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2019 Preseason Forecast
Last Update: 1/27/2017 12:35 ET
|2019-10-02 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Which team is most likely to hire Dusty Baker as their new manager?|
(NotChrisButCurious from SomeClassroom)
|I honestly think Dusty is happy with what he's doing and unlikely to come back to the bench. That said, I think he'd be a really fun fit with San Diego. (Craig Goldstein)|
|2017-10-12 20:00:00 (link to chat)||Is Dusty Baker batting Jason Werth at the top of his lineup stupid, or actually way too advanced for us not-in-the-game people to comprehend?|
(Matt from PHX)
|So if the 2016 v. 2017 Nationals taught us anything it's that the intangibles of a clubhouse do impact things. Think of anytime you worked for a manager you really didn't like in your job v. one that you really did / respected / wanted to succeed for. Some of that may be at play here.
I also think Werth gets dumped on too much, because I think he was better over the course of that contract than people act like.
AND they've lost Adam Eaton, so one wonders how things would have gone if that hadn't happened.
ALL of that said...man it sure seems objectively wrong, no? The game keeps finding him, if you pardon the cliche, and I think it's pretty well-settled at this point you put your best hitter second, and the Nationals aren't short of superlative hitters to put there. (Nick Schaefer)
|2017-10-12 20:00:00 (link to chat)||Sometimes I like to imagine managers in other high-pressure situations. Like for example, right now Dusty Baker could be a surgeon and there's just profuse bleeding for three minutes straight and he *just now* asked for clamps.*
*I don't know anything about medicine.|
(Craig from DC)
|Dusty Baker's platoon is stuck behind enemy lines and he won't let his troops use grenades even though they're surrounded.
Dusty Baker is a fireman slowly looking back and forth between an extinguisher and a hose as flames creep up toward the gas line.
Dusty Baker is those characters from "The Day After Tomorrow" who are stuck in the New York Public Library burning books to keep warm and debating the preservation of a Gutenberg Bible rather than burning the hundreds of wooden tables we see them walk past to harvest books. (Nick Schaefer)
|2017-10-12 20:00:00 (link to chat)||Why are people so quick to judge Baker's decisions but totally okay with Maddon's despite them being very similar at least in the context of this game?|
(rschultzy20 from stl)
|Narrative is a crazy powerful thing even when we have objective numbers to measure them. Then you get to something as squishy as the impact of a manager and there is nothing to stand against the might of whatever narratives you want.
Dusty did some bad tactical things with the Cubs and Reds, and we've seen even good managers like Girardi have apocalyptic meltdowns.
I think Maddon is, in some respects, overrated as a tactician. And players freaking love playing for Dusty Baker and he frequently gets their best. (Nick Schaefer)
|2016-08-01 16:00:00 (link to chat)||Who has more value going forward in a holds league: Papelbon or Shawn Kelley?|
(Steve from Baltimore)
|I'll guess Kelley, just because I think it's going to take a week or two for Papelbon to pitch some lower leverage innings and get back to where he was. Dusty Baker doesn't seem to trust him at the moment. (Mike Gianella)|
|2015-03-11 12:00:00 (link to chat)||Jim, excited about the upcoming changes! Who do you think will be the best pitching duo this year? Will they hold a candle to the magic that was Mark Prior and Kerry Wood in 2003? |
(Top Shelf For Nuthin from New Orleans )
|I think this question was intended for Dusty Baker. (Jim Walsh)|
|2015-03-19 14:00:00 (link to chat)||Who are some of your favorite non-Cubs minor leaguers?|
(Shawn from Cubicle)
|Some of my favorite past Cubs were Ron Santo and Dusty Baker. A funny story actually my Grandfather used to get Dusty Baker his toothpick back for a few seasons about 10 years ago. I then got the opportunity to be the bat-boy for 10 plus games over a few year span. Current Cubs would have to be Anthony Rizzo. I really like his worth ethic as great showing on and off the field within the Chicago community. I'm a big believer in giving back and think he is a great ambassador for the MLB throughout his volunteering and charity work. (Rob Willer)|
|2013-02-19 13:00:00 (link to chat)||odds of Dusty Baker overusing Oraldis Chapman...and is he safer as a starter for Baker than as a reliever.|
(Dexter Musgrove from Louisville, Ky)
|I'm not worried about Dusty overusing Chapman. He's certainly safer as a reliever--we already know he can excel in that role--and I am a bit worried about his transition to the rotation, but that has little to do with his manager. I'm more worried about his makeup and repertoire. Harry Pavlidis will have more on that at BP later this week.
Oraldis Chapman, by the way, is Aroldis Chapman-branded toothpaste, available only in Cuba. (Ben Lindbergh)
|2012-10-30 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Is Scott Rolen looking to play another yeat? It seems like he retirement announcement was imminent, but nothing happened.
