Jay Bruce Rumors
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Okay, so ... the man was Boog Powell in the early primaries (ages 21-26).  Or Sosa, or Bonds, or Jackson, says the b-ref caucus.  But at age 27, he ripped a knee and for two years the Reds faithful boo'ed him off the stage at the mention of the Reds' name.

Now, supposedly, he's feeling good and batting .271/.323/.572, his best season and back on missile-arc with that first Sosa/Bonds/Jackson shtick (on b-ref.com, we sez, not in real life).   The President (of orthopedic surgery), that is, has turned those pesky boos back in to golden cheers.


So what's the right way to plot the arc forward?  Dr. D has no such "universal tri-key" to unlock the projection, but (making a long story short) he'd bet 65-35 that Bruce is going to knock in 100 runs in any season his legs are right.  Which might be 0 seasons, or 3, from here.  He's signed cheap through next year.

He's threatening to settle in as a .260 hitter with a 0.33 EYE and 35-40 homers.  If he did, that would put him at a point equidistant between Khris Davis, Yoenis Cespedis on the left, and Jose Bautista, Giancarlo Stanton on the right.  Bruce could have several years as Chris Davis.  Chris Davis ain't my kind of player, but he is the scoreboard's kind of player.


UZR says Bruce is the worst defensive OF in the National Leagues; scouts firmly insist that is mistaken.  Here's an article on it.


Nori Aoki is producing 3.3 runs per game, a number which might be okay if you were winning the gold glove at shortstop.  Bruce is at 6.1.  The delta between Aoki and Bruce is about the same as a delta between Seth Smith and Mike Trout.  In other words, 's worth lookin' at.


One complication:  to get Bruce, Boomstick, Lind and Lee into the game at the same time, you'd need Bruce in LF and he's never* done it.  So you figure a Lind flush would be part of the deal-io.

Dr. D is not totally sure where a Bruce-Lind swap gets us, unless you buy 98% into this new .550 SLG+ against both right and left hand.  But as part of a larger Tinker-Toy reconfig on-the-fly it's bound to be fun.


Other trade noodlings welcome below.  We notice our old friend Marcell Ozuna is batting .300/.350/.500 this y'ar.






That's where I am:  Iffy OF defense gets iffier with Bruce in LF.....or you trade Lind and you have an upgrade, sort of.  Lind is still OPS'ing .922 at home and .534 on the road.

He must like the fresh food from Pike Place Market.

Now, if you RF Bruce AND have a fine glove in LF (Heredia??) then you're not so enfeebled.  But that means you let both Lind and Aoki go.  Aoki's is showing signs of life....and he's actually at .762 vR (.362 OPB)....but a dismal .462 vL.

This just seems like a weird move to me.....considering you're giving up something real nice to get Bruce and that JB may or may not really help us unless he's in LF for Aoki and then it goes against the statement DiPoto made about wanting to add COF defense.  

Not sure what to make of all this....


i don't know how to look it up but my guess is that number wouldn't look so good since June 8 or July 8. 

tjm's picture

. . . worse than Aoki in LF. To the eye, Aoki is one of the worst low-slugging defensive OF I've ever seen. He's Mickey Rivers without the speed and the hits. That single he turned into a triple yesterday went against Paxton's ERA but it should have been a three-base error. He can't throw either.  

That said, it makes a lot more sense to put him at 1B EXCEPT we just traded Montgomry for a 1B. I'm beginning to think DiPoto likes to make deals sometimes just for the sake of dealing. Saw a GM quoted the other day to the effect that everybody knows Jerry likes to trade. It was a kind way of saying they see him coming.


Bruce 1B, 'Bach DH to synch in after Dae-Ho Lee ...

Great line on Mickey Rivers.  That's who I'd been trying to think of.


Bruce is an average fielder that the stats hate because Cincinnati causes outfielders to look bad.  Seriously...you can look it up...outfielders go there and their stats go right in the toilet.  Yes, Bruce played there his whole life, and had better looking seasons, but I assure you...I've watched his routes...and StatCast has too...his route efficiency is fine...his range is fine...he's a big defensive upgrade over Aoki.  And no...you don't have to play him in left...you play him where he's comfortable (RF) and Guti/Smith in LF.  Cruz DH, Lee 1B with Vogelbach platooning into more playing time as his performance dictates, Lind traded for an RP or some other useful piece...maybe a good UTL IF since Marte is...um...questionable.


