2014 Reds

Hitting, pitching coaches added to Reds staff

According to a report by C. Trent Rosecrans, Bryan Price’s coaching staff is filling out.

Don Long (51) has been hired as the team’s new hitting coach, replacing Brook Jacoby. Long has been the Braves’ minor league hitting coordinator since 2011 and previously was the Pirates’ hitting coach from 2008-10. Prior to working for Pittsburgh, Long worked for eight years as minor league hitting coordinator for the Phillies organization. Long managed 11 seasons in the Angels minor league system before that. Here’s a story in a local Washington state paper that offers an introduction to Long’s approach to coaching hitting.

Update: Here’s an interview with Don Long in 2010 by at Baseball Prospectus.

Jeff Pico (47) has been hired as the team’s new pitching coach, replacing Price in that role. Pico has spent the last eleven years in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization. He was the D-Backs’ minor league field coordinator the last two years and was minor league pitching coordinator in 2010-11. Despite throwing a complete game shutout in his debut (against the Reds), Pico had a relatively brief major league career (1988-90) for the Cubs.

This appears to be Pico’s first major league coaching job. So he must have created a favorable impression on Price when they worked together for the Diamondbacks.

Long and Pico will join Jay Bell, who will serve as the Reds’ bench coach, as newcomers on the staff. Price has already indicated that Mack Jenkins, who served as assistant pitching coach the last two seasons, would remain on his staff.

88 thoughts on “Hitting, pitching coaches added to Reds staff

    • @Josh: My initial reaction is like the random fans at the beginning of the first Major League movie. “Who are these $&@ guys?”….I would like to read the article on Long, but the link seems to be dead.

    • @Josh: Looking back over the list of all the people we all wished we could get … and the first thing that popped out at me was … Dale Long? Wait … no, that was a guy from the 50s. Ah well.

  1. If you didn’t read the link Steve provided to the story in the Daily Herald, I strongly encourage you to take the opportunity to go back and read it. The signing of Don Long has Bryan Price written all over it. The interview with Don Long from 2011 could have been an interview with Bryan Price talking about coaching pitching.

    I was sure the Ted Power was going to get the call as pitching coach, but again, Bryan Price brought in his own pitching coach and I’m sure that Jeff Pico is another coach out of the Bryan Price mold. The common factor and top priority from Price and Long is communication, first, last and foremost. That’s a pretty sound basis for success in any profession.

    I hope the 1B & 3B coaches are a simple formality, but this is obviously the Bryan Price show, so we’ll have to wait for that announcement. Now it’s time for WJ to step up and get the players needed to make a serious run at the playoffs in 2014 and beyond. I would still love to see Choo back in CF for 2014 and shifting to LF in 2015, but if the Reds can fill their top of the order needs without Choo, then getting the additional draft choice when Choo signs with someone else isn’t a bad fall back plan.

  2. Is there any word on Mark Berry? I’d love to see him patrolling the 3B line again in the Price-era.

  3. Billy Hatcher was also the OF coach and the running coach. Right now you have a coach for the infield (Bell) and hitting and pitching coaches, but one of the two coaches will have to coach OF and/or running. I do not know who those two guys will be, but I think we can safely say they will be Price’s guys.

  4. I would like to see Hatcher and Berry back. Same with Cairo. I agree though that Walt needs to make some moves ASAP.

    • @Josh:

      I don’t understand why people want to bring Berry back. I thought he was a terrible 3rd base coach, he only looked good compared to the job Speier did when Berry was out. Same with Cairo, why bring him back? Wouldn’t a clean slate send a better message about changing the culture of the clubhouse?

      I have enough confidence in Price to let him make the decisions…I wonder about Eric Davis for 1st base/OF coaching. I thought the Pitching coach would be Mack Jenkins, who they have already said will be back, maybe he’ll be bullpen coach or continue as Assistant Pitching coach.

      • @Bill Lack: I can’t say that I saw great strategy from Berry at 3B. Yeah, Speier was asleep part of the time but I thought there was a lot of birddogging at home plate with Berry and not enough attention paid to the trailing runner.

        If that was better than/worse than/the same as the league average, I have no idea.

  5. Nothing major here, at least what anyone can tell, besides Jacoby being gone. But, then, most anyone we were to plug in, we couldn’t judge their results until they had results. For, their success could be come from dealing with an entire new group of players.