What should the Reds expect from Todd Frazier next year?|
(Tommy from Flowmont)
|I don't know, but I hope not. I drafted Rolen in a Scoresheet league when he was in A-ball, so I have fond memories of him coming up with the Phillies back in the day. It's tough to see his career crumble at the end. Same with Todd Helton. Or Brian Giles a few years ago. As for Frazier, he'll be as good as Dusty Baker lets him be. (Geoff Young)|
|2012-08-23 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Devin Mesoraco is having a bad season at the plate because: a) he's not getting enough PAs, b) his BABIP is .228, c) he's still young, d) Dusty Baker, e) some combination of A-D|
(dianagram from VORGville)
|Consistent playing time is always going to be a factor, but given his age and the fact that developing a player at the major league level in the middle of a pennant chase is complicated, I'm not sure how much blame can fall on the manager. His job to win now, not develop a player for the future by playing him in the present. I'd like to see him play more, and yes he has been a bit unlucky, but the factors are what the factors are. I'd say its mostly A and C. (Jason Parks)|
|2012-07-25 13:30:00 (link to chat)||What's your sense of Dusty Baker's performance in Cincinnati this year. The eam is in first place, has won 13 of 15 despite Joey Votto's absence, and yet there's a vocal contingent calling for his head. Are the Reds winning despite him or has he helped the team overcome some obvious holes in their roster? And in a broader sense, why do we have a much harder time quantifying a manager's performance than we do for individual players? |
(seanlahman from NY)
|When I look up a player on Baseball-Reference, I find out how he did. When I look up a manager on Baseball-Reference, I find out how his team did. It's harder to quantify a manager's contribution because we don't know how to measure his leadership skills, and leadership skills make up a bigger percentage of a manager's job than a player's. We track some manager stats at BP, but it's not as easy to translate them into wins and losses as it is with the other stats we provide.
I'm sympathetic to the fan perspective that every questionable tactical move is a fireable offense (In fact, I've even sort of supported it), but the players like Dusty and appear to play hard for him, and that matters too. (Ben Lindbergh)
|2012-05-07 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Miguel Cairo comes off the DL for the Reds today. Fans are pessimistically expecting them to send Todd Frazier down instead of DFAing Willie Harris. Cause for concern?|
(Hobart from Washington, DC)
|I'd buy it if the stat lines were reversed. As is, I think Frazier stays. Everyone can joke about Dusty Baker's love of veterans, but he'll play young players if they produce, and Frazier is doing just that right now. (R.J. Anderson)|
|2012-04-13 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Sabean and Bochy dealing with Belt, Dusty Baker with pitchers, Jim Tracy, with, well, baseball in general....Since hate is the theme of the day, which GM and/or manager makes your blood boil the most these days?|
(Nick Stone from New York, NY)
|Sabean's certainly high on the list, but because I care more about what the Dodgers do than what the Giants do, it's Ned Colletti who's more likely to drive me into a chair-throwing rage. (Jay Jaffe)|
|2012-01-30 13:00:00 (link to chat)||re: NL Central. I take it you don't feel the Reds have done enough to take over the division? Seems like they are primed for 90+ wins, especially considering how "unlucky" they were in 2011|
(Newt from Orlando)
|The Reds will be pretty good, but they still have some problems. There is still no OBP threat at the top of that order. The shortstop is unproven and coming off of a major injury. Ryan Ludwick doesn't seem to have much left. The rotation should be solid, but I'm not sure it will be solid enough. And I'm a long-time Dusty Baker skeptic. They probably have as good a chance as any team in the division, though.
Dave Pease points out to me that Extra Innings is already #37 in the Amazon baseball books top 100, which is very nice to see given that it's not out for two months. Thank you. (Steven Goldman)
|2011-05-05 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Hi Steve
What kind of playing time and production do you anticipate for Fred Lewis going forward? Thanks|
(Ed from Cranford, NJ)
|With Jonny Gomes a-slumpin' and Dusty Baker apparently uninterested in giving Chris Heisey any more playing time, perhaps he can work himself into the left field picture with some hot hitting. I'm afraid that if he doesn't hit right away, he'll be just one more guy in a big outfield mix.
I have some openings in my queue for some new questions and questioners, as things are unusually quiet for a Steve chat. I hope you haven't lost that lovin' feeling. For me, I mean. If you're about to dump your significant other, I guess that's okay. But I feel for you. I really do. (Steven Goldman)
|2011-03-08 14:00:00 (link to chat)||Many of the local Reds bloggers are infatuated with SS Paul Janish. Sure, he's following the Over the Hill Gang (O. Cabrera, A. Gonzalez, R. Clayton etc)but can his glove carry hit bat? What line to you project at the dish for Paulie? |
(Willie from Cincinnati)
|Offensively, he's a non-option outside of deep NL-only fantasy leagues. Whether or not his glove can overcome his bat in "real baseball" is up to Dusty Baker, and to be fair, they do have a good enough offensive core that they can probably live with him hitting 8th. I'd love to see Todd Frazier get a shot, though, before they just give in and accept Janish. (Cory Schwartz)|
|2011-01-12 13:00:00 (link to chat)||True or False: Walt Jocketty was smart to avoid the inefficient middle of the FA market and add complimentary pieces at budget friendly prices? Was it enough?|
(RMR from Chicago)
