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Position Battles- CIN backup OF - Smitherman-Taylor-Pena

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Who gets to replace Griffey?

Poll ended at Fri Apr 09, 2004 4:52 am

Smitherman
1
13%
Taylor
2
25%
Mo Pena
5
63%
 
Total votes : 8

Position Battles- CIN backup OF - Smitherman-Taylor-Pena

Postby wrveres » Tue Feb 24, 2004 4:52 am

Why is this important you say? Well because April 10th comes pretty fast, and if following Ken Griffeys past two years are any indication, he should be hitting the DL about that time. So someone has to get the at bats in the Great American Ballpark. (See Guillen in '03).

26 year old Steve Smitherman could easily be a .280 hitter with 10-15 homers and just as many stolen bases. Steve was the Reds Minor league player of the year in '03 and he seems to be the best bat of the bunch. But will they keep him in the minors to develop? BTW, He could easily be the Reds 3rd best OF. ;-7 no I won't list them

27 year old Reggie Taylor is dunn. This former number one pick has never developed an eye to hit the ball as his 6/1 K/BB ratio suggests. His speed has never been in question, but he really shouldn't even be at this level anymore. japan would be his best career move.

22 year old Wily Mo Pena is not getting screwed by MLB, as some might suggest. Sure by not letting him develop in the minors has hindered his career, but his 5/1 k/bb, minors and majors, suggests he shouldn't he wil be bad at any level of baseball.

Actually the more I think about it, if you have Griffey on your roster, for some insane reason, it might not be a bad idea to grab Smitherman as insurance, especially in deeper leagues.
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Postby wrveres » Tue Feb 24, 2004 7:51 am

By John Fay The Cincinnati Enquirer Feb 20th wrote:TAYLOR'S BACK: Reggie Taylor thought about going elsewhere when the Reds did not tender him a contract, making him a free agent.

But he decided to return to the club as a non-roster player with an invitation to big-league camp.

"I was just traded over here from Philadelphia two years ago," he said. "I didn't want to go to a new club every two years."

Another factor: Taylor is coming off Aug. 29 shoulder surgery. Reds medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek performed the surgery and the Reds' staff planned the rehab.

"I was familiar with them," Taylor said. "(Trainer) Mark Mann and (physical therapist) Tim Elser were really doing a great job with me."

The injury to John Vander Wal practically assures Taylor of a roster spot. Right now, Wily Mo Pena is the fourth outfielder.

"I don't look at it like (I have the team made)," Taylor said. "I've been fighting for a spot the last two years. I worked my butt off in rehab. I'm going to work hard to make the team."

Taylor, 27, will probably make then team on defensive skills alone. He hit .217 with five home runs and 19 RBI in 100 games last year
Hmm no mention of Smitherman? not yet.. but just you wait. ;-7
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Postby phunkadelic » Tue Feb 24, 2004 9:41 am

If Dave Miley gets to make the call at all (which I highly doubt is the case), Smitherman will definitely make the team as a 4th or 5th outfielder based on his AAA stint. When Griffey goes down, I see him and Taylor splitting time, until one of them busts out. Either one is capable of stringing a few good games together, so I wouldn't put too much stock in either right now.

Now with Jim Bowden out as GM, I don't see any reason why Wily Mo will be around by the end of spring training. I don't think there's anyone left in the organization that has huge expectations for him, and he definitely won't make the team based on merit. I guess I'm going to have to change my cafe profile :,-(
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Postby ukjohn » Tue Feb 24, 2004 12:10 pm

Willy Mo will be given the chance. The Reds can't send him to the minors, and he looked good last year. Smitherman could use half a year in the minors, imo
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Postby phunkadelic » Tue Feb 24, 2004 12:48 pm

Just some background about Wily Mo and the Cincy Reds:

The Cincinnati Enquirer wrote:Tuesday, February 24, 2004
Pena no longer a sure thing

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
He must now earn spot on the roster

By John Fay
The Cincinnati Enquirer


SARASOTA, Fla. - Wily Mo Pena arrived at Reds camp Monday. He was not immediately awarded a free "Go To Opening Day Pass."

"He is the same as any other roster or non-roster outfield candidate," Reds general manager Dan O'Brien said. "He has to win a job on the Major League roster by virtue of his performance."

Pena, a 22-year-old from the Dominican Republic, is aware there's a new GM in town.

"I'm ready to go," he said. "I came here with a clear mind. If I make the team, I go to Cincinnati. If I don't, I go down and play (in the minors)."

Because of Pena's contract situation, it isn't that simple. Pena signed a five-year, $3.7 million contract with the New York Yankees as a 17-year-old on April 5, 1999. He brought that contract with him when he was acquired for Drew Henson and Michael Coleman in spring training of 2001. That meant he was out of options by last season. The Reds couldn't ship him to the minors without first exposing him to waivers.

That's the case again this year.

Pena was viewed by former GM Jim Bowden as five-tool superstar waiting to happen. Bowden was convinced Pena could turn out to be the next Sammy Sosa.

The Reds kept him on the roster last year, although he clearly wasn't major-league ready. Pena had only three hits in 35 at-bats before the All-Star break. Pena got to play quite a bit after the break. But it was still basically a lost year.

Pena is competing with third-year outfielder Reggie Taylor, Reds' minor league player of the year Stephen Smitherman and sixth-year, minor league free agents Jermaine Clark and McKay Christensen for a roster spot. All but Smitherman are more experienced than Pena.

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Postby wrveres » Tue Feb 24, 2004 7:32 pm

thanks phunkadelic ;-D
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