  6. I like Jay Bell, scrappy player – and he will bring that approach to the Reds. Dusty’s inability to grasp the concept of not swinging at breaking pitches in the dirt (Liriano anyone) burnt my tail. Accordingly, plate discipline and small ball will be returning to the Cincinnati Reds. You wake up call Reds players, discipline is gradually being restored – and good job thus far.

  7. Anyone else get the feeling not only is the coaching staff completely different but a major shuffling of players seems likely too? Thankfully, Jacoby is gone. Wouldn’t mind seeing Hatcher back but I don’t think the purge from anything Dusty is done yet.

    • @sezwhom1: I’m with you. Have a feeling that we’re going to be surprised by the size of at least one move or more that Jocketty makes. Can’t see him stopping at manager and coaching changes.

      • @Steve Mancuso: Something big is in the works – at least according to the Cincinnati Enquirer (that often likes about nothing saying nothing). Devin is starting catcher next year, Hannigan is gone, Chapman becomes SP and BP is headed to NYankees. Time will tell.

  8. This just occurred to me. Given Hurdle’s recent propensity to embrace analytics, perhaps one of the reasons to bring Bell aboard was so that he could be in charge of the much discussed defensive positioning strategy that saved the Pirates so many runs this past season. If so, then kudos to Walt and Bryan.

    • @Drew Mac: I wondered about that, too. I doubt it was a primary reason for hiring Bell, but a side benefit could be having someone on the staff who has been with a team that was committed wholesale to analytics. I don’t expect the Reds to switch that radically, but maybe certain aspects, like the defensive shifting.

  9. I think we can all agree that the Reds were just plain awful on the basepaths last season. I’m not smart enough to know how much of that is related to the base coaching, but they are at least somewhat responsible I would imagine. I like Hatcher and Berry (and I know that Berry was out part of the season) but I can also see new base coaches just based on performance from last year.

  10. I know nothing about Don Long, but I do see that in 2007 (the year before he was the hitting coach) the Pirates were 19th in hitting. Then went down from there.

    2007: 19th 2.64 AV (Before Long)
    ——————-
    2008: 22nd 2.58 AV (Long’s Tenure)
    2009: 28th 2.52 AV
    2010: 29th 2.42 AV

    He has not had success in the past. What’s wrong with this picture?

    • @TC: Yeah, I thought of that too. The Pirates were NOT juggernauts those years offensively. I just hope it was quality of players and not quality of approach.

        • @TC: I wonder whether it’s possible to really assess the impact of a hitting coach at the mlb level. My sense is that the impact is slight: the players are nearly finished products by the time that they arrive, having survived years of coaching and thousands (hundreds, anyway) of at bats, leaving the role of their current coach as that of tinkerer.

        • @TC: The Pirates traded away Jose Bautista, Jason Bay, and Xavier Nady during the 2008 season.

          In 2009, they traded away Adam Laroche, Nyjer Morgan, Jack Wilson, and Freddie Sanchez.

          Not a lot of hitting talent to start with in the first place (Bautista wouldn’t become the Joey Bats we all know and love until 2010), coupled with trading away a significant amount of starters, left a lot of scrubs on the field surrounding a rookie named Andrew McCutchen in 2009. It’s difficult to imagine trading away 7 starters under any circumstances.

    • @TC: When the last place Pirates of 2010 (and by last place I mean 30th) fire their hitting coach, it concerns me when he shows up in Cincinnati as the hitting coach.

  11. With Bryan now firmly at the helm, if the Indians non-tender Drew Stubbs, would anyone be opposed to bringing him back as a CF platoon/4th outfielder on an appropriate contract? Such a move woukld almost certainly involve moving Heisey to make room on the roster. Stubbs has such a severe split, is a significantly better defensive player than Heisey, is faster than Heisey and can steal more bases than Heisey, that he would seem to be better suited to a backup role than Heisey. In a platoon, Stubbs can also hit at the top of the order (.349 career OBP v. LHP & .361 2013 OBP v. LHP) and Heisey is particularly ill-suited for hitting at the top of the order. Of course there are other similar options available as FA for such a role (Rajai Davis, Chris Young & Franklin Gutierrez). Heisey is going to make $1.5MM+ in his 1st year of arbitration and might be attractive as a lost cost option for someone looking for a possible starting OF with 3 years of team control remaining.

