Posted on: November 30, 2011 2:13 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule of this feature, click here.
During the series, we've seen some lineups that would be completely foreign to the hometown fans, and some a little less so. The homegrown Cincinnati Reds, for better or worse, look quite similar to the team that took the field at Great American Ball Park this past season. While there are similar strengths, the same problems also crop up.
1. Jay Bruce, RF
2. Justin Turner, 2B
3. Joey Votto, 1B
4. Adam Dunn, LF
5. Juan Francisco, 3B
6. Drew Stubbs, CF
7. Devin Mesoraco, C
8. Zack Cozart, SS
1. Johnny Cueto
2. Mike Leake
3. Homer Bailey
4. Travis Wood
5. Zach Stewart
Closer - Aroldis Chapman
Set up - Todd Coffey, Logan Ondrusek, Jordan Smith, Josh Roenicke, Enerio Del Rosario
Long - Sam LeCure
Notable Bench Players
Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal, Adam Rosales, Ryan Hanigan, Chris Heisey, Chris Denorfia, Chris Dickerson. The Reds hypothetical situation behind the plate is the same as their current situation, one underrated catcher and two promising prospects, a problem most teams would envy. The hypothetical Reds also have no real spot for Alonso, although a short leash on Dunn could have this homegrown team toy with the notion of trying Alonso in left -- just like the real Reds.
The lineup's going to put up runs, that's for sure. There are some lineup construction problems, but this team can flat out hit, especially in their home ballpark. The defense isn't as good as it is in real life, it's still not too bad (with the exception of Dunn). The team has a lot of talent behind the plate and the bench is deep with some versatility.
The Reds were unable to repeat their 2010 division title in large part because of the failings of their starting rotation -- that's not fixed with these five. There's also no real answer to the team's search for a leadoff man, just like the real Reds. This bullpen isn't as experienced or strong as the real thing, either.
Comparison to real 2011
While there are some key personel missing, like Brandon Phillips and Francisco Cordero, there's also an added boost to the lineup of Dunn (we'll just assume he would have performed closer to his career numbers than his historically bad 2011 in the familiar confines of Great American Ball Park than in Chicago), the offense would have been about the same. The pitching, though, is still a problem, so this squad may fair a bit worse than the team's 79-83 record. However, the team is interesting, talented and young.
Next: Kansas City Royals
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Tags: Adam Dunn, Adam Rosales, Aroldis Chapman, Brandon Phillips, C. Trent Rosecrans, Chris Denorfia, Chris Dickerson, Chris Heisey, Devin Mesoraco, Drew Stubbs, Enerio Del Rosario, Francisco Cordero, homegrown, Homer Bailey, Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, Johnny Cueto, Jordan Smith, Josh Roenicke, Juan Francisco, Justin Turner, Logan Ondrusek, Mike Leake, NL Central, Reds, Ryan Hanigan, Sam LeCure, Todd Coffey, Travis Wood, Yasmani Grandal, Yonder Alonso, Zach Stewart, Zack Cozart
Posted on: June 23, 2010 2:20 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2010 2:50 pm
Sports Illustrated 's Jon Heyman tweeted that the Blue Jays may be a source of pitching-rich depth as the trade deadline approaches.
Heyman specifically names Jason Frasor, Scott Downs and Shaun Marcum (pictured) as pitchers that can be traded, although Ricky Romero is in the "untouchable" camp.
Toronto is likely grappling with the decision on whether to buy or sell.
The Blue Jays are currently fourth in the highly-competitive AL East with an impressive 38-33 record that places them six games behind the Yankees for first place. With the Rays and Red Sox nipping at the Yankees and all three teams boasting baseball's best records, it's hard to imagine Toronto has a realistic shot at the playoffs.
However, this season certainly has to be considered a success so far. It's not often one trades the best pitcher in the game (Roy Halladay) and improves. In addition, public relations has to be taken into account: with the team's success, how would it look if Toronto started selling off parts?
Frasor, 32, currently has a 5.40 ERA in 28 1/3 innings, but ERA has to be taken with a grain of salt with relievers as their innings total is so low. He is striking out 9.8 batters per nine innings, which is a career-high although he is also giving up 5.1 walks per nine, which would be the second-worst mark of his career. He's still one of the game's better middle relievers who has experience closing.
Given his poor performance to date, Toronto could probably justify dealing him, especially if they replace Frasor with Josh Roenicke, dominating Triple-A and having been acquired in last season's Scott Rolen trade.
Downs is older than Frasor at age 34, but is having a better season and continuing a four-year streak of being one of the best left-handed relievers in the game. The lefty has a 3.34 ERA in 29 2/3 innings and would most likely bring back a better piece than Frasor. Journeyman left-hander Sean Henn has a sub-2 ERA for Triple-A Las Vegas, so there is a ready-made replacement for Downs, but it's possible Henn has mastered Triple-A but not the majors. Additionally, even with strong replacements available in the minor leagues, to trade the team's two best relievers doesn't exactly send a positive signal to the fanbase.
The last pitcher named a possibility to be traded, Marcum, has made 15 starts on the year for an impressive 3.24 ERA. He was one of the league's burgeoning young pitchers before going under the knife and missing all of 2009. He hasn't missed a beat in his return and while the Jays are flush with plenty of starting pitching, it would be especially tough to justify to the fan base the dealing of Marcum. It's simply not likely to happen, especially when the team can slot Marcum in the rotation for at least two more years.
The Blue Jays are caught in no-man's land between having a season that dictates not rebuilding, but being in a division and with a team that isn't likely to have long-term success. The club has quite a tough road to navigate between now and the trading deadline.
-- Evan Brunell
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