What to do with Taveras?

In the previous blog post, I mentioned Willy Taveras and his struggles and Dusty Baker’s hopes that fans will ease up on the uber-struggling center fielder.

Taveras is now 0-for-13 since getting a first-inning single on Tuesday that snapped a 0-for-32 streak. He’s in a 1-for-45 clip overall. He is now batting .219 with a .270 on-base percentage, dreadful and plainly inexcusable numbers for a leadoff hitter.

During his 0-for-5 day in Thursday’s 7-0 loss to the Braves, Taveras struck out with the bases loaded and two outs in the second inning. In the fifth with runners on first and second and no outs, he couldn’t get a bunt down and with two strikes, popped out to first base. That brought out the boos from the fans at GABP.

Baker was asked if it was time to move Taveras out of the leadoff spot.

“I don’t know,” he responded. “You’re asking me questions I really haven’t had time to think of. The problem is, I had Jerry [Hairston Jr.] leading off and he wasn’t getting on either.”

To me it’s a no-brainer…move Taveras down. Let Hairston try again, or go with Chris Dickerson.

If not Taveras, who should leadoff for the Reds?

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12 Comments

Dusty makes me crazy sometimes. Seriously, you haven’t had any time to think about whether to move the worst hitter on the team out of the leadoff spot?

And you really haven’t had the chance to decide that Dickerson should get a shot? I guess he also hasn’t had the time to realize that the 2nd worst hitter on the team shouldn’t be hitting second either. I guess that’ll take another couple of weeks of terrible hitting from Gonzalez.

Oh, and to me Hairston’s not the answer either. He was good last year, but there’s no real reason to assume he can repeat that. His OBP this year is only .296. No way that’s good enough to lead off.

Heck, Bruce is walking so much, maybe he should hit leadoff instead of being relegated to 6th.

I’m a huge fan of Dickerson’s. You don’t lose a WHOLE lot of speed with him, and I personally think he’s a better all around fielder than Taveras. The way it looks now, even I could hit better than Willy. It’s time to give Dickerson the every day spot. I think he’s earned it over the season, coming off of the bench when he’s called on, and playing superb defense. Dickerson all the way for me.

I’d say send taveras to the minors and try Drew Stubbs, but we’d have to designate somebody(Wilkin Castillo?) for assignment to add Stubbs to the 40 man, so i don’t know if that will work. But Stubbs is the man of the future, and he CAN’T be any worse than Taveras is right now.

I’d say its time to say bye bye to Taveras and Gonzalez. If we can trade them wonderfully but I doubt seriously that either one of them would be starting for any other major league team. I always hear the argument that Gonzalez is such a wonderful fielder. I don’t even buy that. Go back and look at the film of our first series against the Mets. You can contribute two losses right there to his glove. How many losses can we contribute to his woeful hitting. Bruce has an upside in he at least has 16 homers and in his defense is only what 21. Time to cut off losses and send these two has beens a packing. Flat out release them if we can’t trade them. Wouldn’t that give us room on the roster for Stubbs. I don’t think that we should let Wilkin go either. If we have to wind up losing our young talent then we might as well stick with these Mendoza tripletts until then end of the year and then release them.
Stubbs will be up sooner or later. I am thinking a better lineup would be
CF Dickerson
2B Phillips
LF Stubbs
1B Votto
RF Bruce
C Hanigan
SS Janish
3B Rosales/Hairston
P Harang,Maloney,Cueto,Volquez, Wood

yes… it’s time to say good bye to Bronson Arroyo also his best years are behind him as well. Maybe we can send him and Gonzalez packing to Boston for a minor and cash.

I’m a big Baker fan…but yeah, these type things drive me crazy. I agree with nycredsfan…you SERIOUSLY haven’t had time to think about who you want batting leadoff? Your offense is struggling, and you aren’t thinking about who should be batting leadoff? A good leadoff hitter = a high OBP. Outside of Votto and Hanigan (and Castillo and Herrera which don’t really count), guess who has the highest OBP on the team? Dickerson. That’s what’s driving me crazy about Taveras…okay, you’re not hitting. So take more walks, bunt, SOMETHING to get on. You can’t steal first dude, get on base. And that’ll probably help his bat too once he gets more confident. Yes, I know, Taveras has been around a while and we know what he CAN do, and Dickerson is young and needs to mature. Awesome. But when your team is struggling coming up with runs, give the guy with the hotter bat a chance to get our offense rolling. We needs to guys in front of our big bats to get on base and get a chance to get driven in. I think it’ll have an even bigger impact once we get Votto back.