|I kind of buy that. I guess there was no reality in which they were going to bid on Carl Crawford, someone who would have been a nice fit in place of the Jonny Gomes/Chris Heisey/Fred Lewish mash-up that is now slated for left field. Edgar Renteria makes me nervous, the kind of guy Dusty Baker could lead off/give far too much playing time to. Not that I thought Paul Janish was the answer, but I was very curious what Zack Cozart might do at some point this year. (Steven Goldman)|
|2010-12-20 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Is the idea in emptying what little was left on the farm and getting Greinke, that the Brewers basically have 2011 to compete before Fielder and Weeks hit free agency? Are they banking on Dusty Baker ruining the Reds rotation?|
(Troy from Madison)
|This is the "all-in" scenario. It's pretty cool to see happen even if it is super-duper risky. But Fielder is gone after 2011 for sure. Greinke isn't signed for too much longer though so it isn't like he is stuck with Milwaukee if they don't make it happen this year and then Fielder leaves. (Eric Seidman)|
|2010-09-30 13:00:00 (link to chat)||The Reds have 88 wins. If Joe Maddon was managing them instead of Dusty Baker, they would like have...?|
(David L. from BP Northeast)
|Working on this for today, but Dusty Baker has had a tremendous year. He could have buried Stubbs and Bruce, could have damaged Leake, and he did none of that. I wrote that he'd be the negative difference between Reds and Cardinals, and I was completely wrong. He -- not Cox, Manuel, Bochy or Black -- gets my MotY vote if the IBAs happen. (Joe Sheehan)|
|2010-09-15 14:00:00 (link to chat)||Dusty Baker has stubbornly kept his lowest OBP guys at the top of the lineup. How many more runs would the Reds have scored with the Hannigan-Hernandez combo leading off and either Rolen or Bruce hitting second, with Phillips moving into the middle of the order and Cabrera in the eight- or nine-hole? |
(Cambridge from Cambridge)
|I'm not sure the effect here is as large as it may seem, and that is because I don't truly know how Hannigan or Hernandez would perform that far up in the order. It is easy to assume that players and their numbers are locked and that moving them around keeps everything in place, but I don't know that to be true. For instance, there were Phillies blogs calling for Carlos Ruiz to leadoff or bat second because of his OBP ~ .400, but he also walks alot because he bats in front of the pitcher. It is likely that Hannigan would net more runs in the leadoff spot than Cabrera, but I don't know if the difference is 5 or 15 runs, and given that they are making the playoffs anyway, the answer is likely immaterial anyway. (Eric Seidman)|
|2010-09-13 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Can you give us your best guesses on the new managers for next year by team?|
(Jack from Boston)
|Just guessing: Bobby Valentine to Seattle, Tim Wallach to Dodgers, Wally Backman to Mets, Ryne Sandberg to Cubs, LaRussa and Dusty Baker staying still, and Sharktopus to manage the Diamondbacks. Anyone else? (Jay Jaffe)|
|2010-08-04 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Are Cicinnati's surprising signs of life this year evidence that some of the conventional wisdom about Dusty Baker's managerial transgressions may be wrong?|
(BillJ from New Mexico)
|No... Bad managers have won World Series (whenever I say that, I see smilin' Bob Brenly in my head). If anything, the success of the Reds should serve as a reminder to temper our outrage at smaller managerial errors like batting orders, because the impact of those decisions are survivable. It's when a manager has two choices on his bench, Superman and Clay Bellinger, and he picks Bellinger, that we should get really exercised. (Steven Goldman)|
|2010-05-24 14:00:00 (link to chat)||Leake, Cueto, Volquez, Bailey, Chapman...should the Reds collection of good young arms concern us Cards fans?|
(teflontim13 from St.Louis)
|Yes, in the long term. Of course, you do have Dusty Baker in charge of said collection, but it's still a lot of talent on a single divisional opponent. (Christina Kahrl)|
|2010-05-14 13:00:00 (link to chat)||How long do you think the Reds can stay this hot and could they actually be buyers this season with talent like Yonder Alonso on the way?|
(SprungOnSports from Long Island)
|There's a lot of good young talent in Cincy, particularly in the rotation, where there's upside galore even if Aroldis Chapman doesn't show up, which he probably will. If Dusty Baker can stop with the self-destructive lineup assembly (.191/.263/.291 from the leadoff spot!) then I think they could be buyers, but I'm not sold on Alonso (.267/.388/.406 in Double-A, and apparently recently promoted to Triple-A) as being tremendously helpful at the moment. (Jay Jaffe)|
|2010-04-22 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Will Aaron Harang turn it around and who would Chapman replace if the Red's call him up?|
(Denverbengal from Denver)
|I don't think so and probably Leake if he continues to struggle with his control. Dusty Baker hates walks in all their forms. (Will Carroll)|
|2010-02-09 13:00:00 (link to chat)||are you predicting any kind of breakout from johnny cueto this year?|
(sawred14 from NJ)
|Man, I predict a breakout from Johnny Cueto *every* year. He was well on his way last year (2.69 ERA through July 1) before getting creamed in the second half, skipping a few turns due to shoulder inflammation. I actually thought they should have been more conservative, and would love to see him and Dusty Baker separated by a trade, a firing, or simply a restraining order, because there's a ton of talent there that may never come to fruition. (Jay Jaffe)|
|2010-02-09 13:00:00 (link to chat)||What are your expectations of Homer Bailey this season? Will he build on hsi success from late 2009? |
(Brandon from Charleston, WV)
|I expect him to build on his nice late-season showing (though one has to allow for the fact that it was September) and become a competent major league starting pitcher with occasional stretches which remind us why he was so highly touted.
