Results tagged ‘ Reds ’

A word from Justin Turner

justin_turner.jpgYes, the Ramon Hernandez-Ryan Freel deal was mostly about Matt Wieters. And yes, there were the big-league parts (RH impact hitter to the Reds). But the two Minor Leaguers the Orioles got are not nothing. Neither may be elite players, with Brandon Waring having great raw power and the question of whether he’ll make consistent enough contact as he moves up to reach that power, and Justin Turner being a real “baseball player,” in scouting parlance.

I had the chance to chat with Turner yesterday after the trade was announced. He’s the kind of baseball rat that every winning team needs to have. Whether he’s an every-day second baseman or a utilityman in the future remains to be seen, but he’s definitely the type who will somehow make his way to the big leagues and contribute. Here’s a sampling of what he had to say about the trade, his new organization and leaving his old friends with the Reds.

On the trade:

I was kind of surprised at first.
You never really know when that kind of stuff is going to happen. I’m looking
forward to the opportunity and the change of scenery and hopefully good things
will come of it.”

 

On whether he’ll have a better shot with the O’s, who don’t have as much infield depth as the Reds:

“I haven’t talked to anyone with the
Orioles [front office] there. I have some good friends who are infielders there. There’s Blake
Davis, a shortstop. I played with him for  4 years at [Cal State Fullerton]. Scott Moore, who
I grew up with, is a third baseman with them. From talking to those guys, it might create a
better opportunity for me. The bottom line is I’ll still have to go out there
and play and perform. I’d like to think that if I have a good year, no matter
what organization I’m with, I’d get a chance to reach the big
leagues.”

On possibly playing a utility
role:

You see that more and more, guys
playing all over the field. It definitely helps your chances of staying up there
as a utility guy. I’d like to stick at second base and be a second baseman, but
if that doesn’t work out, I’d be more than happy to be a utility guy and help
out that way.”

On ending his relationship with the
Reds, especially his double-play partner Chris
Valaika:

“It’s definitely going to be tough
and it’s going to be a change. Chris was one of the guys I contacted first when
I heard the news. He’s excited for me and happy for me. It does kind of stink to
be separated from him. We’ve played together for three years. We had a good feel
for each other and we were a good combo up the middle. I guess that’s the
business of baseball. I wish him the best of luck and just look at this as a new
opportunity.”

The real deal on the Freel deal

Sure, the Orioles are excited to have Ryan Freel on the team and they probably think Justin Turner and Brandon Waring have futures as well. But one of the most interesting things about these trades in general is how they can impact — positively or negatively — the prospects who were in the organization prevoiusly.

What makes this specific deal more intriguing is that the decision-makers listed that very concept as the main reason for the trade. At the press conference officially announcing the trade, Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said flat out that the trading of Ramon Hernandez to the Reds was really all about Matt Wieters.

How’s that for refreshingly honest?

Can you remember a time when something like that, regardless of how obvious it is to everyone, is put out in the open like that from the get-go? MacPhail stated plainly that Wieters will be ready to contribute at some point in 2009 — don’t be surprised if the O’s “Evan Longoria” him by having him start out in Triple-A for a brief time — and that when Wieters does get called up, they are going to want him to play. Sharing time was not something Hernandez would want to do and it could possibly impede with Wieters’ development.

So kudos all around to the Orioles. For making room for their best prospect — and one of the best prospects in the game — allowing him to reach the big leagues when he’s ready. And kudos to them for admitting it so freely. Things are looking up for the O’s with some of the talent they have (just look at all those names in the Top 50) and making sure they can get there with out obstacles will be a big reason why they will start being much more competitive in the AL East in the future.

B3 Mailbagish

So between a comment here and there on the blog and some emails I’ve gotten, I figure every once in a while I’ll answer some queries here. Let me start with an email I got as part of a new quasi-regular B3 feature: FIND THE MINOR LEAGUER. They can get easily lost, you know, and I get emails sometimes asking about someone’s whereabouts. So, if you’re trying to find someone in the Minors, email me and I’ll put on my detective hat and see what I can find. Here’s our first edition:

Jonathan, I can’t find any news on Cole Rohrbough.  He
doesn’t appear to be on any Braves roster I can find.  Do you have any info on
his playing status?
– Nervous Ned

OK, he didn’t sign the email Nervous Ned, but I thought that was catchy. At any rate, here’s what I was able to dig up. Rohrbough is still in Orlando, in extended Spring Training. Seems that he had some shoulder tendinitis during Spring Training and the Bravos wanted to be understandably cautious. Once they got the tendinitis to calm down, they had him work on strengthening the area. He’s now working through their throwing program to get himself prepped to throw game innings. There’s no ETA on when it will happen, but he’ll pitch in a few Extended Spring Training games before he gets to head back out to a club.

The other recent question came via the comments on this blog (you guys should try it — I hear interactivity is all the rage):

Jason, wondering if you had any insights on the whether or not the Reds
continued struggles, including tonight’s drubbing, will mean a more
expeditious call-up for Bruce, Bailey or anyone else, and whether or
not you think grabbing them now for a 10-team fantasy squad makes sense? — jaynew

OK, first things first. If you’re going to ask someone a question you want answered on a blog, make sure you get the guy’s name right. I mean, how hard is that? It’s only in the header of the whole blog and above that great big picture of my chrome dome. Maybe it’s because his “name” is jaynew and he’s asking about Jay Bruce that he got Jay on the brain… Suffice it to say others in my place would completely disregard the question.

But I’m a bigger man than that, whatever my name is. So on to his fantasy-related question. I could use some more information — like is it an NL-only league? Is it a keeper league? You know, the typical questions worth asking. Matt Belisle has already replaced Josh Fogg in the rotation, so you have to figure he’ll get at least a few starts to show what he can do. That’s really the only spot for Bailey in the rotation. That being said, if he continues to pitch like that, they’ll figure something out. At this rate, if Belisle continues to struggle, I could see Bailey getting another shot by the end of May. And I still love his upside potential.

As for Bruce, I thought he should be up on Opening Day and the way the OF is producing, you have to imagine he’ll get his chance soon enough. I don’t know how concerned the Reds are with the whole service clock thing and now you have to wonder if they’re freaking out about the Longoria contract, but he’s another one who should show his face sooner rather than later. I think both can contribute to a fantasy team right away, so especially jaynew, if you’re league is a keeper league or in an NL-only format, then grab them as soon as it is allowed. If you’re in a mixed league, I still think they can help, but I wouldn’t go as nuts over them.

I’m going on vacation starting on Thursday, so I’ll be back in about a week with more thrilling B3 action…

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