero doubts that this team is easily the cream of the crop of this division.

  8. DaveCT

    Chapman just may not have the make up to start at this time. Or the desire. Sure he s a ‘pro,’ and should be expected to ‘do his job,’ but it may not be that simple. There are lots of other young guys who are ultra talented who take a very long time to ‘develop.’ Hanley Ramirez, anyone?

  9. Ryan the Red

    With chappy now a reliever this pen looks scary good. That folks, is not a problem. Not having a good pen is a really good way to spoil starting pitching.

    • Doug Gray

      The guys returning to the Reds bullpen from last year, without Chapman, have a combined 2.88 ERA last year. It was scary good without him.

      • Ryan the Red

        Idk about scary good before. Im not sold on Ondrusek(thanks to you lol), Arrendondo, Simon, or Parra. Hoover should do well but has alot to prove at the big league level. Broxton and Marshall are rock solid but having Chapman, i feel those two are slotted better within the ‘pen. While the bullpen would have probably been fine, it should be 2 wins(or more) better now.

      • Doug Gray

        For as little as I trust Ondrusek/Arredondo at times (and I am not convinced Parra was ever going to be in the bullpen), they are Major League relievers who probably pitch in every bullpen in the game without much of a question. We just have a whole bunch of really good guys that make them seem iffy.

      • Ryan the Red

        Yeah you are probably right. They are all guys that should be pitching in the Bigs, just maybe not with the Reds. When you replace one of them with one of the best relief pitchers in the league, your still adding quite a bit of value to your club.

  10. peppe

    I hope you are right Doug I hope they are the cream of the crop