Monday afternoon news and notes Doug Gray December 30, 2013 6 Comments C. Trent Rosecrans wrote an article over at Baseball America (subscription required) on the development of Juan Duran. I wrote about some improvements that Duran had made during 2013 a month ago, and Rosecrans talks with farm director Jeff Graupe about some of those things. Go give it a read if you are a Baseball America subscriber. Mike Petriello has up an article today at Fangraphs looking at the Reds outfield. He is concerned with the Reds outfield for 2014 (as most of us are). Depending on how optimistic you are or aren’t about Hamilton, that’s potentially a three-to-five win gap right there, enough to knock the Reds right out of October. Petriello also dives into the whole “what will Ryan Ludwick provide” topic in the article and he finishes the article with this, and I think we mostly all agree with it: No matter what, Jocketty needs to find some creativity. As it currently stands, the Reds outfield has fallen from a plus group to a potential anchor in the span of a year, causing a big enough gap that it might single-handedly keep the Reds out of the playoffs in what’s suddenly a very dangerous NL Central. The article is a good read from the point of view that there is a lot to consider in just how the Reds outfield could work out, so go give it a read. Dave Cameron has up a real interesting thought process type of article on Fangraphs today revolving around Japanese superstar Masahito Tanaka, his value and the value of prospects in general. With Tanaka looking like he is going to get somewhere around $100-120M over 6 years, Cameron wonders the value of other elite, top level prospects. While no Reds are mentioned, if Tanaka is worth that kind of money, what does it make a guy like Robert Stephenson worth? $80M? More? Less? The whole concept is rather interesting and one that I haven’t understood about baseball for a while, the paying of players for what they have done in the past versus what they are going to do in the future. Unlike most real world jobs, athletes decline much sooner in their production and by the time they reach free agency in their respective sport, almost all are already at the decline point of their careers. 6 Responses KyWilson1 December 30, 2013 Chris Coghlan and Grady Sizemore should be looked at and offered . Both can cover all three outfield spots, provide some pop, and can platoon in LF or just take over if they preform. They should also still be kicking the tires on Drew and see if they cant buy low on him. Hamilton at leadoff and Ludwick in the 4 hole scares the crap out of me. icehole3 December 30, 2013 How is Sizemore’s health? MK December 30, 2013 I read his agent says he is 100%, but what would you expect his agent to say? He has not played in the big leagues since 2011. Tom December 30, 2013 An Opening Day outfield that features Ludwick and Hamilton scares me. I just don’t see Hamilton hitting even .250. Granted, I didn’t watch every one of his at-bats, but I don’t think I ever saw him pull a ball. He looked very weak at the plate. And I have never been a fan of Ludwick. Yeah, he was injured, I’ll give him that. But even if healthy, I don’t see Ludwick as anything more than another .240 hitter on a team of .240 hitters that strike too often. That’s a lot of outs. Doug Gray December 30, 2013 In the Majors, Hamilton actually did go the other way. In the minors in 2013 though, he was very much a pull hitter from the right side of the plate and pretty balanced from the left side. Tom December 30, 2013 Doug, I’m sure you’re right about that, but it looks to me like major league pitchers are just going to bust Hamilton inside and knock the bat right out of his hands. Unless Jocketty has some big deal cooking to bring in another bat, it looks to me like the the Reds are happy to go into the season with a lineup of Hamilton, Phillips, Votto, Ludwick, Bruce, Frazier, Mesoraco and Cozart. To me, that’s a lot of outs.