    • @Shchi Cossack: I’m completely on board with replacing Heisey. He’s a square peg in a round hole. However, Stubbs isn’t that guy. We need guys with OBP skills and versatility. I rather have a guy who can play IF or OF like David Murphy in order to give Price as many matchup options as possible. It’s also why I like the idea of using Billy Hamilton at 2B and CF, and SuperTodd at 3B and LF. In essence, we could fill the holes in our offense with a couple less expensive players who have strong splits and play multiple positions.

      • @Sultan of Swaff: Absolutely agree with you regarding versatility, but there are 5 bench roles on the 25 man roster. One of those roles must play backup catcher, but if the backup catcher or starting catcher can also play 1B, 3B or LF, that’s and asset. An IF/OF like Frazier or Murphy or possibly Hamilton is also an asset. At least one of the OF bench players must play CF but if he can play all three OF positions well, that is an asset. The biggest issue is that the bench players need to bring ‘some’ offensive value to the team also. They can’t be a black hole offensively, unless they are relegated to no pinch hitting and very limited replacement playing time.

        Oh, and Stubbs is terrible against RHP. Most of our perception copmes from him being utilized excessively against RHP and he stinks, including his OBP against RHP. Against LHP, Stubbs can play, even when looking for OBP.

    • @Shchi Cossack: I wouldn’t mind bringing Stubbs back, like TC said, in a dustless environment. He did get his numbers up this past season and cut down on the K’s. I could see platoon on him.

      I wouldn’t knock Heisey, though. I believe Heisey is a lot like Devin, where Chris Welsh said how Devin and Ryan needed to play everyday to be able to get into a routine, and just can’t playing only a couple of days a week. In 2012 when Baker finally got the competition going for LF, he had Heisey go first. Starting 32 of 42 games, Heisey batted 288/324 (or something like that), only losing the job when Ludwick took his turn in the competition and got his bat going. Now, last season, he didn’t show up well when Ludwick got hurt. But, in 2012, people were ready to give up on Leake. Look what he did this past season. Numerous examples like that.

      I’m not saying to make a starting position for Heisey here. I’m saying Heisey is very possibly a player who excels better when they can get into a routine, aka playing everyday. And, given better coaching, I could see Heisey doing better. Heisey can play every OF position, he can hit, hit with power, has some speed, and is one of few on this team who is actually a pretty good bunter. Playing-wise, I only see Heisey needing to play more regularly. Batting-wise, I see Heisey just being more patient at the plate. I could defintely see him as a platoon, possibly as a “serviceable” starter, but not much more than that. He won’t be making any millions, making any all-star teams, breaking any banks.

      • @steveschoen: I would bring Stubbs back in a nanosecond

        Great defense. speed. occasional power.

        Shoot there may be a day when the light goes on to and he is the player we all hoped for 5 years ago. Sometimes guys with that many tools have issues honing it. Very few have.

        Stubbs power has actually hurt his development. He was confused on what kind of player he was. I advocated hitting him 4th because of his power.

        I do not think we have seen the finished player Stubbs will yet become. He would be a great 4th or 5th oufielder

        • @reaganspad: Hey, I would even consider starting him. Like I said before, I felt he shouldn’t see the light of day above the 7 hole. Not to mention how many times I saw Baker would bunt him over to 2nd, hardly ever using his speed to steal any bases.

  12. Yeah I have to say, given that Price was hired with zero managerial experience, I’m a little shocked that no bigger names were brought in to help him through the transition. All of these guys might very well be the right hires, but it certainly looks like we’ve assembled a borderline minor league coaching staff. I hope Walt and Price know what they’re doing.

  13. I’m also VERY shocked Mack Jenkins wasn’t made pitching coach. Have to wonder what his role with the team will be. You’d think Price would at least want to keep him on in the same capacity, but who knows if he can work with another pitching coach the way he worked with Price. And who knows if he’d want to after basically being passed up for the job.

  14. Looking at the starting pitching staff, the Reds potentially can lose 5 starters after 2014 and 2015. This has to be a sticky situation for the front office. Bailey and Cueto have contracts expire after 2014. Latos, Leake and Chapman after 2015.
    Who do you extend, and who do you let walk?
    Bailey has developed into the #1 we had held out hope for. Two no-hitters. No missed starts in last two years. 24-22 the last two years.
    Latos is 28-11 since coming to the Reds. One missed start.
    Cueto has missed multiple starts in 2 of the last 3 years. 33-16 the last 3 years. No RH pitcher holds a runner from stealing 2nd base like Cueto.
    Leake is 42-29 in his 4 years, 34-25 over the last 3 years.
    Chapman is just getting his starting career started. No much to judge him by there except a couple of great spring trainings.
    Cingrani is here. Stephenson is a couple of years away. Decisions, decisions for WJ and company. Some very importanr decisions will have to be made. Can the Reds afford to extend all 5? Very doubtful. So who will stay and who will walk??