Not bad ideas Hollowman, but I’d keep Nix/Gomes in LF and have Stubbs play center. If he’s the CF of the future might as well have him play there now, and I’d rather have Nix in the lineup than Dickerson.

Also, I’d trade Arroyo, but Bailey is definitely first to be called up. Look at his numbers from his last 4 starts. He’s throwing a splitter now and has been absolutely dominant. He’s ready, methinks. Also, what about Owings?

If that quote from Dusty isn’t a joke then I just gave up on him.

Taveras is ONE FOR FORTY FIVE. He was ZERO FOR THIRTY TWO. If at no point in the past, oh say, month, Dusty hasn’t considered who else to hit in the lead off, then he should be fired tonight.

Taveras has gotten on base ONE TIME THIS MONTH. Taveras has not draw a SINGLE walk in 70 plate appearances. Taveras has 9 RBI and only two in the past month.

Dusty hasn’t had time to think about those things? Seriously, if he said (and meant) that, he should pack his bags without being told.

I’d venture to say most of the boo’s at GABP are directed at his incompetent lineups, which are far more willful than Taveras’ bad baseball.

Play Dickerson or Stubbs in CF. Try Dickerson in the lead off spot, not Hairston, who has barely been better than Taveras or Gonzalez (who is also atrocious, but gets the second most AB on the team).

Much is made of Dickerson’s failures against LHP, and they are severe. His OBP vs. LHP is .286 – Taveras’ OBP is .270 against all pitchers. Dickerson’s batting average is .091 vs. LHP – well Taveras has been hitting .090 against all pitchers for the past 90 AB (one month).

Who could hit lead off? Literally ANYONE on the team would do a significantly better job that Taveras. Anyone at all. Even Daniel Herrera drew a walk the other night.

Seriously, playing Micah Owings in CF and having him lead off would be much better. Playing Paul Janish at SS and having him lead off, same thing. Ryan Hanigan has an OBP near .400.

The fact that we are even posing and seriously considering an answer to the question: my goodness, if not WT, who else could possibly lead off? means we have adopted Dusty’s old-fashioned framework for what a lead off hitter.

Dusty: “Gee when I played with the Dodgers we always had the CF and the fastest guy leading off.”

I don’t for a minute think Dusty hasn’t been thinking about this, which means he was just ducking your question by lying to you. I guess you’re used to that in your profession. But the fans need to realize, no matter how much they’ve supported Dusty in the past, his lineups have destroyed the Reds chances for being in first place right now.

Wow – struck a nerve! Gotta wonder why Dusty is risking all his authority and credibility protecting Taveras.

I agree with the people who have been ragging on Baker… He must have the lowest baseball IQ in the history of managers, or hes a liar, and I dont want either one managing the reds. I’ll admit I was glad to see the Reds spend some money on a manager for once, but I was wrong about this one. Little did I know we were getting a guy that would ruin arms and stick with leadoff players that can’t hit theyre way out of a wet paper bag. He needs to be let go at the end of the year, if not before then.

#1 Thanks, Mark, for laying it out there and not being an apologist– when MLB writes the paycheck, the reader is always a little skeptical about the writer giving both the good AND the bad. You’ve met the test, overall, and this is just another example.
#2 I’ve stopped believing any of Dusty’s quotes. I mean, really, can we possibly believe that Dusty hasn’t thought about it? He throws a lot of nonsense out there so he doesn’t have to get into a detailed conversation that might put one of his ballplayers out there in the press spotlight. He has to answer questions about Taveras– he can’t stop them from being asked– but he doesn’t have to be forthright about what he really thinks, and he never is.
#3 As a manager of people, Dusty needs to add another technique to his toolbag. Showing faith in someone, standing by them, only goes so far. At some point, you have to change tactics– for the good of EVERYBODY. It seems he just doesn’t know any other way to deal with these situations.

Am I the only one who thinks Gomes would make a good leadoff hiter? He has been successful 31 of 46 career steal attempts, he is also hitting better than Willy or Dickerson. Gomes is also a .333 career hitter from the leadoff spot (only 9 AB though). To my knowledge Gomes has never played CF in the majors but he is a career .982 fielder and if for some reason he can’t play CF the Bruce could slide over.

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