Homerdome parks tend to make OF look back because they can't fatten up on warning track flyballs to up their plays made counts...and this is especially true of the field dimensions are normal (or large) and the weather/air pressure causes the park to play small.  I, personally, also think Cincy has a problem with the sunlight during evening games...there's a bunch of reflective glass - last time the Mariners played there, we had like four sunball scares, I believe.


And if you scooooop off the 20% easiest plays for any athlete, say Klay Thompson's easiest 20% field goals, his stats are going to look weird.

Whether the 'warning track' syndrome be it or not, there are a lot of funky things that happen in D-stats beyond our perception.  Jay Bruce isn't flatfooted; he has 6 triples so far this year.  Seth Smith has 10 the last four years and lower SPD scores generally.  Wouldn't surprise if Bruce could play the corners better than Seth does.


Aoki  was once rumored to be a fine LF'er......A while back.

Bruce probably isn't much of a drop.  Maybe a slight upgrade.  But I get a bit of DiPoto grabbing at the pretty ring and then worrying later what to do with it.  

To tell you the truth, I'm more than fine with just sticking Heredia in LF (and playing some CF) and figuring his pedigree isn't far off.

He's been around the block a bit, for a youngish guy, and (despite two years on ice) he's wacked AA-AAA to the tune of .312-.402-.409 w/43 BB's and 41 K's.

Were he a typical AMerican prospect he would get the call....which it appears he was going to get but got tweaked before he answered the phone.  It also looks like he used AA to shake the rust off a bit.  He's better in Tacoma than he was in Jackson.  

And, to tell you the truth, Bruce gets in the way (a bit) of Vogelbach. Bruce goes to RF next year, Cruz is at DH and Vogelbach has to play 1B.  Lee like 1B, too.   4 to make 3 isn't bad...but you have to factor in the nice things we lose to get Bruce.

Hey, if we get him I'm not kicking. He's got some wood.

But the fit could be better.


didycel's picture

Would have been called up already if he didn't have a shoulder injury.  Not well publicized since he's not a nationally known prospect, but we know he's good, but they didn't tell you he's injured.  Just putting it out there for the discussion.


If the Ms are trading with the Reds, I wonder if there's some discussion of Homer Bailey as well. He's supposed to make his 2016 debut on the 31st. The Reds pitching staff is VERY young, and with Amir Garrett and Robert Stephenson knocking on the door, about to get younger. I wonder if Wade Miley might be of interest as an innings-eater and stabilizer.

A trade of Miley - Neidert - DJ - Yarbrough/Moore/Unsworth - Littlewood/Marlette might just be enough to get their attention for both Bailey and Bruce, as it gets Bailey's $63M for 2017-20 to a team that can afford it, yet still adds depth to an already good farm. Bailey will have some days he'll have to have long relief for the remainder of 2016, based on previous TJ recoveries, but the Ms have Nuno and Karns for just that occasion. But the pre-TJ Homer Bailey would look mighty nice in the Ms rotation going forward.

Realistically, probably Alex Jackson or Tyler O'Neill would have to be in the deal, and maybe Gohara, too. But if you trade with the Reds, why not go big?


Being better than Seth Smith isn't a real tough thing to do if you are a MLB COF.  But Smith and Smith + 5% in the two corners is still a pretty gloomy thing.  

BTW, Adam Duvall, an erstwhile 1B, is running a +1.0 dWAR playing a corner OF in Cincy.  Bruce is -1.7, as he was in '14 before the knee injury.  

So if Bruce is "fine" as a COF, does Duvall (a MiLB 1B/3B who really hasn't played much COF until htis year) become a " Very Good" or "Plus Plus" COF defender....hidden by the cloaking factor of Cincy?

Marlon Byrd was basically the same COF glove (not a good one) when he went from Philly to Cincy in '15.  The park didn't impact him much.  Ditto Ryan Ludwick when he went from SD and PIttsburg to Cincy in '12.  He was just about a -1 guy in all three places.  Chris Heisley was +.4 and .5 in Cincy in '13 and '14.  In '15 he was +.1 in LA...in about 1/4 of the games.  Drew Stubbs (mostly a CF) was a +.3 or .4 guy for 4 years in Cincy....he dropped to -1.2 in Cleveland and then back to a (barely) plus guy in Colorado.  Is Cleveland more of a band box than Colorado and Cincy, two notorious ones?

Matt, I trust your eye and experience but the metrics on other some OF's do not show that Cincy causes a devaluation in dWAR.  I will say that I haven't seen Bruce play the corners much at all.  Truth in advertising....

He certainly might bring a bat.

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