Chat transcript: Bob Miller
Reds assistant general manager answers fans' questions
Bob Miller: Hello everyone, thanks for stopping by and asking questions, and for supporting the Reds. Let's get started.
josh_frost: Who's your early favorite for Reds making it to the All-Star Game?
Miller: On the position-player side, I would have to go with Joey Votto. He's currently one of the top hitters in the NL. On the pitching side, we have several relievers (David Weathers, Arthur Rhodes and Francisco Cordero) throwing lights out, and Johnny Cueto's ERA is under 2.00.
10747: Do you expect Edwin Encarnacion to go on an extended rehabilitation assignment after his wrist injury heals?
Miller: I would expect him to go to Louisville for some rehab. The length he is on the DL and how well he swings once he is back will determine the length of his rehab.
bigREDs: Some people consider having Janish pitch in the 9th a complete joke. What are your thoughts on having a position player come in to pitch?
Miller: You don't want to do it very often, but would you have rather had Cordero throw two innings on Wednesday night and then not be available to save the game on Thursday? We had just had the extra-innings game in Florida and then had to suck up eight innings on Wednesday night. We had already essentially lost the game on Wednesday night so why hamper your chances of winning the next game? Besides, the fans on-hand seemed to enjoy Janish pitching.
R3D5: Is there any explanation to the Reds playing better on the road? Shouldn't it be the other way around?
Miller: It is a small sample size so far this season, and I fully expect us to improve at home for the rest of the season, like it should be.
Redster: What are your thoughts on the progression of Homer Bailey? He seems to have found a groove in his last few starts.
Miller: Homer is doing well in Louisville, and we are happy with his progress.
JoeJoe87: How good can this starting rotation be? Do you consider it one of the best in baseball?
Miller: I think the rotation can be the best in baseball. It's not there yet, probably because of consistency from outing to outing, but I believe it is going to keep getting better and better.
jm_bucsfan: How do you feel about the depth of the Minor League system?
Miller: I think our strength in the Minor Leagues is our depth down there. We have a lot of young players that will become Major Leaguers in the next few years. Hopefully more than most other organizations have.
10747: How close is the new Spring Training facility to being completed?
Miller: Our complex in Goodyear should be ready by August in time for us to hold instructional league out there this Fall. It is an incredibly nice facility.
uindy: Do you have any job openings for event or game operations?
Miller: I checked with HR and they said either send in your resumes to the HR Department here or online at teamworkonline.com.
SwingnMiss: What do you think the Chinese Aviators' chances are this year?
Miller: I think with Jack Trapanski and Payless Rizzo on the team they are going places. ...
jasonj99: Do you expect Juan Duran and Yorman Rodriguez to play in the GCL?
Miller: Yes we do.
jm_bucsfan: What have you been most happy and unhappy about after the first month of the season?
Miller: Obviously it has started with the pitching. The hitting struggled a little, but they are coming around now. I'm also happy with our road record and the fact that we have done well against our division opponents so far.
10747: How long will the team wait to make a determination whether Gonzalez goes on the disabled list?
Miller: We evaluate it everyday.
joejoe: What's your favorite part of your job?
Miller: Seeing young players in the Minors and Majors improve and become good Major Leaguers. It's very rewarding.
SunnySD: Fifty games is a long time not to play competitively. Will Manny Ramirez have the opportunity to appear in professional games at any level prior to the completion of his suspension?
Miller: I believe he will be able to play in extended spring games at the Dodgers Spring Training complex in Glendale, AZ.
jgottiboi: Who is the leader(s) in the Reds clubhouse?
Miller: We have many. Votto, Weathers, Rhodes, Phillips, and don't forget Dusty. He is the No. 1 leader.
Jim_Misudek: How would you describe the Draft day experience?
Miller: It's a blast. Watching the culmination of dozens of scouts writing thousands of reports and boiling it all down into a preferred list of hundreds of players, worrying about who we can sign and what player will fall to us in the third round, etc., etc. It's like the biggest board game you can possibly imagine.
driller08: Do you think MLB, or more importantly the MLBPA, ever will go to a "one strike and you're out" policy for drug violations?
