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#141 NewMarketSean

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 11:15 AM

The problem is, the same can be said about Betimet, who is worse than Reynolds.


Reynolds is the more valuable hitter with higher OBP and more power.

At least Betemit can be platooned with Tolleson and doesn't need to be out there every night.
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#142 Mike B

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 11:24 AM

I get the guy has been better there defensively, and Buck doesn't trust him at 3B, but right now, he should be our 3B man because he's making the lineup weaker than it needs to be and he's the best we've got in terms of a well rounded player at the position.

Tolleson and Andino can't hit enough to play there. Betemit is clearly worse than Reynolds there defensively.

And by keeping Reynolds at 1B, Buck is keeping Nick Johnson on the bench full time because Chris Davis also has to play. And in interleague play at the NL parks, now there is no DH so both Davis and Johnson have to sit or Davis has to play a position he's not familiar with and his offense suffers as a result.

And for 3B you now either have to play Betemit at 3B and/or bench Betemit and Johnson to play the likes of Andino or Tolleson who can't hit.

The solution without any trades is sending Reynolds back to 3B and just living with his below average defense, or if you absolutely can't you move Reynolds to the OF so that 1B can be freed up to play the 1B/DH guys we have and keep them in the lineup.

Reynolds' bat isn't good enough by itself, nor is his defense at 1B to justify weakening the entire lineup just to avoid him playing 3B or the OF, and if Buck doesn't move him around, the Orioles are going to find it harder and harder to score runs.


First, Trea it is good to see you here. You are a lightning rod who generates discussion, which makes a message board fun, no matter whether we agree or disagree with you.
As for this post, I am somewhere in the middle.
First what I agree with....Tolleson and Andino do not hit enough to play 3B on a regular basis.
Reynolds is the best option at 3B, even though he is not good there. If we are going to use someone every day at 3B, then Reynolds is the best option.
What I disagree with....First Johnson. He is at a point in his career where his bat does not play well enough to be an every day DH or 1B man. Plus if we tried to play him everyday we would see diminishing returns plus the initials after his name would more than likely be DL. Second, if Reynolds is in the lineup, his bat would not hurt us any more or less, if he was playing 1st or 3rd. He struggled last night but has been pretty good since he got back.

I think the Orioles need to find a first baseman or 3rd baseman, and FWIW, I like SG's idea of Headley. If that were to happen then Reynolds who is playing well at first could stay there and Davis could DH.

Just a hunch but if Nick and Reimold were to come back Johnson winds up being released. Pearce is more valuable IMO then NJ. The Nick Johnson of 2012 is probably a .725 OPS DH IMO.
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#143 Mike B

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 11:31 AM

Also as no conicidence, the Orioles have also been shutout 4 times with Reynolds playing 1B and were not shutout once with him at 3B.



Sorry Reynolds is one ninth of a shut out. You can not say that if Reynolds was playing 3rd and Johnson was on first they would not have been shut out.

The shutouts are more a product of NL rules, as in the case of 3 of them, and having to play Tolleson, Flaherty, Pearce and a pitcher in the lineup instead of a DH, Nick, Nolan and even Bettemit.

The orioles were a hot offense this time last week. We need another bat and that IMO is not Johnson. Getting Nick back will help and a healthy Reimold would really help, but trading for another stick would be nice.
Two rough games against good pitchers with a weaken lineup gets everyone nervous.
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#144 Mike B

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 11:36 AM

I think Reynolds has looked better at 1B than Davis this season, although Davis had a much better defensive reputation coming into the year.

Davis should be in the lineup nearly every day. Reynolds should be in it most days, occasionally taking off for Betemit or Johnson or somebody else to have a day as the DH.

Also, Reynolds has a .277/.385/.492 slash line since coming off the DL, and that includes the 1-15 (w/ 2 BB) slump he's been in on this road trip. Anyone who thinks he's hurting the Orioles offense hasn't been paying close enough attention. You can't bench productive players after a tiny slump.



