2013 Reds

State of the NL Central

RN editor Jason Linden has an interesting piece today over at The Hardball Times about the state of the NL Central. Definitely worth a read, even if you might want to cover your eyes when he writes about the Reds.

19 thoughts on “State of the NL Central

  1. Thought Jason’s comments on the Pirates were strange.

    “Otherwise, the Pirates have to hope the pitching holds up. That has been the big question mark all season (they can hit, let’s not doubt that), and while their pitchers have come through, it’s hard to fully believe in this staff.”

    They’re 12th in the NL in runs scored. Perhaps he meant, it’s hard to believe this staff will continue to overperform and the bats will continue to underperform?

  2. Ryan Ludwick is 1-18 with 1-2B, 0-BB & 4 SO in 5 games at AAA for his rehab assignment. He has 12 games left in his rehab assignment and he will need every one of them to have any chance of being productive at the major league level once he returns. Quite frankly, I don’t see that happening this season.

  3. The Bucos had a chance to fold and the Reds had a chance to catalyze that collapse, but alas, the Bucos bowed their backs and came out fighting to avoid a sweep by the Reds following the all star break, righted their ship and pounded the Birds in a 5 game series.

    The Reds are 5 games behind the Birds and 6.5 games behind the Bucos with very little chance to win the NLCD with 2 good teams significantly ahead of the in the standings. The Reds hold a 4.5 game lead over the D’Backs and a 6.5 game lead over the Nats for the final wild card playin position. It looks like two of the three teams will more likely lose the wild card race than one of the three teams winning the wild card race. All three of those teams have significant issues so any of the three teams could win the wild card race, with the Reds having an advantage due to their current lead.

    Competing for the final wild card slot and very possibly backing into playoffs because the other teams couldn’t play any better does not feel like a successful season for the Reds in 2013, especially with the Birds and Bucos seizing the opportunity to compete and win their way into the playoffs.

    • @JMac1984: Yeah, I was just getting ready to say that……And isn’t it ironic how the expectations have changed?? Resigned to not winning the division, and thinking that a wild card is in jeopardy.

      Suspensions just announced.

  4. The Reds are 61-51 with 50 games to go. If they play .500 ball from here out (and I know the last week or so makes that seem hard) they will end up with 86 wins.

    D-Backs are 56-55 with 51 games to go. Take the Reds playing .500 ball to close out, they would need to go 30-21 to catch them.

    Nats are 54-57 with 51 games to go. Same deal, they would need to go 32-19 to catch Cincy.

    If they can get there, I think the Reds not having that week cushion at the end of the year could maybe keep them focused for that 1 game play off. Anything goes in 1 game and I think with Homer or Latos we got a shot there and then just see what happens.

    Cards two titles (especially in 2006) were not LaRussa’s best clubs in St. Louis, they just got hot and won it all.

    • The Reds are 61-51 with 50 games to go. If they play .500 ball from here out (and I know the last week or so makes that seem hard) they will end up with 86 wins.

      D-Backs are 56-55 with 51 games to go.Take the Reds playing .500 ball to close out, they would need to go 30-21 to catch them.

      Nats are 54-57 with 51 games to go.Same deal, they would need to go 32-19 to catch Cincy.

      If they can get there, I think the Reds not having that week cushion at the end of the year could maybe keep them focused for that 1 game play off.Anything goes in 1 game and I think with Homer or Latos we got a shot there and then just see what happens.

      Cards two titles (especially in 2006) were not LaRussa’s best clubs in St. Louis, they just got hot and won it all.

      Like it!

      Diamondbacks and Nationals are just like the Reds as all 3 teams have shown absolutely no sign of being capable of going on a winning streak. Thus they are all basically .500 teams, just like the Cards in 2006.

      So yes, it is possible, and for the sake of Reds fans – let’s hope so.

  5. Looking at it from the other side, the Reds have really let the chance to take the division slip away.

    I thought (although I could be wrong), that the Pirates have a larger lead on the Reds than the Reds do on the D-backs. Therefore, it’s conceivable that the Reds could be knocked out of the second wild card spot.

