Center fielder is in charge

In center field for the Reds since his call-up, speedy Drew Stubbs has mostly been as advertised defensively. It doesn’t mean there isn’t work to be done.

During the second inning of Friday’s game, Geovany Soto hit a sacrifice fly to right-center field. Stubbs went after the ball but deferred to Darnell McDonald in right field. The runner was scoring either way but the club wants Stubbs to be more assertive because it’s not the first time that’s happened.

“I want Stubby to get more comfortable and take control of it,” first base/outfield coach Billy Hatcher said Saturday morning. “I’m just trying to get Stubby in a situation where he takes control of the outfield so he can catch everything that he can catch.”

Stubbs is aware that he needs to be the boss of the outfield.

“It’s the primary responsibility for the center fielder, if you’re able to get to the ball, to be the one in charge and the one that takes it,” Stubbs said. “That’s the main thing – communication. It’s usually an issue with guys you’re playing with for the first time and you’re not experienced playing with. We’ve had a little of that the first couple of weeks but I think we’re settling in well and getting the feel for what balls each of us can get to.”

OK, here’s the question for you:

You’re in charge of setting up the 2010 Reds….who is your center fielder?

Stubbs, Chris Dickerson or….Willy Taveras?

I’m pretty sure I know your answer of who you don’t want there.

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Stubbs and Dickerson should hold down the Centerfield spot, with Dickerson playing some in Left as well. Mark, maybe you could clear up how Tavares’ contract is structured. I know he’s supposed to make 4 mil. next year (ouch!), but is there any option or buyout.
It will be interesting to see if we offer Gomes arbitration. I would be all for it, being that I’m not sold on Balentien yet. I would assume money would have to be freed up. (Hernandez & Tavares?)

I was a little disappointed with the play (or lack of) Stubbs made on the liner by Giambi a couple of days ago. The Reds were up 1-0 and after that ball clipped.. nipped.. slipped off the tip of Stubbs glove.. the gates were open. He just didn’t seem to read it and react to it. Granted the liner right at you is the most difficult to handle. Yet still… yes.. he’s learning and lets hope the coaches can impact him as he grows.

Buz -

Taveras is owed $4 million in 2010…guaranteed. No wiggle room to get out of that unless a miracle trade of some sort could be executed. As for the Giambi play, you’re right on that. Hatcher mentioned that in a quote during the longer form story that’s going up later.

Step 1: Fire Dusty, Dick and Brook Jacoby
Step 2: DFA Tavares

@ BUZ/Mark:

That was a real tough play, when you have to go straight back on a sharply hit line drive like that it ain’t easy to judge exactly which way you have to turn your body. The fact he got a glove on it at all actually amazed me, especially given the line he initially took. It’s also possible the ball had some spin that made it hook back some and that led to him “misjudging” the ball. That was a real tough play that I just don’t see Taveras or Dickerson even being close to making.

Stubbs in one of the better defenders in all of baseball. He single handedly kept all of the Rockies games close score wise. Tavares on the other hand plays the outfield as if he lacks motivation to run at balls. I’m guessing that is where guaranteed salaries come in. Stubbs plays like he is still trying to earn a paycheck. That particular play that peeps are criticizing Stubbs on I doubt that 3/4 of all available outfielders throughout baseball could have even come close on. If Tavares was playing I”m guessing it would have been a double considering he would let it squeak past him and hit the wall. I’d like to see Gomes, Stubbs and a free agent roaming the outfield next year. (Bruce needs more time in AAA to improve his bat skills) I think that despite his propensity to strike out or not be able to handle the breaking pitch that his bat is better than either Dickerson or Tavares and Stubbs ability to play gold glove defense makes him a lock at center field.

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