03/26/09 12:46 PM ET
Miller holds Web chat with Reds fans
Assistant GM fields questions during exclusive online session
By / MLB.com
Miller: Welcome everyone and hello from sunny Sarasota. Let's get going with the questions.
redsfan62: With the supposed rumor about Aaron Harrang from Peter Gammons that you and Walt Jocketty debunked, how hard is it with the internet (so many rumors that are posted) to keep a secret to any deal that the Reds are working on?
Miller: Generally, all the rumors can sometimes help you mask what's really going on because there is so much false info floating around.
razman1958: I believe [Edwin Encarnacion] will be a future force. Why not a longer contract? Can you still negotiate a new deal with him?
Miller: It took us a long time to get that contract done and we only finished it hours before the arbitration hearing. It was a two-year contract, but he will still be arbitration eligible for one more year after that, so we still have rights to him for three more years. We think EE is going to have a breakout year.
moebrown: Hello, Bob. Has the fifth starter decision been made?
Miller: No. It's still a battle between [Homer] Bailey and [Micah] Owings. Both are pitching today, one in the night game and one in the Minor League game this afternoon.
redred105: With the team having so many young players, do you expect them to have a .500-plus season?
Miller: We do. With our improved defense, pitching and team speed, we expect to compete until the end for the division title.
montreal27: Hi, Bob. Last year, the Reds were arguably the most active team in Latin America with the signings of Duran, Rodriguez, Polanco, Guillon, and Arias. Do you expect the Reds to be as busy this season?
Miller: We will do our best. Last year was a big year, and a lot of good things happened for us in Latin America. It is very competitive down there, and some teams have a lot more money to spend down there then we do, but I know our scouts -- Tony Arias, Miguel Machado and Richard Jimenez -- are grinding it out and looking for the best talent.
montreal27: What's the status of LHP/1B Ismael Guillon? Is he expected to be ready for the GCL season?
Miller: He had surgery in the offseason, but hopefully he'll get a little action in the GCL or Dominican Summer League this year.
montreal27: What are your thoughts on Pedro Viola? With an electric fastball and breaking ball, what type of ceiling does he have?
Miller: Pedro has a great arm, and we have high hopes for him. He'll probably start in the Minors this year, but he has had success as a starter and a relief pitcher and should help the big league team in the future.
jm_bucsfan: In your opinion, who is the team to beat in the NL Central this year?
Miller: The Cubs are the defending champs, so until some team knocks them off, they are the team to beat.
jm_bucsfan: What is your opinion of the World Baseball Classic?
Miller: I like it. With some minor adjustments, I hope it can become a major success in the future years. It is tough for the teams when we are trying to put our team together in the spring, but for the best interests and the long-term future of the game around the world, it is a great event.
josh_frost_2: Is the competition any different in the Cactus League vs. the Grapefruit League?
Miller: Very little difference other than the ball flying a little farther and the bus trips being much shorter. The stadiums and facilities are also generally much nicer.
jhberry5: Which prospects that we haven't seen yet in Cincinnati or in very limited action do you think may make an impact at the Major League level this season?
Miller: Dickerson, Bailey, Owings, Roenicke. There are many others that we will see more of in the coming years too.
zhall3: Who's going to be the everyday shortshop?
Miller: Gonzo if he is healthy.
redstitans: I'm a lifelong Reds fan who is a graduate of Rutgers. Will Todd Frazier be going back to Sarasota to start 2009 or will he open in Carolina? Also, how is the team addressing the glut of left-side infielders in the system?
Miller: I expect Todd to start in Double-A this year, but we still have a couple weeks of Minor League spring training yet to go.
josh_frost_2: Hi Bob. How do you think the team's move to Goodyear next Spring will affect the Cactus League? Is everyone moving out West?
Miller: Shouldn't have any affect. There will be 15 teams in Forida and Arizona next year.
jimreds11: How optimistic are you with Cueto's spring performance so far? How much stock do you put into spring stats, or is it more about development?
Miller: Very optimistic. We expect Cueto to continue to improve. He has great stuff.
lottowin: Since you became the Reds assistant GM there have been a few significant trades with one of your former employers, the Arizona Diamondbacks. From a trade prospective, do teams find it easier to deal with clubs that they have familiarity with?
Miller: You certainly have a better feel for the players that you are trading for when you've seen them through multiple Spring Trainings and dozens of games and know their makeup and know them personally.
Black_Dog: Will Jonny Gomes make the roster?
Miller: He's in the mix. He's had a good spring.
jm_bucsfan: What will be the most important factor this year in the Reds making a playoff run?
Miller: If we stay healthy and our pitching does what we think they can do, we should make a playoff run.
Miller: And now the final question...
josh_frost_2: Who's the No. 1 pick in your fantasy draft?
Miller: Jessica Alba. Or my wife, if she's still available.Thanks everyone. We will be doing this monthly during the season, so keep coming back. Let's go Reds!
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.