Report: Reds may look for leadoff help
If reports are true, it appears the Cincinnati Reds might be entering the trading market concerning the leadoff position.
One player on the list is outfielder Juan Pierre of the Philadelphia Phillies. Pierre, 34, is hitting .312 with a .349 on-base percentage, a vast improvement over the Reds’ leadoff hitters who have a combined .201 batting average and 24 percent on-base percentage.
Pierre also has 20 stolen bases. Drew Stubbs leads the team with 17 steals but is batting only .215.
Another outfielder in Jocketty’s sights is San Diego’s Carlos Quentin. Although Quentin, 29, was injured and didn’t make his debut until May 28. He is batting .268 with seven home runs and 17 runs batted in.
However, Pittsburgh and Cleveland have both shown interest in Quentin.
Although the Reds might have interest in other players, that doesn’t always mean they can pull the trigger on a deal.
Sometimes the asking price is too high. The selling team knows the buying team really needs the player and will ask for a lot and see which team is willing to make the deal.
With at least three teams interested in Quentin, the Padres hold the upper hand. The Reds have a lot of young prospects to give, but they may think they can win the division if they stand pat and it’s not worth giving up so many good prospects.
Cincinnati would love for Stubbs to be the leadoff man. They love his potential, but everyone knows that potential is just another word for “ain’t done it yet.”
Stubbs has the ability and if he begins to perform up to his capabilities, then no trade is needed. And with Billy Hamilton sitting down in the minor leagues, the Reds not only have a possible answer for the leadoff spot but he could make someone else expendable especially is he shifts from shortstop to the outfield.
Zach Cozart has been hitting in the leadoff spot but he is more of a two hitter. Brandon Phillips is a better leadoff man, but he is hitting fourth to help protect Joey Votto.
The Reds have the talent without making a deal if their players perform. But there’s that word “if” again.
Also, Jocketty likes depth. He has stockpiled pitching and position players to help avoid any huge drop off in the event of an injury. Case in point is the bullpen that has pitched well despite the absence of Ryan Madson and Nick Masset.
The trading deadline isn’t until Aug. 31, so patience might be the best answer. Jocketty may want to see how the next few weeks play out before making any hasty decisions.
—— Sinatra ——
Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.
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