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The Mishandling of Joey Votto
Posted by David Martorano at 4/2/2008 2:54:00 PM
View more posts by this author

 

Well-regarded first base prospect Joey Votto is so well regarded by the Reds and Dusty Baker that he apparently will need to split time with Scott Hatteberg. This is not a straight platoon because both players are left handed hitters. This seems to be more of a platoon situation that will reward the hot hand with starts.

Could there be a worse situation for Votto or any rookie to begin his career in? Every start he receives will place enormous pressure on him. He will feel the need to hit a couple of home runs to establish separation between himself and Hatteberg. I donít understand it. Rookies should be handled with care. Rookies should be placed in pressure free environments where they are free to fail and where they can always count on being in the lineup.

Baker has created an extremely unfavorable situation for Votto to succeed in. What makes it harder to understand is that Hatteberg is absolutely awful. This situation reeks of incompetence. Hopefully this experiment doesnít last long and Votto is given everyday starter status in the very near future.


Comments....

It might help your credibility as a writer if you learned to spell correctly the city in which Votto and Hatteberg play.

That said, you make a good point. Baker is the one of the most over-rated managers in baseball. He over extends young arms (ask Kerry Woods and Mark Prior about that) and relies on veterans way too much.
Posted by chuckdad at 4/2/2008 3:57:00 PM
 
I would agree that Votto should have the gig, but Hatteberg did hit .310/.394/.474. Obviously not the power you want at a corner position, but I wouldn't say he's horrible.
Posted by vtadave at 4/2/2008 4:07:00 PM
 
Hatteberg is a journeyman and not a long-term solution, but he's not a bad hitter. Good point, DR.

Anyone who cut a heavy check for Votto in March, especially in a redraft league, needs to point the blame at themselves. We know all about Baker's tendencies as a manager - his hiring was lambasted on the inter-office message board as we all lined up to comfort Reds fan Jeff Erickson. Remember Baker questioning Votto's patient approach this spring? It wasn't hard to connect the dots here, and like it or not, handicapping the managers *is* a part of playing the fantasy game. It can be maddening at times, but it's too convenient to say "focus only on skills" and blow off this element of things.
Posted by spianow at 4/2/2008 4:27:00 PM
 
Rookies have to make it so obvious to Baker that he has no choice but to give them the gig (see Cueto v. Belisle). Unfortunately Bruce and Votto didn't light up the s/t leaderboards and thus they're left out in the cold.

I see that C-Pat went deep today and since he's also not clogging the bases (.200 OBP), that should buy him at least a couple months as the Reds leadoff man.

What happened to Kendall today? 3-for-4 with a bag. Was it his evil twin retro-Kendall?
Posted by vtadave at 4/2/2008 4:58:00 PM
 
Maybe Kendall likes hitting ninth in the NL.
Posted by spianow at 4/2/2008 5:14:00 PM
 
Bizarro Kendall. Everyone's right about Baker, but I think in his mind he's trying to motivate Votto (not at all trying to defend him). Hatteberg could also be a good teammate and show Votto the ropes as a veteran towards the end of his career, that's something else to be taken into account.
Posted by kevinccp at 4/2/2008 5:51:00 PM
 
Votto should be playing every day, whether it's in the majors or in AAA, he should be playing every day. I don't see how anybody can disagree with that.
Posted by MPStopa at 4/2/2008 6:18:00 PM
 
Another interesting decision that will eventually face Baker is the Keppinger/A.Gonzalez argument. I'd take Keppinger (better offense than D).
Posted by kevinccp at 4/2/2008 6:18:00 PM
 
With EE's shaky glove at third, I'll take Gonzalez.
Posted by vtadave at 4/2/2008 11:57:00 PM
 
Cincinatti is terrible- Id pass on Flounder and go with anything more interesting and exciting for the fans- The team's future is tomorrow and Flounder's time was half a season about 10 seasons ago.
Posted by djm1144 at 4/3/2008 6:12:00 AM
 

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