Thursday, April 28, 2011

In the end, the Bengals held serve. They didn't trade out of the #4 overall pick and they got the guy they've wanted all along. AJ Green is a game changer. And the fact of the matter is, the Bengals haven't had game changing players, on either side of the ball, lately. Green has the ability to make explosive plays, big plays that either get you back in a game or drive the opponent out of it.

This is a good pick.

But now, the Bengals have to find somone to throw him the ball. Even if they wind up with TCU quarterback, Andy Dalton, sometime later in this draft, they'll also need to get a quarterback who can play right now, get the ball right now to Green and the other receivers on this team. The Bengals need a veteran quarterback. It looks like the Arizona Cardinals have some sort of agreement already in place with Mark Bulger. That would leave the Bengals looking at quarterbacks like Donovan McNabb or Vince Young. Young would be an interesting signing, as he wasted numerous chances with the Titans and would wind up in the land of football redemption, Cincinnati. McNabb went from a bad personal situation (playing behind Michael Vick was the way the story was playing out in Philly) to just a bad situation in Washington. He may be a short term answer, until Dalton or whichever quarterback the Bengals wind up with is ready for the NFL

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Drew Stubbs is one of those players who can infuriate you one inning and turn you into an unabashed fan the next.

He did it again today.

In the 4th inning at Milwaukee, pitcher Sam Lecure led off with a double to center. Stubbs was the next batter up in a 4-2 ballgame with the Reds in the lead. Stubbs proceeded to strike out on three pitches. He strikes out a lot. But the infuriating thing about this strike out was that Stubbs was caught looking by Milwaukee pitcher Yovani Gallardo. He didn't even offer at the third pitch. To me, that's the most inexcusable out a player can make with a runner in scoring position. You at least have to make an attempt to put the ball in play. Stubbs slinked back to the dugout with Lecure still on second. He got no farther than 3rd base.

Yet, the other Drew Stubbs is the guy who can track down fly balls in center field that not many other players can. The other Drew Stubbs arrived in the 10th inning of a tie game and delivered a solo home run, the difference in a 7-6 Reds win. It was the difference in going 3-3 on this road trip or 2-4.

Yes, I'd like to see Stubbs bunt more. Why that hasn't been a priority with Dusty Baker and his hitting coach, Brook Jacoby is beyond me. As a wise mind like Reds TV broadcast, Chris Welsh said several times last season, if Stubbs would turn 15 of his strike outs into bunt base hits, he'd be a .280 hitter with killer power numbers. But he's also young (and more important to the Reds front office salary cheap). Stubbs upside is enormous, even if his current stock seems stagnant.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

If you can't hit, you can't win. The Reds have been a tad anemic lately, and sporadic. Monday night's nine run outburst was followed tonight, by just a two hit effort.

And that more than anything is a major problem with this team. Jonny Gomes (who sat the game out Tuesday night) along with Jay Bruce have had the most chances of all Reds batters to drive in runs this season. Both have been less than stellar doing that. In fact, Gomes was hitting .167 with runners in scoring position coming into this series at Milwaukee. Bruce, not much better at .211.

Clearly the Reds miss Scott Rolen's veteran bat. But even Rolen look slow with his swing before heading to the disabled list this past weekend.

There is no help, down on the farm. Most of the players the Reds have at AAA Louisville aren't hitting. So what they have here at the major league level must find a way to battle out of what's becoming a team wide slump. It's early in the season. But unless the Reds find a way to catch fire, it may be later than we all think.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Random Thoughts On A Too Cold Tuesday.... Who turned the AC on? It's supposed to be April right? Best thing I've seen with your Cincinnati Reds since the start of this season is resiliency. Down in a game, comeback after a loss, this team never seems to get caught up in bad breaks. I don't forsee any extended losing streaks this season. I really don't.... Second best thing I've seen this season: Bronson Arroyo. The ace of the staff. Period, end of story.... Chris Heisey needs to play more. I know, I know, I've been "Johnny One Note" on this. But he's got speed in the outfield and can hit. No reason why Dusty can't get into a four man rotation for three outfield spots. Jay Bruce can use a break every fourth day. So can the other two... Best non move that Dusty Baker has made this spring? Not moving Brandon Phillips out of the two hole. The most important player on this team is Phillips. Leaving him in his most comfortable spot is vital to the long term success of this team. And hitting .411 going into Tuesday night's game is further proof that the two hole is Phillips most comfortbale spot.... The Bengals can squire Came Newton all around town for as long as they want. There's no way he'll be available to them when they pick fourth overall in the upcoming draft. And they don't need him.... Here's my grand plan for fixing the Bengals. Round #1: take the best offensive lineman in the draft. Forget the projections, whether or not the guy is worthy of fourth overall money. The Bengals need help at right tackle, left guard and someone who's an heir apparent to Bobbie Williams at right guard. Round #2: if he's available, take TCU quarterback, Andy Dalton. He could be the quarterback steal of the draft and has an excellent chance to be the Bengals quarterback of the future. Then, they should sign free agent Marc Bulger simply to get them through 2011 (if it happens and let's face it, if it does, the Bengals don't look to be very good). The Bengals wide receiver corps, as is, is more than serviceable. Jermaine Gresham is a terrific tight end in the making. Andre Caldwell and Jordan Shipley can be complimentary pieces to a wide receiver the Bengals could obtain in round three. But the biggest need is at offensive line. Final piece in my rebuilding puzzle? I'd sign Cedric Benson. New offensive coordinator, Jay Gruden wants to be a run oriented offense anyway. Convince Benson to come back to that kind of offense and the Bengals may be back on their feet again. So they'll probably take a wide receiver with their first round pick.... This blog may not be reproduced, repositioned or re-purposed, in whole or in part and in any manner, without the written consent of Ken Broo.