Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Years' Resolutions for the Reds

Here are a few New Year's wishes and resolutions for some of our Redlegs:

Adam Dunn - Resolve to add a bit of fire to his game. Dunn's physical game isn't going to change, but it's time for Dunn to stop turning the other cheek to the absurdity of some of his critics. He should fire back from time to time, as external criticism can, at times, bring teams together.

Wayne Krivksy - Wayne should resolve to study up on the importance of efficient production to the ballclub. The cost of trading Hamilton away is much higher than just his lost production. Dealing Josh Hamilton away cost the Reds 2 compensatory draft picks and at least $15M + per season, as that's the likely cost of bringing Adam Dunn back to play leftfield instead of handing it over to Hamilton in 2009.

Dusty Baker - Dusty should resolve to change his wayward ways and rely on the wisdom that he should have gained from experience. The Reds future hinges on young pitching and young talent, so overworking young pitchers and under-utilizing young position players is a recipe for disaster.

Scott Hatteberg - Don't change a thing. Maybe teach a few of the Reds how to use your approach. In 2007, Hatteberg had the second highest percentage of pitches taken with 65.4%, trailing only the 67.2% of Barry Bonds. Force a conclusion to the AB on your terms, what a novel idea.

Brandon Phillips - "The Franchise" should resolve to be more patient. A 30/30 season requires an impressive blend of power and speed, but his lack of on base skills really hinders his value. In 2007, Phillips was hit by 12 pitches, which prevented him from having a sub .330 OBP. In 2008, it seems unlikely that he'll be hit by enough pitches to save him from a sub .330 OBP, which is almost totally unacceptable for an impact offensive player. In addition, Phillips had the 6th highest First Pitch Swing Percentage with 37.2%.

Ken Griffey Jr. - Ride out the season with class and be prepared to say goodbye at the end of the year.

Edwin Encarnacion - E.E. should resolve to play third base with Mickey Hatcher's giant glove or do whatever it takes to improve his range. He cut his throwing errors from 16 in 2006 to 8 in 2007, but the range is the big problem. His defense at third is a big liability and unless he improves his range, he should be moved to a new position.

Francisco Cordero - He should do whatever it takes to stay healthy. If he's healthy, then he's likely to be successful, but given the cost they paid, the Reds can't afford to lose him for a season or more with serious arm problems. In addition, keep racking up those Tough Saves, where he tied with David Weathers for the most in the NL with 3.

Marty and Thom Brennaman - Should resolve to stick to objective criticism, not subjective negativity. Criticize the play, not the player. Stop weighing in on player personnel moves. Dusty Baker has had problems with broadcasters before and Steve Stone wasn't as negative as the Brennaman bunch. If the Brennamans don't act like professionals, then things could get very ugly with Dusty Baker at the helm.

Drew Stubbs and Juan Francisco - Whatever you do, keep choking up on the bat!!! Improved bat control could unlock the true potential of each.

Danny Dorn - Keep on swinging!!! The Reds may need him to ride that sweet swing all the way to leftfield in Cincinnati for 2009.

Josh Ravin - Resolve to find a consistent arm slot so he can put his top of the rotation stuff to use.

Edinson Volquez - Resolve to justify the heavy price paid to acquire you. A consistent curveball would help.

Danny Ray Herrera - Resolve to be patient with an organization wary of giving "gimmick" pitchers an opportunity.

Mike Stanton - Resolve to get a few more groundballs (GB/FB in 2006 1.07, in 2007 0.86) and a bit better hit luck (BABIP: .356). He's not a top tier reliever anymore, but he wasn't as bad as hs showed in 2007.

Homer Bailey - More strikes, just throw more strikes. In 2007, his 1st pitch was a strike only 55% of the time, compared with 66% for Harang. Only 58% of his total pitches were strikes, compared to 67% for Harang.

Johnny Cueto - Resolve to make the most of the opportunity you are about to get. We need you.

Matt Belisle - Learn to pitch out of the stretch!!! Matt has "Dave Bush-itis." Both have good overall component stats, but are poor out of the stretch. In 2007, Belisle posted a line of .284/.323/.424/.748 with no runners on, but a line of .324/.361/.566/.927 with runners on base. You can't pitch in the bigs if you can't pitch with runners on base. Now is the time, Matty.

Ryan Freel - Stop running through walls. "Intelligent hustle" for 2008!!! In addition, get the stolen base percentage up, as Freel had the 3rd worst SB% at 65.2% among those with 20 SB attempts. The Reds can't afford to give up outs on the base paths.

Norris Hopper - Utilize your speed more effectively. On his career, Hopper (67%) has a worse stolen base percentage than Adam Dunn (76%). Hopper had the 4th worst SB Success Percentage in the NL at 70% among those with a minimum of 20 SB attempts. That said, Norris is very solid in base running, as he earned a +10 rating in 2007 from Bill James.

Alex Gonzalez - Try to maintain the high level of performance you established in 2007. Despite the surprising disappointment of some fans, the .793 OPS you posted was easily a career best.

Jeff Keppinger - Just keep lashing those line drives (2007 LD% 21.3%) and the rest will fall into place.

Todd Coffey - A return to sanity and statistical norms. A pitcher with a 3.4 BB/9, 7.6 K/9, and a 1.96 GB/FB ratio can't post a 5.82 ERA and 1.75 WHIP. It's just not possible, right? Well, the .356 BABIP certainly didn't help. Maybe the renewed commitment to fitness and the lost weight over the off-season will get you back on track.

Bronson Arroyo - Keep holding those baserunners on. Arroyo had the 2nd best Stolen Base Percentage Allowed in MLB at 33.3%, trailing only Jon Garland (25.0%) among pitchers who worked at least 162 innings.

Reds Team - Better defense, across the board. A better defense would help every aspect of the team, reducing the runs allowed by reducing workload on pitchers, and increasing the value of their runs scored. Better team defense is a big key to unlocking the Reds potential.

If a few of these resolutions are carried out, then it'll be a much brighter 2008 for Reds and Reds fans alike. Anyway, HAPPY NEW YEAR to all!!!!!

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