And probably a trip to the DL unless the Reds can fake Dusty Baker into boarding a flight for Uzbekistan or Antarctica. (Jay Jaffe)
|2010-02-02 13:00:00 (link to chat)||What are your thoughts on the 2010 Reds? Any chance they contend in 2010? |
(Brandon from Charleston, WV)
|No. I think PECOTA is dead wrong on that team. The division isn't great, so it could be like a couple years ago where they "stay in it" but they'll need Stubbs to establish himself, for Jay Bruce to be a real star rather than pretty good, and Joey Votto to take the next step. They're counting on Scott Rolen and a Dusty Baker pitching staff to stay healthy so ... (Will Carroll)|
|2009-10-23 16:00:00 (link to chat)||What is the current thinking on the magnitude of a manager's impact on regular season victories? For example, the Reds won 78 games in 2009. What realistically could have been expected of the team with Dusty Baker replaced?|
(BBBill from Hamilton, Ohio)
|It's a very slippery slope here because one's evaluation of managers would need to use something other than personal opinions on which pitchers are brought into games. I tend to think that managers will impact 1-3 games in a season. I don't think Dusty was the difference between the Reds winning 78 or 88 games this season. Then again, if you attribute his handling of Volquez, Harang and Cueto to injuries or reduced effectiveness, the impact could be greater. Suffice to say, there are a lot of factors that go into something like this and too many people tend to focus primarily on the pitching change or lineup construction aspect. Unless you are bringing in Adam Eaton to replace Mariano Rivera, or completely avoiding platoon splits and things of that nature, a lot of it is common sense. And if you don't have a lot of weapons, that is more on the GM/Owner than the manager. (Eric Seidman)|
|2009-10-20 14:00:00 (link to chat)||When will Mike Scioscia commit to Howie Kendrick? He is the Dusty Baker of the AL, in love with middling infielders. Good thing Neifi Perez is gone.|
(Tom from Chicago)
|Problem is that while Kendrick was failing to grab hold of the job, Maicer Izturis became quite a little player, especially from the left side of the plate. I'm not sure I can go after Scioscia for playing Izturis. (Joe Sheehan)|
|2009-10-05 16:00:00 (link to chat)||How did you not mention firing Dusty Baker as the number one thing the Reds need to do this off season. Seriously why do people keep hiring a guy whose only skill is ruining the careers quality pitchers?|
(Frug from UIUC)
|Well he is also addicted to Corey Patterson/Taveras types. It wasn't as big of a priority for me as the other aspects mentioned unless it goes hand in hand. If he insists on Taveras playing and limiting the time of Bailey, Stubbs, Bruce, then yeah he should go. But even if he does go it isn't as if someone else is going to come and magically turn them into a 95-67 team. They have holes that need to be filled before replacing a manager who MAYBE results in 1-3 extra wins or losses in a year. (Eric Seidman)|
|2009-09-21 14:00:00 (link to chat)||I've hit 8 home runs in the majors after only hitting 3 in the minors? Should Cincy fans now be glad the Reds passed on Tiny Tim for me?|
(Drew Stubbs from Cincy)
|Uh, no. You're off to an OK start, Drew, but seven of those homers have been hit in at the Great American Ballpark, which is a pretty homer-friendly place. Furthermore, your 4-to-1 K/BB ratio and .315 OBP have to improve dramatically in order for you not to look like exactly the type of player that Dusty Baker will once again use to drive his team out of the playoff picture. (Jay Jaffe)|
|2009-09-07 13:00:00 (link to chat)||To what extent do you consider Dusty Baker a good manager? In 16 years of managing, his first year was his best, and his record on teams sans Bonds is below .500. He's had Cubs teams with talent and never won more than 90 games, and his record with young pitchers is atrocious. I don't see the substance behind the reputation.|
(BambinosCurse from Boston)
|I've been willing to concede that Baker, while no tactician, might have his uses as a veteran skipper of a predominantly veteran ballclub. Paired with a GM with a strong grip on personnel decisions, he can have value. In the abstract, I'd have thought that he and Walt Jocketty would be a good tandem, but then you wind up with Willy Taveras, and it looks more like a murder/suicide pact. (Christina Kahrl)|
|2009-09-02 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Hi Eric, thanks for the chat. I play in a fantasy league where the only pitching categories that matter are innings pitched and runs allowed. I can keep either Chris Volstad or Johnny Cueto for the next four years. Both have been inconsistent, Cueto seems to have the better arm but he pitches in a bandbox for Dusty Baker. Which one is the better bet?|
(DS from California)
|Volstad is a groundball guy with meh defenders behind him. Cueto is a young flamethrower with the worst manager for handling young flamethrowers. I'd think Volstad will be able to stay off the DL more and therefore log more frames. (Eric Seidman)|
|2009-08-17 14:00:00 (link to chat)||So will Dusty Baker be remembered more for his years in San Friancisco or ruining Kerry Wood, Mark Prior, Edinson Volquez, and Jonny Cueto?|
(Joel from Chicago)
|The latter, I think -- and personally, I'd say justifiably so. What happened to Prior and Woody (which hopefully won't be completely duplicated in Cinci) wasn't all Dusty's fault, so he shouldn't bear the entire responsibility. But at the same time his success in SF had a lot more to do with another controversial figure working in the Bay Area at the time than with Dusty himself. (Ken Funck)|
|2009-08-04 14:00:00 (link to chat)||Please, for the love of all things holy...tell me this is the end of the road for the most overrated manager in baseball...Dusty Baker.|
(Phil from Louisville)
|And here I was thinking you were talking about Joe Torre, right up until the end. (Christina Kahrl)|
|2009-07-07 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Ignoring for a moment the massive whipping they've taken in the last 18 innings (outscored 32-1), should the Reds be buying or selling? Is there a move out there which helps them now and later?|
(Rick from Chicago)
|Well, if Dusty Baker could actually figure out that his Willy Taveras fetish is absolutely KILLING his team, I'd say they should be buying, because they're just 3.5 back and they've got the strongest pitching staff they've had in years.
