2013 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: Someone wake up Dusty Baker and let him know the Reds swept the Mets

rntitanic-copyLet’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Cincinnati 7
NY Mets 4

W: Simon (4-1)
L: Parnell (4-1)
S: Chapman (10)

POSITIVES

– The Reds finished a successful road trip with a sweep of the Mets. The 7-2 road trip gives them an overall record of 29-18. They stand one game behind the Cardinals and a game ahead of the Pirates. The Reds now have a day off before a three-game weekend series at GABP against the stupid Cubs.

Zack Cozart went 4-for-4 against Matt Harvey. Raise your hand (and crack pipe) if you had that.

Joey Votto smacked two hits and walked twice, including a two-run homer off Harvey. He’s now batting .358/.484/.545. Have you voted about 1000 times yet for him to start on the All-Star team? I’m sure he’d do it for you if the situation was reversed.

– Nice defensive plays by Jay Bruce, Xavier Paul and Jack Hannahan.

Shin-Soo Choo led off the decisive ninth inning against the Mets’ closer, Bobby Parnell, with a double. Choo scored the winning run on Brandon Phillips‘ check-swing double down the first base line. Phillips now has a league-leading 40 RBI. Jay Bruce had another May RBI.

Super Todd Frazier burst from a phone booth and contributed two RBI with a bases-loaded pinch hit single.

– The bullpen of J.J. Hoover, Alfredo Simon and Aroldis Chapman pitched 2.1 innings of shutout baseball to close the game.

NEGATIVES

Mat Latos pitched well for much of the game and should have been taken out at least one batter earlier. But Latos did give up four earned runs on eight hits and a walk.

– Dusty Baker apparently fell asleep at a bad time in the bottom of the seventh inning. When Latos gave up a lead-off single to John Buck, someone should have gotten up to throw in the bullpen. Given that the situation was setting up as a LOOGY-dream (three LH hitters in a row after Tejada), you have to guess that Sean Marshall was unavailable. Still someone should have been up and throwing. Latos got two more outs before giving up a run-scoring single to Daniel Murphy. It was only at that point that JJ Hoover was ordered to warm up. That no one was available to pitch to Rick Ankiel, who already had two doubles off of Latos, was negligent, game-losing managing. Ankiel tripled.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS

– Think of how many wins the Reds would have this year if they played 19 games against the Marlins, Mets and Phillies instead of 7 or 8.

– Is it possible that at some point Zack Cozart could hit so well in the #2 spot that Baker might move him elsewhere to get someone else going? Maybe we’ve been looking at this all wrong.

– Dusty Baker said before the game that Mike Leake’s performance last night gave the bullpen needed rest. And there’s an off day tomorrow. But in the eighth inning of a tied game, Baker chose Alfredo Simon to pitch instead of Jonathan Broxton, though both warmed up in the top of the inning. Even after Simon gave up a baserunner and a walk, the bullpen remained inactive. Simon was fortunately bailed out by a double play. Is it really possible that Broxton wasn’t used because the Reds weren’t ahead, that Dusty Baker views a one-run lead as higher leverage than a tie game? The mind boggles at that possibility.

TOP GAME THREAD COMMENTS

Shchi Cossack: The lineup is stoked with LH hitters today against the toughest RHP the Mets can field. That’s a good thing, leaving Frazier available as a RH pinch hitter for a high leverage situation with the Big Lutz available as a LH pinch hitter for a high leverage situation.

dc937: Listening to the radio feed and following Gameday (which is about 5 seconds delayed from radio for me). Couldn’t stop laughing as a saw the 4-seamer come right down Broadway. That had to have stayed up on Harvey, there’s no way anyone on the planet gives Votto that pitch with a runner on 2nd and 1st base open.

rightsaidred: Marshall should have been ready for the pinch hitter – 3 consecutive lefties.

LWBlogger: Ankiel is the go-ahead run so I was shocked he was still in there and shocked that Marshall wasn’t up as soon as Buck singled. That way he would have been ready for Murphy and Ankiel. Especially Ankiel who has hit Latos hard all day.

renbutler: Finally somebody got on base ahead of Cozart!