Great Post. First base is a footwork position. Reynolds seems to be getting better with better footwork each game. Davis really shocks me with how bad he has been at first. He came with a good rep and seemed to play well there last year. This year he always seems to be off balance. Anyone who has played first will tell you how improtant good footwork is. Davis's problems on scooping the ball are more footwork than a bad glove.
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#145 RShack

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 11:48 AM

And you don't have to troll him everytime he makes a point either.

It goes both ways, so let's just see what he has to say instead of calling him out for no reason.

His general point is correct. We are a better offensive team with Reynolds at third and I doubt the defense is worse off either.

SG, I do grok what you're saying, I really do... but at the same time, I think everybody (with the possible exception of Trea) would say that Trea has some things to work on... and unlike most folks (including you), I know of no evidence that Trea is truly cognizant of the fact that he has room to improve in specific ways...

So, I don't think it's fair to reduce it to trolling, it is an honest effort to help him notice in the actual moment rather than just having people pile on in general... now, you might say that it could be done just as well via PM, but I don't believe that, due to the way that Trea is very capable of honoring certain things that are publicly quite visible...

(that is all... I don't intend to make this a big thing... but neither do I wanna see a repeat here of what helped make things suck at the other place... and I think standing aside and letting it repeat itself without comment is just plain dumb...)

 "The only change is that baseball has turned Paige from a second-class citizen to a second-class immortal." - Satchel Paige


#146 JTrea81

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 11:53 AM

I'll acknowledge the point that Reynolds shouldn't be benched. This is true. The Orioles are better off with him in the lineup than without him.

However, when he's in the lineup, he's been relegated to 1B duties now, especially in interleague play.

It would have been much more beneficial IMO to have him at 3B or the OF, and to let Davis or Johnson play 1B. As I've stated the alternative to Reynolds at 3B is Betemit who is worse defensively, or one of Tolleson or Andino who can't hit enough to play the position full time.

Dan Duquette assembled this roster thinking Mark Reynolds was going to be the 3B man. He acquired lots of guys that can play 1B/DH because he expected that position to be the platoon. Now that Reynolds is another 1B/DH, it nullifies any value or production you could have got out of those players because you have to bench two of them to play Reynolds at 1B if you don't have Betemit play 3B. It's wasting those roster spots.

As for Johnson only being a .725 OPS DH? He had over a .900 OPS in May after his horrid start. He hit 2 HRs in the Fenway finale and he hasn't seen regular duty since the series with the Royals. The guy can hit, but he's not going to be successful as a bench player IMO. Duquette got him for a steal but that steal is just being wasted to play the likes of Tolleson and Andino.

I agree the solution needs to be getting somebody at 3B that can hit and play defense, but for the time being the best guy on our roster to do that is Mark Reynolds. And the best way to make the lineup as productive as possible is to free up 1B for a 1B/DH bat and keep Tolleson and Andino on the bench, and that means Reynolds goes back to 3B, or goes to the OF.

#147 Mackus

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 11:59 AM

I agree the solution needs to be getting somebody at 3B that can hit and play defense, but for the time being the best guy on our roster to do that is Mark Reynolds. And the best way to make the lineup as productive as possible is to free up 1B for a 1B/DH bat and keep Tolleson and Andino on the bench.

I don't know how anybody could watch the way Reynolds played 3B this year, after working all offseason to try and improve from his defense in 2011 which was unacceptable, and think that he should be a primary option at 3B going forward. I was very much in favor of giving him an opportunity to show that 2011 was a fluke defensively, but he showed the exact opposite. And while it wasn't a huge sample, the degree of his struggles were so severe that it essentially mandated an end to his time as the primary 3B.

If we were in a position to let players play through their struggles (i.e. not contending) then we could stick Mark at 3B and hope he can work through his issues and get back to playing 3B at an adequate (although likely still well below average) level. But we are in the thick of things this year. We can't afford to give away games solely to try and get Reynolds back to playing 3B at an acceptable level.