    Obviously, I don’t want this, but it could result in some positive shakeups in the offseason; namely, the transition from the “win-now” mentality. As many other teams have experienced this season, using a win-now strategy really hurts the team in the long run, while not even guaranteeing a playoff spot.

    Then you have what the 2010 Reds looked like, a team built for the long haul, and the 2013 Pirates, who truly DO look like they’re built for the long haul.

    So what went wrong? The only thing that I can point to is that certain players (Stubbs, Heisey, Mesoraco until recently, Frazier, Cozart, Bruce until this year, Soto, etc) never reached their full potential, while other potential stars and useful pieces(Wood, Torreyes, Grandal, Alonso, Boxberger, Gregorius, etc) were traded away for veterans.

    This directly coincides with Jocketty taking over as the GM, as well as Baker taking over as manager.

    While I’ve supported both Jocketty and his individual moves in the past, when taken as a whole they appear fairly damning. Couple his vision with Baker’s refusal to follow said vision most of the time, and you have a recipe for failure. It hurts the organization in multiple ways, whether it’s from the talent available and developing, to the player’s individual attitudes towards playing for the Reds, to the fans view towards the organization.

    I truly believe that Krivsky and the GM (NOT Bowden) before him had a solid plan that was paying off (with the noted exception of the Hamilton deal– (T_T)), and the Reds (AKA Castellini) were foolish to attempt to “get ahead” of schedule.

    I think that, if given solid orders from Castellini, Jocketty could pull off a quick one or two year “rebuilding” effort, while keeping the key pieces around for the time when they’d be true WS contenders–not just playoff hopefuls. They have too many holes in the field at this point to be anything more than a team that prays they get hot at the exact right time to make a run in the playoffs.

    One or two years would give us Stephenson, Ervin, Winker, BHam, and possibly others we don’t currently know about. Even with just those four (three, if Hamilton doesn’t pan out–and it’s looking more and more likely that he will become at least an above average hitter if not a star), the Reds would have a solid core, plus Bruce, Votto, Frazier, and Cozart (unless the last two were traded/unsigned due to unproductivity) as well as Homer/Latos/Leake (pick two), and Cingrani.

    Well, it’s just a thought.

      • @homerandbruce: As much as I don’t lie Baker (and yes, he IS a problem), the Reds simply do not have the talent at the moment to keep up with the Pirates and Cardinals. That’s why I think that their best window will be in a year or two, when many of their high ceiling guys are either in or close to the majors.

        I believe that Frazier ultimately has a higher ceiling than Cozart, based purely on his raw hitting ability and power, but at the same time, if he doesn’t make adjustments he won’t last in the majors. That is on the player for not emulating Joey Votto (which is an extremely harsh comparison, as nobody is as focused and intelligent about baseball than he (Votto) is, except for Zack Greinke) AND the coaching staff who give him conflicting messages at best and spew idiocy at worst.

        I truly believe that the Reds would see better results with a different manager; I just think that it would be too little too late with some of the current crop of talent. I’d fire Baker and have Price be the “interim” manager, with the intention of hiring him full time barring some unforeseen occurrence.

        It’s an organizational failure, though, as someone pointed out with the minor league offensive stats a few weeks ago.

    • @rhayex: Your assessment of Walt Jocketty is strongly biased against him. Your statement “Grandal, Alonso, Boxberger, …, etc were traded away for veterans” makes it sound like a trade that has helped the Reds a great deal, getting (young) Mat Latos in exchange for those 3 guys plus Volquez, was part of a series of blunders.

      The Reds won the division in 2010 largely due to his surprise trade for Scott Rolen. Trading away Encarnacion was not a mistake. He did not start hitting until 2011, after the Blue Jays moved him to first base. He was an unqualified failure as a 3rd baseman, and the Reds already had a first baseman.