Matt WI: Friends of Dusty: Please circle May 22nd, 2013 as exhibit A of a team picking its manager up in the face of a debacle. Sergeant2: Gonna be a lot of circles on those calendars.

108 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Someone wake up Dusty Baker and let him know the Reds swept the Mets

  1. Bracing for news about Marshall’s absence. Never wanted to hear the words “stomach virus” so badly.

  2. I was about to blast Dusty in an obvious and major way for not having Marshall pitch to the LHed bats in the 7th, but he didn’t even warm up ? Then he HAD to be unavailable. Waiting for the word on why.

    • @pinson343: I agree that even without Marshall, there was no way Latos should have faced Ankiel.

      “Too bad Latos didn’t get the win.” How often have we said that this season ?
      Latos must be very frustrated, but he’s got too much young ego to want Dusty to take him out when he should be. Bronson would have told Dusty before the 7th: I’m feeling gassed, have the bullpen ready.

  3. Nice to see Cozart with the 4 hits. If he raises his average to .250, it’s a big help to the lineup. Wish he would walk more.

  4. Simon in the 8th and no one else even warming in the bullpen ? That got scary, he was one pitch away from bases loaded, one out. And why, Dusty, why ?

  5. Well said Steve! Baker could have also done a double switch and Hoover to pitch to more than one batter!!

  6. In 11 starts this season, Matt Harvey has had 9 quality starts and 2 non-quality starts. In his only other non-quality start, he allowed 1 run in 5.1 innings.

    The Reds are the first team to score more than 3 runs off Harvey this year and only the second team to score more than 2 runs off Harvey this year.

    Last year, he also only allowed more than 3 runs in a game once in 9 starts.

  7. Rotoworld’s note on Cozart’s 4-for-5 day:

    All four hits came off Matt Harvey, a guy who has already had four starts this season in which he’s given up fewer than four hits total. It was also Cozart’s first ever four-hit game. He entered the day with a .206 average and a horrific .232 OBP in 165 at-bats this season.

  8. The probability of Zack Cozart getting 4 straight hits off of anyone is 1 in 625. I’d say off of Matt Harvey, who doesn’t give up many hits, it’s more like 1 in 1000.

    Funny game, baseball is.

  9. Marshall has shoulder crankiness. His words. Unavailable today. Supposedly ok for Friday; I’ll believe that when I see it.

  10. @Steve Mancuso – The only reason I can see for Simon instead of Broxton in that situation is that he wanted them to be able to work more than 1 inning. There’s no way I wouldn’t have run Broxton out there in that situation though. I mean that’s what they are paying the guy for. A lot of money invested in Broxton and Marshall for them to be setup guys and then they aren’t used. Maybe Marshall is ill?

  11. I don’t get the Simon angst. What’s wrong with having him pitch the 8th? He’s better than Broxton. The last thing I want is Broxton in in a high leverage situation.

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate: My post wasn’t Simon angst. It was Baker angst. I’m fine with Simon ahead or equal to Broxton. What I was pointing out was that Dusty Baker undoubtedly sees it as Broxton > Simon. It looked like he was prepared to use Broxton with a lead, but use Simon in a tied game. And given his view of the two, that makes no sense.

      • @Steve Mancuso: Absolutely. I’ve already said it, but Simon was used because the score was tied, he’s often been used late with a tie score.
        With a 1 run lead, it’s Broxton for sure.

  12. To give my answer to one question you pose, Steve, Dusty does view a 1 run lead as higher leverage than a tie game. He’s shown that consistently.

  13. You never want to look past anyone, as the Phillies just prooved, but I’m really looking forward to the Indians series. The Reds need to show that they can beat some good teams now, and the Indians are playing well this year.

  14. Simon before today: 21 innings, 4 walks, 19 strikeouts. Folks, that’s good. Just because Baker never uses him when it matters doesn’t mean that he’s a bad choice.

    Of course, Baker probably pitched him only because Broxton couldn’t or something.