I would consider giving him a very occasional start at 3B, maybe one every other week or so, and if that goes well, slowly increase his time there. But I think just throwing him right back to 3B would likely be disastrous.

#148 JTrea81

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 12:13 PM

I would consider giving him a very occasional start at 3B, maybe one every other week or so, and if that goes well, slowly increase his time there. But I think just throwing him right back to 3B would likely be disastrous.


How about the OF? What about putting him out there? I know Pearce has done pretty well, but Reynolds could get some time there to give the other 1B/DH bats a spot in the lineup.

And as to your previous point, Reynolds himself isn't hurting the offense, him blocking a 1B/DH spot in the lineup is what is hurting the offense, hence the thread title.

#149 SportsGuy

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 12:23 PM

SG, I do grok what you're saying, I really do... but at the same time, I think everybody (with the possible exception of Trea) would say that Trea has some things to work on... and unlike most folks (including you), I know of no evidence that Trea is truly cognizant of the fact that he has room to improve in specific ways...

And I think everyone would say the same about you and many others, including myself.

So, I don't think it's fair to reduce it to trolling, it is an honest effort to help him notice in the actual moment rather than just having people pile on in general... now, you might say that it could be done just as well via PM, but I don't believe that, due to the way that Trea is very capable of honoring certain things that are publicly quite visible...

I get what you are doing but we are trying the best we can to avoid this message board drama bs.

(that is all... I don't intend to make this a big thing... but neither do I wanna see a repeat here of what helped make things suck at the other place... and I think standing aside and letting it repeat itself without comment is just plain dumb...)

And as a mod(along with Chris and Greg), we will monitor the situation for EVERYONE. Personally, I am glad Trea is posting here and hope he continues to do so.

#150 RShack

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 12:27 PM

And I think everyone would say the same about you and many others, including myself.

Yeah... but each of us can admit it... which makes a huge diff. I truly don't know if Trea gets it. Do you?

As for the mods handling it... well, that's fine in general... but so far I have seen Trea be up to the same old tricks with no sign that he groks what his issues are. Have the mods acted to help prevent a repeat of what happened before? If so, you don't have to tell me what that might be, I'm just asking if it happened, that's all...

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#151 SportsGuy

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 12:28 PM

I don't know how anybody could watch the way Reynolds played 3B this year, after working all offseason to try and improve from his defense in 2011 which was unacceptable, and think that he should be a primary option at 3B going forward.

Pretty easy...the other options are worse than him.

Trea is right. By having Reynolds in there, you have a weaker bat in the lineup...and the defense being played isn't really that good that it is making a bigger difference than the other bat potentially could.

As things are put together right now, I think the way to go is Reynolds at third and to me, its not even debateable.

The ONLY way I would change my mind is if Reynolds has gone to Buck and told him that he has zero confidence over there and that has killed him at the plate. Perhaps that has happened and if so, then I am all for moving Reynolds to first.

Other than that, I just see no reason not to have him at third when you compare the options that we have now.

#152 SportsGuy

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 12:31 PM

Yeah... but each of us can admit it... which makes a huge diff. I truly don't know if Trea gets it. Do you?

As for the mods handling it... well, that's fine in general... but so far I have seen Trea be up to the same old tricks with no sign that he groks what his issues are. Have the mods acted to help prevent a repeat of what happened before? If so, you don't have to tell me what that might be, I'm just asking if it happened, that's all...

1) I have no issue with anything he has said. Just because you may not like it doesn't mean its a big deal. There are people that may be having an issue with how you are handling things as well. I could easily say I see a lot of your old habits too. But that's not the case because we(the mods) aren't going down that road with people. Everyone has a clean slate.

2) Yes, I think Trea knows but he is passionate about what he says, so whatever.

Now, if anyone has any other issues take it up with Chris, Greg or myself in a PM and let's get back to talking about how we don't have CIers who can catch and hit the ball.

