Chat transcript: Bob Miller
Reds assistant general manager answers fans' questions
bob_miller: Good win last night. Thanks to everyone for joining the chat today. Let's get started.
bballer352: Do you see the Reds as being an over .500 team this year? My prediction: 85 wins.
bob_miller: Yes, we feel like we should be over .500 this year. Eighty-five wins would put us into contention for at least the wild card.
bballer352: Joey Votto -- Triple Crown contender?
bob_miller: It wouldn't surprise me if he contends for that sometime during his career.
d-backsman: Do you think Micah Owings will have a bounceback year on the mound? And how many home runs do you think he will hit?
bob_miller: Yes, because I think he struggled because of his injury last year, not his talent. He had a good 2007 and started 2008 very good as well.
hoody31: Do you feel the Reds have enough bats to win the NL Central this year? It seems like if Votto or Bruce don't hit well the Reds will be in for a long year.
bob_miller: We feel that Votto, Phillips, Bruce, Encarnacion, Hernandez, Dickerson and Gonzo all could hit 20 home runs this year if they stay healthy. If we continue to take our walks and get on base like we did the last 2 games the offense will be fine.
jasonj99: Do you see Alex Gonzalez having breaks on a scheduled basis similar to yesterday's day game?
bob_miller: That's Dusty's call. I'm sure he'll ease him back into a regular schedule, but you want to give Janish enough time to stay sharp. Rremember that Gonzo missed the whole season last year.
Rockermann: Is Hairston's injury minor? Should he be back in a couple days?
bob_miller: Yes, just a contusion. He was available to pinch hit yesterday.
jasonj99: When it comes to batting average and on-base percentage, do you feel one is more important than the other?
bob_miller: You have to factor slugging percentage in there as well. If a player has a high OBP because he takes a lot of walks and does very little damage as a hitter, is that better than a guy with a higher batting average with a lot of extra base hits? Probably not, unless the high OBP player is a leadoff type who can run a little. However, you do need guys with high OBP because if runners aren't on base, its impossible to drive them in. The more runners on, the better chance you have to score runs.
sheeks2813: Good morning Mr. Miller. What is your projection for the Red's record this year?
bob_miller: Over .500 and in contention all year.
brm_75: Who do you see stepping in as a 3rd catcher if needed in an emergency situation?
bob_miller: Wilkin Castillo was one of the last cuts this spring, and with his versatility, I would expect to see him.
hoody31: Do you think Dusty will be as aggressive with base running all year much like he has been in the first three games?
bob_miller: Yes, we have an athletic team that can run, so why not??
bballer352: Is there a possibility Eric Davis will be signed as a permanent coach of some kind? I think that would be great for the club.
bob_miller: Eric is a special assistant to the GM and is coaching in the Minors as well as assisting the Major League team. He was in camp the whole time instructing.
bballer352: Why did Chris Welsh get rid of the moustache? He looks creepy without it.
bob_miller: He was auditioning for Anchorman 2 and didn't get the part so he shaved it in protest. Also, he might have had some leftover JTM meat in there from last year, I don't know...
andymac14: Does the organization feel once Homer is called up he will be here to stay?
bob_miller: We feel that Homer will have a long successful Major League career. That's the important thing.
jbky: Good luck to you and the Reds in 2009...off-the-field question...How do you suggest someone getting involved in a front office job with a Major League team? Thanks.
bob_miller: Most everyone starts by sending out resumes to all of the 30 teams and interning for a season or two. There is also a Job Seekers Fair at the Winter Meetings every year for Minor League jobs and some Major League positions.
sheeks2813: I'm excited to see the Reds move into their new Spring Training park next year. What were the main driving factors in deciding to relocate?
bob_miller: Our lease ended in Sarasota and they voted down any type of renovations or new stadium. We tried and worked out a potential 30-year lease with the city, but the voters turned down the bonds.
calreds: What are your thoughts regarding H. Bailey's line yesterday in Louisville?
bob_miller: Not concerned at all. First start of the year.
jherbie: How do you see playing time being split between Hernandez/Hanigan over the course of the year?
bob_miller: That's up to Dusty. Hernandez is a veteran and Hanigan is a rookie but has shown he can handle the position and I expect we'll see him for many years to come.