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate: Actually that’s real good. Simon has impressed me since we got him. I saw him work for the O’s and he was all over the place. I wasn’t sure he’d be a good fit for the Reds at all. I guess his wildness with the O’s still has me a little uncomfortable in using him in tight spots.

      • @LWBlogger: Maybe so, but he has the lowest walk rate of any pitcher on the staff outside of Arroyo, I think. It’s not that many innings, so it’s a small sample…

      • @pinson343: Sigh. The man is just not smart. He’s just really not smart. Fortunately, in this case, he brought the right pitcher in anyways.

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate: Simon has impressed me too. But like just about any other reliever, he can struggle with command and blow a game. Without Cozart’s error, it’s a routine inning. But after Cozart’s error, Simon walks Davis (batting .148) and goes behind 3-0 on Buck. At that point, no matter who’s pitching, I’d like to at least see someone stand up in the pen. Marty said nobody was.

      • @pinson343: I see. I didn’t watch most of the game.

        I’m talking full season here. Guys look bad at times, that’s going to happen. Does Simon often fall way behind in the count? (I don’t know…)

  15. OMG…we just went 7-2 on the road, we are 11 games over .500 and done it with our LF on the DL, our Ace missing 5 weeks and low production from our catchers. Dusty has done a great job, look at the Angels and Dodgers and see where we could be…

    • @dn4192: Careful. With the quality of teams on the road trip, a 7-2 record should be expected. We went 4-2 in those games with our ace out. As much feast and famine this offense as been the last 3 years, we essentially have the same team last season, carried by the pitching staff. And, Baker says he has nothing to do with that, when he does. Like last night, he needed to have relievers up earlier and did leave Latos in one hitter too much. Even before the Ankiel got the triple, you have to consider 7th inning, with as many pitches Latos had, he wasn’t going to finish the game.

      This team this season has been simple. Pitching carrying the team. Offense being carried by Choo and Votto getting on base, BP knocking them in. Not much else going on. 11 games is good. And, just imagine how much better we could be if Baker has been on the ball like last night.

    • @dn4192: Sarcasm?…I hope. The Reds are where they are despite Dustys managerial skills – Not because of them..Dusty has cost his team at least 3 wins already this season.

  16. Ike Davis just about handed the Reds the game, by playing umpire. You’re taught to never ever do that in Little League. Between that and the .148, he might be sent back to AAA for a while.

    • @pinson343: The guy certainly isn’t doing himself any favors. The NY media has already been hammering him too. It’s about to get uglier for the guy. A trip to AAA may actually be the best thing for him.

      • @LWBlogger: After the game Davis said he wasn’t playing umpire, and then gave a long explanation. It amounted to: “I hoped it will go foul.”

  17. The 1 hr, 45 minute traffic jam en route to the homestead gave me plenty of time to listen to Mets fans set fire to talk radio. Terry Collins vehemently denied that Ike Davis is taking his troubles at the plate into the field with him. Which is pretty laughable at this point. All managers are players’ managers on some level.

    Baker’s definition of “high leverage” is different than ours. High leverage for him is letting a game slip away when he has the lead. He cannot deal with being second guessed. He’d rather lose a tie game, stick with a player and build his player/manager bona fides in the process. It’s all a win-win situation for him.

    Which is why I don’t want him managing my team. His priorites are not the organization’s priorities.

  18. I’ve never heard more gushing about the away team from a local announcing crew than I heard today. In between the giant compliment they gave Harvey all game (let’s study YET ANOTHER freeze frame of his delivery and compare it to every other innings freeze frame for the 90th time) they couldn’t shut up about how good the Reds looked. Clearly a l

    • @eric nyc: A little team-is envy was what I was trying to type there before I was so rudely interrupted.

      Seriously though, it has always amazed me how the good teams just don’t make boneheaded mistakes and the bad ones do it CONSTANTLY. It’s usually the stupid Cubs that remind me, but the Mets just looked like they didn’t know what was going on.

