Sunday, March 30, 2003

Reds Q&A

Should Reds ink Vaughn?

By John Fay
The Cincinnati Enquirer

E-mailers want to tinker with the roster as Opening Day approaches. Read on:

Q, from V. Mitchell: With the Reds always wanting to get rid of some payroll, I was wondering if you have heard any rumors with them discussing trades with the Phillies? The Phillies reportedly are looking for relievers and a backup catcher. It would look like a good opportunity for them to unload Gabe White or Scott Sullivan and Kelly Stinnett. This would free up some payroll and give Corky Miller a chance in the big leagues.

A: A Phillies insider says they can't afford Sullivan or White.

Q, from Nate at Purdue: Wouldn't it make sense to pick up Greg Vaughn after he clears waivers to be a reserve outfielder? The Reds could package Ruben Mateo and Gabe White somewhere, and they would have a power bat off the bench and some veteran leadership that everyone says is lacking. He seemed to enjoy '99 when he was with the Reds, so why not make another go?

A: The Reds could use a veteran with pops off the bench. If not Vaughn, someone else.

From Mike: You wrote "Casey's trade value isn't very high because he's coming off an injury and makes $5.6 million. When last healthy, he hit .310 and drove in 89 runs." To the naked eye that may seem true, but Casey had a horrible second half of 2001. What's his excuse for that? He wasn't injured at the time. Casey is weak at a power position. Eighty-nine RBI is nothing in this era. And average and RBI don't really measure offensive prowess. Think more along the lines of on-base percentage and slugging percentage.

A: You can go by numbers alone if you're putting together a fantasy team. But Casey's value goes beyond numbers. He's a leader, good for the community. The Reds won with him in 1999 and 2000. Now is not the time to trade him.

From Mike: My thoughts on Chris Reitsma: Decent stuff, but it seems to me he pitches well enough to lose, that he doesn't know how to win at this stage of his career. I think at least a half year of Triple-A will do him good.

A: Wins and losses are what starters should be measured by. Reitsma was 6-12 last year, despite his 3.67 ERA. Part of that was lack of support. But if Reitsma can learn to avoid the one or two mistakes that cost him last year, he can develop into a winning pitcher.

Q, from Rick in Newport: How many Rule 5 selections have the Reds made in the last two years?

Are any still in the Reds organization? Is it worth the $25,000 net loss per pick when that money could have been pumped into player development for the Reds' own draft picks?

A: The Reds haven't had much luck with Rule 5 players. They didn't select any last year. This year, they picked three. Luke Prokopec is the only one of the three still with the team. Picking Jerome Gamble and Blake Williams was like buying a lottery ticket. Neither had pitched above Single-A, and both were coming off injuries. Prokopec was less of a risk. Is the money worth it? Let's put it this way: Is it better to put a dollar in the bank or buy a lottery ticket? Depends if the ticket is a winner.



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