    • @WVRedlegs: The situation isn’t quite as dire as you indicate, but your general point is important.

      The Reds have a team option of $10 million for Cueto in 2015.

      Aroldis Chapman is under team control through 2016. He has only three years of major league service time as of now. He’ll be expensive after this year, but he’s locked into arbitration with the Reds in 2015 and 2016.

      You’re right about Bailey, Latos and Leake.

      • @Steve Mancuso:

        Thanks for the correction. Chapman’s contract is confusing, as I have seen so many different comments about it here.
        I just hate for the Reds to lose Bailey and let him walk like they did with Arroyo this year. Latos too. Both would be worth whatever they would sign for in extensions. Latos will start his two year extension signing in 2014. He really isn’t a priority this year because of that, but don’t want to se him go after 2015. Cueto has missed a seasons worth of starts in 2011 and 2013 combined. But his 19-9 record in 2012 shows what he can do over a full season.
        As we have seen over the last few post-seasons, great starting pitching, a great bullpen and an opportunistic offense gets you through the playoffs.
        Leake and Chapman will get more expensive each year.
        I am just hopeful that the Reds can hold on to 2 of 3 between Bailey, Latos and Cueto past 2015.
        The Cards are going to be in the same boat regarding their starters and their young guns coming up too.

    • @WVRedlegs: I was just getting ready to reply about Cueto and Chapman when I saw that Steve did.

      Bailey is the only one we will lose after this year from the rotation. But the good news is, after this year, barring no set backs, Robert Stephenson is very likely ready to take over if needed. A 2015 rotation of Cueto, Latos, Cingrani, Leake, Stephenson would be pretty formidable, and that’s under the assumption that Chapman remains in the BP. If not we may trade one of our SP or even decline the team option for Cueto. We’ll also have Chad Rogers as a swing starter/emergency starter.

      Now after 2015, with no extensions we will have at least two holes to fill in the rotation. Cingrani, Chapman, and Stephenson would provide a good base to start from. Filling in with Rogers, and then whoever emerges from Contreras, Travieso, Guillon, Corcino, Moscot, Lively, Lorenzen (etc) will give the Reds several options, although untested and young.

      My hope is that Latos (and possibly Leake) is extended and we fill other holes through our young pitching depth.

      • @hotto4votto: I can’t imagine we let Cueto, Latos, Bailey, and Leake walk. I’d say odds are pretty good at least two of those guys gets extended. I’m guessing three – Cueto is going to be cheaper than anticipated because of injury concerns. That leaves it really a toss up between Latos and Bailey. I’d go with Bailey, though he’d be the more expensive of the two. That being said, Latos is younger with some ceiling left. Would hardly be a consolation prize. It’ll be an interesting offseason/year. A lot of moving parts.

      • @hotto4votto:

        One SP people generally overlook in the Reds minor league system is Josh Smith. He had a great year in 2011 at Dayton. He went 9-8 in 2012 at Bakersfield and 11-9 last year at Pensacola. He is an underdog, an under the radar guy. He’s steady and has progressed steadily. He’s not a star, but just plugs away at it. Blue collar type. Solid. He gets no pub though.

        • @WVRedlegs: Yes, he is a decent pitching prospect in his own right. Although W’s and L’s are hardly the stat I would use to judge a pitcher. But he’s pretty far down the line in regards to pitching prospects in the Reds system (a good problem to have). Many of the starters we have now in the minors will end up in a relief role for the future. Contreras, Garret, Crabbe, all fit this role. Corcino, Guillon, and Rogers (in the mold of LeCure) may fit this mold as well.