#153 Mackus

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 12:31 PM

How about the OF? What about putting him out there? I know Pearce has done pretty well, but Reynolds could get some time there to give the other 1B/DH bats a spot in the lineup.

I also suggested perhaps trying Reynolds in RF when Markakis went down. I suspect that the O's didn't have him out there at all in ST, even in drills, trying to get him as much time as possible at 3B to recover from last season. Davis, apparently, got some time there and that's why we saw him out in RF. If they've officially decided to never try Reynolds at 3B any more, then I would definitely be interested in seeing what he can do in the outfield, but you don't just throw him out there during a game to find out. You work on it during practice and see if he can handle it. I suspect that he would be able to, given that he's pretty athletic and speed and quickness aren't his weaknesses.

I think once Markakis is back, that perhaps you can try either Reynolds or Davis in LF. I would like to avoid (as much as possible, NL Parks make it tough) either of them in one corner and Pearce in the other. I think that hurts the defense too much to be worth any offensive advantage you get. I don't expect Pearce to be any sort of long term solution (even just for this season) or for Reimold to make much impact over the remainder of the year, so having those guys work on their outfield defense could end up being very useful.

#154 Mackus

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 12:39 PM

Pretty easy...the other options are worse than him.

Trea is right. By having Reynolds in there, you have a weaker bat in the lineup...and the defense being played isn't really that good that it is making a bigger difference than the other bat potentially could.

Davis is in the lineup either way (save for the NL parks, which is so irregular that it's not really worth a ton of discussion). So the big offensive dropoff would be from whomever Reynolds is bumping at 1B/DH to whomever is replacing Reynolds at 3B. I don't think there is any question that Johnson/Betemit are better hitters than Andino/Tolleson, although against LHP I'd take Tolleson over all the rest. So already we have a strong argument for a Tolleson/Reynolds combo at 3B/1B at least against LHP.

Against RHP, Johnson/Betemit are between superior and far superior to Andino/Tolleson. But I think the defensive upgrade at 3B from Reynolds to Andino/Tolleson is also between superior and far superior. Reynolds had a -30 UZR/150 last year, and was much worse than that both to the eye and in the stat books in his limited time this year. I don't think it's a reasonable assumption to assume he can be even a -20 UZR/150 3B. At some point, whatever extra offense you get has to be offset by the terrible defense.

Andino's terrible performance at the plate over the last 6-7 weeks makes this a very tough scenario. Except for Tolleson against LHP, we're pretty much choosing between worst-in-the-sport defense in Reynolds or worst-in-the-sport offense in Andino (recently). I honestly have more confidence right now that Andino can turn things around and be a 650-675 OPS hitter than I do that Reynolds can turn things around and be a -20 UZR/150 type defender at 3B.

#155 RShack

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 04:09 PM

Now, if anyone has any other issues take it up with Chris, Greg or myself in a PM and let's get back to talking about how we don't have CIers who can catch and hit the ball.

Not sure why you said that. I don't see anybody (including me) having any issues with Chris, Greg or you. Rather, you took exception to me pointing out to Trea the opportunity he has here, and you basically told me to not do that.

The reason I said that is because I always thought it was good to have a board that sorta helped regulate itself. I was not being a cop, I was just telling him what I think is important. But as a mod you seem to be telling me that I shouldn't do that, and that the mods should do that instead. If that's the case, well, OK. I'm not interested in ignoring the directives of mods, or in violating Chris' policies. I just didn't realize that that was one of them, that's all.

One thing I'm not sure about is whether your pleasure in seeing Trea here is you speaking as a mod or you speaking as an individual. As an individual, well, anybody can have any opinion they like. As a mod, I would hope that you do not wish to see a repeat of what happened before when Trea did his thing. He actively ran posters off, and I don't think it would be good to permit that same behavior here. (An ounce of prevention, etc. )

I will now shut up about it, since you pretty much told me to do that while speaking in your role as a mod. BTW, I do think you have shown admirable restraint and good judgment around here in general, so please don't take any of this as snark, because that's not how I mean it.