      Before Jocketty’s arrival, the Reds had won nothing, not even a winning season. Since his arrival they’ve won 2 division titles. Krivsky had an eye for talent but was not a successful GM overall. He ruined the Reds chance in 2006 by trading away two starting players who were good at the time for broken down arms. Krivsky was a poor communicator and other GMs didn’t even want to deal with him, except to pick his pocket.

      • @pinson343: I was overstating my case for Jocketty’s moves; I like the job he’s done for the most part, I just don’t like the mentality that switched from a slow rebuild to a win-now mode. Notice how I never said that I wanted Krivsky or O’Brien (THAT’S HIS NAME! Yes!)to come back; Jocketty’s a better GM as a whole. I knew reading it over again how I sounded. I even said that I supported the moves individually (I particularly liked the Latos trade); my point was that the shift in mentality to “win-now” has hurt the Reds by removing their flexibility and lessening the talent available to them. Here’s how I saw the individual moves at the time.

        Rolen for Encarnacion and Zach Stewart: What? Why do we need an aging 3b?

        Latos for Grandal, Alonso, Boxberger, and Volquez: Wow, that’s a lot of talent to give up… Oh, wait, he’s very young and has at least three years of control left? WITH ace talent and track record? Yes, please. (Also, dammit Krivsky.)

        Marshall for Wood and Ronald Torreyes: Wood has no future here at the moment, and who is Torreyes?

        Broxton for JC Sulbaran and Donnie Joseph: Horrible trade.

        Valdez for Horst: …

        Aaron Miles and PTBNL for Willy Taveras and Adam Rosales: At least we got rid of Taveras…

        Hoover for Francisco: Good move for a player we were going to lose to waivers (only looks better with hindsight).

        Choo and Donald for Stubbs and Gregorius: THANK YOU BASEBALL GODS.

        Lastly, a trade that was not made: Bedard for Votto/Bruce, Bailey, and others. I think my reaction should be obvious on this one, even without the benefit of hindsight.

        Alright, now that I’ve got most of the ones I could find or remember put in here, let’s disregard the trades prior to the 2010 season. That rules out the nontrade of Bedard and the trade for Rolen, as well as the Miles trade.

        What’s left? Well, the trade for Latos has turned out well for both sides involved and I’m too lazy to check the stats, so let’s call that a wash. Of course, the Padres now control three of those players for three years longer than the Reds have Latos, so there is that.

        Again, not one of these moves is a horrible problem in itself (disregarding the complete mess of a Valdez). The Broxton trade actually looked good for a short while (before they resigned him to ridiculous money to… set up Aroldis Chapman).

        Looking back at this list, I actually realize I was wrong to criticize Jocketty quite so harshly. Yes, some of them have the potential to be losses (Rolen, Choo, Latos if Grandal becomes a star and the Reds can’t retain him), but none of them seem that bad. So what’s the problem?

        I’ve given up on this comment after researching the trades, take from it what you will. I’ll just say that I support Jocketty for the most part. I was too harsh in my criticism of him before; however, I still believe that the “win-now” mentality is inherently flawed based on my own observations. There are a plethora of other stats and information that would be necessary to prove this point, so I’ll just leave it at that.

        Disregard most of it other than the informational parts (basically, everything but the trades). I don’t have the time to put how I feel into a coherent comment at the moment.

    • @rhayex: Why, then, does the Reds’ return to respectability (and they have, regardless of how miserable we all are right now) pretty much coincide with the arrivals of Jocketty and Baker? I’m not saying that either is perfect, but a Reds fan has to travel a long way back in time to find days worth pining for.

      • @greenmtred: I have a message waiting on my laptop that was a clarification of what I meant. I couldn’t finish it before work tho.

        In response to your comment, I’d say that it was due to the farm system that was built by the prior GMs. Look at the homegrown players the Reds now have and the ones they’ve traded away.

        Again, I’m a Jocketty supporter, I just think that as a whole his tenure left our system weak through trades, which I’ll expound on later.

  6. I feel very conflicted. On one hand, I can never bring myself to root for the Cardinals. On the other hand, I’d MUCH rather face the Pirates in the play-in game, given the mental block these Reds seem to have against the Birds.


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