          This is in no way a knock to Josh Smith, but I feel he’s too far down the line of SP prospects to get a fair shot to make the Reds rotation. In AAA you will have Rogers (who has consistently compiled excellent starting #’s even though he does not have top notch stuff), Corcino (who was a top 100 prospect in baseball coming into this year) who will need to fix his mechanics/control issues, but still has pretty elite stuff. Contreras put up strong numbers in AA, as did Stephenson (considering his age) and Moscot. Then you have four pitchers who spent last year in Dayton in Travieso Romano, Cisco, and Guillon. The first three put up good years, and Cisco especially had stellar K/BB ratio. Guillon struggled with control but was one of the better pitchers in the system over his last 7 starts. He has the stuff, he just has to get the control down.

          Then there are the up and comers who have already seen time in Dayton or beyond in Ben Lively, Michael Lorenzen (who’s being stretched out to be a starter), and Jackson Stephens. All put up good-excellent numbers considering their age and advancement. All have the tools to be successful going forward. And those are just the guys out of rookie ball.

          Those are twelve current SP’s that are rated higher than Josh Smith. And that’s not mentioning other SP’s in the system that are of a similar status such as Renken and Crabbe. That’s also not counting Langfield who is coming back from injury. So even if several of those pitchers move toward the BP to get their shot, there is still a very large contingent of prospects ahead of Smith. As solid as he has been, I just don’t think it’s enough at this point to even be considered considering the talent in the system. Without a drastic, light-coming-on, type season it’s hard to view him as more than organization filler at this point, and at best a trade chip or future BP help.

        • @hotto4votto:

          Yes that is true. But in defense of Smith, he has progressed from one level to the next each year. That cannot be said of all those 12 that might be ahead of him. He is an innings eater type of pitcher. That is usually a good thing. It’ll depend on what kind of spring he has on where he starts 2014 at, AA or AAA. I look for him to jump past Corcino and start out at AAA. The minuses he has is he will be 27 next year. His K-rate has declined some since 2011. He doesn’t throw 99 mph.
          Just an aside note, Todd Redmond had a pretty decent year with Toronto this past season. You just never know.

        • @hotto4votto:

          One thing to keep in mind about the younger pitching prospects at A and Rookie levels, is that Bakersfield (A+) can have an adverse effect on a pitcher’s progression. It can have a tendency to stall the progression of starters as well as relievers. I don’t know what it is about the California League. I’ve read where the league has many hitter friendly parks and it is an offensive oriented league.
          As you pointed out, the Reds pitching depth is better off than most think. And some of that is just now getting to AAA.
          Of the Reds potential 6 starting pitchers, I don’t want to lose any of them, really. But it is good to know that re-inforcements are there and will be ready in time.

        • @WVRedlegs: St. Louis finds young pitchers, signs them, develops them, promotes them and actually LETS THEM PITCH.

          I would recommend that the Reds do the same thing. The idea that this pitching staff will be whole in another 2 years is probably folly.

          So you get different guys and keep winning.

        • @TC: Hard to count on him, especially as a SP until he commits to baseball full time. He has the stuff/talent. I question whether his heart is in it, as it appears on the surface his first love is basketball.

  15. If Bryan Price is hiring coaches based on sports analytics (sabermetrics) it is most likely not at the behest of Walt Jocketty. Jocketty left St. Louis due to a disagreement about the Cardinals moving in the analytics direction (http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/walt-jocketty-axed-cards-numbers-crunch-article-1.230511). It was one thing that both Walt and Dusty Baker had mutual agreeement…also as indicated in the article below (Walt’s comments about Votto’s hitting approach).

    That doesn’t mean Price isn’t doing just that, but it’s a pretty bold move for a new manager without experience.

    As for the rotation in the future, there were concerns that Johnny Cueto’s small size would be detrimental to his durability (http://www.minorleagueball.com/2010/3/25/1389910/not-a-rookie-johnny-cueto) before he was a star. There’s no question he’s been an outstanding starting pitcher, but could there be a possibility of he and Chapman switching roles? Cueto’s going to be injury prone. Latos and Bailey will most likely be the healthy pitchers moving forward as they mature. Whenever the Reds are discussing long term contracts, health is a major consideration. With Cueto a starter, the Reds will always need a quality sixth starting pitcher lurking close by.

    • @Steve Price: The article seems to misrepresent the circumstances. It says nothing about WJ’s resistance to advanced metric. Only that he was upset that scouting and player development to given to someone else.

      And to defend Mr Jocketty a bit, I would resist handing those two departments over to a statistician as well. Stats, for the most part, look at past performance, not future potential. While you cannot know where you’re going without seeing where you’ve been, scouting is about determining what a player can be. Player development seeks to maximize that potential. Both should rely heavily on advanced metrics, but I want a baseball man who uses metric, not a statistics man judging player potential.