In other words: SELL SELL SELL.
I imagine they could do reasonably well marketing Harang to a contender, though they'd have to make a choice between eating salary and getting Grade-A prospects. Arroyo won't bring back much, but he'll net something, somewhere. A team desperate for a catcher might be able to squint and see a use for Ramon Hernandez. (Jay Jaffe)
|2009-04-16 13:00:00 (link to chat)||At some point is an MLB manager a finished product. For instance, does Dusty Baker still have a learning curve? Will Joe Maddon continue to grow and learn? Is Joe Torre the same guy who was in NY 5 years ago?|
(Goo Goo the cat from Dreaming of rabbits and catnip)
|That's a pretty interesting question. I wonder if who is the boss of the manager has anything to do with their own growth/stagnation. Like if you don't have a front office that pushes you towards certain strategies, would the manager fall into a routine of sorts and never learn any new tricks/strategies? Is Joe Torre different in LA than he was in NY because his bosses treat him differently? What do you guys think? (Marc Normandin)|
|2009-04-16 13:00:00 (link to chat)||I feel that managers tend to keep their tendancies, and it is up to the organization to select the type of manager that agrees with their philosphy. A key example is the Sox ditching Grady, who simply refused to follow Theo's stats based approach.
(bateman19 from boston)
|This is true, but let's think of the Reds and Dusty Baker. I'm assuming they put him through a battery of tests before hiring him, many of which involved electrodes and being hit on the nose with a newspaper while someone said, "No! Bad Dusty! Take the starter out now!" (Marc Normandin)|
|2009-04-16 13:00:00 (link to chat)||"let's think of the Reds and Dusty Baker. I'm assuming they put him through a battery of tests before hiring him, many of which involved electrodes and being hit on the nose with a newspaper while someone said, "No! Bad Dusty! Take the starter out now!""
I know you're kidding, but if even some (not electrical) version of that is true, then why even hire Baker in the first place? Why not just hire someone you know has a track record of thinking and acting in which ever way the organization values?|
(mattymatty from Philly)
|Because he does the other things right (media, clubhouse) and if they think they can make him do what they want in the other areas--basically saying you get this job if you do what we tell you--then you end up with the best of both worlds (assuming the people calling the shots know what they are talking about, of course). (Marc Normandin)|
|2009-04-06 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Reds top of the order....Hairtston Jr. and Darnell McDonald? What gives?|
(SaberTJ from Cleveland, OH)
|Hairston's going to play against lefties, and Taveras is sick, giving McDonald a start. Me, I would have played Dickerson against the no-split Santana, put Hairston in center and sat McDonald. I'm not Dusty Baker, though. (Joe Sheehan)|
|2009-03-06 14:00:00 (link to chat)||You would really embiggen me with a response to my question. It seems to me that the Reds are disproportionately affected by the WBC, especially with Volquez and Cueto pitching and Ramon Hernandez away from his new pitching staff. Any cause for concern? |
(Scott from Detroit)
|In my eyes, definitely. Cueto and Volquez are red lights in the THRs based on workload alone, and they still pitch for Dusty Baker. Hernandez is a red light too, now that I look at it.
I haven't scanned the rosters to see how many other teams have two of their top four starters in the WBC, but that does seem like a serious risk for one team's chances. (Jay Jaffe)
|2008-12-05 14:00:00 (link to chat)||Do you Reds fans finally have reason for optimism with a solid young core of Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, Edwin Encarnacion, Brandon Phillips, Chris Dickerson, Johnny Cueto, and Edinson Volquez? |
(Brandon from Charleston)
|Absolutely, there's reason for optimism so long as Dusty Baker doesn't mangle those arms.
I had the Reds as my sleeper team last year and while they didn't get there, most of the guys you mentioned are fascinating, with a ton of upside. The series I watched most closely all year long was when the Reds came to Yankee Stadium in late June.