      • @eric nyc: Let me open by saying how much I enjoy this forum: you guys are literate, largely respectful, and have helped me understand(somewhat) advanced metrics and fine points of strategy and evaluation. That said, I can’t really argue about Dusty’s decisions point-by-point, except to give my usual caveat that none of us actually knows what’s going on with each player on a daily basis. However, eric nyc’s point about the Reds’ largely avoiding boneheaded mistakes is a comment with which I agree completely, and a comment which I believe reflects very favorably on Dusty and the team culture that he clearly helps nurture. He may have cost the Reds 3 wins this year, he may not have (change one part of history and watch the rest of it change, as well), but the team is playing sound baseball and winning despite injuries and poor hitting performance by a substantial portion of the lineup. I can’t agree that this is in spite of Dusty. He makes mistakes, and so do all managers and non-managers, but 11 games over .500 on 23 May is not under-performing.

  19. Actually, Simon’s not pitching that bad. He’s 4 & 1 with 3.27 ERA with opponents avg. under .225! Not too shabby. The numbers may have changed today but those are close.

  20. I guess I’m in the minority, but I really didn’t think Latos pitched well today. Bad team, and they hit him very hard.

  21. Just watched the vid of the Bruce/Latos “fight”. Maybe it’s because I work in an industry where arguments happen relatively frequently, but you guys are babies.

    I’m sure the P-Docs of the world are gonna try to exploit the issue for the sake of their column, but you spend enough time with each other, heated discussions are going to happen. And it looked to me that Bruce “started” it, so the focus on Latos is just good ol’ confirmation bias. Passionate arguments in the privacy of the dugout isn’t “unprofessional” imo.

    • @CP: I don’t think I’d go so far as to say it was unprofessional, but I can’t figure out for the life of me what Latos’ problem was. That was going to have to be an absolutely perfect throw and Bruce wasn’t THAT far off. If Latos hadn’t been giving up so many doubles it wouldn’t have been a problem, but I didn’t see Beuce in the dugout yellog at him to stop hanging sliders.

      I like Latos’ competitive attitude and I don’t think the occasional spat in the dugout is a bad thing at all, but I’d at least like to see it come from something at least borderline controversial. Latos came off as just being kind of a dick to a guy who plays really solid defense behind him. Even so, I had already forgotten Ll about it until I read the comments just now.

    • @CP: I guess that was directed at me since I mentioned it during the game thread. I don’t really see how calling Latos’s whining bush league (and where you got the idea Bruce started it is beyond me) makes me a baby.

      No one said Latos should be fined or anything. I’m sure it does happen sometimes. But something tells me Votto never goes to Latos and tells him to stop leaving them over the plate, you know? Latos has a whiny personality, and he showed it today and didn’t look good doing it. Mets’ announcers saw and thought the same thing.

      • @al: It wasn’t just directed at you.

        Actually, I’m super super laid back thank you very much. I don’t how a city who basically worshipped the way Pete Rose played has such a narrow definition of professionalism…

        And Bruce said after game that the conversation that it wasn’t about the sac fly, so everything else is pure speculation.

        Dallas Latos tweeted out that Jay yelled at Mat, and the vid I watched had Jay going after Mat pretty hard. Whether Dallas should be tweeting out team goings on is a separate issue…honestly she should just learn to deflect this stuff and save herself a lot of pain.

      • @al:

        Just saw the video … I really don’t understand what everyone is going on about. It doesn’t look like a heated discussion to me. Bruce most definitely started the discussion. And we have no idea if it was even about the game… It could have been about pizza for all we know.

    • @CP: One thing here is that the dugout ought to be private, but it’s not. It’s on camera when any little thing happens. After Latos gave up the triple to a Marlin in the 9th, he let off steam in the dugout – which is perfectly OK with me – but got called a hot headed baby for it.

  22. I just saw the replay of Phillips’ “double” that drove in the winning run.

    That was an error. How can that not be scored an error?

