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 REDS SHAKE UP MAJOR LEAGUE ROSTER

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CincyGM
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PostSubject: REDS SHAKE UP MAJOR LEAGUE ROSTER   Sun Feb 22, 2009 8:29 pm

With the inaugural Rookie Draft upon us, Reds General Manager, Derek Bobola was asked how he planned on spending the majority of his time and he answered with a refreshing honesty. "The Draft is a big event in determing how we are going to develop our team for the future but this week I plan on spending most of my time finding out how I can fix our team right now. We did our due diligence on scouting rookies and we are comfortable with the decisions we have in place and do not think anything is going to change from now til draft time."

Well Bobola did stick to his goal and he made plenty roster moves this afternoon, lets take a look at some of the moves that went down under the radar today:

Paul Lo Duca was demoted to AAA Louisville after struggling to adjust to his backup role. In only 56 at-bats, he is struggling to make contact hitting a dreadful .143 with 0 homers and only 5 runs batted in. Surprisingly, it is not veteran Raul Casanova who will take over as backup instead it will be 26-year old Hector Gimenez. Gimenez will struggle to hit Major League pitching but his ability behind the plate is what Bobola is looking forward to. "He has the ability to handle a pitching staff at a young age and shows incredible work ethic and has earned the opportunity to get his shot." He hit .291-9-36 in AA Charlotte in 51 games.

Jesus Merchan may be one of the biggest surprise moves today as he was sent down to AAA. Bobola said he was a little disapointed in the production of Merchan up to this point but believes some time in the Minors could help him get back on track. "We thought when we drafted Merchan and we still continue to believe he is going to be a big contributor for our club. Again like Gimenez, we had a player in the Minors who deserved a shot in the big leagues. Jose Castro, one of our highly coveted prospect, is a switch hitting shortstop with great defense and the ability to make contact and avoid the 'k' which is something we are looking forward to right now.

Veteran outfielder, Timo Perez was released today as well costing the Reds just over $5-million over the next two seasons but with limited playing time and a big time lack of production, it was better to take a loss now and give someone else a chance and perhaps find a sparkplug off the bench. The Reds have a lot of talent in the Minors when it comes to outfielders and many people believed Reggie Abercrombie would be the first to receive a shot but Bobola decided to go with Alex Romero. "Bringing up Romero is not a knock on any other player we have in the Minors but a compliment to him. He can play all three outfield positions which was a major factor for us, even though he is better in the corner spots. He has good contact ability, very good gap power even though he will not hit for much power, and can run the bases very well and even sacrifice bunt very well which is great for someone coming off the bench.

In other moves, the Reds send veteran Starting pitchers, Pedro Martinez and Victor Santos down to the Minor Leagues after struggling terribly and showing no signs of improving and are giving veteran Jorge Campanillo and rookie Alan Horne the chance to pitch some big league innings. Bobola stressed that "it's incredibly important for us to get some stability in our rotation and we are hoping Campanillo and Horne can do that. We are not looking for someone to be an ace pitching 7-8 innings each game. We feel like we have one of the best bullpens in the game and if we can get 5-6 innings from our starters we should be in good shape. The season doesn't slow down because we are struggling, we have two options, do nothing and think what may have been when the season is over or try to right the ship now and hope we can pull a good run together.

Bobola also hinted he might not be down tweaking and some more internal moves could be made and a trade is not out of the equation either. With a team struggling it is nice to see the GM is tackling the problem head on an not giving up.
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PostSubject: Re: REDS SHAKE UP MAJOR LEAGUE ROSTER   Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:12 pm

I think you will be pleasantly surprised by Gimenez's offense, actually. In my sims of this version of Cubby's rosters, he's always been an unexpectedly quality performer. And his defense is really excellent.
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PostSubject: Re: REDS SHAKE UP MAJOR LEAGUE ROSTER   Sun Feb 22, 2009 11:59 pm

I really hope so, it would give me some much needed help at the backup catcher position and if he can even perform somewhat to Max Ramirez' level then he could jump into a starting spot since his defense is so much superior than Max's. First lets see how he does in a reserve role before I get too ahead of myself.
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PostSubject: Re: REDS SHAKE UP MAJOR LEAGUE ROSTER   Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:14 pm

in a surprising move, the Reds optioned newly acquired Starting pitcher, Jeremy Guthrie down to AAA Louisville. "We made this trade with the intention of Guthrie being on the mound for our Major league club and we still feel this way but right now all of our starting pitchers are coming off a few good performances each and they earned the chance to see if they can build on their momentum. Guthrie has been struggling of late and a few starts in Louisville may help him get back on track."

In other news, the Reds signed 26-year old starting pitcher, Elizardo Ramirez. Ramirez has struggled dramatically this season. In AAA Durham he has pitched 19 innings and allowed 21 earned runs which is good for an ERA close to 10. However Bobola feels Ramirez has some good talent and is worth taking a flyer on. "This kid is still very young and raw and possesses good enough talent to pitch in the Major Leagues. We could of signed him to a Minor league contract but decided on giving him a Major League deal with a team option for next season so we can really monitor his progress."

The Reds also signed 25-year old catcher, Luis Oliveros. Bobola sent recently called up Catcher Gimenez down to AAA for some more seasoning and is giving Oliveros a shot to be the backup catcher. This move ultimately means Raul Casanova's limited time with the Reds is officially over as he been placed on waivers and Lo Duca and Gimenez are the catchers in AAA Louisville. "Oliveros rating behind the plate is not at great as Giminez but he still rates out highly and his potential to hit for average is something that excites us coming from our backup catcher position."

"Overall, I think the moves made in the past two days solidified our offense and more importantly our bench significantly. We still have a lot of speed, on the bench, but we got more all around players, younger guys, more manageable contracts and players who possess a better chance of getting on base which is the only way I know to create more runs.
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