I don't see the Reds with a shot at the 2009 NL Central but I think third place is a possibility with the right moves this winter. One of which might be taking out a restraining order against Baker from coming to the ballpark. (Jay Jaffe)
|2008-11-03 13:30:00 (link to chat)||Do you expect Aaron Harang to return to his normal 2005-2007 form next season? |
(smitty25039 from Charleston)
|As much as I wish I could be optimistic because Harang's fun to watch when he's on, the Gap's no friend to pitching, and playing for Dusty Baker hardly helps matters any. (Christina Kahrl)|
|2008-10-24 14:00:00 (link to chat)||How many games do you think the Reds win in 2009? They're building a nice young nucleus with Bruce, Cueto, Phillips, Votto, and Volquez. Not to mention others like Dickerson, Ramirez, and Encarnacion.|
(Brandon from Charleston)
|I'm bullish on the upsides of all of those first five you named - they were certainly fun to watch in 2008. I think they've got a shot at .500 if Dusty Baker can stay away from the Corey Pattersons of the world, and if Harang and Arroyo bounce back and remain in the fold. Much of that is predicated on what Walt Jocketty does, and handing him a loaded sub-.300 OBP hitter like Patterson is just asking for another losing season. (Jay Jaffe)|
|2008-09-12 13:00:00 (link to chat)||A worst in-game manager conversation without Dusty Baker? |
(Rick from Chicago)
|There are lots of people who can be brought into the discussion, but Essian was remarkable at the time. As one friend joked, "When Harry says 'the wheels are turning,' you can actually hear the gears and gaskets breaking and see the smoke coming out of Essian's ears." (Christina Kahrl)|
|2008-09-08 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Any chance Dusty Baker gets fired after the season?|
(rod from cincinnati)
|I'd hope not. That would be monstrously fickle, although I can't particularly endorse Dusty's regime in Cincy, yet. (Derek Jacques)|
|2008-08-27 13:00:00 (link to chat)||If "Hate to Say I Told You So" is your theme song with Cueto, does Dusty Baker get "Main Offender"? Does Jay Bruce get "Walk Idiot Walk"? Can the Reds just hire The Hives with their savings on Dunn and Griffey?|
(Amos from New York)
|That might be the best question I've ever had in a chat. Give this man a prize. We'll see if the Reds fans give this team a chance to "Try It Again" next year! (Will Carroll)|
|2008-07-29 16:00:00 (link to chat)||According to pitcher abuse points, Johnny Cueto (20th overall) has been ridden pretty hard for a 22-year-old. Do you expect him to endure the same fate of other young pitchers managed by Dusty Baker?|
(Connor from Chicago, IL)
|Quick - someone look up the PAP for Prior and Wood in 2003 and compare to Cueto and Volquez. I haven't got a clue, but I bet it's not close. (Will Carroll)|
|2008-06-18 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Does Corey Patterson have secret photos of Dusty Baker? How can you explain the addition Baker has to Patterson and how many games do you think Patterson has cost the Reds?|
(pmuehlenkamp from Cincinnati)
|Dusty believes his eyes. If you watch Corey Patterson for a short period of time, you're going to see him do things well. He's fast, strong and just "looks like a player." Except his results suck. I think Baker -- and a lot of other people -- believe what they see over the longer term results and that they refuse to believe that they could be so wrong. We saw the same thing with Baker and Neifi Perez. Just when Perez would be not hitting his way out of a job, he'd get one hit or make one great play in the field and that's what Baker would fixate on. (Will Carroll)|
|2008-05-29 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Why is Ken Griffey Jr. still batting in the three hole? He is declining so quickly and Dusty Baker is making it worse by batting him in the heart of the lineup!|
(pmuehlenkamp from Cincinnati)
|There are non-baseball issues here, and in fairness, Griffey had a good year last season. I don't know if you help matters by dropping him. It's one of those cases where the optimal lineup causes enough headaches to make it suboptimal. (Joe Sheehan)|
|2008-05-27 13:00:00 (link to chat)||What's the over/under on how many starts Jay Bruce gets before Dusty starts throwing Corey Patterson and Ryan Freel back out there in CF?|
(Rob from Bloomington, IL)
|I think we need to focus less on Dusty Baker and more on their front office. If the front office has some idea what it's doing, they'll tell him "Jay Bruce will start at least 20 times a month. Or we'll be looking for a new manager. Any questions?" (Nate Silver)|
|2008-05-01 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Is John McClaren the next Dusty Baker. They are going to kill Felix arm this year. I hope they lose 90 games so he can get fired.|
(Mike from Seattle)
|Hardly. Hernandez's pitch counts (max of 117) are fine.
Given where the upper bound of workloads by game--pitch counts--in MLB has fallen to, it is virtually impossible to damage a pitcher that way any longer. If anything, the industry should probably be working starters, especially veteran starters, harder, especially if it saves roster spots. This war is over. (Joe Sheehan)
|2008-04-15 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Hi Will, Johnny Cueto has made a big early impression but he has now logged a huge amount of innings over the past year. If you were the Reds GM (and after you have unceremoniously fired Dusty Baker) would you set a hard limit on him as per Joba and Bucholz? |
(mattseward from Cardiff. UK)
|I'm not sure I'd fire Dusty, to be honest. This is the kind of team he can succeed with. I also wouldn't set a hard limit because I don't believe in hard limits. All that said, I'd certainly have some sort of monitoring system, along the lines of what the Red Sox do, put in place immediately and tell Dusty that the system would tell him when a pitcher had to come out. (Will Carroll)|
|2008-04-15 13:00:00 (link to chat)||"This [the Reds] is the kind of team he [Dusty Baker] can succeed with."
That sounds pretty tough to back up, Will. Care to try?