  23. Also, just because Marshal wasn’t available, doesn’t mean someone else wasn’t. It didn’t have to be a lefty. We’ve got plenty of good arms in the pen, all available and mor than capable of getting one out. As soon as Latos gave up that single there should have been someone warming up. In his post game comments Dusty said something to the effect of “we need to get Mat to the point where he’s going deeper into games…we’ve got to get him over the hump… we wanted him to get through the seventh.” Blah, Blah, Blah. Latos has gone deep into games many times. He ran out of gas. It happens, there’s no reason to lose the game (although we didn’t obviously) just because the manager is too stubborn to remove his starter. It’s insane.

    • @aweis09: We need to get Mat to go deeper in to games, and I’m going to lose some games proving this point.

      Sincerely Yours,

      Mr. Baker.

      • @Hank Aarons Teammate: My favorite part of his quote was when he acknowledged that he knew exactly what point in the game Latos continually runs I to trouble and yet STILL didn’t have the foresight to at least have one warm body up in the bullpen just in case the exact thing he thought might happen actually happened. Dusty Baker is like driving in NYC traffic…There really just isn’t any point getting upset about it because its just going to happen no matter what. Do I wish Sparky Anderson was managing this team? Of course. But here we are.

  24. you are so right stevechai:

    “Well said Steve! Baker could have also done a double switch and Hoover to pitch to more than one batter!!”

    The use of the pen is his real weakness. He will burn a pitcher for one batter when he knows his pen is not right. double switch right there is the right move.

    He has burned both Simon and Hoover, then of course Chapman pitches the 9th regardless. Hoover could have easily pitched the 1 1/3 inning to Chapman. Then if Chapman should (heaven forbid) allow a tie (not unheard of this week) you have Simon for the extras

  25. This is true for all starters to some extent, but this year Latos has really fallen off a cliff after the 6th inning. Here are his OPSs by two innings.

    1st & 2nd: .599
    3rd & 4th: .457
    5th & 6th: .662
    7th & 8th: .999
    9th: 1.500

    That’s not at all a critique of Latos, it just seems like something the Reds should be aware of and be ready for.

    Here are Bailey’s OPSs just for comparisons sake:

    1st & 2nd: .580
    3rd & 4th: .610
    5th & 6th: .595
    7th & 8th: .862
    9th: N/A

    So he definitely get’s worse when he gets into the 7th and 8th innings, but not quite as bad Latos.

    • @al: I’d be interested to see those numbers over the last year or two. It seems like way too small of a sample size this year to draw any conclusions from that yet. He’s already put up a better April than he has in his entire career. In May, you’re talking about maybe 5 bad pitches that inflates those numbers.

      • @eric nyc: You can find those numbers, and maybe they would say something, but my point wasn’t at all that Mat Latos is bad, or that these numbers would continue.

        He’s obviously been great, the Reds are lucky to have him. And I think it’s likely that he’ll get stronger as the season builds, at least until the end, when he may get fatigued.

        My point is that I, a casual fan, have seen him fall apart after 6 multiple times this season. The numbers, which were easy to find, also bear this out. So why not just get a guy ready?

        If Latos cruises through 7, what have you lost? Bring in whoever you had warming for the 7th in for the 8th.

        My point is that when things went bad in the 7th, I wasn’t surprised, many people on the game thread weren’t surprised, the numbers would tell you that you shouldn’t be surprised, and somehow, it seemed to catch the Reds by surprise.

  26. Turns out Marshall did have shoulder inflammation. Maybe we don;t always know everything, huh?

  27. Interesting team. The Red’s are a dycotamy. Offense wise. Loaded with lefties in the lineup and especially the bench. Pitching wise. We wondered-why did Walt give Marshall a big contract? Why did Walt sign Parra. I think we know now. Look at the 40man. We have no left-handed (relief) pitching depth. Cingrani- bullpen in college-starter now. It is interesting to look at. Arredondo??

    • @seadog: I keep checking in on Arredondo at AAA. In 21+ innings, he’s struck out 35 and only allowed 12 hits. The problem: 20 walks.
      One walk per inning at AAA does not cut it.

  28. Joey’s hitting a HR that hard to LF is the final sign I’ve been waiting for. He is fully back. He is now at .358/.484/.545. Wow.