      • @TC:

        The article pretty much goes straight to stats even as mentioned in the reply above. The first paragraph of the article:

        “The firing of respected Walt Jocketty as Cardinals GM last Tuesday by team chairman Bill DeWitt was just another example of the growing trend of meddling owners reducing the powers of the general manager and shifting the emphasis of baseball operations to statistical analysis.”

        and later revisited: “Clearly, however, old-school GMs such as the 56-year-old Jocketty are a dying breed” and later, again, when comparing the St. Louis GM situation to the Pirates….”And in Pittsburgh there’s no reason to believe it isn’t going to be the same losing business as usual after new president Frank Coonelly passed over a half-dozen candidates with proven track records in scouting and player development to tap Neal Huntington, another stat guy…”

        It was pretty much well known–I was just listing one easily found example. And, to mention Jocketty’s track record with the Reds—Shoo has really been the only player signed by Jocketty where OBP was a plus. In fact, low OBPs are the main reason for the Reds faltering offense last year. Jocketty’s “frustration” with Votto is misdirected. Jocketty needs to spend more time finding players that get on base.

        I do respect his decision to look for defensive-minded players–but, it would be most helpful if they could find themselves on base from time to time.

        Stats do, by the way, help predict future performance, both in growth and decline. Minor League Equivalents (MLEs) have been a cottage industry for years. I am not saying scouts aren’t necessary. On the contrary, scouts can see where a player may have ability and where a player may start his decline phase before it shows in the stats. However, baseball is littered with guys who GMs waited to long to promote (Joey Votto should’ve been in the majors one year earlier is a recent example) or were held onto for too long because the guys in charge didn’t read the stat lines to see that the players had already either progressed or regressed.

        • @Steve Price: Straight from the article:

          “DeWitt cited an irreconcilable division within the Cardinals’ front office. But it was a division DeWitt created when he promoted Jeff Luhnow, one of the new-wave stat practitioners, as head of both player development and scouting.

          Jocketty viewed that as a usurping of his powers – especially since Luhnow clearly had the chairman’s ear – and let it be known to his friends and associates that he was not comfortable with the new arrangement. In addition, the payroll constraints placed on Jocketty by DeWitt prevented the Cardinals from retaining many of their free agents.”

          That says nothing about WJ being resistant to advanced metrics. Just having his authority taken away in favor of someone else.

        • @Steve Price:

          The article pretty much goes straight to stats even as mentioned in the reply above. The first paragraph of the article:

          “The firing of respected Walt Jocketty as Cardinals GM last Tuesday by team chairman Bill DeWitt was just another example of the growing trend of meddling owners reducing the powers of the general manager and shifting the emphasis of baseball operations to statistical analysis.”

          That is not what the firing was about at all. It says part of Jocketty’s responsibilities were taken away. He was not happy with that. This whole “he’s 56 and therefore not in to the advanced statistics” non-sense is just that. Non-sense. It’s about a wave of younger GMs sweeping baseball, probably because of the success Theo Epstein and other young GMs were having.

          It was pretty much well known–I was just listing one easily found example.

          If it’s pretty well know, cite more than this because I’ve never seen anything that says WJ is anti-stats. In fact, I feel it’s just the opposite, including the advancement of stats used under WJ’s regime.

          You cannot be honest and say you know WJ to be anti-sabermetrics. You just can’t. I think (as do many others) the Reds have one of the 5 best GMs in baseball. You CANNOT be one of the best today and not have a high regard for advanced metric when making determinations about players.

        • Stats do, by the way, help predict future performance, both in growth and decline.

          And I will remind you of what I wrote:

          While you cannot know where you’re going without seeing where you’ve been, scouting is about determining what a player can be. Player development seeks to maximize that potential. Both should rely heavily on advanced metrics, but I want a baseball man who uses metric, not a statistics man judging player potential.

          Stats are history. History is synonymous with the past. Stats in no way can predict the decline of a player. All it can do is show you a decline in progress, even if it is not yet apparent.

          When it comes to player development, it is a report card. It is the best indicator of whether the player is improving and what they need to improve.