(mattymatty from RE: Dusty)
|Older star player with talent. Younger "misunderstood" star in a contract year. Some hustle players. Two established pitchers at the top who can take heavy innings. A couple young pitchers with star potential. That sound like the 03 Cubs to you? (Will Carroll)|
|2008-03-31 13:00:00 (link to chat)||I see Dusty Baker is allready hurting the Reds by hitting Patterson leadoff, Dunn 5th and Votto on the bench. |
(Mike from Chicago)
|I gotta tell ya, as I rode around to every Middlesex village and farm over the last month talking about BP 2008, the number one question on every lonely housewife's mind was what Dusty was going to do to the Reds. The confluence of rock-head manager and top prospects really held the attention of the hardcore baseball fan, who, I think, felt as if s/he were watching a car accident in slow motion. Well, here we are on opening day and bodies are strewn all over the highway. I don't really know what else to say, except that the guy is leading off with a career .298 OBP hitter. It's like he's trying to make a point. To who? Why? I don't know. It sure is annoying, though, and it makes you wonder where Krivsky is and why he isn't on top of this. Even if you intend to defer to your celeb manager, this is too much. (Steven Goldman)|
|2008-03-25 14:00:00 (link to chat)||With the wealth of knowledge and websites like this out there, why would anybody in their right mind hire guys like Dusty Baker? But then again, why would anybody hire Isiah Thomas, but I digress.|
(dangor from New York)
|To be sure, I've been one of the most reliably consistent critics of Dusty as a manager, but the man has his virtues. He still manages to command considerable respect within the industry as a leader, and for better or for worse, studio miniondom among the Mousemen helps keep a guy's profile up.
I believe the virtues of his gifts have been greatly exaggerated, but that's not to decry the values of human leadership, personal charisma, and commanding the respect of your team. He's not much of a tactician, he's never really run an especially good lineup card, he's the goofy mancrush king at the sight of gray hair on a player, and he may, like Tony La Russa, have long outlasted any reasonable facsimile of the man originally reputed to be an effective communicator with the press.
Put that kind of manager in charge or a heavily veteran team with a pretty set lineup, and Dusty Baker would fit in rather nicely. Unfortunately, that team isn't the Reds. The Reds are instead a team where there are a lot of options, choices to make, and players to sort out as far as what they're for. Those aren't things Dusty's good at, and it shows. (Christina Kahrl)
|2008-03-14 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Why do we live in a world where Dusty Baker and Ed Wade keep getting recycled and Davey Johnson and Paul DePodesta don't?|
(George from Texas)
|Because your manager and GM are your primary media relations guys and Baker is good at that and DePo maybe isn't (not that the LA media gave him much of a chance - at least that's how it seemed from out here, or maybe I'm just paying too much attention to Plaschke, who seemed to have his little knife out from day one. Interestingly, Wade was not regarded as the most media-savvy guy in Philly, but I think he got the job because he told the Astros what they wanted to hear, that he could turn the franchise around instantly... Davey, I think, decided he wanted to get off the merry-go-round. (Steven Goldman)|
|2008-03-18 17:00:00 (link to chat)||looking like the reds may actually go with patterson over jay bruce..is there any good reason you see for this?|
(gustavo from jax,fl)
|As I've written -- and others have said as well -- Dusty Baker is the wrong man at the wrong time for the Reds job. If I had a gun to my head and my life depended on finding Baker a big league managing job, I would put him on a team with a strong veteran presence and no tough choices to make lineup wise. The only good that could come from it is that the Reds get off to such a horrendous start that he gets fired and the team hires someone who is ready to usher them into the next phase. That won't happen, though. They'll win just enough to keep Baker employed. (And Patterson does deserve a big league job -- just not at the expense of the likes of Jay Bruce.) (Jim Baker)|
|2008-03-17 12:00:00 (link to chat)||Hey Mike. Diehard 411 fan. I focused on position scarcity this year in my draft and didn't take a 1st baseman (Jackson) until the end of the draft. So I wanted to ask you this:
I did take Nick Swisher, who should be a solid OF, but are his stats good as a 1B? In a 10 teamer, no less?
P.S. And should I be worried that Dusty Baker is going to bury Edwin Encarnation this year?|
(akachazz from DC)
|I think Swisher will have a fine year on South Side so yes and I like Jackson as well.
Please Dusty don't do it!!!!!!!!!!! (Mike Siano)
|2008-03-11 12:00:00 (link to chat)||Joe,
Can you discuss how BP projects playing time for players not likely to be regulars? The book has numerous examples of players not likely to play FT but with FT numbers. Thanks
(mzpejp from San Diego)
|PECOTA projects based on merit, if I understand this correctly. So if a player projects as good enough to play regularly in the majors, their PECOTA shows that. Book projections are done this way.
On the depth charts on site, and in PFM, the projections reflect our internal estimates of playing time based on skill and opportunity, and added to what PECOTA generates.
PECOTA doesn't know about Dusty Baker, in other words. (Joe Sheehan)
|2008-03-06 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Hi Jay, Big fan. Everyone seems to be jumping on the Rays and Reds as the surprise teams this season. Are you with that, or do you disagree? |
(mattymatty from Surprise Land, USA)
|I've been pointing to the Reds as my sleeper team in a few different media appearances. I'm no big fan of Dusty Baker, but the two jobs he's had previously saw the Giants jump from 72 to 103 wins and the Cubs from 67 to 88 wins. Obivously, talent was a big part of that, with Bonds coming over from Pittsburgh in the former case and Mark Prior hitting his stride in the latter. The Reds are loaded with blue chip talent, four of the top 41 prospects from our list (I htink), and if Dusty lets them play, it's a big upgrade.