Rockermann: Will we see/hear more of Kent Merker this year?
bob_miller: Yes, I believe he will fill in on several occasions.
MoreThanaFreelin: If the Reds are in the hunt come mid-season, do you see any specific moves? RH power hitter, etc?
bob_miller: We'll have to play it by ear. A lot will depend on injuries, etc.
d-backsman: Mr. Miller - Who do you think I should vote for in the Fans Choice Bobblehead? I looked for you, but unfortunately you weren't an option!
bob_miller: My write-in vote would be for a triple bobblehead of the Stowe family.
drt693: Mr. Miller, are you looking for another pitcher or power hitter to complete the Reds lineup this season?
bob_miller: We are always looking to improve but we don't want to mortgage our future for a short term fix. We have a lot of good young players in the minors (as well as on the Major League team) and don't want to risk overpaying for a veteran.
calreds: When do you see Alonso making his MLB debut?
bob_miller: He's only played about a dozen Minor League games so far, so it is hard to tell. Hopefully by sometime in 2011.
jasonj99: What's a typical Opening Day like for someone in your position?
bob_miller: As Yogi would say, it's 25% nerves, 25% relief, and 75% anticipation for the new season. With all the ceremonies and parade and everything, it's a great day.
hoody31: What can the Reds do about getting more TV media in Indiana? MLB.TV is blacked out for Reds games in Indiana, and FOX Sports Indiana only covers a 1/4 of the games. Is there anyway the Reds can make a harder TV media push in Indiana?
bob_miller: I don't know, but I picked this question so someone in the office downstairs can read it and maybe help out.
tempusvox: How frequently do teams at this level disucss trades with each other? Is it more common than we realize?
bob_miller: Almost all the time. We always try to think up creative trades, but getting the other team to agree is tough.
tempusvox: Bob, with the stable of talent we have in the minors, what do you do with everyone considering our staff here is so young already?
bob_miller: It's never been a problem to have too much talent but I hope to have that problem some day. If we can constantly have a stream of young talent ready to replace guys who become free agents we will be extremely happy.
calreds: Who does the organization expect greater things from his MLB career: Chris Valiaka or Todd Frazier?
bob_miller: We expect both of them to have long Major League careers. I hope they both become All-Stars.
beep7: If Dickerson gets a chance and starts to hit lefties decently, do you think he could be moved into a starting role instead of a platoon?
bob_miller: He certainly has the talent.
cbowen2112: For age 39, Arthur Rhodes is still bringing it! What are the radars reading on him these days?
bob_miller: Still throws in the 90's.
tempusvox: I've heard a rumor that Marty might soon retire. Say it ain't so! What are his immediate plans for the future?
bob_miller: I have not heard that and wouldn't believe it if I did hear it. If Marty was any happier, there'd be 2 of him. (If anyone understands what that means, let me know.)
gsbuckeye: I've got tickets for tonight (Fri) and a 3 1/2 drive from Charleston, WV - if it keeps raining, when would the game be called?
bob_miller: No promises, but the forecast I received earlier in the day did not show heavy rain at all around game time. Stay tuned to Reds Radio on WLW for updates.
tempusvox: Does Willy Taveras feel more confident in his bunting abilities going into this season?
bob_miller: Taveras is one of the best bunters in the game. The bunt he put down yesterday left all three players on the Mets with zero chance of throwing him out.
cbowen2112: Janish sure looks to be the best defensive player we have in the infield. Do you see him being used more until Gonzo can really get back into mid-season form?
bob_miller: I think Dusty has extreme confidence in Janish's ability.
Rockermann: What's the scoop on Gomes. I'm glad he accepted the AAA assignment. Is he first on the list to come up when needed?
bob_miller: We are happy to have him down there and I expect that we will see him in Cincy some time during the season.
bob_miller: Thanks for everyone's questions and I look forward to the next chat next month. Go Reds.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.