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#156 RShack

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 04:14 PM

Here's one thing I don't know: How much damage has #12 done at 3B?

I ask in part because I know Earl would hide bats that had no glove over there, and he said he did it simply because 3B had the fewest number of chances. All that was based on his index cards and his Apple II. Does modern tracking data support him on that?

The general tone here is that the O's just can't afford to play Reynolds at 3B, but is that really true? I'm asking because I'm curious. If it was me, I'd play him there, but I'm not saying I'm right to think that.,,

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#157 Mackus

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 05:20 PM

Here's one thing I don't know: How much damage has #12 done at 3B?

I ask in part because I know Earl would hide bats that had no glove over there, and he said he did it simply because 3B had the fewest number of chances. All that was based on his index cards and his Apple II. Does modern tracking data support him on that?

The general tone here is that the O's just can't afford to play Reynolds at 3B, but is that really true? I'm asking because I'm curious. If it was me, I'd play him there, but I'm not saying I'm right to think that.,,

I know you don't like defensive stats, but that's really the only way to quantify what you're asking for.

Last year Reynold's UZR/150 was -30. That means over the course of a season, he would cost the team 30 runs (or 3 wins) with his glove alone compared to an average 3B. That's monumentally bad.

This year, it was a very small sample of only 15 or so games, but he was down to -45, which is absolutely unheard of (although the SSS makes it not terribly meaningful). I don't think he would have continued to be that bad if we kept him there, but I do think he would be roughly as bad as he was last season, which was an unacceptable level.

#158 RShack

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 05:30 PM

I know you don't like defensive stats, but that's really the only way to quantify what you're asking for.

Last year Reynold's UZR/150 was -30. That means over the course of a season, he would cost the team 30 runs (or 3 wins) with his glove alone compared to an average 3B. That's monumentally bad.

This year, it was a very small sample of only 15 or so games, but he was down to -45, which is absolutely unheard of (although the SSS makes it not terribly meaningful). I don't think he would have continued to be that bad if we kept him there, but I do think he would be roughly as bad as he was last season, which was an unacceptable level.

OK, thanks...

It's not that I don't like D-stats, it's just that I don't think they're very trustworthy yet. And I think the guys who make them know that, but that some folks (not all, but some) who use them don't. The latter issue is what bothers me. I do trust the guys who work on them to try and improve them.

I fully agree that that is the only way to answer the question.

So, are the results you reported saying that his D cost the O's ~3 games last year, which would have turned a .500 team, into a 78-84 team... and that he was on a pace to cost the team ~4.5 games this year, which would turn a .500 team into something like a 77-85 or 76-86 team? Or do I have that wrong?

Do you know what the story is about expected chances at 3B compared to other positions?

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#159 bnickle

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 08:35 PM

I like playing this game. No coincidence, without Betemit at 3b we get no hit Monday and don't score tonight, or the series.

#160 Mackus

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 08:41 PM

So, are the results you reported saying that his D cost the O's ~3 games last year, which would have turned a .500 team, into a 78-84 team... and that he was on a pace to cost the team ~4.5 games this year, which would turn a .500 team into something like a 77-85 or 76-86 team? Or do I have that wrong?

That's pretty much what the stats are saying. It was only ~3 weeks for this season, and even the folks who like defensive stats admit that defensive stats require at least twice as big of a sample as offensive stats to be reliable, so that was really just a slumpy couple of weeks more than a definitive trend, although I think both his numbers from last year and his even worse numbers from the brief time at 3B this year matched what the eyes see.

That -30 is just about the worst you'll ever see for anybody at any position. Remember a 3 WAR player is roughly a solid regular. Well Reynolds was -3 WAR just with the glove, he would have to hit like a 3 WAR player just to break even and be an above replacement player.

As for the number of balls fielded per position, I'm sure that is available somewhere, I just don't know off the top of my head where to look. Could probably find it on BB-Ref of fangraphs without too much struggle.




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