Thursday, December 13, 2012

Reds Make Genius Moves; What Does This Mean for Billy Hamilton?

by: Parker Perry
Staff Writer 

Before giving my thoughts on everything the Reds have done in the last couple days, it was important for me to really think what the telos of the organization was.

I could come up with just one answer.

Every step they took was not to cut cost (as a lot of teams do), it was not to fill holes in the lineup with toothpaste (though I heard that actually works sometimes), and it was not "hope for the best".

The telos of these moves was to win, win now, and to recreate the winning tradition this franchise experienced back to its glory days.

And what a job they did.

I previously wrote on Shin-Soo Choo here at Redlegs Review not to long ago. I will admit that I have always liked Choo. It was probably because I sat front row to watch him dominate Bronson Arroyo at Great American Ball Park the day he hit three homeruns. The sound that came off his bat when he made contact was so crisp you did not have to find the ball in the air to know it was going over the fence. Far over the fence.

Perhaps also it was when I sat front row just last season in Cleveland. When he hit a homer against Mat Latos (who was on fire at the time), and made a couple spectacular diving plays to rob the Reds of hits (and possibly a win).

Choo has always been a Reds killer. And now, like Wreck-It Ralph, the villain has turned good.

As you already know, Choo is the leadoff bat that every Reds fan desired. He is not your typical one-hole batter, as he does not run with an enormous amount of speed. Instead he is very much like Ryan Hanigan. He gets on base, he starts the inning off for you.

Imagine all the doubles that the healthy Joey Votto hit last season with no one on base. Now with Brandon Phillips and Choo hitting in front of him, dare I say that most of those will count as a run or two? I will.

Another thing that I found interesting is who the Reds traded for Choo. Drew Stubbs and Didi Gregorius.

Almost every Reds fan 'liked' and 'rooted' for Drew Stubbs. But enough was enough. I heard a few days ago a comparison of Adam Dunn and Drew Stubbs. Then someone said the difference was that Dunn struck out and was effective, while Stubbs struck out and sucked.

I could not find a better way of putting it.

I, like many Reds fans, hope that Stubbs finds his potential in Cleveland or wherever else he ends up. But the fact of the matter is the Reds can not sit around hoping that he finds it. They needed to find a guarantee that would help them win now.

More interestingly however, was trading Didi Gregorius.

Gregorius was expected to be on the team this season. The Indians gave Jason Donald as his replacement. Donald, from what I can tell his still young and trying to find his spot in the big leagues. He only batted .202 last year, but mind you Miguel Cairo hit .187. That's an upgrade in my eyes. Plus he is much more versatile and can play almost every (he has not played third but I bet he could if you gave him a go) infield position.

Back to Gregorius, he was the reason that Cincinnati was forced to move Billy Hamilton. The Reds had depth at shortstop and needed an outfielder. Now, the Reds have one solid shortstop (Zack Cozart) and a question mark behind him. Also, Cozart does become the weak link in the line up. A very good weak link, but weak still.

Is there a chance that Billy Hamilton moves back to Shortstop? I don't think it will go back to being his primary position. However I would urge the Reds to make the Bats play him at short every several days so that he can be ready. Imagine the flexibility the Reds would have if Hamilton could play two positions seemingly opposite of each other.

It is something to think about.

The Reds picked up a huge bat that could easily be the deciding factor in them going to, and winning, the World Series.

Now the task of staying healthy throughout the season becomes a top priority. The Redlegs now have depth, and manager Dusty Baker should use it. He needs to give guys consistent rest throughout the year. It is a marathon, not a sprint. And seeing Donald a couple times a week subbing in for Cozart and Phillips, or Jack Hannahan (who I will write on more later) taking over at third for Todd Frazier and yes first base for Votto a couple times would be great too.

The Reds will be better in 2013 than 2012 because of what happened on December 11 and 12.

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