          I’ve never fancied myself a player in this scouts vs stats debate. I find it silly. They are both important. Is the Bengals offense more important or the defense? They are parts of the whole. There is no need to imply that anyone who doesn’t ONLY believe in the power and glory of sabermetrics is anti-sabermetrics. The war is over. Tokyo surrendered, come out of the jungle. You won ten years ago. You’re voice is being heard by ALL GMs, including WJ.

    • @Steve Price: While I don’t think WJ is one of the biggest proponents of sabermetrics, I do think he recognizes their value and incorporates them into his decision making.

  16. I think the comments about this being an underqualified coaching staff are premature. The ongoing thought process in baseball was that the guy who could, did. The rest of them were coaches. That said, the new hitting coach needs to prove to me that he has some impact on the quality of the hitters’ at-bats.

    Another long thread about the greatness of Votto generally ignores the fact that 5 or 6 other guys in the lineup need to pick up their game just a little. Whatever that means to each guy is user-defined, I suppose. If Don Long is just there to make sure guys know which bat to use, Price has made a mistake, IMO.

    • @Johnu1: Entirely agree. We really won’t be able to judge any effects from the change in coaches until, I would think, at least half the season is through. I said before, I almost wouldn’t mind them going 0-162, at least try to look like you want to win, show something that you don’t like to lose, show that you are trying to make adjustments, etc.

      And, like many have said, I still see Walt pulling something off.

    • @Johnu1: I agree. While I’ve questioned the hiring of Don Long, I qualified it by saying I knew nothing about him.

      I don’t think any of us are qualified to pass judgement. Everything I know about all three could be written on the back of a postage stamp. I bet everyone here is the same.

        • @Redsfanx: Well, Bryan Price we know. The others, not so much. But let’s hope they work out like Sparky Anderson. Let’s hope in 20 years we all think Bryan Price is right up there with Sparky Anderson.

    • @rhayex: While I’m a Wilson fan, and would be a proponent of bringing him into the BP under the right circumstances, the word is that he wants closer money, regardless of what role he is fulfilling. The Reds are already paying both Chapman and Broxton closer money, as well as a pretty good wage to Marshall. There is a lot of money allocated for the BP. I believe a combination of Marshall, Hoover, and LeCure would be just as successful closing out games as Wilson, for about the same amount of money.

      On the other hand, if Wilson is what it takes to move Chapman to the rotation…then that wouldn’t be a bad deal assuming one of the starters (and their salary) is moved to fill another hole.

  17. Well, MVP votes are out. Cabrera and McCutchen won them. But, I can’t find the results anywhere, like who got 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and by how much. Any ideas?

  18. St. Louis Dispatch sportswriter Rick Hummel’s top 6 for MVP:

    1. Molina
    2. Carpenter
    3. McCutchen
    4. Kimbrel
    5. Freeman
    6. Goldschmidt.

    It’s good to know Cincinnati doesn’t own a monopoly on hacks like P-Doc.

    • @CP:

      I see where CTrent posted his vote for NL MVP. No Jay Bruce in his top 10. Blasphemy. Maybe BP was right all along about him. BP just expressed it in a bad way. I won’t call him a Fat you know what, but I will give him credit for being a giant IDIOT.

      • @WVRedlegs: The Old Cossack is sooooooooo looking forward to Bruce hitting behind Votto and Votto hitting in front of Bruce this season. Of course, if WJ adds the BIG RH (Kemp, Bautista, etc.) that will work too.

  19. I love Brian Wilson. I don’t love having to pay him and Broxton. Wow Broxton is a bad contract. I know nothing about these new contracts, I hope reds aren’t back to penny inching.

  20. I mean I don’t know anything about the coaches. I hope reds aren’t back to penny pinching. Just so much uncertainty with reds in manager, coaching and cf and 2nd

  21. Bryan Price is beginning the first (and possibly only) ML manager opportunity. His career and reputation as a manager is on the line. He has every right and expectation to hire the best coaches as HE evaluates their capabilities and contributions to his staff. If he has selected the wrong coaches, his own career will suffer and his tenure as a ML manager will be short-lived. Quite frankly, the best coaches and managers are hired with little to no prior experience. The really good candidates with significant experience are never available, only the retreads.

    Even though WJ, by his own admission, was apparently pushed into seriously considering Bryan Price as the next manager of the Cincinnati Reds by requests to interview Bryan Price for other manager positions, I think he made a great selection. I also trust Bryan Price to make equally good selections for his coaching staff.