  29. If there was any ever doubt about the absurdity if the pitching win statistic, Alfredo Simon now has asany wins as Mat Latos. Yawn.

  30. I agree the “double” in the 9th could have been scored as an error. I would have liked to heard Davis’ explanation. It looked to me like maybe he just plain whiffed on it as much as letting it go by. I mean is a guy going to admit to either. As was said many years ago, that’s like a choice between a knave and a fool.

    • @OhioJim: That’s funny.

      I’d love to hear the scorer’s explanation. If someone hits a ground ball 2 feet to left of SS and the SS just stands there and it goes into LF, that would be an error. Just because the ball was down the line doesn’t change anything, to me.

    • @OhioJim: (as I just wrote above) can there be an error if that fielder didn’t touch the ball? I thought that was the reason, which is a stupid rule but that’s the rule, unless I’m mistaken.

      • @mlb: hmm a quick Internet search suggests that I’m wrong. So I’ll join your guys’ side, I have no idea why it wasn’t an error.

  31. Is anyone shocked that Tyler Lyons, replacing Jaime Garcia, pitched better than Garcia would have?

    Does it ever end for that team. God, it’s annoying, though you have to respect the organization.

      • @preach: @Love4Reds: This is what great teams that plan to be great a long time do.

        St. Louis is actually a smaller market than Cincinnati when you factor in all the cities in Reds country (Columbus, Dayton, Lexington, Louisville, Huntington, and part of Indy). But such a spread out market makes it more difficult for the Reds to fill the stadium every night.

        Here is something else that interests me, St. Louis has been able to fill their farm system even while having late draft picks every year. I follow the Reds farm system pretty closely and it’s pretty bare. There are some very nice prospects, especially in pitching, but it’s nothing like what the Cardinals have.

        • @TC: I agree and have an open question: I don’t have a memory of the Cards trading many prospects for established players. Am I remembering correctly? Because it seems unlikely that any team from a small or mid-sized market can be excellent or even relevant on a sustained basis by competing for players with the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, etc.

    • @Hank Aarons Teammate: I agree that it seems to happen every time and it’s as annoying as heck. But, do you wonder if on some Cardinals blog somwhere, they had a similar discussion about the awesome performance of Tony Cingrani? I like to think they did.

      • @Kyle Farmer: Not quite the same thing. First, Cingrani is the one top prospect the Reds have, an A-/B+ prospect. And he tore up the minors. And he didn’t pitch better than Cueto.

        What’s irritating about the Cards is, they bring up guys and they outperform both the guys they are replacing, and they outperform any reasonable expectations based on their minor league numbers. And some of them are C level prospects.

  32. With more than a fourth of the season in the books, I was hoping to see the Reds kicking dust up as the Birds and Bucos futily chased the Reds for the NLCD crown. Well, it turns out we have a good old fashioned donnybrook shaping up in the NLCD:

    30-16 Birds (1st in the NL)
    29-18 Reds (2nd in NL & 1st WC)
    28-18 Bucos (3rd in NL & 2nd WC)

    The NLCD is setting the standard for the NL. In fact over in the AL, only the Rangers have a better record (30-17) than the Reds, so the NLCD has 3 of the 4 best records (teams?) in MLB. I’m buckled in for what is shaping up to be one of the most fun and exciting seasons in Cincinnati in a very long time.

  33. Nick Carfado speculates, “Jose Bautista, RF, Blue Jays — File this under ‘way too early’ because who knows if the Jays will get back in the race. But teams like Texas are already looking at a potential power bat for the second half of the season, and Bautista and fellow Toronto basher Edwin Encarnacion certainly fit the mold. The Jays certainly don’t want to give up on what they started, but at some point, do they try to get the most for these guys?”

