Results tagged ‘ Wayne Krivsky ’

Crawford, Gardner, Ross

The question I probably get asked more than any other this time of year is “what do you do in the offseason?” It’s assumed by some that baseball writers go into a bunker for the winter and lounge around watching Oprah while eating Bon Bons. I can assure you that’s not the case — I don’t even like Bon Bons.

There will still be a lot of stories going up on and over the next few months. Many of them will be of the hot stove variety — which players are going where in free agency, trades, etc.? I often get a lot of questions from Reds fans that start salivating for the trendy expensive free agent.

The one player I can already tell will be asked a lot about this time around is soon-to-be free agent and about-to-be former Rays outfielder Carl Crawford. I have two words for you on that:

Forget it.

Crawford won’t be wearing the Reds wishbone ‘C’ on his hat. Yes, he’d be the ideal guy that fits all of the Reds needs — leadoff type hitter, good defense, hits for average and has a high OBP. But even though he’s never hit 20 home runs in his entire — all of this has reportedly added up to an expected $100 million contract on the market. After making such good use of their system for this past season, the Reds aren’t going to get into that game now. And they’re not going to win a bidding war vs. the Yankees, Angels, etc.

The Reds have vast pitching depth, especially starters. I do envision them cashing some of those chips to make a trade for a leadoff hitter. Not many guys are really jumping off of the page at this early stage. But if the Yankees signed Crawford, young Brett Gardner would make some sense if he became available. He’d be relatively cheap as someone not arbitration eligible. He batted .277 with a .383 OBP and 47 stolen bases this past season. He’s a left-handed hitter and an outfield defense with Jay Bruce, Drew Stubbs and Gardner might be tough to top in the NL.

*Cody Ross is a popular dude with four postseason home runs and I tweeted last night about his very brief stay with the Reds. Ross was in Cincinnati for one month and played all of two games. He was acquired in April, 2006 from the Dodgers for LHP Ben Kozlowski and traded to the Marlins for cash in May. In his first plate appearance with the Reds, Ross was hit on the hand by a Roy Oswalt fastball and went on the DL. He played one game after that and was dealt when the Reds needed roster space to activate Kent Mercker.

Very quickly after that tweet, someone commented that the Reds weren’t wise to let Ross get away. At the time though, he had 63 MLB at-bats with three teams over three years and a combined .190 average. The Reds outfield was crowded with Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn, Austin Kearns and Ryan Freel. There were a ton of transactions that season and I know former GM Wayne Krivsky really liked Ross and didn’t want to deal him. But he needed the roster space. It goes to show you never know what will become of some guys that simply come and go.

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Dickerson trying to prove himself

Sometimes when you write a lot of stories, you can forget about them. Players however, don’t always forget. Many of them read what the beat reporters write and part of the gig is being accountable for writing it. So when I was talking to outfielder Chris Dickerson Wednesday about his good spring, he dropped this sentence my way:

“I’m trying to prove to you that I’m not an anomaly,” Dickerson said.

I had no idea at first what he was talking about. But he remembered a story about the left field vacancy that I wrote . I had to go look it up. On Feb. 10, I wrote:

“But there are questions about whether Dickerson’s numbers were an anomaly since they’re superior than anything he had previously produced in the Minors.”

So there you go. We talked about it today, I told him I looked up the story and everything seemed fine. But like many players, statements that carry even a shred of doubt about a performance seem to be something Dickerson uses as motivation. Batting .375 entering tonight, Dickerson has certainly had a solid spring and if he continues that way, I can’t see how he isn’t on the 25-man roster in April.

Last season Dickerson batted .304 with six homers and 15 RBIs in 31 games. He batted .287 at Triple-A Louisville and was red hot before his August call-up but is a .260 hitter lifetime in the Minors.

“People want to say that was just a great six-week performance and that’s it,” Dickerson said. “Just like everybody else, they look into the Minor League performance. I just want to come out here and continue to show people I can play and that I’m the same player I was those last six weeks.”

More on this story later on the web site.

News you can use:

  • Fifth starter contender Micah Owings acknowledged his less than pretty line in a Minor League game on Wednesday. (4.1 IN, 9H, 7 R, 6 ER, 5K, 1 HB)

“The results probably didn’t indicate how I felt,” Owings said. “The first three innings went well and I felt good. Looking back, I could have probably done a couple of things differently. Those guys were just swinging.”

“It’s not easy pitching against the young guys,” manager Dusty Baker said. “It’s a bigger deal for the kids to face them than it is for them to face the kids. You call home and tell them what you did. ‘Daddy, I think I’m ready.'”

Much of Owings trouble began after a bunt play when he made an error throw to third base. He also hit a solo homer in the game.

“The first at-bat was ugly. I saw three pitches, made three swings and sat down,” Owings said. The next at-bat, I broke my bat on the first pitch and fouled it off down the line. I got one of [Norris Hopper’s] bats he gave me because I only brought one out there.”

  • Must have been some bat since Hopper also hit a solo homer in his Minor League game. Hopper isn’t known for his pop.
  • Baker plans to play all of his regulars for nine innings against the Red Sox, except for Alex Gonzalez, who is going six. None of the regulars will be on the Friday trip to Kissimmee to play the Astros. Ryan Hanigan isn’t playing today but will be catching starter Johnny Cueto on Friday.
  • We’re one day short of the three-year anniversary of Bronson Arroyo’s trade from the Red Sox to the Reds for OF Wily Mo Pena. It was former GM Wayne Krivsky’s first trade with the club. Still like it? Arroyo is 38-37 with a 4.05 ERA since coming to the Reds but he’s pitching 200 or more innings in all three seasons. It’s still a no-brainer to me and I’m sure Boston GM Theo Epstein wouldn’t mind a do-over. Arroyo gets to face his old team tonight — but Boston also didn’t travel its ‘A’ lineup.
  • In the clip ‘n save — Baker has liked very much what he’s seen from catcher Craig Tatum, who reached Triple-A last season.

“He’s one of the most improved hitters I’ve seen as far as approach and keeping things simpler,” Baker said. “He’s strong. He’s got a cannon for an arm.”

Tatum starts tonight and has benefitted greatly from Ramon Hernandez’s extended leave for the WBC.

Reds lineup:

Taveras CF, Gonzalez SS, Votto 1B, Phillips 2B, Bruce RF, Encarnacion 3B, Dickerson LF, Tatum C, Arroyo P

Red Sox lineup:

Baldelli CF, Lowrie SS, Wilkerson 1B, Bailey RF, Carter LF, Green 2B, Chavez 3B, Brown C, Lester P 

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