    Now about those holes that need to be filled in the reds lineup…Hey WJ, what’s up with that…

    • @Shchi Cossack:

      I heard a rumor this morning that the Reds have an offer out to OF Nate McLouth for 1 yr./$3.25M. A platoon with Ludwick in LF? CF until BHam is ready? Not sure what that would mean.

      • @WVRedlegs: Not so much a LF platoon with Ludwick, but I can see McLouth as part of a CF platoon with someone like Rajai Davis to keep CF warm for Hamilton this season. Such aa platoon could fill one of the top of the order slots.

        • @Shchi Cossack:
          You may be right.
          I liked somebody’s idea a couple of days ago about bringing back Stubbs if he is non-tendered by Cleveland.
          McLouth vs. RH P in 2013: .272/.342/.411

          Stubbs vs. LH P in 2013: .266/.361/.357

          Certainly could replace (to a degree) Choo’s production at the plate at about 1/3 the price for Choo.

        • @WVRedlegs: Oh, that was me… :oops: :idea: Davis, Stubbs, Young, Gutierrez … a CF platoon would have to come from outside the organization right now because whoever fills the platoon would also have to hit at the top of the order and Heisey/XP can not fill those roles.

  22. Olney has tweeted that Hanigan is being traded. He says that the Reds feel confident in receiving a “quality prospect” in return, and that multiple teams are interested.

    My question is, what is a “quality prospect”? I’d like to see a young, high-upside position player come in a trade, but does he simply mean “bullpen piece that’s major-league ready”? Because I feel like we have enough of those.

    • @rhayex: If Hanigan is going to be traded in a one-for-one kind of trade, instead of as part of a larger package, I’d like to see the Reds get a good young pitcher in return. Someone who is close to major league ready, like AAA this year.

      • @Steve Mancuso: I wouldn’t mind a good young pitcher being traded for Hanigan, but if that’s the case, then that probably means the Reds are shopping Bailey as well (I’m assuming the pitcher is a starter). Even without bringing a pitcher in via a trade, I still think the Reds would at least see what Bailey could bring them. If he could bring back a haul like the Myers deal, then you pull the trigger and sign a veteran to a one or two year deal if you feel you need depth.

        • @rhayex: Homer won’t bring in anything like Myers because there is just one year of team control instead of two, like with Shields. That’s why I think Mike Leake might make a better trading chip – sent to a team that is looking for a solid pitcher they can control for two years. A team like the Twins. That kind of team might be willing to trade a veteran bat.

          A young (AAA) pitching prospect could make it *less* important to trade Homer because he potentially provide a replacement in the event they couldn’t sign Homer to an extension.

          I still think he (Homer) is too valuable to trade. Just like Shin-Soo Choo was last year.

        • @Steve Mancuso: There’s a difference, though. Choo was brought in to fill a gaping hole in the Reds lineup. That hole largely doesn’t exist from a pitching standpoint. I understand if you want to argue that Bailey is to Stephenson what Choo was to Hamilton, but the reason the Reds didn’t trade Choo was entirely different, in my opinion. I’m not advocating for Bailey to be traded simply due to signability concerns (ie, the argument that a couple decent prospects are worth more than a draft pick), but I WOULD like to see him traded IF the Reds can get a good haul for him.

          Now that I’ve had a chance to think about it, I agree with your statement about a AAA pitching prospect making it less important to trade Bailey. I would counter, however, that if the Reds sign a veteran pitcher this offseason (such as Hudson), then that shows that SOMEONE in the rotation is gone. I would then take it a step further and guess that that someone would be Bailey, given his talent, which I believe makes him more valuable than Leake to the right team.

        • @rhayex: Agreed. I’d like to see them (a) trade Mike Leake, (b) sign a veteran pitcher like Hudson, Haren, Maholm etc. if they can get a one-year deal with that pitcher. More likely with Haren and Maholm. I think Hudson will get two years from someone.

          If this is the ideal pitching staff for September/October – Cueto, Bailey, Latos, Cingrani, Chapman – they will still need someone else to take up the innings that Chapman can’t pitch. That, plus injuries and any innings limits on Cingrani, would make the case for a one-year veteran contract.

        • @Steve Mancuso: Also, I don’t believe that Homer will bring in a Myers type prospect. I was just making a comparison to a fairly recent trade. If the Reds could get someone like Castellanos and other high-upside prospects for Bailey, I think they have to accept. Do I believe they will? Again, no. I’m simply stating what I think it would take.

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