    While a lot of speculation has centered on the trade possibilities for Stnaton, Bautista is the player I have had on the back burner. I don’t seriously think WJ will make any such major aquisition, but it’s fun to speculate on such moves, and there’s always that remote, outside chance…

    • While a lot of speculation has centered on the trade possibilities for Stnaton, Bautista is the player I have had on the back burner. I don’t seriously think WJ will make any such major aquisition, but it’s fun to speculate on such moves, and there’s always that remote, outside chance…

      Bautista’s contract is one that WJ would never take on. I don’t look for WJ to go for anyone who makes more than $10MM to fill in for LF. And since BP is flourishing in the #4 hole, and states his preference for the #4 over the #2 spot, I think that is where WJ will make a move.
      If I was WJ, I would go all-in on the TB Rays Ben Zobrist. Quality player, quality person (no baggage or PED involvement) at a reasonable price contract-wise. Now, what it would cost in players/prospects might be a little steep. But what trade won’t be, it almost always is a sellers market.

      • @Summer Breeze: Zobrist is an interesting consideration, particularly for his flexibility within the roster, making Izturis expendable and creating the ability to carry an additional productive bench bat, no matter what position the player fills.

  34. More troubling than the seventh inning yesterday is Marshall’s shoulder ‘crankiness’. If this remains an on-again/off-again issue for the next 4-6 weeks, Walk might be in the market for LHRP at the deadline. Phillies Bastardo come to mind. Using cingranni in that role August September onward might be an option as well (depending on their IP target for him this year).

  35. Phillips’ RISP numbers are just obscene.

    Basically for his career, Phillips hits identically with and without RISP. Like most players.

    This year, he’s hitting .458 with RISP. It’s a little bit ridiculous. If you told me that he’ll end the season hitting .458 with RISP, I’d say that he would in fact be great for the cleanup spot. But he won’t. Overall, he’s hitting his usual ~105 OPS+ (he’s at 111).

    He also has a very extreme LHP/RHP split, whereas it’s much more even over his career. It’s just weird, and I can’t see it continuing either. I’d think he’ll hit better vs RHP and worse vs LHP. If he were to continue his huge split, then batting him in between lefties like Votto and Bruce would seem like a good idea.

  36. People bring up the Cards depth in the minor leagues and compare it to the Reds lack of depth and the unsaid (usually) question is how do they do it? I’ve tried to analyze it and I think it’s only because they were successful before (when Walt was there) that they can operate like they do now. If a team is successful for a few years, they don’t have many holes to fill. They can pick up 1 or 2 free agents and let their younger players mature in the minors. This means they are better able to sort the wheat from the chaff, and the player is more polished when he does come to the majors. Cincinnati wasn’t in a position to operate this way. The Reds had to come from Nowheresville with lots of holes to fill. They had to give up a lot of their minor league talent to get the pieces necessary to be successful in the first place. The hope is that the Reds can now start to transition to a present day St. Louis model.

    • @HOF-13: Well, even counting the good prospects dealt to SD, plus Gregorious, the Reds don’t have nearly the same talent (neither does almost anyone). It has to be the drafting and/or development of players.

  37. I agree the Cards do a great job drafting/developing players, no doubt about it. I’m just saying the Reds had bad teams and horrendous drafts for years. Players from the first good drafts became the nucleus of the team today. Players from more recent drafts were traded to fill in holes. By the way, it’s not just the players sent to SD and Gregorious, there was Wood to Chicago, EE to Toronto, Juan Francisco to Atlanta. The Reds have traded about 7 players that are regular starters in someone else’s lineup. I haven’t checked but I don’t believe St Louis has anything close to that. Most former Cards left via free agency, not trade.

    • @HOF-13: And going back just a little further two guys who seem to stick on ML rosters, Chris Denorfia and Adam Rosales. Chris Valaika walked as an outrighted minor league free agent but made the Marlins, such as they are, before falling to another season ending surgery (durability seemed to be an issue for him with the Reds)

  38. Steve, why does it always have to be a Titanic struggle, especially against one of the worst teams in MLB? Could the saying simply mean to take into always consider how poorly this team is managed or how poorly the Red’s front office operates?
    7 pitchers in the Reds bullpen (with one of the best if not the best starting rotation in the NL) and the $1 million dollar man (Parra) about ready to come off the DL – what a joke!

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