Miller: I don't know. It would be kind of tough to lose your livelihood and career because you bought a product at the store that had been tainted in the manufacturing process somewhere along the line. I think the proof would have to be pretty substantial if that ever came about.
42reds42: Would you say that the Cardinals are for real?
Miller: Any team with Pujols on it is for real.
bengie5: In your many years in baseball operations, can you remember a trade you truly regretted, or one that you felt really benefited your team?
Miller: We got Luis Gonzalez for Karim Garcia with the D-backs. That worked out pretty well, I'd say. Then we traded six players for Richie Sexson, who separated his shoulder on a check swing and never really played for us again. I also can't complain about the Phillips and Arroyo trades here with the Reds.
Phanatic: Does the medical staff expect Votto and Phillips to miss many games because of the flu?
Miller: Day by day. We'll see how they feel when they report to the ballpark. It's better to take 2-3 days off and get well then feel poorly for two weeks though.
jgottiboi: Do you think Nix deserves more playing time?
Miller: He's played very well.
grandpop46: I thought I saw Eric Davis in Dayton the other night? What is his position within the organization?
Miller: He is a special assistant and instructor.
42reds42: What do you think about our hometown support, and how can we get more people out to the park?
Miller: We need to win a little more and show the fans we are for real. Hopefully they can see that for themselves though. We have a really good young core and just the right amount of veterans mixed in.
tomnamazon: Do you travel with the team or do you just work out of Cincinnati? How many games does an assistant GM get to watch per week?
Miller: I see all of our games plus probably watch one or two a day of other teams.
redsfan047: If the Reds are within reach at the All-Star Break, will you trade for a right-handed power hitter?
Miller: We will play it by ear and see if the deal will help us. Would you want to trade Cueto for a three-month rental? I wouldn't.
10747: In general, what do you think of MLB Network as it pertains to its studio show and then its game broadcasts, if you've seen any?
Miller: It is almost always on in my office. For a network that has only been on-air for four months, its pretty good and keeps getting better.
42reds42: Votto = MVP?
Miller: Hopefully we win this year and that becomes a reality. He certainly has the talent to win it some year.
tomnamazon: What is the best perk of your job?
Miller: Great seats at any game I want to see.
10747: You are hosting the Civil Rights Game on June 20 vs. the White Sox. Do you think the organization is using that game to show Major League Baseball it is ready to host an All-Star Game?
Miller: We are not doing it for that reason. We are doing it because it deserves to be a great event and we know we can pull that off. If it shows MLB what we can do on the big stage, though, so much the better for our All-Star Game aspirations.
RedsArmchairManager: Does it upset the brass that the Reds have had so few days off in the first two months? Teams generally get more time off in the early months -- not so this year for the Reds.
Miller: We have a pretty good schedule this year, unlike a few years ago when we had so many 10-plus-game roadtrips zig-zagging us back and forth across the country. I used to do schedules for some Minor Leagues, and I can tell you from experience that it is impossible to please everyone.
beep7: Did the Reds picture this kind of production from Nix when they kept him after Spring Training?
Miller: I think that Laynce Nix, now that he is healthy, will have a nice long career in the Majors.
redsfan047: How far along is Alonso?
Miller: He is in A-ball in the Florida State League right now. After a slow start, he has been on a tear lately.
10747: You don't hear much anymore about how Great American Ball Park is "Coors Field East." Do you think that is because the Reds' pitching is better than at any time in recent memory?
Miller: That and the fact that balls are flying out of the new Yankee Stadium, so they have something else to talk about.
Miller: One final question.
42reds42: Since '06 we have had a complete retooling of both our staff and our roster, do you think that we would be where we are without Walt Jocketty?
Miller: No, we wouldn't. But we also wouldn't be where we are without the hard work of Dan O'Brien and Wayne Krivsky. They both also brought in many good players. Hopefully Walt and the rest of the baseball department can put the finishing touches on the organization and bring a championship to the city.
Miller: Thanks for stopping by everyone. Hope to see you at the ballpark this weekend. Talk to you again next month right before the Draft.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.