As for the Rays, I've been a big fan of Kazmir and SHields for the past couple years, and they're just bursting with talent. I don' tknow if they crack 81 wins but they will be a super-fun team to watch. (Jay Jaffe)
|2008-03-06 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Dusty Baker - my guitar gently weeps. Talk me back from the ledge.|
(Dan from Cincy)
|Compared to what? Dusty or no Dusty, the Reds have a very nice bounty of prospects right now, and some solid building blocks in place around the diamond. Just be glad that the organization has any reason for optimism at all; you could always start rooting for the Pirates if it's the hope you can't stand. (Jay Jaffe)|
|2008-02-27 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Do you think Joey Votto has any shot at winning the starting job in Cincinatti this year?|
(Billy from Iowa City, IA)
|There are a lot of questions here about the Reds and how their roster will shake out, all of which, I think, stems from insecurity over Dusty Baker making the right decision. We were talking about Tris Speaker before -- if he were available, Dusty would be trying to sign him. Look, I don't think any of us can say what Dusty and the Reds will do, because we don't know to what degree rationality really holds sway there. If it were up to us we would go with the high upside of guys like Votto and Bruce, but that's now how Dusty thinks about things. One thing that will give us a clue is, obviously, spring training performance, not because 50 PAs in March will prove more to US about a player than all of last year's minor league numbers did, but because if the youngsters don't play well, Dusty won't give them the benefit of the doubt. He'll have an excuse to go Hatteberg and Lofton and Dead Ted Kluzewski. (Steven Goldman)|
|2008-02-27 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Can you give me your best guess playing time estimates for the following guys:
(makewayhomer from Boston)
|Again, I don't think those guesses would be particularly valuable. You're asking me to anticipate Dusty Baker and Joe Torre etc. I know what we would like those answers to be, but it takes a lot for a vet-lovin' manager to overcome his prejudices... Soto, I think, is clear to get the bulk of ABs in Chi. It seems impossible that the Astros would finally let someone dislodge Ausmus, and I think that PECOTA is right when it speculates that Towles will be held under 400 ABs. The rest of them... stand by. (Steven Goldman)|
|2008-02-27 13:00:00 (link to chat)||I was listening to the radio yesterday and Stephen A. Smith was on... hey it was the only station I could get in my apartment. He's of the opinion that Dusty Baker got a raw deal and was ridden out of Chicago. For some reason Chicago gets stuck with alot of stubborn coaches/managers, and he was one of them. If Stephen A. had been hear to listen to many of Dusty's thoughts, he's know why the Cubs wanted a new manager. Dusty didn't want to be accountable for anything.|
(Dusty from Not Chicago!!!)
|Well, lack of accountability among Americans today isn't anything new. Dusty though... most overrated manager in recent history? I think so. You can't really separate his record from that of Barry Bonds. Take that away, and what's left isn't all that impressive. (Steven Goldman)|
|2008-02-07 14:00:00 (link to chat)||Joe, shouldnt major league GM's require that their managerial candidates play in some simulation leagues in order to develop a better sense of the value of particular strategies? I'm serious.|
(Creepy Crawly from Los Angeles)
|If baseball teams were run like businesses, sure. Bill James first suggested this two decades ago, and he was as right then as he is now.
This also goes back to my particular hobby horse, that the job of "baseball manager" requires such disparate skills that no one man will have them all. So why not have a front guy, a Dusty Baker or someone who's a leader of men and who the media loves, and then get coordinators for the other stuff?
I'll tell you right now that I couldn't be a major-league manager. But could I (or Bill Meinhardt, or Stan Suderman, or Nate Silver) run the game decisions better than some or even most of them? I'd take that bet. Even factoring in the knowledge sets the sims don't cover, which can be learned, sim managers simply understand the "engine of baseball" better than MLB managers, as a pool. (Joe Sheehan)
|2008-02-05 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Anyone down there that you have been impressed or surprised by that you'd like to tell us about?|
(Ben F from California)
|I was surprised by Rolando Valdez, who pitched in relief for Mexico yesterday. One of the big problems with this series is that teams tend to bring their extremely veteran players--shades of Dusty Baker in the Caribbean. Valdez's stuff looked good, he's still young (21) and while his numbers in the minors aren't that impressive, he was only signed in 2005. So he's someone I'd be interested to see more of.
Another reliever that's impressed is Jailen Peguero, who's performed admirably in some tight spots. PECOTA isn't a big fan of his, and you'd probably be better off talking to Kevin about whether his stuff is major-league caliber, but I'm still impressed. (Derek Jacques)
|2010-10-06 10:00:00||2010 Playoffs Day One||If only Dusty Baker taught a philosophy class . . . (Jesse Behr)|
|2010-10-06 10:00:00||2010 Playoffs Day One||Dear Dusty Baker,|
Do you want your team to score more runs? Move Phillips and Cabrera down in the order and put guys who can get on base in those spots. Actually, replacing Cabrera with Paul Janish would be a good idea, too. And are you familiar with a player named Ryan Hannigan? He should be in the lineup, hitting leadoff or second. As Joe Morgan might say, "He's not fast, but he's an intelligent baserunner." (David Laurila)